Division of Groups
Regarding the Imam after the martyrdom of Imam Hasan Askari a man by the name of NOU BAKHATI had written a book under the title “HREQ AL-SHIA” (sects of Shia). This man says strange things never heard before nor will be heard anymore. A few examples of his findings: After the martyrdom of Imam Hasan Askari the Shia divided into groups and sects. They split into fourteen sects although it is not a fact he says. His book “HREQ al-SHIA” gives a wide range of sections, groups, and divisions. As one goes farther into this book he sees that the word GROUP can not be applied at all since there was none.
A SECT can not be called a SECT since that SECT did not exist at all. A DIVISION can not be named a DIVISION since there were not one or two persons who differed or said anything different. But all such trifles and superfluous conjectures have gone a great deal to give bulk to the book. In what times they existed; he does not say. What were the names of those DIVISIONS or SECTS or GROUPS; he himself knows not because he does not say. How long did they remain in their difference?
Why didn’t their GROUP or their DIVISION gain ground so as to attract followers? Who was their leader a chief? All these and such questions remain without answer. There is nothing real in the hook. The great scholars Shaik Mofeed and Shaik Akbar Tosi have rejected the existence of divisions. They replied in “A story of NOU BAKHTI” it was “ALFOSOOL AL-MUKHTARA” (The selected chapters). In a book by Shaik Mofeed he says in its second volume, “There is no sect, no group in existence. In our times till the year 372 there has been no sect other than the twelve Shia Imamia.” This is an introduction for our readers to form a background for themselves, for their own judgment or opinion because the writer has brought forward NOU BAKHTI’s book in his argument.
There are books written about nations, creeds, and so on. But these books were written under a prejudice of exaggeration and not on fact. Whatever one sees in print does not mean it has authority behind it therefore be accepted. History can not show any trace of any of those sects. No date can be fixed as to when; no location can be pointed to as to where; then the very debate on it is of no sense nor of any use discussing. Probabilities do not become facts. A man might have existed who deviated, divided, disgruntled, deprived, and depraved; but surely he was not a SECT, GROUP nor DIVISION.
There is no evidence to show that Jafar had a following. There is likelihood that political and or animosity of some might have given a wider range to Jafar. But he neither gained nor established a following. The only sect that was there and that is still there in spite of the ups and downs of the passage of time, regardless of the vicissitudes of political events, and despite the changes that are common to man is the sect which believes in the Imamate of the 12th Imam, son of Imam Hasan Askari. The Shia Imamia which as said, did not surrender to temptation but adhered to faith and preserved the belief, although however difficult. Great scholars appeared in this sect. A great many books have been written in this field.
Whatever differences might have happened concerning the person of Mahdi, it was not so wide as is pretended and not so serious as is said. There were no fourteen sects as is now claimed. The writer can not gather a hundred men as the followers. To tell, one can also tell that Omar caused a division or created a division among Muslims as, after the Prophet’s death he shouted and clamored that the Prophet had not died. This divided the Muslims into two groups - one who believed in the eternal life of the Prophet taking his death for his absence and the other one who believed in his death. But a lunatic opinion, single and alone, uttered with a calculated mischief aimed at a particular deliberate purpose or intention can not be a criterion on which an ideology can be rested. As soon as it is said, it is dismissed because it reflects the mind of the sayer. The sect that acknowledges the Imamate or the Imam hood of Mahdi, son of Imam Hasan Askari has existed for centuries. From the 3rd century the sects that are mentioned in the book have had been without existence. They have vanished. They never existed. Leaving aside the alleged sects, the truth is that the Authority of God can not be absent from the earth. This authority is vested in the person of Mahdi, the Imam of our time. The Shia can not ignore the Imam. Here ends the circuit of fictious sects.
Adapted from: "A Reply To Belief Of Mahdism In Shia Imamate" by: "Ayatollah Lutfollah Saafi Golpayegani"
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