The Twelve Imams

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The Twelve Imams (Arabic: ٱلَأَئِمَّة ٱلْٱثْنَا عَشَر‎, al-ʾAʾimmah al-ʾIthnā ʿAšar; Persian: دوازده امام‎, Davâzdah Emâm) are the spiritual and political successors to the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Twelver branch of Shia Islam, including that of the Alawite and Alevi sects. The Twelve Imams_sentence_0

According to the theology of Twelvers, the Twelve Imams are exemplary human individuals who not only rule over the community with justice, but also are able to keep and interpret sharia and the esoteric meaning of the Quran. The Twelve Imams_sentence_1

Muhammad and Imams' words and deeds are a guide and model for the community to follow; as a result, they must be free from error and sin (known as ismah, or infallibility) and must be chosen by divine decree through the Prophet. The Twelve Imams_sentence_2

The belief of Imam The Twelve Imams_section_0

Main article: Imamate (Twelver doctrine) The Twelve Imams_sentence_3

It is believed in Twelver Shia Islam that Muhammad and his Ahl al-Bayt are infallible possess Hikmah. The Twelve Imams_sentence_4

Their oppression and suffering served greater purposes and were a means of divine grace to their devotees. The Twelve Imams_sentence_5

The Imams are also guided by preserved texts in their possession, such as al-Jafr, al-Jamia, and unaltered past books the Torah and Injeel. The Twelve Imams_sentence_6

Imamat, or belief in the divine guide, is a fundamental belief in the Twelver Shia doctrine and is based on the concept that God would not leave humanity without access to divine guidance. The Twelve Imams_sentence_7

According to Twelvers, there is at all times an Imam of the era who is the divinely appointed authority on all matters of faith and law in the Muslim community. The Twelve Imams_sentence_8

Ali was the first of the Twelve Imams, and, in the Twelvers view, the rightful successor to Muhammad, followed by male descendants of Muhammad through his daughter Fatimah. The Twelve Imams_sentence_9

Each Imam was the son of the previous Imam, with the exception of Husayn ibn Ali, who was the brother of Hasan ibn Ali. The Twelve Imams_sentence_10

The twelfth and final Imam is Muhammad al-Mahdi, who is believed by the Twelvers to be currently alive, and hidden in the Major Occultation until he returns to bring justice to the world. The Twelve Imams_sentence_11

It is believed by Twelver Shia and Alevi Muslims that the Twelve Imams have been foretold in the Hadith of the 12 accomplishers. The Twelve Imams_sentence_12

All of the Imams met unnatural deaths, with the exception of the last Imam who, according to Twelver and Alevi belief, is living in occultation. The Twelve Imams_sentence_13

Some of the Imams also have a leading role within some Sufi orders and are seen as the spiritual heads of Islam, because most of the Silsila (spiritual chain) of Sufi orders leads back to the Prophet through one of the Twelve Imams. The Twelve Imams_sentence_14

List of Imams The Twelve Imams_section_1

The Twelve Imams_table_general_0

NumberThe Twelve Imams_header_cell_0_0_0 Calligraphic Name DepictionThe Twelve Imams_header_cell_0_0_1 Name KunyaThe Twelve Imams_header_cell_0_0_2 Arabic titleTurkish titleThe Twelve Imams_header_cell_0_0_3 Lived (CE) Lived (AH)Place of birthThe Twelve Imams_header_cell_0_0_4 Age when assumed ImamatThe Twelve Imams_header_cell_0_0_5 Age at deathThe Twelve Imams_header_cell_0_0_6 Duration of ImamatThe Twelve Imams_header_cell_0_0_7 ImportanceThe Twelve Imams_header_cell_0_0_8 Reason & place of death Place of burialThe Twelve Imams_header_cell_0_0_9
1The Twelve Imams_cell_0_1_0 The Twelve Imams_cell_0_1_1 Ali ibn Abi Talib

ٱلْإِمَام عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامAbu al-Hasan أَبُو ٱلْحَسَنThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_1_2

Birinci AliThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_1_3 600–661

23 (before Hijra)–40 Makkah, HijazThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_1_4

