The Process of Institutionalization of the Doctrine of the Divine Designation of the Imam in the Community of the Twelver Shiites by Imam Muhammad al-Baqir

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD Student, The Teaching of Islamic Maaref, the Minor of Islamic History and Civilization, Bagher al-Ulum University.

2 Faculty Member of Islamic Science and Culture Academy and the Chief of Qom Hawza Kalam Seminary



The doctrine of the Divine designation of the Imam which is an outstanding doctrine of the Twelver Shiism has undergone various stages over time. Of them, references must be made to its noteworthy stages, its initial and basic idea of the mere Divine designation, its developed interpretation, and its institutionalization and public dissemination amongst the Twelver Shiites. This study proves that although the Infallible Imams who preceded the fifth Infallible Imam Muhammad al-Baqir had made references to the Divine nature of the appointment of the Infallible Imam, it was the Infallible Imam Muhammad al-Baqir who institutionalized the doctrine of the Divine designation. This trend led to notable increase in the conviction of the believers to the nature and mechanism of such appointment, hence their steadfastness in admitting the Infallible Imam who succeeded Imam Muhammad al-Baqir.