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The Genesis of Shiaism

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ترجمے کے لئے یہاں جائیں

Shias and Sunnis alike, misunderstand or try to misunderstand what does it mean to be a Shia. We usually take Shiaism to be a sect of Islam, which is wrong to the very word, because a sect would be a group of people who take one thing from Islam and leave the other. All sects today believe that they are not sects but the actual Islam itself so I will not go into that debate here.

What does the word Shia mean then? Arabic is a very complicated language and Quran has used the word Shia at various places in various context. Let us have a look at some of these examples from the Quran itself, which is the criteria between Haqq and Baatil.

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَرَّقُواْ دِينَهُمْ وَكَانُواْ شِيَعًا لَّسْتَ مِنْهُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ إِنَّمَا أَمْرُهُمْ إِلَى اللّهِ ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ يَفْعَلُونَ
Verily, those who divide their religion and break up into sects, you have no concern with them in the least. Their affair is only with Allah, Who then will tell them what they used to do
Quran [6:159]

Thus the word Shia in Arabic means a sect or division of one's religion, which is obviously forbidden by Allah. However, Arabic words have many different meanings. The Shias present today do not take the literal meaning of the word as a sect or a division but that of a follower.

وَإِنَّ مِن شِيعَتِهِ لَإِبْرَاهِيمَ
And most surely Ibrahim followed his (Nuh) way.
Quran [37:83]

وَدَخَلَ الْمَدِينَةَ عَلَى حِينِ غَفْلَةٍ مِّنْ أَهْلِهَا فَوَجَدَ فِيهَا رَجُلَيْنِ يَقْتَتِلَانِ هَذَا مِن شِيعَتِهِ وَهَذَا مِنْ عَدُوِّهِ فَاسْتَغَاثَهُ الَّذِي مِن شِيعَتِهِ عَلَى الَّذِي مِنْ عَدُوِّهِ فَوَكَزَهُ مُوسَى فَقَضَى عَلَيْهِ قَالَ هَذَا مِنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ إِنَّهُ عَدُوٌّ مُّضِلٌّ مُّبِينٌ
And he went into the city at a time of unvigilance on the part of its people, so he found therein two men fighting, one being of his party and the other of his foes, and he who was of his party cried out to him for help against him who was of his enemies, so Musa struck him with his fist and killed him. He said: This is on account of the Shaitan's doing; surely he is an enemy, openly leading astray.
Quran [28:15]

We can read that Ibrahim (AS) was a Shia of Nuh (AS), or in other words, Ibrahim (AS) followed the ways of Nuh (AS). Similarly, we can also see that there was a quarrel between a shia of Musa (AS) and a shia of his enemy. The shia of Musa (AS) belonged to the party of Musa while. You must also note that the Shia of Musa asked for help from Musa (AS) only and Musa (AS) preferred to help his own shia. Hints?

Thus the word, "Shia", literally means a follower. You can be a shia of your father, or you can be a shia of your masjid's Imam or some Mufti, it has nothing to do with religion. What matters is if you are a Shia of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) or not. Shias of Rasool Allah (SAW) are called Muslims.

However, we have Shias and sunnis and wahabis etc today, the question remains, who are these shias and who was their pioneer or founder.

Those who do not know, or those who enjoy spreading lies, or those who take up spreading malice and hatred and fitnah as a hobby claim that;

Upto the classical age of Shi'ism, all of the erudite Shi'ite scholars attributed the origin of Shi'ism to this same ibn Saba. `Allamah Majlisi said: "Some scholars have asserted that ibn Saba was a Jew who accepted Islam and started voicing his opinion of the `wilayat' (divine appointment) of `Ali. While a Jew, he propounded the exaggerative notion that Yusha ibn Nun was divinely appointed to succeed Prophet Musa, he thus adopted a similar stance with regard to `Ali in relation to the Holy Prophet. He was the first to subscribe to the belief of Imamate, and he openly vitriolated his enemies (i.e. the first three Caliphs) and branded them as infidels. The origin of Shi'ism is thus based on Judaism."

It is either utter ignorance, or either utter stupidity, the claim that Wilayat of Ali Ibn Abu Talib was opinioned by a jew named Abdullah ibn Saba.  Those who know the event of Gadeer, and those who know the Quran would not be voicing this false calim;

Only Allah is your Vali and His Messenger and those who believe, those who keep up prayers and pay the poor-rate while they bow.
Quran [5:55]

It is narrated by Ammar Yasir (RA) that a beggar came to Ali and stood besides him. Ali was kneeling in prayers. Ali put out his ring and gave it to the beggar. Then Ali (AS) called on the Prophet (SAW) and gave him the news. At this occasion, this verse (5:55) was revealed.