33The Twelve Imams_cell_0_1_5 61The Twelve Imams_cell_0_1_6 28The Twelve Imams_cell_0_1_7 Cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad. According to Twelver Shia belief he was the only person to have been born in the Ka'bah, the holiest site in Islam, and the first male to openly accept Islam. Considered by Shia Islam as the rightful Successor of Muhammad. Sunnis also acknowledge him as the fourth Caliph. He holds a high position in almost all Sufi Muslim orders (Turuq); the members of these orders trace their lineage to Muhammad through him.The Twelve Imams_cell_0_1_8 Assassinated by Abd al-Rahman ibn Muljam, a Kharijite, in Kufa, who struck his head with a poisoned sword while he was in prostration praying on the Night of Qadr in the month of Ramadan. Buried at the Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf, Iraq, according to Twelver Shia beliefs.The Twelve Imams_cell_0_1_9
2The Twelve Imams_cell_0_2_0 The Twelve Imams_cell_0_2_1 Hasan ibn Ali

ٱلْإِمَام ٱلْحَسَن ٱبْن عَلِيّ عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامAbu Muhammad أَبُو مُحَمَّدThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_2_2

İkinci AliThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_2_3 625–670

3–50 Madinah, HijazThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_2_4

39The Twelve Imams_cell_0_2_5 47The Twelve Imams_cell_0_2_6 8The Twelve Imams_cell_0_2_7 He was the eldest surviving grandson of Muhammad through Muhammad's daughter, Fatimah az-Zahra. Hasan succeeded his father as the caliph in Kufa, and on the basis of a peace treaty with Muawiyah, he relinquished control of Iraq following a Caliphate of seven months.The Twelve Imams_cell_0_2_8 Poisoned by his wife in Madinah on the orders of the Caliph Muawiyah. Buried in Jannat al-Baqi, Medina, Saudi Arabia.The Twelve Imams_cell_0_2_9
3The Twelve Imams_cell_0_3_0 The Twelve Imams_cell_0_3_1 Husayn ibn Ali

ٱلْإِمَام ٱلْحُسَيْن ٱبْن عَلِيّ عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامAbu Abdillah أَبُو عَبْد ٱللَّٰهThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_3_2

Üçüncü AliThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_3_3 626–680

4–61 Madinah, HijazThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_3_4

46The Twelve Imams_cell_0_3_5 57The Twelve Imams_cell_0_3_6 11The Twelve Imams_cell_0_3_7 He was a grandson of Muhammad and brother of Hasan ibn Ali. Husayn opposed the validity of Yazid ibn Muawiyah. As a result, he, his family and his companions were later killed in the Battle of Karbala by Yazid's forces. After this incident, the commemoration of Husayn ibn Ali has become central to Shia identity.The Twelve Imams_cell_0_3_8 Killed and beheaded at the Battle of Karbala. Buried at the Imam Husayn Mosque in Karbala, Iraq.The Twelve Imams_cell_0_3_9
4The Twelve Imams_cell_0_4_0 The Twelve Imams_cell_0_4_1 Ali ibn Husayn

ٱلْإِمَام عَلِيّ ٱبْن ٱلْحُسَيْن ٱلسَّجَّاد عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامAbu Muhammad أَبُو مُحَمَّدThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_4_2

Dördüncü AliThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_4_3 658/9 – 712

38–95 Madinah, HijazThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_4_4

23The Twelve Imams_cell_0_4_5 57The Twelve Imams_cell_0_4_6 34The Twelve Imams_cell_0_4_7 Author of prayers in Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya, which is known as "The Psalm of the Household of the Prophet." He survived the Battle of Karbala because he was told not to participate due to a debilitating illness.The Twelve Imams_cell_0_4_8 He was poisoned on the order of Caliph al-Walid I in Madinah. Buried in Jannat al-Baqi, Medina, Saudi Arabia.The Twelve Imams_cell_0_4_9
5The Twelve Imams_cell_0_5_0 The Twelve Imams_cell_0_5_1 Muhammad ibn Ali

