Origins of the Shia Sect
Prior to the advent of Islam, the Arabian Peninsula was inhabited by various warring tribes. Due to their lack of unity and their incessant inter-tribal warfare, the Arabs were a backwards race with few cultural achievements and very little military power. The motley Arabs were trapped in between two regional super-powers; to the West was the powerful Roman Empire and to the East was the mighty Persian Empire, and both would terrorize neighboring Arab provinces at will.
It was then that a Prophet arose by the name of Muhammad, who unified the various Arab tribes under the banner of Islam. The Islamic ethos shattered the Jahiliyyah concept of Assabiyyah (tribalism/bigotry) and unified the Muslims under the newly defined concept of the Islamic Ummah. The Prophet unified the city of Yathrib (Medinah) which was a hotbed of inter-tribal warfare.
The Jews of Yathrib feared the unification of the Arabs, because they used to play on the differences between the various groups. The Jews thus conspired with a group of people, the Munafiqoon (the hypocrites), who claimed to be Muslim but were really disbelievers. Their leader was a man named Abdullah ibn Ubayy ibn Salool. This was the first attempt of the Jews to subvert Islam from the inside, using Abdullah ibn Ubayy and his lot to create schisms within the Ummah. (The Jew by the name of Abdullah Ibn Saba would use this same technique to create schisms within the Ummah.)
First, the Prophet unified the city of Yathrib (Medinah) and he expelled the conspiring Jews. Then, he conquered Mecca and set about unifying all of Arabia. The Prophet sent invitation letters to the nations of the world, inviting them to the Call of Allah.
The Persian King, Chosroes, tore up the letter and declared that he would never follow the lowly Arabs. The Persians considered themselves a superior race. Theirs was a nation of racial haughtiness and supremacism. They were not willing to submit to the way of the inferior Arabs, nor were they ready to accept the radical Islamic call for racial equality.
After the death of the Prophet, Caliph Abu Bakr quelled the apostate tribes in the Wars of Riddah (Apostasy), and he thereby maintained the unity of the Arabian Peninsula. Two years later, Umar bin Khattab assumed power and at this time, the Islamic nation-state was coming of age. Border skirmishes between Rome and Persia eventually erupted into all-out war.
Under the guidance of the Commander of the Faithful Umar, the Muslim armies defeated Rome and blitzed across Persia, dealing both empires a crushing blow. The Persians, with their haughty attitude of superiority, were sourly humiliated. The Muslims took the Persians as POWs (Prisoners of War), and the once mighty Persians were forced to work as slaves for a fixed term of punishment.
The defeated Persian governor and former military commander, Harmuzan, was brought before Caliph Umar. Umar said to the defeated Persian:
â€śHarmuzan, we Arabs are the desert-dwellers you considered too lowly for even fighting with. We used to get licked by small columns of your troops. Now you see your Kingâ€™s throne and crown lying at our feet while he is running about places to save his life. How did that happen?â€ť
â€śSir, then it used to be a war between the Persians and the Arabs. Now you have your God with you.â€ť
In another narration, Harmuzan declared that before it was merely the Arab forces against the Persian forces, and the Persian forces were stronger. But now it was the Arab forces and Allah, and it was impossible to defeat both at the same time. It was thus that Harmuzan and his Persian confederates realized that the power of the Republic of Medinah lay in its religious beliefs. To destroy the religious beliefs of the Muslims would be to destroy the Muslims.
Harmuzan was to be executed for war crimes by Caliph Umar, but he saved his life through an ingenious trick. He asked for water to drink, and requested Caliph Umar for a reprieve for his life until he could finish his drink of water. Umar granted him this request, and upon this, Harmuzan spilled the water on the ground. Because he was unable to drink the water, therefore technically his royal reprieve would never lapse. Caliph Umar upheld his word, and thereby pardoned Harmuzan.
Harmuzan â€śconvertedâ€ť to Islam and moved to Medinah, whereupon he planned the Persian revenge on the Arab Muslims. Harmuzan blamed the Commander of the Faithful Umar for the downfall of the Persian Empire, and it was thus that Harmuzan hatched the plan to assassinate the Caliph.
