Shah Ismail, first King of the Safavid Dynasty

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December 2, 2022
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December 2, 2022

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Shah Ismail, first King of the Safavid Dynasty

[907 AH, 1501 CE]


As explained, Shah Ismail killed the leader of Aq Qoyunlu and established the Safavid Dynasty. He nominated the city of Tabriz as its capital. One of his first actions, was the proclamation of the Twelver sect of Shi’ism to be the official religion of his newly formed state, the Safavid Dynasty. He then focused on spreading Shi’ism to all the regions which makes up current day Iran. When he was advised that his decree would be rejected since the Iranian people were of the Shafi’i school of thought and thus formed part of the Ahlus Sunnah, he said:


اني لا أخاف من أحد … فان نطق الرعية بحرف واحد فسوف امتشق الحسام ولن أترك احداً على قيد الحياة

I fear no one. If the public were to oppose my decree by saying one word, I will unsheathe my weapons and leave not a single one alive.[1]


He then minted coins with the following inscription:


لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله علي ولي الله

There is no God but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, ‘Ali is the vicegerent of Allah.


He also inscribed his name onto the coin.[2]

He instructed the clerics of the Masjids to revile the three Rightly Guided Khalifas whilst at the same time to go above and beyond in preaching the holiness of the Twelve Imams. The Ahlus Sunnah suffered a woeful tragedy in Iran and were forced to adopt the Imami creed after Shah Ismail killed a million Sunnis in a matter of a few years.[3] He would test the Ahlus Sunnah by way of various methods. For instance, he would ask a Sunni to revile the Khalifas and if the person obliged, he would ask him to revile them even more. If the person did so, he would be let go and in the case of refusal he would immediately decapitate him. He passed a decree to have the Sahabah and Khalifas reviled in the streets, markets, and on the pulpits. Warnings would also be issued to the Ahlus Sunnah of decapitation.[4]


How did Shah Ismail manage to take control of all of Iran?

Prior to the Safavid Dynasty, Iran and Iraq were ruled by the Aq Qoyunlu Empire and before that the Qara Qoyunlu Empire. Both of whom held roots in Turkmenistan. Ismail al Safavi and his forefathers also lived under this Turkmen rule; however, ‘Sufism’ and blind following result in their acceptance of Shi’ism. They thus became the Sufi Shia and were knowns as the Qizilbash as noted previously. The followers of Ismail were primarily from the tribes of Shamlu, Qajar, Takkalu, Dhu Qadr, Afshar, and Rumlu. These tribes formed a vicious militia as the Sufi Shia and later became a murderous army for Shah Ismail. They murdered the Shafi’i folk of the Ahlus Sunnah, as well as those of the Hanafi school of thought throughout Iran. The Safavids impacted their followers on a metaphysical level. Consider the following:

Some Persian Shia sources recount Shah Ismail on a hunting trip with his sufi followers in the region of Tabriz when they passed by a river. He crossed the river by himself and entered a cave. After some time, he emerged with a sword and informed his traveling companions of having met al Mahdi in the cave who spoke to him and said, “The time of emergence has drawn close.” He further stated, “The Mahdi then held him by his back and raised him up three times, then placed him on the ground. He then pulled Shah Ismail by his belt, and placed a dagger in the belt and told him, “Go forth for I have authorized you”[5]

Shah Ismail remained worried and in a state of uncertainty after that, until he claimed that he saw ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu in a dream. He told him, “Son! Do not let these worries confuse your thoughts … Bring the Qizilbash with their complete weaponry to the Masjid of Tabriz and order them to surround the people … If the people express any objection during the sermon which will be given in the name of the Ahlul Bayt, the soldiers will end the matter.”[6]

The Shah did as he was ordered during the Friday gathering, and brought along his followers from among the Qizilbash. He surrounded the Masjid of Tabriz and announced the authority of the Twelver branch under the rule of the Safavid State.

