To Know the Shi'ah
If we intend to talk about the Shi'ah without any fanaticism or affectation, we should say; They are the Islamic sect that follows the guide of and imitate the Twelve Imams of the Prophet's Household, 'Ali and his sons, taking from them all the jurisprudential (fiqhi) matters including 'ibadat (worships) and mu'amalat (transactions), preferring no one to them except their grandfather the message -bearer, God's Messenger- Muhammad (S).
This is the real and brief definition of the Shi'ah, leaving aside what the promulgates of disconcerning news and fanatics claim that the Shi'ah are enemies of Islam, or that they believe in 'Ali's prophethood and his being the message-owner, or that they are related to 'Abd Allah ibn Saba', the Jew.
I have come across numerous books and articles in which their writers do their utmost to charge the Shi'ah with impiety and being out of the Islamic denomination (millah.)
But their utterance are only a baseless fabrication and on obvious lie with no supporting argument or proof, presenting nothing more than reiterating the discourses of their ancestors, the enemies of Ahl al-Bayt (A) and the open opponents who seized the affairs of the Ummah, ruling it with force and suppression, chasing the Prophet's Household (Itrah) and their followers (Shi'ah), exposing them to a savage campaign of homcide and homelessness and insulting them by all (bad) nicknames
Among these nicknames that are mostly mentioned in the books of Shi'ah's enemies, we can refer to the tittle "al-Rafidah " (those who reject) or al-Rawafid. At first blush it will come to the reader's mind that they (Shi'ah) have rejected the rules of Islam and never applied them, or that they have rejected the message of Prophet Muhammad (S) and denied it.
The fact is other than this, and the real reason behind calling them Rawafid, is that the first rulers of Banu Umayyah and Banu al-Abbas, with their sycophans from evil-mentioned 'ulama' (scholars), tried to defame the Shi'ah with this name, since they first followed the guide of 'Ali (A) and rejected the caliphate of Abu Bakr, 'Umar and 'Uthman, and secondly because they refused all the rulers of the Umayyads and 'Abbasid outright.
These rules and their stooges tried hard to blink the facts for the Ummah, through the help of some composers (of traditions) from among the Companions, showing that their caliphate was ligitimate since it was by God's commandment, and they were disseminating among people that the Almighty's saying: "O ye who belive! Oby Allah and obey the Messenger and those of you who are in authority,..." (4:49), that it was revealed in their right, and they are meant in it as being those who are in authority, whose obedience is obligatory upon all Muslims.They have even hired some who narrate falsely from God's Messenger (S) that he said: "Whoever goes out of the sultan's obedience and dies, his death is the death of ignorance", so no Muslim has the right to revolt against the ruler.
Thus it is to be known that the Shi'ah have been targetted by rulers because they refused holding allegiance to them (rulers), regarding their rule as an userpation of the right Ahl al-Bayt (A). The rulers tried, throughout history, to mislead the public that the Shi'ah reject Islam, and rather they attempt to destroy and annihilate it, as indicated by some writers and historians from the the formers and latters claiming to be knowledgeable.
Should we return to the trick of obscuring truth by falsehood, we would recognize the difference between that who wants to destroy Islam and that who wants to destroy the despotic corrupt government whose acts against Islam.
The Shi'ah have not rebelled against Islam, but they revolted against the tyrannical rulers, aiming at resorting the right to its owners, for establishing foundations of Islam by just ruler. Anyhow, what we got from the previous researches in the books: 'Then I was Guided ', 'To be with the Truthful 'and 'Ask Those Who Know' that the Shi'ah represent the delivered sect, due to their faith and commitment to the Thanqalayn: God's Book and the Prophet's (S) 'Itrah (Household).
Doing justice to the equitables, we can say that some of the Sunni scholars admit this reality, as can be noticed in the Book "Lisan al-'Arab" by Ibn Manzur, where he says in defining the Shi'ah:
"And the Shi'ah are a group of people who love what the Prophet's Progeny love and patronize them"; and after reviewing this statement from the book,Dr .'Abd al-Fattah 'Ashur says:
"If the Shi'ah were those who love what the Prophet's Progeny love and patronize them, so who from among the Muslims will refuse to be a Shi'i?
Now we witness the decline of the age of fanaticism and inherited hostility, and the advent of the era of light and freedom of thought, so the learned youth are recommended to be vigilant, read the Shi'ah books, communicate with them and converse with their scholars to recognize truth from its gate. How long have we have been decieved by honeyed words and disturbing news that fail to withstand before argument and proof.
The world today is at the disposal of all, and the Shi'ah can be found everywhere on this globe, so it is no right for the researcher about the Shi'ah to inquire about them their enemies and opponents, who disagree with them with regard to creed.What can such an inquirer expect from such people to tell him about their forces since the outest of history?
The Shi'ah are not an underground cult, keeping its beliefs from all except those who are affilliated to it, but rather its books and beliefs are spread all over the world, its religious schools (hawzat ilmiyyah) are for all knowledge-seekers, and the Shi'ah scholars organize seminars, lectures, debrates and conferences, and call for an agreement and for uniting the Islamic Ummah.
I am certain that should the equitables from among the Islamic Ummah investigate the subject seriously, they would be guided towards the truth after which nothing is there but misguidance, since that which prevents them from reaching (the truth) are the partial publicity media and false rumours used by enemies of the Shi'ah, or incorrect conduct by some of common people of the Shi'ah.2
Most often to remove one suspicion or eliminated a false supersition is enough to see one who was once an enemy of the Shi'ah, has become one of them.
