Islamic Ruling on Shi’ites

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Early Scholars

Imaam ash-Shaafi`ee
On one occasion ash-Shaafi`ee said concerning the Shi`ites, “I have not seen among the heretics a people more famous for falsehood than the Raafidite Shi`ites.” [Ibn Taymeeyah, Minhaaj as-Sunnah an-Nabawiyyah, 1/39]

On another occasion he said, “Narrate knowledge from everyone you meet except the Raafidite Shi`ites, because they invent Hadeeths and adopt them as part of their religion.” [Ibid, p. 38]

Imaam Abu Haneefah
It was reported that often Abu Haneefah used to repeat the following statement about the Shi`ites, “Whoever doubts whether they are disbelievers has himself committed disbelief.”

Imaam Maalik
Once Maalik was asked about them and he replied, “Do not speak to them nor narrate from them, for surely they are liars.” [Minhaaj as-Sunnah, 1/37]

During a class of Imaam Maalik, it was mentioned that the Raafidite Shi`ites curse the Sahaabah. In reply, he quoted the Quranic verse, “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and those with him are harsh with the disbelievers and gentle among themselves. So that the disbelievers may become enraged with them.” He then said, “Whoever becomes enraged when the Sahaabah are mentioned is one about whom the verse speaks.” [Tafseeer al-Qurtubee, Soorah al-Fath; Editor’s note: That is, anyone who is enraged by the mention of the Sahaabah is a disbeliever, because the verse says, “…the disbelievers may become enraged with them (Sahaabah).”]

Ibn al-Mubaarak
Ibn al-Mubaarak was reported to have said, “Religion is gained from Ahl al-Hadeeth, scholastic theology and crafty exemptions from religious ordinances of Ahl ar-Ray and lies from the Raafidite Shi`ites.” [Adh-Dhahabee, al Muntaqaa min Minhaaj al-I`tidaal, p. 480]

Abu Zur`ah ar-Raazee
This great scholar was quoted as saying, “If you see someone degrade any of the companions of the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, know that he is a disbeliever. Because the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, was real, what he brought was the truth and all of it was conveyed to us by the way of the Sahaabah. What those disbelievers wish to do is to cast doubt on the reliability of our narrators in order to invalidate the Quraan and the Sunnah. Thus the disbelievers are the ones most deserving defamation.”

Al-Qaadee Abu Ya`laa
It was reported that Abu Ya`laa said, “The position of jurists concerning one who curses the Sahaabah, believing that such an act is permissible, is that he has committed an act of disbelief. If he curses them but does not believe that cursing them is permissible, then he is guilty of immorality, and not disbelief.” [Ibn Taymeeyah, as-Sawaarim al-Maslool, p. 569]

In his book on the Islamic creed, al-`Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah, the author states, “We love the companions of Allaah’s Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam, without going overboard in our love of anyone of them or remaining aloof (tabarra) from any of them. We hate those who hate them or speak ill of them and we only speak well of them. Loving them is a religious act, and an expression of faith and righteousness while hating them is an act of disbelief, hypocrisy and transgression.” [Sharh al-`Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah, p. 528]

Ibn Hazm al-Andaloosee
One day during the period of Muslim rule in Spain, Imaam Abu Muhammad ibn Hazm was having a debate with some Spanish Catholic priests about their religious texts. He brought before them evidence of textual distortions in the Bible and the loss of original manuscripts. When they replied by pointing out to him Shi`ite claims also being distorted, Ibn Hazm informed them that “Shi`ite could not be used as evidence against the Quraan or against Muslims because they are not themselves Muslims.” [Ibn Hazm, al-Fisaal fee al-Milal wa an-Nihal, 2/78 and 4/182]

Their claims have been rebutted by numerous other early scholars like Ibn Taymeeyah in Minhaaj as-Sunnah, adh-Dhahabee in Muntaqaa min Minhaaj al-I`tidaal, Ibn Katheer in his history book [al-Bidaayah wa an-Nihaayah], Ibn al-Jawzee in Talbees Iblees, and al-Qaadee ibn al-`Arabee in al-`Awwaasim min al-Qawaasim.