In Medinah, Harmuzan became close companions with a staunch Christian named Jafeena Al-Khalil. Jafeena was a political pawn of the Roman ruler and had served as an official in Damascus, Palestine and Heerah; the defeat of Rome by the Muslims left its mark on Jafeena whoâ€“like Harmuzanâ€“swore revenge. The third partner was a Jew by the name of Saba bin Shamoon (whose son would be Abdullah Ibn Saba, the notorious founder of the Shia movement). Saba despised the Muslims who had expelled the Jews on charges of conspiracy. All three of these individualsâ€“Harmuzan the Zoroastrian, Jafeena the Christian, and Saba the Jewâ€“belonged to peoples who had grievances against the rise of Muslim dominance.
They hired Feroz Abu Lulu, a Persian, who had recently been captured by the Muslims as a POW; he was a slave under a Muslim master. Abu Lulu stabbed Umar bin Khattab to death. A day before Umar had been assassinated, Abdur Rehman-â€“Abu Bakrâ€™s son-â€“had seen Abu Lulu standing with Harmuzan and Jafeena. The three men were whispering to one another. As Abdur Rehman passed by, the three got startled and a double edged dagger fell to the ground. Abdur Rehman would later confirm that this was the same dagger that killed Umar. The murder of Umar was thus instigated by a coalition of a Roman Christian, a Jew, and a Persian Zoroastrian. It should be noted that the Prophet had prophecized that the Christians, Jews, and pagans would always be united against the Muslims.
Today, the modern day Shia venerate Abu Lulu, and they call him â€śBaba Shuja-e-dinâ€ť which can be translated as â€śHonored Defender of Religion.â€ť These Shia have a shrine erected for this murderer, located in the Iranian city of Kashan called the Abu Lulu Mausoleum wherein he is buried. The Shia travel from far distances to pray inside this shrine, and many of the Shia fast on the day that Umar was killed, and even pass out sweets. Feroz Abu Lulu is one of the venerated founding figures of Shia ideology; the same people who conspired to kill Umar were the ones who planted the seeds of the Shia movement.
Ubaidallahâ€™s Revenge and Uthmanâ€™s Decision
Umarâ€™s son, Ubaidallah, was infuriated by the murder of his father. Ubaidallah killed both Harmuzan and Jafeena. Ubaidallah was thus charged with murder and brought to the court of the new Caliph, Uthman bin Affan. Ali bin Abi Talib, Uthmanâ€™s vizier, advised that Ubaidallah should be executed for murder because there was not enough evidence to convict Harmuzan and Jafeena of any crime. Furthermore, reasoned Ali, extra-judicial vigilante justice was not permitted in Islam; Harmuzan and Jafeena should at least have been entitled to a fair trial and-â€“if found guiltyâ€“-be executed by none other than the state.
However, the other Sahabahâ€“-including Amir bin al Aâ€™as-â€“differed with Aliâ€™s position , because they sympathized with Ubaidallah , who was the son of the great Umar . His father had just been murdered in cold blood, and so they wished that Ubaidallah be forgiven due to the fact that he was acting out of distress. Caliph Uthman thus ruled that Ubaidallah must pay blood-money. But because Harmuzan and Jafeena had no relatives, Uthman declared that the blood-money should be given to charity and the Baitul Mal. However, Ubaidallah was unable to pay the blood-money due to lack of funds, and so it was that Caliph Uthman paid this money out of his own pocket.
This was one of his first acts as Caliph, and the conspirators (in particular Abdullah Ibn Sabaâ€™s father) viewed Uthmanâ€™s decision very unfavorably. It was in this atmosphere that Uthman bin Affan came to power, and the machinations of the conspirators continued in full force. Ubaidallah had killed Harmuzan and Jafeena, but Saba bin Shamoon remained alive. His son, Abdullah Ibn Saba, â€śconvertedâ€ť to Islam and he would uphold the task of destroying Islam from within.
The fact that Uthman showed mercy upon Ubaidallah angered Saba bin Shamoon and his son, Abdullah Ibn Saba. These two men looked sympathetically towards Ali, due to the fact that Ali had taken a harsh stance towards Ubaidallahâ€™s actions. It was thus that Abdullah ibn Saba â€śconvertedâ€ť to Islam and founded the Shia sect, calling the masses to adore Ali and agitating them against Uthman. It was Abdullah Ibn Sabaâ€™s propaganda against Uthman that helped fan the flames of civil discontent and caused the people to rise against the Caliph. And so it was that the Sabaâ€™ites (followers of Abdullah Ibn Saba) assassinated Uthman.
