Chapter Five – The Sects of the Shia, their History and Beliefs Continued

May 23, 2023
Chapter Six – The Ithna ‘Ashariyyah Shia
June 9, 2023

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The Shia of Kufah

Before concluding the discussion on them, we wish to speak about the Shia of Kufah and their deep-rooted cowardice and desertion. The very Kufah about which they fabricated plenty narrations falsely attributed to Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He says:


كأني بك يا كوفة تمدين مد الأديم العكاظي تعركين بالنوازل وتركبين بالزلازل وإني لأعلم أنه ما أراد بك جبار سوء إلا ابتلاه الله بشاغل أو رماه بقاتل

O Kufah, it is as though I see you being drawn like the tanned leather of ‘Ukaz in the market. You are being scraped by calamities and being ridden by severe troubles. I certainly know that if any tyrant intends evil for you, Allah will afflict him with worry and appoint an assassin to kill him.[1]


He said:

أنه ُيحشر من ظهورها يوم القيامة سبعون ألفاً وجوههم على صورة القمر

From its land, seventy thousand shall be resurrected on the Day of Qiyamah, their faces like the moon.


He said:


هذه مدينتنا ومحلتنا ومقر شيعتنا

This is our city and our camp, and the abode of our Shia.


Jafar ibn Muhammad rahimahu Llah stated:


اللهم ارم من رماها وعاد من عاداها

O Allah, shoot the person who shoots it and display enmity against the one who hates it.


He stated:


تربة تحبنا ونحبها

An earth which loves us and we love it.[2]


Let us quote two texts about Kufah from two major Imams of the Shia. Al Mas’udi narrates about Zaid ibn ‘Ali ibn al Hussain rahimahu Llah who was martyred in 121/122 AH:


شاور أخاه أبا جعفر بن علي بن الحسين بن علي فأشار عليه بأن لا يركن إلى أهل الكوفة إذ كانوا أهل غدر ومكر وقال له بها قتل جدك علي وبها طعن عمك الحسن وبها قتل أبوك الحسين وأعمالها شتمنا أهل البيت

He consulted his brother Abu Jafar ibn ‘Ali ibn al Hussain ibn ‘Ali who indicated to him not to incline towards the residents of Kufah as they were imposters and conspirators. He said to him: “Your grandfather was killed there, your uncle, Hassan, was stabbed there, and your father, Hussain, was killed there. Moreover, their governors revile us, the Ahlul Bayt.”[3]


Secondly, al Mufid writes while discussing Zaid ibn ‘Ali:


إنه لم يكره قوم قط حد السيف إلا ذلوا فلما وصل إلى الكوفة اجتمع إليه أهلها فلم يزالوا به حتى بايعوه على الحرب ثم نقضوا وأسلموه فقتل وصلب بينهم أربع سنين لا ينكر أحد منهم ولا يعينوه بيد ولسان

No nation was forced by the sword except that they were humiliated. When he reached Kufah, the residents gathered by him. They remained with him until they pledged allegiance at his hands to wage war. Thereafter, they broke it and handed him over, and he was eventually martyred and was crucified in their midst for four years, whereas none of them objected nor did they assist him physically or verbally.[4]


This ends the discussion on the Zaidiyyah and their history.[5]


Adherents of the Imamah of ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan al Muthanna

There are other sects who split and fragmented into sub-sects and branches, other than the Zaidiyyah like those who believe in the Imamah of ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan al Muthanna ibn al-Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib who was killed there. They believe him to be the Qa’im and Mahdi despite him being killed. They say that he is alive and has not died and is residing by a mountain called al ‘Alamiyyah, which is on the highway to Makkah and Najd, the barrier on the left of the road while you are travelling towards Makkah. It is a huge mountain. They believe he will reside there until he emerges as Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam declared:


القائم المهدي اسمه اسمي واسم أبيه اسم أبي

The Qa’im, the Mahdi—his name is my name and his father’s name is my father’s name.


His brother was Ibrahim ibn ‘Abdullah ibn al Hassan who emerged in Basrah and invited to the Imamah of his brother Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah which increased his influence. Thus, Mansur sent horsemen towards him and he was finally killed after battles between them.


The Mughiriyyah

[They claim Imamah for Mughirah ibn Sa’id.] Mughirah ibn Sa’id made this statement after Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn ‘Ali passed on. The Shia, the companions of Abu ‘Abdullah Jafar ibn Muhammad rahimahu Llah, declared their innocence from him and discarded him. He thus determined them to be deserters and labelled them Rafidah. The companions of Mughirah appointed him as Imam and believed that Hussain ibn ‘Ali appointed him followed by ‘Ali ibn al Hussain. He then claimed that Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn ‘Ali rahimahu Llah appointed him. He is thus the Imam until the Mahdi emerges. They denied the Imamah of Abu ‘Abdullah Jafar ibn Muhammad rahimahu Llah and determined that there is no Imamah in the progeny of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib after Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn ‘Ali and that Imamah is vested in Mughirah ibn Sa’id until the emergence of the Mahdi. He, according to them, is Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn al Hassan ibn al Hassan and he is alive and has not passed away and was not killed. They have been dubbed the Mughiriyyah after Mughirah ibn Sa’id, the freed slave of Khalid ibn ‘Abdullah al Qasri.

Thereafter, matters progressed with Mughirah until he claimed that he was the messenger of a prophet and that Jibril came to him with revelation from Allah. Khalid ibn ‘Abdullah al Qasri seized him and questioned him regarding this. He attested to it and invited Khalid to it. Khalid entreated him to repent but he refused to retract his declaration. Khalid therefore killed him and crucified him. Mughirah claimed that he can give life to the dead and he believed in transmigration of the souls. This remains the belief of his companions to date.[6]

A group believe in the Imamah of Muhammad al Baqir ibn ‘Ali Zayn al ‘Abidin and claim that he is the Imam after his father and appointed by him.[7]

After the death of Muhammad al Baqir in 114 AH, the Shia gathered around his son Jafar i.e., those Shia who believed in his Imamah, because some of them recanted and turned away from his Imamah as penned by al Nawbakhti:


وأما الذين ثبتوا على إمامة علي بن أبي طالب ثم الحسن ثم الحسين ثم لعلي بن الحسين عليه السلام ثم نزلوا إلى القول بإمامة أبي جعفر محمد بن علي بن الحسين باقر عليه السلام فأقاموا على إمامته إلى أن توفي غير نفر يسير منهم فإنهم سمعوا رجلا يقال له عمر بن رياح زعم أنه سأل أبا جعفر عليه السلام عن مسألة فأجابه فيها بجواب ثم عاد إليه في عام آخر فسأله عن تلك المسألة بعينها فأجابه فيها بخلاف الجواب الأول فقال لأبي جعفر هذا خلاف ما أجبتني في هذه المسألة العام الماضي فقال له إن جوابنا ربما خرج على وجه التقية فشك في أمره وإمامته فلقي رجلاً من أصحاب أبي جعفر ُيقال له محمد بن قيس فقال له إني سألت أبا جعفر عن مسألة فأجابني فيها بجواب ثم سألته عنها في عام آخر فأجابني فيها بخلاف جوابه الأول فقلت له لم فعلت ذلك فقال فعلته للتقية وقد علم الله أني ما سألته عنها إلا وأنا صحيح العزم على التدين بما يفتيني به فلا وجه لاتقائه إياي وهذه حالي فقال له محمد بن قيس فلعله حضرك من اتقاه فقال له ما حضر مجلسه في واحدة من المسألتين غيري لا ولكن جوابيه جميعاً خرجا على وجه التبخيت ولم يحفظ ما أجاب به في العام الماضي فيجيب مثله فرجع عن إمامته وقال لا يكون إماماً من يفتي بالباطل على شيء بوجه من الوجوه ولا في حال من الأحوال ولا يكون إماماً من يفتي تقية بغير ما يجب عند الله ولا من يرخي ستره ويغلق بابه ولا يسع الإمام إلا الخروج والأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر فمال بسببه إلى قول البترية ومال معه نفر يسير

As regards those who maintained the Imamah of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib then Hassan then Hussain then ‘Ali ibn al Hussain rahimahu Llah, and resigned to the view of the Imamah of Abu Jafar, Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn al Hussain Baqir rahimahu Llah, they maintained his Imamah until he passed away, except a small band who heard one of them, ‘Umar ibn Riyah, claim that he asked Abu Jafar rahimahu Llah about an issue and the latter answered him. He then returned to him the following year and asked him about the same issue yet Abu Jafar answered differently to his first answer. The man told him, “This is contrary to what you answered me in this very issue last year.” Abu Jafar explained, “Our answer sometimes comes forth with Taqiyyah.” The person thus doubted his affair and Imamah.

He met another of Abu Jafar’s companions, Muhammad ibn Qais, and told him, “I asked Abu Jafar about an issue and he answered me. Then I asked him about it the following year and he answered me differently to his initial answer. I asked him the reason for this and he explained that he did it out of Taqiyyah. Allah knows definitely that I only asked him about it with genuine determination to adhere to what verdict he gives me. Hence, there was no reason for him to observe Taqiyyah from me and this is my condition.”

Muhammad ibn Qais told him, “Probably, someone whom he was observing Taqiyyah from was with you.”

He retorted, “No one besides me attended his presence in both instances. Both his answers were out of luck. He did not remember what he answered the first year, to answer the same.”

‘Umar ibn Riyah thus renounced his Imamah declaring, “He cannot be an Imam who issues false verdicts on a matter, whatever the case and whatever the situation. He cannot be an Imam who issues verdicts observing Taqiyyah of anything other than what Allah ordained, nor the one who draws his curtain and locks his door. Suitable for the Imam is rising up, commanding righteousness, and forbidding evil.” He, with a small group, thus inclined to the belief of the Batriyyah.[8]

The Shia during the Days of Jafar ibn al Baqir

Evolution of Shi’ism

During his time, the evolution of Shi’ism, the fundamental change, and the complete metamorphosis—of the general Shia—reached culmination. This transformation began after Hussain’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu martyrdom and at the hands of the Saba’iyyah. They succeeded after sixty years in killing him and after ninety years in originating a sect of people dissimilar to the Muslims in majority of beliefs. A complete faction which characterises itself as the Shia of ‘Ali and his progeny coupled with all its sects and groups and despite the diversity of the leaders and spearheads and their directions, motives, schemes, and objectives.

They capitalised on the traditional hatred and the intense wrath passed from father to son due to the difficulties, hardships, and harms they were subjected to as a result of them opposing the governors and rulers, rebelling against them, and fighting them. Add to this, the schemes plotted behind the scenes, the mental and ideological poisoning, and intermixing with alien groups and adopting their ideologies and philosophies—groups who were overpowered and defeated, whose lands and properties were seized, and whose families were killed by the rulers and their armies fighting in Allah’s way and being divinely assisted and eventually attaining victory and dominance. Add to this the assembling of the Persians and slaves from the Babylonians, ‘Ashuriyyun, Kaldaniyyun, and others of ancient civilisations and refined culture—in their minds—and their desire of a movement to rebel against the rulers and to display animosity towards everything that comes from them including their ideologies, beliefs, and convictions. All these aspects forced Shi’ism to take a totally new shape; to undergo a total metamorphosis. The Shia turned into masses, averse to the rulers and those holding the reins of power, entirely opposed to everything they practiced and believed in.

The narration attributed to Jafar bears testimony to this. He said:


إن كل حكم يخالف العامة يؤخذ به ويترك ما يوافقهم فسأله سائل جعلت فداك أرأيت إن كان فقيهان عرفا حكمه من الكتاب والسنة ووجدنا أحد الخبرين موافقا للعامة والآخر مخالفاً لهم بأي الخبرين يؤخذ قال ماخالف العامة ففيه الرشاد قال جعلت فداك فإن وافقهما الخبران جميعا قال ينظر إلى ما هم إليه أميل حكامهم وقضاتهم فيترك ويؤخذ بالآخر

“Every verdict that contradicts the Ahlus Sunnah will be practiced upon and that which conforms to them shall be shunned.”

A person asked him, “May I be sacrificed for you! If two jurists understand the verdict from the Qur’an and Sunnah and we find one of the two opinions in conformity to the Ahlus Sunnah and the other contradicting them, which one do we adhere to?”

He said, “Whatever opposes the Ahlus Sunnah contains guidance.”

The person said, “May I be sacrificed for you! If both verdicts agree with them, then?”

He said, “It will be ascertained as to which one their rulers and judges are more inclined to and it shall be shunned while the other shall be adopted.”[9]


There has to be opposition and disagreement, even if it be in accordance to the Qur’an and Sunnah and even if it be according to Islam and religion.

The Saba’iyyah’s concocted ideologies and beliefs are opposed to Islam and its teachings. These concocted and fabricated ideologies and beliefs came from those who claimed to be Shia of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Hence, it was more suitable and appropriate for the later Shia to adhere to them as they contradict the beliefs of the Ahlus Sunnah and come from those who claim love for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

The Shia went public and began fabricating and concocting verdicts on worship and dealings in the light of the Saba’iyyah’s beliefs and ideologies. They started new beliefs and social etiquette which they falsely attributed to the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, to lay the foundations of a new religion and to found a separate religion—a religion wherein he is the legislator and its fundamentals and regulations are separate to the din brought by Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam which he presented to the entire humankind, the first adherents of which were the righteous Sahabah—his noble pious Companions. These noble Companions then transmitted the Qur’an and the teachings of the Messenger—who speaks through revelation—from him.

Shi’ism was thus constructed on the statements and actions of select individuals—whether these statements and actions were genuinely theirs or not. Sufficient was it considered for these to be attributed to them. If other statements and actions established from them oppose these, they simply brushed it off as Taqiyyah. If they opposed the Book revealed from the heavens, they claimed that the Book was adulterated. If they opposed the established Sunnah, they claimed that it was transmitted through apostates—Allah forbid—as all the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam apostatised after him except three.[10] The Qur’an is thus adulterated and the transmitters of hadith are apostates, disbelievers, hence they are not to be considered. The Qur’an and hadith only support the Ahlus Sunnah and we are opposed to the Ahlus Sunnah.


The Righteous Ahlul Bayt declare their innocence from the Imposters

Owing to this, the progeny of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu—the righteous among them—warned and alerted of the falsehood and fabrications of these men who attributed themselves to the Ahlul Bayt and claimed to love them. It is reported that Jafar ibn al Baqir—the sixth infallible Imam according to the Shia—sighed:


لقد أمسينا وما أحد أعدى لنا ممن ينتحل مودتنا

Matters have reached this ebb, that none harbour greater enmity for us than the ones who claim to love us.[11]


He also stated:


إنا أهل بيت صادقون لا نخلو من كذاب يكذب علينا ويسقط صدقنا بكذبه علينا عند الناس كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله أصدق الناس لهجة وأصدق البرية كلها وكان مسيلمة يكذب عليه وكان أمير المؤمنين أصدق من برأ الله بعد رسول الله وكان الذي يكذب عليه ويعمل في تكذيب صدقه ويفتري على الله الكذب عبد الله بن سبأ لعنه الله وكان أبوعبد الله الحسين بن علي قد ابتلي بالمختار ثم ذكر أبوعبد الله الحارث الشامي وبنان فقال كانا يكذبان على علي بن الحسين ثم ذكر المغيرة بن سعيد وبزيعا والسرى وأبا الخطاب ومعمرا وبشارا الأشعري وحمزة اليزيدي وصائدا النهدي فقال لعنهم الله إنا لا نخلو من كذاب يكذب علينا كفانا الله مؤنة كل كذاب وأذاقهم الله حر الحديد

We belong to a family with integrity. However, there will always be a fabricator who spreads lies about us and hides our true statements from people with the lies he spreads about us. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was the most truthful of people in speech and the most honest amongst all creation, yet Musaylamah would spread lies about him. The Leader of the Believers [‘Ali] was the most truthful person of Allah’s creation after the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The person to spread lies about him, tried to alter his statements, and falsely attributed statements to Allah was ‘Abdullah ibn Saba’—may Allah curse him. Abu ‘Abdullah Hussain ibn ‘Ali was tested with Mukhtar.”

He then spoke about Abu ‘Abdullah al Harith al Shami and Bannan saying, “They used to attribute falsities to ‘Ali ibn al Hussain ‘alayh al Salam.” He then mentioned Mughirah ibn Sa’id, Bazi’, Sari, Abu al Khattab, Ma’mar, Bashshar al Ash’ari, Hamzah al Yazidi, and Sa’id al Nahdi and said, “May Allah’s curse be upon them. We are never free from a liar that attributes lies to us. Allah is enough for us against every liar. May Allah give them a taste of the heat of iron (i.e., may Allah execute them).[12]


His grandson ‘Ali al Rida—the eighth infallible Imam according to them—declared:


كان بنان يكذب على علي بن الحسين (ع) فأذاقه الله حر الحديد وكان المغيرة بن سعيد يكذب على إبن جعفر (ع) فأذاقه الله حر الحديد وكان محمد بن بشر يكذب على إبن الحسن علي بن موسى الرضى (ع) فأذاقه الله حر الحديد وكان أبو الخطاب يكذب على أبي عبد الله (ع) فأذاقه الله حر الحديد والذي يكذب علي محمد بن الفرات

Bannan would attribute falsities to ‘Ali ibn al Hussain rahimahu Llah. May Allah make him taste the heat of the iron. Mughirah ibn Sa’id would attribute falsities to Ibn Jafar. May Allah make him taste the heat of the iron. Muhammad ibn Bishr would attribute falsities to ‘Ali ibn al Hassan ‘Ali ibn Musa al Rida. May Allah make him taste the heat of the iron. Abu al Khattab would attribute falsities to Abu ‘Abdullah. May Allah make him taste the heat of the iron as well as the one who fabricated in the name of Muhammad ibn al Furat.[13]


Abu Jafar Muhammad al Baqir states:


لعن الله بنان البيان وإن بنان لعنه الله كان يكذب على أبي أشهد أن أبي كان عبداً صالحاً

May Allah curse Bannan the orator. Bannan—may Allah curse him—would fabricate in the name of my father. I bear testimony to the fact that my father was a righteous man.[14]


The righteous Imams dissociated from them and prevented their followers from falling into their traps and falling for their plots. Al Kashshi narrates that Jafar ibn Waqid and a group of the companions of Abu al Khattab were mentioned in the presence of Jafar rahimahu Llah. It was said, “He became one of them, he is confused.” He said about them, “He is the deity in the heavens and the deity on earth.” He said, “He is the Imam.” Abu ‘Abdullah said:


لا والله لا يأويني وإياه سقف بيت أبدا هم شر من اليهود والنصارى والمجوس والذين أشركوا والله ما صغر عظمة الله تصغيرهم شيئاً قط وإن عزيراً جال في صدره ما قالت اليهود فمحى الله إسمه من النبوة والله لو أن عيسى أقّر بما قالت فيه النصارى لأورثه الله صمماً إلى يوم القيامة والله لو أقررت بما يقول فيّ أهل الكوفة لأخذتني الأرض وما أنا إلا عبد مملوك لا أقدر على ضر شيئ ولا نفع شيئ

No, by Allah. The roof of a house will never cover me and him ever. They are worse than the Jews, Christians, Magians, and idolators. By Allah, their trivialising the greatness of Allah will not affect it in the least. What the Jews said occupied the heart of ‘Uzayr, so Allah removed his name from Nubuwwah. By Allah, had ‘Isa affirmed what the Christians said, Allah would have afflicted him with dumbness until the Day of Qiyamah. By Allah, had I affirmed what he says about the Kufans, the earth would swallow me. I am nothing but an owned slave. I have not the power to harm anything or benefit anything.[15]


Muhammad ibn Mas’ud reports:


حدثني علي بن محمد قال حدثني محمد بن أحمد بن يحيى عن محمد بن عيسى عن زكريا عن ابن مسكان عن قاسم الصيرفي قال سمعت أبا عبد الله (ع) يقول قوم يزعمون أني لهم إمام والله ما أنا لهم بإمام مالهم لعنهم الله كلما سترت ستراً هتكوه هتك الله سترهم أقول كذا يقولون إنما يعني كذا أنا إمام من أطاعني

‘Ali ibn Muhammad narrated to me—Muhammad ibn Ahmed ibn Yahya narrated to me—from Muhammad ibn ‘Isa—from Zakariyya—from Ibn Muskan—from Qasim al Sayrafi who said that he heard Abu ‘Abdullah saying, “There are people who claim that I am their Imam. By Allah, I am not their Imam. What is wrong with them? May Allah curse them. Every time I conceal something, they expose it. May Allah disgrace them. I say one thing while they say that I meant something else. I am only the Imam of the one who obeys me.”[16]


Their sincere efforts returned with failure and the Shia increased in their transgression and misguidance due to the abundance of liars and imposters of that era claiming to love, submit to, and associate with the Ahlul Bayt, like Abu al Khattab, Abu al Basir al Muradi, Zurarah ibn A’yan, Jabir al Ju’fi, Mughirah ibn Sa’id, the two Hishams, Abu al Jarud, etc. Ideologies abounded and sects grew and fragmented further. Some chose distant religions even more wayward than the Saba’iyyah—the layers of its foundation and planters of its seeds—while others were confined to what they learnt from the Saba’iyyah. Some adopted few ideologies from them while others adopted many. A Shia Historian attests to this saying:


ولم يتمكن الصادق في تلك الظروف القاسية التي ظهرت فيها الزيدية على أن يناظرهم غالباً في شيء من أمر الإمامة لأنه كان يتكتم فيها ويتقي ملوك عصره ويحذر من وشاتهم وجواسيسهم الكثيرة ومع تكتمه الشديد قد أحضره المنصور وقال له قتلني الله إن لم أقتلك أتلحد في سلطاني فقال له الصادق (ع) والله ما فعلت ولا أردت وإن كان بلغك فمن كاذب

Al Sadiq was unable—in those difficult circumstance in which the Zaidiyyah emerged—to debate them generally in any aspect of Imamah as he was hiding and avoiding the kings of his time, evading their plenty informants and spies. Despite his extensive secrecy, Mansur had him captured and told him, “May Allah destroy me if I do not kill you. Are you involved in heresy in my kingdom?”

