What is SHIA ?
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The Qur'an and its Translators
What is SHIA ?


(1) What is shiaism?

Just like Islam, Shiaism is also misrepresented and misunderstood on account of ignorance and antagonistic. Shia school of thought is not a sect innovated by the Jews as some claim, but is the only school of thought which has attached itself to the Holy Prophet and the Holy Ahl Al Bayt, in obedience to Prophets Sunnah and in Submission to the will of Allah.

People neglected the AHL AL BAYT and began following their own ways and yet called their own innovated Schools as Islam, and themselves are the deviants from the prescribed course as Muslims. Therefore those who faithfully followed the original teachings of the Holy Quran and remained faithfully attached to the prescribed course by the Holy Prophet , had to distinguish themselves from others who had discarded the divinely set up guides, the AHL AL BAYT. Thus those who followed Ali in the place of Holy Prophet, called themselves as the Shia's of Ali a.s, just to distinguish the Islam-Original which they faithfully followed and identified it as Shiaism.

This was quite in accordance with the 'bait' or the allegiance taken from Muslims by the Holy Prophet, for Ali at 'GHADEER-E-KHUM', while others disregarded it and paid their allegiance to their own chosen leaders.

Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) had declared that his ummah will divide into 73 sects, all would meet destruction except one, but which sect of the 73, will meet Heavenly Bliss?

The Messenger of Allah said to Ali: "Glad tiding O Ali! Verily you and your companions and your SHIA (followers) will be in Paradise."

Sunni references:
1.Fadha'il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v2, p655
2.Hilyatul Awliyaa, by Abu Nu'aym, v4, p329/
/3.Tarikh, by al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi, v12, p289, by al-Tabarani
5.Majma' al-Zawa'id, by al-Haythami, v10, pp 21-22, who said this tradition has been transmitted via numerous'iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar Haythami , Ch. 11,

The word shi'ah means a follower:

And most surely Abraham was among the Shi'ah of him (Qur'an 37:83)

And he (Moses) went into the city at a time when people (of the city) were not watching, so he found therein two men fighting, one being of his Shi'ah and the other being his enemy, and the one who was of his Shi'ah cried out to him for helpagainst the one who was of his enemy (Qur'an 28:15)
In the history of Islam, "Shi'ah" has been especially used for the followers of Imam 'Ali (a). This phrase is not something invented later! The first individual who used this term was the Messenger of Allah himself. When the following verse of the Qur'an was revealed:

(As for) those who believe and do good, surely they are the best of creatures
(Qur'an 98:7)

The Prophet (s) said to Ali: "It is for you and your Shi'ah."

He further said: "I swear by the one who controls my life that this man (Ali) and his Shi'ah shall secure deliverance on the Day of Resurrection."

q Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, Tafsir al-Durr al-Manthur, (Cairo) vol. 6, p. 379
q Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tafsir Jami' al-Bayan, (Cairo) vol. 33, p. 146
q Ibn Asakir, Ta'rikh Dimashq, vol. 42, p. 333, p. 371
Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, al-Sawa'iq al-Muhriqah, (Cairo) Ch. 11, section 1, pp 246-247

(1) What is the belief of the Shi'ah?

We believe that there is no god but Allah, the eternal, the alone, the All-Mighty the All-Wise, Never can he be seen in this world or hereafter.

We believe in all the prophets sent by Allah to guide mankind to the way of Allah, the last being the Prince of all Prophets, Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) the seal of Messengers., through whom Allah (S.W.T) completed his chosen errorless Deen.

We also believe in Imamat,( The Divine Leadership)

We believe in the Angels, Hereafter, Paradise, Hell, Rewards and Punishment.

We believe that the Holy Quran is the last Word of Allah.

We believe in the articles of practice,( Salaah, Fasting, Hajj, Zakat, khums, Jehad, Amar bil Maroof, Nahya anil Munkar, Tawallah and Tabarra)

There are differences between the Shia's and the other schools of thought in regarding Tawheed Prophethood, Imamat etc,


The Twelver Shi'ites believe that God has no shape, no physical hand, no physical leg, no physical body, and no visible appearance. He does not change along with the time, or does not occupy any physical place. Under no circumstances, God changes. There comes no TIME frame upon him. He has created time, and physical places.

In short: "THERE IS NOTHING LIKE HIM"(Holy Quran)

But the brothers of other schools of thought believe that somehow we will see Allah in the here after., and this has been mentioned in SAHIH AL BUKHARI: 9.532A:
Narrated 'Ata' bin Yazid al-Laithi:

On the authority of Abu Huraira: The people said, "O Allah's Apostle! Shall we see our Lord on the Day of Resurrection?" The Prophet said:

"Do you have any difficulty in seeing the moon on a full moon night?"
They said, "No, O Allah's Apostle." He said, "Do you have any difficulty in seeing the sun when there are no clouds?"
They said, "No, O Allah's Apostle." He said, "So you will see Him, like that".

If the above is true: that we will see Allah s.w.t in the Hereafter, then this means that Allah has a FORM, in which we will see him, otherwise how will see SEE something with our physical eyes that is UNSEEN?


Narrated Abu Sa'id al-Khudri:

"..Then the Almighty will come to them in a SHAPE other than the one which they saw the first time, and He will say: 'I am your Lord,' and they will say, 'You are not our Lord.'
And none will speak: to Him then but the Prophets, and then it will be said to them, 'Do you know any sign by which you can recognise Him?'

They will say. 'The Shin,' and so Allah will then uncover His Shin whereupon every believer will prostrate before Him..."

