The 3 Main Reasons for Shia-Sunni Differences & the Right Path, By Maulana Yusuf Ludhianvi Shaheed
The starting point of the Shiite religion
You and every other Muslim are well aware of this fact that there were no Theoretical Differences during the noble era of Prophet (ﷺ) and his Companions (R.A). In fact, during that era, the entire Ummat was free from the bane of (such) Differences and it was a united force against the entities of kufr. The first time that Theoretical Differences rose its ugly head was towards the end of the Khilafat of Hadhrat Uthmaan (R.A). This was the starting point of the Shiah creed. Their first basis and initiative were plain, that is (they claimed) that Hadhrat Ali (R.A) who was the close and beloved relative of Prophet (ﷺ) was the first most worthy candidate for the Khilafat. This theoretical opinion of theirs, albeit seemingly simple and plain, and outwardly amiable, was the antithesis of Islaamic teachings and the 23 years of Prophet (ﷺ) teaching. This is so because Islam has eradicated the veneration of nepotism and lineage and based honor and dignity on “Taqwa” (piety and fear of Allah). As far as the attribute of Taqwa was concerned, Hadhrat Abu Bakr (R.A) was the most outstanding amongst the Sahaabah (R.A), as is borne out by the word “Al Atqaa” (The Pious One), which appears in Surah Wal-Lail and refers to Hadhrat Abu Bakr (R.A). It is for this reason that he as the most worthy successor to Prophet (ﷺ).
In the Jaame Masjid of Kufa, Hadhrat Ali (R.A) was asked the reason as to why Hadhrat Abu Bakr (R.A) was made the Khalifah after the demise of the Prophet (ﷺ). Hadhrat Ali (R.A) replied that the most important form of Ibadat in Deen is Salat, and Prophet (ﷺ), during his final illness appointed Hadhrat Abu Bakr (R.A) as the Imam of the Salat of the Muslims, notwithstanding the presence of Hadhrat Ali (R.A). Even though Prophet (ﷺ) was fully aware of the presence of Hadhrat Ali (R.A), he nonetheless, chose Hadhrat Abu Bakr (R.A) as the Imam, hence Hadhrat Ali (R.A) said that the same personality whom Prophet (ﷺ) chose as the Imam of the Muslims in Islamic matters, they are pleased to choose him as their Imam in worldly matters.
This then is the spurious basis which the Shiahs have based their difference upon. The initiator of this false theory was the Munafiq, who was a Jew, namely Abdullah Bin Saba and his cohorts. They were the ones who burnt at the victories of Islam. They intended to change the course of the flood of Islamic progress. They saw no other way except to inject the poison of difference and dispute amongst the Muslim Ummat, thereby rendering it in pieces and scattered the unity of its adherents. When fighting and hostility flares up amongst the Muslims, then there remains no more guts or spirit in them to fight kufr. Hence they (Shiahs) started their slogan of “Hubbe Ali”, thereby spoiling the Aqaid of many Muslims and exploding a hydrogen bomb of Difference amongst the Ummat of Muslims.
Had Islam not been the final religion and had Allah not made a promise to safeguard it until Qiyamah, then it was close that this fort of Islam would have buckled under this vile and evil force. Just as the conniving Jews had spoilt and changed the face of the Deen of Hadhrat Isaa, so too would they have scored a success with Islaam. However, the Sahaabah (R.A), Tabieen, and Hadhrat Ali (R.A) himself had challenged this fitnah with force and had thus nipped it in the bud. The result was that the Shiah beliefs and theories were forced and compelled to hide behind the veil of “Taqiyah” (holy hypocrisy).
