9. Problem of revealing the conditions of the senior narrators of the school

8. Disorder and confusion in the standards of Jarh and Ta’dil (hadith narrator criticism)
November 6, 2023
THE BATTLE OF KHAYBAR
November 23, 2023

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9. Problem of revealing the conditions of the senior narrators of the school

 

If we turn the pages of the books of Jarh and Tadil, specifically of this sect, forgetting the books of the Sunnis, we will notice that the senior narrators from the Imams, particularly from Jafar al Sadiq, are accused by the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt or the Imami scholars, of serious allegations that are sufficient to discredit them as well as their narrations, along with the large number of unknown narrators that fill their books of Jarh and Ta’dil, especially the two books, Mujam Rijal al Hadith of Abu al Qasim al Khu’i and Mustadrakat Rijal al Hadith of al Namazi al Shahrudi.

The most important reality that should be given attention when contemplating on the conditions of the senior narrators of the School and those who narrate abundantly from the Imams is that which al Sharif al Murtada spoke about by stating:

 

إن معظم الفقه وجمهوره لا يخلو مستنده ممن يذهب مذهب الواقفة إما أن يكون أصلا في الخبر أو فرعا  راويا عن غيره ومرويا عنه  وإلى غلاة وخطابية  ومخمسة وأصحاب حلول  كفلان وفلان ومن لا حصى أيضا كثرة  وإلي قمي مشبه مجبر وإن القميين كلهم من غير استثناء لأحد منهم إلا أبا جعفر بن بابويه بالأمس كانوا مشبهة مجبرة وكتبهم وتصانيفهم تشهد بذلك وتنطق به فليت شعري أي رواية تخلص وتسلم من أن يكون في أصلها وفرعها واقف أو غال أو قمي مشبه مجبر والاختبار بيننا ويينهم الفتيش

Most of the fiqh is such that their narrators are not devoid of those who adhere to the school of the Waqifah; either as the source of the narration or a subsidiary, narrating from others or narrated from him; and to extremist, Khattabis, Mukhammisah (those who believe that Allah handed over the affairs of the world to five people) and the people of Hulul (those who believe ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be Allah incarnate) like so and so and other countless people; and adhere to the Mushabbih (anthropomorphist) Mujabbir (those who believe that man has no free will) Qummis. All the Qummiyin, without exception, besides Abu Jafar ibn Babawayh, were previously Mushabbihs and Mujabbirs. Their books and literature bear witness and expose that. If only I knew of any narration whose source or subsidiary is free and safe from a Waqifi, extremist, or a Mushabbih Mujabbir Qummi. The test between us and them is in research.[1]

 

Thereafter he states:

 

وفي رواتنا ونقلة أحاديثنا من يقول بالقياس ويذهب إليه في الشريعة كالفضل بن شاذان ويونس وجماعة معروفين ولا شبهة في أن اعتقاد صحة القياس في الشريعة كفر لا تثبت معه عدالة فمن أين يصح لنا خبر واحد يروونه ممن يجوز أن يكون عدلا مع هذه الأقسام التي ذكرناها حتي ندعي أنا تعبدنا بقوله

In our narrations and the transmitters of our narrations there are those who practice Qiyas and adopt it in Shari’ah, such as al Fadl ibn Shadhan, Yunus, and a group of well-known people. There is no doubt that believing in the validity of Qiyas in the Shari’ah is disbelief, with which justice is not established. Therefore, how can we have a single narration that they narrate from someone who may be just, with these categories that we have mentioned so that we can claim that we practiced on his view?[2]

 

In fact, Sheikh al Tusi also raised suspicions that most of the narrators in Shia books are from the Mujabbirs, Mushabbihs, Muqallids, extremists, Waqifis, and Fathis etc. He discussed some of what was mentioned and acknowledged to the existence of the narrations of Jabr and Tashbih, but he considered that they do not necessarily indicate that their transmitters are among those who believe in them. Despite this, he acknowledged that most of the narrations, especially regarding rulings, lack evidences that indicate to their authenticity.

A question is posed that the Ahlus Sunnah also narrate from those who they regard to be innovators like the Khawarij, Rawafid, Murji’ah, Qadariyyah etc., then what makes that which al Murtada and al Tusi mentioned defective in itself and a reason to refrain from accepting the School’s narrations while accepting the narrations of others?

In answer to this it can be said that there is a clear difference between the two issues, even if may appear to some that there is similarity between them.

We summarise it in two ways:

First: Sunni scholars differentiate between innovation that leads to disbelief and innovation that does not, as stated by ‘Allamah al Mu’allimi in al Tankil by saying:

 

لا شبهة أن المبتدع إن خرج ببدعته عن الإسلام لم تقبل روايته لأن من شروط قبول الراوية الإسلام وأنه إن ظهر عناده أو إسرافه في اتباع الهوى والإعراض عن حجج الحق ونحو ذلك مما هو أدل على وهن التدين من كثير من الكبائر كشرب الخمر وأخذ الربا فليس بعدل فلا تقبل روايته لأن من شرط قبول الرواية العدالة وأنه إن استحل فإما أن يكفر بذلك وإما أن يفسق فإن عذرناه فمن شرط قبول الرواية الصدق فلا تقبل روايته

There is no doubt that if the innovator deviates from Islam through his innovation, his narration will not be accepted because one of the conditions for accepting his narration is Islam. If his stubbornness or extravagance in following his desires and turning away from the proofs of truth etc., becomes apparent, which indicates more to the weakness of din than many major sins such as drinking alcohol and taking usury, then he is not just and his narration is not accepted, because one of the conditions for accepting the narration is justice. If he deems it permissible, then he will either be committing disbelief or sin. Thus, if we excuse him, then from the condition of accepting the narration is honesty, hence, his narration will not be accepted.[3]

 

The Murji’ah, Khawarij,[4] Shia, Rawafid, Qadariyah, Nasibi and others are regarded as Muslims according to them who are involved in innovation. Therefore, their narrations are accepted primarily because of their Islam and for other considerations, the most important of which is honesty. Whoever goes to extremes in his innovation to the point of denying one of the essentials of Islam or committing one of its forbidden acts, he will neither be narrated from nor honoured.

Yes, there are scholars who have doubts about the narration from some sects, either because of the severity of their innovation and doubt regarding the condition of some of those affiliated to it, such as the Khawarij,[5] or because of their audacity to lie, such as the Rawafid.[6]

Hafiz Ibn Hajar (d. 852 AH) has stated this in Lisan al Mizan by saying:

 

فالمنع من قبول رواية المبتدعة الذين لم يكفروا ببدعتهم كالرافضة والخوارج ونحوهم ذهب إليه مالك وأصحابه والقاضي أبو بكر الباقلاني وأتباعه والقبول مطلقا إلا فيمن يكفر ببدعته وإلا فيمن يستحل الكذب ذهب إليه أبو حنيفة وأبو يوسف وطائفة وروي عن الشافعي أيضا

The prohibition of accepting narrations of innovators, who are not regarded to be infidels because of their innovation, is the view of Malik, his followers, Qadi Abu Bakr al Baqillani, and his followers. Accepting their narrations generally, except those who are regarded to be infidels because of their innovation and those who regard lying to be permissible, is the view of Abu Hanifah, Abu Yusuf, and a group of scholars. This view is narrated from al Shafi’i also.[7]

 

This is the reality of how Sunni scholars deal with gauging Muslims from the various sects. None of these interpreters harbour enmity to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, otherwise they will be counted among the disbelievers or deny any of the essentials of the din, whose deniers are regarded as disbelievers. Rather, their differences in belief and other matters are based on the difference in some sources of acquisition or the establishment of the text or apparent desire that leads its owner to innovation and not to disbelief that expels him from the religion. This is contrary to the Imami Shia, because anyone who opposes them is considered, in their view, among those who harbour enmity towards their Imams. Thus, he is judged to be a disbeliever whose blood, wealth, and honour is permissible (to be taken), and that he is worse than a Jew, Christian, and a polytheist, in fact worse than a dog,[8] or he is an opposition who is judged to be a sinner according to some, and a disbeliever according to most,[9]or he is a weak opposition who is excused because of his ignorance, or he is considered to be from amongst the deviated groups of the Shias, like the various types of extremists, such as the Khattabis,[10] the Mufawwidah,[11] ‘Aliyya’iyyah, Mughiriyyah, the Ismailis,[12] the Nusayriyyah,[13] and others—they are disbelievers and all are judged to impure—and sects of the Shias who oppose the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah in the fundamental or subsidiary rulings of Imamah like the Kaysaniyyah,[14] Zaidiyyah,[15] Fathiyyah,[16] Waqifiyyah (Waqifah),[17] are also disbelievers according to them, [18]or the Mujassimah, Mushabbihah or the Mujabbirah—referring to the Asha’irah. Both sects, according to them, are impure disbelievers.

However, you will not find any of the Muslim sects declaring any sect of the Muslims as impure, neither figuratively nor physically, as the Imamis do.

The Imami’s authentication of a narrator, who is regarded (according to them) to be a disbeliever or impure,[19] due him falsifying an infallible Imam, who is appointed by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala—keeping in mind what is found in the Imami literature that Imamah is a divine position like prophet hood,[20] rather, higher than that[21]—can never, in any condition, compare to the stance of the Ahlus Sunnah regarding interpreting Muslims who got embroiled in such innovations that does not reach the level of enmity for the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, falsifying him or doubting any of the essentials of din.

Second: The narrations reported from Imami narrators are narrations from the companions of the Imams and their elite ones, in the first stage, and then from their followers in the second stage and very seldom after these two stages. Thus, accusation of lies, apostasy, and deviation from the Imams and others, would destroy the origin of the narration more than the branches, contrary to the controversial Sunni narrators, because the overwhelming majority of the narrators are from the Tab al Tabiin and those who came after them.  Sometimes it surpasses to the junior Tabiin. There is a great difference between the two.

Similarly, most of the Sunni narrators who are involved in innovation do not differ in their basic beliefs except to the extent of the innovation they are involved in. Hence, a Murji’ah does not differ with them in Tawhid (oneness of Allah), pillars of faith, prophethood, the Hereafter etc. He merely differs in the meaning of iman (faith), whether it is fixed or does it increase and decrease? Are actions included in it or is ratification and utterance, without practice, sufficient?

Similarly, a Qadari does not differ in any of the beliefs besides actions of men, which is one of the major rulings of beliefs, we do not underestimate its importance, but it does not mean that it contradicts the rest of principles of beliefs such as Tawhid, prophethood, Hereafter etc. Therefore, in accepting his narration, what will be taken into consideration is—after knowing his position in truthfulness—that no narration regarding his innovation will be accepted if he narrates it isolated from other narrators.

Other than them, like the Mu’tazilah, Zaidiyyah, Rafidah etc., even though they differed with the Ahlus Sunnah in many of the fundamentals; however, they appear very little in the chains of the Ahlus Sunnah and cannot be compared to the large numbers of people we have indicated to.

Despite this, all that we have mentioned is not accepted by the Imamis because the foundation of their school is on Imamah. Imamah is the main principle according to them.[22] Their accused narrators—who we are discussing about—are not involved in innovation, despite them actually being considered as Imamis, they differ in something which is the foundation of their school, despite them being the companions of the Imams or narrating from them either directly or through close companions. This is another great difference which one should be alerted to.

But we say it quite frankly that it is noticeable from what we read that the Imami scholars did not make the necessary effort needed in investigating and exploring the narrations that their schools narrators transmitted, in revealing the condition of the fabricators and the accused ones and in paying attention to identify the inserted and the fabricated narrations, like the constant and early effort that the Ahlus Sunnah made in looking into the conditions of narrators and exploring their narrations.

This is what was acknowledged —shamefully—by some of the Imami scholars like ‘Allamah ‘Abdul Hadi al Fadli (d. 1434 AH) in his book Usul al Hadith.[23]

The teacher Haydar Hubb Allah states:

 

يبدو من المؤكد تقريبا أن الشيعة لم يعرفوا تصنيفا أو علما أو اهتماما خاصا بظاهرة الموضوعات في الأحاديث  لهذا لم نعثر بعد تفتيشنا على مصنفاتهم وكتبهم علي تصنيف لهم بهذا العنوان أو ما يشبهه وفق ما تتبعناه وذلك على خلاف الحال مع أهل السنة  حيث وجدنا هذا الموضوع مفردا عندهم بالدرس والتنقيب والبحث والتصنيف  فالكتب السنية في هذا المجال عديدة تبدأ من القرون الهجرية الأولي وحتى الفترات الأخيرة فقد صنفوا كتبا عديدة تحت هذا العنوان كان منها المرضوعات للمقدسي ‎(٥٠٧ﻫ)‏ والموضوعات لابن الجرزي ‎(٥٩٧ﻫ) والدر الملتقط في تبيين الغلط للصاغاني (٦٥٠ﻫ)‏ والمنار المنيف لابن قيم الجوزية ‎(٧٥١ﻫ)‏ واللآلي المصنوعة في الأحاديث الموضوعة لجلال الدين السيوطي(٩١١ﻫ)  وتنزيه الشريعة لابن عراق (٩٦٣ﻫ) ‏والموضوعات الكبير للملا علي قاري (١٠١٤ﻫ) والمصنوع في معرفة الحديث الموضوع للمؤلف نفسه والفوائد المجموعة للشوكاني ‎(١٢٥٥ﻫ)

It almost certainly seems that the Shia do not know of any book, possess knowledge or pay attention to the phenomenon of Mawduat in Hadith. Hence, we have not come across—after researching their literature and books—any literature on this or similar topic, according to our research. Contrary to the Ahlus Sunnah, where we see this topic being taught, explored, researched, and written about exclusively. Thus, Sunni literatures in this field are plenty which begin from the first century after Hijrah until recent times. They wrote many books on this topic. Some of them are:

    • Al Mawduat of al Maqdisi (d. 507 AH).
    • Al Mawduat of Ibn al Jawzi (d. 597 AH).
    • Al Durr al Multaqit fi Tabyin al Ghalat of al Saghani (d. 650 AH).
    • Al Manar al Munif of Ibn al Qayyim al Jawziyyah (d. 751 AH).
    • Al La’ali al Masnuah fi al Ahadith al  Mawduah of Jalal al Din al Suyuti (d. 911 AH).
    • Tanzih al Shariah of Ibn ‘Iraq (d. 963 AH).
    • Al Mawduat al Kabir of Mulla ‘Ali Qari (d. 1014 AH).
    • Al Masnu fi Marifat ah-Hadith al Mawdu of Mulla ‘Ali Qari (d. 1014 AH).
    • Al Fawa’id al Majmuah of al Shawkani (d. 1255 AH).[24]

 

How will it be possible to write about fabricated narrations and tear down the curtains of the fabricators when the former scholars have intense differences among themselves in stipulating the limit for extremism? The latter scholars regard that which the formers regarded to be extremism, as part of their beliefs and essentials of din.

