The Birth Of Different Sects In The Caliphate School
In the last section, we discussed the approach of the four Caliphs vis-à-vis the Prophet’s Sunnah, soon after his demise. We also took note of the scant regard that the caliphs displayed towards the Prophet’s Sunnah during their respective regimes.
In this section, we will delve into the factors that divided the Islamic nation into myriad sects of Muslims. To this end, we shall introduce the sects ascribed to the two schools of thought along with their views and beliefs.
We shall also discuss the historical background of the emergence of the various groups in the Muslim society and the fundamental cause of their origin. Nevertheless, we will also elaborate on the fact that in the Ahlul Bayt (as) school, only one group exists i.e. the “twelve-Imam Shiites“ (Ithna-Ashari) and the sects which are ascribed to this school are either imaginary; false or existed briefly.
We hope that the discussion helps the seekers of the truth and enhances understanding among the Muslims.
After the Prophet’s demise, there was a sharp division in the Islamic Ummah: those who believed that the Prophet (S) has appointed Ali (as) as his successor, caliph and Imam after him and those who claimed that Allah and His Prophet have not issued any command concerning the ruler and leader after the Holy Prophet and the decision was left to the community.
A brief account of what transpired after the Prophet’s demise is mentioned below:
At Saqifa, Abu-Bakr attained the caliphate through allegiance of a few people. Before his death, Abu Bakr nominated Omar as his successor and he became the second caliph. When Omar was fatally injured in an assault, he formed a council (shu’ra) of six men from the Muhajirs who were responsible for the caliph’s appointment. Uthman gained the caliphate due to the cunning maneuvers of Abdul-Rahman-ibn-Auf.
After Uthman’s assassination, the common companions from the Muhajirs and Ansars as well as the disciples of companions swore allegiance to Ali (as).
Talha and Zubair who had pledged allegiance to Ali (as) revolted against him. Under the leadership of Ayesha and on the pretext of avenging Uthman’s blood, they fought pitched battle with Ali (as). Consequently, they suffered a humiliating defeat in Basra. Later Muawiyah too waged a war against Ali and fought the battle of Siffeen.
Even as Ali (as) was poised to win the battle, Muawiya played a trick by inciting the soldiers to abandon battle and accept arbitration of the Quran. Consequently, some of Imam’s soldiers compelled Imam to accept the appointment of Abu Musa Ash.’ari as an arbitrator. Muawiya, on his part, appointed Amr Aas as the arbitrator.
These two arbitrators reached an agreement. Abu-Musa was outsmarted by Amr Aas.’ deception and decreed that Ali (as) and Muawiya both be deposed from the seat of caliphate. However, Amr Aas concurred with Ashari as far as deposition of Ali (as) was concerned but he insisted that Ali (as) be replaced, and Muawiya should be appointed as caliph.
Consequently, a group from Imam’s army from Kufa who believed in caliphate ideology and maintained that caliphate is by selection, separated from the mainstream and branded Muslims as infidels. This group revolted against Ali (as). Another battle was foisted on Imam who fought with them in Naherwan and killed the majority of them. A minuscule minority had survived including the assassin of Imam Ali who later fatally assaulted him in the mosque of Kufa.
Thereafter, the Muslims swore allegiance to the Prophet’s grandson, Hasan-ibn-Ali. When Muawiya prepared himself for a battle against him, the people of Kufa betrayed Imam Hasan. Consequently, in 40 A.H., Imam Hasan (as) forcibly signed a peace treaty with Muawiya. The caliphate school named that year as " عام الجماعة " (Year of reunion) because Muawiya was unanimously accepted as caliph.
* * *
Muawiya ruled for twenty years. During this period, Muawiya ensured that numerous traditions in support of the caliphate system were forged and attributed to the Prophet (S). The caliphate school mistook these fabricated traditions (which were mentioned in the last lessons) as the Prophet’s Sunnah.
These fabricated traditions are divided into four categories:
a) Traditions that were genuinely narrated by the Prophet but over a period of time, while being narrated by one narrator to another got distorted. Naturally, several of the Prophet’s sayings lost its originality.
b) Traditions, which were originally opinions of the Ahle- Sunnah scholars or their students but were so mingled and merged with the Prophet’s traditions that it became impossible to distinguish them from the genuine traditions.
The belief in the physicality of God and His resemblance with creatures is the fallout of such traditions.
c) Traditions that were narrated from the Prophet but were moulded to serve the interest of the ruling government.
d) Traditions that were blatantly distorted and forged in the interest of the caliphate system. These traditions itself are divided into many groups:
1. Traditions which were forged in praise of caliphs.
2. Traditions which were fabricated to denigrate the caliphs’ opponents.
3. Traditions which have been forged to suit the policies of the Caliphs and their erroneous judgments.
Traditions prohibiting revolt against the ruler belongs to this group. According to them, the Prophet has said, “Obedience to a ruler is obligatory under all circumstances; even if he professes sin and tyranny. His government is the Wish of Allah, as good and evil are all Allah’s Acts:
الخير كله والشر كله من الله
They further say that man is not free in his actions .
These sets of traditions caused further schism and resulted in the formation of sects like Jabriah (necessitarians) and others in the caliphate school.
These four set of traditions; the sayings of the companions and their independent judgments in the ordinances as well as the views of their disciples (some of which are contrary to the text of the Quran and the Prophet’s Sunnah1 but nevertheless are now being narrated with the Prophet’s traditions in the caliphate school) created differences in the ordinances. Thus numerous jurisprudence schools of thought in the caliphate school came into existence.
For instance the believers in Ijma (the consensus), believers in independent reasoning (aql), the school of the predecessors and others were offshoot of the caliphate school due to such traditions.
Permission for compilation of hadith in the caliphate school In 100 A.H. when Omar-ibn-Abdul Aziz lifted the ban from recording of the Prophet’s Sunnah in book format, the followers of the caliphate school strived hard in collecting the Prophet’s traditions from the narrators. Traditionists would travel from one city to another for collecting as well as narrating traditions. They would receive traditions from the traditionists of one city and in turn, they would also narrate traditions to the traditionists of that city.
As a result, the traditions that were confined among a few individuals in Medina, Kufa, Basra and Damascus spread in the entire Islamic nations of those days. Dissemination of such traditions created severe differences in the caliphate school, which will be explained, in our subsequent discussions.
The dissemination of Ahlul Bayt (as) ahadith during the tussle of power between the leaders of the caliphate school
After the issuance of Omar-ibn-Abdul Aziz’s command, the followers of Ahl albayt (as) approached Imam Baqir (as) and learnt from him the Prophet’s traditions. This continued until Hisham came to power in 105 A.H. and began to subjugate the Ahlul Bayt (as) and their followers. According to one narration, he even poisoned Imam Baqir (as) in 117 A.H.
Hisham died in 125 A.H. After him, Walid-ibn-Yazid-ibn-Abdul Malik attained the caliphate. At that time, the campaign of Bani-Abbas began to gain grounds in Khorasan. Soon a group of campaigners and preachers from the Bani-Abbas (including Abu Muslim Khorasani) left Khorasan with gifts for Muhammadibn-Ali Nawadeh bin Abdullah-ibn-Abbas. He appointed Abu Muslim Khorasani as the chief.
Muhammad died in the same year. Following him, his son Ibrahim nominated Abu Muslim to his post. Marwan Hemar, the last of the Bani-Umayyah Caliphs, killed Ibrahim. After him, the followers of Bani-Ummayah swore allegiance to his brother Abdullah, famous as Saffah. He managed to wrest the seat of caliphate in 132 A.H.
From 125 A.H. till 132 A.H., the Bani-Umayyad were preoccupied on the two fronts, they were constantly fighting battles with the Bani-Abbas and also faced a series of Khawarij revolts. The incessant power struggle and battles took its toll on the Bani-Umayyads.
Following Yazid-ibn-Muawiya, the second most notorious person for his sin and tyranny was Walid-ibn-Yazid from the household of Bani-Umayyad. He was so sinful that he contemplated building a structure on the roof of the Holy Ka.’ba where he could engage in drinking wine. For accomplishing this task, he had even dispatched an engineer to Mecca.2 As a result of his tyrannical and corrupt rule, chaos took place in every city.
His cousin, Yazid-ibn-Walid-ibn-Abdul Malik joined hands with a group from the Bani-Umayyad chiefs and fought against him until Walid-ibn-Yazid’s defeat in 126 A.H. Walid-ibn-Yazid was killed and Yazid-ibn-Walid-ibn-Abdul Malik gained the caliphate. In the meanwhile, those who had inclination towards the Islamic sciences and the Prophet’s hadith, rallied around Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) and acquired from him the Prophet’s Sunnah, the exegesis of Quran and other Islamic sciences.
Particularly, during the Haj pilgrimage, people from distant cities would come to Mecca, Medina, Arafat and Mina to visit Imam (as). Imam’s debates with the heretics and other followers of Milal-wan-Nihal (heresiography) are well known.
This state of affairs continued from 125 A.H. till the beginning of Manthur Abbasi’s rule. For more than twelve years, Muslims would come for the Haj pilgrimage from cities stretching from Khorasan province till Rai, Qum, Kufa and other cities and learn the Prophet’s Sunnah and Islamic sciences from Imam Jafar Sadiq (as). The narrators who had learnt the Prophet’s hadiths from Imam exceeded three thousand in number. Thousands of traditionists would say:
“Abu-Abdullah Jafar-ibn-Muhammad Sadiq (as) narrated to me from his father, who related from his grandfather, who in turn narrated from his great father, who quoted from the Messenger of Allah (S), who related from Gibrail and he narrated from The Creator............... “
Sometimes, they would say:
“Abu-Jafar Muhammad al-Baqir (as) narrated to me from his father, who from his grandfather and he directly narrated from the Messenger of Allah (S)............ “
During this period, the number of small treatises compiled in the Ahlul Bayt’s science of traditions and which were called ‘Asl’ (fundamental) amounted to four hundred. This is how collection and spread of hadith were done in the Ahlul Bayt school.
Omar-ibn-Abdul Aziz, who allowed the recording of traditions, remained in power for a short period. He gained the caliphate in Rajab 99 A.H. and died in Safar 101 A.H., probably poisoned by the Bani-Ummayads. The other Bani- Ummayad caliphs did not approve his ideas. It is said Zuhri (died in 124 A.H.) wrote a book but could not reach Omar-ibn-Abdul Aziz’s tenure.3
After the fall of the Bani-Ummayad government, the Bani-Abbas Caliphs who came to power in 132 A.H. were occupied in destroying the signs of Bani-Ummayad and their ringleaders. Manthur Dawaniqi gained the caliphate in 136 A.H. and faced the uprising of “Muhammad “ and “Ibrahim “, the two brothers from Imam Hasan’s lineage who called the people towards the Ahlul Bayt government.
Thereafter, the Bani-Abbas faced successive revolts by the offspring of Ali and Fatimah who exhorted the people to the government of the chosen one from Muhammad’s progeny. In this period, the spread of hadith from the Ahlul Bayt school and students of Imam Sadiq and Imam Baqir reached its peak.
Thousands of traditionists in the Islamic cities were heard saying: (Al-Baqir narrated to me) and (Al-Sadiq narrated to me).
The Bani-Abbasid government faced two dangers: One was the uprisings by offspring of Ali and Fatimah and the other was the spread of true Islamic reflections through traditions narrated from the Prophet’s legatees by the traditionists.
These traditions awakened the Muslims and exposed the caliphate system as an unjust government and proved the ordinances enforced by the Caliphs as anti- Islamic.
The successive uprisings waged by offspring of Ali were also triggered due to these traditions. When the Muslims realized that the Caliphs.’ verdicts were not in consonance with the Islamic ordinances, they refrained from giving them such title as “Ulul-Amr” (master of the affairs). Instead, they gathered around the offspring of Imams to overthrow the Caliphs tyrannical rule.
The Bani-Abbasid Caliphs made efforts to crush the rebellion of the offspring of Imam with force. But they could not suppress the truth of genuine traditions, which had unmasked the falsehood of their un-Islamic government. Thus, they countered the genuine traditions by propagating the fabricated traditions, which were common in the past.
Consequently, the policy of Bani-Abbas government (from Abu-Jafar Manthur’s era onwards) was based on propagation of hadith related to the caliphate school. Moreover, the traditionists from the caliphate school enjoyed special respect in the Bani-Abbas court.
Traditionists from Balkh, Bukhara and Samarkand would travel to Naishabour, Rai, Kufa, Basra, Baghdad, Damascus, Mecca, Medina, Alexandria and Spain for the purpose of learning and teaching of hadith to the people. It was during this very era that hadith from the caliphate school was compiled and Malik-ibn-Anas (died in 179 A.H.) wrote his book: “Muwatta “. In this book, he collected together the traditions narrated from the Prophet as well as the personal opinions of the Prophet’s companions and their disciples.
The other writers that followed Malik have also collected the same traditions (the four categories) in their books such as Darami (died in 255 A.H.), Ibn Maajah (died in 273 A.H.), Abu-Davoud (died in 275 A.H.), Tirmidhi (died in 279 A.H.) and Nesaee (died in 303 A.H.). They have named their books as “Sunan “ (plural of Sunnah) meaning the Prophet’s Sunnah. The “Sunan “ of the last four traditionists are reckoned to be the authentic books on hadith in the caliphate school.
