The Rightly-Guided Caliphs in the Shi'ah Perspective
Al-Khulafa' al-Rashidun in the Shi'ah's perspective are the Twelve Imams, of the Pure Prophet's Progeny, who are as follows:
-The First: Amir al-Mumineen, Imam of the pious, Master of Muslims, Ya'sub al-Din (KIng of religion), and God's conquering Lion, 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (A), the gate of the city of knowledge, who bewildered the minds, dazzled the souls, and illuminated the hearts .Without him-after the Prophet (S) no pillar has been erected for religion.
-The Second: Al-'Imam Abu Muhammad al-Hasan ibn 'Ali (A), the Master of paradise youth and aromatic plant (Rayhanah) of the prophet among this Ummah, the ascetic, sincere and trusthworthy worshipper.
-The Third: Al-'Imam Abu Abd Allah al-Husayn ibn 'Ali (A), the Doyen of Paradise youth, the Prophet's Rayhanah in this Ummah, the Master of Martyrs and slaughtered of Karbala', who sacrificed himself for reforming his grandfather's Ummah.
-The Fourth: Al-'Imam 'Ali ibn al-Husayn, Zayn al-'Abidin (A) and Doyen of Prostrates (Sayyid al-Sajidin).
-The Fifth: Al-'Imam Muhammad ibn 'Ali al-Baqir (A), who has ripped open (baqara) the sciences of the earliers and latters.
-The Sixth: Al-'Imam Ja'far ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq (A) who, no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no heart has ever thought of a man being afqah (having more comprehension) than him in knowledge and deed.
-The Seventh: Al-'Imam Musa ibn Ja'far al-Kazim (A), scion of Prophethood and source of knowledge
-The Eighth: Al-'Imam 'Ali ibn Musa al-Rida (A), unto whom wisdom is given during his boyhood.
-The Nineth: Al-'Imam Muhammad ibn 'Ali al-Jawad (A), the Imam of generosity and munificence and morals.
-The Tenth: Al-'Imam Ali ibn Muhammad al-Hadi (A), the owner of virtue and guidance.
-The Eleventh: Al-'Imam al-Hasan ibn 'Ali al-'Askari (A), the Imam of zuhd (asceticism) and taqwa (piety).
-The Twelfth: Al-'Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Mahdi (A), who will fill the earth with justice and enquity as it has been filled with injustice and despositism, behind whom Maryam's son (Juesus Christ [A]) will pray, and by whom Allah will perfects His light and the believers will rejoyce.
These are the Imams of the Shi'ah, who are twelve in number, so when it is said: al-Shi'ah al-'Imamiyyah, or al-'Ithna 'Ashariyyah, or al-'Jafariyah, they (Imams) are definitely and solely meant, since no other Islamic sect has recognized their Imamate.
By pursuing the Qur'anic verses revealed in their regard, that expose their virtue,noble dignity, good origin, purity of souls an magnificent status, such as the verse of affection (mawaddah), the verse of removing uncleaness and purity, the verse of malediction (mubahalah), the verse of the upright (abrar), the verse of benediction and peace, and many other verses.
When we come to the holy Prophetic traditions reported regarding their dignity and supriority over the Ummah, and their infallibility (ismah), we will verily recognize their Imamate and their being the shelter for the Ummah against misguidance and deviation, and its only path towards guidance.
Further it will be explicity manifested for us that the Shi'ah are the trimphant, sicne they have held fast to God's firm cable, which is their loyalty, having grasped the firm hand-hold which will never break, which is their love and affection (mawaddah), and having got aboard the deliverance ship and were saved from drowning and perdition.
We decisively determine, with much certainty and knowledge, that the Imammi Shi'ah are the true followers (Ahl) of the Muhammadan Sunnah.
It is stated in the Qur'an:
"(And unto the evil-doer it is said:) Thou wast in heedlessness of this. Now we have removed from thee thy covering, and piercing is thy sight this day". (50:22)
Adapted from the book: "The Shi'ah; The Real Followers of the Sunnah" by: "Dr. Muhamad al-Tijahi al-Samawi"
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