How is it possible, whereas they have confessed that those who gained their trust, so they declared their authenticity and succeeded through their good opinion, are the same ones who became—whether they knew or not—the tools for transferring narrations of liars, unknown and weak narrators, as attested by Muhaddith al Hurr al ‘Amili in his Wasa’il wherein he states:

 

 والثقات الأجلاء من أصحاب الإجماع وغيرهم يروون عن الضعفاء والكابين والمجاهيل حيث يعلمون حالهم ويشهدون بصحة حديثهم

The eminent trustworthy ones from the people of Ijma’ and others narrate from weak, liars, and unknown narrators whilst being aware of their condition and they give testimony to the authenticity of their narrations.[25]

 

If this is the condition of the people of Ijma’ and all the trusted narrators, then what will be the condition of the others? What will be condition of those who narrate excessively from them?

To answer this, it would be good to look into two aspects:

  1. To look into the initial Imami al Usul al Rijaliyyah (books regarding approval and disapproval of narrators) and extract the first part of the answer from it.
  2. To review the examples applied by some of those who narrate excessively from those who are likely to be weak or accused of lies, along with presenting some of their narrations found in the sect’s four primary Hadith compilations (al Kafi, Man la Yahduruhu al Faqih, Tahdhib al Kamal, and al Istibsar), which are considered to be the most trusted and important narrations of the sect, in addition to those that cannot be enumerated from the remaining primary compilations such as Wasa’il al Shia, Mustadrak al Wasa’il, Bihar al Anwar, and other reliable books of the sect.

We will create special headings for each part of the answer to increase clarification.

 

NEXT⇒ The Imami’s First al Usul al Rijaliyyah


[1] Rasa’il al Sharif al Murtada, 3/310-311.

[2] Rasa’il al Sharif al Murtada, 3/310-311.

[3] Al Tankil, 1/228.

[4] This is the view of the majority.

[5] Taking into consideration what was mentioned by the scholar al Mu’allimi, i.e. even if they are free from disbelief, then they are not safe from sin due to them leaving the Shari’ah. Thus, they are not on par with other interpreting sects. Those scholars who accepted their narration only accepted it because the requirement of justice in the narrator is determining his truthfulness and accuracy, considering his condition. The Khawarij—despite their misguidance and their audacity against innocent blood—they refrain from lying and all other major sins. People like them consider honesty in narrating to be din. Hence, their narrations were accepted.

Therefore, Abu Dawood al Sijistani (d. 275 AH) said about them:

ليس في أهل الأهواء أصح حديثا من الخوارج

From the people of desires, no one is more authentic in narrating than the Khawarij.

Then he mentioned ‘Imran ibn Hatat and Abu Hassan al A’raj. (See al Kifayah of al Khatib, pg. 130.)

Abu Dawood is the author of the famous al Sunan, and it has been said that his grandfather ‘Imran was one of those who fought with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in Siffin. He settled in Basrah, which was the homeland of the Qadariyyah. Along with the Qadariyyah there are other sects such as the Jabariyyah, the Murji’ah, the Jahmiyyah, the Nasibis, and the Mu’tazilah. So this statement, in addition to its issuance from the great Imam, emerged after investigation of the people’s narrations.

Al Mubarrad (d. 285 AH) states in al Kamil fi al Lughah wa al Adab, 3/122:

والخوارج في جميع أصنافها تبرا من الكاذب ومن ذي المعصية الظاهرة

The Khawarij, in all their types, are free from the liars and open sinners.

Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728 AH) said in Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah, 7/36 regarding the comparison between them and some of the sects:

لا نعرف عنهم أنهم يتعمدون الكذب بل هم من أصدق الناس

We do not know that they intentionally lie; rather, they are among the most honest people.

‘Allamah Ibn al Wazir al Hassani al Yamani (d. 840 AH) stated in al Awasim wa al Qawasim, 2/409, about the senior Zaidi luminaries such as al Hakim Al Jashami (d. 494 AH) in Sharh Uyun al Masa’il, Ahmed al Rassas in Jawharat al Usul, al Imam al Zaidi al Mansur bi Allah (d. 614 AH) in Safwat al Akhbar, that they authenticated the narrations of the Khawarij and claimed the Zaidi’s consensus on this and they would say:

شهادة من يكفُر بكذبه اولى من شهادة من لا يرى ذلك

The testimony of one who becomes a disbeliever because of his lie is better than the testimony of one who does not believe that.

This is reference to the belief of the Khawarij that lying is disbelief which expels one from the religion, and their abstinence from lies is for that reason.

I said that there is another reason for doubting them, because of what has been was attributed to one of them—he was among them, then he repented from his belief—that he stated:

إن هذه الأحاديث دين فانظروا عمّن تأخذون دينكم فإنا كنا إذا هوينا أمرا صيرناه حديثا

These ahadith are a din, so see from who you take your din, for when we used to like something, we would make it a hadith.

(See al Ramahurmuzi: al Muhaddith al Fasil, pg. 415; al Khatib: al Jami li Akhlaq al Rawi, 1/137.)

It appears to me—and Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala knows best—that this is the action of intruders against them, or that the narrator’s intention, when referring to them as Khawarij, is anyone who holds the view of taking up arms, even if he is from others, such as the Mu’tazilah or some of the Shia sects, as this is not the case of these people as we have learned. In fact, the aforementioned narration, in addition to being contrary to what is known of their condition, is weak in its chain.

[6] The former Shia would not narrate from the Rawafid and they rejected the authenticity of their narrations. From amongst them are:

  • Sulaiman ibn Mahran al A’mash (d. 148), who used to say:

أدركت الناس وما يسمونهم إلا الكذابين

I found that people would only call them liars.

Referring to the followers of al Mughirah ibn Sa’id, who were from the Rawafid.

  • Sharik ibn ‘Abdullah al Nakha’i (d. 178 AH) who used to say:

احمل العلم عن كل من لقيت إلا الرافضة فإنهم يضعون الحديث ويتخذونه دينا

I take knowledge from whoever I meet, except the Rawafid, for they fabricate hadith and regard it as din.

This is the opinion of the senior Huffaz (preservers of Hadith) and the Imams of din. It has been narrated about al Hafiz Yazid ibn Harun al Wasiti (d. 117 AH) that he said:

نكتب عن كل صاحب بدعة إذا لم يكن داعية إلا الرافضة فإنهم يكذبون

We write from all those innovators who do not invite to their innovation, except the Rawafid because they lie.

When Imam Malik was asked about them, he replied:

لا تكلمهم ولا ترو عنهم فإنهم يكذبون

Do not speak to them and do not narrate from them for they lie.

 

He used to say:

نزلوا أحاديث أهل العراق منزلة أحاديث أهل الكتاب لا تصدقوهم ولا تكذبوهم

They made the narrations of the people of Iraq like the narrations of the people of the Book. Do not verify them nor falsify them.

Imam Muhammad ibn Idris al Shafi’i states:

لم أر أحد أشهد بالزور من الرافضة

I have not seen anyone who bears false witness more than the Rawafid.

Ibn Abu al Hadid al Mu’tazili (d. 656 AH), in his Sharh Nahj al Balaghah, 11/49, believes that—despite him being a well-known Shia—the Rawafid, even though they are called Shia, are:

أصل الأكاذيب في أحاديث الفضائل فإنهم وضعوا في مبدأ الأمر أحاديث مختلقة في صاحبهم وحملهم على وضعها عداوة خصومهم نحو حديث السطل وحديث الرمانة وحديث غزوة البئر التي كان فيها الشياطين وتعرف كما زعموا بذات العلم وحديث غسل سلمان الفارسي وطي الأرض وحديث الجمجمة ونحو ذلك

They are the source of lies in narrations of virtues. From the beginning, they fabricated various narrations regarding their leader. Their enmity towards their opposition provoked them to fabricate narrations such as the narration of the bucket, narration of the pomegranate, narration about the battle of the well wherein there were devils, which is known as ‘actual knowledge’ according to them, narration about the bathing of Salman al Farsi, narration about the folding up of the earth, narration about the skull etc.

[7] Lisan al Mizan, 1/203.

[8] Al Muhaqqiq al Karaki (d. 940 AH) states in Jami al Maqasid, 12/135:

والناصب شر من اليهودي والنصراني على ما روي في أخبار أهل البيت ولا خلاف في ذلك عندنا

A Nasibi is worse than a Jew and a Christian, as narrated in transmissions from the Ahlul Bayt and there are no differences in that according to us.

Also see Zayn al Din al ‘Amili (d. 964 AH): al Rawdat al Bahiyyah, 5/234; Yusuf al Bahrani: al Hada’iq al Nadirah, 5/178; al Tanqih fi Sharh al Makasib, book on transactions (from the encyclopaedia of Imam al Khu’i), pg. 203.

Whilst discussing their impurity, the late Shia scholar of reference, al Mirza Jawad al Tabrizi (d. 1427 AH) states in Tanqih Mabani al Urwah, 2/207:

ولعل كون الناصب أنجس من الكلب أن اعتبار النجاسة للكلب لا لخبثه الباطني بخلاف الناصب لهم وعلى الجملة ظاهرها أن النجاسة المعروفة في الكلب هي الثابتة للناصب بنحو يوصف بالأشد

Perhaps the reason for a Nasibi being more impure than a dog is taking into consideration that a dog’s impurity is not because of his internal impurity, contrary to a Nasibi. In brief, the apparent meaning is that the impurity known in a dog is found in a Nasibi in a more severe manner.

[9] Considering a vast expansion of the definition of Nasb according to the Imami scholars, merely giving the three Khalifahs (Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhum) preference over ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is regarded to be Nasb, even if the one who holds this view loves and is loyal to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, like the statement of Hussain Al ‘Usfur al Darazi al Bahrani in al Mahasin al Nafsaniyyah fi Ajwibat al Masa’il al Khurasaniyyah, pg. 1157:

على أنك قد عرفت سابقا أنه ليس الناصب إلا عبارة عن التقديم على علي ومن المعلوم أن أهل السنة يقدمون أبا بكر وعمر على علي بن أبي طالب

As you already know that Nasb is to give preference over ‘Ali and it is well known that the Sunnis give preference to Abu Bakr and ‘Umar over ‘Ali.

‘Allamah Yusuf al Bahrani has declared this also in al Hada’iq al Nadirah, 5/186:

والمستفاد من هذه الأخبار أن مظهر النصب المترتب عليه الأحكام والدليل عليه إما تقديم الجبت والطاغوت أي أبي بكر وعمر أو بغض الشيعة من حيث التشيع فكل من اتصف بذلك فهو ناصب تجري عليه أحكام النصب نعم يجب أن يستثني من خبر تقديم الجبت والطاغوت المستضعف كما عرفت من الأخبار المتقدمة وغيرها أيضا فيختص الحكم بما عداه وعموم ذلك لجميع المخالفين بعد إخراج هذا الفرد مما لايعتريه الريب والشك بالنظر إلي الأخبار المذكورة كما عليه أكثر أصحابنا المتقدمين الحاكمين بالكفر وكثير من متأخري المتاخرين كما قدمنا نقل كلام بعضهم

What can be learnt from these narrations is that the manifestations of Nasb, on which rulings are applied. The evidence for it is giving preference to Jibt and the Taghut (idols)—that is, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar—or hatred of the Shias because of their Shi’ism. So, whoever is characterized by that is a Nasibi and the rulings of Nasb will be applied to him. Yes, it is necessary to exclude from the narration of the precedence of Jibt and Taghut, the oppressed ones, as you have learned from the above-mentioned reports and others as well. Thus, the ruling is specific to others. The generality of that to all opposition, after excluding this individual, is something beyond uncertainty and doubt, taking into consideration the aforementioned reports, as was the case with most of our former companions who issued the ruling of disbelief, as well as many of the latter scholars, as we have quoted their statements before.

This view is not confined to a group of Akhbaris, as it can be claimed. In fact, the practical application of this belief is apparent in the statements of a group of scholars from the Usuli school, as the contemporary Shia scholar of reference, ‘Ali Al Muhsin al Qatifi considered a group of senior Sunni scholars from amongst the Nasibis, as he states in Kashf al Haqa’iq, pg. 204:

وأما النواصب من علماء أهل السنة فكثيرون أيضا منهم ابن تيمية وابن كثير الدمشقي وابن الجوزي وشمس الدين الذهبي وابن حزم الأندلسي وغيرهم وهؤلاء وإن نفوا عن نفسهم النصب إلا أن المتأمل في كتبهم يحصل له الجزم بما قلناه

As for the Nasibis from the Sunnis, they are plenty. Amongst them are: Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Kathir al Damishqi, Ibn al Jawzi, Shams al Din al Dhahabi, Ibn Jazm al Andalusi etc. Although these scholars deny Nasb on themselves; however, an observer into their books will ascertain what we have mentioned.