Bukhari (died in 256 A.H.) and Muslim (died in 261 A.H.) have also compiled such category of traditions in their books named “Jameah-Sahih”. The caliphate school considers their traditions to be as authentic as the verses of the Holy Quran and condemn those who doubt the authenticity of traditions recorded in these two books.
The propagation of such traditions in the Muslim states and their compilation in the books on hadith generated severe differences among the followers of the caliphate school in matters concerning Islamic beliefs and precepts.
The Islamic nation was further divided into two groups
1. Differences in the Islamic ordinances.
2. Differences in the Islamic beliefs.
Now, we shall point out these differences only to the extent necessary for understanding the future discussions.
The cause of sectarian differences was mainly due to acceptance or rejection of the Prophet’s traditions. In this regard, the most renowned person who categorically rejected the Prophet’s traditions that were in contradiction with his personal views was Abu-Hanifa (died in 150 A.H.). We have mentioned his biography in detail in the book: Ma.’lem al-Madrasatain in the chapter concerning “Al Ijtihad Fi’l Quran al-Thani” and have also discussed a few examples wherein Abu-Hanifa has pronounced certain decrees contradictory to the Prophet’s Sunnah.4
In fact, Abu-Hanifa and his followers had laid down certain rules called as Qiyas (syllogism), Estehsan (preference) and Masaleh Marsaleh (the sent affairs) which in reality are based on one’s personal opinion. Like the Quran and the Prophet’s Sunnah, they have set these rules as proof of the Islamic ordinances and have named the one who extracts the ordinances as Mujtahid and his actions as Ijtihad.
Incidentally, according to caliphate school, Ijtihad or independent reasoning is in contrast to the ordinances which was described in the Quran and Prophet’s Sunnah was founded from the time of the (Prophet’s) companions and the first three Caliphs. It has already been discussed as also in the second volume of the book Ma’lem al-Madrasatain.
After the companions, the first person who set the independent reasoning of the companions and their disciples at par with the Prophet’s Sunnah and declared them as proof of the Islamic ordinances was Malik-ibn-Anas. He accomplished this task in his book “Muwatta “. However, Abu-Hanifa was one step ahead of Malik and devised certain rules for putting into effect the independent reasoning on ordinances.
Following Abu-Hanifa, his students (especially those who were employed in the caliphate system like Abu-Yusouf, Chief Judge of Haroun al-Rashid) distorted the ordinances to such extent that numerous haram (forbidden) acts were declared as halal (lawful) and they named this as “Al-hiyal ash-Shari’yah. “5
Of course, Malik refused to accept such a brazen attitude on the part of Abu- Hanifa and his students. It has been narrated from Malik as saying: “No face as sinister as Abu-Hanifa has been born in Islam. The Prophet passed away after Islam having reached its perfection. It’s worthy to follow the Prophet’s hadith and the Prophet’s companions and not to follow independent reasoning........ “6
To counter the spread of Abu-Hanifa’s creed and the rise of some of his students in distorting the Islamic ordinances under the name of .‘religious ruse.’, various ideologies came into existence. The most renowned cogitative creed against Abu-Hanifa’s school was founded by Ahmad-ibn-Hanbal (died in 241 A.H.). He is the author of Musnad, the book on hadith.
The motto of Ahmad-ibn-Hanbal’s school: Return to the era of the Prophet and his companions who were named as “Salafe-Saleh “ (predecessors in goodness). This difference between the two schools widened and both sects labeled each other as sinners and declared them to be out of pale of Islam. Khateeb, in his Tarikh narrates from Abu-Hanifa’s opponents, the following poem:
"If someone produces a vain and blatant heresy by using independent reasoning and syllogism, we shall set forth reasoning in accordance to the Divine sayings and traditions. How often it has happened that by Abu-Hanifa’s Fatwa (independent reasoning), the marriage of already married chaste spouse has been declared lawful for a stranger “7
Political stance of Abu-Hanifa and his students
According to Khateeb-Baghdadi, Abu-Hanifa exhibited two different attitudes vis-a-vis Manthur, the Abbasid Caliph. Initially, he served Manthur as Khateeb in his Tarikh says:
In construction of the Baghdad wall (during 142 A.H.), Abu-Hanifa supervised the workers in laying the bricks and counting them by means of bamboo sticks. (i.e., he would hold a stick after every hundred or thousand bricks and then count those sticks). He was the first person who employed this method for counting bricks.8
But, towards the old age, he became the Caliph’s opponent. According to Khateeb and others, when Ibrahim rebelled against Abu-Jafar Manthur in Basra, Abu-Hanifa pronounced a Fatwa (decree) in favour of Ibrahim’s uprising against the Caliph.9
Irked at the fatwa, it is said that Manthur imprisoned Abu-Hanifa in Baghdad who later died in the prison.
After Abu-Hanifa, his students such as Abu-Yusouf (the Chief Judge during Haroun al-Rashid’s era) joined the group of scholars in the caliphate court. Abu- Yusouf would say: “We would approach Abu-Hanifa and learn Fiqh (jurisprudence) from him and would not follow him in religious affairs “.10
Anyhow, the Caliphs would propagate mostly Abu-Hanifa’s school of jurisprudence. During the Othmani rule too, Hanafi was the state religion of the caliphate court.
This was an example of difference between two schools of jurisprudence in the caliphate school arising out of adherence or non-adherence to traditions. Now, we shall explain some other differences in the caliphate school in matters pertaining to beliefs.
Aside from the differences in the Islamic jurisprudence and ordinances, the followers of the caliphate school had several other serious differences in fundamental beliefs as well;
(a) One sect believes: “The legs, hands, eyes and occupation of space are among God’s attributes. According to them, anyone who disbelieves that God possesses organs, limbs and space has nullified God’s attributes and they are called “Mu’attaleh al-Sefaat” (one who suspends the attributes). “
Another sect maintains: “Possession of limbs and organs are among God’s physical attributes and God is just like the creatures. “ Those who held such a belief were named as “Mujassameh” (anthropomorphists) and “Mushabbeheh” (likeners) i.e., those who considered God to be a body and likened Him to the creatures.
(b) The first sect also believes that God is eternal and His attributes too are eternal. The Quran, which is God’s words, is among God’s attributes. Thus, the Quran too is eternal and is not created.
The second sect asserts: God is eternal and the Quran is God’s words but not eternal. Anyone who says that the Quran is eternal has believed in the eternity of Quran just as he has believed in the eternity of God whereas belief in two eternal beings is tantamount to polytheism.
Author says: I fail to understand what is wrong with these people who have not paid attention to God’s words in the Quran where He says:
يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الأَنفَالِ
“O the Prophet, they ask you about the windfalls..... (Qur’an, 8:1)
Did the dispute among the companions over the distribution of windfalls and their questioning before the Prophet take place before their birth and was this matter eternal so that we can say that the Quran is eternal!?
Similarly, there are fourteen other instances where the word "يسألونك" has been mentioned in the Quran. In two other instances, the word "يستفتونك" has been used meaning: they ask you a decree. There are other cases too where the Quran relates the dispute among the people of that time and their recourse to the Prophet for setting aside their differences like:
قَدْ سَمِعَ اللَّهُ قَوْلَ الَّتِي تُجَادِلُكَ فِي زَوْجِهَا وَتَشْتَكِي
“Allah indeed knows the plea of the woman who pleads with you about her husband and complains.... “ (Qur’an, 58:1)
Under such circumstances, can one regard the Quran to be eternal? Or that these instances had occurred from eternity and the people had taken recourse to the Prophet from eternal time (even before the Prophet’s era) and the Quran relates whatever had occurred since eternal times? The less said about it the better?
(c) There is another sect which claims: All human actions are God’s actions and man is not free in his actions.11
Yet another sect opines: Man’s actions are his own actions. It is against Divine Justice to punish someone for an act performed under compulsion.12 The second sect named the first sect as “Jabriyah” and themselves as “Adliyah”.
(d) Majority of the followers of the caliphate school are unanimous on the necessity of obeying the Caliphs even though they may be unjust and sinful. However, a small group existed among them who considered the uprising against the unjust and sinful Caliph as lawful although they would be crushed by the caliphate system and their names would be recorded in the history as sinners.
The origin of these differences was those very traditions of the caliphate school, which was fabricated or forged in the past.
Now, we shall discuss the sects, which had deep differences concerning these beliefs:
Jahmi or Jahmiyah are the followers of “Jahm-ibn-Sefwan “13
Most of the contents of the beliefs of Jahm and Jahmiyah sect has reached us through mainly two sources:
a) Whatever their enemies have written against their beliefs and have remained intact until now.
b) Whatever the authors of Milal wal-Nihal have written about this sect.
Hence we will have to practice caution while dealing with the beliefs of the Jahmiyyah, moreover when there is no evidence to verify the authenticity of the writings of rivals against the Jahmiyah.
Nevertheless, while discussing the existence of different sects (like Sabaeeyah and Navvasiyah) and their beliefs, we realized that the writings of Al-Milal wan-Nihal in most cases, lacked research.
Sometimes, their references regarding a particular sect were nothing but whatever were written by the rivals of the sect. Occasionally, their writings about a sect comprise the notions, which were prevalent among the people of their era.
Obviously in the scientific discussions, neither of the references can be relied upon absolutely. Thus we have to be all the more cautious while discussing Jahmiyah. We will restrict our discussion about Jahm and his ideology to the limit which is essential for our future discussion.
1. Jahm and Jahmiyah denied that God possesses limbs and organs.14
2. They believed that the Quran is not eternal but created.
3. They believed that God is the source of man’s actions and that man is compelled in his actions.15
4. They say: Jahm believed that Imamat has three pre-requisites: Knowledge of the Divine Book, knowledge of the Prophet’s Sunnah and consensus of the Muslims on Imam’s selection.16
Jahm was the freed slave of the tribe named Azd. He hailed from Balkh and his agnomen was Abu-Mahraz.17
Once, Jahm visited Kufa and held a series of debates with Abu-Hanifa.18 When he returned to Balkh he held debates with Maqatel-ibn-Sulaiman who exaggerated the incarnation of God.19 Consequently, at the instance of Maqatel, the ruler of Balkh externed Jahm to Termez.20
In Termez, there were many Samaniyah. It is said the Samaniyah were in reality the Buddhist who did not believe in any existence other than the material bodies.21
During the Islamic conquests in Termez, there were twelve temples and one thousand Buddhist monks lived in Termez.22
During Jahm’s era, which was the fag end of the Bani-Ummayad rule, the masses were weary of a tyrannical government and throughout the Islamic nations revolted against the governments. Harith-ibn-Shuraij Tamimi led one of these uprisings. He revolted in 116 A.H. and exhorted the people to follow the Divine Book and the Prophet’s Sunnah and to oust the Ummayad Caliph, Hisham-ibn-Abdul Malik.
It is said that his army comprising sixty thousand men conquered the cities of Balkh, Jauzejan and Taleqan. However, he lost the battle of Marv and had to escape to Turkestan. He lived for twelve years in Turkestan and with the assistance of native Turks led several rebellions against the Bani-Ummayad. In 118 A.H., the Bani-Ummayad attacked the citadels which were stronghold of Harith’s relatives and massacred them. The survivors were made captives and later sold as slaves in the market of Balkh.
In 126 A.H., Nasr-ibn-Saiyyar, the governor of Khorasan requested the Ummayad Caliph, Yazid-ibn-Walid-ibn-Abdul Malik to give protection to Harith-ibn-Shuraij Tamimi. Subsequently, Harith returned to Marv. The Ummayad governors offered cooperation to Harith so much so that he offered him the post of the minister of a state and send him a hundred thousand dirhams.
However, Harith refused the offer and wrote to the governor thus: “Since I wanted to denounce the unlawful and rebuff the injustice, I avoided this city for thirteen years. I do not seek the world and its pleasures while you entice me towards it. I want you to act upon the Divine Book and the Prophet’s Sunnah and to appoint virtuous governors upon the people. Once you have done this, I shall join your army and fight your enemies “ Nasr-ibn-Saiyyar, the governor of Khorasan refused his request. Once again, Harith renewed his earlier call and amassed an army. This time, Sefwan-ibn-Jahm joined him. Harith suffered defeat and was killed in 128 A.H. Thereafter, Sefwan-ibn-Jahm was taken captive and killed.25
* * *
Jahm was an active preacher and a die-hard zealot. His most vital difference with the traditionists from the caliphate school was his rejection of their belief on anthropomorphism (humanization of God) and eternity of the Quran. Jahm had a sizeable following.26 The traditionists from the caliphate school have refuted his beliefs in their books and probably the oldest writing in this regard belonged to Ahmad-ibn-Hanbal (died in 241 A.H.) named: الرد على الجهمية والزنادقة » (Refutations against the Jahmiyah and the Zanadiqah).
Jahm was a contemporary of the founders of the Mu.’tazilah sect and some of his views were similar to their creeds. However, it’s not clear which sect influenced whom.27 We believe both sects have acquired a few of their beliefs (like negation of anthropomorphism) from the students of Ahlul Bayt school although they have described them vaguely.
Now, we shall mention a few points on the Mu.’tazilah and their beliefs.28
The founder of the Mu.’tazilah sect was Wasel-ibn-Atha Gazzaal (died in 131 A.H.). His agnomen was Abu-Huzaifa, while he the freed slave of the Arab tribe “Zabbah “ or “Makhzum “. He resided in Basra and attended the lectures of Hasan-ibn-Yasaar Basri (died in 110 A.H.). Later, he quit his lectures because of difference in opinion between the two on certain issues related to belief.
