Below you would see complete article written by shia forum member.
Assuming Islam can be proven to be true, is there proof of Shiism being true. The first place that one would look for evidence of Imamate is in a book which claims to be the book of guidance that has an explanation of all things. A book wherein there is guidance for the God-fearing.
The main verse to prove Imamate is 4:59. Now Sunnis interpret to refer to authorities and see the obedience as conditional. Shias argue that there is no conditional obedience but that it’s an absolute command. This is a case where people can see a phrase and imagine extra invisible words in it, that are inherent in it, because the literal meaning is absurd. This is not the only place this happens in Quran, so this is to no surprise. Shias however insist on it being literally true without it being conditional and no conditions are implied in the sentence. They believe due to this, those to be obeyed must be infallible, because a fallible person may issue commands that are contrary to God’s Commands. However this is a fallacy of the excluded middle. One option that hasn’t been considered is that a person can only have authority as long as he doesn’t command contrary to God’s Commands. As soon as he commands people to disobey God, then he looses his authority and the position of authority is stripped from him.
A thing contrary to Shia interpretation, is that the verse is commanding people of general authority. If only infallibles are these authorities, then infallibles cannot appoint authorities on their behalf, neither can there be an authority in absence of infallibles, which no society can function without. At any rate, this verse is certainly not conclusive to prove Imamate in Shia way of understanding. It is further complicated by 4:83 which intuitively (perhaps not conclusively) gives an understanding of ulil-amr against the Shia understanding.
The other verse which is used as proof is 33:33. The word athhab in other places of Quran clearly means remove, and at the very least it’s not conclusive that it means keep away uncleanness from them. It seems rather the Quran is expressing God’s desire to purify them. There is some issue with the “Inama” and what it excludes, but it excluding Ahlebayt for that wish, seems obviously wrong, as God intends by other verses to completely purify others as well. As God wishes to remove grief from people in paradise, it being exclussion of what God wishes to “yuthhab” to be uncleanness from them seems to be incorrect as well. At the end, there seems to be really no clear meaning as to what the Inama is for. The impression most people get the first time is that it’s dealing with the only thing God intends with these commands. A problem is that it seems God desires more with such command like wishing to grant paradise and wishing more honor after purification and more spiritual level after purification, so there is a problem there. I’ve seen a suggesting it’s emphasizing that’s it but a wish to purify them, I don’t know if it makes sense, but it would mean it’s not to be exaggerated beyond a wish to purify them. I honestly don’t know how it can be read that way but at the very least, it doesn’t seem this verse is conclusive to prove anything about the people it’s addressing.
The verse 5:55 is another proof. It’s said it’s the authority of Ali along with that of God and his Messenger. The Inama would mean only these are Wali over believers. However, Shias take other Imams as authorities, so how can it be just God, the Messenger, and Ali? If there is no exclusion by the Inama, then why can’t it mean friend? Even if Ali is just referred to, why can’t it mean friend or ally? It seems rather that what it means here is ally and refers to a general description of believers. However an argument against this is why aren’t angles included if it means friend and ally. I’ve seen that their friendship and alliance is included as God’s, because Angels lack free-will, and are agents of God. It’s not a convincing explanation to me, but anyway you look at it, there is no conclusive proof either way of Imamate.
The verse 42:23. The issue with this verse is that it can have so many meanings. When you investigate the meanings with 25:57, you can see that it can’t be really love of your own kin or kinship quraysh had with each other. However, it seems not to make sense even with love of ahlebayt. How can it be said the whole path towards God is love of Ahlebayt? Another view that can be given to it, is that it refers to love of closeness to God. There is a verse that states all those whom strive for God will be guided in God’s ways. So it seems this explanation is a plausible as love of Ahlebayt if not more valid. Again, we don’t see conclusive proof.
These are basically the only evidence I know of in Quran without hadiths.
