`Ismah Al-Ma’sumin: What is REALLY Meant by the “Infallibility” of the Ma’sumin

`Ismah Al-Ma’sumin: What is REALLY Meant by the “Infallibility” of the Ma’sumin

The basis for the following article was originally published in 2004 by the Taliyah al-Mahdi. Edits and further additions have been made to the text, in order to reflect the evolving approach of the Inner Circle of the occulted group, and current events.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

“By the star when it goes down, your companion is not in error nor has he gone astray. He does not speak out of his own desire. It is a Revelation which has been Revealed to him.” Al-Qur’an, Surah an-Najm, 53:3-4

وَالنَّجْمِ إِذَا هَوَى مَا ضَلَّ صَاحِبُكُمْ وَمَا غَوَى وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَى إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَى

One of the essential issues of common ground between non-Shi`ah and Shi`ah Muslimin is the issue of `Ismah of Nabi Muhammad and the Anbiyah before him. This is an established and obvious conclusion based both in the Ayaat’ul-Qur’an as well as in both Shi`ah and non-Shi`ah Ahadith. There is only one sect which claims to be Muslim who disbelieve in the `Ismah Al-Anbiyah and these of course are the Wahhabiyyah. Such filthy deceivers are not Muslimin as they bastardize their warped misinterpretation of Islam through the introduction of their bida of anthropomorphism, and rejection of the Ahl’ul-Bayt when the Qur’an commands this in the Ayat’ul-Mawadda (the Verse of Affection): “That is of which Allah gives the Good News to Hu’s servants, (to) those who believe and do good deeds. Say: ‘I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives; and whoever earns good, We give him more of good therein; surely Allah is Forgiving, Grateful.” Al-Qur’an 42:23

The Wahhabi kuffar have even gone so far as to alter their translations of this passage (as they have in other passages as well as Ahadith). They change it to “love for my kinship towards you.” Nonetheless, both legitimate Sunni translators such as the infamous Yusuf `Ali, as well as Shi`ah translations have it as it should be rendered from the original `Arabic:

ذَلِكَ الَّذِي يُبَشِّرُ اللَّهُ عِبَادَهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ قُل لَّا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا إِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبَى وَمَن يَقْتَرِفْ حَسَنَةً نَّزِدْ لَهُ فِيهَا حُسْنًا إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ شَكُورٌ

So again, it is only these lying, deciving, misinterpreting, mistranslating, Qur’an altering munafiqin and kuffar who claim to be Muslimin but disbelieve in the `Ismah Al-Anbiyah. And it is Written: “And do not mix up the Truth with the falsehood, nor hide the Truth while you know [it].” Al-Qur’an, 2:42

وَلاَ تَلْبِسُواْ الْحَقَّ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتَكْتُمُواْ الْحَقَّ وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

If you are a revert to Islam (as none are converts since Islam is our original “Fitrah” nature), and you have been told the lie that the Anbiyah and even Muhammad were fallible, God forbid, then you must realize that you are being told a lie and being deprived of a true and thorough understanding of your Din. May Allah Guide you to the Sirat’ul-Mustaqim, for it was certainly not happenstance that you came upon this text you are reading. May these words be a sacrifice before Allah ta`ala, as a testimony to the Truth and Reality of Islam. May those who can receive Guidance be edified by these words.

The only difference between Shi`ah and Sunni doctrine on the matter of `Ismah is that the Shi`ah likewise believe that the 12 A’immah of the Ahl’ul-Bayt are also in fact Ma’sumin, or “Protected from Sin.” Proof for this is found within the Qur’an Al-Karim which says:“Allah wishes only to remove Ar­Rijs (inpurities, imperfections, or “filth,” etc.) from you, O Ahl’ul-Bayt (Members of the Family), and to purify you with a thorough purification.” Al-Quran, Surah 33:33

وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَى وَأَقِمْنَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتِينَ الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِعْنَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا

Divine Infallibility and Human Infallibility

There are different “types” of “infallibility.” The first type is Absolutely Infallibility, wherein there is no flaw, nor error of any kind – even of trivial matters. This is called Divine Infallibility, and unfortunately many people seem to confuse the infallibility of the Anbiyah and the A’immah with this.

For the Anbiyah and A’immah, to be Divinely Infallible, they would not in fact be human at all. That means that when they were born they would immediately begin doing all things perfectly. They would not need to crawl, they could walk. In fact they could fly if they so decided. They could speak any language without even needing to learn it. They would not need to be “potty-trained” and they would of course be able to dress themselves immediately. That would Divine Infallibility, were it possible for such to exist within a human context.

The Nawasib attempt to make it out as though the Shi`ah believe this about the A’immah, when in fact we do not. They choose to foster this propaganda, because it is clear that ONLY Allah is Divinely Infallible, so accordingly if they can convince others that we believe this about the A’immah, then they can make them believe their lies that we hold the A’immah, as gods. Of course it goes without saying that no Muslim holds such a belief in “gods” as the First Kalimah states that there is no God but Allah. We Shi`ah say this same truth in Shahadah.

