The concept of the Imams of Ahlul-Bayt being confined to a specific number was planted in the second century by a group of people who falsely claimed to be the partisans of the Ahl al-Bayt, the likes of Hisham ibn al-Hakam the mujassim and Shaytan al-Taq. The following narrations shall prove that Imam Jafar ibn Muhammad (al-Sadiq) is free of this Rafidi belief:
حدثنا محمد بن عاصم حدثنا شبابة عن الفضيل بن مرزوق قال: سألت عمر بن علي وحسين بن علي عمي جعفر قال: قلت: هل فيكم إنسان من أهل البيت أحد مفترض طاعته تعرفون له ذلك. ومن لم يعرف له ذلك فمات مات ميتة جاهلية. فقال: لا والله ما هذا فينا من قال هذا فينا فهو كذاب. قال: فقلت لعمر بن علي: رحمك الله إن هذه منزلة إنهم يزعمون أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أوصى إلى علي وأن عليا أوصى إلى الحسن وأن الحسن أوصى إلى الحسين وأن الحسين أوصى إلى ابنه علي بن الحسين وأن علي بن الحسين أوصى إلى ابنه محمد بن علي. قال: والله لقد مات أبي فما أوصاني بحرفين مالهم قاتلهم الله إن هؤلاء إلا متأكلين بنا. هذا خنيس وهذا خنيس الحر وما خنيس الحر. قال:قلت: له: هذا المعلى بن خنيس. قال: نعم المعلى بن خنيس والله لقد أفكرت على فراشي طويلا أتعجب من قوم لبس الله عز وجل عقولهم حتى أضلهم المعلى بن خنيس
جزء ابن عاصم – محمد بن عاصم الأصبهاني – الصفحة ١٢٤
Jafar ibn Muhammad (al-Sadiq) was asked: “Is there any amongst you Ahlul-Bayt whose obedience is obligatory, and will those who are ignorant of this die the death of Jahiliyyah?” He (i.e. al-Sadiq) said, “No by Allah, none of us says such a thing, and whoever says such a thing about us is a liar.” I then said to Umar ibn Ali: “May Allah have mercy upon you, they (i.e. Rafidah) claim that the Prophet () designated Ali as his successor and Ali designated al-Hasan and al-Hasan designated al-Husayn and al-Husayn designated his son Ali ibn al-Husayn and Ali ibn al-Husayn designated his son Muhammad ibn Ali.” He (i.e. Umar ibn Ali) said, “By Allah, my father (i.e. Ali ibn Abi Talib) did not designate anybody. What is wrong with them (i.e. Rafidah)? may Allah destroy them! These people enrich themsleves misusing our names. This Khunays* and that Khunays…” I said, “You mean al-Mu’alla ibn Khunays?” He said: “Yes, al-Mu’alla ibn Khunays. By Allah, I have been contemplating deeply, and I wonder about a people whose minds are so clouded by Allah Almighty that a person like al-Mu’alla ibn Khunays has led them astray.” (Juz ibn Asim al-Thaqafi al-Asbahani, p. 124 with a sahih chain of narration)
NOTE: The Kufan al-Mu’alla ibn al-Khunays (killed by the Abbasids) is, according to the hadith scholars, an unreliable extremist Rafidi heretic (zindiq) who spread Ghuluw and attributed it to the Ahlul-Bayt. He narrated a number of Hadith (lies) in the Books of the Twelver Shia, including some on the virtues (!) of Majoosi Nowruz. Some Shia scholars have questioned his reliability, however, other major influential Shia scholars such as al-Tusi, and the likes of ‘Ayatollah’ al-Khoie, have declared the heretic al-Mu’alla to be a pious disciple and companion of Imam al-Sadiq, claiming the Imam promised paradise to zindiq al-Mu’ala, wallahu al-Musta’an!
