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The Shia 
It"s Origin and it"s Growth 


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Shi"asim began with a reference made for the first time to the "Partisans or Followers" of Ali Ibin Abe Taleb(as) or better known as the Shi"at of Ali, the First of the Infallible Twelve Holy Imams(as) or the First Leader of all the Muslims, after The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf). 
Who in turn was part of the Holy Infallible Fourteen(as) of the Ahlu Al-Bayt(as) or the "Household" of The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf), during the lifetime of The Prophet Mohammad Al-Mustafa(pbuh&hf).
  The Bleakest Days of Shia 
The most difficult period for Shiasim was the twenty-year rule, of Muawiyah, during which the Shi"ites had no protection and most of them were considered as marked characters, under suspicion and hunted down by the state. 
Two of the Leaders of Shia, who lived at this time, the Imam Hassan(as) and his younger brother theImam Hussain(as), both the sons of the Imam Ali Ibin Abe Taleb(as) did not really possess any means whatsoever to change the negative and oppressive circumstances in which they lived. 

Hussain, the third Imam of Shi"ism, had no possibility of freeing the Shi"ites from persecution in the ten years he was Imam during Muawiyah"s caliphate, and when he rebelled during the caliphate of Yazeed he was brutally massacred along with his step-brother, from his father"s side Abul Fadhle Al-Abbass(as) and all seventy of his faithfully aides and children at Karbala in Iraq.. 

Certain people in the Sunni world explain as pardonable the tirbitrary, unjust and irresponsible actions carried out at this time by Muawiyah, his aides and his lieutenants, some of whom were, like Muawiyah himself, among the socalled companions. 

This group reasoned that according to certain Ahadeeths of The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf) 

All the companions could practice the Ijtihad, that they were excused by God for the sins they committed, and that God was satisfied with them and forgave them whatever wrong they might have performed.
The Shi"ites, however, do not accept this argument for two reasons:
It is not conceivable that a leader of human society like that of The Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf) should rise in order to revivify truth, justice and freedom and to persuade only a group of people to accept his beliefs! 
A group all of whose members had sacrificed their very existence in order to accomplish this sacred end -- and then as soon as this end is accomplished give his aides and companions complete freedom to do with these sacred laws as they will. 

It is not possible to believe that: 
The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf) would have forgiven the companions for whatever wrong action they might have performed. Such indifference to the type of action performed by them would have only destroyed the structure which The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf) had built with the same means that he had used to construct it. 

The Holy Prophet Mohammad Al-Mustafa(pbuh&hf) had all too many times, shown and stated that their is no room for any kind of: "Double Standard," philosphy in Islam let alone in his all Infallible Teaching, Character and Personality! 

Those sayings which depict the companions as inviolable and pardoned in advance for every act they might perform, even one unlawful or inadmissible, are most likely apocryphal; the authenticity of many of them has not been fully established by traditional methods. 
Moreover, it is known historically that the companions did not deal with one another as if they were inviolable and pardoned for all their sing and wrongdoings. 
Therefore, even judging by the way the companions acted and dealt with each other, it can be concluded that such sayings cannot be literally true in the way some have understood them. 

If they do contain an aspect of the truth it is in indicating the legal inviolability of the companions and the sanctification which they enjoyed generally as a group because of their proximity to The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf). 

The expression of God"s satisfaction with the companions in the Holy Koran, because of the services they had rendered in obeying His Command, refers to their past actions, and to God"s satisfaction with them in the past, not to whatever action each one of them might perform in the future. 

 
 
The Shia 

The Cause of the Separation of:
The Shi"ite Minority from the Sunni Majority 
  Thus the true friends and faithfull Followers of Ali Ibin Abe Taleb(as) stuck firmly to their belief that after the death of Prophet Mohammad Al-Mustafa(pbuh&hf) the Caliphate and Religious Authority (Marja"iyat Al-Ilmi) hence only belonged to Ali. 
This belief came from their consideration of Ali"s position and station in relation to The Holy Prophet Mohammad Al-Mustafa(pbuh&hf). His relation to be the chosen from among the all companions, as well as his relationship towards the Muslims in general. 

It was only the events that occurred during the few last days of The Prophet"s(pbuh&hf) final illness that indicated that there was opposition to their view. Contrary to their expectation, at the very moment when The Prophet(pbuh&hf) died and His Holy dead body lay still unburied. 