Muhsin al Mu’allim embarked on enumerating more than 200 people from amongst the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum, the Tabi’is, and other scholars, who he considered to be Nasibis. Some of them are:

From the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum:

Abu Bakr al Siddiq, ‘Umar ibn al Khattab, ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, Umm al Mu’minin ‘Aisha, Anas ibn Malik, Hassaan ibn Thabit al Ansari, al Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, Talhah ibn ‘Ubaidullah, Abu Musa al Ash’ari, Abu Hurairah, ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair, Jarir ibn ‘Abdullah al Bajali, and Hanzalah ibn al Rabi’ al Tamimi.

From the Tabiin:

Al Hassan al Basri, Sa’id ibn al Musayyib, ‘Urwah ibn al Zubair, ‘Abdullah ibn Habib al Sulami, Mutarrif ibn ‘Abdullah al Shikhkhir,’Abdullah ibn Shaqiq, and al Hakam ibn ‘Utaybah.

From the Imams and luminaries of the Ahlus Sunnah:

Al Zubair ibn Bakkar, Muhammad ibn Muslim al Zuhri, Imam Tawus ibn Kaysan, Imam al Awza’i, Imam Malik, Imam Thawr al Kala’i, Hussain ibn ‘Ali al Karabisi, al Asma’i, Ibn Qutaybah al Dinawari, Abu Bakr al Baqillani, Imam Ibn Hazm, Imam Ibn Taymiyyah, al Hafiz al Dhahabi, Ibn Hajar al Haytami, al Hafiz Ibn Kathir and Ibn Khaldun. (Refer to al Nasb wa al Nawasib, under the heading: al Nawasib fi al ‘Ibad, pg. 259 and thereafter.)

[10] They are the followers of Abu al Khattab Muhammad ibn Abi Zainab al Asadi al Ajda’. They are five sects and all of them claim that the Imams are inspired prophets, messengers of Allah, and His evidence on His creation. There will always be two messengers present; one talking and the other silent. Thus, Prophet Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is the talking one and ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib is the silent one. They claim that the prophets of Allah come in succession, i.e. there will always be two at any given time and that obedience to them is compulsory on everyone. They have knowledge of the past and the future. The two messengers during the time of the Khattabis were Jafar al Sadiq and Abu al Khattab al Asadi. (Refer to al Ash’ari: Maqalat al Islamiyyin, pg. 10; al Himyari al Zaidi: al Hur al Ayn, pg.166; al Qummi: al Maqalat wa al Firaq, pg. 51.)

They say that Abu Khattab claimed prophethood first, then he claimed to be a messenger, then he claimed to be from among the angels and that he is Allah’s messenger to the people of the earth and evidence against them.

It appears to me that reporting of this statement from him is based on ignorance regarding the concept of Imamah according to the Imamis, because they believe an Imam to be greater than all the prophets and the messengers except Prophet Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and he is the evidence of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala against his servants and protected from major and minor sins, in fact from forgetfulness and mistake also (this parallels the infallibility of the angels, in fact is more). Hence, the meaning of his claim of Imamah with Jafar al Sadiq is all that has been mentioned above.

However, they report that he went beyond that after some time, i.e. the view of deification of the Imams. Hence, he claimed divinity and subsequently discarded some obligatory acts from his followers to make it easier for them and he permitted some unlawful acts for them. (Refer to: al Nawbakhti: Firaq al Shia, pg. 58; al No’man: Daa’im al Islam, 1/49-50.)

[11] They are a group of extremists who separated from those extremists who believe in the divinity of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and other Imams from his progeny, by professing that the Imams are transient, created by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and refuting eternity for them. However, they attached creation and sustenance to them and claimed that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala created them exclusively and handed over the creation of the universe, with all its contents, as well all actions to them. (Refer to al Mufid: Tashih Itiqadat al Imamiyyah, pg. 133-134; Rasa’il al Murtada, 4/21.)

[12] This is the biggest Shia Imami sect, after the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah, found today. They share the concept of Imamah with the Ithna’Ashariyyah; however, a split occurred between them and the remaining Imamis after the demise of the sixth Imam, Jafar al Sadiq. A group from the majority of the Imamis believe that Imamah was transferred to his eldest son, for whom he bequeathed it, Ismail al Mubarak. Another group believes that the Imamah was transferred to his brother Musa al Kazim, because of the death of Ismail during his father’s lifetime. Meanwhile the Isma’ilis believe that Imamah, after Ismail, was transferred to his son Muhammad.

Beneficial Note:

The Khattabis shaped a suitable landscape for the foundation of the Ismaili School, as it can be clearly seen in the inner beliefs of the Ismailis and its closeness to the beliefs and those of the Khattabis at that time. Al Nawbakhti alludes to that clearly by saying:

 فاما الإسماعيلية فهم الخطابية أصجاب أبي الخطاب محمد بن أبي زينب الأسدي الأجدع وقد دخلت منهم فرقة في فرقة محمد بن إسماعيل وأقروا بموت إسماعيل بن جعفر في حياة أبيه وهم الذين خرجوا في حياة أبي عبد الله جعفر بن محمد فحاربوا عيسى بن موسى بن محمد بن عبد الله العباسي وكان عاملا على الكوفة فبلغه عنهم انهم أظهروا الإباحات ودعوا إلى نبوة أبي الخطاب

As for the Ismailis, they are the Khattabis, the followers of Abu al Khattab Muhammad ibn Abi Zainab al Asadi al Ajda’. A group from them merged with the group of Muhammad ibn Ismail and confirmed the death of Ismail ibn Jafar during the lifetime of his father. They are the group that revolted during the life Abu ‘Abdullah Jafar ibn Muhammad, and fought against ‘Isa ibn Musa Ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah al ‘Abbasi, who was the governor of Kufah. He received information that they spread immorality and called to the prophethood of Abu al Khattab.

Then, al Nawbakhti mentions the battle and the killing, crucifixion and burning of Abu al Khattab’s body. Thereafter, he states:

ثم خرج من قال بمقالته من أهل الكوفة وغيرهم إلي محمد بن إسماعيل بن جعفر بعد قتل أبي الخظاب فقالوا بإمامته وأقاموا عليها

Thereafter, those who held his view from the people of Kufah and others went to Muhammad ibn Ismail ibn Jafar, after the death of Abu al Khattab, believed in his Imamah and abided by it. (Refer to Firaq al Shia, pg. 69-71)

It is reported in Rijal al Kashshi, 2/612, from Hammad ibn ‘Uthman who says:

سمعت أبا عبد الله جعفر الصادق يقول للمفضل بن عمر الجعفي يا كافر يا مشرك مالك ولابني يعني إسماعيل بن جعفر وكان منقطعا إليه يقول فيه مع الخطابية ثم رجع بعد

I heard Abu ‘Abdullah —Jafar al Sadiq—say to Mufaddal ibn ‘Umar al Ju’fi, “O infidel, O polytheist, what is wrong with you and [what do you want with] my son?”

He was cut off from him and believed in the Khattabis. He later retracted.

Hence, Sa’d ibn ‘Abdullah al Ash’ari al Qummi (d. 299 AH) states al Maqalat wa al Firaq, pg. 83:

إن اتباع أبي الخطاب لما قتل معظمهم خرج الجماعة الباقون ممن قال بمقالة أبي الخظاب إلى محمد بن إسماعيل فقالوا بإمامته وأقاموا عليها

When most of Abu al Khattab’s followers were killed, the remainder of the group who adopted the views of Abu al Khattab went to Muhammad ibn Ismail believed in his Imamah and abided to it.

It becomes clear to one who studies the principles of Ismailis and their belief structures that there is a great similarity between some of the beliefs and ideologies of the Khattabis and the Ismailis. The Khattabis invented the belief of the talking Imam and the silent Imam, a belief that later became specific to Ismailis.

Similarly, one of their opinions that they expressed openly is the claim of the equality of the Imams (initially) or giving them preference over the messengers of firm resolve. This is an established belief among the Ismailis, especially regarding their Imam Muhammad ibn Ismail, who they consider to be in the status of the messengers of firm resolve, as recorded in their books of realities. (Refer to al A’zami: al Haqa’iq al Khafiyyah, pg. 126.)

As for the claim of divinity for their Imams and leaders, the Khattabis, in their final stages, claimed divinity for Jafar al Sadiq and Abu al Khattab. The Ismailis also had similar beliefs regarding their Imam Muhammad ibn Ismail.

Indicating to all that has been mentioned above, Dr Mustafa al Nashshar states:

ولا شك أن الكثير من أصول الخظابية قد دخلت في عقائد الإسماعيلية فيما بعد ولكن تم هذا بعد مقتل أبي الخظلاب واعتناق كثير من أتباعه للإسماعيلية في عهد عبد الله بن ميمون القداح

There is no doubt that many of the Khattabi principles merged with the beliefs of the Ismailis later and this was completed after the killing of Abu al Khattab and many of his followers embracing the Ismailiyyah during the era of ‘Abdullah ibn Maymun al Qaddah.

Bernard Lewis states in Usul al Ismailiyyah, pg. 71-72:

ولما مات أبو الخطاب تحول أتباعه إلى محمد بن إسماعيل حفيد جعفر وأعلنوا ولاءهم له وكانت فرقة الإسماعيلية هي الخطابية نفسها

When Abu al Khattab passed away, his followers turned to Muhammad ibn Ismail, the grandson of Jafar and declared loyalty to him. The Ismaili sect is in fact the Khattabi sect.

He further states:

وفضلا عن ذلك فإن لدينا مجموعتين من التصانيف حفظت لنا اسم أبي الخطاب وعقائده وفيها إشارة وافية إلى الدور الحاسم الذي اضطلع به أولاهما أم الكتاب الشهيرة وهي عبارة عن كتاب سري مقدس عند الإسماعيلين في آسيا الوسطى يمثل كما يشير العلامة الذي أشرف على طبعه مرحلة قديمة جدا لتطور أفكار الشيعة الثورية وهذا الكتاب بجعل لأبي الخظلاب مقاما خطيرا في هذه الحركة فيعتبره مؤسس المذهب ويقرنه بسلمان في عظيم أهميته وعبارته في ذلك واضحة صريحة إذ يقول: إن المذهب الإسماعيلي هو ما أوجدته ذرية أبي الخظاب وأتباعه الذي شروا أنفسهم بحب أحفاد جعفر الصادق وإسماعيل

In addition to that, we have two groups of collections that have preserved the name of Abu al Khattab and his beliefs for us. It contains ample indication to the decisive role played by, the first of them, the famous Umm al Kitab (the main book). This is a secret book, sacred to the Ismailis in Central Asia that represents, as indicated by the learned scholar who undertook its printing, a very ancient stage of the development of the revolutionary Shia ideologies. This book gives Abu al Khattab a serious position in this movement, considering him the founder of the sect and linking him to Salman in his great importance. His statement in that is clear and explicit as he states, “The Ismaili School is what was invented by the descendants of Abu al Khattab and his followers who sold themselves for the love of the grandchildren of Jafar al Sadiq and Ismail.”

[13] It is an extinct Imami sect who believed in the prophet hood of Muhammad ibn Nusyr al Fihri al Numairi. He claimed to be a prophet and that Imam ‘Ali ibn Muhammad al Hadi sent him. He believed in reincarnation and extremism regarding Abu al Hassan—’Ali al Hadi—and believed in his divinity. He believed in permitting unlawful things and permitted homosexuality and sodomy. He used to say:

إنه من الفاعل والمفعول به أحد الشهوات والطيبات وإن الله لم يحرم شيئا من ذلك

It is one of the pleasures and pure things from the doer and the one on whom it is done, and Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has not prohibited any of that.

Muhammad ibn Musa ibn al Hassan ibn Furat used to strengthen his reasons and support him. It is mentioned that some people saw Muhammad ibn Nusayr with his own eyes and a servant of his on his back. When he saw him in that way he said, “This is one of the pleasures and it is a form of humility to Allah and abandoning arrogance. (Refer to: al Nawbakhti: Firaq al Shia, pg. 93; Rijal al Kashshi, 2/805.)

Some mention that he was a companion of al Hassan al ‘Askari and that he said about him what they mentioned that he said about his father. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala knows best.

[14] It is an extinct school which was founded after the martyrdom of al Hussain ibn ‘Ali in Karbala’. They believed in the Imamah of ‘Ali, Hassan, and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu, then Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, known as Ibn al Hanafiyyah. The Kaysaniyyah believed that Muhammad was the awaited Mahdi who will fill the earth with fairness and justice and that he is alive who did not and will not die until truth prevails.

[15] It a sect that is attributed to Zaid ibn ‘Ali ibn al Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhum. They believe that he was the Imam after ‘Ali and his two sons, al Hassan and al Hussain. They also believed in the Imamah of the non-preferential ones, i.e., Abu Bakr and ‘Umar despite giving preference to ‘Ali over them. They believe that after Hassan and Hussain, Imamah will remain in their progeny. Thus, Imamah will be for the one who calls to himself, if his lineage from his father descends to one of them, when the qualities of Imamah are found in him. No one besides them can be an Imam. They mention that this is the school of all the Ahlul Bayt, as mentioned by the Zaidi Imam, al Mansur bi Allah ‘Abdullah ibn Hamzah in Sharh al Risalat al Nasihah, 1/283:

مذهبنا بكماله في أن الإمامة بعد علي وولديه الحسن والحسين مقصورة على من قام ودعا من أولادهما المنتسبين بآبائهم إليهما

Our complete school is that Imamah, after ‘Ali and his two sons, al Hassan and al Hussain, is confined to one who rises and calls to it, from amongst their progeny who are attributed to them through their fathers.

