Assisting the Shi’a Agenda? | AS

Assisting the Shi’a Agenda?

مســــــــاعدة الشيعة قي أهدافهم؟

Written and Compiled by Abu Salman Deya-ud-Deen Eberle

أبو ســـلمان ضياء الدين ابرلي

(May Allah have mercy on him and forgive him)


Table of Contents

Introduction.

Sectarianism and the word ‘Shi’a’ in the Qur`an and Sunnah.

Historical background and the origins of Shi’ism..

Development of Imami Shi’ism and concepts of Imamate.

Belief in the eventual appearance of the ‘Occulted’ Imam Mahdi and return to life of the Imams and their enemies.

MAHDI ACCORDING TO AHL-AS-SUNNAH WAL JAMAA’AH..

CALIPH AND MONARCH ACCORDING TO AHL-AS-SUNNAH WAL JAMAA’AH

Modern developments of Imami Twelver Shi’ism and political agendas.

(1) Khumaini’s Iranian Revolution.

(2) Iraqi Shi’a factions.

(3) Hizb-Allah of Lebanon:

The Issue of cooperation with Shi’a and helping the Shi’a agendas.

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Forth coming (insha-Allah: God willing)

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Excerpt from pages 9 -19

(Scroll down to bottom of page for footnotes)

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Historical background and the origins of Shi’ism

 

When differences erupted between companions concerning the murder of the third Caliph Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him, and all the companions of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, developed two groups called “Shi’a” in the lingual and political sense and not the deviant sectarian religious sense, as mentioned in the following narration by Sa’ad ibn Hisham ibn Aamir. He asked Ibn Abbas about the Witr prayers and was told by him to go to the most knowledgeable of the companions about this prayer, the Prophet’s wife A’isha, may Allah be pleased with all the companions:

فأتيت على حكيم بن أفلح فاستلحقته إليها فقال ما أنا بقاربها لأني نهيتها أن تقول

في هاتين الشيعتين شيئا فأبت فيهما إلا مضيا

“…so I came to Hukaim ibn Aflaaj and asked him to go to A’ishah with me and he said, I cannot go near her because I prohibited her something from these two groups (Shi’atain) but she refused and went ahead…” [1] As Imam an-Nawawi says in the commentary:

( الشيعتين ) الشيعتان الفرقتان والمراد تلك الحروب التي جرت يريد شيعة علي وأصحاب الجمل ( فأبت فيهما إلا مضيا ) أي فامتنعت من غير المضي وهو الذهاب

“’Two groups’ (Shi’atain) means two parties and the intended meaning is the battle which took place between the Shi’a of Ali and the companions of the Camel (i.e. Talhah, Zubair and A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with them all, and those with them in the battle of Jamal), ‘but she refused and went ahead’ meaning that she proceeded to go even after I discouraged her…” Thus the word Shi’a is used here for each of these two groups. It is known by reliable historical sources that both the groups intended conciliation but that the murderers of Uthman had hidden themselves among the tribesmen of the troops of Ali and instigated a battle to protect themselves, with each side thinking that the other group had acted treacherously. This was also prophesized by the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him:

«لا تقوم الساعة حتى تقتتل فئتان عظيمتان تكون بينهما مقتلة عظيمة دعواهما واحدة»

“The hour or resurrection will not occur until there will be a battle between two great groups (of Muslims) while their call is one.” [2]

The quarrels and differences between the Muslims increased after the battle of Siffeen (36 Hijri) between Ali ibn Abi Talib and his troops from Iraq, and Mu’awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan and his troops from Sham (greater Syria), and there are many instances of each side being called ‘Shi’a’ in the lingual political sense as above. There developed what was called Shi’at-Ali, aiding and allying with Ali in his cause of keeping the unity and seeking reconciliation, and what was called Shi’at-Uthman led by Mu’awiyah as the foremost relative of Uthman who took it upon himself to be responsible for receiving justice and avenging his murder by legal right. The fact that the murderers of Uthman had spread among the camps of Ali, a fact not denied by Ali, made matters complicated since although Ali also wished to avenge the murder, nevertheless he did not want the situation to degenerate into anarchy and chaotic civil war – just what the enemies of Islam desired and were threatening – and thus made unity under his command the necessary step for seeking this justice. We know that Ali’s position was more correct because the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, had already prophesized to Ammaar ibn Yasir, may Allah be pleased with him:

«أبشر عمار تقتلك الفئة الباغية»

“Receive glad tidings Ammaar, for you will be killed by the transgressing group.” [3] The transgressing group is not necessarily deviant but misinterpreted the situation and thus is in error by transgression. Deviation into crimes, innovations and sectarian blasphemies are additional transgressions. Allah commands the Muslims to fight any transgressing group until they return in obedience to the command of Allah, meaning to the unity of Allah and principles of Islamic law by abandoning acts of rebellion and transgression.