Al Sadiq responded, “By Allah, I did not practice it nor intended to. Whatever has reached you is from a liar.”[17]


Those who recanted from Jafar

From the first to differ in the beginning over Jafar and take a stance against him in his lifetime are those whom al Nawbakhti mentions:


وأما الفرقة الأخرى من أصحاب أبي جعفر محمد بن علي عليه السلام فنزلت إلى القول بإمامة أبي عبد الله جعفر بن محمد عليه السلام فلم تزل ثابتة على إمامته أيام حياته غير نفر منهم يسير فإنهم لما أشار جعفر بن محمد إلى إمامة ابنه إسماعيل ثم مات إسماعيل في حياة أبيه رجعوا عن إمامة جعفر وقالوا كذبنا ولم يكن إماماً لأن الإمام لا يكذب ولا يقول مالا يكون وحكموا على جعفر أنه قال إن الله عز وجل بدا له في إمامة إسماعيل فأنكروا البداء والمشيئة من الله وقالوا هذا باطل لا يجوز ومالوا إلى مقالة (البترية) ومقالة سليمان بن جرير وهو الذي قال لأصحابه بهذا السبب أن أئمة الرافضة وضعوا لشيعتهم مقالتين لا يظهرون معهما من أئمتهم على كذب أبدا وهما القول بالبداء وإجازة التقية فأما البداء فإن أئمتهم لما أحلوا أنفسهم من شيعتهم محل الأنبياء من رعيتها في العلم فيما كان ويكون والإخبار بما يكون في غد وقالوا لشيعتهم أنه سيكون في غد وفي غابر الأيام كذا وكذا فإن جاء ذلك الشيء على ما قالوه قالوا لهم ألم نعلمكم أن هذا يكون فنحن نعلم من قِبَل الله عز وجل ما علمته الأنبياء وبيننا وبين الله عز وجل مثل تلك الأسباب التي علمت بها الأنبياء عن الله ما علمت وإن لم يكن ذلك الشيء الذي قالوا إنه يكون على ما قالوا لشيعتهم بدا لله في ذلك بكونه وأما التقية فإنه لما كثرت على أئمتهم مسائل شيعتهم في الحلال والحرام وغير ذلك من صنوف أبواب الدين فأجابوا فيها وحفظ عنهم شيعتهم جواب ما سألوهم وكتبوه ودونوه ولم يحفظ أئمتهم تلك الأجوبة لتقادم العهد وتفاوت الأوقات لأن مسائلهم لم ترد في يوم واحد ولا في شهر واحد بل في سنين متباعدة وأشهر متباينة وأوقات متفرقة فوقع في أيديهم في المسألة الواحدة عدة أجوبة مختلفة متضادة وفي مسائل مختلفة أجوبة متفقة فلما وقفوا على ذلك منهم ردوا إليهم هذا الاختلاف والتخليط في جواباتهم وسألوهم عنه وأنكروا عليهم فقالوا من أين هذا الاختلاف وكيف جاز ذلك قالت لهم أئمتهم إنما أجبنا بهذا للتقية ولنا أن نجيب بما أجبنا وكيف شئنا لأن ذلك إلينا ونحن نعلم بما يصلحكم وما فيه بقاؤكم وكف عدوكم عنا وعنكم فمتى يظهر من هؤلاء على كذب ومتى يعرف لهم حق من باطل فمال إلى سليمان بن جرير هذا لهذا القول جماعة من أصحاب أبي جعفر وتركوا القول بإمامة جعفر عليه السلام

The other group from the partisans of Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn ‘Ali rahimahu Llah adopted belief in the Imamah of Abu ‘Abdullah Jafar ibn Muhammad rahimahu Llah. They remained firm on his Imamah during his lifetime besides a small group who—when Jafar ibn Muhammad indicated to the Imamah of his son, Ismail, and then Ismail died during the lifetime of his father—recanted from the Imamah of Jafar and claimed that he lied to them and that he is not an Imam as an Imam does not lie and does not claim something that will not happen. They judged against Jafar who said that Allah was unaware of Ismail’s Imamah issue; they rejected Bada’ from Allah and declared it false, impermissible. They inclined to the view of the Batriyyah and the view of Sulaiman ibn Jarir.

Due to this, Sulaiman ibn Jarir said to his companions that the Imams of the Rafidah have set up for their partisans two ideologies viz. the ideologies of Bada’ and Taqiyyah, due to which they will not succeed to ever indict their Imams of lying. As for Bada’, when their Imams gave themselves the pedestal of the Ambiya’ before their partisans, knowledge of the past and future, and foretelling what will transpire tomorrow. They announced to their Shia that tomorrow such and such will occur and in the future this and that will happen. If the occurrence occurs as they predicted, they boasted, “Did we not tell you that this will happen. Thus, we know from the side of Allah—the Mighty and Majestic—what the Ambiya’ knew and between us and Allah are the very same mediums through which the Ambiya’ learnt from Allah.” If the occurrence did not happen the way they predicted, they attributed Bada’ to Allah.

As for Taqiyyah, when questions of their Shia increased concerning permissible and impermissible and other aspects of the religion, they answered them. Their Shia memorised the answer, wrote it down, and adhered to them. However, the Imams did not remember these answers due to the lapse of time and the lengthy periods in between. The questions were not asked on one day or in one month, rather over various years and months and at various times. The result was various contradictory answers for one question and one answer to a range of questions. When the people realised this, they notified them of the discrepancy and the mix-up in their answers and asked them for clarification and refuted these. “Why the discrepancy, how is this possible?” Their Imams told them, “We only answered like this out of Taqiyyah. Moreover, we have the right to answer how we did and as we desire, as this is our right and we know what is best for you and what ensures your safety, and holding back your enemies from us and you.”

How will the falsehood of these men become apparent? How will truth be differentiated from falsehood? A group of the partisans of Abu Jafar thus turned to Sulaiman ibn Jarir due to this and rejected the Imamah of Jafar rahimahu Llah.[18]


The Claims of ‘Abdullah ibn al Hassan ibn al Hassan ibn ‘Ali and Dhu Nafs al Zakiyyah

There are two other individuals of the Ahlul Bayt who claimed Imamah during the lifetime of Jafar. Firstly, ‘Abdullah ibn al Hassan ibn al Hassan ibn ‘Ali whose mother is Fatimah bint al Hussain ibn ‘Ali and he is the one who would say:


ولدني رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله مرتين

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam fathered me twice.[19]


Al Asbahani al Shia commented on him:


كان عبد الله بن الحسن بن الحسن شيخ بني هاشم والمقدم فيهم وذا الكثير منهم فضلاً وعلماً وكرماً

‘Abdullah ibn al Hassan ibn al Hassan was the senior member of the Banu Hashim and a forerunner among them and the possessor of extensive virtue, knowledge, and honour.[20]


The second is his son, Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn al Hassan, titled Dhu Nafs al Zakiyyah. Al Asbahani writes about him:


كان محمد بن عبد الله الحسن من أفضل أهل بيته وأكبر أهل زمانه في زمانه في علمه بكتاب الله وحفظه له وفقهه في الدين وشجاعته وجوده وبأسه وكل أمر يجمل بمثله حتى لم يشك أحد أنه المهدي وشاع ذلك له في العامة وبايعه رجال من بني هاشم جميعاً من آل أبي طالب وآل العباس وسائر بني هاشم

Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn al Hassan was from the most superior individuals of the Ahlul Bayt and the most senior of the living in his time in knowledge and retention of the Book of Allah, understanding of religion, bravery, generosity, strength, and everything pleasing and superb to the extent that no one doubted him being the Mahdi. This [belief] spread among the masses. All the men from the Banu Hashim—the family of Abu Talib, ‘Abbas, and the remaining Banu Hashim—pledged allegiance to him.[21]


Al Kulayni mentions in al Kafi that they claimed Imamah during the life of Jafar and invited him towards them. He narrates that ‘Abdullah ibn al Hassan entered the presence of Jafar ibn al Baqir and said:


قد علمت جُعلت فداك أن السن لي عليك وأن في قومك من هو أسن منك ولكن الله عز وجل قد قدم لك فضلاً ليس هو لأحد من قومك وقد جئتك معتمداً لما أعلم من برّك واعلم فديتك إنك إذا أجبتني لم يتخلف عني أحد من أصحابك ولم يختلف علي إثنان من قريش ولا غيرهم فقال له أبو عبد الله عليه السلام إنك تجد غيري أطوع لك مني ولا حاجة لك فيّ فوالله إنك لتعلم أني أريد البادية أو أهم بها فأثقل عنها وأريد الحج فما أدركه إلا بعد كد وتعب ومشقة على نفسي فاطلب غيري وسله ذلك ولا تعلمهم أنك جئتني فقال له إن الناس ما دون أعناقهم إليك وإن أجبتني لم يتخلف عني أحد ولك أن لا تكلف قتالاً ولا مكروهاً قال وهجم علينا ناس فدخلوا وقطعوا كلامنا فقال أبي جعلت فداك ما تقول فقال نلتقي إن شاء الله فقال أليس على ما أحب فقال على ما تحب إن شاء الله من إصلاحك فقال له أبوعبد الله عليه السلام يا ابن عم إني أعيذك بالله من التعرض لهذا الأمر الذي أمسيت فيه وإني لخائف عليك أن يكسبك شرا فجرى الكلام بينهما حتى أفضى إلى ما لم يكن يريد وكان من قوله بأي شيء كان الحسين أحق بها من الحسن فقال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام رحم الله الحسن ورحم الحسين وكيف ذكرت هذا قال لأن الحسين عليه السلام كان ينبغي له إذا عدل أن يجعلها في الأسن من ولد الحسن فقام أبي يجر ثوبه مغضباً فلحقه أبو عبد الله عليه السلام فقال له أخبرك أني سمعت عمك وهو خالك يذكر أنك وبني أبيك ستقتلون فإن أطعتني ورأيت أن تدفع بالتي هي أحسن فافعل فوالله الذي لا إله إلا هو عالم الغيب والشهادة الرحمن الرحيم الكبير المتعال على خلقه لوددت أني فديتك بولدي وبأحبهم إلي بأحب أهل بيتي إلي وما يعدلك عندي شيء فلا ترى أني غششتك فخرج أبي من عنده مغضباً أسفا ثم أتى محمد بن عبد الله بن حسن فأخبر أن أباه وعمومته قتلوا قتلهم أبو جعفر إلا حسن بن جعفر وطباطبا وعلي بن ابراهيم وسليمان بن داود بن حسن وعبد الله بن داود قال فظهر محمد بن عبد الله عند ذلك ودعى الناس لبيعته قال فكنت ثالث ثلاثة بايعوه واستوثق الناس لبيعته ولم يختلف عليه قرشي ولا أنصاري ولا عربي قال وشاور عيسى بن زيد وكان من ثقاته وكان على شرطه فشاوره في البعثة إلى وجوه قومه فقال له عيسى بن زيد إن دعوتهم دعاء يسيراً لم يجيبوك أو تغلظ عليهم فخلني وإياهم فقال له محمد إمض إلى من أردت منهم فقال ابعث إلى رئيسهم وكبيرهم يعني أبا عبد الله جعفر بن محمد عليه السلام فإنك إذا أغلظت عليه علموا جميعاً أنك ستمرهم على الطريق التي أمررت عليها أبا عبد الله عليه السلام قال فوالله ما لبثنا أن أتى بأبي عبد الله عليه السلام حتى أوقف بين يديه فقال له عيسى بن زيد أسلم تسلم فقال له عبد الله عليه السلام أحدثت نبوة بعد محمد صلى الله عليه وآله فقال له محمد لا ولكن بايع تأمن على نفسك ومالك وولدك ولا تكلفن حرباً فقال له أبوعبد الله عليه السلام ما فيّ حرب ولا قتال ولقد تقدمت إلى أبيك وحذرته الذي حاق به ولكن لا ينفع حذر من قدر يابن أخي عليك بالشباب ودع عندك الشيوخ فقال له محمد ما أقرب ما بيني وبينك في السن فقال له أبوعبد الله عليه السلام إني لم أعازّك ولم أجئ لأتقدم عليك في الذي أنت فيه فقال له محمد لا والله لابد من أن تبايع فقال له أبوعبد الله عليه السلام ما فيّ يا ابن أخي طلب ولا حرب وإني لأريد الخروج إلى البادية فيصدني ذلك ويثقل علي حتى تكلمني في ذلك الأهل غير مرة ولا يمنعني منه إلا الضعف والله والرحم أن تدبر عنّا ونشقى بك فقال له يا أبا عبد الله قد والله مات أبو الدوانيق يعني أبا جعفر فقال له أبو عبد الله عليه السلام وما تصنع بي وقد مات قال أريد الحمال بك قال ما إلى ما تريد السبيل لا والله ما مات أبو الدوانيق إلا أن يكون مات موت النوم قال والله لتبايعني طائعا أو مكرها ولا تحمد في بيعتك فأبى عليه إباء شديداً وأمر به إلى الحبس فقال له عيسى بن زيد أما إن طرحناه في السجن وقد خرب السجن وليس عليه اليوم غلق خفنا أن يهرب منه فضحك أبو عبد الله عليه السلام ثم قال لا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله العلي العظيم أو تراك تسجنني قال نعم والذي أكرم محمد صلى الله عليه وآله بالنبوة لأسجننك ولأشددّن عليك فقال عيسى بن زيد احبسوه في المخبأ وذلك دار ريطة اليوم فقال له أبو عبد الله عليه السلام أما والله إني سأقول ثم أصدق فقال له عيسى بن زيد لو تكلمت لكسرت فمك فقال له أبوعبد الله عليه السلام أما والله يا أكشف يا أزرق لكأني بك تطلب لنفسك جحراً تدخل فيه وما أنت في المذكورين عند اللقاء وإني لأظنك إذا صفق خلفك طرت مثل الهيق النافر فنفر عليه محمد بانتهار احبسه وشدد عليه وأغلظ عليه فقال له أبو عبد الله عليه السلام أما والله لكأني بك خارجاً من سدة أشجع إلى بطن الوادي وقد حمل عليك فارس معلم في يده طرّادة نصفها أبيض ونصفها أسود على فرس كميت أقرح فطعنك فلم يصنع فيك شيئاً وضربت خيشوم فرسه فطرحته وحمل عليك آخر خارج من زقاق آل أبي عمار الدئليين عليه غديرتان مضفورتان وقد خرجتا من تحت بيضة كثير شعر الشاربين فهو والله صاحبه فلا رحم الله رمته فقال له محمد يا أبا عبد الله حسبت فأخطأت وقام إليه السراقي بن سلخ الحوت فدفع في ظهره حتى أدخل السجن واصطفى ما كان له من مال وما كان لقومه ممن لم يخرج مع محمد


“You are well aware—may I be sacrificed for you—that I am elder than you and there are many among your tribe elder than you. However, Allah—the Mighty and Majestic—has favoured you with virtue which none among your tribe possess. I have come to you seeking your goodness I am aware of. And I know—may I be sacrificed for you—that if you answer me positively, none of your companions will stay away from me and no two persons among the Quraysh or any other tribe will dispute over me.”

Abu ‘Abdullah rahimahu Llah said to him, “You will find other than me more obedient to you than me. You do not have any need for me. By Allah, you know with certainty that I prefer the wilderness or intend it but I am too sluggish for it. I intend Hajj, but only attain it after strenuous effort, tiredness, and struggle against my carnal self. Thus, seek someone else and ask him about this, but do not inform him that you approached me.”

‘Abdullah ibn al Hassan told him, “People have stretched their necks to you [they have submitted to you]. If you respond positively to me, none will remain away from me [i.e., everyone will pledge allegiance to me]. You do not need to take the task of fighting or anything reprehensible.” People then entered abruptly and cut their conversation.

My father said, “May I be sacrificed for you, what do you say?”

He said, “We shall meet, Allah willing.”

He said, “Is it not upon what I love?”

He said, “Upon what you love, Allah willing, of your reformation.”

Abu ‘Abdullah rahimahu Llah told him, “O nephew, I put you in Allah’s protection from meddling in this matter as you have been. I fear that it might earn evil for you.”

They continued talking until it led to what he did not intend. One of the things he [‘Abdullah ibn al Hassan] said was, “How was Hussain more deserving of it than Hassan?”

Abu ‘Abdullah rahimahu Llah told him, “May Allah have mercy on Hassan and mercy on Hussain. What you intend by mentioning this?”

He said, “It was appropriate for Hussain rahimahu Llah if he was just to place it in the most senior son of Hassan.”

My father stood up dragging his shawl angrily.

Abu ‘Abdullah rahimahu Llah caught up with him and said to him, “I inform you that I heard your paternal uncle—who is your maternal uncle as well—that you and your nephews will soon be killed. If you obey me and feel to respond in the best manner, then do so. By Allah the Being besides whom there is no deity, Knower of the unseen and apparent, the Most compassionate, the Most Merciful, the Great, the Overpowering over His creation, I love to ransom you with the most beloved of my children, the most beloved of my household to me. Nothing is equal to you in my sight. So do not think that I have deceived you.” My father left his presence angry and remorseful.

Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan was then approached and informed that his father and uncles were killed. Abu Jafar killed them, besides Hassan ibn Jafar, Tabataba, ‘Ali ibn Ibrahim, Sulaiman ibn Dawood ibn Hassan, and ‘Abdullah ibn Dawood. Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah went public upon this and invited people to pledge allegiance to him. I was one of three that pledged allegiance to him. People had confidence in his Bay’ah. No Qurashi, Ansari, or Arab disputed over him.

He consulted ‘Isa ibn Zaid—one of his reliable friends and the one in charge of his police force; he consulted him regarding sending to the nobles of his tribe. ‘Isa ibn Zaid said to him, “If you invite them politely, they will not respond to you, or you are harsh with them. Leave me to them.”

Muhammad told him, “Continue towards whomsoever of them you desire.”

‘Isa said, “Send to their leader and elder, i.e., Abu ‘Abdullah Jafar ibn Muhammad rahimahu Llah. If you are harsh with him, they all will realise that you will deal with them the way you dealt with Abu ‘Abdullah rahimahu Llah.”

The narrator explains: By Allah, it was not long before he brought Abu ‘Abdullah and put him before him.

‘Isa ibn Zaid said, “Submit, you will be safe.”

Abu ‘Abdullah rahimahu Llah told him, “Have you invented Nubuwwah after Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?”

Muhammad said to him, “No, however, pledge allegiance and you will enjoy safety upon your life, wealth, and children and you will not be tasked to fight.”

Abu ‘Abdullah rahimahu Llah told him, “I do not have the capacity to wage war or fight. However, I approached your father and warned him of what will surround him. However, warning does not benefit against Qadr (destiny). O nephew, get hold of the youth and leave the old people.”

Muhammad told him, “How close we are in age.”

Abu ‘Abdullah rahimahu Llah told him, “I did not require you nor did I approach you in the matter you are engaged in.”

Muhammad told him, “No, by Allah, there is no way out but for you to pledge allegiance.”

Abu ‘Abdullah rahimahu Llah told him, “O nephew, I do not have the desire nor the capacity to fight. I only intend leaving to the wilderness. But I am prevented from this and it is burdensome for me. Even the family has spoken to me about it more than once. Nothing prevents me but weakness. By Allah and through family ties, do not leave us to fall into misfortune due to losing you.”

He told him, “O Abu ‘Abdullah, by Allah, Abu al Dawaniq (Abu Jafar) has passed away.”

Abu ‘Abdullah rahimahu Llah told him, “What do you want to do with me when he has passed on?”

He said, “I intended beauty for you.”

Abu ‘Abdullah said, “There is no path in reaching your objective. No, by Allah, Abu al Dawaniq did not die except how a sleeping person dies.”

He said, “By Allah, you will pledge allegiance to me willingly or unwillingly and you will not be praised in your bay’ah.”

Abu ‘Abdullah refused blankly so Muhammad ordered that he be locked up. ‘Isa ibn Zaid told him, “One option is to throw him in jail, but the jail is desolate and has no locks. We fear he will escape.”

Abu ‘Abdullah rahimahu Llah laughed hearing this and said, “There is no might or power except with Allah, the High, the Great. Do you want to imprison me?”

He said, “Yes, by the Being who honoured Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his family with Nubuwwah, I will imprison you and deal harshly with you.”

‘Isa ibn Zaid told him, “Imprison him in the cellar,” that was the house of Ritah at the time.

Abu ‘Abdullah rahimahu Llah said to him, “Harken. By Allah, I will soon say something and be proven true.”