As for the Imami stance on the Zaidis, it manifests itself from what Sultan al Wa’izin al Shirazi said in Layali Beshawar (Peshawar nights), which is the most famous propaganda book of the school after al Murajaat:

ظهرت مذاهب كثيرة بدواع دينية وسياسية زعمت أنها من الشيعة وتبعهم كثير من الجهال فاعتقدوا بأباطيلهم وكفرياتهم وحسبهم الجاهلون الغافلون بأنهم من الشيعة ونشروا كتبا علي هذا الأساس الباطل من غير تحقيق وتدقيق واما المذامب التي انتسبت إلي الشيعة عن جهل أو عمد لأغراض سياسية ودنيوية فهي أربع (كذا بالأصل والصحيح أربعة) مذاهب أولية وقد اضمحل منها مذهبان وبقي مذهبان تشعبت منهما مذاهب آخرى والمذامب الأربعة هي الزيدية الكيسانية القداحية الغلاة

Many schools sprung up for religious and political reasons, claiming to be from the Shia. Many ignorant people followed them and believed in their corrupt views and infidelity. The negligent ignorant people thought that they were from the Shia and spread their books on this corrupt basis, without investigation and scrutiny. The schools that are attributed to the Shia, either intentionally or unintentionally, for political or worldly purposes, are four primary schools. Two of them have become extinct and the other two remain, wherefrom other schools branch out. The four schools are: the Zaidis, the Kaysaniyyah, Qaddahiyyah, and the extremist. (Refer to Layali Beshawar, third council, pg. 130.)

‘Allamah al Majlisi states in Bihar al Anwar, 37/34:

كتب أخبارنا مشحونة بالأخبار الدالة على كفر الزيدية وأمثالهم من الفطحية والواقفة وغيرهم من الفرق المضلة المبتدعة

Our books of narrations are fraught with narrations that indicate to the disbelief of the Zaidis and other similar deviate innovated sects like the Fathis, Waqifis etc.

‘Allamah Yusuf al Bahrani states in al Kashkul, 3/307:

وأما الزيدية القائلون بإمامته أي الإمام زيد فهم عند الأئمة في عداد النصاب بلا شك ولا ارتياب كما صرحت به أخبارهم المنقولة في كتاب الكشي وغيره

As for the Zaidis who believe in his—Imam ZaidImamah, they are undoubtedly counted amongst the Nasibis according to the Imams, as is clearly declared by their narrations transmitted in Kashshi and other books.

Despite the political proximity which we see today between the Imamis and the Zaidis, the senior Imami scholars have declared their impurity along with declaring them to be disbelievers, as stated by the late Shia scholar of reference, Ruh Allah al Khumayni (d. 1410 AH) in Kitab al Taharah, 3/459:

وأما سائر الطوائف من المنتحلين للإسلام أو التشبع كالزيدية والواقفة والغلاة والمجسمة والمجبرة والمفوضة وغيرهم إن اندرجوا في منكري الأصول أو في إحدى الطاتفتين فلا إشكال في نجاستهم

As for all the groups impersonating Islam of the Shia such as the Zaidis, Waqifis, the extremists, the Mujassimah, the Mujabbirah, the Mufawwidah etc, if they fall into the deniers of fundamentals or in one of the two sects, then there is no objection to their impurity.

[16] They believe in the Imamah of the Twelve Imams including ‘Abdullah al Aftah, the son of Jafar al Sadiq, who they insert between his father and brother, Musa al Kazim. They differ in the reason for calling him al Aftah. Is it because of his broad head or broad feet or both? Sometimes it is interpreted as crookedness in the leg.

‘Abdullah claimed Imamah and Wisayah (appointment by bequest) after the demise of his father. He was the eldest of Jafar’s children after the demise of his brother Ismail who passed away during his lifetime.

[17] In the books of narrators and history, the singular form of the word ‘Waqifa’ is used for a group of people who hold specific religious trends. This name is repeated many times in the books of schools and sects, particularly among the Shias. It refers to those who adhere to—in many historical stages—one of the Shia Imams like the Kaysaniyyah and the Nawusiyyah.

Ibn Babawayh al Qummi has used this phrase, for example, the Waqifah of Amir al Mu’minin, the Waqifah of Musa al Kazim, the Waqifah of Abu ‘Abdullah—Jafar al Sadiq—during the course of narrating the debates between Ibn Qubbah and Abu Zaid al ‘Alawi. In another place it comes as ‘the Waqifah of al Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn Muhammad’ indicating to those who believe that al Hassan al ‘Askari is the Mahdi, who did not die, rather, he disappeared and will return later. From amongst those who used the singular form of this word (Waqifah) is al Nawbakhti in his book Firaq al Shia believing it to mean ‘adherence to any of the Imams’; however, it is used specifically for those who adhere to the Imamah of Musa ibn Jafar. He states:

كل من مضي منهم يعني من الأئمة فله واقفة قد وقفت عليه وهذا اللقب أي الواقفية لأصحاب موسى بن جعفر خاصة

From the Imams that passed, each one had adherents that adhered to him. This title, i.e., al Waqifiyyah, is specifically for the followers of Musa ibn Jafar. (Refer to Firaq al Shia, pg. 82.)

The Waqifah had a great influence on the Imami legacy. It is sufficient to know that its followers reached 64 in number from the total number of Musa al Kazim’s followers, which were 273. This total represents a great trend which cannot be underestimated in the co-existence of the Imami Shia who constitute a minority that suffered from severe censorship after the imprisonment of their Imam and subsequently his death in prison.

These Imamis wrote several books in support of their beliefs, which did not reach us due to the school’s extinction and the survival of their opposition. The most important ones are: Nusrat al Waqifah and al Sifah fi al Ghaybah ala Mazhab al Waqifah. Their activities and actual existence continued till later times as the Shia sources mention that Imam Hassan al ‘Askari used to dispute with them.

The Ithna ‘Ashari Imamis gave the Waqifah the title of al Kilab al Mamturah (wet dogs) to degrade and criticise them because ‘Ali ibn Ismail al Maythami and Yunus ibn ‘Abdur Rahman debated with some of the Waqifiyyah. When confronted with the stubbornness and aggression of the Waqifah and their non-compliance with the evidences presented, ‘Ali ibn Ismail said, when the conversation became heated between them, “You are nothing but wet dogs.”

He meant that you smell worse than a corpse because when a dog gets wet in the rain, it smells worse than a corpse.

Subsequently, this sect is known as al Kilab al Mamturah among the Qat’iyyah (they are those who broke away after the demise al Kazim and the Imamah of al Rida after him). Wherever the phrase al Kilab al Mamturah is mentioned in any narration or book, it refers to the Waqifiyyah. (Refer to al Nawbakhti: Firaq al Shia, pg. 81.)

[18] The Imami consensus is on this. Do not be deceived by anyone who deviates from this consensus or by the distracting Taqiyyah, because the views of the leaders of the school are collaborative in this regard. The following transmissions would be sufficient for you:

  • Ibn Babawayh al Qummi states in al Itiqadat, pg. 104:

واعتقادنا فيمن جحد إمامة أمير المؤمنين علي بن أبي طالب أنه كمن جحد نبوة جميع الأنبياء واعتقادنا فيمن أقر بأمير المؤمنين وأنكر واحدا من بعده من الأئمة أنه بمنزلة من أقر بجميع الأنبياء وانكر نبوة محمد

Our belief regarding one who denies the Imamah of Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib is that he is like the one who denies the prophet hood of all the prophets, and the one who confesses to the Imamah of Amir al Mu’minin but denies any of the Imams after him, is like who confesses to the prophet hood of all the prophets but denies the prophethood of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

  • Al Sheikh al Mufid (d. 413 AH) states in Awa’il al Maqalat, pg. 44:

واتفقت الإمامية علي أن من أنكر إمامة أحد الأئمة وجحد ما أوجبه الله تعالي من فرض الطاعة فهو كافر ضال مستحق للخلود في الناد

The Imamiyyah are unanimous that whoever denies the Imamah of any of the Imams and he denies any act of worship that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has ordained on him, is a deviate disbeliever, worthy of perpetual entry into Hellfire.

  • Al Sharif al Murtada (d. 436 AH) states in Rasa’il al Murtada, 2/251-252:

مما يدل أيضا على تقديمهم أي الأئمة الإثني عشر وتعظيمهم علي البشر أن الله تعالي دلنا علي أن المعرفة بهم كالمعرفة به تعالى في أنها إيمان وإسلام وان الجهل والشك فيهم كالجهل به والشك فيه في أنه كفر وخروج من الإيمان وهذه منزلة ليس لأحد من البشر إلا لنبينا صلي الله عليه وآله وبعده لأمير المؤمنين والأئمة من ولده علي جماعتهم السلام

And that which indicates to their—the Twelve Imams—superiority and reverence over the human beings is that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has showed us that recognising them is like recognising Allah, in that this is iman (faith) and Islam. Ignorance and doubt regarding them is like ignorance and doubt in Allah, which is disbelief and exit from iman. This status is not afforded to any human except the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, thereafter Amir al Mu’minin and the Imams from his progeny.

  • Sheikh al Ta’ifah al Tusi states in Talkhis al Shafi, 4/131:

دفع الإمامة كفر كما أن دفع النبوة كفر لأن الجهل بهما علي حد واحد

Rejecting Imamah is disbelief just as rejecting prophet hood is disbelief because ignorance regarding both of them is the same.

  • Al Qadi Nur Allah al Tustari (d. 1019 AH) states in al Sawarim al Muhriqah, pg. 86:

إن إنكار الإمامة كإنكار النبوة وإنكار النبوة كإنكار ألوهية الله تعالى فعُلم أن معرفة الإمام والاعتراف بحقه شرط الإيمان رغما لأنف من يتأنف عن ذلك ولولا ذلك لم يحكم الله على منكر بالارتداد

Rejecting Imamah is like rejecting prophethood and refuting prophethood is like refuting the divinity of Allah. Thus, it is understood that recognising the Imam and confessing to his rights is a condition of iman, despite those who complain about that. If it was not so, Allah would not have declared apostasy for the one who denies it.

  • Yusuf al Bahrani (d. 1186 AH) states in al Hada’iq al Nadirah, 18/153:

وليت شعري أي فرق بين من كفر بالله ورسوله وبين من كفر بالائمة مع ثبوت كون الإمامة من أصول الدين

If only I knew what difference is there between the person who rejects Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and His Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the one who rejects the Imams after establishing that Imamah is from the fundamentals of din.

[19] Considering that there is no correlation between disbelief and impurity. Hence, some sects issue ruling of disbelief but not of impurity.

[20] Refer to Muhammad Al Kashif al Ghita’: Asl al Shia wa Usuluha, pg. 211; Ayatollah Muhammad Asif Muhsini: Sirat al Haqq, 3/155.

[21] Refer to al Khumayni: al Hukumah al Islamiyyah, pg. 52; Kazim al Ha’ri: al Imamah wa Qiyadat al Mujtama, pg. 26, in addition to the many Imami writings in this regard, which Agha Buzurk al Tahrani has mentioned in al Dhariah ila Tasanif al Shia, 4/358-360.

[22] That is why Imamah is regarded as the greatest pillar of Islam according to them, because of their many and extensive narrations in al Kafi and other books, that Islam was built on five pillars and Wilayah is counted from amongst it, and that nothing was called for as Wilayah was called for, and it is the greatest and most honorable of them.

Mawla Muhammad Salih al Mazindarani (d. 1081 AH) states in Sharh Usul al Kafi, 5/223:

ومن البين أن أمر الإمامة من أعظم أركان الإسلام فلا يجوز اختيار الخلق له بمجرد الراي من غير سند

It is clear that the matter of Imamah is one of the greatest pillars of Islam, thus, it is not permissible for people to choose it based on mere opinion without any chain.

Sheikh Muhammad Hussain Al Kashif al Ghita’ (d. 1373 AH) states in Asl al Shia wa Usuluha, pg. 211-212:

الإمامة منصب إلهي كالنبوة فكما أن الله سبحانه يختار من يشاء عباده للنبوة والرسالة ويؤيده بالمعجزة التي هي كنص من الله عليه  وَرَبُّكَ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيَخْتَارُ مَا كَانَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ يختار للإمامة من يشاء ويأمر نبيه بالنص عليه وأن ينصبه إماما للناس من بعده للقيام بالوظائف التي كان على النبي أن يقوم بها

Imamah is a divine position just like prophethood. Just as Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala selects whoever He wills from His servants for prophethood and apostleship, and assists him with miracles which are like a text from Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala upon him.

Your Lord creates and chooses whatever He wills—the choice is not theirs. (Surah al Qasas: 68)

He chooses for the Imamah whoever He wills and commands His Prophet to declare it and appoint as an Imam for the people after him to carry out the duties that the prophet would do.

Sheikh Muhammad Hassan al Muzaffar states in Dala’il al Sidq li Nahj al Haq, 4/217:

ويشهد لكون الإمامة من أصول الدين أن منزلة الإمام كالنبي في حفظ الشرع ووجوب اتباعه والحاجة إليه ورئاسته العامة بلا فرق

The evidence for Imamah being one of the foundations of din is that the status of the Imam is like that of the prophet in preserving the Shari’ah, the obligation of following him, the need for it, and its general leadership, without any difference.

[23] Usul al Hadith, pg. 165.