﴿وَإِن طَائِفَتَانِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ اقْتَتَلُوا فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَهُمَا فَإِن بَغَتْ إِحْدَاهُمَا عَلَى الْأُخْرَى فَقَاتِلُوا الَّتِي تَبْغِي حَتَّى تَفِيءَ إِلَى أَمْرِ اللَّهِ

فَإِن فَاءَتْ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَهُمَا بِالْعَدْلِ وَأَقْسِطُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ () إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ

فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

“And if two parties or groups among the believers fall in to fighting then make peace between them both, but if one of them rebels against the other then fight against the one which rebels until it complies with the Command of Allah; then if it complies, make reconciliation between them justly and be equitable. Verily! Allah loves those who are equitable. The believers are nothing except brothers (in Islamic religion).  So make reconciliation between your brothers and fear Allah that you may receive mercy.” [49:12]

Some of the benefits in jurisprudence derived from the Caliphate of Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, are the various Islamic rulings about fighting different types of transgressing groups of the Muslims, as he did in the Battles of Jamal, Siffeen and Nahawand. Indeed he was the first of the rightly guided Caliphs to have done so since those before him fought the apostates and disbelievers.  As Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

«إن منكم من يقاتل على تأويل هذا القرآن كما قاتلت على تنزيله» فاستشرفنا وفينا أبو بكر وعمر

فقال « لا ولكنه خاصف النعل » يعني علياْ رضي الله عنه

“There is one of you that will fight on the interpretation of the Qur`an as I have fought on the revelation of the Qur`an. We were keen for this virtue and there were among us Abu Bakr and Umar, but he said, ‘No, but it is the one with patched shoes,’ meaning Ali, may Allah be pleased with him.” [4]

The correctness of Ali’s position is also deduced from the narration when the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, prophesized about the rebels of the Khawarij who broke and waged war against Ali, may Allah be pleased with him:

«تمرق مارقة عند فرقة من المسلمين يقتلها أولى الطائفتين بالحق»

“A group will rebel when there is dissention between the Muslims and they will be killed by the group closer to the truth.” And in another wording…

«ذكر فيه قوما يخرجون على فرقة مختلفة يقتلهم أقرب الطائفتين من الحق»

“A group will remove itself when there are differences between the Muslims and they will be killed by the group nearer to the truth.” [5] Note that he said, peace and blessings be upon him, closer and nearer to the truth, and thus the matter is relative to a spectrum of truth considering the complex circumstances, and not an absolute truth as in other situations where there is more clear cut case of right and wrong. And note also that both groups are Muslims even the one that is not on the truth.

Consequently the Khawarij fought all other Muslims under the pretext, among other things, that they were committing greater sins which caused disbelief and apostasy from Islam.

This confirms definitely that in this issue Mu’awiyah and his group were mistaken and were transgressing the bounds and should have submitted to the goal of Muslim unity as requested by Ali before the application of the legal punishments upon the murderers of Uthman, may Allah be pleased with them and all the companions. Yet on the other hand it confirms that they were and remained Muslims, and their sins and transgressions did not reach the extent of making them apostate from Islam or a deviating sect. For this, and other reasons outside our scope here, Ahl-as-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah consider Ali as the rightly guided Caliph while Mu’awiyah was not of the righteously guided Caliphs.  Although, he did become a legitimate leader of the Muslims after the murder of Ali ibn Abi Talib when his son Hasan ibn Ali declined to seek the leadership and abdicated in favor of Mu’awiyah’s leadership to preserve the unity of the Muslims and prevent bloodshed, may Allah be pleased with them and all the companions. Referring to this Hasan ibn Ali was praised in the greatest terms by the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, when he said:

« إن ابني هذا سيد ولعل الله أن يصلح به بين فئتين عظيمتين من المسلمين»

“Verily this son of mine is a Sayyid (noble leader): Allah will rectify by him between two great groups of Muslims.” [6] Scholars agree that the rectification here indicates his abdication in favor of Mu’awiyah to preserve unity. Indeed a principle of Ahl-as-Sunnah is derived from this that one may leave some good things to persevere unity as a greater and more beneficial good, and this is of the Sunnah of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.

The position of Ahl-as-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah has been that both sides in this conflict remain trustworthy Muslims with their faith and previous virtues intact, and it is not allowed to revile any of them, since the differences and the bloodletting only occurred by various interpretations of the events, some more correct than others, with sincere intentions to take the right course of action. They do not exonerate the Umayyids or anyone else from their responsibilities and mistakes. Some of the Umayyid were praiseworthy in many traits of their governance, especially Mu’awiyyah, may Allah be pleased with him, a scribe of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, and the first and greatest of the Muslim Kings, and Umar ibn Abdul Aziz who is called the fifth rightly guided Caliph.  Others were less praiseworthy while some others and their governance degenerated into clear deviation, not to mention worldly sins of greed and aggression. One of the deviations that developed was most obnoxious innovation of “Nasab”, enmity to the household of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.  Indeed the Prophet himself, peace and blessings be upon him, prophesized that some destruction would occur from the deviated of some of Quraish, as he said:

هلكة أمتي على يدي غلمة من قريش»)

“The destruction of my Ummah will be on the hands of some youth of Quraish.”[7] And he said more specifically:

(أول من يبدل سنتي رجل من بني أمية)

“The first person to change my Sunnah will be from the sons of Umayyah.”[8]

Another crucial factor in the early civil strife was the instigations of some hypocrites seeking to wreck havoc among the Muslims. The role of these internal enemies, the hypocrites, is significant in the murder of Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him, the civil strife afterwards, and in the development of Shi’ism. Their role in the murder of Uthman is known also by the saying of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him:

يا عثمان إن الله يقمصك قميصاْ فإن أرادك المنافقين على خلعه فلا تخلعه حتى تلقاني

“O Uthman, Allah will have you wear a cloak (i.e. indicating the mantle of leadership) and if the hypocrites try to make you remove yourself from it do not obey them until you meet me.” [9]