“A’tizal” is the Arabic word for separation and “Mu’tazil” means separatist.
Thus, the followers of this sect are called as “Mu’tazilah” and their sect as
Wasel-ibn-Atha dispatched emissaries to the west (Alexandria to Spain),
Khorasan, Yemen, Kufa and other Islamic cities for propagating the “A’tizal” sect.29
Amongst those who followed him was “Amr-ibn-Ubaid.’ (died in 142 A.H.) who was the freed slave of the tribe of .‘Taiyem.’. He lived in Basra and attended Hasan Basri’s lectures. However, Wasel-ibn-Atha influenced him to leave Basri’s lectures and consequently he joined the “A’tizal” sect.30
Like the Jahmiyah, the Mu.’tazilah does not believe in human traits of God. Besides, they believe that the Quran is created and not eternal. They disagree with the Jahmiyah in the matter of compulsion (predestination) and say that the actions of human beings are their own actions and not that of God.31
This sect thrived till the era of Mutawakkil, the Abbasid caliph, launched a campaign to suppress and subjugate them.32 However, after Mutawakkil’s death, Mu.’tazilah remained in constant conflict with the Ash.’arite school and Ahlul Hadith for centuries and continuously held debates with them. But, the Ash.’arites with patronage of the Ottoman caliphate managed to eliminate the Mu.’tazilah. Now, we shall describe the two sects of Ash.’arite and Ahlul Hadith.
Earlier, we mentioned Abu-Hanifa’s derogatory attitude towards the Prophet’s hadith and developed a principle called: “Analytical reasoning and preference” (for extracting the ordinances) which is in stark contrast with the Prophet’s traditions.
We had also mentioned that the Jahmiyah and the Mu.’tazilah reject (unlike the Ahlul Hadith) all traditions that describe God’s organs and limbs and God’s movement from one place to another.
Consequently, intellectual disputes arose between the traditionists and these sects. Over a period of time, the supporters of hadith (traditions) took a firm step against these sects leading to the formation of a new sect called “Ahlehadith” (people of tradition).
The most renowned figure in this front-line is Ahmad-ibn-Hanbal (died in 241 A.H.). He has written a book comprising of traditions called “Musnad Ahmadibn- Hanbal”. He has other books to his credit too, the most important among them being “Al-Radd ala-Jahmiyah” and “Faza’el Ali-ibn-Abi Talib”.33
The reason for Ahmad-ibn-Hanbal’s fame was his rejection of the notion that the Quran is created. This belief had reached its peak during Ma.’mun’s (Abbasid caliph) era where scholars of that time were forced (through tortures) to believe that the Quran is created. After Ma.’mun (died in 218 A.H.), Mu.’tasim (died in 227 A.H.) imprisoned Ahmad-ibn-Hanbal for his belief that the Quran is eternal until he was released during Wasiq’s (died in 232 A.H.) era. When Mutawakkil (died in 247 A.H.) came to power, Ahmad-ibn-Hanbal gained his favour because the former believed in the eternity of the Quran. By then Ibn Hanbal had achieved a legion of followers.34
Soon after the death of Ahmad-ibn-Hanbal, dispute between the Ahlul Hadith and Mu.’tazilah gained momentum. The Ahlul Hadith re-christened themselves as .‘Ahle-Sunnah-wal-Jama’at’ which then turned into a distinct and separate sect. In the meanwhile, the caliphs ordered the translation and dissemination of the Greek philosophy among the Muslims spreading the philosophical thinking and reasoning among them. This deeply influenced the written and oral debates of the Mu.’tazilah and led to the evolution of .‘Ilme-Kalam’ (theology) in the Muslim theological centres. Inevitably, the Muhaddeseen (traditionists) were further sub-divided and it was during this period that the Ash.’arite sect branched out from the caliphate school.
The Ash.’arite sect follows Abul-Hasan Ali-ibn-Ismail Ash.’ari (died in 324 A.H.). He was a descendant of Abu Musa Ash.’ari. He lived in Basra for forty years and was a student of Jabba.’ee Mu.’tazila (died in 303 A.H.).35 Thereafter, just like the two founders of the Mu.’tazilah sect (i.e.,Wasel-ibn-Atha and Amribn- Ubaid) who at first were among Hasan Basri’s students but later separated from him, founded the Mu.’tazilah sect, Ash.’ari too quit his Mu.’tazilah master36 and exhorted the masses to refer to the hadith (like the traditionists).
Subsequently, Ash.’ari traveled to Baghdad and strived hard to repudiate the Mu.’tazilah sect. However, in his debates he would not only employ the traditions of the Muhaddeseen (traditionists) but would also seek benefit from the Mu.’tazilah theology.37 In some cases, his beliefs did not reconcile with the traditions in its apparent form. Therefore, in-spite of reckoning himself to be the promoter of Ahmad-ibn-Hanbal’s school of thought, all the traditionists (particularly, those following Ahmad-ibn-Hanbal’s school) did not follow him. But since he attended the classes of Abu-Ishaaq Maruzi, (a Sha.’faee jurisprudent), a group of Sha.’faee scholars welcomed Ash.’ari’s beliefs, though another group followed the Mu.’tazilah beliefs.
Thus the caliphate school got divided into two major sects in matters of beliefs:
The Mu.’tazilah sect and the Ash.’arite sect. In fiqh (jurisprudence), they followed the Hanafi, Maaleki, Sha.’faee and other legal (jurisprudence) sects.
Later, the school of Ahmad-ibn-Hanbal too was included among the legal (jurisprudence) sects of the caliphate school.
From the fourth century A.H. onwards, Muslims used Ilme-Kalam (theology) in their debates. The constant polemics between the Ash.’arites and Mu.’tazilites led to the formation of Ahlul Hadith from these two sects.
During this period, numerous jurisprudence sects spread in the caliphate school.
Finally in 665 A.H., Malik Zaher Baibars al-Bunkukdari from “Hukkam-Ma.’maleek “38 officially recognized the four schools of Hanafi, Maaleki, Sha.’faee and Hanbali, however, they adhered to the Ash.’arites in matters of belief. The verdict is still valid among the followers of the caliphate school.39
The end of seventh century A.H. saw the rise of Ibn Taimiyah (died in 728 A.H.) from the Hanbali sect who rebelled against all other Muslim sects. Although, he closed the door of Ijtihad (independent reasoning) in the caliphate school, he claimed to be a Mujtahid (religious jurist) himself.40
His belief in anthropomorphism exceeded all bounds. Once, while stepping down from the pulpit, he said that the way he was stepping down from step to another God descends from the first heaven to the next heaven in the similar manner.41 He considered the cry: O Muhammad and the act of imploring help from the Prophet as unlawful.42
Moreover, Ibn Taimiyah refuted the virtues of Ali (a.s.) to such an extent that the scholars from the caliphate school consider this to be the sign of his animosity towards Imam (a.s.). The scholars have said: .‘Ibn Taimiyah is a hypocrite because; the Holy Prophet (S) once addressed Ali (a.s.) as such: “Nobody will hate you except the hypocrite “.43’
On several occasions, the scholars from the caliphate school from Damascus, Cairo and Alexandria held debates with him and adjudged that he should be imprisoned. At times, they would ask him to recant his beliefs44 and repent. After Ibn Taimiyah’s death, his followers honoured him with the title of Shaikh-ul-Islam (chief of the Muslims) and called themselves as the Salafiyah i.e., the sect that follows the Salaf (ancestor). According to them, Salaf includes the companions, disciples of companions and a few traditionists from the first, second and third century A.H. like Ahmad-ibn-Hanbal.
The Salafiyah sect is very harsh in their behaviour towards other Muslims. They consider themselves as believers and pious and all other Muslims (from third century onwards) as deviators and heretics.45
Th twelfth century witnessed the movement of Muhammad-ibn-Abdul Wahab (died in 1207 A.H.) who was a staunch believer in the Salafiyah creed. He launched an unabated bloodletting spree against the Muslims and renewed Ibn- Taimiyah’s call more intensely than even Ibn-Taimiyah could manage to do it. His followers were branded as the “Wahabiyah “.
According to Muhammad-ibn-Abdul Wahab, visitation of graves is heresy; seeking intercession from the Prophet after his demise is perdition and the cry: O Muhammad and imploring help from the Prophet is polytheism. According to him, all Muslims from the third century onwards save Ibn-Taimiyah’s followers are polytheists. He adds: ‘Polytheism of our times is more intense than the polytheism that prevailed during the era of paganism..’46
The Wahabi sect differs from the Salafiyah sect in three respects:
1. Their intense hostility against the Holy Prophet.
2. Their belief that a Muslim’s blood is lawful until he accepts Wahabism or according to them, quits polytheism and accepts monotheism. For this reason, they presume the Muslim lands to be the land of the polytheists and the Wahabi lands and territories to be Islamic lands.
3. Their belief that God would forgive all their sins and would bestow them the Paradise regardless of the magnitude of their sins.
During my pilgrimage to Mecca on 10 Safar, while holding discussions and debates with various classes of people from the Wahabi sect, I noticed the above three points in their deeds and words. I investigated the cause for such a belief and derived the following conclusion:
1. Regarding their intense offences against the Holy Prophet, a few of my observations have already been explained in the previous discussions. They reckon the Prophet’s blessed corpse to be decayed and decomposed like all other corpses hence they refrain from showing any reverence to him after his death or give any distinction to the Prophet’s grave over the graves of other human beings!
Author says: The reason of such a notion is the result of thos fabricated traditions wherein the Prophet’s position is shown lower than even an ordinary man.47 Similarly, the false traditions that have been attributed to the Holy
Prophet wherein he says:
‘O Allah, do not allow my grave to become an idol. O Allah, curse those tribes that have converted their prophet’s graves into mosques..’
That this hadith is fabricated has already been explained in Vol: 1 of “Ma’lem al-Madrasatain “ in the chapter concerning
الخلاف حول البناء على قبور الانبياء
About their belief regarding the permissibility of killing the Muslims, we have already discussed before, the reason for such an idea which is also reflected in their speeches, writings and deeds.
About their belief that God would forgive all their sins and they would not be sent to Hell, I would like to narrate an incident which I had witnessed personally.
The pilgrims to the House of Allah would relate to me about the indecencies practiced by the Wahabi people in the two Holy shrines. When I heard some of these incidents for the first time, a shiver went down my spine. Subsequently I personally witnessed them committing sinful acts in reckless manner. What surprised me was that they believed that such acts were sin, yet they indulged in it shamelessly. I was curious to find out the cause for such a wanton behaviour.
Finally, I found the answer during one of my visits to the Khif mosque. I heard a Saudi preacher delivering a sermon on the subject concerning polytheism. He enumerated the various types of polytheism practiced by the non-Wahabi sects such as the very utterance, ‘O messenger of Allah, making a vow for those in grave, etc etc.…. At the end of his speech, while going into a state of ecstasy, he said: The Prophet said: “Allah says, ‘O My slave! You may indulge in sins to the extent you want! You may fill the world with sin, but do not become a polytheist. I will forgive all your sins and consider them as insignificant; you only avoid becoming a polytheist!48
While narrating this hadith, I found the preacher, as if recalling some of his sins and experiencing a feeling of joy on the pulpit!
* * *
Muhammad-ibn-Saud, the king of Dareeya in Najd, embraced the doctrine of Muhammad-ibn-Abdul Wahhab in the second half of twelfth century A.H. Later his son, Saud and his followers attacked the Muslim tribes under the pretext of Jihad (Holy war). They killed Muslims, looted their property and violated their rights; all in the name of Holy struggle in the path of Allah.
Until this date, they have spilled so much of Muslim blood and plundered their property that it was unprecedented in the Islamic history. The last of their atrocities was in 1407 A.H., when they massacred more than four hundred pilgrims during the Haj ceremony.
These aforementioned sects are the most prominent ones in the caliphate school. Now, we shall discuss the sects and their differences from the Ahlul Bayt school of thought.
At the outset, it’s necessary to pay attention to the following five issues:
1. Appointment of the prophet’s legatees.
2. Concealment of hadith.
3. Uprisings by followers of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) against the tyrant rulers
4. Consequences of appointment of prophet’s legatees and consequences of concealment of hadith.
5. Recognizing Shi’a and Shi’ism.
A detailed explanation of these five issues
1. The duty of the prophets and their legatees is to inform the masses of their religious obligations. Considering that the Muslims living during the Prophet’s era needed to know the Imam after the Prophet, the Holy Prophet (S) introduced Ali (a.s.) as his legatee on the very first day of his call to Islam when he invited the Bani-Hashim to his house.
The Prophet repeatedly maintained this introduction of Ali until it culminated on the occasion of Ghadir al-Khum. On the day of Khum, by Divine order, the Prophet (S) introduced Ali (a.s.) as the “master of the affairs “ (Waly al-Amr) before tens of thousands of Muslims.
2. The prophets are supposed to convey to the people their legal duties after his death. Nevertheless, the Holy Prophet (S) too, introduced his legatees and the “masters of the affairs “ after Ali-ibn-Abi Talib till the day of judgement:
a) He conveyed the tidings about the advent of the Promised Mahdi and that he would be the last Imam.
b) He explained that Imams would be twelve in number.
c) He introduced Imam Hasan (a.s.) and Imam Husain (a.s.) as the two Imams who would succeed the first Imam in the chain of Imamat.
d) He specified the names of each Imam through his elite companions like, Jabir-ibn-Abdullah Ansari. Besides, in the writings delivered to his first legatee, (Ali-ibn-Abi Talib) the names of Imams and prophecies about their lives have been related in an elaborate manner.
