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Encyclopedia > Views on Shia Islam
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Part of a series on
Shī‘a Islam
Image File history File links Gnome-globe. ... Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Shortcut: WP:NPOVD Articles that have been linked to this page are the subject of an NPOV dispute (NPOV stands for Neutral Point Of View; see below). ... Shiʻa Islam (Arabic شيعى follower; English has traditionally used Shiite) makes up the second largest sect of believers in Islam, constituting about 30%–35% of all Muslim. ...

Image File history File links Basmala. ...


Twelver · Ismaili · Zaidi Twelvers ( Ithnāˤashariyyah) are those Shiˤa Muslims who believe there were twelve Imāms, as distinct from Ismaili & Zaidi Shiite Muslims, who believe in a different number of Imams or in a different path of succession. ... The IsmāʿīlÄ« (Urdu: اسماعیلی IsmāʿīlÄ«, Arabic: الإسماعيليون al-IsmāʿīliyyÅ«n; Persian: اسماعیلیان Esmāʿīliyān) branch of Islam is the second largest part of the ShÄ«a community, after the Twelvers (Ithnāʿashariyya). ... Zaidiyya, Zaidism or Zaydism (Arabic: الزيدية az-zaydiyya, adjective form Zaidi or Zaydi) is a ShÄ«a maðhab (sect, school) named after the Imām Zayd ibn ˤAlÄ«. Followers of the Zaidi fiqh are called Zaidis (or are occasionally called Fivers in the West). ...

People of the House

Ali ibn Abu Talib
Fatima Zahra
Muhammad in a new genre of Islamic calligraphy started in the 17th century by Hafiz Osman. ... Ali ibn Abi Talib (علي بن أبي طالب) (c. ... This article is about Muhammads daughter. ... Hassan ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib ()‎ (Fifteenth of Ramadan, 3 AH – Twenty-eighth of Safar, 50 AH) [6] was the grandson of Muhammad, and was the son of Ali ibn Abi Talib (the first Shi’ah Imam and the fourth Sunni Caliph) and Fatima Zahra (a daughter of Muhammad). ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


Light of Aql
Succession of Ali
Straying of the Sahaba
View of the Qur'an
Imamate of the Family
Ghadir KhummKarbala
Shias believe that the souls of the Prophets and the Imams are derived from the first light in the universe which was created by Allah, the light of Aql, which in Arabic roughly translates as knowledge. ... The Succession to Muhammad concerns the different viewpoints and beliefs that are held in relation to the succession to the leadership of the Muslim community, or ummah, after the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. ... For other views of Sahaba and a short description, see sahaba. ... This is a sub-article to Shia Islam and Quran The Shia view of the Quran has some differences from the Sunni view. ... This article is about the Shia concept, for the more general Islamic term, see Imam. ... This is a sub-article to the Succession to Muhammad The word Hadith refers to a saying of the Prophet of Islam. ... Combatants Banu Hashim Commanders Umar ibn Saad Husayn ibn Ali† Strength over 40 000 72 Casualties 100+ 72(Tabari) The Battle of Karbala took place on Muharram 10, 61 AH (October 9 or 10, 680 CE)[1][2] in Karbala, in present day Iraq. ...

See Also

Views on Shia Islam
History of Shia Islam
Theology of Shia ... In Shia Islam, Theology of Shia (Usūl al-Dīn) is the five main beliefs that Shia Muslims must possess. ...

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There are several views on the Shi'a.


Negative views


There are numerous books on history, literature, bibliography, etc - by both early and contemporary writers - that undermine the scholastic, literary, social, and cultural rights of the Shia. In cases where such works intend to discuss the works and virtues of the Shi'a, they fail in doing so and leave the facts about Shi'a and its intellectual legacy relatively untouched and unknown[1]. Shiʻa Islam (Arabic شيعى follower; English has traditionally used Shiite) makes up the second largest sect of believers in Islam, constituting about 30%–35% of all Muslim. ...

Researchers must be cautious in believing the contents of such works before careful scrutiny, as these works were often written by certain individuals motivated by their ambitions or bigotry[1], which resulted in fabrication, perversion, and calumny, therefore rendering their works unreliable [1]. The late religious authority of Egypt and president of Al-Azhar University, Sheikh Mahmud Shaltut, who declared the Shi'a twelver school of thought as a legitimate Islamic school of thought, also remarked: Al-Azhar Islamic university in Cairo Egypt Al-Azhar University is connected to the mosque in Cairo named to honor Fatima Az-Zahraa, the daughter of Muhammad, from whom the Fatimid Dynasty claimed descent. ... Shia Islam ( Arabic شيعى follower; English has traditionally used Shiite or Shiite) is the second largest Islamic denomination; some 20-25% of all Muslims are said to follow a Shia tradition. ... Twelvers or the Ithna Asharia are members of the group of Shias who believe in twelve Imams. ...

Most of those who have written on Islamic denominations, have been influenced by the vicious spirit of prejudice.