The role of hypocrites in civil strife among the Muslims and the origins of deviant sectarian Shi’ism is known by the historical personage of Abdullah ibn Saba`a, the Jewish Rabbi originally from Yemen who accepted Islam in ostentation yet propagated dissention against Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him, and the most heinous forms of blasphemy and disbelief. He is regarded unanimously by the most eminent of Imami Twelver Shi’a sources down through the ages, not to mention the Sunni sources, to have been the first to incite the exaggerations of the virtues of Ali, to transgress against the rights of the other Muslims, especially Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman, may Allah be pleased with all of the companions, by reviling and abusing them and calling them apostates, and to have fabricated horrendous lies and falsehoods surrounding the events concerning Ali, even to the point of making him into a deity and himself into a prophet.  Only in these modern times have some Shi’a writers tried to cast doubt about the role of Ibn Saba`a to exonerate themselves by citing the weakness of some of the narrators of his story like Saif ibn Umar, but this doesn’t negate the plurality of historical sources which verify his role as instigator of the extremist sect called by his name, al-Saba`iyyah, who were instrumental in the civil strife and extremist Shi’ism. There are many heresiographical works and historical details worthy of noting here but they are outside our immediate scope, and the important thing here is to note that the authoritative Shi’a sources say, to quote an-Nubakhti, al-Kash-shi and others, with this being the wording of al-Kash-shi:

قال الكشّى ” ذكر بعض أن عبد الله بن سبأ كان يهودياً فأسلم ووالى عليا رضي الله عنه، وكان يقول وهو على يهوديته في يوشع بن نون وصى موسى بالغلو ! فقال في إسلامه بعد وفاة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في على رضي الله عنه مثل ذلك ، وكان أول من شهر بالقول بفرض إمامة على !! وأظهر البراءة من أعدائه وكاشف مخالفيه وأكفرهم ، فمن  ها هنا قال من خالف الشيعة : أصل التشيع والرفض مأخوذ من اليهودية !! ” .

“Some people (of knowledge) mentioned that Abdullah bin Saba`a was a Jew who embraced Islam and supported Ali, may Allah be pleased with him. While he was still a Jew he was extremist in calling Yousha’a ibn Noon (Joshua) as the designated successor of Moses and after embracing Islam – after the demise of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him – he said similarly about Ali. It was he who first publicly announced the mandatory leadership (Wasiyyah of Imamah) for Ali, rejected and disowned his enemies, debated his opponents and called them disbelievers (Kafirs). Therefore those who oppose the Shi’a often say: The Shi’a and Rejecters (Rafidhah) have their origins in Judaism.”[10] When Abdullah bin Saba`a heard of the death of Ali while in exile in al-Madaa`in, he said to the announcer of the news: ‘You are a liar, if you are to bring his head in seventy bags and brought seventy witnesses testifying to his death, we will insist nevertheless that he did not die nor was murdered and he shall not die till he rules the globe.’”[11]

Here we have the fundamental points of Shi’ism in both its most extremist form of the Ghulaat and that of the extremist Imami creed. Any Shi’a that openly calls Ali or any of the other Imams of theirs a god, or takes them as objects for worship, or declares prophet-hood for another besides the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, is classified as most extremist Ghulaat and is apostate from Islam.

The Imami Shi’a and Rafidhah do not openly say this although many narrations quoted from their literature and many popular practices reach up to this level of extremism in effect or implicitly.  The concepts in this narration about Ibn Saba`a that later became fully developed dogmatic and theological creeds are as follows:

Al-Imamah: the declaration that only Ali is the legitimate successor after the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. They add that this is an absolute necessity upon Allah and His divine grace to designate an Imam for each generation of the humanity and guide and support that Imam just as the Prophets or more than them.

Al-Wasiyyah: the designation of Imamate is by the text of scriptures just the way the Prophets were designated by Allah.  The scriptures include the sayings of Allah, the sayings of the Prophet and the sayings of Imams in succession since for them the Imams receive divine revelation.

Al-Wala`a wal-Bara`a: To support and ally with the Imam and their followers and disown and disavow the enemies of the Imam.

At-Takfeer: To pronounce disbelief and apostasy upon all those who do not believe in the Imam and creed of Imamate of the era, and follow him, since they rejected a fundamental of faith.

Al-Mahdi al-Ghaa`ib: The concept of a rightly guided Imam who miraculously remains hidden and will return to avenge and rule.

Ar-Raj’a: the concept of return either from the absence and occultation, or from death back into life, before the final Day of Resurrection, to avenge and rule.

An-Nubakhti said: “Abdullah ibn Saba`a, was one of those who slandered Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and other companions and disowned them. He claimed that it was Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, who enjoined this on him. Ali arrested him, and upon interrogation he admitted to the accusation, and Ali ordered him to be executed. The people cried out, ‘O Leader of the faithful, will you execute a man calling to the love of Ahl-al-Bait, to your allegiance, and who disowns your enemies?’ Ali then exiled him to al-Madaa`in. …He was the first to publicly mandate the Imamah of Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, disowning his enemies, and debated those that opposed him. This is why those who oppose Shi’ism say that the origin of Shi’ism is rooted in Judaism.”[12]

In other versions Ali executed him and a group of his followers of the Saba`iyyah who claim divinity in Ali, may Allah be pleased with him. The main outline of the event of Ali’s execution of a group of extremists is indicated in many other narrations reported by Ahl-as-Sunnah and recorded by al-Bukari and others:

أتي علي رضي الله عنه بزنادقة فأحرقهم فبلغ ذلك ابن عباس فقال لو كنت أنا لم أحرقهم لنهي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ( لا تعذبوا بعذاب الله ) . ولقتلتهم لقول رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ( من بدل دينه فاقتلوه) )

“A group of Zanaadiqah (atheists or dualists) were brought to Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, and he burned them alive.  When this news reached Ibn Abass, he said: ‘If I were in command, I wouldn’t have burnt them for the saying of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, ‘Do not punish by the punishment of Allah,’ and I would have killed them for the saying of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, ‘If someone changes his religion kill him.’” [13]

Thus during the time of Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, we can identify two groups of what was then called Shi’a.  One group is the moderate early form of Shi’a who were Shi’at-Ali as a political faction and his supporters, included in which were later on his descendents as well, against those who opposed them from Bani Ummayyid. The other group that arose, was called the “Nasibah” whose deviant innovation was to hate and revile all of the sons of Ali, may Allah be pleased with him. These early Shi’a are called Shi’at-Ali or Shi’at-Ahl-al-Bait (party of the people of the household) and did not necessarily have any deviancies in faith and creed but were opposed politically against the Umayyad dynasty and later the Abbasid dynasty.