It was not a widespread or universal announcement instead the Holy Prophet (S) explained these things in an informal manner. Insha’Allah, we will discuss the reason behind such an informal mention.
After the Prophet’s departure, each Imam, on his part, would introduce his successive Imam to their followers. They would also convey tidings about the advent of the Promised Mahdi and to a few followers, even mention the names of rest of the Imams.
Earlier, we had discussed that until the end of the first century A.H., the Caliphs had prevented the recording of the Prophet’s hadith. However, the scholars from the caliphate school have managed to conceal the Prophet’s hadith until the end of 7-century A.H in various ways.49
Due to killings, tortures and imprisonment of the Ahlul Bayt and their followers, the followers of Ahlul Bayt always practicing taqiya (dissimulation) except during the end of Imam Baqir’s era and the beginning of Imam Sadiq’s era. Which is why they could not preach the Prophet’s Sunnah openly that had been entrusted to them.
In the school of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and their followers, two types of uprisings took place against the tyrant governments:
- Uprising for the sake of enjoining goodness and forbidding the evil.
- Uprising in the name of Mahdawiyyah.
In the series of uprisings of the first category, we know the uprising by the chief of the martyrs, Imam Husain (a.s.). In his will to Muhammad-ibn-Hanafia, he described the intention behind his revolt as follows:
“Indeed I have set out only for the purpose of rectifying the nation of my grandfather. I wish to enjoin the good and forbid the evil “
Imam Husain never exhorted the people to swear allegiance to him. So, his uprising was not for the purpose of attaining the caliphate and forming a government. This was the first and the most manifest example of uprising of the first kind.
Regarding the uprising of the second type, we may mention the uprising undertaken by Muhammad-ibn-Abdullah from the progeny of Imam Hasan (a.s.). The purpose of this rebellion becomes evident from the reply which Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) gave to Abdullah when the latter asked Imam to swear allegiance to his son Muhammad. Imam (a.s.) replied:
“If you imagine your son is the same Mahdi then, you are wrong. Besides, this era is not the era of Mahdi. However, if you desire that he revolts due to his zeal for Allah’s sake and enjoins goodness and forbids the evil, then by Allah, we shall not abandon you while you are our elder and we shall swear allegiance to your son in this affair “50
This uprising was one instance of uprising by the descendants of Imams under the guise of the Promised Mahdi.
From the remarks of Imam Husain (a.s.) concerning his own uprising and the remarks of Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.), it appears that the Prophet’s legatees considered as correct, only those uprisings that took place with the aim of enjoining good and forbidding the evil.
Due to the Prophet’s propagation, all the residents of Medina and all the companions were fully aware about the identity of Imam Ali (a.s.), Imam Hasan (a.s.) and Imam Husain (a.s.). After Imam Husain’s martyrdom on the hands of caliph Yazid and subsequently, the destruction of the Ka.’ba by the same caliph, the mistake of the caliph’s appointment through allegiance of the people had become clear. Thus, after Imam Husain’s martyrdom, there remained no choice for the Muslims, but to accept the chain of Imamat.
Since Imam Husain (a.s.) had entrusted his heritages to Umm-Salma before setting off on journey to Mecca and Iraq and later Imam Sajjad (a.s.) had collected the same in Medina, it was not difficult for anyone in Medina to recognize the successor of Imam Husain and the Imam of his time.51
After having briefly discussed the consequences of appointment of the legatees by the Prophet (S), we will now discuss the negative effect of concealment of the Prophet’s hadith.
The caliphs had prevented the propagation of the Prophet’s hadith, particularly the spread of traditions concerning the Prophet’s legatees and the advent of the Promised Mahdi, especially the ones which conveyed tidings of his establishing justice and equity in the earth after it was filled with oppression and tyranny.
These traditions were in such a large number that the offspring of Imams and the Prophet’s cousin (the Bani-Abbas) gathered in Medina to swear allegiance to Muhammad-ibn-Abdullah as the Promised Mahdi. Later, Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) informed them of their error.
Although recognition of each of the Prophet’s legatee was clear to a few elite, it could not remain apparent for the general public after the era of Imam Baqir (a.s.).
For recognizing Shi’ism, it’s first necessary to recognize Islam
Islam is to have faith in monotheism (Divinity and Lordship) followed by faith in all the prophets till the last of them; faith in the Islamic commandments accompanied with sincere intention of acting upon them; belief in the Prophet’s Sunnah; belief in physical resurrection, the reckoning of deeds, reward and punishment on the Day of judgement.52
Shi’ism is a school wherein its followers, in the era soon after Prophet, accept these beliefs and commandments from the Prophet through his successors—the Imams from Ahlul Bayt; and they follow the Prophet and Imams. The condition for following the Imams from Ahlul Bayt during Imam Husain’s era is to recognize and accept the three Imams; and similarly during Imam Sadiq’s era, to recognize the six Imams.
The same rule prevails until the time of the Promised Mahdi (a.j.t.s.) and during his time, a Shi’a is one who recognizes the twelve Imams and follows them all.
Now, we will discuss a few examples of the way the Prophet (S) introduced his legatees after him as well as the manner in which each legatee would appoint his own immediate successor. We shall also discuss the result of these methods of appointment.
The Prophet (S) introduced Imam Baqir (a.s.) in his lifetime as can be seen from the following tradition related by Jabir:
(i) Jabir-ibn-Abdullah Ansari would sit in the Prophet’s mosque wearing a turban on his head53 and would cry out: “O Baqir! O Baqir “54. By this act, Jabir, the only surviving companion of the Prophet, wanted to attract the attention of the people who would come from far flung areas for performing the Haj rites.
(ii) The people would say: Jabir speaks in delirium! (I.e. old age has turned him feeble-minded). Jabir would reply: Nay, I swear by Allah, I.’m not speaking in delirium but I heard the Prophet saying:
إنك ستدرك رجلا مني، اسمه اسمي وشمائله شمائلي. يبقر العلم بقراً
“You will (live to) see a man from me; his name will be my name and his character will be like my character. He will split the knowledge and unfold it “
This was the reason for my utterances and you heard it.55
Another important point in this hadith that calls for attention is that the Holy Prophet (S) refers to Imam Baqir (a.s.) as: a man from me. Earlier, we had discussed about this expression and concluded to mean: ‘His task in propagating Islam is the same as mine.’
(b) Jabir would also walk down the streets of Medina and cry out: “O Baqir! O Baqir! “ Once again, the same conversation would take place between him and the people in Medina.56
Before his demise, Imam Sajjad (a.s.) handed over the books of Imam Ali (a.s.) and the armoury of the Holy Prophet (S) to Imam Baqir (a.s.). When Imam Sajjad (a.s.) passed away, Imam Baqir’s brothers approached him and claimed their share in these books and the armoury. This dispute gained prominence in Medina thus the inhabitants of the entire city heard that the books that were written by Imam Ali (a.s.) himself in his own hand-writing were now in the possession of Imam Baqir (a.s.)
* * *
Similarly, the Prophet (S) and subsequently the Imams from Ahlul Bayt, (a.s.) conveyed the matter of executorship [until Imam Baqir (a.s.)] to all the companions and people of Medina.
However, after Imam Baqir (a.s.), the events took a different course and situation changed for the rest of the Imams until the Promised Mahdi (a.s.). The reason:
When caliph Manthur received news of Imam Sadiq’s demise, he wrote a letter to the governor of Medina: “Kill whosoever he has appointed as the legatee (wasi). “ The governor of Medina replied: “He has appointed five people as his legatee. They are: 1) The caliph himself, 2) The governor of Medina, 3) & 4) his two sons Abdullah and Musa and 5) Hamidah, mother of Musa.
The caliph said: They cannot be killed.57
Thus, it’s evident that in the era after Imam Sadiq (a.s.), his successor would have been killed if publicly declared. Thus the duty entrusted to him by Allah in guiding the people and safeguarding Islam would have remained unfulfilled. After Imam Baqir’s era, the other method of appointment of Imams was as follows:
The Imam would introduce the next Imam only to the elite among the Shi.’as.58
Thereafter, on the people’s request for recognizing the Imam of their time, Allah would smoothen the way until the Imam of the time gained prominence amongst friends and foes. In order to protect the Imams against the hostile attitude of the ruler, it was essential to be discreet in the announcement of their successors.
Haroon al-Rashid summoned Imam Kazim (a.s.) from Medina to Baghdad and imprisoned him. Ma.’mun ordered relocation of Imam Ridha (a.s.) from Medina to Khorasan and kept him under surveillance in the pretext of making him his heir apparent. Similarly, Imam Javad (a.s.) was escorted to Baghdad; Imam Ali an-Naqi (a.s.) and Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) were summoned to Samerra. In short, every Imam was kept under vigilance of the caliphs right till the end of their Holy lives.
What reason could the caliphs give for treating these Imams in such manner?
Wasn.’t it that they were aware that these personalities are the Imams of the Shi.’as?!
This matter was clear for the people of Medina and the people residing in the ruling capital wherein Imam was either imprisoned or kept under vigilance. This was more so after the people used to witness Imams.’ debates and discourses and saw their pious ways of life (seerah).
Concerning those living in faraway cities,59 they too could clearly perceive this matter by inquiring from the citizens of Medina and from the surviving companions and their disciples.
* * *
While Imam Sadiq’s last will over the matter of Imamat remained a secret for the caliphate organisation and kept them confused, it did not create any sort of doubt for the Shiites. Rather, the matter became clearer for them:
When the Shiites in Kufa were informed about the demise of Imam Sadiq (a.s.), Abu Hamza Thomali asked the informer: ‘Did Imam appoint anyone as his legatee?.’ He replied: .‘Yes, his two sons, Abdullah and Musa as well as caliph Manthur. The informer had hardly finished that Abu Hamza laughed and said: All praise is to Allah Who has guided us; Imam has made us aware about the state of his eldest son; and guided us towards his youngest son (Musa-ibn-Jafar) and kept concealed a great affair.
When asked about his comment, Abu Hamza explained thus: By nominating his younger son along with his elder son, Abdullah, he has given us an indication that his elder son is not eligible for the Imamat. Instead he had conveyed that by referring to his younger son, that he is the Imam and the successor. When he mentioned the caliph he clearly indicated that he want to be secretive about his true legatee. Now, if Manthur will inquire about Imam Sadiq’s successor and legatee, he would be told: You are his legatee.60
Incidentally, Imam Sadiq (a.s.) disclosed Imamat of Musa-ibn-Jafar (a.s.) to the elite among the Shiites prior to his departure from this world.61
Such an event was not hidden from someone like Abu Hamza. By this explanation, Abu Hamza wanted to dispel any doubt concerning Imam Kazim’s succession and Imam Sadiq’s (a.s.) intentions in defeating the designs of Manthur.
We will now focus our discussion on the differences among the followers from the Ahlul Bayt school.
The differences attributed to the followers of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) are not insignificant in most cases.
Let us recount the sects they claimed that appeared during the lifetime of the Imams and then review the disputes that arose during the major occultation.
This is the first sect attributed to Shiaism. In the three volumes of the book “Abdullah-ibn-Saba “, we have proved that such a sect did not exist in the first place. Rather, it had only an imaginative existence in the minds of malicious authors who wrote books about Milal wan Nihal (stories about nations and cultures) and later claimed their own books to be the documentary evidence of existence of the sect.
Kaisaniya was ascribed to Kaisan. According to a group of writers on Milal wan Nihal, Kaisan was the freed slave of Imam Ali (a.s.).62
According to another group, Kaisan is none other than Mukhtar Thaqafi and the Kaisaniya sect is attributed to him.63
According to yet another view, Kaisan was one of the names of Muhammadibn- Hanafia and this sect is attributed to him.64
Numerous contradictory claims have been made about the Kaisaniya belief. We can summarize them as such:
They were the followers of Muhammad bin al-Hanafia (died in 81 A.H.) and they considered him to be the Promised Mahdi. Mukhtar Thaqafi (died in 67 A.H.) was one of his followers and has claimed the prophethood for him.
It was also claimed that the Kaisaniyas believed that the Imamat after Muhammad bin al-Hanafia was transferred to his son Abu-Hashim (died in 98 or 99 A.H.) who in turn transferred the leadership to Muhammad bin Ali bin Abdullah bin Abbas (died in 124 or 125 A.H.). After Muhammad, the Imamat was transferred to his son Ibrahim and then to the two Abbasid caliphs, Saffah and Manthur65 who set up the Abbasid caliphate.
As per this view, Kaisaniya was one sect from Shiaism which established a Sunni caliphate lasting for five hundred years!!
Naturally questions arise:
- Finally, who amongst the three figures was the real Kaisan?
- Except for the writers on Milal wan Nihal, has any other writer attributed to Hazrat Ali (as) any freed slave by the name of Kaisan?
- Muhammad bin al-Hanafia, son of Imam Ali (as), is a famous figure and his biography is recorded in all the books on .‘Rijal.’ (distinguished men) and books on hadith and seerah (life-history).
Barring the books on Milal wan Nihal, has anybody mentioned anywhere that Kaisan was the title given to Muhammad bin al-Hanafia?!
The same is true for Mukhtar too!
It was much easier for these scholars from the caliphate school to have said that Kaisan, the founder of the Kaisania sect was actually a jinn. This is because it wouldn.’t be easy for someone to disprove a creature like jinn. Just as they have attributed the killing of Sa.’d bin Ebadah to jinn and said, “The jinns have killed Sa.’d. His killers were from jinn and not men! “66
Thus, like the Saba.’eeya sect, the Kaisaniya sect is only a imaginative creation on the part of the authors of Milal wan Nihal.
