Among the fundamentals and axioms of the Imamiyyah creed, which every acquainted person is aware of, is their belief in the infallibility of the Twelve Imams from all major and minor sins and that they do not speak out of desire and ijtihad. Rather, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala sends revelation upon them in the form of ilham (inspiration), dreams, and an angel. Their status is the exact same as the Prophets and Messengers. When this is their status, their statements in the sight of the adherents of Shi’ism is tashri’i nass (emphatic texts which determine principles of the Shari’ah) which are mandatory to be followed exactly like the statements of the Glorious Qur’an and Prophetic Sunnah. There is no difference at all between the two. Following this, if the statements of their Imams emphatically excommunicate the rest of the Muslims, the adherents of Shi’ism will regard this as a definite well-rooted tenet of faith. There is no escape but to surrender to it and believe completely in its demand.
To fully fathom the reality of the doctrine of Takfir coming from these Imams, it is necessary to study the statements attributed to them and documented in Shia compilations, ahadith books, and ‘aqa’id books. After searching for these narrations, the outcome was nothing out of the expected. Their books are replete with innumerable and inestimable declarations of their infallible Imams —upon whom revelation is sent in their belief. All unequivocally pronounce the disbelief of all Muslims—besides the Shia obviously—and obligate their adherents to hold this doctrine and practice according to its demand. I will endeavour to quote some of these which clearly mention this in emphatic terms compiled by their famous muhaddith Yusuf al Bahrani in his book al Hada’iq al Nadirah.
With regards the narrations indicating the disbelief of the opposition (referring to the Ahlus Sunnah), besides those considered weak, one is reported in al Kafi with his sanad from our master al Baqir ‘alayh al Salam who says:
إن الله عز وجل نصب عليا عليه السلام علما بينه وبين خلقه فمن عرفه كان مؤمنا ومن أنكره كان كافرا ومن جهله كان ضالا
Certainly, Allah—the Mighty and Majestic—appointed ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam as an authority between Him and His creation. Thus, whoever recognised him is a believer, whoever rejects him is a disbeliever, and whoever is ignorant of him is deviated.
It is reported from Abu Ibrahim ‘alayh al Salam who says:
إن عليا عليه السلام باب من أبواب الجنة فمن دخل بابه كان مؤمنا ومن خرج من بابه كان كافرا ومن لم يدخل فيه ولم يخرج منه كان في الطبقة الذين لله عز وجل فيهم المشيئة
‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam is one of the doors of Jannat. Whoever enters his door is a believer, whoever exits his door is a disbeliever, and the one who neither enters nor exits from it is in the category regarding whom Allah—the Mighty and Majestic—will decide.”
It is reported from al Sadiq ‘alayh al Salam:
من عرفنا كان مؤمنا ومن أنكرنا كان كافرا ومن لم يعرفنا ولم ينكرنا كان ضالا حتى يرجع إلى الهدى الذي افترضه الله عليه من طاعتنا الواجبة فإن مات على ضلالته يفعل الله به ما يشاء
Whoever recognises us is a believer. Whoever rejects us is a disbeliever. Whoever neither recognises us nor rejects us is deviant until he returns to the guidance Allah obligated upon him i.e. our mandatory obedience. If he dies upon his deviance, Allah will deal with him as He pleases.
Al Saduq reported in ‘Iqab al A’mal the statement of Abu Jafar ‘alayh al Salam:
إن الله تعالى جعل عليا عليه السلام علما بينه وبين خلقه ليس بينهم وبينه علم غيره فمن تبعه كان مؤمنا ومن جحده كان كافرا ومن شك فيه كان مشركا
Certainly, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala appointed ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam as an authority between Him and His creation; He has no other authority between them and Him. Thus, whoever follows him is a believer, whoever rejects him is a disbeliever, and whoever has misgivings regarding him is a mushrik (polytheist).
