This paper discusses Islam from a Shi'ite perspective. Our point is not to say that Shi'ites are more right, or that Sunnis are more right; we believe everyone in both groups need to repent of following deception, and come to Jesus to escape going to Hell. But our purpose here is to give an understanding of Shi'ite Islam, and show how both Sunnis are Shi'ites err in being waqifa, that is "hesitators" concerning Jesus' death on the cross. Here is a quiz for you: what do these battle cries and slogans mean? "Give me liberty or give me death!" Of course it would be hard to understand Americans, or even study the American Revolution, without understanding what that meant. "Remember the Alamo" It would be hard to understand the history of Texas, without understanding why that was said. "Karbala is everywhere; every month is Muharram; every day is Ashura" (Shi'a Islam : From Religion to Revolution. p.136 This was a slogan in Iran at the time of Khomeini. What in the world does that mean? Today we are going to talk about Shi'ite Islam, and by the end we will understand the deep emotion behind that statement. The word "Shi'ite" means a follower of 'Ali as the rightful caliph after Mohammed. To understand Shi'ite Islam, you have to know something of the turbulent times of the succession of Mohammed. 'Ali - On Fire for Allah
This paper discusses Islam from a Shi'ite perspective. Our point is not to say that Shi'ites are more right, or that Sunnis are more right; we believe everyone in both groups need to repent of following deception, and come to Jesus to escape going to Hell. But our purpose here is to give an understanding of Shi'ite Islam, and show how both Sunnis are Shi'ites err in being waqifa, that is "hesitators" concerning Jesus' death on the cross.
Here is a quiz for you: what do these battle cries and slogans mean?
"Give me liberty or give me death!"
Of course it would be hard to understand Americans, or even study the American Revolution, without understanding what that meant.
"Remember the Alamo" It would be hard to understand the history of Texas, without understanding why that was said.
"Karbala is everywhere; every month is Muharram; every day is Ashura" (Shi'a Islam : From Religion to Revolution. p.136
This was a slogan in Iran at the time of Khomeini. What in the world does that mean? Today we are going to talk about Shi'ite Islam, and by the end we will understand the deep emotion behind that statement. The word "Shi'ite" means a follower of 'Ali as the rightful caliph after Mohammed. To understand Shi'ite Islam, you have to know something of the turbulent times of the succession of Mohammed.
'Ali - On Fire for Allah
'Ali should have been the first caliph according to Shi'ites. However, he was passed over by Abu Bakr, 'Umar, and 'Uthman, only finally becoming caliph in when he was in his mid-50's in 656 A.D. He fought the Khawarij at Nahrawan, and defeated a revolt by 'Aisha and the Basrans at the Battle of al-Jamal (the Camel). He was only caliph for a few years when Mu'awiya in Damascus claimed he was the rightful caliph. They fought at the Battle of Siffin in (July 657 A.D.) (about 25 years after Mohammed died). Even though Mu'awiya allegedly encouraged defectors with promises of money, 'Ali's forces were winning. Mu'awiya's troops had to do something, so they stuck pages of the Qur'an on the ends of their spears saying that Muslims should not fight other Muslims. That stopped the battle.
'Ali bin Abi/Abu Talib was born c.600 - became caliph 656 A.D. and assassinated 661 A.D.. When 'Ali became caliph, he crushed a revolt at the Battle of the Camel, killing the generals Talha and Zobair, and captured A'isha. Kufa was his capital.
'Ali, only son-in-law of Mohammed, was stabbed by a Kharijite Muslim, named 'Abdu'r-Rahman ibn Muljam with a poisoned weapon in Jan. 27, 661 A.D., 40 years after Hegira. 'Ali died two days later.
"'Ali said God is one; He was alone in His singleness and so He spoke one word and it because a light and He created from that light Mohammed and He created me and my descendants (i.e. the other Imams) then He spoke another word and it became a Spirit and He caused it to settle upon that light and He caused it to settle on our bodies. And so we are the Spirit of God and His word... and this was before the creation of the world... and this was before He created the Creation." (An Introduction to Sh'i Islam p.148-149.
