Our attitude toward Shia

Since 2008-07-01

Shia represent only 11% of the Muslim Ummah (only 150 Million all over the world).

Some journalists are very skillful in making Muslims believe that opening the Shia file to discussion is tantamount to dealing the death blow. They view that the Muslim Ummah consists of both Sunnis and Shia and thus opening the issue to discussion has the effect of dividing the Muslim Ummah into two halves. However, this view is wrong from two prospectives:

First: Shia represent only 11% of the Muslim Ummah (only 150 Million all over the world). Actually, it is totally unfair for the Muslim Ummah to waver it fundamentals in order to maintain this few number within the main Muslim body instead of demanding Shia to abide by the theological, moral, historical and political standards of the Muslim Ummmah.

Second: In our previous article (Shia's Peril), we referred to the fact that Fitnah (disorder) is not that quiescent one we are trying to kindle. In fact, Fitnah is already extremely on fire, with boiling effects all over the Muslim world firstly in Iraq. What should we do in face of shedding the Sunni blood there and the evident wasting of once-greatly-capable country?!

In our discussion of the problem, we are trying to understand the roots of the problem. Once we understand, we can propose logical solutions. However, no solutions to the problem can be offered in the absence of clear knowledge of their rise, roots, concepts, methodologies, objectives and ambitions.

In the previous article, I spot light on the threat of contemporary Shia to the present of the Muslim Ummah. We specifically listed five dangerous points, each of which is an enough justification to urgently open the file. Below is a brief outline of the five points:

First: Shia's constant defamation of Companions, which turned into the essence of their belief in religion. Actually, it is an evident grudge that exceeded all limits. In this website, we regularly receive comments from Shiites on articles relating to Abu Bakr, `Umar and `Uthman as well as other Companions that are overflowing with grudge and rancor. It is something very sensitive for a Shiite to see a Companion's name, which necessitates him to have a violent reaction. How come then that we observe self-control regarding such an infringement? We stated there that overlooking such vices resembles forsaking religion which we may not do.

Second: The danger of the spread of Shiism in Muslim countries, were it through directly embracing and conversion to the Shiite thought or indirectly through being convinced with Shia's ideas being unaware of embracing Shiism.

Third: The murder of thousands of Iraqi Sunnis.

Fourth: Direct threat of military, political, economic dominance over Iraq and thus serving US interests.

Fifth: Direct threat to countries in the region other than Iraq. In this regard, we gave UAE, Bahrain and KSA as examples. I do not think it proper to remain silent till the interests of such countries be lost. In my opinion, positive speed movement to safeguard the safety and security of such countries is inevitable.

However, we have discussed the above referred to five points in detail in our previous article

(Shia's Peril). Actually, we call readers to read this article thoughtfully on account of its dealing with serious issues. Moreover, we invite them to read the other previous two articles: (Origins of Shia) and (Shia's Dominance), so that you might get an overall view of the subject.

But.. Are these five points everything?

Unfortunately, no!

Actually, Shia's peril is too threatening to be dealt with in such five points. Browsing history proves that contingent deterioration is more than unimaginable. The `Ubaidi Isma`ilite Shiites occupied Egypt for more than two consecutive hundred years. Although having never been predictable, it took place anyway as we know. Hence, drawing attention to such a peril is necessary and inevitable.

Let us now resume listing Shia's dangers at the present.

Sixth: Danger of Iran-Syria rapprochement.

We can obviously notice the close rapprochement between Iran and Syria. Danger can be predicted in view of the serious situation Syria lives. For about forty years, Syria has been ruled by Nusairis (known as `Alawites), who are attributed to the founder of their sect Abu Shu`aib Muhammad bin Nusair Al-Baghdadi (Died 270 A.H.). Abu Shu`aib claimed prophethood and that `Ali is Allah incarnate - Glorified and Exalted is He high above what they say!

Although Nusairis constitute no more than 10% of the total population, they have absolute authority. Therefore, they give a wide latitude to the spread of Shiism in the country. Thus, connection of the Shiite Crescent from Iran to Iraq and to Syria and Lebanon will represent a serious barrier separating the east of the Muslim world from the west and giving indication of a contingent stretch of unknown dimensions.

