Place of Stipulation (Nas) in Foundations of Imamate through a Comparative Approach to Ideas of Mu'tazalis, Ash'aris, People of Hadiths, and Imamis

Document Type : Original Article



Appointment of Imam by God- the Exalted- and issuance of
a stipulation for it by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is one of the
challenging and controversial issues among Muslims. After
explaining the verbal and technical meanings of stipulation
(nas), the present article goes to explain and describe place of
stipulation in appointment of Imam and validity or invalidity of other
ways according to Islamic sects. Mu’tazalis have accepted the
opinion of people of “dissolution and agreement” in appointment
of Imam and stipulation made by the previous Imam (other than
the Holy Prophet (PBUH)) to appoint new Imam. In addition to
ways accepted by Mu’tazalis, people of hadith and Ash’aris have
mentioned “force and constraint” as a way to appoint Imam.
Imamis are of the opinion that the only legitimate way to appoint
Imam is stipulation; and, to prove their opinion they appeal to
rational and transmitted arguments.