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‘Iṣmah or ‘Isma (Arabic: عِصْمَة‎{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}; literally, "protection") is the concept of "impeccability," "immunity from sin", or "infallibility" in Islamic theology, and which is especially prominent in Shia Islam.<ref name="al-Shaykh al-Saduq 1982 151-152">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref> In Shia theology, Ismah is characeristic of Prophets, Imams, and angels.<ref name="al-Shaykh al-Saduq 1982 87">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref> When attributed to human beings, Ismah means "the ability of avoiding acts of disobedience, in spite of having the power to commit them",<ref name="al-Shaykh al-Saduq 1982 151-152" /> as with Prophets and Imams. Along with a pure constitution, excellent qualities, firmness against opponents, and tranquility (as-Sakinah), Ismah is a Divine grace bestowed by God.<ref name="4nafar3">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref><ref name="al-Shaykh al-Saduq 1982 151">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref>

An infallible (Arabic: معصوم‎{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} ma`sūm) is someone who is free from error in leading people to belief, in perceiving divine knowledge, and in practical matters. Prophets must be immune from all errors and sins in order to perform their mission of upholding and promoting the divine religion, interpreting the Qur'an, and establishing a wholesome social system.

The Qur'an's verse of purification implies that God purifies only the Ahl al-Bayt from any kind of sin, error, and defilement in their creation.<ref name="Kardan 2014 82, 83">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref> Both Shia and Sunni hadith state that Ahl al-Bayt refers only to the People of the Cloak and does not include the wives of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.<ref name="Kardan 2014 82, 83" /><ref name="Momen 1985 155">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref>

According to Twelver Shia, The Fourteen Infallibles (Arabic: معصومون‎{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} Ma‘ṣūmūn) "divinely bestowed free from error and sin" include Muhammad, his daughter Fatimah, and the Twelve Imams.<ref name="Dabashi 2006 463">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref> Ismaili also attribute Ismah to Ismaili Imāms and Fatima Zahra, daughter of Muhammad, while Zaidi do not attribute the quality to the Zaidi Imams.<ref name="Robinson 1982 47">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref>

The doctrine of Ismah has been rejected by some non-Shia Muslims, such as the Kharijites who cited chapter 48: 2 of the holy Qur'an as evidence for the rejection.<ref name="Baydawi 1300 1001, 1009">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref>

Sunnis interpret Ismah to mean that prophets are immune from telling lies (intentionally or unintentionally), of being Kafir (infidel) before or after their assignment, and of being unable to commit other sins intentionally. In other aspects, opinions diverge. Most Sunnis believe that it is possible for the prophets to unintentionally commit sin, while the minority believe that it is not.<ref name="Rizvi 2009 12">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref>

The purity of Ahl al-Bayt—the family of the Prophet Muhammad—is manifested by the verse of purification in the Qur'an.<ref name="Madelung 1998 51">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref> The development of Shi'ite theology in the period between the death of Muhammad and the disappearance of the Twelfth Imam extends this concept of purity and originates the concept of Ismah.<ref name="Donaldson 1933 334, 335">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref> Neither the term nor the concept of Ismah is in the Qur'an or in canonical Sunni hadith. The concept of the immunity from sin (ma'sum) of the Imams, the Imamiyyah, perhaps began in the first half of the second century AH.<ref name="4nafar3" /> Shia scholars of the fourth and the fifth centuries AH extended the infallibility of the Prophet Muḥammad and the Twelve Imams until the doctrine came to mean that they could not have committed any sin or inadvertent error, either before or after they assumed office.<ref name="the Fourteen Infallibles"/>


Ismah sections
Intro  Etymology  Concept of Ismah  Ismah and free will   Arguments  History of the concept of Ismah  Differing views of other sects  New interpretation among Shias  See also  Notes  Footnotes  References  

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‘Iṣmah or ‘Isma (Arabic: عِصْمَة‎{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}; literally, "protection") is the concept of "impeccability," "immunity from sin", or "infallibility" in Islamic theology, and which is especially prominent in Shia Islam.<ref name="al-Shaykh al-Saduq 1982 151-152">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref> In Shia theology, Ismah is characeristic of Prophets, Imams, and angels.<ref name="al-Shaykh al-Saduq 1982 87">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref> When attributed to human beings, Ismah means "the ability of avoiding acts of disobedience, in spite of having the power to commit them",<ref name="al-Shaykh al-Saduq 1982 151-152" /> as with Prophets and Imams. Along with a pure constitution, excellent qualities, firmness against opponents, and tranquility (as-Sakinah), Ismah is a Divine grace bestowed by God.<ref name="4nafar3">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref><ref name="al-Shaykh al-Saduq 1982 151">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref>

An infallible (Arabic: معصوم‎{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} ma`sūm) is someone who is free from error in leading people to belief, in perceiving divine knowledge, and in practical matters. Prophets must be immune from all errors and sins in order to perform their mission of upholding and promoting the divine religion, interpreting the Qur'an, and establishing a wholesome social system.

The Qur'an's verse of purification implies that God purifies only the Ahl al-Bayt from any kind of sin, error, and defilement in their creation.<ref name="Kardan 2014 82, 83">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref> Both Shia and Sunni hadith state that Ahl al-Bayt refers only to the People of the Cloak and does not include the wives of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.<ref name="Kardan 2014 82, 83" /><ref name="Momen 1985 155">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref>

According to Twelver Shia, The Fourteen Infallibles (Arabic: معصومون‎{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} Ma‘ṣūmūn) "divinely bestowed free from error and sin" include Muhammad, his daughter Fatimah, and the Twelve Imams.<ref name="Dabashi 2006 463">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref> Ismaili also attribute Ismah to Ismaili Imāms and Fatima Zahra, daughter of Muhammad, while Zaidi do not attribute the quality to the Zaidi Imams.<ref name="Robinson 1982 47">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref>

The doctrine of Ismah has been rejected by some non-Shia Muslims, such as the Kharijites who cited chapter 48: 2 of the holy Qur'an as evidence for the rejection.<ref name="Baydawi 1300 1001, 1009">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref>

Sunnis interpret Ismah to mean that prophets are immune from telling lies (intentionally or unintentionally), of being Kafir (infidel) before or after their assignment, and of being unable to commit other sins intentionally. In other aspects, opinions diverge. Most Sunnis believe that it is possible for the prophets to unintentionally commit sin, while the minority believe that it is not.<ref name="Rizvi 2009 12">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref>

The purity of Ahl al-Bayt—the family of the Prophet Muhammad—is manifested by the verse of purification in the Qur'an.<ref name="Madelung 1998 51">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref> The development of Shi'ite theology in the period between the death of Muhammad and the disappearance of the Twelfth Imam extends this concept of purity and originates the concept of Ismah.<ref name="Donaldson 1933 334, 335">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref> Neither the term nor the concept of Ismah is in the Qur'an or in canonical Sunni hadith. The concept of the immunity from sin (ma'sum) of the Imams, the Imamiyyah, perhaps began in the first half of the second century AH.<ref name="4nafar3" /> Shia scholars of the fourth and the fifth centuries AH extended the infallibility of the Prophet Muḥammad and the Twelve Imams until the doctrine came to mean that they could not have committed any sin or inadvertent error, either before or after they assumed office.<ref name="the Fourteen Infallibles"/>


Ismah sections
Intro  Etymology  Concept of Ismah  Ismah and free will   Arguments  History of the concept of Ismah  Differing views of other sects  New interpretation among Shias  See also  Notes  Footnotes  References  

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Etymology
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