The Origin of Shi’tte Islam and It’s Principles

The Origin of Shi’tte Islam and It’s Principles

BISM – ILLAH – IR – RAHMAN – IR – RAHEEM (In the name of God, the most Compassionate, the Merciful) AL- HAMDU L’ILLAH (All praise be to God) Call unto the way of your Lord with wisdom and good exhortation, and reason with them in the best way. Lo! your Lord best knows those […]

  • Allamah Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Al Kashifu'Lghita'a'
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    BISM - ILLAH - IR - RAHMAN - IR - RAHEEM (In the name of God, the most Compassionate, the Merciful) AL- HAMDU L'ILLAH (All praise be to God) Call unto the way of your Lord with wisdom and good exhortation, and reason with them in the best way. Lo! your Lord best knows those . who go astray from His path, and He knows best those who are rightly guided. (Qur'an, 16:125) It was about two years ago that I received a long letter from an Iraqi student in Egypt. Briefly speaking, the writer of the letter had had an exchange of views with some eminent scholars of al-Azhar. Perhaps they talked about Najaf al-Ashraf, the scholars of that seat of learning and their ways of studies and also about those devoted to the spiritual atmosphere at the mausoleum of Hazrat Ali (a.s.). There is no doubt, of course, that the educated class of Cairo are all praise for the great seat of learning at Najaf and are also well impressed with the intellectual advancement of its scholars. In spite of all this they do not refrain from saying: "Oh! What a pity! They are Shi'as." The writer of the letter says that he was very astonished and often used to plead with them, "Gentlemen! The Shi'as are a Muslim sect and a part of the Muslim community." But their reply was, "No, Sir! The Shi'as are not Muslims. What has Shi'ism to do with Islam? It is wrong to count it as a sect among the sects and a religion among the religions of the world; it was a plan devised by the Iranians and a political stunt to overthrow the Umayyad rule and bring about the 'Abbasid Caliphate. What has it to do with the ways prescribed by God?" After this, this young man writes. "Respected Sir, at present I am young and have no knowledge of religions. I know neither the philosophy of religious growth, nor do I know the history of its flourishing. Consequently I have entertained some doubts." After writing these words this student of the great college at Cairo desired that I should unveil the truth and rid him of that mental worry. In this connection he also wrote that if his request proved futile and he was misled from the right path, I would stand responsible for that. Accordingly I considered the reply necessary and wrote to him in a letter answering him according to his intelligence. I must admit, however, that my own worries were more than the doubts of this youth. I thought to myself: how is it credible that a cultured country like Egypt - the cradle of Islamic learning, the centre of the Arabs, nay, of all the Muslims in such a state of ignorance and hostility among its intelligentsia! It was by chance that a book entitled "Farjru 'l-Islam" by the famous writer Ahmad Amin reached my hands. I started wading it but. when I reached the place where he wrote about the Shi'as, I felt that the learned author was not writing a book but building castles in the air. During the present age, even if a man from the distant regions of China had written such irresponsible things, he could not be easily forgiven. Anyhow, I now felt satisfied that all that the Iraqi student had written was quite correct and instantly it struck me that if the people used to writing like Ahmad Amin have such a mentality, what can be the condition of the illiterate or half-literate masses; according to the spirit of the times, however, every Muslim of today supports unity and brotherhood among the Muslims and also believes that without such unity our life as well as death will be without meaning. In truth, if our Muslim brothers were of the reality of the Shi'a religion and also proved to be just, such literature which lays the foundation of mutual enmity and satisfies the cravings of the Imperialist and irreligious forces would be done away with. Let us study this passage of "Fajru 'l-Islam" and consider its repercussions: "The truth is that Shi'aism was the refuge of the destroyers of Islam." p. 330. The writer is not innocent. He knew that the pen of the critics would pursue him and also knew that his aggressive tendency would injure the feelings of a nation which comprises tens of millions of people and is a very great power in the Islamic world. It was thus quite a surprising event when last year (1349 A.H.), a cultural delegation from Egypt, comprising thirty members, came here and included Ahmad Amin himself. All the members of the delegation came to my residence. It was the month of Ramadan, night time, and the gathering was large. No sooner had I seen Ahmad Amin than "Fajru 'l-Islam" came to my mind, since this book had already been seen by a number of our scholars. We raised objections, but with respect, in a very mild and soft tone, so that it might not hurt his feelings. On this occasion the strongest explanation that Ahmad Amin offered was a lack of information and a dearth of books. To this we said, "Sir, when someone starts writing on some topic, he first gathers relevant material and then he fully examines the matter, otherwise the writer has no right to touch upon the topic at all." Consider the libraries of the Shi'as. Row well stocked they are! Examine our own library. It contains about five thousand volumes and most of the books are written by Sunnis: this is the collection of books in a small city like Najaf; strange how Egypt with its many large libraries is devoid of Shi'a literature! Of course, these people know nothing about the Shi'as, but never hesitate in writing anything about them that they wish. It is even stranger