Some of these that were truly “Shi’a” of the Ahl-al-Bait were the best of the Muslims and among them were the early descendents of Ali, may Allah be pleased with him.  Some of them may have rebelled and sought to rule, with some people of the Sunnah supporting them, [14] against the injustices of the rulers of the day, most noteworthy Zaid ibn Ali’s rebellion against the Umayyads, and an-Nafs az-Zakiyyah’s rebellion against the Abbasids, but before their stories we must briefly describe another opportunist more of the likes of Ibn Saba`a which adds another important development to deviant sectarian Shi’ism. Al-Mukhtar ibn Abi Ubaid ath-Thaqafi took advantage of the hatred of the Umayyads after the unjust murder of Husain ibn Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, by raising troops in the town of Kufa in Iraq (which included the Saba`iyyah as mentioned above) to avenge the honor of Ahl-al-Bait by killing Husain’s murderers. He claimed authority from the new Imam after Husain, the other son of Ali ibn Abi Talib called Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah. Mukhtar took control of Kufa and his stature and affairs progressed until he claimed that revelation descended upon him from Allah – prophethood for himself. For this he is one of the greatest liars and false prophets to appear among the Muslims as the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, prophesized about his appearance saying:

«في ثقيف كذاب ومبير»

“In (the tribe) of Thaqeef there is a liar and a tyrant.” [15] All agree that the liar indicated was Mukhtar and the tyrant was the Umayyad governor of Iraq Hajjaj ibn Yusuf ath-Thaqafi who then came and ruled brutally executing great multitudes of people many unjustly. The importance of Mukhtar for Shi’ism is the opportunism he showed in claiming alliance to Ahl-al-Bait. He claimed that the designated Imam after Husain became Muhammad ibn Ali called Ibn al-Hanafiyyah, another son of Ali from other than Fatimah, and furthermore that he is the Mahdi of the nation of Muslims. The followers were later called al-Kisaaniyyah and they further developed the concept of the missing Imam when they claimed that Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah never died but went into hiding in the mountain of Radwah and would someday return to rule.

Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, had prophesied about the murder and martyrdom of his grandson Husain, saying:

أتاني جبريل فأخبرني أن أمتي ستقتل ابني هذا – يعني الحسين –  وأتاني بتربة من تربته الحمراء

“Jibreel came to me and informed me that my Ummah will kill this son of mine – meaning Husain – and he brought me some of his read dust (with his blood).” [16]

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, had also prophesized about someone who will claim to be of the Ahl-al-Bait like the narration when the companions were sitting with the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing be upon him, and he talked about periods of trial (Fitnah), mentioning many of them and he mentioned the one when people should stay in their houses, (Al-Ahlas) some asked him: O Messenger of Allah, what is the trial of staying at home?  He replied:

فتنة الأحلاس هي فتنة هرب وحرب ثم فتنة السراء دخلها أو دخنها من تحت قدمي رجل من أهل بيتي يزعم أنه مني وليس مني إنما ولي المتقون ثم يصطلح الناس على رجل كورك على ضلع ثم فتنة الدهماء لا تدع أحدا من هذه الأمة إلا لطمته لطمة فإذا قيل : انقطعت تمادت يصبح الرجل فيها مؤمنا ويمسي كافرا حتى يصير الناس إلى فسطاطين : فسطاط إيمان لا نفاق فيه وفسطاط نفاق لا إيمان فيه إذا كان ذاكم فانتظروا الدجال من اليوم أو الغد

“It will be a trial of flight and plunder. Then will come a test that is pleasant which nevertheless will have murkiness due to the fact that it is produced by a man from the people of my house (Ahl-Baiti) who will assert that he belongs to me whereas he does not, for indeed my friends and allies are only the God-fearing. Then the people will unite under a man who will be like a hipbone on a rib. Then there will be the black trial that will leave none of this community without giving him a slap.  When people say that it is finished, it will be extended. During this trial a man will be a believer in the morning and become an infidel in the evening, until the people will separate into two camps: the camp of faith that will contain no hypocrisy, and the camp of hypocrisy that will contain no faith. When that happens expect the Antichrist (Dajjal) that day or the next.” [17] Speculation is rife as to whom of the household is meant in this tradition and whether he really was of the bloodline or just a false claimant, since the point emphasized is that the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, absolved himself from and warned against incorrect deeds and hypocrisy. If it is a false claimant then it is possible that Ibn Saba`a or Mukhtar is indicated since a kind of limited unity was reached after the civil strife caused by them and their followers was eradicated, and Allah knows best.

The stories of both Zaid and an-Nafs az-Zakiyyah deserve here special mention briefly because their two cases display the cases of Shi’ism in the political factional sense without the deviancy of major innovations and heresy like Ibn Saba`a and Mukhtar.