The reason behind this call, was to detach and divert away from the beliefs and the concepts of Taqiyyah and Intizar (waiting for the arrival of al Mahdi), which the scholars of the Shia had for long carried as one of their fundamental principles, which entailed the abandoning of Jihad and armed conflicts until the arrival of al Mahdi. When they wanted to diverge from these beliefs, they came up with another set of beliefs and tales to justify their departure from these core positions of their school. In essence, they held erroneous beliefs and then fashioned others that were even more deviated.

In his analysis, Roger Savory highlights that the Safavids relied on the belief of a divine right given to the Iranian kings before Islam, by around 7 000 years, and that they were the rightful inheritors of this right. When Hussain ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma married the daughter of the Persian King Yazdegerd after the Battle of al Qadisiyyah, and she gave birth to Imam Zayn al ‘Abidin ‘Ali, two rights converged; the right of the descendants of the Ahlul Bayt in the caliphate (as per the view of the Twelver Shia), and the right of the Iranian Kings (as per the view of the Iranians).[7] In addition to this, they saw themselves as being appointed by the Mahdi and his authorized representatives.

This is in regards to Shia Iranian influence on the movement and its effect.

In regards to the sufi influence on the movement, then it had supplemented the Safavid with reliance on visions and dreams. The Safavids mention that one of the sufi Sheikhs, namely Sheikh Zahid al Kilani, who taught their grandfather Safi al Din al Ardabili, foretold following a dream seen by Safi al Din Aal Ardabili, that “The descendants of this master will overtake the world, and elevate day after day, until the time of the awaited Mahdi.”[8]

Visions and inspirations had a magical influence in those sufi circles, which is why this prophecy had a great effect on the Qizilbash, who believed that the rule of the Safavids will remain until the emergence and arrival of the Mahdi. For this reason, their belief was profoundly shaken after the Battle of Chaldiran between Shah Ismail and the Ottoman Sultan Salim in the year 920 AH/1512 CE and the subsequent defeat of Shah Ismail. As a result of this defeat, conflicts erupted between the Qizilbash, and internal fighting emerged between them after this battle, a result of the quavering of this belief in their minds.[9]

There was also another influence at play here. The sufi order of Iran and the Baktashiyeh order in Turkey were both orders that held extreme views in relation to the holiness of mortals just as the extreme Batiniyyah.[10]

Shah Ismail was a conglomerate of sectarian intolerance, extremism, takfir, and he also had thirst for blood.[11]

His close friend, Ibrahim ibn Ṣibghah Allah Ḥaydarī[12] in “‘Unwān al Majd” (pg. 119) narrated about him that, he excessed in his killings to the point that he killed the King of Shirvan, and ordered his body to be placed in a large pot and cooked![13]

He also mentions that Shah Ismail did not head to any town in Iran, except that he committed extremely shocking atrocities, from killing to looting and torture. He also killed the great scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah and burned their books, until many scholars retreated to the Kurdish Sunni areas in the north of Iraq, and among them was the grandfather of the author of ‘Unwān al Majd himself. Shah Ismail killed 20,000 Sunnis from the city of Tabriz alone.

Shah Ismail then ordered his soldiers to prostrate to him.

His thirst for blood was such that he used to dig up the graves of the Sunni scholars and burn their bones. Whenever he would kill a leader of the Ahlus Sunnah he would make that leader’s wife and wealth lawful for one of his followers. His followers used to revere him, and believe that he was unbreakable and could not be defeated, and that none could overpower him.[14]

That is an overview of Shah Ismail, the founder of the Safavid State, which is considered the foundational state for every Twelver Shia state to come after it.

