The existential/cosmological dimension to the personality of the Imam

In the world of existence,  some things are a cause with specific effects on other things, like water (the cause) to quench the thirst (the effect) of a human being, and we can say that there exists an existential correlation between a cause and its effect. So, when we come to investigate the reality of the existential role of the Imam, we need to first investigate this correlation between causes and their effects, and to differentiate between ‘mentally posited’ (subjective) concepts and ‘existential (objective) ones.

‘Mentally posited’, or subjective, concepts like political leadership, vary with time, place, and human factors like the type of government and political systems in place, since it is the human population that decides who to elect and how. Populations can elect and overthrow a political leader/party/regime at a time (and method) of their choosing. The same applies to the concept of (subjective) ownership of consumer items like cars and private property, which can be transferred from one owner to the next with no limitations. There is no existential connection between the people and their leader, or a person and his house like that between a person and his eye-sight or the ability to move his/her arms. We are able to transplant body parts, but not the senses which utilize these body parts in order to function.

So the question is: has the infallible Imam been given a similar existential role in relation to the world of existence? If the answer is in the affirmative, and we are able to prove this existential dimension to the personality of the Imam, then it becomes self-evident that the political responsibility undertaken by the Imam is secondary to his existential role.

The theological scholars of the Sunni school, however, reduced the Imam’s responsibility to a single dimension, political leadership in the earthly realm (as mentioned in previous posts). This was the cause for the ‘frustration’ with their Shi’a counterparts with respect to this on-going dispute (the concept of Imamah), and that it (Imamah defined as political leadership) is out-of-date and debating it is a pointless exercise. Since the (Twelver Shi’a) 12th Imam is in occultation and therefore plays no role in people’s lives, so what’s the point in believing in his existence or his occultation if he cannot rule as leader of the Islamic nation? (We have refuted this fallacy in previous posts, and the refutation should be further clarified once the existential dimension of the Imam is demonstrated).

The theory behind the existential role of the Imam

Before we delve into this fascinating theory, we require some introductory points:

1) Mankind was created in this world for a reason and has itself a goal:

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ

And I have not created the jinn and the men except that they should serve Me.                (Al Dhariyat:56)

which is to become servants of God through acts of worship. However, this goal is an intermediary station to the final one, which is to reach a state of ‘certainty’:

وَاعْبُدْ رَ‌بَّكَ حَتَّىٰ يَأْتِيَكَ الْيَقِينُ

And serve your Lord until there comes to you that which is certain. (Al Hijr:99)

This (certainty) is the most honourable goal a human being could attain, as is stated in the description of Prophet Ibrahim’s path to spiritual perfection:

وَكَذَٰلِكَ نُرِ‌ي إِبْرَ‌اهِيمَ مَلَكُوتَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ وَلِيَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُوقِنِينَ

And thus did We show Ibrahim the kingdom of the heavens and the earth and that he might be of those who are certain.(Al An’am:75)

And the goal of certainty is to reach nearness to Allah (swt) and the return to Him:

أَفَحَسِبْتُمْ أَنَّمَا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ عَبَثًا وَأَنَّكُمْ إِلَيْنَا لَا تُرْ‌جَعُونَ

What! did you then think that We had created you in vain and that you shall not be returned to Us? (Al Mu’minun:115)

يَا أَيُّهَا الْإِنسَانُ إِنَّكَ كَادِحٌ إِلَىٰ رَ‌بِّكَ كَدْحًا فَمُلَاقِيهِ

O man! surely you must strive (to attain) to your Lord, a hard striving until you meet Him. (Al Inshiqaq:6)

2) Mankind is not able to identify what perfections it needs to seek and attain solely relying on its senses and intellect, for both its worldly and other-worldly happiness. Nor what the shortest way to reach these perfections could be. This is where the role of the divine religions comes into play, which show us which perfections to follow (certainty in their belief in God through reaching nearness to Him), and the quickest and shortest routes to attain them (‘the straight path’). And since mankind is unable to establish these two requirements by itself, it is in need of divine guidance, in its different forms:

a. The first is the innate disposition, which every human being is born with (fitrah):

فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا ۚ فِطْرَ‌تَ اللَّـهِ الَّتِي فَطَرَ‌ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا ۚ لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّـهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ‌ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

Then set your face upright for religion in the right state- the nature (fitrah) made by Allah in which He has made men; there is no altering of Allah’s creation; that is the right religion, but most people do not know. (Al Rum:30)

and is a fixed divine reality:

سُنَّةَ اللَّـهِ فِي الَّذِينَ خَلَوْا مِن قَبْلُ ۖ وَلَن تَجِدَ لِسُنَّةِ اللَّـهِ تَبْدِيلًا

(Such has been) the course of Allah with respect to those who have gone before; and you shall not find any change in the course of Allah. (Al Ahzab:62)

فَلَن تَجِدَ لِسُنَّتِ اللَّـهِ تَبْدِيلًا ۖ وَلَن تَجِدَ لِسُنَّتِ اللَّـهِ تَحْوِيلًا

For you shall not find any alteration in the course of Allah; and you shall not find any change in the course of Allah. (Fatir:43)

However, this innate guidance does neither specify the perfections, nor the path to attain them. It gives mankind the desire and motivation to attain limitless degrees of virtues and knowledge.

b. The second is the legislative guidance, embodied by prophets and messengers carrying divine messages to show mankind the path towards their intended goals and happiness (nearness to God).

c. The third is existential guidance, which can be also defined to be ‘aiding the traveller towards his goal’, whereas the second type of guidance (showing the path), does not guarantee the traveller to reach his goal. This type of guidance does not allow for deviation, since there is a guarantee that the one guiding the individual will take him to his intended goal.

3) Everything has been created for mankind’s utilization:

اللَّـهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضَ وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَخْرَ‌جَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَ‌اتِ رِ‌زْقًا لَّكُمْ ۖ وَسَخَّرَ‌ لَكُمُ الْفُلْكَ لِتَجْرِ‌يَ فِي الْبَحْرِ‌ بِأَمْرِ‌هِ ۖ وَسَخَّرَ‌ لَكُمُ الْأَنْهَارَ‌

Allah is He Who created the heavens and the earth and sent down water from the clouds, then brought forth with it fruits as a sustenance for you, and He has made the ships subservient to you, that they might run their course in the sea by His command, and He has made the rivers subservient to you.(Ibrahim:32)

وَسَخَّرَ‌ لَكُم مَّا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ جَمِيعًا مِّنْهُ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُ‌ونَ

And He has made subservient to you whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth, all, from Himself; most surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect.     (Al Jathiyah:13)

Some people think that this ‘gift to utilize’ is a privilege to humanity which they can exploit how they pleased. In fact, humanity’s abilities and intellect are the gifts given to them to utilise everything else that has been created in an intelligent and just manner. Therefore, the world is a responsibility on mankinds shoulders. We find in narrations that each part in our body has a right on us to treat it in the way God intended. So every blessing and gift given to us, has a corresponding responsibility attached to it. [1]

This is where the Quranic idea of ‘divine vicegerency’ becomes clear, since it means that mankind, as God’s representatives on Earth, have a divine responsibility towards all the things that have been created for them. Yet, they are able to refuse this responsibility as a result of their power of free will, and instead utilise these gifts in the path of evil and corruption instead of good and justice.

So, the Quranic system has promised the third type of (existential) guidance exclusively to the Imam. And the role of mankind is to follow in the footsteps of these 3 guidances towards divine closeness and its intended goal and perfection.

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[1] Wasa’el Al Shi’a, Vol. 15, Book of Jihad of the soul, pg.172; or the Book of Rights, by Imam Zain-ul Abideen (as).

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Deeper message of Ghadir

The occasion of Eid Al Ghadir earns a special importance, having a certain attachment in the lives of the believers throughout the year, since through it, they confirm one of the principles (usool) of their religion, while the rest of the religious holidays are linked to the branches (furu’) of religion. Hence we see great emphasis on such a great day, it is the greatest Eid of Allah (swt)!