Zaid ibn Ali ibn Husain ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with them,

(740 CE = 122 Hijri) revolted against the Caliph Hisham ibn Abdul-Malik al-Umayyad and the Iraqi Governor Yusuf ibn Umar ath-Thaqafi. When the Shi’a of Kufa followed him, some of them asked him saying, as reported by al-Baghdadi:

انا ننصرك على اعدائك بعد أن تخبرنا برأيك في أبي بكر وعمر اللذين ظلما جدك على ابن أبي طالب فقال زيد إني لا أقول فيهما إلا خيرا وما سمعت أبي يقول فيهما الا خيرا وانما خرجت على بنى امية الذين قاتلوا جدى الحسين وأغاروا على المدينة يوم الحرة ثم رموا بيتا لله بحجر المنجنيق والنار ففارقوه عند ذلك حتى قال لهم رفضتموني ومن يومئذ سموا رافضة

‘We will not aid you against your enemies (i.e. Umayyads) until you inform us about Abu Bakr and Umar who were unjust to your grandfather Ali Ibn Abi Talib. He replied: I only say what is good about them, and I did not hear anything but what was good about them from my father, and I have rebelled against the Umayyads who killed my grandfather Husain and who attacked Madeenah the day of Harrah and who bombarded the House of Allah with catapult bombs and fire. They then abandoned him, so he said to them, ‘You have rejected me (Rafadh-tamuni).’ From there forth they were called ar-Raafidhah.”  [18]

From this time there develops the definite split of Shi’a into the Zaidiyyah Shi’a without the innovations of Ibn Saba`a and Mukhtar and the other Ghulaat, and the Imami Shi’a called Rafidhah (singular Rafidhi; plural Rawafidh) from Raafidh, to renounce and reject, meaning their condemnation of Abu Bakr and Umar, may Allah be pleased with them. This is similar to the previous definite split between Ali and the Ghulaat Shi’a like ibn Saba`a.  Poltical Zaidi Shi’ism is significant after Zaid since it spread to other places where their Imams and activists settled. Zaidi revolts and dynasties appeared in the revolts of Yahya ibn Zaid in Khurasan and other places, and the dynasties in Dailam in Iran, Yemen and North Africa, and other places without the Ghulaat tendencies.

Another event of historical importance is the revolt of Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Hasan (al-Muthanna) ibn Hasan ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib, and his brother Ibraheem, may Allah be pleased with all of the companions and the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the Prophet and his family. Muhammad is called by the epitaph an-Nafs az-Zakiyyah (the Pure Soul) for his prominent purity and righteousness, and no deviant Imami or Ghulaat Shi’a innovation is associated with him and his family. He was believed to be the expected Mahdi promised in many narrations. During the reign of the Abbasid Caliph al-Mansur he and his brother Ibraheem rebelled as they were being suppressed relentlessly, but they were vanquished and killed. It is reported that more than one of the most famous Sunni leaders of jurisprudence at the time, including Imam Abu Haneefah in Kufa and Imam Malik in Madeenah supported this attempt to rectify injustice and seize leadership by an-Nafs az-Zakiyyah due to his superb qualifications and other factors. [19]

Yet with his death more tricksters appeared, of the likes of al-Mugheerah ibn Sa’eed, who became the founder of the sect called al-Mugheeriyyah claiming that an-Nafs az-Zakiyyah didn’t really die but went into occultation and will reappear one day. Al-Mugheerah himself was known for horrendous blasphemies like divine incarnation into the Imams –he himself became the Imam after Muhammad- anthropomorphization of Allah’s attributes, reincarnation and other absurdities.

Another group called Mansuriyyah, revered Abu Mansur al-Ijli believing his claims of divinity, followed him and then his son Muhammad after him, (another splinter group believed an-Nafs az-Zakiyyah to be the Mahdi) have been considered by some as one of the original terrorist groups of the Islamic world by their brutality and military tactics against their opponents, foreshadowing the Shi’a Assassins.  [20]

Actually there are many events, splints and divisions that make any discussion about Shi’a development lengthy, but in summary we can say that the five major divisions of the Shi’a historically are:

1)      Shi’at-Ali, called also Shi’at-Ahl-al-Bait;

2)      Shi’a al-Ghulaat;

3)      Shi’a al-Kisaaniyyah;

4)      Shi’a az-Zaidiyyah;

5)      Shi’a al-Imamiyyah;

If we were to arrange the above five in a spectrum from the best and most free from innovation to those that have some degree of innovation to the worst in deviancy up to the point of disbelief and apostasy from Islam, we would arrange them: Shi’at-Ali, called also Shi’at-Ahl-al-Bait <> Shi’a Zaidiyyah <> Shi’a Kisaaniyyah <> Shi’a Imamiyyah <> Shi’a al-Ghulaat.

It may be that some in one group became influenced by the other and thus their ideologies entered into their rulings, for instance, the early Shi’at-Ali and Shi’at-Ahl-al-Bait include the decedents of family of the Prophet Muhammad, may the most perfect salutations of prayers, peace and blessing be upon him and his family, and their followers and supporters. Many or all of them were of Ahl-as-Sunnah in faith and creed but in some political issues supported Ahl-al-Bait against the Umayyad and Abbasids, and some of them may have been influenced by other innovations like those of the Murji’ah, Qadariyyah, and Mu’tazilah, and of other Shi’a groups.

The Kisaaniyyah are now extinct but for a while were very active in revolts, and many of their sects took Ghulaat ideas.

The Zaidiyyah are the closest to the Sunnah concerning the issue of Imamate after the Shi’at-Ali but in other issues of theology and creed they are influenced by Mu’tazilite theological deviations. Some of the Zaidiyyah may lean towards the Imamiyyah and thus take their rulings, while some others of the Zaidiyyah may lean towards the Ahl-As-Sunnah. Some latter Zaidi scholars are accepted as great in merit by Ahl-as-Sunnah. Historically the Zaidiyyah have fought the deviancies of the Isma’eeli Imamates and Ghulaat.