Shah Ismail expanded throughout Iran pursuing the territories of the Aq Qoyunlu dynasty. He went to the south of Tabriz, to the city of Hamadan conquering it and defeated Murad-Beq the leader of the Aq Qoyunlu tribes, who escaped to Shiraz.[15] Shah Ismail continued on until he ended the rule of the Turkmen Sunni over Iran in the year of 909 AH.[16]

Shah Ismail then took over Persia, Karman, Khuzestan (i.e., Arabistan), Mazandaran, and Astarabad.[17]

Thereafter, Shah Ismail headed east towards Khorasan and conquered it in 916 AH, and took over the city of Mashhad. During the same year, he headed towards Merv in the North-Eastern part of Iran and slaughtered more than 10,000 of its inhabitants from among the Sunnis who refused to adopt Shi’ism.[18]

He then tried to expand to the land of the Uzbeks in 918 AH, and sent one of his generals for this purpose, but that general was defeated and killed. This resulted in weakening his front in this region. The Uzbeks waged their own attack against him, and were close to claiming Khorasan, but Shah Ismail was able to win it back.


Shah Ismail Entering Iraq and Taking over Baghdad

It is well known to all that Baghdad was the capital of the Abbasid Empire which fell to the Mongols in the year 656 AH. After the Mongols began ruling over Iraq, they established a khanate and called it the Ilkhanate. This was until the Jalayirid Sultanate followed by the Qara Qoyunlu and then the Aq Qoyunlu which began its reign from the year 806 AH and lasted up to the rule of its last Sultan, Sultan Murad, who ruled the year 903 AH. In the year 914 AH Shah Ismail intended capturing Baghdad and thus sent his commander, Hussain Bek Lalah. The governor of Baghdad, Barik Beg was defeated and Muhammad Kamunah, the shrine keeper of Najaf, was freed the very same day. He had been imprisoned by Barik Beg, governor of Baghdad, since he had been awaiting the army of the Shah and had been feeding the people of Baghdad, and greater Iraq, false hopes and deceptive ideas of Shah Ismail being a just ruler. This was at a time when the people of Baghdad and the other regions of Iraq were in an upheaval, lacked a sense of social security, and were on the lookout for a leader who would quell their anxieties.

When Hussain Bek Lalah entered Baghdad without any fight and liberated Muhammad Kamunah from prison, he warmly welcomed him and exalted him. Both of them then travelled to Shah Ismail, who was in Iran, to deliver the good news of the conquest of Baghdad.[19]

Shah Ismail then came to Baghdad and honoured Muhammad Kamunah, granting him a lofty post. He then visited the cities of Karbala’ and al Najaf, honouring its residents and embellishing the cities with golden chandlers, and valuable silky drapes and carpets. During this period, he also chastised some of the Southern Clans.[20]

This is the gist of his undertakings in Iraq.

Now we return back to the discussion of the perpetrations carried out by Shah Ismail at Baghdad and to its people. The (Sunni) populous of Baghdad did not resist the Shah, since Muhammad Kamunah had recited tales of his justice and impartiality, whilst they themselves were going through a period of turmoil and upheaval under the reign of Aq Qoyunlu. He fed them tales so they may aspire for a turn of leadership, a new leader, that will save them from the mayhem they faced. Shah Ismail though, instructed his commander Hussain Bek Lalah to demolish the city of Baghdad and to murder the Ahlus Sunnah, specifically, the pious amongst them. This was not all, he then turned his attention to the graveyards of the Ahlus Sunnah, exhumed the dead, and burned their bones.

He began subjecting the Ahlus Sunnah to torments and torture whilst also resorting to handing them over to the Shia. The Shia would plunder their wealth and then kill them; an effort to have them convert to Shi’ism. He razed the Masjid Abi Hanifah al No’man to the ground in the Adamiyah neighbourhood. He further desecrated the grave of the Imam and had it dug up. He demolished the Hanafi madrasahs and destroyed many Masjids.[21] He also killed all those who were known to be from the progeny of Khalid ibn al Walid radiya Llahu ‘anhu in Baghdad, for no other reason than them hailing from his progeny. He was truly cruel and merciless in his killing.[22]

The Shia have documented this era and in particular these incidents in their own works. One of their historians, known as Ibn Shadqam has in his book, Tuhfah al Azhar wa Zilal al Anhar, which has been published in Iran in four volumes, stated:


فتح بغداد وفعل بأهلها النواصب ذوي العناد ما لم يسمع بمثله قط في سائر الدهور بأشد أنواع العذاب حتى نبش موتاهم من القبور

He conquered Baghdad and dealt with its people, the Nawasib, in a manner unheard of before. He subjected them to various methods of torture to the extent of digging their graves and exhuming their bodies.


