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v t e

The Twelve Imams
The Twelve Imams
are the spiritual and political successors to the Islamic prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
in the Twelver
Twelver
or Athnā‘ashariyyah branch of Shia
Shia
Islam, including that of the Alawite
Alawite
and the Alevi
Alevi
sects.[1] According to the theology of Twelvers, the Twelve Imams are exemplary human individuals who not only rule over the community with justice, but also are able to keep and interpret sharia and the esoteric meaning of the Quran. Muhammad
Muhammad
and Imams' words and deeds are a guide and model for the community to follow; as a result, they must be free from error and sin (known as ismah, or infallibility) and must be chosen by divine decree, or nass, through the Prophet.[2][3]

Contents

1 The belief of Imamah 2 List of Imams 3 See also 4 Footnotes 5 References 6 External links

The belief of Imamah[edit] Main article: Imamate
Imamate
( Twelver
Twelver
doctrine) It is believed in Twelver
Twelver
Shia Islam
Shia Islam
that ‘aql, divine wisdom, is the source of the souls of the Prophets and Imams and gives them esoteric knowledge called Hikmah and that their sufferings are a means of divine grace to their devotees.[4][5] Although the Imam is not the recipient of a divine revelation, he has a close relationship with God, through which God guides him, and the Imam in turn guides the people. The Imams are also guided by secret texts in their possession, such as al-Jafr and al-Jamia. Imamate, or belief, in the divine guide is a fundamental belief in the Twelver
Twelver
Shia
Shia
doctrine and is based on the concept that God would not leave humanity without access to divine guidance.[6] According to Twelvers, there is at all times an Imam of the era who is the divinely appointed authority on all matters of faith and law in the Muslim community. Ali
Ali
was the first of the Twelve Imams, and, in the Twelvers and Sufis' view, the rightful successor to Muhammad, followed by male descendants of Muhammad
Muhammad
through his daughter Fatimah. Each Imam was the son of the previous Imam, with the exception of Husayn ibn Ali, who was the brother of Hasan ibn Ali. The twelfth and final Imam is Muhammad
Muhammad
al-Mahdi, who is believed by the Twelvers to be currently alive, and hidden in the Major Occultation until he returns to bring justice to the world.[6] It is believed by Twelver
Twelver
Shia
Shia
and Alevi
Alevi
Muslims
Muslims
that the Twelve Imams have been foretold in the Hadith of the Twelve Successors. All of the Imams met unnatural deaths, with the exception of the last Imam, who according to Twelver
Twelver
and Alevi belief, is living in occultation. The Twelve Imams
The Twelve Imams
also have a leading role within some Sufi orders and are seen as the spiritual heads of Islam, because most of the Silsila (spiritual chain) of Sufi orders lead back to one of the Twelve Imams. List of Imams[edit]

Number Modern (Calligraphic) Depiction Name (Full/Kunya) Title (Arabic/Turkish)[7] Date of Birth

Death (CE/AH)[8] Age when assumed Imamate Age at death Length of Imamate Importance Place of birth Reason & place of death

and place of burial[9]

1

الإمام علي بن أبي طالب عليه السلام

Ali
Ali
ibn Abi Talib أبو الحسن Amir al-Mu'minin (Commander of the Faithful)[10]

al-Mūrtazā

(The Beloved)

Birinci Ali[11] 600–661[10]

23 (before Hijra)–40[12] 33 (became Khalif at 56) 61 28 Cousin and son in law of Mohammed. Considered by Shia Islam
Shia Islam
as the rightful Successor of Muhammad. The Sunnis acknowledge him as the fourth Caliph. He holds a high position in almost all Sufi Muslim orders (Turuq); the members of these orders trace their lineage to Muhammad
Muhammad
through him.[10] Mecca[10] Assassinated by Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam, a Kharijite, in Kufa, who slashed him with a poisoned sword while he was praying.[10][13]

Buried at the Imam Ali
Ali
Mosque in Najaf, Iraq.