Click below for scanned page:
The Ghadir Declaration, by Dr Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri, pages 48-49

Hazrat Ali was the only one at the time of Prophet who paid Zakat while he was in the state of bowing (ruku').
Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v5, p38
Tafsir al-Kashshaf, by Al-Zamakhshari, v1, p505, 649
Tafsir al-Bayan, by Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, v6, p186, 288-289.

Thus the first entity to declare the Walayat of Mawla Ali (AS) was the Quran itself, and not a jew. The second entity to yet again declare the Mawlayiat of Ali ibn Abu Talib was Prophet Muhammad (SAW) at Gadeer, and not a jew.

As far as the lie of myth of Ibn Sabah is concerned;

Dr. Ali al-Wardi, a professor of history at Baghdad University, and a sunni scholar, states that; "Did Ibn Saba' actually exist or was he an imaginary personality? For those who wish to study the social history of Islam and draw the appropriate conclusions, this is an extremely important question. It is claimed that Ibn Saba' incited unrest, but no such person ever existed. The whole story is reminiscent of the claim made by the Quraysh at the beginning of the Prophet's mission, peace and blessings be upon him and his family, that he received his teachings from a Christian slave by the name of Jabr and based his preaching on the instruction he received from him."
Hayat Muhammad, By Dr. Haykal p. 136

"The fact that the historians make no mention of Ibn al-Sawda' i.e., 'Abdullah ibn Saba' being present at the battle of Siffin together with his followers proves at the very least that the whole notion of a group of people led by him is a baseless fabrication. It is one of those inventions that acquired currency when the conflict between the Shi'is and other Islamic groups intensified. In order to underline their hostility, the enemies of the Shi'ah tried to insert a Jewish element into the origins of their sect. If the story of 'Abdullah ibn Saba' had any basis in historical fact, his cunning and guile could not have failed to show itself at the battle of Siffin. I can think of only one reason for his name not occurring in connection with that battle: that he was an entirely fictitious person, dreamed up by the enemies of the Shi'ah in order to vilify them."
al-Fitnat al-Kubra, Dr. Taha Hussain, Vol. II, p.90

Dr. Taha Hussain, who was an egyptian scholar, continues to state that;

In my opinion, those who have tried to emphasize on the story of Abdullah Ibn Saba, have committed a crime in the history and hurt themselves too. The first thing that is observed is that in the important collections the name of Ibn Saba does not appear when they discuss the agitation against Uthman. Ibn Sa'd does not mention the name of Abdullah Ibn Saba when he discusses the Caliphate of Uthman and the revolt against him. Also the book by al-Baladhuri, "Ansab al- Ashraf", which I think the most important and the most detailed book about the revolt against Uthman, the name of Abdullah Ibn Saba has never been mentioned. It appears that al-Tabari was the first who reported the story of Ibn Saba from Sayf, and then other historians quoted al-Tabari in this regard. The story of Ibn Saba is nothing but myth, and is the invention of some historians, since it contradicts other historical documents. The fact is that the friction between Shia and Sunni have had many shapes, and each group was advocating itself and denouncing the other by any means possible. This requires a historian to be much more cautious when analyzing the controversial reports related to seditions and revolts.

I think this should put a nail in the coffin of the mythical lie of Abdullah Ibn Sabah.

Where did Shiaism start then and who started it? To answer this question, it is very important to know what Shiaism actually is.

The Shias, we often call Ithna Ahsharis or the Twelvers, are Shias of Ali Ibn Abu Talib (AS), or followers/supporters of Mawla Ali (AS), or party of men who are loyal to Imam Ali (AS). We do not love Ali (AS), or support Ali (AS) or revere Ali (AS) because we feel like doing so or we do it for fun.