Seventh: There is a certain serious matter requiring us to take an immediate stance, discussing which may never be put off. I mean Muslims' infatuation with greater Shiite figures, especially the leader of the Lebanese Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah and the Iranian president AhmadiNejad. Unarguably, public attitudes adopted by both figures infatuated many Sunnis, especially in the absence of equivalent Sunni figures at the head of authority in Muslim countries. In fact, they are infatuating in view of success achieved by both of them in reaching their respective objectives; i.e. war against Jews in the case of Nasrallah and establishing a powerful state in the case of AhmadiNejad. Therefore, it is necessary to draw the attention of all Sunnis to the fact that achieving even a great success in a certain issue does not necessarily denote sound creed and methodology. We should bear in mind that the wicked `Ubaidi Shiite State achieved tenfold or hundredfold greater military and political successes than those achieved by Hezbollah and Iran. Nevertheless, we may not take it as an example. Furthermore, we may by no means take as an example a secular - even if Sunni - leader. This is because we believe that a leader to be an example has to achieve integrity, balance and comprehensiveness in such fields as creed, morals, knowledge and practice. Moreover, his practicing Jihad has to be in Allah's Cause and in support of Allah's sound religion and to establish the Shari'ah (Islamic Law) unchanged and unmodified.

Let me also deliver a message to those who dream of being ruled by a Shiite, even if moderate, leader. I would like to ask them whether they would accept to believe in the twelve Imams they believe in. Would we then accept to give up the history of Companions, our schools of thought and Sunnah books we trust? Which education curricula do we expect to be applied in such a case; Shiite or Sunni curricula?

Indeed, Isma`il the Safavid established a very powerful state in Iran constructing it dazzlingly in terms of administration and organization. How was his behavior when his state reached its peak? See the article (Shia's Dominance) for more information about how he made use of his power to be a thorn in the Ottoman State's side, spreading Shiism in Iraq and uniting with the Portuguese in face of Sunni Ottomans.

Brothers and sisters, Islam is one integrated entity, i.e. we may not apply one part of it and forsake another. Allah (may He be Exalted) said, "O you who believe! Enter into Islam wholly" [Al-Baqarah, 208] {يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا ادْخُلُوا فِي السِّلْمِ كَافَّةً}, Transliteration: Yā 'Ayyuhā Al-Ladhīna 'Āmanū Adkhulū Fī As-Silmi Kāffatan. Accordingly, if we are to take an example, it should be integrated. However, if there is any defect, it should by no means relate to creed and concepts. Otherwise, there will be evil consequences and severe harm.

Eighth: Unfortunately, Shia's narrations of events have made its way so tremendously through history books. Thus, to read and benefit from history, we have to revise it in order to purify forgery and interpolation. Actually, this is an essential task and fundamental duty, abandoning which might result in loss of huge heritage and distortion of the biographies of the best of people and generations. The beginning should be understanding Shia's danger on history books, purifying such books from their forged narrations and then inferring lessons from authentically narrated events. In fact, I would like to spot more light on such issues. I have counted narrations reported concerning the narrative of the Battle of Siffin to find them 113. It was astonishing to find out that 99 of which are Shiite malicious narrations aiming at no more than distorting the image of Companions. Such narrations are widely circulated among Shia as well as those influenced by their ideas, including supposedly Sunni journalists under the pretext that they are recorded in Tarikh Al-Tabari, a prominent Sunni scholar. By doing so, they pay no attention to the Sanad (chain of narrators) mentioned by Al-Tabari. Suppose they pay it any attention, they know noting about narrators. Thus, it becomes a must to purify history books from Shia's narrations so that people might read the Ummah's history from its authentic resources.

Ninth: Many people do not take into consideration our duties toward Shia. It is unarguably unjustified to let such a huge number of people as more than one hundred and fifty million persons think so corruptly without drawing their attention to the danger of their beliefs and ideas.

Undoubtedly, such people are in ultimate need of being educated, enjoined to do good and forbidden from doing evil. We will be unquestionably asked by our Lord on the Day of Judgment whether we performed our duties toward those people who hold such beliefs as those referred to in the article "Origins of Shia".

Some Shiites sent comments on these articles supplicating Allah to punish me through resurrecting me along with Abu Bakr and `Umar. Actually, it gives me great pleasure that someone wishes me to be resurrected with them. However, I felt very sorry for them for showing enmity to these two giant figures chosen by Allah to be the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him). I consider it an essential priority of Callers to Allah to clarify for such people the danger of what they believe in. Undoubtedly, fair-minded persons among them are likely to accept the truth heedless of the risks once informed of the true belief.

Tenth: Who protects helpless Sunnis who live in Iran now? Do you know how many they are? They are about twenty million persons constituting about 30% of the total population.