ٱلْإِمَام مُحَمَّد ٱبْن عَلِيّ ٱلْبَاقِر عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامAbu Ja'far أَبُو جَعْفَرThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_5_2

Beşinci AliThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_5_3 677–732

57–114 Madinah, HijazThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_5_4

38The Twelve Imams_cell_0_5_5 57The Twelve Imams_cell_0_5_6 19The Twelve Imams_cell_0_5_7 Sunni and Shia sources both describe him as one of the early and most eminent legal scholars, teaching many students during his tenure.The Twelve Imams_cell_0_5_8 He was poisoned by Ibrahim ibn Walid ibn 'Abdallah in Madinah on the order of Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik. Buried in Jannat al-Baqi, Medina, Saudi Arabia.The Twelve Imams_cell_0_5_9
6The Twelve Imams_cell_0_6_0 The Twelve Imams_cell_0_6_1 Ja'far ibn Muhammad

ٱلْإِمَام جَعْفَر ٱبْن مُحَمَّد ٱلصَّادِق عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامAbu Abdillah أَبُو عَبْد ٱللَّٰهThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_6_2

Altıncı AliThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_6_3 702–765

83–148 Madinah, HijazThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_6_4

31The Twelve Imams_cell_0_6_5 65The Twelve Imams_cell_0_6_6 34The Twelve Imams_cell_0_6_7 Established the Ja'fari jurisprudence and developed the theology of Twelvers. He instructed many scholars in different fields, including Imams Abu Hanifah and Malik ibn Anas in fiqh, Wasil ibn Ata and Hisham ibn Hakam in Islamic theology, and Jabir ibn Hayyan in science and alchemy.The Twelve Imams_cell_0_6_8 He was poisoned in Madinah on the order of Caliph Al-Mansur. Buried in Jannat al-Baqi, Medina, Saudi Arabia.The Twelve Imams_cell_0_6_9
7The Twelve Imams_cell_0_7_0 The Twelve Imams_cell_0_7_1 Musa ibn Ja'far

ٱلْإِمَام مُوسَىٰ ٱبْن جَعْفَر ٱلْكَاظِم عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامAbu al-Hasan I أَبُو ٱلْحَسَن ٱلْأَوَّلThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_7_2

Yedinci AliThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_7_3 744–799

128–183 Al-Abwa', HijazThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_7_4

20The Twelve Imams_cell_0_7_5 55The Twelve Imams_cell_0_7_6 35The Twelve Imams_cell_0_7_7 Leader of the Shia community during the schism of Ismailis, and other branches such as Waqifis, after the death of the former Imam, Jafar al-Sadiq. He established the network of agents who collected khums in the Shia community of the Middle East and the Greater Khorasan. He holds a high position with the Mahdavia; the members of these orders trace their lineage to Muhammad the Prophet if Islam through him.The Twelve Imams_cell_0_7_8 Imprisoned and poisoned in Baghdad, Iraq on the order of Caliph Harun al-Rashid, according to Shia belief. Buried in the Al-Kazimiyah Mosque in Baghdad, Iraq.The Twelve Imams_cell_0_7_9
8The Twelve Imams_cell_0_8_0 The Twelve Imams_cell_0_8_1 Ali ibn Musa

ٱلْإِمَام عَلِيّ ٱبْن مُوسَىٰ ٱلرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامAbu al-Hasan II أَبُو ٱلْحَسَن ٱلثَّانِيThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_8_2

Sekizinci AliThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_8_3 765–817

148–203 Madinah, HijazThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_8_4

35The Twelve Imams_cell_0_8_5 55The Twelve Imams_cell_0_8_6 20The Twelve Imams_cell_0_8_7 Made crown-prince by Caliph Al-Ma'mun, and famous for his discussions with both Muslim and non-Muslim religious scholars.The Twelve Imams_cell_0_8_8 According to Shia sources, he was poisoned in Mashad, Iran on the order of Caliph Al-Ma'mun. Buried in the Imam Rida Mosque in Mashad, Iran.The Twelve Imams_cell_0_8_9
9The Twelve Imams_cell_0_9_0 The Twelve Imams_cell_0_9_1 Muhammad ibn Ali

