In The Name Of Allah, The Most Kind And The Most Merciful
All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of the entire universe. Peace and salutations be upon the final Prophet, his wives, family and Companions.
It is a great favour of Allah upon us for blessing us with Iman and creating us from the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
All praise is for Allah, Who has guided us to this. We would never have been rightly guided had Allah not guided us.
Dear Brothers and Sisters! The doctrinal history of Islam has not been without challenges. Attempts to part with orthodoxy and institutionalise innovation (Bid’ah) arose in the earliest period and continue in various forms up to the present day.
The rise and spread of heterodoxy found fertile grounds in the vacuums of ignorance to which some societies occasionally tend to fall prey. Given such circumstances, the distortion of history and creed, combined with the fabrication of alternative narratives and meta-narratives, went a long way to entrench deviation.
While many heterodoxies withered and disappeared with the passage of time, some managed to cling to existence and reinvigorate themselves whenever opportunity presented itself.
In response thereto arose a scholarly tradition dedicated to the defence and vindication of truth. My today’s Friday Khutbah (Sermon) represents a continuation of that tradition.
Dear Servants of Allah! Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taimiyyah said:
“If I remained silent and you remained silent, then who will teach the ignorant?!”
Respected Brothers and Sisters! Some peoples are very skillful in making Muslims believe that opening the Shi’a file to discussion is tantamount to dealing the death blow. They view that the Muslim Ummah consists of both Sunnis and Shi’a and thus opening the issue to discussion has the effect of dividing the Muslim Ummah into two halves. However, this view is wrong from two prospectives:
1. Shi’a represent only 11% of the Muslim Ummah (only 150 Million all over the world). Actually, it is totally unfair for the Muslim Ummah to waver its fundamentals in order to maintain this few number within the main Muslim body instead of demanding Shi’a to abide by the theological, moral, historical, political and united standards of the Muslim Ummah.
2. In my previous article, I referred to the fact that Fitnah (disorder) is not that quiescent one we are trying to kindle. In fact, Fitnah is already extremely on fire, with boiling effects all over the Muslim world, firstly in Iraq. What should we do in face of shedding the Sunni blood there and the evident wasting of once-greatly-capable country?!
In our discussion of the problem, we are trying to understand the roots of the problem. Once we understand, we can propose logical solutions. However, no solutions to the problem can be offered in the absence of clear knowledge of their rise, roots, concepts, methodologies, objectives and ambitions.
In the previous article, I spot light on the threat of contemporary Shi’a to the present of the Muslim Ummah. I specifically listed five dangerous points, each of which is an enough justification to urgently open the file. Below is a brief outline of the five points:
1. Shia’s constant defamation of Companions, which turned into the essence of their belief in religion. Actually, it is an evident grudge that exceeded all limits. Wallahi, Allah is my witness, I regularly receive comments and threats from Shi’ites on any talks relating to Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman as well as other Companions that are overflowing with grudge and rancour. It is something very sensitive for a Shi’ite to see a Companion’s name, which necessitates him to have a violent reaction. How come then that we observe self-control regarding such an infringement? I stated there that overlooking such vices resembles forsaking religion which we may not do In Shaa Allah.
2. The danger of the spread of Shi’ism in Muslim communities or countries, were it through directly embracing and conversion to the Shi’ite thought or indirectly through being convinced with Shia’s ideas being unaware of embracing Shi’ism.
3. The murder of thousands of Iraqi Sunnis.
4. Direct threat of military, political, economic dominance over Iraq etc, and thus serving other people’s interests.
5. Direct threat to countries in the region other than Iraq. In this regard, I gave United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) as examples. I do not think it proper to remain silent till the interests of such countries be lost. In my opinion, positive speed movement to safeguard the safety and security of such countries is inevitable.
However, I have discussed the above referred to five points in detail in my previous article. Actually, I call the readers to read this Sermon thoughtfully on account of its dealing with serious issues. Moreover, I invite them to read the other previous articles so that you might get an overall view of the subject.
