TO KNOW THE SHI'AH
If we intend to talk about the Shi'ah without any fanaticism or affectation, we should say; They are the Islamic sect that follows the guide of and imitate the Twelve Imams of the Prophet's Household, 'Ali and his sons, taking from them all the jurisprudential (fiqhi) matters including 'ibadat (worships) and mu'amalat (transactions), preferring no one to them except their grandfather the message -bearer, God's Messenger- Muhammad (S).
This is the real and brief definition of the Shi'ah, leaving aside what the promulgates of disconcerning news and fanatics claim that the Shi'ah are enemies of Islam, or that they believe in 'Ali's prophethood and his being the message-owner, or that they are related to 'Abd Allah ibn Saba', the Jew.
I have come across numerous books and articles in which their writers do their utmost to charge the Shi'ah with impiety and being out of the Islamic denomination (millah.)
But their utterance are only a baseless fabrication and on obvious lie with no supporting argument or proof, presenting nothing more than reiterating the discourses of their ancestors, the enemies of Ahl al-Bayt (A) and the open opponents who seized the affairs of the Ummah, ruling it with force and suppression, chasing the Prophet's Household (Itrah) and their followers (Shi'ah), exposing them to a savage campaign of homcide and homelessness and insulting them by all (bad) nicknames
Among these nicknames that are mostly mentioned in
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the books of Shi'ah's enemies, we can refer to the tittle "al-Rafidah " (those who reject) or al-Rawafid. At first blush it will come to the reader's mind that they (Shi'ah) have rejected the rules of Islam and never applied them, or that they have rejected the message of Prophet Muhammad (S) and denied it.
The fact is other than this, and the real reason behind calling them Rawafid, is that the first rulers of Banu Umayyah and Banu al-Abbas, with their sycophans from evil-mentioned 'ulama' (scholars), tried to defame the Shi'ah with this name, since they first followed the guide of 'Ali (A) and rejected the caliphate of Abu Bakr, 'Umar and 'Uthman, and secondly because they refused all the rulers of the Umayyads and 'Abbasid outright.
These rules and their stooges tried hard to blink the facts for the Ummah, through the help of some composers (of traditions) from among the Companions, showing that their caliphate was ligitimate since it was by God's commandment, and they were disseminating among people that the Almighty's saying: "O ye who belive! Oby Allah and obey the Messenger and those of you who are in authority,..." (4:49), that it was revealed in their right, and they are meant in it as being those who are in authority, whose obedience is obligatory upon all Muslims.They have even hired some who narrate falsely from God's Messenger (S) that he said: "Whoever goes out of the sultan's obedience and dies, his death is the death of ignorance", so no Muslim has the right to revolt against the ruler.
Thus it is to be known that the Shi'ah have been targetted by rulers because they refused holding allegiance to them (rulers), regarding their rule as an userpation of the right Ahl al-Bayt (A). The rulers tried, throughout history, to mislead the public that the Shi'ah reject Islam, and rather they attempt to destroy and annihilate it, as indicated by some writers and historians from the the formers and latters claiming to be knowledgeable.
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Should we return to the trick of obscuring truth by falsehood, we would recognize the difference between that who wants to destroy Islam and that who wants to destroy the despotic corrupt government whose acts against Islam.
The Shi'ah have not rebelled against Islam, but they revolted against the tyrannical rulers, aiming at resorting the right to its owners, for establishing foundations of Islam by just ruler. Anyhow, what we got from the previous researches in the books: 'Then I was Guided ', 'To be with the Truthful 'and 'Ask Those Who Know' that the Shi'ah represent the delivered sect, due to their faith and commitment to the Thanqalayn: God's Book and the Prophet's (S) 'Itrah (Household).
Doing justice to the equitables, we can say that some of the Sunni scholars admit this reality, as can be noticed in the Book "Lisan al-'Arab" by Ibn Manzur, where he says in defining the Shi'ah:
"And the Shi'ah are a group of people who love what the Prophet's Progeny love and patronize them"; and after reviewing this statement from the book,Dr .'Abd al-Fattah 'Ashur says:
"If the Shi'ah were those who love what the Prophet's Progeny love and patronize them, so who from among the Muslims will refuse to be a Shi'i?
Now we witness the decline of the age of fanaticism and inherited hostility, and the advent of the era of light and freedom of thought, so the learned youth are recommended to be vigilant, read the Shi'ah books, communicate with them and converse with their scholars to recognize truth from its gate. How long have we have been decieved by honeyed words and disturbing news that fail to withstand before argument and proof.