2

Hasan ibn Ali الإمام الحسن بن علي عليه السلام

Abu Muhammad أبو محمد al-Mūjtabā

(The Chosen)

İkinci Ali[11] 625–670[14]

3–50[15] 39 47 8 He was the eldest surviving grandson of Muhammad
Muhammad
through Muhammad's daughter, Fatimah
Fatimah
az-Zahra. Hasan succeeded his father as the caliph in Kufa, and on the basis of a peace treaty with Muawiya I, he relinquished control of Iraq
Iraq
following a reign of seven months.[14] Medina[14] Poisoned by his wife in Medina, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
on the orders of the Caliph
Caliph
Muawiya, according to Twelver
Twelver
Shiite belief.[16]

Buried in Jannat al-Baqi, Medina, Saudi Arabia.

3

Husayn ibn Ali الإمام الحسین بن علي عليه السلام

Abu Abdillah أبو عبدالله Sayyid ash-Shuhada

(Master of the Martyrs)

Üçüncü Ali[11] 626–680[17]

4–61[18] 46 57 11 He was a grandson of Muhammad
Muhammad
and brother of Hasan ibn Ali. Husayn opposed the validity of Caliph
Caliph
Yazid I. As a result, he and his family were later killed in the Battle of Karbala
Karbala
by Yazid's forces. After this incident, the commemoration of Husayn ibn Ali
Husayn ibn Ali
has become a central ritual in Shia
Shia
identity.[17] Medina[17] Killed and beheaded at the Battle of Karbala.

Buried at the Imam Husayn Shrine
Imam Husayn Shrine
in Karbala, Iraq.[17]

4

Ali
Ali
ibn Husayn الإمام علي بن الحسین السجاد عليه السلام

Abu Muhammad أبو محمد al-Sajjad, Zayn al-'Abidin

(One who constantly Prostrates, Ornament of the Worshippers)[19]

Dördüncü Ali[11] 658/9[19] – 712[20]

38[19]–95[20] 23 57 34 Author of prayers in Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya, which is known as "The Psalm of the Household of the Prophet."[20] Medina[19] According to most Shia
Shia
scholars, he was poisoned on the order of Caliph
Caliph
al-Walid I in Medina, Saudi Arabia.[20]

Buried in Jannat al-Baqi, Medina, Saudi Arabia.

5

Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn Ali الإمام محمد بن علي الباقر عليه السلام

Abu Ja'far أبو جعفر Baqir al-Ulum

(The Revealer of Knowledge)[21]

Beşinci Ali[11] 677–732[21]

57–114[21] 38 57 19 Sunni
Sunni
and Shia
Shia
sources both describe him as one of the early and most eminent legal scholars, teaching many students during his tenure.[21][22] Medina[21] According to some Shia
Shia
scholars, he was poisoned by Ibrahim ibn Walid ibn 'Abdallah in Medina, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
on the order of Caliph
Caliph
Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik.[20]

Buried in Jannat al-Baqi, Medina, Saudi Arabia.

6

Ja'far ibn Muhammad الإمام جعفر بن محمد الصادق عليه السلام

Abu Abdillah[23] أبو عبدالله as-Sadiq[24]

(The Honest)

Altıncı Ali[11] 702–765[24]

83–148[24] 31 65 34 Established the Ja'fari jurisprudence
Ja'fari jurisprudence
and developed the theology of Twelvers. He instructed many scholars in different fields, including Abu Hanifah
Abu Hanifah
and Malik ibn Anas
Malik ibn Anas
in fiqh, Wasil ibn Ata and Hisham ibn Hakam in Islamic theology, and Geber in science and alchemy.[24] Medina[24] According to Shia
Shia
sources, he was poisoned in Medina, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
on the order of Caliph
Caliph
Al-Mansur.[24]

Buried in Jannat al-Baqi, Medina, Saudi Arabia.

7

Musa ibn Ja'far الإمام موسی بن جعفر الكاظم عليه السلام

Abu al-Hasan I أبو الحسن الاول[25] al-Kazim[26]

(The Calm One)

Yedinci Ali[11] 744–799[26]

128–183[26] 20 55 35 Leader of the Shia
Shia
community during the schism of Ismaili
Ismaili
and other branches after the death of the former Imam, Jafar al-Sadiq.[27] He established the network of agents who collected khums in the Shia community of the Middle East
Middle East
and the Greater Khorasan. He holds a high position in Mahdavia; the members of these orders trace their lineage to Muhammad
Muhammad
through him.[28] Medina[26] Imprisoned and poisoned in Baghdad, Iraq
Iraq
on the order of Caliph
Caliph
Harun al-Rashid, according to Shiite belief.

