Discussion 7: Raj’ah (the return)

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Rajah (the return)

 

What is new in the position of the contemporaries regarding Raj’ah[1] is the emergence of a group of scholars amongst them who claim that there is no basis to the doctrine of Raj’ah, specifically those who outwardly spearhead the call for unity and building common understanding between the Shia and the Ahlus Sunnah. This group asserts the following:

 

فالحق الذي عليه المحققون هو أن لا رجعة سوى ظهور الإمام الثاني عشر

The viewpoint of the research scholars in this regard is that there is no Raj’ah, with the exception of the emergence of the Twelfth Imam.[2]

 

Whilst on the other hand there is another camp which does not deny it but avers that the issue of Raj’ah is not a core belief of their dogma; it is not a categorically established aspect thereof; it is not part of their beliefs; and it is not of any importance to them, even though mention of it appears in their narrations. Hashim al Hussaini says:

 

إن الرجعة ليست من معتقدات الإمامية ولا من الضروريات عندهم

Raj’ah is not from the beliefs of the Imamiyyah, nor is it from their categorically established beliefs.[3]

 

And Muhammad Hussain Al Kashif al Ghita’ says:

 

وليس التدين بالرجعة في مذهب التشيع بلازم وإنكارها بضار، وإن كانت ضرورية عندهم.

Believing in Raj’ah is not compulsory in the Shia dogma, and denying it is not detrimental even though it is categorically established.[4]

 

He also says:

وليس لها (يعني) الرجعة عندي من الاهتمام قدر صغير أو كبير

And Raj’ah has no importance in my sight, not a little and not a lot.[5]

 

Probably the reader will pick up the contradiction in the aforementioned; and probably this contradiction is intended to suggest the possibility of Taqiyyah, as is their wont in circumlocuting in their speech; For how can it be categorically established despite belief in it not being compulsory, denying it not being detrimental, and despite it not having any importance, notwithstanding that the one who denies a categorically established aspect of their dogma is a disbeliever according to their scholars.[6]

Similar is the contradiction in the approach of Muhammad Rida al Muzaffar. He says:

 

إن الرجعة ليست من الأصول التي يجب الاعتقاد بها والنظر فيها

Raj’ah is not from the core beliefs in a manner that believing in it and deliberating over it is compulsory.[7]

 

Whereas on the other hand he says:

 

إن الرجعة من الأمور الضرورية فيما جاء عن آل البيت من الأخبار المتواترة

Raj’ah if from the categorically established aspects as it has been widely transmitted from the Ahl al Bayt.[8]

 

This is what the contemporaries have to say regarding Raj’ah: a group amongst them deny it; a group considers it to be secondary; and a group contradicts itself when mentioning their position regarding it; each one surprisingly claiming that what it says is the correct representation of Shia dogma. So whose view should we accept? Despite each one of them consisting of senior scholars of the Twelvers, and despite them all belonging to the same era you find such discrepancies and contradictions in their views. Is this all a result of them practicing Taqiyyah due to learning that some scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah consider Raj’ah to be an extremist tendency? Which is why probably their scholar al Muzaffar says:

 

إن الإعتقاد بالرجعة من أكبر من تنبز به الشيعة الإمامية ويشنع عليهم

Belief in Raj’ah is the greatest problem for which the Imamiyyah are criticized and condemned.[9]

 

And whatever is as contentious as that, obviously Taqiyyah will be deployed when discussing it.

The books wherefrom these quotes were presented are all Shia books which have been written to target the Ahlus Sunnah, as is obvious from their introductions, their approach, and their style in presenting the Shia beliefs.

However, you will find contemporary books of some of their scholars which still go to the extent of believing in Raj’ah and consider the rejecter thereof not to be a believer. Consider the following:

 

تضافرت الأخبار (يعني أخبارهم) ليس منا من لم يؤمن برجعتنا

The narrations jointly establish: He who does not believe in our Raj’ah is not from amongst us.[10]

 

إن ثبوت الرجعة مما اجتمعت عليه الشيعة الحقة والفرقة المحقة بل هي من ضرورات مذهبهم

The true Shia and the rightful sect is unanimous upon the validity of Raj’ah. In fact it is from the categorically established aspects of their dogma.[11]

 

ومنكرها خارج من رتبة المؤمنين فإنها من ضرورات مذهب الأئمة الطاهرين

The one who rejects it is excluded from the position of the believers, for it is a categorically established belief in the dogma of the Imams.[12]

 

Likewise al Zanjani says the following in his book ‘Aqa’id al Ithnay ‘Ashariyyah:

 

إن اعتقادي… واعتقاد علماء الاثني عشرية قدس الله أسرارهم من أن الله تعالى يعيد عند ظهور الإمام الثاني عشر جماعة من الشيعة إلى الدنيا ليفوزوا بثواب نصرته ومشاهدة دولته. ويعيد جماعة من الظلمة والغاصبين والظالمين لحق آل محمد عليهم السلام لينتقم منهم.