Bukhari vol.9:57 p.45: Narrated 'Ikrima: Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to 'Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn 'Abbas who said, "If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah's Apostle forbade it, saying, 'Do not punish anybody with Allah's punishment ( fire ).' I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah's Apostle, 'Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.'"
Distinctive Shi'ite Beliefs
Like the Sunni's, Shi'ites follow their own traditions, but above their tradition are the imams, the successors of the prophet. They claim the Sunnis have only passed down accounts, with the Shi'ites have eyewitnesses. They claim they have 14 "infallible ones", the 12 imams, Mohammed, and Fatema. Here are some of their other beliefs.
* Temporary Marriage is for today too.
* Dissimultude (taqiyya) based on their interpretation of Sura 3:27
* Most Shi'ites believe the Mahdi will return and restore things as they should be. Some (but not all) Sunnis view this as a denial of Mohammed as a final prophet and thus consider all Shi'ites "Ghulat". However, there are two problems with this view of some Sunnis.
1) A Shi'ite saying Allah will have someone miraculously return does not necessarily make the returnee a prophet. Though they have a lot to say about the Mahdi, Shi'ites in fact DO believe Mohammed is the final prophet.
2) Nothing in the Qur'an says that Mohammed is the final prophet, as An Introduction to Shi'i Islam p.67 mentions. It is only the Sunni hadiths that say Mohammed is the final prophet.
* The Muslim world was wrong when 'Ali was unjustly denied the Caliphate and assassinated.
* Ithna'ashariyya and Isma'ilis have the same succession through the 6th Imam, Ja'far (d.765 A.D.)
* For Ithna'ashariyya, they have a holy city of Qom in Iran, where Fatima, the infallible sister of the 8th imam died in 816/817 A.D.
'Ali not the Mohammed's direct successor: "The prophet said, 'But I should say, 'O my head!' I feel like calling Abu Bakr and his son and appoint (the former as my successor) lest people should say something or wish for something. Allah will insist (on Abu Bakr becoming a caliph) and the believers will prevent (anyone else from claiming the Caliphate)'..." Bukhari vol.9:334 p.246-247.
Shi'ite have their own hadiths, though the role of hadiths to Shi'ites is not as prominent as in Sunni Islam. The main Shi'ite hadith are by:
al-Kulaini (died 328/329 A.H.)
Ibn Babuwayh (died 381 A.H.)
Ja'far Muhammad al-Tusi (died 411 A.H.)
al-Murtada (died 436 A.H.), who compiled sayings attributed to Ali
Evidence from Hadiths and Writings that 'Ali WAS the rightful Successor
Here is evidence, provided by a Muslim (presumably a Shi'ite), that the vice-regent and successor of Mohammed was supposed to be 'Ali, not Abu Bakr or 'Umar.
(1) Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal in his Musnad and Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani Shafi'i in Mawaddati'l-Qurba towards the end of the fourth Mawadda, have recorded that the Holy Prophet said,
(2) "O Ali! You shall discharge responsibilities on my behalf, and you are my Vicegerent over my following."
(3) Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal in Musnad, Ibn Maghazili Faqih Shafi'i in Manaqib and Tha'labi in his Tafsir (commentary) have reported that the Holy Prophet said to Ali: "O Ali! You are my brother, successor, vicegerent, and the payer of my debt."
(4) Abu Qasim Husain Bin Muhammad (Raghib Ispahani) in Mahadhiratu'l-Udaba wa Muhawaratu'sh-Shu'ara wa'l-Balagha (printed in Amira-e-Shazafiyya, Seyyed Husain Afandi, 1326 A.H.), part II, page 213, quotes from Ibn Malik that the Prophet said: "Verily, my friend, helper, Vicegerent, and the choicest of men whom I am leaving behind, who will pay my debt and fulfill my promise, is Ali Bin Abu Talib."
