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Imams of the Shi'a

(Redirected from Twelve Imams (a))
This article is about the twelve Imams of Shi'a. For the principle of Shi'a school, see Imamate.

Imāms (a) of the Shi'a are twelve men from the progeny of the Prophet (s) who are, according to Shi'a teachings, successors of the Prophet (s) and the guardians and leaders of the society after the Prophet (s). The first Imam (a) is Imam 'Ali (a) and the other Imams (a) are his and lady Fatima's (a) sons and grandsons.

These Imams (a) are appointed by God and have divine knowledge, infallibility and the right of intercession [for people] and one can get closer to God through making tawassul to them. In addition to religious authority, Imams (a) have the political leadership of the society. Verses of the Qur'an have discussed the issue of imamate without mentioning the names of the Imams (a); such as the verses of Uli al-Amr, Tathir, al-Wilaya, al-Ikmal, al-Tabligh and al-Sadiqin.

In some narrations from the Prophet (s), the qualities, the names and the number of Imams (a) have been mentioned; such as Hadith al-Thaqalayn, Hadith of Manzila, Hadith of Safina, Hadith of Yawm al-Dar, Hadith of Madinat al-'Ilm, Hadith al-Tayr al-Mashwiy, Hadith al-Rayat, Hadith al-Kisa', Hadith of Jabir and Hadith of the Twleve Caliphs. According to these narrations, all of Imams (a) are from Quraysh and they are the Ahl al-Bayt (a) (household) of the Prophet (s) and the last Imam (a) is the