While The Prophet"s(pbuh&hf) Household and a few of his faithfull Companions were pre-occupied with providing for The Prophet"s(pbuh&hf) burial and funeral service. 

That the friends and followers of Ali received news of the activity of another group who had gone to The Prophet"s(pbuh&hf) Mosque where the whole community of the Muslims was gathered. 

The group supposingly were consoling each other and the gathered Muslims before them, faced with this sudden loss of its Leader. 

This group, which was later to form the majority, set forth in great haste to select a Calipha for the Muslims with the socalled aim of ensuring the welfare of the community and solving its immediate problems. 

They did this without first consulting the "Holy Household" of The Prophet(pbuh&hf), or even his relatives or many of his close and faithfull friends, who were busy with the funeral, and without providing them with the least information. 

Thus Ali and his companions were presented with an afait accompli. 

When Ali and his friends such as: 

Abbass 
Zubayr 
Salman 
Abu Dharr 
Miqdad 
Ammar 
Were finished with the buriyal of the body of the Prophet(pbuh&hf) became aware of the proceedings by which the Calipha had been selected. 
They protested against the act of choosing the caliph by consultation or election, and also against those who were responsible for carrying it out. 

They even presented their own proofs and arguments, but the answer they received was that the welfare of the Muslims was at stake and solution lay in what had been done so unjustly. 

It was this protest and the criticism 
Which separated the majority from the minority that were following Ali(as) and made his courageous and faithfull followers known to the existing opposition the Sunnah as, 

The "Shia"at Ali Ibin Abe Taleb(as) 
meaning 

The Partisan"s of Ali Ibin Abe Taleb(as).


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The caliphate of the time was very anxious to guard against this appellation being given to the Shi"ite minority and thus to have the Muslim society divided into sections comprised of a majority and a minority. 
The supporters of Abu Bakr considered the Caliphate of Islam to be a matter of the consensus of the community and called those who ed, 

"The opponents of their allegiance."
They claimed that the Shia stood, therefore, opposed to Muslim society as a whole. 
Sometimes the Shia were given other pejorative and most degrading names. 
Shiasim was then condemned from the first moment because of the political situation of the time and thus it could not accomplish anything through mere political protest. 
Imam Ali Ibin Abe Taleb(as), in order to safeguard the well-being of Islam and of the Muslims, and also because of lack of sufficient political and military power, did not endeavor to begin an uprising against the existing political order, which would have been of a bloody nature. 
An uprising then would have destroyed and dismantled all that The Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf) had painfully accomplished, and the danger of the newly established religon of Islam to disappear as quickly as it appeared. 

So, instead Ali Ibin Abe Taleb chose to be patient and withdrew to work qiuetly by guiding Islam behind the scences. 

Yet those who protested against the established caliphate refused to surrender to the majority in certain questions of faith and continued to hold, quite rightly, that the succession to The Prophet(pbuh&hf) and the religious authority belonged by Divine Right only to Ali. 

They therefore believed that all spiritual and religious matters then should only be referred to him and subsequently invited the people to become his Shia or Followers.

 
 
The Shia 
The Two Problems of Succession and Authority in Religious Sciences 
  In accordance, with the Islamic teachings which form its basis, Shiasim believed that the most important question facing Islamic society was the elucidation and clarification of Islamic teachings and the tenets of the religious sciences. 
Only after such clarifications were made could the application of these teachings to the social order be considered. 

In other words
Shiasim believed that, before all else, members of society should be able to gain a true vision of the world and of men based on the real nature of things. Only then could they know and perform their duties as human beings - in which lay their real welfare - even if the performance of these religious duties were to be against their desires. 
After carrying out this first step a religious government should preserve and execute real Islamic order in society in such a way that man would worship none other than God, would possess personal and social freedom to the extent possible, and would benefit from true personal and social justice. 

These two ends could be accomplished only by a person who was inerrant and protected by God from having faults. Otherwise people could become rulers or religious authorities who would not be free from the possibility of distortion of thought or the committing of treachery in the duties placed upon their shoulders. 

Were this to happen, the just and freedom giving rule of Islam could gradually be converted to dictatorial rule and a completely autocratic government. Moreover, the pure religious teachings could become, as can be seen in the case of certain other religions, the victims of change and distortion in the hands of selfish scholars given to the satisfaction of their carnal desires. 

