Definition of the Word ‘Shi`ah’

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Definition of the Word ‘Shia’


The Linguistic Definition:


Ibn Durayd (d. 321 A.H.) says:


A certain person is from the Shia of another person, i.e. he subscribes to his views. You have done tashyi’ (a tense of the word Shia) of a person regarding a matter, when you have helped him to do it, and you have done mushaya’ah (another tense) of a man regarding a matter when you have joined him in doing it.[1]


Al Azhari (d. 370 A.H.) says:


Shia are the helpers of a man and his followers. Any group of people who unite regarding a certain matter are called Shia. Groups of Shia are called Shiya’ and Ashya’. As for the Shia, they are a people who display love for the family of Nabi Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and support them.

You have done tashyi’ of the fire when you place in it that which causes it to flare up. It is said, “I have done tashyi’ of a certain person,” i.e. I went out with him to bid him farewell. It is also said, “we did tashyi’ of the month of Ramadan with six (fasts) of Shawal,” i.e. we followed it up with six fasts. The Arabs say, “I will come to you tomorrow or it’s Shay’ (the day after tomorrow).” Shia is that which follows. Shiya’ are sects who follow one-another but all of them are not the same.[2]


Al Jowhari (d. 400 A.H.) says:


A man has become a Shia, i.e. he claimed that which the Shia claim. All people who agree upon a matter and some of them follow the views of the others are shiya’. Dhu al Rimmah said, “the riders made up a story regarding their Ashya’[3] (i.e. regarding their companions[4]).”


Ibn Manzur (d. 711 A.H.) says:


Shia are the followers and supporters of a person. The plural form of the word is Shiya’ and the grand plural is Ashya’. The original meaning of the word Shia is: a group of people. It is used for a single person, two people, as well as a group of people — male or female. All of the above is expressed with one word and it has the same meaning in each case. This word is now mostly used for those who support ‘Ali and his household, to the extent that it has become synonymous with them. Hence, when it is said, “he is from the Shia,” it is immediately realised that he subscribes to their views. Similarly, when it is said, “this is according to the Shia mazhab,” it is understood that this is their view. The origin of that is from mushaya’ah which means following and complying.

The Shia are a group of people who follow the views of others. It is said, “Tashaya’a, the people have become Shia,” when they split into groups. It is also said, “the man has become a Shia,” when he makes the same claims as the Shia. Shaya’a, Shiya and Shayya’a mean that he followed him. When it is said that he did Shiya’ of the next person upon that, it means that he strengthened him.[5]


Al Zabidi (d. 1205) says:


Whoever helps a person and becomes part of his group is his Shia. The origin of Shia is from Mushaya’ah which means to follow. It is said that the middle letter of Shia is a “و” and from the word Shawwa’a (he gathered) his people. This word is now mostly used to refer to those who support ‘Ali and his household… they are a nation whose numbers cannot be guessed and they are innovators. The extremists among them are the Imamiyyah Muntaziriyyah. They curse Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. The extremists among them even go as far as declaring them disbelievers. Some of them are heretics.[6]


Thus, the words: Shia, Tashayyu’ and Mushaya’ah, as far as the literal meaning is concerned, centre around meanings such as following, helping, agreeing with, uniting upon a matter or gathering upon it. Thereafter, as stated by the authors of al Lisan, al Qamus and Taj al ‘Arus, they were mostly used to refer to those who supported ‘Ali and his household. This usage needs to be reviewed. This is because, if a person reflects upon the literal meaning of the word Shia, which implies following and helping, and thereafter he casts a glance at majority of the sects upon whom this word is used, it will become clear to him that this usage is linguistically incorrect.

