Unity of the Muslim ummah is the ultimate goal of every Muslim:
وَإِنَّ هَٰذِهِ أُمَّتُكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَأَنَا رَبُّكُمْ فَاتَّقُوْنِ
And indeed this, your religion, is one religion, and I am your Lord, so fear Me.
The Ahlus Sunnah have made undying efforts in order to achieve this unity. Consider the fact that they seek closeness to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala through the love of the Ahlul Bayt, consider ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu more virtuous than Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and believe that the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are all ‘udul (just) and therefore it is not permissible to doubt them or attack their honour.
If the differences with the Shia was solely based around the conflict of ‘Ali and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, a resolve would have been simpler. However, the reality is far more grave as will be outlined below. Hereunder is a summary of the points of differences:
We differ with the Shia regarding the Qur’an. One of the senior scholars of al Najf, al Haj Mirza ibn Muhammad Taqi al Nuri al Tabarsi, has authored a book titled Fasl al Khitab fi Ithbat Tahrif Kitab Rabb al Arbab. In this book he has gathered the statements of the Shia in various eras that depict their belief regarding the interpolation of the Qur’an; additions have been made to it and some portions deleted. This book was published in Iran in 1289 A.H.
In their book, al Kafi the following is related from Abu Basir who said:
دخلت على أبي عبد الله – إلى ان قال أبو عبد الله – أي جعفر الصادق – : وان عندنا لمصحف فاطمة عليها السلام – قال وما مصحف فاطمة؟ قال : مصحف فيه مثل قرآنكم هذا ثلاث مرات والله ما فيه من قرآنكم حرف واحد
I went to visit Abu ‘Abdullah… Abu ‘Abdullah [Jafar al Sadiq] said, “And we possess the Mushaf of Fatimah ‘alayh al Salam.”
The narrator says that he asked, “What is the Mushaf of Fatimah?”
He replied, “A Mushaf wherein there is thrice the amount of what is in your Qur’an but it does not have a letter that appears in your Qur’an.”
The Shia of today ascribe to these beliefs and views, especially since they have published books that reaffirm this. In 1394 A.H. a book was published by one of their scholars in Kuwait which he named, Al Din Bayn al Sa’il wa al Mujib. Mirza Hassan al Ha’iri, the author poses the following question and answer on page 89 of his book:
والمعروف أن القرآن الكريم قد نزل على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم على شكل آیات مفردة فكيف جمعت سور ومن أول من جمع القرآن، وهل القرآن الذي نقرؤه اليوم يحوي كل الآيات التي نزلت على الرسول الأكرم محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم أم أن هناك زيادة ونقصانا.. وماذا عن مصحف فاطمة الزهراء عليها السلام؟ ..
نعم ان القرآن نزل من عند الله تبارك وتعالى على رسول الله محمد بن عبد الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم في ۲۳ سنة . يعني من أول بعثته إلى حين وفاته ، فأول من جمعه وجعله بين دفتين كتابا هو أمير المؤمنين علي بن أبي طالب عليه السلام، وورث هذا القرآن امام بعد امام من ابنائه المعصومين عليهم السلام ، وسوف يظهره الامام المنتظر المهدي اذا ظهر . عجل الله فرجه، وسهل مخرجه ثم جمعه عثمان في زمان خلافته وهذا هو الذي جمعه من صدور الأصحاب، أو مما كتبوا وهو الذي بين أيدينا والأصحاب هم الذين سمعوا الايات والسور من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ، وأما مصحف فاطمة فهو مثل القرآن ثلاث مرات وهو شيء أملاه الله وأوحاه اليها … صحيفة الأبرار ص ۲۷ عن بصائر الصغار.
It is well known that the Noble Qur’an was revealed to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the form of separate verses, so how was the chapters gathered? And who was the first to gather the Qur’an? Does the Qur’an we recite today include all the verses revealed to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, or are there some additions and deletions? And what is the reality of the mushaf of Fatimah al Zahra’ ‘alayh al Salam?
Yes, the Qur’an was revealed from Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala upon Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam over the period of 23 years, i.e. from the beginning of prophethood to his passing. The first to gather it and compile it in book form was Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib ‘alayh al Salam. The Imams, from his progeny and infallible, inherited this Qur’an one after another. Soon the awaited Imam al Mahdi will display it when he shows himself, may Allah ease his coming. Then ‘Uthman gathered it during his reign of caliphate relying on the memory of the Sahabah and that which was written down. This is the copy of the Qur’an that we have today. The Sahabah were the ones who heard the verses and chapters from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. As for the Mushaf of Fatimah, it is three times the size of the Qur’an, and it was dictated to her and revealed to her by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.
This book was published in Kuwait 55 years ago and we have not heard of a single scholar refuting al Ha’iri. Al Ha’iri promoted his book in a city whose residents are known to be part of the Ahlus Sunnah. The question then is, who are the ones causing dissention and lighting the fire of fitnah? Without doubt it is al Ha’iri and his people.
Those amongst them who state that the Qur’an is free from interpolation are using the doctrine of Taqiyyah. This is quite evident as they all form a consensus on the treachery of the Sahabah. How can one believe in the veracity of the Qur’an if they believe that those who compiled it to be untrustworthy? How can we attest to their statements when on the other hand they ardently proclaim prayers of mercy when mentioning the names of al Tabarsi and al Kulayni?