After the martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s.), a group among the lovers of Ahl albayt gathered in Kufa for seeking vengeance for Imam’s blood and they named themselves as the Tawwabeen. In 65 A.H., they waged a war against the Syrian army headed by Ibn Ziyad and got killed.
In the following year, Mukhtar-ibn-Ubaid Thaqafi took vengeance for Imam’s blood by revolting against Ubaidullah-ibn-Ziyad in Kufa. In this battle, Ibn Ziyad and seventy thousand Syrian soldiers were killed.67 Moreover, Mukhtar killed all of Imam Husain’s murderers like Omar-ibn-Sa.’d, Shimr and others and dispatched their severed heads to Medina as a gift for Imam Sajjad (a.s.).68
In the meanwhile, Abdullah-ibn-Zubair claimed the caliphate in Mecca and sought allegiance from the people. Muhammad-ibn-Hanafia refused to swear allegiance to him. Abdullah imprisoned Muhammad-ibn-Hanafia and his near ones in a mountain pass named Aarem in Mecca.
Abdullah piled up firewood at the mouth of this mountain pass and threatened to burn, Muhammad-ibn-Hanafia and his relatives, alive if they refused to pay allegiance to him within the stipulated period. Muhammad sent someone to Kufa and sought Mukhtar’s help. Mukhtar dispatched four hundred men and eventually, freed Mukhtar and his nears ones from the captivity.69
Thereafter, in 67 A.H., Abdullah dispatched an army headed by his brother Ma’sab-ibn-Zubair to confront Mukhtar. In this battle, Mukhtar was defeated and finally killed.
Mukhtar had killed a great number of men from the army of Bani-Ummayad. Similarly, he had killed the tribal chiefs and their relatives from Kufa (who had massacred the prophet’s progeny in Karbala under the leadership of Ibn Ziyad). Consequently, after Mukhtar’s death, the survivors of Mukhtar’s victims, who now possessed the power and pen, said and wrote whatever they liked against Mukhtar. Later, these were recorded in the books of history and in Milal wan Nihal
Regarding Muhammad-ibn-Hanafia, the truth is that he died without staking any claim to the Imamat. Thus, the allegation that he transferred the Imamat to his son Abu-Hashim and he to others proves baseless.
Since there was a restriction on the spread of the Prophet’s traditions, the concept of Mahdawiyyah was vague in those days. As explained earlier, the Bani- Hashim who had gathered to swear allegiance to Muhammad-ibn Abdullah were also uncertain on this issue until Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) enlightened them.
Therefore, after Imam Husain’s (a.s.) era, it is likely that a few individuals must have recognized someone as the Promised Mahdi until they were corrected by the Imam of their time.
About Mukhtar, it can be said that the exigencies of war may have compelled him to use equivocal statements and references for Muhammad-ibn-Hanafia or Imam Sajjad (a.s.). It is also likely that he must have heard and known the prophecies (through the Imams) about his own revolt against the Bani-Umayyad and killers of Imam Husain (a.s.).
In neither case, the imaginations of a few individuals about Muhammad-ibn-Hanafia and the sayings of Mukhtar (assuming he ever said anything) can be taken as a sectarian view in Islam and Shiaism. Which means that no sect by the name of Kaisaniyah ever existed in history except in minds?
About the Gharabiyah, it is said:
“Gharabiyah are a group who believe that Allah sent Gabriel to Ali (a.s.) but Gabriel made an error of judgement and instead approached Muhammad (S), and gave him the revelation. This error was because Muhammad resembled Ali in appearance! And they have said that Muhammad and Ali were more alike than even two crows or two flies. Similarly, they believed that Ali is Allah’s messenger and Ali’s sons are the prophets!
This group advises its followers to curse the creature with wings i.e., Gabriel!
The infidelity of this group is more condemnable than the infidelity of the Jews!
The Jews asked the Messenger of Allah (S): Who brings to you God’s revelation? The Prophet replied: Gabriel. They said: We do not like Gabriel because he is the carrier of chastisement. They further said: Had Meekaeel, who is the carrier of mercy, brought revelation to you, we would have brought faith in you without the least hesitation. “
Thus, though the Jews disbelieved the Prophet (S) and bore enmity with Gabriel, they did not curse Gabriel; they only imagined Gabriel to be the angel of chastisement and not mercy.
But, the Gharabiyah from the tribe of Ra.’fiza, curse Gabriel and Muhammad (S)! And the Almighty Allah says:
مَن كَانَ عَدُوًّا لِّلَّـهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَجِبْرِيلَ وَمِيكَالَ فَإِنَّ اللَّـهَ عَدُوٌّ لِّلْكَافِرِينَ
“Whoever is the enemy of Allah and His angels and His apostles and Gabriel and Meekaeel, so surely Allah is the enemy of the unbelievers. “ [Qur’an, 2:98]
According to this verse, the one who bears grudge and enmity with some of the angels is an unbeliever and whoever is labeled as an unbeliever by Allah, can no longer be called a Muslim.70
They name such vain discourses as scholastic discussions! The writers of Milal wan Nihal have falsely attributed some more of such fancy sects to the Ahl albayt school. The motive becomes obvious if we compare these with the sects that have appeared and still continue to exist in the caliphate school.
A Comparative Analysis of the Sects Ascribed Towards The Ahlul Bayt School And The Sects of the Caliphate School
In the caliphate school, the Ash.’arite, Mu.’tazilah and Salafiya sects dominate in matters of belief while the Hanafia, Malikiya and Sha.’fieeya sects are followed in matters of jurisprudence. The scholars of their respective sects have recorded their sect’s views on beliefs and precepts and rationalized their authenticity with great pride. Besides, each of these scholars has researched the history, origin, and the classification of scholars of their respective sects.71
For instance, the history of the Asharite including its founder, the date of foundation, the year of birth and death of its founder has been recorded in detail. Besides, his views have been extensively recorded and are unanimously accepted by all the scholars.
Similarly, the lineage, death and writings of scholars who emulated the founder of this school are also known and recorded and made available to the common readers. A glance at these is sufficient to know everything about the Asharite sect. In the scholastic discussions, the correct method for recognizing any sect is to refer to the writings of the scholars of that sect. It is through these that the concerned sect can be appreciated or criticized.
Let us have a look at those sects that have been falsely attributed to the Ahl albayt school by the caliphate school:
They claim Abdullah-ibn-Saba is the founder of this sect. There are several unanswered questions in this regard.
Did Saba, father of Abdullah, descended directly from the heaven or did he have a father at all? If he had a father, what’s his name? What is his lineage? Is there any example of the writings of Abdullah-ibn-Saba?
Did the Prophet’s companions like Abu-Zar and Ammar or the disciples of companions like Malik-Ashtar and Muhammad-ibn-Abi Bakr who were alleged to have to belong to Saba.’eeya sect have themselves ever said: We are from the Saba.’eeya!
Is there any writing from the Saba.’eeya sect or even from Ammar, Abu-Zar, Hujr bin Adi and Sa’sah bin Sauhan? Or whatever is available is actually the creation of their enemies, which was written after their death, and those pious men did not have the least knowledge about the existence of such sect?
Was Muhammad-ibn-Hanafiya himself ever called Kaisan with whose name this sect is referred? Or was the freed slave of Ali (a.s.) known as Kaisan? If no then what was the name of this freed slave?
Who are the Kaisaniyas? Who has claimed to be Kaisan? Is there any documentary evidence at all about this sect except whatever has been written by the enemies of Mukhtar?
Who was the founder of the Gharabiya sect? When and where did he live? Who staked a claim to the title of Gharabiya? And who has claimed to have seen or met the mysterious Gharabiya?
Apart from the imagination of certain prejudiced writers and historians did this sect exist at all?
Such was the difference between the sects falsely attributed to Shaiism and the sects that existed and still continue to exist in the caliphate school!
Amongst the sects attributed to Shiaism, only two sects, actually existed Ismailiyah and Zaidiyah.
The Zaidiyah is a sect among the Muslims and it follows Zaid-ibn-Ali-ibn-Husain. In 121/122 A.H., Zaid-ibn-Ali had traveled to Syria where he felt offended by the then Umayyad caliph, Hisham bin Abdul-Malik and his governor in Kufa. Both of them also slandered the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Angered at the humiliation and encouraged by the support of the citizens of Kufa, who pledged allegiance to him, Zaid revolted against the governor of Kufa and got martyred.72
After him, Yahya, son of Zaid revolted in 125 A.H. against the Umayyad caliph in Khorasan and was maryrted in the city of Juzjan.73
The uprising undertaken by both Zaid and Yahya were for the sake of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil (Amr bil-Ma’fuf and Nahy an-Munkar).74
After the martyrdom of Zaid and Yahya, a group emerged who claimed to be the followers of Zaid and became famous by the name of Zaidiyah sect. Unlike the Shiaites, this group does not believe that Allah has appointed the Imams nor that the Prophet has propagated this matter to the people on divine commands.
Rather, they believe that after Imam Ali (a.s.), whoever from the progeny of Ali and Fatimah (a.s.) revolts with the sword becomes the Imam of the Muslims.75
Thus, the Zaidiyah are common with the Sunnis in their belief that Allah has not appointed an Imam for the Muslims. In legal provisions (Ahkam) too, they follow Abu-Hanifa, the Imam of one of the Sunni schools of jurisprudence. The reason they follow Abu-Hanifa is because he had given a verdict in support of the uprising of Muhammad and Ibrahim against Manthur, the Abbasid caliph.
Moreover, he had also urged the people to give their support to them. Their peculiar beliefs raise the following questions:
* If revolt against the government is the pre-requisite of Imamat, then how will they explain the Imamat of Imam Ali, Imam Hasan and Imam Husain (a.s.) when they were kept confined to their houses? Did Imam Hasan (a.s.) cease to be the Imam after his signing the peace treaty with Muawiya?
* How will they explain the Imamat of Imam Sajjad and Imam Baqir (a.s.) who never revolted against the caliphs and never possessed the reins of government?
* In the final analysis, how can they ever follow Abu-Hanifa and consider him to be their Imam in fiqh (jurisprudence) and Ahkam (ordinances) while he (i.e., Abu-Hanifa) never subscribed to their principle in Imamat and did not recognize the Imams which Zaidiyah accepted (i.e., Imam Ali and his two sons, Imam Hasan and Imam Husain). Besides, he considered the caliphate of the three caliphs to be in order and opposed the views of Zaid and his forefathers in matters of jurisprudence and acted upon his own judgement!
If Zaid happened to meet them how will he react to their beliefs? Anyway, the Zaidiyah have accepted partly the Sunni belief and a little of Shi’a belief. Besides, they have added something of their own belief too. They are neither Sunnis nor Shias; rather, they have formed a third sect by the name of Zaidiyah. However, their beliefs and deeds fundamentally differ with the belief and deed of Zaid, son of Imam Sajjad and all other followers of the Ahlul Bayt school, while their ideology is closer to the caliphate school.
This sect is attributed to Abdullah, son of Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) who was given the title “Aftah “.76 After the demise of Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.), Abdullah was the eldest living son and his name was included along with others in Imam’s will.
After his father’s death, Abdullah left open the door of his house and kept a gatekeeper besides it. He sat over the uppermost portion of his house and claimed the Imamat.77
A few Shias approached him and asked a few questions related to Islamic precepts. Abdullah gave them wrong answers. The Shias realized that he was ignorant in the Islamic ordinances. Consequently, they approached Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.).78
After his father’s demise, Abdullah lived only for seventy days.79 Practically it was not possible for him to set up a sect within this short period and anyway which sect could have existed in his name during that era.
When the sect was founded, the Ismailiyah sect believed in the Imamat of the Imams until the sixth Imam, i.e., Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) and claimed that after Imam Sadiq (a.s.), the Imamat has been transferred to his son, Ismail.80 For this very reason, they are known as six Imamiah.81 Thereafter, they got divided into various sects with diverse beliefs.
We shall now glance over the belief and history of this sect as follows: Ismail to whom this sect is attributed died during his father’s lifetime. After Ismail’s death, Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) behaved in a manner, which was unusual for an Imam. Amongst them, we may mention the following:
When Ismail died, Imam (a.s.) gathered thirty of his Shias in his house. Then, he addressed Davood, one of his companions as such: .‘O Davood! Uncover his face. Then, he asked all the thirty men to look at Ismail’s face carefully and he asked each of them: Is Ismail alive or dead? Everybody replied: “He is dead “.
Then, he said: “O Allah, Thou be witness! “
Thereafter, he ordered that Ismail’s corpse be given the ceremonial washing and then shrouded. Later, he said to Mufazzal: .‘O Mufazzal, uncover his face. He repeated the same question again after asking the people to look carefully at Ismail’s face. This surprised all of them and they replied in an astonishing tone:
“O our master, he is dead “. Imam said: O Allah, Thou be witness! “
When Ismail was laid to rest on the niche, Imam (a.s.) said: .‘O Mufazzal, uncover his face. Then, Imam (a.s.) said: .‘O people, have a look. Is he alive or dead? They replied: He is dead, ‘O Wali (Friend) of Allah. Imam (a.s.) said: .‘O Allah, Thou be witness! Certainly, the people of falsehood shall doubt Ismail’s death..’
