During a visit to Medinah I interestingly saw the names of the twelve Shi'a Imams (i.e. of the Twelvers, the mainstream Shi'a) —peace be upon them— with their reputations, around two saloons of the mosque of the holy Prophet —peace be upon him— (مسجد النبوی); before that I didn't know that the Sunni brothers also accept such reputations for the twelve Imams of Shi'a.

Note the green circles at top of the walls: comment

Those colored in green include 13 out of 14 innocents of the twelver Shi'ism (محمد، علی، حسن، حسین، زین العابدین، محمد الباقر، جعفر الصادق، موسی الکاظم، علی الرضا، محمد التقی، علی النقی، حسن العسکری، م‌ح‌م‌د المهدی علیهم السلام):



(More photos available here)

Are there any Sunni hadith that contains these names and reputations?

And although not necessary, it would also be helpful if such hadith would also address why the Twelver Imams are represented, but the Imams of other Shi'a sects are not (e.g. why Imam Kazim —peace be upon him— is considered here, but his brother Isma'eel is not).

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    In my view, we should have respect for Ahl e Bait and Ashaab e Rasool. I dont understand why Muslims have made sects on this matter. We are all Ahl e Sunnah, and Shias of Muhammad (SA). These are the different colours of our Ummah, and we should not make the sects to divide our Ummah. Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 23:16
  • Note that in the sunni tradition hadith is what the Prophet pbuh himself said or did, so there's no mentioning of these imams, as the majority of them didn't meet nor see the prophet(). Also relevant islam.stackexchange.com/questions/24200/… the only thing which might be possible is quoting ahadith in which they are part of the narrator chain which shows the respect of sunni scholars towards these scholars from the household of the prophet.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 6:57

1 Answer 1


The names of the Imams according to the sunni sources:

1- ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allaah be pleased with him) who was martyred in 40 AH.

2- Al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) (3-50 AH)

3- Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) (4-61 AH)

4- ‘Ali Zayn al-‘Aabideen ibn al-Husayn (38-95 AH), whom they call al-Sajjaad

5- Muhammad ibn ‘Ali Zayn al-‘Aabideen (57-114 AH) whom they call al-Baaqir

6- Ja’far ibn Muhammad al-Baaqir (83-148 AH) whom they call al-Saadiq

7- Moosa ibn Ja’far al-Saadiq (128-148 AH) whom they call al-Kaadim

8- ‘Ali ibn Moosa al-Kaadim (148-203 AH) whom they call al-Rida (Reza)

9- Muhammad al-Jawaad ibn ‘Ali al-Rida’ (195-220 AH) whom they call al-Taqiy

10- ‘Ali al-Haadi ibn Muhammad al-Jawaad (212-254 AH) whom they call al-Naqiy

11- al-Hasan al-‘Askari ibn ‘Ali al-Haadi (232-260) whom they call al-Zakiy

12- Muhammad al-Mahdi ibn al-Hasan al-‘Askari, whom they call al-Hujjah al-Qaa’im al-Muntazar. They claim that he entered a tunnel in Samarra’, but most researchers are of the view that he did not exist at all, and that he is a Shi’i myth.

See: al-Mawsoo’ah al-Muyassarah (1/51).

Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) divided the Imams of the Ithna ‘Ashari Shi’ah into four categories:

1 – ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib, al-Hasan and al-Husayn (may Allaah be pleased with them). They are noble Sahaabah and no one doubts their virtue and leadership, but many others shared with them the virtue of being companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and among the Sahaabah there are others who were more virtuous than them, based on saheeh evidence from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

2 – ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al-Baaqir, Ja’far ibn Muhammad al-Saadiq and Moosa ibn Ja’far. They are among the trustworthy and reliable scholars. Manhaaj al-Sunnah (2/243, 244).

3 – ‘Ali ibn Moosa al-Rida, Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Moosa al-Jawaad, ‘Ali ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al-‘Askari, and al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali ibn Muhammad al-‘Askari. Concerning them, Shaykh al-Islam (Ibn Taymiyah) said: They did not show a great deal of knowledge such that the ummah might benefit from them, nor did they have any authority by means of which they could help the ummah. Rather they were like any other Haashimis, they occupy a respected position, and they have sufficient knowledge of what which is needed by them and expected of people like them; it is a type is knowledge that is widely available to ordinary Muslims. But the type of knowledge that is exclusive to the scholars was not present in their case. Therefore seeks of knowledge did not receive from them what they received from the other three. Had they had that which was useful to seekers of knowledge, they would have sought it from them, as seekers of knowledge are well aware of where to go for knowledge. Minhaaj al-Sunnah (6/387).

4 – Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-‘Askari al-Muntazar (the awaited one). He did not exist at all, as stated above.

Source - IslamQA

The anonymous user made me take notice of something really important that need to be mentioned here. The 11 Imams according to Sunnis are not considered Shia at all. But they are considered Sunnis Imams who had much respect and love to Abu Baker and Umar (RA). Sunnis believe that the 2nd group of Imams were Sunni scholars and in no way had Shia hadiths.

An important proof from the Sunni sources, when some people came to the Imam Zayd ibn ‘Ali asking him about Abu Baker and Umar. He said: We love them and think they are in Jannah. So these people deserted him because of his statement. Hence the word Rafida(deserters) came from this incident and Sunnis call the 12 Imams followers Rafidis

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    to the annynomus user who is editing my post. Read this and inshallah you will find answers to your questions, Virtues of Muywiyah islam.stackexchange.com/questions/7121/… and Did muwyaha become a caliph in a legit way ? islam.stackexchange.com/questions/1166/…
    – Sohaeb
    Commented Aug 21, 2013 at 21:19
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    as for the battle between Ali and aisha. It was predicted by the prophet and he said both of these 2 armies are in jannah sunnah.com/bukhari/61/115. as for the hadith that mentions hasan and hussien are Imamas. Well, it clearly says imam in Jannah. not in this life.
    – Sohaeb
    Commented Aug 21, 2013 at 21:30
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    To know why the names were put in madinah we need to ask the authorites there or read some history about it. Nevertheless, Sunnis love and respect ahlulbayt more than any sect/religion. By the way, Ahlul Bayt are(aisha, the rest of the prophet wives, his children and grand children and grand grand children) Nowadays, it is really hard to know who is ahlulBayt. Many people falsely claim they are. But we don't believe them.
    – Sohaeb
    Commented Aug 21, 2013 at 21:37
  • in the last para, is it Abu Baler or Abu Baker ?
    – user2724
    Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 11:54
  • @Noor your comment is in a clear disagreement to our be nice policy each sect has their evidences and will certainly refute/reject/discuss those of their opponent. Also comments are rather meant for clarification than disputes or discussions. Therefore I've deleted your comment.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Sep 12, 2019 at 8:23

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