Therefore anyone who cares about equity and fairness and wishes to study various Islamic denominations, should not base his opinions on such works, but instead must consult with the main books and sources of those denominations in order to approximate the truth and avoid mistakes.

It is an undeniable fact that the attention paid by Sunni Muslims to familiarize the world with Islam has been more than that of Shias. Sunnis retain many commendable achievements for this cause. However some of them have been affected by sectarian prejudice, thus portraying the Shi'a in a distorted way. Sunni Islam (Arabic سنّة) is the largest denomination of Islam. ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... Sectarianism refers (usually pejoratively) to a rigid adherence to a particular sect or party or religious denomination. ...

On the other hand, a phenomenon called orientalism and "Islamology" has existed for some time, the vanguards of which were individuals who were immediately assisted and collaborated by the agents of politics. The numerous extant distorted references and fabricated statements provided these people, in addition to their own ill intentions, to write anything they pleased. In the words of philosopher Seyyed Hosein Nasr: For the book by Edward Said, see Orientalism (book). ... Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr, who recently won the Templeton Award for teaching the best course in Islam in America. ...

Although western scholars have done extensive studies about various aspects of Islam and Islamic civilization in the past century, most of their works are full of bias and vicious intentions and distortive efforts are visible throughout them.[2]

Among the different groups, the Shi'a have been harmed more than any other Islamic denomination due to a lack of sufficient reliable references that are readily available to foreign researchers[1]. In the words of Edward Browne, "we still have no access to any detailed, sufficient, and reliable works on the Shi'i school of thought in any of the European languages."[3] Edward Granville Browne Edward Granville Browne (1862–1926) born in Stouts Hill, Uley, Gloucestershire, England, was a British orientalist who published numerous articles and books of academic value, mainly in the areas of history and literature. ...

Shi'as contend and dispute the standard image portrayed for them by some, if not the majority, of western academic and Sunni sources [2].

Current sources on the Shi'a

Of the hundreds of contemporary academic sources that address matters pertaining to the Shi'a, "almost all resources used by Europeans in their studies about Islam are Sunni works"[2]. Whenever the Qur'an, hadith, history of Mohammad's life, fiqh, and kalam are touched on, it is the opinion of Sunni Muslims exclusively that is often taken as the standard version. It comes thus as no surprise that many western scholars describe Sunni'ism as orthodox Islam and Shi'ism as a heretical sect [citation needed]. Sunni historians have always tried to, in the words of Marshall G.S. Hodgson, "show that all other schools of thought other than their own were not only false but, if possible, less than truly Muslim. Their work described innumerable firqahs in terms which readily misled modern scholars into supposing they were referring to so many heretical sects."[4] The Qur’ān [1] (Arabic: ;, literally the recitation; also sometimes transliterated as Quran, Koran, or Alcoran) is the central religious text of Islam. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... For the river and also village in Norway named Sira, see Sira, Norway. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Kalam (علم الكلم)is one of the religious sciences of Islam. ... Heresy, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is a theological or religious opinion or doctrine maintained in opposition, or held to be contrary, to the ‘catholic’ or orthodox doctrine of the Christian Church, or, by extension, to that of any church, creed, or religious system, considered as orthodox. ... Marshall G.S. Hodgson is an Islamic scholar, notable for being an author. ...

On the other hand, what is often found on the Shi'a in some encyclopedias is full of errors, accusations, and superficial confused statements. Unfortunately, when these works are translated into Arabic, often by Sunni writers, they rarely add any footnotes pointing to these mistakes or shortcomings. This results in the spread of erroneous information that ultimately finds its way into even more sources, albeit inauthentic.

Furthermore, publications by Shi'i scholars remain comparably at low levels. To see this in a more visible light, it is educational to observe Dr. Abul-Jawad Falaturi's statements in this regard:

If we count all books and articles that have been published during the past 25 years in different European languages about Islam and Muslim countries--a task I performed based on Abstracta Islamica which listed all books published about Islam since 1943-- we can easily reach the conclusion that out of every 100 writings on Islam, only two relate to groups other than Sunni ones. Among this small number, one out of every seven work addresses The Twelver Shi'a. This means that out of every 350 books and articles, only one is specifically related to the Twelver Shi'a, a number even far less than The Zaidi or Ismaili Shia.[1]

Perhaps the historical background of the west is the major reason behind this blemish. The west had major direct contact with the Sunni form of Islam on almost all occasions, from Andalusia in the west to the Ottoman Turks in the east. Contacts with the Shi'a were confined to rather secret and rather limited relations with some Ismaili territories in Palestine during the crusades, but the west generally did not have any contact with the Shi'a world before the modern era. Islamic Iran, for example, only came to be known for the first time through the cultural acquaintance of India [citation needed]. Motto: Andalucía por sí, para España y la humanidad (Andalusia by herself, for Spain, and for humankind) Capital Seville Official language(s) Spanish Area  â€“ Total  â€“ % of Spain Ranked 2nd  87,268 km²  17. ... The IsmāʿīlÄ« (Urdu: اسماعیلی IsmāʿīlÄ«, Arabic: الإسماعيليون al-IsmāʿīliyyÅ«n; Persian: اسماعیلیان Esmāʿīliyān) branch of Islam is the second largest part of the ShÄ«a community, after the Twelvers (Ithnāʿashariyya). ... Map of the British Mandate of Palestine. ...

