The Shia-Sunni Debate: Answering the 50 Most Common Questions

The Shia-Sunni Debate: Answering the 50 Most Common Questions0%

The Shia-Sunni Debate: Answering the 50 Most Common Questions Author:
: Baqerali Alidina
Publisher: The Sun Behind The Cloud Publications
Category: Debates and Replies
ISBN: 978-1-908110-02-2

The Shia-Sunni Debate: Answering the 50 Most Common Questions

Author: Liakat Dewji
: Baqerali Alidina
Publisher: The Sun Behind The Cloud Publications
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ISBN: 978-1-908110-02-2
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The Shia-Sunni Debate: Answering the 50 Most Common Questions

The Shia-Sunni Debate: Answering the 50 Most Common Questions

Author:
Publisher: The Sun Behind The Cloud Publications
ISBN: 978-1-908110-02-2
English

www.alhassanain.org/english

The Shia-Sunni Debate: Answering the 50 Most Common Questions

Author(s): Dr. Liakat Dewji & Baqerali Alidina

Publisher(s): The Sun Behind The Cloud Publications

www.alhassanain.org/english

With this book the authors try to bridge the gap between Muslims by answering the most common questions that arise when Sunni and Shia debate. The answers provided have as resources the Holy Qur'an and tradition books of Ahlul Sunnah.

This book is dedicated to The Ahlul Bayt and The 12th Living Imam Muhammad Mahdi (as)

Miscellaneous information:

The Shia-Sunni Debate: Answering the 50 Most Common Questions This book is dedicated to The Ahlul Bayt and The 12th Living Imam Muhammad Mahdi (as) Compiled by Dr Liaket Dewji & Baqerali Alidina Published by Hyderi Islamic Centre in association with Sun Behind The Cloud Publications Ltd Copyright © Hyderi Islamic Centre 2012 All rights reserved Copyright under the Berne Convention A CIP record of this title is available from the British Library ISBN: 978-1-908110-02-2 Printed and bound in the UK by Minuteman Press Hyderi Islamic Centre 26 Estreham Road, London SW16 5PQ Email: hyderi@hyderi.org.uk Telephone: +44 (0)208 769 7553 www.hyderi.org

Notice:

This version is published on behalf of www.alhassanain.org/english

The composing errors are not corrected.

Table of Contents

Preface 11

Introduction 12

Abbreviations and Glossary of Terms 13

Chapter 1: Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) 14

Question 1: Do Shias worship Ali ibn Abu Talib (as)? 14

Nahjul Balagha 14

Other followers 14

Question 2: Do Shias believe that Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) is superior to the Prophet (S)? 15

Common sense 15

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 15

Question 3: Where is the proof that Ali (as) was appointed by the Prophet (S)? 16

Does “mawla” mean friend? 16

Meaning of “mawla”? 16

Context when word “mawla” was used 16

The body language 17

Common sense 17

Evidence from the Holy Qur’an 17

Second caliph’s reaction 18

Imam Ali (as) invoked Ghadeer later on 18

Question 4: Why do Shias think Ali (as) is superior to the first three caliphs? 19

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 19

Evidence from the Holy Qur’an 19

Question 5: Why did Ali (as) not fight for the leader- ship if it was his God-given right? 20

The reasons 20

Common sense 20

Question 6: Why do Shias refuse to accept that the Prophet (S) did not leave a successor? 21

Common sense 21

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 21

Question 7: Why is Ali’s (as) name not mentioned in the Holy Qur’an? 22

Evidence from the Holy Qur’an 22

For example, the famous verse of the ring: 22

What if his name had been mentioned? 23

Common Sense 23

Question 8: Why do you call yourselves “Shias”, or “Shias of Ali”, and not just Muslims? 23

Evidence from the Holy Qur’an 24

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 24

Question 9: Isn’t Shia’ism a product of Abdullah ibn Saba, a Jewish convert to Islam? 25