[24] Nazariyyat al Sunnah fi Fikr al Imami al Shii, pg. 527.

[25] Wasa’il al Shia, 30/206.

BACK⇒ Return to Table of contents

 

9. Problem of revealing the conditions of the senior narrators of the school

 

If we turn the pages of the books of Jarh and Tadil, specifically of this sect, forgetting the books of the Sunnis, we will notice that the senior narrators from the Imams, particularly from Jafar al Sadiq, are accused by the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt or the Imami scholars, of serious allegations that are sufficient to discredit them as well as their narrations, along with the large number of unknown narrators that fill their books of Jarh and Ta’dil, especially the two books, Mujam Rijal al Hadith of Abu al Qasim al Khu’i and Mustadrakat Rijal al Hadith of al Namazi al Shahrudi.

The most important reality that should be given attention when contemplating on the conditions of the senior narrators of the School and those who narrate abundantly from the Imams is that which al Sharif al Murtada spoke about by stating:

 

إن معظم الفقه وجمهوره لا يخلو مستنده ممن يذهب مذهب الواقفة إما أن يكون أصلا في الخبر أو فرعا  راويا عن غيره ومرويا عنه  وإلى غلاة وخطابية  ومخمسة وأصحاب حلول  كفلان وفلان ومن لا حصى أيضا كثرة  وإلي قمي مشبه مجبر وإن القميين كلهم من غير استثناء لأحد منهم إلا أبا جعفر بن بابويه بالأمس كانوا مشبهة مجبرة وكتبهم وتصانيفهم تشهد بذلك وتنطق به فليت شعري أي رواية تخلص وتسلم من أن يكون في أصلها وفرعها واقف أو غال أو قمي مشبه مجبر والاختبار بيننا ويينهم الفتيش

Most of the fiqh is such that their narrators are not devoid of those who adhere to the school of the Waqifah; either as the source of the narration or a subsidiary, narrating from others or narrated from him; and to extremist, Khattabis, Mukhammisah (those who believe that Allah handed over the affairs of the world to five people) and the people of Hulul (those who believe ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be Allah incarnate) like so and so and other countless people; and adhere to the Mushabbih (anthropomorphist) Mujabbir (those who believe that man has no free will) Qummis. All the Qummiyin, without exception, besides Abu Jafar ibn Babawayh, were previously Mushabbihs and Mujabbirs. Their books and literature bear witness and expose that. If only I knew of any narration whose source or subsidiary is free and safe from a Waqifi, extremist, or a Mushabbih Mujabbir Qummi. The test between us and them is in research.[1]

 

Thereafter he states:

 

وفي رواتنا ونقلة أحاديثنا من يقول بالقياس ويذهب إليه في الشريعة كالفضل بن شاذان ويونس وجماعة معروفين ولا شبهة في أن اعتقاد صحة القياس في الشريعة كفر لا تثبت معه عدالة فمن أين يصح لنا خبر واحد يروونه ممن يجوز أن يكون عدلا مع هذه الأقسام التي ذكرناها حتي ندعي أنا تعبدنا بقوله

In our narrations and the transmitters of our narrations there are those who practice Qiyas and adopt it in Shari’ah, such as al Fadl ibn Shadhan, Yunus, and a group of well-known people. There is no doubt that believing in the validity of Qiyas in the Shari’ah is disbelief, with which justice is not established. Therefore, how can we have a single narration that they narrate from someone who may be just, with these categories that we have mentioned so that we can claim that we practiced on his view?[2]

 

In fact, Sheikh al Tusi also raised suspicions that most of the narrators in Shia books are from the Mujabbirs, Mushabbihs, Muqallids, extremists, Waqifis, and Fathis etc. He discussed some of what was mentioned and acknowledged to the existence of the narrations of Jabr and Tashbih, but he considered that they do not necessarily indicate that their transmitters are among those who believe in them. Despite this, he acknowledged that most of the narrations, especially regarding rulings, lack evidences that indicate to their authenticity.

A question is posed that the Ahlus Sunnah also narrate from those who they regard to be innovators like the Khawarij, Rawafid, Murji’ah, Qadariyyah etc., then what makes that which al Murtada and al Tusi mentioned defective in itself and a reason to refrain from accepting the School’s narrations while accepting the narrations of others?

In answer to this it can be said that there is a clear difference between the two issues, even if may appear to some that there is similarity between them.

We summarise it in two ways:

First: Sunni scholars differentiate between innovation that leads to disbelief and innovation that does not, as stated by ‘Allamah al Mu’allimi in al Tankil by saying:

 

لا شبهة أن المبتدع إن خرج ببدعته عن الإسلام لم تقبل روايته لأن من شروط قبول الراوية الإسلام وأنه إن ظهر عناده أو إسرافه في اتباع الهوى والإعراض عن حجج الحق ونحو ذلك مما هو أدل على وهن التدين من كثير من الكبائر كشرب الخمر وأخذ الربا فليس بعدل فلا تقبل روايته لأن من شرط قبول الرواية العدالة وأنه إن استحل فإما أن يكفر بذلك وإما أن يفسق فإن عذرناه فمن شرط قبول الرواية الصدق فلا تقبل روايته

There is no doubt that if the innovator deviates from Islam through his innovation, his narration will not be accepted because one of the conditions for accepting his narration is Islam. If his stubbornness or extravagance in following his desires and turning away from the proofs of truth etc., becomes apparent, which indicates more to the weakness of din than many major sins such as drinking alcohol and taking usury, then he is not just and his narration is not accepted, because one of the conditions for accepting the narration is justice. If he deems it permissible, then he will either be committing disbelief or sin. Thus, if we excuse him, then from the condition of accepting the narration is honesty, hence, his narration will not be accepted.[3]

 

The Murji’ah, Khawarij,[4] Shia, Rawafid, Qadariyah, Nasibi and others are regarded as Muslims according to them who are involved in innovation. Therefore, their narrations are accepted primarily because of their Islam and for other considerations, the most important of which is honesty. Whoever goes to extremes in his innovation to the point of denying one of the essentials of Islam or committing one of its forbidden acts, he will neither be narrated from nor honoured.

Yes, there are scholars who have doubts about the narration from some sects, either because of the severity of their innovation and doubt regarding the condition of some of those affiliated to it, such as the Khawarij,[5] or because of their audacity to lie, such as the Rawafid.[6]

Hafiz Ibn Hajar (d. 852 AH) has stated this in Lisan al Mizan by saying:

 

فالمنع من قبول رواية المبتدعة الذين لم يكفروا ببدعتهم كالرافضة والخوارج ونحوهم ذهب إليه مالك وأصحابه والقاضي أبو بكر الباقلاني وأتباعه والقبول مطلقا إلا فيمن يكفر ببدعته وإلا فيمن يستحل الكذب ذهب إليه أبو حنيفة وأبو يوسف وطائفة وروي عن الشافعي أيضا

The prohibition of accepting narrations of innovators, who are not regarded to be infidels because of their innovation, is the view of Malik, his followers, Qadi Abu Bakr al Baqillani, and his followers. Accepting their narrations generally, except those who are regarded to be infidels because of their innovation and those who regard lying to be permissible, is the view of Abu Hanifah, Abu Yusuf, and a group of scholars. This view is narrated from al Shafi’i also.[7]

 

This is the reality of how Sunni scholars deal with gauging Muslims from the various sects. None of these interpreters harbour enmity to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, otherwise they will be counted among the disbelievers or deny any of the essentials of the din, whose deniers are regarded as disbelievers. Rather, their differences in belief and other matters are based on the difference in some sources of acquisition or the establishment of the text or apparent desire that leads its owner to innovation and not to disbelief that expels him from the religion. This is contrary to the Imami Shia, because anyone who opposes them is considered, in their view, among those who harbour enmity towards their Imams. Thus, he is judged to be a disbeliever whose blood, wealth, and honour is permissible (to be taken), and that he is worse than a Jew, Christian, and a polytheist, in fact worse than a dog,[8] or he is an opposition who is judged to be a sinner according to some, and a disbeliever according to most,[9]or he is a weak opposition who is excused because of his ignorance, or he is considered to be from amongst the deviated groups of the Shias, like the various types of extremists, such as the Khattabis,[10] the Mufawwidah,[11] ‘Aliyya’iyyah, Mughiriyyah, the Ismailis,[12] the Nusayriyyah,[13] and others—they are disbelievers and all are judged to impure—and sects of the Shias who oppose the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah in the fundamental or subsidiary rulings of Imamah like the Kaysaniyyah,[14] Zaidiyyah,[15] Fathiyyah,[16] Waqifiyyah (Waqifah),[17] are also disbelievers according to them, [18]or the Mujassimah, Mushabbihah or the Mujabbirah—referring to the Asha’irah. Both sects, according to them, are impure disbelievers.

However, you will not find any of the Muslim sects declaring any sect of the Muslims as impure, neither figuratively nor physically, as the Imamis do.

The Imami’s authentication of a narrator, who is regarded (according to them) to be a disbeliever or impure,[19] due him falsifying an infallible Imam, who is appointed by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala—keeping in mind what is found in the Imami literature that Imamah is a divine position like prophet hood,[20] rather, higher than that[21]—can never, in any condition, compare to the stance of the Ahlus Sunnah regarding interpreting Muslims who got embroiled in such innovations that does not reach the level of enmity for the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, falsifying him or doubting any of the essentials of din.

Second: The narrations reported from Imami narrators are narrations from the companions of the Imams and their elite ones, in the first stage, and then from their followers in the second stage and very seldom after these two stages. Thus, accusation of lies, apostasy, and deviation from the Imams and others, would destroy the origin of the narration more than the branches, contrary to the controversial Sunni narrators, because the overwhelming majority of the narrators are from the Tab al Tabiin and those who came after them.  Sometimes it surpasses to the junior Tabiin. There is a great difference between the two.

Similarly, most of the Sunni narrators who are involved in innovation do not differ in their basic beliefs except to the extent of the innovation they are involved in. Hence, a Murji’ah does not differ with them in Tawhid (oneness of Allah), pillars of faith, prophethood, the Hereafter etc. He merely differs in the meaning of iman (faith), whether it is fixed or does it increase and decrease? Are actions included in it or is ratification and utterance, without practice, sufficient?

Similarly, a Qadari does not differ in any of the beliefs besides actions of men, which is one of the major rulings of beliefs, we do not underestimate its importance, but it does not mean that it contradicts the rest of principles of beliefs such as Tawhid, prophethood, Hereafter etc. Therefore, in accepting his narration, what will be taken into consideration is—after knowing his position in truthfulness—that no narration regarding his innovation will be accepted if he narrates it isolated from other narrators.

Other than them, like the Mu’tazilah, Zaidiyyah, Rafidah etc., even though they differed with the Ahlus Sunnah in many of the fundamentals; however, they appear very little in the chains of the Ahlus Sunnah and cannot be compared to the large numbers of people we have indicated to.

Despite this, all that we have mentioned is not accepted by the Imamis because the foundation of their school is on Imamah. Imamah is the main principle according to them.[22] Their accused narrators—who we are discussing about—are not involved in innovation, despite them actually being considered as Imamis, they differ in something which is the foundation of their school, despite them being the companions of the Imams or narrating from them either directly or through close companions. This is another great difference which one should be alerted to.

But we say it quite frankly that it is noticeable from what we read that the Imami scholars did not make the necessary effort needed in investigating and exploring the narrations that their schools narrators transmitted, in revealing the condition of the fabricators and the accused ones and in paying attention to identify the inserted and the fabricated narrations, like the constant and early effort that the Ahlus Sunnah made in looking into the conditions of narrators and exploring their narrations.

This is what was acknowledged —shamefully—by some of the Imami scholars like ‘Allamah ‘Abdul Hadi al Fadli (d. 1434 AH) in his book Usul al Hadith.[23]

The teacher Haydar Hubb Allah states:

 

يبدو من المؤكد تقريبا أن الشيعة لم يعرفوا تصنيفا أو علما أو اهتماما خاصا بظاهرة الموضوعات في الأحاديث  لهذا لم نعثر بعد تفتيشنا على مصنفاتهم وكتبهم علي تصنيف لهم بهذا العنوان أو ما يشبهه وفق ما تتبعناه وذلك على خلاف الحال مع أهل السنة  حيث وجدنا هذا الموضوع مفردا عندهم بالدرس والتنقيب والبحث والتصنيف  فالكتب السنية في هذا المجال عديدة تبدأ من القرون الهجرية الأولي وحتى الفترات الأخيرة فقد صنفوا كتبا عديدة تحت هذا العنوان كان منها المرضوعات للمقدسي ‎(٥٠٧ﻫ)‏ والموضوعات لابن الجرزي ‎(٥٩٧ﻫ) والدر الملتقط في تبيين الغلط للصاغاني (٦٥٠ﻫ)‏ والمنار المنيف لابن قيم الجوزية ‎(٧٥١ﻫ)‏ واللآلي المصنوعة في الأحاديث الموضوعة لجلال الدين السيوطي(٩١١ﻫ)  وتنزيه الشريعة لابن عراق (٩٦٣ﻫ) ‏والموضوعات الكبير للملا علي قاري (١٠١٤ﻫ) والمصنوع في معرفة الحديث الموضوع للمؤلف نفسه والفوائد المجموعة للشوكاني ‎(١٢٥٥ﻫ)

It almost certainly seems that the Shia do not know of any book, possess knowledge or pay attention to the phenomenon of Mawduat in Hadith. Hence, we have not come across—after researching their literature and books—any literature on this or similar topic, according to our research. Contrary to the Ahlus Sunnah, where we see this topic being taught, explored, researched, and written about exclusively. Thus, Sunni literatures in this field are plenty which begin from the first century after Hijrah until recent times. They wrote many books on this topic. Some of them are:

    • Al Mawduat of al Maqdisi (d. 507 AH).
    • Al Mawduat of Ibn al Jawzi (d. 597 AH).
    • Al Durr al Multaqit fi Tabyin al Ghalat of al Saghani (d. 650 AH).
    • Al Manar al Munif of Ibn al Qayyim al Jawziyyah (d. 751 AH).
    • Al La’ali al Masnuah fi al Ahadith al  Mawduah of Jalal al Din al Suyuti (d. 911 AH).
    • Tanzih al Shariah of Ibn ‘Iraq (d. 963 AH).
    • Al Mawduat al Kabir of Mulla ‘Ali Qari (d. 1014 AH).
    • Al Masnu fi Marifat ah-Hadith al Mawdu of Mulla ‘Ali Qari (d. 1014 AH).
    • Al Fawa’id al Majmuah of al Shawkani (d. 1255 AH).[24]

 

How will it be possible to write about fabricated narrations and tear down the curtains of the fabricators when the former scholars have intense differences among themselves in stipulating the limit for extremism? The latter scholars regard that which the formers regarded to be extremism, as part of their beliefs and essentials of din.

