Shiism and political affairs in the era of the presence of Shiite Imams

Document Type : Original Article


Faculty of Contemporary Philosophy, Baqir al-Olum University, Qom, Iran.



Islam has a political and social aspect in its essence and by no means, it is not considered as a purely spiritualistic and individualistic religion.  The political legacy of Muhammad (PBUH) appears both in his holy book and in his nation and the political community that he provided to Medina during his ten years of migration.  Hence, political affairs are intertwined with the history of Islam, and not only the social developments of Muslims, but also many religious divisions are influenced by political affairs. The present article is to take the role and function of politics, and political affairs into consideration in the Shiite world and in the early centuries of Islam and the time of the presence of the innocent and innocent Shiite Imams.  The author tries to study the role of politics in the emergence of Shiism, and the sectarianization of Shiites by referring to narrative and historical sources and analyzing them appropriately, and by reviewing the political affairs and policy of Shiite Imams, the evidence shows that these political behaviors can be classified according to which political approaches and strategies. The consideration of the identity of Shiites on the eve of the beginning of the Absence and the political strategy drawn by the Imams for the Shiites in the era of the Absence is also the focus of this article.



A brief and fair study of the legacy of the mission of the Prophet of Islam, which is called Qur'an, as well as the history and manners of the Holy Prophet of Islam, clearly shows that Islam is not merely heresy or far from worldly dimensions and completely mystical and isolating. Islam is a strongly social religion and focuses on the life of this world along with the life of the Hereafter. The twenty-three years of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) life and his holy book are the best evidences for the claim that Islam is the religion of life and has a social and political aspect.In addition to drawing a spiritual and moral life, it guides and provides a way to all life’s dimensions. Different personal and social lives have been discussed and, of course, one of these dimensions is the political aspect and how to organize the relations of the political society from the Islamic perspective. The important point is that the Prophet of Islam left two legacies in the field of politics; He was able to establish a new political society in the field of action and social reality of his time and turn the dispersed and conflicting tribes into a single nation based on monotheism and acceptance of Islamic teachings, and in the field of his prophetic mission, a divine book called Quran Inherited that contains semantic and guiding content in the field of political relations. In other words, not only the Qur'an contains verses in the field of politics and government, but also the Prophet of Islam in practice, along with religious leadership and divine mission, succeeded in creating a government and establishing a new political society and thus his spiritual and prophetic influence with political power. The result of leading and ruling a united society based on Islamic law and teachings, and this new nation and political society, thanks to the profound transformation that the Prophet of Islam had created at that time, was soon able to subjugate vast lands.

Undoubtedly, the death of the Prophet (PBUH) in the year 10 AH and the issue of the succession of the Prophet and the leadership of the Muslims of that time is the starting point for the manifestation of differences and sectarianism among Muslims.

This does not mean that during the life of the Prophet, there was no distinction, alignment, competition or hidden revelation among Muslims. Tribal and family relations, despite the efforts of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), had not been completely destroyed, and on the other hand, it is quite natural that some Muslims have more attachment and connection to some tribes or families more than some of the Companions for various reasons. The point is that in the time of the Prophet's life, these differences and disagreements and even hidden rivalries were not such that we could mention something called different political incidents, social and sectarian conflicts or religious sects within the Islamic society. The connection between the Quraysh emigrants was distinct from the connection between the Ansar of Medina, as narrated by a group of companions such as Meqdad, Salman, Abu Dharr and Ammar Yasir during the life of the Prophet (pbuh) known as "Shiite Ali" (al-Nawbakhti, 2007; al-Suyuti, n.d.). while such relations and connections did not appear in the form of social and political incidents and factions.

The death of the Prophet (PBUH) and the event of Saqifa Bani Sa'deh and the supremacy and superiority of the Quraysh emigrants over the Ansar in establishing the Caliphate of Abu Bakr led to the formation of three distinct incidents in the period after the Prophet (PBUH) death. The second was the Ansar, who supported Sa'd ibn 'Abadah al-Khazraji, and the third was the followers and companions of Ali ibn Abi Talib, who supported his Imamate and Caliphate and were known in the history of Islam as Shi'ism and the Shi'a religion.

The main issue of this article is to study the role and position of political policy in the emergence of Shiism and the formation of different Shiite sects and to draw the religious and social identity of the Shiite community by the innocent Imams. The political policy of the Shiite Imams and the strategies governing their political behavior and performance have played an important and fundamental role in shaping the identity of the Shiite community and preparing them to face the conditions of the Imam's absence.

Therefore, after discussing the role of politics in the emergence of Shiism and Shiite sects, the main focus of the article will be on the political policy of the Imams and their political strategies in terms of changing social conditions and its impact on the formation of Shiite Imami identity.

The place of politics in the emergence of Shiism

The important question is whether the distinction made between the Shiites of Ali and the political incident of the Quraysh, who took over the caliphate of the Islamic society in Saqifa and later, does not lead us to believe that politics and political rivalry in the succession of the Prophet (PBUH) Is the origin of Shiism?

Undoubtedly, the first century AH includes various incidents, some of which have a purely political origin, and political conflict has been the basis of their emergence. For example, the caliphate of Uthman and his support for the Benjamites and the special Arabism of the ruling Umayyads and their concession to the Adnani Arabs (descendants of Ishmael) led to the emergence of two influential incidents, namely the Yemeni Arabs and the Mawalis (Ja'fariyan, 1996) in the first century AH. It also had a purely political origin and the motivation to gain political power and confront the Benjamis and the Marwanis forced the Abbasid movement to turn their main slogans against their government and use the capacity of the Mawlawis, especially the Khorasanians, to establish the Abbasid Caliphate.

Is it possible to interpret Shiism as such in a completely political way and justify its historical origin and consistency with a political aspect and competition for political power?

Here it is necessary to distinguish between the principle of Shiism and the doctrinal commonalities of the Shiites or the differences that arose in the Shiite community and led to the formation of various Shiite sects, and examine or consider the role of politics in each separately. The role of politics and political differences in creating divisions in the Shiite community and the emergence of different Shiite sects may be significant and effective.

