Contradiction Between The Shi’i Ja’fari School And Historical Fact (Jadal al-Madhhab wa al-Tarikh) – (COMPLETE 14-12-2023)
September 28, 2023
Essential Difference
September 28, 2023

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O Allah, I ask from you such an effort which is coupled with divine ability, knowledge which is free from ignorance, action which is devoid of any ostentation, speech which is adorned with correctness, condition which revolves around the truth, acumen of mind which is multiplied by a sound heart, comfort of the body which comes from the inner mind, tranquillity of the heart which is attached with firm faith, correct proof which is far from any doubt, so that my object in this world would be the best of the best and my ending by You the most praiseworthy; and grant me a wholesome life which You promised (Your promise is true) and eternal bounty which You can lead me to.

O Allah, do not disappoint the hope of the one who is dependent on You; do not return the hand stretched out towards You empty-handed, do not disgrace the soul which has become valuable through Your recognition, do not snatch away the intelligence which is illuminated through the light of your guidance, do not snatch away the sight of the eye which You opened through your blessing, do not withhold the tongue which is accustomed to praising You. As You are most worthy of graciousness; similarly, You are most appropriate of granting favours. Our lives are in Your control and our actions surrendered to You. Good is anticipated from You and the return in all condition is to You.

Clothe me, in this transitory life, with the cloth of protection, and adorn me in the everlasting world with security. Wean my soul from desiring this transitory world, and reward me for the virtuous habits. Do not make me from those who get distracted from the inner rights that You have upon him because of the outer rights that he fulfilled. The wretched is the one who You do not help and You do not grant him security in the future. The fortunate one is the one who You grant refuge under the shelter of Your bounty and transfer him with praise to the stages of Your mercy, without interrogating him during reckoning and without driving him towards the punishment. Indeed You have the power to do that.[1]

Peace and salutations be upon the master of mankind, in whose honour Nubuwwah and Risalat was sealed and through the virtue of his knowledge, the means of good fortune were formed and realized. Peace be upon his pure family, his illustrious and auspicious Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum, and those who follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgement.

During the course of this Ummah’s history, the relationship between the various Muslim sects—despite their different backgrounds—experienced constant ripples and transitions between good relations and rifts, clashes and reconciliations. To such an extent that when they have discussions on those things which are common amongst them in religion (agreement on one Allah, one prophet, one Qiblah, etc.), identification, affiliation and common destiny (some in front of their enemies, who regard the differences in opinion as a representation of Islam); one would imagine that they are coexisting, cooperating and setting aside the differences in their ranks to the Day of serenity. However, they seem to forget these common factors and get carried away by religious transgression which is lurking in their hearts. Thus, some of them seek to overpower the other. Take note of the rebellion, transgression, and arrogance which they perpetrate through falsehood and beautify it with the beauty of iman. They claim to obey Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala; however, they disobey him and legalize what He deemed forbidden.

They perpetrate all this and it is condoned by their leaders as long as the whip is in their hands and they have the authority. The desire for religious victory overwhelms them and the intoxication of crushing their opposition blows their mind away, as Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala informs us of the condition of man when he rebels:


كَلَّا إِنَّ الْإِنْسَانَ لَيَطْغٰى أَن رَّآهُ اسْتَغْنٰى

No! [But] indeed, man transgresses. Because he sees himself self-sufficient.[2]


The situation of disputes and debates, in present times, has become more hostile than even an armed conflict, and worse than rivalries between people of one religion. Have a look at a dumping site. Every time one excavates it to clean it, one finds more things that disturb the mind.

The object is to say that sectarianism snatches away all the beauty from a person. I said ‘a person’ and not ‘a Believer’, because the scourge of sectarianism is such that it removes the garb of Taqwa ( fear of Allah ) from a believer and completely exposes all the evils found in him. Similarly, it snatches away a person’s humanity, thus making him a wild beast which ravages its victim’s body mercilessly in such a selfish, bloody, and brutal manner that all human dignity collapses before it.

When we abhor the brutality of a rapist, who snatches away the chastity of a woman by force and intimidation or extortion, then more so should be our condition concerning our Din, which is our most valuable possession. The wild and crazy sectarian wolves have pounced on it. They have ripped it apart with complete brutality and cruelty. This Din is screaming to its followers for support and help, but it cannot find any zealous person from amongst them, despite their large numbers, who will rise up to defend it, or any helper to assist. This is sectarianism in its truest, most shocking and shameful form. It snatches away chastity from its people just as it snatches from the Ulama’ (scholars), reformers, and the simpletons—in fact the populace—their loftiest possession, i.e. their natural innocence and religious virtue and replaces it with dispute, suspicion, declaration of disbelief, and alienation.