Who is he? 25

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 25

Question 10: Why do you give such importance to the father of Ali (as), Abu Talib? Wasn’t he a non- believer? 25

He perfomed the Prophet’s wedding 25

His marriage 26

Evidence from the Holy Qur’an 26

Chapter 2: The Ahlul Bayt 28

Question 11: Doesn’t the Ahlul Bayt refer to the wives of the Prophet? Or at least include them? 28

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 28

Evidence from the Holy Qur’an 29

Question 12: The Prophet said “I leave two things - the Holy Qur’an and my Sunnah”. Why not follow them, rather than the Ahlul Bayt? 30

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 30

Question 13: Where is the concept of Imamat, or Imams, mentioned in the Holy Qur’an? 31

Evidence from the Holy Qur’an 31

Question 14: Why should we believe in 12 Imams, as Shias do? 31

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 31

The Bible 32

Question 15: How do we know the 12 Imams are the 12 Shia Imams? 32

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 32

Yanabi al-Mawaddah 33

Question 16: Who is this Imam Mahdi (as) that the Shias believe in and await? 33

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 33

Question 17: How can a small child become an Imam? 34

In response to the non-Muslims: 34

In response to other Muslims 34

Question 18: How can Imam Mahdi (as), the 12th Shia Imam, still be alive today? How can he be more than 1,000 years old? 35

Evidence from the Holy Qur’an 35

Question 19: How can Shias believe in an Imam that you cannot see? 36

Question 20: Why do Shias believe that the Prophet or the Imams are infallible and sinless? 36

Evidence from the Holy Qur’an 36

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 37

Chapter 3: The Companions and Miscellaneous Issues 38

Question 21: Are Shias hostile to all the companions (the “sahabah”)? 38

Definition of companions 38

Evidence from the Holy Qur’an 38

The good 38

Not so good 39

The hypocrites 39

21.3 References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 40

Question 22: Why don’t Shias follow all the companions? What about the “hadith of the stars”? 40

Question 23: Why do the Shias criticise Aisha, wife of the Prophet? 41

Aisha must be respected 41

Battle of Jamal 41

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 42

Question 24: Why don’t Shias respect Muawiya ibn Abu Sufyan? 42

He killed Imam Hasan (as) 42

He killed Ammar ibn Yasir 43

He began the cursing of Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) 43

Question 25: Why don’t Shias accept Abu Hurayrah’s traditions? 44

Content 44

Internal contradictions in his ahadith 45

Common sense 45

Companions’ testimony 45

Question 26: Why don’t Shias accept Sahih Bukhari and the authentic Ahlul Sunnah collections of ahadith? 46

Content 46

Bukhari’s agenda: 47

Question 27: What is “taqiyah”? Is it not lying, deception and deceit? 47

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 48

Evidence from the Holy Qur’an 48

Common sense 49

Question 28: What is “muta”? How can you justify such temporary marriages? 49

What is Muta? 49

Evidence from the Holy Qur’an 49

Question 29: Why do Shias pay khums in addition to zakat? 50

Evidence from the Holy Qur’an 50

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 50

Question 30: What is this “taqlid”? Why do Shias follow “marjas” and “mujtahids”? 51

What is taqlid? 51

Evidence from the Holy Qur’an 51

Common sense 51

Chapter 4: The Holy Qur’an and Prayers (Salah) 53

Question 31: Do the Shias have another, different Holy Qur’an? Do you believe the Holy Qur’an is incomplete? 53

Evidence from the Holy Qur’an 53

Other Shia scholars’ verdicts 53

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 54

Question 32: Why don’t Shias wash their feet in wudhu, as the Ahlul Sunnah do? 54

Evidence from the Holy Qur’an 54

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 55

Common sense 55

Question 33: Why do Shias combine their prayers into three sittings? 55

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 56

Evidence from the Holy Qur’an 56

Question 34: Why do Shias include “Aliyun Waliyullah” in the kalima and adhan? 56