It has been said before that during the life of the Messenger of God (PBUH) some of the companions were famous for their companionship, connection and love for Ali (AS) and were known as "Shiite Ali". These people were protesting against the incident of Saqifa and the Caliphate of Ababkar. This protest was not a purely political protest and arose from the competition of political incidents, but had doctrinal roots. In their view, this choice was made ignoring the emphasis of the Prophet (PBUH) and numerous prophetic narrations based on the guardianship and Imamate of Ali (AS). This group of companions, called Sahabeh (Ibn ʿAbd Rabbih, n.d), who had all fought and sacrificed in the service of the Prophet (PBUH) in defense of Islam and monotheism, and emphasized on following the Qur'an and the Prophetic tradition, were severely critical of the election of the Prophet (PBUH) caliph on the roof. The source and root of this criticism was the defense and protection of Muslim texts, according to which the hadiths and texts, the general guardianship of Muslims after the Prophet (PBUH) was entrusted to the Commander of the Faithful Ali (AS) (Ja'fariyan, 1996). Texts such as the hadith of Ghadirkhom, the hadith of Saqaleen, the hadith of dignity, according to which the Ahl al-Bayt and the family of the Prophet (PBUH) were introduced as the reference of all scientific and practical aspects of Islam, and the early Shiites from a doctrinal and religious perspective, not political motives and efforts to gain Material and physical power have risen to the occasion and have remained steadfast in their claim to faith because those religious texts are still available to all Muslims.

Basically, the Shiites do not consider the issue of Imamate and Caliphate of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) as a purely political matter and the leadership, management and administration of the Islamic society, but consider the Imam as the successor of the Prophet (PBUH) in religious and secular matters. He considers it a belief and a religion, and just as prophethood and prophecy need to have special conditions and individual characteristics in the person of a prophet and a prophet, the Imam must also have a special scientific and faith personality (Shaykh Tusi, 1980; Sharif al-Murtaza, 1994). While non-Shiite Muslims did not have such an idea of Imamate from the beginning, they did not consider the element of prophetic text and guardianship as a condition in the caliphate and Imamate of the Islamic society.

It is necessary to emphasize that the early Shiites and the Shiite incident were not opposed to the early caliphs of a religious sect separated from the Islamic body. And unlike the Khavarej and some other religious movements of the early Islamic centuries, they no longer attributed Muslims to infidelity and apostasy. Early Shiites, especially in the issue of Imamate and Caliphate and the need to follow the Ahl al-Bayt and the family of the Prophet (PBUH), disagreed with the dominant incident of Islamic society, and the root of this disagreement is the belief in the necessity of the prophetic text in the matter of guardianship and He was the Imamate of the Islamic society, so the Shiite political position on the caliphate and political leadership of the Islamic society, which has been continuous for centuries, does not mean the lack of a doctrinal root for the emergence of Shiism and provide a purely political interpretation of it.

The role of political conflicts in the formation of Shiite sects

Disputes in Islamic society began with the issue of the successor of the Prophet (PBUH) and the appointment of a caliph, and with the advent of the Khavarej in the first century, this difference took on a sectarian and religious racial discrimination. The Khavarej were the first group to secede from the Muslim ummah and excommunicate other Muslims and their opponents. In the first century AH, some theological issues such as divine judgment and predestination or the issue of the verdict of the great perpetrator and whether committing a great sin leads to apostasy or not, along with political differences led to sectarianism and division in Islamic society, but in the second century Political differences, more than ever, caused the disintegration of Islamic society. The Khavarej, the Marja'is, the Jabriyah, the Jahmiyyah, and the Mu'tazilites, along with various political incidents and various Shiite sects such as the Keysanieh, Zaydeh, and Ismaileh, paint a picture of the multiplicity of different Islamic sects in the second century.

The fact is that although the beginning of the emergence of Shiism was rooted in belief and the prophetic texts announcing the guardianship and guardianship of Ali (AS) caused the Shiite community to distance itself from the majority of Muslims in following and obeying the caliphs, but within the Shiite community there are differences and divisions., Mostly had political roots, and the dispute over the appointment of the Imam and the dispute over how to deal with the Umayyad and Abbasid rule were the source of the Shiites' sectarianism.

The tragedy of Karbala and the protest uprisings after the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS) were a field for the emergence of Shiite movements, in the sense that the early Shiite movements manifested themselves in the form of political movement and armed struggle. The Tawabin uprising in 65 AH under the leadership of Suleiman bin Surd Khazaei at the behest of Imam Hussein (AS) and the Mukhtar uprising and the Keysaniyeh (Khomeini, 2010) movement are examples of these Shiite political movements.

The second century AH is a period of prosperity in theological and jurisprudential debates, and Shiism in this century gained a certain jurisprudential and theological richness due to the Imamate of Imam Baqir (AS) and Imam Sadiq (AS). The century went on. The Zaydieh Shiite (Khomeini, 2010) movement, which was formed after the uprising of Zayd ibn Ali ibn al-Hussein in 121 AH, in contrast to the style of Imam Baqir (AS) and Imam Sadiq (AS), made an armed uprising against the Umayyad rule and in the following years the Abbasid rule. One of the most important principles of the Zaydeh is their view of the Imamate. According to them, the Imam must be from the generation and descendants of Fatima Zahra (PBUH) and everyone from the generation of Imam Hassan (AS) and Imam Hussein (AS) was a scholar, brave and ascetic, and he rose up to command the good and forbid the bad. The Imam is obligatory to obey. Unlike the Twelver Shiites (Imamiyya), the Zaidi Shiites do not consider the existence of the previous text to the Imamate as a condition. The Zaydi Shiites were also divided into several groups, such as Jaroudiyah, Sarhubiyyah, Sabahiyyah, Ya'qubiyah, and Batriyah, all of which were the source of differences over the appointment of the next Imam (Chelongar & Shahmoradi, 2016).

Ismaili Shiites are also one of the deep-rooted incidents of Shiism whose historical background goes back to the denial of the death of Ismail, son of Imam Sadiq (AS). Among the Ismaili Shiites, various sects such as Mustalawiyya, Nizariyya, and Qaramata have emerged throughout history due to differences in the appointment of the Imam (Chelongar & Shahmoradi, 2016).

