Shia'a in the light of Quran
By Syed Hassan Bokhari
The concept of Sharia was first propagated by Hadhrath
Nuh (as). The followers of Hadhrath Nuh (as) path were
referred to as Shi’a. This is clear from the fact that
we read when referring to Hadhrath Ibrahim (as) Allah (swt)
says that he was following the religion of Hadhrath Nuh
We read in Surah as Saffat verse 83:
“Verily Ibrahim was a Shi’a of Nuh”.
The Prophet (s) was likewise from the people of Ibrahim
that is because Allah (swt) says in Surah al Baqarah
“They say: "Become Jews or Christians and you would
be guided (To salvation)." Say No (I would rather)
follow the Religion of Abraham”
This therefore means that Hadhrath Muhammad (s) was a
Shi’a of Hadhrath Ibrahim (as) - who was a Shi’a of
Hadhrath Nuh (as). The term Shi’a, should therefore not
be viewed with hostility rather previous Prophets and
their adherents were Shi’a.
“And he entered the City at a time when its people
were not watching: and he found there two men fighting,-
one of his Shi’a, and the other, of his enemies”. (Qur'an
In this verse, Hadhrath Musa (as)’s party are referred
to as Shi’a because Hadhrath Musa (as) was Shi’a. His
followers were Shi’a as declared by the Holy Qur’an.
This fact is acknowledged by the scholars of Ahl’ul
In Tafsir Bidhawi Volume 4 page 125 (Egypt edition)
“One was his Shi’a in others one that followed his
Allamah Farah Baghawi in his “Mu’allim ul Tanzil” Volume
3 page 175 (India, Bombay edition) writes:
“The fighter was a Shi’a - a momin, his enemy was a
Shi’a in light of hadith of the Prophet(s)
Hadhrath Ali (as) and his Shi’a are the best of
It is in praise of the Shi’a of Ali that Allah (swt)
sent down the following revelation:
“Those who believe and do righteous deeds are the
best of the creatures. Their reward from their Lord
shall be everlasting gardens, below which flow rivers,
they will abide there forever. Well pleased is God with
them and they are well pleased with Him” (Qur'an 98:7)”.
Muhammad bin Ali narrates in Tafsir ibne Jarir, Volume
33 page 146 (Cairo edition) that the Prophet (s) said
“The best of creations are you Ali and your Shi’as.
Jalaladin Suyuti, (849 - 911 AH) is one of the highest
ranked Sunni scholars of all time. In his commentary of
this verse, he records through 3 asnad (chains) of
narrators, that the Prophet (s) told his companions that
the verse referred to Ali and his Shi’a:
“I swear by the one who controls my life that this
man (Ali) and his Shi’a shall secure deliverance on the
day of ressurection”.
The 3 Sahaba who narrated this hadith are (1) Ali (as)
himself (2) Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari (ra) (3) Abdullah
ibne Abbas (ra). They are acknowledged by the majority
school as truthful narrators of hadith. Had this been in
a Shi’a book, our opponents would have deemed it a
forgery, but it’s presence in their own books has
perplexed the minds of many of their scholars.
There are no hadith in which the Prophet (s) guaranteed
paradise for a specific Sahaba and his followers, with
the sole exception of Ali (as) and his Shi’a. Other
Sunni scholars have also recorded this hadith from Jabir
bin Abdullah Ansari in their commentaries of the above
Hadhrath Abdullah ibne Abbas narrates “that when this
verse descended the Prophet (s) Ali you and your Shi’a
will be joyful on the Day of Judgement” (ibid Suyuti).
Ahmad ibn Hajr al Makki quotes from Imam Dar Qatany in
his al Sawaiqh al Muhriqa page 159 (Cairo edition) “O
Abul Hasan you and you Shi’a will attain paradise”.
The Shi’a will enter Heaven with the Prophet (s),
Hadhrath Ali (as) and the pure Imams
Ibn Hajr records this tradition from Imam Tabarani:
“O Ali four people will enter heaven first of all.
You Hasan Hussain your descendents and me will follow us
and our wives will follow our descendents and our Shi’a
will be to the left and right of us”.
The Prophet (s) promised to meet Ali (as) and his
Shi’a at the fountain of Kawthur
Hadhrath Ali narrates in Tafsir Durre Mansur, Volume 6
page 379 (Cairo edition)
“Have you not heard this verse “Their reward from
their Lord shall be everlasting gardens, below which
flow rivers, they will abide there forever”? This verse
refers to you and you Shi’a, I promise you that I will
be meet you at the Fountain of Kawthur”.
Seventy thousand Shi’as will enter Heaven without any
Whilst salvation will be for the Shi’a of course deeds
will differ amongst the followers. It is indeed part of
the articles of faith of the Ahl’ul Sunnah that:
“Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)
had once observed that as many as seventy thousand of
his followers will be allowed entry in to paradise
without any questioning”.
The question that one should ask is ‘Did the Prophet (s)
expand any further on who this blessed group would be?’
The answer is recorded by the Shafii scholar al Maghazli
who records a tradition from Anas bin Malik, that he
heard the Prophet (s) say:
“Seventy thousand people will go to heaven without
questions, the Prophet then turned to Ali and said ‘they
will be from among your Shi’a and you will be their
What should also be noted is the fact that whilst some
verses in the Qur’an are concerned with a specific
episode / incident there are some that have a general
applicability for all times. Clearly this verse, helps
Man to identify the fact that that group “who believe
and do righteous deeds are the best of the creatures”.
The verse is a guarantee that at all times, in every era
these type of individuals shall exist. If the Prophet (s)’s
commentary of that verse is that it is Hadhrath Ali (as)
and his Shi’a that are being referred here, then that
means that the Shi’a compliment this verse.
This means that that in the same way that this verse
will exist until the end of the world, Ali (as)’s Shi’a
will likewise exist to provide a practical commentary to
it. The fact that the Prophet (s) had made reference to
Ali and his Shi’a during his lifetime proves that the
Shi’a existed then.
Furthermore, the very fact that this verse has never
been abrogated means that from then until the Day of
Judgment, if one is seeking to identify the best of
creations s/he will need to turn to Ali (as) and his
Shi’a. There exist no traditions in which the Prophet
(s) guaranteed paradise for a specific companion and his
followers, with the sole exception of Ali (as) and his
If Sunni Islam existed in a definitive form from the
moment of the death of the Holy Prophet, undoubtedly
some Hadith fabricators would have put the name Ahl' al
Sunna wa'al Jamaah in and substituted it for the name
Shi’a. But since this term did not exist till the reign
of Al Mansur a whole century after the death of the Holy
Prophet no such Hadith exists. So what was the title
given to the early companions?….
The companions, the Muhajireen and Ansar were Shi’a
The highly respected Sunni scholar Al Muhaddith Shah
Abdul Aziz Dehlavi in his discussion of hadith relating
to Ali and his Shi’a writes:
“The title Shi’a was first given to those Muhajireen
and Ansar who gave Bayah to Ali (may Allah enlighten his
face), they were his steadfast faithful followers during
his (Ali’s) khilafat, they remained close to him, and
they always fought his enemies, and kept on following
Ali’s commands and prohibitions the true Shi’a are these
who came in 37 Hijri”
(NB: 37 Hijri -the year Hadhrath Ali (as) fought
Mu’awiyah at Siffeen).
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