(5) Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani in Mawaddatu'l-Qurba, at the beginning of the sixth Mawadda, narrates from the second Caliph, Umar Bin Khattab, that when the Prophet established the relationship of brotherhood among the companions, he said: "This Ali is my brother in this world and in the Hereafter; he is my successor from among my kin and my Vicegerent among my umma; he is the heir of my knowledge and the payer of my debt; whatever he owes to me, I owe to him. His profit is my profit, and his loss is my loss; one who is his friend is my friend; one who is his enemy is my enemy."
(6) In the same Mawadda, he quotes a hadith from Anas bin Malik, which I have mentioned earlier. Toward its end he says that the Holy Prophet said, "He (Ali) is my Vicegerent and helper."
(7) Muhammad Bin Ganji Shafi'i quotes a hadith from Abu Dharr Ghifari in his book, Kifayatu't-Talib, that the Prophet said, "The flag of Ali, the commander of the believers, the leader of the bright-faced people, and my Vicegerent, will come to me at the Fountain of Kauthar."
(8) Baihaqi, Khatib Khawarizmi, and Ibn Maghazili Shafi'i write in their Manaqib that the Prophet said to Ali: "It is not proper that I depart from the people without you becoming my successor since you are the choicest of the believers after me."
(9) Imam Abu Abdu'r-Rahman Nisa'i, one of the Imams of the Six Books of Traditions, narrates in detail from Ibn Abbas the virtues of Ali in connection with hadith 23 in Khasa'isu'l-Alawi. After describing the rank of the prophet Aaron, the Holy Prophet said to Ali: "You are my Vicegerent after me for every believer."
This hadith and others in which the Holy Prophet used the phrase "after me" clearly prove that Ali was his immediate successor.
(10) There is the "Hadith of Creation," which has been narrated in different ways. Imam Bin Ahmad Ibn Hanbal in his Musnad, Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani in Mawaddatu'l-Qurba, Ibn Maghazili Shafi'i in Manaqib, and Dailami in Firdaus have quoted the Prophet as saying: "I and Ali were created of the same Divine Light 14,000 years before Adam was created. From the loins of the Prophet Adam and through his holy progeny, the Light was inherited by Abdu'l-Muttalib, and from him it was divided and inherited by Abdullah, (father of the Prophet) and Abu Talib, (father of Ali). I was granted prophethood, and Ali was granted the caliphate."
(11) Hafiz Abu Ja'far Muhammad Bin Jarir Tabari (d.310 A.H.) writes in his Kitabu'l-Wilaya that the Prophet said in the beginning of his renowned address at Ghadir-e-Khum: "The angel Gabriel has conveyed Allah's command to me that I stop at this place and inform the people that Ali Bin Abu Talib is my brother, my successor, my Caliph (Vicegerent) after me. O men! Allah has made Ali your Wali (guardian), and Imam (guide). Obedience to him is obligatory on each one of you; his command is supreme; his utterance is truth; curse be on him who opposes him; Allah's mercy be on him who befriends him."
(12) Sheikh Sulayman Balkhi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda reports from the Manaqib of Ahmad, and he from Ibn Abbas, a hadith which describes many of Ali's merits. I quote all of it. Ibn Abbas reports that the Prophet said: "O Ali, you are the bearer of my knowledge, my Wali and friend, my successor, the heir of my knowledge, and my Caliph. You are the trustee of the heritage of all the preceding prophets. You are the confidant of Allah on this earth and Allah's proof for the whole of creation. You are a pillar of Iman (faith) and the guardian of Islam. You are a lamp in darkness, a light of guidance, and for the people of the world you are a raised standard. O Ali! He who follows you is delivered; he who disobeys you will perish; you are the luminous way, and a straight path; you are the leader of pure men, and the head of the believers; to whomsoever I am Master (Maula), you are also his Master (Maula), and I am the Master of every believer (man or woman). Only he is your friend who is born of lawful wedlock. Allah did not transport me to the heavens to speak with me without telling me, 'O Muhammad! Convey my salutation to Ali and tell him that he is the Imam of my friends and the Light of worshippers.' Congratulations to you, O Ali, on this marvelous excellence."