Nevertheless, they are represented in the Iranian cabinet by no minister. Moreover, the ratio of their parliament representation is less than 10% . Furthermore, million Sunnis living in the capital Tehran are in vain struggling to establish even only one Sunni mosque. In this regard, we need not mention direct oppression of all Sunnis who demand their rights. Actually, oppression is so severe that Sunni mosques are destroyed. A famous event is the destruction of Sheikh Fayd Mosque in Khurasan in 1994 A.D./1414 A.H.

Another event is the destruction of the Congregational Mosque in the state of Blushistan which was accompanied by killing two hundred Sunni young men who staged a sit-in in the mosque protesting against the destruction of Sheikh Fayd Mosque.

It goes without saying that education curricula studied by twenty million Sunnis in Iran does not go in line with Sunni doctrines and principles. In fact, they are Shiit-based curricula.

Unfortunately, Iranian Sunnis experience a great dilemma being helpless, as known by everyone. Is it then proper to keep silent regarding their problems as well as the problems of Iraqi Sunnis, or speak out so that Allah might help someone do something?

So far, we have listed ten evident dangers of Shia.

Brothers and sisters, do you still think it is wise to keep silent?

Do analytics claiming to be reasonable view that harms following from opening the file to discussion are greater than harms of the actual fact we live, from which we listed ten harms in this article and the one prior to it?

Nonetheless, I did not write these articles aiming at igniting the fuse of war against the Shia of Iran, Iraq, Syria or Lebanon. I also did not aim at deducing that Shia are more dangerous than Jews. Rather, by writing these articles I aim at leading to a truthful understanding of situations. Only after knowing the truth, wise men from among Sunnis can agree on a proper and appropriate attitude.

Actually, many of those who hurry to express opinion on many complicated problems do not have the least knowledge about the issue under discussion; they express no more than emotion-based opinions and imagined their fancies to be realties which they thought will be put into practice by sincere persons.

Now, after these blood-smelling information, how should our attitude toward Shia be?

First: The majority of scholars judge Ithna `Ashriyyah (who believe in, study and prepare for the advent of the Imam Al-Mahdi, the twelfth descendant of the Prophet Muhammad who is believed to be still alive and waiting for the world to prepare for his emergence from occultation and just leadership) in general to be Muslims. However, they are deviated Mubtadi` (innovating in religion) Muslims. Accordingly, all such general rulings of Islam as marriage, inheritance, burial, judiciary, food and all transactions apply to them. Therefore, they are also permitted to perform Hajj and `Umrah (minor pilgrimage) and to enter the Sacred Lands otherwise prohibited to be entered by non-Muslims. Thus known, their deviation might not, nevertheless, be underestimated. Rather, they need to be reformed and rectified. It even necessitates rulings and laws to be sanctioned. In this respect, many Muslim scholars made good contributions in the field, details of which can be sought for elsewhere. Moreover, the majority of scholars judge some Shia sects to be disbelievers, including Isma`iliyyah, Nusairis and suchlike blasphemous sects.

Second: Based on Shia's methodologies deep-rooted deviation, we dare say it is impossible to make Fiqhi (jurisprudential) or doctrinal reconciliation between the Sunni and the Shiite thoughts. Actually, Shia is not an Islamic school of thought as thought by some people. Rather, it is a sect that deviated from the straight path. Thus, reconciling the straight path with deviation stands for deviation of a lesser degree. In brief, it is entirely unacceptable according to Shari`ah. Does reconciliation mean accepting insulting Companions and no one else? Does reconciliation mean believing in no more than twelve Imams? Does it mean authorizing Al-Bukhari and Muslim while denying the authority of Abu Dawud and Al-Tirmidhi? Does it also mean deeming Mut`ah (temporary) marriage lawful in certain circumstances? Or, does it mean overlooking oppressing some Sunnis in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon and Syria while moving positively regarding oppressing others? Brothers and sisters, reconciliation reached a dead end. More decisively, any attempt to reconcile the doctrines or rulings of Sunnis and Shiites is tantamount to changing and distorting the religion, which may never be our objective. Moreover, a reference has to be made to the situations of scholars who during a stage of their life attempted reconciliation to find out it is infeasible in spite of repeated attempts.

We would like to pay a special attention here to the great Syrian scholar Dr. Mustafa Al-Siba`i (may Allah show mercy to him). In his book (The Position of Sunnah as to Islamic Legislation), he explicitly stated, "It seemed that reconciliation means drawing Sunnis closer to Shiism." The same approach was followed by the great scholar Dr. Yussuf Al-Qaradawi, who reached the same result.