‘Isa ibn Zaid threatened him, “If you speak, I will break your mouth.”

Abu ‘Abdullah rahimahu Llah said to him, “Harken, by Allah! O Akhshaf! O Azraq! It is as if I see you seeking a hole for yourself to enter. And you are not among those mentioned during war. And I think when there is a clap behind you, you will flee like an ostrich.”

Muhammad rushed at him with repulsion, “Catch him and tie him up, and be harsh with him.”

Abu ‘Abdullah rahimahu Llah told him, “By Allah, it is as if I see you leaving a wide barrier to the centre of the valley while a trained warrior is pursuing you with mallet in his hand, half white and half black in colour, on a reddish-brown talented horse. He pierces you but it does not harm you. You then attack the nose of his horse and severe it. A second one attacks you, out of the streets of Al Abi ‘Ammar al Di’aliyyin with two plaits which emerge from under his helmet, having plenty moustache hair. By Allah, he is your killer. May Allah not show mercy to his decomposed body.”

Muhammad told him, “O Abu ‘Abdullah, you thought but were wrong.”

Al Saraqi ibn Salkh al Hut stood up to him and pushed him from behind into the cell. He chose whatever wealth he and his tribe possessed from those who did not rebel with Muhammad.[22][23]


This is what transpired during the lifetime of Jafar ibn al Baqir. The Shia fragmented and split into various groups and sects.


The Shia after Jafar’s demise

After his demise in 148 AH, a major split happened. The Shia fragmented into multiple groups. Al Nawbakhti—the famous Shia writer—has listed these six groups. He is among the first to write on the sects from the Shia. He says:


فلما توفي أبو عبد الله جعفر بن محمد عليهما السلام افترقت الشيعة بعده ست فرق ودفن في القبر الذي دفن فيه أبوه وجده في البقيع وأمه أم فروة بنت القاسم بن محمد بن أبي بكر وأمهما أسماء بنت عبد الرحمن بن أبي بكر

After Abu ‘Abdullah Jafar ibn Muhammad rahimahu Llah passed away, the Shia split into six groups. He was buried in the grave of his father and grandfather in al Baqi’. His mother is Umm Farwah bint al Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr whose mother is Asma’[24] bint ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Bakr.[25]


The six sects he spoke on:


1. Nawusiyyah

Nawusiyyah: They claimed that Jafar ibn Muhammad is alive and did not die and will never die until he emerges and assumes authority over the people. He is the Mahdi. They claimed that he declared:


إن رأيتم رأسي قد أهوى عليكم من جبل فلا تصدقوه فإني صاحبكم

If you see my head falling upon you from a mountain, do not believe it, as I am your Imam/Mahdi.


They claimed that he said to them:


إن جاءكم من يخبركم عني أنه مرضني وغسلني وكفنني فلا تصدقوه فإني صاحبكم صاحب السيف

If an informant comes to you with the news that he nursed me, washed me, and shrouded me, do not believe him as I am your Imam, the owner of the sword.


This sect was named Nawusiyyah after one of their leaders from Basrah, Fulan (So and so) ibn Fulan (So and so) al Nawus.[26]

A group believe that the one who appeared to the people was not Jafar. Rather, people perceived him in that form. A group of the Saba’iyyah joined this sect. They all believed that Jafar had the knowledge of all teachings of din—intellectual and textual. When any of them is asked, “What do you say regarding the Qur’an, dreams, or any other fundamental or subdivision of din,” he answers, “I believe what Jafar al Sadiq would believe.” They follow him.[27]


2. Samtiyyah

Samtiyyah or Shumaytiyyah: They believed that the Imam after Jafar ibn Muhammad is his son Muhammad ibn Jafar. This is because his father Jafar appointed him during his childhood and would say:


إنه يشبه أبي محمد الباقر وجدي رسول الله

He resembles my father, Muhammad al Baqir, and my grandfather, the Messenger of Allah.


They thus crowned Muhammad ibn Jafar and his progeny after him with Imamah. They are labelled the Samtiyyah and attributed to Yahya ibn Abi al Sumayt or Abi al Shumayt.[28]

Proper to mention is that Muhammad ibn Jafar rebelled during the rule of Ma’mun and invited people to him.


وبايع له أهل المدينة بأمرة المؤمنين

The people of Madinah pledged allegiance to him as Amir al Mu’minin.[29]


Many battles took place between him and the armies of Ma’mun led by Harun ibn al Musayyab. Harun finally sent to him horsemen who besieged him where he was stationed. It was a station well-fortified, which could not be reached. After they remained at the station for three days and their food and water were depleted, his companions began to scatter to the left and right. When he saw this, he wore a shawl and shoes and went to the tent of Harun and asked him for safety for his companions, which Harun agreed to.[30]

Al Mufid mentions that he held the belief of the Zaidiyyah in rebelling with the sword. Owing to this, many of the Zaidiyyah and Jarudiyyah followed him.[31]


3. Fathiyyah

Al Kashshi speaks of them under the heading Fathiyyah:


هم القائلون بإمامة عبد الله بن جعفر بن محمد وسموا بذلك لأنه قيل أنه كان أفطح الرأس وقال بعضهم كان أفطح الرجلين وقال بعضهم إنهم نسبوا إلى رئيس من أهل الكوفة يقال له عبد الله بن فطيح والذين قالوا بإمامته عامة مشائخ العصابة وفقهائها مالوا إلى هذه المقالة فدخلت عليهم الشبهة لما روى عنهم عليهم السلام أنهم قالوا الإمامة في الأكبر من ولد الإمام إذا مضى إمام ثم إن عبد الله مات بعد أبيه بسبعين يوما فرجع الباقون إلا شاذا منهم عن القول بإمامته إلى القول بإمامة أبي الحسن (ع) ورجعوا إلى الخبر الذي روى إن الإمامة لا يكون في الأخوين بعد الحسن والحسين (ع)

They are proponents of the Imamah of ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar ibn Muhammad. They are labelled such as it is believed that he was broad-headed. Some suggest that he had broad legs. Others suggest that they are attributed to a leader from the Kufans by the name, ‘Abdullah ibn Fatih. Those who are proponents of his Imamah are the general elders and jurists of the group. They leaned towards this opinion and were plagued with the doubt of the report from the Imams ‘alayhim al Salam who said, “Imamah rests in the eldest of the Imam’s children when the Imam passes on.” ‘Abdullah then passed away seventy days after his father. The rest of them recanted, except a few, from his Imamah and proposed the Imamah of Abu al Hassan Musa rahimahu Llah. They practiced on the report that Imamah will not be in two brothers after Hassan and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.[32]


Al Nawbakhti, the Shia, expresses similar thoughts and adds:


ومال إلى هذه الفرقة جل مشائخ الشيعة وفقهائها ولم يشكوا في أن الإمامة في عبد الله بن جعفر وفي ولده من بعده فمات عبد الله ولم يخلف ذكرا

Majority of the senior Shia and jurists leaned towards this sect. They doubted not that Imamah was in ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar and his progeny after him. ‘Abdullah then passed on leaving no male issue.[33]


Al Mufid says:


وكان عبد الله بن جعفر أكبر إخوته بعد إسماعيل ولم تكن منزلته عند أبيه كمنزلة غيره من ولده في الإكرام وكان متهما بالخلاف على أبيه في الاعتقاد ويقال أنه كان يخالط الحشوية ويميل إلى مذهب المرجئة وادعى بعد أبيه الإمامة واحتج بأنه أكبر إخوته الباقين فاتبعه على قوله جماعة من أصحاب أبي عبد الله عليه السلام ثم رجع أكثرهم بعد ذلك إلى القول بإمامة أخيه موسى عليه السلام لما تبينوا ضعف دعواه وقوة أمر أبي الحسن (ع) ودلالة حقه وبراهين إمامته وأقام نفر يسير منهم على أمرهم ودانوا بإمامة عبد الله بن جعفر الطائفة الملقبة بالفطحية

‘Abdullah ibn Jafar was the eldest among his siblings after Ismail. His position of honour by his father was unmatched by any of his siblings. He was accused of opposing his father in beliefs. It is said that he would mingle with the Hashwiyyah and had inclinations towards the Murji’ah. He claimed Imamah after his father and presented him being the eldest sibling as proof for this. A group of the followers of Abu ‘Abdullah rahimahu Llah thus followed him. Majority of them then recanted and accepted the Imamah of his brother Musa rahimahu Llah when they realised the weakness of his claim, the strength of Abu al Hassan’s rahimahu Llah authority, the indication of his right, and the proofs of his Imamah. A small group remained on their belief. A group accepted the Imamah of ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar, who are labelled the Fathiyyah.[34]


Al Irbili speaks of them in Kashf al Ghummah.[35] They are also called the ‘Ammariyyah, as al Ash’ari writes in Maqalat al Islamiyyin, attributed to one of their leaders, ‘Ammar.[36]

Appropriate to mention is that the Shia narrate reports from their alleged infallible Imams that Imamah lies in the eldest son. For example, al Kulayni reports:


عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام أنه قال إن الأمر في الكبير ما لم تكن به عاهة

From Abu ‘Abdullah ‘alayh al Salam who said, “Indeed, the matter (Imamah) lies in the eldest, so long as he does not have an illness.”[37]


He utilised this as proof for his Imamah:


واحتج بأنه أكبر الإخوة الباقين فاتبعه على قوله جماعة من أصحاب أبي عبد الله عليه السلام

He proposed as evidence him being the eldest of the surviving siblings. A group of the partisans of Abu ‘Abdullah ‘alayh al Salam thus followed him.[38]


Despite this, how could they avoid him whereas he had no illness? The only reason they mentioned it is that he opposed his father in beliefs.[39] We wish to focus the attention of the readers towards a significant point that another son of Jafar, viz. Muhammad, also denounced his father’s, Jafar, Imamah and opposed his ideologies and thoughts as al Tabarsi and al Mufid highlight.[40]


4. Musawiyyah

The fourth group: Those who opted for the Imamah of Musa ibn Jafar and rejected the Imamah of ‘Abdullah, declaring him erroneous in his practices and him assuming the position of his father and claiming Imamah.

We shall mention the details and differences of these people in the forthcoming discussion on the era of Musa al Kazim.

5.6 The Ismailiyyah

The fifth and sixth sect which sprung up among the Shia is the Ismailiyyah. Firstly, let us describe them from the Shia themselves:

Al Nawbakhti writes:


وفرقة زعمت أن الإمام بعد جعفر بن محمد ابنه إسماعيل بن جعفر وأنكرت موت إسماعيل في حياة أبيه وقالوا كان ذلك على جهة التلبيس من أبيه على الناس لأنه خاف فغيبه عنهم وزعموا أن إسماعيل لا يموت حتى يملك الأرض يقوم بأمر الناس وأنه هو القائم لإن أباه أشار إليه بالإمامة بعده وقلدهم ذلك له وأخبرهم أنه صاحبه والإمام لا يقول إلا الحق فلما ظهر موته علمنا أنه قد صدق وأنه القائم وأنه لم يمت وهذه الفرقة هي الإسماعيلية الخالصة

A sect believed that the Imam after Jafar ibn Muhammad is his son Ismail ibn Jafar. They rejected Ismail’s death during the lifetime of his father and claimed that this occurred from his father to confuse people as he feared for him and therefore concealed him. They believe that Ismail will not die until he rules the earth and assumes authority over people’s affairs and that he is the Qa’im (Mahdi) because his father indicated towards his Imamah after him, entrusted them with this affair, and informed them that he is their Imam. The Imam only speaks the truth. When his death became apparent, we knew that he [Jafar] spoke the truth and that he [Ismail] is the Qa’im and will never die. This sect is the pure Ismailiyyah.[41]


Then have many subsects, a few of whom we will mention briefly. Al Mufid, under the heading of the progeny of Abu ‘Abdullah rahimahu Llah, lists their number, names, and brief biography:


وكان إسماعيل أكبر الأخوة وكان أبو عبد الله عليه السلام شديد المحبة له والإشفاق عليه وكان قوم من الشيعة يظنون أنه القائم بعد أبيه والخليفة له من بعده إذ كان أكبر إخوته سناً ولميل أبيه إليه وإكرامه له فمات في حياة أبيه عليه السلام بالعريض وحُمل على رقاب الرجال إلى أبيه بالمدينة حتى دفن بالبقيع

Ismail was the eldest sibling. Abu ‘Abdullah rahimahu Llah loved him intensely and was extremely kind and compassionate towards him. A group of the Shia believe that he is the Qa’im after his father and his successor as he was the eldest of his sons in age and due to his father’s fondness of him and honour for him. He passed away during the lifetime of his father rahimahu Llah at ‘Arid. He was carried on the necks of men to his father in Madinah and buried in Baqi’.


It is reported that Abu ‘Abdullah rahimahu Llah was extremely grief-stricken and deeply sorrowful over his death. His bier was placed without any shoe or shawl. He ordered his bier to be placed on the earth several times before his burial. He would open his face and look at him, intending to confirm his death in the sight of those who believed in his caliphate after him and removing the misconception from them during his lifetime.

When Ismail rahimahu Llah passed away, those of his father’s partisans who believed in his Imamah after his father recanted from this belief. A small group believed obstinately that he was alive. This group were not from the close partisans of his father nor from the transmitters from him. They were distant and far off.

When al Sadiq rahimahu Llah passed away, a group of them moved to the belief in the Imamah of Musa ibn Jafar rahimahu Llah while the remainder split into two groups. The first group recanted from the belief of Ismail being alive and claimed the Imamah of his son, Muhammad ibn Ismail, owing to their belief that his father was the Imam and that the son is the most deserving of the station of Imamah than the brother.

The second group obstinately believed in Ismail being alive. Today, they are a few in number, although, none of them may be identified to be attributed to it. These two groups are called the Ismailiyyah. Common from them nowadays are those who believe in the Imamah after Ismail among his children and grandchildren until the end of times.[42]

The same appears in other shia books like Sharh Ibn Abi al Hadid, A’yan al Shia, and al Shia fi al Tarikh.

Al Ash’ari, al Baghdadi, al Isfara’ini, al Razi, al Shahrastani and other early scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah have written on the Ismailiyyah. Many later scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah have discussed them. We will cite what Ibn Khaldun writes:


فأما الإسماعيلية فقالوا بإمامة إسماعيل الإمام بالنص من أبيه جعفر وفائدة النص عليه عندهم وإن كان قد مات قبل أبيه إنما هو بقاء الإمامة في عقبه كقصة هارون مع موسى صلوات الله عليهما قالوا ثم انتقلت الإمامة من إسماعيل إلى ابنه محمد المكتوم وهو أول الأئمة المستورين لأن الإمام عندهم قد لا يكون له شوكة فيستتر وتكون دعاته ظاهرين إقامة للحجة على الخلق وإذا كانت له شوكة ظهر وأظهر دعوته قالوا وبعد محمد المكتوم ابنه جعفر الصادق وبعده ابنه محمد الحبيب وهو آخر المستورين وبعده ابنه عبد الله المهدي الذي أظهر دعوته أبو عبد الله الشيعي في كتامة وتتابع الناس على دعوته ثم أخرجه من معتقله بسجلماسة وملك القيروان والمغرب وملك بنوه من بعد مصر كما هو معروف في أخبارهم ويسمى هؤلاء نسبة إلى القول بإمامة إسماعيل ويسمون أيضاً بالباطنية نسبة إلى قولهم بالإمام الباطن أي المستور ويسمون أيضاً الملحدة لما في ضمن مقالاتهم من الإلحاد ولهم مقالات قديمة ومقالات جديدة دعا إليها الحسن بن محمد الصباح على قوله جماعة من أصحاب أبي عبد الله عليه السلام ثم رجع أكثرهم بعد ذلك إلى القول بإمامة أخيه موسى عليه السلام لما تبينوا ضعف دعواه وقوة أمر أبي الحسن (ع) ودلالة حقه وبراهين إمامته وأقام نفر يسير منهم على أمرهم ودانوا بإمامة عبد الله بن جعفر الطائفة الملقبة بالفطحية في آخر المائة الخامسة وملك حصوناً بالشام والعراق ولم تزل دعوته فيها إلى أن توزعها الهلاك بين ملوك الترك بمصر وملوك التتر في العراق

The Ismailiyyah believe in the Imamah of Ismail as Imam appointed unequivocally by his father, Jafar. The impact of his appointment according to them, although he had passed on before his father, is that Imamah remains in his progeny, just like Harun’s story with Musa (may Allah’s salutations be upon them). They say: Imamah then moved from Ismail to his son Muhammad—the hidden—and he is the first of the absent Imams since the Imam according to them sometimes does not have power and thus hides while inviters to him are dominant, to establish proof against the creation. When he has power, he will become apparent and openly proclaim his call. They say that after Muhammad—the hidden—is his son, Jafar al Sadiq, then his son Muhammad al Habib—the last of the absent ones, then his son ‘Abdullah al Mahdi to whom Abu ‘Abdullah al Shia openly invited in Kitamah and people answered his call. Thereafter, he removed him from his detention camp at Sijilmasah. He ruled over Kairouan and Morocco and his sons ruled after him over Egypt as is famous in their reports. They are labelled this [the Ismailiyyah], attributed to their belief in the Imamah of Ismail and they are also labelled the Batiniyyah due to their belief in the internal, i.e., absent Imam. They are also called the Mulhidah due to the heresy in their belief. They have other old articles and new articles to which Hassan ibn Muhammad al Sabbah invited at the end of the fifth century. He ruled over forts in Sham and Iraq. His call continued until it was divided by destruction between the kings of the Turks in Egypt and the kings of Tatar in Iraq.[43]


Al Shahrastani speaks about them:


الإسماعيلية قالوا إن الإمام بعد جعفر إسماعيل نصاً عليه باتفاق من أولاده إلا أنهم اختلفوا في موته في حال حياة أبيه فمنهم من قال لم يمت إلا أنه أظهر موته تقية من خلفاء بني العباس وعقد محضراً وأشهد عليه عامل المنصور بالمدينة ومنهم من قال الموت صحيح والنص لا يرجع القهقري والفائدة في النص بقاء الإمامة في أولاد المنصوص عليه دون غيره فالإمام بعد إسماعيل محمد بن إسماعيل وهؤلاء يقال لهم المباركية ثم منهم من وقف على محمد بن إسماعيل وقال برجعته بعد غيبته ومنهم من ساق الإمامة في المستورين منهم ثم في الظاهرين القائمين من بعدهم

The Ismailiyyah say: Certainly, the Imam after Jafar is Ismail, with appointment and by consensus from his children, except that they differed regarding his demise during the lifetime of his father. Some of them say that he did not die but faked his death as Taqiyyah from the Khalifas of the Banu al ‘Abbas. He contracted a gathering and made Mansur’s governor over Madinah witness upon this. Others say that his demise is confirmed. However, the appointment is not retracted. The benefit of the appointment is Imamah remaining in the offspring of the one appointed, to the exclusion of others. Hence, the Imam after Ismail is Muhammad ibn Ismail. They are called the Mubarakiyyah. Among these are some who stop at Muhammad ibn Ismail and believe in his return after his occultation while others continue the line of Imamah among the absent among them and then those who went public and gained dominance after them.[44]


He then furnishes their proofs to establish the Imamah of Ismail ibn Jafar saying:


إسماعيل بن جعفر وهو ابنه الأكبر المنصوص في بدء الأمر وقالوا لم يتزوج الصادق على أمه بواحدة من النساء ولا اشترى جارية كسنة رسول الله في حق خديجة وكسنة علي في حق فاطمة وذكرنا اختلافهم في موته في حال حياة أبيه فمنهم من قال إنه مات وإنما فائدة النص عليه انتقال الإمامة منه إلى أولاده خاصة كما نص موسى إلى هارون عليهما السلام ثم مات هارون في حال حياة أخيه وإنما فائدة النص انتقال الإمامة منه إلى أولاده فإن النص لا يرجع القهقري والقول بالبداء محال ولا ينص الإمام على واحد من ولده إلا بعد السماع من آبائه والتعيين لا يجوز على الإبهام والجهالة ومنهم من قال إنه لم يمت لكن أظهر موته تقية عليه حتى لا يقصد بالقتل ولهذا القول دلالات منها أن محمد كان صغيراً وهو أخوه لأمه مضى إلى السرير الذي كان إسماعيل نائماً عليه ورفع الملاءة فأبصره وهو قد فتح عينه وعاد إلى أبيه مفزعاً وقال عاش أخي عاش أخي قال والده إن أولاد الرسول كذا يكون حالهم في الآخرة قالوا ومنها السبب في الاشهاد على موته وكتب المحضر عنه ولم نعهد ميتا سجل على موته وعن هذا لما رفع إلى المنصور أن إسماعيل بن جعفر رؤى بالبصرة وقد مر على مقعد فدعا له فبرئ باذن الله تعالى بعث المنصور إلى الصادق أن إسماعيل بن جعفر في الأحياء وأنه رؤي بالبصرة أنفذ السجل إليه وعليه شهادة عامله بالمدينة قالوا وبعد إسماعيل محمد بن إسماعيل السابع التام وانما تم دور السبعة به ثم ابتدىء منه بالأئمة المستورين الذين كانوا يسيرون في البلاد سرا ويظهرون الدعاة جهرا قالوا ولن تخلو الأرض قط من إمام حي قائم إما ظاهر مكشوف وإما باطن مستور فإذا كان الإمام ظاهرا جاز أن يكون حجته مستورا وإذا كان الإمام مستورا فلا بد أن يكون حجته ودعاته ظاهرين وقالوا إن الأئمة تدور أحكامهم على سبعة سبعة كأيام الأسبوع والسماوات السبع والكواكب السبعة والنقباء تدور أحكامهم على اثني عشر قالوا وعن هذا وقعت الشبهة للإمامية القطعية حيث قرروا عدد النقباء للأئمة ثم بعد الأئمة المستورين كان ظهور المهدي بالله والقائم بأمر الله وأولادهم نصا بعد نص على إمام بعد إمام ومن مذهبهم أن من مات ولم يعرف إمام زمانه مات ميتة جاهلية وكذلك من مات ولم يكن في عنقه بيعه إمام مات ميتة جاهلية ولهم دعوة في كل زمان ومقالة جديدة بكل لسان فنذكر مقالاتهم القديمة ونذكر بعدها دعوة صاحب الدعوة الجديدة واشهر ألقابهم الباطنية وانما لزمهم هذا اللقب لحكمهم بان لكل ظاهر باطنا ولكل تنزيل تأويلا ولهم ألقاب كثيرة سوى هذه على لسان قوم قوم فبالعراق يسمون الباطنية والقرامطة والمزدكية وبخراسان التعليمية والملحدة وهم يقولون نحن الإسماعيلية لأننا تميزنا عن فرق الشيعة بهذا الاسم وهذا الشخص … ثم أصحاب الدعوة الجديدة تنكبوا هذه الطريقة حين أظهر الحسن بن الصباح دعوته وقصر عن الإلزامات كلمته واستظهر بالرجال وتحصن بالقلاع وكان بدؤ صعوده إلى قلعة الموت في شعبان سنة ثلاث وثمانين وأربعمائة وذلك بعد أن هاجر إلى بلاد إمامه وتلقى منه كيفية الدعوة لأبناء زمانه فعاد ودعا الناس أول دعوة إلى تعيين إمام صادق قائم في كل زمان وتمييز الفرقة الناجية من سائر الفرق بهذه النكتة وهو أن لهم إماماً وليس لغيرهم إمام

Ismail ibn Jafar is his eldest son, appointed in the beginning. They say that al Sadiq did not marry any other woman while married to his mother and did not purchase a slave girl just like the practice of Rasulullah with Khadijah and the practice of ‘Ali with Fatimah. We mentioned their difference over his death during the lifetime of his father. Some acknowledged that he died, although the benefit of the appointment is its moving from him to his offspring specifically just as Musa appointed Harun ‘alayhima al Salam and then Harun passed away while his brother was alive. The benefit of appointment is Imamah transferring from him to his sons as appointment is not cancelled and believing in Bada’ is impossible. No Imam appoints any of his children in particular except after hearing from his forefathers. Moreover, specification is not possible with ambiguity and ignorance.