We note here they call the Ahlus Sunnah, the Nawasib, simply because they do not adhere to the beliefs of the Shia and as such are Nawasib and by extension deserve to be killed.[23]

This ideology of Shah Ismail was not singularly of his own making. Rather, it was a thought that developed from the Shia scholars whom he had galvanized and united from Lebanon, al Najaf, and various other regions. They, together, developed the idea of fueling deep seeded hate against the Ahlus Sunnah. In other words, wherever you find this group, you will find the Shia scholars behind them.

Many of the Ahlus Sunnah fled from the city, escaping the atrocities. Amongst those who fled, was the Gilani family who fled to Egypt and to the Levant, after Shah Ismail had desecrated the grave of ‘Abdul Qadir. They escaped and informed the Muslim world of the Shia Safavid atrocities at Baghdad and unto its people.[24]

News of the great massacre of the Ahlus Sunnah reached the Ottoman Empire at Anatolia. This was after they had already come to know of the Ahlus Sunnah being forcibly converted to Shi’ism in Iran and the murder of thousands of others. Add to this the bold insolence of Shah Ismail in sending a call to his cause to the heart of the Ottoman Empire; the result was a meeting convened by Sultan Salim Ⅰ in the year 920 AH/1514 CE with the influential men of the state, its judiciary, scholars, and politicians. They passed a resolution deeming the Safavids a threat to the Muslim world and specifically to the Ottoman Empire. Thus, the Sultan declared jihad against the Safavids. The initial measures adopted were as follows:

  1. Sultan Salim sent a letter to Shah Ismail employing a harsh tone and strong language.
  2. He cleared his metropolis (Turkey) of those Shia who were adherents to the Safavid Shah. They served as a fifth column to Shah Ismail.

With Shah Ismail not responding to the correspondence of Sultan Salim Ⅰ by way of submitting, the Sultan resolved to march with his army, bolstered by the remnants of the Aq Qoyunlu house. When Shah Ismail came to know of their intent, he attempted to delay the war to the winter; a tactical decision seeking the self-destruction of the Ottoman Army through hunger and the frigid cold.

Sultan Murad, however, pushed on with his army at which point Shah Ismail sensed the gravity of the situation and sought an armistice. The Sultan though, continued on to the Chaldiran Plain, north of Tabriz where he reached in 920 AH/1514 CE and crushed the Safavid army in their own land. Shah Ismail fled leaving behind all his wealth. His wife was captured and the betrayer, Muhammad Kamunah who had gone to Tabriz with the Shah was killed. And, thus, Shah Ismail was defeated with his image suffering a terrible blow in front of his army, the Qizilbash. Baghdad though remained under the occupation of the Safavids.

Shah Ismail, well aware of his weak position, sought out allies to assist him against the Ottomans. The Portuguese, a super power in the Arab lands, had ambitions of capturing the Gulf region with their fleets in the Arabian sea and Arabian Gulf; their general, Afonso de Albuquerque captured the Strait of Hormuz.

These developments deluded Shah Ismail into forming an alliance with the Portuguese against the Ottoman Empire. His mother, Martha and her mother, Theodora—the Christian Greek—were frankly instrumental in forming this alliance. Hereunder we reproduce the correspondence sent by Albuquerque to Shah Ismail the Safavid:


إني أقدّر لك احترامك للمسيحيين في بلادك، وأعرض عليك الأسطول والجند والأسلحة لاستخدامها ضد قلاع الترك في الهند، وإذا أردت أن تنقض على بلاد العرب أو تهاجم مكة فستجدني بجانبك في البحر الأحمر، أمام جدة أو في عدن أو في البحرين أو القطيف أو البصرة، وسيجدني الشاه بجانبه على امتداد الساحل الفارسي وسأنفذ له كل ما يريد