The Shi’a Ghulaat include all the followers of Abdullah ibn Saba`a and Mukhtar (who is said to be the originator of the Kisaaniyyah) and similar deviant liars and tricksters, and many Imamiyyah.

The Imamiyyah and the Ghulaat have become intermixed and for all the practical purposes are inseparable unless one scrutinizes individual cases. Some Imamiyyah are definitely Ghulaat and apostate like all the Isma’eeliyyah and the Nusairiyyah. The case of Twelver Imami Shi’a is mixed, for if they lean towards the Ghulaat and follow what their Twlever Imami Shi’a scholars say and write which include extremism, they take the ruling of them.  If they truly refute the common forms of Shi’a extremism and lean towards the original Shi’at-Ali and the Zaidiyyah then the ruling is less severe, and Allah knows best.

Ahl-as-Sunnah staunchly defend and absolve Ahl-al-Bait who were also the eminent companions of the Prophet, like Ali, Hasan and Husain, may Allah be pleased with them, and the of followers after them in goodness in the following generations, like Ali ibn Husain (Zain-ul-Abideen) , Muhammad ibn Ali (al-Baqir) , his brother Zaid ibn Ali, Ja’far ibn Muhammad (as-Sadiq), Musa ibn Ja’far (Al-Kazthim), Ali ibn Musa (ar-Ridha), Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Hasan, his brother Ibraheem, and many others of Ahl-al-Bait, against the accusations and false narrations from them which indicate that they were deviant in faith and creed. Anyone who reads the history of the Umayyad and early Abbasid dynasties knows that the revolts of various leaders and Shi’a of Ahl-al-Bait were largely in response to the brutal oppression and suppression of the Umayyad and early Abbasid armies on the Ahl-al-Bait. The rise of the Abbsids was only possible because they themselves were from Ahl-al-Bait, raised the slogan of championing and defending Ahl-al-Bait and seeking vengeance.  The first two Calpihs as-Saffaah and al-Mansur had plotted with others of Ahl-al-Bait and both had even pledged allegiance to Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Hasan (al-Muthanna) ibn Hasan ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib known as an-Nafs az-Zakiyyah (the Pure Soul), may Allah be pleased with all of the companions of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, as mentioned by the historians.[21]

It is not allowed to accuse anyone of innovation or deviance except with conclusive evidence to prove that the person has indeed fallen into some degree of deviancy.  This sanctity that is for all the Muslims is even more emphasized for the special status of Ahl-al-Bait. The innovations of the Shi’a has revolved around extremism and exaggerations and this is strictly prohibited as the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, commands us in reliable narration saying:

” لا تطروني كما أطرت النصارى عيسى بن مريم ولكن قولوا عبد الله ورسوله “

“Do not exaggerate my praise as the Christians exaggerated the praise of (Jesus) son of Mary, verily I am only a slave, so say: the slave of Allah and His Messenger.” [22] Ali ibn Abi Talib himself, may Allah be pleased with him, said that two groups of extremists would destroy themselves in his case, when he said:

يهلك في رجلان مفرط فى حبى ومفرط فى بغضى

“Two people are destroyed concerning me: the extremist in his love of me and the extremist in his hate of me.”  [23] He indicates here the Shi’a and the Nasibah. And he would say as reported by many:

خير هذ الأمة بعد نبيها أبو بكر ثم عمر

The best of this Ummmah (Nation) is Abu Bakr and Umar.” And he repeatedly said on the pulpit as reported by many:

لا أوتي باحد يفضلني على أبي بكر وعمر إلا ضربته حد المفتري

“If anyone is brought to me who has deemed me better than Abu Bakr and Umar, I will whip him as the one who is guilty of false accusation is whipped.”

All this is also related in Shi’a sources, for in the famous book Nahjul Balaghah (sermon 126) Ali said: “With regard to me, two categories of people will be ruined, namely he who loves me too much and the love takes him away from the rightfulness, and he who hates me too much and the hatred takes him away from the rightfulness. The best man with regard to me is he who is on the middle course. So be with him and be with the great majority (of Muslims) because Allah’s hand (of protection) is on keeping unity.”

We know that Ahl-al-Bait were all upright people of the Sunnah of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and repudiate all the deviant creeds and principles that some of the extremist Shi’a ascribed to them. For instance, Asim ibn Damrah reports that it was said to Ali ibn Husain:

عن عاصم بن ضمرة قال قلت للحسن بن على : ان الشيعة يزعمون ان عليا رضي الله عنه يرجع

قال كذب أولئك الكذابون لو علمنا ذاك ما تزوج نساؤه ولا قسمنا ميراثه

“The Shi’a claim that Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, will return. He said ‘Those are liars, for if we knew that he would return we wouldn’t have divided his wealth (as inheritance nor allowed his wives to remarry.’” [24] And in the version of al-Haakim the narrator, Amr ibn al-Asam said:

عن عمرو الأصم قال : قلت للحسن بن علي إن هذه الشيعة يزعمون أن عليا مبعوث قبل يوم القيامة قال : كذبوا و الله ما هؤلاء بشيعته لو علمنا أنه مبعوث ما زوجنا نساءه و لا اقتسمنا ماله

“I said to Ali ibn Husain, ‘These Shi’a claim that Ali will be resurrected before the Day of Resurrection. He said: They lie and these are not his Shi’a for if we knew that he will come back we wouldn’t have allowed his wives to remarry nor divided his wealth (as inheritance).’”

