The Final Aregument
There are only two types of Imams in this world. One who leads to Paradise and one who leads to Hell.
AL KAFI - H 562, Ch. 25, h2
Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad and Muhammad ibn al- Husayn from Muhammad ibn Yahya from Talha ibn Zayd from abu 'Abd Allah, recipient of divine supreme covenant, who has said the following: "'A'immah mentioned in the book of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, are of two kinds. Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High has said, (1) 'We appointed them as 'A'immah (leaders) to guide the people through Our command . . .' (21:73) They do so but not because of the commands of the people.
They allow Our command to come first and before their own orders, and Our laws before their own laws and judgment. (2) Allah has also said, 'We made them the kinds of Imams (leaders) who invite people to the fire . . .' (28:41) They (this kind of Imam) make their own commands to come before the commands of Allah and their laws before the laws of Allah. They follow their desires against what the book of Allah, the Most Holy, and the Most High, requires.'"
Well, needless to say that if there are only two types of Imams in the Book of Allah, then there is no third category. It is pointless to argue that such and such is an Imam in one sense whilst he is not an Imam in the other sense.
The first type of Imam is one who leads to Paradise:
[Shakir 21:73] And We made them Imams who guided (people) by Our command, and We revealed to them the doing of good and the keeping up of prayer and the giving of the alms, and Us (alone) did they serve;
The second type of Imam is one who leads to Hell:
ُِْ [Shakir 28:41] And We made them Imams who call to the fire, and on the day of resurrection they shall not be assisted.
As we have seen that there is no third category of Imams. The Imams who lead to Paradise, their number has been fixed at twelve. And all the slots have been taken.
- Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) - Al Ameerul Mu'mineen
- Imam Hasan Ibn Ali (a.s.) - Al Mujtaba
- Imam Husayn Ibn Ali (a.s.) - Al Seyyid Us Shohada
- Imam Ali Ibn Husayn (a.s.) - Al Zayn Ul Abideen
- Imam Muhammad Ibn Ali (a.s.) - Al Baqir
- Imam Ja'far Ibn Muhammad (a.s.) - Al Sadiq
- Imam Musa Ibn Ja'far (a.s.) - Al Kadhim
- Imam Ali Ibn Musa (a.s.) - Al Rida
- Imam Muhammad Ibn Ali (a.s.) - Al Taqi
- Imam Ali Ibn Muhammad (a.s.) - Al Naqi
- Imam Hassan Ibn Ali (a.s.) - Al Askari
- Imam Muhammad Ibn Hassan (a.s.) - Al Mahdi
Now what? We are stuck. What do we do with the Imams of today? Where do we place them?
The only way to classify them as imams leading to Paradise would be to remove some of the ones from the list above to make room for these new ones of today. Meanwhile, there is plenty of room in the other list.