(13) Abu Mu'ayyid Muwafiqu'd-Din, the best orator of Khawarizm, in his Faza'il of the Commander of the Faithful, printed in 1313 A.H., Chapter XIX, page 240, quotes the sources who reported that the Prophet said: "When I reached Sidratu'l-Muntaha ('the farthest Lote Tree,' the highest station during the Mi'raj), I was addressed thus: 'O Muhammad! When you tested the people, whom did you find the most obedient?' I said 'Ali.' Allah then said, 'You have told the truth, Muhammad!' Further, He said, 'Have you selected a Vicegerent who will convey your knowledge to the people, and teach my servants from My Book those things which they do not know?' I said, 'O Allah! Whomever you select, I will select.' He said, 'I have selected Ali for you. I make him your Vicegerent and successor.' And He furnished Ali with His knowledge and forbearance. He is the Commander of the Faithful whom no one can equal in rank among his predecessors or successors."
There are many such hadith in your authentic books. Some of your just ulema, like Nizzam Basri, have acknowledged this fact. Salahu'd-Din Safdi in his Wafa Bi'l-Wafiyya, in connection with the account of Ibrahim Bin Sayyar Bin Hani Basri, known as Nizzam Mu'tazali, says: "The Prophet of Allah confirmed the Imamate of Ali and appointed him the Imam (Guide). The companions of the Prophet were also fully aware of it, but Umar, for the sake of Abu Bakr, covered the Imamate of Ali with a curtain."
It is clear from your own books, hadith, and Qur'anic commentaries that Ali occupied the highest position of virtue. Khatib Khawarizmi reports from Ibn Abbas in Manaqib, Muhammad Bin Yusuf Ganji Shafi'i in his Kifayatu't-Talib, Sibt Ibn Jauzi in his Tadhkira, Ibn Sabbagh Maliki in Fusulu'l-Mawadda, Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda and Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani in Mawaddatu'l-Qurba, Mawadda V, quotation from the second Caliph, Umar Bin Khattab - all confirming with slight variations of words - that the Prophet said: "If all the trees were pens, if the seas were ink, if all the jinn and men were recorders - even then the virtues of Ali Bin Abu Talib could not be enumerated."
Consider them and justified them
We Shia do not believe in Abu Bakr, 'Umar and Usman ['Uthman] due to their on [own] characteristics.
You can look up in the matter of Garden of Fdaak, burning house of Fatima and read following Hadith narrated in Bukhari
Volume 1, Book 3, Number 114:
Narrated 'Ubaidullah bin 'Abdullah:
Ibn 'Abbas said, "When the ailment of the Prophet became worse, he said, 'Bring for me (writing) paper and I will write for you a statement after which you will not go astray.' But 'Umar said, 'The Prophet is seriously ill, and we have got Allah's Book with us and that is sufficient for us.' But the companions of the Prophet differed about this and there was a hue and cry. On that the Prophet said to them, 'Go away (and leave me alone). It is not right that you should quarrel in front of me." Ibn 'Abbas came out saying, "It was most unfortunate (a great disaster) that Allah's Apostle was prevented from writing that statement for them because of their disagreement and noise. (Note: It is apparent from this Hadith that Ibn 'Abbas had witnessed the event and came out saying this statement." [Following this is in Bukhari is: "The truth is not so, for Ibn 'Abbas used to say this statement on narrating the hadith and he had not witnessed the event personally. See Fath Al-Bari Vol.1 p.220 footnote.)"]