Misconceptions about the Shi'a

A heated talk show discussion on Aljazeera between a Sunni Arab calling Saddam "our master", while attacking and accusing the fellow Shi'a Iraqi of being a "Persian". See video footage:[5]
Fact: Shi'a disassociate (Tabarra) themselves from people they consider to be enemies of Allah and Muhammad's progeny (Ahl al-Bayt). The prophets were greatest (of them, Muhammad, was the highest), and Muhammad mentions in a hadith that the only recompense he seeks is love for him and his Ahl-ul Bayt (people of his house). See also Qur'an 42:23 and 33:33. The Shi'a disassociate themselves from people who Sunnis consider to be righteous companions of Muhammad because the Sunnis' definition of a righteous companion does not adhere with the teachings of Muhammad. More accurately, it can be stated that Shi'a and Sunni differ on who the companions of Muhammad were, and even among those agreed on, Shi'a do not consider all of them to be fully sincere because of their actions and hostile treatment toward Muhammad's family following his death. [7].
  • Misconception: The Shi'a are a political sect [8]
Fact: The Shi'a of Ali, or the "Party of Followers of Ali" does indeed sound like a political party's name. Ironically, the earliest criticisms on the first Caliphs of Islam by Ali himself, as protests to their various deviating acts, were also labelled as "politics" by them (Read "Sahih Muslim"). Later on, the Umayyad dynasty, feeding on clan/tribal politics from the start and making it a base like the first two Caliphs did, further gave the feeling that Ali never favored them for political reasons alone, hailing from their rival clan called "Banu Hashim" which was also the clan of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings upon him). This lengthy debate can be concluded just by realising the fact that the Shia did not support Ali for political reasons. The earliest of the Shia, the companions of the Holy Prophet such as, Salman the Persian, Bilal ibn Ribah, Abu Dharr, Miqdad, Ammar ibn Yasir, Huzaifa, Jundab, (the list goes on) were, in this regard, completely sincere and united with only one thing in mind and that was the preservation of God's religion. All these people were from the many various tribes of Arabia and otherwise. They stood beside Ali who was their master only by his greatest virtues, having the strongest and flawless record of service to Islam second only to the Holy Prophet himself. While Abu Bakr and Umar were, in reality, far from deserving the Caliphate based on this concept and the Shia have always upholded this point of view.
  • Misconception: The Shi'as apply the ancient Persian idea of royal inheritance to Muhammad's progeny and merely replace royal inheritance with Imamah.[citation needed]
Fact: Shia's do not believe that Imamat is inherited but instead individuals were chosen by Allah. This is why the brother might be chosen or the youngest child might be chosen which is not the case with royal inheritance. Quran is evident of the existence and recognition of Imamat by the Almighty (See Quran 2:124).
  • Misconception: That the Shi'a believe that Gabriel made a mistake in bringing the revelation to Muhammad instead of Ali. That the Shi'a say "Gabriel betrayed"(Arabic: خان امين) after their prayer.
Fact: Shias say that "Allah is the greatest" (Arabic: الله اكبر) after their prayer and do not believe that angels or God can make mistakes. (For reference, See article http://al-islam.org/underattack/2.htm )[citation needed]
Fact: Shi'as believe that the Prophet was the greatest man who was and will be created. They believe the Imams were sent on this earth to continue preaching the message of the Holy Prophet(s); thus a full and exact knowledge of the message is required. Therefore, the Imams, who act as middlemen between God and His followers, must have the same knowledge of the message to be transmitted as the prophets who originally received the message in order to pass it on in its exact form. Also Allah (Swt) promised the people that He would never leave the ummah without a living guide, thus following the death of Muhammad (AS), Imam Ali (AS) was the rightful and appointed successor by the man himself.)
  • Misconception: That, similarly to Christian beliefs about Jesus, the Shi'a believe in the sacrifice of a sacred person by the name of Husayn ibn Ali, to save the Ummah from their sins [10].
Shi'a Answer: False. The words above were probably read from a Shia scholar's book but twisted and changed entirely with added and wrong meaning to project a very wrong picture of a theory that resembles in no way with what has been stated above. Even the original scholarly theory, though completely different in words and meaning, is not a belief shared by all of the Shia. Keep in mind that when making such accusations, you include all the sincerest and virtuous of the Companions of the Holy Prophet as the target with the word "Shia", since they even fought in battles like Jemal and Siffin for Ali and helped him in defending Islam as best as they could and were even martyred in the process (See Ammar ibn Yasir). The Shia Islam today is the same as that practised by those people as documented in all the popular Shia Islamic books.