But… Are these five points everything? Unfortunately, no!
Actually, Shia’s peril is too threatening to be dealt with in such five points. Browsing history proves that contingent deterioration is more than unimaginable. The Ubaidi Isma’ilite Shi’ites occupied Egypt for more than two consecutive hundred years. Although having never been predictable, it took place anyway as we know. Hence, drawing attention to such a peril is necessary and inevitable.
Let us now resume listing Shia’s dangers at the present:
6. Danger of Iran-Syria rapprochement. We can obviously notice the close rapprochement between Iran and Syria. Danger can be predicted in view of the serious situation Syria lives. For about forty years, Syria has been ruled by Nusairis (known as Alawites), who are attributed to the founder of their sect Abu Shu’aib Muhammad Bin Nusair Al-Baghdadi (Died 270 A.H.). Abu Shu’aib claimed Prophethood and that Ali is Allah incarnate – Glorified and Exalted is He high above what they say!
Although Nusairis constitute no more than 10% of the total population, they have absolute authority. Therefore, they give a wide latitude to the spread of Shi’ism in the country. Thus, connection of the Shi’ite Crescent from Iran to Iraq and to Syria and Lebanon will represent a serious barrier separating the east of the Muslim world from the west and giving indication of a contingent stretch of unknown dimensions.
7. There is a certain serious matter requiring us to take an immediate stance, discussing which may never be put off. I mean Muslim’s infatuation with greater Shi’ite figures, especially the leader of the Lebanese Hezbollah Hasan Nasrallah and the Iranian president Rouhani. Unarguably, public attitudes adopted by both figures infatuated many Sunnis, especially in the absence of equivalent Sunni figures at the head of authority in Muslim countries. In fact, they are infatuating in view of success achieved by both of them in reaching their respective objectives; i.e. war against Jews in the case of Nasrallah and establishing a powerful state in the case of Rouhani. Therefore, it is necessary to draw the attention of all Sunnis to the fact that achieving even a great success in a certain issue does not necessarily denote sound creed and methodology. We should bear in mind that the wicked Ubaidi Shi’ite State achieved tenfold or hundredfold greater military and political successes than those achieved by Hezbollah and Iran. Nevertheless, we may not take it as an example. Furthermore, we may by no means take as an example a secular – even if Sunni – leader. This is because we believe that a leader to be an example has to achieve integrity, balance and comprehensiveness in such fields as creed, morals, knowledge and practice. Moreover, his practicing struggle has to be in Allah’s Cause and in support of Allah’s sound religion and to establish the Shari’ah (Islamic Law) unchanged and unmodified.
Let me also deliver a message to those who dream of being ruled by a Shi’ite, even if moderate, leader. I would like to ask them whether they would accept to believe in the twelve Imams they believe in. Would we then accept to give up the history of Companions, our schools of thought and Sunnah books we trust? Which education curricula do we expect to be applied in such a case; Shi’ite or Sunni curricula?
Indeed, Isma’il the Safavid established a very powerful state in Iran constructing it dazzlingly in terms of administration and organization. How was his behaviour when his state reached its peak? See my previous Sermons and articles for more information about how he made use of his power to be a thorn in the Ottoman State’s side, spreading Shi’ism in Iraq and uniting with the Portuguese in face of Sunni Ottomans.
Dear Brothers and Sisters! Islam is one integrated entity, i.e. we may not apply one part of it and forsake another. Allah (May He be Exalted) said:
“O you who believe! Enter into Islam wholly.” [Al-Baqarah, 208]
Accordingly, if we are to take an example, it should be integrated. However, if there is any defect, it should by no means relate to creed and concepts. Otherwise, there will be evil consequences and severe harm.