After the martyrdom of Imam Sadiq (AS), two groups separated themselves from the Imami Shiites, a group of people who denied the death of Ishmael and called him the Promised Mehdi. This group is called pure Ismaileh or Waqf Ismaileh. The second group believed in the Imamate of Muhammad, the son of Ishmael, who was the grandson of Imam Sadiq, and called this group Mubarak. According to the majority of Mubarakiyya, there is a difference of opinion about the Imams. Some do not consider Ismail and some do not consider Imam Hassan Mojtaba (AS) as Imam. From the death of Muhammad ibn Ismail until the uprising of Obaidullah Mahdi, the first Fatimid caliph in 286 AH. There is no clear history for the Ismaileh. A group of Mubarak who denied the death of Muhammad ibn Ismail and waited for his return as Imam Ghaem and the Promised Mehdi became known as Qaramata (Khomeini, 2010).

The political policy of the innocent Imams and its grand strategies

The main and most populous Shiite incident is the Imamiyya or Twelve Shi'a, which has always insisted on the most authentic Shiite teaching throughout the history of Shi'ism, namely the necessity of the Imam being innocent and innocent, and his divine knowledge and infallibility of religious truths and teachings.

The performance of the Innocent Imam towards the Shiite community during the first three centuries of the rise and fall of Islam is of special importance in two ways. The first direction has an epistemological and doctrinal aspect and the second direction has a political aspect. One of the main missions of the Imams is the religious and spiritual guidance of the society that the amount and volume of activity and the quality of the objective effect in this section are clearly dependent on social conditions, the level of readiness of the society and the amount of obstacles and factors limiting their activity. Among the twelve Imams, Imam Baqir (AS) and Imam Sadiq (AS) in the second century AH due to the weakness of the Umayyads in preventing and applying restrictions and due to the flourishing of theological and jurisprudential issues in Islamic society and the readiness of the audience to acquire knowledge and revised necessity. The emergence of the Ahl al-Bayt doctrinal and jurisprudential school and exposing the weaknesses and shortcomings of the incorrect theological and doctrinal schools were very successful in this field and were able to acquaint their Shiites with various aspects of the original Islamic jurisprudential, theological and doctrinal teachings. Due to the scientific and epistemological efforts of these two Imams and the continuation of their movement by other innocent Imams who found less opportunity, the Shiite religion and the Ahl al-Bayt school of belief and jurisprudence are completely different from the views of other theological and jurisprudential schools and schools of the Sunni world., Was updated and consistent.

However, the Shiites of the early Imams before Imam Baqir and Imam Sadiq, mainly based on the legitimacy of the province of Amir al-Mu'minin and his innocent descendants and the denial and non-acceptance of the caliphate of the existing caliphs, had acquired their distinct identities and educational aspects. The Ahl al-Bayt school and the details of the jurisprudence in dispute between them and other jurists considered by non-Shiites did not have sufficient and clear information.

Therefore, religious guidance and the expansion of divine knowledge and the rules of Sharia as one of the main missions of the innocent Imams, is a common thing among the Imams, who each performed this divine duty according to the conditions and capacity of the audience and existing social contexts.

Since Imamate in the Shiite school is not limited to religious guidance and the socio-political leadership of the Muslim community is another pillar of the Imamate and the divine right of the innocent Imams, another important mission of the Imam is the political guidance of society and political action according to his religious and divine duty. As the religious guidance of the society takes various forms and forms according to the environmental and social conditions and conditions and varies in terms of volume and extent of influence and scope of influence, the political guidance and political action of the innocents and the way they deal with them. The powers and governments of their time have also been subject to the conditions, contexts, social spirits, and status and requirements of Islam and Muslims. The important and basic point is that the political dimension and demarcation and confrontation with tyrannical and illegitimate powers has been an integral part of the life of Shiite Imams, but the manner and type of this confrontation and demarcation and the form of crystallization of this political dimension, according to circumstances and situation It has been different. Hence, the political policy of the Imams is not the same, although in principle they shared a militant and uncompromising position with the illegitimate Umayyad and Abbasid governments.

An overview of the political life of the Innocent Imams shows that the political behavior of the Imams, according to the circumstances and interests of Islam and Muslims can be classified into four main strategies that each Imam is inclined to one of these four strategies according to the circumstances and recognition of his divine duty and mission. Has been:

  1. Open and explicit struggle against illegitimate political power.
  2. Negative struggle and lack of cooperation due to hidden and implicit piety and confrontation.
  3. Reconciliation and non-aggression pact while insisting on the legitimacy of the guardianship of the innocents.
  4. Cooperation and assistance of the political system in order to strengthen Islam and patience against the abuse of the right of Imamate.

 In the following, we will briefly discuss the political policies of some imams to show why and how one of these strategies has been the basis of their political action.

1. Imam Ali's political policy

Considering the numerous texts and the specification and emphasis of the Prophet (PBUH) in different positions on the Imamate and guardianship of Amir al-Mu'minin Ali (AS) which are not discussed here, Ali (AS) made the guardianship over the believers and the leadership of the Islamic society after the Prophet an inalienable right. And God knew himself and never in his whole life gave up this right in the position of belief and opinion, although for obvious reasons, in the position of action, he was patient and did not confront and fight against the usurpation and neglect of his right of guardianship.

 In the first months after the death of the Prophet (PBUH) and the allegiance of Saqifa and the Caliphate of Ababkar, Ali (AS) together with Fatima made efforts to convince the companions and remind him of his religious right and refused to allegiance to Ababkar, but when he realized that Yavari He did not and these efforts will not be fruitful, he remained silent and patient. Ali (AS) has spoken less about this in order to observe the interests of Islam, but what has been recorded in history shows that he never deviated from the right of divine guardianship and leadership of the ummah in the position of belief and opinion. There are two examples that clearly show this.

Imam Ali (AS) says in a sermon called Shaqqaqiya:

I swear by God that the man [Ababkar] wore the clothes of the caliphate while Nick knew that my position in the caliphate was like the axis of a millstone and a mill. The flood of knowledge and knowledge is falling from the mountain of my being and the chicken of thought cannot fly to my height. I threw a veil between myself and the ruler and turned away from the caliphate. I thought of fighting with my hands cut off and without a helper, or to wait for that dark and pragmatic event... I came to the conclusion that patience is wiser than struggle. "So while I had a thorn in my eye and a bone in my throat, I waited and watched the plunder of my heritage (Nahj al-Balagha, Sermon. 3).