The world today is at the disposal of all, and the Shi'ah can be found everywhere on this globe, so it is no right for the researcher about the Shi'ah to inquire about them their
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enemies and opponents, who disagree with them with regard to creed.What can such an inquirer expect from such people to tell him about their forces since the outest of history?
The Shi'ah are not an underground cult, keeping its beliefs from all except those who are affilliated to it, but rather its books and beliefs are spread all over the world, its religious schools (hawzat ilmiyyah) are for all knowledge-seekers, and the Shi'ah scholars organize seminars, lectures, debrates and conferences, and call for an agreement and for uniting the Islamic Ummah.
I am certain that should the equitables from among the Islamic Ummah investigate the subject seriously, they would be guided towards the truth after which nothing is there but misguidance, since that which prevents them from reaching (the truth) are the partial publicity media and false rumours used by enemies of the Shi'ah, or incorrect conduct by some of common people of the Shi'ah.2
Most often to remove one suspicion or eliminated a false supersition is enough to see one who was once an enemy of the Shi'ah, has become one of them.
In this respect I can recall the story of the Shami man who was misguided by the mass media at that time. On entering the Medin to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Prophet's (S) tomb, he saw a man of veneration and dignity, riding his horse, surrounded by a group of his comrades, under his coommand.
The Shami was astonished to see a man having all that awe and magnification in Sham more than Mu'awiyah, so he questioned about his identity, and the reply came that: He is al-Hasan ibn 'Ali Talib.Then he said: Is this man the son of Abu Taurab, the Kharijite? After that he indulged in insulting and slandering al-Hasan, his father and his household.
Thereat al-Hasan's companions unsheathed their swords trying to kill him (Shami), but al-'Imam al-Hasan (A) stopped them, got down of his horse, and being gracious to
2. In the end of this book, you will come to know that the acts of some plebeians among the Shi'ah arouse the aversion of educated youth Ahl alSunnah, discouring them from continuing incestigation to attain truth.
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him, he told him: "It seems you are a stranger here O brother ?" The Shami replied : "Yes, I am from sham, and of the followers of Amir a- Mu'mmin in and the Master of Muslims Mua'wiyah ibn Abi Sufyan ". The Imam welcomed him again saying: " I invite you to be my guest ". But the shami refused this invitation, this invetation, so al-mam al- Hssan insisited on him untill he surrendered to his request .Then the Imam kept serving and being kind to him all days of hosspitality. In the fourth day singns of regret and repentance were seen on the face of the Shami 'toward what he did against al- Hassan ibn Ali (A), asking himself how could he abuse and insult him while he (al-Hassan )receives him with kindness, pardon and hospitality. At that time he came to himself and be sought al-Hassan (A) to forgive him for his mischief, whereat the following conversation was held between the two, with the presence of al-Hassan's companions:
Al- Hasan: Have you are read the Qur'an O brother ?
Al- Shami : I commit the whole Qur'an to memory .
Al- Hasan: Do you know who are the ahl al-Bayt from whom Allah has removed uncleanness, and whom He cleansed ?
Al-Shami : they are Muawiyah and Household of Abu Sufyan .
Those present were surpised and amazed, but al-Hasan (A) smiled and said to him: I am al-Hasan ibn 'Ali my father is the cousin and the brother of God's Messenger, my mother is fatimah al- Zahra the lady of all women of the worlds. My grandfather is god's Messenger the master of the prophets and Messengers, My uncle is Hamza the doyen of martyrs, and so also is Ja'far al- Tayyar . We are the Ahl al- Bayt whom Allah, the Exalted, hacleansed and whose love He has imposed Allah, The Exalted, has cleansed and whose love He has imposed upon all Muslims. Allah and His angels sent their benediictions upon us, commanding the Muslims to pay to pray upon us. I and my brother are the two masters of the youth of paradise inhabitant.
When al-Imam al-Hassan enumereted the virtues of Ahl Al- Bayt, and acquaitance him with the truth hashami has
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been englightened, whereat he wept aand started to kiss al- Hasan's hands and face, presenting apology for the mischief he did for him, saying :" By Allah, who there is no God save Him, I entered al-Madinah seeing no one more detastable than you on earth, whereas I depart it realizing that no one on Exalted, through your love, affection, following you and proclaiming antipathy against your enemies".