My belief… and the belief of the Twelver scholars is that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala will return, at the emergence of the Twelfth Imam, a group of Shia to the world so that they may attain the reward of aiding him and witnessing his empire. He will also return a group from the oppressors and the usurpers of the right of the Ahl al Bayt in order to take revenge from them.[13]

 

He also says:

وظني أن من يشك في أمثالها فهو شاك في أئمة الدين

And my assumption is that the one who doubts something like it, actually doubts the Imams of the dogma.[14]

 

Nonetheless, how do we interpret this contradiction? Have they really differed so drastically on this issue, or have they made everything permissible with the belief of Taqiyyah? If we have to take everything literally we will reach the following conclusion: A group among them has freed itself from following the legacy and has rebelled against their fables despite the claims of them being widely transmitted and well established. The voice of this group, however, is supressed and its effect is obliterated due to the dangerous belief of Taqiyyah. No reformer can ever make any impact upon this cult as long as Taqiyyah remains an integral part of its beliefs. As a result their dogma will be based on the views of the extremist, not upon the views of the balanced scholars, and with that upon the views of their scholars not upon the legacy of the Imams.

Having said this, up to the present moment the various fictitious incidents which their fables foretell still repeatedly feature in their speeches. And aside from their fictitious nature, they smack off hidden emotions, defeated feelings, and supressed hatred against this Ummah. A Shia listens to these fictitious scenes of massacre which will play out in the alleged Raj’ah with extreme interest. Which is why he consistently prays to be part of this return in which the promised revenge will take place.[15]

Hence, despite the passage of centuries and the development of time, the sentiments of the contemporaries have not changed in this regard. Read the response one of their scholars gives regarding what will happen to the two rightful successors of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, his beloveds and his relatives-in-law, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, in the alleged Raj’ah:

 

وأما مسألة نبش قبر صاحبي رسول الله وإخراجهما حيين وهما طريان وصلبهما على خشبة وإحرافهما، لأن جميع ما ارتكبه البشر من المظالم والجنايات والآثام من آدم إلى يوم القيامة منهما فأوزارهما عليهما، فمسألة عويصة جدا، وليس عندي شيء يرفع هذا الإشكال. وقد صح عن أئمتنا أن حديثنا صعب مستصعب.

As for the issue of exhuming the graves of the two Companions of Rasul Allah, removing them from them fresh and alive, crucifying them upon a plank, and burning them due to them being responsible for all the oppression, crimes and evils from the time of Adam till the Day of Judgment, it is indeed a very complex issue. And I do not have anything that can eliminate this objection. And it has been authentically proven from our Imams that our narrations are difficult and very complex.

 

Can a person ever conceive that these type of myths find their way to such a scholar who has reached the level of the ‘grand Ayat’ and then too he does not take the courage to refute them and considers them to be very complex and difficult and resorts to another myth to answer them, and that is that their religion is difficult and very complex.

Without a doubt this difficult and complex religion can never be Islam. Because it opposes sound human disposition and can never be accepted by sound intellect due to it going against core fundamentals.

In conclusion, we say that the Shia are still steeped in the myth of Raj’ah and whatever entails.

 

 NEXT⇒ Discussion 8: Taqiyyah


[1] Raj’ah: The Shia belief that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala will return, at the emergence of the Twelfth Imam, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the other Imams, a group of loyal Shia—so that they may witness and testify to his Imamah—and also a number of supposed enemies of the Ahl al Bayt in order to take revenge from them. [translator]

[2] Al Khunayzi: al Da’wah al Islamiyyah ila Wahdah Ahlus Sunnah wa al Imamiyyah 2/94.

[3] Hashim al Hussaini: al Shia bayn al Asha’irah wa al Mu’tazilah p. 237.

[4] Asl al Shia p. 35.

[5] Ibid. p. 36.

[6] Al Sabzawari: Muhadhdhab al Ahkam 1/ 388, onwards; Muhsin al Amin: Kashf al Irtiyab: the 2nd introduction.

[7] ‘Aqa’id al Imamiyyah p. 113.

[8] Ibid. p. 113.

[9] Ibid. p. 110.

[10] Ibrahim al Zanjani: ‘Aqa’id al Ithnay ‘Ashariyyah (first publication) p. 240; ‘Abdullah Shibr: Haqq al Yaqin 2/3.

[11] ‘Aqa’id al Ithnay ‘Ashariyyah p. 239; Haqq al Yaqin 2/3.

[12] ‘Aqa’id al Ithnay ‘Ashariyyah p. 241.

[13] Ibid. 239.

[14] Ibid. 240.

[15] As you will find in the supplication which they term ‘the supplication of ‘Ahd’. It reads as follows:

اللهم إن حال بيني وبينه الموت الذي جعلته على عبادك حتما مقضيا فأخرجني من قبري مؤتزرا كفني شاهرا سيفي مجردا قناتي ملبيا دعوة الداعي في الحاضر والبادي.

O Allah! If death, which you made an inevitable decree against your servants, becomes an obstacle between me and him, then take me out of my grave in a condition that I will adorn my winding sheet, unsheathe my sword, remove my spear and respond to the call of the caller, whether he be from the city or from the village.

(Al Zanjani: Aqaid al Imamiyyah al Ithnay Ashariyyah p. 236. The author has considered this supplication a proof for the validity of Raj’ah)