Al Barqi reports the same in al Mahasin. He also reports from al Sadiq ‘alayh al Salam:
إن عليا عليه السلام باب هدى من عرفه كان مؤمنا ومن خالفه كان كافرا ومن أنكره دخل النار
He reports through his sanad to al Baqir ‘alayh al Salam in al ‘Ilal:
إن العلم الذي وضعه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله عند علي عليه السلام من عرفه كان مؤمنا ومن جحده كان كافرا
The authority that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam appointed is by ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam. Whoever recognises him is a believer while whoever rejects him is a disbeliever.
He reports from al Sadiq ‘alayh al Salam in al Tawhid and Ikmal al Din wa Itmam al Ni’mah:
الإمام علم بين الله عز وجل وبين خلقه من عرفه كان مؤمنا ومن أنكره كان كافرا
The Imam is an authority between Allah—the Mighty and Majestic—and His creation. Whoever recognises him is a believer and whoever rejects him is a disbeliever.
He reports in al Amali via his sanad from the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who said to Sayyidina Hudhayfah al Yamani radiya Llahu ‘anhu:
يا حذيفة إن حجة الله عليكم بعدي علي بن أبي طالب عليه السلام الكفر به كفر بالله سبحانه والشرك به شرك بالله سبحانه والشك فيه شك في الله سبحانه والإلحاد فيه إلحاد في الله سبحانه والإنكار له إنكار لله تعالى والإيمان به إيمان بالله تعالى لأنه أخو رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله ووصيه وإمام أمته ومولاهم وهو حبل الله المتين وعروته الوثقى التي لا انفصام لها
O Hudhayfah! The proof of Allah upon you after me is ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib ‘alayh al Salam. Disbelief in him is disbelief in Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. Associating partners with him is associating partners with Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. Having misgivings about him is having misgivings about Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. Heresy with him is heresy with Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. Rejecting him is rejecting Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. Belief in him is belief in Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. This is because he is the brother of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, his Wasi, the Imam of his Ummah, and their master. He is the secure rope of Allah and His firmest, unfailing handhold.
He reports in al Kafi via his sanad to al Sahhaf:
سألت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام عن قوله تعالى فَمِنْكُمْ كَافِرٌ وَمِنْكُمْ مُّؤْمِنٌ فقال عرف الله تعالى إيمانهم بموالاتنا وكفرهم بها يوم أخذ عليهم الميثاق وهم ذر في صلب آدم
He explained, “Recognition of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala is their belief in our friendship and their disbelief in it the day the covenant was taken from them while they were tiny particles in the backbone of Adam.”
He reports through his chain from al Sadiq ‘alayh al Salam:
أهل الشام شر من أهل الروم وأهل المدينة شر من أهل مكة وأهل مكة يكفرون بالله تعالى جهرة
The residents of Sham are worse than the residents of Rome. The residents of Madinah and worse than the residents of Makkah. The residents of Makkah openly disbelieve in Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.
He reports through his sanad from one of them:
إن أهل المدينة ليكفرون بالله جهرة وأهل المدينة أخبث من أهل مكة أخبث منهم سبعين ضعفا
The residents of Madinah openly disbelieved in Allah. The residents of Madinah are more wicked than the residents of Makkah, seventy degrees more wicked than them.
He reports from Abu Masruq:
سألني أبو عبد الله عليه السلام عن أهل البصرة ما هم فقلت مرجئة وقدرية وحرورية قال لعن الله تعالى تلك الملل الكافرة المشركة التي لا تعبد الله على شيء
Abu ‘Abdullah ‘alayh al Salam asked me about the residents of Basrah, what they are.
I replied, “Murji’ah, Qadariyyah, and Haruriyyah.”
There are many more such narrations that the books of the Shia Imamiyyah have jam-packed, Allah forbid, to the extent that their scholars have stated that these narrations have reached the level of tawatur and great abundance and are thus independent of further discussion and investigation to establish their authenticity or their emphatic indication to the disbelief of the opposition (referring to the Ahlus Sunnah) among the Muslims.
