What is Shia Page 3
Majalis 2003
Islamic Calendar
The Qur'an and its Translators
What is SHIA ?

What is Shia ?

(11)What will happen if one refuses to accept, the Ahl Al bayt as their guides?

Well the Holy Prophet has already answered this question, by saying:

"Behold! My Ahlul-Bayt are like the Ark of Noah. Whoever embarked in it was SAVED, and whoever turned away from it was PERISHED., by al-Hakim, v2, p343, v3, pp 150-151 on the authority of Abu Dhar. al-Hakim said this tradition is authentic (Sahih).
2.Fadha'il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v2, p786
3. al-Sawa'iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar Haythami, Ch. 11, section 1, p234 under Verse 8:33. Also in section 2, p282. He said this Hadith has been transmitted via numerous authorities.


Yes it is true with the exception of the Last Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W). Our belief is that there is none Superior or like Allah s.w.t, and after Allah, the most Superior being is Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) and after him are the remaining Ahl Al Bayt, then the rest of other Prophets.

Imamat is also an office like Prophethood, and to this the Holy Quran confirms:

"And when Abraham was tested by his Lord with certain commands and he fulfilled them. Then He said: Lo! I appoint you an Imam for mankind." (Quran 2:124).

Ibraheem (A.S) was made an Imam ONLY after passing a TEST bestowed upon him by Allah(S.W.T), hence to receive Imamat without undergoing certain tests is against the laws of Allah, nor can anyone choose to become an Imam by votes of majority, this office is only granted to a person chosen by the divine will of Allah. Since Prophet Muhammad was also an Imam this does not undermine his position.

It is admitted by All that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) is Superior to all other beings on the face of earth, whether they are Prophets or Angels.

This position of superiority is given to him due to his Merits, Virtues, Knowledge, Piety, and for Striving most in the path of Allah.

It is illogical to think that bestows upon a person an exalted position of superiority, without him having to earn it: "And for all (are ranks) (assigned) according to what they did; that Allah may (fully) recompense their deeds, and they shall not be done any injustice" -46:19

Allah says: "The best among you in the sight of Allah, is he with the most upright character; Verily Allah is All-knowing, All-Aware" - 49:13

A person's character is due to the extent of his piety, the more a pious a person would be the more exalted character he will achieve.

A person's piety can also be due to the extent of his knowledge, about right and wrong, and other matters relating to it. The more knowledge a person has, the more it will help him, to correct his conduct in the matters against deviation and ungodly attitude and THUS he will be amongst God-fearing.

" Verily, the God-fearing from amongst his servants are those endued with knowledge; Verily Allah is All-Mighty, Oft-Forgiving" - 35:28

A person's knowledge and a firm belief can also raise the standard of a person to a exalted position, as Allah says: " Allah will EXALTED those who believe amongst you and those who have been granted knowledge in RANKS; And Allah is All-Aware of whatever you do" - 58:11

All this sums up to, that a person's position is elevated to a superior rank, due to his Merits, Virtues, Knowledge and Piety.

Out of all the creation of Allah, Prophet Muhammad's Knowledge, Piety, Merits and Virtues are greater than any other beings created, it is for this reason Allah has given him a exalted position worthy of respect.

Our Imams come next to the position of the Holy Prophet, for they are well known for their excellent Morals, Knowledge and their Striving in the path of Allah.

The Prophets, other than Prophet Muhammad(S.A.W) did not have the complete knowledge of the Holy Quran, but our Imams did, Allah asks: "Are those who know and those who know not alike ? "