Others say that he did not die, but feigned his death observing Taqiyyah so that he does not become the target of assassination. There are indications to this belief. One of them is that Muhammad was young and he and his uterine brother went to the bier upon which Ismail was resting. Muhammad lifted the sheet and saw him with his eyes open. He rushed to his father terrified and shouted, “My brother is alive. My brother is alive.” His father said, “This is the condition of the children of the Messenger in the Hereafter.” They ask the reason for establishing witnesses upon his death; the reason behind this was that news reached Mansur that Ismail ibn Jafar was seen in Basrah walking passed a disabled person for whom he prayed and the person was cured by the permission of Allah, so Mansur sent word to Sadiq that Ismail is alive and that he was seen in Basrah. Sadiq sent him the document which had the testimony of his governor over Madinah.

They say: After Ismail is Muhammad ibn Ismail, the seventh, the last. The cycle of the seven ended with him. Thereafter, after him started the absent Imams who would travel in the lands and publicise callers openly. They said: The earth will never be devoid of a living Imam; either apparent or absent. When the Imam is apparent, it is possible for his proof to be absent and when the Imam is absent, it is necessary for his proof and callers to be apparent. They said: The Imams, their verdicts revolve around seven, like the days of the week, the seven heavens, and the seven stars (planets). The nuqaba’ (representitives), their verdicts revolve around twelve. They said: From this, a doubt occurred for the Imamiyyah Qat’iyyah who determine the number of nuqaba’ for the Imams.

Then, after the absent Imams will be the emergence of the Mahdi, the Qa’im, with the command of Allah and his children, appointment after appointment upon Imam after Imam. Their conviction is that one who dies without knowing the Imam of his era dies a death of ignorance. Similar is the case of one who dies without having the bay’ah of an Imam around his neck, he dies a death of ignorance.

Them being labelled Batiniyyah became famous. This label stuck with them due to their verdict that every apparent has a hidden and every revelation has an interpretation. They have other labels as well, viz. Qaramitah, Muzdakiyyah, and Mulhidah. They call themselves Ismailiyyah as they are distinct from other Shia sects with this name.

Thereafter, adherents to the new call deviated from this path when Hassan ibn al Sabbah announced his call and he failed to respond to the objections of his detractors. He sought help from people and sought refuge in forts. The beginning of his ascension to the fort of death was in Sha’ban 483 AH. This was after his emigration to the lands of his Imam and him learning how to invite the children of his era. He returned and invited people firstly to ascertain an Imam who is truthful and upright in every era and differentiate the sect that will attain salvation from all the sects with this point, i.e., that they have an Imam and others do not have an Imam.[45]


The Qaramitah

The Ismailiyyah splintered into many sects. The most famous of them are:

The Qaramitah—attributed to Hamdan al Ash’ath, famously known as Qirmit, due to his short stature, short legs, and small steps. The year was 264 AH. He emerged in the rural areas of Kufah and his creed spread in Iraq. Sahib al Hal and Muddathir al Mutawwaq rose up in the lands of Sham while Abu Sa’id al Janabi rose up in Bahrain. His state and the state of his children increased to the extent that they attacked the armies of the Abbasid Khalifas and fought battles in Baghdad, Sham, Egypt, and Hijaz and their callers spread to the corners of the world.

A group of people fell for their invitation and inclined to their ideology which they called knowledge of the hidden which is an interpretation of the law of Islam, turning away from the external meanings to matters they themselves invented. They fell into deviation and misled multitudes of people.

Other stories have been related regarding the history of Hamdan’s emergence and naming him Qirmit. Al Watwat says:


ظهر في أيام خلافة المعتمد سنة ٢٧٨هـ من سواد الكوفة رجل أحمر العينين يسمى كرميته فاستثقلوا هذه اللفظة فخففوها وقالوا قرمط ثم ذكر أنواع تعاليمه وبدعه الفاسدة وذكر أن المعز الفاطمي وقائده جوهر قد حاربا القرامطة حروباً دامية سنة ٣٦٢هـ

A man with red eyes called kirmitayh emerged in the days of the caliphate of al Mu’tamid, 278 AH, from the rural areas of Kufah. They found it difficult to pronounce this word and facilitated its pronunciation into Qirmit. He listed various corrupt teachings and innovations of his. He mentioned that al Mu’izz al Fatimi and his commander, Jawhar, battled against the Qaramitah in bloody battles in the year 362 AH.[46]


Ibn Khallikan says:


والقرامطة نسبتهم إلى رجل من سواد الكوفة يقال له قِرمط بكسر القاف ولهم مذهب مذموم وكانوا قد ظهروا في سنة ٢٨١هـ في خلافة المعتضد وقيل كان ظهورهم في سنة ٢٧٨هـ

The Qaramitah: They are attributed to a man from the rural areas of Kufah called Qirmit with a kasrah on the qaf. They have a reprehensible creed. They emerged in the year 281 AH in the caliphate of al Mu’tadid. It is believed in a weaker report that they emerged in 278 AH.


Abu al Fida’ states:


أن ظهورهم كان في هذه السنة أي سنة ٢٧٨هـ في سواد الكوفة وأن الرجل الذي دعاهم إلى مذهبه كان شيخاً وقد تمرض بقرية من سواد الكوفة فحمله رجل من أهل القرية يقال له كرميته لحمرة عينيه وهو بالنبطية إسم لحمرة العين فلما تعافى الشيخ المذكور سمي باسم ذلك الرجل الذي آواه ومرضه ثم ُخفف فقالوا قِرمط ودعا قوماً من أهل البادية ممن ليس لهم دين ولا عقل إلى دينه فأجابوه

Their emergence was in this year, i.e., 278 AH, in the rural areas of Kufah. The man who invited them to his creed was an elder who faked illness in one of the villages of the rural areas of Kufah. A man from the village carried him, called Kirmitah due to the redness of his eyes, which in popular language refers to red eyes. When the elderly man was cured, he was given the name of this man who gave him shelter and nursed him. They then eased it saying Qirmit with a kasrah on the qaf. He invited Bedouins who had neither any religion nor any intelligence to his creed and they complied.


It does not bother us whether the man who invented the Qaramitah is the same man called Qirmit or another man. What does appeal to us is knowing the history of their emergence and in which year it took place to determine whether it was during the time of the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt or not. You have seen the diversity of the narrations specifying the time of their emergence, the most preferred being the year 278 AH, i.e., after the time of the blessed Imams and during the time of the minor occultation of the Twelfth Imam.[47]

Al Ash’ari discusses them in the following manner:


القرامطة يزعمون أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم نص على علي بن أبي طالب وأن علياً نص على إمامة ابنه الحسن وأن الحسن بن علي نص على إمامة أخيه الحسين بن علي وأن الحسين بن علي نص على إمامة ابنه علي بن الحسين وأن علي بن الحسين نص على إمامة ابنه محمد بن علي ونص محمد بن علي على إمامة ابنه جعفر ونص جعفر على إمامة ابنه محمد بن إسماعيل وزعموا أن محمد بن إسماعيل حي إلى اليوم لم يمت ولا يموت حتى يملك الأرض وأنه هو المهدي الذي تقدمت البشارة به واحتجت في ذلك بأخبار رووها عن أسلافهم يخبرون فيها أن سابع الأئمة قائمهم

The Qaramitah believe that the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam appointed ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, who appointed his son Hassan, who appointed his brother Hussain ibn ‘Ali, who appointed his son ‘Ali ibn al Hussain, who appointed his son Muhammad ibn ‘Ali, who appointed Jafar, who appointed his son Muhammad ibn Ismail. They believe that Muhammad ibn Ismail is alive to date; he has not died and will not die until he rules the earth and that he is the Mahdi for whom glad tidings was given aforetime. They cite as proof narrations they report from their predecessors informing that the seventh Imam is the Qa’im.[48]


Others spoke of them in the same manner.

Among them are the Mubarakiyyah and others. Three sects are famous and existing: The Aghakhaniyyah or Nazzariyyah—the followers of the Aghakhan; Bohra or Musta’liyah, and the Sulaimaniyyah.

Each of them have distinct beliefs and ideologies—they agree in some and differ in others. We have lengthy treatises on all their sects, beliefs, ideologies, thoughts, history, emergence, and the foundations of their belief system. We have scrutinised the opinions of the orientalists, the Egyptian authors, the Ismailiyyah—those in Syria as well as those in India. We refuted the views they adopted from these folk and we established their corrupt errors, both historical and mystical. Likewise, we have furnished in this treatise new genuine findings of the beliefs of the original folk from their early books, whether in manuscript or published. We have established the absolute ignorance of famed, well-known individuals—including those who sit in leading positions of the Ismailiyyah and claim to be from the seniors. This is contained in a separate book.[49] Owing to this, we have abstained from prolonging the discussion on them and their beliefs in this book. We sufficed on citing quotations and sourcing texts from those who wrote on the sects of the Shia and Ahlus Sunnah, so that we may not drift away from the original topic and so that the discussion does not become lengthy.



Among the many sects that fragmented from the Ismailiyyah, adopting their ideologies and beliefs, are the Druze. They spawned during the days of al Hakim bi Amr Allah al Fatimi who assumed authority over Egypt after the demise of his father in 386 AH at the age of 11 and gained complete control in 390 AH after the killing of one of his trustees.[50]

Some Ismailiyyah activists, heretics—messengers of the Persians and Magians—exploited his young age together with his craving and curiosity for food, drink, housing, accommodation, and pure halo which encircled him. They surrounded him and beautified to him the thought of his divinity and godship. The most prominent of them were Hamzah ibn ‘Ali Ahmed al Zawzani, Muhammad ibn Ismail al Durzi, Hassan ibn Haydarah al Farghani, and another famously known as al Akhram or al Ajda’.[51] They fell far into deviation and disintegration. The historians believe that the beginning of the call to the rulers’ divinity was in 408 AH.[52]

Among their most significant beliefs is the divinity of the ruler as appears in the scripture of the Druze that the covenant for the Druze is to say:


I believe in Allah; my lord is the ruler—the high, exalted, lord of the easts and lord of the wests, deity of the primary and secondary, creator of the talking and basic, producer of the perfect image through his light, one who rose above the throne, while he was on the exalted horizon, then he came close and descended. I believe in him and he is the lord of the return. To him belongs the first and the final, and he is the apparent and the hidden.

I believe in the Ulu al ‘Azm Messengers, the easts of the blessed brilliance around it, the eight bearers of the throne, and all the legal punishments. I believe, with practice and adherence, in all the commands and prohibitions revealed from our master, the ruler. I have surrendered my soul, my being, and my limbs, externally and internally, in knowledge and practice. I will wage war in the path of our master, secretly and publicly, with my soul, wealth, children, and all possessions, verbally and practically. I have made witness to this acknowledgement everything created in my easts and dead in my wests.

I have adhered to and made this incumbent upon myself and my soul truthfully from my intelligence and belief. I attest to this, without any coercion or hypocrisy. I made witness my master, the truth, the ruler—the deity in the heavens and the deity on earth. I make witness my master, guider of the responsive, the revenger from the polytheists and apostates, Hamzah ibn ‘Ali ibn Ahmed, the one with whom the everlasting sun rises and have uttered it and he has the withdrawal of virtue. I am exonerated and have shunned all religions, sects, views, ideologies—ancient and new—and believed in what our master, the ruler, commander with whom I do not ascribe any partner in his worship in all my phases.[53]


They believe in transmigration and incarnation. Every time a human passes on, his soul transmigrates to a new baby.[54] Among their essential beliefs is Ghaybah (Occultation) and Raj’ah (Return). They say that the ruler, with the command of Allah, is obscure from sight and will soon return in the end of times and will alight at al Rukn al Yamani of the Ka’bah.

They have other beliefs shared with the Shia. Ibn Taymiyyah has spoken about them and the Nusayriyyah in an answer to a questioner. The question reads:


الدرزية هم أتباع هشتكين الدرزي وكان من موالي الحاكم أرسله إلى أهل وادي تيم الله بن ثعلبة فدعاهم إلى إلاهية الحاكم ويسمونه الباري العلام ويحلفون به وهم من الإسماعيلية القائلين بأن محمد بن إسماعيل نسخ شريعة محمد بن عبد الله وهم أعظم كفراً من الغالية يقولون بقدم العالم وإنكار المعاد وإنكار واجبات الإسلام ومحرماته وهم من القرامطة الباطنية الذين هم أكفر من اليهود والنصارى ومشركي العرب وغايتهم أن يكونوا فلاسفة على مذهب أرسطو وأمثاله أو مجوسا وقولهم مركب من قول الفلاسفة والمجوس ويظهرون التشيع نفاقاً والله أعلم

The Durziyyah are the adherents of Hashtakin al Durzi. He was one of the freed slaves of the ruler whom the ruler sent to the people of the valley of Taym Allah ibn Tha’labah and he invited them to the divinity of the ruler whom they call al Bari (the creator), al ‘Allam (the knowledgeable) and swear by his name. They are from the Ismailiyyah who believe that Muhammad ibn Ismail abrogated the Shari’ah of Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah. They are guilty of greater disbelief than the Ghaliyah (extremists) who believe in the timelessness of the universe, reject the afterlife, and reject the injunctions and prohibitions of Islam. They are from the Qaramitah, Batiniyyah who are worse disbelievers than the Jews, Christians, and Arab polytheists. Their purpose is to be philosophers on the creed of Aristotle and his like, or Magians. Their belief is a conglomeration of the beliefs of the philosophers and Magians, despite them hypocritically feigning Shi’ism. And Allah knows best!


Ibn Taymiyyah responded:


كفر هؤلاء مما لا يختلف فيه المسلمون بل من شك في كفرهم فهو كافر مثلهم لا هم بمنزلة أهل الكتاب ولا المشركين بل هم الكفرة الضالون فلا يُباح أكل طعامهم وتسبى نساؤهم وتؤخذ أموالهم فإنهم زنادقة مرتدين لا تقبل توبتهم بل يقتلون أينما ثقفوا ويلعنون كما وصفوا ولا يجوز استخدامهم للحراسة والبوابة والحفاظ ويجب قتل علمائهم وصلحائهم لئلا يضلوا غيرهم ويحرم النوم معهم في بيوتهم ورفقتهم والمشي معهم وتشييع جنائزهم إذا علم موتها ويحرم على ولاة أمور المسلمين إضاعة ما أمر الله من إقامة الحدود عليهم بأي شيء يراه المقيم المقام عليه

The disbelief of these people is an aspect the Muslims have not disputed. In fact, whoever doubts their disbelief is a disbeliever just like them. They are not on the level of the adherents of the scripture or polytheists. Rather, they are disbelievers, misguided. It is not permissible to eat their food. Their women will be captured and their wealth will be taken. They are indeed heretics, apostates, whose repentance is not accepted. Rather, they will be executed wherever they are found and cursed as they have been described. It is not permissible to utilise their services for security purposes. It is imperative to execute their scholars and pious so that they may not lead others astray. It is impermissible to sleep with them in their homes, journey with them, walk with them, or follow their biers when they die. It is forbidden for the authorities of the Muslims to ruin the implementing of legal punishments commanded by Allah on them with anything he sees a substitute.[55]


These are the sects that splintered and originated after the demise of Jafar ibn al Baqir. Their views varied and their ideologies differed despite their unanimity in inheriting Saba’iyyah ideologies.


Sects of the Shia in the Days of Musa al Kazim

Those who believed in the Imamah of Musa ibn Jafar split further during his lifetime and after his demise. Al Nawbakhti speaks of this:


ثم إن جماعة من المؤتمين بموسى بن جعفر لم يختلفوا في أمره فثبتوا على إمامته إلى حبسه في المرة الثانية ثم اختلفوا في أمره فشكوا في إمامته عند حبسه في المرة الثانية التي مات فيها في حبس الرشيد فصاروا خمس فرق

Then, a group of the followers of Musa ibn Jafar did not differ with regards to his leadership. They adhered religiously to his Imamah until he was captured the second time. They differed in his affair and doubted his Imamah when he was imprisoned on the second occasion in which he passed on, the imprisonment of al Rashid. They split into five sects.[56]


This transpired in the year 183 AH.

The first sect affirmed that he died in the prison of al Sindi ibn Shahik and that Yahya ibn Khalid al Barmaki poisoned him through dates and grapes he sent to him, which claimed his life. The Imam after Musa is ‘Ali ibn Musa al Rida. This sect was called the Qat’iyyah as they were determined of the demise of Musa ibn Jafar and the Imamah of ‘Ali, his son, after him, without doubting the matter or hesitating. They followed the first way.

