A number of evils had crept into the lives of the early Shias. Their capacity for truth had considerably dwindled; their enthusiasm for defending the right had deplorably diminished ; their love and support of Hadhrat Ali had diluted even though he was their Imam and leader. They had turned into charlatans, reeking with the stench of chicken-heartedness, insincerity, greed, cowardice and equivocation. They now put greater premium on the luxuries of the world than on the acquisition of divine pleasure. They had become greedy -guts and lazy-bones. Hadhrat Ali had himself once addressed them in these words:
"By God ! believe these people will have an edge over you, because they are united over falsehood while you are disunited over truth: you disobey your leader even though he is in the right ; they obey their leader even though he is in the wrong. They render their trusts (back to people) while you embezzle them. They live in peace in their areas while you squabble with one another. If I trust one of you with the lid, I am afraid he will carry away the pot as well".
In spite of these evils, they did not differ from other Muslims in their beliefs and convictions. They neither denied the sanctity of the Quran nor believe in its textual change and mutilation. They did not disacknowledge the superiority of the Prophet (peace be upon him) nor did they discredit the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his three pious Caliphs. They acknowledged their superior status on account of their close association with the prophet (peace be upon him). They had not invented a separate religion for themselves but shared the same Islamic faith with other Muslims. They did not adopt specific modes of prayer either. They prayed behind their Imams like other Muslims, and like them they performed the obligatory Hajj and discharged other duties: They intermarried with the Muslims - both before and after the wars, as has already been stated and will be discussed at greater length in the pages that follow. However, there was a percentage of people who had been influenced by un - Islamic modes of thought, Jewish 'soi-distant' and the hypocritical Sabais. They outwardly professed Islam but inwardly condemned it. They had in fact suppressed their identity and sailed under false colors. These people had drifted away from the straight path as well as from the party of Hadhrat Ali. for example, Sabais and Kharijis, who had completely deviated from the straight path and had snapped all links with the Islamic faith and with whom Hadhrat Ali and his family had broken all ties, fabricated the most fantastic tales in the name of religion which had neither been revealed in the Quran nor mentioned by the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him).
The paten of life of the early people was identical with that of the Muslims and it remained unchanged till the martyrdom of Hadhrat Hussain. But after the martyrdom of Hadhrat Imam Hussain, other modes of thought and beliefs had encroached into their lives. Those were, in fact, the fundamentals of Sabaism whose poisonous effects were being spread by Jewish, Zoroastrian and other defocused sects of Islam. The Shias of Ali also followed these false and disreputable beliefs, and the degree of their humiliation and stupidity varied in proportion to the strength of the grip with which they had the anti-Islamic convictions. Similarly they disbanded into many splinter groups. Those who exceeded all limits and flouted all restraints were known as extremists, and those who charted a middle course for themselves in their pursuit of the evil, were known as middle-of-the-road or semi-extremist Shias, and those who had only a brush with the devil and were not dyed deeply in the devil's ideology, were known as moderates. But one common bond linked them together : they were tied to the apron-strings of the demoniacal Abdullah bin Saba and the notorious Judaism. Each one of these sects had assimilated the hoax in proportion to its capacity. But there were others who had completely dissociated themselves, both outwardly and inwardly, from the reprehensible Jews and Sabais and thus wriggled out of the clutches of their tainted philosophy. However the Shias of Ali took umbrage at their act of disaffiliation and discarded them on account of their claim of exemption.* These views and beliefs had percolated to the supporters of Hadhrat Ali* as a result of some calculated conspiracy which had been hatched by the Jews of Yemen in collusion with Abdullah bin Saba and other Jews. Its object was to knock the unity of the Muslims into a cocked hat, sap the foundations of their faith, create dissension among the Muslims, stoke up the fires of loot and murder, disembowel their faith, preach atheism and to introduce changes into the inviolate pattern of divine revelation. Therefore Isfraini * sums up an account or survey of the Shia sects with a highly pertinent comment :
"All these sects of the Imamiyah were based on the negation of the Prophetic companions. They claim that Quran no longer exists in its original shape. The companions of the Prophet introduced changes in it. Therefore the Quran and the traditions attributed to the Prophet are not reliable. They also claim that there is a special clause in the Quran about the Imamat of Hadhrat Ali which had been deleted by companions of the Prophet. They also have no faith in the Shariah as it is being administered by the Muslims. They are anxiously awaiting the arrival of an Imam called Mehdi who will teach them the Shariah. At present they have no links whatsoever with the divine faith. Their main object is to cut up the shackles of Shariah root and branch. They like to confer lawful status on all the prohibited acts, citing earlier changes as precedents for their radical transformation. They claim that there is o such thing as pristine faith, as Shariah had been tinkered with and the Quranic text had been meddled with by the companions of the Prophet".*
The purpose of what I have stated and what I propose to state i the subsequent pages is to establish the fact that changes were introduced in early Shiaism because Abdullah bin Saba succeeded through his iniquitous efforts to intromit Jewish, Zoroastrian and Sabai belief into the framework of early Shiaism. The main purpose of the unconscionable efforts of the Sabais was to generate discord and to inject un- Islamic beliefs into the minds of ignorant and half - witted people. Therefore it seems quite in order to give an objective account of the flagitious efforts of the Sabais and the discussion that follows shall be basically related to Abdullah bin Saba, Sabaism and their beliefs and convictions.