Notwithstanding their above mentioned views, they also interpret the Qur’an according to their own desires, in ways the shari’ah does not recognize and does not rely on any proof. Consider the following example:
Under the commentary of the verse
فَتَلَقَّىٰ آدَمُ مِنْ رَّبِّهِ كَلِمَاتٍ فَتَابَ عَلَيْهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمْ ُ
Then Adam received from his Lord [some] words, and He accepted his repentance. Indeed, it is He who is the Acceptor of repentance, the Merciful.
سئل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم عن الكلمات التي تلقاها آدم عليه السلام من ربه فتاب عليه قال : قد سأله بحق محمد وعلي وفاطمة والحسين الا تبت فتاب عليه
The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was asked regarding the words received by Adam ‘alayh al Salam from his Lord by which He accepted his repentance.
He said, “He asked Him by virtue of Muhammad, ‘Ali, Fatimah, and Hussain for forgiveness and was forgiven.”
We differ with the Rawafid in this second principle aspect of the Islamic creed, the Sunnah. The Shia do not believe in the ahadith recorded in Sahih al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, the Masanid, and Sunan. When they approach the general masses of the Ahlus Sunnah, they begin by questioning the reliability of Sahih al Bukhari first and then the reliability of the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam after that.
If the Shia were to have it their way with the Sunnah, the loss to the Muslims will be immeasurable. It is solely through the Sunnah that we have understood the Noble Qur’an, it is through the Sunnah that we have learnt the method and injunctions of Salah, Zakat, fasting, and Hajj.
The Rawafid only cite the narrations of al Bukhari and Muslim to serve their own purposes. They will narrate from these books if they believe a narration is in line with their cause against the Ahlus Sunnah or it coincides with a narration from their books.
Since we differ with the Shia in the Qur’an and the Sunnah, it is quite evident that we would differ with them on the issues of Ijma’ and Qiyas.
The Shia believe in the infallibility of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib and the 11 Imams from his progeny—from the sons of al Hussain. They regard them to be more virtuous than all the Prophets besides the seal of the Prophets, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
The Shia hold the view that all the Sahabah turned apostate expect for 5; ‘Ali, al Miqdad, Salman al Farsi, Abu Dharr, and ‘Ammar ibn Yasir. When they speak of:
superstition and false objects.
They refer to Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.
التقية دیني ودين آبائي
Taqiyyah is my doctrine and the doctrine of my forefathers.
When one askes them, how was it that ‘Ali pledged allegiance to the Khalifas before him and why did ‘Ali marry his and Fatimah’s daughter [Umm Kulthum] to ‘Umar? They reply by saying, “Taqiyyah.”
Such heinous character cannot be attributed to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He was a brave soul who did not fear anything or anyone besides Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.
The Shia travel to the places of battle and graves at Karbala’ and al Najf. They circumambulate around these graves and offer animal sacrifices at these places.
Al Mufid, one of their scholars, has authored a book entitled Manasik Hajj al Mashahid. Muhibb al Din al Khatib says:
I once read on the 10th of Muharram in the Thursday edition of their Iranian newspaper ‘Barjam al Islam’ published by ‘Abdul Karim Shirazi. I saw in this edition some Arabic couplets; the opening lines of the poem was as follows:
فما لمكة معنى مثل معناها
هي الطفوف، فطف سبعا بمغناها
دانت، وطاطأ أعلاها لأدناها
ارض ولكنما السبع الشداد لها
It is Karbala: circumambulate its treasures seven times.
For Makkah itself has not what this place has;
Earth it is, but before it is the seven heavens submit,
Bringing their highest level on par with their lowest.
Bear in mind that these graves they sing of and travel to have no legitimacy to them. They revere these places and graves, build golden domes atop them, and spend millions on them. It is as though their only effort is to turn people away from monotheism.
Mut’ah is the permissibility of union between a man and a woman for a stipulated period of time and for a stipulated amount of dowry after which there is separation without any right of inheritance to either party.
Mut’ah was permitted in the early stages of Jihad and was thereafter abrogated by irrefutable proofs, amongst them the narration of Salamah ibn al Akwa’ recorded by Muslim and the narration of ‘Ali recorded by al Bukhari and Muslim.
These are some of the points of differences between us and the Shia. We have not looked at our differences with them in all matters of worship. We have simply surveyed a small sample of our differences with them which should be sufficient for our brothers of the Ahlus Sunnah who hold them in high esteem and consider our differences with them to be in the secondary matters of faith and not in the primary matters of creed.
 Surah al Mu’minun: 52.
 Al Kafi, vol. 1 pg. 239. Tehran, Darul Kutub al Islamiyyah. The narration of Abu Basir is lengthy in which they believe that the Imams have knowledge of the unseen.
 Sahifah al Abrar, pg. 27, quoting from Basa’ir al Sighar.
 Surah al Baqarah: 37.
 See Minhaj al Sunnah of Ibn Taymiyyah with the annotations of Dr Muhammad Rashad Salim, vol. 1 pg. 154, quoting from their book Minhaj al Karamah fi Ma’rifat al Imamah of Ibn al Mutahhir al Hilli.
 Al Kulayni: Al Kafi, vol. 1 pgs. 227-258.
 Al Muntaqa min Minhaj al I’tidal, pg. 68.
 Annotations on al Muntaqa’ of Muhibb al Din al Khatib, pg. 51.