However, there is another type of infallibility. This type is the infallibility of the Ma’sumin – the Anbiya before Muhammad and the 14 Ma’sumin – that Shi`ah Islam and the Qur’an speaks of. This type allows for normal random human error in trivial and subjective matters. However, it maintains that the individual is absolutely infallible in matters of objectivity. That means that in matters of leading the community, of interpreting Scriptures, of interpreting Shariah, of judging, and planning for the future, these Ma’sumin are absolutely objective and are thus infallible. This is how Allah can mention subjective fallibility of the Anbiya on trivial matters, yet at the same time tell us that they are Ma’sumin.

This type of infallibility does not mean that they had no trivial deficiencies. It does not mean that they never burned food when preparing something to eat. It does not mean that they never lost at a playful game with their friends when they were growing up. It does not mean that they never once dropped a single thing when carrying it. It does not mean that they never had to learn to walk, speak, read, write, control their bladders, etc. All of these things had to be learned, as is human nature. But in matters pertaining to leading the community, of interpreting Scriptures, of interpreting Shariah, of judging, and planning for the future, these Ma’sumin are absolutely objective and are thus infallible.

Protected from Sin

Anbiyah do not commit “sins” as we commonly define the word. That is, they can error in personal matters, but they are inherently protected – by nature of being Anbiyah – from major sins that transgress the limits. Thus, a true Nabi would resist any temptation to commit a major sin. Many major sins themselves would have no appeal to them, as the true Nabi sees sin as the folly that it is. However, even if a Nabi would feel the temptation to commit a major sin, they would be protected from it – that is, Allah would intervene to insure that they did not stray from the Sirat’ul-Mustaqim – and would resist the actual commission of such a transgression.

Anbiyah are are expected by Allah to choose the best option when deciding on a matter, However, if they choose the second best option, then clearly they have not done the best thing, that Allah would have preferred. However, certainly this is not a grievous offense, and it is not “sin” as one would define the word in its common parlance. So while we acknowledge that in subjective matters the Ma’sumin could chose the less than the ideal option, this does not in anyway hinder or reflect on their station and mission in life.

For example Yunus An-Nabi was told to go to the people of Nineveh to guide them on the right path. He was reluctant to give Dawah to these people, because they were wicked and iniquitous. The people of Nineveh were idol worshippers, and although Yunus An-Nabi tried continuously to explain to them how useless their worship was, they did not accept his advice.

Yunus An-Nabi tried to convince the people for a long time to worship One God. He even warned them of Allah’s punishment if they continued in their sinful ways, but they refused to give up their idol worshipping.

At last Yunus An-Nabi was fed up with these stubborn people. He asked Allah to send His punishment on them and walked out of their town. However, Yunus An-Nabi’s anger had caused him to leave the people before he had received the Command of Allah to do so.

After his departure, the people realized that they were impending punishment for their transgressions. They realized that a Nabi from amongst them them had advised them to ask for Allah’s forgiveness, before they were all destroyed. The people turned from their kufr and sincerely begged Allah to forgive them. Allah accepted their prayers and withdrew Hu’s Wrath.

Yunus had interrupted and halted his Dawah. He ran away from further confrontation, even though the hearts of the people were softening towards the Message of Islam. This interruption was surely not Allah’s Will. However, as a Nabi, Yusus was protected from sin, in such a way that he was not his own man, he was Allah’s. Though his nafs wanted his own personal comfort, Allah did not allow him to resist. The Anbiyah are in fact Slaves to Allah. They may at times desire personal comfort and to pursue folly, but they ultimately do not stray from Allah.

In this case we see Allah first cause a great storm to overtake the ship that Yunus had set sail with. Yunus reasoned that the torrent was from Allah to show Hu’s dissatisfaction with his decision. Lots were caste to let Al-Qadar decide who was the cause of the storm. Though Yunus was implicated, he was a guest on the ship and the people did not want to throw him overboard. In accordance with his humble nature, and to protect the lives of those on the boat, Yusuf Submitted to the Will of Allah; as Allah had then made known to him. He offered himself to be caste over the side of the boat, so that Allah would have no more reason to inflict the storm, seeing that Hu’s Nabi had willingly offered his Destiny to Allah. So complete was Yunus’s submission, that he trusted that Allah would not allow him to perish in the Sea. When Allah begins a good work, Allah is faithful to complete it. Accordingly Yunus(as) was swallowed up, and preserved, frightened but unharmed, within the belly of the Beast, until finally being spit up and washed to shore.

“Yunus was certainly a Rasul. He abandoned his people and sailed away in a full ship where the people cast lots. Because he lost, he was thrown in the water. The Fish swallowed him up and he deserved (all this). Had he not glorified Allah, he would certainly have remained inside the fish until the Day of Resurrection.” Al-Quran, Surah 37:139-144

وَإِنَّ يُونُسَ لَمِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ إِذْ أَبَقَ إِلَى الْفُلْكِ الْمَشْحُونِ فَسَاهَمَ فَكَانَ مِنْ الْمُدْحَضِينَ فَالْتَقَمَهُ الْحُوتُ وَهُوَ مُلِيمٌ فَلَوْلَا أَنَّهُ كَانَ مِنْ الْمُسَبِّحِينَ لَلَبِثَ فِي بَطْنِهِ إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ

Yunus An-Nabi spent several days and nights inside the fish while it swam across the sea. In the darkness of the stomach of the fish Yunus An-Nabi prayed to Allah to forgive him for his mistake and his prayers were accepted.