The second sect claimed that Musa ibn Jafar did not die and is alive and will not die until he rules the East and West of the world and fills it with justice just as it was filled with injustice, and that he is the Qa’im, the Mahdi. They further claimed that he escaped from prison in broad daylight without anyone seeing him or becoming aware of his escape and that the Sultan and his cronies claimed that he died, lying to the people. He escaped the eyes of people and went into hiding. They report narrations from his father Jafar ibn Muhammad rahimahu Llah who said:


هو القائم المخبأ فإن يدهده رأسه عليكم من جبل فلا تصدقوا فإنه القائم

He is the concealed Qa’im. If his head rolls down from a mountain to you, do not believe it, as he is the Qa’im.[57]


This group was called the Musawiyyah as they awaited the emergence of Musa ibn Jafar.[58] They are also called the Mufaddaliyyah, attributed to one of their leaders, al Mufaddal ibn ‘Umar, a prominent figure among them.[59] They are also labelled the Mamturah because when they expressed this view, people told them, “By Allah, you are nothing but dogs upon whom rain has fallen,” i.e. they are dogs soaked in rain from the absolute evil of this belief.[60] Moreover, people abandoned and avoided them.[61] Ibn Hazm discussed them in al Fasl.[62]

The third sect said that he is the Qa’im, however, he has died. Imamah will not pass on to anyone besides him until he returns and emerges. They believe that he returned after his demise, but went into occultation in a certain location. He is alive, issues commands and prohibitions, and his followers meet him and see him. They cite narrations from his father who said:


سمي القائم لأنه يقوم بعد ما يموت

He is called al Qa’im as he rises after his death.[63]


The fourth sect believed that he passed away and is the Qa’im and he has a resemblance to ‘Isa ibn Maryam ‘alayh al Salam. He has not returned as yet, but will return before his rising and fill the earth with justice just as it was filled with injustice. His father said:


إن فيه شبهاً من عيسى بن مريم وأنه يُقتل في يدي ولد العباس فقد قتل

He has a similarity with ‘Isa ibn Maryam. He will be killed at the hands of ‘Abbas’s progeny. And he was killed.[64]


The fifth sect submitted that they do not know whether he is alive or dead. They have reported plenty narrations indicating that he is the Qa’im, the Mahdi, hence it cannot be rejected. Moreover, his obituary from his father, grandfather, and those who passed of his forefathers ‘alayhim al Salam have been learnt through authentic sources. This also cannot be rejected due to their clarity, popularity, and frequency—the like of which cannot be rejected and it cannot possibly be planned. Death is real and Allah—the Mighty and Majestic—does as He wishes. Thus, they observed waqf by acknowledging his death and attesting to him being alive. [They said:] We remain steadfast on his Imamah without moving from it until his affair is ascertained. The matter of the one who stood up himself in his place and claimed Imamah, i.e. ‘Ali ibn Musa al Rida; if his Imamah is proven to us like the Imamah of his father aforetime through indications and signs that prove Imamah coupled with his acknowledgement over himself of Imamah and the death of his father, not through the notification of his followers, we will believe him and submit to him.[65]

Similar has been stated by al Razi in I’tiqadat Firaq al Muslimin wa al Mushrikin, al Ash’ari in Maqalat al Islamiyyin, al Milti in al Tanbih; al Isfara’ini in al Tabsir, al Baghdadi in al Farq bayn al Firaq, al Mufid in al Irshad, and al Shahrastani in al Milal wa al Nihal.[66]

There is another sect, a sixth, the Bashariyyah which al Nawbakhti speaks of:


(البشرية) أصحاب محمد بن بشير مولى بني أسد من أهل الكوفة قالت إن موسى بن جعفر لم يمت ولم يحبس وإنه حي غائب وإنه القائم المهدي في وقت غيبته استخلف على الأمر محمد بن بشير وجعله وصيه وأعطاه خاتمه وعلمه جميع ما يحتاج إليه رعيته وفوّض إليه أموره وأقامه مقام نفسه فمحمد بن بشير الإمام بعده وأن محمد بن بشير لما توفي أوصى إلى ابنه سميع بن محمد بن بشير فهو الإمام ومن أوصى إليه (سميع) فهو الإمام المفترض الطاعة على الأمة إلى وقت خروج موسى وظهوره فما يلزم الناس من حقوقه في أموالهم وغير ذلك مما يتقربون به إلى الله عز وجلّ فالفرض عليهم أداؤه إلى هؤلاء إلى قيام القائم وزعموا أن علي بن موسى ومن ادعى الإمامة من ولد موسى بعده فغير طيب الولادة ونفوهم عن أنسابهم وكفروهم في دعواهم الإمامة وكفروا القائلين بإمامتهم واستحلوا دماءهم وأموالهم وزعموا أن الفرض من الله عليهم إقامة الصلوات الخمس وصوم شهر رمضان وأنكروا الزكاة والحج وسائر الفرائض وقالوا بإباحة المحارم من الفروج والغلمان واعتلوا في ذلك بقول الله عز وجل أو يزوجهم ذكراناً وإناثاً وقالوا بالتناسخ وأن الأئمة عندهم واحد إنما هم منتقلون من بدن إلى بدن والمساواة بينهم واجبة في كل ما ملكوه من مال وكل شيئ أوصى به رجل منهم في سبيل الله فهو لسميع بن محمد وأوصيائه من بعده

The Bashariyyah: The followers of Muhammad ibn Bashir, the freed slave of the Banu Asad, from the residents of Kufah believe that Musa ibn Jafar did not die and was not imprisoned. Rather, he is certainly alive, but concealed and he is the Qa’im, the Mahdi. During his occultation, he appointed Muhammad ibn Bashir to authority and appointed him his trustee, giving him his ring, teaching him all the aspects his populace is in need of, handing over his affairs to him, and appointing him in his place. Muhammad ibn Bashir is thus the Imam after him. When Muhammad ibn Bashir died, he appointed his son Sami’ ibn Muhammad ibn Bashir who is the Imam. Whoever Sami’ appoints will be the Imam—to whom obedience is necessary upon the Ummah until the emergence and appearance of Musa. Whatever rights are binding upon people in their wealth and others aspects through which they gain proximity to Allah—the Mighty and Majestic—should mandatorily be paid to these men until the rising of the Qa’im.

They believe that ‘Ali ibn Musa and those who claim Imamah from the progeny of Musa after him are not legitimate offspring. They strip them of their lineage and excommunicate them, for their claim of Imamah, as well as those who believe in their Imamah. They regard their blood and wealth permissible. They believe that what is mandatory upon them from Allah is establishing the five Salahs and fasting the month of Ramadan. They reject Zakat, Hajj, and all other obligations. They permit the prohibited aspects, i.e. unlawful sexual intercourse and sodomy of young boys citing as proof Allah’s—the Mighty and Majestic—words: Or He makes them [both] males and females.[67] They believe in transmigration. According to them, the Imams are in fact one—they simply transmigrate from one body to another. Equality between them is compulsory in all wealth they possess. Everything a person bequeaths in the path of Allah belongs to Sami’ ibn Muhammad and his trustees after him.[68]


Al Kashshi has spoken on this Muhammad ibn Bashir in his al Rijal[69]:


محمد بشير لما مضى أبو الحسن (ع) ووقف عليه الواقفة جاء محمد بن بشير وكان صاحب شعبذة ومخارق معروفاً بذلك فادعى أنه يقول بالوقف على موسى بن جعفر (ع) هو كان ظاهراً بين الخلق يرونه جميعاً يتراءى لأهل النور بالنور ولأهل الكدرة في مثل خلقهم بالإنسانية والبشرية اللحمانية ثم حجب الخلق جميعاً عن إدراكه وهو قائم فيهم موجود كما كان غير أنهم محجوبون عن إدراكه كالذي كانوا يدركونه وكان محمد بن بشير هذا من أهل الكوفة من موالي بني أسد وله أصحاب قالوا أن موسى بن جعفر لم يمت ولم يُحبس وأنه غاب واستتر وهو القائم المهدي وأنه في وقت غيبته استخلف على الأمة محمد بن بشير وجعله وصيه وأعطاه خاتمه وعلمه جميع ما تحتاج إليه رعيته في أمر دينهم ودنياهم وفوض إليه جميع أمره وأقامه مقام نفسه فمحمد بن بشيرالإمام بعده وكفروا القائلين بإمامتهم واستحلوا دماءهم وأموالهم وزعموا أن كل من انتسب إلي محمد فهم بيوت وظروف وأن محمداً هو رب حل في كل من انتسب إليه وأنه لم يلد ولم يولد وأنه محتجب في هذه الحجب وزعمت هذه الفرقة والمخسمة والعلياوية وأصحاب أبي الخطاب أن كل من انتسب إلى أنه من آل محمد فهو مبطل في نسبته مفتر على الله كاذب وأنهم الذين قال الله تعالى فيهم أنهم يهود ونصارى في قوله وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ وَالنَّصَارى نَحْنُ أَبْنَاءُ اللهِ وَأَحِبَّاؤُهُ قُلْ فَلِمَ يُعَذِّبُكُمْ بِذُنُوبِكُمْ بَلْ أَنْتُمْ بَشَرٌ مِمَّنْ خَلَقَ محمد في مذهب الخطابية و علي في مذهب العلياوية فهم ممن خلق هؤلاء كاذبون فيما ادعوا إذ كان محمد عندهم وعلي هو رب لا يلد ولا يولد ولا يُستولد تعالى الله عما يصفون وعما يقولون علواً كبيرا وكان سبب مقتل محمد بن بشير لعنه الله لأنه كان معه شعبذة ومخاريق فكان يظهر الواقفة أنه ممن وقف على علي بن موسى (ع) وكان يقول في موسى بالربوبية ويدعي لنفسه أنه نبي وكان عنده صورة قد عملها وأقامها شخصاً كأنه صورة أبي الحسن (ع) من ثياب حرير وقد طلاها بالأدوية وعالجها بحيل عملها فيها حتى صارت شبه صورة إنسان وكان يطويها فإذا أراد الشعبذة نفخ فيها فأقامها فكان يقول لأصحابه إن أبا الحسن (ع) عندي فإن أحببتم أن تروه وتعلموا أني نبي فهلموا أعرضه عليكم وكان يدخلهم البيت والصورة المطوية معه فيقول لهم هل ترون في البيت مقيماً أو ترون غيري وغيركم فيقول فاخرجوا فيخرجون من البيت فيصير هو وراء الستر بينه وبينهم ثم يقدم تلك الصورة ثم يرفع تلك الستر بينهم وبينه فينظرون إلى صورة قائمة وشخص كأنه شخص أبي الحسن لا ينكرون منه شيئاً ويقف هو معه بالقرب فيريهم من طريق الشعبذة أنه يكلمه ويناجيه ويدنو منه كأنه يساره ثم يغمزهم أن يتنحوا فيتنحون ويسبل الستر بينه وبينهم فلا يرون شيئا وكانت معه أشياء عجيبة من صنوف الشعبذة ما لم يروا مثلها فهلكوا بها فكانت هذه حاله مدة حتى رفع خبره إلى بعض الخلفاء أحسبه هارون أو غيره ممن كان بعده من الخلفاء أنه زنديق فأخذه وأراد ضرب عنقه فقال له يا أمير المؤمنين استبقني فإني أتخذ لك أشياء يرغب الملوك فيها فأطلقه فكان أول ما اتخذ له الدوالي فإنه عمد إلى الدوالي فسواها وعلقها وجعل الزيبق بين تلك الألواح فكانت الدوالي تمتلئ من الماء وتملي الألواح وينقلب الزيبق من تلك الألواح فيتسع الدوالي لذلك فكانت تعمل من غير مستعمل لها وتصب الماء في البستان فأعجبه ذلك مع أشياء عملها يضاهي الله بها في خلقه الجنة فقواه وجعل له مرتبة ثم إنه يوماً من الأيام إنكسرت بعض تلك الألواح فخرج منها الزيبق فتعطلت فاستراب أمره وظهر عليه التعطيل والإباحات


After Abu al Hassan rahimahu Llah passed away and the Waqifah halted Imamah, Muhammad ibn Bashir came along—he was a popular magician and swindler. He claimed that he determined waqf  upon Musa ibn Jafar rahimahu Llah. He (Musa) was apparent among the creation all of whom could see him. He would see people of light through light and those of cloudiness in the like of their creation with manhood and fleshy humanness. Subsequently, the entire creation was veiled from seeing him. He is existent and living among them as he was, except that they are veiled from seeing him as they would.

This Muhammad ibn Bashir was from the residents of Kufah, from the freed slaves of the Banu Asad, and he had a following. They said: Musa ibn Jafar did not die and was not imprisoned. He has gone into occultation. He is the Qa’im, the Mahdi. He has, during his occultation, appointed Muhammad ibn Bashir over the Ummah, making him his wasi (trustee), giving him his ring, teaching him everything his populace will need relating to their religion and world, handing over to him all his affairs, and appointing him in his position. Thus, Muhammad ibn Bashir is the Imam after him… They excommunicated those who believed in their Imamah and regarded their blood and wealth permissible… They believed that whoever is associated with Muhammad are sanctuaries and vessels, and Muhammad is the Rabb who became incarnate in everyone associated to him and that he does not give birth and was not begotten and that he is veiled behind these veils.

This sect as well as the Mukhassimah, ‘Ulyawiyyah, and the adherents of Abu al Khattab believe that anyone who claims association saying that he is from the family of Muhammad is false in his association, fabricating a lie against Allah and that they are the Jews and the Christians whom Allah referred to in His statement: But the Jews and Christians say, “We are the children of Allah and His beloved.” Say, “Then why does He punish you for your sins?” Rather, you are human beings from among those He has created.[70] Muhammad in the creed of the Khattabiyyah and ‘Ali in the creed of the ‘Ulyawiyyah are from those He has created.

These are liars in what they claim as Muhammad and ‘Ali—in their respective views—is Rabb, who does not have children and who was not begotten and who does not want children. Exalted is Allah above what they describe and what they say by great sublimity.

The reason behind the killing of Muhammad ibn Bashir—Allah curse him—was that he was a magician and swindler. He would express knowledge of knowing ‘Ali ibn Musa rahimahu Llah and would claim divinity for Musa and claimed Nubuwwah for himself. He had an image which he fashioned and constructed into a figure resembling Abu al Hassan rahimahu Llah from silk cloth. He coated it with medication and treated it in various ways until it appeared just like the figure of a human. He would fold it up. When intending his magic, he would blow into it and erect it. He would tell his followers, “Indeed, Abu al Hassan rahimahu Llah is by me. Whoever wishes to see him and realise that I am a prophet, should come and I will present him to you.” He would allow them in the house while the figure was folded with him and ask them, “Do you see anyone standing in the room besides me and you?” He would then say, “Go out.” They would leave the house and would leave him with the curtain between them. He would then erect that figure and lift the curtain between them. They would see an image standing, a figure looking exactly like Abu al Hassan without them doubting anything. He would stand near the figure and display to them that he is talking and conversing with the person and going close to him to whisper to him. He would then indicate to them to move away and they would move, while he would draw the curtain between them after which they would not see a thing.

He had other amazing aspects through magic the like of which people did not see. They all were destroyed with it.

This remained his condition for a while until he was mentioned to one of the khalifas—I think Harun or another khalifah after him—and labelled a heretic. The khalifah captured him and desired to behead him. He told the khalifah, “O Amir al Mu’minin, spare me as I will make for you things the kings desire.” The khalifah thus freed him.

The first item he made for him was a waterwheel. He erected it and suspended it and placed mercury between the planks. The waterwheel would fill up with water and fill the planks. The mercury from these planks would change and would cause the waterwheel to expand. It would operate without anyone having to operate it and would irrigate the garden. This as well as other items he made, amazed the khalifah—in an attempt to resemble Allah in His creation of Jannat. The khalifah strengthened him and gave him a high rank. Then one day, one of these planks broke and the mercury spilt and it failed to work. He was thus suspected and he went into unemployment and bankruptcy.[71]


Two other cousins of his claimed Imamah during his time. One was Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn al Hassan ibn al Hassan al Muthanna ibn al Hassan ibn ‘Ali. His mother is Zainab bint ‘Abdullah ibn al Hassan ibn al Hassan ibn ‘Ali. He claimed Imamah during the days of Abu Musa al Hadi al ‘Abbas—the grandson of Abu Jafar al Mansur.[72]

Yahya, Sulaiman, and Idris—the sons of ‘Abdullah ibn al Hassan ibn al Hassan, ‘Abdullah ibn al Hassan al Aftas, Ibrahim ibn Ismail al Tabataba, ‘Umar ibn al Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn al Hassan ibn al Hussain, ‘Abdullah ibn Ishaq ibn Ibrahim ibn al Hassan al Thani al Muthanna, ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar ibn Muhammad, ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar ibn al Baqir, ‘Abdullah and ‘Umar ibn Ishaq ibn al Hassan ibn ‘Ali Zayn al ‘Abidin, and others pledged allegiance to him.[73]

Al Asbahani says:


ولم يتخلف عنه أحد من الطالبيين إلا الحسن بن جعفر بن حسن المثنى فإنه استعفاه ولم يكرهه وموسى بن جعفر بن محمد الإمام السابع المزعوم عند الشيعة قال عنيزة القصباني رأيت موسى بن جعفر بعد عتمة وقد جاء إلى الحسين صاحب فخ فانكب عليه شبه الركوع وقال أحب أن تجعلني في سعة وحل من تخلفي عنك فأطرق الحسين طويلاً لا يجيبه ثم رفع رأسه إليه فقال أنت في سعة

None of the Talibiyyin remained away from him besides Hassan ibn Jafar ibn Hassan al Muthanna whom he excused and did not force—and Musa ibn Jafar ibn Muhammad—the alleged seventh Imam according to the Shia.

‘Unayzah al Qasbani says, “I saw Musa ibn Jafar after the night prayer. He had come to Hussain, Sahib Fakhkh. He crouched over him like bowing and said, ‘I love you to excuse me and give me liberty with those who stay away from you.’”

Hussain remained quiet for a long time without answering him. He then raised his head to him and said, “You are excused.”[74]


Al Kulayni speaks of this in his al Kafi saying:


حدثنا عبد الله بن المفضل مولى عبد الله بن جعفر بن أبي طالب قال لما خرج الحسين بن علي المقتول بفخ واحتوى على المدينة دعا موسى بن جعفر إلى البيعة فأتاه فقال له يا ابن عم لا تكلفني ما كلف ابن عمك أبا عبد الله فيخرج مني ما لا أريد كما خرج من أبي عبد الله مالم يكن يريد فقال له الحسين إنما عرضت عليك أمراً فإن أردته دخلت فيه وإن كرهته لم أحملك عليه والله المستعان

‘Abdullah ibn al Mufaddal, the freed slave of ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar ibn Abi Talib narrated to us: When Hussain ibn ‘Ali, the martyr at Fakhkh, left and took over Madinah, he invited Musa ibn Jafar to pledge allegiance. The latter came to him and pleaded, “O cousin, do not impose on me what your cousin imposed on Abu ‘Abdullah, thus extracting from me what I do not want, as he extracted from Abu ‘Abdullah what he did not want.”

Hussain told him, “I have simply presented a matter to you. If you desire it, enter into it. If you dislike it, I will not coerce you. And help is sought from Allah.”[75]


The second to claim Imamah during his era was Yahya ibn ‘Abdullah ibn al Hassan al Muthanna. Al Kulayni also speaks of him saying:


كتب إلى موسى بن جعفر يدعوه خبرني من ورد عليّ من أعوان الله على دينه ونشر طاعته بما كان من تحننك مع خذلانك وقد احتجبتها واحتجبها أبوك من قبلك وقديماً ادعيتم ما ليس لكم وبسطتم أعمالكم إلى ما لم يؤتكم الله فاستهويتم وأضللتم وأنا محذرك ماحذرك الله من نفسه فكتب إليه أبو الحسن موسى بن جعفر عليه السلام من موسى بن جعفر ذكرت أني ثبطت الناس عنك لرغبتي عما في يديك وأحذرك معصية الخليفة وأحثك على بره وطاعته وأن تطلب لنفسك أماناً قبل أن تأخذك الأظفار ويلزمك الخناق من كل مكان فتروّح إلى النفس من كل مكان ولا تجده حتى يمن الله عليك بمنه وفضله ورقة الخليفة أبقاه الله فيؤمّنك ويرحمك ويحفظ فيك أرحام رسول الله والسلام على من اتبع الهدى

He wrote to Musa ibn Jafar inviting him, “One of the supporters of Allah over his din and spreading His obedience who came to me informed me of your tenderness coupled with your failure. You have concealed it just as your father concealed it aforetime. For a while, you have claimed what does not belong to you and spread your actions towards what Allah did not bestow upon you. You thus attracted and misled. I am warning you of what Allah warned you of Himself.”

Abu al Hassan Musa ibn Jafar ‘alayh al Salam wrote to him, “From Musa ibn Jafar. You mentioned that I held back people from you due to my desire of what you possess. I warn you of disobeying the khalifah[76] and urge you to be kind to him and obey him and seek amnesty for yourself before nails grab you and you are throttled from every side. You will seek to catch a breath from every side but will not find the same. Until Allah will favour you with His favour, grace, and the softness of the khalifah—may Allah maintain him. He will thus give you amnesty and mercy, thus maintaining ties with the Messenger of Allah. Peace upon the one who follows guidance.”[77]


These are the Shia factions during the days of Musa and after him. These are their beliefs and ideologies documented in the books of the Shia and Ahlus Sunnah. It is said that Rashid transported him from Madinah after he arrived there from ‘Umrah. Then Harun departed for Hajj and took him along. He then moved away from the pathway to Basrah and imprisoned Musa by Sindi ibn Shahik. Musa passed away in captivity in Baghdad, five nights before the end of Rajab 183 AH at the age of 54/55. He was buried in the graveyard of the Quraysh.[78]


Shia during the Days of ‘Ali ibn Musa al Rida

Disagreement arose among the Shia who gathered around ‘Ali ibn Musa al Rida, the son-in-law of al Ma’mun, after his death.

A group claimed that the Imam after him is his brother, Ahmed ibn Musa ibn Jafar. They claimed that the father appointed both him and al Rida and allowed Imamah in two brothers. They are the Mu’allifah. They determined the Imamah of ‘Ali ibn Musa.

Another sect called the Muhaddithah were from the Murji’ah and adherents of hadith. They entered into the creed of the Imamah of Musa ibn Jafar and then ‘Ali ibn Musa. They became Shia desirous of the world and with dissimulation. After ‘Ali ibn Musa rahimahu Llah passed away, they returned to their original creed.

A group from the Zaidiyyah—those with strength and insight—entered into the belief of the Imamah of ‘Ali ibn Musa rahimahu Llah when Ma’mun announced his virtue and concluded his Bay’ah, hypocritically desirous of the world and submitted to people for a while. After ‘Ali ibn Musa rahimahu Llah passed away, they returned to their people, the Zaidiyyah.[79]

Another group stated, “Imamah after ‘Ali ibn Musa rahimahu Llah is for his son Muhammad ibn ‘Ali rahimahu Llah and is not for anyone besides him.”[80]

There were other sects besides these who followed a group of the Talibiyyin who claimed Imamah during the days of al Rida and invited people to them. Among them were Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Ismail ibn Ibrahim ibn al Hassan al Muthanna ibn al Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, commonly known as Ibn al Tabataba; Muhammad ibn Yahya ibn Yahya ibn Zaid ibn ‘Ali ibn al Hussain ibn ‘Ali, Muhammad ibn Jafar—the maternal uncle of ‘Ali al Rida, Ibrahim ibn Musa ibn Jafar—the brother of ‘Ali al Rida, Hussain ibn al Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn ‘Ali Zayn al ‘Abidin, and others.