This hadith has been narrated. on the authority of Shu'ba with the same chain of transmitters. Amir b. Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas reported on the authority of his father that Muawiya b. Abi Sufyin appointed Sa'd as the Governor and said: What prevents you from abusing Abu Turab (Hadrat 'Ali), whereupon be said: It is because of three things which I remember Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) having said about him that I would not abuse him and even if I find one of those three things for me, it would be more dear to me than the red camelg. I heard Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) say about 'Ali as he left behind hrin in one of his campaigns (that was Tabuk). 'All said to him: Allah's Messenger, you leave me behind along with women and children. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said to him: Aren't you satisfied with being unto me what Aaron was unto Moses but with this exception that there is no prophethood after me. And I (also) heard him say on the Day of Khaibar: I would certainly give this standard to a person who loves Allah and his Messenger and Allah and his Messenger love him too. He (the narrator) said: We have been anxiously waiting for it, when he (the Holy Prophet) said: Call 'Ali. He was called and his eyes were inflamed. He applied saliva to his eyes and handed over the standard to him, and Allah gave him victory. (The third occasion is this) when the (following) verse was revealed:" Let us summon our children and your children." Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) called 'Ali, Fitima, Hasan and Husain and said: O Allah, they are my family.
Sahih Muslim, Book 31, Hadith 5915

Throughout the history of Islam, there have been hints that Ali (AS) was specially treated by the Prophet (SAW) himself. He was given the flag of Khaiber, the hand of daughter of the Prophet himself in marriage, he was the hero of Badr, Uhud and Khandaq, he was the caretaker of Medina in the absence of Prophet (SAW) during the battle of Tabuk, he was entrusted with the properties of the Kuffar on the night of migration. Furthermore, Imam Ali's inclusion in the verse of purity, in the members of the Ahlulbayt and in the participants of Mubahila gives him an outright edge over everyone else.

We are not discussing the merits of Mawla Ali (AS) here, for they range from the feast of Banu Hashim to performing the funeral rights of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as stated in Ali Mawla.

The seeds of Shiaism were planted  by Prophet Muhammad (SAW) himself, during his lifetime. According to the Hadith, Umm Salama is known to have said that Muhammad said:

Ali is with the Truth (haqq) and the Qur'an, and the Truth and the Qur'an are also with Ali, and they will be inseparable until they come upon me at Kawthar.
al-Bahrani's Ghâyat al-marâm wa-hujjat al-hisâm, page 539

Al Bahrani recounts the hadith in fifteen versions from Sunni sources and eleven versions from Shi'a sources.

In some versions of the hadith, there is an extra sentence that is the Prophet (SAW) said;

Wa dara al-haqq ma'ahu haithu dar"
"And the truth (the right path) turns with him (i.e. Ali) wherever way he turns."
Tafsir al-Kabir, by Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, Commentary of "al-Bismillah"

Similarly in Sahih al-Tirmidhi, it is narrated that:

The Messenger of God said: O God, have Thy Mercy on Ali. O God, make the right and the truth with Ali in all situations
Sahih al-Tirmidhi, volume 5, page 297

Thus if the truth is with Ali ibn Abu Talib (AS), then what ever Ali says will be the truth, what ever Ali does will be Haqq, for Ali doesn't turn wherever the truth turns, it is the truth which turns wherever Ali turns. Thus after the demise of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), shouldn't we still be following the truth?

And most of them do not follow (anything) but conjecture; surely conjecture will not avail aught against the truth; surely Allah is cognizant of what they do.
Quran [10:36]

That is because those who disbelieve follow falsehood, and those who believe follow the truth from their Lord; thus does Allah set forth to men their examples.
Quran [47:3]

Thus following Ali ibn Abu Talib (AS), is as if following the truth itself, as the Prophet (SAW) himself testified the truth being with Ali (AS) unconditionally.

Noting the fact that the Ahadith mentioned above are in the Sahah Sittah (the Sunni's six authentic hadith books), and are unanimously agreed by shia and sunni scholars alike. However, there is another hadith, outside the Sahah Sittah which Sunnis often quote. Shias however have strong logical reasons to doubt it's authenticity, but for arguement's sake, let us say that the following hadith is infact true;

The Prophet said; My sahaba are like the stars: whoever you follow, you shall be guided.
Al-Suyuti, Tarikh al-Khulafa, p. 160. 

Thus if following any of the Companions of Prophet (SAW) will guide us after his (SAW) demise, then shouldn't following Ali Ibn Abu Talib (AS) guide us on the right path, because his superiority in knowledge, nobility and bravery over others was incomparable.