So how can the Prophets be compared to those who had more knowledge than they did?
How can the Prophets be compared to our Imams whose Character, Knowledge, Piety and PURITY matched the Holy Prophet?
The Holy Prophet himself compared our Imams with other Prophets:
- Imam Ali (AS) having the highest virtues of the early great Messengers:
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) said: "He who wants to see Noah (AS) in his determination, Adam (AS) in his knowledge, Abraham (AS) in his clemency, Moses (AS) in his intelligence and Jesus (AS) in his religious devotion should look at Ali Ibn Abi Talib (AS)."
Sunni references:
(1)Sahih al-Bayhaqi
(2)Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, as quoted in
(3)Sharh Ibn Abi al-Hadid, v2, p449
(4)Tafsir al-Kabir, by Fakhruddin al-Razi, under the commentary of the Verse of (5)Impreciation (Mubilah), v2 p288. He wrote this tradition has been accpeted as all genuine.
(6)Ibn Batah has recorded it as a tradition related by Ibn Abbas as is stated in the book "Fat'h al-Mulk al-Ali bi Sihah Hadith-e-Bab-e- Madinat al-Ilm", p34, by Ahmed Ibn Muhammad Ibn Siddiq al-Hasani al-Maghribi.
Salman al-Farsi (RA) narrated that:
I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) saying: "I myself, and Ali were one light in the hands of Allah fourteen thousand years (14,000) before He created Adam (AS). When Allah created Adam(AS) He divided that light into two parts, one part is me and one part Ali."

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Sunni References:
(1)Mizan Al-Ei'tidal, by al-Dhahabi, v1, p235
(2)Fada'il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v2, p663, Tradition #1130
(3) al-Riyadh al-Nadhirah, by al-Muhib al-Tabari, v2, p164, v3, p154
(4) History of Ibn Asakir
Remark: "hand of Allah" means His power. The phrase "within the hands of Allah" means in His presence, domain, realm, kingdom.
This clearly shows that the ranks of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HF) and Imam Ali (AS) are better than any human being ever created by Allah.
There are many other sayings of the Holy Prophet which indicate that the position held by the Members of Ahl Al Bayt, is more superior than that of any Prophet, Companions and Angels.
There is a difference between Revelation (Wahy) and Inspiration (Ilham), some people use the word Wahy to mean inspiration, while the actual word for inspiration is Ilham.
In the Holy Quran it is stated that the Mother of Musa (A.S) received Wahy:
And We REVEALED to the mother of Moses: Suckle (thy child) but when thou hast fears about him cast him into the river but fear not nor grieve: for We shall restore him to thee and We shall make him one of Our apostles. (Quran 28:7)

If the mother of Musa (A.S) can receive Wahy then why do Muslims find it difficult to accept, that The Imams, the purified souls, can also receive Revelations/Inspiration, by any means Allah wants.

However one thing which is clear is that the revelations to those who were neither prophet nor messenger, did NOT have anything to do with Shari'ah (divine law). It did NOT have anything to do with religious practices etc. Rather, It was an order to what way to choose at the time of confusion and/or informing what has happened or what will happen.

So we can conclude that even revelation has different types. Only the revelation to Prophets and messengers is related to Shari'ah (divine law) and new religious practices, while others do NOT receive this type of revelation.

(14) Do the Imams meet the Angels?

According to Quran, talking to angels is NOT exclusive to prophets and messengers. Allah mentioned in Quran that Mary (the mother of Jesus) talked to angels, and angels talked to him. Look at Quran, to see the conversation of Mary and the angels:

"Behold! the angels said "O Mary! Allah gives you glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus the son of Mary held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah. (Quran 3:45)"

There is a whole conversation between Mary and the angel. See a couple of verses before and after the above verse. Mary (AS) was neither a prophet nor a messenger, yet she talked to angels. However the communication of Mary with angels had nothing to do with Shari'ah (Divine Law). It did not have anything to do with religious practices. Rather it was a news to what is about to happen, and instructions of what to do.

In this connection, also see verses 11:69-73 where angels talked to the wife of Abraham and gave her the glad tiding that she is pregnant of Prophet Isaac (AS).

Even Sunnis claim that Imran Ibn al-Husayn al-Khuza'i (d. 52/672) who was one of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HF), was VISITED by angels, greeted by angels, SHOOK HANDS with angels and saw them, only being left by them for a short period after which the angels returned to him till the end of his life.