Al Asbahani in Maqatil al Talibiyyin and al Mas’udi in Muruj al Dhahab have discussed all of them—their inviting people towards them, their rebellion against Ma’mun, their dominance over few cities and areas, and their battles against the armies of the Abbasid Shia.[81] We will briefly report from him the rebellion of these ‘Alawis and their claim to Imamah. He says:


وفي سنة تسعة وتسعين ومائة خرج أبو السرايا السرى بن منصور الشيباني بالعراق واشتد أمره ومعه محمد بن إبراهيم بن إسماعيل بن إبراهيم بن الحسن بن الحسن بن علي ابن أبي طالب وهو ابن طباطبا ووثب بالمدينة محمد بن سليمان بن داود ابن الحسن بن الحسن بن علي رحمهم الله ووثب بالبصرة علي بن محمد بن جعفر بن محمد بن علي بن الحسن بن علي عليهم السلام وزيد بن موسى بن جعفر بن محمد بن علي بن الحسين بن علي فغلبوا على البصرة وفي هذه السنة مات ابن طباطبا الذي كان يدعوا إليه أبو السرايا وأقام أبو السرايا مكانه محمد بن محمد بن يحيى بن زيد بن علي بن الحسين بن علي وظهر في هذه السنة باليمن وهي سنة تسع وتسعين ومائة إبراهيم ابن موسى بن جعفر بن محمد بن علي بن الحسن بن علي وظهر في أيام المأمون بمكة ونواحي الحجاز محمد بن جعفر بن محمد بن علي بن الحسين رحمهم الله وذلك في سنة مائتين ودعا لنفسه وإليه دعت السبطية من فرق الشيعة وقالت بإمامته وقد افترقوا فرقاً فمنهم من غلا ومنهم من قصر وسلك طريق الإمامية وقد ذكرنا في كتاب المقالات في أصول الديانات وفي كتاب أخبار الزمان من الأمم الماضية والأجيال الخالية والممالك الدائرة في الفن الثلاثين من أخبار خلفاء بني العباس ومن ظهر في أيامهم من الطالبيين وقيل إن محمد بن جعفر هذا دعا في بدء أمره وعنفوان شبابه إلى محمد بن إبراهيم بن طباطبا صاحب أبي السرايا فلما مات ابن طباطبا وهو محمد بن إبراهيم بن الحسن بن الحسن دعا لنفسه وتسمى بأمير المؤمنين وليس في آل محمد ممن ظهر لإقامة الحق ممن سلف وخلف قبله وبعده من تسمى بأمير المؤمنين غير محمد بن جعفر هذا وكان يُسمى بالديباجة لحسنه وبهائه وظهر في أيام المأمون أيضاً بالمدينة الحسين بن الحسن ابن علي بن علي بن الحسين بن علي وهو المعروف بابن الأفطس وقيل أنه دعا في بدء أمره إلى ابن طباطبا فلما مات ابن طباطبا دعا إلى نفسه والقول بإمامته وسار إلى مكة فأتى الناس وهم بمنى وعلى الحجاج داود بن عيسى بن موسى الهاشمي فهرب داود ومضى الناس إلى عرفة ودفعوا إلى مزدلفة بغير إنسان عليهم من ولد العباس وقد كان ابن الأفطس وافى الموقف بالليل ثم صار إلى المزدلفة والناس بغير إمام فصلى بالناس ثم مضى إلى منى فنحر ودخل مكة وجرد البيت مما عليه من الكسوة إلا القباطي البيض فقط

In 199 AH, Abu al Saraya al Sari ibn Mansur al Shaybani rebelled in Iraq. His authority swelled. He was joined by Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Ismail ibn Ibrahim ibn al Hassan ibn al Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, Ibn al Tabataba. Muhammad ibn Sulaiman ibn Dawood ibn al Hassan ibn al Hassan ibn ‘Ali rahimahumu Llah rose up in Madinah. ‘Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Jafar ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn al Hassan ibn ‘Ali rahimahumu Llah rose up in Basrah as well as Zaid ibn Musa ibn Jafar ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn al Hussain ibn ‘Ali. They gained dominance over Basrah. During this year, Ibn al Tabataba—to whom Abu al Saraya would invite—passed away. Abu al Saraya appointed Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya ibn Zaid ibn ‘Ali ibn al Hussain ibn ‘Ali to his position.

During this year, 199 AH, Ibrahim ibn Musa ibn Jafar ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn al Hassan ibn ‘Ali gained dominance over Yemen. During the days of Ma’mun, Muhammad ibn Jafar ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn al Hussain rahimahumu Llah was victorious over Makkah and the outskirts of Hijaz. This took place in 200 AH. He invited to himself and the Sibtiyyah of the Shia invited to him as well, declaring his Imamah. They split into many sects. Some of them became extreme while others were not and stuck to the path of the Imamiyyah.

We stated in the books al Maqalat fi Usul al Diyanat and Akhbar al Zaman min al Umam al Madiyah wa al Ajyal al Khaliyah wa al Mamalik al Da’irah fi al Fann thirty incidents of the khalifas of the Banu al ‘Abbas and the Talibiyyin who were triumphant in their days. It is said: Muhammad ibn Jafar called initially and in the prime of his youth towards Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn al Tabataba, the associate of Abu al Saraya. When Ibn al Tabataba—Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn al Hassan ibn al Hassan—died, he invited to himself. He was titled Amir al Mu’minin. There is no one from the family of Muhammad who was triumphant in establishing the truth from the predecessors or successors before or after him to be called Amir al Mu’minin besides Muhammad ibn Jafar. He was titled Dibajah due to his beauty and splendour. Hussain ibn al Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn ‘Ali ibn al Hussain ibn ‘Ali—famous as Ibn al Aftas—also emerged during the days of Ma’mun in Madinah. It is claimed that he initially invited towards Ibn al Tabataba and after his demise, he invited to himself and claimed Imamah. He came to Makkah and came to the people at Mina. Dawood ibn ‘Isa ibn Musa al Hashimi was leading the pilgrims. Dawood fled and people left for ‘Arafah and returned to Muzdalifah without anyone from the progeny of ‘Abbas leading them. Ibn al Aftas fulfilled the mawqif at night and moved to Muzdalifah, while people had no leader. He thus led the people in Salah. He then moved to Mina, slaughtered, and then entered Makkah. He removed the kiswah off the Ka’bah except the white Qibti materials.[82]


Appropriate to mention is that Ma’mun al ‘Abbas granted succession to the throne to ‘Ali ibn Musa after him.


وأمر المأمون الحسن بن سهل والفضل بن سهل وزيريه أن يعرضا ذلك عليه فامتنع منه فلم يزالا به حتى أجاب ورجعا إلى المأمون فعرفاه إجابته فسر بذلك وجلس للخاصة في يوم خميس وخرج الفضل بن سهل فأعلم برأي المأمون في علي بن موسى عليه السلام وأنه قد ولاه عهده وسماه الرضا وأمرهم بلبس الخضرة والعود لبيعته في الخميس الآخر على أن يأخذوا رزق سنة فلما كان اليوم ركب الناس على طبقاتهم من القواد والحجاب والقضاة وغيرهم في الخضرة وجلس المأمون ووضع للرضا عليه السلام وسادتين عظيمتين حتى لحق بمجلسه وفرشه وأجلس الرضا (ع) عليهما في الخضرة وعليه عمامة وسيف ثم أمر ابنه العباس بن المأمون أن يبايع له أول الناس فبايعه الناس ووضعت البذر وقام الخطباء والشعراء فجعلوا يذكرون فضل الرضا عليه السلام وما كان عليه من أمره ثم قال المأمون للرضا عليه السلام اخطب الناس وتكلم فيهم فحمد الله وأثنى عليه وقال إن لنا عليكم حقاً برسول الله ولكم علينا حقا به فإذا أنتم أديتم إلينا ذلك وجب علينا الحق لكم ولم يُذكر عنه غير هذا في ذلك المجلس وأمر المأمون فضربت له الدراهم وطبع عليها اسم الرضا عليه السلام وزوج إسحاق بن موسى بن جعفر بنت عمه إسحاق بن جعفر بن محمد وأمره فحج بالناس وخطب للرضا عليه السلام في كل بلد بولاية العهد

Ma’mun commanded Hassan ibn Sahl and Fadl ibn Sahl—his advisors—to present this to him and he desisted. They continued persisting until he accepted. The two returned to Ma’mun and informed him of his acceptance. Ma’mun was elated and arranged a special gathering on Thursday. Fadl ibn Sahl came out and informed of Ma’mun’s decision regarding ‘Ali ibn Musa rahimahu Llah, granting him succession to the throne, and naming him al Rida. He commanded them to wear green garments and to return to pledge allegiance to him the next Thursday and they will take sustenance for a year. On the stipulated day, people of various categories arrived, viz. the leaders, gatekeepers, judges, etc. all wearing green. Ma’mun sat and placed two huge cushions for al Rida rahimahu Llah which touched his seat and carpet. He seated al Rida on them in green and he was wearing a turban and had a sword. He ordered his son ‘Abbas ibn al Ma’mun to pledge allegiance to him first. People pledged allegiance to him and the seed was planted. The orators and poets stood up and began extolling the virtues of al Rida rahimahu Llah and his attributes. Ma’mun then told al Rida rahimahu Llah, “Address the people and speak to them.” Al Rida praised and glorified Allah and then said, “Indeed, we have a right over you through the Messenger of Allah. And you have a right over us through him. When you fulfil your duty to us, it is incumbent on us to fulfil your right.” Nothing else in that particular gathering is reported from him. Ma’mun commanded that silver coins be minted with the name of al Rida rahimahu Llah. Ishaq ibn Musa ibn Jafar got his niece married to Ishaq ibn Jafar ibn Muhammad. He commanded him to lead the people in Hajj. He delivered lectures in every city of al Rida’s succession to the throne.[83]


However, ‘Ali ibn Musa al Rida passed away during the lifetime of al Ma’mun before acquiring caliphate.


ولما توفي الرضا عليه السلام كتم المأمون موته يوماً وليلة ثم أنفذ إلى محمد بن جعفر الصادق عليه السلام وجماعة من آل أبي طالب الذين كانوا عنده فلما حضروه نعاه إليهم وبكى وأظهر حزناً شديداً وتوجعاً وأراهم إياه صحيح الجسد قال يعزعليّ يا أخي أن أراك في هذه الحال قد كنت أؤمل أن أقدم قبلك فأبى الله إلا ما أراد ثم أمر بغسله وتكفينه وتحنيطه وخرج مع جنازته يحملها حتى انتهى إلى الموضع الذي هو مدفون الآن فدفنه والموضع دار حميد بن قحطبة في قرية يُقال لها سناباد على قربة من نوقان بأرض طوس وفيها قبر هارون الرشيد وقبر أبي الحسن عليه السلام بين يديه في قبلته ومضى الرضا علي بن موسى عليهما السلام ولم يترك ولداً نعلمه إلا الإمام من بعده أبا جعفر محمد بن علي عليهما السلام وكانت سنه يوم وفاة أبيه سبع سنين وأشهرا

When al Rida rahimahu Llah passed away, al Ma’mun concealed his death for a day and night. He then summoned Muhammad ibn Jafar al Sadiq rahimahu Llah and a group of the family of Abu Talib who were by him. When they arrived, he announced his obituary and wept. He expressed extreme sorrow and pain and showed the healthy body to them. He lamented, “O brother, it is painful for me to see you in this condition. I hoped to pass away before you. However, Allah rejected and decreed what He wished.” He then instructed his washing, shrouding, and embalming. He left carrying his bier to the spot he is buried now and buried him. The spot is the house of Humaid ibn Qahtabah in a village called Sanabad, close to Nuqan, of the land of Tus. There is the grave of Harun al Rashid and the grave of Abu al Hassan rahimahu Llah is in front of it in the direction of the Qiblah.

Al Rida ‘Ali ibn Musa rahimahu Llah passed away leaving behind no issue besides the Imam after him Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn ‘Ali rahimahu Llah who was only seven years and a few months old at the demise of his father.[84]


This transpired in Safar, 203 AH. He was 55 years old at the time. Muhammad ibn ‘Ali’s mother was an umm walad, Umm al Banin.


The Shia during the Days of Muhammad ibn ‘Ali—titled al Jawwad or al Taqi

Irreconcilable disagreement occurred between the Shia concerning the Imamah of Muhammad ibn ‘Ali as he had not yet reached maturity when his father died. The Shia thus disagreed and fragmented as explained before. They said, “Only a mature Imam is permissible. Had Allah—the Mighty and Majestic—commanded obedience to an immature, He would have obligated an immature. Just like it is not sensible for an immature to shoulder responsibility, it is not fathomable for an immature child to judge between people in major and minor disputes, to know the depth of verdicts and the teachings of the din, all the injunctions brought by Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and what the Ummah will need till the Day of Qiyamah, be it religious or worldly. Had it been possible to fathom this concerning one who’s one stage below the level of maturity, it would be possible to fathom this concerning one who is three or four stages lower than the level of maturity, in his infancy. In fact, it would be fathomable for a baby in the cradle. This is not logical, not understandable, and not common.”

Those who believed in the Imamah of Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Musa rahimahu Llah differed horribly regarding the extent of his knowledge due to his young age. Some told others, “The Imam cannot be but knowledgeable. Abu Jafar is not mature and his father passed away. How did he learn? From where did he learn?” They answered; some said, “It is not possible for him to have acquired knowledge from his father as his father was taken to Khorasan while he [Abu Jafar] was only four years and a few months old. A child at this age is not on a level of completing studies of all major and minor issues. However, when he reached maturity, Allah—the Mighty and Majestic—taught him through various mediums which prove the multiple angles of the Imam’s knowledge, like inspiration, placing in the heart, whispering in the ear, true dreams while asleep, an angel speaking to him, and other mediums—the raising of light, pillars, and lanterns, and presentation of actions—as all these have been proven through authentic reports with strong chains, which cannot be rejected or discarded.”

Others suggested, “He is the Imam before puberty, meaning that authority belongs to him to the exclusion of all others, until he reaches maturity. When he reaches puberty, he will learn, not through inspiration, revelation, an angel, or any of the other mediums mentioned by the other sect, since revelation is terminated after the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and by the consensus of the Ummah. Inspiration is simply realising a beneficial aspect through deep pondering of an aspect one already knows of, which one realises. This does not make one knowledgeable of verdicts and the injunctions of religion coupled with their plenty differences and reasons, without learning them through listening. The person with the brightest thinking, the clearest mind, and the greatest God-given ability, if he thinks—without hearing that Zuhr is four rak’at, Maghrib is three, and Fajr is two—would not be able to deduce this through his thought or insight, nor prove it through his complete brilliance, nor reach it with the presence of God-given ability. This knowledge will never reach him through good luck, ever. It is not fathomable to learn everything through good luck. Hence, learning this through mere inspiration and good luck is invalid. However, we affirm that he learnt this at puberty from the books of his father, the knowledge he inherited from them, and the fundamentals and branches [of knowledge] written in them.”

Some of these sects allow the Imam to utilise deduction through analogy in verdicts especially on the fundamentals he knows, as he is infallible from mistakes and errors. Hence, he cannot err in analogy. They only adopted this view due to the constraints against them regarding the Imam’s knowledge and the manner of his learning as he was not mature.

Some of them said that the Imam may be immature, and at a very young age, as he is the authority of Allah. It is possible for him to know during infancy. The methods mentioned previously, i.e. inspiration, revelation in the heart, dreams, angels speaking, lights and pillars being raised, and actions ascending are possible, just like these were possible among his predecessors, the authorities of Allah who passed on. They cited Yahya ibn Zakariyya ‘alayh al Salam as proof and assert that Allah granted him prophethood while he was a child, ‘Isa ibn Maryam ‘alayh al Salam, the judgement of the child between Yusuf ibn Yaqub ‘alayh al Salam and the wife of the ‘Aziz, Sulaiman ibn Dawood ‘alayh al Salam knowing the judgement without being taught, etc. These were among the authorities of Allah who were immature.[85]

Muhammad ibn ‘Ali was born in 195 AH in Madinah and passed away in Baghdad in 220 AH at the age of 25. His mother is an umm walad, Sumaykah, a Nubian.[86] He was married to Umm al Fadl, the daughter of Ma’mun.


فكانت إحدى الأختين تحت محمد بن علي بن موسى والأخرى تحت أبيه علي بن موسى

Thus, one daughter was married to Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Musa while the other was married to his father ‘Ali ibn Musa.[87]


One of the Hussainiyyin [progeny of Hussain] claimed Imamah during his lifetime, viz. Muhammad ibn al Qasim ibn ‘Ali ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Ali Zayn al ‘Abidin ibn al Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib.[88]


وانقاد إليه وإلى إمامته خلق كثير من الناس ثم حمله عبد الله بن طاهر إلى المعتصم فحبسه في أزج اتخذه في بستان بسر من رأى وقد ُتنوزع في محمد بن القاسم فمن قائل يقول أنه قتل بالسم ومنهم من يقول أن أناساً من شيعته من الطالقان أتوا ذلك البستان فتأتوا للخدمة فيه من غرس وزراعة واتخذوا سلالم من الحبال واللبود والطالقانية ونقبوا الأزج وأخرجوه فذهبوا به فلم يُعرف له خبر إلى هذه الغاية وقد انقاد إلى إمامته خلق كثير من الزيدية إلى هذا الوقت وهو سنة اثنتين وثلاثين وثلثمائة ومنهم خلق كثير يزعمون أن محمداً لم يمت وأنه حي يُرزق وأنه يخرج فيملؤها عدلاً كما مُلئت جورا وأنه مهدي هذه الأمة وأكثر هؤلاء بناحية الكوفة وجبال طبرستان والديلم وكثير من كور خراسان

A large group of people submitted to his Imamah. ‘Abdullah ibn Tahir then took him to al Mu’tasim who imprisoned him in a cell he built in a garden of Surra man Ra’a. There was a disagreement regarding Muhammad ibn al Qasim. Some said that he was poisoned and killed. Other say that some of his partisans from Taliqan came to this garden. They came for labour and planting etc. They erected ladders with ropes, wool, and articles; and made a hole in the cell. They took him out and fled with him. No information has come about him to this day.

A large group of Zaidiyyah submitted to his Imamah to this point in time—332 AH. Many of them believe that Muhammad did not die and is alive and sustained. He will emerge and fill the world with justice as it was filled with injustice. He is the Mahdi of this Ummah. Majority of these people live in the districts of Kufah, the mountains of Tabaristan, Daylam, and many of the villages of Khorasan.[89]


Shia in the Days of ‘Ali ibn Muhammad

Agnomen: Abu al Hassan. Titles: al Hadi or al Naqi.

When Muhammad ibn ‘Ali passed on, he left behind two sons viz. ‘Ali and Musa. The eldest of them was not older than eight, according to the Shia version. They were so young that their father bequeathed the properties, wealth, expenditure, and slaves of his estate to ‘Abdullah ibn al Musawir[90] until they reach puberty.[91]

The Shia differed regarding them. Some believed in the Imamah of Muhammad ibn ‘Ali while others believed in the Imamah of his brother Musa ibn Muhammad.


The Nusayriyyah

During the lifetime of ‘Ali ibn Muhammad al Hadi, with the agnomen Abu al Hassan, yet another sect of the Shia emerged and claimed the prophethood of Muhammad ibn Nusayr al Numairi. He claimed he was a prophet sent by Abu al Hassan al ‘Askari rahimahu Llah. He believed in transmigration and held fanatical beliefs regarding Abu al Hassan, affirming divinity to him. He permitted the forbidden and allowed men to have intercourse with each other in the rear, claiming this to be humility and self-effacement and one of the passions and wholesome aspects, alleging that Allah—the Mighty and Majestic—did not prohibit any of this. Muhammad ibn Musa ibn al Hassan ibn al Furat would reinforce the case of al Numairi. He was asked during his final illness—his tongue had been seized, “Who assumes authority after you?” and he replied, “Ahmed.” They did not know who he was referring to, hence they split into three sects. One sect claimed that Ahmed is his son. Another sect affirmed it for Ahmed ibn Musa ibn al Hassan ibn al Furat. The third sect claimed it to be Ahmed ibn Abi al Hussain Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Bashir ibn Zaid. They split and did not fall back on anything. They claimed prophethood for Abu Muhammad. They are labelled the Numairiyyah or Nusayriyyah.

