5. The Rafidah Deny the Existence of Shia sects which consider ‘Ali Divine

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5. The Rafidah Deny the Existence of Shia sects which consider ‘Ali Divine

 

Tijani apologises to al Khu’i for the stance of Ahlus Sunnah regarding the Shia in general. He says:

 

I said, “We consider the Shia to be harder on Islam than the Christian and Jews, because they worship Allah and believe in the Message of Musa may Allah grant him peace, but we hear that the Shia worship Ali and consider him to be sacred, and there is a sect among them who worship Allah but put Ali at the same level as the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.” Also I told him the story about how the angel Gabriel betrayed his charge – as they say – so instead of giving the message to Ali he gave it to Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Al Sayed remained silent for a little while, with his head down, then he looked at me and said, “We believe that there is no other God but Allah, and that Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and that Ali was but a servant of Allah.” ‘He turned to his audience and said, indicating to me “Look at these innocent people how they have been brain-washed by the false rumours; and this is not surprising for I heard more than that from other people – (so we say) there is no power or strength save in Allah, the Highest and the Greatest.”!”[1]

 

Our comment:

There are sects among the Shia that deify ‘Ali. This is a fact which will only be denied by an ignorant person or someone who deliberately seeks to mislead

The Saba’iyyah sect, the followers of the Jew, ‘Abdullah ibn Saba’, believed in ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu divinity. His followers came to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and said to him, “You are Him!” He said, “And who is He?” They said, “You are Allah!” ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu took the matter very seriously and instructed for a fire to be kindled and he burnt them at the stake.[2]

This is a fact which Rafidah are unable to deny. Al Kashshi, an authority in the field of Shia narrator criticism, reports:

 

Abu Jafar (al Baqir) said, “‘Abdullah ibn Saba’ indeed claimed prophethood. He also claimed that Amir al Mu’minin was Allah; and Allah is free from that. This claim reached Amir al Mu’minin who summoned him (‘Abdullah ibn Saba’) and asked him (about that) and he confirmed it. He said, ‘Yes, you are Allah. Indeed it was revealed to me that you are Allah and I am a Prophet.’ Amir al Mu’minin said to him, ‘Woe unto you! Shaytan is mocking you! Refrain from this and repent!’ He refused and ‘Ali imprisoned him and instructed him to repent for three days but he did not repent. Thereafter he burnt him at the stake and remarked, ‘Indeed Shaytan tempted him and he was the one who would come to him and inspired him towards that.”[3]

 

There is also a group that claims that Jibril ‘alayh al Salam betrayed the Divine trust when Allah sent him to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He erred and went to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instead. This sect is known as the Ghurabiyyah.

The Twelver scholar, al Nawbakhti confirms the fact that there were numerous groups among the Shia that ascribe divinity to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his household. He writes about these sects in his book Firaq al Shia:

 

These sects are the Kaysaniyyah, the Abbasiyyah, the Harithiyyah, and from them came the Kharmadiniyyah, and from them started the extremism in statements to the point where they claimed the Imams to be deities, and that they are Prophets, and that they are angels, and they are the ones who speak about reincarnation of the souls.[4]

 

When he speaks about the Mansuriyyah sect he says:

 

Abu Mansur was from Kufah from ‘Abd al Qays. He had a house but he grew up in the desert. He was unlettered unable to read. He claimed after the death of Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Hussain that he entrusted him with the matter and made him his executor after him. Then he climbed the ranks to the point where he said, “‘Ali was a Prophet and a Messenger. Similarly, Hassan, and Hussain, ‘Ali ibn Hussain, and Muhammad ibn ‘Ali, and I (too) am a Prophet and a Messenger. Nubuwwah will be in six of my progeny. After me they will be prophets the last of whom will be the Qa’im.”[5]

 

Al Nawbakti further states:

 

And a sect that said, “Jafar ibn Muhammad is Allah; and Allah is free from that.”[6]

