The Raafidis, Imamis or Ithna ‘Asharis (“Twelvers”) are one of the branches of Shi’ism. They are called Raafidis because they rejected (rafada) most of the Sahaabah (RAA). They are called Imamis because they are primarily focused on the issue of imamate, and they made it a basic principle of their religion. They are called Ithna ‘Asharis (“Twelvers”) because they believe in the imamate of twelve men from the Prophet’s (saw) family (ahl al-bayt), the first of whom was ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) and the last of whom was Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-‘Askari, the supposed hidden imam, who they say entered the tunnel of Samarra’ in the middle of the third century AH and he is still alive therein, and they are waiting for him to come out!
They are major Kaafirs outside the fold of Islam. They hold beliefs and principles which are contrary to Ahlus-Sunnah W’al Jam’aah, such as the following:
They exaggerate about their imams, claiming that they are infallible, and they devote many acts of worship to them such as supplication, seeking help, offering sacrifices and tawaaf (circumambulating their tombs). This is major shirk which Allaah tells us will not be forgiven. These acts of shirk are committed by their scholars and common folk alike, without anyone among them objecting to that.
They say that the Holy Qur’aan has been distorted, and that things have been added and taken away. They have books concerning that which are known to their scholars and many of their common folk, and they even say that believing that the Qur’aan has been distorted is an essential tenet of their beliefs.
They regard most of the Sahaabah (Companions – may Allaah be pleased with them) as kaafirs, and disavow them, and they seek to draw closer to Allaah by cursing and reviling them. They claim that they apostatized after the death of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) except very few (only seven). This is a rejection of the Qur’aan which affirms their virtue, and says that Allaah was pleased with them and chose them to accompany His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The Prophet (saw) said, “The curse of Allah the angels and the whole people is upon whoever reviles my companions.” [Ibn Hajar AI-Haithami in Majma' Al-Zawa'id] “Do not revile my companions, for by Him in Whose Hand is my soul, were one of you to spend gold equal to mount Uhud, you would not attain the reward of the handful of one of them or even half of it.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: As for the one who goes further and claims that they apostatized after the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died, apart from a small number, no more than ten or so, or that they became evildoers, there is no doubt that he is a kaafir, because he is rejecting what it says in the Qur’aan in more than one place, that Allaah was pleased with them and praised them. Indeed, the one who doubts that such a person is a kaafir is to be labelled as a kaafir himself, because what this view implies is that those who transmitted the Qur’aan and Sunnah were kuffaar or rebellious evildoers. The verse says “You (true believers in Islamic Monotheism, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad (saw) and his Sunnah) are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:110], and the best of them were the first generation. But according to this (shia) view, most of them were kaafirs and rebellious evildoers, and this ummah is the worst of nations and the earliest generations of this ummah were the most evil of them. The fact that this is kufr (disbelief) is something that no Muslim has any excuse for not knowing. End quote from al-Saarim al-Maslool ‘ala Shaatim al-Rasool (p. 590).
They attribute badaa’ to Allaah, i.e., forming a new opinion that was not held before. This implies attribution of ignorance to Allaah, may He be exalted.
They believe in taqiyah (dissimulation) which means showing outwardly something other than what one feels inside. In fact this is lying and hypocrisy and skill in deceiving people. This is not something that they do at times of fear; rather they regard use of taqiyah as a religious duty for minor and major matters, at times of fear and times of safety. Whatever of truth was narrated from one of their imams, such as praise for the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), or agreeing with Ahl al-Sunnah, even in matters of purification or food and drink, is rejected by the Shi’ah who say that the Imam only said that by way of taqiyah.
Belief in raja’ah, which is the belief that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the members of his household (ahl al-bayt), ‘Ali, al-Hasan, al-Husayn and the other imams will return. At the same time, Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthmaan, Mu’aawiyah, Yazeed, Ibn Dhi’l-Jooshan and everyone who harmed Ahl al-bayt – according to their claims – will also return.
All of these people will return – according to their beliefs – to this world once more before the Day of Resurrection, when the Mahdi reappears, as the enemy of Allaah Ibn Saba’ told them; they will return in order to be punished because they harmed Ahl al-Bayt. This is what they believe.
The Imami Shi’ah madhhab is a fabricated madhhab that has been introduced.
Secondly: From the above it is clear that these filthy shia beliefs are false and that it goes against the beliefs of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah, and that its beliefs will not be acceptable from anyone, either from their scholars or their common folk.
As for the imams to whom they claim to belong, they are innocent of this lie and falsehood.
Here follows the names of these imams:
1- ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allaah be pleased with him) martyred in 40 AH.
2- Al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) (3-50 AH)
3- Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) (4-61 AH)
4- ‘Ali Zayn al-‘Aabideen ibn al-Husayn (38-95 AH), whom they call al-Sajjaad
5- Muhammad ibn ‘Ali Zayn al-‘Aabideen (57-114 AH) whom they call al-Baaqir
6- Ja’far ibn Muhammad al-Baaqir (83-148 AH) whom they call al-Saadiq
7- Moosa ibn Ja’far al-Saadiq (128-148 AH) whom they call al-Kaadim
8- ‘Ali ibn Moosa al-Kaadim (148-203 AH) whom they call al-Rida (Reza)
9- Muhammad al-Jawaad ibn ‘Ali al-Rida’ (195-220 AH) whom they call al-Taqiy
10- ‘Ali al-Haadi ibn Muhammad al-Jawaad (212-254 AH) whom they call al-Naqiy
11- al-Hasan al-‘Askari ibn ‘Ali al-Haadi (232-260) whom they call al-Zakiy
12- Muhammad al-Mahdi ibn al-Hasan al-‘Askari, whom they call al-Hujjah al-Qaa’im al-Muntazar. They claim that he entered a tunnel in Samarra’, but most researchers are of the view that he did not exist at all, and that he is a Shi’i myth.
See: al-Mawsoo’ah al-Muyassarah (1/51).
Ibn Katheer said in al-Bidaayah wa’l-Nihaayah (1/177): As for what they believe about the tunnel of Samarra’, that is a myth which has no basis in reality and no proof or sound reports.
Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) divided the Imams of the Ithna ‘Ashari Shi’ah into four categories:
1 – ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib, al-Hasan and al-Husayn (may Allaah be pleased with them). They are noble Sahaabah and no one doubts their virtue and leadership, but many others shared with them the virtue of being companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and among the Sahaabah there are others who were more virtuous than them, based on saheeh (authentic) evidence from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
2 – ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al-Baaqir, Ja’far ibn Muhammad al-Saadiq and Moosa ibn Ja’far. They are among the trustworthy and reliable scholars. Manhaaj al-Sunnah (2/243, 244).
3 – ‘Ali ibn Moosa al-Rida, Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Moosa al-Jawaad, ‘Ali ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al-‘Askari, and al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali ibn Muhammad al-‘Askari. Concerning them, Shaykh al-Islam (Ibn Taymiyah) said: They did not show a great deal of knowledge such that the ummah might benefit from them, nor did they have any authority by means of which they could help the ummah. Minhaaj al-Sunnah (6/387).
4 – Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-‘Askari al-Muntazar (the awaited one). He did not exist at all, as stated above.
And Allaah knows best.