“And remember Zun-nun when he departed in wrath: he imagined that We had no power over him! But he cried through the depths of darkness “There is no god but You, Glory to You: I was indeed wrong!” Al-Qur’an, Surah 21:87

وَذَا النُّونِ إِذ ذَّهَبَ مُغَاضِبًا فَظَنَّ أَن لَّن نَّقْدِرَ عَلَيْهِ فَنَادَى فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ أَن لاَّ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ

The fish went to the seashore and vomited out Yunus An-Nabi safely onto the ground. Yunus An-Nabi’s body was badly burnt by the acids inside the fish and Allah caused a plant to grow whose leaves healed Yunus An-Nabi and whose fruits fed him. Soon Yunus An-Nabi had regained his health and he was commanded to return to Nineveh.

When Yunus an-Nabi went back he was amazed to see that the people had given up their shirk and were worshipping Allah as he had called them to do.

Examples of Error

“And (remember) when We said to the angels, ‘Prostrate yourselves to Adam.’ They prostrated except Iblis, who refused. Then We said, ‘O Adam! Verily, this is an enemy to you and to your wife. So let him not get you both out of Paradise, so that you be distressed in misery. Verily, you have (a promise) that you will never be hungry therein nor naked. And you suffer not from thirst therein nor from the sun’s heat.’ Then Shaiytan whispered to him, saying: ‘O Adam! Shall I lead you to the Tree of Eternity and to a kingdom that shall never waste away?’ Then they both ate of the tree, and so their private parts appeared to them, and they began to stick on themselves leaves from Paradise for their covering. Thus did Adam disobey his Lord, so he went astray.” Al-Qur’an, Surah 20:116-121

وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ اسْجُدُواْ لِآدَمَ فَسَجَدُواْ إِلاَّ إِبْلِيسَ أَبَى فَقُلْنَا يَا آدَمُ إِنَّ هَذَا عَدُوٌّ لَّكَ وَلِزَوْجِكَ فَلَا يُخْرِجَنَّكُمَا مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ فَتَشْقَى إِنَّ لَكَ أَلاَّ تَجُوعَ فِيهَا وَلاَ تَعْرَى وَأَنَّكَ لاَ تَظْمَؤُاْ فِيهَا وَلاَ تَضْحَى فَوَسْوَسَ إِلَيْهِ الشَّيْطَانُ قَالَ يَا آدَمُ هَلْ أَدُلُّكَ عَلَى شَجَرَةِ الْخُلْدِ وَمُلْكٍ لاَّ يَبْلَى فَأَكَلَا مِنْهَا فَبَدَتْ لَهُمَا سَوْآتُهُمَا وَطَفِقَا يَخْصِفَانِ عَلَيْهِمَا مِن وَرَقِ الْجَنَّةِ وَعَصَى آدَمُ رَبَّهُ فَغَوَى

Herein we are told of the pivotal tempting by Iblis in the Garden of `Aden. At first assumption this seems to be a case of a Nabi sinning in an deliberate act of rebellion against Allah’s Command. However, after this the Qur’an records that Adam and his wife admitted to their mistake:

“Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers.” Al-Quran, Surah 7:23

قَالاَ رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنفُسَنَا وَإِن لَّمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

The nature of their repentance demonstrates the state of their Hearts. This is not how a defiant kaffir acts towards Allah. Yes, Adam and Hawah were warned about the mischief of kaffir Iblis. They had seen the wickedness that his empire was spreading on the face of the Earth. They should have known better than to ever listen to a word that he said. But the Serpent is crafty. The Torah describes him as such:

“Now the Nachash (Serpent) was more crafty than any beast of the field which YHWH Elohim had made. And he said unto the woman: ‘Did the Elohim really say: You shall not eat of any tree of the Garden?'” Sefer Ha’Berashit (Genesis 3:1)

וְהַנָּחָשׁ, הָיָה עָרוּם, מִכֹּל חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה, אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים; וַיֹּאמֶר, אֶל-הָאִשָּׁה, אַף כִּי-אָמַר אֱלֹהִים, לֹא תֹאכְלוּ מִכֹּל עֵץ הַגָּן.

Contrary to Christian misunderstandings of the Torah, this was not a little snake crawling up and talking to Adam and Hawah. We are told shortly thereafter in the Torah that this Nachash, this Serpent walked with legs as a man.