Abdullah bin Saba and Sabaism:
Abdullah bin Saba was a Jew of San a (Yemen). His mother called Sauda'. Abul Hassan Ash'ari observes:
"This Abdullah bin Saba was a Jew. He nurtured an intense rage in his heart against the new faith which had squelched the Jewish domination and over - lordship of the Arabs of Madina and Hijaz. He embraced Islam during the reign of Hadhrat Uthman. he traveled through the cities of Hijaz. He also visited Basra, Kufa, and Syria. Wherever he went, he tried his best to bring round the half - witted people of that area to his point of view. But he could not realize his impeachable intentions. he left for Egypt and became a permanent resident there. He launched his campaign to disenchant people with their faith by cosmeticizing his vicious designs as elegant and palatable realities. He found the climate of Egyptian opinion highly congenial for the realization of his scurvy intentions. his pet line of reasoning ran into the following grooves: I am really surprised by your attitude. You attest to the return of Christ, son of Maryam, to the world, but you deny the return of Muhammad to this world ! He kept on hammering his point of view into the minds of people until some weak - willed persons fell into his trap and started believing in the notion of the Prophet's return. He was the first man who sowed the seed of 'return' on the 'tabla rasa' of the Muslim mind. The second canard he spread among the people was that each Prophet has an executor or a preceptor who executes or administers his will. The most cruel person is he who tries to decelerate or prevent the implementation of his will. The chief target of his oppressive measures is the executor as he deprives him of his right to execute the will of the Prophet. O people ! Uthman usurped the right of Hadhrat Ali and victimized and persecuted him. Therefore rise against (the verdict of the oppressors) and return the right to those who are its lawful claimants. Criticize your rulers and deny what they profess and stand for. In this way you will win over the hearts of people. Ibn Saba had also organized a brigade of his friends and companions to propagate his heretic views and asked them to fan out in different cities. They also corresponded with one another to keep themselves abreast of the latest mercurial rise on the thermometer of public opinion and their vicious campaigning finally claimed the life of the Caliph before whom the pages of the Book of Allah lay open at the time of his martyrdom. The rebels and insurgents had attacked his residence and terminated his life. Perhaps, this was the divine verdict !"*
The earliest historian Tabri has sketched out the details in these words:
"Abdullah bin Saba was a Jew and lived in Sana. His mother was called Sauda. He embraced Islam during the period of Hadhrat Uthman. he roamed through the Muslim cities and tried to seduce the Muslims from the straight path. He launched his diabolical campaign from Hijaz and then visited Basra, Kufa and Syria. None of the Syrians cooperated with him. On the contrary, they drove him out of Syria. Thus he moved over to Egypt and settled down there permanently. He started drumming into the minds of the Egyptians that it was strange they believed in the return of Christ and denied the return of Hadhrat Muhammad (peace be upon him). God himself had declared:
Therefore he has a better claim to return to the world in comparison with Christ. He fabricated the concept of the 'return' or resurrection and the Egyptians turned in into a hot debating issue.
