The Ahmadi Religion of Peace & Light

The Meaning of Infallibility

According to the teachings of Imam Ahmed Al Hassan and Aba Al Sadiq PBUT, what does infallibility really mean?

We know that the prophets and messengers, PBUT, were sent by God with a message for mankind. They are considered to be infallible. However, historically, through scripture and writing, we see that these great men did, however, make certain mistakes. How can we reconcile that while knowing they were messengers of God that we consider infallible? Imam Ahmed Al Hassan and Aba Al Sadiq PBUT have explained what this means.

Are all prophets Infallible? Or only the best of them? Or when we talk about infallibility, does it refer only to Mohammed and the imams of his holy family? And what does infallibility actually mean?

Aba AlSadiq, peace and blessings be upon him, explains in his Sermon of Infallibility what it is, and how it works. There are two different forms of infallibility:

  1. Inherent infallibility
  2. Earned infallibility

INHERENT INFALLIBILITY

The first one is the one applying to prophets who did not commit any sins or mistakes – and only 14 people are included in this category and it is Mohamed, Ali, Fatima, al Hassan and al Hussein and the rest of the twelve imams after them.

History cannot find against them any sins or mistakes.

This is the belief of the Shia Muslims, as well as the Sunni Muslims, concerning prophet Mohammed pbuhahf.

Why is it so? Because, according to the teachings of Imam Ahmed Al Hassan and Aba Al Sadiq PBUT, Allah did not create except for them, and they created the rest of creation.

And to be clear, many prophets have made mistakes.

EARNED INFALLIBILITY

The second kind of infallibility comes not at birth, but with time and teachings from God.

It is a lesser sort of infallibility than the first one, and it implies making some mistakes in the beginning of life.

This is clearly mentioned in the holy Quran. Let’s take the example of some famous historical biblical figures.

For example, we find Adam pbuh becoming infallible but only after he committed great mistakes. Adam disobeys Allah and obeys Iblis, (may Allah curse him) and is taken out of the garden of Eden, for which he repents.

Noah pbuh doubted in the judgment of Allah concerning his son, who was actually not his.

Moses committed great mistakes asking his Lord about things that he should not have asked about, or being impatient with the Righteous Servant, as mentioned in the holy Quran.

Joseph made a mistake, when he had thoughts about Zuleykha, his master’s wife.

And also, when he asked for the help of a human being, instead of asking God.

And clearly, the holy scriptures mention the stories of these prophets asking for repentance to their lord.

Jonah is a very famous one, when he doesn’t listen to his Lord and escapes his mission, and then gets swallowed by the whale.

So the prophets before Mohammed (pbuhahf) were not infallible from birth, and even Jesus was not inherently infallible. (We know that he was asking his Father in heaven to ‘remove the cup from him‘).

WHAT DOES INFALLIBILITY REALLY MEAN?

Aba AlSadiq pbuh has given some knowledge about the actual definition of infallibility. He has explained that it does not necessarily mean not to do any mistake or to be perfect in the eyes of the people, but rather, it is the ability and the special protection which makes a man not misguide anyone. So basically, if someone is infallible, he will never misguide you.

Today, Aba AlSadiq pbuh is teaching his companions to become like him and ridding them of their old traditions and beliefs.

The goal is surely to become pure and to become infallible as we are taught by our Father Aba Al Sadiq PBUH, and what a beautiful hope to become someone who cannot misguide the people, but rather guide them to the truth and to be able to always be the manifestation of God by doing His will, and only His.

It can now be understood that the prophets before Mohammed and his holy family pbut were not inherently infallible, since they did make mistakes. It explains how the prophets, whom they often see as the best of all creation, or even as a god, are actually those with earned infallibility, not inherent infallibility. And this explains how these men, whom were sent to be messengers to the people, were human beings, who did ultimately achieve the rank of earned infallibility, and pleased their Lord as true people of God.

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