“And YHWH Elohim said unto the Nachash: ‘Because you have done this, you are cursed amoung all cattle, and from among all beasts of the field; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.” – Sefer Ha’Berashit (Genesis 3:14)

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים אֶל-הַנָּחָשׁ, כִּי עָשִׂיתָ זֹּאת, אָרוּר אַתָּה מִכָּל-הַבְּהֵמָה, וּמִכֹּל חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה; עַל-גְּחֹנְךָ תֵלֵךְ, וְעָפָר תֹּאכַל כָּל-יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ

As well, in the Tanakh we are later told of “Nachash Ha’Ammoni” literally “the Serpent of the Ammonites” who made a “peace treaty” with the Bani Isra’il so long as they gouged out their right eyes. We are dealing with the same “Nachash” here, not some little, mythological, talking snake.

“Then Nachash the Ammoni came up, and encamped against Yabesh-Gilead: and all the men of Yabesh said unto Nachash, Make a covenant with us, and we will serve you. Nachash the `Ammonite said to them, On this condition will I make it with you, that all your right eyes be put out; and I will lay it for a reproach on all Yisra’el.” – Sh’muel Alef (1 Samuel) 11:1-2

וַיַּעַל, נָחָשׁ הָעַמּוֹנִי, וַיִּחַן, עַל-יָבֵישׁ גִּלְעָד; וַיֹּאמְרוּ כָּל-אַנְשֵׁי יָבֵישׁ, אֶל-נָחָשׁ, כְּרָת-לָנוּ בְרִית, וְנַעַבְדֶךָּ וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם, נָחָשׁ הָעַמּוֹנִי, בְּזֹאת אֶכְרֹת לָכֶם, בִּנְקוֹר לָכֶם כָּל-עֵין יָמִין; וְשַׂמְתִּיהָ חֶרְפָּה, עַל-כָּל-יִשְׂרָאֵל

These sound like quite cruel terms of surrender. To say this would be a reproach, that it would be humiliating is an understatement, but from the Ammoni perspective, it served several purposes.

In those days, warriors held their shields with their left hand and so the left eye was generally covered. A soldier would try to shield as much of his face as possible, so that only the right eye was used primarily on offense. So if the Bani Isra’il had their right eyes plucked out, it would be very difficult for them to wage any kind of effective warfare, but they could still see well enough with one eye to be able to be servants for the Ammonim. That is the strategy of Nachash and his Ammonim here.

So this is the type of individual who is being dealt with in deceiving Adam and Hawah. This is not a cut and dry matter of them understanding the clear implications of their actions. This was deception by the ultimate Adversary of humankind, who has deceived those who inhabit the Earth, from the very beginning of human civilization.

Thus, it was not that Adam and Hawah willfully disobeyed the literal words commanded by their Lord. The deceiver Iblis twisted the meaning of the warning, not to enter into the kingdom of Iblis, not to partake in the sciences of Iblis, not to trust Iblis. He made them second guess what they had even heard from the Malaikah. Thus they were lured into sin, led down the left hand path, not knowing where they were heading. However, again we see the protection from sin exemplified in this example. Though Iblis set out to deceive them, and thus cut off the Prophetic Tree at its very roots, Allah protected them. Upon seeing that they had in fact been tricked, they repented for the wrong doing that they had done in ignorance.

Wahhabi’s will additionally claim that Nuh An-Nabi made the mistake of praying for his unbelieving son, for which he was rebuked by Allah. In the Quran, we read:

“Nuh said: ‘O my Lord! I seek refuge with You from asking You that of which I have no knowledge. And unless You forgive me and have Mercy on me, I would indeed be one of the losers.” Al-Quran, Surah 11:47

قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ أَنْ أَسْأَلَكَ مَا لَيْسَ لِي بِهِ عِلْمٌ وَإِلاَّ تَغْفِرْ لِي وَتَرْحَمْنِي أَكُن مِّنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

In his seeking forgiveness, he admitted that he had made a human error. However, there is no indication that what he did was sinful.

“You are our Wali (Protector), so forgive us and have Mercy on us, for You are the Best of those who forgive.” Al-Quran, Surah 7:155

قَالُواْ يَا مُوسَى إِمَّا أَن تُلْقِيَ وَإِمَّا أَن نَّكُونَ نَحْنُ الْمُلْقِينَ

Again, this error is not the same as sin. If a Nabi shot a bow and arrow and didn’t hit a bullseye, this would be error. If he played a game of basketball, shot and missed, this is error, but it is not sin. Certainly Nuh’s son was not of those who would repent and turn to Allah in Submission. However, praying for him to come to Islam is not a sin. Allah was simply telling Hu’s Nabi that he needed to let go and understand that this son was a kaffir and would never turn to Islam. Nuh did not commit sin, but he was not to be wasting his prayers on someone who had given themselves over to the Fire.

Ibrahim admitted that all of humankind require forgiveness, because we all fall short in gratitude, forget and make human mistakes.

“Ibrahim said: ‘Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents, and (all) the Believers on the Day when the reckoning will be established.” Qur’an, Surah 14:41

رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيَّ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الْحِسَابُ

Ibrahim was not putting himself in the same category as his parents. However, he was humbly begging for forgiveness for his family, and also acknowledging his human shortcomings. Nonetheless, this does not imply that there was any error or deficiency in the Risalah he delivered, or in the righteousness of his actions in matters of the Din.