Sunni references:
(1) Sahih Muslim, V4, pp 47-48
(2) Also commentaries of Sahih Muslim by al-Nabawi, V8, P206, and by al-Abi
and al-Sanusi, V3, P361.
(3) Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, V4, PP 427-428
(4) Sunan Darimi, V2, P305
(5) al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, V3, P472
(6) Tabaqat, by Ib Sa'd, V7, part 1, P6


All great Twelver Shi'ah scholars from the earliest period to the present century have believed in the complete preservation of the Qur'an. Some famous early Shi'ah scholars who have clearly stated this belief in their books include:

q Shaykh al-Saduq (d. 381 AH), Kitabu'l-Itiqadat, (Tehran, 1370) p. 63.
q Shaykh al-Mufid (d. 413 AH), Awa'ilu l-Maqalat, pp. 55-6;
q Sharif al-Murtada (d. 436 AH), Bahru 'l-Fawa'id (Tehran, 1314) p. 69;
q Shaykh at-Tusi (d. 460 AH), Tafsir at-Tibyan, (Najaf, 1376), vol 1 p. 3;
q Shaykh at-Tabrasi (d. 548), Majma'u 'l-Bayan, (Lebanon), vol. 1 p. 15.
Some of the later scholars who spelt out the same views include:
q Muhammad Muhsin al-Fayd al-Kashani (d. 1019 AH), Al-Wafi, vol. 1 pp. 273-4, and al-'Asfa fi Tafsir al-Qur'an, p. 348;
q Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi (d. 1111 AH), Bihar al-'Anwar, vol. 89 p. 75

This belief has continued uninterrupted upto the present time. Shi'ah scholars of this century who have reiterated the belief that the Qur'an is completely protected and unchanged include such famous names as Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin al-'Amili (d. 1371 AH); Sayyid Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi (d. 1377 AH.); Shaykh Muhammad Husayn Kashif al-Ghita' (d. 1373 AH); Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim (d. 1390 AH); 'Allamah al-Tabataba'i (d. 1402 AH); Sayyid Ruhullah al-Khumayni (d. 1409 AH); Sayyid Abu al-Qasim al-Khu'i (d. 1413 AH) and Sayyid Muhammad Rida al-Gulpaygani (d. 1414 AH).

This, of course, is not an exhaustive list.


Not at all! Consider the example of 'Ubaydullah b. Musa al-'Absi (120-213 AH), a devoted Shi'ah scholar whose narrations from the Imams can be found in the famous Shi'ah hadith collections such as al-Tahdhib and al-Istibsar. Now let's see what some Sunni scholars have to say about him:
q "... a pious person, one of the important Shi'ah scholars ... he was considered reliable by Yahya b. Ma'in, Abu Hatim said he was reliable, trustworthy ... al-'Ijli said that he was an authority on the Qur'an..."
[Al-Dhahabi, Tadhkirat al-Huffaz (Haydarabad, 1333 AH), vol. 1 p. 322]
q "... he was an imam in fiqh and hadith and Qur'an characterized by piety and righteousness, but he was one of the chiefs of the Shi'ah."
[Ibn al-'Imad al-Hanbali, Shadharat al-Dhahab (Cairo, 1350 AH), vol. 2 p. 29]

None of these Sunni scholars would have praised him for his knowledge of the Qur'an if they thought he believed in a different Qur'an!!!

And 'Ubaydullah was considered so trustworthy, despite being a Shi'ah, that the famous Sunni traditionists al-Bukhari and Muslim as well as many others narrated scores of traditions from him in their hadith collections!
[The Creed of the Imaam of Hadeeth al-Bukhari (Salafi Publications, UK, 1997), pp. 87-89]


The Qur'an is a Mushaf (book), but any book is not necessarily the Qur'an! There is no Qur'an of Fatimah! Mushaf Fatimah was a book written or dictated by Fatimah (a) after the Prophet's (s) death. It is not a part of Qur'an and has nothing to do with Allah's commandments or legal rulings.

(18) But are there not traditions in Shi'ah collections that mention verses of the Qur'an containing extra words than what we have today?

There are some instances where extra words are indicated only by way of explanation, they do not imply that the original Qur'anic text is being distorted. This happens in both Shi'ah and Sunni sources. Consider the following two examples, both from famous Sunni commentaries of the Qur'an:

q "Ubayy b. Ka'b used to read ' then as to those whom you profit by for an appointed period give them their dowries as appointed' (Qur'an Chapter 4, Verse 24) and this was also the recitation of Ibn 'Abbas."
[Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, Mafatih al-Ghayb (Beirut, 1981), vol. 9 p. 53]
[Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Qur'an al-'Azim (Beirut, 1987), vol. 2 p. 244]

A footnote in Ibn Kathir's Tafsir explains that the additional words indicated above, which are not part of the Qur'an, were recited by these Companions of the Prophet (s) only by way of tafsir and explanation.

q "Ibn Mas'ud said: In the days of the Prophet (s) we used to recite, 'O our Messenger (Muhammad) deliver what has been sent down to you from your Lord that 'Ali is the master of the believers if you do not, then you have not delivered His message.' (Qur'an Chapter 5, Verse 67)
[Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, Durr al-Manthur, vol. 2 p. 298]

In this case as well, the part in italics is certainly not part of the Qur'anic text, however the Companion Ibn Mas'ud used to recite it in this way to explain the context of its revelation.

