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A brief report on the Imāmiyyah’s stand against the Extremism and the extremists

A brief report on the Imāmiyyah’s stand against the Extremism and the extremists

The fiery stand it takes against the Extremism and the extremists is the Imāmiyyah’s unique peculiarity when this school is contrasted with others. No other school of thought has shown as severe a reaction as the Imāmiyyah has brought to the fore. This is because the Imāmiyyah’s mentality, stemming from the glorious Qur’an and the true Prophetic (s) Sunnah, is at war with the extremist conceptions, and is doing its best to correct these deviations (from the truth) and save the infested. Further explanation is unnecessary. What is clear requires no details. Many of the extremists I have met and talked to, have given up the Extremism and profane beliefs, and have returned to the fold of Islam.

Because the Wahhābīs are unaware of the Imāmiyyah’s basic view and thought, they equate the Extremism with the Shī‘ism; this being an illness they suffer from. They should, therefore be made to understand that it is a misconception; (along with this), the Shī‘ah’s point of view, based on the Shī‘ah sources, should be explained to them. They should know that the Imāmiyyah keeps aloof of the extremists because the Shī‘ism keeps pace with the Qur’an and the true Prophetic (s) Sunnah both in word and deed. Doubts can certainly be removed when evidence is offered. Our detailed discussion centers round the following five points:

1.      The Imāmiyyah’s view on the extremists’ conception;

2.      The Imāmiyyah’s view on how the extremists legalized their opinions;

3.      The Imāmiyyah’s view on leaders of the Extremism;

4.      The Imāmiyyah’s view on the extremists’ narrations;

5.      The Imāmiyyah’s view on the extremists’ books.

The Shī‘ah school of thought has played an undeniable part in rescuing Muslims from the grip of the extremist deviations. The procedure this school has adopted in countering the Extremism, has forced the extremist thought to remain confined within a narrow circle, unable to spread out.

The opinion the Shī‘ahs vehemently fight against is the false notion of “deification of man”, i.e. man’s abandoning the quality of being a servant to God. This false notion is the outcome of drawing no distinction between divinity and submission to Him. The Imāms (‘a) of the Shī‘ahs have, in hundreds of narrations that have been quoted from them, clarified man’s rank and have expressly said that however far he travels along the path to perfection, man will never attain the rank of divinity.

The words of the Imāms (‘a) of the Shī‘ahs have their origin in the glorious Qur’an and the pure Prophetic (s) narrations and are similar to an explanation of these two sources; that is why a sway of the Qur’anic style of expression can be seen in all their words that communicate (to us) both the worship all created things owe to Allah and the Unique Lordship of the Divine. Since the extremists have, in their propaganda, centered on the deification of man or deification of the Imāms, the Imāms (‘a) of the Shī‘ahs have emphasized that they are servants of the Divine Essence, Allah, and fully submissive to Him. In this way they have totally eradicated the extremists’ fundamental notion of the deification of man.

The Shī‘ah transmitters of hadīth have taken great pains to preserve the hadīths on this topic and considerably influenced attempts made to wipe up the deviated ideas of the extremists. It was on the basis of these narrations that the Shī‘ah jurists reacted strongly towards the Ghulāt sects and excommunicated them. The Wahhābīs, who equate the Shī‘ism with the Extremism, take these narrations as allusions to the Imāms (‘a) of the Shī‘ahs, blaming the Shī‘ahs accordingly. This is the unfortunate conclusion of identifying the Shī‘ism with the Extremism to which we previously referred. A few narrations are mentioned below:

1.      Imām Ja‘far al-Sādiq (‘a), on the authority of his ancestors, has quoted the Holy Prophet (s) as having said, “Do not rank me higher than is my due, for God had appointed me as His servant before He chose me as His prophet.” When the Holy Prophet (s), whose dignity is the highest among men, places so much emophasis on his worshipping Allah, the Imāms (‘a) of the Shī‘ahs certainly do the same.

2.      Imām ‘Alī (‘a) has said, “Beware of going to extreme as regards us; consider us as servants that have been brought up.” Being an obedient servant to Allah, an important instruction of the Shī‘ism, is quite prominent in the Imāmiyyah books. When I see the narrations from the Imāms (‘a) of the Shī‘ahs and match them with the words of the Shī‘ah men of knowledge, I see that there is a complete correspondence between the two. That the Imāms (‘a) are Allah’s servants is a fundamental fact of the Shī‘ism, an issue thoroughly integrated with the life of this school and its followers. Therefore, the Extremism finds no place among the followers of this school of thought. Deep in his heart, every Shī‘ah believes in the words of Imām Ridā (‘a), who said, “Anyone who elevates the dignity of the Commander of the Faithful (‘a), to consider him a divinity, is among those upon whom God’s wrath is brought, and is of those who have gone astray. Did ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) not eat (food) and marry as others did? Can such a person occupy the station of divinity? Were it so, then you could each be a god.”

The Shī‘ah books abound with such narrations and the Shī‘ah scholars have also followed the same manner (of thought and belief). Anyone frequenting the Shī‘ah gatherings, will be convinced that these ideas do not merely fill the gaps in the Shī‘ah books, nor live a dormant life; they are in fact a part of the Shī‘ah community, the blood circulating through it and giving it vitality and honour.

The picture presented so far depicts the first stage of introducing the Shī‘ism to the Wahhābīs—the step following the separation of the Imāmiyyah from the Extremism. Now, let’s take a cursory look at the second stage, i.e. the study of the Imāmiyyah in detail.

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