8. Unfortunately, Shi’a’s narrations of events have made its way so tremendously through history books. Thus, to read and benefit from history, we have to revise it in order to purify forgery and interpolation. Actually, this is an essential task and fundamental duty, abandoning which might result in loss of huge heritage and distortion of the biographies of the best of people and generations. The beginning should be understanding Shi’a’s danger on history books, purifying such books from their forged narrations and then inferring lessons from authentically narrated events. In fact, I would like to spot more light on such issues. I have counted narrations reported concerning the narrative of the Battle of Siffin to find them 113. It was astonishing to find out that 99 of which are Shi’ite malicious narrations aiming at no more than distorting the image of Companions. Such narrations are widely circulated among Shi’a as well as those influenced by their ideas, including supposedly some ignorant Sunnis under the pretext that they are recorded in Tarikh Al-Tabari, a prominent Sunni scholar. By doing so, they pay no attention to the Sanad (chain of narrators) mentioned by Imam Al-Tabari. Suppose they pay it any attention, they know noting about narrators. Thus, it becomes a must to purify history books from Shi’a’s narrations so that people might read the Ummah’s history from its authentic resources.
9. Many people do not take into consideration our duties toward Shi’a. It is unarguably unjustified to let such a huge number of people as more than one hundred and fifty million persons think so corruptly without drawing their attention to the danger of their beliefs and ideas.
Undoubtedly, such people are in ultimate need of being educated, enjoined to do good and forbidden from doing evil. We will be unquestionably asked by our Lord on the Day of Judgment whether we performed our duties toward those people who hold such beliefs as those referred to in the article “Shi’a and its followers.”
Some Shi’ites sent comments on these articles, threatening me, attacking me, insulting me and supplicating Allah to punish me through resurrecting me along with Abu Bakr and Umar. Actually, it gives me great pleasure that someone wishes me to be resurrected with them. However, I felt very sorry for them for showing enmity to these two giant figures chosen by Allah to be the Companions of the beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). I consider it an essential priority of Callers to Allah, preachers and Islamic scholars to clarify for such people the danger of what they believe in. Undoubtedly, sincere and fair-minded persons among them are likely to accept the truth heedless of the risks once informed of the true belief.
10. Who protects helpless Sunnis who live in Iran now? Do you know how many they are? They are about twenty million persons constituting about 30% of the total population.
Nevertheless, they are represented in the Iranian cabinet by no minister. Moreover, the ratio of their parliament representation is less than 10%. Furthermore, million Sunnis living in the capital Tehran are in vain struggling to establish even only one Sunni Mosque. In this regard, we need not mention direct oppression of all Sunnis who demand their rights. Actually, oppression is so severe that Sunni Mosques are destroyed. A famous event is the destruction of Sheikh Fayd Mosque in Khurasan in 1994 A.D. (1414 A.H.).
Another event is the destruction of the Congregational Mosque in the state of Blushistan which was accompanied by killing two hundred Sunni young men who staged a sit-in in the Mosque protesting against the destruction of Sheikh Fayd Mosque.
It goes without saying that education curricula studied by twenty million Sunnis in Iran does not go in line with Sunni doctrines and principles. In fact, they are Shi’ite-based curricula.
Unfortunately, Iranian Sunnis experience a great dilemma being helpless, as known by everyone. Is it then proper to keep silent regarding their problems as well as the problems of Iraqi Sunnis, or speak out so that Allah might help someone do something?
So far, we have listed ten evident dangers of Shi’a.
Dear Brothers and Sisters! Now do you still think it is wise to keep silent?
Do analytics claiming to be reasonable view that harms following from opening the file to discussion are greater than harms of the actual fact we live, from which I listed ten harms in this Sermon and the one prior to it?
Nonetheless, I did not write these articles and Sermons aiming at igniting the fuse of war against the Shi’a of Nigeria, Iran, Iraq, Syria or Lebanon. I also did not aim at deducing that Shi’a are more dangerous than Jews. Rather, by writing these articles and Sermons I aim at leading to a truthful understanding of situations. Because only after knowing the truth, wise men from among the people can agree on a proper and appropriate attitude.
Actually, many of those who hurry to express their opinions on many complicated problems do not have the least knowledge about the issue under discussion; they express no more than emotion-based opinions and imagined their fancies to be realities which they thought will be put into practice by sincere persons.
