In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
All praise is due to Allah. We praise Him, seek His help, forgiveness and protection from the evil of our souls and bad actions. Whoever Allah guides is truly guided, and whoever He misguides, will not find anyone to guide him. I bear witness that there is no deity besides Allah, alone. He has no partners. I testify that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.
Indeed it is among the great principles of Islam to collectively hold onto the rope of Allah and to abstain from disunity. Allah Ta’ala says:
وَاعْتَصِمُوْا بِحَبْلِ اللّٰهِ جَمِیْعًا وَّلَا تَفَرَّقُوْا
And hold firmly to the Rope of Allah all together and do not become divided.
Allah says again:
اِنَّ الَّذِیْنَ فَرَّقُوْا دِیْنَهُمْ وَکَانُوْا شِیَعًا لَّسْتَ مِنْهُمْ فِیْ شَیْءٍ
Indeed, those who have divided their religion and become sects — you, [O Muhammad], are not [associated] with them in anything.
The Muslims followed the path of guidance and true religion, corresponding to the authentic narrations and the obvious demands of logic, which was the path upon which Allah sent His Messenger. This continued until the assassination of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, whereupon the great strife occurred and the Muslims fought against one another at Siffin. This is where the foreseen deviation took place. Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam described it in the following words:
تمرق مارقة على حين فرقة من المسلمين يقتلهم اولى الطائفتين بالحق
Their deviation occurred when the two arbitrators concluded their matters and people separated without agreeing. Thereafter, the innovation of the Khawarij was followed by the innovations of Shi’ism, and then different sects continued to emerge, just as Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam informed us. Shi’ism first appeared in Kufah. Shia narrations have stated that none of the cities of the Muslims accepted their ideology except Kufah, thereafter, it spread to the other cities. Irja, Qadr and I’tizal also first appeared in Kufah. Incorrect sacrifices started off in Basrah, but their strength was realised in Khurasan.
All of these innovations took place in areas that were far from the ‘City of Nubuwwah’. This is because innovations do not flourish and spread except when ignorance prevails, and the people of knowledge and iman are scarce. It is for this reason that one of the predecessors said:
It is from the good-fortune of a new Muslim and a non-Arab that Allah guides him to a scholar from the Ahlus Sunnah.
These people would be affected very quickly by mischief and deviation on account of their poor ability of recognising misguidance and finding its flaws.
Thus, the best method to fight deviation and undo sectarianism is to spread the Sunnah between the masses, and explain to them the deviation of those who do not abide to it. This is why the Imams of the Ahlus Sunnah exerted themselves in this matter, explained the condition of the deviates and refuted their assumptions. Imam Ahmed refuted the views of the irreligious ones and the Jahmiyyah. Imam al Bukhari did the same to the Jahmiyyah. Imam Ibn Qutaybah refuted the views of the Jahmiyyah and the Mushabbihah and al Darimi rejected the views of Bishr al Murisi and others.
It is indisputable that explaining the condition of those sects which have left the fold of the Ahlus Sunnah, and have strayed away from the ahadith; is absolutely important. This removes confusion from the people and it clarifies the truth. It is a means of spreading the din of Allah and it serves as a proof against the deviant sects. Thus, destruction and salvation will take place after the establishment of proof. The truth will not seem obscure to anyone. The deviants misguide their followers purely on the basis of doubts and flimsy statements. This is why their followers are either irreligious or ignorant. Therefore, it is necessary to educate the ignorant and to expose the irreligious so that they are known and avoided.
Exposing the leaders of the innovators — who oppose the Qur’an and Sunnah — is incumbent, according to the consensus of the Muslims. This is to the extent that when Ahmed ibn Hanbal was asked, “what is more pleasing to you: for a man to engage in optional salah, fasting and i’tikaf, or for him to expose the innovators?”, he replied, “if he engages in optional salah, fasts and does i’tikaf, then the benefit thereof will be confined to him. However, if he exposes the innovators, all the Muslims will benefit. Thus, it is better for him to expose the innovators.”