When Ismail’s corpse was covered with soil and his burial ceremony completed, Imam (a.s.) once again said: Who is this dead man shrouded and buried? All replied: He is your son, Ismail! Imam (a.s.) said: O Allah, Thou be witness. “
Then, he caught hold of his son, Musa’s hand and said: “He is with the truth and truth is with him.82
In another tradition, it is related that, as per Imam Sadiq’s (a.s.) command, the sentence: ksjfklsj flksjfklsjflks djfklsjflksjd (Ismail bears witness that there is no god but Allah)83 was written at the side of Ismail’s shroud. Following Imam’s instructions, he was washed and shrouded. After Ismail was wrapped in the shroud, his face was repeatedly uncovered and Imam would kiss his forehead, chin, and throat.84
During the funeral procession, the coffin was laid on the ground for several times on Imam’s (a.s.) command. Each time, Imam (a.s.) would push aside the shroud from Ismail’s face and look at him so that the people would not doubt in Ismail’s death.85
Moreover, it has been repeatedly narrated in several traditions that Imam Sadiq (a.s.) sent some of his Shias to perform the Haj on behalf of Ismail.86
After Ismail’s death, Imam Sadiq (a.s.) summoned thirty of his eminent Shias and gave order for uncovering Ismail’s face. He asked each of them whether Ismail has died or is still alive! Everybody answered that Ismail has indeed died!
Later, he gave orders for washing and shrouding Ismail and inscribing the sentence “Ismail bears witness that there is no god but Allah “ over the coffin. This was just to emphasize that this coffin bear the corpse of Ismail. He repeated his action after shrouding. Several times Ismail’s face was uncovered and he asked everybody to look once again at Ismail’s face. Then, he asked: Whose corpse is this?
All of them replied, ‘He is your son, Ismail and he is dead!
Thereafter, during the funeral procession that was attended by more than thirty people, he ordered for the corpse to be laid on the ground. He removed the shroud and looked at Ismail’s face. He repeated this act several times so as to attract the participant’s attention!
And after placing Ismail on the niche, he once again asked the people: Whose corpse is this? All of them affirmed that it was Ismail’s corpse! After completion of the burial ceremony, he once again asked: Who is he, who has been washed shrouded and buried? All of them said in unison: He is your son, Ismail!
Later, he contracted some of the Shias to perform the Haj on behalf of Ismail.
Despite the best efforts of Imam (a.s.) to convince people of Ismail’s death, a group asserted: “Whatever Imam Sadiq (a.s.) has said is not true! Ismail has not died! He has been living after Imam Sadiq (a.s.) and he is the Imam after him. “
This group too should have been given the title of six Imamiah because, they believed in the Imams till Imam Sadiq (a.s.), the sixth Imam. But, they cannot be called as such! They are not six Imamiah; rather, they are zero Imamiah.
They did not recognize any of the Imams before Ismail and did not accept the sayings of any of the six Imams. They said: “Ismail continue to live after Imam Sadiq (a.s.) and the Imamat was transferred to him. “ A few amongst them said:
“After Ismail, the Imamat was transferred to his son, Muhammad. “
With the passage of time, this sect, (called as Ismaili or Ismailiyah), got split from the Shias and the Imams of the Shias. Subsequently, they splintered into various sects.
Amongst them, we may mention the Qarametah group that went on a killing spree in Mecca and who stole the Hajar al-Aswad (black stone) from Holy Kaaba until it got restored after several years by the Fatimid caliph in Egypt.87
Yet amongst them were the followers of Hasan Sabbah who lived in the Alamut forts.….…and the other sub-sects, which exist until these days are the Druze in Lebanon and Palestine and the Agha Khani sect, scattered in various parts of the world. The Ismailiyah sect, since its inception, was not a Shi’a sect for two reasons:
* They opposed Imam Sadiq (as) and
* Gradually, they deviated from Islam and even turned anti-Islam and anti-Shi’a!
For better understanding of the Ismailiyahs, here is an example.
The example of Ismailiyah is like the example of Bani-Hunaifa and Musailamah, the liar.
During the Prophet’s time, those Arab tribes that would accept Islam would send a few of their representative to the Prophet for expressing their faith and swearing allegiance to the Prophet (S). The Prophet in turn would accept their profession of faith and offer them some gifts. In Arabic terminology, these people approaching the Prophet are named as “Wafd”
The Bani-Hunaifa tribe who lived in Yamamah88 sent a “Wafd “ on behalf of their tribe to the Prophet for announcing their faith in Islam. Amongst the “Wafd” from the tribe of Bani-Hunaifa, was Musailamah, the liar.
According to one tradition, when the “Wafd” visited the Prophet (S), Musailamah stayed back to look after the luggage and belongings of the “Wafd”. Once in the Holy Prophet’s presence, the Prophet offered each one of them some gifts. He also sent a gift for Musailamah and said: Musailamah is no worse than you.
When the “Wafd” returned to Yamamah, Musailamah turned an apostate. He claimed the prophethood and said: The Prophet said about me: ‘I’m not worse than anyone of you. Thus, God has made me his partner in the prophethood.’
Thereafter, in the Islam, which he introduced for the Bani-Hunaifa, he declared the ‘salat.’ (prayers) as null and made drinking of wine and fornication as lawful.
Like the western Islamicists, the Islam that Musailamah portrayed before his tribe was approved and sought by the people of that time! The Bani-Hunaifa accepted the prophethood of Musailamah, the liar. Subsequently, Musailamah wrote a letter to the Prophet in the following manner:
“From Musailamah, the messenger of Allah to Muhammad, the messenger of Allah. Peace is to you! I have been made a partner with you in the prophethood. Half of the land belongs to us (Bani-Hunaifa) and half of the land is for the Quraish (i.e., the Prophet’s tribe). But the Quraish wishes to infringe on our right.”
The Holy Prophet (S) replied: “From Muhammad, the messenger of Allah, to Musailamah, the liar. Peace is to the one who follows the guidance. The land belongs to Allah. Whosoever He wishes, will surely inherit it. “89
After the Prophet’s (S) demise, the Muslim army attacked Bani-Hunaifa at Yamamah. In this fierce war in which thousands were killed from both sides, Musailamah was killed and the Bani-Hunaifa were either killed or taken as prisoners of war.90
In this story, the Prophet (S) accepted the Islam of “Wafd “ from the tribe of Bani-Hunaifa and presented them with gifts. He also accepted Musailamah’s belief in Islam and offered him gifts too.
The Prophet’s conduct with Musailamah, the liar was similar to his conduct with all other hypocrites (like, Abdullah-ibn-Abi for whom Sura Munafiqun has been revealed). About the Prophet’s remark that, “he is no worse than you “, perhaps the Prophet wished to say that he has accepted Islam for the moment and his case is like your case where you have accepted Islam now but would all turn apostates later.
Musailamah was one of the “Wafd” from Bani-Hunaifa, which had accepted Islam and had received gifts from the Prophet (S). Under the circumstances, they were all Muslims and formed a part of the Islamic “Ummah” (nation). But, after Musailamah claimed the prophethood and the Bani-Hunaifa followed him, all turned into renegades.
Thus, after this incident, one cannot accept them as a Muslim sect just because in the past, they had approached the Prophet and the Prophet had accepted their Islam and offered them gifts.
Therefore, we can neither name them as Musailamah sect or the Bani-Hunaifa sect nor we can say that this sect had accepted Allah, His messenger and the Islamic precepts and their difference with other Muslims was only that they believed Musailamah to be a partner with the Holy Prophet (S) in prophethood and their views differed with them in matters like prayers, fasting and fornication! These are such issues where nobody has said so far and rather, has no right to comment on them on his own accord. The truth is that
Musailamah was far from Islam and a liar and someone who had falsely claimed the prophethood. Thus, he and all his followers from Bani-Hunaifa had turned apostates.
Similarly, the Ismailiyah who believed in the Imamat of the six Imams until Imam Sadiq (a.s.) and thereafter in Ismail, followed by his son Muhammad and others are like the example of Bani-Hunaifa who although believed in the Holy Prophet (S) of Islam and the Musailamah’s prophethod, they exited from Islam and ceased to remain Muslims.
The same is true about the Ismailiyah. The moment they said Ismail is the Imam followed by Muhammad as Imam, they exited from Islam. Thus, one cannot reckon them to be a Shi’a or a sect among the Shias. Besides, considering that they kept themselves aloof from the Imams (a.s.) and developed certain commandments contrary to the Islamic commandments which gradually took them farther from Islam. Thereafter, one can neither call them Muslims nor recognize them as a sect in Islam or a sect among Shi’a.
Small groups emerged during the era of the Imams that made tall claims about the Imams and invited the people towards themselves. Considering that the Imams would condemn these groups in their statements and expose their true faces, Shias and Sunnis had no doubt about the true identity of such groups. Often, they would disappear after a while. Shahrestani, (died in 548 A.H.) a renowned scholar from the caliphate school who followed the Ashari in beliefs and the Shafei in jurisprudence writes in his book “Milal wan Nihal”, chapter “Al-Ghaliyah”, about the Ghulat sect and the polemics Imams had with them. Towards the conclusion, he says:
و تبرأ من هولاء كلهم جعفر بن محمد الصادق (رض) وطردهم و لعنهم
“Jafar-ibn-Muhammad-Sadiq (may Allah be satisfied with him) expressed his disgust with all the aforesaid sects. He drove them out and cursed them “91
Before we conclude this discussion, we will briefly review the basic reasons behind the emergence of sects in the human societies.
1- “Egoism “ is the most important motive behind man’s drive and mundane activities. Often man strives to fulfill his carnal desires out of eccentricity.
Perhaps, man’s most powerful attraction is his quest for power, combined by his free will in achieving desires.
For achieving these two types of lusts, man wants to amass wealth.
Considering that man is an egoist, hunger for fame and popularity in the society is also a part of his carnal desire. Consequently, man approves and follows any social system that helps him in achieving the aim of his carnal desires.
2- In Allah’s way of creation, mankind has been created in two forms:
- Man, as a leader.
- Man, as a follower
Man, as a leader is again divided into two categories. As Allah, the Almighty says:
أئمة يهدون بأمرنا
“Imams to guide by Our command “ (Qur’an, 21:73 & Qur’an, 32:24)
أئمة يدعون الى النار
“Imams who call to the fire” (Qur’an, 28:41)
Man, as a follower is also of various types:
* Those who by correct insight, follow such leaders who lead them to perfection (leaders of the first type)
* Those about whom Imam Ali (as) says:
* “Those who run after every caller and bend in the direction of evry wind “92
3- Progress of true knowledge and insight in human societies as also human ignorance and lack of culture among people plays an evident role in the formation or disintegration of these sects.
Thus these factors help us understand the reason for the occurrence of social disputes in the Islamic countries in the name of religion.
In all these groups, there existed people who loved power and leadership. For gaining power and position, they exploited the “weak mentality “ of a society and used such names and titles that were accepted by the people of their time. They would also convey tidings about rule and authority to others who, like them, were fond of ruling. They would introduce a religion to the ignorant masses, which suited and satisfied their carnal desires. In this manner, by attracting a group around themselves, they would devise a sect under the name of that very religion. Thereafter, the continuity or discontinuity of that sect depended upon internal and external factors.
For instance, in the case of the Bahai sect, Husain Ali Baha initially enjoyed the support of the Russian Czar government. After the Russian revolution and downfall of the Czar government, Husain Ali and his son, Abbas Afandi lived under the protection of the English government. At present, the survivors of this sect enjoy the support of the U.S.A. In every era, the leaders of this sect have acted as secret agents for the powerful colonial government of their time and were it not for this collusion, this sect would have perished long ago.
This example will help us to examine the cause of formation of the social sects that came into existence as religious sects. Subsequently, we can investigate the reason for the stability of some sects and the destruction of few others.
Bani-Hunaifa was inclined towards Islam because it had spread in the Arabian Peninsula. This feeble-minded tribe had its existence in a remote place at Najd. A man from this tribe claimed the prophethood and recited for them a few Arabic prose and rhyme as revelation and then said: “God has raised me from your tribe and made me a partner in prophethood with Muhammad, from the Quraish. God favoured the Quraish with half the land leaving the other half to you. Besides, He declared the prayers (Salat) redundant for you and made adultery and wine permissible to you.
Thus, he propounded a religion that made them the owners of half the land and set them free in adultery and wine thereby fulfilling their carnal desires and released them from the hardship of Salat (prayers). Consequently, all the people of this tribe followed his religion en masse. They devoted all their life on this path merely because it satisfied their lust and carnal desires.
Similarly in the Ismailiyah sect also those who desired to hold the reigns of government denied the death of Ismail. In the pretext of acting as Ismail’s representative, they gained power and prominence among the feeble-minded people.
Thereafter, their continued success depended on the ignorance of their weak followers which they achieved by keeping their followers away from the Imams (a.s.). Besides, they altered the Islamic injunctions in every era and place, thus making it convenient for their followers in fulfilling their carnal desires so much that they turned anti-Islam. In the contemporary world, the Ba.’hai sect is following the same principle and had joined hands with the imperialist powers.
The story of Ghulat is close to the story of the Ismailiyah sect. Some of the contemporaries of Imam were overtaken by the desire to rule (like Musailamah, the liar). Initially, they introduced themselves as Imam’s representative. Thereafter, with the aim of introducing themselves as prophet, they described certain divine attributes for the Imams. Sometimes, their sensual desires exceeded all bounds and they introduced themselves as God!
