The religion of the Shiah was founded by a Jew from Yemen called Abdullah bin Saba', who embraced Islam. During the time of Ali ibn Abi Taleb, he introduced a number of concepts that later were ascribed to more extreme factions of Shia Islam, or ghulat. According to Sunni tradition, the exaltation of Ali, his divine appointment by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as a successor, his ghayba and return (rajʿa) are all concepts that were first formulated and expressed by Ibn Sabaʾ and his followers (the Sabaʾiyya). He and his followers are also said to be the ones who enticed the Egyptians against Uthman on ground of Ali's special right of succession, and participated in further instigation at later conflicts.
This religion has started with the assassination of the rightly guided Khalifa Uthman and branched into many sections.
This religion has started with the assassination of the rightly guided Khalifa Uthman and branched into many sections.
Uthman ruled for twelve years. The first six years were marked by internal peace and tranquility, but during the second half of his caliphate a rebellion arose. The Jews and the Magians, taking advantage of dissatisfaction among the people, began conspiring against Uthman, and by publicly airing their complaints and grievances, gained so much sympathy that it became difficult to distinguish friend from foe.
It may seem surprising that a ruler of such vast territories, whose armies were matchless, was unable to deal with these rebels. If Uthman had wished, the rebellion could have been crushed at the very moment it began. But he was reluctant to be the first to shed the blood of Muslims (especially Sahaba), however rebellious they might be. No one would ever expected what happend later. He preferred to reason with them, to persuade them with kindness and generosity. He well remembered hearing the Prophet say, "Once the sword is unsheathed among my followers, it will not be sheathed until the Last Day."
The rebels demanded that he abdicate and some of the Companions advised him to do so. He would gladly have followed this course of action, but again he was bound by a solemn pledge he had given to the Prophet. "Perhaps God will clothe you with a shirt, Uthman" the Prophet had told him once, "and if the people want you to take it off, do not take it off for them." Uthman said to a well-wisher on a day when his house was surrounded by the rebels, "God's Messenger made a covenant with me and I shall show endurance in adhering to it."
After a long siege, the rebels broke into Uthman's house and murdered him. When the first assassin's sword struck Uthman, he was reciting the verse: "Verily, God sufficeth thee; He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing" [2:137]
Ali accepted the caliphate very reluctantly. Uthman's murder and the events surrounding it were a symptom, and also became a cause, of civil strife on a large scale. All governors gave the pledge to Ali except Muawiya, the governor of Sham (Great Syria). Muawiya declined to obey until Uthman's blood was avenged. His decision was based on the fact that he is not required to obey the Caliph until he (Ali) is able to enforce the rule of Allah. Muawiya was the cuisine of 'Uthman, so he was the responsible of asking Ali to bring the murderers to trial. The Prophet's widow Aisha also took the position that Ali should first bring the murderers to trial. Due to the chaotic conditions during the last days of Uthman it was very difficult to establish the identity of the murderers, and Ali refused to punish anyone whose guilt was not lawfully proved.
The pretext for the meeting of the armies on the day of the Camel and the day of Siffin was the demand for `Uthman's killers on the part of `A'isha and Mu`awiya, but the winds of war were fanned by the followers of Abdullah bin Saba' the Jew, from inside all three camps until events escaped the control of the Companions. It is related that `Ali, `A'isha , and Mu`awiya often expressed astonishment at the dissension and opposition that surrounded them.
After that some Shia declared Ali as a god. He then burned them alive with fire. After the killing of Abdullah bin Saba', Shia were divided into many new sects. Each one has its own Imam.
The Seveners or Isma'ilis, like all Shiites, believe that the descendants of Muhammad, through his daughter Fatima and her husband Ali the fourth Caliph, are the rightful rulers of the Muslim world. Thus the descendants of Ali are considered infallible and as divinely guided as Muhammad himself. This sect derives its name from Isma'il, the eldest son of the sixth Imam, Jafar as-Sadiq. In 762 CE, Isma'il died before his father, which resulted in bitter disputes of succession. The minority of Shiites regarded the old line of Imams extinct and chose Isma'il's eldest son as the new Imam. Thus they proclaimed a cycle of seven Imams, Ali being the first and Isma'il the seventh, and thus the seventh Imam after his line of Imams would be the Mahdi, or Messiah, or the seventh after him, etc..
The Isma'ilis have usually been small in numbers, but well organised and disciplined. Soon they developed into a cult, borrowing various ideas from Jewish mysticism, Greek philosophy, Babylonian astrology, Christian Gnosticism, etc.., When secular sciences were being employed in the Abbasid Empire, the Isma'ilis were thriving, and managed to recruit a large number of followers, who formed a well organised guerrilla army. By combining their scholarly skills and extraordinary underground network of spies, the Isma'ilis established their anti-Caliph in Egypt during the 10th century. They named his dynasty after Muhammad's daughter, and thus the name Fatimids emerged. In reality they are the dynasty of a Jew called Abdullah bin Qaddah, and that was they were called Abidi too. The Abidi State in Egypt quickly expanded and soon the Isma'ilis controlled western Syria and a large part of North Africa, killing thousands of Muslims. They also built a new capital, Fustat, near the ancient Pyramids, which in a few centuries grew to be the largest city in the Muslim world, under the name of Cairo.
