Their belief that Rabb is their Imam

Istikharah in ways That Resemble the Divination of the Days of Ignorance
April 12, 2017
Their Belief That This World and the Afterlife Both Belong to the Imam
April 13, 2017

BACK⇒ Return to Table of contents


Chapter Two

Their Beliefs Regarding the Oneness of Allah in Terms of Him Being the Rabb


The Oneness of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala in terms of him being the Rabb (nourisher) entails that the attributes: Ownership, creation, and planning of the universe, only be ascribed to Him. A servant should believe that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala alone is the creator, sustainer, giver of life, giver of death, causer of benefit and harm, sovereign owner and planner. To Him alone belongs the power of creation and the authority of rule. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:


أَلَا لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالْأَمْرُ تَبَارَكَ اللّٰهُ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ

Behold! To him belongs creation and the authority of rule. Blessed is Allah the Lord of the universe.[1]


In another verse Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:


وَلِلّٰهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَإِلَى اللّٰهِ الْمَصِيْرُ

And for Allah is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. And to him is the return.[2]


Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has no partner and no equal.

The theme of the discussion is not studying this principle. Rather it is the study of the Shia doctrine in this regard and an inquiry into whether this principle has been affected due to the Shia belief regarding theirs Imams.

The Qur’an has mentioned that the polytheists from among the Quraysh, together with their disbelief in Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and ascribing partners to him in worship, believed that He was the Creator and the Sustainer. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:


وَلَئِنْ سَأَلْتَهُمْ مَّنْ خَلَقَهُمْ لَيَقُوْلُنَّ اللّٰهُ

If you were to ask them who created them they would most certainly say Allah.[3]


Likewise he says:


قُلْ مَنْ يَّرْزُقُكُمْ مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ أَمَّنْ يَّمْلِكُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ وَمَنْ يُّخْرِجُ الْحَيَّ مِنَ الْمَيِّتِ وَيُخْرِجُ الْمَيِّتَ مِنَ الْحَيِّ وَمَنْ يُّدَبِّرُ الْأَمْرَ فَسَيَقُوْلُوْنَ اللّٰهُ فَقُلْ أَفَلَا تَتَّقُوْنَ

Say: “Who provides for you from the sky and the earth? Or who owns the ears and the eyes? And who extracts the living from the dead and the dead from the living? And who plans all matters?” They will reply: Allah. Say, “Do you not then fear?”[4]


Despite this, they ascribed partners to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala in worship. Hence Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:


وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ أَكْثَرُهُمْ بِاللّٰهِ إِلَّا وَهُمْ مُّشْرِكُوْنَ

And the majority of them do not believe in Allah but that they ascribe partners to him.[5]


Mujahid comments:


Their Iman in Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala refers to their statement, “Allah created us, nourishes us and gives us death.” So this is their Iman in Allah which is accompanied by ascribing partners to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala in worship.[6]


So are the Shia more intense in their heresy then these polytheists?

Scholars have mentioned that belief in Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala as the soul creator and nourisher is intrinsic to human nature and that polytheism in this regard (in the sense of believing in two creators who are identical in their attributes and doings) has not been professed by any cult or creed throughout history. Only a few idolaters have held the opinion that there exists a creator who created only some of the universe.[7]

And therefore the question: Has this principle been affected in the Shia dogma? I.e. in the sense that they are guilty of partially ascribing partners to Allah due to the importance they accord their Imams, the attributes they ascribe to them, and the titles they confer upon them?

This will become evidently clear after analysing the narrations and reports which feature in their canonical works with regards to their Imams. In this regard I shall present five discussions:

  1. Their claim that Rabb is the Imam.
  2. Their belief that this world and the afterlife both belong to the Imam.
  3. Their belief that the formation of clouds and the thundering of lightening is due to the order of the Imam (I have named this discussion: Attributing cosmic occurrences to the Imam)
  4. Their claim that a portion of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala incarnated into the Imam.
  5. Their claim that the Imam can benefit and harm.

