Section Three – The concept of Takfir: A Definite Consequence of considering Imamah a Fundamental of Din

Section Two – Distinguished personalities of the Shia subscribing to the concept of Takfir and their distinct belief in it
September 16, 2022
Chapter Two The – Influence of the Concept of Takfir on the Shia Conduct with the Rest of the Muslim World – Introduction
September 19, 2022

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Section Three

The concept of Takfir: A Definite Consequence of considering Imamah a Fundamental of Din

 

Introduction

In order to increase the benefit and complete the picture image in the minds of the readers, I have endeavoured here to explain a logical consequence. The concept of Takfir according to the Shia is a necessary consequence of the ideology on which Shi’ism is founded and which distinguishes it from the sects of the Muslims. The ideology I speak of is the concept of Imamah and their considering it a fundamental of din with which a person’s iman is complete and his Islam is sound and without which iman is negated and he is considered a disbeliever. If we consider properly the fundamental upon which Shi’ism rests, we will be able to determine with absolute certainty their excommunication of all other Muslim sects. Even if we are unable to acquire any evidence, whether reported text, emphatic statements, or acknowledgements, that establishes this against them. O reader, here is the brief explanation so that you may know that the concept of Takfir is emersed in its fundamentals before even resorting to the ‘fabricated’ reports of the Imams and scholar’s declarations that indicate to it. The Shia consider Imamah a fundamental of din, like Tawhid, Nubuwwah, and the Afterlife. In fact, they consider it more significant and important than some of the major fundamentals like Nubuwwah.[1] From their scholars who affirmed this are:

  1. Shia Ayat Allah al ‘Uzma ‘Allamah and Muhaqqiq Jafar Subhani. He quotes to us the consensus of the Shia in his book al Milal wa al Nihal under the heading: Is Imamah from the fundamentals or branches. He declares:

 

الشيعة على بكرة أبيهم اتفقوا على كونها أصلا من أصول الدين وقد برهنوا على ذلك في كتبهم ولأجل ذلك يعد الاعتقاد بإمامة الأئمة من لوازم الإيمان الصحيح عندهم وأما أهل السنة قد صرحوا في كتبهم الكلامية أنها ليست من الأصول

The Shia—all without exception—are unanimous of it being a fundamental of din. They have supported this with evidence in their books. Owing to this, belief in the Imamah of the Imams is considered a necessary component of sound iman according to them. The Ahlus Sunnah have clearly stated in their ‘aqa’id books that it is not a fundamental.[2]

 

اتفقت كلمة أهل السنة أو أكثرهم على إن الإمامة من فروع الدين … هذا ما لدى أهل السنة وأما الشيعة فالاعتقاد بالإمامة عندهم أصل من أصول الدين

The unanimous stance of the Ahlus Sunnah or majority of them is that Imamah is a secondary issue of din. This is according to the Ahlus Sunnah. The Shia consider belief in Imamah a fundamental of din.[3]

 

  1. Muhammad Rida al Muzaffar states:

 

نعتقد أن الإمامة أصل من أصول الدين لا يتم الإيمان إلا بالاعتقاد بها

We believe that Imamah is a fundamental of din. Iman is incomplete without belief in it.[4]

 

  1. Khomeini says:

 

الإمامة إحدى أصول الدين الإسلامي

Imamah is one of the Islamic fundamentals of din.[5]

 

  1. ‘Abdul Hussain al Muzaffar states:

 

ولأجل هذا وجب علينا أن نبحث عن الإمامة لأنها أصل من أصول الدين ولا يستقيم بدونها

Due to this, it is necessary for us to discuss Imamah for it is a fundamental of din without which din will not be proper.[6]

 

  1. Ayat Allah al ‘Uzma Nasir Mukarim al Shirazi says:

 

فالإمامة في نظر طائفة الشيعة وأتباع مذهب أهل البيت عليه السلام من أصول الدين والأسس العقائدية بينما تعتبر نظر طائفة أهل السنة من فروع الدين والأحكام العملية