  • Misconception: That the Shi'a are a Sufi sect.[citation needed]
Shi'a Answer: This is a baseless claim. The "Shia" were there since the time of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings upon him). The division started with the fitna of Ummayyad and today we have close to seventy sects including the many older sub-sects that have become extinct presently.
  • Misconception: That the Shi'a are a Jewish sect [6].
Shi'a Answer: An other baseless claim. This amusing misconception is commonly used with the claim that ibn-e Saba was a Jew and that it was a Jewish conspiracy. This is nothing but propaganda so idiotic that it harms the claimant instead. This man was an extremist and his faith and the faith of the people in his small sect (see below) is not within the boundaries of Islam according to both Sunni and Shia schools of thought. See below, 'Ghulat' and 'Ibn Saba' for details. (See reference http://al-islam.org/underattack/5.htm Also see http://www.answering-ansar.org/answers/ayesha/en/chap3.php and http://www.al-islam.org/encyclopedia/chapter10/1.html ).
  • Misconception: That the Shi'a believes that Ali is Allah
Fact: A few individuals like Ibn-e Sabah claimed such a thing. Ali himself rejected this, and Shia and Sunnis both have always rejected these groups as being outside the bounds of Islam. These were the extremists or "Ghulat". See 'Ghulat'.[11]. No where in Shia books is the slightest hint of such a thing and thus a baseless attempt at Shia Islam, relying on the powerful force which is the ignorance of the simple minds.
  • Misconception: Shi'a are Persians who hate Arabs [12].
Shi'a Answer: This is again incorrect. Islam has no room for racialism as documented by various books of the sayings of Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him. The Shia-Muslims are currently in a vast majority in the Persian lands (Iran). The cruel Ummayyad, Merwanid, and Abbasid Monarchs murdered and oppressed the Shia and the Descendants of the family of Muhammed (Banu Hashim, the clan of Muhammed and the Ahl-e Bayt, the People of the House, which include the 12 Imams) and drove out a majority of their followers from the sacred land of Hijaz, currently in Saudi Arabia, long ago (See book, History of the Prophets and Kings, translated by Watt, Montgomery, written by Muhammad Ibn Jarir Al-Tabari, the oldest translations of his book were made in French. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarikh_al-Tabari See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbasid_dynasty Rifts with the Shia). The Shia never accepted tyrants and hypocrites for being worthy of ruling over Muslims. Most monarchs such as Al-Mansur, Hajjaj or even Saddam Hussein. Saddam was an admirer of the Umayyad and Abbasid works and according to him '..The survivors of the Karbala should have been finished with Imam Hussain and this whole matter would have ended there...'. The Abbasid came into power treacherously while trying to gain the support and endorsement of Imam Jafar Al-Sadiq (A.S.), the most powerful Islamic figure of his time, who remaind neutral while keeping his distance from the murderers. While Al-Mansur ignored Islam for ensuring lasting power for his dynasty. He quickly realised that he could not rule over the Arabs without religious endorsement and backing by a figure such as Imam Jafar Al-Sadiq. Disappointed, the Sunni scholars were brought forth and their religious works were adopted as state religion and brutally enforced, while the Shia were extensively persecuted and competed. So much so that any citizen seeking the guidance of Imam Jafar Al-Sadiq had to pay 1 dirham while a reward of 3 dirham was awarded to anyone who would hear the words of Abu Hanifa. All the descendants of Ahl Al-Bayt are Arabs so that makes the claim sound foolish.
  • Misconception: Shi'a believe Fatimah had "her own" Qur'an [13]
Shi'a Answer: False. Any Muslim scholar can write their own Tafsir or detailed explanation of Qu'ran. It may have been a personal collection of explanation of the verses in Qur'an called Tafsir among other prayers which was what she heard from her father, the Holy Prophet Muhammad, through her life. Shi'a believe in the exact same arabic text Qur'an, with 114 chapters, as the one the Sunni possess today (See reference, Works of Sheikh Sadooq, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Sadooq ).
  • Misconception: That Ibn Saba founded Shia Islam [6].
Shi'a Answer: False. See 'Ghulat' mentioned above. In this fictional story woven by the claimants, they also claim that Ibn-e Saba killed the third caliph Usman and instated Ali bin Abi Talib as the fourth caliph of Islam, which is obviously a prepostrous attempt on history. (For reference, see http://al-islam.org/underattack/5.htm Also see http://www.al-islam.org/encyclopedia/chapter10/1.html )
  • Misconception: Shi'a slander A'isha, breaking Qura'nic rules.[6].
Shi'a Answer: False. Scroll the page further for an answer. (For reference, see http://www.answering-ansar.org/answers/ayesha/en/index.php)