He explained that the benefit of this reaches the general Muslims, the same as fighting in the path of Allah. Cleansing the path of Allah, His din, His shari’ah and repelling the rebellion and hatred of these people is indispensable. This is established from the unanimity of the Muslims regarding it. If Allah did not elect people to repel the evils of these people, then the din would have been totally corrupted. The harms of this would be worse than the harm of those enemies who conquer our lands. This is because when they conquer, their primary aim is not to corrupt the hearts and the din therein. As for these people, their primary effort is the corruption of the hearts.
The enemies who have been waiting for the opportunity to attack Islam have found in these sects — which have opposed the majority — a great niche which they may utilise to stir up conflict among the Muslims. It is not far-fetched that today the enemy is trying to maximise from this problem in their effort to counter the signs of the Islamic awakening which is expanding in all areas of society, and to stall the progress thereof, as it is on the verge of destroying their roots. They have adopted from the reports of their advisors (who pay special attention to the history and beliefs of these sects) — a methodology which they wish to implement in their relations with Muslims and their countries. This reveals to us the reason why they nurture some of these groups and pave the path for them to acquire positions of leadership and authority.
There is no doubt that explaining the reality of these groups will narrow the chances of the enemy as far as maintaining and widening the areas of differences is concerned. This is because turning a blind eye to the leaders of these irreligious innovators and allowing them to continue their efforts in misguiding people, gaining more followers, deceiving the masses and claiming that their buffoonery is part of Islam; will only turn people away from the din of Allah and His shari’ah. One of the reasons behind the increase of atheists is that many of them mistook the actions of these people to be Islam, and when they realised its stark contradiction to basic logic; they became completely antagonistic towards religion itself.
In this era, most of the groups who oppose the majority have become weak, lost their ambition and supporters and even withdrew. Thus, they pose no real threat to the Ahlus Sunnah. The Shia, however, are increasing daily in their attacks upon the Ahlus Sunnah in the form of physical injury, criticism of their din and a concerted effort to spread their ideologies among them.
It is perhaps the sect of the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah Shia (Twelvers) who are making the most effort to misguide the masses, if they are not the only sect doing so. Their perpetual insolence and plots against the Ahlus Sunnah is unmatched by any other sect. My experience with the problem of Shi’ism started when I was tasked with compiling a thesis for my masters on the subject, “the idea of bridging the gap between the Ahlus Sunnah and the Shia”. After completing my studies on the subject of ‘bridging the gap’, I wished to acquire a doctorate in the field of researching some of the classical books. Thus I submitted an application to research the first volume of the book, al Jawab al Sahih li man Baddala Din al Masih (The correct answer to those who have changed the religion of the Messiah) of Ibn Taymiyyah. However, professors from that faculty as well as others advised me to continue my studies regarding Shi’ism, as there was a greater need to do an academic study of it as an independent subject.
After further consultation and seeking guidance from Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, I resolved to do an in-depth study of the fundamental doctrines of the Shia. I made this decision despite knowing very well that the effort required for this subject surpasses the required effort of the former subject to a great extent. This is because I am now burdened with the study of an entire religion, not just the book of one person. I have singled out and selected the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers) instead of all the other sects of the Shia due to the following reasons:
1. They are the sect with the largest resources as far as books, institutions and legacy is concerned. This is to the extent that they name their beliefs, “the religion of the Imamiyyah” and not just a “the mazhab (codification of law) of the Imamiyyah”. This is also because their religion is completely different to the religion of the rest of the ummah. It is sufficient for you to know that one of their hadith sources from the Imams comprises of one hundred and ten volumes, i.e. Bihar al Anwar of al Majlisi (d. 1111 A.H)
2. This sect leaves no stone unturned in its effort to spread its religion. They have propagators (who have no other duty in life besides this propagation) set up in almost every place. Their main aim is to propagate their beliefs among the Ahlus Sunnah. I do not think that any other sect is equally passionate and serious about spreading their ideas. Today, they are exerting their energies in order to spread their religion in the Islamic world and strengthening their revolution. They are adopting many different avenues by which they wish to establish their leading country.