Thus, following Ali (AS), or being the Shias of Ali (AS) after the demise of Prophet (SAW) was
what the Prophet (SAW) himself preached. He (SAW) openly declared the Mawlayiat of Imam Ali (AS) at Gadeer e Khum, where the Prophet (SAW) declared;

Whomsoever’s mawla I am, this Ali is also his mawla. O Allah, befriend whosoever befriends him and be the enemy of whosoever is hostile to him.”

Click below for scanned page:
The Ghadir Declaration, by Dr Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri, page 49

For sunni references to the above event/hadith, please read Event of Gadeer.

I will not argue what does the word Mawla mean as it has been discussed in previous articles. Whether it means a caliph, or an Imam, or a leader or simply a friend, Sunnis agree that befriending Ali is as if befriending the Prophet (SAW) himself and hostility to Ali (AS) was hostility to the Holy Prophet (SAW) himself. Taking the sunni meaning of the word Mawla, which is a friend, one should love his friend, support his friend, help his friend, and if our friend is superior to us in nobility and knowledge, then we should follow our friend on the right path.

Thus the Muslims were Shias (or followers) of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). We, the shias (modern day), are Muslims, the Shias of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). As we claim to follow the Prophet (SAW), we follow Mawla Ali (AS) after the demise of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Thus our following of Mawla Ali (AS) is proof enough that we followed the order of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), the founder of shiaism.

Who were the first Shias then? Note that the word Shia will mean Shias of Ali (AS). The companions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), who pledged their loyalty and showed their support for Imam Ali (AS) after the demise of Prophet (SAW) were the very first Shias of Ali Ibn Abu Talib.

Narrated Ibn Abbass: .....And no doubt after the death of the Prophet we were informed that the Ansar disagreed with us and gathered in the shed of Bani Sa'da. 'Ali and Zubair and whoever was with them, opposed us, while the emigrants gathered with Abu Bakr.........
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 82, Hadith 817

A certain group of companions opposed the election of Abu Bakr at Bani Sa'da and sided with Imam Ali (AS). These were the first and foremost Shias, or supporters, of Ali (AS). These men included, Talha, Zubair, Ammar bin Yasir, Salman Farsi, Miqdad, Abu Dhar Ghaffari, Abdullah Ibn Abbas, Saad ibn Abu Waqas etc.

Following is a list of Companions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), who after his (SAW) demise became the Shias of Ali (AS), refused to pay the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr until Imam Ali did (allegedly as Sunnis theorize), sided with him during the battles of Jamal, Siffin, Nahrwan and other controversies;

Note that this is just a short list of some notable companions who were the first and true Shias of Ali (AS). Also note that a handful of the above mentioned were born after the demise of Prophet (SAW) but were sons of Sahabas, such as Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr.

However, after the demise of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), Mawla Ali went into political dormancy for the first 27 years of Khilafat, and along with him, his shias. The Imam continued to spread the words of Prophet (SAW) as the spiritual head or an Imam and remained an authentic source of Sharia of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) for his Shias.

The political unrest during the rule of Uthman Ibn Affan saw the start of the political rise of the Shias. Shias of Ali, being the Sahabas of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) at the same time, men like Ammar bin Yasir (RA) and Abu Dharr Ghaffari (RA), started to voice their opposition against the social injustice and unfair accumulation and distribution of wealth by the Caliphate of Uthman. Uthman however exiled Hz Abu Dharr Ghaffari (RA) to ar-Rabadhah, regarding which Imam Ali said;

O' Abu Dharr! You showed anger in the name of Allah therefore have hope in Him for whom you became angry. The people were afraid of you in the matter of their (pleasure of this) world while you feared them for your faith. Then leave to them that for which they are afraid of you and get away from them taking away what you fear them about. How needy are they for what you dissuade them from and how heedless are you towards what they are denying you. You will shortly know who is the gainer tomorrow (on the Day of Judgement) and who is more enviable. Even if these skies and earth were closed to some individual and he feared Allah, then Allah would open them for him. Only rightfulness should attract you while wrongfulness should detract you. If you had accepted their worldly attractions they would have loved you and if you had shared in it they would have given you asylum.
Nahjul Balaga, Sermon 130, Delivered when Abu Dharr was exiled towards ar-Rabadhah

 Similarly, Ammar bin Yasir was beaten which resulted in the breaking of his rib bone.