The murder of Umar by the Persians created an air of rebellion of suspicion. Under the rule of Umar, the Islamic state expanded far and wide, but the conquered people posed the constant threat of rebellion. Despite these amazing victories for the Muslims, it turned out to be that the management of these vast territories became a more difficult task than conquering them. During Caliph Uthmanâ€™s rule, the Islamic empire had grown so large that it was crushing itself under its own weight; the state was experiencing grave financial troubles.
Caliph Uthman was faced with the management of these conquered peoples who were by nature rebellious and unruly. He had the task of appointing governors as well as tax collectors; Caliph Uthman, an Umayyad, trusted very few people and rightfully so considering the atmosphere of civil discontent at the time, not to mention the assassination of Umar by the conquered Persians. So it was that Uthman appointed his family and friends to government positions. For example, during his reign, Uthmanâ€™s cousin Muawiyyah remained the governor of Syria.
Ali acts as Vizier of the Caliph
Many poor Bedouins felt that the Uthmanâ€™s policies were tilted in favor of the Umayyad elite. They wrongfully accused Caliph Uthman of nepotism. (Today, the Shia also accuse him of this. The irony should not be lost that the Shia are the ones who said that the Prophet Muhammad believed in nepotism, by restricting the Caliphs in the Ahlel Bayt only.)
The Bedouins found a spokesman in Ali. Ali prevented these Bedouins from resorting to violent rebellion and to instead use peaceful negotiation. As the Vizier and top advisor of Caliph Uthman, Ali had the ability to bring the case of the Bedouins to the Caliph, and by doing so, he brought these Bedouins to the negotiating table instead of the war table.
The Partisans of Ali
Aliâ€™s supporters were a myriad of disenchanted people, some of whom had grievances with Caliph Uthman. These became the â€śPartisans of Aliâ€ť or the Shiaâ€™t Ali. (It should be noted that this is not the same group as the Ithna Ashari of today. In fact, the truth is that the Ithna Asharis did not exist back then, and the doctrine of Ithna Ashari Shiâ€™ism would only emerge centuries later.) Indeed, these Partisans of Ali were simply recently converted Bedouins as well as conquered Persians. They were not a religious sect, but rather a political party. The term â€śShiaâ€™t Aliâ€ť was not used to denote a distinct religious sect; in fact, the partisans of Muawiyyah would be called â€śShiaâ€™t Muawiyyah.â€ť
Within the Partisans of Ali were a myriad of different groups; many of which were Bedouins who had just recently converted from a Mushrik faith, as well as recently conquered Persians who clung to their Zoroastrian ways. They were weak in faith, ignorant, and barbaric. Both the Bedouins and the Zoroastrians were accustomed to their former pagan beliefs and had a difficult time adjusting to Islam, and often-times they would mix Islam with pagan thought.
The Zoroastrians (of the defeated Persian Empire), the Christians (of the defeated Eastern Roman Empire), and the Jews (who had been expelled by the Muslims) grieved for the old days. In their private counsel, these defeated elements had reached the conclusion that it was not possible to fight Muslims on the battlefield. Therefore, they resolved to sow the seed of discord amongst Muslims, using the model of the Jews of Yathrib. The Prophet had called the Muslims to unite under the banner of Islam and the Quran; the disunited Arabs had unified and defeated their enemies. Thus, these conspirators decided to undo this process; they reasoned that to remove the Muslims from Islam and the Quran would also cause disunity and weakness.
The first step of these conspirators was the assassination of Umar. Umarâ€™s son Ubaidallah took revenge and killed Jafeena the Christian and Harmuzan the Persian. It was then that Ali ibn Abi Talib demanded that Ubaidallah be given the death penalty for murdering Umarâ€™s assassins. Abdullah Ibn Saba, whose father had been a companion of Jafeena and Harmuzan, thus took a liking for Ali and declared himself a Partisan of Ali. Ibn Saba carried a grudge against Umar-â€“it had after all been his father responsible for Umarâ€™s death; he also carried a grudge against Uthman who pardoned the killers of his fatherâ€™s companions.