I extend my appreciation to you for the veneration you have shown to the Christians in your state.[25] I am sending fleets, armies, and weapons that you may bring into use against the Turkic naval force in India. When you intend to rise up against and attack the Arab lands or Makkah, then you will find me by your side at the Red Sea, Jeddah, Aden, Bahrain, al Qatif, or at Basrah. The Shah will find me by his side along the Persian coast and I will carry out all he intends.[26]


And thus, a coalition was signed between the Christians of Portugal and Shah Ismail, granting them sovereignty over the Hormuz Strait in lieu of assisting the Shah in invading Bahrain and al Qatif. They also came to an agreement in dividing Eastern Arabia with the Safavids occupying Egypt and the Portuguese, Palestine.[27]

This dream of theirs, by the grace of Allah and the efforts of the Ottomans, did not come to fruition.[28] The Ottomans uncovered the correspondence of conspiracy between the Safavids and the Mamluks in invading Egypt. They made haste in entering Egypt and quelled the Mamluks, even though this was one of the reasons that delayed Sultan Salim in defeating Shah Ismail and his dynasty.[29]

Yes, the Portuguese did seize control of the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf.

Shah Ismail continued his stay at Hamdan, returning to Tabriz after the passing of the Ottoman Sultan the year 926 AH/1520 CE.

He met his end not long after, the year 930 AH/1524 CE.


NEXT⇒ Innovations of the Safavid Era

[1] Muhammad Jawad Mashkur: Tarikh Iran Zamin, pg. 267.

[2] Dr Badi’ Muhammad Jumu’ah: Al Shah ‘Abbas al Kabir, pg. 10.

[3] Dr. ‘Ali al Wardi: Lamahat Ijtima’iyyah min Tarikh Iraq, vol. 1 pg. 43.

[4] Dr Kamil Mustafa: Al Fikr al Shii, pg. 415; Dr. ‘Ali al Wardi: Lamahat Ijtima’iyyah, vol. 1 pg. 59.

[5] Tarikh Shah Ismail, pg. 88. Markaz Tahqiqat Faris Publication, Iran; and Pakistan, Islamabad; ‘Alam Safavi, pg. 64.

[6] Roger Savory: Iran Under the Safavids, pg. 64

[7] Ibid., pg. 26.

[8] Ibid., pg. 29. However, the author of ‘Unwān al Majd, Ibrahim ibn Ṣibghah Allah Ḥaydarī (1882 CE), who is a descendant of the Safavids who remained upon Sunni Islam and fled from the Shia Safavids mentions another interpretation to this dream, and says that this dream means that their scholars shall continue to remain till the Day of Judgment. And Praise be to Allah, for neither this interpretation was fulfilled nor the first one.

[9] Ibid., pg. 49.

[10] ‘Ala’ al Din al Mudarris: Al Taqrib al Qur’ani fi Daw’ al Sira’ al Safawi al ‘Uthmani, pg. 9.

[11] That is what is happening today in Iraq, and in Baghdad specifically, where extreme fanatic Takfiri Shia positions are emerging, which were being planted in a concentrated manner among the Shia in the 90s after the American sanctions on Iraq, the results of which became apparent after the fall of Baghdad and the invasion of the Americans. Shia militias started forming which tortured Sunnis in manners which were unprecedented in the history of Iraq. They killed Sunnis and exiled them in vicious cleansing campaigns, causing thousands, if not millions, of Sunnis to flee. Mistaken is he who thinks that those extreme Shia committed these acts spontaneously after the invasion, rather these ideologies were being carried by the general mass of the Shia scholars. Even those who presented themselves to the people as moderate, such as, the students of Muhammad Baqir al Sadr (who was executed by Saddam): Ibrahim al Jafari and Jawad al Maliki, members of the Da’wah Party, who were seen by some of the Sunnis as the most moderate; yet these massacres occurred during their time and rule! Similarly, the father of Muqtada al Sadr, Muhammad Sadiq al Sadr, who was seen as a moderate, yet here are his followers, the “Mahdi Army”, whose crimes are well documented.  They committed crimes that the region had not witnessed for centuries. Even before them we have the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, who were raised upon the ideas of Khomeini and Khamenei, and everyone knows what they committed in Iraq from unprecedented bloodshed, which was not even committed by the Jews, and this is no exaggeration! Yet, after all this, we see those who do not know anything about Shi’ism except its name, and then issue rulings, void of any knowledge, about Taqrib (i.e. rapprochement) of the different schools of thought; a result of nothing more than their ignorance about Shi’ism, its beliefs, history, and developmental stages. We mention among them specifically the scholars from Egypt (al Azhar), its intellectuals, and preachers. This is a general trend though; yes, there are those in Egypt too who fully understand the dangers of Shi’ism.

