Published on: Monday, 13 Safar 1422 (7 May 2001)

The origins of the Shi’a


'The Prophet (s) said the best of creations are Hadhrath Ali (as) and his Shi’a' Manaqib Ali al Murtaza, page 184 by al Maghazli (An ancient Shafi scholar)

By Syed Hassan Bokhari

Islam is a deen that passed through 124,000 Prophets, it came bit by bit, imagine a jigsaw each Prophet brought a piece of the puzzle, starting with Hadhrath Adam (as) until the final piece of the puzzle came in to the hand of Hadhrath Muhammad (saws). This role of Prophethood was explained beautifully by the Prophet (saws) himself:

“My relation to the long chain of Prophets can be understood by the parable of a Palace. The Palace was most beautifully built. Everything was complete therein except the place for one brick. I have filled in that place and now the Palace has been completed”.
Towards understanding Islam by Sayyid Abu’l Ala Maudoodi, page 49 Editors footnote quoting Sahih Bukhari and Muslim (Islamic Foundation publishers)

The completion of the Palace symbolizes the completion of Allah’s deen, Islam. Whilst there is no doubting that Hadhrath Muhammad (s) is the final messenger, was there still not a risk of individuals seeking to unlawfully enter the Palace, occupy it, rearrange its fabric or worse still, attack its foundations?

If we have learnt anything from past peoples, it is that whilst every Prophet brought a brick towards the building of the Palace, after their deaths their teachings were corrupted, many had became unrecognizable. It is therefore little surprise that the Prophet (s) warned his companions that his adherents would follow the way of previous nations, so much so “that even if they entered a hole of a mastigure (lizard), you would follow them”(2). When Hadhrath Muhammad (s) was the Last Messenger, is not logical that Allah (swt) in his infinite wisdom would appoint guardians to the Palace to ensure that his deen is protected from corruption?
Sahih al Bukhari Arabic-English, Volume 9 hadith number 422

Some people assert that this guardianship has been provided for via the Qur’an, this clearly is not the case, there is no standard commentary of the Qur’an, that all Muslims accept. Islam is divided into many Sects, all of which purport to rely on the Qur’an, they present differing interpretations of verses, based upon theological schools of affiliation. The Qur’an is helpless on it’s own as it is a silent Book, it cannot physically guide its words of wisdom will only go so far as beacons of guidance without a living Guide to bring them alive in the hearts of the believers. It is dependent on a teacher, a correct interpreter.

During the lifetime of the companions, the Holy Prophet (s) was the Practical Guide to the inner and outer meanings of the Qur’an, with his death did this type of guidance end? Clearly the need for guidance would have been much more necessary for future generations that had never benefited from the Prophet (s)’s company. Some people assert that the companions fulfilled this role of guidance. This contention is not supported by hadith, for the Prophet (s) had warned the companions not to become kaffirs by killing each other.
ibid, Volume 9 hadith number 198 - 200

He (s) also said that afflictions would fall on to their homes in the same way that rain drops fall(1) and that some would become apostates after him(2) with the majority perishing in the fire(3).
1. ibid, Volume 9 hadith number 182
2. ibid, Volume 8 hadith number 586
3. ibid, Volume 8 hadith number 587

In the same way that a Doctor after identifying a condition prescribes medication for his patient, the Prophet (s) had likewise told the companions where they should turn to for guidance. During his farewell sermon at Arafat he (s) declared “I am leaving you two weighty things, if you follow them you will never go astray, they are the Qur’an and my Ahlul'bayt”.
Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v5, page 662-663

The sermon was announced to the Companions, thus proving that even they were liable of going astray if they turned away from these two sources. Those Muslims, that have clung to these two sources as an eternal form of guidance are called the ‘Shi’a’ (partisans), defined by the Sunni scholar Ibn Manzur, as “those people who love what the Prophet's Progeny loves, and they are loyal to such Progeny”.
Lisan al-'Arab, by Ibn Manzur, vol. 8, p189

We consider the Ahl’ulbayt as the designated guides appointed by Allah (swt). While past Khalifas were in positions of power, they did not inherit the knowledge, position and wisdom of the Holy Prophet, who specifically told the companions that Hadhrath Ali (as) had inherited the Qur’an and Sunnah from him.
Riyadh al Nadira, by Mohibbudin al Tabari, Vol 3 p 123

The inheritance of religious guidance passed through 12 designated Imams from Ahl’ulbayt, there are numerous hadith where the Prophet (s) declared that Islam would remain intact until the passing of 12 khalifas.
Mishkat al Masabih: (Vol 4 p 576), Hadith 5

