Criteria of Recognizing True Imams from Unjust Ones based on Prophetic Traditions about “Twelve Imams”

Document Type : Original Article



There are plenty of hadiths, recorded in canonical Sunni sources,
regarding the emergence of two groups of Imams. The first group
are true or righteous Imams or Caliphs and, the second type are
unjust Imams and rulers. Holy Prophet have described different
characteristics of both groups, which helps to distinguish them
from each other. The theme of prophetic hadiths concerning the
first group is a promising one, whereas it turns to deterrent when it
comes to the second group.
This study tries to demonstrate that the characteristics of the
righteous Imams described by the Prophet are historically applicable
to the Twelve Imams of Shīʿite Islam and are clearly inconsistent with
the known characteristics of most Umayyad and ‘Abbasid caliphs.