The 14 Infallibles or the Progeny of Prophet Mohammad PBUH:
The Prophet of Islam, Mohammad PBUH, was the last prophet assigned by God as His messenger. He was sent to complete God’s message that all religions are in fact one and all of them refer to one thing, which is God being the only creator, and the only One worthy of being worshipped. Each Prophet that was sent to humans in different ages was sent with miracles that were most suitable to the culture and intellect of the people and age they were living in.
Moses’s miracles were magic-like since witchcraft was popular back then, he could turn his cane into a dragon, part the sea in two, etc.
Jesus, was also sent with miracles such as resurrecting the dead, or healing diseases that could not be cured by doctors of the day, since medicine was important then.
The last prophet, however, was sent with one major miracle, being a Book. Since the last prophet should be a prophet for all ages, his miracle should also be applicable to all ages. Therefore, he was sent with science and literacy. Although many of the secrets of the Book or the Prophet’s own scientific knowledge could not be deciphered and understood back in his own time, but the passing of ages and new discoveries added to the truth of his saying and miracle.
The prophet of Islam had no sons, since all his sons were dead in their very early ages. He only had one daughter, related by blood, from his first wife, Khadijeh. His daughter was called Fatemeh (or Fatima).
On the other hand, the prophet had a cousin, about 30 years younger than himself, and related to him on his father’s side, named Ali. Ali was raised up in the Prophet’s own house, and was taught sciences by the prophet himself. Ali was the first man to believe in Mohammad’s religion and prophecy and supported him by blood and soul all his life. He was appointed by God as the Prophet’s successor in the Prophet’s final year. He therefore, became the first Imam.
Imam Ali AS married to the Prophet’s only daughter, Fatemeh, and their male children, Hassan and Hossein became the next two Imams.
Imam Hasan AS was one year older, therefore, became the second Imam after his father, Imam Ali AS. Imam Hossein AS became the third Imam after his brother’s martyrdom by poison. The rest of the Imams are from the progeny of Imam Hossein AS, each becoming the Imam after his father’s death.
Therefore, in Shia belief who believe Prophet Mohammad was assigned as Prophet by God, and Imam Ali AS, was also assigned by God as his successor, the first Imam is Ali AS, and the rest of the 11 Imams are his children and grandchildren.
Therefore, the two terms Imams and Infallibles refer to this distinction:
Imam = Imam Ali AS and his children who did not receive revelation like prophets, but still were the Godly-assigned leaders and guides when all the prophets were dead or killed.
Infallibles = refers to the 12 Imams plus Fatemeh (the mother of 11 Imams and the wife of the other one), as well as, Prophet Mohammad (being the grandfather of 11 Imams and the cousin of the first Imam). The word infallible means one that does not sin. They are named as such because despite having the choice to disobey God, they chose to fully obey God’s orders and tolerate the torments that happened in the meantime.
Hazrat Mohammad SAWA (The Holy Prophet of Islam)
Imam Ali AS
Hazrat Fatemeh AS
Imam Hasan AS
Imam Hossein AS
Imam Sajjad AS (Ali-bin-Hossein AS)
Imam Bagher AS (Muhammad-bin-Ali AS)
Imam Sadeq AS (Jafar-bin-Muhammad AS)
Imam Kazem AS (Musa-bin-Kazem AS)
Imam Reza AS (Ali-bin-Musa AS)
Imam Taghi AS (Muhammad-bin-Ali AS)
Imam Naghi AS (Ali-bin-Muhammad AS)
Imam Askari AS (Hasan-bin-Ali AS)
Imam Mahdi AS