To Know Ahl al-Sunnah
The Sunnite (Ahl al-sunnah) are the major Islamic sect that constitute three -quarters of Muslims of the world, and their reference and authorities for verdict (fatwa) and imitation (taqlid) are the Imams of the four Islamic ( madhhab): Abu Hanifa, Malik, al-Shafi'i and Ahmad ibn Hanbal .
Later on another cult ramified from them called the Salafites Salafiyya, that has been revitalized by Ibn Taymiyyah who was called Mujaddid al- Sunnah ( Revitalazer of the Sunnah ). Then another branch emerged called Wahhabim, which was innovated by Muhammad ibn Abd al - Wahhab, and this being the school of Saudi Arabia.
All these school call themselve " Ahl al Sunnah " adding somtimes to it the word 'al- Jama'ah ' to become "Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jama'ah ".
Through historical research it can be concluded that whoever is affiliated to what they call the Guided Caliphate (Rashidah), or the Guided Caliphs (al-Khulafa al -Rashidun ) who are Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, 3 admitting their leadership whether in their era or during the contemporary age, is called a Sunni from "Ahl al-Sunnah wal al- Jama'ah.
Who ever rejects this caliphate, considering it illegitimate and emphasizing on establishment of the text nass) on the the Caliphate of) 'Ali Ibn Abi Talib, is Shi' i from the rejectors (Ahl al Rafd) .
We get to know also that all the rulers, from Abu Bakr and up to the last caliph from Banu al- Abbas are pleased and in full agreement with the Sunnis, being rageous and avengeful against those whoo followed Ali ibn Abi Talib acknowledging him, after him his sons, to caliphate.
Based on this, Ali ibn Abi Talib and his folowers ( Shi'ah) were not only countable person as seen by Ahl al- Sunnah wal al- Jama'a, but as if this term has been laid down to be against; Ali and his Shi'ah. In my opinion, this is the main reason for dividing the Islamic Ummah after the Prophet's demise into Sunnah and Shi'a.
By reviewing the analysis of causes and exposing the hidden facts according to the trustworthy historical sources, we can say that this division emerged directly after the prophet's desmise, when the affair was settled down with Abu Bakr's seizing power, being supported by the majority of the companions, and opposed by Ali (A), Banu Hashim and a few other of the Sahabah (Companions), who were mostly from mawali
It is self-evident that the ruling authority has removed thase people (Ali and his followers), dismissing them (from power), considering them dissidents of Islam, and doing all its utmust to paralyze their opposition through resorting to all economical, social and political means of (pressure ).
It is known that' Ahl al Sunnah wal al-Jama'ah today, can not realize the political dimensions that played their roles in those ages, and the extent of hospitality and animosity created by these malignant roles, after isolating and separating the most magnificient diginity ever known throughout history after the Propht Muhammad (S). At present Ahlal-Sunnah wa al- Jama'ah presume or think that everything was all right and going on according to the Book ( Qur'an) and the prophetic Tradition (Sunnah) during th reign of the Guided Caliphas, and that they resembled angels, respecting each other with no any grudges, covetousnessess and evil intentions. For all this was see them reject whatever the Shi'a utter concerning the Companions in general and khulafa' al-Rashidun in particular.
It seems if Ahl al-Sunnah have never come across the history books written by their scholars, being sufficed only with the statement of flattery and admiration they hear fromtheir ancestors in respect of all the Companions, particularly al- Khulafa al- Rashidun. Had they opened their hearts and sights, going into their history and tradition books, seeking the truth and for recognizing the right from the wrong, they would have changed their belief, not only in the Sahabah but in most of the rules that they regarded right, while they being in fact otherwise.
Through this modest effort, I try to expound to my brothers, Ahl al- Sunnah, some of the facts with which history books are replete, extracting for them, very briefly, the express texts that refute falsehood and demostrate the truth, hoping this will be the effective remedy for the scatterness and divergence among Muslims, leading for uniting them and mending the fences among them.
The Ahl al- Sunnah I know today are neither so fanatic nor obstinate, nor against al- Imam Ali and Ahl al- Bayt, rather they love and respect them, but at the same time they love and revere the enemies of Ah al-Bayt, following them as guide and examples as "all of them are implorers from the Allah's Messenger.
The Sunni s never act according to the rule that says Loyalty must be for Allah's true friends (Awliya) and freedom be from Allah's enemies, but they show affection to every one. and accept Mu'awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan as they as they accept Ali ibn Abi Talib.
They have been dazzled by the glistening title (Ahl al- Sunnah wa al- Jama'ah) not knowing its mysteries and intrigues laid down by Arab sagacious men. Had they known one day that Ali ibn Abi Talib respresents the true Muhammad an Sunnah and its gate through which they can enter, and that they have disagreed with him and so did he, they would have retreated their stance and embarked on investigating the matter seriously, whereat you could not find Ahl al-Sunnah but true followers (shi'ah ) for Ali (A) and the Messenger (S) . Therefore it is inevitable to disclose the great plot that played the most dangerous roles in displacing the Muhammadan Sunnah substituting in with Jahili innovations, that led to Muslims degeneration, and retirement of the straight path and their scattering, and emergence of discord among them, leading then to accusing one another with impiety, and fighting each other.This being the real cause for their sceintific and technological backwardness, which paved the way for their being occupied and invaded, leading consquently to their despisement, humiliation and dissolution ( by other people).
After presenting this brief survey for defining the Shi'ah and Sunnah, we should draw the attention that the title ' shi'ah does not necessarily indicate opposition to the Sunnah, as is thought by common people when they boast by saying 'We are Ahl al- sunnah, meaning that others are against the Sunnah. This notion has never been accepted by the Shari'ah who believe that alone are holding fast tothe true Prophetic Sunnah, since they have entered it form its gate, that is 'Ali ibn Abi Talib other than whom no gate is there, and in their view getting access to the prophet is not feasible but through him ('Ali).
As usual, in being natural to attaining to the truth, we should go by the dear readers step by step, surveying with him some historical events, furnishing him with the proof and evidence indicating the Shia'ah being the true Ahl al-Sunnah, as the book title reads.
Afterwards we give him freedom to chose and comment as he likes.
3. In the forthcoming discissions to will be demostrated how Ahl al-Sunnah have not regarded 'Ali ibn Abi Talib as one of the Rightly guided Caliphs, but only very lately.
Adapted from the book: "The Shi'ah; The Real Followers of the Sunnah" by: "Dr. Muhamad al-Tijahi al-Samawi"
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