Later on he floated the idea that there had been one thousand prophets and each one of them had an executor who implemented his will on earth. Hadhrat Ali was the executor of Hadhrat Muhammad (peace be upon him). Hadhrat Muhammad was the last of the Prophets and Hadhrat Ali was the last of the executors or preceptors. There is no greater oppressor than a person who interferes with the implementation of the will of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) , persecutes his executor and assumes the role of a self - styled administrator. Then he started bleating out that Uthman had usurped the Khilafat. The executor of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is here: Arise and activate him. Launch your campaign by criticizing the rulers and back out of your religious commitments. In this way, the people will incline towards you from the core of their hearts. Wake up, and invite the people to join your campaign. He spread out his workers in different cities and he kept up his links with them through correspondence. The movement went underground but it was very active. Outwardly they gave the impression of keeping ablaze the twin slogans of 'Amr bil Maruf' and 'Nahi 'Anil Munkir'. They also dispatched letters to the residents of different cities. These letters picked holes in their rulers. Their companions also corresponded on similar lines. Madina was the focal point of their mischief's and they stretched the nets of their conspiracies far and wide. They never revealed their true intentions and their appearances were invariably deceptive. They kept abreast of the latest developments in all the cities as news pouted in from their planted sources and the network of their conspirators and the possession of the latest information gave them an edge over others. They sent for Muhammad and Talha and told them to go to Hadhrat Uthman and ask him : O Amir - ul - Momineen ! Have you received the news about people that we have received ? He replied : By God ! I have received the news that all is well. But they said: We have received these news, and then they recounted all the news which had been conveyed to them by the mischievous lot.
Hadhrat Uthman said : If you have evidence against my companions and believers, then you should also suggest a way out. They replied : we advise you to send your trusted men to different areas who should examine the situation there. He dispatched Muhammad bin Musalma to Kufa, Usama bin Zayd to Basra, 'Ammar bin Yasser to Egypt and Abdullah bin Umar to Syria. Besides, he dispatched a number of people to other areas. All of them returned except Hadhrat 'Ammar. Their verdict was unanimous. They said : O People ! We have witnessed nothing unusual nor have we witnessed any thing which the Muslim masses or the rulers dislike. All of them jointly affirmed that Muslims enjoyed a position of superiority in those areas. The rulers dispensed justice to the people and saw to it that their rights were not violated. People keenly felt Hadhrat Ammar's delay. They apprehended that he had been murdered by mistake. After some time they were handed a letter from Abdullah bin Saad bin Abi Sarah in which he informed them that the Egyptians had drawn Ammar towards themselves and Abdullah bin Sauda', Khalid bin Maljim, Saudan bin Hamran And Kinan bin Basher were always with him".*
Ibn Kathir and Ibn Athir have commented on it on similar lines and Allama Ibn Khaldun has also written about it :
"Abdullah bin Saba, who was popularly known as Ibn Sauda, was a Jew. He had left his country during the tenure of Hadhrat Uthman but he had not embraced Islam from the core of his heart. When he was honked out of Basra, he left for Kufa from where he made a bee - line for Syria. The Syrians also whipped him out of their country and he left for Egypt. He made Hadhrat Uthman the special butt of his critical remarks and secretly invited people to institute the Khilafat of the Ahl - i - Bait. He pressed upon people to launch the campaign and he spared no opportunity to criticize the rulers. Some of the people openly sided with him. They had come from different cities and therefore they kept up their links through correspondence. Khalid bin Maljim, Saudan bin Hamran and Kinana bin Basher supported the campaign launched by Abdullah bin saba. They had also persuaded Ammar not to return to Madina. Ammar was one of those people who had openly lambasted Hadhrat Uthman for first turning Hadhrat Abu Zar out of Syria into Madina and then for pushing him out of Madina towards Abzah, though, under the circumstances, the action of Hadhrat Uthman was justified. Hadhrat Abu Zar, out of the intensity of his piety and austerity, used to force people to lead their lives on similar lines and to learn to face the hardships of life. He persuaded people to stock for themselves not more than a day's ration. He also illustrate ed with reasoning the undesirability of hoarding gold and silver. Ibn Saba used to instigate Hadhrat Abu Zar against Hadhrat Muawiyah by stressing that he supported the distribution of goods among the people. Hadhrat Abu Zar started condemning Hadhrat Muawiyah. Hadhrat Muawiyah coaxed him a little and told him : I'll also harp on the same turn that all goods belong to Allah.