Indeed, the sectarian battles about the past are crowding the doors of the future in a rabble, rowdy, and mobbish manner, wherein they are only satisfied by rioting and altercations. That is why one of the prominent scholars said:


إني والله ما رأيت من شيء أذهب لدين ، ولا أنقص لمروءة ، ولا أضيع للذة ، ولا أشغل لقلب من خصومة

By Allah! I have never seen anything more destructive to Din, more damaging to chivalry, more thwarting to pleasure and more occupying to the heart than dispute.[3]


Taking all this into consideration, the object and expected result of this booklet is not to instigate hatred between the Muslims, or to ignite another flame of sectarian and religious tensions, whose fire burnt the Muslim Ummah for a period of time and still is, nor is it to establish emotional estrangement amongst their sects and groups, no matter what the stance is about accepting or rejecting their beliefs. The object of this study, after the pleasure of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, is to liberate the conflict areas amongst the people of one religion and to answer the questions that remain embedded in the hearts of the defender of religious differences (from both parties), which arises because of deficiency in one or both pillars of Shari’ah, i.e. knowledge and justice.

Justice is necessary for everyone, upon everyone, and in all conditions. Injustice is prohibited completely and cannot be permitted in any condition, as Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:


وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَىٰ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوْا ۚ اعْدِلُوْا هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوٰى ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيْرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُوْنَ

And do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is [fully] aware of what you do.[4]


The standard that we will accept to judge on the differences that arise amongst the Muslims, despite their different Mazhabs (school of thought) in beliefs and jurisprudence, is that which makes the Qur’an (which is such that falsehood does not approach from before it or behind it) and the authentic noble Sunnah of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam the focus point and judge over everyone. Anything other than that, are human statements and Ijtihad which can neither be used to differentiate between truth and falsehood nor as a criterion to judge any human.

Hence, the correct manner which we accept as a method of dealing with Muslim opposition and judging him is that which ‘Allamah al Muqbili rahimahu Llah had alluded to by saying:


اللهم إنه لا مذهب لي إلا دين الإسلام فمن شمله فهو صاحبي و اخي و من كان قدوة فيه عرفت له حقه و شكرت له صنعه غير غال فيه ولا مقصر فإن استبان لي الدليل واستنار لي السبيل كنت غنيا عنهم في ذالك المطلب وإن ألجأتني الضرورة إلى الرجوع اليهم وضعتهم موضع الأمارة على الحق واقتفيت الأقرب في نفسي الى الصواب بحسب الحادثة بريئا من الإنتساب الى امام معين يكفيني أني من المسلمين فإن الجأني الى ذالك الله ولم يبق لي من اجابتهم بد قلت مسلم مؤمن فإن مزقوا أديمي و أكلوا لحمي وبالغوا في الأذى واستحلوا البذا قلت سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ لَا نَبْتَغِي الْجَاهِلِينَ لا ضَيْرَ ۖ إِنَّا إِلَىٰ رَبِّنَا مُنقَلِبُونَ و أجعلك اللهم في نحورهم وأعوذ بك من شرورهم رب نجني مما فعله المفرقون لدينك وألحقني بخير القرون من حزب أمينك صلى الله عليه وسلم

O Allah, I have no Mazhab except the religion of Islam. Whoever is included in it will be my companion and brother. Whoever is a leader in it; I will recognise his right and appreciate his output without being extravagant or deficient. If any proof becomes evident to me and a path lightens up for me then I will become independent of them in that issue. If any necessity compels me to revert to them, then I will place them on a leadership position upon the truth and I will suffice upon that which I deem as closest to the truth in that instance, without affiliating to any specific imam. It is sufficient for me to be amongst the Muslims. If Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala entrusts me upon that and I have no option but to reply to them, then I would say that I am a Muslim and a Believer. If they tear my skin and eat my flesh, intensify in harm and resort to obscenity then I would say:

O Allah, I entrust you against them and I seek refuge in you from their evils. My Lord, save me from the actions of those who create disunity in your Din and join me to the best of times amongst the group of your trustworthy Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[5]


In this book, the author aspires to answer an old question which some of the senior scholars of the Imamiyyah[6] raise concerning the aversion of the majority of Muslims from following the Imamiyyah school in fundamental and subsidiary laws.

It has been a common practice that questions of this nature are answered in a convulsive manner because these questions generally appear in an argumentative, accusing, and rebuking way and not in a questioning, seeking clarity, and understanding way; aside from the abuse and belittling of the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum or the former and latter leaders and scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah that precedes or come with it. No critic can rebuke someone in an equally evil way to those who offend, ill-treat and violate him.

In this regard, I wish to point out that the Islamic centre is not devoid of studies that fall short in this subject matter or specializes in discussing the fiqh of the Jafari school. However, an observant person will realize that these studies did not fill this subject with adequate analysis. Most of the discussion is around isolated Fiqhi aspects of the Imamiyyah, particularly the aspects of Mutah and Khums. They all paid attention to explaining the effects of the beliefs of the school upon its jurisprudence[7], especially those related to the fundamental principles like Imamah, Ismah (infallibility of the Imams), and Tahrif (distortion of the Qur’an).