This Muslims asks, "How any one who love Mohammad PBUH can follow people like this guy mention in above hadith ??????"
The Passion of Husayn at Karbala
In 680 A.D. (61 A.H.) at Karbala, Husayn was with a small group of rebels (32 cavalry, 40 foot-soldiers) when they were surrounded by government troops. When they refused to surrender, all of them were killed. According to the tradition Husayn was killed by arrows while fetching water for thirsty children. Husayn's head was sent to Damascus as a trophy.
In Africa there is a poem in Swahili of the sacrificial passion of 'Ali that is 4,000 lines long. (Textual Sources for the Study of Islam 1987 p.22)
According to a Shi'ite Muslim, "this self flagellation tradition has nothing to do with sins. There is absolutely no belief in 12'er Islam about being able to wash your sins by 'punishing' yourself. It's actually to try and quell the grief we feel in connecting to a human who had to live to the fullest extent as a guide for the future of humanity as a whole. How in one hand having to sacrifice everything of this world, while actually having to see your children slain, your companions and family killed, and having to trust wholly that you're sisters and wives would survive you at the hands of 10's of thousands of bloodthirsty Arabs. That event in Karbala for us ordinary folk makes it apparent to us about what kind of people these really were."
The Imams of Shi'ite Islam
"By God! God has not left the earth, since the death of Adam, without there being on it an Imam guiding (the people) to God. He is the proof of God to his servants." Introduction to Shi'i Islam p.147.
1. 'Ali bin Abi/Abu Talib - stabbed to death 661 A.D.
2. Hasan bin 'Ali - murdered 669 A.D.
3. Husayn/Husain bin 'Ali - beheaded 680 A.D.
4. Ali Zaynu al-'Abidin -c.713 A.D.
5. Mohammed al-Baqir -c.732 A.D.
6. Ja'far al-Sadiq -765 A.D.
7. Musa al-Kazim -183/799
8. 'Ali ar-Rida -died mysteriously 818 A.D.
9. Muhammad at-Taqu -835 A.D.
10. 'Ali al-Hadi -868 A.D.
11. Hasan al-'Askari -873 A.D
12. Mohammed ibn al-Hanifiyah disappeared c.875 A.D.
No Intoxicating Drinks
"Narrated 'Aisha [one of Mohammed's wives] The Prophet said, 'All drinks that produce intoxication are Haram (forbidden) to drink." Bukhari vol.1:243 p.153. While 12'er Shi'ites are against alcohol, some other Shi'ite groups believe drinking is OK.
"Narrated Abu Huraira: 'The Prophet said, 'An adulterer, at the time he is committing illegal sexual intercourse is not a believer; and a person, at the time of drinking an alcoholic drink, is not a believer; and a thief, at the time of stealing is not a believer" Bukhari vol.7:484 p.339.
Misinformation About 12'er Shi'ites
Many Sunnis accept Shi'ites as Muslims too; after all, they are allowed to visit Mecca. (Though at certain times of history they had to pay an extra tax for being Shi'ite.) On the other hand, many other Sunnis say Shi'ites are not really Muslims at all, but Ghulat (heretics) or Kaffir (infidels). The following statements in bold I have read and heard from multiple sources about Shi'ites; however the sources are all non-Shi'ite. Shi'ites themselves have denied these charges against them, so the bold statements should NOT be said about Shi'ite beliefs.
Shi'ites Allegedly Added to the Statement of Faith While some small groups may have, the vast majority do not add anything. They do believe 'Ali is the most important in Islam after Mohammed, but they have not added it to the statement of faith.
Shi'ites Allegedly Say Sunnis Corrupted the Qur'an At least a couple of Shi'ite writers have written this, but "a couple" is not representative of tens of millions of Sh'ites. A few Sunni writers believe the Qur'an was corrupted too, so if a few writers could somehow represent all Shi'ites, a few writers could somehow represent all Sunnis too.