How is it possible, whereas they have confessed that those who gained their trust, so they declared their authenticity and succeeded through their good opinion, are the same ones who became—whether they knew or not—the tools for transferring narrations of liars, unknown and weak narrators, as attested by Muhaddith al Hurr al ‘Amili in his Wasa’il wherein he states:

 

 والثقات الأجلاء من أصحاب الإجماع وغيرهم يروون عن الضعفاء والكابين والمجاهيل حيث يعلمون حالهم ويشهدون بصحة حديثهم

The eminent trustworthy ones from the people of Ijma’ and others narrate from weak, liars, and unknown narrators whilst being aware of their condition and they give testimony to the authenticity of their narrations.[25]

 

If this is the condition of the people of Ijma’ and all the trusted narrators, then what will be the condition of the others? What will be condition of those who narrate excessively from them?

To answer this, it would be good to look into two aspects:

  1. To look into the initial Imami al Usul al Rijaliyyah (books regarding approval and disapproval of narrators) and extract the first part of the answer from it.
  2. To review the examples applied by some of those who narrate excessively from those who are likely to be weak or accused of lies, along with presenting some of their narrations found in the sect’s four primary Hadith compilations (al Kafi, Man la Yahduruhu al Faqih, Tahdhib al Kamal, and al Istibsar), which are considered to be the most trusted and important narrations of the sect, in addition to those that cannot be enumerated from the remaining primary compilations such as Wasa’il al Shia, Mustadrak al Wasa’il, Bihar al Anwar, and other reliable books of the sect.

We will create special headings for each part of the answer to increase clarification.

 

NEXT⇒ The Imami’s First al Usul al Rijaliyyah


[1] Rasa’il al Sharif al Murtada, 3/310-311.

[2] Rasa’il al Sharif al Murtada, 3/310-311.

[3] Al Tankil, 1/228.

[4] This is the view of the majority.

[5] Taking into consideration what was mentioned by the scholar al Mu’allimi, i.e. even if they are free from disbelief, then they are not safe from sin due to them leaving the Shari’ah. Thus, they are not on par with other interpreting sects. Those scholars who accepted their narration only accepted it because the requirement of justice in the narrator is determining his truthfulness and accuracy, considering his condition. The Khawarij—despite their misguidance and their audacity against innocent blood—they refrain from lying and all other major sins. People like them consider honesty in narrating to be din. Hence, their narrations were accepted.

Therefore, Abu Dawood al Sijistani (d. 275 AH) said about them:

ليس في أهل الأهواء أصح حديثا من الخوارج

From the people of desires, no one is more authentic in narrating than the Khawarij.

Then he mentioned ‘Imran ibn Hatat and Abu Hassan al A’raj. (See al Kifayah of al Khatib, pg. 130.)

Abu Dawood is the author of the famous al Sunan, and it has been said that his grandfather ‘Imran was one of those who fought with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in Siffin. He settled in Basrah, which was the homeland of the Qadariyyah. Along with the Qadariyyah there are other sects such as the Jabariyyah, the Murji’ah, the Jahmiyyah, the Nasibis, and the Mu’tazilah. So this statement, in addition to its issuance from the great Imam, emerged after investigation of the people’s narrations.

Al Mubarrad (d. 285 AH) states in al Kamil fi al Lughah wa al Adab, 3/122:

والخوارج في جميع أصنافها تبرا من الكاذب ومن ذي المعصية الظاهرة

The Khawarij, in all their types, are free from the liars and open sinners.

Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728 AH) said in Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah, 7/36 regarding the comparison between them and some of the sects:

لا نعرف عنهم أنهم يتعمدون الكذب بل هم من أصدق الناس

We do not know that they intentionally lie; rather, they are among the most honest people.

‘Allamah Ibn al Wazir al Hassani al Yamani (d. 840 AH) stated in al Awasim wa al Qawasim, 2/409, about the senior Zaidi luminaries such as al Hakim Al Jashami (d. 494 AH) in Sharh Uyun al Masa’il, Ahmed al Rassas in Jawharat al Usul, al Imam al Zaidi al Mansur bi Allah (d. 614 AH) in Safwat al Akhbar, that they authenticated the narrations of the Khawarij and claimed the Zaidi’s consensus on this and they would say:

شهادة من يكفُر بكذبه اولى من شهادة من لا يرى ذلك

The testimony of one who becomes a disbeliever because of his lie is better than the testimony of one who does not believe that.

This is reference to the belief of the Khawarij that lying is disbelief which expels one from the religion, and their abstinence from lies is for that reason.

I said that there is another reason for doubting them, because of what has been was attributed to one of them—he was among them, then he repented from his belief—that he stated:

إن هذه الأحاديث دين فانظروا عمّن تأخذون دينكم فإنا كنا إذا هوينا أمرا صيرناه حديثا

These ahadith are a din, so see from who you take your din, for when we used to like something, we would make it a hadith.

(See al Ramahurmuzi: al Muhaddith al Fasil, pg. 415; al Khatib: al Jami li Akhlaq al Rawi, 1/137.)

It appears to me—and Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala knows best—that this is the action of intruders against them, or that the narrator’s intention, when referring to them as Khawarij, is anyone who holds the view of taking up arms, even if he is from others, such as the Mu’tazilah or some of the Shia sects, as this is not the case of these people as we have learned. In fact, the aforementioned narration, in addition to being contrary to what is known of their condition, is weak in its chain.

[6] The former Shia would not narrate from the Rawafid and they rejected the authenticity of their narrations. From amongst them are:

  • Sulaiman ibn Mahran al A’mash (d. 148), who used to say:

أدركت الناس وما يسمونهم إلا الكذابين

I found that people would only call them liars.

Referring to the followers of al Mughirah ibn Sa’id, who were from the Rawafid.

  • Sharik ibn ‘Abdullah al Nakha’i (d. 178 AH) who used to say:

احمل العلم عن كل من لقيت إلا الرافضة فإنهم يضعون الحديث ويتخذونه دينا

I take knowledge from whoever I meet, except the Rawafid, for they fabricate hadith and regard it as din.

This is the opinion of the senior Huffaz (preservers of Hadith) and the Imams of din. It has been narrated about al Hafiz Yazid ibn Harun al Wasiti (d. 117 AH) that he said:

نكتب عن كل صاحب بدعة إذا لم يكن داعية إلا الرافضة فإنهم يكذبون

We write from all those innovators who do not invite to their innovation, except the Rawafid because they lie.

When Imam Malik was asked about them, he replied:

لا تكلمهم ولا ترو عنهم فإنهم يكذبون

Do not speak to them and do not narrate from them for they lie.

 

He used to say:

نزلوا أحاديث أهل العراق منزلة أحاديث أهل الكتاب لا تصدقوهم ولا تكذبوهم

They made the narrations of the people of Iraq like the narrations of the people of the Book. Do not verify them nor falsify them.

Imam Muhammad ibn Idris al Shafi’i states:

لم أر أحد أشهد بالزور من الرافضة

I have not seen anyone who bears false witness more than the Rawafid.

Ibn Abu al Hadid al Mu’tazili (d. 656 AH), in his Sharh Nahj al Balaghah, 11/49, believes that—despite him being a well-known Shia—the Rawafid, even though they are called Shia, are:

أصل الأكاذيب في أحاديث الفضائل فإنهم وضعوا في مبدأ الأمر أحاديث مختلقة في صاحبهم وحملهم على وضعها عداوة خصومهم نحو حديث السطل وحديث الرمانة وحديث غزوة البئر التي كان فيها الشياطين وتعرف كما زعموا بذات العلم وحديث غسل سلمان الفارسي وطي الأرض وحديث الجمجمة ونحو ذلك

They are the source of lies in narrations of virtues. From the beginning, they fabricated various narrations regarding their leader. Their enmity towards their opposition provoked them to fabricate narrations such as the narration of the bucket, narration of the pomegranate, narration about the battle of the well wherein there were devils, which is known as ‘actual knowledge’ according to them, narration about the bathing of Salman al Farsi, narration about the folding up of the earth, narration about the skull etc.

[7] Lisan al Mizan, 1/203.

[8] Al Muhaqqiq al Karaki (d. 940 AH) states in Jami al Maqasid, 12/135:

والناصب شر من اليهودي والنصراني على ما روي في أخبار أهل البيت ولا خلاف في ذلك عندنا

A Nasibi is worse than a Jew and a Christian, as narrated in transmissions from the Ahlul Bayt and there are no differences in that according to us.

Also see Zayn al Din al ‘Amili (d. 964 AH): al Rawdat al Bahiyyah, 5/234; Yusuf al Bahrani: al Hada’iq al Nadirah, 5/178; al Tanqih fi Sharh al Makasib, book on transactions (from the encyclopaedia of Imam al Khu’i), pg. 203.

Whilst discussing their impurity, the late Shia scholar of reference, al Mirza Jawad al Tabrizi (d. 1427 AH) states in Tanqih Mabani al Urwah, 2/207:

ولعل كون الناصب أنجس من الكلب أن اعتبار النجاسة للكلب لا لخبثه الباطني بخلاف الناصب لهم وعلى الجملة ظاهرها أن النجاسة المعروفة في الكلب هي الثابتة للناصب بنحو يوصف بالأشد

Perhaps the reason for a Nasibi being more impure than a dog is taking into consideration that a dog’s impurity is not because of his internal impurity, contrary to a Nasibi. In brief, the apparent meaning is that the impurity known in a dog is found in a Nasibi in a more severe manner.

[9] Considering a vast expansion of the definition of Nasb according to the Imami scholars, merely giving the three Khalifahs (Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhum) preference over ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is regarded to be Nasb, even if the one who holds this view loves and is loyal to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, like the statement of Hussain Al ‘Usfur al Darazi al Bahrani in al Mahasin al Nafsaniyyah fi Ajwibat al Masa’il al Khurasaniyyah, pg. 1157:

على أنك قد عرفت سابقا أنه ليس الناصب إلا عبارة عن التقديم على علي ومن المعلوم أن أهل السنة يقدمون أبا بكر وعمر على علي بن أبي طالب

As you already know that Nasb is to give preference over ‘Ali and it is well known that the Sunnis give preference to Abu Bakr and ‘Umar over ‘Ali.

‘Allamah Yusuf al Bahrani has declared this also in al Hada’iq al Nadirah, 5/186:

والمستفاد من هذه الأخبار أن مظهر النصب المترتب عليه الأحكام والدليل عليه إما تقديم الجبت والطاغوت أي أبي بكر وعمر أو بغض الشيعة من حيث التشيع فكل من اتصف بذلك فهو ناصب تجري عليه أحكام النصب نعم يجب أن يستثني من خبر تقديم الجبت والطاغوت المستضعف كما عرفت من الأخبار المتقدمة وغيرها أيضا فيختص الحكم بما عداه وعموم ذلك لجميع المخالفين بعد إخراج هذا الفرد مما لايعتريه الريب والشك بالنظر إلي الأخبار المذكورة كما عليه أكثر أصحابنا المتقدمين الحاكمين بالكفر وكثير من متأخري المتاخرين كما قدمنا نقل كلام بعضهم

What can be learnt from these narrations is that the manifestations of Nasb, on which rulings are applied. The evidence for it is giving preference to Jibt and the Taghut (idols)—that is, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar—or hatred of the Shias because of their Shi’ism. So, whoever is characterized by that is a Nasibi and the rulings of Nasb will be applied to him. Yes, it is necessary to exclude from the narration of the precedence of Jibt and Taghut, the oppressed ones, as you have learned from the above-mentioned reports and others as well. Thus, the ruling is specific to others. The generality of that to all opposition, after excluding this individual, is something beyond uncertainty and doubt, taking into consideration the aforementioned reports, as was the case with most of our former companions who issued the ruling of disbelief, as well as many of the latter scholars, as we have quoted their statements before.

This view is not confined to a group of Akhbaris, as it can be claimed. In fact, the practical application of this belief is apparent in the statements of a group of scholars from the Usuli school, as the contemporary Shia scholar of reference, ‘Ali Al Muhsin al Qatifi considered a group of senior Sunni scholars from amongst the Nasibis, as he states in Kashf al Haqa’iq, pg. 204:

وأما النواصب من علماء أهل السنة فكثيرون أيضا منهم ابن تيمية وابن كثير الدمشقي وابن الجوزي وشمس الدين الذهبي وابن حزم الأندلسي وغيرهم وهؤلاء وإن نفوا عن نفسهم النصب إلا أن المتأمل في كتبهم يحصل له الجزم بما قلناه

As for the Nasibis from the Sunnis, they are plenty. Amongst them are: Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Kathir al Damishqi, Ibn al Jawzi, Shams al Din al Dhahabi, Ibn Jazm al Andalusi etc. Although these scholars deny Nasb on themselves; however, an observer into their books will ascertain what we have mentioned.