ٱلْإِمَام مُحَمَّد ٱبْن عَلِيّ ٱلْجَوَّاد عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامAbu Ja'far أَبُو جَعْفَرThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_9_2

Dokuzuncu AliThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_9_3 810–835

195–220 Madinah, HijazThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_9_4

8The Twelve Imams_cell_0_9_5 25The Twelve Imams_cell_0_9_6 17The Twelve Imams_cell_0_9_7 Famous for his generosity and piety in the face of persecution by the Abbasid caliphate.The Twelve Imams_cell_0_9_8 Poisoned by his wife, Al-Ma'mun's daughter, in Baghdad, Iraq on the order of Caliph Al-Mu'tasim. Buried in the Al-Kazimiyah Mosque in Baghdad, Iraq.The Twelve Imams_cell_0_9_9
10The Twelve Imams_cell_0_10_0 The Twelve Imams_cell_0_10_1 Ali ibn Muhammad

ٱلْإِمَام عَلِيّ ٱبْن مُحَمَّد ٱلْهَادِي عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامAbu al-Hasan III أَبُو ٱلْحَسَن ٱلثَّالِثThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_10_2

Onuncu AliThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_10_3 827–868

212–254 Surayya, a village near Madinah, HijazThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_10_4

8The Twelve Imams_cell_0_10_5 42The Twelve Imams_cell_0_10_6 34The Twelve Imams_cell_0_10_7 Strengthened the network of deputies in the Shia community. He sent them instructions, and received in turn financial contributions of the faithful from the khums and religious vows.The Twelve Imams_cell_0_10_8 He was poisoned in Samarra, Iraq on the order of Caliph Al-Mu'tazz. Buried in the Al Askari Mosque in Samarra, Iraq.The Twelve Imams_cell_0_10_9
11The Twelve Imams_cell_0_11_0 The Twelve Imams_cell_0_11_1 Hasan ibn Ali

ٱلْإِمَام ٱلْحَسَن ٱبْن عَلِيّ ٱلْعَسْكَرِيّ عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامAbu al-Mahdi أَبُو ٱلْمَهْدِيّThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_11_2

Onbirinci AliThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_11_3 846–874

232–260 Madinah, HijazThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_11_4

22The Twelve Imams_cell_0_11_5 28The Twelve Imams_cell_0_11_6 6The Twelve Imams_cell_0_11_7 For most of his life, the Abbasid Caliph, Al-Mu'tamid, placed restrictions on him after the death of his father. Repression of the Shia population was particularly high at the time due to their large size and growing power.The Twelve Imams_cell_0_11_8 He was poisoned on the order of Caliph Al-Mu'tamid in Samarra, Iraq. Buried in Al-Askari Mosque in Samarra, Iraq.The Twelve Imams_cell_0_11_9
12The Twelve Imams_cell_0_12_0 The Twelve Imams_cell_0_12_1 Hujjat Allah ibn al-Hasan

ٱلْإِمَام حُجَّة ٱللَّٰه ٱبْن ٱلْحَسَن ٱلْمَهْدِيّ عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامAbu al-Qasim أَبُو ٱلْقَاسِمThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_12_2

Onikinci AliThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_12_3 869–present

255–present Samarra, IraqThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_12_4

5The Twelve Imams_cell_0_12_5 unknownThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_12_6 presentThe Twelve Imams_cell_0_12_7 According to Twelver Shia doctrine, he is the current Imam and the promised Mahdi, a messianic figure who will return with the prophet Isa (Jesus). He will reestablish the rightful governance of Islam and establish justice and peace in the whole earth.The Twelve Imams_cell_0_12_8 According to Twelver Shia doctrine, he has been living in the Occultation since 874, and will continue as long as God wills.The Twelve Imams_cell_0_12_9

See also The Twelve Imams_section_2

The Twelve Imams_unordered_list_0

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: Twelve Imams.