Abdullah Ibn Saba saw an opportunity to exploit the disunity of the Muslims during the time of civil unrest during Uthmanâ€™s Caliphate. Ibn Saba â€śconvertedâ€ť to Islam, and tried to gain a following amongst Aliâ€™s more extreme supporters. These followers of Ali were using him in their appeals to Caliph Uthman. They were already upset with Uthman and thus they were the perfect target audience for Ibn Saba who would convince them of Aliâ€™s superiority over Uthman.
Ibn Saba first called the masses to show their love and devotion to the Ahlel Bayt (Prophetic Household). He then started claiming that none could excel the Ahlel Bayt in status. When he gained some popularity at this, he boldly claimed that Ali was the most superior person after the Prophet. When he saw that some of his followers had indeed believed him, he confided in them that Ali was in reality the appointed successor of the Prophet, but that the Three Caliphs had usurped this right from him. Ibn Saba then unleashed a campaign of vilification against the Sahabah, and he is the first to start the practice of Tabarra, or ritualistic cursing of Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman. He then told his staunch supporters that Ali had powers above those of a normal human being.
To appeal to the recent Persian converts, Ibn Saba infused Zoroastrian beliefs into Islam. The Zoroastrians believed that Godâ€™s spirit was in their Chosroes (king), and that this spirit moved from one king to another, through his descendants. Ibn Saba declared that the divinity of Imamah also moved from one Imam to another through the descendants of Ali. Many of the exaggerations in Shiâ€™ism in regards to the powers of Imams take their inspiration from the Chosroes.
Ibn Sabaâ€™s ideas appealed to the pagan side of the new converts from amongst the Beduins and Persians; these pagans were accustomed to worshipping idols and people, so the exaltation of Ali appealed to them. Eventually, Ibn Saba would take it to the ultimate extreme and he applied in full force the concept of the Persian Chosroes, declaring Ali to be Allah incarnated.
Up until then, Ali had not paid much attention to Ibn Sabaâ€™s antics, but once he heard of this news, Ali was furious. Ali threatened to burn all of Ibn Sabaâ€™s followers (called Sabaâ€™ites) to the stake including Ibn Saba; Ali asked them to repent and he would eventually exile them to Madaâ€™in (modern day Iran) when he was Caliph. But the Sabaâ€™ites adopted the concept of Taqiyyah (lying) and Kitman (hiding oneâ€™s faith); this allowed the Sabaâ€™ites to avoid detection from the authorities, infiltrating the ranks of the Shiaâ€™t Ali. Ali, who before becoming Caliph spent most of his time in Mecca and Medinah, remained oblivious to the Sabaâ€™ites who were mostly in Iraq (i.e. Kufa), Persia, and Egypt.
With the practise of Taqiyyah and Kitman, the Sabaâ€™ites functioned much like a secret society or cult, such as the Free Masons, Illuminati, and other clandestine organizations. The Sabaâ€™ites operated under a strict code of secrecy and hid their identities for fear of reprisal from the government. This created a situation such that the authorities could not clamp down on the Sabaâ€™ites due to their elusiveness, and the secret society continued to grow in numbers and fill the ranks of the Shiaâ€™t Ali, without even Aliâ€™s knowledge.
The Sabaâ€™ites were the originators of the Shia faith. Generations later, these Sabaâ€™ites would branch out into the various Shia sects we know of today: the Druze, Bohras, Nizaris, Zaydis, Jarudis, Sulaymanis, Butris, Ismailis, Kaysaniyyas, Qaddahiyyas, Ghullat, Aga Khanis, Ithna Asharis, Usoolis, Akhbaris, Shaykis, and so on.