Allah even spoke of subjective human error to Muhammad Al-Khatam Al-Anbiyah : “Patiently then persevere: for the Promise of Allah is true: and ask forgiveness for your mistakes and celebrate the Praises of your Lord in the evening and in the morning.” Al-Qur’an, Surah 40:55

فَاصْبِرْ إِنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لِذَنبِكَ وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ بِالْعَشِيِّ وَالْإِبْكَارِ

We know that Muhammad made subjective human errors. We know that at first he even questioned whether Jibra’il was a jinn, due to his appearance and due to the profundity of what had just taken place. We know that he also questioned his sanity. This however, confirms his sanity, as only a fool would experience such matters and walk casually away from them as if nothing had happened at all.

So was Muhammad in error when he questioned himself as to these matters? Yes, he was, but being in error and practicing error at two different things. As a Ma’sum, protected from sin, Allah had granted Muhammad and all Anbiyah the ability to use Al-`Aql to reason and deduce matters, considering the error, and ultimately embracing the Truth. Imam `Ali Riza tells us that we must understand Islam through reason:

“The greatest of miracles of Allah is the human mind. It allows ideas to be thought through and reasoned out. Islam appeals to human reason. Man must accept Allah through reason and not through miracles.”

Thus Muhammad considered error, just as Ibrahim considered the error that members of the Zodiac itself might be Allah.

“When the night covered him over, He saw a star: He said: ‘This is my Lord.’ But when it set, He said: ‘I love not those that set.’ When he saw the moon rising in splendor, he said: ‘This is my Lord.’ But when the moon set, He said: ‘unless my Lord guide me, I shall surely be among those who go astray.'” Surah 6:76-78

فَلَمَّا جَنَّ عَلَيْهِ اللَّيْلُ رَأَى كَوْكَبًا قَالَ هَـذَا رَبِّي فَلَمَّا أَفَلَ قَالَ لا أُحِبُّ الآفِلِينَ فَلَمَّا رَأَى الْقَمَرَ بَازِغًا قَالَ هَـذَا رَبِّي فَلَمَّا أَفَلَ قَالَ لَئِن لَّمْ يَهْدِنِي رَبِّي لأكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الضَّالِّينَ فَلَمَّا رَأَى الشَّمْسَ بَازِغَةً قَالَ هَـذَا رَبِّي هَـذَا أَكْبَرُ فَلَمَّا أَفَلَتْ قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ إِنِّي بَرِيءٌ مِّمَّا تُشْرِكُونَ

Yet ultimately this was just a step in their ultimate understanding of Al-Haqq. As it is written: “Such who remember Allah, standing, sitting, and reclining, and consider the creation of the Heavens and the Earth, (and say): Our Lord! You did not create this in vain. Glory be to You! Preserve us from the doom of Fire.” Al-Qur’an, Surah 3:191

الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىَ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَذا بَاطِلاً سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

Thus, it is written in relation to Muhammad An-Nabi : “That Allah may forgive you your mistakes of the past and the future, and complete His favor upon you, and guide you on the Straight Path.” Al-Qur’an, Surah 48:2

لِيَغْفِرَ لَكَ اللَّهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِن ذَنبِكَ وَمَا تَأَخَّرَ وَيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكَ وَيَهْدِيَكَ صِرَاطًا مُّسْتَقِيمًا

These “mistakes” do not mean kufr. They do not mean that Muhammad was living as a kaffir at any point of his life. These mistakes do not mean that he taught anyone anything contrary to Islam and the Risalah that was given to him to proclaim. These mistakes are simply the normal day to day things that made Muhammad a human being. It is not important for us to speculate as to what mistakes they were. It is enough to know that Allah tells us in Al-Qur’an that Muhammad is just a human being, like us, with no inherently elevated significance (beyond that of the excellence of his own works), other than that of being Allah’s Messenger.

“If then they run away, We have not sent you as a guard over them. Your duty is but to convey. And truly, when We give man a taste of a Mercy from Ourselves, he does exult thereat, but when some ill happens to him, on account of the deeds which his hands have sent forth, truly then is man ungrateful!” Al-Qur’an, Surah 42:48

فَإِنْ أَعْرَضُوا فَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا إِنْ عَلَيْكَ إِلَّا الْبَلَاغُ وَإِنَّا إِذَا أَذَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ مِنَّا رَحْمَةً فَرِحَ بِهَا وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ سَيِّئَةٌ بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ فَإِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ كَفُورٌ

“Whether We let you see something of that which We have promised them, or make you die (before its happening), your’s is but conveyance (of the Message). Ours the reckoning.” Al-Qur’an, Surah 13:40

وَإِن مَّا نُرِيَنَّكَ بَعْضَ الَّذِي نَعِدُهُمْ أَوْ نَتَوَفَّيَنَّكَ فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْكَ الْبَلاَغُ وَعَلَيْنَا الْحِسَابُ

“The duty of the Rasul is only to convey. Allah knows what you proclaim and what you hide.” Al-Qur’an, Surah 5:99

مَّا عَلَى الرَّسُولِ إِلاَّ الْبَلاَغُ وَاللّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تُبْدُونَ وَمَا تَكْتُمُونَ

Obviously if the Qur’an speaks of things that YOU define as fallibility in the Anbiya, yet it is also said that the Anbiya and Khalifatun are Ma’sumin, then it is YOUR subjective interpretation of what “infallibility” is that is in error.