Thus, due to Abu Dharr's disgrace, dishonour and exile Banu Ghifar and their associate tribes, due to `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud's merciless beating Banu Hudhayl and their associates, due to breaking of the ribs of `Ammar ibn Yasir, Banu Makhzum and their associates Banu Zuhrah, and due to the plot for the killing of Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, Banu Taym all had a storm of rage in their hearts. The Muslims of other cities were also brimful of complaints at the hands of his (Uthman's) officers who under intoxication of wealth and the effects of luxury did whatever they wished and crushed whomever they wanted.
Al-Baladhuri, Ansab, V, 98, 101

Not going into the details who exactly killed Uthman and why as it will be dealt in another article.

After Uthman's murder, people fled to give the oath of allegiance to Imam Ali (AS).

... At that moment, nothing took me by surprise, but the crowd of people rushing to me. It advanced towards me from every side like the mane of the hyena so much so that Hasan and Husayn were getting crushed and both the ends of my shoulder garment were torn. They collected around me like the herd of sheep and goats. When I took up the reins of government one party broke away and another turned disobedient while the rest began acting wrongfully....
Nahjul Balaga, Semon 3, Sermon of Ash-Shiqshiqiyyah

The people who swore their loyalty to Imam Ali (AS) can politically and technically be termed as his shias, but their loyalty cannot be compared with the loyalty of those companions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) who had sided with Imam Ali since day one, which also included Talha and Zubair, who later broke away and joined forces in Basra against Imam Ali for the battle of Jamal.

Men who fought against Ayesha and Mawiya in the army of Mawla Ali (AS), were politically known as Shias of Ali. Kufa, the capital at the time of imam Ali's rule was full of "shias" because of their support for Imam Ali.

Unfortunately, shia is not a religion or a sect of a religion. It is a name given to a group of people who support Ali. Being a shia doesn't make one a saint or an angel.

But Muawiyah did take Amr's second suggestion - he told his bodyguards to put pages from the Qu'ran on their lances, and shout "The law of the Lord! That shall decide between us!" By this it was meant that the two sides should cease fighting and settle matters by peaceful arbitration under Islamic law. Muawiyah and Amr did not necessarily think that all of Ali's army would accept an arbitration, but they were sure that some of them would favour this, and so at the least it would cause dissension in Ali's army. However, the plan worked better than Muawiyah and Amr had hoped, because Ali's entire army quickly began chanting along with Muawiyah's men. Ali urged his army to fight on, saying that Muawiyah was simply using a trick and was on the point of defeat, but the soldiers did not listen. In fact, many of Ali's best soldiers were the keenest to make an arbitration. Ali and Ashter spent a long time arguing against their men, but they could not change their minds. In fact the soldiers became impatient and attacked Ashter with whips, calling him a warmonger. They even threatened to send Ali to Muawiyah as a prisoner if he did not accept the arbitration. With his army in mutiny against him, Ali had no choice but to accept the arbitration. So not only had Muawiyah managed to gain an arbitration, he had greatly weakened Ali's position with his own supporters.

Thus a group of men from amongst the army of Mawla Ali (AS), his Shias, turned against the Imam during Siffin, with a series of events which followed.

After the martyrdom of Mawla Ali (AS), the loyal supporters of Imam Ali in Kufa pledged their loyalty to Imam Hassan (AS). Imam Hassan (AS) signed a peace treaty with Mawiya and stepped down from the post of political leadership, or caliphate, in order to avoid further bloodshed.

After the martyrdom of Imam Hassan (AS), the Shias of Ali invited Imam Hussain (AS) to Kufa which would strengthen their support for the Imam. As Imam Hussain (AS) left medina and started his journey towards Kufa with his very close and loyal Shias and members of his family, the change in governance of Kufa by Yazeed ibn Mawiya (the cursed) lead to a change in the atmosphere of Kufa.

Ubaydallah ibn Ziyad (the cursed) was appointed the governor of Kufa in order to kill the popularity and support for Hussain Ibn Ali (AS) which existed in the hearts and minds of the Shias of Kufa.

Ibin Ziyad (the cursed) was ordered to extradite Muslim bin Aqeel (AS) from Iraq and kill him if he retaliates, whilst those who have pledged allegiance with him should be threatened, punished, and killed if they do not break their allegiance. Ibn Ziyad (the cursed) killed Muslim (AS) brutally to make him an example for those who claimed to be the Shias of Hussain (AS). Scores of staunch supporters of Imam Hussain (AS) in Kufa were beaten and imprisoned, including the famous supporter, Mukhtar, who later lead a revolt against Yazeed (the cursed).

