The Shia Rebuts

The Shia Rebuts0%

The Shia Rebuts Author:
Translator: Mansoor L. Limba
Publisher: ABWA Publishing and Printing Center
Category: Debates and Replies

The Shia Rebuts

Author: Sayyid Rida Husayni Nasab
Translator: Mansoor L. Limba
Publisher: ABWA Publishing and Printing Center

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The Shia Rebuts

The Shia Rebuts

Publisher: ABWA Publishing and Printing Center

The Shia Rebuts

Author(s): Sayyid Rida Husayni Nasab

Translator(s): Mansoor L. Limba

Publisher(s): Ahlul Bayt World Assembly

Under the supervision of Ayatullah Ja'far Subhani, Sayyid Rida Husayni Nasab introduces a text outlining the differences in different 'Ummahs' of Islam. He discusses what unites them, as well as those traditions and understandings that cause dispute amongst them.


This version is published on behalf of

The composing errors are not corrected.

Table of Contents

Foreword 11

Note 12

Introduction 13

Notes 14

Question 1 : Which is correct, “wa ‘itrati” {and my progeny}, or “wa sunnati” {and my tradition}? 15

The chain of transmission of the narration, “wa ahli bayti” {and my Household} 15

The chain of transmission of the narration, “wa sunnati” {and my tradition} 16

What the ‘ulama’ of rijal say about the two versions 16

The second chain of transmission of the narration, “wa sunnati” {and my tradition} 17

The third chain of transmission of the narration, “wa sunnati” {and my tradition} 18

Narration without a chain of transmission 18

The meaning of Hadith ath-Thaqalayn {Tradition on the Two Weighty Things} 19

Notes 20

Question 2 : What does “Shi‘ah” mean? 22

Notes 22

Question 3 : Why is ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (‘a) regarded as the wasi {executor of will} and successor of the Prophet (S)? 24

1. At the Commencement of the Prophetic Mission 24

2. During the Tabuk Expedition 24

3. In the 10th Year after Hijrah 24

Notes 25

Question 4: Who are the Imams? 27

Notes 28

Question 5: Why do Shi’a say “Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammad wa Ali Muhammad” 29

Notes 29

Question 6: Why do you regard your Imams as “infallible” {ma‘sum}? 30

Note 31

Question 7: Why do Shi’a Add Ashhadu anna ‘aliyyan waliyyullah” in the Call to Prayer? 32

Notes 33

Question 8: Who is the Mahdi of Muhammad’s Progeny {Al Muhammad} and why are you waiting for his advent? 34

Notes 35

Question 9: If the Shi‘ah are right, then why are they in the minority and why do most Muslims in the world not recognize them (as Muslims)? 36

Notes 37

Question 10: What is raj‘ah {“return”} and why do you believe in it? 38

Conclusion 39

1. The philosophy of raj‘ah 40

2. The main difference between raj‘ah and tanasukh {transmigration} 40

Notes 40

Question 11: What is shafa‘ah {intercession}, which you believe in? 41

The extent of shafa‘ah 41

The philosophy of shafa‘ah 42

The outcome of shafa‘ah 42

Notes 42

Question 12: Is asking the rightful intercessors for intercession {shafa‘ah} tantamount to polytheism {shirk}? 43

Notes 45

Question 13: Is seeking help from someone other than God regarded as a kind of polytheism {shirk}? 46

Notes 47

Question 14: Is calling on someone tantamount to worshipping him and to polytheism? 48

Conclusion 49

Notes 50

Question 15: What is bada’ and why do you believe in it? 51

Conclusion 51

The philosophy behind bada’ 52

Notes 52

Question 16: Do the Shi‘ah believe in the tahrif {distortion} of the Qur’an? 54

Conclusion 57

Notes 58

Question 17: How do the Shi‘ah view the Sahabah {Companions}? 60

Sahabi {Companion} from the viewpoint of the Qur’an 61

The first group 61

1. The first followers 61

2. Those who swore allegiance under the tree 61

3. The Muhajirun {Emigrants} 61

4. The Companions who fought alongside the Prophet (S) 61

The second group 61

1. Known hypocrites 62

2. Unknown hypocrites 62

3. Sick-hearted ones 62

4. Sinners 62

Conclusion 63

Notes 63

Question 18: What is meant by “temporary marriage” {mut‘ah} and why do the Shi‘ah regard it as lawful? 65

