Elite Guard

Good article since 20 February 2018
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From wikishia

Shurṭat al-Khamīs (Arabic: شرطة الخمیس) (means the Elite Guard) was a group of devoted fighters at the time of Imam 'Ali (a) who had dedicated their lives to support that Imam (a).

Literal Meaning

Shurtat literally means group, army, condition, and treaty.[1] In usage, it is the first unit of army that takes part in the battle and are ready to sacrifice themselves.[2] Army is meant by Khamis [in Arabic literally means five], because the army used to be divided into five groups of forerunners, front, right wing, left wing, and the heart.[3]

In Usage

Shurtat al-Khamis were a group consisting of 6000 friends of Imam 'Ali (a)[4] who had undertaken to fight (to the death if they had to) and Imam Ali (a) had guaranteed them the heaven.[5]


Regarding the status of Shurtat al-Khamis, Imam Ali (a) once said, "Before you, this treaty (Shurtat al-Khamis) was made among a group of Jews, no one of them was martyred unless he was either the prophet of his own tribe, or the prophet of his town, or a prophet by himself; And you are similar to them except that you are not prophets."[6]


Shurtat al-Khamis' members possessed some attributes including being constantly ready and equipped and having constant companionship with Imam Ali (a). In the battles, they used to fight in the front line.[7] They were always ready to serve Imam 'Ali (a) and never delayed obeying the Imam's (a) orders. They had promised to be loyal to Imam (a) to their death. They had detached themselves from this world and were knowledgeable and pious men. They belonged to various tribes. Even when there were no battles, they were ready and accompanied Imam (a) and executed important missions such as administrating legal punishments.[8]


Some members of Shurtat al-Khamis are as follows:


  1. ʿAmīd, Farhang-i lughat, p. 670.
  2. ʿAmīd, Farhang-i lughat, p. 670.
  3. Majlisī, Malādh al-akhyār, vol. 1, p. 240.
  4. Mufīd, al-Ikhtiṣāṣ, p. 2.
  5. Baḥr al-ʿUlūm, al-Fawāʾid al-rijālīyya, vol. 3, p. 36.
  6. ʿAlīyārī Tabrīzī, Bahjat al-āmāl, vol. 2, p. 350.
  7. Qummī, al-ʿIqd al-naḍīd, p. 162.
  8. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 346; Ṣadūq, Man lā yaḥdhuruh al-faqīh, vol. 3, p. 25.
  9. Barqī, Rijāl al-Barqī, p. 4.
  10. Mufīd, al-Ikhtiṣāṣ, p. 65.


  • ʿAlīyārī Tabrīzī, Mullā ʿAlī. Bahjat al-āmāl fī sharḥ zubdat al-maqāl. Tehran: Bunyād-i Farhang-i Islāmī, 1371 Sh.
  • ʿAmīd, Ḥasan. Farhang-i lughat. Tehran: Amīr Kabīr, 1359 Sh.
  • Baḥr al-ʿUlūm, Sayyid Mahdī al-. Al-Fawāʾid al-rijālīyya. Edited by Muḥammad Ṣādiq Baḥr al-ʿUlūm. Tehran: Maktabat al-Ṣādiq, 1363 Sh.
  • Barqī, Aḥmad b. Muḥammad al-. Rijāl al-Barqī. Tehran: Intishārāt-i Dānishgāh-i Tehran, 1342 Sh.
  • Kulaynī, Muḥammad b. Uaʿqūb al-. Al-Kāfī. Edited by ʿAlī Akbar al-Ghaffārī. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, [n.d].
  • Majlisī, Muḥammad Bāqir al-. Malādh al-akhyār fī fahm tahdhīb al-akhbār. Qom: Kitābkhāna-yi Āyatollāh Marʿashī al-Najafī, 1406 AH.
  • Mufīd, Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-. Al-Ikhtiṣāṣ. Qom: Intishārāt-i Kungira-yi Jahānī-yi Shaykh al-Mufīd, 1413 AH.
  • Qummī, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-. Al-ʿIqd al-naḍīd wa al-dur al-farīd. Edited by ʿAlī Awsaṭ al-Nāṭiqī. Qom: Dār al-Ḥadīth, 1423 AH.
  • Ṣadūq, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-. Man lā yaḥdhuruh al-faqīh. Edited by ʿAlī Akbar al-Ghaffārī. Qom: Daftar-i Nashr-i Islāmī, [n.d].