Imamah in the sight of the Shia sect and the followers of the mazhab of the Ahlul Bayt ‘alayhim al Salam is a fundamental of din and an essential article of faith whereas it is considered part of the branches of din and practical laws by the Ahlus Sunnah sect.[7]

 

He says:

 

لهذا يعتبرالإيمان بالإمامة جزءا من أصول الدين لا من فروع الدين

Therefore, belief in Imamah is considered one of the fundamentals of din, not from the branches of din.[8]

 

  1. ‘Ali al Hussaini al Milani says:

 

وأما أن الإمامة من أصول الديانات والعقائد أم هي من الفروع فالحق أنها من الأصول كالنبوة

Is Imamah from the fundamentals of din and articles of faith or from the branches? The truth is that it is from the fundamentals like Nubuwwah.[9]

 

  1. Ayat Allah al ‘Uzma ‘Abdul Hussain Sharaf al Din writes:

 

فعلم أنها ترمي إلى أن ولاية علي من أصول الدين كما عليه الإمامية

It is thus known that this means that the Wilayah of ‘Ali is from the fundamentals of din as judged by the Imamiyyah.[10]

He also states:

 

مع أن إمامتهم من أصول الدين على رأي الشيعة

Coupled with their Imamah being a fundamental of din in the view of the Shia.[11]

 

Their distinct texts establishing Imamah as one of the fundamentals of din brings forth a logical definite outcome. The breakdown is that one who opposes them in this doctrine and rejects it, the verdict against him will be the same as the verdict against one who rejects the other three fundamentals of din viz. Tawhid, Nubuwwah, and the Afterlife. The verdict against one who rejects any of these is disbelief and expulsion from the fold of Islam with unanimous acceptance from all Muslims. Hence, it is the natural consequence and the expected outcome that the Shia scholars pass the verdict of disbelief and expulsion from the fold of Islam against one who opposes them in Imamah in a similar way.

O brother reader, have a look at the manifestation of this logical premise into a reality, clearly stated by their scholars and sources.

  1. Shia Muhaqqiq Yusuf al Bahrani states:

 

إنك قد عرفت أن المخالف كافر لا حظ له في الإسلام بوجه من الوجوه كما حققناه في كتابنا الشهاب الثاقب وليت شعري أي فرق بين من كفر بالله سبحانه وتعالى ورسوله وبين من كفر بالأئمة عليهم السلام مع ثبوت كون الإمامة من أصول الدين

You have come to realise that the opposition (referring to the Ahlus Sunnah) is a disbeliever, who has no portion in Islam whatsoever, as we have determined in our book al Shihab al Thaqib. I wish I knew the difference between one who denies Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and His Messenger and one who denies the Imams ‘alayhim al Salam with the establishment of Imamah as a fundamental of din.[12]

 

  1. Al ‘Amili titled al Shahid al Thani (The Second Martyr) states:

 

وأيضا قد عرفت مما تقدم أن التصديق بإمامة الأئمة عليهم السلام من أصول الإيمان عند الطائفة من الإمامية كما هو معلوم مذهبهم ضرورة وصرح بنقله المحقق الطوسي رحمه الله عنهم فيما تقدم ولا ريب أن الشيء يعدم بعدم أصله الذي هو جزؤه كما نحن فيه فيلزم الحكم بكفر من لم يتحقق له التصديق المذكور وإن أقر بالشهادتين … و ذلك لأنا نحكم بأن من لم يتحقق له التصديق المذكور كافر في نفس الأمر … وحاصله أن الموجب لحكمنا بكفره هو علمنا بأنه لم يعتقد ما يتوقف حصول الإيمان على اعتقاده وهذا العلم باق ما دام لم يعتقد فالحكم بكفره باق باطنا و ظاهرا