However, due to the Imams.’ constant efforts, the people did recognise their true face. Consequently, their claim to Imamat, prophethood and divinity were rendered ineffective and in most of cases it resulted in their death. Regarding the sects attributed to the Ahlul Bayt school, we shall review once again the following two points:
(i) Uprisings by descendants of Imams. Previously, we had divided the uprisings by the Prophet’s descendants into two:
Uprising for the sake of enjoining good and uprising in the name of Mahdawiyyah. It was also said that in the uprising undertaken by Imam Husain, (which was progenitor of all uprisings for enjoining good), Imam (a.s.) did not practise dissimulation. At all times, Imam’s slogan was the one that he .wrote for the Bani-Hashim:
“Anyone who joins me shall be martyred and anyone who will desert me will not achieve victory“
This was Imam’s slogan under all circumstances. On the other hand, the descendants of Imam who would revolt for the sake of enjoining good (like Zaid), would not communicate with the people in precise terms and would adopt dissimulation. Mukhtar too, who revolted to avenge Imam Husain’s blood, preferred dissimulation in speech?
This send confusing signals in the Islamic society concerning Imamat and Mahdawiyyah, as they were unaware of the Prophet’s hadith on these issues (due to the ban imposed by the ruling government from spreading the Prophet’s hadith). Consequently, any Imamzadeh who would revolt from a distant place would receive the support of any Muslim group that had suffered injustice by the ruling government. For example, the support Harith received during his revolt in Termez.
In all such uprisings, after the leader’s defeat, the people found themselves on the crossroads again and hence it did not lead to formation of a particular sect.
The only exception being Zaidiyah sect, which came into existence much after Zaid’s failed revolution and martyrdom.
(ii) Groups that were confused in recognising their Imam Sometimes, after the demise of one of the Imams, a few Shias who were unaware or at the time of Imam’s demise was situated in far off places refused to believe in the Imam’s demise. Thus they would practise caution until they would become certain about the Imam’s demise and then would follow the successive Imam.
The biographers of Milal wan Nihal have recorded these groups as a Shi’a sect.
For example, a group that was uncertain about the demise of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.) and continued to believe in his Imamat even during the period of Imam Ridha’s Imamat, was considered as a Shiite sect by the writers of Milal wan Nihal, though this belief remained only for a few days. The biographers have written detailed account of this group and have termed them as ‘sabeeyah.’ i.e., seven-Imamiyah or .‘Waqefiyah.’. They would conveniently ignore the group’s return to the mainstream.
The biographers have followed the same approach in case of some Imamzadehs who claimed the Imamat for a brief while, like the Imamat of Abdullah Aftah, which lasted merely seventy days. In this period, a handful of Shias were confused and remained lost for a while. The biographers would record the action of these few men as a sect among Shias.
In fact, they were so zealous to enumerate sects in Shias that even if a crow would have sat over the wall of an Imamzadeh’s and made a noise they would have called him a Crow Sect and began to write a biography for this sect!
During this era of confusion, if an impostor staked a claim of Imamat from the Ahlul Bayt, then Imams ensured that he should not succeed and his lie should be exposed. During the time when Imam Ridha (a.s.) was designated as the heirapparent, all such fabrications were dealt in debates of Imam (a.s.) which he had with the writers of Milal wan Nihal in the caliphate court.
Thereafter, the successive Imams who became famous as Ibn Ridha, were well known as the Shiite Imams among the Muslims. The ruling caliphs.’ behavior with them, their relocation from Medina to the government capital in Baghdad and Samerra made their Imamat all the more clear.
During the tenure of Imam Ali Naqi (a.s.), the selection of special representatives was initiated with the appointment of Uthman-ibn-Saeed. This continued in the era of Imam Hasan Askari when Uthman acted as the Ma.’rjae (religious authority) over all the Shiites holding the title of special deputy.
Nevertheless, during the time of Imame Zaman too, initially Uthman was Imam’s special deputy and the Ma.’rjae of all the Shiites. Before his death, as per the instructions of Imam, Uthman-ibn-Saeed appointed his son, Muhammad-ibn-Uthman-ibn-Saeed as Imam’s special deputy. After Muhammad, Imam al-Zaman (a.j.t.f.) had two more deputies namely Husainibn- Ruh and Ali-ibn-Muhammad Samiri.
During the time of Imams, no group got separated from the Shi’a sect except the Ismailiyah. The Ismailiyah sect was not even a Shi’a sect as they were against the Imams and later even turned anti-Islam. As regards the Zaidiyah sect that emerged after Zaid’s martyrdom, the exact date of its formation is not known. More so they are a Muslim sect and not a sect from Shiaism.
Similarly, a mammoth task of compilation of .‘Usul’ or principles (that comprised of four hundred or more principles) was completed during the era of the Imams. Moreover other books on various subjects were also compiled. The Prophet’s twelve legatees spread the Islamic insight and knowledge among the Shiites to such an extent that all followed the twelve Imams and all had faith in the occultation of Vali-Asr (a.j.t.f.) and received through them, the Prophet’s Sunnah.
Let us have a look at the intellectual differences in the Ahlul Bayt school during the period of major occultation.
We have discussed that Imams ensured that their Shias should not be confused or suffer from mental distress. As a result of Imams efforts and their followers.’ efforts two concepts had become evidently clear for the Muslims after the twelfth Imam’s major occultation:
1- Everybody had commonly known the 12 Imams of the Shias, their names and lineage.
2- The Shi’a beliefs (or rather the pure Islam) concerning ‘tafsir.’ (exegesis of Quran), the Prophet’s Sunnah and other Islamic sciences that were explained by the Prophet’s twelve legatees were recorded by their students in their books. Such compilations continued till the end of the twelfth Imam’s minor occultation and were made available to all the Muslims.
Of course, since the beginning of the twelfth Imam’s occultation until his reappearance, there is no possibility of formation of a new sect in Shi’ism, except the differences in comprehending the hadith from Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). However, two diverse opinions have emerged, namely the Akhbari and the Usuli.
The Akbaris difference with the Usulis originated from the assumption that the scholars of Usul have extracted some of the terms of Usul (principles) from the caliphate school. Such an assumption has led some of the traditionists from the Ahlul Bayt school to have a cynical approach to “Ilme-Usul” (theology) and made them believe that all matters related to “Ilme-Usul” has been transmitted from the caliphate school. However, it is not correct except in few cases, they have made use of terminologies from the caliphate school for the purpose of deriving correct meaning.
For example, the term “Mujtahid” in the caliphate school has been defined to mean someone who is allowed to legislate legal ordinances according to his personal opinion.
But, in Ilme-Usul in the Ahlul Bayt school, this term applies to the one who is an expert in extracting religious ordinances from the Book of Allah and His messenger’s Sunnah. In other words, they mentioned a “Faqih’, which is an Islamic term for a “Mujtahid”.
The only other similarity is that of traditionists from the caliphate school, who consider traditions from only selected books of hadith to be correct. Similarly, the scholars of Usul, too regard traditions from the four books (Kafi, Man-la-Ya.’zur al-faqih, Tahzib and Estibsar) to be authentic.93
The method of our “Muhaddesin” has been to analyse one by one the terms of Usool and then, based on solid proofs, reject all such cases that do not agree with the insight of the Ahlul Bayt school and accept the rest.
Nonetheless, with regard to the books on hadith, the correct method is to examine the chain of transmission and text of each and every hadith. Any hadith that meets the criteria set by the Prophet (S) and his legatees (a.s.) for a reliable hadith is accepted while the one fails to meet the standards is rejected.
These were some of the instances of differences between the Akhbaris and the Usulis. Occasionally, the differences of view among some of the scholars from both sides are of individual nature and cannot be considered to be the general view of the Akhbaris or Usulis.
This clearly indicates that the Akhbaris and Usulis are not two different sects. Rather, they are followers of the same school and they differ only in the method of extracting the ordinances from the Book and the Sunnah. Besides, such a difference existed in the past and at present there exists no separate group by the name of Akhbaris, they are named as “Muhaddesin”.
After the Prophet’s (S) demise, the Muslims were divided into two groups: the caliphate school and the Ahlul Bayt (a.;s.) school. The caliphate school claimed: After the Prophet’s demise, Allah and His messenger left the leadership of the Ummah (nation) at the discretion of the people. This school maintains that the caliphate till the last Uthmani caliph (died in 1336 A.H.) to be in accordance with the Islamic law.
They believe that the sources of Islamic Shariah (religious laws) are the Quran, the Prophet’s Sunnah and the Ijtihad (independent judgements) of the prophet’s companions (particularly, the independent judgements of the first three caliphs). Soon after the Prophet’s demise, they were ready to learn the Prophet’s Sunnah from anyone who claimed to be the ‘sahabi’ i.e., the Prophet’s companion.
The Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) school believes: After the Prophet, Allah has appointed twelve guardians to lead the Islamic Ummah and the Prophet (S) has conveyed this matter to the Ummah in clear and lucid terms. This school believes the true Islamic sources are the Quran and the Prophet’s Sunnah. And after the Prophet’s demise, they receive the Prophet’s Sunnah from his twelve legatees. This school also accepts narration of traditions from the Prophet’s faithful companions.
Besides, during the last part of the 40 A H, one group separated from these two schools. It branded the Muslims as infidels and polytheists and attacked them with swords. This group was named the “Khawarij”.
Gradually, the caliphate school divided into various sects the most famous among them being the Mu’tazilah, Asharite and Salafiya (in matters of belief). The Wahabiya sect is an offshoot of the Salafiya sect. And in matters of Ahkam (precepts), the most famous sects in the caliphate school are the Malekiyah, Hanafiya, Shafiya and Hanbali sects. As for the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) school, their differences among the followers were confined to only two stages: differences during the Imams.’ lifetime and differences during the major occultation of the twelfth Imam.
During the Imams.’ lifetime, occasionally few Shias were at loss to understand the truth after their Imam’s demise. This was because they had no access to the subsequent Imam and their knowledge about the Prophet’s hadith and the hadith of his legatees was limited. This uncertainty continued until a few learned among them would meet the Imam and the issue would become clear for them. Besides, the Imams would constantly strive to guide the Shias in matters of Islamic beliefs and precepts.
During the era of the Imams (a.s.), nobody thought of propounding new sect among the followers of this school. In fact, when the era of the 12th Imam began, all the Muslim sects were entirely familiar about the twelve legatees by name, lineage and character. Besides, all the Islamic sciences were recorded in books by the students of the Ahlul Bayt school and were accessible to everyone.
Thus, the propagation of Imams was concluded and the period of major occultation began. During the lifetime of the Imams (a.s.), no controversial sects could raise its head among their followers because of the diligence exhibited by the Imams. As for the Zaidiyah sect, they barely acquired their creeds from the Ahlul Bayt school while a major portion of their beliefs was extracted from the caliphate school. They combined these together and formed the Zaidiyah sect. Thus, they are neither Sunni nor Shi’a sect but rather form a third sect among the Muslims.
As for the Ismailiyah sect, they are like the Bani-Hunaifa and the followers of Musailamah, the liar who at first were Muslims but following their belief that Musailamah has become a prophet like Muhammad (S), they turned apostates. Thereafter, they no longer could be recognised as a Muslim sect as they left the domain of Islam.
Similarly, the Ismailiyah sect too, after they believed in the Imamat of the deceased Ismail, they exited from the domain of Shi’ism. Gradually, by legislating certain laws contrary to the Islamic precepts, they exited from Islam too. Thus, one cannot count them to be a sect among the Muslims. The same holds true about the Ghulat where they cannot be called Muslims.
As for the imaginary sects like the Sabaeeyah, Kaisaniyah and Gharabiyah, the authors of Milal wan-Nihal have falsely attributed them to the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) school whereas such sects did not have any existence at all in history. In this regard, we quote a famous saying:
“I am powerless against the liar who fabricates lies against me! “
This was the gist of differences between the followers of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) school during the lifetime of the Imams (a.s.). Even when the major occultation of the twelfth Imam (a.j.t.f.) commenced, the names of twelve Imams (a.s.) were so well known among the Muslim sects that nobody could dare to claim the Imamat. Rather, the power-hungry individuals could only claim the deputyship of the twelfth Imam, which was concluded by Imam after the death of his fourth
special envoy. Under the circumstances, those who claimed the deputyship were dismissed from Shi’ism and Islam like, the Ba.’hai sect in Shiah and the Qadiyaniah sect in Sunnis.
The followers of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) school wrote such insightful and comprehensive treatises and compiled books of hadith narrated from the twelve legatees that no sect could dare to stake a claim among the Shias. However, differences of opinion did exist among the Shi’a jurists concerning hadith as a result of which some were named Akhbari and some as Usuli. Presently, the Shi’a jurists are Usuli and there is no separate group called as Akhbari.
* * *
In the future discussions, we shall discuss that why after the Prophet’s demise, the followers of the Ahlul Bayt school learnt the Prophet’s Sunnah and the Islamic beliefs and precepts from the Prophet’s twelve legatees.
- 1. The details concerning‘Ijtihads’ (independent judgments) by the Caliphs and disciples can be read in the second volume of the book: Ma.’lem al-Madrasatain.
- 2. Refer to Tarikh-Ya’qubi 2/333. Ibn Kathir too has pointed out this matter in his Tarikh, 8/10.
- 3. Refer to the book: Qawaed al-Tahdith, page 46-47 written by Muhammad Jamaluddin al-Qasemi, Cairo print; Tadrib al-Raawi page 41, written by Suyuti and Al hadith al-Nabaviyah al-Sharif, page 43 written by Muhammad al-Sabbagh, Damascus print.