Now, after these blood-smelling information, how should our attitude toward Shi’a be?
1. The majority of scholars judge Shi’a Ithna Ashriyyah (who believe in, study and prepare for the advent of the Imam Al-Mahdi, the twelfth descendant of the Prophet Muhammad who is believed to be still alive and waiting for the world to prepare for his emergence from occultation and just leadership) in general to be Muslims. However, they are deviated Mubtadi’in (innovating in religion) Muslims. Accordingly, all such general rulings of Islam as marriage, inheritance, burial, judiciary, food and all transactions apply to them. Therefore, they are also permitted to perform Hajj and Umrah (minor pilgrimage) and to enter the Sacred Lands. Thus known, their deviation might not, nevertheless, be underestimated. Rather, they need to be reformed and rectified. It even necessitates rulings and laws to be sanctioned. In this respect, many Muslim scholars made good contributions in the field, details of which can be sought for elsewhere. Moreover, the majority of scholars judge some Shi’a sects to be disbelievers, including Isma’iliyyah, Nusairis and suchlike blasphemous sects.
2. Based on Shi’a’s methodologies, deep-rooted deviation, I dare say it is impossible to make Fiqhi (jurisprudential) or doctrinal reconciliation between the Sunni and the Shi’ite thoughts. Actually, Shi’a is not an Islamic school of thought as thought by some ignorant people. Rather, it is a sect that deviated from the straight path. Thus, reconciling the straight path with deviation stands for deviation of a lesser degree. In brief, it is entirely unacceptable according to Islamic Shari’ah. Does reconciliation mean accepting insulting Companions and no one else? Does reconciliation mean believing in no more than twelve Imams? Does it mean authorising Al-Bukhari and Muslim while denying the authority of Abu Dawud and Al-Tirmidhi? Does it also mean deeming Mut’ah (temporary) marriage lawful in certain circumstances? Or, does it mean overlooking oppressing some Sunnis in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Syria etc, while moving positively regarding oppressing others?
Dear Brothers and Sisters! Reconciliation reached a dead end. More decisively, any attempt to reconcile the doctrines or rulings of Sunnis and Shi’ites is tantamount to changing and distorting the religion of Allah, which may never be our objective. Moreover, a reference has to be made to the situations of scholars who during a stage of their life attempted reconciliation to find out it is infeasible in spite of repeated attempts.
I would like to pay a special attention here to the respected Syrian scholar Dr. Mustafa Al-Siba’i (May Allah show mercy to him). In his book ‘The Position of Sunnah as to Islamic Legislation’, he explicitly stated that:
“It seemed that reconciliation means drawing Sunnis closer to Shi’ism.”
The same approach was followed by the respected scholar Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, who reached the same result.
3. Our efforts should not be halted at the stage of denying Shi’a’s doctrines and methodologies. Rather, we should fortify fellow Sunnis with beneficial knowledge that can safeguard them against falling into the snares of corrupt and dangerous beliefs. Moreover, scholars and Callers to Allah have to be energetic in informing Sunnis about their true religion and the authentic story of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his reverend Companions. Besides, the huge historical heritage of the Ummah has to be made use of. To this effect, the Ummah that cannot read its history is incapable of forming its future.
4. We should never feel embarrassed or hesitate to discuss suspicions raised by Shi’a here and there. Furthermore, we should not be ostriches about the Shi’a file thinking that doing so will have the effect of gaging them. On the contrary, we have to discuss the issue bravely. It should turn into a matter of creed, reforming deviation and rectification of a bad conduct. Hence, we have to discuss complicated historical issues that Shi’a powerfully make use of and to explain such issues from a sound Islamic prospective. In addition, Sunni’s love and respect of the Prophet’s household has to be highlighted. Moreover, it should be clarified that the deceiving idea that Shi’a show more love and respect to the Prophet’s Household is a false notion. Undoubtedly, the Prophet’s Household may never be satisfied with distorting the Prophet’s methodology.