As confirmed by The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf), that Ali followed perfectly and completely The Book of Allah and the Sunnah or Tradition of The Prophet(pbuh&hf) in both words and and most importantly in deeds. 

As Shiasim sees it 
If, as the majority say, only the Qurayish opposed the rightful caliphate of Ali, then that majority should have answered the Quraysh by asserting what was right. They should have quelled all opposition to the right cause in the same way that they fought against the group who refused to pay the religious tax Zakat. The majority should not have remained indifferent to what was right for fear of the opposition of the Quraysh. 

What prevented the Shia from accepting the elective method of choosing the Caliphate by the people was: 

Firstly, it was not a free democratic election. 
Not all of the people concerned were present or were even invited to attend at the notorisly and illruptedly known place of un-Islamic vices, the Saqeefah meeting house on the outskirts of Al-Medina City. 
The Saqeefah"s reputation was most un-Islamic to say the least anyway. Not really a fitting place to hold an important election of an Islamic Leader, who is supposedly to be free of any vices! 

The Saqeefah was a place never visited by The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf) or Imam Ali Ibin Abe Taleb(as) or any God fearing Muslim Worshippers of Allah(swt). It was a place of the old Ignorant ways before Islam. It is a place of Ibleese and his evilness and wickedness acts of drunkardness, whoring and gambling just naming a few! 

Nor were any other candidates to chose from 
It started with a sqabble nearly ending in bloodshed and disary, with Umar striking a fellow Muslim who refused to give support to Abu Bakr as the 1st Calipha, and questioned why Ali Ibin Abe Taleb(as) wasn"t consulted. 
It then was hastily engineered to be just an agreement of a political convience of favours so that to make all attendees happy in some form or another. The Chaliphate vote was hurriedly supported by a few Clan members. Who in turn forced others to support their choice by leverage of either by kinship or clanship and others gave their support under sheer duress and intimidation. 

Having said all that 
Sadly some of our Sunni Muslim brothers who support the Caliphate outcome of the Saqeefah, tend to really forget the fundalmental teachings commands of Allah(swt). 

And that it is to wholely Worship Him alone and Him alone and to abide and obey His every command, without question or reservation! 

This is what being a Muslim is about and likewise what the Shia doctrine follows so obiediantly and most faithfully! 

It was already declared by Allah(swt) 
Through His Holy Messenger(pbuh&hf) at Gadheer Khumm that Ali was the Prophet"s(pbuh&hf) sole and rightful chosen Successor by Allah(swt)!
So there is no two ways about it! 
Either you accept and obey and follow God"s Command or purposely committ a sin of sheer disobidence in the face of God! By refusing to obey and follow His Divine Command. Hence to possibilly face the most sevearest consequences of God"s warth!
Not forgetting, the most Justified fear of the unwholesome consequences that would surely result from it: 
The fear of the possible Corruption 
In the Islamic Government and of the destruction of the solid basis for the sublime Religious Sciences.
As it so happened 
Later events in the Islamic History confirmed this predicted feared, and proved the Shia right everytime! With the result that the Shia became ever more firm and steadfast in their belief and principle to only accept what is decreed by, 
"Allah(swt) Commands through His Divine and Holy Messenger Mohammad(pbuh&hf), the Holy Koran, and through his Sacred and Holy Household the Ahlu Bayt(as)!" 
"Afterall only, Allah(swt) really knows what"s best for Mankind!"

During the earliest years, however, because of the small number of it"s followers, Shiasim appeared outwardly to have been absorbed into the majority, although privately it continued to insist on acquiring the Islamic Sciences from the Household of The Prophet(pbuh&hf) and to invite people into its cause. 
At the same time, in order to preserve the power of Islam and safeguard its progress. Shiasim did not display any open opposition to the rest of Islamic society. Members of the Shi"ite community even fought hand in hand with the Sunni majority in holy wars Jihad and participated in public affairs. 

Ali himself guided the Sunni majority in the interest of the whole of Islam whenever such action was necessary. 
 
 
The Shia 
The Benefit from which the Shia Derived from the Caliphate of Ali(as) 


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  During the four years and nine months of his Caliphate, Imam Ali Ibin Abe Taleb(as) was not able to eliminate the disturbed conditions which were prevailing throughout the Islamic world, but he was successful in three fundamental ways: 
As a result of his just and upright manner of living he revealed once again the beauty and attractiveness of the way of life of The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf), especially to the younger generation. In contrast to the imperial grandeur of Muawiyah, he lived in simplicity and poverty like the poorest of people. 
Imam Ali never favored his friends or relatives and family above all others, nor did he ever prefer wealth to poverty or brute force to weakness. 