Thereat al- 'I mam al- Hasan turned his face towards his companion, saying:
"You intended to kill him while being innocent, since had he known the truth he would have never opposed it, and most Muslims in Shami are such, since if they recognize the truth they shall follow it. Then he recited the Almighty Allah's saying : " The good deed and the evil deed are not like. Repel the evil deed with one which is better, then lo! between whom and thee there was enemity (well become) as though he was a bosom friend." (41:34)
Unfortunately this is the fact being ignored by most people . it may be seen that some one contracts the enmity of truth and opposes it for several years, untill he some day comes to know that he was mistaken, whereat he hastens toward repentance and seeking forgiveness, which is an obligation upon every man, as it is said : "eturn ing to truth is a virtue "
But the real misfortune lies in that those who oppose and fight truth for wicked aims, mean life and concealed grudges, while they can expressly witness and sense it.
About such people, Allah the Gloified and Exalted has said: "Wether thou warn them or thou warn them not, it is alike for them, for they believe not". (36:15)
So wasting time and painstaking for such people are all in vain, but we should sacrifice everything for the equitables, the truth -seekers who take pains to attainning it, about whom the Almighty Allah has said: Thou warnest only him who followeth the Reminder and feareth the Beneficent in
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secret. To him bear tidings of fogiveness and rich reward." (36:11)
I call those enlightened among the shia everywhere, to dedicate some of their time and funds for the ake of acquainting all the on of Islam with truth, since the Imams of Ahl al- Bayt have not been confined solely for the Shi'ah, but they are Imam of guidance and lights for darkness for all muslims.
Should the Imam of Ahl al- Bayt remain unknown for Muslim commoners (Ammah), especially the learned of the Sunnis ( Ahl al Sunnah wal al- Jama ah), the burden of responsibility before God would be shouldred by the shiah .
So also all the muslims will be answerable had people remained disblievers and theists, recognizing not God's straight religion brought by the lord of apostles Muhammad (S).
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TO KNOW AHL AL-SUNNAH
The Sunnite (Ahl al-sunnah) are the major Islamic sect that constitute three -quarters of Muslims of the world, and their reference and authorities for verdict (fatwa) and imitation (taqlid) are the Imams of the four Islamic ( madhhab): Abu Hanifa, Malik, al-Shafi'i and Ahmad ibn Hanbal .
Later on another cult ramified from them called the Salafites Salafiyya, that has been revitalized by Ibn Taymiyyah who was called Mujaddid al- Sunnah ( Revitalazer of the Sunnah ). Then another branch emerged called Wahhabim, which was innovated by Muhammad ibn Abd al - Wahhab, and this being the school of Saudi Arabia.
All these school call themselve " Ahl al Sunnah " adding somtimes to it the word 'al- Jama'ah ' to become "Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jama'ah ".
Through historical research it can be concluded that whoever is affiliated to what they call the Guided Caliphate (Rashidah), or the Guided Caliphs (al-Khulafa al -Rashidun ) who are Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, 3 admitting their leadership whether in their era or during the contemporary age, is called a Sunni from "Ahl al-Sunnah wal al- Jama'ah.
Who ever rejects this caliphate, considering it illegitimate and emphasizing on establishment of the text nass) on the the Caliphate of) 'Ali Ibn Abi Talib, is Shi' i from the rejectors (Ahl al Rafd) .
We get to know also that all the rulers, from Abu Bakr and up to the last caliph from Banu al- Abbas are pleased and in full agreement with the Sunnis, being rageous
3. In the forthcoming discissions to will be demostrated how Ahl al-Sunnah have not regarded 'Ali ibn Abi Talib as one of the Rightly guided Caliphs, but only very lately.
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and avengeful against those whoo followed Ali ibn Abi Talib acknowledging him, after him his sons, to caliphate.
Based on this, Ali ibn Abi Talib and his folowers ( Shi'ah) were not only countable person as seen by Ahl al- Sunnah wal al- Jama'a, but as if this term has been laid down to be against; Ali and his Shi'ah. In my opinion, this is the main reason for dividing the Islamic Ummah after the Prophet's demise into Sunnah and Shi'a.