Not compulsory (wajib) 56

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 57

Prophet’s lifetime 57

Umar’s innovation 57

Question 35: Why don’t Shias cross their arms during the prayers? 58

Ahlul Sunnah internal divisions 58

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 58

Question 36: Why do Shias pray on a stone, on a piece of earth (a “sajdagaar” or “turbah”)? 59

Prophet’s Sunnah 59

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 59

Karbala turbah 60

Question 37: Why do Shias say “Allahu Akbar” three times at the end of the prayer? 60

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 60

Why don’t the Shia turn their heads from side to side while reciting the “salam”? 60

Question 38: Why don’t Shias offer “tarawih” prayers in the month of Ramadhan? 61

Question 39: How do Shias justify praying at graves? 62

Bid’at and Shirk 62

Evidence from the Holy Qur’an 62

Question 40: What about intercession? Why do Shias pray to the Prophet and the Imams, and not to Allah? 63

What is intercession? 63

Evidence from the Holy Qur’an 63

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 64

Common sense 65

Chapter 5 Karbala and Majalis 66

Question 41: Why do Shias wear black in Muharram? 66

Karbala 66

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 66

Question 42: Why do Shias cry so much in Muharram? 67

Question 43: Why do Shias do “maatum” in Muharram? 67

Evidence from the Holy Qur’an 67

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 67

Question 44: Isn’t the display of an “alam” prohibited and a form of shirk? 68

Religious symbols 68

Evidence from the Holy Qur’an 69

Question 45: Weren’t Shias responsible for killing Imam Husayn (as)? 69

Invitation to Kufa 69

Historical facts 69

Question 46: Isn’t Ashura a day of fasting, not mourning? 70

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 70

Jewish fasts 71

Question 47: How can Shias trust the Karbala story? 71

Background 71

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 71

Other historians 72

Question 48: Wasn’t Imam Husayn (as) wrong to revolt against the ruler of his time, Yazid ibn Muawiya? 72

Yazid was not the legitimate ruler 72

Imam Husayn’s mission 72

Question 49: Don’t the Shias exaggerate how bad Yazid was? 73

References from books of Ahlul Sunnah 73

Yazid’s crimes 74

Question 50: Imam Husayn (as) lost the battle of Karbala, didn’t he? 74

Imam Husayn’s (as) mission 75

Yazid’s aim 75

The role of Lady Zainab and Lady Umm Kulthum 76

References 77

Preface

In the name of Allah (SwT), The Benficient, The Most Merciful

“Praise is due to Allah (SwT) whose worth cannot be described by speakers, whose bounties cannot be counted by counters and whose claim (to obedience) cannot be satisfied by those who attempt to do so, whom the height of intellectual courage cannot appreciate, and the height of human understanding cannot reach; He for whose description no limit has been laid down, no eulogy exists, no time is ordained and no duration is fixed. He brought forth creation through His Omnipotence, dispersed winds through His Compassion, and made firm the shaking earth with mountains and rocks.”

Imam Ali Ibn Abu Talib (as) First Sermon: Nahjul Balagha

*****

Hyderi Islamic Centre, was honoured and privileged to have a world-renowned speaker address the community for five days in January 2012 (Islamic year: Safar 1433). This was to commemorate the tragedy of Karbala, when Imam Husayn (as) the grandson of the Holy Prophet (S), was martyred in Karbala, in Iraq more than 1,400 years ago.

The topic covered during these five days was based on answering: “The 50 most common questions posed by Ahlul Sunnah to Shia Muslims”.

At the request of Hyderi members, this book and publication has been compiled, and attempts to resolve major theological differences, in the form of Questions and Answers so that the knowledge can be shared with other readers.

Our thanks to Shaykh Mohammed Abbas Panju, who has recently graduated from his studies in Najaf and become the resident aalim at Hyderi Islamic Centre. His encouragement and scholarly review have proved invaluable and to Tehseen Merali from Sun Behind The Cloud Publications for her advice and help in publishing the work. Lastly, we would also like to thank Reshma Jaffrey and Sameer Abedi for their contribution to this book. Your rewards are with the Almighty.

