The Practical Ideology of Shiaism
The Shia ideology was always smooth and practicable. Imamate being the base, and the fundamental of this base being that in a Muslim Society, leadership should be in the hands of one who should succeed the Prophet. The Prophet’s successor, should be form every angle and aspect a perfect man - better than and superior to others in knowledge, ability, capacity, reason and cognosence, awareness, nearness with the Prophet.
These qualities in all their dimensions are not to be found in any other than Ali (AS). It is a fact. Ali (AS) was the best qualified one for the job. Besides, the Prophet himself had already installed him as his successor and on many occasions had introduced him as his successor. And beyond this he also introduced his successors’ successors the twelve Imams. This is not to interpret that it was a bodily or physical inheritance of one another. But it was the inheritance of qualities too. What God had distinguished in the Prophet (SAW) was inherited by his AHLUL BAIT the twelve Imams. The Quran says: “Indeed, God chose Adam and Noah and Abraham’s progeny over the worlds.” Therefore, obedience to the Imams is obligatory, and equal to obedience to the Prophet. The Imams would be regarded as guardians, leaders and obeyed.
This program was proclaimed. The path was shown. The guidance was thus framed. All in line with God’s will. It was not a desire, nor an ambition, nor an imagination. But a robbery does not justify that the robbed one had no possession over the belonging. In political dimension it was deviated and put into different turn. But the real guidance is not an impracticable one. The guidance remains there.
What the apostles have pronounced or proclaimed is that they have told the truth, shown the way and indicated the end, which is resurrection. Whether the people accept or reject this does not mean that it is not workable.
The program is made open. If there are people too misfortunate to adopt and accept it, does not justify in alleging that it is unworkable. If one charts a plan and wants to implement it but the conditions do not favor, then it can be justified in saying that it was a fiction and not workable. But, here a religious program, a spiritual plan, a celestial timetable is made by one who says; “We guided him the path; whether he be grateful or ungrateful.” The workability of such a program does not depend upon one’s taste or pleasure. One rejects it under an excuse of fiction. The plan is made public; the program is made known to all. This is in the first place important. The belief in Imamate like the other pillars of religion, oneness of God, the prophet hood of all the apostles sent by God, Judgment Day, is an independent entity which stands firm as other religious fundamentals do. To have faith in it or in them or not is not the condition of its proclamation. If people accept it, it is for their own good. If they reject it, it is in their own misfortune. But the program is there - neither rescinded nor nullified.
Likewise same logic governs the proceeds of the Imams. Their policies were not fiction. Whatever Ali Bin Abi Taleb did was quite in line with the circumstances of his time. He remained aloof for twenty-five years. Yes, the necessity was so. Imam Hassan and so Imam Hussain and so his sons the other Imams, were not leaders of some fictious ideology. They were quite aware of the conditions and knew very well what they had to do and what they were doing. Every deed of theirs stands a fact and every practice of theirs a paragon of their far sightedness.
Therefore, they attained the good and achieved the aim.
Imam Hussain was aware of the consequences if he were to reject Yazid’s authority. Yet, he did not yield. He endured the ordeal and surrendered to the sword but remained stubborn in opposing the tyranny. It was up to him to depend the Prophet’s seat. So he did. The choice of the way was to his prudence. If it was a fictious ideology then why did he give up his life? One does not undergo such an ordeal for himself and sufferings for his family and friends for a thing, which he knew to be untrue. Only the truth attracts the men of truth. Only truth is worth the sacrifice. In ancient days nations too alleged that it was false what the prophets of those days had declared. These allegations are not new. They shall continue as long as man is ignorant.
Imam Hussain did not restrict Yazid and his followers from occupying the Prophet’s seat. But he dismissed, discarded and dethroned him from the hearts of the people. This was the reason that Mawiya at length failed in uprooting Islam. The Prophet Mohammed (SAW) proclaimed Islam but Hussain made it permanent. Every Imam had his own way towards protecting Islam. No one among them toiled for an imaginatory thing. It is far from reason to suffer for a thing which has no existence as it is quite a reason to suffer for a thing, which has an existence and the existence has no guard. The Shia ideology is false! Then the ideology of Islam too is the same. People gathered round the Imamate because of the atrocities and crimes the rulers committed. The more their cruelty the more the people banked their belief in Imamate.
There were those among the people who later understood what they had earlier misunderstood. Those who remained indifferent in the days of the caliphs immediately after the Prophet’s death thought that the change if Imamate would not change the path of Islam. But gradually they realized that by the change of Imamate everything had changed completely. The very Islam was obliterated; a mist was covering it making its vision vague and infuscated, about to vanish. The seat of the Prophet (SAW) had turned into a throne, over it everything undesirable was allowed and everything unlawful was legitimate. To occupy the seat under the title of caliph was the sanction to do what lust dictated and what greed dictated. The traditions and the customs of the bygone days of Kasra, Khaisaz, and the courts of their oppressors were returning into practice.
To re-adjust the things, to setup this upset, to bring back what had gone, to put right the course, and to correct the wrong, was not possible by any means other than to put the course on its original track and to follow the line of Imamate.
Another thing, the sinful actions of life led by the tyrant rulers helped the people to believe more in Imamate and become Shia because they, on the other hand, saw the piety, simplicity, honesty, truth, openness, frankness, of the Imams. The life of an Imam stood for them a page in which to compare the caliph. His gambling, debauchery, tricks, lies, and etc. pushed the people to think and ponder a little and enabled them to revise their understanding, this revisal was their Shiasm. Imam Sadiq spread the Shia teachings and the original Islamic knowledge. It is not an imaginary ideology. These are the facts, how long will the writer ignore them and fancy otherwise?
Adapted from: "A Reply To Belief Of Mahdism In Shia Imamate" by: "Ayatollah Lutfollah Saafi Golpayegani"
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