With the hardcore Shias in the prisons of Kufa, and interception of Imam Hussain (AS) at Kerbala, which was miles outside Kufa, Ibn Ziyad (the cursed) was successful in threatening the people of Kufa. Shias of Kufa who were not imprisoned, feared for their lives and families and failed to assist the Grandson of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

Thus Imam Hussain (AS) achieved martyrdom with 72 of his faithful Shias which also included members of his Family. A year later when the shias were released from the prisons, and those who turned back due to fear, started to ponder over their actions of not helping their Imam. This lead to small pockets of rebellion against the Ummayads throughout the Islamic empire.

One year after the event of Kerbala, 3000 faithful Shias started their movement as a revenge for Imam Hussain (AS).

The martyrdom of Hussain was of great religious significance and had a deep heart-searching after-effect upon the Shi'is, giving a new turn to the mode and nature of the Shi'i movement. The tragic fate of the grandson of the Prophet stirred religious and moral sentiments, particularly among those of the Kufan followers of the House of the Prophet who had so zealously asked Hussain to come to Iraq to guide them on what they considered to be the path of God. But when Hussain came to Iraq they did not or could not stand with him in the hour of trial. Soon afterwards, however, they realized that their inability, or rather weakness, had been the cause of the tragedy. A deep sense of repentance set in, provoking their religious conscience; and in order to expiate their negligence and obtain God's forgiveness, they thought they must make similar sacrifices. They believed that they could only prove their real repentance by exposing themselves to death while seeking vengeance for the blood of Hussain. Hence they named themselves the Tawwabun (penitents) and are known in Islamic history by this self-imposed title.

This movement, as will be seen below, proved to be an important step forward in the consolidation of Shi'i Islam. The movement began under the leadership of five of the oldest and most trusted associates of 'Ali, with a following of a hundred diehard and devoted Shi'is of Kufa, none of whom was below sixty years of age. This age factor should particularly be noted, as it indicates the maturity of their religious thinking and behaviour. The five leaders of the movement, Sulayman b. Surad al-Khuza`i, Al-Musayyab b. Najaba al-Fazari; `Abd Allah b. Sa`d b. Nufayl al-Azdi, Abd Allah b. Walin at-Tami, and Rifa`a b. Shaddad al-Bajali; had always been in the forefront of all Shi'i activities in Kufa, and were highly respected by the Shi'a for their sincerity of purpose and unshaken devotion to the cause of the Ahl al- Bayt. Similarly, the other hundred who joined these leaders of the movement are described as "the most select from among the followers of 'Ali".
Tabari, II, p. 498;
Baladhuri, V, pp.204 f.

These Penitents were the first Shia movement which raised their voice against the tyranny of the Ummayads.

When the 3000 Tawwabuns reached the village of Qarqisiya, the fifth stage from Karbala on the road to the Syrian border, they were generously entertained by the chief of the village, Zufar b. al- Harith, who informed them that `Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad, with a 30,000-man Syrian army, had reached `Ayn al-Warda. The chieftain provided Sulayman with plenty of provisions and advised him further about 'Ubayd Allah's army and gave him the names of other leaders who were with him. Zufar also told Sulayman that he, along with his people, would fight the - yrians if the Tawwabun would stay with him and use Qarqisiya as a base. But Sulayman did not agree. The Tawwabun ultimately reached 'Ayn al-Warda and engaged the Syrians fiercely, shouting, "Paradise! Paradise for the Turabites!" The battle lasted for three days, and the Tawwabun fought with unprecedented resolution, determination, and zeal, until they attained martyrdom. The only surviving leader, Rifa`a b. Shaddad, advised the handful of survivors to return..
Mas'udi, Muruj, III, p.94. "Turabites"
'Ayn al-Warda in Baladhuri, V, pp.210

After the Tawabbun movement, 3 years after the event of Kerbala, Al-Mukhtar ibn Abi Ubayd al Thaqafi led another Shia rebellion against the Ummayads, more political in nature. Mukhtar however, was martyred a year later.

As future imams came, Shias went into political background again, for they often raised voice of political justice. Shias became a faction which continually opposed the rule of tyrant caliphs, which is a reason why they were often targeted and executed. This is also one of the reasons why we can see the graves of the Ahlulbayt, and the followers of Ali (AS), spread throughout Iran, Iraq, Saudia and Syria. This might be proof enough of the exile and execution, the Ahlulbayt and their Shias went through during the tyrant era of Ummayads and Abbasids.

