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Selection and or Election - Ali Shariati

Selection and or Election - Ali Shariati

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Published by BMT-link
Selection and or Election - Ali Shariati
Selection and or Election - Ali Shariati

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Published by: BMT-link on Jul 06, 2009
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01/02/2013

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Selection and/or Election
 by:Dr. Ali Shariati
Question:
 
The Prophet Mohammad, (pbuh), upon his last 
 
 pilgrimage, appointed  Hazrat Ali as his successor.
 
Why was he not elected later on?
 
 Answer:
 In my opinion, this is a very fundamental question.The whole of Shi'ism can be found in the answer. In other words, itis a very delicate issue and one should not give a brief reply. I willtry, as far as is possible, within the limitation of time and place, toclarify the point. I just want to emphasize that this is my own personal point of view. When we are dealing with the reality and theTruth of religion, we must reflect more and give them carefulconsideration .This problem is really a fundamental one. When we look at thecollection of reasons which our Sunni brothers present in confirmingtheir point of view after the Prophet of Islam, we find many reasonswhich seem true and are True. On the other hand, if we look through the eyes of an objective scholar and take into account thereasonings the Shi'ites give to confirm their ideas, we will conclude
 
that the majority of Shi'ite reasonings also seem correct, deep andfirm. Therefore, how is it possible that two groups who think inopposite and contradictory terms which conflict with each other bothseem to be right in the arguments they use?In general terms, the main argument of our Sunni brothers is this:If anyone should have been appointed after the Prophet of Islam byGod, just as the Prophet was obliged to announce and teach theverses of the Qoran clearly, carefully and in a way so that they couldnot be denied, he also had a duty to show the same care and clarity inannouncing the successor who had been appointed by God in order to prevent any plot, rejection, explanation or interpretation whichmay occur in the future.But we see that circumstances were such that, after the Prophet,not only did the Emigrants [the people who migrated with theProphet from Mecca to Medina and who cast their votes for other Caliphs as well] but also the Helpers, that is, the citizens of Medina,gathered in Saqifoh [area belonging to the Sa'ebah tribe] to them-selves elect the Caliph.It becomes clear, then, that all of the Moslems in Medina felt thatthey should elect the leader among themselves. That is, they shouldselect the Prophet's successor.
 
Our Sunni brothers, in order to prove their argument, alsomention the point that the Prophet, in the last moments of his life,intended to write out a statement clarifying the matter of succession, but because of the protests, he abandoned his intention to write sucha statement. Therefore, if he had had the mission to write such anofficial decree from God, he could not have overlooked it just becausethis or that person protested or argued against it and so he did notannounce that Hazrat Ali had been appointed by God as theProphet's successor.Our Sunni brothers also say that although Ali did protest theelection of the Caliph and even a few months later did not officiallyapprove the decision, later on he did confirm it and for whatever reason, officially accepted them.Therefore, if the position of Ali, like that of prophecy, came fromGod, in no way, form or terms could Ali give his approval to anyoneelse. Thus he could not officially approve of another person as hisown successor.But the argument of Shi'ism goes like this: The succession to theProphet differs from a political successor. The Prophet did not justhold a political position, as to lead us to claim to say that he did nothave the right to appoint his successor and people should elect the

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