Sh'ites Allegedly Believe in a Last Prophet After Mohammed A few small 7-er and Ghulat groups do believe in another prophet. However, the vast majority believe in a coming messenger, (the Mahdi for 12'ers) but stop short of calling him a prophet.
Khomeini was an Ithna'ashariyya Shi'ite
Khomeini said, "Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not disabled and incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of [other] countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country of the world. But those who study Islamic Holy War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world.... Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who says this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by [the unbelievers]! Islam says: Kill them [non-Muslims], put them to the sword and scatter [their armies]. Does this mean sitting back until [non-Muslims] overcome us? Islam says: Kill in the service of Allah those who may want to kill you! Does this mean that we should surrender to the enemy? Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for Holy Warriors! These are hundreds of other [Koranic] psalms and Hadiths [sayings of the Prophet] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all that mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim."
Quoted from Ibn Warraq Why I am Not A Muslim Prometheus Books 1995 p.11-12. (p.381) Amir Taheri. Holy Terror. London, 1987. p.226-227.
What About Khamenei, After Khomeini?
The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, in a speech at Ayatollah Khomeini's Mausoleum, June 4, 2002, supports the Palestinian suicide-homicide martyrdoms that are deliberately carried out on innocent Israelis.
Let me say to you: these stances [of American administrators on suicide bombings] will not be of any use. This quest for martyrdom is not based on emotions; it is based on belief in Islam and faith in [the] Judgment Day and faith in life after death. Anywhere Islam exists in its true sense, arrogance faces this threat.
http://www.americanthinker.com/articles.php?article_id=4297&search=Arlandson has more info.
Ithna'Ashariyya and Other Shi'ite Sects
There was controversy over the 7th imam. Should it have been the older brother (Isma'il) or his younger brother Musa, since (according to 12'ers) Isma'il was a drinker of alcohol. The 7'ers say Isma'il was not, but there was a conspiracy against him. Before talking about the 12'ers and 7'ers, we will discuss a small group, the Zaydites.
Most Shi'ites are Ithna'ashariyya, nicknamed 12'ers. They say the 12th imam, Mohammed ibn al-Hanifiyah disappeared c.875 A.D. and will return. Mullah Muhammad Bakir Madjlisi (1627-1698 A.D.) was a 12'er who made a hadith collection. He said he hoped his works "may give life to the hearts and spirits of the dead-hearted people." In a sense he became the virtual ruler of Iran, and they persecuted Sunnis, Sufis, and Zoroastrians. He said that the Sunni caliphs 'Umar, Abu Bakr, and 'Uthman were hypocrites and unbelievers who deserved God's curse. See the Encyclopedia of Islam vol.5 p.1086-1088 for more info.
The Hurufis were a group that stressed numerology. They said that Fadl Allah is God incarnate
The Shaykis are a comparably late group, with about half a million. They were founded by Shaykh Ahmad ibn Zaynu-d-Din al Ahsa'i. (116/1753-1241/1826)
The Akhbari and Usulis are two other groups of Ithna'ashariyya.
There are many sects in Shi'ite Islam, but most of the rest of the sects differ on three things: succession, worship of an individual (Ghulat), and "hesitators" (waqifa). Hesitator sects start when a group believes an imam never died. Generally they believe their man only disappeared and will return.
The Return of the Mahdi
The Mahdi, Mohammed ibn al-Hanafiyah disappeared, but will return some day. A number of people have claimed they are the 12th Imam returned. They have been called the Mahdi, which means "rightly guided one."
Some Claimed Mahdi's in Shi'ite Islamic Sects
First Fatimid caliph 'Obaidallah (909-933/934 A.D.)
Imam al Husayn bin al-Kasim al-'Iyani (1013 A.D.)
'Ali bin Abu Talib and Saliman al-Farisi: 'Alawites worship them as sort of a Muslim Tritheism.