Such allegations have encouraged various orientalists and their followers such as Ahmad Amin to attack the Shi'a in their writings. Even the Encyclopaedia of Islam has not been immune from these attacks. One can find biased statements from the Belgian Henri Lammens (1862-1937) and the Hungarian Ignaz Goldziher (1850-1921) in this encyclopedia against the Shi'a and their sanctities. According to Nasr, most parts of the two or three other books and discourses that exist in English are the products of the minds of several Christian missionaries "who have spent their lives trying to annihilate and refute the Shi'i thought" [2]. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Al Jazeera logo Al Jazeera (الجزيرة), meaning The Island or The (Arabian) Peninsula (whence also Algiers) is an Arabic television channel based in Qatar. ... Shia Islam ( Arabic شيعى follower; English has traditionally used Shiite or Shiite) is the second largest Islamic denomination; some 20-25% of all Muslims are said to follow a Shia tradition. ... In Islam, the SÌ£aḥābah (Arabic: ‎ companions) were the companions of Muhammad. ... AS SALAM AU ALIKUM, not to mistaken, this salam was not for shias its only for muslims. ... Ahl al-Bayt (Arabic: ) is a phrase meaning People of the House, or family. ... For other uses, see Ali (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Ali (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Ali (disambiguation). ... Salman the Persian (Arabic سلمان الفارسي Salman Farisi, Persian Salman e Farsi) was one of the Prophet Muhammads companions. ... Bilal (Name): Means wetting, moistening in Arabic. ... Jundub ibn Junadah ibn Sakan (Arabic جُندب بن جَنادة), better known as Abu Dharr, Abu Dharr al-Ghafari, or Abu Tharr Al-Ghefari (Arabic أبو ذر الغفاري) was an early convert to Islam. ... Miqdad ibn al-Aswad al-Kindi (Arabic مقداد) is one of the Sahaba. ... “Ammar” redirects here. ... For other uses, see Ali (disambiguation). ... Abu Bakr As Siddiq (Arabic ابو بكر الصديق, alternative spellings, Abubakar, Abi Bakr, Abu Bakar) (c. ... For other uses, see Umar (disambiguation). ... The Quran identifies a number of men as prophets of Islam. ... Muhammad in a new genre of Islamic calligraphy started in the 17th century by Hafiz Osman. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      A Christian () is a person who... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... For other uses, see Ali (disambiguation). ... “Ammar” redirects here. ... Sufism (Arabic تصوف taṣawwuf) is a system of esoteric philosophy commonly associated with Islam. ... The word Jew ( Hebrew: יהודי) is used in a wide number of ways, but generally refers to a follower of the Jewish faith, a child of a Jewish mother, or someone of Jewish descent with a connection to Jewish culture or ethnicity and often a combination... For other uses, see Ali (disambiguation). ... Shiʻa Islam (Arabic شيعى follower; English has traditionally used Shiite) makes up the second largest sect of believers in Islam, constituting about 30%–35% of all Muslim. ... Muhammad in a new genre of Islamic calligraphy started in the 17th century by Hafiz Osman. ... pooperson he was the first bisexual man to have a heshe baby This article is abliph Al Mansur of Baghdad. ... Al-Hajjāj ibn YÅ«suf (Arabic: الحجاج بن يوسف, also known as Hajjāj ibn YÅ«suf ath-ThaqafÄ«), born in June 661 in aÅ£-Ţā’if and died 714 in Wasit, Iraq, was an important Arab administrator during the Umayyad Caliphate. ... Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (28 April 1937 – 30 December 2006) was the fifth President of Iraq and Chairman of the Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council from 1979 until his overthrow by US forces in 2003. ... pooperson he was the first bisexual man to have a heshe baby This article is abliph Al Mansur of Baghdad. ... Imam Abu Hanifa (699 - 765) was an important Islamic scholar and jurist and is considered the founder of the Hanifi school of fiqh. ... Muhammad (Arabic محمد, also transliterated Mohammad, Mohammed, and formerly Mahomet, following the Latin) is revered by Muslims as the final prophet of God. ... The Encyclopaedia of Islam (EI) is the standard encyclopaedia of the academic discipline of Islamic studies. ... Henri Lammens (1862-1937) was a prominent Belgian-born Jesuit and Orientalist. ... Ignaz Goldziher (June 22, 1850 - 1921), was a Jewish Hungarian orientalist and is widely considered among the founders of modern Islamic studies in Europe. ... Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr, who recently won the Templeton Award for teaching the best course in Islam in America. ...

