Many a place I have seen that nawasib try to mention a chapter of al Kafi, where in it is written that

(أن الائمة (عليهم السلام) يعلمون متى يموتون، وانهم لا يموتون) *

* (الا باختيار منهم) *

Aimmah (عليهم السلام) know when they will die, and They do not die but They have Ikhtiyar (اختيار) in it

This word اختيار basically means choosing or choice or opting

Let us see authentic narrations from books of Ahlusunnah

In Sahih Bukhari, we have this narration

حَدَّثَنِي عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو عَامِرٍ ، حَدَّثَنَا فُلَيْحٌ ، قَالَ : حَدَّثَنِي سَالِمٌ أَبُو النَّضْرِ ، عَنْ بُسْرِ بْنِ سَعِيدٍ ، عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيِّ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ , قَالَ : خَطَبَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ النَّاسَ ، وَقَالَ : ” إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَيَّرَ عَبْدًا بَيْنَ الدُّنْيَا وَبَيْنَ مَا عِنْدَهُ فَاخْتَارَذَلِكَ الْعَبْدُ مَا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ ”

Online English translation says

Volume 5, Book 57, Number 6 :

Narrated by Abu Said Al-Khudri
Allah’s Apostle addressed the people saying, “Allah has given option to a slaveto choose this world or what is with Him. The slave has chosen what is with Allah.”

Here we see the word (اخْتَارَ) and its translation as (chose)

If we go through the chapter which nawasib present, we find this narration

8 – عدة من أصحابنا، عن أحمد بن محمد، عن علي بن الحكم، عن سيف بن عميرة، عن عبدالملك بن أعين، عن أبي جعفر (عليه السلام) قال: أنزل الله تعالى النصر على الحسين (عليه السلام) حتى كان [ما] بين السماء والارض (4) ثم خير: النصر، أو لقاء الله، فاختار لقاء الله تعالى.

A number of our people has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from Ali ibn al-Hakam from Sayf ibn ‘Umayra from ‘Abd al-Malik ibn A‘yan from abu Ja‘far (a.s.) who has said the following.

“Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, sent support for Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) up to the fill between the heavens and earth. Then he was let to choose either victory or meeting Allah. He, however, chose the meeting of Allah the Most High.”

al Majlisi terms the narration Hasan

[Miraat ul Uqool, 3/128]

This explains what i wanted to say.

Interestingly, one of the nasibis on the internet wrote

The Shia claim that their Imams have control over their own deaths. But it is a basic concept in Islam that nobody has control over his death. Allah decrees death, and nobody can change the manner in which they die, in which land they die, nor can they avert death or even postpone it by a fraction of a second.

Let us see an authentic narration

We find in Sahih Bukhari

Volume 4, Book 55, Number 619 :

Narrated by Abu Huraira
The Angel of Death was sent to Moses when he came to Moses, Moses slapped him on the eye. The angel returned to his Lord and said, “You have sent me to a Slave who does not want to die.” Allah said, “Return to him and tell him to put his hand on the back of an ox and for every hair that will come under it, he will be granted one year of life.” Moses said, “O Lord! What will happen after that?” Allah replied, “Then death.” Moses said, “Let it come now.” Moses then requested Allah to let him die close to the Sacred Land so much so that he would be at a distance of a stone’s throw from it.” Abu Huraira added, “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘If I were there, I would show you his grave below the red sand hill on the side of the road.”

What we find in this narration are

1- Angel of death came to Moses, but had to return back after getting a slap
2- Moses was given an option by Allah that He can increase his life by One year per Every hear he gets from the back of an ox
3- Moses requested for change of place of death
4- Moses choose to die on that occasion rather then plucking hair from back of ox and delaying it

This internet Nasibi further wrote

The Quran declares that nobody knows in which land he will die, so how can the Imam know this? How can the Imam know even more than this (such as his time of death, manner of death, etc)?

So we see that he made the claim that

nobody knows in which land he will die, so how can the Imam know this?

Let us see an authentic narration from books of Ahlu Sunnah

Abdullah bin naji narrates from his father that he was going with Mola Ali; and when they passed by Nenwa, when they were going for battle of siffen; so Mola Ali asws raised his voice saying:- o Abu Abdullah! have patience; o Abu Abdullah! have patience by the side of furat; narrated asked him:- o Ali! what do you mean by Abu Abdullah? so Mola Ali said;- once i was entered in the room of Holy Prophet, and saw that he was weeping; so I asked him:- o Prophet! has some one hurt you which has made you cry? so he replied:- no, Jibrail came to me; and told me that Imam Hussein will be martyred on the bank of Furat; so Jibrail told me o Prophet! you wish to smell the soil of that land; where he will be martyred? so i said yes; so he moved his hand and filled his hand with that soil and gave it to me; so i cannot control my tears; and wept

Hussein Saleem Asad says:- isnaad are HASAN and author of majma uz zawaid has said that it is narrated by ahmad, abu yala, tibrani, and narrators are thiqa

[musnad abu yala, ahmad bin ali tameemi, researched by hussein saleem asad; vol 1, page 298, narration 363]

So you can clearly see in this narration that Holy Prophet and Imam Ali (peace be on them and their progeny) were clearly aware of the place of death of Imam Hussein asws

As regards to his other claim that how can they know of the manner of death, here are some authentic narrations from the books of ahlusunnah which i collected some times back regard Imam Ali asws being aware of his martyrdom and that he would die via strike on his forehead

you can see it here

imam ali asws was aware of his martyrdom « slave of Ahlubait’s Blog


Here we have seen that even ahlusunnah have narrations which speak about Ikhtiyar/choice in regards to death. And that there are narrations in their books which speak about people who were aware of their place and manner of death.

Please keep in mind that there are narrations in books of ahlusunnah which say that Holy Prophet asws and Imam Ali asws had knowledge till day of Qayamat

holy prophet asws and his knowledge till day of qayamat: sahih sunni hadeeth « slave of Ahlubait’s Blog

imam ali asws and his knowledge till day of qayamat: authentic sunni narration « slave of Ahlubait’s Blog