There are striking episodes in Eid Al Ghadir, worthy of contemplation. Some celebrate this occasion without going into the depth of the occasion and the lessons it contains:

First: The Holy Prophet (pbuh) garnered this position for the Farewell Pilgrimage, the last pilgrimage of the Holy Prophet (pbuh):

The Messenger of Allah [s] declared: “It seems the time approached when I shall be called away (by Allah) and I shall answer that call. I am leaving for you two precious things and if you adhere to them both,  you will never go astray after me. They are the Book of Allah and my Progeny, that is my Ahlul Bayt. The two shall never separate from each other until they come to me by the Pool (of Paradise).” Then the Messenger of Allah continued: “Do I not have more right over the believers than what they have over themselves?”  People cried and answered: “Yes, O’ Messenger of God.” The Prophet [s] held up the hand of ‘Ali and said: “For whoever I am his Leader (mawla), ‘Ali is his Leader (mawla).” The Prophet [s] continued:”O’ God, love those who love him, and be hostile to those who are hostile to him.”

From the above sermon, it can be understand that this event is of utmost importance, since it is not an call to love Ali (as), but it is to make him a successor of the Holy Prophet (may God bless him and his family). The principle of successorship and wilayah is ingrained in the human being (in his fitrah), and is a standard prophetic principle: when Musa (peace be upon him) went into seclusion for forty days, left his brother Haroon behind to lead his people, and all the the Holy Prophet (may God bless him and his family) did, is to follow this prophetic principle and the sunnah of his predecessors.

Second: One of the notable things, is the linking of religious holidays to worship. The day of Ghadir is the day of wilayah, but recommended acts (mustahhab) on that day, are: prayer (salat)- and prostration (sujuud) to Allah (swt) thanking Him for this blessing!

Thus, the issue is an issue of wilayah, of leadership and obedience, but even this day of the wilayah is a call to tawheed. As one of the main acts after reciting ziyarah of Imam Hussein (as) is to pray 2 rak’ahs of ziyarah, where we announce after the prayer:

(Oh Allah! .. I prayed and kneeled and bowed to you, alone, without a partner for you, because prayer and kneeling and prostrating is not be done except for you, for you are Allah and there is no God but You. . Oh Allah! .. bless Muhammad and his progeny, and send them for me the best greetings and peace. Oh Allah! .. These two rak’ahs are a gift from me to my Mawla and Master and Imam Hussein Bin Ali peace be upon them. OhAllah! Bless Muhammad and his family and accept this from me, and grant me better hope and hope in You and in Your waliy O Most Merciful).

The one performing ziyarah next to the tomb of the Infallible Imam, is praying towards the Qiblah, his object and purpose being the Lord of the worlds, Allah (swt). Thus, there is an extremely close correlation between the principle of wilayah, and the principle of tawheed.

And the acceptance of this wilayah has conditions, And [mention] when your Lord took from the children of Adam – from their loins – their descendants and made them testify of themselves, [saying to them], “Am I not your Lord?” They said, “Yes, we have testified.”} .. When we say: Yes, then we must commit ourselves to the Shari’ah. Also those who accepted the wilayah of the Commander of the Faithful (peace be upon him), upon them are conditions. As Imam Al Baqir (as) said:

‘The most regretful people on Day of Resurrection, are those who claimed to follow the truth (through words), yet go against this truth (in their actions)’.

So one who claims to be on the path of the Ahlul Bayt ( peace be upon them), yet in his actions exhibits goes against their teachings, will feel the most regret on the Day of Resurrection!

