Validating of Belief in Luminous Bodies of Impeccable Imams in Narrative Sources of Farīqayn (Shia and Sunni); A Case study: Belief in the Absence of Shadow

Document Type : Original Article


Assistant Professor, Islamic Law and Fiqh, Humanities Faculty, University of Bozorgmehr Qaenat, Iran.



In narrative sources and Sirah books, numerous narrations about the physical characteristics of the impeccable Imams have been reported. In some of them, there are narrations indicating denial of their physicality. Among these narrations, there are reports in which the existence of a shadow for the Imams has been denied. In other words, when the Prophet and Imams were in front of light, they had no shadow. The narrators of these hadiths have considered this characteristic as a part of the miracles and virtues of the Imams, attributing it to their "Being of Light," as mentioned in other narrations. The narrations transmitted in Sunni sources are without Sanad. In the narration chain of some Shia narrations, there are unknown narrators and sometimes even exaggerators (Ghulāt). According to the Fiqh al-Hadith science, these hadiths face various challenges. Asserting this belief contradicts the Quran, which explicitly describes the Prophet as a human being like others and only distinguishes him in receiving revelation. This fundamental weakness is also evident from a rational perspective, as a permanent feature for a physical being with physical needs such as food, sleep, etc., which are mentioned in the impeccable Imams' definite Sirah, is not acceptable. The Imams' being of light, emphasized in the Quran and hadiths, refers to their giving illumination in darkness and guidance towards perfection, just as it applies to God. Therefore, the luminosity of the impeccable Imams does not imply their non-physicality. Finally, disregarding the weakness of the narration chain and the content, it can also be suggested that the lack of shadow for the impeccable Imams is a metaphor for their exalted status and does not refer to their physical body. The present study, using a descriptive-analytical method and with a critical approach, examines the narrations indicating the absence of a shadow for the impeccable Imams in the sources of both sects, utilizing library sources.


Volume 1, Issue 2 - Serial Number 2
March 2024
Pages 169-202
  • Receive Date: 05 December 2023
  • Accept Date: 11 December 2023
  • First Publish Date: 01 March 2024
  • Publish Date: 01 March 2024