Have a look at some of the statements of the Shia scholars in this regard:
Shia muhaddith Yusuf al Bahrani states after citing the narrations quoted above:
إلى غير ذلك من الأخبار التي يضيق عن نشرها المقام ومن أحب الوقوف عليها فليرجع إلى الكافي ولا سيما في تفسير الكفر في جملة من الآيات القرآنية
Coupled with other narrations, which cannot be quoted here due to brevity. Whoever wishes to be acquainted with them should refer to al Kafi especially the commentary of disbelief in the cluster of Qur’anic verses.
He quotes the declaration of their researcher Abu al Hussain al Sharif of it going beyond the limit of tawatur:
وقال والأخبار في ذلك أكثر من أن تحصى وليس هنا موضع ذكرها وقد تعدت عن حد التواتر وعندي أن كفر هؤلاء من أوضح الواضحات في مذهب أهل البيت عليهم السلام
He says: The narrations in this regard are greater than can be enumerated. There is no space to mention them here. They have passed the limit of tawatur. According to me, the disbelief of these people is from the clearest of obvious realities in the mazhab of the Ahlul Bayt ‘alayhim al Salam.
The seal of Shia muhaddithin al Majlisi states:
والأخبار الواردة في ذلك أكثر من أن يمكن جمعه في باب أو كتاب
The reports in this regard are greater than can possibly be compiled in a chapter or book.
والأحاديث الدالة على خلودهم في النار متواترة أو قريبة منها
The ahadith indicating their eternity in Hell are mutawatir or nearly mutawatir.
Shia learned scholar Muhammad Hassan al Najafi says:
وعلى كل حال فمنشأ هذا القول من القائل به استفاضة النصوص وتواترها بكفر المخالفين
Whatever the case, the purport of one making this statement is the abundance of categorical texts and their tawatur on the disbelief of the opposition (referring to the Ahlus Sunnah).
Shia great Sheikh al Ansari says:
ويدل عليه أخبار متواترة نذكر بعضها تيمنا وتشريفا للكتاب
Mutawatir reports indicate to it, some of which we will mention seeking good omen and honour for the book.
He then indicates to their great abundance after citing few with his words:
إلى غير ذلك مما لا يطيق مثلي الإحاطة بعشر معشاره بل ولا قطرة من بحاره
Coupled with others which my like cannot encompass even a tenth of, in fact not even a drop of its oceans.
Shia Ayatollah al ‘Uzma Muhsin al Hakim states:
وكيف كان فالاستدلال على النجاسة وأخرى بالنصوص المتجاوزة حد الاستفاضة بل قيل أنها متواترة المتضمنة كفرهم
Besides, citing as proof for impurity and other aspects through categorical texts that have surpassed the limit of abundance. In fact, it is supposed that they are mutawatir containing their disbelief.
Shia erudite scholar and exegesis ‘Abdullah Shibr declares:
وقد دلت أخبار كثيرة على كفر المخالفين يحتاج جمعها إلى كتاب مفرد
An abundance of reports establish the disbelief of the opposition (referring to the Ahlus Sunnah). A separate book is needed to compile these reports.
Shia Ayatollah al ‘Uzma [al Khu’i] suggests:
يمكن أن يستدل به على نجاسة المخالفين وجوه ثلاثة الأول ما ورد في الروايات الكثيرة بالبالغة حد الاستفاضة من أن المخالف لهم كافر
It is possible to present three arguments as proof for the impurity of the opposition (referring to the Ahlus Sunnah). Firstly, the topic of abundant narrations which reach the limit of istifadah (abundance) that their opposition is a disbeliever.
He also states:
وتدل عليه الأخبار المتواترة الظاهرة في كفر منكر الولاية
Mutawatir distinct reports indicate the disbelief of the rejecter of Wilayah.
وقد تمسك لنجاستهم بأمور منها روايات مستفيضة دلت على كفرهم كموثقة الفضيل بن يسار عن أبي جعفر ونحوهما أخبار كثيرة
A number of factors determine their impurity including the abundance of narrations asserting their disbelief like the document of Fudayl ibn Yasar from Abu Jafar and plenty narrations of their kind.
