Doctrines with which Ahl al-Sunnah Revile the Shi‘ah
Among the creeds and beliefs with which Ahl al-Sunnah defame the Shi‘ah, there are some which merely being resulted from the abominable partisanship, created by the Umayyads and ‘Abbàsids in the early epoch fo Islam, out of their grudge and hatred against al-’Imàm ‘Ali, to the extent that they kept on cursing him on the tribunes for forty years.
So no wonder to see them slandering and extremely disgracing everyone following him, to the extent that anyone of them preferred to be called a Jew than to be called a Shi’i. And their followers kept on this practice in every age and region, with the Shi’i being subject to be reviled all the time by Ahl al-Sunnah, since he contradicts them in their beliefs and is regarded a renegade against their company. They used to calumniate him with all sorts of slanders, charging him with all accusations, calling him with numerous (bad) nicknames, and contradicting him in all his sayings and acts.
Some of the well-known Sunni ‘ulamà’ say: “Putting on the finger-ring in the right hand being a Prophetic sunnah
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(habit), but it should be abandoned since the Shi‘ah made out of it a motto for them.206
Further, Hujjatul Islam Abu Hàmid al-Ghazzàli says: Flattening the graves is legitimately prescribed by Islam, but when the Rufiddah (Shi‘ah) made it a motto for them we substituted it with tasnim (making large humps).
Also Ibn Taymiyyah, who is labelled by some of them with the epithet al-Muslih al-Mujaddid (the Reviving Reformer), says: Hence, several fuqahà’ embarked on abandoning some of the recommended acts (mustahabbàt), when noticing that they were turned to a motto for the Shi’ah. Though abandoning these acts is not obligatory, but demonstrating these acts would mean resembling them (the Shi‘ah), so as no one would distinguish between the Sunni and the Ràfidi, and the convenience in being distinguished from them for the sake of forsaking and contradicting them is greater than the convenience implied in the recommended act.207
When asked about the way of lowering the turban, al-HàfiZ al-‘Iraqi said: I have never come across any evidence indicating the specification of the right side, but only in an unauthentic (da‘if) hadith reported by al-Tabarràni. And as estimated through his prophecy, it might be that he used to let it down on the right side turning it then to the left as practised by some. But since this practice turned to be a distinguishing motto for the
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Imàmiyyah, so it should be abandoned and left in order to evade being resembled to them.208
sGlorified is Allah! And there is neither might nor power but in God! Everyone can observe clearly how the bigotry allows these so-called ‘ulamà’ to contradict the Prophet’s Sunnah, while the Shi’ah have adhered to those sunan (precepts) till becoming a motto for them. Furthermore they see no interdiction in confessing this practice frankly. Praise belongs to Allah Who manifested the truth to everyone having foresight and sincerely seeking for truth. Praise be Allah’s Who demonstrated to us that the true followers of the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah being thet Shi’ah as you yourselves testified! As you gave witness against yourselves that you neglected the Messenger’s Sunnah in purpose, so as to contradict the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt and their devoted Shi‘ah, and followed the sunnah of Mu‘àwiyah ibn Abi Sufyàn, as testified by al-’Imàm al-Zamakhshari when proving that the first to put on a ring in the left hand, contrary to the Prophetic Sunnah, was Mu‘àwiyah ibn Abi Sufyàn.209
You also followed the sunnah of ‘Umar in his innovation of al-tarawih prayers, contrary to the Prophetic Sunnah that commanded the Muslims to perform the supererogatory prayers (nàfilah) by ones (furàdà) at home, not congregationally, as by al-Bukhàri in his Sahih,210 and as confessed by ‘Umar himself of its being a bid‘ah (heresy)211 innovated by him, without being performed by
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him since he never believed in it. It is reported by al-Bukhàri, from ‘Abd al-Rahmàn ibn ‘Abd al-Qàri, that he said: I went out with ‘Umar ibn al-Khattàb, during one of the nights of the Month of Ramadàn the mosque, when we noticed people separated into groups, with some man praying alone once and also praying as a leader (imàm) being followed by a multitude of people. Thereat ‘Umar said: I opine that gathering all these people under one reciter (qàri’), will be more proper and better. Then he (‘Umar) gathered them to follow Ubayy ibn Ka’b (in performing supererogatory prayers). ‘Abd al-Rahmàn added: The next night I went out with him (‘Umar), and we found people perform their prayers through following their reciter (leader), when ‘Umar said: What a good bid‘ah (heresy) is this! ....212