When we come and look at hadiths. It’s a whole different game. First what makes a hadith credible? If you don’t trust the hadiths of Sunnis, then how can hadiths favoring Ahlebayt be conclusive proof. At most, if authentic hadiths support your view, it would make their hadith system inconsistent. But there is many hadiths that support the righteousness of Abu Baker and Umar and even superiority of them at that. Why don’t you take these as authoritative? Well because you don’t take Sunni Rijaal as authoritative, right. So why should Sunni hadiths about Ali and Imams be authoritative?
Well we can say perhaps there is so much hadiths of one incident that it really can’t be doubted. And really when it comes to that, I think it really comes down to “Ali Mawla” hadith and thaqalain hadith.
Well for hadithal thaqalain, exactly what was said is not known. Narrations authentic and weak differ exactly about what was said. But they all seem to be suggesting there is some weight the family of the Prophet has. If we give what majority have said, we can even say it emphasized on taking guidance from them. But one thing to note, it didn’t state only to take guidance from them. It also didn’t state, if you don’t take guidance from them, you will be astray. In other words, at most, these hadiths are saying his family is a source of guidance.
Now the word family is not all to clear. Shias believe it was given a special meaning that excluded people whom normally would be included in family. But is this conclusive? Sometimes when people take about family, they mean certain members in exclusion of others. For example, if your married and have kids, you sometimes will refer to your family as your wife and kids. If you don’t have wife and kids, sometimes you will refer to your family as your brothers and parents. Sometimes it will be more then that, and include Uncles, Aunts and cousins. It depends on the context many times.
However one thing for sure it doesn’t have to mean, is that it doesn’t have to mean all future descendants. It could be referring to his cousins, uncles, and their children, at that time, whom he trusted were guided, and were taught the religion well, but not be referring to all future descendants included in whom he meant he is leaving as a weighty guidance.
So the notion it either includes all future descendants of Ali, Jaffar, Aqeel, And Abbas, or is a special chosen family (Fatima + 12 Imams) is a fallacy of excluded middle.
At the end, it doesn’t seem all to clear what he meant. Ali being Mawla is also not all to clear to mean Master. While it seems an odd thing to say friend, perhaps, it had to do with how much heroes and people Ali killed, perhaps it was due to an incident. Although friend is an odd thing to say in front of masses, it’s even more odd to pick a word that is open to interpretation as opposed to picking a word that will clearly establish the authority of Ali. This is ofcourse all in the context that he is a Messenger of God.
When did people really start understanding as friend instead of Master? Did one generation all understand it as Master, and then generation that followed them began to interpret it as friend? Does that make sense? Or really was there a misunderstanding.
The event of mubahila and harun manizalat hadith are not as widespread as ghadeer declaration. If you take these hadiths as authoritative in Sunni sources, why not take the hadiths from Ali stating Abu Baker and Umar and Uthman are first, second, and third best in community after Messenger of God, respectively, as authoritative? At the end, somewhat evidence, while you can have interpretation war, but even why it is taken as authoritative while not accepting other hadiths that are narrated just as frequently in their sources…is really a contradictory position to take. At most you can show Sunni hadiths have a contradiction, which will not prove Shiism to be true. It will just show Sunni rijaal is not authoritative and is wrong.
The hadith about 12 Caliphs from Quraysh although narrated with many chains, is at the end narrated from one companion. When did Shias trust all companions to make this one trustworthy? What if the man made it up? At the end, it’s not conclusive either.
While the last three hadiths I mentioned can be evidence, it’s not conclusive proof. At the end, it seems Shiism lacks conclusive proof.
Now to consider the 8 Imams after Hussain, where do they get their evidence from? Shia hadiths…of course isn’t that circular reasoning to trust shia hadiths to establish their Imamate? So there proof seems to be established on circular reasoning. There can be all sorts of reasons shias fabricated it, and at the end, you are trusting shias to establish Imamate of Imams, but you trust them due to believe of Imamate of Imams.
At the end, Shiism is not founded on any conclusive evidence.