The extended name of the Shiite imams

January 25, 2008 at 11:50 pm (Arabic, History, Islam, Shiite Islam)

While I should have been working on a post on jihad, I was toying around with the extended names of the Shiite imams. Most Arab names include the name of the father (the formula “bin” or “ibn” followed by the father’s name) but some include the names of more ancestors. For no reason whatsoever, here are the extended names of the Twelver and Ismaili imams.

The current Twelver Imam is Abu-l-Qāsim Muhammad al-Mahdī bin al-Hassan al-’Askarī, twelfth in the line (hence “Twelver Shiites”). He is the so-called “Hidden Imam”. The current Nizari Qasim-Shahi Ismaili Imam is His Highness Shāh Karīm al-Hussaynī Āgā (or Āghā) Khān IV, forty-ninth in the line. (In actuality, Arab naming conventions are not used among the Ismailis.)

Imām ash-Shī’ah al- Ithnā’ashariyyah
The Imam of the Twelver Shiites

Muhammad al-Mahdī
bin al-Hassan al-‘Askarī
bin ‘Alī al-Hādī
bin Muhammad at-Taqī
bin ‘Alī ar-Rizā
bin Mūsā-l-Kāzim
bin Ja’far as-Sādiq
bin Muhammad al-Bāqir
bin ‘Alī Zayn al-‘Ābidīn
bin al-Hussayn Sayyid ash-Shuhadā
bin ‘Alī
bin Abī Tālib
(‘alayhim as-salām)
Note that there are twelve names: there are only eleven Imams in the list: Abu Tālib is the father of ‘Alī but not an Imam as ‘Alī was the first Imam. The second Imam was al-Hassan al-Mujtabā bin ‘Alī bin Abī Tālib, who was the brother of the third Imam, al-Hussayn Sayyid ash-Shuhadā bin ‘Alī bin Abī Tālib, and son of ‘Alī. Because the fourth Imam was the son of al-Hussayn, al-Hassan does not appear in this list.

Imām ash-Shī’ah al-Ismā’īliyyah an-Nizāriyyah al-Qāsimshāhiyyah
The Imam of the Qasim-Shahi Nizari Ismaili Shiites

Shāh Karīm al-Hussaynī
bin Sultān Muhammad Shāh
bin Shāh ‘Alī Shāh
bin Shāh Hassan ‘Alī
bin Khalīlillāh ‘Alī
bin Abi-l-Hassan ‘Alī
bin Qāsim ‘Alī
bin Hassan ‘Alī
bin as-Sayyid ‘Alī
bin Nizār
bin Khalīlillāh ‘Alī
bin Nūr ad-Dīn ‘Alī
bin Dhi-l-Fiqār ‘Alī
bin Murād Mīrzā
bin Abī Dharr ‘Alī
bin Gharīb Mīrzā
bin ‘Abd as-Salām
bin al-Mustansir Bi-llāh
bin Muhammad
bin Islām Shāh
bin Qāsim Shāh
bin Shams ad-Dīn Muhammad
bin Rukn ad-Dīn Khayr Shāh
bin ‘Alā ad-Dīn Muhammad
bin Jalāl ad-Dīn Hassan
bin A’lā Muhammad
bin ‘Alā Dhikrihi-s-Salām
bin al-Qāhir
bin al-Muhtadī
bin al-Hādī
bin an-Nizār
bin al-Mustansir Bi-llāh
bin az-Zāhir
bin al-Hākim Bi-‘amrillāh
bin al-‘Azīz
bin al-Mu’izz
bin al-Mansūr
bin al-Qā’im
bin Muhammadin al-Mahdī
bin Razi ad-Dīn ‘Abdillāh
bin Taqī Muhammad
bin Wafī Ahmad
bin Muhammad
bin Ismā’īl
bin Ja’far as-Sādiq
bin Muhammad al-Bāqir
bin Zayn al-‘Ābidīn
bin al-Hussayn
bin ‘Alī
bin Abī Tālib
(‘alayhim as-salām)
Note: Unlike the Twelvers, the Ismailis believe the second Imam was al-Hussayn and not al-Hassan. According to the Ismailis, al-Hassan guarded the Imamate until his brother could take his rightful place as Imam, and as such al-Hassan, as a placeholder, is not included in the list of Imams.

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