Referring to your first point that, since I was originally connected
with Arabia, Mecca, and Medina, why should I support the Iranians,
I tell you that I have no partisan spirit. Our Prophet said: "The
Arabs should not boast that they are superior to non-Arabs and
vice versa; and the whites should not boast of their superiority
to the blacks and vice versa. Superiority lies only in knowledge
and piety. In the Holy Qur'an, Allah says: 'O men! Surely We have
created you of a male and a female, and made you tribes and families
that you may know each other; surely the most honorable of you
with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty).'"
Also, in the same chapter in the Qur'an, He says: "The believers
are brethren; therefore, make peace between your brethren and
be careful of (your duty to) Allah that mercy may be had on you."
Accordingly, all Asians, Africans, Europeans, Americans of white,
black, red, or yellow races who are Muslims are brothers, and
no one can claim superiority to another. The greatest leader of
Islam, the last of the Prophets, acted on this principle. He showed
his special affection for Salman Farsi of Iran, Suhaib of Asia
Minor, and Bilal of Abyssinia. On the other hand, he rejected
Abu Lahab (whose name means 'Father of Flame'), his own uncle
who was condemned by a chapter of the Holy Qur'an which said:
"Perish the hands of the Father of Flame! Perish he!"
The world has witnessed disturbances of the worst order in Western
countries which were the result of racial discrimination. In those
countries black people are not allowed in hotels, restaurants,
churches, and other congregations meant for white people. Islam
banned such cruel practices 1,300 years ago and proclaimed that
all Muslims, regardless of race, color, or nationality are brothers.
So if the Arabs go astray, I will condemn them, and I will be
the friend of the Iranian Shias.
Second, you have associated Iranian extremists with the Shias,
who are steadfast monotheists and follow Ali according to the
commands of the Prophet. We regard Ali as a pious servant of Allah
and the divinely appointed successor of the Holy Prophet.
Moreover, we reject those whose beliefs are contrary to ours,
like the Saba'iyya, the Khitabiyya, the Gharabiyya, the Alawiyya,
the Mukhammasa, the Bazighiyya, the Nussairiyya, who are scattered
throughout Iran, Mosul, and Syria. We Shias are distinct from
them and consider them infidels. In all the books written by Shia
ulema and legal scholars, the Ghalis (extremists) are included
among the disbelievers, since their belief is against the tenets
of Shia'ism. For instance, they argue that, since the infusion
of the soul into a material body is possible (as Gabriel could
appear before the Holy Prophet in the form of Dahiyya-e-Kalbi),
it was Allah's will that His Holy Self appear in human form in
For this reason they consider the position of Ali higher than
that of the Prophet. Such a faction emerged during Ali's own time.
Some people of India and the Sudan came to him and professed that
he was Allah.
Ali repeatedly forbade them to hold this view, but to no effect.
Finally, as is recorded in many histories, Ali ordered them to
be killed in wells of smoke. The details of this case have been
given in Baharu'l-Anwar, Volume VII, by the great Alim, Agha Muhammad
Baqir Majlisi. The Commander of the Faithful and other Imams bitterly
condemned such people. Ali said: "O Allah, I scorn the group
of Ghullat (extremists), just as Jesus scorned the Christians.
May you forsake them forever." On another occasion he said:
"There are two groups who will suffer humiliating death,
and I am not responsible for them (since I disdain their deeds):
those who exceed the lawful limits of love for me and are Ghullat
(extremists), and those who, for no reason whatsoever, are hostile
to me. I hate those who extol my position beyond its proper limit,
just as Christ hated the Christians."
He also said: "There are two groups associated with me who
will suffer ignoble death: one is composed of those people who
say they are friends and praise me beyond lawful limit; the other
is composed of the enemies who degrade my rank."
The Shias condemn those who praised Ali and his Ahle Bait beyond
the limit ordained by Allah and the Prophet. Our ulema have unanimously
held that they are all disbelievers. It is not permitted to attend
their funerals or to marry them. They are also deprived of inheriting
Muslim property; charity and religious taxes may not be given
to them. The Holy Qur'an condemns them in these words: "Say:
O followers of the Book, be not immoderate in your religion, and
do not follow the low desires of people who went astray before
and led many astray and went astray from the right path."
Allama Majlisi, in his Baharu'l-Anwar Volume III, which is the
encyclopedia of the Shia faith, has recorded many hadith condemning
the Ghullat (extremists). Imam Ja'far Sadiq is quoted as saying,
"We are servants of Allah, Who created us and made us superior
to the others of His creation. Certainly we shall die and shall
stand before Allah for reckoning. He who is a friend of the Ghalis
is our enemy; and he who is their enemy is our friend. The Ghalis
are infidels and polytheists; curse be upon them." A great
religious head of the Shias has also quoted the same Imam as saying,
"Allah's curse be upon those who claim divinity and godhood
for Ali. By Allah, Ali was an obedient servant of Allah. Curse
be upon those who have slandered us; some people say things about
us that we do not say ourselves. We declare that we have no connection
Sheikh Saduq (Abu Ja'far Muhammad Bin Ali), a highly respected
Faqih (legal scholar) of the Shias, quotes Zarara Bin A'yun, a
reliable Shia writer, who was a hafiz and companion of Imam Muhammad
Baqir and Imam Ja'far Sadiq, as saying: "I told Imam Ja'far
Sadiq that one of the persons known to him believes in Tufwiz
(delegation of Divine authority). The Imam said: 'What is meant
by Tufwiz?' I replied, 'The man says that Allah created Muhammad
and Ali and then delegated to them His authority over the affairs
of the people. So they are the creators, the givers of food; they
are the animators, and they are the killers.' The holy Imam said:
'The enemy of Allah lies. When you go back to him, read him this
verse from the Holy Qur'an: "....or have they set up with
Allah associates who have created creation like His, so that what
is created became confused to them? Say: 'Allah is the Creator
of all things, and He is the One, the Supreme.'" (13:16)
We Shias are separate from the Ghalis (extremists). Let them claim that they are Shias. Allah, the holy Prophet, Ali, and their descendants hate them. Ali kept the chief of the Ghullat in prison for three days, and ordered him to repent for his wickedness. When he refused, Ali had him burned to death. If you cannot produce a single book in which the Ghalis have been praised, you should at least condemn the intolerant ulema who misguide the Sunnis about the Shias.