[12] The scholar Ibrahim ibn Ṣibghah Allah Ḥaydari (1882 CE) has made a splendid effort in his book in documenting Shia history in relation to its tribal clans. He also has authored another book entitled, al Nukat al Shani’ah fi Bayan al Khilaf Bayn Allah Ta’ala wa al Shia. I have annotated it and is to be published by Maktabah al Imam al Bukhari. May Allah ease its publication. [Translators note: This book has been published. And all praise is for Allah].

[13] These sorts of crimes against humanity are happening today in Iraq. They immolated a young Sunni boy in front of his home. The most heinous of crimes committed by the Badr Militia and the “Mahdi Army” is the report of them having grilled a small Sunni child in an oven and sending the charred remains to the mother. This incident is well documented by the people of Baghdad in the al Amin district on the east side of Baghdad. They meted out a similar fate to a young man named ‘Umar on Palestine street, east Baghdad. They hacked him and sent his remains to the family in a dish. They also burnt the faces off Sunni preachers in acid attacks together with drilling into their bodies and gouging their eyes. The incident of Abu ‘Umar al Mashhadani is also well known. He was thrown into a bread oven and burnt alive. The British Channel 4 also aired a report on its program ‘Dispatches’ regarding some of these despicable atrocities. This episode was aired in January 2007.

[14] Al Ḥaydarī: ‘Unwān al Majd, pgs. 119-120.

[15] A city presently in south central Iran across the Arabian Gulf from Kuwait.

[16] Dr Muhammad Wasfi Abu Mughli: Iran Dirasah ‘Ammah, 1985, Jami’ah Basrah.

[17] Persia is on the opposite side of the Arabian Gulf. Karman is between Pakistan and Persia. Khuzestan is Arabistan which lies north of the Arabian Gulf. Mazandaran is to the north east of Tehran, south east of the Caspian Sea. Astarabad is north of Tehran and south of the Caspian Sea.

[18] Dr Muhammad Wasfi Abu Mughli: Iran Dirasah ‘Ammah, pg. 247.

[19] This has been the condition of the Shia in Iraq of old. They are forever set on receiving the Shia of Iran. After the Khomeini revolution of 1979, Muhammad Baqir al Sadr wrote to Khomeini informing him of their awaiting his arrival to Baghdad. The Shia of Iraq have held unwavering support for the overlords of Iran throughout the ages. Today, one finds the Shia of Iraq, Bahrain, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia heralding support for Iran. This is why the former Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak said, “The Shia in the Arab states are loyal to Iran.” His statement is a reflection of a reality that cannot be denied.

[20] Most of the Southern clans of Iraq were Sunni during this period, barring the populous of Karbala’, Najaf, and some of the residents of Hillah, with a few other scattered pockets. The majority of the South were Sunni, adhering to the Maliki, Hanafi, and Shafi’i school. We have a treatise entitled, Tarikh al ‘Ashaʾir al ‘Iraqiyyah al ‘Arabiyyah. We ask Allah to ease its publication.