Similar narrations are found in the Books of the Twelvers (which they of course try to explain with absurd mental gymnastics):
جعفر، عن فضالة بن أيوب و غير واحد، عن معاوية بن عمار، عن سعيد الأعرج، قال، : كنا عند أبي عبد الله (عليه السلام) فاستأذن له رجلان، فأذن لهما، فقال أحدهما أفيكم إمام مفترض الطاعة قال ما أعرف ذلك فينا، قال بالكوفة قوم يزعمون أن فيكم إماما مفترض الطاعة، و هم لا يكذبون أصحاب ورع و اجتهاد و تمييز، فهم عبد الله بن أبي يعفور و فلان و فلان، فقال أبو عبد الله (عليه السلام) ما أمرتهم بذلك و لا قلت لهم أن يقولوه، قال فما ذنبي و احمر وجهه و غضب غضبا شديدا، قال، فلما رأيا الغضب في وجهه قاما فخرجا، قال أ تعرفون الرجلين قلنا نعم هما رجلان من الزيدية، و هما يزعمان أن سيف رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) عند عبد الله بن الحسن، فقال كذبوا عليهم لعنة الله ثلاث مرات، لا و الله ما رءاه عبد الله و لا أبوه الذي ولده بواحدة من عينيه قط، ثم قال اللهم إلا أن يكون رءاه على علي بن الحسين و هو متقلده، فإن كانوا صادقين فاسألوهم ما علامته فإن في ميمنته علامة و في ميسرته علامة، و قال و الله إن عندي لسيف رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) و لامته، و الله إن عندي لراية رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)، و الله إن عندي لألواح موسى (عليه السلام) و عصاه، و الله إن عندي لخاتم سليمان بن داود، و الله إن عندي الطست التي كان موسى (عليه السلام) يقرب فيها القربان، و الله إن عندي لمثل الذي جاءت به الملائكة تحمله و الله إن عندي للشيء الذي كان رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) يضعه بين المسلمين و المشركين فلا يصل إلى المسلمين نشابة، ثم قال إن الله عز و جل أوحى إلى طالوت أنه لن يقتل جالوت إلا من لبس درعك ملأها، فدعى طالوت جنده رجلا رجلا فألبسهم الدرع فلم يملأها أحد منهم إلا داود، فقال يا داود إنك أنت تقتل جالوت فابرز إليه فبرز إليه فقتله، فإن قائمنا إن شاء الله من إذا لبس درع رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) يملأها و قد لبسها أبو جعفر فخطت عليه و لبستها أنا فكانت و كانت
Ja’far from Fadhala b. Ayyub and more than one from Muawiya b. Ammar from Sa’id al-A’raj who said: we were with Abu Abdallah (al-Sadiq) when two man sought permission (to enter upon him), and he granted them permission. One of them said: is there among you (i.e. the Ahlulbayt) an Imam whose obedience is obligatory? he (al-Sadiq) said: I do not know of such a one among us, he (the man) said: in Kufa there is a group who claim that among you there is an Imam whose obedience is obligatory, and they do not lie, the people of righteousness, and striving, and discernment, among them is Abdallah b. Abi Ya’fur, and so and so, and so and so, so Abu Abdallah (al-Sadiq) said: I did not command them that nor did I say to them to say it, so what is my fault, and his face reddened, and he became intensely angry, he (Sa’id) said: so when they both saw the anger in his face, they stood up and left, he (al-Sadiq) said: do you know the two men? We said: yes, they are two men from the Zaydis, and they claim that the sword of the Messenger of Allah () is with Abdallah b. al-Hasan, so he (al-Sadiq) said: they have lied, may Allah curse them – thrice, No, by Allah! Abdallah has never seen it, nor his father who begat him – with either one of his eyes, then he said: Except if he had seen it upon (with) Ali b. al-Husayn and he was wearing (carrying) it around his neck, so if they are indeed truthful (i.e. in this assertion) then ask them what its (i.e. the sword’s) signs (emblems) are, for on its right there is a sign, and on its left there is a sign, and he (al-Sadiq) said: by Allah! I do have the sword of the messenger of Allah () and his breast plate, by Allah! I do have the banner of the messenger of Allah, by Allah! I do have the tablets of Moses () and his cane, by Allah! I do have the ring of Solomon the son of David (), by Allah! I do have the altar basin upon which Moses () used to offer the sacrificial offering (i.e. which was kept in the Tabernacle), by Allah! I do have the like of that which was brought by the angels (who were) carrying (bearing) it (i.e. the Ark of the Covenant), by Allah! I do have the thing which if the messenger of Allah () used to place it in between the Muslims and the polytheists not an arrow reaches the Muslims (from the polytheists), then he said: Allah – the Mighty and Majestic – revealed to Saul: Goliath will not be killed except by the one who wears your armor and fits it perfectly, so Saul called his soldiers one after the other, so he made them wear the armor, so no one fitted it except for David, so he (Saul) said: O David, you will kill Goliath, so go out to him (challenge him to a duel i.e. one-on-one combat), so he faced him and killed him, and our Riser – if Allah wills – is the one who – if he wears the armor of the messenger of Allah – he fits it, and Abu Ja’far (al-Baqir) had tried it on – so it was larger than him, and I tried it on (wore it) and it was so and so (i.e. almost there but not yet). (Ikhtiyar Ma’rifat al-Rijal also known as Rijal al-Kashshi, p. 427)
Here is the al-Kafi version of the narration, followed by a desperate and pathetic attempt at damage control:
Mulla Salih al-Mazandarani (ملا صالح المازندراني, d. 1086 AH) says in his commentary Sharh Usul al-Kafi (a ten-volume commentary on the most sahih of the four books of hadiths in Shi’ism known as al-Kafi by Kulayni, d. 329 AH) says:
قوله (قال: فقال: لا) أجاب بذلك على سبيل التورية والمقصود أنه ليس في بني فلان من أولاد علي (عليه السلام) إمام مفترض الطاعة أو أنه ليس فينا إمام مفترض الطاعة بزعمكم فيخرج بذلك عن الكذب.