None of these groups follow the Ahlul Bayt. The reality is that they oppose their ways and they have chosen a path that has nothing to do with the Ahlul Bayt. Perhaps, this is what was perceived by Sharik ibn ‘Abdullah when he was asked, “who was more virtuous, Abu Bakr or ‘Ali?” He replied, “Abu Bakr.” The questioner surprisingly retorted, “is this what you say, whereas you are a Shia?” He replied, “yes, whoever says otherwise is not a Shia. By the oath of Allah, ‘Ali ascended these steps and then announced, ‘listen well! Indeed the best of this ummah after its Nabi is Abu Bakr and thereafter ‘Umar!’ Thus, how can we reject his statement and belie him? By the oath of Allah, he was not a liar!”[7]

Imam Sharik understood that all those who do not follow ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu do not deserve to be called Shia, as the original meaning and reality of the word Shia is to follow. This is why many scholars preferred calling them “Rafidah”.[8] The real followers of the Ahlul Bayt as well as those who were referred to as Shia were also forced to discard this name as it had become synonymous with the innovators who opposed the Ahlul Bayt. This is pointed out by the author of Tuhfah Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers), who says:


The former Shia discarded the name Shia when it became the title of the Rawafid and Ismaili. They began calling themselves the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah.[9]


The Word ‘Shia’ in the Qur’an and its Meaning


The root letters of “شِيَعَ” appear twelve times in the Qur’an.[10] Imam Ibn al Jowzi[11] summarised their meanings in the following words:


The Exegetes have mentioned that the word “شِيَعَ” appears with four different meanings in the Qur’an. One meaning is sects. This is as in the verses

اِنَّ الَّذِیْنَ فَرَّقُوْا دِیْنَهُمْ وَکَانُوْا شِیَعًا

Indeed, those who have divided their religion and become sects.[12]

وَلَقَدْ اَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ قَبْلِكَ فِیْ شِیَعِ الْاَوَّلِیْنَ

And We had certainly sent [messengers] before you, [O Muhammad], among the sects of the former peoples.[13]

جَعَلَ اَهْلَهَا شِیَعًا

Made its people into factions,[14]

مِنَ الَّذِیْنَ فَرَّقُوْا دِیْنَهُمْ وَکَانُوْا شِیَعًا

[Or] of those who have divided their religion and become sects,[15]


The second meaning which is implied by its usage is family and lineage. This meaning is implied in the following verse:


هٰذَا مِنْ شِیْعَتِهٖ وَ هٰذَا مِنْ عَدُوِّهٖ

… one from his faction and one from among his enemy.[16]


The third meaning for which this word is used in the Qur’an is “the people of a religion”. This meaning is implied in the following verses:


ثُمَّ لَنَنْزِعَنَّ مِنْ كُلِّ شِیْعَةٍ اَیُّهُمْ اَشَدُّ عَلٰی الرَّحْمٰنِ عِتِیًّا

Then We will surely extract from every sect those of them who were worst against the Most Merciful in insolence.[17]

وَلَقَدْ اَهْلَكْنَآ اَشْیَاعَكُمْ فَهَلْ مِنْ مُّدَّکِرٍ

And We have already destroyed your kinds, so is there any who will remember?[18]

کَمَا فُعِلَ بِاَشْیَاعِهِمْ مِّنْ قَبْلُ

As was done with their kind before.[19]

وَ اِنَّ مِنْ شِیْعَتِهٖ لَاِبْرٰهِیْمَ

And indeed, among his kind was Ibrahim.[20]

Fourthly, this word is used to express the meaning “different desires”. This is the case in the verse:]


یَلْبِسَكُمْ شِیَعًا

or to confuse you (so you become) sects…[21] [22]


Ibn al Qayyim[23] highlights, in an important passage that he wrote, that the word Shia and Ashya’ are mostly used negatively. Even in the Qur’an, it is used mostly in a negative sense. This is evident from the verses:


ثُمَّ لَنَنْزِعَنَّ مِنْ كُلِّ شِیْعَةٍ اَیُّهُمْ اَشَدُّ عَلٰی الرَّحْمٰنِ عِتِیًّا

Then We will surely extract from every sect those of them who were worst against the Most Merciful in insolence.[24]

اِنَّ الَّذِیْنَ فَرَّقُوْا دِیْنَهُمْ وَکَانُوْا شِیَعًا

Indeed, those who have divided their religion and become sects.[25]