The second witness is a letter that he wrote to the people of Egypt in 38 AH, during the time of his caliphate, along with the dispatch of Malik Ashtar to that land, in which he says:

"When the Messenger of God (PBUH) passed away, the Muslims started a dispute over the caliphate. I swear by God that I never imagined that the Arabs would return the caliphate from his family after the death of the Prophet or remove it from me after the Prophet. The rush of people to someone to pledge allegiance to him made me sad. I renounced allegiance to him for a while until I saw a group of people turning away from Islam and calling on the people to destroy the religion of the Prophet. So I was afraid that if I did not help Islam and the Muslims, it would lead to a breach in the religion or its destruction, the calamity of which is greater for me than being deprived of power over you... So I rose up in the midst of that chaos until “Falsehood was destroyed and destroyed, and religion was established and established (Nahj al-Balagha, Letter. 62).

According to Ali (AS), what caused his approach to the fourth strategy and cooperation and cooperation with a government that had ignored his inalienable right, was the events of "rejection" and the return and apostasy of some tribes from Islam. The great danger that threatened Islam and the recognition of the Imam (as) was that the weakening of the Muslim system would lead to the weakening and destruction of Islam. Therefore, he not only waited for the usurpation of his right and did not take any action in public against their caliphate, but in support and they tried to help, advice and guide them to establish the pillars of Islam and strengthen the Muslim system.

 Despite all the weaknesses, deviations and mismanagements he had seen during his 25 years of patience, silence and assistance, he continued to emphasize this strategy until on Friday, Dhu al-Hijjah in the year 35, when the people insisted on his caliphate and Imamate after Uthman's death. Emphasized on not accepting the caliphate and continuing the same strategy and said:

If you leave me [do not leave the caliphate to me], I will be one of you, and I may be the most obedient and obedient to the ruler you elect. If I were your minister, I would be better for you than I am your emir (Nahj al-Balagha, Sermon. 92).

The secret of Imam Khomeini's (AS) reluctance to accept the caliphate after all these years lies in the innovations and profound changes that occurred as a result of some wrong actions, especially in the era of the Ottoman Caliphate, and the atmosphere of Islamic society to accept Alawite justice and rule according to The standards of the Shari'a had become very difficult.

It is necessary to pay attention to the fact that not only Ali (AS) did not fight and openly protest against the principle of their leadership and caliphate during the time of the three caliphs, but also during his caliphate he did not show much inclination to ridicule and blame them. The reason for this approach is the position and status that the first two caliphs, in particular, had found in the eyes of the Muslims. Ibn Abi al-Hadid, in the following commentary of 28 Nahj al-Balaghah, quotes the words of his master, Abu Ja'far Yahya ibn Abi Zayd, that one of Mu'awiyah's policies during his correspondence and correspondence with Amir al-Mu'minin Ali (as) was to publicly acquit him of his innocence. First, to provoke and explicitly criticize them and force the Imam to acknowledge and clarify their tyranny and usurpation and their rebellion against the order of the Prophet (PBUH) regarding the caliphate, so that Mu'awiyah's accusations against Ali (AS) Regarding the murder of Uthman, the murder of Talha and Zibar, the capture of Aisha in the battle of Jaml and the cause of the shedding of Muslim blood, and with the opposition and innocence of Ali (AS) of the first two caliphs, not only the people of the Levant against Ali (AS) "Let the Iraqi people and the soldiers of Ali's army turn away from him, because with the exception of a few of the characteristics of Ali's companions, the rest believed in the Imamate and the legitimacy of the caliphate of the first two caliphs (Ibn Abi al-Hadid, 1967)."

History proves that Imam Ali (AS), who tried hard to oppose heresies and deviations, could not confront a heresy called "Tarweed prayer" due to the position and status that these two caliphs had found in the eyes of Muslims. According to Ali (AS), offering the recommended prayer in congregation is an obvious innovation that was founded by Umar, the second caliph, but Imam's insistence on leaving this work was opposed by Imam Ali (AS)'s companions and troops, so much so that in The sermon says:

"Did you not see that when I stopped them from praying Taraweeh, they shouted at those who were with me in my army, O Muslims, the tradition of Umar has disappeared. "So the army would disintegrate and become the Imamate of the Imams of error and misguidance (al-Kulayni, 1987)."

Therefore, the emergence of Islam, the survival of religion and Islam, the preservation of the unity and order of Muslims, the need to rise up to support religion against apostates and opponents of Islam, and the general belief in the legitimacy of the caliphate of the three caliphs, causes and factors of the fourth strategy He was the Commander of the Faithful, and he not only waited for the usurpation of his right, but also did not refrain from any cooperation, assistance, and consultation in order to establish and strengthen the Muslim system.

2. Political behavior of Imam Hassan and Imam Hussein

Undoubtedly, the event of peace between Imam Hassan (AS) and Mu'awiyah in 41 AH and only six months after the Muslims pledged allegiance to Imam Hassan (AS) and the first months of his caliphate, an important and very influential political event in Shiite society and the socio-political path of history. It is the beginning of Islam that, on the one hand, paved the way for the rotation of the Islamic Caliphate towards the monarchy, and on the other hand, prevented the decline and disintegration of the early Shiite nuclei and the Ahl al-Bayt supporters.

Imam Hassan (AS), like his father Imam Ali (AS), considered Mu'awiyah's rule over Shamat illegitimate and usurping, so after receiving news about the sending of spies and conspiracy by Mu'awiyah, he wrote a letter to him and wrote above the letter:

"I have prepared myself to face you and I have no fear of your actions. "Keep in mind that you will soon find yourself in front of our swords (Ibn Abi al-Hadid, 1967)."

The disobedience, weakness and lack of effort of the Iraqi people and the tribes gathered in Kufa in support of Imam Ali (AS) against Mu'awiyah's army in the battle of Safin and after that, in a deeper and wider form, in helping and supporting Imam Hassan (AS) in it happened in front of Lashkar-e Sham. Obaidullah ibn Abbas, the commander of his army, along with twelve thousand people, left Mu'awiyah's army in exchange for money and promises, and joined Mu'awiyah's army. Mu'awiyah's spies and agents regularly rumored among the army that the new commander, Qais ibn Sa'd ibn 'Abadah, had been killed or had joined Mu'awiyah's army. The camp of Imam Hassan (AS) was empty of companions until a group of Imam's troops stormed the tent of the Imam and looted his property and wounded him.

Therefore, due to the dispersion of the allies and the quantitative and qualitative weakness of his military forces, he accepted despite the desire to compromise with Mu'awiyah. Imam Hassan (AS) says:

"Even if you do not know how to do what is right for him, he is a Muharram for the Umayyads."

