BY SUJJAWAL AHMAD
It is of no doubt that the present day population of Muslims conjures an image that speaks of diversity with respect to its pluralistic interpretational variations. Ranging broadly from the viewpoints of the Shias and the Sunnis, this climate has evolved into contemporary existence of many distinctive and diverse schools of interpretation. In this article Sujjawal Ahmad discusses on the case of Shia Nizari Ismaili Islam elaborating the central doctrine on the concept of Imamat and role of the Imam.
The light by the means of which we are guided, the Quran… It is me who will inform you concerning it, what it contains of knowledge of the future, of the teachings on the past, of the healing of your sufferings and of the setting in order of your relationships.
Imām ‘Ali b. Abi Tālib, Nahj al balagha, sermon number 157, p499, ed A.N Faid al Islam (Tehran, 1351 Sh./1972)
For the Shia, the appointment of Ali b. Abi talib and that of Imams that follow in his lineage bears the force of Divine sanction. Shia have always maintained from the beginning that when the Prophet appointed Ali b. Abi talib as his successor at the pool of Ghadir-i Khum, the appointment was made through Divine decree, an opposition of which is to rebel against the wishes of the Prophet and God. Given the fact that Shia Islam has evolved its own distinctive ideologies within its various branches, this article engages with one of the broad avenues to what Ismaili thought brings distinction to its doctrine of Imamat. Unfortunately, the Ismailis, their history and doctrines have been subject to considerable misrepresentation by their opponents throughout their history.
About the Author:
Sujjawal Ahmad has a Masters degree in Science with specializations in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. His research focused on Targeted Molecular Therapeutics at Quaid- e Azam University, Pakistan. Sujjawal has authored many articles on Philosophy and Comparative Religions. With his background in science and his interest in Philosophy he has struggled much, in his personal journey, to reconcile faith with science, and continues to develop and share his understanding about the nature of reality.