My friend said to me, “Which Marja’ do you follow?”
I smiled and said, “I follow the most honourable, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”
After a long silence he turned to me and said, “You must follow a Marja’ who is alive, or else all of your actions will not be accepted!”
I said “Name me a Marja’ who doesn’t err and I will follow him immediately. Why should I follow a Marja’ when he is a human being, when he could err in one fatwa and be correct in the other? For me to be convinced of any fatwa of his, you need to bring to me proof from the book of Allah. As for me following all that he says without any evidence, then this is tacit belief that he is a divine Messenger.”
He said, “What is better in your opinion: that you follow the Ahlul Bayt or someone else?”
I said, “You follow the Marja’ and not the Ahlul Bayt. Where is the way of the Ahlul Bayt in all that he says? Where is the way of the Ahlul Bayt in fatwas with no evidence, either from the Qur’an or from the Hadith of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam? Did the Imams ‘alayhim al Salam come with a new religion, different from the religion of the most honourable Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, or did they traverse the path of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the Qur’an?”
I have yet to find a book of fatwa wherein the Marja’ substantiated half of his fatwas with proof from the Qur’an or Hadith. Let alone one where all of the fatwas would be substantiated by proof from the Qur’an or Hadith. Where then is this alleged adherence to the teachings of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Ahlul Bayt ‘alayhim al Salam.
Tell me that such-and-such thing is permissible or impermissible because Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has said so, or the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, or his pure progeny ‘alayhim al Salam have said so. Present a proof which substantiates your claim. As for your saying, “This is permissible” or “This is impermissible” without any evidence, and then say, “This is the way of Ahlul Bayt,” I can never accept this from you.
My way is the way of the evidence; my way is the Qur’an; my way is the way of the authentic narrations from the most honourable Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and his pure family ‘alayhim al Salam. If anyone contradicts the word of the blessed Qur’an then we will reject his opinion outright, just as Imam al Sadiq ‘alayh al Salam has commanded us to do.
Names do not concern me; give me the truth and call me whatever you wish. What is important is the actions and not the names given to them. If names were important instead of the things which those names were attached to, then the Christians would have been on the truth; simply because they ascribe themselves in name to ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam.
I am from the followers of the Ahlul Bayt ‘alayhim al Salam, and from the followers of the religion that was brought by Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Are those things which take place at the ceremonial Ta’ziyah processions held in memory of the martyrdom of Imam Hussain ‘alayh al Salam, and at the graves and shrines, from the guidance of the most honourable Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his pure family ‘alayhim al Salam, or is it essentially the “guidance” of the Marja’s and the clergy?
Is it not absurd that not one fatwa book is fortified with proofs from the Qur’an? It is as if I am reading fatwas by Jean-Paul Sartre or Lenin or Stalin, not by a Muslim scholar! We are followers of the Qur’an, not of the clergy. We are the nation of the Qur’an, not of the clergy.
Thus, if what the clergy say contradicts the Qur’an or the intellect then we will throw what he says into the ocean! For me to be sectarian under the slogan, A goat even if it flew, is the way that the Jews and Christians dealt with their rabbis and priests.
I was speaking to one person once regarding seeking help from the Imams and quoted to him some verses of the Qur’an that prohibit calling on others besides Allah. He replied that Sheikh so-and-so and Marja’ so-and-so said that it is permissible.
I said, “Subhan Allah! I say to you Allah said and you reply, ‘Sheikh so-and-so said and Marja’ so-and-so said’?
What is truly astonishing is that the clergy have blind confidence in the fact that the masses will not research any further to verify the veracity of what they say or lack thereof.
Here is Sheikh Muhammad al Tijani who says:
‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar said, while explaining a Hadith of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “The Khalifas after me are twelve, all of them from Quraysh,’ ‘This Ummah will have twelve Khalifas and they are: Abu Bakr al Siddiq, ‘Umar Al Faruq, ‘Uthman Dhu al Nurayn, Muawiyah and his son, the two kings of the blessed land, al Saffah, Salam, Mansur, Jabir, al Mahdi, al Amin, and Amir al ‘Asab. All of them are from Banu Ka’b ibn Lu’ayy, and all of them are pious, the likes of whom shall not be burned in hell.”