Muhsin al Mu’allim embarked on enumerating more than 200 people from amongst the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum, the Tabi’is, and other scholars, who he considered to be Nasibis. Some of them are:

From the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum:

Abu Bakr al Siddiq, ‘Umar ibn al Khattab, ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, Umm al Mu’minin ‘Aisha, Anas ibn Malik, Hassaan ibn Thabit al Ansari, al Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, Talhah ibn ‘Ubaidullah, Abu Musa al Ash’ari, Abu Hurairah, ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair, Jarir ibn ‘Abdullah al Bajali, and Hanzalah ibn al Rabi’ al Tamimi.

From the Tabiin:

Al Hassan al Basri, Sa’id ibn al Musayyib, ‘Urwah ibn al Zubair, ‘Abdullah ibn Habib al Sulami, Mutarrif ibn ‘Abdullah al Shikhkhir,’Abdullah ibn Shaqiq, and al Hakam ibn ‘Utaybah.

From the Imams and luminaries of the Ahlus Sunnah:

Al Zubair ibn Bakkar, Muhammad ibn Muslim al Zuhri, Imam Tawus ibn Kaysan, Imam al Awza’i, Imam Malik, Imam Thawr al Kala’i, Hussain ibn ‘Ali al Karabisi, al Asma’i, Ibn Qutaybah al Dinawari, Abu Bakr al Baqillani, Imam Ibn Hazm, Imam Ibn Taymiyyah, al Hafiz al Dhahabi, Ibn Hajar al Haytami, al Hafiz Ibn Kathir and Ibn Khaldun. (Refer to al Nasb wa al Nawasib, under the heading: al Nawasib fi al ‘Ibad, pg. 259 and thereafter.)

[10] They are the followers of Abu al Khattab Muhammad ibn Abi Zainab al Asadi al Ajda’. They are five sects and all of them claim that the Imams are inspired prophets, messengers of Allah, and His evidence on His creation. There will always be two messengers present; one talking and the other silent. Thus, Prophet Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is the talking one and ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib is the silent one. They claim that the prophets of Allah come in succession, i.e. there will always be two at any given time and that obedience to them is compulsory on everyone. They have knowledge of the past and the future. The two messengers during the time of the Khattabis were Jafar al Sadiq and Abu al Khattab al Asadi. (Refer to al Ash’ari: Maqalat al Islamiyyin, pg. 10; al Himyari al Zaidi: al Hur al Ayn, pg.166; al Qummi: al Maqalat wa al Firaq, pg. 51.)

They say that Abu Khattab claimed prophethood first, then he claimed to be a messenger, then he claimed to be from among the angels and that he is Allah’s messenger to the people of the earth and evidence against them.

It appears to me that reporting of this statement from him is based on ignorance regarding the concept of Imamah according to the Imamis, because they believe an Imam to be greater than all the prophets and the messengers except Prophet Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and he is the evidence of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala against his servants and protected from major and minor sins, in fact from forgetfulness and mistake also (this parallels the infallibility of the angels, in fact is more). Hence, the meaning of his claim of Imamah with Jafar al Sadiq is all that has been mentioned above.

However, they report that he went beyond that after some time, i.e. the view of deification of the Imams. Hence, he claimed divinity and subsequently discarded some obligatory acts from his followers to make it easier for them and he permitted some unlawful acts for them. (Refer to: al Nawbakhti: Firaq al Shia, pg. 58; al No’man: Daa’im al Islam, 1/49-50.)

[11] They are a group of extremists who separated from those extremists who believe in the divinity of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and other Imams from his progeny, by professing that the Imams are transient, created by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and refuting eternity for them. However, they attached creation and sustenance to them and claimed that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala created them exclusively and handed over the creation of the universe, with all its contents, as well all actions to them. (Refer to al Mufid: Tashih Itiqadat al Imamiyyah, pg. 133-134; Rasa’il al Murtada, 4/21.)

[12] This is the biggest Shia Imami sect, after the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah, found today. They share the concept of Imamah with the Ithna’Ashariyyah; however, a split occurred between them and the remaining Imamis after the demise of the sixth Imam, Jafar al Sadiq. A group from the majority of the Imamis believe that Imamah was transferred to his eldest son, for whom he bequeathed it, Ismail al Mubarak. Another group believes that the Imamah was transferred to his brother Musa al Kazim, because of the death of Ismail during his father’s lifetime. Meanwhile the Isma’ilis believe that Imamah, after Ismail, was transferred to his son Muhammad.

Beneficial Note:

The Khattabis shaped a suitable landscape for the foundation of the Ismaili School, as it can be clearly seen in the inner beliefs of the Ismailis and its closeness to the beliefs and those of the Khattabis at that time. Al Nawbakhti alludes to that clearly by saying:

 فاما الإسماعيلية فهم الخطابية أصجاب أبي الخطاب محمد بن أبي زينب الأسدي الأجدع وقد دخلت منهم فرقة في فرقة محمد بن إسماعيل وأقروا بموت إسماعيل بن جعفر في حياة أبيه وهم الذين خرجوا في حياة أبي عبد الله جعفر بن محمد فحاربوا عيسى بن موسى بن محمد بن عبد الله العباسي وكان عاملا على الكوفة فبلغه عنهم انهم أظهروا الإباحات ودعوا إلى نبوة أبي الخطاب

As for the Ismailis, they are the Khattabis, the followers of Abu al Khattab Muhammad ibn Abi Zainab al Asadi al Ajda’. A group from them merged with the group of Muhammad ibn Ismail and confirmed the death of Ismail ibn Jafar during the lifetime of his father. They are the group that revolted during the life Abu ‘Abdullah Jafar ibn Muhammad, and fought against ‘Isa ibn Musa Ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah al ‘Abbasi, who was the governor of Kufah. He received information that they spread immorality and called to the prophethood of Abu al Khattab.

Then, al Nawbakhti mentions the battle and the killing, crucifixion and burning of Abu al Khattab’s body. Thereafter, he states:

ثم خرج من قال بمقالته من أهل الكوفة وغيرهم إلي محمد بن إسماعيل بن جعفر بعد قتل أبي الخظاب فقالوا بإمامته وأقاموا عليها

Thereafter, those who held his view from the people of Kufah and others went to Muhammad ibn Ismail ibn Jafar, after the death of Abu al Khattab, believed in his Imamah and abided by it. (Refer to Firaq al Shia, pg. 69-71)

It is reported in Rijal al Kashshi, 2/612, from Hammad ibn ‘Uthman who says:

سمعت أبا عبد الله جعفر الصادق يقول للمفضل بن عمر الجعفي يا كافر يا مشرك مالك ولابني يعني إسماعيل بن جعفر وكان منقطعا إليه يقول فيه مع الخطابية ثم رجع بعد

I heard Abu ‘Abdullah —Jafar al Sadiq—say to Mufaddal ibn ‘Umar al Ju’fi, “O infidel, O polytheist, what is wrong with you and [what do you want with] my son?”

He was cut off from him and believed in the Khattabis. He later retracted.

Hence, Sa’d ibn ‘Abdullah al Ash’ari al Qummi (d. 299 AH) states al Maqalat wa al Firaq, pg. 83:

إن اتباع أبي الخطاب لما قتل معظمهم خرج الجماعة الباقون ممن قال بمقالة أبي الخظاب إلى محمد بن إسماعيل فقالوا بإمامته وأقاموا عليها

When most of Abu al Khattab’s followers were killed, the remainder of the group who adopted the views of Abu al Khattab went to Muhammad ibn Ismail believed in his Imamah and abided to it.

It becomes clear to one who studies the principles of Ismailis and their belief structures that there is a great similarity between some of the beliefs and ideologies of the Khattabis and the Ismailis. The Khattabis invented the belief of the talking Imam and the silent Imam, a belief that later became specific to Ismailis.

Similarly, one of their opinions that they expressed openly is the claim of the equality of the Imams (initially) or giving them preference over the messengers of firm resolve. This is an established belief among the Ismailis, especially regarding their Imam Muhammad ibn Ismail, who they consider to be in the status of the messengers of firm resolve, as recorded in their books of realities. (Refer to al A’zami: al Haqa’iq al Khafiyyah, pg. 126.)

As for the claim of divinity for their Imams and leaders, the Khattabis, in their final stages, claimed divinity for Jafar al Sadiq and Abu al Khattab. The Ismailis also had similar beliefs regarding their Imam Muhammad ibn Ismail.

Indicating to all that has been mentioned above, Dr Mustafa al Nashshar states:

ولا شك أن الكثير من أصول الخظابية قد دخلت في عقائد الإسماعيلية فيما بعد ولكن تم هذا بعد مقتل أبي الخظلاب واعتناق كثير من أتباعه للإسماعيلية في عهد عبد الله بن ميمون القداح

There is no doubt that many of the Khattabi principles merged with the beliefs of the Ismailis later and this was completed after the killing of Abu al Khattab and many of his followers embracing the Ismailiyyah during the era of ‘Abdullah ibn Maymun al Qaddah.

Bernard Lewis states in Usul al Ismailiyyah, pg. 71-72:

ولما مات أبو الخطاب تحول أتباعه إلى محمد بن إسماعيل حفيد جعفر وأعلنوا ولاءهم له وكانت فرقة الإسماعيلية هي الخطابية نفسها

When Abu al Khattab passed away, his followers turned to Muhammad ibn Ismail, the grandson of Jafar and declared loyalty to him. The Ismaili sect is in fact the Khattabi sect.

He further states:

وفضلا عن ذلك فإن لدينا مجموعتين من التصانيف حفظت لنا اسم أبي الخطاب وعقائده وفيها إشارة وافية إلى الدور الحاسم الذي اضطلع به أولاهما أم الكتاب الشهيرة وهي عبارة عن كتاب سري مقدس عند الإسماعيلين في آسيا الوسطى يمثل كما يشير العلامة الذي أشرف على طبعه مرحلة قديمة جدا لتطور أفكار الشيعة الثورية وهذا الكتاب بجعل لأبي الخظلاب مقاما خطيرا في هذه الحركة فيعتبره مؤسس المذهب ويقرنه بسلمان في عظيم أهميته وعبارته في ذلك واضحة صريحة إذ يقول: إن المذهب الإسماعيلي هو ما أوجدته ذرية أبي الخظاب وأتباعه الذي شروا أنفسهم بحب أحفاد جعفر الصادق وإسماعيل

In addition to that, we have two groups of collections that have preserved the name of Abu al Khattab and his beliefs for us. It contains ample indication to the decisive role played by, the first of them, the famous Umm al Kitab (the main book). This is a secret book, sacred to the Ismailis in Central Asia that represents, as indicated by the learned scholar who undertook its printing, a very ancient stage of the development of the revolutionary Shia ideologies. This book gives Abu al Khattab a serious position in this movement, considering him the founder of the sect and linking him to Salman in his great importance. His statement in that is clear and explicit as he states, “The Ismaili School is what was invented by the descendants of Abu al Khattab and his followers who sold themselves for the love of the grandchildren of Jafar al Sadiq and Ismail.”

[13] It is an extinct Imami sect who believed in the prophet hood of Muhammad ibn Nusyr al Fihri al Numairi. He claimed to be a prophet and that Imam ‘Ali ibn Muhammad al Hadi sent him. He believed in reincarnation and extremism regarding Abu al Hassan—’Ali al Hadi—and believed in his divinity. He believed in permitting unlawful things and permitted homosexuality and sodomy. He used to say:

إنه من الفاعل والمفعول به أحد الشهوات والطيبات وإن الله لم يحرم شيئا من ذلك

It is one of the pleasures and pure things from the doer and the one on whom it is done, and Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has not prohibited any of that.

Muhammad ibn Musa ibn al Hassan ibn Furat used to strengthen his reasons and support him. It is mentioned that some people saw Muhammad ibn Nusayr with his own eyes and a servant of his on his back. When he saw him in that way he said, “This is one of the pleasures and it is a form of humility to Allah and abandoning arrogance. (Refer to: al Nawbakhti: Firaq al Shia, pg. 93; Rijal al Kashshi, 2/805.)

Some mention that he was a companion of al Hassan al ‘Askari and that he said about him what they mentioned that he said about his father. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala knows best.

[14] It is an extinct school which was founded after the martyrdom of al Hussain ibn ‘Ali in Karbala’. They believed in the Imamah of ‘Ali, Hassan, and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu, then Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, known as Ibn al Hanafiyyah. The Kaysaniyyah believed that Muhammad was the awaited Mahdi who will fill the earth with fairness and justice and that he is alive who did not and will not die until truth prevails.

[15] It a sect that is attributed to Zaid ibn ‘Ali ibn al Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhum. They believe that he was the Imam after ‘Ali and his two sons, al Hassan and al Hussain. They also believed in the Imamah of the non-preferential ones, i.e., Abu Bakr and ‘Umar despite giving preference to ‘Ali over them. They believe that after Hassan and Hussain, Imamah will remain in their progeny. Thus, Imamah will be for the one who calls to himself, if his lineage from his father descends to one of them, when the qualities of Imamah are found in him. No one besides them can be an Imam. They mention that this is the school of all the Ahlul Bayt, as mentioned by the Zaidi Imam, al Mansur bi Allah ‘Abdullah ibn Hamzah in Sharh al Risalat al Nasihah, 1/283:

مذهبنا بكماله في أن الإمامة بعد علي وولديه الحسن والحسين مقصورة على من قام ودعا من أولادهما المنتسبين بآبائهم إليهما

Our complete school is that Imamah, after ‘Ali and his two sons, al Hassan and al Hussain, is confined to one who rises and calls to it, from amongst their progeny who are attributed to them through their fathers.