When the Abidi dynasty was destroyed by the Abbasids, the Isma'ilis split into two sub-sects, Tayibiya and Niziriya, named after two Abidi princes. The former sect was soon transformed into a esoteric cult, which moved its activities underground and became invisible. The Niziriya sect transformed itself back into the pre-Abidi Isma'ilism, developing a network of agents and spies all over the Muslim world. The best known organization within the Niziriya was probably the drug-abusing Assassin sect, notorious for assassinations all over the Muslim world. Today, however, the Niziriya sect has turned pacifist and increasingly Westernized.
Out of the Assassin stronghold in Syria, two heterodox sub-sects have survived, the Alawite and the Druze. The Alawite sect is militant and combines radical theories from both Isma'il and Ithna Shia. The Druzes, on the other hand, have until more recently been more pacifistic, waiting for the return of their Mahdi, the psychotic Abidi Caliph al-Hakim, who 'disappeared' when he burned down his capital around 1000 CE. In the 13th century the Druzes closed their sect, and became a distinct tribe or nation. They serve today in the Israeli army against Palestinian Muslims.
The largest sect within Shia is the Ithna or Twelver, which follows the original line of Imams. When the Seveners chose the son of Isma'il to become the Imam, the majority of Shiites chose Isma'ils younger brother, Muza al-Kazim, as the seventh Imam. The Ithna adopt their 'Twelver' name from their belief in the twelfth Imam, Muhammad ibn al-Askari, who 'disappeared' one day and thus became the hidden Mahdi who would return to earth at the end of days. The 'Twelvers' worship their Imams, sometimes as the incarnation of Ali or Hussain. They form the vast majority of Shiites, including most Iranians and almost 50% of the Iraqi nation.
The third largest body in Shia is the Zaydi sect or the Fivers, prevailing in Yemen and among some Bedouin tribes in Saudi-Arabia. The Zaydi sect is more or less the deification of the 7th century Arabian culture, and it fiercely denounces the semi-divinity of Imams, contrary to the Twelver. Their founder was the fifth Imam, Zayd ibn Abidin, who was a rationalist and thus denounced his alleged divinity. The Zaydi Imams are more like Bedouin sheikhs than divine authorities, and thus reject hereditary leadership, and are only visible during warfare.
There are said to be more than 70 small Shia sects all around the world. Probably the best example of these was the Bahai sect, which has been persecuted and refuted as anti-Islamic, but grows fast as a separate religion, basing its doctrines on 'world peace and harmony' and the unity of all religions. The center of the Bahai sect is in Israel!
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History Through Main Events
Here, we examine historical events that are important to understand in regards to the Sunni-Shia debate. We clarify certain historical events that are purposefully misconstrued by the Shia propagandists. We also delve into the origins of the Shia movement, as well as its impact on history.
- Saqifah: A Sunni View
The Shia oftentimes portray the incident of Saqifah as a sordid affair in which Abu Bakr supposedly skipped out on the Prophet’s funeral in order to greedily crown himself the Caliph of the Ummah. This couldn’t be further from the truth. This article accurately portrays the events of Saqifah in order to exonerate Abu Bakr of the Shia allegations.
- Battle of the Camel
One of the most common lies in regards to Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) is that she left her house to fight Ali (رضّى الله عنه) in the Battle of the Camel. The truth is that Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) is innocent of this slander, and the reality is that it was the Shia [i.e. Uthman’s killers] who should be blamed for the Battle of the Camel. It was they who plotted the murder of the Prophet’s own wife and thereby declared war on Allah’s Messenger.
- Origins of the Shia Sect
This article has traced the origins of the Shia, which date back to the assassination conspiracy of Umar by the Persian Harmuzan, the Christian Jafeena, and the Jew Saba. The latter’s son, Abdullah Ibn Saba, would carry on his father’s work by adopting the subterfuge tactics of the Jews of Yathrib. Ibn Saba was successful in weakening the Muslims from the inside by creating the Shia sect. Throughout its turbulent history, the Saba’ites, ancestors of the Shia today, have spread Fitnah to every corner of the Muslim world.
- Battle of Siffin
Both Ali (رضّى الله عنه) and Muawiyyah (رضّى الله عنه) were adherents of the same faith, of the mainstream Islam. There was, however, a third group which would form in the Battle of Siffin–the Khawaarij–who, via their relationship with the Saba’ites, were the ancestors of the modern day Shia movement. In fact, the Battle of Siffin was an important event in Islamic history to understand for this very reason as it raises many questions that the Shia cannot explain.
