The Role of Well-known Hadiths in the Formation of Shiite Belief in the Unbroken Succession of Imamate

Document Type : Original Article


1 Ferdowsi University of Mashhad.

2 Tehran University


Within the Muslims' heritage of hadith, some of the well-known Islamic traditions indicate that, in any given era, there is undoubtedly one righteous individual who undertakes the knowledge of religion and preserves it. That person is from among the Ahl Al-Bayt(household of the prophet); guides the prophet's followers; is the live Imam of the era and therefore the people are obliged to know him and swear allegiance to, and establishes God's authority among people, whether he is known or anonymous. On the other hand, some accounts by the researchers of denominations indicate that Shiites, from the very beginning, held that the world would never be devoid of an authority and Imam who is the successor of the former one; hence, the succession of Imamate would continuously last. This belief had become a point of departure between Imami Shiism and the other Islamic denominations to the extent that they called this belief '' Nasaq'', and Imami Shiites ''Ahl-e-Nasaq''.
Investigating the history of Imami Shiite thought, the present study tries to demonstrate the role of the aforementioned hadiths in the formation of this belief as well as their loyalty to those traditions.