بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
The Dimensions of Our Shiaism
1) We are the followers of Ameerul Momineen (Commander of the Faithful) Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) and his sons (a.s.). After the Messenger of Islam (s.a.w.a.), we have referred to the best of creatures and are proud of the fact that we follow the true successors of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). We are pleased that in the absence of the Messenger of Islam (s.a.w.a.), we have not forsaken the Aron of this nation and have implemented the will of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) concerning him.
2) We consider the Prophet’s Ahle Bait (a.s.) superior to our own selves because Allah and His Messenger (s.a.w.a.) have deemed them so.
3) We have promised to the Messenger of Islam (s.a.w.a.) to obey his Ahle Bait (a.s.) and we have not reneged on this oath.
4) In the controversial issues among the Muslims, we refer to the Ahle Bait (a.s.) and on the basis of the Prophet’s assurance, we believe that treading this path, we shall never be led astray. (For example, we don’t perform Salat as per the edicts of Abu Hanifah, Malik Ibn Anas, Shaafeii or Ahmad Ibn Hanbal. Rather, we consider the opinion of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) concerning the Prophetic tradition as the only basis).
5) Here is the Prophet’s assurance which was given to Muslims in many occasions in a very famous narration knows as “thaqalayn”. Al-Tirmidhi, an important Sunni author, in his Sunan (Vol. 5, Page 662-663, No. 3786) records the following tradition:
Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah said: “I saw the Messenger of Allah – upon whom be God’s peace and benedictions – in the course of his hajj pilgrimage on the day of ‘Arafah. The Prophet (S) was seated on his camel, al-Qaswa’, andرwas delivering a sermon. I heard him say: ‘O people, I am leaving among you that which if you hold on to you shall never go astray: the Book of God (Quran) and my kindred, my household.” Al-Tirmidhi states that the same tradition has been narrated by Abu Dharr, Abu Sa’id, Zayd ibn Arqam and Hudhayfah ibn Usayd.
6) In the field of love towards the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his Ahle Bait (a.s.), we are ahead of all Muslims and are renowned for the same.
7) We consider ourselves as responsible for the help and assistance of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) always and shall never lack in support and devotion towards them. We think the Ahle Bait (a.s.) to be the root and ourselves to be the branches.
8) In the way of fastening to the Ahle Bait (a.s.) and supporting and helping them, we have a number of role models. Eminent Shia jurists, righteous men, strivers and martyrs are our pride and practical ideals.
9) Through the blessings of fastening to the Ahle Bait (a.s.), we have special access to Quranic sciences and knowledge, and hold passage to the true commentary and veiled secrets of the Holy Quran.
10) We have better approach to the pure and correct history than others, because we are aware of the propagandist conspiracy of the tyrant governments. Through the Ahle Bait (a.s.), we are also informed of the behind-the-scene historical crimes and the realities of the early period of Islam.
11) Concerning the Sahaba (the companions of the Messenger of Islam (s.a.w.a.)), we think freely and critically and are not prisoners of prejudice. (As opposed to some of the Islamic sects, who, on account of their excessive prejudice, try to establish the innocence and infallibility of ALL companions. They endorse their seal of approval on all the words and deeds of all the companions ignoring the fact that the companions themselves had considerable differences amongst each other. As per the explicit verses of the Holy Quran, there were hypocrites and faithless people among the companions (At-Tawbah
[9:101] ; Al-Munafiqun [63:1] ; Al-Baqarah [2:204]). Many of them were openly condemned by Allah’s book due to their misdeeds).
12) We have taken a stance in front of the perpetrators against religion and the hypocrites of early Islam. We are not silent and shameless spectators of history and unlike most Muslims, we don’t simply pass by the early sensitive events of Islamic history.
13) We believe that the rights of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) was snatched and he was patient, as the oppressed one, while there was a bone in his throat and a thorn in his eye (Shaqshaqiya Sermon in Nahjul-Balagha).
14) We hold that Hazrat Zahra (s.a.), the leader of the women of all times, was martyred unjustly. We express our disgust to those responsible for hurting and killing her. We don’t regard them as believing Muslims but as hypocrites. (That is, apparently, they were Muslims but in their hearts, they did not love the Messenger of Islam (s.a.w.a.) and did not lend any sanctity to his existence).
15) We have taken a stand vis-à-vis the martyrdom of the chief of the martyrs, Imam Husain (a.s.). We are proud that we mourn in the grief of the Messenger of Islam (s.a.w.a.) and his Ahle Bait (a.s.) and share their sorrows. We express our dislike to those who still defend the murderers and oppressors of Imam Husain (a.s.) in any form whatsoever. In our view, mourning for Imam Husain (a.s.) carries great rewards.
16) We believe that the Prophet’s Ahle Bait (a.s.) have a special position and status in front of Allah the Almighty and have access to divine knowledge and power. Allah has made them our refuge and shelter. Therefore, in our lives, we seek help from these great personalities and in times of difficulties, we visit them and seek their assistance. Of
course, we must not forget that they are the hands of God and the medium of His grace and are under His control and regulation.
17) In the divine court as well as in this worldly life, we consider the Ahle Bait (a.s.) as our medium. We enjoy the bounty of seeking through them and gain proximity to the Almighty through them. (That is, instead of seeking assistance from the Ahle Bait (a.s.) themselves, we ask them to plead to Allah on our behalf because we know that their prayers are more accepted than ours. Although Allah is near to one and all but all servants don’t enjoy equal proximity towards Him).
18) We expect the intercession (shafa’at) of the Messenger of Islam (s.a.w.a.) on the Day of Judgement as we have not refrained from helping his Ahle Bait (a.s.).
19) We Shias believe that we are the real Ahle Sunnah because we have learnt the Sunnah of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) from the people closest to him, the most learned and the most truthful of the nation viz. Ahle Bait (a.s.).
20) We subscribe to the creed that we are the real Ahle Jama’ah although our numbers don’t exceed that of other Muslims. For, we hold the creed that on the day of Ghadeer Khumm, the Messenger of Islam (s.a.w.a.) appointed Imam Ali (a.s.) and his sons (a.s.) as the leaders of all Muslims. He (s.a.w.a.) took a covenant from them that they shall not go back on their promise of following Ali (a.s.) and his successors (a.s.). So, who are the Ahle Jama’ah? Those who never fell short in their following of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) (even if they were few in number), or those who washed their hands off the Ahle Bait (a.s.), violated their oaths and became a victim of discord and hostility (even if their numbers were more)? Certainly, the fact is that those Muslims, who were steadfast and firm on the issue of Imamat (i.e. Shias), are the true Ahle Jama’ah.
21) We are proud that during the lengthy course of history, our school of thought has remained steadfast. We have stayed firm on the same righteous Islamic principles. Whenever any deviation or divergence occurred in the Islamic nation, the living Imam of that era protected the Shia faith from it.