Later, the Shiahs were split into many groups and sects. The details of this can be seen in the Kitaab of Hadhrat Abdul Qaadir Jilani (R.A), “Ghuniatut Talibeen” and the Kitab of Hadhrat Shah Muhaddith Dehlwi (R.A), “Tuhfah Ithna Ashariyyah”. From amongst all these sects of Shiasm, one named “Shiah Imamiyah” or “Shiah Ithna Ashariyyah”, is the surviving and existent “Shiah” that is prevalent today. The details of their beliefs are not appropriate at this juncture. Nevertheless, a few of their principles and beliefs are listed hereunder:
1). The theory of Imamat
The basic principle of the Shiah creed is their “Aqedah-e-Imamat”. The crux of this belief is that just as Allah had specially appointed and sent the Prophets in the same He had sent and specially appointed the Imams that came after Prophet (ﷺ). These Imams are, according to the Shiah religion also free of faults and sinless. Wahi (Divine Revelation) is sent to them. Their obedience is necessary just as is that of a Prophet. They, just like Prophets, can issue and regulate the rulings of Shariah. They also have the prerogative to change and abrogate any law that is contained in the Quran.
It is as though the Aqaid of Islam, and it’s every aspect is in the hands of a specially appointed Prophet, which is understandable, nevertheless, the Shiahs aver that their “Imams” have this same status and rank.
This theory of Imamat of the Shiahs is a rebellious opposition to the finality of Prophethood of our Prophet (ﷺ) and it is a clear conspiracy against the existence of Islam. This is the reason why all the false claimants to prophethood since the times of yore up to Mirza Ghulaam Ahmad have borrowed this Shiah concept of Imamat as an expedient loophole to their false claims.
This concept of Imamat of the Shiah religion is inherently and naturally incorrect. The reason being that the Shiahs themselves will not be able to sustain the burden of this belief for a long time. In fact, they have terminated their Imamat theory upon their 12th Imam, who, since the year 260 A.H. has been in hiding in a cave and has ever since disappeared. Today, an entire 11 centuries later, the Shiahs are still unaware where exactly their Imam is and what is his condition.
As much as I contemplate upon the Shiah’s theory of Imamat, I am becoming more and more convinced that this theory has been thrust against the finality of the prophethood of our Prophet (ﷺ) and it has connived so as to grant impetus and validity to the false claimants to prophethood and Imamat. Consider well – since the time of Hadhrat Isaa until the time of our Prophet (ﷺ) an entire period of six centuries passed, but there was no guider sent to the Ummat from Allah. Here on the other hand, after the Sun of the Finality of Prophethood (ﷺ), who illuminated the universe with his Noor, passes away, according to the Shiah belief, Allah did not leave the world for one minute, nay not even one second and He established some “sinless Imam” who then changes the Deen and abrogates the Quran. And then, this is not restricted o only one Imam, there comes 12 of them in succession. And then suddenly, after two and a half centuries of Islam has passed, Allah (abruptly) closes the succession of Imams. In fact, the twelfth Imam who was sent is made to disappear forever at the age of two.
Can there be any person who believes in the Nubuwwat of Prophet (ﷺ), and who accepts that he (ﷺ) was not sent to destroy, change and disfigure Islam, in fact, he (ﷺ) was sent to sustain and be a means for the procurement of Islam until the Day of Qiyamah, ever tolerate this theory of Imamat of the Shiahs?
The “seniors” of the Shiah religion, who they brand as their Imams, have also themselves never claimed Imamat. They never laid claim to being leaders of Allah’s creation. In fact, every one of them was the elders of the Ahle Sunnah and they were the illumination to the eyes of the believers. Their Deen and beliefs, their methods and ways, and their manner of worship were never in accordance with that of the Shiah religion. Actually they followed the ways and methods of the Sahabah and Tabieen. It was in accordance with that Deen which was left by Prophet (ﷺ), and that which the entire Muslim Ummat practices upon. These pious personalities practiced upon this Islam in front of all to see. However, the Shiahs wish us to believe that the beliefs of these people were something else, but in accordance with their spurious belief in “Taqiyah” (holy hypocrisy) they were concealing their true beliefs and showing something else to the people. According to the Shiah religion, it is as though Allah sent sinless Imams who were incapable of guiding mankind and forever hid behind the cloak of Taqiyah. And their twelfth Imam is so concealed that none knows his whereabouts to this day! From this, we can ascertain that this theory of Imamat of the Shiahs, not only strikes at the finality of Nubuwwat of our Prophet (ﷺ), in fact, it is clearly even contrary to the intelligence and reasoning. This can never be the teachings of Allah, it is the invention of the warped brain of some Jew.
