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Shiah or Rafizi

Who were the 12 Imams about whom Shi'as are saying about?

الاستفتاء

Assalamu Alaikum,
Who were the 12 Imams about whom Shi'as are saying about? Were they all Sayyids? What should be the concept about them? Please explain briefly about their history. If behave with them with the intention of giving Da'wath, how to make Salam and Musafaha? What is to be done if it happened to take in their left behind food? If somebody does not know that he is a Kafir then how is it? Can connection be kept with him?

الجواب حامدا و مصلیا

The elders whom Shi’a Mazhab calls as Imam e Ma’soom were all Seyyids i.e descendents of Nabi Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam. But they never declared that they were Imams or that they were Ma’soom. All of them were elders of Ahl e Sunnath and the radiance of the eyes of the Muslims. Their Religion and culture, ways and manners, and their Ibadaat were never according to the doctrines and dogmas of Shias in the contrary, they were according to the methods and way of Sahaba and Thabi’een. The very Religion which was left behind by the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam and on which the Muslims of the entire world are in practice, these elders too practiced the same Religion in front of the hole world (extract – Ikhthilaf e Ummah)
In Shi’a there are various sects and groups and each sect is different from the other on the basis of the doctrines and concepts, from which some are out of the fold of Islam due to their doctrines and some groups, although they are not out of the fold of Islam for not adopting Kufr, yet, due to their illicit doctrines and concepts they are Fasiq And Fajir (transgressors) indeed. Therefore it is necessary to refrain from initiating in salutation of Salam to them and in case some of them say Salam there is allowance to reply them if their doctrines and concepts are not clearly known and not otherwise. As for the foods cooked by them, if they are not sacrificed in the name of other than Allah Tha’ala, and no filth or Haram is mixed in it, there is no harm in consuming it rather it is permissible. Similarly in the event of dire helplessness it is allowed to sit with them and eat but it should not be made a practice. As for the one who is not known to be his manifest Kufr but explains as is mentioned then it is correct and permissible beyond doubt to have connection with them.