Lord Hakim was visible God to the Druze Faith
The Mahdist movement in Sudan
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1879 A.D., Ahmadiyyas)
Sliman Murshad of Syria (1900-1949 A.D.)
The Bahaullah (Baha'is, 1863 A.D.)
Some Isma'ilis claim Isma'il did not die according to. Arthur Jeffries in A Reader on Islam p.38.
Similarly 12'er Shi'ites claim the 12th imam was not dead, but concealed by Allah.
Some Hesitator and Ghulat Sects in Shi'ite Islam
Saba'iyya - Hesitators of 'Ali (1st Imam)
'Ulyaniyya/'Alya'iyya - Saba'iyya who say 'Ali also is divine
Muhammadiyya - Saba'iyya who say Mohammed also is divine
Ishaqiyya/Hamraniyya - Another Saba'iyya group
Other hestitator sects: Karibiyya, Hashimiyya
Rizamiyya/Muslimiyya - God existed in the form of all the prophets
Some Isma'ilis give semi-divine status to Isma'il.
Ithna-ashariyya themselves are "hesitators" of the 12th imam Mohammed.
Muslims are all hesitators of Jesus, saying he did not die on the cross.
The Zaydi Shi'ites (Different 5th Imam)
Zaydis are a group in Yemen named after Zayd, the grandson of Husain, who revolted in January 740 A.D. and was killed by Caliph Hisham. His son Yahya also revolted, but was killed in 743 A.D.. They are the most moderate Shi'ite group. They believe it was permissible for 'Umar, Abu Bakr and the others to be caliphs, though 'Ali was still the best choice. The Zaydites believe the imams were not superhuman and believed close to Sunni Mu'tazilites. One Zaydi, Imam al Husayn bin al-Kasim al-'Iyani from 1010-1013 A.D. started the Husayniyya sect when said he was the Mahdi. Other Zaydite sects are the Jarudiyya, Suleymanniyya/Jaririya, and Bitriyya/Salishiyya.
For Christians, when you read the book of Revelation, have you ever wondered how nonbelievers will explain away those events and still not believe in the true God? Perhaps the counterfeit explanation is already here. According to the Ithan'ashariyya, here are some signs of the endtimes.
First will come the red death (sword) and white death (plague).
The Mahdi will be descended from Fatima, and will be called Mohammed
The Mahdi will raise the black standard in Khurasan
He will be a young man, with medium height, very handsome, with black hair
The Mahdi will not come in an odd-numbered year
He will come to Mecca, and then travel to Kufa.
The one-eyed Dajjil (anti-Christ) will come in the East
The sun will rise from the west, and a star in the east will give out as much light as the moon.
A caller will call out from Heaven
A great conflict in Syria will destroy it.
Like Mohammed, the Mahdi will have a new cause and a new book and a new religious law. This will be a severe test for Arabs. The sword will be between the Mahdi and the Arabs.
Jesus will return too.
The 313 fighters from the battle at Badr also return.
The imams and former prophets will also all return
Isma'ili (7'er) Shi'ites
There is a triad of the fortune, allegorical interpretation and thought-image. Mohammed received the "fortune" at his birth of being the revelator of the Qur'an. 'Ali provides the interpretation, and the imam provides the thought-image. Fazlur Rahman in Islam p.176 mentions that some have seen a connection with Neoplatonism and the Zoroastrian concept of fortune.
There were seven cycles of history with seven "speakers": six of them are Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed. There are seven "mutes" accompanying them.
Some Isma'ili Sects
Assassins took hashish and assassinated people. They split off from the other Isma'ilis in 1094 A.D. because they did not accept the ninth Fatimid caliph al-Musta'li (1094-1101 A.D.).
Druze/Druse - worship al-Hakim as visible God
Fatimites - caliphs should descend from Fatima/'Ali
Ja'fari - a compromise with Sunni Islam
Musta'lis, whose headquarters is in Bombay, India. From them came the Sulaymani and the Da'udi.