Imam of our time–Part 3

Continued from last post:

It is true that in the view of Ibn Umar, political power is the determinant of Imamate! Muslim records:

It has been reported on the authority of Nafi, that ‘Abdullah b. Umar paid a visit to Abdullah b. Muti’ in the days (when atrocities were perpetrated on the people of Medina) at Harra in the time of Yazid b. Mu’awiya. Ibn Muti’ said: Place a pillow for Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman (family name of ‘Abdullah b. Umar). But the latter said: I have not come to visit with you. I have come to you to tell you a tradition I heard from the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him). I heard him say: One who withdraws his hand from obedience (to the Amir) will find no argument (in hid defence) when he stands before Allah on the Day of Judgment, and one who dies without having bound himself by an oath of allegiance (to an Amir) will die the death of one belonging to the days Jahiliyya. [Sahih Muslim, Book 20, Number 4562]

Ibn Taymiyyah al-Nasibi in his Minhaj al-Sunnah, vol. 1, p. 110 comments on this Hadith in this manner:

وهذا حدَّثَ به عبد الله بن عمر لعبد الله بن مطيع بن الأسود لمّا خلعوا طاعة أمير وقتهم يزيد ، مع أنه كان فيه من الظلم ما كان ، ثم إنه اقتتل هو وهم ، وفعل بأهل الحرة أموراً منكرة
فعـُلِمَ أن هذا الحديث دلَّ على ما دلَّ عليه سائر الأحاديث الآتية من أنه لا يخرج على ولاة أمور المسلمين بالسيف . وأن من لم يكن مطيعا لولاة الأمور مات ميتة جاهلية

This is what Abdullah ibn Umar did to Abdullah ibn Muti’ ibn al-Aswad when he withdrew from obedience to the Amir of their time, Yazid, despite that he was an oppressor and committed atrocities against the people of Harra.
It is known that this Hadith is proof for what the other Hadiths prove, that it is not permissible to rise with the sword against the rulers of the Muslims. And whosoever does not obey the rulers dies the death of Jahiliyyah.

In other words, in the real views of Ibn Taymiyyah al-Nasibi, both Sayyidah Fatima (عليها السلام) and Imam al-Husayn (عليه السلام) who fought with the sword against Yazid’s army, died the death of Jahiliyyah (naudhobillah)!

Of course, the fact that both are leaders of Paradise shows that both had given allegiance to the correct Imams of their times, and that Ibn Umar was wrong! It also shows that neither Abubakr nor Yazid was the rightful Imam of his time.

Shaykh al-Albani has recorded some Hadiths that help us out of the dilemma. He records in his Sahih al-Jami’ as-Saghir, Volume 1, page 482 (Al-Maktab al-Islami) that Zaid bin Thaabit (رضي الله عنه) said:

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إني تارك فيكم خليفتين: كتاب الله حبل ممدود ما بين السماء والأرض أو ما بين السماء إلى الأرض وعترتي أهل بيتي وأنهما لن يفترقا حتى يردا عليّ الحوض

Allaah’s Apostle, peace be upon him, said: I will always leave (taarikun) among you TWO SUCCESSORS: the Book of Allaah, which is a rope stretching between the heavens and the earth, AND my progeny, my Ahl al-Bayt. The two of them will never separate till they meet me at the Lake-Font.”
Commenting upon its authenticity, Shaykh al-Albani says:صحيح Sahih

Al-Haythami in his Majma’ al-Zawaid, Volume 9, page 162 (Daar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah) has also recorded the Hadeeth, with this comment:
رواه أحمد وإسناده جيد  – Ahmad recorded it and its chain is good.

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has claimed that he always has two successors among the Muslims. These successors never separate from each other. One of them is the Qur’an, while the other is the Ahl al-Bayt (عليهم السلام) – a successor from the Ahl al-Bayt (عليهم السلام). So, the determinant of Imamah is whether the Imam one is giving his allegiance to is from the Ahl al-Bayt (عليهم السلام) who never separate from the Qur’an in their words or actions. No doubt, neither Abubakr nor Yazid was from this Ahl al-Bayt (عليهم السلام). Therefore, they were only fake caliphs.

Divine Manifestations

A Rule on Proving Caliphate

Know that when the divine wisdom that encompasses all perfections and comprises the most beautiful names of God and His sublime attributes determined to expand the kingdom of creation and mercy and spread the ensign of power and wisdom by manifesting the possible beings and creating the the beings and creatures and running the affairs and administrating them, accomplishing this work directly by the unique pre-eternal essence without a medium was inconceivable, for a relationship between the might of pre-eternity and lowliness of temporality is inconceivable. So Allah the Glorified determined to designate a deputy to represent Him in matters of administration, authority, protection and and custody.