Contemporary Scholars

Imaam al-Aloosee
He declared the Raafidite Shi’ites disbelievers because of their defamation of the Sahaabah. His position was based on the rulings of Imam Malik and other scholars who were in agreement with him. In reply to their claim to be Ahl Bayt (the Prophet’s sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam family), al-Aloosee said, “No, they are really followers of the Devils and Ahl Bayt are innocent of them.”

Muhibbuddeen al-Khateeb
This scholar wrote a book on them called al Khutoot al-‘Areedah lil-Usus allatee Qaama ‘Alayhaa Deen ash-Shee’ah al-Ithnay ‘Ashreeyah (lit. Broad outlines of the basis for the Twelver Shi’ite Creed). He also footnoted earlier works on the Shee’ah like Al-Muntaqaa and ‘Awaasim min al-Qaqaasim. In all of his works he considers the Shi’ites to be disbelievers.

Bahjat al-Baitaar
When this great Syrian scholar was asked if transactions were permissible with Shi’ites, he replied in a book called Al-Islaam wa as-Sahaabah al-Kiraam bain as-Sunnah wa ash-Shee’ah in which he said, “Political and economic dealings with them are allowed in the same way that they are allowed with states and people with whom there are treaties in spite of differences between their lands and religions and ours. And help can only be sought from Allah.”

Muhammad Rasheed Ridaa
This scholar was among those who worked sincerely for rapproachment between the Sunnites and the Shi’ites, and they in turn pretended moderation for his benefit. However, in the midst of his efforts they caught him by surprise by presenting him with some of their books which slandered Islaam. He then replied to them in a paper called As-Sunnah wa ash-Shee’ah in which he exposed their doctrines and idolatrous practices.

Dr. Hilaalee
After living closely to the Shi’ites for some years, the famous Morrocan scholar, Dr Hilaalee, wrote a paper on them in which he declared them disbelievers.

Al-Basheer al-Ibraaheemee
While visiting Iraq, this professor who is the leading religious scholar in Algeria saw with his own eyes the Shi’ite book, Az-Zahraa, in which ‘Umar ibn al-Khataab – may Allah be pleased with him – is accused of homosexuality. On his return home to Algeria he exposed the Shi’ites and clearly outlined their principle beliefs and practices.

Mustafaa as-Sibaa’ee
This eminent Palestinian scholar was also among those who lived with the Shi’ites for a period and worked for rapproachment with them; however, he soon discovered their real intentions and noted them in the foreword of his classic, As-Sunnah wa Makaanatuhaa. He wrote, “Those people continue to hold fast to their books in which slanderous attacks and false descriptions are given of the incidents of disagreement among the Sahaabah. Hence their intention behing the call to rapprochement seems to be bringing the Sunnites closer to the Shi’ite creed and not bringing them closer to each other.”

On another occasion, he wrote, “A Muslim would almost be in a state of total bewilderment and confusion at the audacity of these people towards Allah’s Messenger sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam were it not for his knowledge that most of the Raafidites are Persians. Some Persians feigned Islaam and used Shi’ism as a cover for the destruction of Islaam. There were also among the Persians those who were unable to free themselves from the effects of their former religions and thus they entered Islaam with a pagan mentality which did not mind telling lies about the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam”

Abul-A’laa al-Maududi
This Pakistani scholar and leader wrote an introduction to the book, Ar-Riddah bain al-Ams wa al-Yaum (lit. Apostasy in the Past and the Present) by Muhammad KaadHim Habeeb published in 1977. In it the author wrote of the Imaami Ja’fari Shi’ites, “In spite of their moderate views (relative to other sects of Shi’ism), they are swimming in disbelief like white blood cells in blood or like fish in water.” Maududi supported these views by praising the author and recommending that the book be done in hardback.

Among other contemporary scholars who have have made similar statements are: Shaikh Ibn Baaz, ‘Allaamah ash-Shanqeetee, al-Albaanee, Ahmad Ameen, an-Nashaasheebee and Dr. Rashaad Saalim.

The Mirage in Iran by Dr. Ahmad al-Afghaanee
Edited and Translated by: Abu Ameena Bilal Philips