“His (al-Sadiq’s) statement of ‘no’ (rejection of Imamah) was by way of Tawriyah (to say something intending other than what is normally understood from it) and what is meant is that in such and such clan from the descendants of Ali () there is no Imam whose obedience has been imposed as a duty by Allah or that there is no Imam whose obedience has been imposed as a duty by Allah according to you (questioners i.e. the Zaydis). This is how he (al-Sadiq) avoided lying.” (Sharh Usul al-Kafi by Muhammad Salih al-Mazandarani, vol. 5, pg. 323)
Comment: An alleged infallible guide for mankind acting as if he’s Riddler, playing word games instead of standing up for his alleged God-given Imamah! Mind you, the ‘infallible’ wasn’t interrogated by the cruel Mossad, CIA or MI6, or its Umayyad equivalent, he was approached by a group of Shi’ites, Zaydis (Zaydiyyah) to be precise. Aren’t even these folks worthy of being told the alleged truth? Heck, how that they (Shi’ites of the times of al-Sadiq) were confused in this matter in the first place? Twelvers claim the Qur’an is filled with evidence for the alleged Imamah of their Imams, and so is the Sunnah. Modern day Shia polemicists (mis)use) hadiths like the twelve caliphs/rulers one with utmost confidence, how come that they know better than the early Shi’ites? Of course, the truth is that the above reliable (reliable according to Twelver standards) narration attributed to Jafar al-Sadiq is nothing but a fabrication, however, a fabrication that includes some truth; a truth that the fabricators and heretics who lied upon the Ahlul-Bayt tried to mix with falsehood (a ridiculous one on top of it, in the form of a fuming ‘infallible’ Imam who suddenly turns brave and loud after the guests leave, cursing them and boasting about his relic collection. Undoubtedly, al-Sadiq is free of such fabrications).
Imagine for a second one of the Prophets being visited by truth-seekers (or even vicious enemies for that matter) and being asked if he’s Wajib al-Ta’ah (someone whose obedience has been imposed as a duty by Allah for mankind) and the Prophet replied back that he has no knowledge of such thing and that he did not command anybody to do or say so! Even under dire situations, like when Prophet Muhammad kept a low profile in his temporary early stages of Da’wah (of course he never denied his Prophethood out of ‘Taqiyyah’. As a matter of fact, true Hujjaj (signs of Allah), the Prophets, endured all forms of harm, some were even thrown into the fire yet none of them ever denied their Prophethood and the obligation of others to follow and obey him), yet the Twelvers want us to believe that an alleged guide for mankind did exactly that i.e. Taqiyyah!
Besides, how come the Shi’ites of the times of al-Sadiq were confused in this matter, yet we have modern-day Shia polemicists who (misuse) hadiths (like the twelve caliphs/rulers) and know better than them?!
Of course, Al-Sadiq and other great Imams of the progeny of Muhammad () never claimed to be infallible Imams whose obedience has been ordered by Allah and His Messenger, that is why there was confusion among various (political) Shia groups in the first place. The Ghulat, the extremists who claimed to be disciples of the Imams had always an excuse ready for contradicting statements (that people heard from the Imams). The excuse of Taqiyyah effectively stole the authority of the Imams, as now no statement or action of the Imam could be taken on face value. Its true implication could only be sought from those who claim fellowship with them and they could claim whatever they wish, just like the Rafidah Imamites do today.