5. We should sincerely and truthfully call and advise Shi’ites to depend on impartial scientific investigation in reading their history and doctrines. By doing so, they will come to know that their historical reports are narrated through very weak and interrupted chains of narrators and that most of their methodologies and ideas have not been coined before the third century A.H. We are certain that Allah will guide sincere persons among them to the straight path. (And this is not difficult for Allah).
6. Muslims in Nigeria, Africa and Arab countries, as well as Muslim communities in Western countries, have to be on their guard against increasingly growing Shi’ism. As I stated above, Shi’ism stands for deviation from the right path. Therefore, good attention has to be paid to it especially in countries where Shi’ism is intensively propagated, such as Bahrain, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Jordan, Nigeria, Ghana etc.
7. Sunnis living in confrontation line, i.e. Iraq, Iran, Syria, Pakistan and Lebanon are to take care, unite and keep in touch with their Sunnis brothers all over the Muslim world. They also have to join forces in order to protect themselves against dangers to which they are exposed, and to vividly use mass media to show their status and positions, which might provide them easily with help.
8. We do not object to peaceful co-living between Sunnis and Shi’ites provided that no mutual aggression takes place. I also do not prefer involving into thorny issues of ideological and theological dispute on condition that it be reciprocal. This should not mean giving Iranian and Iraqi Shi’ites all rights while marginalising Sunnis.
9. Political rapprochement between some political Sunni and Shi’ite groups is also possible in some respects. However, caution should be observed regarding the possibility of the collapse of rapprochement, which is the historically usual end of such relations. Ultimate caution should also be observed regarding giving up any theological or legal principle in favour of rapprochement. Moreover, rapprochement should be conditional on certain circumstances and common interests, in the sense that it should not be unconditional so that it might not result in interrupting the unity and peace of the Ummah or misunderstanding.
10. I call upon Muslim leaders to be up to the huge responsibility they undertake. Undoubtedly, Sunnis adopted reconciliation calls only being infatuated with Shi’ite figures that rose in the absence of Muslim leaders from the arena. We noticed how much Sunnis were impressed by Erdogan for his stance against Jews as well as by the Dane Prime Minister, which clearly indicates that the Sunni masses are in need of a symbol to back and support. We ask Allah to show you the truth as a truth and guide you to follow it and to show you falsehood as falsehood and to help you avoid it.
In the other hand, Nigeria that is battling many fronts of insecurity should be cautious the way it handles the Shi’a matters, matters that have the propensity to snowball into a crisis of unimaginable proportion.
The Shi’ites/Federal Government of Nigeria faceoff is one such dangerous matter and therefore requires wisdom. Killing them by the security forces can never offer solution but engaging them in a dialogue could. History bears ample evidence that dialogue has always brought peace where war woefully failed. Nigeria cannot afford confronting another group of insurgents resulting from a mismanaged situation.
Yes, as we all agree, killing them may not really help, but the big question is: Are they above the laws of Nigeria? What if their leaders refuses the dialogue? What about their insult on Nigeria sovereignty and Nigerian Army? What about the inconveniences causing other road users during their trekking? And a host of many others…
May Allah help and protect Nigeria from all evils, ameen.
With this tenth point ends the ten points briefing my viewpoint on this serious file.
I am certain that there are tens, hundreds or even thousands of questions that I found no room to answer in such brief Sermon. Anyway, my absolute aim is to only open doors for discussion and to give a clearer vision. No doubt, detailed explanation and investigation can be tackled by specialised researches and studies, which I ask Allah to guide Muslim scholars to conduct and to explain to people in general:
“Until there is no more Fitnah, and the religion will all be for Allah alone.” [Qur’an, Al-Anfal, 39]
May Allah safeguard the Muslim Ummah against all evils, guide it to the straight path and provide for it immediate and future good.
I ask Allah to glorify Islam and Muslims.
And all praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our Noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.
Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques writes from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: email@example.com or +2348038289761.