Sabaâ€™ites Organize Attack on Uthman
It should be noted that these Sabaâ€™ite Bedouins were only one segment of the Shiaâ€™t Ali; they were an extremist fringe group. With the goading of Abdullah Ibn Saba, the Egyptian Bedouins (led by the Sabaâ€™ites) were planning on rebelling against Caliph Uthman. But news of this imminent treason by the extremist wing of the Shiaâ€™t Ali reached the ears of Uthman . Caliph Uthman thus ordered the Egyptian governor to preemptively take action against the malcontents. But when the Eygptian Bedouins found out that the governor was to punish the malcontents on orders of Caliph Uthman, Abdullah Ibn Saba convinced the Bedouins to siege the Caliphâ€™s home in Medinah.
Ali did not take part in the siege, nor did he approve of it. In fact, Ali sent his own sons to protect Caliph Uthman, and he even offered 500 men to protect Uthman . How is it then that the Shia claim that Ali hated Uthman when he sent his own beloved sons to defend him and to prolong his Caliphate? Indeed, Ali did not support the Sabaâ€™ite Bedouins who favored Ali over Uthman-â€“much like Ali would not support the modern day Shia today. The modern day Shia can never explain why Ali did not raise his sword against Uthman, and they can only say that perhaps he was preventing bloodshed. But then why was Ali ready to shed blood in the defense of Uthman? Truly, the Shia cannot explain this: a man does not send his sons to defend a tyrant. If a Sahabi sent his son went to defend Yezid whom the Shia consider a tyrant, it would be the Shia who would be the first to condemn this Sahabi!
In any case, Uthman was assassinated by the Sabaâ€™ite Bedouins. Once Uthman was slain, the Shiaâ€™t Ali urged Ali to become the next Caliph. Ali, however, did not approve of the actions taken by his extremist followers and he asked his Shiaâ€™t Ali to find someone else to be Caliph. Ali became reclusive and shunned his followers severely. This is recorded in Nahjul Balagha, which the Shia consider one of the most authentic sources of Aliâ€™s lectures.
Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 91
When people decided to swear allegiance at Amir al-muâ€™mininâ€™s hand after the murder of Uthman, Ali said:
â€śLeave me and seek someone else. We are facing a matter which has (several) faces and colors, which neither hearts can stand nor intelligence can accept. Clouds are hovering over the sky, and face are not discernible. You should know that if I respond to you that I would lead you as I know and would not care about whatever [anyone else] may say. If you leave me, then I am the same as you are. It is possible I would listen to and obey whoever you make in charge of your affairs. I am better for you as a counselor than as chief.â€ť
(source: Al-Islam.org, http://www.al-islam.org/nahj/)
However, the people pushed him and finally Ali became the Fourth Caliph. If Ali had really been appointed to the Imamah by Allah, then why would Ali have refused this appointment at first? Why would he dislike a position that was supposedly granted to him by Allah? If Imamah was destined for him, why is Ali claiming that he wasnâ€™t even going to be the Caliph until the people put him up to it? We see that Ali says the following in Nahjul Balagha.
Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 205
â€śBy Allah, I had no liking for the caliphate nor any interest in government, but you yourselves invited me to it and prepared me for it.â€ť
(source: Al-Islam.org, http://www.al-islam.org/nahj/)
Battle of the Camel Instigated by Sabaâ€™ites
There was a public demand for Ali to find the killers of Uthman, especially since it was known that the killers were part of the Shiaâ€™t Ali. However, Ali found himself too busy preventing a civil war to invest time and resources into finding the killers, so he planned on delaying it. This angered many people who wanted justice immediately. They found a spokeswoman in Aisha, the Prophetâ€™s widow. She sympathized with the people who wanted to find the killers of Uthman.
The reality is that both Ali and Aisha had equally convincing arguments. On the one hand, Ali wanted to delay spending time and resources to find the killers because he had to prevent a civil war. On the other hand, Aisha cannot be blamed for feeling hurt and loss at the murder of Uthman, and surely the murderers should be brought to justice! Aisha went to see Caliph Ali in order to resolve the issue peacefully through arbitration. She feared that if she did not intercede on behalf of the malcontents by convincing Ali to find the murderers, they would rebel against Caliph Ali. She thus adopted the Sunnah of Ali: it had, after all, been Ali who would take the case of the people to Caliph Uthman in order that their demands be heard.
