Origins of the two sects
Now that we have clarified the matter on the origins of Shi'a thought, let us see where the Ahl'ul Sunnah pinpoint the original Shi'a to be.
What better interpretation can there be than Al Muhaddith Shah 'Abd al-'Aziz Dehlavi who in his book written against the Shi'a states:
"The title Shi'a was first given to those Muhajireen and Ansar who gave allegiance (bay'ah) to Ali (may Allah enlighten his face). They were his steadfast faithful followers during his (Ali's) caliphate. They remained close to him; they always fought his enemies, and kept on following Ali's commands and prohibitions. The true Shi'a are these who came in 37 Hijri" (NB 37 Hijri -the year Imam Ali (as) fought Mu'awiya at Sifeen). Tuhfa Ithna 'Ashariyyah, (Gift to the Twelvers) (Farsi edition p 18, publishers Sohail Academy, Lahore, Pakistan).
The Muhajireen and Ansar (Sahaba) were the Shi'a of Ali (as).
As we have already stated, he (the unnamed author) is indeed wrong when he suggests that these were two political groups - The Shi'a of Ali and the Shi'a of Mu'awiya and no religious element came into it. Well that political link was inexorably linked to GUIDANCE because one party considered Mu'awiya their leader and adhered to his teachings, the other part considered Ali (as) to be their Leader / Imam and took their teachings from him.
As Shah Abdul Aziz states the true Shi'a were those who:
Regarded Imam Ali (as) as the Rightful Khalifa
They stayed close to him, following everything that he said
They fought his enemies
Alhamdolillah, the same virtues are inherent in today's Shi'a. We have always remained loyal to Imam Ali (as), following his teachings and opposing his enemies. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the extravagant claim that the Ahl'ul Sunnah follow the Ahl'ul bayt (as). Had this indeed been the case then could they explain how it is that rather than oppose his Ali (as)'s opponents, they have taken his enemies close to their hearts, praising and declaring their affiliation with Nasibis like Marwan & Mu'awiya? Is this not a clear contradiction? On the one hand they allege they are following Ahl'ul bayt (as) and yet they still love their enemies who fought and cursed them.
These principles (adherence to the Imam) were clearly demonstrated by the Shi'as of Imam Hussain (as) as vouched for by his killers:
Following the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (as) Ibn Ziyad said as follows:
"Praise be to God, who revealed the truth and the followers of truth. He has given victory to the Commander of the Faithful Yazid ibn Mu'awiyah, and his party. He has killed the liar who is the son of a liar, al Husayn bin Ali and his Shiah". [Taken from The History of al-Tabari, English translation by I.K.A. Howard, Volume 19 page 167].
Again in the Court of Yazid, Ibn Ziyad proudly declared this to Yazid:
"O Commander of the Faithful I bring good news of God's victory and support. Al Husayn bin Ali came against us with 18 men of his House and 60 of his Shiah" [Taken from The History of al-Tabari, English translation by I.K.A. Howard, Volume 19 page 169].
Now, can the author explain to us, were the Shi'a of Imam Husain (as) who fought and were martyred with him a religious or political group?
Now what one should ask is where were the "Ahl'ul Sunnah at the time?" According to Shah Abdul Aziz:
"It should be known that the first Shias (who are the Sunnis and the Tafdiliyyah) in old days were known as Shias. When the Ghulat and the Rawafid Zaydiyyah and Ismailiyyah took the name for themselves, Sunnis and Tafdiliyyah did not like this name for themselves and so they took the name of Ahlu's-Sunnah wa l Jamaah. " [Shah 'Abdul 'l-'Aziz Dehlawi, Tuhfah Ithna Ashari] Nawalkishor Press, Lucknow, n.d; pp. 4, 11, 59]"
Now the absurdity of this argument has even been recognized by the Sunni scholar, Ubaydullah Amritsari, who after quoting the above claim in his book Arjahu 'l Matalib, says:
"To say that Sunnis in the beginning were known as Shias is merely a Chapter for which no proof can be found. Had the Sunnis been called Shi'a, then at least some of the Sunni elders should have been known by this name before the advent of the Zaydiyyah (in 120 A.H.) Moreover, had the Sunnis been known by this name, the Zaydiyyah and Ismailiyyah would never have tolerated this name for themselves (because of the enmity) and would have selected some other name for themselves." 'Ubaydullah Amritsari, Arjahu 'l-matalib, 2nd ed. Lahore, p. 608 (which is wrongly written as 164.)
Whilst according to Dehlavi this second group named itself Ahl'ul Sunnah at about 150 AH (following Zaid bin Ali (as)'s martyrdom) it is interesting that their ideology existed long before that. What ideology was that? Well let us see the comments of Mulla 'Ali Qari:
"The belief in the eyes of Ahl'ul Sunnah and Muttazalis is that the duty to appoint an Imam is a duty of the public. In terms of hadith and logic this is a duty of the public. In accordance with this belief, there is a hadith in Sahih Muslim, narrated by Abdullah ibne Umar 'He who dies without giving bayah to an Imam dies the death of one belonging to the days of jahiliyya'. This is why the Sahaba viewed the appointment of the Imam as so important that they preferred it to attending the Prophet's funeral, because the Muslims need an Imam so that orders can be made on Jihad, and so that Islamic Laws can be implemented" [Sharra Fiqa Akbar, by Mulla Ali Qari, p 175 (publishers Muhammad Saeed and son, Qur'an Muhalla].
