The concept of Imamate, Wilayat (guardianship) and Ahlul bayt (a.s) has been mentioned and elaborated in the holy Quran in two different forms. Some of the verses in the holy Quran express and refer in a collective or individual way to their high prestige and perfection, verses like:
al e-Imran:61 al-Ana'm:82 al-Raad:47 al-Ahzab:33
al-Safat:130 al-Waqie'a:15/11 - al-Insan:5 9
And many other verses clearly signify about the guardianship of Imam Ali (a.s) and his right in being the successor of the holy Prophet (s.a.w) such as: al-Nisa`:59 al-Maidah:3 al-Maidah:55 al-Maidah:67 al-Raad:7
The Shiite mufassireen say that the mentioned verses above have many signs and significances, and by using the known proving methods to interpret these verses from an external view, the reason of revelation and the reliable narrations, the meanings of these verses will be deduced.
Many verses of the holy Quran have been interpreted according to the prior meanings, and this matter wouldn't be but by care and the guidance of the
Ahlul-bayt (a.s) being the Rasikhuun fil Ilm. ( al-Maidah:35- al-Imran:7
In researching the opinions and proofs in any of the items above, the best way is to vide to the texts of the Tafseer of the holy Qoran. Here we shall introduce a few of the major Shiite Tafseer books to you, and there you will find a commentary, explanation and meaning after every verse.
1- Tafseer ali bin ibraheem Qommi.
2- Tafseer Ayashi, by mohammad ibn masood Samarqandi.
3- Tafseer Numani, by abu abdullah mohammad ibn Ibrahim
4- Tafseer tibyan, by Sheikh al- Toosi
5- Majma' al- bayan, by Sheikh fadhl ibn hassan al- Tabarsi.
6- Rawdh al-Jinan, by abu al- futooh Razi
7- Tafseer Safi, by al-faidh al-Kashani.
Another Shiite way to prove their creeds concerning the concept of Imamate is the reliable narrations and traditions. In spite of the unnatural special conditions at the beginning of Islam, that led to the stopping and prohibitation of writing down of the Prophets (s.a.w) sayings for along time, the Shia could also prove their doctrine through the books of the Sunni sect.
The narrations that are classified in this field are classified in different sections:
1- Many of the traditions explain the merits of Imam Ali like him being the first Muslim male, his knowledge, jihad and legal judgments.
2- Many of traditions clarify his Khilafate and his Guardianship
3- some of the traditions refer to the Imamate of Hassan and Hussain (a.s), being mentioned as the two great beloved sons of the prophet (s.a.w).
4- some of the traditions refer to the holy Prophet (s.a.w) stating that the number of Imams after him is twelve.
5- some of the traditions mention the interpretation of some of the Quranic verses by the holy Prophet, stating that the Imams Hassan and Hussain (a.s) are the Leaders of Guidance.
6- some of the narrations of the Sunni school of thought clearly refer that the meanings of some of the Qoranic verses are about Imam Ali (a.s).
7- some of the narrations explain the virtue and merits of some of the Imams like al-Baqir and al-Sadiq (a.s).
In the field of gathering and collecting the narrations the Shiite scholars wrote and stated a lot. Here are some of them:
a) al- Ghadeer, by Allameh al-Amini.
b) Ali fi al-Kitab wal-Sunnah, by al-shakiri
c) al-Murajaat, by Allameh Sharaful-deen (The Right Path eng.)
c) The Commander of the faithful Ali ibn abi Talib, by Ahmad Rahmani Hamadani.
e) Imam Ali fi al-Quran in the Sunni perspective, by Abul fadl Yagma`ey.
f) Ahlul bayt fil Quran, by al-Subhani.
g) The characteristics of the two schools of thought, by Allameh Mortada askari.