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Are Imams Messengers but not Nabis?


Veteran Member
Premium Member

Thinking of 5:67 for example, the Rasool is told to clarify a great theme in Qur'an that he has been clarifying his whole life, but it's said, leave a message and conveyance that it reaches all generations. Whether the thaqalain hadith is directly taught by God or Rasool thought of it, doesn't matter as far "Risalah" goes, because it's not part of scripture which is Qur'an alone. The word Baligh and Resalah here both imply that Resalah is more then Qur'an, it's the clear explanation (Sunnah) with Qur'an, but that's not all, as Mohammed is the universal Prophet, he did the event of Ghadir to convey thaqalain and Wilayah of his Ahlul Bayt to all generations.

And in fact, this is not the only place, but others for example that Moses and Aaron, they didn't reveal the Torah right away, it was AFTER they revealed the Torah, so they came initially as Messengers. Those were words they spoke but not all their message was necessarily scripture.

In fact, I've seen most of Qur'an emphasizes Messengers dialogue with people and the entire dialogue is considered conveying the clear message.

I know of hadiths that say Imams ARE NOT RASOOLS.

I know. So this is not what I'm asking for.

I'm asking for addressing the division of Nabi, Rasool and Imam.

The traditional division is that Rasool brings a book or shariah and so on and so forth. But let me give what seems to be to the be the case:

I've read the divisions in Alkafi etc.

A Nabi is one who has been revealed a revelation from God in form of scripture and that reception of the divine revelation is not something particular to himself, but meant to be as a scripture for people. So in this case, hadith qudsi although revelation, is not part of the Nubuwa. The Nubuwa is in fact Qur'an.

Wahy from this perspective includes hadith qudsi and Nubuwa, that is all of Nubuwa is a Wahy but not all of revelation is a Nubuwa. For example, when Angels talk to Mariam, it's not Nubuwa. The same is true when Gabriel talks to Mohammed in things that are not meant to be scripture and the revelation that all humans must come to.

A Rasool is one with a message from God and conveys the revelation. Some parts of Qur'an are of Resalah (clear conveyance) but most of Qur'an is in fact despite it's clarity with respect to each other, in need of Sunnah.

So Resalah in fact, has two aspects: (1) The actually words from God (2) Words that help convey those words to understanding of people by the human Messenger.

In fact, not all of Nubuwa is Resalah nor all of Resalah a Wahy from Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). Some of the words in Sunnah are chosen by the Prophet's High intellect, that yes, are revealing the revelation and complimenting it, but at the end, it's his words.

As Nubuwa is highly needed to not mix falsehood with truth and scripture was needed, it can be concluded over all, Messengers left a legacy to testify to them and so were given scripture and the book. So if there is non-Nabi Messengers before Mohammed, it's probably an odd case where the Messenger was martyred before he can even start the legacy of Nubuwa and leave scripture.

Now a difference between Imammate and Resalah, is that an Imam may not necessarily be required to go the people and convey the clear truth maybe for two reasons: (1) The truth is already established, (2) The situation calls for Taqiya (guarding against oppressors).

In this sense while all Anbiya were leaders, it maybe, some were not Messengers for either of those two reasons.

Now I actually am inclining that Imam Ali to Imam Hassan Alaskari were entrusted the Balighal mobeen, and there is support for this. For example, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) sending implies sending with a message, but this has two possibilities, sending to convey scripture from God or convey the message of God but in their own words. Now in Ziyaratal Jamiah Alkabeer, we say the Imams are in fact the chosen of the Mursaleen, but Musraleen didn't choose Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام) so what does this mean? And we know Nubuwa for sure has ended, so it leaves them to be ones sent.

Some more support of this is 5:12, Captains of ship of salvation are implied to be Messengers, and then supported by another verse that they were sent Messengers with respect to covenant.

It can be said that the Mahdi however at this moment, is a leader, but not a Messenger, and his Messengership would start with his appearance.

Now for sure the biggest message and most important one humans will ever have to hear, is that of the Mahdi. However, he will revive the Qur'an and not bring a new revelation in this sense of scripture.

However, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has emphasized he never punishes unless he sends a Rasool. And it's obvious when you think of the Mahdi, he is conveying the Qur'an at a higher level then ever before and will be supported with clear miracles.

There is also the verse "O you Messengers..." which historically was used to emphasize the Imams were Rasools by a fringe Shiite group, my question is, what if these Shiites were the genuine followers of Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام) and it was understood in the wrong way. Obviously this Shiites were aware of ending of Prophethood verse and probably would not go against "the place of Aaron" hadith including "except there is no Prophet after me".

There is one more proof I can think of for this, is that, Rasool is never emphasized to have the role of revealing Qur'an, that is attributed to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). But the clear conveyance is the one and only one thing that required of a Messenger as a job of a Messenger to stubborn or ignorant people, then up to God to guide who he wants after, because God controls the hearts and Imams only act according to his permission in guiding humans in this sense.

The Rasool is emphasized to have been sent with these roles:

1. Warner

2. Good news giver.

3. Witness.

4. Caller to God (position of Imammate) by his permission.

4 is emphasized by his permission showing that this occurs only by God willing it directly and giving permission to be the guide. That is why Qur'an emphasizes the Guidance role of the Nabi is only for the Mutaqeen.

It seems the hadiths attacking the Shiites with thinking Imams are Rasool, it's as if Imams didn't even recognize this division as possible and didn't clarify it.

That said going back to the last proof the Rasool is emphasized to have one and one role only obligated, to convey the clear message and that includes Sunnah, that is 5:67 is incumbent although whatever 5:67 conveyed is not stated there meaning Sunnah is as important.

That said it maybe from this perspective, that although not Prophets (don't receive revelation in form of scripture to be held on to by people), the first 11 Imams were Messengers, and we await the message and most important message humans will ever hear, that of the Mahdi who will revive Qur'an but not reveal a new scripture.