Both Aisha and Ali wanted to resolve the issue peacefully. However, the extremist portion of the Shiaâ€™t Ali [i.e. the Sabaâ€™ites] that were responsible for the murder of Uthman did not want Aisha to convince Ali to prosecute the murderers, since of course it was they themselves. So these Shiaâ€™t Ali decided to attack Aishaâ€™s contingent thereby provoking a counter-response. Soon, Ali and Aisha found themselves in a battle that nobody even knew who started it. This was the Battle of the Camel, and both Ali and Aisha found themselves enmeshed in a battle that they did not want to fight.
Aishaâ€™s contingent was defeated. She apologized to Caliph Ali for the trouble she had caused, and Ali forgave her and safely returned Aisha to her home. Both Ali and Aisha are considered Sahabah, and this is a shining example of how although Sahabah get into disputes, they can resolve them in a civil manner. Aisha had the humility to apologize despite the fact that she really didnâ€™t do anything wrong, and Ali had the nobility not to hold any ill-feelings towards her and to walk her safely home.
During this chaotic time of civil war, all of the Sahabah were being pulled and manipulated by their ardent followers, many of whom were rabble-rousers like the followers of Ibn Saba in the Shiaâ€™t Ali. In the confusion of all of this, the Sahabah found themselves facing a civil war, despite the verse in the Quran which stated that the Ummah should remain united. It was a sad time in the history of Islam, with great Sahabah fighting other great Sahabah. But it should be remembered that the Battle of the Camel was concluded with the eventual reunification of Umm al Muâ€™mineen Aisha and Amir al Muâ€™mineen Caliph Ali.
Battle of Siffin and the Sabaâ€™ite Revolt Against Ali
However, Uthmanâ€™s cousin Muawiyyah was not pleased with this outcome because Ali still did not prosecute the criminals within his own ranks. Muawiyyah was a blood-relative of Uthman and he was very upset that the murderers were not apprehended. Muawiyyah , then the governor of Syria, refused to recognize Ali, and he demanded the right to avenge Uthmanâ€™s death. In what was perhaps the most important battle fought between Muslims, Aliâ€™s forces met Muawiyyahâ€™s in the Battle of Siffin.
The Shia say that Ali fought Muawiyyah for denying the Shia concept of the Imamah, and that Ali was the first Infallible Imam. And yet the Shiaâ€™s own books say that this was not what the Battle of Siffin had to do with, but rather it was purely political as opposed to religious. Ali clearly said in Nahjul Balagha:
â€śIn the beginning of our matter, the people of Syria [Muawiyyahâ€™s forces] and us met. It is obvious that our God is one, our Prophet is one, and our call in Islam is one. We do not see ourselves more in faith in Allah or more in believing His messenger than them, nor they do. Our matter is one, except for our disagreement in Uthmanâ€™s blood, and we are innocent from his murder.â€ť [Nahjul Balagha, vol.3, p.648]
So it was that the Shiaâ€™t Ali met the Shiaâ€™t Muawiyyah. Caliph Aliâ€™s forces were decimating the forces of Muawiyyah. It would have been a decisive victory for Caliph Ali, but the Shiaâ€™t Muawiyyah used a rouse to fool the Shiaâ€™t Ali. Muawiyyahâ€™s Syrians adorned the tips of their swords with pages from the Quran. This confused the Shiaâ€™t Ali, who did not want to bring harm to the Quran.
The Shiaâ€™t Ali stopped fighting due to this trick, and the Shiaâ€™t Muawiyyah asked for a cease-fire and to resolve the issue through arbitration. Caliph Ali, being the noble man that he was, agreed to vote (use Shurah) for who would be Caliph. This greatly upset a contingent of his ardent followers, the Sabaâ€™ites, who did not agree that Ali should use arbitration. The Sabaâ€™ites had been convinced by Abdullah Ibn Saba that Allah had appointed Ali as Caliph. So they accused Ali of going against the Will of Allah by resorting to negotiation on the matter. How could there be negotiation on a matter that is decreed by Allah Almighty?
A portion of the Sabaâ€™ites defected and turned against Caliph Ali. They declared vociferously: â€śNo rule but to Allah!â€ť These defectors came to be known as the Khawaarij, which literally translates to â€śthose who go outâ€ť or â€śthose who secede.â€ť For so long, these people had been the most ardent supporters of Ali, calling themselves the Shiaâ€™t Ali and the Lovers of Ahlel Bayt, but look now where their doctrinal innovation had taken them. They defected against the very man they had claimed to follow!