Nizais and Aga Khanis, headed by the Aga Khan.
The Qarmatians/Carmathians were sort of a brutal communist terrorists in 890 A.D.
The Qur'an is Not Enough
The Shi'ites believe in Mohammed and the Qur'an, but those are not enough. Shi'ites believe it is essential to have a male leader, called an imam, alive today to interpret the Qur'an.
Many people try to say the Jesus is not enough, and the Bible is not sufficient. It requires a Pope or other official interpreter.
Back to the Slogan
So what did that slogan mean: "Karbala is everywhere; every month is Muharram; every day is Ashura"? (Shi'a Islam : From Religion to Revolution. p.136)
Ashura is the tenth day of the month of Muharram, and on that day in 640 A.D., at the battle of Karbala, 'Ali's son Husayn and his soldiers were killed. It was on that day that many Shi'ites believe he suffered for the sins of the world.
On the 11th day, Shi'ites lie in bed with a bandaged head, commemorating Husayn's wounds.
It is on the 10th day that some Shi'ites flagellate (whip) themselves. Shi'ite Mullahs have issued fatwas saying this should not be done, but many Shi'ites persist anyway. One purpose is to say that if they had been alive at that time, they would have stood with Husayn and died with him. In contrast, the 4th imam, 'Ali Zaynu al-'Abidin, Husayn's son, lay sick in his tent nearby and did not join the battle.
Like most Sunni Muslims today, Shi'ites believe Allah sent 144,000 prophets, and all of them, including Jesus, were sinless. However Muslims in general acknowledge that Jesus alone was born of a virgin, and he did many miracles.
Jesus, More than the Ultimate Imam
God did not say, "seek Me in vain" but cares for us and desires that none perish. God is pure and Holy, and God is true. He makes His truth known through His prophets, but unfortunately many people refuse to listen to their message.
Jesus rebuked the very religious Pharisees by saying, "You have no room for my word." We are so busy with getting wealth, living foolishly, or even so busy in religion, we have no time for God, or room for Jesus' word today.
Shi'ites generally believe that truth cannot come just from a book; we need a living representative. The Bible says similar, in an even greater way. Not only do we have a Living God, but God Himself came to earth, incarnated as Jesus Christ. Prophets were extraordinary people, but Jesus, the sinless one, was not merely an ordinary prophet. He came not to show us the way, but to be the way. Jesus came not just to teach, but more importantly to die as a ransom for us. Jesus is our living representative.
If you are a Shi'ite who flagellates your back, and the blood oozes down your bruised skin, know this: you have not bled enough. You have not suffered enough pain in proportion to your sins against an infinite God. When you pray to and show deep near-worship to one besides God, you are only adding to the need for forgiveness.
If we had ten times as much blood as we have, sin-stained, that would not be enough to pay for our sins, to be a ransom for our rescue from the Lake of Fire. Since you cannot flagellate yourself enough because of your sins, you can stop now.
When there was no way for us to merit Heaven, Jesus came to shed His sinless blood for us, and pay the price for us to go to Heaven. All the sacrifices of imperfect, sinful men in history, both real and imagined, are nothing compared to the effective sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. What Satan thought was His own victory was in fact a trap for Satan's greatest defeat. Jesus' resurrection was Jesus' vindication and the great victory of God.
But God's forgiveness is not for those who refuse to follow Him. You should make every day Christmas by accepting the Lord Jesus as your Savior, by giving your life to Christ. Pray to Him. Prayer is not mechanical recitation of the same dry words over and over, but talking to God. Tell Him you acknowledge He is Lord of all. Cry out to God though you are a sinner, and you beg Him for His mercy. Thank Him for paying the price for your sins, even before you loved Him, through Jesus, who sacrificed Himself for us. Then make every day of your life Easter, the Day of Jesus' Resurrection. Live a life of love, serving God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul, and all your strength. Love others as you love yourself.
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