وَ حِیْلَ بَیْنَهُمْ وَ بَیْنَ مَا یَشْتَهُوْنَ کَمَا فُعِلَ بِاَشْیَاعِهِمْ مِّنْ قَبْلُ

And prevention will be placed between them and what they desire, as was done with their kind before.[26]


He then explains the reason:


That is because, and Allah knows best, the word Shia implies being spread out and separated, which is the opposite of co-operation and unity. This is also the reason why this word is only used for deviant sects, viz. they differ and separate from the truth.[27]


These are the uses of the word Shia in the Qur’an along with their meanings. They do not imply, in any way, the famous understanding of the word Shia. This is quite obvious to the one who reads these verses. Despite this, we were amazed to find that some Shia attempt to hijack the word on some occasions to refer to their deviant group, thus interpreting the Book of Allah against its meaning. They force upon the Qur’an meanings that are not accommodated by the Qur’an, in an effort to distort the Qur’an. This is the result of their disbelief in the Qur’an.

The following is reported in their hadith books, under the explanation of the verse:


وَ اِنَّ مِنْ شِیْعَتِهٖ لَاِبْرٰهِیْمَ

And indeed, among his kind was Abraham.[28]


Indeed Ibrahim was from the Shia of ‘Ali.[29]


This explanation contradicts the context of this verse of the Qur’an and the fundamentals of Islam. It is a concoction of the extremist Rawafid, who grant superiority to their Imams over the prophets.[30] This ludicrous explanation, or rather distortion, demotes the greatest of prophets after Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam into a follower of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Islamically, the invalidity of this claim is obvious. However, it is also proven baseless by common sense as well as history. It was concocted by one who failed miserably at his job (of concoction).

The Ahlus Sunnah have explained this verse to mean that Ibrahim was from the group of Nuh ‘alayh al Salam and upon the same path as him[31], as narrated from the pious predecessors. This explanation conforms to the context of the verse[32], as the verses prior to this verse were all in reference to Nuh ‘alayh al Salam. A noteworthy fact is that one Shia opted for the explanation of the Ahlus Sunnah, discarding the drivel puked out by his people.[33]


The Word Shia in the Sunnah and the Meanings Implied


The word Shia appears in the Sunnah. The meaning which is implied therein is followers. This is with reference to the hadith reported by Imam Ahmed regarding the man[34] who said to Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “I believe that you were unjust!”’ Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said regarding him,


سيكون له شيعة يتعمقون فى الدين حتى يخرجوا منه…

He will have followers who will delve so deep into matters of din that they will (get irritated thereby and) leave the din…[35]


The same meaning is implied in the hadith reported by Abu Dawood regarding those who do not believe in the concept of pre-destination…


و هم شيعة الدجال

They will be the followers of Dajjal.[36]


Thus, the word Shia in these texts means companions, followers and helpers. Further, I could not find any hadith wherein the word Shia was used to refer to the infamous sect, despite searching through the books of hadith. The only instances where the word was used to imply them or the followers of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu were in those cases where the hadith was either unauthentic or fabricated. Here are a few examples:


فاستغفرت لعلى و شيعته

I sought forgiveness for ‘Ali and his Shia.[37]


مثلى مثل شجرة انا اصلها و على فرعها…والشيعة ورقها

My example is that of a tree. I am the roots, ‘Ali is the branch… and the Shia are the leaves.[38]


انت و شيعتك فى الجنة

Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, “you and your Shia are n Jannat.”[39]


Some narrations suggest that there will appear a group who will claim to be the supporters of ‘Ali and they will be called ‘Rafidah.[40] Imam Ibn Abi ‘Asim reports four narrations concerning the Rafidah.[41] These narrations have been declared unauthentic on account of their isnads. Al Tabarani reports (with a reliable isnad — as stated by al Haythami) that Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:


يا على سيكون فى امتى قوم ينتحلون حب اهل البيت لهم نبز يسمون الرافضة قاتلوهم فانهم مشركون