Buried in the Al- Kadhimiya
Kadhimiya
Mosque in Baghdad, Iraq.[26]

8

Ali
Ali
ibn Musa الإمام علي بن موسی الرضا عليع السلام

Abu al-Hasan II أبو الحسن الثانی[25] ar-Rida, Reza[29]

(The Pleasing One)

Sekizinci Ali[11] 765–817[29]

148–203[29] 35 55 20 Made crown-prince by Caliph
Caliph
Al-Ma'mun, and famous for his discussions with both Muslim and non-Muslim religious scholars.[29] Medina[29] According to Shia
Shia
sources, he was poisoned in Mashad, Iran
Iran
on the order of Caliph
Caliph
Al-Ma'mun.

Buried in the Imam Reza shrine
Imam Reza shrine
in Mashad, Iran.[29]

9

Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn Ali الإمام محمد بن علي الجواد عليه السلام

Abu Ja'far أبو جعفر al-Taqi, al-Jawad[30]

(The God-Fearing, The Generous)

Dokuzuncu Ali[11] 810–835[30]

195–220[30] 8 25 17 Famous for his generosity and piety in the face of persecution by the Abbasid
Abbasid
caliphate. Medina[30] Poisoned by his wife, Al-Ma'mun's daughter, in Baghdad, Iraq
Iraq
on the order of Caliph
Caliph
Al-Mu'tasim, according to Shiite sources.

Buried in the Al- Kadhimiya
Kadhimiya
Mosque in Baghdad, Iraq.[30]

10

Ali
Ali
ibn Muhammad الإمام علي بن محمد الهادي عليه السلام

Abu al-Hasan III أبو الحسن الثالث[31] al-Hadi, al-Naqi[31]

(The Guide, The Pure One)

Onuncu Ali[11] 827–868[31]

212–254[31] 8 42 34 Strengthened the network of deputies in the Shia
Shia
community. He sent them instructions, and received in turn financial contributions of the faithful from the khums and religious vows.[31] Surayya, a village near Medina[31] According to Shia
Shia
sources, he was poisoned in Samarra, Iraq
Iraq
on the order of Caliph
Caliph
Al-Mu'tazz.[32]

Buried in the Al Askari Mosque
Al Askari Mosque
in Samarra, Iraq.

11

Hasan ibn Ali الإمام حسن بن علي العسكري عليه السلام

Abu Muhammad أبو محمد al-Askari[33]

(The Citizen of a Garrison Town)

Onbirinci Ali[11] 846–874[33]

232–260[33] 22 28 6 For most of his life, the Abbasid
Abbasid
Caliph, Al-Mu'tamid, placed restrictions on him after the death of his father. Repression of the Shiite population was particularly high at the time due to their large size and growing power.[34] Medina[33] According to Shia, he was poisoned on the order of Caliph
Caliph
Al-Mu'tamid in Samarra, Iraq.

Buried in Al Askari Mosque
Al Askari Mosque
in Samarra, Iraq.[35]

12

Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn al-Hasan الإمام محمد بن الحسن المهدي

Abu al-Qasim أبو القاسم Mahdi,[36] Hidden Imam,[37] al-Hujjah[38]

(The Guided One, The Proof)

Onikinci Ali[11] 868–alive[39]

255–alive[39] 5 unknown unknown According to Twelver
Twelver
Shiite doctrine, Sufis, and some Sunni
Sunni
Muslims, he is an actual historical personality and is the current Imam and the promised Mahdi, a messianic figure who will return with Christ. He will reestablish the rightful governance of Islam
Islam
and provide the earth with justice and peace.[40] Samarra, Iraq[39] According to Twelver
Twelver
Shiite doctrine, Sufis, and some Sunni
Sunni
Muslims, he has been living in the Occultation since 872, and will continue as long as God wills.[39]

See also[edit]

Shia Islam
Shia Islam
portal Islam
Islam
portal

Ahl al-Bayt Succession to Muhammad Hadith of the Twelve Successors Imamate
Imamate
( Twelver
Twelver
doctrine) The Fourteen Infallibles Islamic leadership Sufism Wali

