Twelve – Imam Shi?ism is rated second among Muslim denominations, the followers are inspired by Prophet Mohammed who was among the twelve Imams in Shi?ism. Needless to say, Imams are considered the only authoritative interpreters of the Quran and Sunnah, (Jafri p161).
In addition, it is believed that religious guidance is derived from the prophet’s descendants; therefore prophets are mainly concerned with ensuring that God’s favor is upon them. As a result, they are in a position to provide guidance to many; Mohammed is believed to have originated from Abraham’s family, whereby Abraham is known as the founder of the Ka’bah, (Jafri p162). In addition, Mohammed is known as God’s last messenger, whose mission was to deliver God’s message to people.
An imam is a leader, chosen by God to provide guidance to mankind, therefore acts as a spiritual guide and a leader of the Muslim community. Therefore, through obeying the Imams, one portrays his obedience to the almighty, (Jafri p166). Law is also important to the Muslims, shariah law being the most common law. Muslims are required to recognize God as the forgiving and merciful creator, through worshiping God alone, and adhering to certain practices such as fasting and praying, (Jafri p176).
“There are seven religious duties that have to be observed as obligatory acts of worship of God,” (Jafri p167). This is one of the most important point in the readings, these practices include; praying five times a day, fasting during Ramadan, making pilgrimage known as hajj, which involves travelling to Ka’bah, and giving alms referred to as zakat which comprises of one- tenth of annual commodity.
In addition Muslims are required to give khums, which are one-fifth of an individual’s annual income, practicing jihad, known as the holy war, which is applicable only when under attack, and encouraging others to engage in only good activities, and avoid evil.
A positive influence by Twelve – Imam Shi?ism Muslim denomination on its followers is vital; therefore the seven religious duties encourage ethical practices among Muslims. As a result, discipline can be maintained, by encouraging good deeds and discouraging the evil, by exercising the seven religious duties. Praying five times a day is vital as it increases one’s faith, while fasting encourages an individual to avoid evil, hence drawing them close to their creator.
Therefore these practices are essential in promoting Twelve – Imam Shi?ism denomination, by fostering ethical behaviors. Needless to say, individuals are likely to be attracted by a denomination that encourages good, rather than evil. According to Jafri (177), prayers and supplications represents a Muslim’s will to dedicate his life to the will of God; the purity of Imams souls and ethical morals were signs of high level of spirituality, which have been passed on to generations.
The fostering of good and avoidance of evil is essential in any religion, Twelve – Imam Shi?ism, being the second largest Muslim denomination, consists of many members. Therefore, the religious duties mentioned above are obligatory, and were formed with an aim of avoiding evil, as well as adhering to the law, promoting compassion, justice and love, which are among the Islamic concepts.
In addition, the imams are seen as leaders and spiritual guides, who assist members in sustaining their faith. As a result Muslims are required to obey the Imams, as a symbol of their love and respect for their creator. In addition, recognizing God as the only creator is essential among the Muslims and can be practiced, through worshiping him alone.
Jafri, Syed. Chapter Nine, “Twelve-Imam Shi?ism,” N.d. Print. Attached document