Today, the shia can be seen as "claiming" to be the lovers and followers of Prophet (SAW), his ahlulbayt and staunch followers in the doctrine of Imamat. You cannot call shiaism a religion or a sect of Islam, shiaism is an attitude,  it is a "kafiyat" or a state of mind, where love for prophet (SAW) and his ahlulbayt takes precedence over everything else, where Jihad e Akbar is emphasized upon.

If you take the Quran and the Ahlulbayt and are be careful of your duty towards them, after the demise of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), then you are a shia;

.... One day Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) stood up to deliver sermon at a watering place known as Khumm situated between Mecca and Medina. He praised Allah, extolled Him and delivered the sermon and. exhorted (us) and said: Now to our purpose. O people, I am a human being. I am about to receive a messenger (the angel of death) from my Lord and I, in response to Allah's call, (would bid good-bye to you), but 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. He exhorted (us) (to hold fast) to the Book of Allah and then said: The second are the members of my household I remind you (of your duties) to the members of my family. .....
Sahih Muslim Book 031, Number 5920

Wearing Black in Muharram doesn't make you a shia. Abusing and using lustful words against the likes of Ayesha and Mawiya etc, who are no doubt the enemies of the Ahlulbayt, does not make you a shia. Please read what Tabarra actually is.

Shiaism is a state of mind. You are a Shia of Muhammad (SAW), and a Shia of Ali (AS);

Thus to be a Shia, is a great responsibility. Shias of Muhammad (SAW), or Muslims are the people on right path as compared with the Jews and Hindus, Christians and Buddhists, who follow their corrupt texts. Being the Shia of Muhammad (SAW), it is our duty to obey his commands, thus to fulfill Prophetic orders, after his (SAW) demise, a group of Muslims chose to be the Shias of Ali (AS).

Deen is everything what Prophet (SAW) said or did. He did not leave behind copies of tapes and videos of his actions or sayings behind him, which we could use and derive the shariat from. Did the Deen die with the death of the Prophet (SAW)? Because Quran alone is insufficient. Maybe the Prophet (SAW) did leave copies of his actions and words behind him, the gateway of knowledge, Imam Ali (AS). Thus after the Prophet (SAW), those who follow what they themselves conjecture or those who follow an unauthorized entity maybe subjected to deviation from the orders of Rasool Allah (SAW). It doesn't matter if some of the Shias of Ali turned against him at a point because to be a shia doesn't really make one a shia. Just like a Muslim can drink alcohol, adulter, kill, rob but yet remain a Muslim, does not mean that Islam preaches what a Muslim practices. To Know the Shia, know the Imams of the Shias, the blessed progeny of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

After the events of Kerbala, I salute the Shias, or men who claim to be Shias, for it is they who have fought for the infallibility of Prophet (SAW), it is they who have kept alive the name and the sacrifice of Hussain ibn Ali (AS), it is they through which everyone knows the events of Kerbala as if they happened yesterday, which has kept the spirit and the message of Islam alive. It is Shias who have fought for the honor and dignity for the forefathers of Prophet (SAW), and it is they who have struggled to keep the doctrine of Imamat alive even 1400 years later. It is Shias, who have survived fabrications and lies against the very school of thought spread by nasibis.

I appeal to Shias that not to forget who they are. Stop spreading hate and violence. Stop abusing and using lustful words with the names like Ayesha etc, this is not Tabbara, this is pure ignorance, and to an extent, a sin even. Spread peace and love like Imam Hassan (AS) did, spread the message of Islam in imprisonment as the rest of the Imams did, go to political dormancy like Imam Ali (AS) did (for 27 years until the people chose him to lead them). Fight the tyrant of your time like Imam Hussain (AS) did, stop spreading hate like Mawiya did.

So next time, if you find a hungry stray dog on the streets and give food to him, or find a thirsty bird and give it water, know in your heart that you are a shia.

Na Sateeza gah-e-jahan nayi
na hareef-e-panja fagan naye..
wohi fitrat-e-Asadullahi
wohe Marhabi wohi Anta

Neither are the battle grounds of the world new
nor are the opponents who are fighting
Same are the ways of (those who follow) the Hand of Allah (Imam Ali (AS))
and same are the ways of (those who follow) Marhab and Antar

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