The deputy or vicegerent invariably has one side to pre-eternity and is provided by the Real the Glorified, and one side to temporality to provide to the creatures. Allah thus has created His deputy in His own form and relegated administration to him and invested him with all the habits of His names and attributes and firmly established him in the seat of caliphate by leaving to him the measures of the affairs and conferring on him the leadership of people. Indeed the purpose of creating the world is the creation of man who is Allah’s vicegerent in the world. In other words, the elements have been created for the existence of vegetables, and the vegetables exist for the sake of animals, and the animals for man, and man exists for the spirits, and the spirits for the sake of rational souls, and finally the rational souls have been created for the existence of Allah’s vicegerent on earth: ‘Indeed I am going to set a vicegerent on the earth’. [2:30]

The Prophet, therefore, has to take and learn from Allah and in turn to give and guide His servants. He is the intermediary link between the two worlds, on one side he is all hearing and on the other he is speaking. This is also the case of the messengers of Allah to His servants and interceders for them on the day they come to Him. In other words, the heart of the Prophet has two open gates: one opens to the world of heavenly kingdom, which is the world of the Preserved Tablet, and the world of intellectual and practical angels, and the other opens to the perceptive faculty to look into the senses and understand the matters and needs of people. The Prophet then must order people to obey and worship Allah in his religious law in order to take them from the level of animals to the ranks of angels through forming good habits, for the prophets are the leaders of caravans. 

[Excerpt taken from the English translation of the book ‘Divine Manifestations Concerning the Secrets of the Perfecting Sciences’, Mulla Sadra Shirazi, ICAS Press 2010, pg 154-155]

The Imam of our time–Part 2

We know from the Holy Quran that there are two types of Imams (guides), those that guide by the command of Allah (swt), and those that lead us to the fire of hell.

وجعلنا منهم أئمة يهدون بأمرنا لما صبروا وكانوا بآياتنا يوقنون

And when they became steadfast and believed firmly in Our revelations, We appointed from among them leaders who guided by Our command.[1]

وجعلناهم أئمة يهدون إلى النار ويوم القيامة لا ينصرون

And We made them leaders inviting to the Fire, and on the Day of Resurrection they will not be helped.[2]

And our Holy Prophet (pbuh) applied this rule when he told Ammar ibn Yassir:

يا عمار تقتلك الفئة الباغية، تدعوهم إلى الجنة ويدعونك إلى النار

"O Amar you will be killed by the oppressive class, you invite them to heaven and they call you to the fire.’

This reveals that the Imamate under which Ammar lived and fought, was the one on the right path to salvation.

Now, in the case of Fatima (as), the lady of the women of the worlds, who is a piece of Prophet Mohammed (pbuh), at the time of her father, he was the Imam and she had pledged allegiance to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh).

So the question I direct to all Muslims of the world: After the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) passed away, who did Fatima pledged allegiance to? We know that Fatima (as) went to the Lord a martyr and angry at the first Khalifa. There is no doubt that she did not pledge allegiance to the first caliph, Abu Bakr, and neither did her husband, Ali bin Abi Talib (for a period not less than mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, which was six months). What is the conclusion we have to make based on the narrations we’ve mentioned up to now? You (followers of the school of companions and the wahabis) consider the Imamate of Abu Bakr to be legitimate, therefore Fatima (as) died a death of ignorance, and if Imam Ali (as) had died in this period (the six months before Fatima’s martyrdom), he would have died a death of ignorance. And both are free of such accusations, since it is clear for the followers of Ahlul Bayt, that Imam Ali (as) was the rightful Imam of his time and Fatima had pledged allegiance to him.