We hope and pray that the answers and comments in response to these 50 common questions will help bridge the gap of understanding between Shias and Sunni Muslims. For this reason, all of the answers are provided with references from the Holy Qur’an and books compiled and written by leading Ahlul Sunnah Scholars.

All the knowledge contained in this book is by the Grace of Allah (SwT) and any mistakes or errors are through our weaknesses, fallibility or misunderstanding. We ask Allah (SwT) to forgive us if we have offended any reader, Muslim or non-Muslim, Sunni or Shia.

Dr Liaket Dewji and Baqerali Alidina

12th May 2012 / 20th Jamadil-al-thani 1433

Wiladat of Lady Fatima (as)

Introduction

One of the greatest tragedies for the Islamic ummah, the global Muslim community, is that at a time when we should be united, we have never been more divided. The religious divide, in particular, is increasing with wars, conflicts and disputes engulfing the different sects of Islam in various Muslim and non-Muslim countries.

The truth is that all Muslims believe in:

• One God (Allah SWT)

• One Book (The Holy Qur’an)

• One Kabah (in Makkah)

• The final Prophet - Muhammad (S)

This common ground should be used as the base to build theological unity and prevent further divisions between Muslims - divisions which have led to the killing and maiming of fellow human beings in the name of Islam.

Shia Muslims, who form only 15% of the worldwide Muslim population, have been persecuted and oppressed for the past 14 centuries. The main reason for this is because Shia Muslims have been misunderstood, and misrepresented, in the way they follow Islamic tradition as prescribed by the Holy Qur’an and the ahadith (sayings/ practises) of the Holy Prophet (S), and the Ahlul Bayt (Household of the Prophet).

This book has been compiled in five chapters, covering the lectures delivered at Hyderi Islamic Centre in January 2012. It attempts to answer the 50 most common questions posed by Ahlul Sunnah to Shia Muslims. The response and comments to each of these 50 questions are provided and based on:

• The Holy Qur’an

• The traditions (Hadith) of the Holy Prophet (S) documented in reference books compiled by leading Ahlul Sunnah Scholars (and not from Shia books).

• Common sense and reason - “aql”.

In his last sermon, delivered at Ghadeer Khumm between Makkah and Madinah, the Holy Prophet (S) said:

• “I am leaving among you two weighty things: the one being the Book of Allah in which there is right guidance and light, so hold fast to the Book of Allah and adhere to it.. .

• The second are the members of my household, I remind you (of your duties) to the members of my family.”

[Narrated in Sahi Muslim, Book No.31, Tradition (Hadith) No.5920]

Allah (SwT) has blessed us with the power of reasoning. This gift should be utilised to read and ponder over the fifty Q&A provided and to share the knowledge with others.

We trust that this publication, will lead to a better understanding of true Islam by both Muslims and non- Muslims, Sunnis and Shias.

Abbreviations and Glossary of Terms

Ahlul Bayt The Prophet’s (S) Household

Alam Standard, flag - symbol of Ahlul Bayt. Allah (SwT) Arabic word for the one true God

AS Acronyms that denote honour and respect to the family of the Prophet.

Bay’at Allegiance

Bid’at Innovation

Bint Daughter of...used to provide full name.

Haraam Prohibitted

Hadith Tradition narrated or followed by Muslims

Ibn Son of...used to provide full name

Imam Leader appointed by Allah (SwT)

Jibraeel the archangel Gabriel - the angel sent by Allah (SwT) to reveal the Holy Qur’an to the Prophet.

SAW “Sall allaahu alay-hi wa aalihi wa- sallam” or “May Allah honour him and his family and grant him peace”

Shaitan Satan/Devil

Shirk Prohibited beliefs that associate others with God

Ulema Scholars

Wajib Compulsory or mandatory