Due to the efforts of the Shia pundits, many Muslim youth have left their religion and embraced Shi’ism. Whoever reads the book The Epitome of Glory Regarding the History of Basrah and Najd will be shocked, as he will learn that entire tribes were converted to Shi’ism. The embassies in the Shia country of Iran have been turned into centres of propagation of their religion, especially among students and those making an effort for Islam in the Muslim world. They are more concerned about converting Muslims instead of non-Muslims.
There is no doubt that the responsibility of clarifying the reality for the Muslims is a great one, especially for those who have fallen prey to Shi’ism on account of their love for the Ahlul Bayt and thought that this was the right path, the path of truth.
3. It is the largest Shia sect in the world in this era. Most of the Shia sects which were found throughout history have been incorporated into this sect. It presents, in its sources, a summary of the ideologies and views of the different Shia groups which sprang up along the centuries. Thus, it has been said that when the word Shia is used, it refers to them alone.
4. This group champions the call towards bridging the gap between the Shia and the Ahlus Sunnah. They set up centres, send propagators and hold conferences through which they wish to spread the idea of ‘Islamic unity’.
5. This group sings a song about how close their religion is to the Ahlus Sunnah and that they are falsely accused and oppressed. They go out of their way to defend their religion and publish many books and pamphlets calling towards it. They even study the books of the Ahlus Sunnah with the sole intent of finding faults therein and refuting them. None of the above can be found to this extent in any other deviant sect.
6. Its excessive attacks upon the Ahlus Sunnah, especially the Sahabah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and its criticism of the fundamental books of the Muslims. This is done on the tens of books which they publish annually. Similarly, they carry out harsh fanatical attacks against anyone who does a critical analysis of their books or their sect, using the excuse that these books widen the gap of disunity and impedes upon the efforts of Islamic unity. Due to this, many writers have held back their pens from writing against them.
7. The great difference of opinion between contemporary writers regarding them caught my attention. One group holds the opinion that they are kuffar and they have overstepped the boundaries of Islam, as stated in the books of Ustadh Muhibb al Din al Khatib, Ihsan Ilahi Zahir, Ibrahim Jabhan and others. A second group assumes that the Shia are a moderate group, which did not get involved in extremism like the sects of the Batiniyyah. This view can be found in the books of al Nashshar, Sulaiman Dunya, Mustafa al Shak’ah and others. The third group is completely confused, to the extent that they have queried from the Shia pundits regarding that which Ihsan Ilahi Zahir and Muhibb al Din al Khatib have written regarding them.
The truth is often obscured as a result of these differences, or at least, it becomes obscured to many. Therefore, I have given due importance in this book to the noise made, especially by the contemporary Shia, in defence of their religion and in criticism of those who wrote about their religion from the Ahlus Sunnah. Our predecessors have written regarding the Shia, who they have referred to as the Rawafid. These writings have had their effects. They include; the books Abu Nu’aym, Ibn Taymiyyah, al Maqdisi, Firoz’abadi and all the other books which discusses sects and beliefs. However, these writings were penned before the spread and distribution of Shia books. Thus, only a few of them contain refutations of the writings of the Shia, and none of them discusses the sect in a comprehensive manner, covering all of their beliefs and ideologies.
Furthermore, the truth regarding the Shia — on account of their expertise in dissimulation — is often misunderstood. This is why we find, in a book such as The Commentary of Sahih Muslim, the opinion that they do not declare the Sahabah disbelievers and that their only mistake is that they do not grant superiority to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. We also find Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah, despite his careful study of Shi’ism and his criticism thereof, mentioning, “reliable people have told me that some of them believe that pilgrimage to the Mash-hads (shrines)is greater in virtue than Hajj to the Ka’bah,” whereas today, this is a well-known belief established by tens of narrations and many chapters in their essential books.