In this respect I can recall the story of the Shami man who was misguided by the mass media at that time. On entering the Medin to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Prophet's (S) tomb, he saw a man of veneration and dignity, riding his horse, surrounded by a group of his comrades, under his coommand.
The Shami was astonished to see a man having all that awe and magnification in Sham more than Mu'awiyah, so he questioned about his identity, and the reply came that: He is al-Hasan ibn 'Ali Talib.Then he said: Is this man the son of Abu Taurab, the Kharijite? After that he indulged in insulting and slandering al-Hasan, his father and his household.
Thereat al-Hasan's companions unsheathed their swords trying to kill him (Shami), but al-'Imam al-Hasan (A) stopped them, got down of his horse, and being gracious to him, he told him: "It seems you are a stranger here O brother ?" The Shami replied : "Yes, I am from sham, and of the followers of Amir a- Mu'mmin in and the Master of Muslims Mua'wiyah ibn Abi Sufyan ". The Imam welcomed him again saying: " I invite you to be my guest ". But the shami refused this invitation, this invetation, so al-mam al- Hssan insisited on him untill he surrendered to his request .Then the Imam kept serving and being kind to him all days of hosspitality. In the fourth day singns of regret and repentance were seen on the face of the Shami 'toward what he did against al- Hassan ibn Ali (A), asking himself how could he abuse and insult him while he (al-Hassan )receives him with kindness, pardon and hospitality. At that time he came to himself and be sought al-Hassan (A) to forgive him for his mischief, whereat the following conversation was held between the two, with the presence of al-Hassan's companions:
Al- Hasan: Have you are read the Qur'an O brother ?
Al- Shami : I commit the whole Qur'an to memory .
Al- Hasan: Do you know who are the ahl al-Bayt from whom Allah has removed uncleanness, and whom He cleansed ?
Al-Shami : they are Muawiyah and Household of Abu Sufyan .
Those present were surpised and amazed, but al-Hasan (A) smiled and said to him: I am al-Hasan ibn 'Ali my father is the cousin and the brother of God's Messenger, my mother is fatimah al- Zahra the lady of all women of the worlds. My grandfather is god's Messenger the master of the prophets and Messengers, My uncle is Hamza the doyen of martyrs, and so also is Ja'far al- Tayyar . We are the Ahl al- Bayt whom Allah, the Exalted, hacleansed and whose love He has imposed Allah, The Exalted, has cleansed and whose love He has imposed upon all Muslims. Allah and His angels sent their benediictions upon us, commanding the Muslims to pay to pray upon us. I and my brother are the two masters of the youth of paradise inhabitant.
When al-Imam al-Hassan enumereted the virtues of Ahl Al- Bayt, and acquaitance him with the truth hashami has been englightened, whereat he wept aand started to kiss al- Hasan's hands and face, presenting apology for the mischief he did for him, saying :" By Allah, who there is no God save Him, I entered al-Madinah seeing no one more detastable than you on earth, whereas I depart it realizing that no one on Exalted, through your love, affection, following you and proclaiming antipathy against your enemies".
Thereat al- 'I mam al- Hasan turned his face towards his companion, saying:
"You intended to kill him while being innocent, since had he known the truth he would have never opposed it, and most Muslims in Shami are such, since if they recognize the truth they shall follow it. Then he recited the Almighty Allah's saying : " The good deed and the evil deed are not like. Repel the evil deed with one which is better, then lo! between whom and thee there was enemity (well become) as though he was a bosom friend." (41:34)
Unfortunately this is the fact being ignored by most people . it may be seen that some one contracts the enmity of truth and opposes it for several years, untill he some day comes to know that he was mistaken, whereat he hastens toward repentance and seeking forgiveness, which is an obligation upon every man, as it is said : "eturn ing to truth is a virtue "
But the real misfortune lies in that those who oppose and fight truth for wicked aims, mean life and concealed grudges, while they can expressly witness and sense it.
About such people, Allah the Gloified and Exalted has said: "Wether thou warn them or thou warn them not, it is alike for them, for they believe not". (36:15)
So wasting time and painstaking for such people are all in vain, but we should sacrifice everything for the equitables, the truth -seekers who take pains to attainning it, about whom the Almighty Allah has said: Thou warnest only him who followeth the Reminder and feareth the Beneficent in secret. To him bear tidings of fogiveness and rich reward." (36:11)
I call those enlightened among the shia everywhere, to dedicate some of their time and funds for the ake of acquainting all the on of Islam with truth, since the Imams of Ahl al- Bayt have not been confined solely for the Shi'ah, but they are Imam of guidance and lights for darkness for all muslims.
Should the Imam of Ahl al- Bayt remain unknown for Muslim commoners (Ammah), especially the learned of the Sunnis ( Ahl al Sunnah wal al- Jama ah), the burden of responsibility before God would be shouldred by the shiah .
So also all the muslims will be answerable had people remained disblievers and theists, recognizing not God's straight religion brought by the lord of apostles Muhammad (S).
2. In the end of this book, you will come to know that the acts of some plebeians among the Shi'ah arouse the aversion of educated youth Ahl alSunnah, discouring them from continuing incestigation to attain truth.
Adapted from the book: "The Shi'ah; The Real Followers of the Sunnah" by: "Dr. Muhamad al-Tijahi al-Samawi"
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