Notes 69

Question 19: Why do the Shi‘ah prostrate on turbah {dried clay}? 70

Conclusion 74

Notes 74

Question 20: During ziyarah, why do the Shi‘ah kiss the doors and walls of the shrines of awliya’ and seek blessings {tabarruk} whereby? 76

Notes 78

Question 21: Is according to Islam religion separate from politics? 79

The Prophet (S) as the founder of Islamic government 79

Notes 82

Question 22: Why do the Shi‘ah regard the sons of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (‘a) (Hasan and Husayn (‘a)) as the sons of the Messenger of Allah (S)? 83

Notes 85

Question 23: Why do the Shi‘ah believe that caliphate {khilafah} is a matter of appointment {tansisi}? 86

Social considerations which testify to the belief that caliphate is a matter of appointment {tansisi} 86

Further explanation 86

The evidence of the sayings of the Messenger of Allah (S) 87

Notes 88

Question 24: Is to swear by other than God regarded as a kind of polytheism? 89

Conclusion 91

Notes 91

Question 25: Is to resort to the divine saints {awliya’} for mediation {tawassul} regarded as polytheism {shirk} and tantamount to innovation in religion {bid‘ah}? 93

Types of tawassul 93

Notes 96

Question 26: Is celebrating the birthday of the saints {awliya’} of God a kind of polytheism and innovation {bid‘ah}? 97

Holding ceremonies is a means of expressing love 97

Holding of ceremonies is the same as following and obeying God 97

Sending down revelation is not less significant than sending down table-spread {ma’idah} 98

The Muslims’ Practice 98

Notes 99

Question 27 : Why do the Shi‘ah perform the five daily prayers in three periods? 100

A glance at the traditions 102

Conclusion 107

1. Combining two prayers together is meant to facilitate the conduct of affairs and avoid difficulty 107

2. Combining the two prayers together in ‘Arafah is an expression of its general applicability 107

3. The manner of combining the two prayers while traveling is an expression of its general applicability 107

4. The manner of combining the two prayers together in the state of emergency is an expression of its general applicability at usual circumstances 108

5. The practice of the Companions of the Prophet (S) is an expression of its general applicability 108

6. The conduct of the Prophet (S) is an expression of the manner of combining the two prayers 108

Notes 109

Question 28: What are the sources of Shi‘i jurisprudence {fiqh}? 111

1) The Book of Allah (Qur’an) 111

2) The Sunnah 111

The reason for clinging to the Sunnah of the Prophet (S) 111

The reason for clinging to the hadiths of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) 112

The essence of the hadiths of the progeny of the Messenger of Allah (S) 112

The proofs of the credibility and necessity of clinging to the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) 113

Who are the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet (S)? 115

Conclusion 116

Notes 117

Question 29 : Did Abu Talib die a believer on account of which you visit {ziyarah} his shrine? 118

The family of Abu Talib 118

Abu Talib according to ‘Abd al-Muttalib 119

Proofs which confirm Abu Talib’s faith 120

1. Literary works of Abu Talib 120

2. Abu Talib’s behavior toward the Prophet (S) is indicative of his faith 122

3. Abu Talib’s will and testament is a clear testimony to his true faith 122

4. The Messenger of Allah’s love and affection to Abu Talib testifies to the latter’s faith 123

5. The companions of the Messenger of Allah’s testimony to Abu Talib’s true faith 123

6. Abu Talib in the view of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) 124

A review of Hadith ad-Duhdah 125

The groundlessness of the chain of transmission of Hadith ad-Duhdah 126

a. Sufyan ibn Sa‘id ath-Thawri 126

b. ‘Abd al-Malik ibn ‘Umayr 126

c. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Muhammad ad-Darawardi 126

d. Layth ibn Sa‘d 127

The disagreement between the contents of Hadith ad-Duhdah, and the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet (S) 127

Conclusion 128

Notes 128

Question 30 : Do the Shi‘ah think that Jibra’il (Archangel Gabriel) has committed treachery when he conveyed the message {risalah} to Muhammad instead of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib? 130