Similarly, the most important book of the Shia is Usul al Kafi. Yet you will not find any mention of it by al Ash’ari, Ibn Hazm or Ibn Taymiyyah. This book is the main source of narrations from the Imams and it is the foundation according to modern day Shia. This could be attributed to another factor, that this religion regularly undergoes a metamorphosis. It does not remain the same for two generations. Al Mamaqani, one of their greatest leaders in the present era states:
ان ما يعتبر غلوا عند الشيعة الماضين اصبح اليوم من ضرورات المذهب
That which was considered extremism by the previous Shia is now considered fundamentals of the religion.
This constantly changing religion needs to be unmasked and portrayed for what it is in this era.
Another reason why this book is important is that most of the other books, which were written by the former scholars, are mere answers to Shia allegations against the Ahlus Sunnah on the basis of that which appears in the books of the Ahlus Sunnah. These scholars then went on to point out the fact that those narrations were either fabricated, unauthentic or misconstrued by the Shia. However, the Shia do not have the slightest confidence in any of the books of the Ahlus Sunnah. They simply raise these objections to achieve two goals:
Firstly, to occupy the Ahlus Sunnah with these objections, so that they do not find the time to review their (Shia) books, statements and narrators.
Secondly, to comfort the confused and doubtful among them by claiming that their (bizarre) views are agreed upon by the Ahlus Sunnah.
Unfortunately (for them), the books of the Shia are available today, like never before. Therefore, these books should be the basis of all studies and critiques, as every sect can only be held accountable for that in which they believe and affirm. As for the contemporary books of the Ahlus Sunnah regarding the Shia, they are very few if compared to the amount that the Shia have written regarding the Ahlus Sunnah. They are definitely insufficient as far as dealing with the Shia is concerned. Their religion stands upon hundreds of books which serve it, call towards it and presents its beliefs and ideologies. Studying these and analysing them would require great effort and lots of work.
I have noticed that these studies (done by the Ahlus Sunnah) neglect some pertinent aspects of the study of Shi’ism, such as studying their beliefs regarding the basics of din, which I have tried to cover in the second chapter of this book. Similarly, they overlook the importance of knowing the views of contemporary Shia, their motives, relationship with older sects and their classical books. I have discussed this in the fourth chapter of this book.
The subject is really vast and it has many aspects to it. It can only be solved by doing a new study which continues until nothing of the Shia remains unknown. This is why I have chosen to tackle the subject academically, in a way that brings to light many new and important discoveries. Perhaps the following two stand out the most;
I have also written regarding when the idea of Tahrif (adulteration of the Qur’an) was first introduced into their religion, as well as the first book that was written to prove this lie. I have exposed this book and traced the date and time when it was written. Another fact that I have exposed is that Sheikh Ibn Taymiyyah and his book Minhaj al Sunnah played a great role in them changing their approach to hadith and thereafter classifying them as sahih (authentic), da’if (unauthentic) and muwaththaq (approved).
The matter of the existence of the al Mahdi, upon whom the present day Shia base their religion, has also been researched. Important testimonials from the very family of Hassan al ‘Askari, the Ahlul Bayt and Hassan al ‘Askari himself were presented. These were taken directly from Shia books. There are many other aspects of this nature, which the reader will come across in this book.
My methodology in this book is that I explain each matter to the extent that if the reader wishes to add on anything, then he will know where to find the appropriate material. This is because I have tried to suffice — as far as the discussed topics are concerned — upon indicating towards them or reproducing new texts, as I have done regarding their belief that Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma were kafir and in those texts which expose the extremism of the Shia regarding it, which were quoted by al Sheikh Musa Jar Allah, Ihsan Ilahi Zahir and others. I have tried to quote texts from the Shia which refer to them in a subtle manner and thereafter I have quoted their explanations from the books of the Shia.
As for the methodology which governed my approach towards tackling this subject and creating the opportunity for more to be added on, I have adopted it because the chapters of this discussion speak for themselves, and they are the most revealing as far as the subject is concerned. I deem it appropriate to indicate to a few aspects of this methodology. Firstly, I started of my journey by going directly to Shia sources instead of referring to secondary sources. This guarantees that the discussion will not be based upon misunderstandings.