Turning towards Allah or turning from transgression?

“He said, ‘He is being unfair to you by asking to combine your sheep with his. Most people who combine their properties treat each other unfairly, except those who believe and work righteousness, and these are so few.’ Afterwards, Dawud wondered if he made the right judgment. He thought that we were testing him. He then implored his Lord for forgiveness, bowed down, and repented.” Al-Quran, Surah 38:24

قَالَ لَقَدْ ظَلَمَكَ بِسُؤَالِ نَعْجَتِكَ إِلَى نِعَاجِهِ وَإِنَّ كَثِيراً مِّنْ الْخُلَطَاء لَيَبْغِي بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَقَلِيلٌ مَّا هُمْ وَظَنَّ دَاوُودُ أَنَّمَا فَتَنَّاهُ فَاسْتَغْفَرَ رَبَّهُ وَخَرَّ رَاكِعًا وَأَنَابَ

The ayah translated above gives a misleading impression of “tauba” or repentance which follows after committing a sin. But the actual word in Arabic is “Anaba” which means turning towards something. In Mufaradat-e-Raghib Dictionary of Quranic terms, Vol 2 page number 1083, the meaning of root word of Anaba is explained as follows:

“An Naub means something going back again and again for example the honey bee is also called Naub as it goes back to its hive again and again.”

The word naub is used in its various forms in Quran at 18 places and it is never used in association with a sin.

Further reference can be made to the following ayaat where this word is used: 13:27, 31:15, 38:24, 38:34, 39:17, 60:4, 11:88, 42:10, 40:13, 42:13, 39:54, 11:75, 34:9, 50:8, 50:33, 39:8, 30:31, 30:33

The word naub in most of the places is used with Anbiya such as Dawud, Sulaiyman, Ibrahim or with good servants of Allah turning to Hu.

“Tauba” is from the root word “Taub” that means leaving after committing the sin usually translated as repentance. It is used 87 times in Quran.

The english translation of Surah 38 Ayah 24 does not say that Dawud an-Nabi committed any sin:

Every translation of this Ayah conveys the meaning that Dawud thought that Allah has tried him. It doesn’t say that Dawud has commited any sin (Zanb) or Allah said that Dawud had committed a sin. Dawud only “thought”; for which the word “Dhan” is used which is the root word of “Adh-dhan” and this means results acquired after observing some clues, and it is weaker then ‘knowledge”. It becomes knowldedge if the observation is more accurate and clues are strong (Mufradat-e-Raghib Dictionary of Quranic terms, Volume 2, page number 657] that he was tried by Allah.

The Arabic word used for “tried” in this Ayah is “fitnah”. The word “fitnah” is from the root word “al-fatan” which means to melt gold in fire so that one knows about its purity.

Notes: Mafradat-e-Raghib Dictionary of Quranic terms, Vol 2 page number 778.

“Surrounding all their doings”

People who are familiar with the Qur’an, know that such a sharp change of addressee has been applied in many Ayaat. For instance we read in Quran:

“O Yusuf! pass this over and [O wife of Aziz!] ask forgiveness for your sin, for truly you have been at fault.” Al-Qur’an, Surah 12:29

يُوسُفُ أَعْرِضْ عَنْ هَـذَا وَاسْتَغْفِرِي لِذَنبِكِ إِنَّكِ كُنتِ مِنَ الْخَاطِئِينَ

In the above verse, “O wife of Aziz” has not been mentioned and the address to Yusuf An-Nabi looks as if it is continuing to the casual reader. However, in the Arabic, there is switch of the address from masculine gender to feminine gender. This shows clearly that the second sentence saying “and ask forgiveness for your sin…” – which utilizes the feminine gender in the original Arabic, is addressing the Aziz’s wife and not Yusuf An-Nabi.

Notice also that both sentences are within one Ayah. Also note the immediate change of addressing from Aziz’s wife to Yusuf and again back to the wife in verses before verse 29 and also within that ayah.

The reader should be aware that when a group of women are being addressed, feminine gender is employed. However, if only one man exists among that group, masculine gender is used instead by default, just as a gender neutral subject will be defined by default in the masculine, unless there is something that makes it more feminine by nature. Thus, to refer to an “IT” we say “Hu” in all Semitic languages, including both Hebrew and `Arabic.