Footnotes[edit]

^ Olsson, Ozdalga & Raudvere 2005, p. 65 ^ Tabataba'i 1977, p. 10 ^ Momen 1985, p. 174 ^ Tabataba'i 1977, p. 15 ^ Corbin 2014, pp. 45–51 ^ a b Gleave, Robert. "Imamate". Encyclopaedia of Islam
Islam
and the Muslim world; vol.1. MacMillan. ISBN 0-02-865604-0.  ^ The Imam's Arabic
Arabic
titles are used by the majority of Twelver
Twelver
Shia who use Arabic
Arabic
as a liturgical language, including the Usooli, Akhbari, Shaykhi, and to a lesser extent Alawi. Turkish titles are generally used by Alevi, a fringe Twelver
Twelver
group, who make up around 10% of the world Shia
Shia
population. The titles for each Imam literally translate as "First Ali", "Second Ali", and so forth. Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East
Middle East
and North Africa. Gale Group. 2004. ISBN 978-0-02-865769-1.  ^ The abbreviation CE refers to the Common Era
Common Era
solar calendar, while AH refers to the Islamic Hijri lunar calendar. ^ Except Twelfth Imam ^ a b c d e Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. "Ali". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 2007-10-12.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East
Middle East
and North Africa. Gale Group. 2004. ISBN 978-0-02-865769-1.  ^ Tabatabae (1979), pp.190–192 ^ Tabatabae (1979), p.192 ^ a b c Madelung, Wilferd. "ḤASAN B. ʿALI B. ABI ṬĀLEB". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Retrieved 2012-07-06.  ^ Tabatabae (1979), pp.194–195 ^ Tabatabae (1979), p.195 ^ a b c d Madelung, Wilferd. "ḤOSAYN B. ʿALI". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Retrieved 2008-03-23.  ^ Tabatabae (1979), pp.196–199 ^ a b c d Madelung, Wilferd. "ʿALĪ B. ḤOSAYN B. ʿALĪ B. ABĪ ṬĀLEB, ZAYN-AL-ʿĀBEDĪN". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Retrieved 2007-11-08.  ^ a b c d e Tabatabae (1979), p.202 ^ a b c d e Madelung, Wilferd. "BĀQER, ABŪ JAʿFAR MOḤAMMAD". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Retrieved 2007-11-08.  ^ Tabatabae (1979), p.203 ^ "JAʿFAR AL-ṢĀDEQ, ABU ʿABD-ALLĀH". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Retrieved 2014-07-07.  ^ a b c d e f Tabatabae (1979), p.203–204 ^ a b Madelung, Wilferd. "ʿALĪ AL-REŻĀ". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Retrieved 2007-11-09.  ^ a b c d e Tabatabae (1979), p.205 ^ Tabatabae (1979) p. 78 ^ Sachedina 1988, pp. 53–54 ^ a b c d e f Tabatabae (1979), pp.205–207 ^ a b c d e Tabatabae (1979), p. 207 ^ a b c d e f Madelung, Wilferd. "ʿALĪ AL-HĀDĪ". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Retrieved 2007-11-08.  ^ Tabatabae (1979), pp.208–209 ^ a b c d Halm, H. "ʿASKARĪ". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Retrieved 2007-11-08.  ^ Tabatabae (1979) pp. 209–210 ^ Tabatabae (1979), pp.209–210 ^ "THE CONCEPT OF MAHDI IN TWELVER SHIʿISM". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Retrieved 2014-07-07.  ^ "ḠAYBA". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Retrieved 2014-07-07.  ^ " Muhammad al-Mahdi
Muhammad al-Mahdi
al-Hujjah". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 2007-11-08.  ^ a b c d Tabatabae (1979), pp.210–211 ^ Tabatabae (1979), pp. 211–214

References[edit]