The foundation stone of Sunni aqeedah is set out here. The Imam is appointed by the public, individual character is of no relevance. Once ijma takes place, the khalifa is the legitimate Head of State. Once the people give bayya to the khalifa, ijma is obtained hence the 'Jamaah'. So when did we have the first declaration of this Jamaah? This concept developed from the Shi'a of Mu'awiya as is proven from your own esteemed Ulema:
al-Tabari recorded that:
"Sajah remained with Banu Taghlib untill Mu'awiya transferred them in his days on the "year of the union (al-Jama'ah)". When the people of Iraq agreed [to recognize] Muawiyah [as caliph] after Ali, Muawiyah took to expelling from al-Kufa those who had been vehement in the cause of Ali, and to settle in their homes those people of Syria and al-Basrah and the Jazirah who were most vehement in his own cause; it was they who were called the "transfers" in the garrison towns" [The translator of the work writes in reference to the year of the union as follows: ] Aam al-Jama'ah the year 40 A.H/A.D 660-661, so called because the Muslim Community came together in recognizing Muawiyah, ending the political division of the first civil war. Pace Caetani, 648; see Abu Zahrah al-Dimashqi, Tarikh, 188 (no. 101) and 190 (no. 105) [ History of al-Tabari, English version, v10, p97] Jalaluddin al-Suyuti mentions this very fact, with the utmost clarity in his work, History of the Caliphs (Tarikh ul Khulafa) with the following words:
al-Dhahabi says that Ka'ab died before Muawiyah was made caliph, and that Ka'ab was right in what he said, for Mu'awiyah continued for twenty years, and none of the princess of the earth contended with him, unlike others who came after him, for they had opponents and portions of their dominions passed out of their sway. Muawiyah went forth against Ali as has preceded, and assumed the title of Caliph. Then he marched against al-Hasan, who abdicated in his favor. He therefore became firmly established in his Caliphate from Rabi'iul Akhir or Jumadal Awwal 41 AH. The year was therefore called the Year of the Union (al-Jama'ah), on account of the gathering of the people under one Caliph. During this year Muawiyah appointed Marwan Ibn al-Hakam over Medina. [History of the Caliphs, by Jalaluddin al-Suyuti, English version, p204 (Chapter of Muawiyah Ibn Abi Sufyan)]
This is the Jamaah that the Ahlul Bait homepage proudly claims to be a part of. The Jamaah that embraced Mu'awiya and every khalifa after him, whatever his character. The Jamaah developed into the religion perpetuated by the State - the Ahl'ul Sunnah wa al Jamaah. This same Jamaah also gave bayya to Yazid, recognising him as the Ul il Umr Head of State. In the eyes of the Jamaah he WAS the legitimate Khalifa, hence it was NOT permissible to oppose him.
Indeed the clearest endorsement of this aqeedah came following the martyrdom if Imam Hussain (as). People in Madina rebelled against Yazid, Abdul Malik bin Marwan urged a tough line against them:
"...fight them and ask for God's help against them. Indeed God will be your helper for they have opposed the Imam and left the unity of the community (jamaah)". [Taken from The History of al-Tabari, English translation by I.K.A. Howard, Volume 19 page 207].
So, by opposing the Imam Yazid, the people had left the Jamaah, the very Jamaah that the Ahlul bait Website proclaims to adhere to, a Jamaah that endorsed the khilafath of Yazid and stuck by him throughout his atrocities.
The most explicit endorsement of this aqeedah came from the mouth of Abdullah ibne Umar following the mass slaughter of the Sahaba who opposed Yazid and the mass rape of their women during the event of Harra:
When the people of Medina dethroned Yazid bin Muawiya, Ibn 'Umar gathered his special friends and children and said, "I heard the Prophet saying, 'A flag will be fixed for every betrayer on the Day of Resurrection,' and we have given the oath of allegiance to this person (Yazid) in accordance with the conditions enjoined by Allah and His Apostle and I do not know of anything more faithless than fighting a person who has been given the oath of allegiance in accordance with the conditions enjoined by Allah and His Apostle , and if ever I learn that any person among you has agreed to dethrone Yazid, by giving the oath of allegiance (to somebody else) then there will be separation between him and me." [Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 9, Book 88, Number 227]
So in the eyes of Abdullah ibne Umar the bayya of Yazid that Imam Hussain (as) opposed was "in accordance with the conditions enjoined by Allah and His Apostle" i.e. Completely legitimate, and breaking the Jamaah would lead to individuals being raised as betrayers on the Day of Judgement.
So, Yazid was the khalifa of the Jamaah (that this writer claims he is a part of) and no matter how much the proponents of this Site seek to distance themselves from Yazid, Abdullah ibne Umar deemed his station as Imam to be in accordance with conditions of Allah (swt) and his Rasul (s).
It is hence of little surprise that we read this proud admission by Maulana Akhund Dharweeza in Sharra Qaseeda Amali page 116:
"Curses can only be sent on Kaafirs and Yazeed was NOT a kaafir but was a Sunni Muslim".
Alhamdolillah the Shi'a are happy keeping away from a Jamaah preferring to be declared 'rafidis' (dissenters') than the followers of a Jamaah that endorses Yazid's khilafath as valid and deems him as a Sunni Muslim. The Shi'a always remained aloof from these tyrannical rulers. Those that remained with Hadhrath Ali (as) and his descendants seeking guidance in the deen from them continued to declare themselves as the Shi'a of the Ahl'ul bayt (as).
From the time of Mu'awiya's reign the two ideologies ran hand in hand, the State Religion (Sunni Islam) and the Religion of Ahl'ul bayt (as) - Shi'a Islam. It is clear that the Ahl'ul Sunnah wa al Jammah was and shall remain the religion perpetuated by the State, whilst the Shi'a of 'Ali have and shall always remain those described by the Sunni Ibn Manzur, as "those people who love what the Prophet's Progeny loves, and they are loyal to such Progeny" (Lisan al-'Arab, by Ibn Manzur, vol. 8, p189)
Adapted from the book: "Historic Background of Shiism"
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