The number 12 is of significance here, it can not apply to political leadership since the number of khalifas at the helm of the Khilafah far exceeded 12. The Prophet (s) was not talking about leaders appointed by men he was talking about absolute religious guides appointed by Allah (swt) and the Prophet (s) declared that in every generation members of his Ahl’ulbayt would counteract attempts to alter and corrupt the religion.
al-Sawa'iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar, Ch. 11, section 1, p231 under the commentary of verse: “And stop them, for they shall be questioned [37:24]”

This fact is strengthened further by the hadith recorded by the recognized Sunni scholar Al-Juwayni is in which the Prophet said that he would have 12 successors the first being Imam Ali, the last being Imam Mahdi.
Fara'id al-Simtayn, pg 160

As for the Shi’a of the Ahl’ul bayt, numerous Sunni scholars have recorded hadith in which the Prophet (s) had said that the group that Allah (swt) describes as “the best of the creatures” (Qur’an 98:7)” are Ali and his Shi’a and that they will enter paradise.
1. Tafsir Ibne Jarir, Volume 33 page 146 (Cairo edition) narrated from Hadhrath Muhammad bin Ali (as)
2. Tafsir Durre Manthur by Jalaladeen Suyuti, in his commentary of verse 98:7 Volume 6 page 379 –3 separate chains.
3. Tafsir Fatha ul bayan Volume 10 page 333 (Egypt edition)

If the Prophet (s)’s said the best of creations are Hadhrath Ali (as) and his Shi’a, then in the same way that this verse is applicable until the end of the world, Ali (as)’s Shi’a will likewise exist to provide a practical commentary to it. The Ahl’ul Sunnah believe that 70,000 Muslims will enter paradise without answering any questions(1) and Anas bin Malik, narrates that the Prophet (s) said that the 70,000 were Ali and his Shi’a(2).
1. Islam: The Basic Articles of Faith - According to the Beliefs of the Ahl al Sunna wa al Jama’a - a Modern English translation of Bahar-e-Shariat Part One (Unnamed author) page 67 – quoting a hadith to this effect.
2. Manaqib Ali al Murtaza, page 184 by al Maghazli (An ancient Shafi scholar)

There are no traditions, in which the Prophet (s) guaranteed paradise for any other companion and his followers. These hadith prove that the Shi’a were not a Sect founded by fictitious Abdullah bin Saba but were adherents to Ali (as) who existed during the lifetime of the Prophet (s).

The Shi’a have despite centuries of persecution and false propaganda maintained their affiliation with the Imams from the Ahl’ul bayt clinging to the “two weighty things” – seeking solace in the guarantee of the Holy Prophet (s): “Recognition of the family of Muhammad is freedom from the Fire. Love of the family of Muhammad is crossing over the Sirat. Friendship for the family of Muhammad is safety from the fire”.
1. Ash-Shifa, page 142 by Qadi Iyad, (d.544 Hijri) English translation by Aisha Bewley, Madinah Press 1991.
2. Yanabi al-Mawaddah, al-Qundoozi al-Hanafi, section 65, p370

With such a clear hadith it is little surprise that the Prophet (s) declared: “O Ali four people will enter heaven first of all. Me, you, Hasan, Hussain and your descendents will follow us and our wives will follow our descendents and our Shi’a will be to the left and right of us”.
al Sawaiqh al Muhriqa page 159, by Ahmad ibn Hajr al Makki (Cairo edition)

These hadith need to be pondered over carefully remember, the Prophet (s) said in a well known hadith that Muslims would be divided in to 73 sects of which only one would attain paradise, one hopes that this article has been able to shed light on which group that is.

This article is provided and written by the author mentioned above. Shia News is not responsible for the contents of this article.

Shia News :





وَنَجَّيْنَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَكَانُوا يَتَّقُونَ {41:18}

But We delivered those who believed and practised righteousness


  Shia in the light of Quran
Term Shia in Quran and Hadith
 The Spiritual Message of Shi'ism
 Sunni Scholars says about Shia
 Divne Copyright Laws


ASFA Discussion Ibn Saba
 Kaab or Saba 1
 Kaab or Saba 2
 Debate about Ibn Saba

Copyright ©2011
All rights reserved

وَنَجَّيْنَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَكَانُوا يَتَّقُونَ     اللهم صلى على محد و ال محد.... و عجل فرجهم