2). Hatred and enmity towards the Companions (R.A)
The second-largest principle of the Shiah religion is their hatred and enmity for the Sahaabah-e-Kiraam (R.A). According to the Shiahs, all those Companions (this would include Hadhrat Ali (R.A) who, after the demise of Prophet (ﷺ), took the pledge of allegiance (Ba’it) at the hands of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (R.A) are murtad and kaafir (Nauthubillah!) due to this action of theirs. The reason for this is, that they did not take ba’it at the hands of the sinless Imam – Hadhrat Ali (R.A). And since Hadhrat Ali (R.A) did not lay claim to Khilafat during the eras of all three Khalifahs before him, in fact, he also took Ba’it at their hands, is the reason why the Shiahs are infuriated with him, as well.
This claim of the Shiahs is so spurious and false that it requires no review. The object of this belief of theirs is that the duty of our Prophet (ﷺ) in this world is, Nauthubillah, completely useless, and futile. The claim of Islam is that he (ﷺ) was sent for the guidance of the entire mankind until the Day of Qiyamah. However, the belief of the Shiahs avers that this is completely incorrect. (According to their belief) Islam never progressed even for a day after the demise of our Prophet (ﷺ), in fact, the entire group (of Sahaabah) upon whom Prophet (ﷺ) made a concerted effort for 23 continuous years and he prepared them, and whom he made a means of intermediaries between himself and the coming Ummat, all of them became murtad (Nauthubillah!) after his demise. From this is plain, clear, and simple that the Shiah creed is the anti-theses of Islam. That is if the Shiah religion is correct, then, Islam is – Nauthubillah – wrong! And if Islam is correct, then it will be obvious according to any intelligent and right -headed person to conclude that Shiasm is wrong and spurious.
The attack upon the friends and companions of Prophet (ﷺ) is such a blow to Islam itself and to the Prophet’s (ﷺ) being, that history will fall short of finding a likeness thereof. It is stated in Tafser-e-Mazhari, that the Ustad of Imam Abu Hanifah (R.A), Hadhrat Sha’bi (R.A) said that if the Jews are asked who are the most revered and honored persons amongst their Ummat, then they will immediately reply that it is the friends and companions of Hadhrat Moosa. And if the Christians are asked the same question, then they will immediately reply that it is the helpers (companions) of Hadhrat Isaa. But if the Shiahs are asked the question: “Who are the worst persons amongst your Ummat?” They will immediately reply that it is the Companions of Prophet (ﷺ). Nauthubillah, Astaghfirullah!
Nevertheless, if the Shi’ite belief of the theory of Imamat is an opposition to the finality of Prophethood of our Prophet (ﷺ), then their theory of “tabarra” (showing disdain, disapproval at and abuse of the first Khalifahs of Islam) is a much worse rebelliousness against the very Nubuwwat of our Prophet (ﷺ). And no person who has belief in Prophet (ﷺ) will ever be able to condone and tolerate this, that the entire group, whom he (ﷺ) had prepared during his lifetime, had Nauthubillah, became murtad the moment his eyes closed.
3). Tahref e Quran (Distortion and temptation in the Qur’an)
The third belief of the Shiahs is even worse than the previously mentioned two beliefs of theirs. However, just as two plus two equals four, this third belief of theirs is an obvious result of the first two. And this belief of theirs is “Tahref-e-Quran” (that the Quran was distorted and tampered with).
Let alone a Muslim, up to this day, not even the worst of kafirs has the courage to say (and none in their right frame of mind will be able to aver), that the Quran which is present with the Muslims of today, that sanctified the Kitab which has been preserved through the ages, and of which thousands, nay millions have memorized, is not the same Kitab which was revealed to our Prophet (ﷺ). But, “bravo” to the inventors of the Shiah religion, who have included this belief in the Shiah creed. The Shiahs aver that the Quran which is present with the Muslims today is not the same Quran as the original which was revealed to the Prophet (ﷺ). They claim that this is “Sahifa -e-Uthmaani” (the script of Hadhrat Uthmaan R.A).