The very opinion of orientalists of the past century that considered the Shi'a form of deviation and heresy from true Islam (bid'ah) has thus come to be accepted in most western circles today [citation needed]. There are those that even consider the Shi'a as an "invention" by some particular groups.[14] However, these groups ignore history in that their own parent sects were a result of state sponsored Imams who were supposed to endeavor for God, and collect and record the sayings and life works of the Holy Prophet, much later on during the rule of the Abbasid monarchs (See reference, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarikh_al-Tabari ). Shia is not even a proper name for a sect as compared to their own. The name 'Shia of Ali' was what the rebels of those times liked to call those people who followed Ali bin Abi Talib, the fourth Caliph of Islam. The term 'Shia' has been carried on since then and the Arabic word 'Shia' can also be found in the Qur'an, e.g. 'Shia of Moses' (See Qur'an 28:15). Look up Heresy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Arguments against the Shi'a

These are some arguments made against Shia's based on common misconceptions:


  • Claim: There could not be any hypocrites amongst those who Sunni consider Sahaba, since Muhammad or God would have known this. Claiming that the Sahaba were unrighteous equals making the same accusations against Muhammad and God [6]
Shi'a Answer: The Shia believe that Muhammad, through Divine guidance, knew that some of the companions were hypocrites so this claim is baseless. The chapter of Qur'an called The Hypocrites is proof that there indeed were hypocrites in the vast company of the Holy Prophet. The reason why most of these people were not pointed out is due to the delicate state Islam was in at it's birth, as it needed care and nurturing so the message could ultimately reach all of humanity.
  • Claim: Shi'a are contradicting themselves by insulting Abu Bakr and his daughter, but regarding his son as a good person, especially since he "does not have any contribution in raising Islam"[6].
Shi'a Answer: Shia do not believe that his son had "no contribution in raising Islam." Furthermore, not having a major contribution in "raising Islam" does not mean that you are a good or bad person. Instead it is purposely hindering of the true Islamic movement that reveals your bad intentions which is what Abu Bakr and Aisha did according to the Shia. God says 'We bring forth peace from chaos and chaos from peace'. No one calling themselves a Muslim scholar can deny the untainted works of early historians like 'Al-Tabari' that support Shia views about Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr.
  • Claim: By insulting Abu Bakra, Umar and Uthman, Shi'a are destroying Islam, since Islam is transmitted through them [6].
Shi'a Answer: Islam is transmitted and preserved through the Prophets successors, the 12 Imams who have maintained the sanctity of it's original principles (e.g., doing Justice in all things in life) and in their original form as instructed by the Holy Prophet. Human nature itself suggests that the modern day Sunni idea that the character of all the companions of the Prophet is examplarily pious, infallible and not open to comment is all but very doubtfull. Especially when that idea is contradicted by our holy book, the Qur'an, as mentioned above. Abu Bakr's sincerity to the Holy Prophet is evident from historic examples like once when he sold a camel to the Prophet for money when he was hurriedly trying to escape Mecca and migrating to Medina (Read History of the Prophets and Kings). He and Umar are responsible for assaulting the Prophet's daughter Fatimah who was pregnant at that time and that resulted in her death and the abortion of her unborn child, Mohsin (See Shi'a view of Fatimah). Uthman's deeds should be clear to everyone who has read history and knows that he was besieged and killed by an angry mob of common people from all over the Islamic world. Umar also brought about various changes in the religion, like the banning of the temporary marriage (Mut'ah). Thus not only undoing the Divine Declaration of a Completed Religion (See Quran 5:3) but also setting the first example of it's kind to be followed by generations to come. Instances such as these reflect the sheer ignorance of the Sunni mullah when they claim the opposite as done here, I quote, "...Islam is transmitted through them...".
  • Claim: Shi'a are disbelievers for being enraged by the Sahaba [6].
Shi'a Answer: The term "Sahaba" used here translates to "The Companions (of the Holy Prophet)". "Disbelieving" in Sahaba is not the same as disbelief in God. The Quran itself is "enraged" at many occasions about the "Sahaba" who were warned of nothing less than hellfire in it's many verses time and again (Read Quran 3:163 and onward. Infact, search a digitized copy with relevant words like "hypocrite" and "among you" etc. for proof). Historically, Sunni mullahs rely on "hadith" narrations, that their own scholars understand widely as "weak", to create issues such as this one that have resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths of Muslims who admired Ali. Narrations like those by Abu-Huraira, a Jew who converted after the Battle of Khyber, and a "companion" and narrator of "hadith" by the virtue of one and a half last years of acquaintance to the Prophet (See http://www.al-islam.org/ENCYCLOPEDIA/chapter9/3.html). From his over 36,000 narrations only a few hundred were found qualified enough to be recorded by the early Sunni hadith collectors such as Al-Bukhari and Al-Muslim. These hadiths have been the cause of this bigotry through the history of Islam. Bloodthirsty monarchs, such as Hajjaj bin Yusuf, and more recently, Saddam Hussain, knowingly used the crutch of cleverly fabricated lies, like this one, and the overwhelmingly strong support of human ignorance to become able to murder hundreds and thousands of Shia populace who always longed for "a worthy muslim leader", something extremely rare as evident by history. Today, if you view any historical Islamic character or research the many "hadith" narrators, "Sahaba" or otherwise, one cannot help but comment on the impact of their deeds and the many vague, confusing and contradicting narrations that are associated with them. We, the Shia of Ali (A.S.), believe that each person, Companion of the Prophet or not, is responsible for his or her deeds in front of God on the Judgement Day as well as to the pen of the critique.
Shi'a Answer: A baseless claim with no supportive evidence. Infact, if you read Islamic hisotry by reliable sources such as Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari, the vastly propagated flawed view of the "great friends and companions" becomes clear at numerous occasions.
  • Claim: Shi'a curse Ali by cursing Umar, since Umar was Ali's son-in-law [6].
Shi'a Answer: Marital relations do not make one idealistically synonymous especially during those times. However, Umar was not Ali's son-in-law. The husband of Umme Kulthum (Ali's daughter) was Awn ibn Ja'far and not Umar. Umar was much older than Umme Kulthum and was widely known for treating any women harshly. (See History of the Prophets and Kings)
  • Claim: Shi'a curse Hasan by cursing Muawiya, since they negotiated peace [6].
Shi'a Answer: Imam Hassan (A.S.), son of Ali ibn Abi Talib, was never fond of Muawiya because of his treacherous nature and Muawiya later got him assassinated like his father, Ali. Even Sunni mullahs should agree that Muawiya's worst action was empowering his son, the arch villain Yazid, who's notorious character and action is known to all and well documented. This deed also ended the true Caliphate and ensued the rules of dynasties, having corrupted the very basic idea to run an Islamic state. It should have been the life support of it through time, that only the best of the best Muslim can be Caliph, someone who is not extravagant like the monarchs you can read about in history, but a simple and ascetic person who knows about the problems of even the poorest of society. A true viceregent of the Holy Prophet and his legacy, and worthy for the title of "Commander of the Faithful". All the rightly guided Imams were qualified to be Caliphs of the Islamic state if you look at their characters by any source, while the power hungry monarchs like Yazid and all who followed him, severely damaged Islam and brought grief to the world as a whole, resulting in what the Islamic world is today. The idea stated here is the very basic Shia view of running the Islamic state.