[21] See, Tarikh al A’zamiyyah of Walid al A’zami, pg. 113. Though the Shia have always bore enmity for the Ahlus Sunnah, they have been specific in cursing Abu Hanifah al No’man. History appears to be quite cyclical with the Jaysh al Mahdi militia and armed factions of the Badr Organization under the patronage of the Jafari and Maliki government shelling Masjid Abi Hanifah in the Adamiyah neighbourhood of Baghdad.

[22] The books of the Shia have, from time immemorial, hurled much hate against the Khalid ibn al Walid, the unsheathed sword of Allah. Ibn Taymiyyah has refuted their suspicions by which they surround him in his book, Minhaj al Sunnah. Shah Ismail had translated these feelings into action by committing atrocities against the progeny of this eminent Sahabi and great leader. Historically, the Shia held similar vices in relation to Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam and Talhah ibn ‘Ubaidullah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.

[23] The Shia have adopted a peculiar art in adapting terminologies that fuel the Shia laity against the Ahlus Sunnah. Consider the term, “the Nawasib”. This term was coined by the Ahlus Sunnah in reference to a sect that reared its head in the second and third century marked by the salient feature of hating ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This sect no longer exists and there is no single individual amongst the Ahlus Sunnah who perpetuates hate against ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. In fact, every person of the Ahlus Sunnah believes loving ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu forms parts of the Sunnah and harbouring hatred for him is deviancy and innovation. The Shia have taken this term and have applied it to every person who does not believe ‘Ali to be the God-appointed successor after the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; a dogma that no one from the Ahlus Sunnah ascribes to. If this term is taken in this meaning, then all of the Ahlus Sunnah form part of the Nawasib. The Shia have ran with this, their books filled with apostatising the Nawasib and citing them to be worse than the Jews and the Christians. They state it incumbent to kill the Nawasib. This dogma is of old and continues to this day. All one has to do is to look at the newspapers and magazines of Iraq and their satellite channels such as the Al Forat Network which falls under the jurisdiction of Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution headed by ‘Abdul ‘Aziz al Hakim. This individual has described the Ahlus Sunnah as the Nawasib and has called their killing a judicial killing. Judicial by way of the Shia shari’ah. Our friend, ‘Abdul Malik ibn ‘Abdur Rahman al Shafi’i has authored a book titled, Mawqif al Shia al Imamiyyah min Baqi Firaq al Muslimin which has been published recently in Egypt from the al Ridwan Publishing House. He has, in this book on page 307, introduced a brilliant chapter entitled, Highlighting the Imamiyyah Tactics.

[24] The atrocities of Shah Ismail at Baghdad is scattered throughout the historical records of Sunni, Shia, and other sources. Refer to the book, Al ‘Iraq Bayn Ihtilalayn of the historian, ‘Abbas al ‘Azawi and Arba’ah Qurun min Tarikh al ‘Iraq al Hadith authored by Stephen Hemsley Longrigg.

[25] This is exactly what is being done by the Islamic Republic of Iran in the reverence they display to the non-Muslims; the Zoroastrians, the Jews, and the Christians. They erect places of worship for them. However, no such treatment is afforded to the Ahlus Sunnah in Iran. In fact, they are treated the worst and have the least amounts of Masjids. Notwithstanding this, outside of Iran, they raise the slogans of bridging the gap between the Ahlus Sunnah.

[26] Dr Zakariyya Ibrahim: Qira’ah Jadidah fi Tarikh al ‘Uthmaniyyin pg. 63. 1411/1991.

[27] The Safavid Empire: The first Shia Imamiyyah dynasty that had a significant amount of influence and power. The previous Shia states, the Fatimids of the Ismailiyyah or the Buwayhids of the Shia Zaidiyyah (Jarudiyyah) did not hold a similar influence. It should also be noted that the Safavids were the first Shia Persian state that agreed on the notion of selling Palestine to the west.

[28] Qira’ah Jadidah fi Tarikh al ‘Uthmaniyyin pg. 63.

[29] ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Sulaiman: Al Shu’ub al Islamiyyah. 1991.