And in the Twelver Imami Shi’a book Kashf-il-Ghummah we read the story of Ali ibn Husain:

جاء نفر من العراق فقالوا في أبي بكر وعمر وعثمان رضي الله عنهم، فلما فرغوا من كلامهم قال لهم: «ألا تخبروني: أنتم المهاجرون الأولون ((الَّذِينَ أُخْرِجُوا مِنْ دِيارِهِمْ وَأَمْوَالِهِمْ يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلاً مِنْ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَاناً وَيَنْصُرُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ أُوْلَئِكَ هُمْ الصَّادِقُونَ)) [الحشر:8]؟! قالوا: لا، قال: فأنتم ((الَّذِينَ تَبَوَّءُوا الدَّارَ وَالإِيمَانَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ يُحِبُّونَ مَنْ هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلا يَجِدُونَ فِي صُدُورِهِمْ حَاجَةً مِمَّا أُوتُوا وَيُؤْثِرُونَ عَلَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ وَلَوْ كَانَ بِهِمْ خَصَاصَةٌ)) [الحشر:9]؟! قالوا: لا، قال: أما أنتم قد تبرأتم أن تكونوا من أحد هذين الفريقين، وأنا أشهد أنكم لستم من الذين قال الله فيهم: ((يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلإِخْوَانِنَا الَّذِينَ سَبَقُونَا بِالإِيمَانِ وَلا تَجْعَلْ فِي قُلُوبِنَا غِلاًّ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا))

[الحشر:10] اخرجوا عني فعل الله بكم»

“A group from Iraq came to him and spoke abusively about Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman, may Allah be pleased with them, and when they were finished he said, ‘Inform me, who are you people? Are you of the foremost Emigrants (as Allah said): “For the poor emigrants who were expelled from their homes and their properties, seeking bounty from Allah and [His] approval and supporting Allah and His Messenger.  Those are the truthful.” (60:8) They said, ‘No.’ He said, ’Are you of the Helpers (as Allah said): “And for those who were settled in the Home and the faith before them.  They love those who emigrated to them and do not find any want in their breasts of what they (the emigrants) were given but give (to them in) preference over themselves even though they are in hardship.  And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul, it is those who will be the successful.” They said, ‘No.’ He said: ‘You have cleared and absolved yourselves of being of one of these two groups. And I testify that you are definitely not of those about whom Allah said: “And (there is also a share of booty for) those who came after them, who say, ‘Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith and do not place in our hearts any rancor or resentment toward those who have believed.  Our Lord, indeed You are Kind and Merciful.” [25]

And the Shi’a sources mention this extremism, as the saying of Zain al-‘Aabideen ibn Husain indicates.

«إن اليهود أحبوا عزيرًا حتى قالوا فيه ما قالوا، فلا عزير منهم ولا هم من عزير، وإن النصارى أحبوا عيسى حتى قالوا فيه ما قالوا، فلا عيسى منهم ولا هم من عيسى، وإنا على سنة من ذلك، إن قومًا من شيعتنا سيحبونا حتى يقولوا فينا ما قالت اليهود في عزير، وما قالت النصارى في عيسى ابن مريم، فلا هم منا ولا نحن منهم»

“The Jews loved Uzair until they said what they said about him (that he was divine), and the Christians loved Jesus until they said what they said about him (that he was divine), and I am like this way.  Some of our sect (Shi’atana) say about me what Jews said about Uzair and what Christians say about Jesus. They are not of me, nor am I of them.” [26]

And it is reported that he as the leader of Ahl-al-Bait in his time would say:

«أيها الناس! أحبونا حب الإسلام؛ فما برح بنا حبكم حتى صار علينا عارًا»

“O people, love us with the love of Islam (unexaggerated), for your kind of love has become heinous spot against us.”  [27]

And in the Twelver Imami Shi’a books Imam Ja’far said:

لعن الله عبد الله بن سبأ، إنه ادعى الربوبية في أمير المؤمنين – عليه السلام -، وكان والله أمير المؤمنين

– عليه السلام – عبداً لله طائعاً، الويل لمن كذب علينا، وإن قوماً يقولون فينا ما لا نقوله في أنفسنا

نبرأ إلى الله منهم، نبرأ إلى الله منهم

“May Allah curse Abdullah ibn Saba`a for he claimed divinity of Lordship in the Commander of the Faithful (Ali) – peace be upon him – and by Allah the Commander of the Faithful (Ali) – peace be upon him – was an obedient servant of Allah. Woe to him who fabricates lies upon us, for indeed some people claim for us what we do not claim for ourselves. We absolve ourselves through Allah from them (i.e. seeking the truth of our innocence from Allah and His perfect Justice).” [28]


[1] Reported by Muslim no. 748.

[2] Reported by al-Bukhari no. 7121, and Muslim 12/18 (Sharh an-Nawawi).

[3] The reliable wording is that of at-Tirmidthi, and it is also reported by al-Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad and many others with some variations in the wordings of the narration.

[4] Reported by Ahmad, an-Nasa`e, Ibn Habbaan, al-Haakim and others, and verified as authentic by al-Albani in as-Silsilah as-Sahihah no. 2487.

[5] Reported by Muslim, no.1064.

[6] Reported by al-Bukhari no. 2704, and many others and this is mentioned as a Mutawaatir narration by Kattani in Nutham al-Mutanathar no. 196.

[7] Reported by al-Bukari no. 7508 and Muslim no. 2917 and others.