(They aver that) The original Quran is hidden with the 12th Imaam in some unknown cave. Besides one of two, every Mujtahid, Aalim, and Imam of the Shiahs accepts this contention. There exist more than two thousand narrations from their “sinless Imams” which are unanimous on this issue. How can this not be the case when according to the Shiahs, after the demise of Prophet (ﷺ), Nauthubillah, all the Companions became murtad, so how can it be that they bring Iman on that Quran which was conveyed by these Companions?
It is for this reason that those few Shiahs who accept the present Quran to be in its original revealed state, have to accept and recognize the integrity and honor of the Companions (R.A).
It is as though whoever believes as true the Shiah religion, can never bring ring Imaan on the present Quran. And it is also not possible to bring Iman in any Quran of the Shiahs.
There are many other beliefs and theories of the Shiah religion, but we will not discuss them here. Just by mere consideration of these three beliefs of theirs, one can ascertain exactly what relationship there is between Islam and Shiasm.
What is the right way?
Above, I had mentioned the Hadith wherein Prophet (ﷺ) drew a line by way of an example and said: “This is Allah’s Path”, and then he drew a few lines branching off from this centreline, and said: “These are those paths, upon which each one of them sits a shaitan, which invites man towards it.”
Citing this, I am of the opinion that the Shiah religion is one of the first offshoots and opposing factors of Islam, which shaitan has devised and invented through the medium of his Jewish agents in order to mislead man.
Right from the very first day after the demise of our Prophet (ﷺ), did the Shiah religion aspires to sever the link of the Ummat to his (ﷺ) Mubarak being. They had sought to uproot the entire foundation and basis of Islam, and create another new religion in opposition to Islam. You may have heard that the Shiah creed is unhappy about the Kalimah of Islam. In fact, they have added the verse “Ali Waliullah, Wasi Rasulullah wa Khalifatun Bila Fasl”. Since the Shiahs do not accept the Kalimah and the Quran of the Muslims, then is there anything left to say? And one of the most unfortunate things is their hatred and enmity towards the Companions (R.A), from which all believers seek protection.
The Companions were the first recipient of the divine Revelation. Their history is an integral part of the history of the Prophet (ﷺ). Their character and behavior were proofs of the Nubuwwat of Prophet (ﷺ). They were the guide and teachers of the entire coming Ummat. Our Prophet (ﷺ) placed the duty of conveying the Deen upon their able and capable shoulders. The Ummat that followed, whatever good they had acquired was through the Barkat and blessings of the Companions. It is for this reason that love for the Companions stems from the love for Prophet (ﷺ), since they were nurtured and sprung from him. Hatred for the Sahabah stems from hatred for Prophet (ﷺ). Love for them is a part of Iman. To slur and malign them is not mere disrespect; in fact, it necessitates the removal of Iman. Therefore my belief is of that of the Ahle Sunnah Wal Jamat, that the family and companions of Prophet (ﷺ) are all worthy of the utmost respect and honor.
That person who has even the least bit of connection to the Prophet (ﷺ), will love everything that was close to him. Especially those personalities who were his deputies after his demise. We have been blessed with the honor of Iman owing to their sacrifices and efforts. Therefore, in the defense of Hadhrat Ali (R.A), those who criticized Hadhrat Uthman (R.A) were, in my opinion, astray. In the same way, I also deem that person to be astray who casts even the slightest slur and criticism at Hadhrat Ali (R.A). Also, that person who, in defense of Yazeed criticizes Hadhrat Hussein (R.A). I understand the love and affection for every family member and companion of Prophet (ﷺ) to be a part of Iman. I deem any criticism leveled at any one of them, be it by way of indication, inference or directly to be a sign of one losing his Iman. This is my belief. I hope to meet Allah in His Court with this belief of mine.