‘O ‘Ali, there will be a group in this ummah who will claim love for the Ahlul Bayt. They will have a nickname, they will be called al Rafidah. Fight against them, as they are polytheists.[42]


Ibn Taymiyyah pointed out the falsity of all the narrations attributed to Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in which the word “Rafidah” was used, on the basis of the fact that this word was only coined in the second century.[43] My personal opinion is that this is not sufficient reason to declare the ahadith to be fabrications. This is because, if the isnads are proven to be reliable, then it will be among those narrations which inform us of future occurrences. It will be understood that Allah informed his Nabi that in future, the Rawafid will appear, just as He informed him regarding the appearance Khawarij[44] — even though their inception occurred within his very lifetime.[45]


The Word Shia and its Meaning in the Books of the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers)


The word Shia appears repeatedly in the narrations and ahadith, which they attribute to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, ‘Ali, Hassan, Hussain and the rest of the twelve Imams[46] radiya Llahu ‘anhum. In these ahadith, it is as if the word was understood to be a term used to refer to their sect, beliefs and their Imams. It is on account of this that they deluded themselves into believing that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was the one who planted the seed of Shi’ism and watered it until it grew and ripened.[47]

In fact, they have exceeded the limit to the extent that they have even fabricated narrations to prove that that the word Shia (as a term used to refer to their sect) was well-known even before the era of our Nabi, Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Their ahadith contain narrations, under the explanation of the verse, “and indeed, among his kind was Ibrahim,”[48] which explain that Ibrahim ‘alayh al Salam was from the Shia of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[49] Amazingly, this is not where their claims end. Rather, they go on to claim that Allah took a covenant and a pledge from the prophets that they should attest to the Wilayah of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu[50], and that the Wilayah of ‘Ali was revealed in all the scriptures of the prophets.[51] There are other claims of this nature as well, which will be explained upon under the section, “Development of Shi’ism”.


The Word Shia in the Light of Islamic History


Records of the initial periods of Islamic history refer to the word Shia in no other sense besides its literal meaning, i.e. helping and following. We find this word being used in the document of the arbitration between ‘Ali and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. It is used therein for the supporters of both these luminaries and it is not confined to the supporters of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Below is an excerpt from this document:


هذا ما تقاضى عليه على بن ابى طالب و معاوية بن ابى سفيان و شيعتهما…(و منها): وان عليا و شيعته رضوا بعبد الله بن قيس و رضى معاوية و شيعته بعمرو بن العاص…(و منها) فاذا توفى احد الحكمين فلشيعته و انصاره ان يختاروا مكانه (و منها) وان مات احد الاميرين قبل انقضاء الاجل المحدود فى هذه القضية فلشيعته ان يختاروا مكانه رجلا يرضون عدله


This is the settlement upon which ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan and their followers (Shia) have agreed upon… (amongst which is that) ‘Ali and his followers (Shia) have chosen ‘Abdullah ibn Qais, whilst Muawiyah and his supporters (Shia) have chosen ‘Amr ibn al ‘As… If any of these intermediaries happen to pass away, then the respective group of supporters (Shia) and helpers will have the right to replace him with a person of their choice… If one of the leaders passes away before the fixed time in this matter, then his supporters (Shia) will have the right to replace him with one whose justice pleases them.[52]


Hakim ibn Aflah radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:


لانى نهيتها (يعنى عائشة رضى الله عنها) ان تقول فى هتين الشيعتين شيئا

It is because I prohibited her (Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha) from saying anything regarding these two groups (Shia).[53]


Ibn Taymiyyah quoted this text and used it as proof from the historical perspective that the word Shia was not confined in that era to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Another historical report which proves the argument is the incident when Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu sent Busr ibn Artat towards Yemen saying:


امض حتى تاتى صنعاء فان لنا بها شيعة

Carry on until you reach San’a, as we have supporters (Shia) there.[54]


Thus, it has been proven that until that era, the word Shia was not confined to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. It seems as if the claimants of Shi’ism did not physically gather and adopt this name formally, to distinguish themselves from the rest until the martyrdom of Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Al Mus’udi says:


و فى سنة خمس و ستين تحركت الشيعة فى الكوفة و تكونت حركة التوابين ثم حركة المحتار (الكيسانية) و بدئت الشيعة تتكون و تضع اصول مذهبها…و اخذت تتميز بهذا الاسم

In the year 65 (A.H) the Shia began mobilising in Kufah[55] and the movement of the Towwabun (repentant ones) took shape. The same was the case with the movement of al Mukhtar (al Kaysaniyyah). The Shia also started formalising themselves, laying the foundations and principles of their mazhab… and they began distinguishing themselves from others by this name.


From the above, it has become clear that that the word “Shia” was used to refer to any group of people who rallied behind their leader. Some groups (Shia) wish to ignore these historic facts and claim that “they were the first to be called Shia in this ummah.”[56] They ignore the fact that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu used the word Shia to refer to his followers. Historic records prove that the word Shia was not specific to the followers of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu until the martyrdom of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu[57] — as stated by some, or the martyrdom of Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu[58] — as stated by others.


NEXT⇒ The Technical Meaning of the Word Shia – a) As Defined by the Books of the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers)

[1]  Ibn Durayd: Jamharat al Lughah 3/63

[2]  Al Azhari: Tahdhib al Lughah 3/61

[3]Diwan Dhi l-Rimmah pg. 4

[4]Al Sihah 3/1240, researched by Ahmed ‘Abdul Ghafur ‘Atar

[5]Lisan al ‘Arab

[6]Taj al ‘Arus 5/405. Refer to the dictionaries under the alphabets شاع . Al Qamus 3/47, Al Bustani: Qatr al Muhit 1/1100, al Tarihi: Majma’ al Bahrayn 4/355

[7]Minhaj al Sunnah 1/7-8, researched by Dr Muhammad Rashad Salim. Refer to ‘Abdul Jabbar al Hamdani: Tathbit Dala’il al Nubuwwah 1/63.

Ibn Taymiyyah says: “It has been narrated in eighty different ways from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu that he announced on the mimbar of Kufah, ‘the best of this ummah after its Nabi is Abu Bakr and then ‘Umar.’ Al Bukhari and others have narrated it.” Refer to Minhaj al Sunnah 4/137. The same has been recorded in the books of the Shia. Refer to Talkhis al Shafi (2/428, as quoted by Ihsan Ilahi Zahir in al Shia wa Ahlul Bayt pg. 52).

[8]  As an example refer to al Milti: Al Tanbih wa l-Radd pg. 18, al Baghdadi: Al Farq Bayn al Firaq pg.21 al Isfarayini: al Tabsir fil-Din pg. 16, Al Sakai: al Burhan pg. 36, al Farmani: Risalat fi Bayan Mazahib Ba’d al Firaq al Dallah paper number two (from the manuscript), Abu al Hassan al ‘Iraqi: Dhikr al Firaq al Dowal paper number 12 (from the manuscript).

[9]Tuhfah Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers) pg. 25-26 (of the manuscript)

[10]  Refer to Al Mujam al Mufahras li-Alfaz al Qur’an pg. 18

[11]  Abu al Faraj ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Ali ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al Taymi al Baghdadi, famously known as Ibn al Jowzi. The author of many works on different subjects including Tafsir, Hadith, Fiqh etc. Among his works are Jami’ al Masanid, al Muntazam and others. He passed away in the year 597 A.H. Refer to Ibn al ‘Imad: Shadharat al Dhahab 4/329, al Yafi’i: Mir’at al Jinan 3/489-493, Mujam al Mu’allifin 5/157

[12]  Surah al An’am: 159

[13]  Surah al Hijr: 10

[14]  Surah al Qasas: 4. Ibn Jarir al Tabari says, “made its people into factions: i.e. sects.” Tafsir al Tabari 20/27. Also refer to Abu ‘Ubaidah: Majaz al Qur’an 1/194.