The origin of this accusation 130

Prophethood {nubuwwah} from the Shi‘ah viewpoint 130

Notes 131

Question 31: What is the criterion of taqiyyah {dissimulation}? 133

Taqiyyah from the Qur’anic viewpoint 133

Taqiyyah from the Shi‘ah viewpoint 133

Conclusion 134

Notes 134

Question 32 : Why is the Ja‘fari school of thought {madhhab} stipulated in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran as the official madhhab of the country? 135

The criterion for selecting the Ja‘fari madhhab 135

The status of the other Muslim schools of thought and the respect shown to them 135

Question 33 : Do the Shi‘ah regard witr prayer as obligatory? 137

Note 137

Question 34: Is the belief that great divine people {awliya’} have supernatural power tantamount to polytheism {shirk}? 138

Supernatural power of great divine people from a Qur’anic viewpoint 138

1. The supernatural power of Hadrat Musa (Moses) (‘a) 139

2. The supernatural power of Hadrat ‘Isa (Jesus) (‘a) 139

3. The supernatural power of Hadrat Sulayman (Solomon) (‘a) 139

Notes 140

Question 35 : Why is the station of Imamate {imamah} higher than that of prophethood {nubuwwah}? 141

1. The station of nubuwwah 141

2. The station of risalah 141

3. The station of imamah 142

Superiority of the station of imamah 143

Are nubuwwah and imamah correlative? 144

Notes 145

Question 36 : What is the criterion for distinguishing monotheism or the Unity of God {tawhid} from polytheism {shirk}? 146

1. The unity of the Divine Essence {dhat} 146

2. The unity of the Divine creative power {khaliqiyyah} 146

3. The unity of the Divine design {tadbir} 147

4. Monotheism in authority {hakimiyyah} 148

5. Monotheism in obedience {ta‘ah} 148

6. The unity of the Divine legislation {taqnin or tashri‘} 148

7. Monotheism in worship {‘ibadah} 148

Misconception about worship 149

The excuse is worse than the sin! 150

Resolving the ambiguity and the true meaning of ‘ibadah 150

Notes 151

Bibliography 153


In the Name of Allah, the All-beneficent, the All-merciful

The precious legacy left behind by the Holy Prophet’s Household{ahl al-bayt} (may peace be upon them all) and their followers’ preservation of this legacy from the menace of extinction is a perfect example of an all-encompassing school{maktab} , which embraces the different branches of Islamic knowledge. This school has been able to train many talented personalities by quenching them with this gushing fountain.

This school has presented scholars to the Muslim ummah who, by following the Holy Prophet’s Household (‘a), have occupied the station of clarifying doubts and skepticisms brought forth by various creeds and intellectual currents both inside and outside Muslim society. Throughout the past centuries, they have presented the firmest answers and solutions to these doubts.

Anchored in the responsibilities it is shouldering, the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) World Assembly has embarked upon defending the sanctity of risalah{messengership} and its authentic beliefs - truths which have always been opposed by the chiefs and leaders of anti-Islamic sects, religions and trends. In this sacred path, the Assembly regards itself as a follower of the upright pupils of the school of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) - those who have always been ready to refute those accusations and calumnies and have tried to be always in the frontline of this struggle on the basis of the expediencies of time and space.

The experiences in this field, which have been preserved in the books of scholars belonging to the school of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a), are unique in their own right. It is because these experiences have been based upon knowledge{‘ilm} and the pre-eminence of the intellect and reasoning, and at the same time, they are completely devoid of blind prejudice, whim and caprice. These experiences address experts, scholars and thinkers in a manner that is acceptable to a healthy mind and the pure human natural disposition{fitrah} .

In a bid to assist those who are in quest of truth, the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) World Assembly has endeavoured to enter a new phase of these worthy experiences within the framework of research and compiling and translating the works of contemporary Shi‘ah writers or those who, through divine guidance, have embraced this noble school.

The Assembly is also engaged in the study and publication of the valuable works of pious predecessors and outstanding Shi‘ah personalities so that those who are thirsty for the truth could quench their thirst from this refreshing fountain by listening and embracing this truth, which the Holy Prophet’s Household (‘a) has offered as a gift to the entire world.

It is hoped that our dear readers would not deprive the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) World Assembly of their valuable opinions, suggestions and constructive criticisms in this arena.

We also invite scholars, translators and other institutions to assist us in propagating the pure Muhammadan (S) Islam.