(19) But what about those traditions that say a number of revealed verses are no longer part of the Qur'an?

The Shi'ah do not believe in the immunity of any writer, commentator or narrator from mistakes, and, therefore, they do not take any collection of hadith to be completely valid and correct. The only book which is completely immune from any mistake is the Qur'an. These traditions are mostly considered as weak or interpreted as referring to non-Qur'anic revelation.

q It is interesting to point out that there are numerous traditions reported in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim which allege that many verses of Qur'an are missing. [Al-Bukhari, Al-Sahih, vol. 8 p. 208; Muslim, Al-Sahih, vol. 3 p. 1317]
q Not only that, these Sunni reports allege that two chapters from the Qur'an are missing with one of them similar to the Chapter of al-Bara'ah (chapter 9) in length!!! [Muslim, Al-Sahih, Kitab al-Zakat, vol. 2 p. 726]
q Some Sunni traditions even claim that the Chapter al-Ahzab (chapter 33) was as lengthy as the Chapter of al-Baqarah (chapter 2)!!! The Chapter of al-Baqarah is the biggest Chapter of the Qur'an. The traditions in Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim even detail some of the missing verses. [Al-Bukhari, Al-Sahih, vol. 8 p. 208]

Yet, fortunately the Shi'ah never accuse the Sunni brothers and sisters of believing that the Quran is incomplete. We say that either these Sunni reports are weak or fabricated.


"It is our belief that the Qur'an which Allah revealed to His Prophet Muhammad (s) is (the same as) the one between the two covers (daffatayn). And it is that which is in the hands of the people, and is not greater in extent than that And he who asserts that we say that it is greater in extent than this (the present text) is a liar."
[As-Saduq, Kitabu'l-I`tiqadat (Tehran: 1370 AH) p. 63; English translation, The Shi'ite Creed, tr. A.A.A. Fyzee (Calcutta: 1942) p. 85]

(20) What do Shia's say about TAQIYAH?

al-Shaykh Muhammad Ridha al-Mudhaffar in his book, "Aqa'id al-Imamiyah,"
wrote that:

"al-Taqiyya should conform to specific rules vis-a-vis the situation wherein eminent danger is present; these rules, listed in many books of Fiqh (Jurisprudence), along with the severity of the danger determine the validity, or lack of, al-Taqiyya itself. It is not mandatory to practice it (al-Taqiyya) at all times; on the contrary, it is permissible, and sometimes necessary, to abandon it (al-Taqiyya) altogether; as in the case where revealing the truth will further the cause of the religion, and provide a direct service to Islam; and (when the revealing of the truth is such that it constitutes) a jihad (striving) for (Islam's) sake; (verily,) in such a situation, wealth and life should be forsaken. Furthermore, al-Taqiyya is prohibited in instances wherein the killing of innocent people and the spread of corruption will result; and in cases wherein the marring of the religion will result, and/or a significant harm will befall the Muslims, either by leading them astray or corrupting and oppressing them.

Either way, al-Taqiyya, as the Shia uphold it, does not make of the Shia a secret cooperative that seeks to destroy and corrupt, as the enemies (of the Shia) wish to present them; (these critics launch their verbal attacks) without really heeding the subject (of al- Taqiyya); and (without even) laboring to understand our own opinion on the matter (of al-Taqiyya).

Nor does it (al-Taqiyya) mandate that the religion and its injunctions become a secret of secrets that cannot be disclosed to those who do not subscribe to its teachings. How so, when the books of the Imamiyah (the Shia) that deal with the (subjects of) Fiqh, Kalam, and beliefs are in abundant supply, and have exceeded the limits (of publications) expected from any nation professing its beliefs."

SAASK RESERVED Shia Organaisation