[15]  Surah al Rum: 32

[16]  Surah al Qasas: 15. Ibn Qutaybah says, “the meaning of ‘one from his faction’ is: one of his companions from Banu Isra’il.” Tafsir Gharib al Qur’an pg. 329. Refer to Abu Hayyan: Tuhfah al Arib bi ma fi l-Qur’an min al Gharib pg. 153.

[17]  Surah Maryam: 69

[18]  Surah al Qamar: 51

[19]  Surah al Saba: 54

[20]  Surah al Saffat: 83

[21]  Surah al An’am: 65

[22]  Ibn al Jowzi: Nuzhat al A’yun al Nawazir pg. 376-377. Al Damaghani added a fifth meaning, i.e. to spread something. He backed this by citing the verse, “indeed, those who like that immorality should be spread [or publicised] among those who have believed…” (Surah al Nur: 19) Similarly, Ibn al Jowzi explained one meaning of the word to be family and lineage, which he stated is implied in the following verse:

ٖهٰذَا مِنْ شِیْعَتِهٖ وَ هٰذَا مِنْ عَدُوِّه

…one from his faction and one from among his enemy.

However, al Damaghani added another meaning to the word, i.e. army, and he cited this same verse as proof. The remainder of the meanings have been agreed upon by both scholars. Refer to al Damaghani: Qamus al Qur’an pg. 271, researched by ‘Abdul ‘Aziz al Ahl

[23]  Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr ibn Ayub al Zar’i al Dimashqi. Better known as Ibn al Qayyim al Jowziyyah. Passed away in the year 751 A.H. Author of books including A’lam al Muwaqqi’in and Zad al Ma’ad. Refer to Ibn Kathir: Al Bidayah wa l-Nihayah 14/234, Ibn Hajar: Al Durar al Kaminah 3/400

[24]  Surah Maryam: 69

[25]  Surah al An’am: 159

[26]  Surah al Saba’: 54

[27]Bada’i’ al Fawa’id 1/155. This refers to most cases, not all. This is important to note as it positively mentioned in the verse, “And indeed, among his kind was Abraham.”

[28]  Surah al Saffat: 83

[29]  Al Bahrani: Tafsir al Burhan 4/20, Tafsir al Qummi 2/323, Al Majlisi: Bihar al Anwar 68/12-13 ‘Abbas al Qummi: Safinat al Bihar 1/732, Al Bahrani: Al Ma’alim al Zulfa pg. 304, al Tarihi: Majma’ al Bahrayn 2/356 (They have falsely attributed this book to Jafar al Sadiq. His knowledge and piety refute the possibility of this.)

[30]  Al Baghdadi: Usul al Din pg. 298, al Qadi ‘Iyad: al Shifa pg. 290, Ibn Taymiyyah: Minhaj al Sunnah 1/177

[31]  Refer to Tafsir al Tabari 23/69, Tafsir Ibn Kathir 4/13, Tafsir al Qurtubi 15/91, Ibn al Jowzi: Zad al Masir 7/67

[32]  There exists a defective opinion, which is attributed to al Farra, which states that Ibrahim was from the group of Muhammad. Al Showkani comments, “the extent to which this opposes the context and the degree of its inaccuracy is self-evident.” (Fath al Qadir 4/401). Al Alusi says, “al Farra was of the opinion that ‘his group’ in the verse referred to our Nabi, Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. However, the accurate meaning is that which we have pointed out (viz. it refers to Nuh ‘alayh al Salam). This view has been narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah and Suddi. It is against the norm to say that a person from the former times belongs to the group of someone from the later eras. (Ruh al Ma’ani 23/99-100)

[33]  Al Tabarsi: Majma’ al Bayan 5/67

[34]  He was Dhu al Khuwaysarah al Tamimi… the fountainhead of the Khawarij (Refer to Musnad Ahmed 12/4).

[35]Musnad Ahmed 12/3-5. ‘Abdullah ibn al Imam Ahmed says, “there are many authentic narrations, the content of which corroborates the message of this hadith.” Ahmed Shakir said, “the isnad is authentic.” (ibid) Ibn Abi ‘Asim also narrated it in his book al Sunnah (2/454).