Furthermore, you have come to realise from the above that belief in the Imamah of the Imams ‘alayhim al Salam is one of the fundamentals of iman according to a group of Imamiyyah as is essentially known of their mazhab. Al Muhaqqiq al Tusi—may Allah have mercy on him—has clearly transmitted this from them as mentioned earlier. Undoubtedly, the non-existence of the core of something, which is part of it, results in the item being non-existent, as in the present scenario. It is thus imperative to declare the disbelief of one who does not subscribe to the aforementioned belief, although he proclaims the shahadatayn. This is because we judge that one who does not hold the aforementioned belief is a disbeliever in reality. The gist of what necessitates our judgement of his disbelief is our knowledge that he does not believe in what attainment of iman is dependent upon. This knowledge remains as long as he does not believe. Thus, the verdict of his disbelief remains internally and externally.[13]

 

  1. Shia ‘Allamah Muhammad Jamil Hamud has not simply declared Imamah a fundamental of din; he took the pains to emphatically declare the dangerous consequence of it, i.e. excommunication of all Muslim sects. This he done while refuting an objection against them. His wording is:

 

إنه لو كانت الإمامة من أصول الدين للزم خروج الفرق الإسلامية غير الاثني عشرية عن الدين ولزم تكفير المنكرين لها فيكون بذا الإسلام فرقة واحدة والباقي كفارا

Had Imamah been a fundamental of din, this would necessitate the exiting of all Islamic sects besides the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah from din and would further necessitate the excommunication of all those who reject it [Imamah]. This would result in Islam being one sect while the remainder would be disbelievers.

 

He then acknowledges this outcome—the excommunication of all Muslims—and adheres to it declaring:

 

إن التكفير من لوازم عدم الاعتقاد بإمامة العترة الطاهرة

Excommunication is the necessary result of failing to believe in the Imamah of the pure family.[14]

 

Their consensus is thus formed on dooming their opposition in Imamah to the fire of Hell forever and ever, like the rest of the disbelievers, the Jews and Christians.[15] To the extent that even if their opposition agrees with them in attesting to all the other fundamentals of din, even if he pronounces the shahadatayn, establishes Salah, pays Zakat, fasts in the month of Ramadan, and performs Hajj of the Ka’bah. Neither attesting to all the fundamentals agreed upon nor practicing upon the pillars and all the other great acts of worship will avail one in the least in the view of the Shia, when he rejects Imamah in the meaning determined by them. His inevitable abode in their view is eternity in the fire of the Blaze. His condition is exactly the same as one who did not practice upon a single act of Islam nor attest to a single fundamental. They view him as one who did not believe in Allah for the batting of an eyelid, like the fire-worshippers and idol worshippers. This belief is agreed upon by the declarations of the authorities of Shi’ism and consensus has been formed upon it.[16] It is thus an established reality. Attributing it to them is not a fabrication, forgery, or exaggeration against them in the least.

At the close of this section, I have concluded the discussion with establishment the concept of Takfir according to the Shia with conviction, and its firm-rootedness in their minds, and explained thoroughly how this concept is founded essentially and necessarily since Shi’ism was instituted and its fundamentals were founded. Before this, I had established the stance from the texts of the Imams and the declarations of their scholars. With this, I bring chapter one of this treatise to a close. I hope that with it our slumber and lengthy negligence of the concept of the Shia ends, so we may determine the truth from falsehood, which will allow us to build properly by selecting quality bricks and carefully choosing supports.

 

NEXT⇒ Chapter Two The – Influence of the Concept of Takfir on the Shia Conduct with the Rest of the Muslim World – Introduction


[1] Some of their declarations which clearly award preference to Imamah over Nubuwwah are:

Ayat Allah al ‘Uzma Nasir Mukarim al Shirazi comments on verse 124 of Surah al Baqarah in his commentary al Amthal, vol. 1 pg. 324:

 

فمنزلة الإمامة أسمى مما ذكر بل أسمى من النبوة والرسالة

The station of Imamah is loftier than what was mentioned. It is in fact loftier than Nubuwwah and Prophethood.