We ask God, the Exalted, to accept this trivial effort and enhance it further under the auspices of His vicegerent on earth, Hadrat al-Mahdi (may Allah, the Exalted, expedite his glorious advent).

It is appropriate here to express our utmost gratitude to Hujjat al-Islam wa’l-Muslimin Sayyid Rida Husayni Nasab for writing the book,1 and to Mr. Mansoor Limba for translating it, as well as to all our honorable colleagues in accomplishing this task especially the dear ones in the Translation Office for undertaking this responsibility.

Cultural Affairs Department

Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) World Assembly


1. Sayyid Rida Husayni Nasab, Shi‘eh Pasokh Midahad, supervised by Ayatullah Ja‘far Subhani (Qum: Nashr-e Mash‘ar, Autumn 1384 AHS (2005)), 248 pp.


In the Name of Allah, the All-beneficent, the All-merciful

Those who are aware of the circumstances prevailing in the Muslim world know well that nowadays the Muslim ummah1 has become“ummahs” and every“ummah” has its own way and customs and the life of its subjects has fallen into the grasp of individuals who regard their hegemony and survival as depending on kindling flame of differences.

Consequently, these individuals have made investment in various forms and are able to make use of every possible means.

This situation has left no room for dialogue among the Islamic sects and there has been a lot of dispute over many questions. Most of these questions are scholastic{masa’il-e kalami} originated by Muslim scholastic theologians{mutakallimun} and many Muslims are unaware of those differences.

However, there are common axes which form a good ground for unity among them. In fact, the common points of the various Muslim sects are more than the points of difference; yet, the sponsors of discord have dwelt on those differences and so they mention nothing but the common issues related to the roots and branches of religion.

In one of the conferences on“Proximity among the Islamic Schools of Thought” , I was assigned to expound on the topic,“The Schools of Jurisprudence Regarding Personal Statuses” (marriage, divorce, inheritance, etc.).

I presented to the conference the writer’s paper which surprised the Sunni participants. Prior to reading the paper, they rejected the idea that in most issues pertaining to these three questions the Shi‘ah jurisprudence has identical view with that of the present four Sunni schools of thought.

From a distance a grudge is nursed and the Shi‘ah is regarded as apart from the Muslim sects. Day and night they speak in the mass media against this group which has been wronged by history. This act can only render service to the common enemy.

This unwary group is invited to lift the veils of ignorance from their views and establish better ties with the Shi‘ah,2 strengthen their connection with their ‘ulama’ and scholars, and recognize the Shi‘ah as their own brothers - an aim which the Shi‘ah has for centuries been looking for, and thus, realizing the purport of the verse that follows:

إِنَّ هَٰذِهِ أُمَّتُكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَأَنَا رَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُونِ

“Indeed this community of yours is one community, and I am your Lord. So worship Me.” 3

One of the old plots hatched by imperialism in the Muslim nations is to create skepticisms and to intensify problems and then to strike a blow for the glorious Islamic Revolution, and various forms of this old method was common in the Middle East and other regions in recent centuries.

On meeting Iranian pilgrims during the Hajj season, many pilgrims who have familiarity with the Islamic Revolution and whose minds are poisoned with the enemy’s sinister propaganda, ask questions and want to know the answers.

In response to this demand, the eminent and honorable scholar, Sayyid Rida Husayni Nasab, compiled the answers (to those questions) under my supervision and according to the permission given to him, he was to observe brevity in answering the questions and to put detailed explanations to a later time.

It is hoped that this little service would be accepted by the Imam of the Time (may our souls be his ransom).

Ja‘far Subhani

The Islamic Seminary, Qum

Adhar 1, 1374 AHS

(December 22, 1995)


1. Ummah: the entire Islamic community which knows no territorial or ethnic distinction. {Trans.}

2. In this volume, I have maintained the word “Shi‘ah” to refer to both the group (single collective unit) and the individuals constituting the group (plural). {Trans.}

3. Surah al-Anbiya’ 21:92. A similar verse is Surah al-Mu’minun 23:52: “Indeed this community of yours is one community, and I am your Lord, so be wary of Me.” In this volume, the translation of Qur’anic passages is adapted from Sayyid ‘Ali Quli Qara’i, The Qur’an with a Phrase-by-Phrase English Translation (London: Islamic College for Advanced Studies Press, 2004). {Trans.}