[36]Sunan Abi Dawood 5/67. Al Mundhiri said, “‘Umar, the mowla of Ghufra appears in the isnad. His narrations cannot be used as proof. There also appears an unknown person from the Ansar therein.” Mukhtasar Abi Dawood 7/61. Imam Ahmed also narrates this hadith (5/407).

[37]  Al ‘Uqayli said, “this narration is baseless.” Al Kinani mentions it among the fabricated narrations (Tanzih al Shari’ah 1/414)

[38]  Ibn al Jowzi mentions it in his book regarding fabricated narrations, al Mowdu’at 1/397. Al Showkani also mentions it in his book regarding the subject, Al Fawa’id al Majmu’ah fi l-Ahadith al Mowdu’ah pg. 379.

[39]  Another fabricated narration. Refer to Ibn al Jowzi: Al Mowdu’at 1/397, al Dhahabi: Mizan al I’tidal 1/421 (biography of Jami’ ibn ‘Umar ibn Sawar), Al Showkani: Al Fawa’id al Majmu’ah pg. 379

[40]  The meaning of Rafidah will be explained at a later stage.

[41]  Such as the hadith, “celebrate o ‘Ali, for you and your Shia will be in Jannat. Listen well, among those who will claim to love you will be a group who will distance themselves from Islam. They will be called Rafidah. If you meet them, then fight against them as they are polytheists.” I asked, “O Rasulullah, What will be their sign?” He replied, “they will neither attend Jumu’ah salah nor any of the congregational salah and they will condemn the pious predecessors.” (Al Sunnah li Ibn Abi ‘Asim 2/475). This hadith has also been mentioned by Al Showkani in al Ahadith al Mowdu’ah pg. 380-381.

[42]Majma’ al Zawa’id 1/22. Refer to the hadith in Al Mujam al Kabir of al Tabarani (12/242 number 12998). The isnad contains al Hajjaj ibn Tamim who is unreliable. Refer to Taqrib al Tahdhib 1/152

[43]Minhaj al Sunnah 1/8

[44]  Al Bukhari and Muslim report ten ahadith regarding them. Al Bukhari reports three and the rest are reported by Muslim. Ibn al Qayyim quotes all of them in Tahdhib al Sunan 7/147-153.

[45]  This is established from a few narrations. One such narration is the story of the man who said to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam — whilst he was distributing the spoils of war, “be just, O Muhammad!…” Refer to the complete hadith in Sahih al Bukhari (which is printed along with Fath al Bari) 12/290 and Sahih Muslim (with the commentary of al Nawawi) 7/165.

[46]  Sunnah, according to them, refers to all that which was said by Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the twelve Imams, as will be explained.

[47]Usul al Kafi, under the section, “the appointment of the Imams is done by Allah, His messenger and the Imams (as they believe),” the author mentions thirteen chapters which contain a total of one hundred and ten ahadith (Usul al Kafi 1/286-327).

[48]  Surah al Saffat: 83

[49]  The references regarding this have already been cited.

[50]  Al Bahrani: Tafsir al Burhan 1/26

[51]Usul al Kafi 1/437

[52]  Al Dinwari: Al Akhbar al Tiwal pg. 194-196. Refer to Tarikh al Tabari 5/53-54, Muhammad Hamid Allah: Majmu’at al Watha’iq al Siyasiyyah pg. 281-282

[53]  This is part of a lengthy hadith which appears in Sahih Muslim under the chapter regarding all the matters concerning salah of the night and the one who sleeps through it or is ill (2/168, 170).

[54]Tarikh al Yaqubi 2/197

[55]Muruj al Mazhab 3/100

[56]  Al Qummi: Al Maqalat wa l-Firaq pg. 15, al Nowbakhti: Firaq al Shia pg. 18

[57]  Muhammad Abu Zahrah: Al Mirath ‘ind al Jafariyyah pg. 22

[58]  ‘Ali Sami al Nashshar: Nash’at al Fikr al Falsafi 2/35

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