Another Example in the Qur’an says: “And their Prophet said to them, ‘Indeed Allah has appointed Talut(Gideon) as a king over you.’ They said, ‘How can he be a king over us when we are better fitted than him for the kingdom, and he has not been given enough wealth.’ He said: ‘Verily, Allah has chosen him above you and has increased him abundantly in knowledge and stature. And Allah grants Hu’s Kingdom to whom Hu wills. And Allah is All-Sufficient for Hu’s creatures’ needs, All-Knower.”” Al-Qur’an, Surah 2:247

وَقَالَ لَهُمْ نَبِيُّهُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ قَدْ بَعَثَ لَكُمْ طَالُوتَ مَلِكًا قَالُوَاْ أَنَّى يَكُونُ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ عَلَيْنَا وَنَحْنُ أَحَقُّ بِالْمُلْكِ مِنْهُ وَلَمْ يُؤْتَ سَعَةً مِّنَ الْمَالِ قَالَ إِنَّ اللّهَ اصْطَفَاهُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَزَادَهُ بَسْطَةً فِي الْعِلْمِ وَالْجِسْمِ وَاللّهُ يُؤْتِي مُلْكَهُ مَن يَشَاء وَاللّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ

In other words, one is more deserving of obedience if one has been appointed by Allah, and has been bestowed knowledge and power by Allah.

Similarly, “Is he who guides to the Truth more fitting to be followed, or he who himself needs guidance?” Al-Qur’an, Surah 10:35

قُلْ هَلْ مِن شُرَكَآئِكُم مَّن يَهْدِي إِلَى الْحَقِّ قُلِ اللّهُ يَهْدِي لِلْحَقِّ أَفَمَن يَهْدِي إِلَى الْحَقِّ أَحَقُّ أَن يُتَّبَعَ أَمَّن لاَّ يَهِدِّيَ إِلاَّ أَن يُهْدَى فَمَا لَكُمْ كَيْفَ تَحْكُمُونَ

This clearly shows that the one who is most deserving to be followed and obeyed is one who is rightly guided and who guides to the Truth. Moreover, Allah said to Nabi Ibrahim: “‘Surely I am going to make you an Imam for men.’ (Ibrahim) said: ‘And of my offspring?’ He said: ‘My covenant will not reach the unjust.’ Al-Qur’an, Surah 2.124

تِلْكَ أُمَّةٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَلَكُم مَّا كَسَبْتُمْ وَلاَ تُسْأَلُونَ عَمَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

In other words, the A’immah are appointed with authority by Allah and will not include the unjust. Therefore the Ulil-‘Amr (Holders of Authority) cannot include merely any unjust individual – rather, the covenant of Imamate and the authority that comes with Imamate can only pertain to those who are `Adl, Just.

If Allah himself acknowledges such conditions, then no doubt when he commands us to obey someone thus granting them authority over us, they must possess these conditions.

Finally, consider the verse again: “O you who believe, obey Allah, the Messenger, and the Holders of Authority (Ulil-‘Amr).” Al-Qur’an, Surah 4:59

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلاً

Now, note the following verse: “Therefore wait patiently for the command of your Lord, and obey not from among them a sinner or an ungrateful one.” Al-Qur’an, Surah 76.24

فَاصْبِرْ لِحُكْمِ رَبِّكَ وَلَا تُطِعْ مِنْهُمْ آثِمًا أَوْ كَفُورًا

The picture is painted very clearly for us to see. The “Holders of Authority” are to be obeyed and “the sinners are NOT to be obeyed.” The only conclusion is that the Ulil-‘Amr, the holders of authority, were/are NOT sinners or wrong-doers.

Moreover, we are assured in the Qur’an, that Anbiyah do not make mistakes when Allah says that they have guards from Allah appointed surrounding all their doings?

“(Hu is) the Knower of the Unseen, and Hu reveals unto none Hu’s secret, Except to a Rasul whom Hu has chosen, and then Hu makes a band of watching guards to march before him and behind him. That Hu may know that they have indeed conveyed the Messages of their Lord. He surrounds all their doings, and Hu keeps count of all things.” Al-Quran, Surah 72.26-28

عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ فَلَا يُظْهِرُ عَلَى غَيْبِهِ أَحَدًا إِلَّا مَنِ ارْتَضَى مِن رَّسُولٍ فَإِنَّهُ يَسْلُكُ مِن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِ رَصَدًا لِيَعْلَمَ أَن قَدْ أَبْلَغُوا رِسَالَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ وَأَحَاطَ بِمَا لَدَيْهِمْ وَأَحْصَى كُلَّ شَيْءٍ عَدَدًا

What Do Sunni Ahadith Say On the Matter?

Prophets and Caliphs appointed by Allah are Ma’sum (معصوم) from Sahih hadith.