"If I had helpers, I would not have handed over the government to him because ruling over Muslims is forbidden for the Benjamites (Ibn Abi al-Hadid, 1967)."

 Imam's action in accepting peace provoked protests from some properties of Imam Hassan's companions, and he stated in response that two main reasons for this action were the lack of helpers and the dispersion of the army and lack of sufficient motivation to continue the war, and the other to save lives. Shiites themselves and save their capacity for the time to create the conditions for their role in the social and political life of Muslims. In response to one of the companions who called peace a source of humiliation for the believers, he said:

"It is not the humiliation of the believers, but it is better for them not to seek the benefit of Mu'awiyah, unless he seeks refuge in you from the murder when he sees the companionship of his companions and their failure to kill (Dinewari, n.d.)."

One of the important clauses of this peace treaty was that Mu'awiyah should not appoint anyone after him as caliph and the issue of caliphate should be at the will of the believers, and the other is that the companions, Shiites and Ahl al-Bayt should be safe and Mu'awiyah conspired against them, openly and secretly. Does not. During the 20 years of Mu'awiyah's life after this peace treaty, that is, from 41 to 60 AH, which was the Imamate of Hussein ibn Ali (AS) for almost ten years, both Imams remained faithful to the provisions of this compromise.

Imam Hussein (AS) also considered Mu'awiyah's government as cruel and usurping, and if no military action was taken against him, it was due to the lack of conditions and the lack of opportunity to compromise. In his letter to Mu'awiyah, he writes:

"I seek refuge in God from not rebelling against you and your companions (al-Baladhuri, 1977)."

The fact is that the same conditions that compelled Imam Hassan (AS) to accept peace were fully established in the time of Imam Hussein (AS), in addition to breaking the covenant of peace was not considered a good practice by Muslims, especially That Mu'awiyah and his propaganda apparatus tried hard to portray him as positive and bound by religious appearances.

After Mu'awiyah assassinated Hajar ibn 'Uday and some other Shiites of Ali (AS) in the presence of the brave companions of Uzra, the feelings of the people of Kufa and the Iraqi companions of the Ahl al-Bayt were aroused and in letters they asked Imam Hussein (AS) to revolt against Mu'awiyah. Slowly He did not consider the social conditions favorable for such a thing, so he replied:

"I hope that my brother will be successful and steadfast in what he did, but I do not have such an idea (intention of war) today, may God have mercy on you. Stick to the ground and lie in wait in the houses and avoid being suspected while Mu'awiyah is alive. "If God brings him something [death] and I am alive, I will write my thoughts for you (al-Baladhuri, 1977)."

Imam Hussein's (AS) restraint from a public uprising due to the lack of conditions and the existence of a peace treaty did not prevent him from expressing his opposition and dissatisfaction with Mu'awiyah's wrongdoings. For example, in a letter to Mu'awiyah, he writes:

"Aren't you the killer of Hajar Ibn Uday and his companions?" Those devout and humble men... Are you not the killer of Amr ibn Hamaq, the great man whose body was worshiped by the worship of God and whose skin was depressed. Are you not the one who attributed a lot to yourself in the era of Islam and pretended to be the son of Abu Sufyan... So you made him the ruler of the people of Islam to kill them and cut off their hands and feet and hang them on palm branches. "Glory be to God or Mu'awiyah, it seems that you are not from this nation and they are not from you (Ibn Qutaybah, 1992; Amini, 1984)."

With the death of Mu'awiyah and the fact that, contrary to the peace treaty, he appointed his immoral son Yazid as caliph and took allegiance from various tribes, the situation changed, especially as the people of Iraq and the nobles of Kufa sent thousands of letters to Imam Hussein (AS). Thus, the political behavior of Hussein ibn Ali (AS) led to a public uprising against Yazid and opposition to allegiance to him and an attempt to expose his ugly face and to enjoin the good and forbid the greatest evil, which indeed, following the oppressive and tyrannical Imam changed the song.

The uprising of Imam Hussein (AS) against the Umayyad rule of Yazid and his martyrdom and that of his companions in Karbala, due to the breach of the Kufi pact and the lack of help and support with him, is a turning point in Shiite history and changed the social and political situation in such a way that the Imams After him, they never found the ground for military action and armed opposition against the illegitimate Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs, due to their allies and the availability of opportunities, and their political opposition and protest confrontation with various governments took a more hidden form.

3. Political behavior of Shiite Imams after Ashura incident

The tyranny of the Umayyads, who had shown their violent face in the torture, threats, and murder of the Shiites and the lovers of al-Ali (AS) during the time of Mu'awiyah, narrowed the atmosphere of repression after the Ashura incident, and terror became so prevalent among the Shiites that they disappeared. Imam Sajjad dispersed and the pretense of loving and following the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet (PBUH) faded to the point that Abu Umar al-Nahdi narrates that I heard Imam Sajjad Ali ibn al-Hussain (AS) say (Ibn Abi al-Hadid, 1967).

The political performance of the innocent Imams in the turbulent and tense conditions after the Karbala incident and the period of oppression and armed conflict in the second century AH, was very important and decisive in the management of the Shiite community. On the one hand, the religious rebellion and oppression of the Umayyad rulers and the repression of the Abbasid rulers had provided the mental conditions of the Shiite community in the need for practical confrontation and political movement against the government, religiously and ideologically, and on the other hand, the uprising. Succession of the Zaydeh and descendants of Imam Hassan (AS) (Zayd ibn Ali ibn al-Hussein, Yahya ibn Zayd, Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Hassan known as Nafs Zakia, Hussein ibn Ali ibn Hassan (martyr Fakh), Ibrahim ibn Abdullah ibn Hassan, etc.) The expectation and motivation of practical help and joining them was strengthened in the uprising against oppression, especially that in times such as the late Benjamiyya and the weakness of their government, the general public welcomed Imam Baqir (AS) and then Imam Sadiq (AS) in office. The leadership of the Islamic community and the political leadership of the uprising against the Umayyads had expanded. In spite of all these contexts and conditions, the strategic recognition of the innocent Imams was the protection and guarding of the Shiite community from these political turmoils and the strengthening of their beliefs, faith, behavior and morals.