 

Ayat Allah al ‘Uzma Kazim al Ha’iri states in al Imamah wa Qiyadat al Mujtama’, pg. 29:

 

فمقام الإمامة إذن فوق مقام النبوة

Thus, the station of Imamah is above the station of Nubuwwah.

 

Ayat Allah Sheikh Muhammad Baqir al Hakim—who is considered one of their most outstanding political figures—writes in his book al Imamah wa Ahlul Bayt al Nazariyyah wa al Istidlal, pg. 22:

 

إن الإمامة هي مرتبة عالية أعلى من درجة النبوة

Imamah is a lofty station, greater than the station of Nubuwwah.

[2] Al Milal wa al Nihal, vol. 1 pg. 257.

[3] Al Ilahiyyat, vol. 4 pg. 9 – 10.

[4] ‘Aqa’id al Imamiyyah, pg. 102.

[5] Kashf al Asrar, pg. 149.

[6] Al Shafi fi Sharh Usul al Kafi, pg. 49.

[7] Nafahat al Qur’an, pg. 9 – 10.

[8] Nafahat al Qur’an, pg. 12.

[9] Al Imamah fi Ahamm al Kutub al Kalamiyyah, pg. 43.

[10] ‘Abdul Hussain Sharaf al Din: al Muraja’at, pg. 260.

[11] ‘Abdul Hussain Sharaf al Din: al Fusul al Muhimmah fi Ta’lif al Ummah, pg. 154.

[12] Al Bahrani: al Hada’iq al Nadirah, vol. 18 pg. 153.

[13] Al Shahid al Thani: Haqa’iq al Iman, pg. 131 – 132.

[14] Al Fawa’id al Bahiyyah fi Sharh ‘Aqa’id al Imamiyyah, vol. 2 pg. 26.

[15] As a matter of fact, there are reports, which clarify that the abode of a Muslim who opposes the Shia is not just like the abode of the Jews and Christians in the Hereafter in severity of punishment. Rather, he will be punished more severely as spelled out by Shia ‘Allamah Muhammad Hassan al Najafi while presenting the reports which contain this. He writes in his book Jawahir al Kalam, vol. 36 pg. 93 – 94, which is considered the glorious feat of Shia fiqh:

 

وعلى كل حال فمنشأ هذا القول من القائل به استفاضة النصوص وتواترها بكفر المخالفين وأنهم مجوس هذه الأمة وشر من اليهود والنصارى التي قد عرفت كون المراد منها بيان حالهم في الآخرة

In any case, the purport of this statement is the abundance and tawatur of the texts of the disbelief of the opposition (referring to the Ahlus Sunnah) and they being the fire-worshippers of this Ummah and more evil and wicked than the Jews and Christians—the purport of which you realise is highlighting their condition in the Hereafter.

 

He says in the same book, vol. 30 pg. 97:

 

فوجب حينئذ حمل النصوص على ذلك نحو ما دل على أنهم كفار وأنهم شر من اليهود النصارى أي في الآخرة

In this case, it is necessary to apply the texts to this, which indicates that they are disbelievers and more evil than the Jews and Christians i.e. in the Hereafter.

 

Whoever desires further details should refer to my treatise on the subject with the title: Mawqif al Shia al Imamiyyah min Baqi Firaq al Muslimin (The Stance of the Shia Imamiyyah on the other Muslim sects).

[16] Whether they clearly state this or not. The mere fact that some did not clearly mention the formation of this consensus does not mean them not believing in it or rejecting it. Whoever believes contrary to this should present to us snippets from the book of the authorities and experts of Shi’ism. We, before everyone else, will be happier and experience greater joy. Alas, this is far from reality:

 

قَدْ بَدَتِ الْبَغْضَاءُ مِنْ أَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَمَا تُخْفِيْ صُدُوْرُهُمْ أَكْبَرُ

Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, and what their breasts conceal is greater. Surah Al ‘Imran: 118.