In Islam, the SÌ£aḥābah (Arabic: ‎ companions) were the companions of Muhammad. ... Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr (631–658) was the son of Islams first caliph, Abu Bakr and Asma bint Umais. ... The History of the Prophets and Kings (Arabic: تاريخ الرسل والملوك Tarikh al-Rusul wa al-Muluk, popularly Tarikh al-Tabari) is a history by Persian author and historian Ibn Jarir al-Tabari (838–923) from the Creation to AD 915, and is renowned for its detail and accuracy concerning Arab and Muslim... For other persons of the same name, see Fatima (name). ... This is a sub-article of Fatima Zahra and Shia Islam. ... For other uses, see Ali (disambiguation). ... Saddam Hussein Saddām Hussein ʻAbd al-Majid al-Tikrītī (Often spelt Husayn or Hussain; Arabic صدام حسين عبدالمجيد التكريتي; born April 28, 1937... The Four Righteously or Rightly Guided Caliphs or Khulifa Rashidoon in Arabic refers to the first four caliphs in the Sunni tradition of Islam who are seen as being model leaders. ... Balamis 14th century Persian version of Universal History by al-Tabari Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Jarir at-Tabari 838–923 (father of Jafar, named Muhammad, son of Jarir from the province of Tabaristan, Arabic الطبري), was an author from Persia, one of the earliest, most prominent and famous Persian... Son in Law is a 1993 film starring Pauly Shore, Carla Gugino, Lane Smith, Cindy Pickett and Tiffani Thiessen. ... This is a Sahaba of the prophet Muhammad. ... The History of the Prophets and Kings (Arabic: تاريخ الرسل والملوك Tarikh al-Rusul wa al-Muluk, popularly Tarikh al-Tabari) is a history by Persian author and historian Ibn Jarir al-Tabari (838–923) from the Creation to AD 915, and is renowned for its detail and accuracy concerning Arab and Muslim... Hasan ibn Ali ibn Abu Talib (c. ... For other uses, see Ali (disambiguation). ... There were several notable persons named Yazid: Yazid I (born c. ... There were several notable persons named Yazid: Yazid I (born c. ...

Muhammad's wives

  • Claim: Shi'a curse Muhammad's wives, "the most important part of his family" [6].
Shi'a Answer: Shia do not have negative views about all the Prophet Muhammad's wives instead they remember them as individual persons who are responsible for their individual actions just like everyone else. As Shia believe that the first three caliphs were usurpers and ignored the Khumm-e-Ghadeer public announcement by the Prophet that Ali bin Abi Talib is to succeed him. As Aisha, the daughter of the first caliph Abu Bakr, supported them, they do not take kindly to her, as she also raised an army against the fourth caliph and her son-in-law, Ali bin Abi Talib. Ali forgave Aisha, in his words, postponing the matter until Judgement Day to be decided by God. The resulting civil war by the rebellion of Muawiya, following her example, claimed the lives (and perhaps faith) of a great many number of Muslims. (For reference, see http://www.answering-ansar.org/answers/ayesha/en/index.php ). Instead, Shia fondly remember the great sacrifices laid down by Khadija (A.S.), the first wife of the Holy Prophet, who solely funded the earliest Islamic efforts with her family fortune.

Muhammad in a new genre of Islamic calligraphy started in the 17th century by Hafiz Osman. ...