This strategy does not in any way mean that the important and fundamental Shiite teaching on the issue of Imamate has been revised. According to the innocent Imams, all these caliphates and rulers were examples of tyrannical rule and the rule of Taghut, and their cooperation and assistance in the face of oppression was rejected and condemned, and the Shiites and their companions were warned against it.

The political policy of the Imams in this risky period was a negative struggle and the need to observe piety (al-Hurr al-amili, n.d.) for themselves and the Shiites and the need to avoid entering the field of such armed struggles. Imam Baqir (AS) and Imam Sadiq (AS) at that time, full of political excitement, taught their Shiites that the Imam and the Imamate, in their entirety, have many missions and that the Imamate is in charge of political affairs and the removal of power. The rulers of Jihad and military jihad are not summed up with them, but religious guidance, strengthening the foundations of belief, preventing heresies, clarifying religious teachings, educating the pious, revealing Quranic truths and developing spirituality and morality in society are also among the main missions of the Imam. However, some Shiites had limited the Imam to a political leader who rebelled against the government of Jor and had even deviated from the condition that the Imam be appointed, and did not like the policy of piety of Imam Sadiq (AS) and other Imams after him (Hussein Jassem, 2013).

The Umayyads, in an atmosphere of oppression and terror created by the oppressive rulers such as Ziad and Hajjaj ibn Yusuf Saghafi for the Shiites, tortured the Shiites and lovers of Ali (AS) and his descendants, and with the help of the Abbasid caliphs from the middle of the second century. The jurists and theologians in line with him introduced the Shiites as Rafidis and outside the religion (Donaldson, 2016), and they strive to isolate the Shiite community and separate the Shiites from the body of the Islamic society and deprive them of social rights along with continuing persecution of their Shiite political opponents. Fadl ibn Shazan, a third-century Shiite scholar, writes:

"We see that the ummah is divided into two groups: a group that attributes itself to the Sunnah and the congregation, even though they differ in their views, opinions, rules, lawful and unlawful, they are satisfied with each other and consider each other's testimony permissible and pray behind each other. "And they accept each other's hadiths and confirm each other, and yet they are against the other group, which is Shiites, and they do not accept the Shiites' testimony, and they do not approve of them, and they do not leave prayers behind them, and they do not accept their hadiths (Shadhan, 1972)."

The main excuse for all this pressure and threats and accusations of leaving the religion and being a heretic was the Shiite belief in the appointment and appointment of Ali (AS) to the governorship and Imamate and the superiority of the Amir al-Mu'minin over the first two caliphs. Fazl Ibn Shazan's lamentable and painful expressions express the political and social reality of that era:

Ali's bestowal on the first two caliphs is worse in your opinion than abandoning prayers and duties, but also drinking alcohol and usury and destroying the Ka'bah, because none of these things make a person out of faith as long as he testifies. "He does not do so, but you consider a person who has not disobeyed the moment of God Almighty, but considers Ali (AS) superior to the first two caliphs, to be a polytheist and a traitor (Shadhan, 1972).

In such a special political and religious atmosphere, with all the social pressures and all kinds of threats, intimidation, killings and assassinations, the Imams of the Innocents find a way to protect and preserve the Shiite community through non-political confrontation and open struggle with the caliphs of the time. And they considered direct interaction with government officials and a kind of negative struggle combined with piety.

Of course, there are differences in the manner of interaction and political performance of the innocent Imams with each other, which is subject to differences in social conditions and the type of political stance of each caliph. - Not to interfere in dismissals, installations and government affairs - accept. Another example is Musa ibn Ja'far (AS) who, in comparison with his father and grandfather Imam Sadiq (AS) and Imam Baqir (AS), protested and opposed the Abbasid Caliph more openly and was imprisoned by Harun al-Rasheed. He was martyred in the same prison in 183 AH (Modaress Tabatabaei, 2007). It is clear that these behavioral differences, depending on the situation and circumstances, were not outside the framework of the main strategy of the innocent Imams in maintaining the Shiite community and not entering into military confrontation and armed jihad with the caliphs of the time. None of the innocent Imams after the Karbala incident invited or incited the Shiites to armed jihad against the Umayyad and Abbasid rulers, unlike the Zaydi Imams and the insurgents from the descendants of Hassan ibn Ali (AS), whose invitation was a condition for their Imamate.

The historical fact is that the political policy of the Imams was not widely accepted by the Shiite community, and this distance from the policy of the Imams by the Shiites had many unintended and negative consequences for the Shiite population of that time, such as the split of Sadat Alavi. The two branches of Hassani and Husseini, the proliferation of Shiite sects, especially the emergence of deviant sects and mixed with exaggeration, intensifying the claims of Mahdism and claiming the survival and immortality of some Imams or their children. Dealing with these consequences and trying to reduce the damage and pain of these events, a significant part of the intellectual, political and social life of the Shiite Imams from Imam Sadiq (AS) onwards has been allocated to him (Aqanuri, 2008).

The identity status of the Shiite community at the beginning of the period of absence

After the death of Imam Reza (AS) in 203 AH, the main incident of Shiism over the Imamate of his son Imam Javad (AS) and then Imam Hadi (AS) and his son Imam Hassan Asgari (AS) remained loyal and steadfast, although in the time of Imam Hadi (AS) and Imam Asgari (AS) (Tenth and Eleventh Imams of Shiites) There were differences and dispersion in the Shiite community and some who were few compared to the mainstream Shiism had doubts and denials about the Imamate of these two Imams.

The Promised Mehdi, the twelfth Imam of the Shiites, was born in 255 AH, and since the death of his father, Imam Askari (AS), in 260 AH, for almost 70 years, indirectly through the four deputies who mediated between him and him during this period of absence. They were a Shiite community, directing Shiite affairs.²⁹ The period of Kobra's absence begins with the death of the last special deputy of Imam al-Zaman, Ali ibn Muhammad Samri in 329, because after the death of the third deputy, Hussein ibn Ruh al-Nubakhti in 326, and Samri was appointed deputy of Imam al-Zaman (as) and held office for nearly four years. In matters related to the vicarage, no one was appointed as a special vicar by the Imam, and practically the Shiites entered the period of the great absence.

Unlike the period of Minor Absence and this 70-year period when the Shiites conveyed the religious funds to the Imam through this four Nawab and sent their questions and materials to the Imam and received the Imam's answer in the form of letters and petitions from him and the Imam's lawyers in Different regions received instructions, during the absence of Kobra, such communication was cut off and there was no special mediator between the Imam and the Shiite community, and the Shiite community was deprived of this level of communication with the Imam.