Hafiz: Your brotherly advice
is worth consideration. But would you please clarify some other
points? You have all along said that you do not unduly praise
your Imams. You regard the Ghullat as contemptible and fit for
hell, but you use inappropriate expressions regarding your Imams.
You have said "Blessings of Allah be upon them," although
you know that, according to the Holy Qur'an, this expression is
reserved only for the Holy Prophet. The Qur'an says: "Surely
Allah and His angels bless the Prophet; O you who believe, call
for (Divine) blessings on him and salute him with a (becoming)
salutation." (33:56) Your practice clearly violates the injunction
of the Holy Qur'an. Your expression is an innovation.
Well-Wisher: This verse does
not forbid us to bless any other person. We are enjoined to bless
the Prophet. In another verse of the Holy Qur'an, Allah says:
"Peace be on the people of Ya Sin (Ahle Ya Sin)," a
reference to the descendants of the Prophet. As for the other
Prophets of Allah, blessings have not been given to their descendants
anywhere in the Holy Qur'an. Blessings have been given only to
the prophets of Allah. "Peace and Salutation to Noah among
the nations." (37:79): "Peace and salutation to Abraham."
(37:109): "Peace and salutation to Moses and Aaron."
All commentators and scholars of your own sect admit that Allah has addressed the Prophet as Ya Seen. Hence, Ahle (the people of) Ya Sin means the people of Muhammad. Among others, Ibn Hajar Makki, a very intolerant Sunni scholar, says in Sawa'iq Muhriqa, under the verses quoted in commendation of the Ahle Bait, that a group of commentators quoted Ibn Abbas (commentator, and the chief of the believers) as saying that Ahle Ya Sin means Ahle Muhammad. Therefore, salaam, the greeting of peace, for Ahle Ya Sin means salaam for Ahle Muhammad. Imam Fakhru'd-Din Razi writes: "The Ahle Bait of the Prophet are equal to him in five matters:
1) The salaam: salaam for the Prophet and salaam for Ahle Ya Sin (Ahle Muhammad) are the same thing.
2) The salawat (blessings) in ritual prayers for the Prophet and his Ahle Bait, which is compulsory.
3) Purity: Allah says in the sura of "Ta Ha" (20:1): "(0 Prophet) Clean and Pure:" The verse of purity was revealed in praise of the Ahle Bait.
4) Unlawfulness of charity: Charity may not be accepted either by the Prophet or by his Ahle Bait.
5) Love: Love for the Prophet means love for his Ahle Bait. Allah
Almighty says, "Say: if you love Allah, then follow me, Allah
will love you..." (3:31) And about the Ahle Bait Allah says,
"...Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for
my near relatives..." (42:23)
Many of those relating hadith, particularly Bukhari in his Sahih,
Volume III, and Muslim in his Sahih, Volume I, Sulayman Balkhi
in his Yanabiu'l Mawadda, and even Hajar in his Sawa'iq quotes
Ka'b Bin Ajza as saying: "When the verse: 'Verily, Allah
and His angels bless the Prophet...' (33:56) was revealed, we
asked the Holy Prophet, 'How should we pray for our blessings
for you, Apostle of Allah?' The Prophet replied, 'Pray for your
blessings in this way: "O Allah, bless (the Prophet) Muhammad
and Ahle Muhammad."'"
Imam Fakhru'd-Din Razi, in Volume VI of his Tafsir-e-Kabir, also
narrates a similar hadith. Ibn Hajar, commenting on the tradition,
indicates that it is clear from the hadith that praying for blessings
for the Holy Prophet is equal to praying for blessings on his
descendants as well. He also quotes the Holy Prophet as saying:
"Don't be incomplete in praying for blessings for me."
When asked what he meant by 'incomplete' blessings, he said: "Do
not say, 'O Allah, bless Muhammad,' but say, 'O Allah, bless Muhammad
and his descendants.'"
Dailami writes that the Prophet said: "Our prayer remains obstructed unless we pray for blessings upon the Prophet and his people." Shafi'i says, "O Ahle Bait! In the Holy Qur'an Allah has made love for you compulsory for us. Regarding the loftiness of your rank and position, it is sufficient to know that if a man does not pray for divine blessings for you, his prayer is not accepted." If the prayer for blessings for the Prophet and his descendants is deliberately omitted, the ritual prayer is rejected. And the Prophet said: "The ritual prayer is the pillar of faith; if the prayer is accepted, all other deeds are accepted; if it is rejected, all other deeds are rejected."
To pray for divIne blessings for the Ahle Bait is the sunna (commendable
practice) and a mode of worship which was performed by the Holy
Prophet himself. We are proud to do what the Holy Qur'an and the
Holy Prophet have enjoined us to do.