(He also said about them) They say that Muhammad was, the day he said this, a slave and a Messenger. Abu Talib sent him and he was the light which was Allah in ‘Abd al Muttalib, then it went into Abu Talib, then it went into Muhammad, then it went into ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. Therefore, all of them are Gods.[7]

 

Then he mentions another sect:

 

They say, “The Imam is knowledgeable of all things and he is Allah,” and Allah is aloof from all that they say! This group is called the Rawandiyyah.[8]

 

He also says:

 

One sect stands out from amongst those sects claiming the Imamah of ‘Ali ibn Muhammad during his life. They claim the Imamah of a man called Muhammad ibn Nusayr al Namiri. He used to claim he was a Prophet sent by Abu al Hassan al ‘Askari (the eleventh Imam). He used to call towards reincarnation and extremism with regards to Abu al Hassan as he used to claim his divinity. He also believed in the permissibility of marrying the Maharim (blood relatives) and he permitted men marrying men and anal intercourse with them. He claimed that it was a form of humility, and that it was one of the natural desires and from amongst the wholesome permissible matters, and that Allah never prohibited any of it.[9]

 

These are statements in the books of the Twelver Shia which confirm that there are Shia sects which deify ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, whilst there are others which place him at the level of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Others went further and deified his sons as well.

Al Sayed al Khu’i claims that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is a slave from the slaves of Allah. How honest was he in this claim? The sects that have been referred to are those where there is explicit deification of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, or unequivocal elevation to the status of Prophethood. What can be said of implicit elevation to such a status, or even higher?

The undisputed authority in the Shia tradition, Muhammad ibn Yaqub al Kulayni, relates dozens of narrations in Usul al Kafi, rather, he devotes complete chapters to explain the status of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his sons. He also equates the hadith of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in terms of their authority to the hadith of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his sons. He relates:

 

Hisham ibn Salim, Hammad ibn ‘Uthman, and others say, “We heard Abu’Abdullah (al Sadiq) saying, ‘My hadith is like the hadith of my father, and the hadith of my father is like the hadith of my grandfather, and the hadith of my grandfather is like the hadith of Hussain, and the hadith of Hussain is like the hadith of Hassan, and the hadith of Hassan is like the hadith of Amir al Mu’minin, and the hadith of Amir al Mu’minin is like the hadith of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and the hadith of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is the word of Allah.’”[10]

 

He dedicates an entire chapter to the following topic, “(The chapter proving) that the Imams, the angels enter their homes and tread on their carpets and bring them information (of the unseen)”.[11] Then he mentions some narrations supporting the heading. From Abu Hamzah al Thumali, who says:

 

I visited ‘Ali ibn Hussain (Zayn al ‘Abidin) and I waited for a while, then I entered the room while he was picking something up from the ground and he entered his hand behind the veil and gave it to whoever was in the house. I said to him, “May I be ransomed for you! What was it that I saw you pick up?”

He said, “The surplus of the angels fluff. We gather it when they leave us and make it into clothing for our children.”

I said, “May I be sacrificed for you! Do they visit you?”

He said, “O Abu Hamzah! Indeed, they crowd us on our seats.”[12]

(And from Abu al Hassan (al Rida) He said, I heard him saying, “There is not a single angel that Allah sends down on a mission except that he starts with the Imam. He presents that (mission) to him. Indeed, the place where the angels descend (when they descend) from Allah is the place of the one in control of this matter.”[13]

 

Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Farrukh al Saffar, goes even further in his book Basa’ir al Darajat under the chapter stating, “They (the Imams) are addressed, and that they hear the voice. Creation superior in rank to Jibril and Mika’il visit them.”[14]

 

He reports from Abu Basir:

 

I heard Abu ‘Abdullah (al Sadiq) saying, “Indeed, among us are those who see, and among us are those whom something is carved in his heart, and among us are those who hear similar to a chain falling into a basin.”

I said, “Those who see, what do they see?”

He said, “A creation greater than Jibril and Mika’il.”[15]

(From Abu ‘Abdullah (al Sadiq) He said, “Indeed from amongst us is the one who is inspired in his heart, and from amongst us is the one who hears with his ears, and the best is the person who hears.”[16]

 

Does the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam compare to these individuals based on the narration above?