This event in Islamic history is one that the Shia of today cannot explain away. They try to hide it under a rug, since it shows the falsity of their beliefs. The Khawaarij, former Sabaâ€™ites, were of the same belief of the Ithna Ashari Shia today, namely that Allah had appointed Ali to be Caliph. And yet, Ali agreed to arbitration with Muawiyyah. The million-dollar question, asked of course by the Khawaarij: how could Ali agree to arbitration if it was a matter decreed by Allah?
How could Ali agree to negotiation on this matter if Allah Himself had chosen Ali to be this supposed â€śInfallible Imamâ€ť? Would Prophet Muhammad agree to arbitration and negotiation on the matter of his Prophethood? So why would Ali arbitrate and negotiate on the matter of his Imamah? In matters decreed by Allah, there can be no negotiation! For example, we cannot negotiate on the matter of eating pork or Salah, since these matters are already decreed by Allah.
This event proves without a shadow of doubt that Ali was not divinely appointed by Allah nor by His Messenger, since he agreed to arbitration and agreed to Shurah (consultation) to decide who would be the Caliph. This proves that what the Ahlus Sunnah believes is correct: namely that Shurah is the way to elect a leader, much like how Abu Bakr was selected.
The Shia belief system is diametrically opposed to the very Ali they claim to follow, and soon will they also be faced against Ali, much like the Khawaarij (former Sabaâ€™ites) would turn against and face Ali; Ali is he who denied all claims of divine appointment and of Infallible Imamah. Ali denied this to the Sabaâ€™ites, the Khawaarij, and he will also deny this to the Shia of today, whose faces will be turned black on the Day of Judgement for their exaggeration and lies, where they will be grouped together with the people who defected against Ali, namely the Khawaarij. There is no plausible explanation that the Shia can give to the million-dollar question: why did Ali agree to Shurah? It is indeed a slap to the face of the Shia faith.
Ali Murdered by Sabaâ€™ites
In any case, the Khawaarij turned against Caliph Ali and killed him. So it was that Muawiyyah became the fifth Caliph. The irony should not be lost that the Shia are the ones who killed Ali allowing Muawiyyah to be the Caliph, and now look at the Shia today lamenting about Muawiyyah stealing the Caliphate! There can be no denying that the Sabaâ€™ites and the Khawaarij are the fore-fathers of Shiâ€™ism, since the Shia today hold the same opinion that Ali was divinely appointed and thus arbitration (i.e. with Abu Bakr or Muawiyyah) cannot be accepted.
After Aliâ€™s death, the Khawaarij went back into hiding, using Taqiyyah (lying) and Kitman (hiding). Abdullah ibn Abbas, the Prophetâ€™s cousin, persuaded many of them to reject the Khawaarij doctrine, and so many of them did reject it, although most of them continued to hold onto their Sabaâ€™ite Shia beliefs.
This article has traced the origins of the Shia, which date back to the assassination conspiracy of Umar by the Persian Harmuzan, the Christian Jafeena, and the Jew Saba. The latterâ€™s son, Abdullah Ibn Saba, would carry on his fatherâ€™s work by adopting the subterfuge tactics of the Jews of Yathrib. Ibn Saba was successful in weakening the Muslims from the inside by creating the Shia sect. Throughout its turbulent history, the Shia (who originated from the Saba’ites) have spread Fitnah to every corner of the Muslim world.
These Sabaâ€™ites had killed Uthman, attacked Aisha, and killed Ali. They had also supported Umarâ€™s assassin Abu Lula. They would betray Hasan and eventually they would lead Hussain to his death and then later Hussainâ€™s grandson would also die from the betrayal of the Shia defectors. The ancestors of the Shia were a hate-mongering people, responsible for creating disunity and disarray amongst the Muslim Ummah. Today, this tradition lives on in the Shia, who carry on the practice of Tabarra, cursing and insulting the pious pioneers of Islam, rabble-rousing and trying to create hatred and disunity amongst the believers.
Article Written By: Ibn al-Hashimi, www.ahlelbayt.com