However, this basic observation remained confined to the studies of this field only. It does not include the historical research of the Jafari school, with regards to its origin, factors leading to its prominence, and general features. Similarly (the most important), the Prophetic objections found in the school according to the accepted methods and rules of deduction. This is what we envisage in this study. Noting the above, it would be good for us to commend two books concerning the research of what we have alluded to, because of them having been beneficial literature on this topic even though the benefits are implied and not explicit in what we desire to expound in this field. They are:

1. A booklet named Ghara’ib Fiqhiyyah Ind al Shia al Imamiyyah. It is written in the footnotes that it is authored by the Iraqi scholar Mahmud Shukri al Alusi (1342 AH). It is an offprint of the book al Suyuf al Mushriqah. Only the researcher, Dr Majid al Khalifah has mentioned it with this title.

The reality is that the book al Suyuf al Mushriqah is the condensed version of al Sawa’iq al Muhriqah of the Indian scholar Muhammad Khawajah Nasr Allah al Hussaini al Siddiqi al Hindi then al Makki. Taking this into consideration, it would be more suitable to attribute the offprint of the condensed version to the original book and not to the condensed version itself.

There is no biography of al ‘Allamah Muhammad Khawajah available; however, his book bears testimony to his expertise in tracking, deducing, and his vast knowledge. Not being famous will not harm him. It is sufficient to be known by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala informed His Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam about the other prophets that were chosen for his message, whom the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not know. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:


وَرُسُلًا قَدْ قَصَصْنَاهُمْ عَلَيْكَ مِن قَبْلُ وَرُسُلًا لَّمْ نَقْصُصْهُمْ عَلَيْكَ

And [We sent] messengers about whom we have related [their stories] to you before and messengers about whom we have not related to you.[8]


Therefore, it in not necessary to be famous and known. What is important is to be known to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.

The booklet emulates the seventh objective of the book al Suyuf al Mushriqah, which the author named as ‘chapter about those factors that prove the falsehood of the Shia. In this chapter, the author discusses the Fiqhi rulings of the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah Shia. Therefore, the researcher of the book deemed it appropriate (as he mentions in the forward) to name the offprint Ghara’ib Fiqhiyyah Ind al Shia al Imamiyyah.

This booklet is very precious in that it contains most of those Jafari Fiqhi rulings which the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah regard as rare and abnormal. It also attests to the author’s vast knowledge of the Fiqhi compilations of the Imamiyyah, which is rarely found in a Sunni scholar, particularly during that period of time where the availability of printed Shia books was very scarce.

However, because the book is an offprint and not an independent book, the author did not afford this subject the right it deserves as far as presentation, analysis, and criticism is concerned. He merely focused on discussing isolated Fiqhi rulings of the Imami Shia by briefly mentioning and commenting on it.

The researcher has enriched the booklet by consolidating its texts, attributing it to its origins in the respective books, presenting biographies of narrators and at times redressing the author. He who is not thankful to people, cannot be thankful to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.


2. The book named Usturat al Mazhab al Jafari, which is authored by an Iraqi scholar, Dr Taha al Dulaymi. The book, despite the severity of its title and being provocative towards the other party, contains smart gestures and brilliant texts. It is an argumentative book, albeit a small one. The author intends establishing the school’s weakness, contradictions in it, and expanding the circle of differences within it, contrary to what is usually mentioned. Thus, it is a book of response, argumentation, and religious dispute; and not a historical and systemic research on the Jafari school.

After reviewing these studies, the heart longed for something deeper; to dig into the history of the Jafari school’s origin, its initial cognitive intentions, and what transpired thereafter; to discuss Jafar al Sadiq. Who is he? What is his place in those narratives and Fiqhi (jurisprudential) compilations which represent the beliefs, Fiqh, and emergence of this school? What were the religious and political circumstances that prevailed? What are the prominent features of his Fiqh and what remain thereof?

Hence, the effort, and subsequently this book!



15 Muharram 1438 AH

16 October 2016


How strange is the case of the pen,

it drinks darkness and spills out light.


Abu Hafs ibn Burd al Asghar


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[1] Ibn Hayyan al Tawhidi: Muqaddamah al Basa’ir wa al Dhakha’ir.

[2] Surah al ‘Alaq: 6, 7.

[3] Ibn Abi al Dunya: Al Samt, pg. 158; Dham al Ghibat wa al Namimat, pg. 20.

[4] Surah al Ma’idah: 8; Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah, 5/126.

[5] Al Ilm al Shamikh fi Tafdil al Haqq ala al Aba’ wa al Masha’ikh, pg. 7.

[6] Most prominent amongst them: Al Sayed ‘Abdul Hussain Sharf al Din (1377 AH) in his book al Murajaat.

[7] Like the two books of Dr ‘Ali al Salus: Maa al Ithna Ashariyyah fi al Usul wa al Furu, in two volumes, Dar al Fadilah print, Riyad; and Athar al Imamah fi al Fiqh al Jafari wa Usulihi, Dar al Thaqafah, Qatar.

[8] Surah al Nisa’: 164.