As for the Imami stance on the Zaidis, it manifests itself from what Sultan al Wa’izin al Shirazi said in Layali Beshawar (Peshawar nights), which is the most famous propaganda book of the school after al Murajaat:

ظهرت مذاهب كثيرة بدواع دينية وسياسية زعمت أنها من الشيعة وتبعهم كثير من الجهال فاعتقدوا بأباطيلهم وكفرياتهم وحسبهم الجاهلون الغافلون بأنهم من الشيعة ونشروا كتبا علي هذا الأساس الباطل من غير تحقيق وتدقيق واما المذامب التي انتسبت إلي الشيعة عن جهل أو عمد لأغراض سياسية ودنيوية فهي أربع (كذا بالأصل والصحيح أربعة) مذاهب أولية وقد اضمحل منها مذهبان وبقي مذهبان تشعبت منهما مذاهب آخرى والمذامب الأربعة هي الزيدية الكيسانية القداحية الغلاة

Many schools sprung up for religious and political reasons, claiming to be from the Shia. Many ignorant people followed them and believed in their corrupt views and infidelity. The negligent ignorant people thought that they were from the Shia and spread their books on this corrupt basis, without investigation and scrutiny. The schools that are attributed to the Shia, either intentionally or unintentionally, for political or worldly purposes, are four primary schools. Two of them have become extinct and the other two remain, wherefrom other schools branch out. The four schools are: the Zaidis, the Kaysaniyyah, Qaddahiyyah, and the extremist. (Refer to Layali Beshawar, third council, pg. 130.)

‘Allamah al Majlisi states in Bihar al Anwar, 37/34:

كتب أخبارنا مشحونة بالأخبار الدالة على كفر الزيدية وأمثالهم من الفطحية والواقفة وغيرهم من الفرق المضلة المبتدعة

Our books of narrations are fraught with narrations that indicate to the disbelief of the Zaidis and other similar deviate innovated sects like the Fathis, Waqifis etc.

‘Allamah Yusuf al Bahrani states in al Kashkul, 3/307:

وأما الزيدية القائلون بإمامته أي الإمام زيد فهم عند الأئمة في عداد النصاب بلا شك ولا ارتياب كما صرحت به أخبارهم المنقولة في كتاب الكشي وغيره

As for the Zaidis who believe in his—Imam ZaidImamah, they are undoubtedly counted amongst the Nasibis according to the Imams, as is clearly declared by their narrations transmitted in Kashshi and other books.

Despite the political proximity which we see today between the Imamis and the Zaidis, the senior Imami scholars have declared their impurity along with declaring them to be disbelievers, as stated by the late Shia scholar of reference, Ruh Allah al Khumayni (d. 1410 AH) in Kitab al Taharah, 3/459:

وأما سائر الطوائف من المنتحلين للإسلام أو التشبع كالزيدية والواقفة والغلاة والمجسمة والمجبرة والمفوضة وغيرهم إن اندرجوا في منكري الأصول أو في إحدى الطاتفتين فلا إشكال في نجاستهم

As for all the groups impersonating Islam of the Shia such as the Zaidis, Waqifis, the extremists, the Mujassimah, the Mujabbirah, the Mufawwidah etc, if they fall into the deniers of fundamentals or in one of the two sects, then there is no objection to their impurity.

[16] They believe in the Imamah of the Twelve Imams including ‘Abdullah al Aftah, the son of Jafar al Sadiq, who they insert between his father and brother, Musa al Kazim. They differ in the reason for calling him al Aftah. Is it because of his broad head or broad feet or both? Sometimes it is interpreted as crookedness in the leg.

‘Abdullah claimed Imamah and Wisayah (appointment by bequest) after the demise of his father. He was the eldest of Jafar’s children after the demise of his brother Ismail who passed away during his lifetime.

[17] In the books of narrators and history, the singular form of the word ‘Waqifa’ is used for a group of people who hold specific religious trends. This name is repeated many times in the books of schools and sects, particularly among the Shias. It refers to those who adhere to—in many historical stages—one of the Shia Imams like the Kaysaniyyah and the Nawusiyyah.

Ibn Babawayh al Qummi has used this phrase, for example, the Waqifah of Amir al Mu’minin, the Waqifah of Musa al Kazim, the Waqifah of Abu ‘Abdullah—Jafar al Sadiq—during the course of narrating the debates between Ibn Qubbah and Abu Zaid al ‘Alawi. In another place it comes as ‘the Waqifah of al Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn Muhammad’ indicating to those who believe that al Hassan al ‘Askari is the Mahdi, who did not die, rather, he disappeared and will return later. From amongst those who used the singular form of this word (Waqifah) is al Nawbakhti in his book Firaq al Shia believing it to mean ‘adherence to any of the Imams’; however, it is used specifically for those who adhere to the Imamah of Musa ibn Jafar. He states:

كل من مضي منهم يعني من الأئمة فله واقفة قد وقفت عليه وهذا اللقب أي الواقفية لأصحاب موسى بن جعفر خاصة

From the Imams that passed, each one had adherents that adhered to him. This title, i.e., al Waqifiyyah, is specifically for the followers of Musa ibn Jafar. (Refer to Firaq al Shia, pg. 82.)

The Waqifah had a great influence on the Imami legacy. It is sufficient to know that its followers reached 64 in number from the total number of Musa al Kazim’s followers, which were 273. This total represents a great trend which cannot be underestimated in the co-existence of the Imami Shia who constitute a minority that suffered from severe censorship after the imprisonment of their Imam and subsequently his death in prison.

These Imamis wrote several books in support of their beliefs, which did not reach us due to the school’s extinction and the survival of their opposition. The most important ones are: Nusrat al Waqifah and al Sifah fi al Ghaybah ala Mazhab al Waqifah. Their activities and actual existence continued till later times as the Shia sources mention that Imam Hassan al ‘Askari used to dispute with them.

The Ithna ‘Ashari Imamis gave the Waqifah the title of al Kilab al Mamturah (wet dogs) to degrade and criticise them because ‘Ali ibn Ismail al Maythami and Yunus ibn ‘Abdur Rahman debated with some of the Waqifiyyah. When confronted with the stubbornness and aggression of the Waqifah and their non-compliance with the evidences presented, ‘Ali ibn Ismail said, when the conversation became heated between them, “You are nothing but wet dogs.”

He meant that you smell worse than a corpse because when a dog gets wet in the rain, it smells worse than a corpse.

Subsequently, this sect is known as al Kilab al Mamturah among the Qat’iyyah (they are those who broke away after the demise al Kazim and the Imamah of al Rida after him). Wherever the phrase al Kilab al Mamturah is mentioned in any narration or book, it refers to the Waqifiyyah. (Refer to al Nawbakhti: Firaq al Shia, pg. 81.)

[18] The Imami consensus is on this. Do not be deceived by anyone who deviates from this consensus or by the distracting Taqiyyah, because the views of the leaders of the school are collaborative in this regard. The following transmissions would be sufficient for you:

  • Ibn Babawayh al Qummi states in al Itiqadat, pg. 104:

واعتقادنا فيمن جحد إمامة أمير المؤمنين علي بن أبي طالب أنه كمن جحد نبوة جميع الأنبياء واعتقادنا فيمن أقر بأمير المؤمنين وأنكر واحدا من بعده من الأئمة أنه بمنزلة من أقر بجميع الأنبياء وانكر نبوة محمد

Our belief regarding one who denies the Imamah of Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib is that he is like the one who denies the prophet hood of all the prophets, and the one who confesses to the Imamah of Amir al Mu’minin but denies any of the Imams after him, is like who confesses to the prophet hood of all the prophets but denies the prophethood of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

  • Al Sheikh al Mufid (d. 413 AH) states in Awa’il al Maqalat, pg. 44:

واتفقت الإمامية علي أن من أنكر إمامة أحد الأئمة وجحد ما أوجبه الله تعالي من فرض الطاعة فهو كافر ضال مستحق للخلود في الناد

The Imamiyyah are unanimous that whoever denies the Imamah of any of the Imams and he denies any act of worship that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has ordained on him, is a deviate disbeliever, worthy of perpetual entry into Hellfire.

  • Al Sharif al Murtada (d. 436 AH) states in Rasa’il al Murtada, 2/251-252:

مما يدل أيضا على تقديمهم أي الأئمة الإثني عشر وتعظيمهم علي البشر أن الله تعالي دلنا علي أن المعرفة بهم كالمعرفة به تعالى في أنها إيمان وإسلام وان الجهل والشك فيهم كالجهل به والشك فيه في أنه كفر وخروج من الإيمان وهذه منزلة ليس لأحد من البشر إلا لنبينا صلي الله عليه وآله وبعده لأمير المؤمنين والأئمة من ولده علي جماعتهم السلام

And that which indicates to their—the Twelve Imams—superiority and reverence over the human beings is that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has showed us that recognising them is like recognising Allah, in that this is iman (faith) and Islam. Ignorance and doubt regarding them is like ignorance and doubt in Allah, which is disbelief and exit from iman. This status is not afforded to any human except the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, thereafter Amir al Mu’minin and the Imams from his progeny.

  • Sheikh al Ta’ifah al Tusi states in Talkhis al Shafi, 4/131:

دفع الإمامة كفر كما أن دفع النبوة كفر لأن الجهل بهما علي حد واحد

Rejecting Imamah is disbelief just as rejecting prophet hood is disbelief because ignorance regarding both of them is the same.

  • Al Qadi Nur Allah al Tustari (d. 1019 AH) states in al Sawarim al Muhriqah, pg. 86:

إن إنكار الإمامة كإنكار النبوة وإنكار النبوة كإنكار ألوهية الله تعالى فعُلم أن معرفة الإمام والاعتراف بحقه شرط الإيمان رغما لأنف من يتأنف عن ذلك ولولا ذلك لم يحكم الله على منكر بالارتداد

Rejecting Imamah is like rejecting prophethood and refuting prophethood is like refuting the divinity of Allah. Thus, it is understood that recognising the Imam and confessing to his rights is a condition of iman, despite those who complain about that. If it was not so, Allah would not have declared apostasy for the one who denies it.

  • Yusuf al Bahrani (d. 1186 AH) states in al Hada’iq al Nadirah, 18/153:

وليت شعري أي فرق بين من كفر بالله ورسوله وبين من كفر بالائمة مع ثبوت كون الإمامة من أصول الدين

If only I knew what difference is there between the person who rejects Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and His Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the one who rejects the Imams after establishing that Imamah is from the fundamentals of din.

[19] Considering that there is no correlation between disbelief and impurity. Hence, some sects issue ruling of disbelief but not of impurity.

[20] Refer to Muhammad Al Kashif al Ghita’: Asl al Shia wa Usuluha, pg. 211; Ayatollah Muhammad Asif Muhsini: Sirat al Haqq, 3/155.

[21] Refer to al Khumayni: al Hukumah al Islamiyyah, pg. 52; Kazim al Ha’ri: al Imamah wa Qiyadat al Mujtama, pg. 26, in addition to the many Imami writings in this regard, which Agha Buzurk al Tahrani has mentioned in al Dhariah ila Tasanif al Shia, 4/358-360.

[22] That is why Imamah is regarded as the greatest pillar of Islam according to them, because of their many and extensive narrations in al Kafi and other books, that Islam was built on five pillars and Wilayah is counted from amongst it, and that nothing was called for as Wilayah was called for, and it is the greatest and most honorable of them.

Mawla Muhammad Salih al Mazindarani (d. 1081 AH) states in Sharh Usul al Kafi, 5/223:

ومن البين أن أمر الإمامة من أعظم أركان الإسلام فلا يجوز اختيار الخلق له بمجرد الراي من غير سند

It is clear that the matter of Imamah is one of the greatest pillars of Islam, thus, it is not permissible for people to choose it based on mere opinion without any chain.

Sheikh Muhammad Hussain Al Kashif al Ghita’ (d. 1373 AH) states in Asl al Shia wa Usuluha, pg. 211-212:

الإمامة منصب إلهي كالنبوة فكما أن الله سبحانه يختار من يشاء عباده للنبوة والرسالة ويؤيده بالمعجزة التي هي كنص من الله عليه  وَرَبُّكَ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيَخْتَارُ مَا كَانَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ يختار للإمامة من يشاء ويأمر نبيه بالنص عليه وأن ينصبه إماما للناس من بعده للقيام بالوظائف التي كان على النبي أن يقوم بها

Imamah is a divine position just like prophethood. Just as Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala selects whoever He wills from His servants for prophethood and apostleship, and assists him with miracles which are like a text from Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala upon him.

Your Lord creates and chooses whatever He wills—the choice is not theirs. (Surah al Qasas: 68)

He chooses for the Imamah whoever He wills and commands His Prophet to declare it and appoint as an Imam for the people after him to carry out the duties that the prophet would do.

Sheikh Muhammad Hassan al Muzaffar states in Dala’il al Sidq li Nahj al Haq, 4/217:

ويشهد لكون الإمامة من أصول الدين أن منزلة الإمام كالنبي في حفظ الشرع ووجوب اتباعه والحاجة إليه ورئاسته العامة بلا فرق

The evidence for Imamah being one of the foundations of din is that the status of the Imam is like that of the prophet in preserving the Shari’ah, the obligation of following him, the need for it, and its general leadership, without any difference.

[23] Usul al Hadith, pg. 165.

[24] Nazariyyat al Sunnah fi Fikr al Imami al Shii, pg. 527.

[25] Wasa’il al Shia, 30/206.