Imam al Nawawi says:
إن المذهب الصحيح المختار الذي قاله الأكثرون والمحققون أن الخوارج لا يكفرون كسائر أهل البدع
Surely the correct and preferred opinion which is held by the majority and research scholars is that the Khawarij are not to be excommunicated like the rest of the innovators.
Mulla ‘Ali al Qari understood from this statement that Imam al Nawawi was not of the opinion of the excommunication of the Rawafid due to them being innovators. But he has alluded that the dogma of the Rafidah progresses and changes with the passage of time, that the later Shia are not like the early Shia, and also that the Rafidah of his time are not the Rafidah whom Imam al Nawawi is talking about. Hence he makes the following comment upon the statement of Imam al Nawawi:
قلت: وهذا في غير حق الرافضة الخارجة في زماننا فإنهم يعتقدون كفر أكثر الصحابة فضلا عن سائر أهل السنة الجماعة، فهم كفرة بالإجماع بلا نزاع
I say that this is true regarding others besides the Rafidah of our time; because they hold the belief that most of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum are disbelievers, let alone the rest of the Ahlus Sunnah. Hence they (the Shia) are disbelievers according to the consensus of the Ummah without any dispute.
I would add that the evidence for the fact that the Twelvers of al Nawawis era did not excommunicate the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, or that he probably did not know of this belief which they hold (which is more likely given the fact that the narrations which excommunicate the Sahabah [ram] are found in their canonical works which existed before his time) is that Imam al Nawawi has not mentioned in his commentary of Sahih Muslim that the Twelver Shia excommunicate the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Rather he has averred that excommunicating them is a belief exclusively held by the extremist Shia.
 Yahya ibn Sharaf ibn Hassan ibn Hussain al Nawawi. Ibn Kathir mentions that he was the leading scholar of the Shafi’i School during his time and the supreme jurist. He passed away in 676 A.H. (al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 3/278-279).
 Sharh al Nawawi ‘ala Sahih Muslim 2/50.
 His biography will come ahead.
 Mirqat al Mafatih 9/137.
 See: Sharh Muslim 15/173.Back to top