“Narrated Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri: The Nabi said, “Allah never sends a Nabi or gives the Caliphate to a Khalifah but that he (the Nabi or the Khalifah) has two groups of advisors: A group advising him to do good and exhorts him to do it, and the other group advising him to do evil and exhorts him to do it. But the Ma’sum (معصوم) – protected person – is the one protected by Allah.’ “

‏حدثنا ‏ ‏أصبغ ‏ ‏أخبرنا ‏ ‏ابن وهب ‏ ‏أخبرني ‏ ‏يونس ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏ابن شهاب ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏أبي سلمة ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏أبي سعيد الخدري ‏ ‏عن النبي ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏قال ‏ ‏ما بعث الله من نبي ولا استخلف من خليفة إلا كانت له بطانتان بطانة تأمره بالمعروف وتحضه عليه وبطانة تأمره بالشر وتحضه عليه فالمعصوم من عصم الله تعالى ‏

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 89, Number 306

The last part of the hadith (“…But the Ma’sum (معصوم) – protected person – is the one protected by Allah.) tell us that: Prophets and Caliphs appointed by Allah are Ma’sum (معصوم), and they are protected from evil by Allah.

The first part of this hadith“The Nabi said, ‘Allah never sends a Nabi or gives the Caliphate to a Khalifah…'” – tells us that: Allah appoints a Khalifah. The middle part of this hadith (“the Nabi or the Khalifah”) has two groups of advisors: A group advising him to do good and exhorts him to do it, and the other group advising him to do evil and exhorts him to do it…”). This tells us that the advisors and companions of the Nabi are some Good and some Evil.


Why would the Wahhabiyyah have Ahadith if they don’t accept them? Why do they call them “sahih” when they still say that they contradict the Qur’an? Clearly if one is Sunni, they must accept the Ahadith that they define as “Sahih.” That being the case, all Shi`ah and non-Shi`ah Muslimin should unanimously agree on the infalibilty of the Anbiyah and A’immah, as the hadith says: “the Nabi or the Khalifah.”

Moreover, since the Khalifah is supposed to be infalible, and we have more examples than reasonable to keep track of in which Umar errored in his judgment and was corrected by Imam `Ali, this should lead the non-Shi`ah to seriously reconsider those who they believe were supposed to be the leaders of the Ummah after Muhammad an-Nabi parted from `alam ad-Dunya. The non-Shi`ah should consult their own Sahih Ahadith and investigate the matter to see how many times Umar errored in his interpretation of the Din for the Ummah. How many times did he almost execute people who Imam `Ali later rebuked him and told him were not to be executed? If Umar was designated to lead the Ummah, then why did he continuously refer to Imam `Ali for consultation and guidance, whether in regards to his military actions, or his flawed judgment of individuals under his control? Clearly, Imam `Ali was Ma’sum, as Sahih Bukhari claimed the Khalifah would be, whilst Umar was not.

To many Muslims it may come as a surprise to see what the Shi`ah actually believe on the matter of the Ma’sumin and how it differs from the contradictory beliefs held by the non-Shi`ah majority, and especially how it differs from the religious schitzoprenia of the so-called “Salafi” cult of the Wahhabiyyah. Many non-Shi`ah have been deliberately or unintentionally misled into the confusion of believing that Muhammad said that the majority professing Islam would always be correct. Quiet to the contrary Muhammad clearly said:

“There will come a time for my people when there will remain nothing of the Qur’an except its outward from and nothing of Islam except its name and they will call themselves by this name even though they are the people furthest from it. Their mosques will be full of people but they will be empty of right guidance. The religious leaders (fuqaha) of that day will be the most evil religious leaders under the heavens; sedition and dissension will go out from them and to them will it return.” – Muhammad

Notes: Ibn Babuya, Thaqab al-Amal, quoted in Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar (old ed.), Vol. 13. p. 152

As well Allah, the Supreme Intelligence of the Universe, has said that being in the majority is not an indication of the truth. Much to the contrary, the opposite is the case. “And if you obey most of those in the Earth, they will lead you astray from Allah’s Way; they follow but conjecture and they only lie.” Qur’an, Surah 6.116

وَإِن تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَن فِي الأَرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللّهِ إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلاَّ الظَّنَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلاَّ يَخْرُصُونَ

Hu also said: “Most of the people will not have faith, however hard you try.” Qur’an, Surah 12.103

وَمَا أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ

Contrary to what the Wahhabi propaganda machine has spouted about the Shi`ah, their own Sunni Ahadith attest that it is the Shi`ah who shall enter into Paradise. Rasul’ullah said to Ali: “Glad tiding O Ali! Verily you and your companions and your Shi`ah will be in Paradise.”

Sunni references:
Fadha’il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v2, p655
Hilyatul Awliyaa, by Abu Nu’aym, v4, p329
Tarikh, by al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi, v12, p289
al-Awsat, by al-Tabarani
Majma’ al-Zawa’id, by al-Haythami, v10, pp 21-22
al-Darqunti, who said this tradition has been transmitted via numerous authorities.
al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar Haythami , Ch. 11, section 1, p247

With that in mind, perhaps it is time for our Brothers and Sisters in Islam to re-evaluate what they believe about the Shi`ah. Question the propaganda that you read, and take the tracts and pamphlets funded by U.S. and British endorsed Saudi petro-dollars with a grain of salt. In conclusion, I simply appeal to all believing individuals to engage in a serious soul-searching effort to find the truth for themselves. May Allah forgive us our sins, and guide us to that which pleases Hu.