Similarly, under the chapter regarding the fundamentals of Iman there will come a discussion on their belief regarding Qadr (predestination) and that a person gives existence to his actions; this also amounts to ascribing a partner to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala in terms of him being the Rabb. I have left this discussion to be covered there so that we can have a more holistic view of their fundamentals of Iman.


Discussion One

Their belief that Rabb is their Imam

It appears in their narrations that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu allegedly said, “I am the lord of the land due to whom it remains stable.”[8]

Look at their audacity and fanaticism Is not Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala alone the Mighty Lord of the earth, is it not him who created the heavens and the earth, and is the one that is upholding them.


إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُمْسِكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ أَنْ تَزُوْلَا وَلَئِنْ زَالَتَا إِنْ أَمْسَكَهُمَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ مِّنْۢ بَعْدِهِ

Allah withholds the heavens and the earth from moving. If they ever move there will be none to withhold them besides him.[9]


Yet they ascribe to their Imam that he said, “I am the sovereign of the land,” i.e. the ruler of the land. And they further claim that the Imam is meant in the verse:

وَأَشْرَقَتِ الْأَرْضُ بِنُوْرِ رَبِّهَا

And the earth eliminated with the light of its lord.[10]


Likewise they say that:

أَمَّا مَنْ ظَلَمَ فَسَوْفَ نُعَذِّبُهُ ثُمَّ يُرَدُّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِ فَيُعَذِّبُهُ عَذَابًا نُّكْرًا

As for him who oppresses, we shall soon punish him. Thereafter, he will be returned to his Lord who will afflict upon him a severe torment.[11]


They claim the oppressor will be brought before ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu who will afflict him with a severe torment.[12]

Similarly they claim:

وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدًا

And he does not ascribe in the worship of his Lord anyone.


It is reported in Tafsir al ‘Ayyashi that this refers to submission to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and that one may not consider an unworthy and inapt person to be his partner in authority.[13] This is also reported in Tafsir al Qummi.[14]

Do not assume that these interpretations are due to the word Rabb being in the meaning of owner or master, because these verses are so explicit regarding Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala as the Rabb that they cannot bear any other meaning. The genitive construction has only made the word Rabb definite and specific.

Furthermore the scholars of language have written that when the word Rabb appears with a ال, thus its purport becomes specific to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.

Ibn Taymiyyah mentions:


Names and attributes are of two types: One type is those names which are exclusive to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, e.g. names like al Ilah (God), Rabb al Alamin (Sustainer of the Universe), and other names of this nature. These cannot be used for a servant at all. It is in this type that the polytheists have faltered and have considered others to be equal to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.

The second type is those attributes and names which can, to a certain extent, be attributed to the servant, e.g. al Hayy (the living), al Alim (the knower), al Qadir (the capable). In this case, it would be necessary not to attribute these qualities to the creation in the same level as it is attributed to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.[15]


However these people have named their Imam “al Rabb” (which is a name exclusive to the being of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala) due to their unceasing interpretations.

These interpretations were concocted by an irreligious imposter who intended to avert the Shia away from their Lord, and unsurprisingly we find followers among the Shia who have consumed from this stagnant contaminated pool of water, which is preserved within the canonical works of the Twelver Shia.


NEXT⇒ Their Belief That This World and the Afterlife Both Belong to the Imam

[1] Surah al A’raf: 54

[2] Surah al Nur: 42

[3] Surah al Zukhruf: 87

[4] Surah Yunus: 31

[5] Surah Yusuf: 106

[6] Tafsir al Tabari 231/77-78; Tafsir Ibn Kathir 2/532

[7] Majmu al Fatawa 3/96-97; Sharh al Aqidah al Tahawiyyah p. 17-18

[8] Mir’at al Anwar p. 59. He quotes from Basa’ir al Darajat of al Saffar.

[9] Surah al Fatir: 41

[10] Surah al Zumar: 69

[11] Surah al Kahf: 87

[12] Mir’at al Anwar p. 59 with reference to Kanz al Fawa’id.

[13] Tafsir al ‘Ayyashi 2/353; al Burhan 2/497; Tafsir al Safi 3/270.

[14] Tafsir al Qummi 2/47

[15] Minhaj al Sunnah 1/342