These are some of the chapters which al Kulayni has dedicated for explaining the status of the Imams.

He says:

 

Chapter: The Imams inherited the Prophet’s knowledge and the knowledge of all the Prophets and executors before them.[17]

Chapter: The Imams possess all the books that were revealed by Allah and that they understand them despite the difference in languages.[18]

Chapter: What the Imams possess from the signs of the Prophets.[19]

Chapter: The Imams know all the branches of knowledge given to the angels, and the Prophets, and the Messengers.[20]

Chapter: The Imams, when they want to know something, they know it.[21]

Chapter: The Imams know when they are going to die and that they only die by their choosing.[22]

Chapter: The Imams possess knowledge of the past and the knowledge of the future and that nothing is hidden from them.[23]

Chapter: Allah did not teach the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam anything except that he instructed him to teach it to Amir al Mu’minin and that he was his partner in knowledge.[24]

Chapter: The Imams if they were concealed they would have informed every person about what would benefit him and what would harm him.[25]

 

These are some of the chapter headings to be found in al Saffar’s book Basa’ir al Darajat:

 

Chapter: Concerning the Imams that they are the proof of Allah, and the door of Allah, and the governors of Allah’s command, and the face of Allah which he is arrived at, and the side of Allah, and the eyes of Allah, and the treasure of Allah’s knowledge.[26]

(It is narrated from Hisham ibn Abi ‘Ammar, he said:) I heard Amir al Mu’minin saying, “I am the eye of Allah, and I am the hand of Allah, and I am the side of Allah, and I am the door of Allah.”[27]

Chapter: Concerning the knowledge of the Imams concerning what is in the heavens and the earth, and Jannat and Jahannam, and what has occurred and what will occur until the Day of Judgement.[28]

Chapter: Concerning the Imams that by them is the scroll containing the names of the people of Jannat and the names of the people of the Jahannam.[29]

 

Notwithstanding all of this al Khu’i says:

 

“‘Ali is but a slave from the slaves of Allah!” Who are those innocent people who have been condemned by false rumours?

 

Did all of this escape the industrious Tijani?

 

NEXT ⇒ 6. Tijani presents al Khu’i’s defence of the Shia on the issue of distortion


[1]Then I was guided, p. 49-50.

[2]Al Fasl fi al Milal wa al Ahwa’ wa al Nihal by Ibn Hazm, vol. 5, p. 46-47; al Farq bayn al Firaq by Ibn Tahir, p. 213.

[3]Rijal al Kashshi, p. 99, the biography of ‘Abdullah ibn Saba’.

[4] Firaq al Shia by al Nowbakhti, p. 36.

[5]  Ibid p. 37.

[6]  Ibid p. 44.

[7]  Ibid p. 45.

[8]  Ibid p. 52.

[9]  Ibid p. 93.

[10]Al Usul min al Kafi, by al Kulayni, vol. 1, p. 42, Kitab Fadl al ‘Ilm.

[11]  Ibid vol. 1, p. 323, Kitab al Hujjah.

[12]  Ibid vol. 1, p. 323.

[13]  Ibid vol. 1, p. 323.

[14] Basa’ir al Darajat, p. 325.

[15]  Ibid.

[16]  Ibid.

[17]Al Usul min al Kafi, Kitab al Hujjah, vol. 1, p. 173.

[18]  Ibid vol. 1, p. 177.

[19]  Ibid, vol. 1, p. 180.

[20]  Ibid, vol. 1, p. 199.

[21]  Ibid, vol. 1, p. 201.

[22]  Ibid, vol. 1, p. 202.

[23]  Ibid, vol. 1, p. 203.

[24]  Ibid, vol. 1, p. 205.

[25]  Ibid, vol. 1, p. 207.

[26]Basa’r al Darajat by al Saffar, p. 75.

[27]  Ibid, p. 75.

[28]  Ibid, p. 131.

[29]  Ibid, p. 189.