What arouses our wonder in this respect is considering it a bounty (ni‘mah) after it was forbidden by the Messenger? That was when they exclaimed loudly, after gathering in front of the door of his house (the Prophet’s) asking him to lead them in performing the nàfilah prayer of the Month of Ramadàn. He (S) went out, furious and angry, saying to them:
“The making of your hands is still pushing you till I thought it to be prescribed on you. You have to abide by performing prayers (nàfilah) in your houses, as the best prayer of man being in his house, except the prescribed (obligatory) prayers.”213
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Further, you followed the sunnah of ‘Uthmàn ibn ‘Affàn, which calls for completing the prayers during travel (four-rak‘ah prayers), contrary to the Sunnah of the Messenger (S) who used to perform it (travel prayer) in two rak‘ahs (qasr).214
Had I intended to enumerate all the rules in which you contradicted the Messenger’s Sunnah, it would need a separate book, but we suffice with your witness through what you confessed against yourselves. Sufficient is also your testimony through your confession that the Rafidite Shi’ah have taken the Prophet’s Sunnah as a motto for them.
After all these evidences, will there remain any reason to admit the ignorants claiming that the Shi‘ah have followed ‘Ali ibn Abi Tàlib, while Ahl al-Sunnah have followed the Messenger of Allah? Do these people want to prove that ‘Ali contradicted the Messenger of Allah, and invented a new religion? What a greatly slandering word coming out from their mouths! ‘Ali is verily the very incarnation, interpreter and guardian of the Prophetic Sunnah, and in his regard the Messenger of Allah (S) said:
“The position ‘Ali has to me is the same that I have to my Lord.”215
That is, in the same way as Muhammad (S) being the only one propagating on behalf of his Lord, so also is ‘Ali, being alone in propagating on behalf of the Messenger of Allah. But the fault of ‘Ali lies in the fact that he never
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acknowledged the caliphate of those predecessors, and the fault of his followers (Shi’ah) being in their following his guide in refusing to submit and be under the caliphate of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthmàn, the reason why they were called Rawafid.
If these people (Ahl al-Sunnah) deny the (Prophetic) Sunnah’s being followed by the Shi’ah’s beliefs and sayings, it stems from two reasons: The first being the animosity flared up by the Umayyad rulers through spreading falsities and publicities, and composing fabricated narrations.
The second reason being that the Shi’ah’s doctrines contradict their (Sunnah’s) opinions in supporting the caliphs and confirming their blunders and ijtihàdat (exertions of opinion) against the texts (nusus), particularly the Umayyad rulers, at the head of whom being Mu‘àwiyah ibn AbiSufyàn.
Hence, every truth-seeker, following up the matter, will find out that the dispute between the Shi’ah and Ahl al-Sunnah originated, in fact, since the Saqifah Day, and exacerbated afterwards, and every dispute erupted after it is verily dependent on and stemmed from it. The best evidence for this being that the beliefs and creeds with which Ahl al-Sunnah vilify their brethren the Shi’ah, are firmly relevant with and ramifying from the issue of caliphate, like the number of the Imams, the text in determining the Imam, infallibility, the Imams’ knoweldge, the badà’,
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taqiyyah (dissimulation), and the Promised al-Mahdi, beside other beliefs.
Investigating the claims of the two parties in an unprejudiced way, we will never see any long distance between their beliefs, finding no justification for this exaggeration and vilification. As when you read the books of the Sunnah in which they revile the Shi’ah, you will imagine that the Shi’ah have contradicted Islam, and violated its principles and legislations, inventing another religion.
While any equitable researcher will find in the Shi’ah’s doctrines, a firm origin in the Qur’àn and Sunnah, and even in the books of those contracting them in these doctrines and vilifying them with.
Moreover, those doctrines never contain or imply anything contrary to reason ('aql), or narration (naql) or morals. For proving to you, dear reader, the veracity of my claims, I will review with you those doctrines (‘aqà’id).
Adapted from the book: "To Be With the Truthful" by: "Muhammad al-Tijani al-Samawi"
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