الرواية واردة في (صحيح البخاري) ص803، الحديث 4240 و4241 عن عائشة أن فاطمة عليها السلام بنت النبي أرسلت إلى أبي بكر تسأله ميراثها من رسول الله مما أفاء الله عليه بالمدينة وفدك وما بقي من خمس خيبر فقال أبو بكر: إن رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله) قال: لا نورث ما تركنا صدقة، إنما يأكل آل محمد (صلى الله عليه وآله). فأبى أبو بكر أن يدفع إلى فاطمة منها شيئاً فوجدت يعني فغضبت، فوجدت فاطمة على أبي بكر في ذلك فهجرته فلم تكلمه حتى توفيت، وعاشت بعد النبي ستة أشهر. فلما توفيت دفنها زوجها علي ليلاً ولم يؤذن بها أبا بكر وصلى عليها، وكان لعلي من الناس وجه حياة فاطمة فلما توفيت استنكر علي وجوه الناس فالتمس مصالحة أبي بكر ومبايعته

In this regard, the narration is contained in (Sahih Bukhari), p. 803, #4240 and 4241, narrated Aisha that Fatima (as), daughter of Prophet sent for Abu Bakr to ask for her inheritance from the Messenger of Allah, which Allah has bestowed upon him in Medinah and Fadak and what remains of the war booty from Khyber, so Abu Bakr said: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:’We do not leave inheritance of what we left as charity.’ Abu Bakr refused to pay anything to Fatima and became angry, and did not speak to him until she died; she lived six months after the Prophet passed away. When she died, she was buried by her husband Ali at the night, and Abu Bakr was not authorized to attend; later Ali had to reconcile with Abu Bakr and pledge allegiance to him to satisfy the requests of the people. 

So during those six months Imam Ali and Fatimah (as) had not pledged allegiance to the first caliph. And based on the conditions of Imamate that the school of Ahlul Bayt adheres to, the Imam has to be infallible. And it is agreed by all muslim scholars that the first caliph was not infallible. Then you have to accept that Sa’ad ibn Ubadeh, the leader of the Ansar, also died a death of ignorance, because he neither pledged allegiance to the first caliph. You also have to accept that whoever did not pledge allegiance during the caliphate of Imam Ali (as) also died a death of ignorance, the best of example of which is Mu’awiyah. Mu’awiyah didn’t just not accept his Imamate but fought him in the battle of Siffin.

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[1] 32:24

[2] 20:41

The Imam of our time–Part 1

(Note: This is a brief summary translation of Seyyed Kamal Al Haydari’s lectures on the islamic doctrine of Mahdiism broadcast on Al Kawthar Tv)

There is no difference of opinion among Muslim scholars of different inclinations and attitudes, ideas and principles and theories, whether doctrinal and theological and political, that in the last days will witness the emergence of the Mahdi. And it is also proven that this is one of the most fundamental of doctrines, without which a Muslim’s faith is not complete. This man, who is called the awaited Mahdi in various religious texts, and is the twelfth Imam of the Imams mentioned by the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) in frequent and accepted narrations (the Imams after me are twelve, the caliphs after me twelve, the princes after me are twelve, as many as the various chieftains of the children of Israel).

The debate between the different sects regarding this personality can be divided into 4 parts:

1) Is Imam Al Mahdi alive or will he be born in the future?

2) Does he possess a certain level of infallibility?

3) Does his lineage end with Imam Hassan (as) or Imam Hussein (as)?

4) Is his father Abdullah Al Allawi (as some try to suggest), or Imam Hassan Al Askari (as)?

To answer these questions, we have to first address the matter of the importance of pledging allegiance to the Imam of your time. This clear and explicit Islamic doctrine, which states that it is not permissible for any Muslim to sleep for the night, without a pledge of allegiance to the Imam. The first source that mentions this fact is (الفصل في الملل والأهواء والنحل) ‘Al Fasl fil Millal wal Ahwa’ wal Nihal’, by Imam Ibn Hazm Andalusi Al Dhahiri, who died in 456 AH, vol.4, p. 102: ‘Abu Muhammad said: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) informed us on the obligation of Imamate, and that a night should not pass without a pledge of allegiance.’ Now one might say: What is the evidence for this claim? The evidence for this claim is contained in dozens of sources:

المصدر الأول ما ورد في مسند الإمام أحمد، الجزء 28، مؤسسة الرسالة، ص88، في الحديث 16876، الرواية عن عاصم عن أبي صالح عن معاوية قال: قال رسول الله: من مات بغير إمام مات ميتة جاهلية. يقول: هذا حديث صحيح لغيره وهذا إسناد حسن من أجل عاصم وبقية رجاله ثقات، رجال الشيخين

a) Musnad Imam Ahmad, Vol. 28, p. 88, narration #16876; the narration is from Asim from Abu Salih from Mu’awiyah, who said: ‘The Messenger of God said: "Whoever dies without an Imam dies a death of ignorance (disbelief).’ The commentator says: This narration is صحيح لغيره, and this chain is good for Assem and the others are trustworthy men, as accepted by the two sheikhs (Bukhari and Muslim).

النص الثاني: ما ورد في صحيح ابن حبان، المجلد العاشر، بتحقيق شعيب الأرنؤوط، مؤسسة الرسالة، ص434، الرواية عن معاوية قال: قال رسول الله: من مات وليس له إمام مات ميتة جاهلية. قال: حديث صحيح وأخرجه أحمد والطبراني

b) Saheeh Ibn Haban, vol. 10, pg. 434, edited and commented by Shu’aib Al Arna’uut, the narration by Mu’awiyah, said: The Messenger of God said: "Whoever dies and has no imam dies a death of ignorance. He said: حديث صحيح narrated by Ahmad and al-Tabaraani and so on.

المصدر الثالث ما ورد في مسند أبي يعلى الموصلي، المجلد 13، حققه وأخرج أحاديثه حسين سليم أسد، مكتبة الرشد ودار المأمون للتراث، ناشرون، المجلد 13، ص366، الحديث 7375، الرواية عن معاوية أيضاً قال: قال رسول الله: من مات وليس عليه إمام مات ميتة جاهلية. قال: إسناده حسن

c) Musnad Abu Ya’la Al Mawsali, vol. 13, pg. 366, edited by Hussein Salim Assad, in narration #7375, the narration by Mu’awiyah who said: The Messenger of God said: "Whoever dies and he does not have an Imam has died a death of ignorance.’ He said: إسناده حسن, the narration is valid.

النص الأخير الذي ورد في صحيح مسلم: من مات وليس في عنقه بيعة مات ميتة جاهلية. وهو وارد في ص773 من هذه النسخة المعروفة، الحديث 1850

d) Saheeh Muslim: "Whoever dies without a pledge of allegiance dies a death of ignorance. It is contained in p. 773 of this known version, narration #1850.

So now the obvious question arises: to who should be this pledge of allegiance? As the narrations clearly state, it should be to the the Imam and not for an ordinary person. So when the two narrations are combined we reach this result (who dies without a pledge of allegiance to the Imam has died a death of ignorance). Another question arises: Does this narration refer to one or multiple Imams from era to era? No doubt that in every era there is an imam, i.e. during the time of the Messenger of God, he was the imam and so on.

Now I ask the followers of the school of the companions (sunnis), and those who follow the Umayyads (wahabis): Who is the Imam after the Holy Prophet (pbuh) to whom the oath of allegiance must be given? They would say: It is the first caliph. After that, the second Caliph, and so on. So the pledge of allegiance is to the Imam of their time.

Now look at how Ibn Taymiyyah (establisher of the wahabi cult) deals with this narration in such a clumsy and absurd fashion. Allamah Al Hilli related to this text says, in pg. 74 of the book ‘Minhaj Al Karamah’: The Messenger of God said: The one who dies without knowning the Imam dies a death of ignorance’. This particular text of the narration is as accepted by the school of Ahlul Bayt.

Ibn Taymiyyah then comes and says: ‘this wording of the narration is not known to the scholars.’ What an ignorant comment coming from a supposed great scholar and expert of hadith! Assuming this wording is not known to you or your ‘scholars’, at least understand and admit that the content and meaning is as mentioned in the many narrations already mentioned above! But what can we say; this is the method used by Ibn Taymiyyah and the likes of him. This is the clumsy and un-scientific methodology of these so called scholars who always attempt to show their opponents as uninformed or without knowledge.