[8] Reported by Ibn Abi Asim and al-Albani verified its reliability in as-Silsilah as-Sahihah no. 1749 and Sahih al-Jame’ as-Sagheer no. 2582. Regardless of this the Umayyad time in general was greater than any other after it for the expansion of Islam and great pious and learned personalities.

[9] Reported by Imam Ahmad, at-Tirmidthi, Ibn Majah, Ibn Habbaan, al-Haakim and others and verified as good by al-Arna`ut in Musnad Ahmad (no. 25203) and authenticated by al-Albani in Sahih al-Jame’ as-Sagheer no. 13907.

[10] See al-Kish-shi, Rijaal al-Kash-shi, p.101; an-Nubakhti, Firaq ash-Shi’a, and many others including al-Mamaqani, Tanqeeh al-Maqal who is an authoritative Shi’i p.184

[11] An-Nubakhti: Firaq al-Shi’a: pp. 43-44

[12] An-Nubakhti, Firaq al-Shi’a, pp. 43-44.

[13] Reported by al-Bukhari no. 6524 and many others, and in some versions when Ali heard what he had said he replied, “Ibn Abbas has said the truth.”

[14] This was the way of some of the early Muslims, although it is now agreed that preserving unity is better than rebellion – as the act of Hasan ibn Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, proves – mentioned above – even if the ruler is corrupt and unjust, as long as he remains Muslim protecting the essentials of the Muslims and performing prayer and calling to its preservation. Ubaadah ibn Saamit, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

دعانا النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ، فبايعناه، فكان فيما أخذ علينا: “أن بايعنا على السمع والطاعة، في منشطنا ومكرهنا، وعسرنا  ويسرنا، وأُثْرة علينا، وأن لا ننازع الأمر أهله، إلا أن تروا كفرًا بواحًا، عندكم من الله فيه برهان”

“The Prophet, may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, called us to make pledge of allegiance to hear and obey in our time of eagerness and energy, when we are not pleased with the order, when it is difficult and when it is easy, even when our rights are given to others and not to us, and not to challenge and fight the people who have the legitimate right to authority except when we see clear disbelief (Kufran Bawwaahan) on which we have from Allah proof.” Reported by al-Bukhari, Muslim and others. And Um Salamah, the wife of the Prophet, may Allah be pleased with her, narrates that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him, said:

حديث أم سلمة  رضي الله عنها أن رسول الله  صلى الله عليه وسلم قال “ستكون أمراء، فتعرفون وتُنكرون، فمن عرف، برئ، ومن أنكر؛ سلم، ولكن من رضي وتابع” قالوا: أفلا نقاتلهم؟ قال: “لا، ما صلَّوْا” [أخرجه مسلم ]

حديث عوف بن مالك عند مسلم وفيه: “أفلا ننابذهم بالسيف؟” قال: “لا ما أقاموا فيكم الصلاة .”

“There will be commanders and rulers who will do some good and some that you will recognize as bad, so who knows that evil is absolved (from sin) and whoever rebuked them has security (from Allah) and the sinful are those that are pleased and follow them (in their evil). They said: Shouldn’t we fight them? He said: No, as long as they make prayers (Salat).”   Reported by al-Bukhari, Muslim and others, and in another version of Muslim they said: “Should we attack and fight them with our swords? He said: No as long as they establish prayer (Salat) among you.” And in the narration of al-Marwazi (no. 953): “No as long as they establish the five prayers.”

[15] Reported by Muslim no. 3545, and at-Tirmidthi no 3944.

[16] Reported by al-Haakim and declared authentic by al-Albani in Sahih al-Jam’e as-Sagheer (no.61) and as-Silsilah as-Sahihah (no.821).

[17] Reported by Ahmad, Abu Da`ud and al-Haakim, and al-Albani declared it authentic in Sahih al-Jam’e as-Sagheer (no.7643).

[18] Al-Baghdadi, al-Farq bainal-Firaq, p25, and see ash-Shahrastani, al-Milal wan-Nahl 1/155, and al-Ashaari, Maqaalaat al-Islamiyeen 1/137.

[19] See for the participation of Imam Abu Haneefah, Imam Malik and many eminent scholars of Ahl-as-Sunnah and narrators of Hadeeth in the revolt of Muhammad and Ibraheem the two sons of Abdullah ibn Hasan ibn Hasan in the books of history and especially Asfahani’s Maqaatil at-Talibe`een. For a detailed analysis of Imam Malik’s political views and participation see the article of Dr. Ahmad al-Awadi “Minhaj Imam Malik fi Aml as-Siyasah” of Mu`ta University, Kark, Jordan, in the Umm-ul-Qura magazine published by the College of Islamic Law and Studies.

[20] See William Tucker’s article “Abu Mansur al-Ijli and the Mansuriyya: a study in medieval terrorism” in the German magazine der-Islam vol, 54, in 1977, pp.67-76.

[21] Al-Asfahani in Muqaatil at-Talabieen and others.

[22] Reported by al-Bukahri and Muslim.

[23] Reported by Ibn Abi Asim and others and deemed good by Sheikh al-Albani. no. 984 in his verification of  as-Sunnah of ibn Abi Asim.

[24] Reported by Imam Ahmad no. 1265 and al-Arna`ut verified the chain of narraters as good.

[25] Kashf-il-Ghummah 2/291, by way of as-Sahabah fi A’yin al-Quraabah p.15.

[26] See al-Kish-shi, Rijal al-Kish-shi 111.

[27] See Ibn Sa’ad, at-Tabaqaat 5/214; Ibn Katheer, Bidaayah wan –Nihaayah 9/110.

[28] See al-Kish-shi, Rijal al-Kish-shii 70, and al-Majlasi, Bihar al-Anwaar 25/286.

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