Despite the cumbersome and strenuous difficulties which absorbed his time, he left behind among the Islamic community a valuable treasury of the truly divine sciences and Islamic iritellectual disciplines. 
Nearly eleven thousand of his proverbs and short sayings on different intellectual, religious and social subjects have been recorded. In his talks and speeches he expounded the most sublime Islamic sciences in a most elegant and flowing manner. 
He established the Arabic grammar and laid the basis for Arabic literature. 
He was the first in Islam to delve directly into the questions of metaphysics Falsafah-Il-Ilahi in a manner combining intellectual rigor and logical demonstration. 
He discussed problems which had never appeared before in the same way among the metaphysicians of the world. Moreover, he was so devoted to metaphysics and gnosis that even in the heat of battle he would carry out intellectual discourse and discuss metaphysical questions. 
He trained a large number of Religious Scholars and Islamic Savants, among whom are found a number of ascetics and gnosties who were the forefathers of the Sufis, such men as, 
Uways Al-Korani 
Kumayl al-Nakhai 
Maytham al-Tammar 
Roshaid Al-Hajarl 
These men have all been recognized by the later Sufis as the founders of gnosis in Islam. Others among his disciples became the first teachers of jurisprudence, theology, Koranic commentary and recitations.  
 
The Shia 

The Transfer of the Caliphate to Muawiyah and Its Transformation into a Hereditary Monarchy 


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After the death of the Calipha, the Imam Ali Ibin Abe Taleb(as), his first son, the Second Imam Hassan Ibn Ali Abe Taleb(as), who is recognized by the Shia as their 2nd Holy Imam, became the 5th Calipha. 
This designation occurred to accordance with Ali"s last will and testament and also by the allegiance of the community to Hassan. 

But Muawiyah did not remain quiet before this event. He marched with his army toward Kufa, Iraq, which was then the capital of the caliphate, and began to wage war against Hassan. Through different intrigues and the payment of great sums of money, Muawiyah was able gradually to corrupt the aides and generals of Hassan. 

Hassan relucantly makes peace with Muawiyah 
Finally he was able to force Hassan to hand the caliphate over to him so as to avoid further bloodshed and misery, and to make peace. Imam Hasan thus handed the caliphate to Muawiyah on the explicit condition that the caliphate would be returned to him after the death of Muawiyah and that no harm would come to his Partisans. 

In the year 40AH/661AD Muawiyah finally gained control of the Caliphate. He then set out immediately for Iraq and in a speech to the people of that land he arrognantly declared: 

"I did not fight against you for the sake of the prayers or of fasting. These acts you can perfom yourself. What I wanted to accomplish was to rule over you and this end I have now achieved!"
He then added, 
"The agreement I made with Hassan is null and void. It lies here, trampled under my feet."
With this declaration Muawiyah made known to the people the real character of his government and revealed the nature of tie program he had in mind. 
He indicated in his declaration that he would separate religion from politics and would not give any guarantees concerning religious duties and regulations. He would spend all his force to preserve and to keep alive his own power, whatever might be the cost. 

Obviously a government of such a nature is more of a sultanate and a monarchy than a caliphate and vicegerency of The Prophet of God(pbuh&hf) in its traditional Islamic sense. That is why some who were admitted to his court addressed him as "King"! 

He himself in some private gatherings interpreted his government as a monarchy, while in public he always introduced himself as the Calipha. 

Naturally any monarchy that is based on force carries with it inherently the principle of inheritance. Muawiyah, too, finally realized this fact, and chose his own son, Yazeed, who was a just heedless young man without the least religious personality, as the crown prince and his successor. 

This act was to be the cause of many regrettable vents in the future. Muawiyah had previously indicated that he would refuse to permit Hassan Ibin Ali(as) to succeed him as caliph and that he had other thoughts in mind. Therefore he had caused the Imam Hassan to be killed by poisoning, thus preparing the way for his son, Yazeed. 