By reviewing the analysis of causes and exposing the hidden facts according to the trustworthy historical sources, we can say that this division emerged directly after the prophet's desmise, when the affair was settled down with Abu Bakr's seizing power, being supported by the majority of the companions, and opposed by Ali (A), Banu Hashim and a few other of the Sahabah (Companions), who were mostly from mawali
It is self-evident that the ruling authority has removed thase people (Ali and his followers), dismissing them (from power), considering them dissidents of Islam, and doing all its utmust to paralyze their opposition through resorting to all economical, social and political means of (pressure ).
It is known that' Ahl al Sunnah wal al-Jama'ah today, can not realize the political dimensions that played their roles in those ages, and the extent of hospitality and animosity created by these malignant roles, after isolating and separating the most magnificient diginity ever known throughout history after the Propht Muhammad (S). At present Ahlal-Sunnah wa al- Jama'ah presume or think that everything was all right and going on according to the Book ( Qur'an) and the prophetic Tradition (Sunnah) during th reign of the Guided Caliphas, and that they resembled angels, respecting each other with no any grudges, covetousnessess and evil intentions. For all this was see them reject whatever the Shi'a utter concerning the Companions in general and khulafa' al-Rashidun in particular.
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It seems if Ahl al-Sunnah have never come across the history books written by their scholars, being sufficed only with the statement of flattery and admiration they hear fromtheir ancestors in respect of all the Companions, particularly al- Khulafa al- Rashidun. Had they opened their hearts and sights, going into their history and tradition books, seeking the truth and for recognizing the right from the wrong, they would have changed their belief, not only in the Sahabah but in most of the rules that they regarded right, while they being in fact otherwise.
Through this modest effort, I try to expound to my brothers, Ahl al- Sunnah, some of the facts with which history books are replete, extracting for them, very briefly, the express texts that refute falsehood and demostrate the truth, hoping this will be the effective remedy for the scatterness and divergence among Muslims, leading for uniting them and mending the fences among them.
The Ahl al- Sunnah I know today are neither so fanatic nor obstinate, nor against al- Imam Ali and Ahl al- Bayt, rather they love and respect them, but at the same time they love and revere the enemies of Ah al-Bayt, following them as guide and examples as "all of them are implorers from the Allah's Messenger.
The Sunni s never act according to the rule that says Loyalty must be for Allah's true friends (Awliya) and freedom be from Allah's enemies, but they show affection to every one. and accept Mu'awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan as they as they accept Ali ibn Abi Talib.
They have been dazzled by the glistening title (Ahl al- Sunnah wa al- Jama'ah) not knowing its mysteries and intrigues laid down by Arab sagacious men. Had they known one day that Ali ibn Abi Talib respresents the true Muhammad an Sunnah and its gate through which they can enter, and that they have disagreed with him and so did he, they would have retreated their stance and embarked on
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investigating the matter seriously, whereat you could not find Ahl al-Sunnah but true followers (shi'ah ) for Ali (A) and the Messenger (S) . Therefore it is inevitable to disclose the great plot that played the most dangerous roles in displacing the Muhammadan Sunnah substituting in with Jahili innovations, that led to Muslims degeneration, and retirement of the straight path and their scattering, and emergence of discord among them, leading then to accusing one another with impiety, and fighting each other.This being the real cause for their sceintific and technological backwardness, which paved the way for their being occupied and invaded, leading consquently to their despisement, humiliation and dissolution ( by other people).
After presenting this brief survey for defining the Shi'ah and Sunnah, we should draw the attention that the title ' shi'ah does not necessarily indicate opposition to the Sunnah, as is thought by common people when they boast by saying 'We are Ahl al- sunnah, meaning that others are against the Sunnah. This notion has never been accepted by the Shari'ah who believe that alone are holding fast tothe true Prophetic Sunnah, since they have entered it form its gate, that is 'Ali ibn Abi Talib other than whom no gate is there, and in their view getting access to the prophet is not feasible but through him ('Ali).
As usual, in being natural to attaining to the truth, we should go by the dear readers step by step, surveying with him some historical events, furnishing him with the proof and evidence indicating the Shia'ah being the true Ahl al-Sunnah, as the book title reads.
Afterwards we give him freedom to chose and comment as he likes.
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FIRST INCIDENT THAT DIVIDED MUSLIMS
INTO SHI'AH AND SUNNAH
This incident being the dreadful and dangerous stance by Umar ibn al-khattab and most of the Companions towards God's Messenger (S) intended to write to them the letter that can safeguard Muslims against deviation and astrayal. 4 But they opposed him strongly rudely, showing no reverence for his sublime status, and rather accusing him with obsscenity and halluciation, claiming that they being sufficed with Allah's Book, no need for the Messenger's writing .
