Hafiz: Based on your talk last
night, I conclude that the Shias are divided into a number of
factions. Will you kindly let us know which of them you accept
so that we may restrict our discussion to that faction.
I didn't say that the Shias are divided into factions. Shias are
devoted to Allah and followers of the Prophet and his descendants.
Of course some factions have assumed the name of Shia to mislead
people. They took advantage of the name of the Shias, preached
false beliefs, and spread confusion. Uninformed people have included
their names among the Shias. There are four such factions, two
of which have survived: the Zaidiyya, the Kaysaniyya, the Qaddahiyya,
and the Ghullat.
The Zaidiyyas follow Zaid Bin Ali Bin Husain. They consider Imam
Zainu'l-Abidin's son, Zaid, to be his successor. At present these
people are found in large numbers in Yemen and its surroundings.
They believe that of the descendants of Ali and Fatima, he is
"The Imam who is learned, pious, and brave. He draws the
sword and rises against the enemy." During the time of the
oppressive Umayyad Caliph, Hisham bin Abdu'l-Malik, Hazrat Zaid
rose against those in authority and courted martyrdom and was
therefore acknowledged as Imam by the Zaidiyyas. The fact is that
Zaid possessed a far higher position than that which the Zaidiyyin
claim for him. He was a great Seyyed of the Hashimite dynasty,
and was known for his piety, wisdom, prayers, and bravery. He
passed many sleepless nights in prayer and fasted frequently.
The Prophet prophesied his martyrdom, as narrated by Imam Husain:
"The Holy Prophet put his sacred hand on my back and said:
'O Husain, it will not be long until a man will be born among
your descendants. He will be called Zaid; he will be killed as
a martyr. On the day of resurrection, he and his companions will
enter heaven, setting their feet on the necks of the people.'"
But Zaid himself never claimed to be an Imam. It is sheer slander
for people to say that he did. In fact, he recognized Muhammad
Baqir as the Imam and pledged his full obedience to him.
It was only after Muhammad Baqir's demise that unknowing people
adopted the doctrine that "he is not the Imam who remains
sitting at home and hides himself from the people; the Imam is
one who is a descendant of Hazrat Fatima, an Alim, and who draws
the sword and rises against the enemy and invites people to his
side." The Zaidiyyas are divided into five factions: 1) Mughairiyya;
2) Jarudiyya; 3) Zakariyya; 4) Khashbiyya; and 5) Khaliqiyya.
The second faction is the Kaysaniyyas. These are the companions
of Kaysan, a slave of Ali Bin Abu Talib, who had freed him. These
people believe that after Imam Hasan and Imam Husain, Muhammad
Hanafiyya, the next eldest son of Commander of the Faithful, Ali,
was the Imam. But Muhammad Hanafiyya himself never claimed this.
He was called the sincerest of devotees. He was known for his
knowledge, piety, devotion, and obedience to divine commandments.
Some ignorant men produced evidence of what they called his opposition
to Imam Zainu'l-Abidin. They claimed that Muhammad Hanafiyya claimed
to be the Imam.
The fact was otherwise. He never claimed to be the Imam. He wanted
to show his ignorant followers the rank and position of the fourth
Imam, Zainu'l-Abidin. The result was that, in the same holy mosque
when Hajaru'l-Aswad (The Black Holy Stone) affirmed the Imamate
of Imam Zainu'l-Abidin, Abu Khalid Kabuli, chief of the followers
of Muhammad Hanafiyya, along with all other followers, acknowledged
Imam Zainu'l-Abidin as the Imam. But a group of cunning people
misled the simple and ignorant people by saying that Muhammad
Bin Hanafiyya had only shown modesty, that in the face of the
Umayyads it was most desirable for Muhammad Hanifiyya to do as
After the death of Muhammad Hanifiyya, these people said that he was not dead, that he had hidden himself in a cave of Mount Rizwi, and that he would reappear in the future to fill the world with justice and peace. This group contained four sub-factions: 1) Mukhtariyya; 2) Karbiyya; 3) Ishaqiyya and 4) Harabiyya.
But none of them exists today.
The third faction, Qaddahiyya, calls itself Shia, but it is a
group of infidels. This sect originated in Egypt by Ma'mun Ibn
Salim (or Disan) known as Qada and Issa Chahar Lakhtan (Jesus
of Four Parts). They took it upon themselves to interpret the
Holy Qur'an and the records of history according to their own
wishes. They hold that there are two codes of religion: one secret
and the other manifest. The secret code was given by Allah to
the holy Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet gave it to Ali, and he
gave it to his descendants and to the pure Shias. They believe
that those who know the secret code are exempt from prayers and
the worship of Allah.
They have founded their religion on seven pillars. They believe
in seven Prophets, and in seven Imams, the seventh Imam being
in occultation. They are awaiting his appearance. They are divided
into two factions:
1) The Nasiriyya were the companions of Nasir Khusru Alawi, who through his poems, speeches, and books attracted a large number of people to infidelity. They were spread over Tabaristan in large numbers.
2) The Sabahiyya (known in the West as the Assassins). They were
the companions of Hasan Sabba, a native of Egypt who came to Iran,
and caused the tragic events of Alamut, which resulted in the
slaughter of large numbers of people. These facts are preserved
in the records of history.
The fourth faction is that of the Ghalis, which is the most debased
of all sects. They are incorrectly known as Shias. In fact they
are all unbelievers. They are divided into seven factions: 1)
Saba'iyya; 2) Mansuriyya; 3) Gharabiyya; 4) Bazighiyya; 5) Yaqubiyya;
6) Isma'iliyya; and 7) Azdariyya.
Not only we Shia Ithna Asharis (who believe in the twelve Imams),
but all Muslims of the world reject their faith.