Then Sheikh al Tijani goes on to say about Ibn ‘Umar:
His hatred and ignorance cost him his sight, just as his jealousy and rancour cost him his insight, such that he did not see any virtue of Amir al Mu’minin ‘alayh al Salam, and gave priority to Muawiyah, the Taliq, his son, the heretic, and the criminal, Al Saffah. The longer you live, the stranger the things that time will show you.
He then said:
Ibn ‘Umar helped the Umayyad dynasty and crowned Muawiyah and his son Yazid with the crown of the Caliphate, lying against the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and accepted the Caliphate of al Saffah and al Mansur and all of the immoral Khalifas of the Umayyads.
A Hadith of this kind is nowhere to be found and Sheikh al Tijani did not even inform us from which orientalist he procured this Hadith!
Moreover, how did Ibn ‘Umar accept the rule of al Saffah and al Mansur when he died years before them? Did he come out of his grave to proclaim his acceptance of their Caliphate? Otherwise, did he accept them before they were born? Did he know the unseen?
It is amusing that I was once speaking to someone about the frightful number of fallacies and deception in the books of Sheikh al Tijani, which enraged him. He said to me aggressively, “Who are you to speak of al Tijani like this?” He was gracious enough to shower me with accusations and insults after this.
I replied, “Sheikh al Tijani is of no concern to me; I have never met him to have developed any animosity towards him. However, I read his books and came across some important realities. The author does not concern me at all; I am not against personalities, only his ideas.
I have simply informed you that I have found deception and fallacious claims in his books. Are you incapable of opening up the book for yourself and verify what he says by checking his references first hand? Instead of hurling accusations against me and insulting me simply do your research.
Anyone, myself included, who expresses his ideas or perspectives to people; then it is their right, if not their duty, to firstly verify the veracity of the information. Secondly, they have a right to express their own opinion on the matter, whether it is one of praise or criticism. I reiterate that criticism is not to be understood as an insult or a lack of respect.”
He apologized for losing his composure, and we finished our conversation. I made it a point to mention the book Al Shia wa Al Tashih in order to gauge his reaction.
He had scathing remarks to offer about the author.
I responded, “Are you not proficient in anything aside from insulting and accusing anyone who disagrees with your opinion? Whenever a book emerges that contradicts our inclinations, we leave the contents of the books and immerse ourselves in fabricating stories against the author. When I spoke of Sheikh al Tijani I did not insult him or accuse him of anything, but only mentioned what I found in his books in terms of his fallacies, after having read the books. Have you read the book Al Shia wa Al Tashih for you to be able to say all of these things about the book?”
He replied, “No, but I have heard a lot about it!”
I said, “Subhan Allah! You say all of these things about a book that you have not read, and you attack me for mentioning fallacies in books that I have actually read? Did Allah create the intellect for it to be a parrot, repeating all that it hears without any proof, or in order for it to search for the truth independently?
I have read multiple rebuttals of Musa Al Musawi wherein the authors of the rebuttal left out discussing the actual ideas of the book, instead pouncing on the author, accusing him of being a spy, an agent, and a traitor. Al Musawi’s political views do not concern me, as I have no involvement in politics. Al Musawi as a person does not concern me either. What concerns me is what he has presented in terms of theological views. If he was an agent for having contradicted you in his opinion then there are scholars and Marja’s of the Shia who agree with him in either some or most of what he has opined in terms of beliefs, the likes of Sayed Muhammad Hussain Fadl Allah, Ustad Haydar ‘Ali Qalamdaran, Al Khalisi, Abu al Fadl al Burqa’i, Sheikh ‘Abbas al Musa, Sheikh Hussain al Radi, and Sheikh Talib al Sanjari. Are all of these people covert agents as well?
 An Arabic proverb that is used for someone who displays obstinacy in accepting the truth.
 Al Kulayni: Al Kafi, 1/69.
 Al Hurr al ‘Amili: Wasa’il al Shia, 27/110.
 A title for those companions who embraced Islam when Makkah was conquered, sometimes used derogatorily, such as in this passage – Translator.
 Al Tijani: al Shia hum Ahlus Sunnah, pg. 153-154.Back to top