Thanks to the struggles and efforts of the Shiite Imams, especially from the time of Imam Baqir (AS) onwards, the Shiite community had several features and characteristics that make the period of the Absence of Kobra, despite all the deprivations and problems caused by the absence of the Innocent Imam, bearable for the Shiites. It lasted and provided the historical continuity and continuity of the Twelver Imami Shiites during the centuries of the Absence of God.

The first of these characteristics is the maturity of the Shiite community in understanding the truth of the Imamate. The most important sign of this maturity is that the majority of the Shiite community gradually realized that the political uprising and taking up the flag of military struggle against the Umayyad and Abbasid rulers is not the main indicator and criterion of the Imamate, but the Imam is a comprehensive figure with scientific, spiritual and moral dimensions. It has accumulated the text and installation on the Imamate. It has infallibility and divine knowledge and infallibility to the teachings of religion and the rules of Sharia. Therefore, to strengthen the doctrinal dimension in the category of Imamate and reduce the importance of the political dimension and armed struggle in determining the Imam, is one of the main features of this evolution in the concept of Imamate. Of course, as mentioned earlier, from the very beginning of the formation of the Shiite movement, some Shiites had this comprehensive view and belief in the Imam and Imamate, but this view was not common in the large and fragmented Shiite community in the first and second centuries.

For example, the Zaidi Shiites did not consider the Imam's infallibility as a condition for Imamate, but instead emphasized the Imam's armed uprising. The importance of the armed uprising for them was such that if at one time more than one of the descendants of Fatima (PBUH) was carrying out an armed uprising in different lands, the Imamate considered them legitimate and obligatory to obey, such as Atroush in Daylaman and Yahya Hadi in Yemen against the oppressors. They launched a military uprising. Another evidence is that, contrary to the Shiite creed and the comprehensive view of the Imamate and the mainstream of Shiism, which considers the Imam to be the best of the people of the time in piety, knowledge and perfection, the Zaidi Shiites, exceptionally, and not a general and recommended rule, They accept the virtuous and thus consider the caliphate of Abu Bakr and Umar legitimate and correct (Chelongar & Shahmoradi, 2016).

The political policy of Imam Baqir (AS) and Imam Sadiq (AS) at a time when the Shiites were expected to accept the leadership of the armed uprising at the end of the Umayyad Caliphate and he avoided interfering in these matters, had a significant effect on moderating Shiites' understanding of the Imamate and its role. Politics and military struggle in the Imam's qualifications for the position of Imamate, as the late Imamate of the Shiite Imams such as Imam Javad (AS) and Imam Hadi (AS) in the pre-puberty years in establishing that the Imamate of the Imam to special scientific and spiritual perfections and It is supernatural and the text and installation, not the armed uprising, played an important role. The mainstream Shiites have learned well that the Imamate of the Imam is indebted to the covenant and divine mercy, and that the political position of the Imam in society has a completely secondary role in achieving this position (Modarressi, 1993).

Another important feature of the Shiite community in the third century is that thanks to the tireless efforts of the middle Shiite Imams from Imam Baqir (AS) to Imam Reza (AS), the Shiite intellectual and epistemological system including theological, jurisprudential, moral and interpretive teachings distinctly. It was formed from Sunni jurisprudential and theological schools. Despite the eloquent efforts of the Umayyad rulers to marginalize the Ahl al-Bayt and beyond, spreading lies and rumors and destroying their character in the minds of Muslims in different Islamic countries, on the one hand and the support of the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphate of intellectual, theological and jurisprudential incidents. In line with their approaches and policies, the Shiite Imams gradually succeeded in consolidating and unifying the Shiite doctrinal and jurisprudential identity, and by training Shiite theologians, jurists, and narrators, the jurisprudential, theological, and interpretive heritage desired by the Ahl al-Bayt and the Prophet's family. To publish and expand in the context of the Islamic society.

Basically, the expansion of the geography of the Islamic world and the entry of different ideas, beliefs and religions into the Islamic society provided a favorable atmosphere for the conflict of thoughts and opinions and the innocent Shiite Imams responded to this epistemological need and thirst for learning religious knowledge.

The companions and students of the Imams recorded their hadiths in the form of books called "Asl" and the volume and number of these books gradually increased. For such jurisprudential and hadith books, they used titles such as, original, rare, comprehensive, issues, some of which were concise and some of which were more detailed. The compilation of these principles and books provided the means and conditions for recording and preserving the teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt for the Shiite community and future generations. Prominent theologians such as Hisham Ibn Hakam, Hisham Ibn Salem, Mo'men Taq and prominent jurists such as Zararah Ibn Ain, Muhammad Ibn Muslim, Ibn Abi Umar in the formulation of Shiite doctrinal and jurisprudential thought and its demarcation with other schools of thought and jurisprudence, and publishing the hadiths of Imam Baqir (AS) and Imam Sadiq (AS) and Musa Ibn Ja'far (AS) were the creators of the map.

During the absence of Soghari and the late presence of the Imams in the Islamic society, cities such as Qom, Rey, Baghdad and Kufa were the gathering place of Shiite muhaddithin, jurist and theologian, and great muhaddith personalities such as Sheikh Saduq and Sheikh Klini collected valuable hadith collections during the absence of Tavin. And dedicated to the Islamic community. Therefore, on the eve of the Great Absence and the deprivation of the Islamic society from the presence of the Innocent Imam, it can be claimed that a significant part of the scientific heritage of the Innocents was recorded and the Shiite doctrinal and jurisprudential identity was distinguished from other religions and schools of Islamic jurisprudence and theology. And the Shiite community had a large number of muhaddithin scholars, jurists and theologians who had the power and capacity to preserve and preserve and protect this great heritage of knowledge and belief.

It should be noted that the cohesion and formation of religious and jurisprudential identity in the second and third centuries was not reserved for the Shiites, but in the outside world of the Shiite community we see the formation of such a distinction and identity that the Abbasid caliphs paid special attention to these boundaries.