Third: Our efforts should not be halted at the stage of denying Shia's doctrines and methodologies. Rather, we should fortify fellow Sunnis with beneficial knowledge that can safeguard them against falling into the snares of corrupt beliefs. Moreover, scholars and Callers to Allah have to be energetic in informing Sunnis about their true religion and the story of the Prophet and his reverend Companions. Besides, the huge historical heritage of the Ummah has to be made use of. To this effect, the Ummah that cannot read its history is incapable of forming its future.

Fourth: We should never feel embarrassed or hesitate to discuss suspicions raised by Shia here and there. Furthermore, we should not be ostriches about the Shia file thinking that doing so will have the effect of gaging them. On the contrary, we have to discuss the issue bravely. It should turn into a matter of creed, reforming deviation and rectification of a bad conduct. Hence, we have to discuss complicated historical issues that Shia powerfully make use of and to explain such issues from a sound Islamic prospective. In addition, Sunnis' love and respect of the Prophet's household has to be highlighted. Moreover, it should be clarified that the deceiving idea that Shia show more love and respect to the Prophet's Household is a false notion. Undoubtedly, the Prophet's Household may never be satisfied with distorting the Prophet's methodology.

Fifth: We should sincerely and truthfully call and advise Shiites to depend on impartial scientific investigation in reading their history and doctrines. By doing so, they will come to know that their historical reports are narrated through very weak and interrupted chains of narrators and that most of their methodologies and ideas have not been coined before the third century A.H. We are certain that Allah will guide sincere persons among them to the straight path. (And this is not difficult for Allah.)

Sixth: Muslim and Arab countries, as well as Muslim communities in Western countries, have to be on their guard against increasingly growing Shiism. As we stated above, Shiism stands for deviation from the right path. Therefore, good attention has to be paid to it especially in countries where Shiism is intensively propagated, such as Bahrain, UAE, KSA and Jordan.

Seventh: Sunnis living in confrontation line, i.e. Iraq, Iran and Lebanon are to take care, unite and keep in touch with their Sunnis brothers all over the Muslim world. They also have to join forces in order to protect themselves against dangers to which they are exposed, and to vividly use mass media to show their status and positions, which might provide them easily with help.

Eighth: We do not object to peaceful co-living between Sunnis and Shiites provided that no mutual aggression takes place. I also do not prefer involving into thorny issues of ideological and theological dispute on condition that it be reciprocal. This should not mean giving Iranian and Iraqi Shiites all rights while marginalizing Sunnis.

Ninth: Political rapprochement between some political Sunni and Shiite groups is also possible in some respects. However, caution should be observed regarding the possibility of the collapse of rapprochement, which is the historically usual end of such relations. Ultimate caution should also be observed regarding giving up any theological or legal principle in favor of rapprochement. Moreover, rapprochement should be conditional on certain circumstances and common interests, in the sense that it should not be unconditional so that it might not result in interrupting the unity of the Ummah or misunderstanding.

Tenth: I call upon Muslim rulers to be up to the huge responsibility they undertake. Undoubtedly, Sunnis adopted reconciliation calls only being infatuated with Shiite figures that rose in the absence of Muslim rulers from the arena. We noticed how much Sunnis were impressed by Erdoğan for his stance against Jews as well as by the Dane Prime Minister, which clearly indicates that the Sunni masses are in need of a symbol to back and support. We ask Allah to show you the truth as a truth and guide you to follow it and to show you falsehood as falsehood and to help you avoid it.

With this tenth point ends the ten points briefing my viewpoint on this serious file.

I am certain that there are tens, hundreds or even thousands of questions that I found no room to answer in such brief articles. Anyway, my absolute aim is to only open doors for discussion and to give a clearer vision. No doubt, detailed explanation and investigation can be tackled by specialized researches and studies, which I ask Allah to guide Muslim scholars to conduct and to explain to people in general "until there is no more Fitnah, and the religion will all be for Allah alone" [Al-Anfal, 39].

May Allah safeguard the Muslim Ummah against all evils, guide it to the straight path and provide for it immediate and future good.

We ask Allah to glorify Islam and Muslims.

Dr. Ragheb ElSergani

islamstory website

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  • karimjabbari

    Many Sunni scholar studied under Shia Imam like the 6th Imam. Why did your article mention this.
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