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Allegations Against the Shi’a

Refutation of the Claim that their are Un-Islamic Borrowings in Shi’a Beliefs. 

All that we have set down in this book is but a mere indication of the beliefs and convictions of the Imamiyah sect. It would require many volumes to deal with them in detail. But the religious leaders, and indeed the Muslims in general, can tell us if there was anything in the facts that we have just stated which could be said to be the cause of the destruction of Islam, or if there is any matter which has been derived from Judaism, Christianity, or Zorastrianism (see introduction), or if anything appears which is against the basic principle of monotheism (tawhid) or against the Book (the Qur’an) and the sunnah (words and deeds of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.)). By God, you should be just and not simply utter caluminous remarks.

Finally, our prayer is that our brothers in Islam should come out of the world of doubt and uncertainty, and gather together under the one banner of the Qur’an, so as to successfully regain their past glory. It is quite obvious that this is an impossibility as long as our sectarian conflicts continue.

May God bless us with mutual tolerance and may the bonds of love between us be strengthened.

The Problem of Bada’ 

In this matter also the Shi’as are much reviled. The misconstrues, distorting the concept of “bada”, try to convince people that according to the Shi’a faith, God, the Almighty, performs actions of which He has no knowledge. God forbid. Can there be greater ignorance than this? This is plain infidelity because, on the one hand, it is a denial of the attribute of knowledge of God the Almighty, and on the other, He is considered as being subject to accidents and changes. This negates the very essence of the infiniteness and absoluteness of God. The Imamiyah sect vehemently opposes these foolish and absurd ideas. Rather, no Islamic sect supports this misleading view. Of course, these nonsensical ideas have been attributed to some of those elements who believe in the physical body of God. Thus it was one of them who said about God, “Only excuse Me for My beard and private parts. Otherwise you may ask Me anything you like.”

The correct meaning of “bada”, which the Shi’as believe in, is included in the secrets and mysteries of the House of Muhammad (a.s.),. The traditions of the ahl ul-bayt (a.s.) say, “There is no other way in which the duty of worship of God is better performed than it is with the acknowledgement of “bada”. One who does not make “bada” the proof of this knowledge does not possess a complete understanding of God.”

There are many other reports with the same sense. In fact, knowledge is of two kings: One is that with which God has endowed His angels and prophets (a.s.). According to this knowledge, whatever has been told them must surely happen. The second kind is that which is neither known to an angel close to the Presence of God, nor to any exalted Prophet (a.s.). It is only He Who knows it. So, according to this, He may cause something to happen earlier or delay a happening, or efface or write down something as He pleases. That is the stage of knowledge, which God the Almighty calls “‘umm al-kitab”. This shows the perfect Might, absolute Wisdom and divine Sovereignty of the Lord of the universe.

The problem may also be understood in the following way. “Bada” in the world of existence has the same status as “naskh” (abrogation) in the commands of the shari’ah. Thus, just as in the shari’ah, amendments, additions, changes and alterations give untold advantages, so also, in the world of being, the secrets and unknown advantages of “bada'” are beyond human understanding.

“Bada'” can also be explained thus. The highest servants of God have knowledge of a matter, but they do not know what will facilitate or hinder its occurrence. For example, Jesus knew that the bridegroom would die on the first night of his marriage, but he did not know that failing to give charity was a condition for this. So it happened that the bridegroom’s mother gave out charity and he was spared. When the reality of the matter was put before Jesus, he said, “you must have given charity on his behalf. Charity wards off calamities.”

There are many other instances of this sort. The advantages that accrue from these states of affairs is that, in the first place, human beings are put to the test, and, in the second, they are trained in the habits of submission. A clear proof of this is the manner in which Abraham was put to the test over his son.

Also, if there were no “bada'”, all the invocations, charity, intercession, weeping and impoloring of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and his successors (a.s.), and their fear of God, would be meaningless, despite their complete obedience to Him.

Evidently the cause of their fearing and trembling is that hidden and treasured knowledge which nobody is aware of and which is the fountainhead of “bada'”.

If someone wishes to know the details of the different kinds of “bada”‘, “qada”, “qadr” and the “lawh mahw” and the “lawh ithbat”, he or she should read the first volume of our book “ad-Din aw l-Islam”. We have there gone into these topics in great detail.

Taqiyah
(pious dissimulation or concealing one’s faith in dangerous circumstances)

In the matter of taqiy ah also the Shi’as are very much defamed and the reason for that is that ordinary people are quite ignorant of its reality. A careful consideration will show that the taqiyah in which the Shi’as believe is not peculiar to them alone. Rather, it is a logical necessity and a natural demand. There is no commandment of the shari’ah which is inconsistent with wisdom and learning. In every problem, knowledge and wisdom appear together .

If one assesses innate human tendencies, one has to admit that everyone has a natural disposition to defend himself: life is dear. Of course, if there is a matter of honour at stake, or a question of protecting the truth, then, even though life is dear, it is not given any relative importance. But if circumstances do not reach such an extreme, what sane man would be prepared to endanger his own life just so that the world may laugh at him?
What is more, to court danger is against the counsel of wisdom and religion.

Thus the Holy Lawgiver has permitted the Muslim who is surrounded by danger and who risks his or her life or his or her honour to hide his or her belief outwardly although he or she must continue to observe his or her religion inwardly. There are also verses in the Holy Qur’an suggesting the same thing and the story of ‘Ammar, his parents and some other companions of the Prophet shows that when he was suffering the persecutions of the idol-worshippers, he professed unbelief.