Al Shahrastani speaks of the Nusayriyyah is his al Milal. He describes their creed, asserting that they believe:


إن الله قد ظهر بصورة أشخاص ولما لم يكن بعد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أفضل من علي عليه السلام وبعده أولاده المخصوصون هم خير البريّة فظهر الحق بصورتهم ونطق بلسانهم وأخذ بأيديهم فعن هذا أطلقنا اسم الألهية عليهم وإنما أثبتنا هذا الاختصاص لعلي دون غيره لأنه كان مخصوصاً بتأييد من عند الله تعالى مما يتعلق بباطن الأسرار قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أنا أحكم بالظاهر والله يتولى السرائر وعن هذا كان قتال المشركين إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وقتال المنافقين إلى علي وعن هذا شبهه بعيسى ابن مريم وقال ولولا أن يقول الناس فيك ما قالوا في عيسى بن مريم وإلا لقلت فيك مقالاً وربما أثبتوا له شركة في الرسالة إذ قال فيكم من يقاتل على تأويله كما قاتلت على تنزيله ألا وهو خاصف النعل فعلم التأويل وقتال المنافقين ومكالمة الجن وقلع باب خيبر لا بقوة جسدانية من أدل الدليل على أن فيه جزء إلهياً وقوة ربانية أو أن يكون هو الذي ظهر الإله بصورته وخلق بيده وأمر بلسانه وعن هذا قالوا كان هو موجود قبل خلق السموات والأرض قال كنا أظلة على يمين العرش فسبحنا فسبحت الملائكة بتسبيحنا فتلك الظلال وتلك الصور العرية عن الأظلال هي حقيقة وهي مشرقة بنور الرب تعالى إشراقاً لا ينفصل عنها سواء كانت في هذا العالم أو في ذلك العالم وعن هذا قال أنا من أحمد الضوء من الضوء يعني لا فرق بين النورين إلا أن أحدهما أسبق والثاني لاحق به قال له وهذا يدل على نوع شركة فالنصيرية أميل إلى تقرير الجزء الإلهي والإسحاقية أميل إلى تقرير الشركة في النبوة

Indeed, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala manifested in the form of individuals. As there is no individual after Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam superior to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his specific offspring, they are the best of creation. Hence, the true deity manifested in their forms, spoke on their tongues, and controlled their hands. We have thus applied divinity to them. We affirm this speciality for ‘Ali, to the exclusion of all others, as he was special with support from the side of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala in aspects connected to internal secrets. The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam declared, “I judge by the external while Allah takes care of the secrets.” Due to this, fighting the polytheists was handed over to the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam while fighting the hypocrites was the task of ‘Ali. Owing to this, he is likened to ‘Isa ibn Maryam. He said, “Had it not been for people to assert concerning you what they asserted regarding ‘Isa ibn Maryam, I would have made a declaration regarding you.” Probably, they establish his partnership in messengerhood as he stated, “Among you is one who will fight upon the interpretation of it (the Qur’an) just as I fought upon its revelation. Harken, he is fixing the shoe [referring to ‘Ali].” He was thus taught interpretation, the manner of fighting the hypocrites, and how to speak to the jinn. Removing the door of Khaybar, without physical strength, is one of the strongest proofs that he possesses a part of godhood and the power of divineness or that the deity manifested in his form, created with his hand, and commanded by his tongue. They claim that he was existent before the creation of the heavens and the earth. They say, “We were shadows on the right side of the Throne. We glorified [Allah] and the angels glorified with our glorification. Those shadows and those images free from shadow are real and illuminated with the light of the Sustainer, a brilliance that does not move away from them—whether in this realm or that realm.” He said in this regard, “I am from Ahmed like light from light, i.e. there is no difference between the two lights, except that one is first and the second follows.” He said this to him which indicates a type of partnership. The Nusayriyyah are more inclined to affirming a part of godhood while the Ishaqiyyah are more inclined to affirming partnership in prophethood.[92]


Al Razi asserts that this group is present in Aleppo and the areas of Sham to this day.[93] We also confirm that it exists today in Syria and Turkey. They are known as ‘Alawiyyin.

The Nusayriyyah say: Muhammad ibn al Nusayr al Numairi did not claim prophethood. Rather, he is the door for the eleventh Imam, Hassan al ‘Askari.[94] They claim that a man by the name Abu Yaqub Ishaq ibn Muhammad al Nakha’i would compete with him. He claimed he is the second door to Hassan al ‘Askari.

The essence is that these people believe and clearly state that ‘Ali was god and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was his messenger. They say:


إن عليّاً أرسل جابر بن يزيد الجعفي في قضاء غرض له فلما أن وصل إلى الموضع المقصود رأى علي بن أبي طالب جالساً على كرسي من نور والسيد محمد (يعني سيدنا محمدا) عن يمينه والسيد سلمان (يعني الصحابي الجليل سلمان الفارسي) عن شماله ثم التفت جابر إلى ورائه فرآه هكذا ثم التفت عن يمينه فرآه هكذا ثم نظر إلى السماء فرآه في السماء والملائكة حوله يسبحون بحمده ويسجدون له

Certainly, ‘Ali sent Jabir ibn Yazid al Ju’fi to fulfil a need of his. When he reached the desired area, he saw ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib sitting on a chair of light while the master Muhammad (i.e. our master Muhammad) was to his right and the master Salman (i.e. the illustrious companion Salman al Farisi) was to his left. Jabir turned around and saw the same spectacle. He looked to his right and saw the same. He gazed towards the sky and saw him in the sky with the angels surrounding him, glorifying with his praise, and prostrating to him.[95]


He wrote down a separate Qur’an for them. This verse appears therein:


ربنا آمنا بما أنزلت واتبعنا الرسول فاكتبنا مع الشاهدين أشهد عليّ أيها الحجاب العظيم أشهد عليّ أيها الباب الكريم أشهد عليّ يا سيدي المقداد اليمين أشهد عليّ يا سيدي أبو الذرّ الشمال بأن ليس إلهاً إلا عليّ بن أبي طالب الأصلع المعبود ولا حجاب إلا السيد محمد المحمود ولا باب إلا السيد سلمان الفارسي المقصود وأكبر الملائكة الخمسة الأيتام ولا رأي إلا رأي شيخنا وسيدنا الحسين بن حمدان الخصبي الذي شرع الأديان في سائر البلدان أشهد بأن الصورة المرئية التي ظهرت في البشرية هي الغاية الكلية وهي الظاهرة بالنورانية وليس إله سواها وهي علي بن أبي طالب وأنه لم يُحاط ولم يُحصر ولم يُدرك ولم يُبصرأشهد بأني نصيري الدين جندبي الرأي جنبلاني الطريقة خصيبي المذهب جليّ المقال ميموني الفقه وافر الرجعة البيضاء والكرة الزهراء وفي كشف الغطاء وجلاء العماء وإظهار ما كتم وإجلاء ما خفي وظهور علي بن أبي طالب من عين الشمس قابض على كل نفس الأسد من تحته وذو الفقار بيده والملائكة خلفه والسيد سلمان بين يديه والماء ينبع من بين قدميه والسيد محمد ينادي ويقول هذا مولاكم علي بن أبي طالب فاعرفوه وسبحوه وعظموه وكبروه هذا خالقكم ورازقكم فلا تنكروه اشهدوا علي يا أسيادي أن هذا ديني واعتقادي وعليه اعتمادي وبه أحيا وعليه أموت وعلي بن أبي طالب حي لا يموت بيده القدرة والجبروت إن السمع والبصر والفؤاد كل أولئك كان عنه مسؤولا علينا من ذكرهم السلام

O our Rabb, we have believed in what You revealed and we followed the messenger so record us among the witnesses … Bear witness upon me, O great veil! Bear witness upon me, O benevolent opening! Bear witness upon me, O my master, Miqdad of the right! Bear witness upon me, O my master, Abu Dharr of the left that there is no deity besides ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, the bald, the worshipped, and there is no veil except the master Muhammad, the praiseworthy, and there is no opening besides the master Salman al Farisi, the objectified. The greatest angels are the five unequalled. I only hold the ideology of our sheikh and master Hussain ibn Hamdan al Khasbi who ordained religions in all the cities. I bear witness that the image seen which manifested in human is the uttermost limit, and it is apparent through light, and there is no deity besides it; it is ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. He cannot be encompassed, nor enveloped, nor covered, nor seen. I bear witness that I am Nusayri in religion, Jundubi in ideology, Janbali in manner, Khasibi in school of thought, Jali in thought, and Maymuni in jurisprudence. Abounding the illuminated Raj’ah, and brilliant return, in uncovering the veil, giving sight to the blind, revealing what was concealed, manifesting what was hidden, and the emergence of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib from the light of the sun, controller over every soul—with lion beneath him, Dhu al Fiqar in his hand, the angels behind him, the master Salman in front of him, water springing from between his feet, and the master Muhammad calling out, “This is your master, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, so recognise him, glorify him, honour him, and announce his greatness. This is your creator and provider so do not reject him.” Bear witness over me, O my masters that this is my religion and belief and I have reliance on it. I live upon it and die upon it. ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib is alive and has not died. He controls power and dominance. Indeed, the hearing, sight, and heart—each of these will be asked about him. Upon us from their mention is peace.[96]


Coupled with this are other horrible beliefs.

‘Ali ibn Muhammad passed away in Surra man Ra’a in Rajab, 254 AH, whereas he was born in 212 AH. Al Mutawakkil had despatched him with Yahya ibn Aktum to Surra man Ra’a. He lived there and led him.[97]

Many ‘Alawiyyin claimed Imamah during his time and a group of Shia as well as the household of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu pledged allegiance to them, including Yahya ibn ‘Umar ibn al Hussain ibn Zaid ibn ‘Ali Zayn al ‘Abidin.[98] Yahya ibn ‘Umar gained dominance over Kufah and it surrounds. When he was killed during the time of al Musta’in al ‘Abbas, many poets sang eulogies for him. Al Asbahani writes:


وما بلغني أن أحداً ممن قتل في الدولة العباسية من آل أبي طالب رثي بأكثر مما رثي به يحيى ولا قيل فيه الشعر بأكثر مما قيل فيه

I have not been informed of more eulogies sang and poems recited for anyone killed during the Abbasid reign from the family of Abu Talib than the amount sang and recited for Yahya.[99]


Ibn al Athir in his book on history, al Kamil, concurs.[100]

Likewise, Hassan ibn Zaid ibn Muhammad ibn Ismail ibn al Hassan al Muthanna also claimed Imamah. He was victorious over the land of Tahrastan as well as Jurjan after many battles and severe fighting.[101]

Hussain ibn Muhammad ibn Hamzah ibn ‘Abdullah ibn al Hussain ibn ‘Ali claimed Imamah in 251 AH.[102]


Shia in the Days of Hassan ibn ‘Ali al ‘Askari

When Abu al Hassan ibn ‘Ali al Hadi passed away, the Shia fragmented into many sects.


ففرقة قالت بإمامة ابنه محمد وقد كان توفي في حياة أبيه بسرّ من رأى وزعموا أنه حي لم يمت واعتلوا في ذلك بأن أباه أشار إليه وأعلمهم أنه الإمام من بعده والإمام لا يجوز عليه الكذب ولا يجوز البداء فيه فهو وإن كانت ظهرت وفاته لم يمت في الحقيقة ولكن أباه خاف عليه فغيّبه وهو القائم المهدي وقالوا فيه بمثل مقالة أصحاب إسماعيل بن جعفر

A group claimed Imamah for his son Muhammad, who had died in the lifetime of his father at Surra man Ra’a. They believed that he was alive and did not die. The reason behind this stated by them is that his father appointed him and informed them that he is the Imam after him. It is not possible for the Imam to lie and Bada’ is incorrect. Hence, even though his death is apparent, he did not die in reality. Rather, his father feared for him and hid him away. He is the Qa’im, the Mahdi. They held similar ideologies to the partisans of Ismail ibn Jafar.[103]


It is noteworthy that this Muhammad, with the agnomen Abu Jafar, was the Wasi of his father and the khalifah after him, according to clear Shia texts. However, he passed away before he could obtain Imamah and his father’s caliphate. Thus, the people doubted his matter as well as his father’s Imamah. His father, ‘Ali al Hadi Abu al Hassan, said:


بدا لله في أبي محمد بعد أبي جعفر عليه السلام مالم يكن يعرف له كما بدا في موسى بعد مضي إسماعيل ماكشف عن حاله وهو كما حدثتك نفسك وإن كره المبطلون وأبو محمد ابني الخلف من بعدي عنده علم ما يحتاج إليه ومعه آلة الإمامة

Allah came to realise concerning Abu Muhammad after Abu Jafar rahimahu Llah what He did not know just as He came to realise concerning Musa after Ismail’s passing his condition that was unveiled. It is as I have mentioned it to you, even though the falsifiers dislike it. Abu Muhammad, my son, is the successor after me. He has knowledge of what is needed and with him is the instrument of Imamah.[104]


A group believed in the Imamah of Jafar ibn ‘Ali—who the Shia label Jafar al Kadhdhab (the liar). They claimed that his father appointed him after Muhammad’s passing, mandated his Imamah, and authorised his authority. They rejected the Imamah of his brother Muhammad, asserting that his father did this to defend and protect him, whereas in reality, the Imam was Jafar ibn ‘Ali.[105]

A group believed in the Imamah of Hassan al ‘Askari ibn ‘Ali. His agnomen was Abu Muhammad.[106]

Al Mufid writes:


وكان الإمام بعد أبي جعفر عليه السلام ابنه أبو الحسن علي بن محمد (ع) لاجتماع خصال الإمامة فيه وتكامل فضله وإنه لا وارث لمقام أبيه سواه وثبوت النص عليه بالإمامة والإشارة إليه من أبيه بالخلافة

The Imam after Abu Jafar rahimahu Llah was his son Abu al Hassan ‘Ali ibn Muhammad rahimahu Llah due to his possessing the characteristics of Imamah, his comprehensive superiority and virtue, there being no heir to his father’s position besides him, the existence of appointment to Imamah, and his father indicating to his caliphate.[107]


He passed away on Friday, 260 AH. He was born in Madinah in Rabi’ al Awwal 232 AH. He was buried in his home in Surra man Ra’a where his father was buried. His mother was an umm walad, Hadithah.[108] He was 28 at the time.

Al Nawbakhti says:


يقال لإمه أصفان وقيل سليل وقيل غير ذلك وصلى عليه أبو عيسى بن المتوكل وكانت في سني أمامته بقية ملك المعتز أشهرا ثم ملك المهتدي أحد عشر شهراً وثمانية وعشرين يوماً ثم ملك أحمد المعتمد على الله بن جعفر المتوكل عشرين سنة وأحد عشر شهراً

It is said that his mother’s name was Asfan or Salil. There are other views as well. Abu ‘Isa ibn al Mutawakkil led his Salat al Janazah. He was Imam for a few months—the remainder of the rule of al Mu’tazz, 11 months and 28 days of the rule of al Muhtadi, then 20 years and 11 months in the rule of Ahmed al Mu’tamid ‘ala Allah ibn Jafar al Mutawakkil.[109]


During his time, many ‘Alawiyyin claimed Imamah, the likes of ‘Ali ibn Zaid ibn al Hussain al ‘Alawi.[110] There are many others who have been listed by al Asbahani in Maqatil al Talibiyyin, al Mas’udi in Muruj al Dhahab, and by all the historians of the Ahlus Sunnah.


Shia after the Demise of Hassan al ‘Askari

Hassan al ‘Askari passed away without any issue or offspring. Al Nawbakhti clearly states this:


توفى ولم يُر له أثر ولم يُعرف له ولد ظاهر فاقتسم ميراثه أخوه جعفر وأمه

He passed away leaving behind no visible issue and no apparent child. Thus, his brother Jafar and his mother shared his inheritance.[111]


His death resulted in severe and nasty disagreement among the Shia, as the development of Shi’ism demanded that the claimant of Imamah must leave behind offspring who must be appointed by the one before him. This individual will handle his washing, shrouding, and burial. What to do now, when there is no visible child. They thus resorted to countless obnoxious interpretations—each group fabricating according to their passion and theories. Al Nawbakhti explains[112]:


فافترق أصحابه بعده أربع عشرة فرقة ففرقة قالت ان الحسن بن علي حي لم يمت وإنما هو غائب وهو القائم ولا يجوز أن يموت ولا ولد له ظاهر لأن الأرض لا تخلو من إمام وقالت الفرقة الثانية ان الحسن بن علي مات وعاش بعد موته وهو القائم المهدي لأننا روينا أن معنى القائم هو أن يقوم بعد الموت ويقوم ولا ولد له لأن الإمامة كانت تثبت لولده ولا أوصى إلى أحد فلا شك أنه القائم وقالت الفرقة الثالثة ان الحسن بن علي توفي والإمام بعده أخوه جعفر وإليه أوصى الحسن فلما قيل له أن الحسن وجعفر ما زالا متهاجرين متصارمين متعادين طول زمانهما وقد وقفتم على صنائع جعفر وسوء معاشرته له في حياته ولهم من بعد وفاته في اقتسام مواريثه قالوا إنما ذلك بينهما في الظاهر وأما في الباطن فكانا متراضيين متصافيين لا خلاف بينهما وممن قوى إمامة جعفر وأمال الناس إليه علي بن الطاهر الخراز وكان متكلماً محجاجاً وأعانته على ذلك أخت الفارس بن حاتم بن ماهويه القزويني وقالت الفرقة الرابعة ان الإمام بعد الحسن جعفر وان الإمامة صارت إليه من قبل أبيه لا من قبل الحسن وأن الحسن كان مدعياً باطلاً لأن الإمام لا يموت حتى يوصي ويكون له خلف والحسن قد توفي ولا وصية له ولا ولد والإمام لا يكون من لا خلف له ظاهر معروف مشار إليه كما لا يجوز أن تكون الأمامة في الأخوين بعد الحسن والحسين كما نص عليه جعفر وأما الفرقة الخامسة فإنها رجعت إلى القول بإمامة محمد بن علي أخي الحسن المتوفى في حياة أبيه وأما الحسن وجعفر فإنهما ادعيا ما لم يكن لهما لأن جعفر فيه خصال مذمومة وهو بها مشهور ظاهر الفسق وغير صائن نفسه معلن بالمعاصي ومثل هذا لا يصلح للشهادة على درهم فكيف يصلح لمقام النبي صلى الله عليه وآله وأما الحسن فلقد توفى ولا عقب له وقالت الفرقة السادسة ان للحسن بن علي ابناً سماه محمداً وولد قبل وفاته بسنين وزعموا أنه مستور لا يُرى خائف من جعفر وقالت الفرقة السابعة بل ولد بعد وفاته بثمانية أشهر وأن الذين ادعوا له ولداً في حياته كاذبون مبطلون في دعواهم لأن ذلك لو كان لم يخف غيره ولكنه مضى ولم يُعرف له ولد ولا يجوز أن يخفي ذلك وقد كان الحبل فيما مضى قائماً ظاهراً ثابتاً عند السلطان وعند سائر الناس وامتنع من قسمة ميراثه من أجل ذلك حتى بطل ذلك عند السلطان وخفى أمره فقد ولد له ابن بعد وفاة أبيه بثمانية أشهر وقد كان أمر أن يُسمى محمداً وأوصى بذلك وهو مستور لا يُرى وقالت الفرقة الثامنة انه لا ولد لحسن أصلاً لأنا قد امتحنا ذلك وطلبناه بكل وجه فلم نجده ولو جاز لنا أن نقول في مثل الحسن وقد توفي ولا ولد له أن له ولد لجاز مثل هذه الدعوى في كل ميت من غير خلف ولجاز مثل ذلك في النبي صلى الله عليه وآله أن يُقال خلف ابناً نبياً رسولا وكذلك في عبد الله بن جعفر بن محمد أنه خلف ابنا وأن أبا الحسن الرضا عليه السلام خلف ثلاثة بنين غير أبي جعفر أحدهم الإمام لأن مجيء الخبر بوفاة الحسن بلا عقب كمجيء الخبر بأن النبي صلى الله عليه وآله لم يخلف ذكراً من صلبه ولا خلف عبد الله بن جعفر ابناً ولا كان للرضا أربعة بنين فالولد قد بطل لا محالة ولكن هناك حبل قائم قد صح في سرية له وستلد ذكراً إماماً متى ما ولدت فإنه لا يجوز أن يمضي الإمام ولا خلف له فتبطل الإمامة وتخلو الأرض من الحجة واحتج أصحاب الولد على هؤلاء فقالوا أنكرتم علينا أمراً قلتم بمثله ثم لم تقنعوا بذلك حتى أضفتم إليه ما تنكره العقول قلتم أن هناك حبلاً قائماً فإن كنتم اجتهدتم في طلب الولد فلم تجدوه فأنكرتموه لذلك فقد طلبنا معرفة الحبل وتصحيحه أشد من طلبكم واجتهدنا فيه أشد من اجتهادكم فاستقصينا في ذلك غاية الإستقصاء فلم نجده فنحن في الولد أصدق منكم لأنه قد يجوز في العقل والعادة والتعارف أن يكون للرجل ولد مستور لا يعرف في الظاهر ويظهر بعد ذلك ويصح نسبه والأمر الذي ادعيتموه منكر وشنيع ينكره عقل كل عاقل ويدفعه التعارف والعادة مع مافيه من كثرة الروايات الصحيحة عن الأئمة الصادقين أن الحبل لا يكون أكثر من تسعة أشهر وقد مضى للحبل الذي ادعيتموه سنون وإنكم على قولكم بلا صحة ولا بيّنة وقالت الفرقة التاسعة ان حسن بن علي قد صحت وفاة أبيه وجده وسائر آبائه عليه السلام فكما صحت وفاتهم بالخبر الذي لايكذب مثله كذلك صح أنه لا إمام بعد الحسن والأرض اليوم بلا حجة إلا أن يشاء الله فيبعث القائم من آل محمد صلى الله عليه وآله فيحيي الأرض بعد موتها كما بعث محمد صلى الله عليه وآله حين فترة من الرسل وقالت الفرقة العاشرة ان أبا جعفر محمد بن علي كان الميت في حياة أبيه وهو الذي كان الإمام بوصية من أبيه ثم أوصى هو إلى غلام له صغير كان في خدمته يُقال له نفيس ثم بعد موته نقل هذا الغلام الوصية إلى جعفر وقالت الفرقة الحادية عشرة قد اشتبه علينا الأمر ولا ندري من هو الإمام وأن الأرض لا تخلو من حجة فنتوقف ولا نقدم على شيء حتى يصح لنا الأمر ويتبين وقالت الفرقة الثانية عشرة ليس القول كما قال هؤلاء بل لا يجوز أن تخلو الأرض من حجة ولو خلت لساخت الأرض ومن عليها وأما هو خائف مستور بستر الله لا يجوز ذكر اسمه ولا السؤال عن مكانه وليس علينا البحث عن أمره بل البحث عن ذلك وطلبه حرام وقالت الفرقة الثالثة عشرة ان الحسن بن علي توفى وأنه كان الإمام بعد أبيه وأن جعفر بن علي الإمام بعده كما كان موسى بن جعفر إماماً بعد عبد الله بن جعفر للخبر الذي روى أن الإمامة في الأكبر من ولد الإمام إذا مضى وأن الخبر الذي روى عن الصادق عليه السلام أن الإمامة لا تكون في أخوين بعد الحسن والحسين عليهما السلام صحيح لا يجوز غيره وإنما ذلك إذا كان للماضي خلف من صلبه فإنه لا تخرج منه إلى أخيه بل تثبت في خلفه وإذا توفى ولا خلف له رجعت إلى أخيه ضرورة لأن هذا معنى الحديث عندهم وكذلك قالوا في الحديث الذي روى أن الإمام لا يغسله إلا إمام وأن هذا عندهم صحيح لا يجوز غيره وأقروا أن جعفر بن محمد عليهما السلام غسله موسى وادعوا أن عبد الله أمره بذلك لأنه كان الإمام بعده وإن جاز أن لا يُغسله لأنه إمام صامت في حضرة عبد الله فهؤلاء الفطحية الخلص الذين يجيزون الإمامة في أخوين إذا لم يكن الأكبر منهما خلف ولدا والإمام عندهم جعفر بن علي على هذا التأويل ضرورة وأما الفرقة الرابعة عشرة فقالت إن الإمام بعده ابنه محمد وهو المنتظر غير أنه مات وسيجيء ويقوم بالسيف وسيملأ الأرض قسطاً وعدلاً كما ملئت ظلماً وجورا

His partisans split into fourteen sects after his passing.

