عنوان مقاله [English]
In their study of Imamate issues, the Shiite scholars have referred to the words of Ibn Abi al-Hadid, the Sunni Mu’tazilite (D. 656 A. H.); nonetheless, some Sunni scholars have accused him of being a Shiite, a neophyte, an extremist, or even an obstinate Shiite.
Now, the question is: are the words of such a person (Ibn Abi al-Hadid) valid and strong enough to convince the opponent in the course of Imamate debates?
In what presented here, the author has drawn the conclusion that although he is a Mu’tazilite, in his The Commentary on Nahju al-Balaghah, Ibn Abi al-Hadid has strengthened the Sunnite and Ash’arite positions in the Imamate debates such as, that there is no clear text on the Imamate of Imam Ali (PBUH), that he is not the instant caliph after Holy Prophet (PBUH), and that infallibility was not specified as a condition for Imamate. Therefore, knowing him as a Shiite is either due to the lack of perfect knowledge about Ibn Abi al-Hadid or to the confusion of using terms. However, what matters is to follow the sound argument, rather than to blindly embrace the word of somebody. Thus, being a Sunni or Shiite does not work in the embracement of a proved and well-founded word.
The motive of those biased Sunnis who have accused him might be Ibn Abi al-Hadid’s belief in Imam Ali’s priority over others, that he libeled Mu’awiah, or to nullify his criticisms against some Sunni beliefs, or to invalidate the Shiite documentations, or in order to refer to some of his words against the Shiite .