Thus, it is clear to us after this quick glance at the reported texts from the infallible Imams of the Shia and relied upon by the scholars and researchers of Shi’ism that the doctrine of Takfir is an established principle according to the Shia, which is independent of evidence. This silences the deceitful among them who reject its existence.
 I will shortly quote the acknowledgements of the Shia scholars of their abundance and profusion after reviewing some.
 I wish to draw the attention of the beloved readers to a subtle point of great significance. I have not quoted the narrations, which establish the concept of Takfir, from just any book on hadith or history, or an obscure book. Instead, I quoted from such a fiqhi book, which the Shia scholars consider one of the most reliable books of fiqh in their creed. The purport of this is that the theorem of the definiteness of the narration’s authenticity has been agreed upon by them. This is due to the fact that weak ahadith are not fit to be used as the basis for extracting fiqhi rulings at all, to which adherents of Shi’ism religiously adhere. Moreover, the mere reliance on these narrations of Takfir in such books, considered as proof to convict, definitely and emphatically establishes the firmness of this doctrine in their eyes. In fact, it is appropriate to turn attention to an extremely dangerous reality: Inclusion of such narrations in books of fiqh and worship indicates unequivocally that such a doctrine holds a scope greater than being simply an article of faith in the heart, to the necessity of it developing into implemented behaviour and practical acts of worship through which proximity is sought to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. And this is the hidden danger and the source of the sickness which we will witness vividly in front of our eyes in its ugliest form in section two of this treatise, Allah willing.
 The purport of the term: al mukhalifin (opposition) are all Muslims besides the Shia Imamiyyah, more specifically the Ahlus Sunnah who believe in the legitimacy of the caliphate of Sayyidina Abu Bakr and Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. Shia Ayatollah al ‘Uzma Muhammad Sa’id al Hakim who resided in Najaf writes in his book al Muhkam fi Usul al Fiqh, vol. 6 pg. 194, “Apparently, the purport of al ‘ammah (general masses) is the opposition (referring to the Ahlus Sunnah) who befriend Sheikhayn (Sayyidina Abu Bakr and Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma) and view the legitimacy of their caliphate notwithstanding their different sects, since this is the purport of the titles mentioned in the reported texts.” I will shortly be elaborate in quoting these texts, which establish the meaning of al mukhalif in their sight, in section two of this treatise, Allah willing.
 Usul al Kafi, vol. 1 pg. 437, new print.
 Usul al Kafi, vol. 2 pg. 389.
 Usul al Kafi, vol. 1 pg. 187.
 Al Mahasin, pg. 89. The wording is:
علي باب الهدى من خالفه كان كافرا ومن أنكره دخل النار
‘Ali is the door of guidance. Whoever opposes him is a disbeliever and whoever rejects him will enter Hell.
 Al Bihar, vol. 7 pg. 27.
 Al Bihar, vol. 9 pg. 283.
 Surah al Taghabun: 2.
 Usul al Kafi, vol. 1 pg. 426, new print.
 Usul al Kafi, vol. 2 pg. 409.
 Usul al Kafi, vol. 2 pg. 410.
 Usul al Kafi, vol. 2 pg. 409.
 Al Hada’iq al Nadirah, vol. 5 pg. 181 – 183.
 Al Hada’iq al Nadirah, vol. 5 pg. 183.
 Al Hada’iq al Nadirah, vol. 5 pg. 177.
 Al Majlisi: Bihar al Anwar, vol. 8 pg. 365 – 368.
 Al Najafi al Jawahiri: Jawahir al Kalam, vol. 36 pg. 93 – 94.
 Al Ansari: Kitab al Taharah, vol. 2 pg. 352.
 Muhsin al Hakim: Mustamsik al ‘Urwah, vol. 1 pg. 392.
 ‘Abdullah Shibr: al Anwar al Lami’ah fi Sharh Ziyarat al Jami’ah, pg. 150.
 Al Khu’i: Kitab al Taharah, vol. 2 pg. 84.
 Al Khu’i: Misbah al Faqahah, vol. 1 pg. 323.
 Khomeini: Kitab al Taharah, vol. 3 pg. 326.