In breaking his agreement with Hassan Ibin Abe Taleb, Muawiyah made it clear that he would never permit the Shia of the "Holy Household" of The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf) to live in a peaceful and secure environment and continue their activity as before, and he carried into action this very intention. 

It has been said that he went so far as to declare that whoever would transmit a hadith in praise of the virtues of the Household of the Prophet(pbuh&hf) would have no immunity or protection concerning his life, merchandise and property. 

At the same time he ordered that whoever could recite a hadith in praise of the other companions or caliphs would be given sufficient reward. As a result a noticeable number of hadeeths were recorded at this time praising the companions, some of which are of doubtful authenticity. 

He ordered pejorative comments to be made about Ali Ibin Abe Taleb from the pulpits of mosques throughout the lands of Islam, while he himself sought to revile Ali. This command continued to be more or less in effect until the caliphate of Umar Ibin Abd Al-Aziz when it was discontinued. 

With the help of his agents and lieutenants, Muawiyah caused the elite and the most outstanding among the partisans of Ali to be put to death and the heads of some of them to be carried on lances throughout different cities. 

The majority of Shi"ites were forced to disown and even curse Ali publicly and to express their disdain for him. If they refused, they were simply imprisoned, tortured and put to death. In short the 

Shia were persecuted in more ways than one! 
And why because they refused to sell their Religon of Islam and appease Muawiyah and the likes of him for their own selfesh whims and greed.

 
The Shia 

The Bleakest Days of Shia 


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  The Bleakest Days of Shia 
The most difficult period for Shiasim was the twenty-year rule, of Muawiyah, during which the Shi"ites had no protection and most of them were considered as marked characters, under suspicion and hunted down by the state. 
Two of the Leaders of Shia, who lived at this time, the Imam Hassan(as) and his younger brother theImam Hussain(as), both the sons of the Imam Ali Ibin Abe Taleb(as) did not really possess any means whatsoever to change the negative and oppressive circumstances in which they lived. 

Hussain, the third Imam of Shi"ism, had no possibility of freeing the Shi"ites from persecution in the ten years he was Imam during Muawiyah"s caliphate, and when he rebelled during the caliphate of Yazeed he was brutally massacred along with his step-brother, from his father"s side Abul Fadhle Al-Abbass(as) and all seventy of his faithfully aides and children at Karbala in Iraq.. 

Certain people in the Sunni world explain as pardonable the tirbitrary, unjust and irresponsible actions carried out at this time by Muawiyah, his aides and his lieutenants, some of whom were, like Muawiyah himself, among the socalled companions. 

This group reasoned that according to certain Ahadeeths of The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf) 

All the companions could practice the Ijtihad, that they were excused by God for the sins they committed, and that God was satisfied with them and forgave them whatever wrong they might have performed.
The Shi"ites, however, do not accept this argument for two reasons:
It is not conceivable that a leader of human society like that of The Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf) should rise in order to revivify truth, justice and freedom and to persuade only a group of people to accept his beliefs! 
A group all of whose members had sacrificed their very existence in order to accomplish this sacred end -- and then as soon as this end is accomplished give his aides and companions complete freedom to do with these sacred laws as they will. 

It is not possible to believe that: 
The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf) would have forgiven the companions for whatever wrong action they might have performed. Such indifference to the type of action performed by them would have only destroyed the structure which The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf) had built with the same means that he had used to construct it. 

The Holy Prophet Mohammad Al-Mustafa(pbuh&hf) had all too many times, shown and stated that their is no room for any kind of: "Double Standard," philosphy in Islam let alone in his all Infallible Teaching, Character and Personality! 

Those sayings which depict the companions as inviolable and pardoned in advance for every act they might perform, even one unlawful or inadmissible, are most likely apocryphal; the authenticity of many of them has not been fully established by traditional methods. 
Moreover, it is known historically that the companions did not deal with one another as if they were inviolable and pardoned for all their sing and wrongdoings. 
Therefore, even judging by the way the companions acted and dealt with each other, it can be concluded that such sayings cannot be literally true in the way some have understood them. 

If they do contain an aspect of the truth it is in indicating the legal inviolability of the companions and the sanctification which they enjoyed generally as a group because of their proximity to The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf). 

The expression of God"s satisfaction with the companions in the Holy Koran, because of the services they had rendered in obeying His Command, refers to their past actions, and to God"s satisfaction with them in the past, not to whatever action each one of them might perform in the future. 

 



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