The above shows that Allah has some kind of FORM, which will be shifted to a SHAPE other than the one the believers would see first.
Narrated Abu Huraira:

".. The Prophet said, "Allah created Adam in His picture, sixty cubits (about 30 meters) in height."
Allah has created ADAM a.s in His own image, the words contained in Sahih Al Bukhari:

'inna Allah 'azza wa-jalla khalaqa Adam 'ala surathihi'

They liken Him with a form of a Human being and attribute to Him Limitations!!!

They seem to believe that "WE" will SEE Allah!!!

When Allah replies, to Musa a.s: "NEVER WILL THOU SEE ME..."- 7:143

They seem to believe that WE will see Him, in the Hereafter, surely there is a contradiction between the saying of Allah "LUN" (never) and their saying WE WILL SEE HIM IN THE HEREAFTER. Brothers we can say NEVER and forget about it the next day or days, but Allah never forgets! When He says NEVER He means NEVER!

The other schools of thought base their arguments on this Ayat:

"Some faces on that day will be glooming, looking towards their Lord", and the hadiths mentioned aboved.

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In Arabic language the word "Nadhira" that is used in the above verse does not imply "seeing", and our Imams (AS) used other verses of Quran to prove this. In fact, the word "Nadhira" has been used in Quran with the meaning of "Muntadhira" that means expecting/waiting. On the commentary of this verse, IMAM ALI (AS)said:

"... The verse means looking forward to what Allah, to Whom belong Might and Majesty, has *promised them*. And the word 'Nadhira' sometimes means 'expecting/waiting' ('al- Muntadhira'). Haven't you heard the saying of Allah: '(But I am going to send him a present) and I am looking forward (Nadhira) to what (answer) the ambassadors will return (27:35).' This means I am waiting (al-Muntadhira) for what the ambassadors will return..."

- al-Ihtijaj, v1, p243
- Bihar al-Anwar, v90, p101, Hadith #1

In another Hadith on the commentary of the verse "Some faces on that day will be brilliant, looking towards their Lord", Imam Ali Ibn Musa al-Ridha (AS) said:

"It means (their faces) are radiant and they are looking forward to the REWARD of their Lord."

- al-Ihtijaj, v2, p409
- Kitab al-Tawhid, p116, Hadith #19
- al-Amali, Shaikh Saduq, p409, Hadith #1
- al-Bihar, v4, p28, Hadith #3

On the impossibility of seeing, visualising, or thinking Allah, Abu Hashim al-Ja'fari narrated:

About the verse "Visions can not reach Him and He grasps all visions (6:103)",

Imam al-Ridha (AS) said: "O Aba Hashim! The thinking/imagination of the mind is more delicate than the vision of the eyes. By your imagination, you can reach to India and other places that you have not entered and your eyes have not reached. Thus the thinking of minds can not reach Him, then how could the visions of eyes do?"

- al-Kafi, v1, p99, Hadith #11
- Kitab al-Tawhid, p113, Hadith #12
- Bihar al-Anwar, v4, p39, Hadith #17

Similarly he narrated:
Imam al-Ridha (AS) said: "Verily the imagination of the mind is more (powerful) than the vision of the eyes.Thus (the verse means) minds can not reach Him, and He reaches to all minds."

- Al-Kafi, v1, p98, Hadith #10
-Kitab al-Tawhid, p112, Hadith #11
- Bihar al-Anwar, v4, p39, Hadith #16

Impossibility of seeing Allah is out of question when mind cannot encompass Him. In another Hadith, Ibrahim al-Karkhi narrated:

I said to Ja'far Ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq (AS): "There is a person who claims to see Allah in dream. How is this possible?" He (AS) replied: "That man has no religion. Verily Allah can be seen neither in awareness, nor in dream, nor in this world, NOR IN THE HEREAFTER."
- al-Amali, Shaikh Saduq, p610, Hadith #5
- Bihar al-Anwar, v4, p32, Hadith#7


There are some differences on Prophethood, but mainly our differences are on the subject Imamat. That is the main cause of disunity amongst the Shia and non Shia schools of thought. We believe that the Holy Prophet before departing from this world, he nominated his successor, Imam Ali a.s to be the guide after him. The other Schools of thought maintain that (S.A.W) gave no direct indictaions.
Anyhow we have our proofs to show that the Holy Prophet, gave clear indications.

(3)What evidences are there to show that it is compulsory to follow the Ahl Al Bayt, after the Holy Prophet?

It's against the teachings of Islam, that a person should follow his own wimps and desires, but the guidance bestowed upon him by the Creator, Allah s.w.t.
The shia's believe that before the departure of Holy Prophet, he on many accasions said and especially at Ghadeer: It is narrated in Sahih Muslim as well as many other sources that:

Someday (after his last pilgrimage) the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) stood to give us a speech beside a pond which is known as Khum (Ghadir Khum) which is located between Mecca and Medina. Then he praised Allah and reminded Him, and then said: "O' people! Behold! It seems the time approached when I shall be called away (by Allah) and I shall answer that call. Behold! I am leaving for you two precious things. First of them is the book of Allah in which there is light and guidance... The other one is my Ahlul-Bayt. I remind you in the name of Allah about my Ahlul-Bayt. I remind you in the name of Allah about my Ahlul-Bayt. I remind you in the name of Allah about my Ahlul-Bayt. (three times)."

Sunni Reference:

Sahih Muslim, Chapter of the virtues of the companions, section of the virtues of Ali, 1980 Edition Pub. In Saudi Arabia, Arabic version, v4, p1873, Tradition #36. And many others such as Sahih al-Tirmidhi, Musnad Ahmad

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