Imam Ali’s Guardianship in the Quran

Document Type : Original Article



The Quranic verse 5:55, which is known as the Guardianship Verse
(Ayatul Wilaya) among Imamite exegetes and theologians, is one
of the most important verses that has been revealed regarding the
guardianship of Amiralmu’minīn Imam Ali. Because of the special
importance of this verse, Muslim theologians have paid special attention
to it and numerous works have been written on it.
Imamite exegetes and most Sunni exegetes agree that the cause of
revelation of this verse was an instance in which Imam Ali(Pbuh) gave
alms to the poor while bowing down in prayer. The author of the present
article has carefully examined the cause of revelation of the verse
(5:55) here. To this end, while the author will mention the successive
transmission of the story as the cause of revelation of the verse
about Imam Ali according to Imamite and Sunni scholars, he will also
enumerate some narrators of the hadith from among the Companions.
Then, from among the 60 documents regarding the hadith in question,
2 documents from ibn abi Hātam and ibn Marduyah will be examined.
Views of exegetes through centuries regarding the revelation of
the Guardianship Verse as well as arguments by Imamite scholars
regarding the revelation of this verse about Imam Ali constitute the
other discussions that will be set forth in the present article extensively
in the form of verseـinternal and verseـexternal arguments.
Finally, the writer will criticize and examine the doubts cast on the cause
of revelation of the verse by responding extensively to each of the doubts.