There are couple of differences prevailing in Shia ithna ashari and Shia dawoodi bohra sects.

The most important one is regarding imamat after imam Jafar Sadiq a.s.

Ithna ashari sect believes that the true successor to imam Jafar Sadiq a.s. is imam Musa Kazim a.s. while Dawoodi Bohras believe it to be imam Ismail bin Jafar a.s.

I need to understand who is the true successor, so that I can follow the right path.

Even in Quran, it is indicated that the successors of Prophet Musa a.s. would be 12 and in several Ahle Sunnah books like Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Musnad of ibn Hanbal, etc., it is focussed that the true successors of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.w would be 12, then it is clear that 12 imams are on haq, then why do Dawoodi Bohras follow 21 imams along with Daee after them? This can be considered as the second part of my question.

I would be grateful if someone may please enlighten me with references.


Basically you are asking 2 things:

  1. Why has there been many denominations created?
  2. How is that with all the resources people believe them?

Answer to your first question: for every election in US, every party spends millions of dollars. Why? Because the position will bring power, authority, money.
The leader of the ummah has power and authority... khums is involved, people follow, listen to the successor.

Though for Shia Imamah, more than anything the person needs to have divine authority which is only given by Allah, therefore will ruling over people is important, it doesn't become activated until people themselves want the Imams. So in that sense they are different from any political system ever. All political parties thrive to become the leader, they don't. I mean they only push with the truth, if people want they accept, if they don't then so be it.

Answer to your second question: people lack knowledge and so they just do things without understanding. If today you ask Muslims why do you do wudu this way i.e. you pour water onto your face, hands, head, feet a great majority wouldn't know why they do something like that 5 times a day. A great majority don't know why we do our daily prayers in the sense that we bow, prostrate do roku', stand up, etc (they do know the soul of it which is connection to Allah and worship, but not much more). For the same reason such people don't know about the successor of Ja'far. If they study thoroughly likely they would find different results.

  • So who, according to the references, is the true successor, that's what I want to know. – Ali_Waris Dec 30 '16 at 3:29
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    @Ali_Waris I'm confused as to why you haven't found an answer. You said it's recorded 12 imams and then the Bohras' have 21. So there's to think about. According to Shia, after him is : Musa ibn Kazim, Ali ibn Musa, Muhammad ibn Ali, Ali ibn Muhammad, Hassan ibn Ali, Muhammad ibn Ali (Imam Mahdi) – Thaqalain Dec 30 '16 at 4:01
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    @Ali_Waris According to Shi'a. Imam Mahdi is the current person, guider. He guides us in the same way Prophet Muhammad guided people far away from him. He guides us in the same way that Satan can misguide us. Having that said I suggest if you have such questions of seeking the truth, ask them on Quora.com – Thaqalain Dec 30 '16 at 4:03
  • could you please walk me through the history of both imams, Musa Kazim a.s. & Ismail bin jafar a.s.? – Ali_Waris Dec 30 '16 at 6:40
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    @Ali_Waris I may be able to walk you through, yet I'm not certain how that would help. What is your ultimate question? Where is the point of your doubt right now as to follow Imam Kazim, Imam Reza, Imam Jawad, Imam Hadi, Imam Hassan al-Askari and finally Imam Mahdi? Where is your doubt. Please be specific. – Thaqalain Jan 16 '17 at 12:27

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