The third characteristic in the Shiite community, which is of particular importance in the Shiite orthology in the age of minor absence, is the recognition of the authority of the Imam on behalf of the Innocent Imam in the Shiite community. From the time of Imam Sadiq (AS) onwards, the Shiites were located in many areas of the Islamic world, and naturally their direct access to the Innocent Imam to acquire knowledge and receive answers to religious and epistemological questions was very difficult. In addition, the political repression and the great sensitivity of the Umayyad and Abbasid rulers towards the Shiites, caused the direct and open relations of the Shiites with their Imam, caused them a lot of suffering and suffering. In this way, something called the Bar Association was gradually formed in the Shiite community, and the Shiite Imams, among their companions, introduced the learned and trusted people as their lawyers to the Shiites of some areas so that through them, the Shiites could meet their jurisprudential and epistemological needs. To solve their financial obligations and gifts to the Imam (Jabbari, 2014).

The Abbasid caliphs were very sensitive to the political and social activities of the Shiite Imams. By appointing lawyers and assigning each one to a specific area, they prevented the Shiites from repeatedly and openly referring to the Imams, and even reduced their relations with lawyers and often conducted them in secret, thus harming and attacking the government and themselves. Prevent lawyers. These Nawabs and lawyers, in addition to guiding the Shiites and taking charge of the religious and social affairs entrusted by the Imam, also played another important role. Some of these lawyers caused problems in doing this important thing in some periods of Shiite history, such as stopping and avoiding some of the lawyers of Imam Musa al-Kadhim (AS) in accepting the Imamate of Imam Reza (AS) after the martyrdom of Imam Kadhim (AS) In Shiite.

One of the most important blessings of the Imams' decision to appoint a lawyer on their behalf for the various parts of the Islamic world was to prepare the Shiites to face the conditions of absence and the absence of the Innocent Imam among the Shiites. If there was no such organization and the Shiites did not learn the process of using the Imam's lawyers to meet their religious needs, their sudden and sudden severance from the blessings of the presence of the Innocent Imam could be very problematic for the Shiite community. Therefore, as we get closer to the time of absence, the emphasis and persuasion of the innocent Imams to refer Shiites to their Nawabs and lawyers increases, as far as we see in the time of Imam Hadi (AS) and Imam Hassan Askari (AS) that Shiites are on the verge of entering the evening. In the absence of the Imam, there is a special care that many things are done by the representative and special chapter of the two Imams, namely Uthman bin Saeed Omari, and even other lawyers of the Imam refer to him, and thus people have direct access to the Imam. Intentionally reduced to provide social readiness to cut off access to the Innocent Imam (Jabbari, 2014).

It is important to note that these trusted and trusted people of the Imam, who were selected as lawyers in Shiite cities and towns, not only had the role of religious guidance and answering questions of jurisprudence and belief, but also had the role of collecting funds and religious taxes. They received gifts, zakat, and religious funds from the Shiites of different regions and sent them to the Innocent Imam, and thus the Imam was able to meet the basic needs of the Shiite community and use that property to protect and strengthen the Shiites. The financial aspect of the Advocacy Organization starts from the time of Imam Kadhim (AS) and reaches its perfection during the time of Imam Hadi (AS) and the Shiite community becomes aware of its financial duties through the lawyers of the Imam (Modarressi, 1993).

Shiite history has shown well how this strategy of the Imams in the era of absence and the period of deprivation of the presence of the Innocent Imam, which has continued until now, provided the basis for the permanence and consistency of the Shiite community. The Shiites learned that in the absence of access to the Innocent Imam, they should refer to the scholars and jurists of the Imamiyya Mujtahid and learn their religion from them, and also by paying their religious dues as khums and the share of the Innocent Imam, the means of influencing and serving the righteous mujtahids and jurists. To promote the Ahl al-Bayt school and religious activities and to protect the weak of the Shiite community.

The final point is that the Shiite Imams succeeded in clearly defining and consolidating the political strategy of the Shiite community in the time of the Absence. According to this strategy, although the Innocent Imam, who is divinely appointed to the Imamate and leadership, is absent and out of reach, but the just and competent jurists on the part of the Imams have the guardianship and authority to hold many of the affairs of the Innocent Imam.

Governments and governors are considered usurpers and their rule is considered a kind and illegitimate government. To assist the jurists in undertaking such matters as judging and enforcing the divine limits. Part of this strategy has to do with interacting with the Jor government in the age of the Absentee. Shiite Imams have allowed some positions in the system of usurper and illegitimate governments to be allowed if one is able to exercise one's right and prevent aggression, oppression and the prohibition of evil. In the absence of this condition, cooperating with them and accepting government positions and interacting with them are considered as examples of helping the sinner and helping the oppressors. Of course, in situations where the sultans of Jor force some Shiites to cooperate and the refusal to interact with them poses threats and dangers to them, they have considered this cooperation and acceptance of a position in the Jor government system permissible for the sake of piety.

This grand strategy still governs the entirety of Shiite political jurisprudence during the long period of absence, and the fatwas of Imami jurists in various chapters of jurisprudence, where it relates to interaction with the governmental apparatus, have been formed within the framework of this grand strategy.





1) The origin of Shiism has a doctrinal origin and it should be noted that politics is not the source of their origin. Imamate in the eyes of the Shiites is not summarized in political terms, and the Imam, in addition to political leadership, has a religious and spiritual leadership over the ummah. Hence it requires a divine installation.

2) Contrary to the origin of Shiism, the creation of different sects among the Shiites is due to politics, and the dispute over the appointment of the Imam and the political dispute over how to deal with the Umayyad and Abbasid rule was the source of the Shiite sect.

3) The political policy of the Shiite Imams was not the same, but according to the conditions and in the interests of Islam and Muslims, they used an appropriate political strategy. The political policy of the Imams can be classified into four main strategies.

4) Unlike some Shiite sects such as the Zaydeh, for whom politics was a priority and at the forefront, for the middle Shiite imams, the consolidation of the Shiite religious identity and the protection of their existence found special priority and importance.

5) The late Shiite Imams made great efforts to prepare the Shiites for the conditions of absence and through the system of advocacy and encouraging the Shiites to refer to lawyers and jurists, prepared them for the age of absence.

The Imams determined the grand political strategy in the era of absence based on avoiding cooperation with neighboring governments, piety and self-control, and referring to just jurists to do things, and placing jurists as deputy imams and having religious authority in matters such as judging and The implementation of the divine limits and other matters of the Imam (as) has played an effective role in the continuation of this strategy during the long period of absence.

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