There are of course rules for taqiyah. They are three:

1) if life will be lost for no purpose, then it is an obligation;
2) if expressing the truth would serve some useful purpose, then it is optional;
3) if atheism (kufr) is gaining the upper hand, people are being led astray, and their is danger of cruelty and oppression, then taqiyah is forbidden.

Now let us throw some light onto the matter so that a conscientious person may make up his own mind as to whether the Shi’a are actually guilty of taqiyah (supposing that it is condemnable), or whether they were forced to do taqiyah by certain groups who took away their freedom and forced them to dissimulate their beliefs.

As soon as Mu’awiyyah took over power, he made the shari’ah into a plaything and victimized the Shi’as of ‘Ali (a.s.) with unconcealed savagery. The blood of the Shi’as was cheaper to him than water. The Marwanid caliphs also followed the same iniquitous policy. Then came the ‘Abbasid period, and they even increased the atrocities. Consequently, those who loved the ahl ulbayt (a.s.) had to adopt various tactics. Sometimes they went into hiding, sometimes they rose up. Sometimes they were forced to conceal themselves and sometimes they stood up against the oppression in their enthusiasm for the truth so that their blood might become a beacon lighting the path for others.

Some great Shi’ahs, therefore, paid no heed to taqiyah and braved all kinds of cruelties, sometimes ending up. as martyrs. There is the very famous story of the martyrs of Maraj Azra, who were fourteen brave warriors who sacrificed their lives in the way of God under the leadership of the pious companion Hajar ibn Abi Kindi. He was also the military leader who was responsible for the conquest of Syrai. Mu’awiyyah said of him, “I know what was the case with everyone of those whom I put to the sword in Maraj Azra, but I am at a loss to understand what the crime of Hajar was for which he was killed.” But we can easily say what his fault was. He did not feel there was any need to do taqiyah, because he wanted to let the world know the tyranny of the Umayyids and the deep religious feelings of his own family.

Let us not forget the events surrounding the ends of the great companions ‘Amr ibn Himq al-Khuza’i and ‘Abdu’r-Rahman ibn al-Hasan al-Ghazi, who were buried alive by ibn Ziyad. Nor Maytham Tammar, Rushayd al-Hajari and ‘Abdullah ibn Yaqfar who were crucified. Moreover, there are the examples of the hundreds and thousands of other Muslims who died fighting for their beliefs. in the way of God before the disbelievers who crushed them to death.

These lovers of truth did not do taqiyah because such was the need of the moment. Their abstaining from taqiyah protected the truth and showed up the false religiosity of Mu’awiyyah, Yazid, Ziyad and Ibn Ziyad.

How can we possibly forget the events surrounding the martyrdom of al-Husayn (a.s.) and his worthy companions? They, of course, considered taqiyah to be unlawful in its particular circumstances, but there are other situations in which it may be compulsory, or may be merely optional.

It is reported that once Musaylimah, the false prophet, captured two Muslims and forced them to acknowdedge his prophethood and deny the prophethood of Muhammad (s.a.w.). One of them refused and was therefore killed, but the other accepted and was released. When the news reached the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.), he said, “The first man made haste to reach heaven, the second man marked his time. Both of them will be recompensed.”

O Muslims! Do not taunt your brothers concerning taqiyah. May God bless you and us in the hereafter, and may we all be united on the point of guidance. Salam, peace, to you all, and may God bestow on you His Mercy and His Blessings.

* * * * *

Endnotes

[1] (s.a.w.): is the abbreviation of the Arabic phrase “Salla ‘llahu ‘alayhi wa alih” (may God bless him and his progeny).

[2] (a.s.): is the abbreviation of “‘alayhi ‘s-Salam” (peace be upon him)

[3] The principle of ‘awl (proportionate reduction) is applied by Sunni jurists when the estate of the deceased is ‘oversubscribed’ by Quranic heirs. In such a case they scale down all the heirs’ portions pro rata, or, in other words, they increase the number of portions into which the inheritance is to be divided so that each may take a share.
Shi’ite jurists, on the other hand, maintain that a diminution must be made only in the shares of daughters and agnate sisters.

The principle of ta’sib is applied by Sunni jurisprudence to give priority to male agnates as heirs, and this results in many mathematical complexities in their system of inheritance. The Shi’ite jurists completely repudiate this.

The tradition from Ibn ‘Abbas concerns mainly the question of ‘awl where he establishes two types of Quranic heir, the first whose portions are fixed, the second whose portions are not guaranteed.

Another peculiarity of the Shi’ahs is the principle that the clothes, sword, Qur’an and ring of the father are to be left solely to the son.

Finally, the wife can never inherit cultivated or uncultivated land, neither in itself, nor the money obtained from its sale. Similarly she cannot inherit trees or buildings, but she can take their sale price. This matter is attested to by, and can be proved from the ahadith of the Imams.
There is a basic classification in fiqh of animals whose blood spurts out when a blood vessel is cut (e.g. cows, dogs, chicken, etc.) and those whose blood does not (e.g. fish).

The point which this hadith may seem a little obscure. Mu’min at-Taq wishes to show that the existence of the Imam precludes the need for reference to numerous and obscure books and traditions. We are to understand that it is the Imam who has guided him to the correct verse in the Qur’an for this matter and to its correct interpretation. Thus Abu Hanifah thinks he will catch him off-guard with an obscure question about an unusual species of sea creature, but the answer if forthcoming.

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