Ahl al-Bayt

  • Claim: Shi'a insist that Ali was robbed of his power, especially considering he had the upper hand, in contrast to Ali fighting for Islam when he was among the few in Mecca.[6].
Shi'a Answer: Imam Ali was never robbed of his power. No one can rob him of successorship just as no one can rob the prophet of prophethood. When he was entrusted with the Caliphate, in order to undo the innovations of the earlier Caliphs, Ali needed full public support, understanding and trust due to the delicate nature of such things. This could not be done because a lot of prominent companions of the Prophet were being martyred in the civil war, and most of this time was wasted by rebellions, until he himself was assassinated and Muawiya gained control after negotiating peace with Ali's son, Imam Hassan, who at that time did not have public support and favor like his father once did. Hassan was later poisoned and assassinated and the times of monarchy ensued. Earlier, after the death of the Holy Prophet, Ali, the Lion of God, did not come to use his miraculous sword Zulfiqar in the matter, as he was already warned and forbidden to do so, for the sake of development of Islam. Many Arab tribal leaders with their subjects had already sworn allegiance to Abu Bakr and Umar while Ali and the Ahl al-Bayt were busy with the funeral of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and the collection of Quran (as instructed by the Prophet himself) which lay scattered written over pieces of dried animal skin, and wood, in an uncompiled form, which they deemed matters of utmost urgency.
  • Claim: Shia also take their Imams as gods other than Allah.[6].
Shi'a Answer: Absolutely false. Our Imams are of the family of the prophet and rightly guided and true guidance may only be received through them. These are people who spent their lives in poverty and adverse conditions, always fervently upholding the true version of Islam as practised and taught by the Holy Prophet, despite continuous grave threats by the tyrants who reigned the Islamic world all through their lives, until the crescendo of the Mongol invasion. History is evident that not a single of these twelve died a natural death. They are the true servants of God and guides to all humanity. That is our faith.

Aphreydus 16:09, 6 September 2007 (UTC) Zulfiqar, a fictional representation of the sword of Ali. ... Abu Bakr As Siddiq (Arabic ابو بكر الصديق, alternative spellings, Abubakar, Abi Bakr, Abu Bakar) (c. ... For other uses, see Umar (disambiguation). ...

Sources about the Shi'a

  1. Shi'ism: Doctrines, Thought, and Spirituality
  2. A Shi'ite Anthology
  3. Our Belief: A Brief Description of Islam, as the Shiite believe
  4. A Restatement of the History of Islam and Muslims
  5. Al-islam.org

An editor has expressed a concern that the subject of the article does not satisfy the notability guideline for Books. ... A Restatement of the History of Islam and Muslims CE 570 to 661 is a 1996 book written by Sayed Ali Asgher Razwy, in which most of the history of Islam is retold in the Shia persepective. ... Al-Islam. ...

See also

To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... There are two verses named Surah of Wilaya and Nurayn that are claimed to be included in the Quran. ... There are a number of uncertainties and disputes over Islamic historical dates. ...


  1. ^ a b c d e Message of Thaqalayn', Vol 3, No 1-2, p.121-122.
  2. ^ a b c d Shi'a in Islam, by Allameh Tabatabaei. Introduction by Seyed Hosein Nasr. SUNY publications. 2ED, 1979
  3. ^ A Literary History of Persia, by E.G. Browne. p418. 1998. ISBN 0-7007-0406-X
  4. ^ 7. The Venture of Islam, Hodgson, M.G.S., vol. 1. Chicago. University of Chicago Press, 1974. p. 27. ISBN 0-226-34683-8, p66-67
  5. ^ See link: [1]
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n http://islamicweb.com/beliefs/cults/shia_answering.htm
  7. ^ al-Islam.org [2]
  8. ^ [3]
  9. ^ [4]
  10. ^ [5]
  11. ^ [6]
  12. ^ al-islam.org [7]
  13. ^ See "Sunni view" of Book of Fatimah for refutation
  14. ^ See articles by allaahuakbar.net [8]

Message of Thaqalayn, A Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies is a book that expreses different Shia Islamic views, consulting different scholars in the first part. ... Shia Islam is an important text on the history and thought of Shia Islam. ... Allameh Tabatabaei (1892-1981) is one of the most prominent thinkers of contemporary Shia Islam. ... Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr, who recently won the Templeton Award for teaching the best course in Islam in America. ... The State University of New York (acronym SUNY; usually pronounced SOO-nee) is a system of public institutions of higher education in New York, United States. ... Edward Granville Browne Edward Granville Browne (1862–1926) born in Stouts Hill, Uley, Gloucestershire, England, was a British orientalist who published numerous articles and books of academic value, mainly in the areas of history and literature. ... The Venture of Islam is three volume work about Islamic history, authored by Marshall G. S. Hodgson. ... Marshall G.S. Hodgson is an Islamic scholar, notable for being an author. ... Al-Islam. ... Al-Islam. ... The Book of Fatimah, Mushaf of Fatimah or Fatimahs Mushaf is according to Shias tradition, a book written by Fatima Zahra, the daughter of Muhammad. ...

External links


  • AhlulBayt Discussion Forum - Shia/Sunni Debates (ShiaChat.com)
  • Misconceptions about The Shi'a
  • Al-Islam.org - Features an ever growing collection of information related to Shia Islam, and its practices.




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