Musavi Isfahani, Muhammad
Muhammad
Taqi; Haeri Qazvini (2006). Mekyal al-Makarim. Qom: Intisharat Masjed Moqaddas Jamkaran.  Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.  Encyclopædia Iranica. Center for Iranian Studies, Columbia University. ISBN 1-56859-050-4.  Martin, Richard C. Encyclopaedia of Islam
Islam
and the Muslim world; vol.1. MacMillan. ISBN 0-02-865604-0.  Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East
Middle East
and North Africa. Gale Group. 2004. ISBN 978-0-02-865769-1.  Corbin, Henry (2014) [1964 (original French)]. History Of Islamic Philosophy , Translated by Liadain Sherrard, Philip Sherrard. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-19889-3.  Momen, Moojan (1985). An Introduction to Shi`i Islam: The History and Doctrines of Twelve. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-03531-4.  Olsson, Tord; Ozdalga, Elisabeth; Raudvere, Catharina (2005). Alevi Identity: Cultural, Religious and Social Perspectives. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-79725-6.  Sachedina, Abdulaziz Abdulhussein (1988). The Just Ruler (al-sultān Al-ʻādil) in Shīʻite Islam: The Comprehensive Authority of the Jurist in Imamite Jurisprudence. Oxford University Press US. ISBN 0-19-511915-0.  Tabataba'i, Sayyid Mohammad Hosayn (1977). Shi'ite Islam. Seyyed Hossein Nasr (translator). SUNY press. ISBN 978-0-87395-390-0. 

External links[edit]

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A brief introduction of Twelve Imams A Brief History Of The Lives Of The Twelve Imams
The Twelve Imams
a chapter of Shi'ite Islam
Islam
by Allameh Tabatabaei The Twelve Imams
The Twelve Imams
Taken From "A Shi'ite Anthology" By Allameh Tabatabaei A Short History of the Lives of The Twelve Imams Hazreti Ali
Ali
& the Twelve Imams - The Bektashi Order
Bektashi Order
of Dervishes

v t e

Shia
Shia
Imams

Twelver

Ali Hasan ibn Ali Husayn Ibn Ali Ali
Ali
ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad
Muhammad
al-Baqir Ja'far al-Sadiq Musa al-Kadhim Ali
Ali
al-Ridha Muhammad
Muhammad
al-Jawad Ali
Ali
al-Hadi Hasan al-Askari Muhammad
Muhammad
al-Mahdi

Tayyibi

Ali
Ali
("Asās" or "Wāsih" of Nabi Muhammad)

Hasan Husayn al-Sajjad al-Baqir Jafar al-Sādiq Ismā'il Muhammad Abadullāh (Wāfi Ahmad) Ahmad (Tāqi Muhammad) Husayn (Rādhi Abdullāh) Abdullah al-Mahdi Muhammad
Muhammad
al-Qā'im Ismāʿīl al-Mansur Ma'ādd al-Mu'izz Nizār al-Aziz Mansur al-Hākim Ali
Ali
az-Zāhir Ma'ādd al-Mustansir Ahmad al-Mustāʿli Mansur al-Amir Abu'l-Qāsim at-Tāyyib

Nizari

Ali Husayn ibn Ali Ali
Ali
ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad
Muhammad
al-Baqir Ja'far al-Sadiq Isma'il ibn Jafar Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn Isma'il Ahmad al-Wafi Muhammad
Muhammad
at-Taqi Abdullah ar-Radi Abdullah al- Mahdi
Mahdi
Billah al-Qa'im bi-Amr Allah al-Mansur Billah Al-Mu'izz li-Din Allah Al-Aziz Billah Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah Ali
Ali
az-Zahir al-Mustansir Billah Nizar al-Hādī al-Mutadī al-Qāhir Hassan II Nur al-Din Muhammad
Muhammad
II Jalaluddin Hasan ‘Alā’ ad-Dīn Muḥammad III Rukn al-Din Khurshah Shamsu-d-Dīn Muḥammad Qāsim Shāh Islām Shāh Muḥammad ibn Islām Shāh al-Mustanṣir billāh II ʿAbdu s-Salām Shāh Gharīb Mīrzā Abū Dharr ʻAlī Murād Mīrzā Dhū-l-Fiqār ʻAlī Nūru d-Dīn ʻAlī Khalīlullāh II ʻAlī Nizār II as-Sayyid ʻAlī Ḥasan ʻAlī Qāsim ʻAlī Abū-l-Hasan ʻAlī Shāh Khalīlullāh III Aga Khan I Aga Khan II Aga Khan III