- The Shia Killed Ali (رضّى الله عنه), Hussain (رضّى الله عنه), and Hussain’s Grandson (رضّى الله عنه)
The Shia spend so much energy beating themselves on the Day of Ashura, lamenting about how Yezid and the Sunnis killed Hussain (رضّى الله عنه). However, these Shia fail to mention who the real culprits are behind the massacre of Karbala. Indeed, it was the Shia of Kufa who can be held accountable for the death of the Prophet’s grandson (رضّى الله عنه). It was their betrayal and treachoury that led Hussain (رضّى الله عنه) to his imminent death.
- Ali (رضّى الله عنه), Hasan (رضّى الله عنه), and Hussain (رضّى الله عنه) Hated the Shia
In this article, we quote many narrations from Nahjul Balagha, in which Ali (رضّى الله عنه) professes his hatred for the Shia. We see that Ali (رضّى الله عنه) will disassociate himself from the people who profess to be his Shia. And it should be remembered that this collection of Ali’s sayings (رضّى الله عنه) are considered sacred by the Shia, from the most authentic source of Nahjul Balagha. And yet, they are a testament to the impending doom of the Shia and the disgust Ali (رضّى الله عنه) felt of the Shia.
- Rebuttal of Answering-Ansar’s Article “Who Killed Imam Hussain? (AS)”
This is a rebuttal of Answering-Ansar’s article entitled “Who Killed Imam Hussain? (AS)”. Answering-Ansar attempted to shift the blame away from the Shia, but this rebuttal clearly shows that there is no possible way that the Shia of Kufa can be exonerated. The Shia must acknowledge their illustrious history which involves betraying the Ahlel Bayt and leading their own Imam to his imminent death.
- Fatwa on Hussain’s Fighting Against Yazid
The first part of this article/fatwa deals with rebelling against a Caliph in general, the second part deals with Sayyiduna Hussain’s rising up against Yazid, and the third part deals with the opinion of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah regarding Yazid.
- A Shia Killed Sayyiduna Hussain
The man who killed Sayyiduna Hussain (i.e. gave the death-blow) was a man by the name of Shimr bin Thil-Jawshan and he was a Shia, as recorded in both Sunni and Shia books. Shimr was part of the Shia, and then he betrayed Sayyiduna Hussain and joined Yazid’s men, giving Sayyiduna Hussain the death-blow.
- Jewish Encyclopedia: Abdullah ibn Saba, Founder of Shi’ism
Abdullah ibn Saba was a Jewish Rabbi who “converted” to Islam in order to found the Shia sect. The modern day Shia propagandists will often deny the existence of Abdullah ibn Saba out of embarassment that this is their originator. And yet, Abdullah ibn Saba’s existence is well-known and has been accepted by the classical Shia scholarship, the Sunni scholarship, and even the Non-Muslim historians. Here, we see that the Jewish Encyclopedia has included an entry on the founder of Shi’ism.
- A Comprehensive Rebuttal of Answering-Ansar’s Article Entitled “Saqifa; the debacle of Islamic Government”
This is a comprehensive rebuttal of Answering-Ansar’s article entitled “Saqifa; the debacle of Islamic Government”. May Allah guide us to all that what is right!
- The “Jewish Encyclopedia” says:
ABDALLAH IBN SABA
By : Hartwig Hirschfeld
A Jew of Yemen, Arabia, of the seventh century, who settled in Medina and embraced Islam. Having adversely criticized Calif Othman’s administration, he was banished from the town. Thence he went to Egypt, where he founded an antiothmanian sect, to promote the interests of Ali. On account of his learning he obtained great influence there, and formulated the doctrine that, just as every prophet had an assistant who afterward succeeded him, Mohammed’s vizier was Ali, who had therefore been kept out of the califate by deceit. Othman had no legal claim whatever to the califate; and the general dissatisfaction with his government greatly contributed to the spread of Abdallah’s teachings. Tradition relates that when Ali had assumed power, Abdallah ascribed divine honors to him by addressing him with the words, “Thou art Thou!” Thereupon Ali banished him to Madain. After Ali’s assassination Abdallah is said to have taught that Ali was not dead but alive, and had never been killed; that a part of the Deity was hidden in him; and that after a certain time he would return to fill the earth with justice. Till then the divine character of Ali was to remain hidden in the imams, who temporarily filled his place. It is easy to see that the whole idea rests on that of the Messiah in combination with the legend of Elijah the prophet. The attribution of divine honors to Ali was probably but a later development, and was fostered by the circumstance that in the Koran Allah is often styled “Al-Ali” (The Most High).
Bibliography: Shatrastani al-Milal, pp. 132 et seq. (in HaarbrÃ¼cken’s translation, i. 200-201);
Weil, Gesch. der Chalifen, i. 173-174, 209, 259.H. Hir.Source: JewishEncyclopedia,
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