Secondly, I tried my utmost to stay within an objective framework, as required by a subject that is as closely related to beliefs as the one that I have researched. True objectivity demands that one should be absolutely honest when quoting from their books, quote from the most reliable sources according to them, be just when making a decision and try ones best to find the narrations which are authenticated and often quoted in their own sources — as far as this is possible.
Along the course of my research, I have criticised those aspects, the falsehood of which deserved to be exposed and criticised. This does not go against objectivity. Rather, it is the duty of every Muslim to do so. It is unconditionally imperative to denounce in a befitting manner, expose the heinousness of the crime and the evilness of beliefs such as the belief that the Qur’an has been tempered with, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is the First, the Last, the Apparent and the Hidden and similar blasphemous beliefs. Choosing not to do so will be a great treachery and a disservice to the Muslim reader.
Thus, I have quoted their beliefs as per my methodology, but wherever I found that the subject required a lengthier critical study, I added on an extra discussion. However, I did not stick to this throughout the book, as certain subjects were such that the fallacious nature thereof was self-evident. It is for this reason that Sheikh Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah stated that a proper presentation regarding any deviant is sufficient to prove their deviance. If the presentation is up to standard, there is no need for any other proof. The only reason why doubts have cropped up is because people do not understand the reality and intended meanings of their ambiguous statements which often have multiple meanings.
Thus, at times, I sufficed upon a good presentation of the reality of the statements and simply indicating to the falsity thereof, especially in the subsidiary matters. This is unlike my approach towards the greater issues such as the issues of Nass, the Sahabah, etc., where I have added a critique to each one of them in the light of the Qur’an, Sunnah sayings of their Imams, obvious matters and matters which are agreed upon.
In engaging them I will employ the method of internal textual criticism, by comparing their various narrations and thereafter pointing out the contradictions and differences between them as much as possible. The other angle from which I dealt with their arguments was that I criticised them in the light of their very own logic, principles and narrations. This in no way means that I agree with them upon those principles to any extent. It was only for arguments sake that I used those narrations, as they go a long way in exposing the reality of the Shia religion. It exposes the degree of their non-compliance to their own principles and how they pick and choose (without any valid reason) between their narrations.
The ‘reliable’ books of the Shia were the primary sources for the quotations regarding their beliefs. However, I did not overlook the other sources in most cases. The reason being that it will be beneficial for the reader to have both in front of him so that he can compare the two, realise the degree to which the older scholars were conversant with Shi’ism and he can also see the enormous changes that kept on taking place in their religion along the centuries.
Other services that I have rendered in this book are; I have traced all the ahadith and statements of the predecessors in this discussion back to their sources, presented a brief overview regarding the groups and sects mentioned, explained the technical terminology, wrote basic biographies regarding those who introduced some of the Shia beliefs and I explained whatever else I thought needs explanation. I chose not to introduce the reader to every single influential personality who appears herein, as this will preoccupy the reader from the actual subject, and this can easily be found in the books of history and biographies. Rather, I presented a summary regarding all the sects and groups who have been mentioned as this is more relevant to the subject matter.
My study demanded that I overcome a few difficulties:
 Surah Al ‘Imran: 103
 Surah al An’am: 159
 This is one of the names of the Khawarij. They are the ones who revolted against ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu after he agreed to arbitration. Thus, he fought them on the Day of Nahrawan. Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam commanded that they should be killed in many authentic ahadith. Al Bukhari and Muslim contain tens of ahadith regarding them. Al Bukhari reports three, whilst Muslim reports the rest. (Sharh al Tahawiyyah pg. 530) Ibn al Qayyim quotes all of them together in Tahdhib al Sunan (7/148-153). Read more about their beliefs and sect in Al Farq Bayn al Firaq (pg. 72) and Al Milal wa l-Nihal (1/146) and Al Fisal (5/51-56).