    1. A group claimed that Hassan ibn ‘Ali is alive and did not die, as the world cannot be without an Imam. He simply disappeared and he is the Qa’im. It is not possible for him to die. Moreover, he has no visible child.
    2. The second sect claimed that Hassan ibn ‘Ali died and was resurrected after death. He is the Qa’im, the Mahdi, as we reported that He meaning of Qa’im is one who rises (is resurrected) after death. He has no offspring. Imamah would have been established for his child. However, he did not appoint anyone which leaves no doubt in him being the Qa’im.
    3. The third sect claimed that Hassan ibn ‘Ali died. The Imam after him is his brother Jafar and Hassan appointed him. They were questioned, “Hassan and Jafar remained at loggerheads, ignoring each other, and as enemies their whole lives. Moreover, you are aware of Jafar’s shenanigans and evil behaviour towards him during his lifetime and you have reservations of the distribution of his inheritance after his demise.” They answered: “This was their external display. Internally, they were happy with each other and agreed with each other with no disagreements.” One of the proponents of Jafar’s Imamah who inclined people towards him was ‘Ali ibn al Tahir al Khazzaz. He was an orator and debater. The sister of Faris ibn Hatim ibn Mahawayh al Qazwini assisted him.
    4. The Imam after Hassan is Jafar. Imamah was transferred to him from his father, not from Hassan. Hassan was a false claimant as the Imam cannot die until he appoints and leaves behind issue whereas Hassan passed on without appointing and with no issue. The Imam cannot be one who leaves behind no apparent, known, recognised child. Similarly, it is not possible to have Imamah among two brothers after Hassan and Hussain as Jafar emphatically stated.
    5. The fifth sect recanted to believing in the Imamah of Muhammad ibn ‘Ali, the brother of Hassan who passed on during the lifetime of his father. As regards to Hassan and Jafar, they claimed what did not belong to them. Jafar had many blameworthy traits, for which he is notorious. He openly transgressed, did not safeguarded himself, and committed acts of disobedience publicly. An individual like this is not fit for giving testimony for one silver coin; so how can he be fit for the position of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Hassan, on the other hand, passed away without any issue.
    6. The sixth sect said: Hassan ibn ‘Ali had a son he named Muhammad who was born a few years before his demise. They believed that he is hidden, out of fear from Jafar.
    7. The seventh sect said: Rather, he was born eight months after his father’s death. Those who claim he had a child during his lifetime are liars, false in their claim. If this had been the case, none other than this child would have inherited. However, the father passed without knowing of his [unborn] child. Moreover, it is not permissible to hide this, whereas the pregnancy was aforetime present, apparent, and established in the sight of the Sultan and all the people. He refused to distribute his inheritance because of this, but this was invalid in the sight of the Sultan and his matter was hidden. A child was born to him eight months after his death. He commanded that he be named Muhammad and made a bequest to this effect. The child is hidden and cannot be seen.
    8. The eighth sect said: Hassan had no child at all. We examined this and searched for him from every angle but did not locate him. Had it been correct for us to claim concerning Hassan—who passed away leaving behind no offspring—that he has an absent child, it would be correct to make a similar claim for every deceased without any issue. This would also be permissible concerning the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to claim that he left behind a son, who is a prophet and messenger. Similarly, ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar ibn Muhammad left behind a child. Abu al Hassan al Rida left behind three sons besides Abu Jafar, and one of them is the Imam. The channel of news of Hassan’s demise without any offspring is just like the channel of news that the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was not survived by any male child, ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar did not have a son, and Rida did not have four sons. A child is unacceptable, necessarily. However, it is correct that there is an existing pregnancy with a slave girl of his and she will soon give birth to a son who will be Imam since it is not correct for an Imam to pass away without any issue which invalidates his Imamah and leaves the earth without any proof.

The proponents of a child answered these claimants by saying: You rejected against us a matter similar to which you yourselves claimed. You were not content with this but added to it something illogical—the claim that there is an existing pregnancy. If you exerted yourselves in searching for a child and did not find it hence denied it, then we searched for a genuine pregnancy and exerted more than you in searching for it, going to the greatest extent; yet we did not find it. Hence, we are more truthful than you in there being a child as it is possible logically and is common that a person has a son who is hidden and not apparent, but then he becomes apparent and his lineage is established. What you claimed is evil and wicked—every intelligent person rejects it and it is not common and custom rejects it, coupled with the abundant authentic narrations from truthful Imams that a pregnancy cannot be for more than nine months whereas years have passed upon the pregnancy you claim. You have no authenticity nor any proof for your claim.

    1. The ninth sect claimed: The death of the father, grandfather, and the forefathers of Hassan ibn ‘Ali rahimahumu Llah is correct and authentic. Just like their death is authentic by the news of that which cannot be belied, similarly it is authentic and correct that there is no Imam after Hassan. The earth is now without an authority unless Allah wills and He will send a Qa’im from the family of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who will give life to the earth after its death just as he sent Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam when there was a break in the Messengers.
    2. The tenth sect said: Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn ‘Ali passed away during the lifetime of his father. He was the Imam by the appointment of his father. He then appointed a small child of his, in his care named Nafis. After his death, this child transferred Wasiyyah to Jafar.
    3. The eleventh sect said: We are confused in the matter. We do not know who the Imam is. However, the earth cannot be bereft of a proof. We thus adopt tawaqquf and do not propose anything until it is correct and clear to us.
    4. The twelfth sect affirmed: It is not like these people claim. It is not possible for the earth to be free of a proof. If this happens, the earth and all upon it will sink [into oblivion]. With regards to the one who is fearing and hiding under the veil of Allah, it is not permissible to mention his name or ask about his station. We are not allowed to discuss his matter. In fact, discussing this is forbidden.
    5. The thirteenth sect said: Hassan ibn ‘Ali passed away and he was the Imam after his father. Jafar ibn ‘Ali is the Imam after him just as Musa ibn Jafar was Imam after ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar due to the report that Imamah is in the eldest son of the Imam when he passes. The report from al Sadiq rahimahu Llah that Imamah cannot be among two brothers after Hassan and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma is correct, and other than it cannot be correct. However, this is the case when the deceased has children. In that case, it does not pass to his brother, but passes on to his child. When, however, he passes away without any issue, it returns to his brother necessarily as this is the meaning of the hadith according to them. They gave the same interpretation to the hadith which states that the Imam cannot be washed except by an Imam. This report is also authentic and besides it is not correct. They acknowledge that Musa washed Jafar ibn Muhammad rahimahumu Llah and claimed that ‘Abdullah commanded him such as he was the Imam after him and it is permitted for him not to wash him as he is the quiet Imam in the presence of ‘Abdullah. These are the genuine Fathiyyah who allow Imamah among brothers when the eldest son leaves behind no child. The Imam according to them is Jafar ibn ‘Ali according to this interpretation, necessarily.
    6. The fourteenth sect said: the Imam after him is his son Muhammad and he is the awaited. However, he died. He will return and stand with the sword and fill the earth with justice and equality just as it had been filled with oppression and tyranny.[113]


These are the famous sects of the Shia which we documented from Shia books together with reporting narrations and texts from the books of the Ahlus Sunnah for support and corroboration, not as a basis or as primary proof. There are many other Shia sects which Sunni authors on the various sects have listed including the Bayaniyyah, Janahiyyah, Razamiyyah, Muqni’iyyah, Halmaniyyah, Halajiyyah, Azafirah, etc. whom we did not list due to their extinction and them not appearing in Shia books, so that no one may assert, “Allah knows that we have not seen or included all these names in the books of the Shia. They are nothing but fabrications, and the reason for their mention is nothing but slander and disparagement. They are names without designations. None of the historians mentioned them nor were they listed by any Shia authors who wrote on religions like Sheikh Abu Muhammad Hassan ibn Musa al Nawbakhti from the fourth century in Kitab al Firaq wa al Maqalat in which he goes to great pains in listing the various sects of the Shia and others.”[114]

One sect remains: the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah, Jafariyyah, or Imamiyyah. It was listed among the fourteen sects which originated after the demise of Hassan al ‘Askari. However, it is of great significance. This long treatise has only been written due to it, since when the word Shia is used, the first thing that comes to mind nowadays is this sect only. We thus dedicate a separate chapter to its history, beliefs, connection to the Saba’iyyah, and adoption of all ideologies found in bygone fanatical and radical sects, coupled with listing the sects that emanated from them which are present up to today.

We turn the attention of the readers and students to a significant aspect which one should be aware of. One who studies their beliefs and ideologies will realise that each of the sects of the Shia which we listed in this chapter took a full share from the Saba’iyyah, the sons of Jews, and many handfuls from other false religions—be they Christians or Zoroastrians—wicked ideologies from the Hindus, Babylonians, ‘Ashuriyyin, Chaldeans, and others. The Shia—after the first Shia development—of all eras, epochs, and periods religiously adhered to the belief in Raj’ah (Return), Ghaybah (Occultation), Wilayah (Association), Bara’ah (Dissociation), Wisayah (Guardianship)/Wasiyyah (Succession), and Tawaruth (Heredity) founded by their founder, ‘Abdullah ibn Saba’, and the cunning emulated him.


NEXT⇒ Chapter Six – The Ithna ‘Ashariyyah Shia

[1] Sharh Nahj al Balaghah, 3/197.

[2] Sharh Nahj al Balaghah, 3/198.

[3] Muruj al Dhahab, 3/206.

[4] Al Irshad, pg. 269.

[5] We have adopted brevity in discussing the Zaidiyyah as we intend publishing a separate book, Allah willing.

[6] Firaq al Shia, pg. 82-84.

[7] Al Kafi, 1/304.

[8] Firaq al Shia, pg. 80-81.

[9] Al Usul min al Kafi, book on the virtue of knowledge, chapter on inconsistency in hadith, 1/68.

[10] For further details, study our books: al Shia wa al Sunnah, al Shia wa Ahlul Bayt, al Shia wa al Qur’an.

[11] Rijal al Kashshi, pg. 259, under the biography of Abu al Khattab.

[12] Rijal al Kashshi, pg. 257-258.

[13] Rijal al Kashshi, pg. 256.

[14] Rijal al Kashshi, pg. 255.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Rijal al Kashshi, pg. 254-255.

[17] Al Shia fi al Tarikh, pg. 107-108.

[18] Firaq al Shia, 84-87.

[19] Maqatil al Talibiyyin, pg. 181.

[20] Abu al Farj al Asbahani: al Aghani, 1/205; Maqatil al Talibiyyin, pg. 180.

[21] Maqatil al Talibiyyin, pg. 233.

[22] Al Usul min al Kafi, book on authority, 1/358 onwards.

[23] Al Usul min al Kafi, book on authority, 1/358 onwards.

[24] Owing to this, he would say, “Abu Bakr fathered me twice.” Kashf al Ghummah, 2/161.

[25] Firaq al Shia, pg. 78.

[26] Firaq al Shia, pg. 87-88.

[27] Al Farq bayn al Firaq, pg. 61; Maqalat al Islamiyyin, 1/97; I’tiqadat Firaq al Muslimin wa al Mushrikin, pg. 53; al Milal wa al Nihal, 2/2-3; al Hur al ‘Ayn, pg. 162; al Tabsir, pg. 40; al Fasl fi al Milal wa al Ahwa’ wa al Nihal, 4/180; al Khitat, pg. 174.

[28] Firaq al Shia, pg. 88; Maqalat al Islamiyyin, 1/99; al Farq bayn al Firaq, pg. 61-62; I’tiqadat, pg. 54; al Tabsir, pg. 41; al Hur al ‘Ayn, pg. 163; al Milal, pg. 3.

[29] Maqatil, pg. 357; al Irshad, pg. 286; Tarikh Baghdad, 2/114.

[30] Maqatil, pg. 540; al Irshad, pg. 286.

[31] Al Irshad, pg. 286.

[32] Rijal al Kashshi, pg. 219.

[33] Firaq al Shia, pg. 99.

[34] Al Irshad, pg. 285-286.

[35] Kashf al Ghummah, 2/393.

[36] Maqalat al Islamiyyin, 1/99.

[37] Al Usul min al Kafi, book on authority, 1/257.

[38] Al Irshad, pg. 285.

[39] Kashf al Ghummah, 2/393.

[40] A’lam al Wara, pg. 291; al Irshad, pg. 286.

[41] Firaq al Shia, pg. 100.

[42] Al Irshad, pg. 284-285.

[43] Muqaddamah Ibn Khaldun, pg. 201.

[44] Al Milal wa al Nihal, 2/5.

[45] Al Milal wa al Nihal, 2/32-33.

[46] Ibid.

[47] Al Shia fi al Tarikh, pg. 231-234.

[48] Maqalat al Islamiyyin, 1/98.

[49] This book will be published shortly, Allah willing, after the publication of the current book. We had intended to publish it before this when we gathered all information on the Ismailiyyah. However, we delayed after we heard of the presence of some makhtutat (manuscripts) which we were unable to source until now. We intended that nothing should escape us and the discussion should be complete and all-inclusive as far as possible. And this is not difficult upon Allah. We feel that this book will create a major stir in scholarly circles of the world as we disclosed some concealed realities which those who are famous and well-known in the world have not come across despite their specialisation, viz. the orientalists, Egyptians, and even from the Ismailiyyah themselves. Likewise, we unveiled some clear realities which are obscure in the sight of this group. That will be the junction with complete details, Allah willing.

[50] Simt al Nujum al ‘Awali, 2/414.

[51] Muhammad Kamil Hussain: Ta’ifat al Duruz, pg. 75.

[52] Ahmed Fawzan: Adwa’ ‘ala al ‘Aqidah al Durziyyah; Muhammad Kamil Hussain: Ta’ifat al Duruz.

[53] Mushaf al Duruz, ‘Urf al ‘Ahd wa al Mithaq, pg. 107-108.

[54] Karim Thaqib: al Duruz wa al Thawrah al Suriyyah, pg. 34.

[55] Fatawa Sheikh al Islam, 35/161-162.

[56] Firaq al Shia, pg. 100.

[57] Firaq al Shia, pg. 101.

[58] Al Farq bayn al Firaq, pg. 63.

[59] Maqalat al Islamiyyin, 1/101.

[60] I’tiqadat Firaq al Muslimin wa al Mushrikin, pg. 54.

[61] Al Tabsir, pg. 41.

[62] Al Fasl, 4/179.

[63] Firaq al Shia, pg. 101.

[64] Firaq al Shia, pg. 102.

[65] Firaq al Shia, pg. 103-104.

[66] I’tiqadat Firaq al Muslimin wa al Mushrikin, pg. 54; Maqalat al Islamiyyin, 1/88; al Tanbih, pg. 38; al Tabsir, pg. 42; al Farq bayn al Firaq, pg. 64; al Irshad, pg. 302; al Milal wa al Nihal, 2/3-4, footnotes.

[67] Surah al Shura: 50.

[68] Firaq al Shia, pg. 104-105.

[69] Rijal al Kashshi, pg. 405-407.

[70] Surah al Ma’idah: 18.

[71] Rijal al Kashshi, pg. 405-407.

[72] Muruj al Dhahab; Tarikh al Tabari, al Bidayah wa al Nihayah.

[73] Maqatil al Talibiyyin, pg. 446, 456.

[74] Maqatil al Talibiyyin, pg. 447.

[75] Al Usul min al Kafi, 1/366.

[76] Look at how truth appears even from the liars. The infallible Imam of the Shia prohibits people from disobeying and rebelling against the ‘Abbasi Khalifah. Does any doubt remain that ‘Ali’s offspring did not claim for themselves what the Shia attribute to them?

[77] Al Usul min al Kafi, 1/367.

[78] Firaq al Shia, pg. 105-106.

[79] Firaq al Shia, pg. 107.

[80] Firaq al Shia, pg. 106.

[81] Maqatil al Talibiyyin, pg. 513 onwards.

[82] Muruj al Dhahab, 3/439-440.

[83] Al Irshad, pg. 310-311; A’lam al Wara, pg. 334.

[84] Al Irshad, pg. 304; A’lam al Wara, pg. 313; ‘Uyun Akhbar al Rida, 2/247; Kashf al Ghummah, 3/72; Jila’ al ‘Uyun, 2/739; Muntaha al Amal, pg. 1049.

[85] Firaq al Shia, pg. 110-112.

[86] Al Irshad, pg. 316; A’lam al Wara, pg. 344-345; Muruj al Dhahab, 3/464.

[87] Muruj al Dhahab, 3/441.

[88] Maqatil al Talibiyyin, pg. 577. Al Tabari, Ibn al Athir, and others mentioned this.

[89] Muruj al Dhahab, 3/465.

[90] We are unable to fathom how a child can be relied upon in religious matters when his father—an infallible Imam according to the Shia—did not rely upon him in worldly matters.

[91] Al Kafi, 1/325.

[92] Al Milal wa al Nihal, 2/25-26.

[93] I’tiqadat Firaq al Muslimin wa al Mushrikin, pg. 61.

[94] Al Tawil: Tarikh al ‘Alawiyyin, pg. 202.

[95] Al Bakurah al Sulaimaniyyah, pg. 87.

[96] Al Bakurah al Sulaimaniyyah, pg. 26.

[97] Al Irshad, pg. 327; A’lam al Wara, pg. 355; Kashf al Ghummah, 3/166; Jila’ al ‘Uyun, 2/754.

[98] Maqatil al Talibiyyin, pg. 639; Muruj al Dhahab, 4/63.

[99] Maqatil al Talibiyyin, pg. 465; Muruj al Dhahab, 4/64.

[100] Al Kamil, 5/315.

[101] Muruj al Dhahab, 4/68.

[102] Muruj al Dhahab, 4/69; Maqatil al Talibiyyin, pg. 665.

[103] Firaq al Shia, 116-117.

[104] Al Usul min al Kafi, book on authority, chapter on the appointment of Abu Muhammad, 1/327.

[105] Firaq al Shia, 117-118.

[106] Firaq al Shia, 117.

[107] Al Irshad, pg. 327.

[108] Al Irshad, pg. 335.

[109] A’lam al Wara, pg. 367.

[110] Maqatil al Talibiyyin, pg. 675; Muruj al Dhahab, 3/94.

[111] Firaq al Shia, pg. 118-119.

[112] Firaq al Shia, pg. 119 onwards, condensed.

[113] Firaq al Shia, pg. 119 onwards, condensed.

[114] A’yan al Shia, 1/24, section one.