Through this incident that Ibn 'Abbas has called 'misfortune of Muslim', we come to realize that the majourity of the Sahabah reject the Prophetic saying: "We suffice with God's Book",
Whereas, on the other side, we find 'Ali (A) and his followers of the companions who were called (Shi'at 'Ali) by the Prophet (S), as being obedient to the Prophet's commandments without any objection or dispute, considering all his sayings and acts as an obligatory Sunnah to be followed exactly like God's Book. The Qur'an expressly said: "O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger..." (4:59) 'Umar ibn al-Khattab's Sirah (career) is known for all Muslims, and his stances in opposing the Prophet during all stages of his life, are well-known.5
Further, 'Umar was naturally believing in not to adhering the Prophetic Sunnah, demonstrating this expressly through his rules when he became (Amir al-mu'minin) and was excerting his opinion against the Prophetic texts (nusus), and even against the express Divine Texts, prohibiting what Allah made lawful, and making lawfu what Allah prohibited .6
As usual, his followers and supporters followed his
4. The Thurdays misfurtume is well-known in Sahih al-Bkhari,and Sahih Muslim.
5. We have fully covered the matter of 'Umar's objection to the Peophet (S) in the book Fas'alu Ahl-Dhikr.
6. Like his prohibiting the share of those whose hearts are to be reconciliated, emjoyment of hajj, and Mut'ah of women (temporaly marriage), which are deemed lawful by Allah. Beside his deeming lawful the thrice t alaq through one t alaq (divorce), which Allah ha prohibited.
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suit, and those who admired him, the former and the latter ones, have been following his suit and his good heresies as they call.
Through the following you shall see that they abandon the Prophet's Sunnah and follow 'Umar's Sunnah.
SECOND INCIDENT BEHIND NON-ADHERENCE
TO PROPHETIC SUNNAH
The second incident was their (followers of 'Umar) refusal to join Usamah's army, that was mobilized by the Prophet (S) himself, ordering them to move under Usamah's command, two days before his (S) demise. Their disagreement was so intense that they even ordered to vilifying and criticizing the Prophet (S) since he gave leadership to a young fellow of 17 years, having no experience.
Abu Bakr, 'Umar and some companions remained behind the army with the pretext of managing the caliphate affairs, despite the Prophet's damation against whoever refuses to join Usamah.7
In respect of 'Ali (A) and his followers, the Prophet (S) settled the dispute by not appointing them to the army, for making the atmosphere clear and free from those opposing and contradicting God's commandment, so that when they return from the Battle of Mu'tah the matter should have been established for 'Ali (A) as desired by Allah and His Messenger, as regards the successorship after the Prophet (S) .
But this fact was recognized by the Arab sagacious men from Quraysh, so they refused deparing al-Madinah, and lingered themselves until the Messenger passed away,whereat they confirmed their affair as they preplanned, by dismissing whatever called for by the Prophet (S), i.e. they rejected the
7. Read the book al-Milal wa al-nihal, by al-Shahristani, under the Prophet' saying: May God' damnation be upon anyone staying behind of Usamah's army, vol.1, p 29.
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Thus it becomes explicit for us and for every researcher that Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman, 'Abd al-Rahaman ibn 'Awf and Abu 'Ubaydah 'Amir ibn al-Jarrah had been rejecting the Prophetic Sunnah, exerting their opinions for acquiring worldly interests and seizing the caliphate at any cost even if it be disobeying Allah and His Messenger(S).
While Ali (A) and the Companions who followed him were adhering the Prophetic Sunnah, carrying it into affect in full. During this tribulation we witnessed 'Ali (A) following the prophet's will, to arrange for his washing, shrouding, performing prayer upon him and burying him. Thus 'Ali (A) has fulfilled all the Prophet's orders, without caring for anything, despite his pre-knowledge that the orders have hurried towards the Saqifah to elect one of them for caliphate post. Though it was feasible for him to do the same act for frustrating their conspiracy, but his respect for the Prophetic Sunnah and its application neccessitated his saying beside his cousin(S), even at the cost of losing the caliphate.
A halt, though short, should be made here to observe the great majourity that 'Ali inherited from al-Mustafa (S). While 'Ali (A) renounces caliphate for the sake of applying the Sunnah, others refuse the Sunnah for the sake of gaining the caliphate.