that the fellow Sunni brothers of Iraq living in our neighborhood are unaware of the Shi'as! Only a few months ago a promising Shi'a boy of Baghdad wrote in a letter that recently he happened to go to Dalyam (just adjacent to the Baghdad district). Most of the people there are Sunnis. The correspondent became intimate with them and attended their assemblies. Since the people of Dalyam were unusually impressed by the excellent behaviour and high morals of the stranger, they warmly welcomed him. But when they came to know that the person in whom they were taking so much interest was a Shi'a, their wonder had no bounds. "We were under the impression that the people of this sect were deprived of even the smallest light of civilisation and culture - quite wild, totally savage!" Such were their whims and speculations. At the end of the letter this young boy appealed to my conscience that, through the endeavours of my pen, I should remove the misunderstanding in the minds of such people and introduce a true picture of Shi'aism. After some time the same youth went to Syria to spend the summer there. From there he went to Egypt. From Cairo he wrote another letter, telling me that the condition of Egypt was not different from that of Dalyam. He wrote: "Here also the same views about the Shi'as are common. So, it is requested that you may perform your duty of informing them of the truth. Believe me, the views that the common people of Islam have formed about the Shi'as are intolerably obnoxious." And this is not all. The false imputations, which are being continuously published in the journals of Egypt, Syria, etc. are no less grievous; those under attack are as innocent as Joseph, but unfortunately ignorance and fanaticism have no remedy. However, silence in the face of transgression is synonymous with the acceptance of injustice, so I had an obligation to speak out. But it should be made clear that I do not wish to reply to the slanderers of the Shi'as but rather to remove that veil of ignorance from the eyes of the rest of the Muslims so that the truth may be clearly visible to them; moreover it may serve as the last word to the elements hostile to Shi'as and as a true picture of Shi'aism. We hope it may also remove the mutual discord among the Muslims, so that writers like Ahmad Amin may never get another opportunity to indulge in destructive activities. The author of "Fajru 'l-Islam" writes "The truth is that Shi'ism was the refuge of those who wished to destroy Islam through enmity and baseless talk, and it was the place of shelter for those who wanted to introduce their ancestral teachings of Israelite, Christian and Zoroastrian religions into Islam". Again he writes: "Thus the faith in "raj'at" (the returning) is what the Isra'elites believe in. The Shi'as believe, moreover, that the fire (of hell) is "haram" (unlawful) for them. The Israelites also say that the fire will not touch them except for a few counted days. "Christianity's influence appeared likewise in the way in which some of the Shi'as have given the same relationship for the Imam to God as is given for Christ to Him. They also say that the Imam is the confluence of 'Lahut' and 'Nasut' (where divinity and earthly beings meet). Also, according to their faith the continuance of prophethood and risalat (messengership) is unbreakable. They hold the view that he who is absorbed in 'Lahut' is a prophet. Besides this, transmigration of souls, the physical body of God and 'hulul' (God's entering another body), which are the old beliefs of the Brahmins, philosophers and fireworshippers, appeared one by one in the Shi'a religion . . . ." For fear of destroying the unity of the Muslim community and inciting hatred I will refrain from replying. Otherwise it would be quite easy to show who those people were who introduced un-Islamic ways into Islam to undermind and divide the Muslim community'. Of course I should like to ask the author of 'Fajru 'l Islam": Respected Sir, which was that group of Shi'as which had decided to destroy Islam? Was it the first group, which includes the selected companions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.), for instance. Salman Muhammadi, Abu Dharr al-Ghifari, al-Miqdad, 'Ammar, Khuzayma, Dhu sh Shahadatain, Abu Tihan, Hudhayfah Yamani, az-Zubayr, al-Fadl ibn al-'Abbas and his respectable brother 'Abdullah, Hashim ibn 'Utbah, al-Marqal, Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, Aban and also his brother Khalid, the sons of Sa'id ibn al-'As, Ibn Ka'b and Anas ibn al-Harith who had heard the Holy Prophet saying: "My son Husayn (a.s.) will be martyred at the place known as Karbala'. So any one of you, present at the time of that tragedy must go to help him." Accordingly Anas drank the cup of martyrdom on the 10th of Muharram, (see "al-Isabah fi ma'rifati' s-sahabah" and "al-Isti'ab fi ma'rifati' s-sahabah". These two books on the lives of the Companions are the most authentic compilations of the Sunni community.) If we were to attempt to compile a list of the Shi'a companions and begin to prove their Shi'ism, it would require a complete and volumionous book. And the fact is that the noble efforts of the Shi'a 'ulema have made it unnecessary to do so: the brilliant masterpiece, "ad-Darajat 'r rafi'h fi tabaqatu 'sh-Shi'a" written by Sayyid 'Ali Khan (the author of "as-Salafah" and the standard dictionary "Tarazu 'l-Lughan" describes the eminent personalities of the Banu Hashim family like Hamza and 'Aqil Sa'id Khudri, Qays ibn Sa'id ibn 'Ubadah, Burayda, Bura' ibn Malik, Khabab ibn al-Irth, Refa'a ibn Malik, Amir ibn Wa'ila, Hind ibn Abi Hala, Ju'da ibn Hubayra, Makhzumi and his mother Umm Hani Bint Abi Talib and Bilal ibn Riyah the mu'adhdhin (caller to prayer) etc.

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    • Allamah Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Al Kashifu'Lghita'a'
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