 Refer to Sahih Muslim (with the commentary of al Nawawi) Kitab al Zakat, Bab Dhikr al Khawarij wa Sifatihim 7/68.
 Refer to Minhaj al Sunnah of Ibn Taymiyyah 1/218-219.
 The hadith about the ummah splitting into seventy-three sects is as stated by Ibn Taymiyyah, “a mash-hur (one level below mutawatir) and authentic hadith, which appears in the Sunan and Masanid (different types of hadith books).” (al Fatawa 3/345, gathered by ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Qasim). “There are so many narrations of the hadith regarding the splitting of the ummah into seventy-three sects that no doubt can remain regarding the meaning thereof.” (al ‘Ilm al Shamikh pg. 414).
It should be noted that this hadith has been narrated without mentioning that any of them will be doomed. This version has been reported by most of the hadith scholars including the authors of the Sunan (besides al Nasa’i). Other versions mention that one will attain salvation and the rest will be doomed. This is not reported by any of the authors of the Sunan besides Abu Dawood in Kitab al Sunnah (4573). It is also reported in Al Darami (2/241), Ahmed (4/102), Hakim (1/128) and al Ajurri reports it in al Shari’ah (pg. 18).
Just as the Ahlus Sunnah have reported this hadith, the Shia have also done so. The wording reported by them is, “my ummah will split into seventy two groups, from which seventy one groups will be doomed and one will attain salvation. They asked, ‘who will that group be o Rasulullah?’ He replied, ‘the majority, the majority, the majority!’” Another narration states, “My ummah will split up into seventy three sects after me. One sect from them will attain salvation and seventy two will be in hell.” Refer to al Khisal of Ibn Babawayh al Qummi (2/584-585). There is also a narration which states that all the sects will attain salvation besides one, i.e. the irreligious sect. The ‘ulama have classified this narration as a fabrication. Refer to Kashf al Khafa (1/369), Al Asrar al Marfu’ah (pg. 161). There is no clear mention in these narrations that all these sects will be from the Shia. Added to that, it is unambiguously stated that the sect that will attain salvation is the majority (not the Shia)!
 Bihar al Anwar 100/259.
 The belief that sins make no difference as long as a person has iman.
 Rejection of the concept of pre-destination.
 In principle, to give preference to ones logic over the texts of Islam.
 Ibn Taymiyyah: Majmu’ Fatawa 20/301.
 Ayub al Sakhtiyani: Sharh Usul I’tiqad Ahlus Sunnah li Lalika’i 1/60. This statement applies to the early days of Islam. In this belated era, Arabs and non-Arabs are equally in need of scholars from the Ahlus Sunnah, as innovations have become widespread among all nations.
 The followers of Jahm ibn Safwan who held many deviant beliefs.
 Ibn Taymiyyah: Majmu’at al Rasa’il wa l-Masa’il 5/110.
 Al I’tiqad by Ibn Babawayh is referred to as Din al Imamiyyah. Refer to al Fahrist of al Tusi pg. 189, Agha Buzrug: al Dhari’ah 2/226.
 The reason will be discussed later on in the book; one can also refer to Fatawa Ibn Taymiyyah 28/478.
 Refer to Fikrat al Taqrib Bayn Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Shia pg. 511.
 Refer to Al Khutut al ‘Aridah by al Khatib, Al Shia wa l-Sunnah by Zahir and Tabdid al Zalam by Jabhan.
 Nash’at al Fikr al Falsafi by al Nashshar, vol. 2 pg. 13, al Shia wa Ahl-Sunnah by Sulaiman Dunya and Islam bi la Mazhab by Mustafa al Sha’kah pg. 194.
 Minhaj al Sunnah 2/124.
 Tanqih al Maqal 3/23
 Al Sheikh al Tonsawi indicates in his book, ‘Aqa’id al Shia, to this belief in a very ambiguous manner. Thereafter, he quotes a narration from al Kafi which also does not explain the reality of this belief.
 Majmu’ Fatawa Sheikh al Islam 2/138 (compiled by al Sheikh ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Qasim).Back to top