Shiites believe that their [Twelve Imams] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Imams), the rightful successors of the prophet, have complete knowledge of everything.

The question is: what are the origins of their knowledge? In other words, where do they get their knowledge from?


2 Answers 2


There are some hadiths explained the sources of Imams knowledge in Basair al Darajat book as follow:

مبلغ علمنا على ثلاثة وجوه: ماض و غابر و حادث. فاما الماض فمفسر و اما الغابر فمزبور و اما الحادث فقذف فى القلوب و نقر فى الاسماع و هو افضل علمنا و لا نبى بعد نبينا

our knowlegde sources are three faces: first,what occurred.second,what is ocurring and third,what will occur. first, [what ocurred] are teachings of the prophet which give us down from [Ali Ibn Abi-talab].second [what is ocurring ]which are wriiten in[ fatima book(sahifeh)]. third [what will occur] throwing in our heart [elham ]or whispering in our ears and this is our best knowlegde and there is no messenger after our holy prophet mohammad peace be upon him.

First: the prophet taught Imam Ali his knowledge and called him as the Gate of his knowledge as [following hadiths].this knowledge transferred to next Imams :

علمني رسول الله الف باب من العلم ، يفتح من كل باب الف باب

Imam Ali (s) said: “The Prophet, in his deathbed, whispered to me and taught me one thousand chapters of knowledge; each one of them contained one thousand chapters.”


قال رسول الله صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم: «أنا مدينة العلم وعلي بابها فمن أراد العلم فليأت الباب

"I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate..."

This knowledge transferred to next Imams also the Quran which collected by Imam Ali.

Second, interpretates to moshaf of Fatima (which sent down by Gabriel about some matters and facts written by Imam Ali ) or community or Jafar books.

Third, imams know about everything when ask him by throwing or whispering at the end stated that these [throwing or whispering] are not only for messengers.


We also believe that the Prophet had that knowledge too, where did he get it?

The answer is: Allah taught the Prophet what he has. When the Prophet was going to die he gave Ali (a.s), his successor, his knowledge where he says:

علمني رسول الله الف باب من العلم ، يفتح من كل باب الف باب

Verily, the Holy Prophet taught me 1,000 chapters of knowledge, each chapter of which opened another 1,000 chapters

And that's it, every Imam transferred knowledge to his successor.

  • 2
    It would be appreciated if you could cite sources for the hadith you quoted.
    – infatuated
    Commented Sep 9, 2014 at 16:38

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