Fourth alleged contradiction
Another Shi'i Alim, Kamil Mustafa al-Shaybi, wrote in his book:
"The independence of the term indicating Shi'ism came about only after the murder of al-Husain [bin Ali bin Abu Tleb] whereby Shi'ism became an independent entity with a distinctive identity" [The Link Between Sufism & Shi'asm, p.23]
Again this is where the term was a clear religious dimension for those who had an unremitting adherence to the Ahl'ul bayt (as). He is referring to the correct usage of Shi'a. During the khilafath of 'Ali (as) there existed individuals who sided with Hadhrath 'Ali (as) but they deemed him the 'political' head of State, rather than the 'religious and political' head of State. They did NOT view him as their Imam in terms of religious adherence. Despite this they were counted as Shi'a BECAUSE they fought alongside Hadhrath 'Ali (as) in Sifeen. The clear proof of this comes from the example of the Khawaarij, were initially the Shi'a of 'Ali in the sense that they fought under his helm, but then they rebelled against him. The true Shi'a, separate from those that simply deemed the Imams as Political Heads of State, were those who had an unfolding adherence to the Imams and deemed them as religious guides. The clearest existence of this group of Shi'as existed with Imam Hussain (as), the Shi'a who laid their lives in the cause of their Imam. It did indeed become an independent identity, in that it did not recognize the Khalifas as the legitimate Heads of State, they deemed Imamate to be the exclusive right of the Imams from the Prophetic Household and attached themselves to the Imams. Hence Shi'as were now a clear independent group distinct from the followers of the khalifas.
Hence NONE of the references cited by Ellahi contradict one another, if anything they show, is the progression of the Shi'a School of thought.
The root of Shi'a thought began at start of the Prophetic Mission, when Rasulullah (s) declared 'Ali (as) to be his wasi and khalifa. Shi'as were those individuals who (following Rasulullah [s]'s death) attached themselves to Hadhrath 'Ali (as), deeming him to be the legitimate khalifa. Those that sided with Imam 'Ali (as) during the Battle of Jamal were likewise deemed to be his Shi'a. Following the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (as) the Shi'a (adherents of the Imams) were a clear distinct group easily identifiable from the majority.
Adapted from the book: "Historic Background of Shiism"
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