- 4. It implies Abu-Hanifa’s opposition to the Prophet’s Sunnah which has come down in the Prophet’s hadith.
- 5. Refer to Al-Muhalla, by Ibn Hazm; 11/251-257.
- 6. Tarikh-Baghdad 13/396.
- 7. Tarikh-Baghdad 13/408.
- 8. Tarikh-Baghdad 1/71.
- 9. Tarikh-Baghdad 13/284-286
- 10. Tarikh-Baghdad 13/386-375.
- 11. Al-Milal wan-Nihal/Sha.’restani 1/85; second chapter: “Al-Jabriyah”.
- 12. Al-Milal wan-Nihal/Sha.’restani 1/43; first chapter: “Al-Mu’tazilah".
- 13. Ansab Sam.’aani; under the word “Jahmi”.
- 14. The Book of Jahm-ibn-Sefwan, page 71: chapter three: Negating attributes for Allah, Exalted be He.
- 15. Refer to Al-Radda alal Jahmiyah wa.’l Zanadiqah written by Ahmad-ibn-Hanbal (died in 241 A.H.) Cairo print; Al-Radda alal Jahmiyah written by Uthman-ibn-Saeed Darami (died in 280 A.H.) and Jahm-ibn-Sefwan written by Hamed, Baghdad print. The last book is a comprehensive book on Jahm.
- 16. Refer to Feraq ul-Shiah, page 145
- 17. Ansab-Sam’aani
- 18. Refer to Manaqib-Abi Hanifa; 1/145-148 written by Muwaffaq-ibn-Ahmad Makki, printed in Hyderabad.
- 19. Biography of Maqatel in the chapter concerning: The effects of beliefs of Ahl-Kitab (people of the Book).
- 20. Tarikh Ibn Kathir 9/350 and Tarikh ul-Islam Zuhbi 5/56.
- 21. Tabaqaat al-Mu.’tazilah, page 34 written by Ahmad-ibn-Yahya-ibn-al Murtaza (died in 840 A.H.) Beirut edition 1961 A.D.
- 22. Da.’era al-Ma.’aref Islami; Article “Termez “.
- 23. Tabaqaat al-Mu.’tazilah, page 34; Al-Radda ala.’l Jahmiyah, written by Ahmad-ibn-Hanbal, page 15.
- 24. Tabaqaat al-Mu.’tazilah, page 32.
- 25. Refer to Tarikh Ibn Athir in the narration of events of 116-128 A.H. European edition, 5/126-261. Some of these events have come down in detail in Tarikh-Tabari and in brief in Tarikh Ibn Kathir.
- 26. Ansab Samaani.
- 27. Refer to the book Jahm-ibn-Sefwan, page 161; chapter six.
- 28. Reliable references is at hand about the discussion that will take place henceforth on Muslim sects like, the writings of those very sects or the writings of reliable contemporary scholars such as Masoudi and others.
- 29. His biography has come down in .‘Wafayat al-A.’yan - Ibn Khallakan 5/60, Tarikh al-Islam - Zuhbi 5/311, Muruj al-Zahab - Masoudi 4/22 and Ansab Samaani.
- 30. The biography of Amr-ibn-Ubaid has come down in Tarikh-Baghdad 12/166; Wafayat al-A.’yan-Ibn Khallakan 3/130 and Tarikh-Ibn Kathir 10/10.
- 31. Al-Feraq bain al-Feraq, page 114, chapter three: discourse on the Mu.’tazilah and Qadariyah.
- 32. Refer to Mutawakkil’s biography in Tarikh Khulafa-Suyuti; Tarikh-Tabari and Tarikh-Ibn Athir.
- 33. Refer to Ahmad-ibn-Hanbal’s biography in Tarikh-Baghdad 4/412 and Tarikh Ibn Kathir 10/325-343.
- 34. In order to realize the consequence of sectarian disputes in the caliphate school, its worthy to mention in brief, the sayings of Imam al-A.’aimma, Ibn Khuzaima in support of Abu-Huraira which has come down in Mustadrak-Hakem 3/513. Ibn Khuzaima says:
"Those who talk against Abu-Huraira’s traditions are either the Jahmiyah who have negated God of all attributes and who find Abu-Huraira’s traditions contrary to their faith.
Or they are the Khawarij who do not consider as obligatory the obedience to the caliph and ruler but rather believe that revolt is compulsory.
Or they are the Qadarites (free-willers) who believe that man’s actions have been decreed by God from eternity and find Abu-Huraira’s traditions contrary to their views.
Or they belong to the jurisprudents who reckon Abu-Huraira’s traditions to be contrary to their views on jurisprudence. These are the people who reject Abu-Huraira’s traditions.
- 35. Da.’ert ul-Ma.’aref ul-Islamiah 2/218.
- 36. Refer to Ash.’ari’s biography in Wafayat al-A.’yan 3/398.
- 37. This will become apparent by referring to the Ash.’arite works.
- 38. Hukkam-Ma.’maleek in Egypt were those rulers who in reality were slaves but later freed.
- 39. Refer to Khutat-Maqrezi 6/161, Cairo edition.
- 40. Al-Durral ul-Kamenah Fi A.’yan al-Ma.’at al-Saamenah written by Ibn Hajar Asqalani (died in 852 A.H.) on page 163; Cairo edition 1385 A.H.
- 41. Ibid; page 164.
- 42. Ibid; page 158.
- 43. Ibid; page 166.
- 44. Ibid; page 150-170.
- 45. Refer to Ibn-Taimiyah’s works like Minhaj al-Sunnah.
- 46. Refer to Ma.’alem al-Madrasatain 1/62
- 47. Refer to the previous discussions concerning the second factor of distortion. Similarly, refer to Ma.’alem al-Madrasatain, Vol 1 page 39, second edition.
- 48. The preacher narrated this hadith from Sahih-Bukhari. However, the author has found this hadith in Musnad-Ahmad 5/167 as follows: The Prophet said: Allah says, ‘O sons of Adam! Verily, if you call and beseech Me, I shall forgive you, whatsoever your condition. If it happens you meet Me on the day of judgement with sins to the size of this earth, I too will meet you while bestowing My forgiveness to the size of this earth. If your sins reach the heavens, I would still forgive you and pay least attention (to your sins) provided you do not seek any partner with Allah and seed forgiveness from Me.” This tradition has partly come down in Sahih-Bukhari 1/150. Numerous other traditions of this nature have come down in their reliable books and God-willing, we shall discuss them in the coming lessons.
- 49. In Vol 1 of Ma’lem al-Madrasatain, we have explained in detail, the following ten type of concealment:
a) Omission of part of the Prophet’s hadith and replacement with vague words.
b) Complete omission of news about Seerah (way of life) of the Prophet’s companions
c) Interpreting the Prophet’s traditions contrary to their real meaning.
d) Omission of some of the sayings of the Prophet’s companions.
e) Complete omission of tradition about the Prophet’s Sunnah.
f) Prohibition from writing the Prophet’s Sunnah.
g) The endeavors in weakening the traditions and narrators as well as the books that were detrimental to the ruling government.
h) The burning of books and libraries.
i) Omission in part, of the news about the companions Seerah and distortion of facts.
j) Fabrication of traditions replacing the true traditions concerning the Prophet’s Sunnah and his companions Seerah.
- 50. In Islam, swearing of allegiance is of various types. One type is to swear allegiance for uprising on the path of enjoining to good and forbidding the evil. The above belongs to this category.
- 51. Refer to Ma’lem al-Madrasatain, 2/320; discussion on “how Imams (a.s.) circulated the books of knowledge “; chapter concerning “Al Imam Ali-ibn-Husain (as)
- 52. In Islam, there exists a difference between a hypocrite and believer. The former accepts Islam in a pretentious manner and not at heart.
- 53. In those days, people would put on a turban during official meetings. The Holy Prophet (S) too would put on a turban during his official meetings as well as during Eid prayers. Refer to Abdullah-ibn-Sabah, Vol 2.
- 54. Arabic Arabic Arabic meaning, he lifted the curtain from the hadith; and slkjlksdjflksd means, he lifted the curtain from the knowledge and gave light; and slkfjskldjfkls means, one who lifts the curtain from the knowledge.
- 55. Refer to Al-Kafi, 1/469 and Bihar al-Anwar, 46/225-228.
- 56. 188 Esferayeni (died in 429 A.H.) in his book Al-Feraq bain al-Feraq, Cairo print, page 60; and Tarikh-Ya.’qubi 2/61 while describing the Imam’s demise.
- 57. Kafi 1/310 and Bihar al-Anwar 47/3.
- 58. Refer to the biography of each Imam in Bihar al-Anwar, by Allama Majlisi.
- 59. In those days, the distance of some cities from Medina was equal to one or more than one year’s journey. However, every year, people from these cities used to travel to Medina for performing the Haj.
- 60. Bihar al-Anwar 47/4, tradition 11 narrated from Manaqib of Ibn Shar Aashoub, 3/434.
- 61. Refer to Bihar, 48/12-28.
- 62. Milal wan Nihal, by Sha.’restani; commentary on Al-Kaisaniya, 1/147.
- 63. Al-Farq bain al-Firaq, by Abdul Qaher Esfarayani (died in 429 A.H.), Cairo print, chapter concerning Al- Kaisaniya, page 38.
- 64. Maqalat al-Islamiyeen, by Ali-ibn-Ismail Ash.’ari, page 21.
- 65. Al-Farq bain al-Firaq, by Esfarayani, page 40 and Milal wan Nihal, by Sha.’restani, 1/147 and 150-151.
- 66. Refer to the story of Sa.’d’s murder in the book Abdullah bin Saba, vol 1, chapter concerning Saqifa.
- 67. Al-Farq bain al-Firaq, page 46.
- 68. Refer to Tarikh Ibn Athir, in the events of 66 A.H. and 67 A.H.
- 69. Refer to Tarikh Ibn Aithi, in the events of 66 A.H.
- 70. Regarding this imaginary sect, also refer to “Al-Tabseer Fi’d .– Deen wa Tameez al-Ferqat-ul-Najiah Min al-Feraq-al-Halekeen “, page 75 written by Abul-Muzaffar Muhammad-ibn-Taher Esferayani (died in 471 A.H.), printed in 1374 A.H. in Cairo.
- 71. Like, Tabaqat-Shafiyyah, by Tajuddin Sabaki (died in 771 A.H.); Tabaqat al-Hanabilah, by Abu Ya.’li Muhammad-ibn-Husain and Tabaqat al-Mu.’tazilah, by Ahmad-ibn-Yahya.
- 72. Refer to Bihar al-Anwar, by Majlisi 46/170-188 and Maqatel al-Talebeyeen, Cairo print, 1368 A.H., page 127-151. Ibn Athir, in his Tarikh, while discussing the events of 121 A.H, has explained the injustices faced by Zaid and has referred to his martyrdom in the events that occurred in 122 A.H.
- 73. Refer to Maqatel al-Talebeyeen, page 152-158; and Ibn Athir in his Tarikh, while explaining the events of 125 A.H.
- 74. Refer to Ibn Athir in his Tarikh, topic concerning the martyrdom of Zaid and Yahya.
- 75. The author has perceived this matter out of the scholastic discussions with Zaidiyah. Also, refer to al-Milal wan Nihal, by Sharastani, 1/154: Al-Zaidiyah.
- 76. A person whose head or leg is broader than the usual limit is called an “Aftah “.
- 77. Bihar al-Anwar 47/252-253.
- 78. Bihar al-Anwar 47/252-253; and Al-Maqalat; and al-Farq, by Sa.’d bin Abdullah Ash.’ari (died 301 A.H.), page 86, Tehran edition, 1963.
- 79. Al-Maqalat and al-Farq, by Ash.’ari, page 86; and Milal wan Nihal, by Sharastani, 1/167.
- 80. Refer to Milal wan Nihal, by Sharastani 1/167.
- 81. In our era, it is the Shias who oftently call them by such title.
- 82. Bihar al-Anwar, 47/254 narrating from Manaqib, by Ibn Shar Aashoub, 1/228.
- 83. Bihar al-Anwar, 47/248, hadith 11, narrating from Kamaluddin, by Saduq 1/160; Tahzib, by Shaikh Tusi 1/289 and Bihar al-Anwar, 47/255 narrating from Manaqib, 1/229.
- 84. Kamaluddin, by Saduq 1/160.
- 85. Bihar al-Anwar, 47/242 narrating from Irshad, by Shaikh Mufid, page 304.
- 86. Bihar al-Anwar 47/254 narrating from Manaqib, by Ibn Shar Aashoub 1/228; and Bihar al-Anwar 47/255 narrating from Manaqib, by Ibn Shar Aashoub 1/230.
- 87. Refer to Tarikh-Ibn Athir; events of 339 A.H.
- 88. Yamamah is situated in Najd, the place from where the followers of Wahabi sect raised their heads and massacred the Muslims.
- 89. Refer to Seerah Ibn Hisham, 4/245-272; Tarikh Tabari, European edition, pages 1737-1739 and 1748-1749.
- 90. Refer to Tarikh-Tabari, page 1943 and Seerah Ibn Hisham, 2/5.
- 91. Milal wan Nihal, by Sharestani 1/173-181
- 92. Nahjul-Balagha (Subhi Saleh), page 496
- 93. Refer to Ma.’alem al-Madrasatain, Vol 3.