When Ibn Saba repeated the same thing to Hadhrat Abu Aldarda and Hadhrat 'Ubadah bin Samat, they snubbed him strongly; Hadhrat Ubadah rather caught him by the scruff of his neck and brought him to Hadhrat Muawiyah and told him that he had instigated Hadhrat Abu Zar against him".*
Hafiz ibn Hajr has related on the authority of Tarikh Abi Asakar :
"He belonged to Yemen. He was a Jew, but he had donned the guise of Islam and roamed through the Muslim cities to lead the Muslims astray and dissuade them from the obedience of their Imams and to sow dissension among them. He also visited Damascus with this end in view".*
Allama Isfraini has also commented on it in a similar vein : Ibn Sauda was a Jew who had donned the gown of Islam to addle the faith of the Muslims".*
Tabri has given a detailed account in his history to let the readers in on the true facts of the case. He refers to him by saying that one day he spent in Basra and the next day he spent in Kufa, some day he was in Egypt and the other day he was seen mooching around at another place. Tabri has also referred to Hakim bin Jiblah on similar lines:
"When three years of Ibn 'Amer's rule had elapsed, he received the news that a person called Hakim bin Jiblah was staying with he family of Abdul Qais. This Hakim bin Jiblah was thief. When the armed forces returned, he hid himself in a corner. He continued his reproachable practices even on the soil of Iran. He threw a spanner among the Zimmis, created discord among the people and always achieved his target. Both the Zimmis and Muslims complained against him to Hadhrat Uthman. He dispatched a letter to Abdullah bin Amir to arrest him and blocked all channels of his bonafides. Ibn Amir arrested him and blocked all channels of his escape. When Ibn Sauda came, he stayed with him. Besides, another party also came to stay with them. Ibn Sauda placed before them a problem in hints but did not explain it. These people accepted his proposal and welcomed him with open arms. He replied: I am from the Ahl-i-Bait. I love Islam and I like to live near about you. Ibn Amir replied : I have received bad reports about you. Therefore you better leave here. He left for Kufa. When he was driven out from there, he settled down in Egypt and kept in touch with his companions through correspondence and they also paid frequent visits to one another".*
"He stayed in Egypt until he left it in the company of people who had killed Hadhrat Uthman. The natives of Egypt had come out in four caravans, led by four of their chiefs. Some estimate their number at six hundred, others at one thousand. The leaders of these caravans were Abdul Rehman bin Adis Bal-wi, Kinanah bin Basher Laythi, Sakuni. Ghafiqi bin Harb 'Aski was leading the entire nation. They did not dare to unfold to the people that they were marching to fight. They pretended to be pilgrims. Ibn Sauda' also accompanied these reprobates".*
Ahmad Amin Misri observes: "This Ibn Sauda' also came to see Hadhrat Abu Ad-Darda' and Hadhrat 'Ubadah bin Samat but they sent him away with a flea in his ear. On the contrary Hadhrat Ubadah caught hold of him and took him to Hadhrat Muawiyah. He said : By God ! He has stirred up Hadhrat Abu Zar against you. We know that Ibn Sauda was the by -name of Abdullah bin Saba. he was a Jew from Sana who had only put on the mask of Islam during the reign of Hadhrat Uthman. He tried to tamper with the faith of the Muslims. He disseminated a number of his beliefs in Hijaz, Basra, Kufa, Syria and Egypt. It is possible he imbibed his beliefs from the Mazdakis of Iraq or Yemen".*
Ahmad Amin adds:
"He is the person who had provoked Hadhrat Abu Zar to invite people towards communism. He played the most heinous role in muddying the climate of opinion against Hadhrat Uthman. A study of his life reveals that he formulated a compendium of his own teachings to raze the house of Islam to the ground, he established a secret organization to propagate his teachings. He used the name of Islam to cover up his own flaws. After professing himself (to be a champion of Islam) he came to Basra and launched a propaganda campaign to popularize his views. The ruler of Basra extradited him. He came to Egypt where some people rallied round him".*
Before I enumerate the factors which he exploited to create rift in the Muslims, smash their unity and stir up repellion against Hadhrat Uthman, the Amir-ul-Momineen, companion and son-in-law of the Prophet (peace be upon him), I would like to refer to those Jewish beliefs whose poison this maligned and cursed man tried to inject into the people by using the name of Hadhrat Ali. The Shias further strengthened and consolidated these beliefs. They derived many subsidiary beliefs from these basic principles which led to the formation of different Shia sects. Each sect adopted the beliefs that suited it and shaped its code of action in the light of these derivative beliefs".
Hidden Jewish beliefs:
I have already stated that Ibn Sauda had taken over his beliefs from the Jews who had hated the guts of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and held in spite his community and loathed the Shariah they practiced. They were the staunch enemies of the Prophet of Islam and of the Muslims. And they had launched their campaign of hatred and jealousy against the Prophet (peace be upon him) the day he substituted the name of Yathrib for Madina and put a full stop to the lordship of Jews of Qinqa, Banu Nadhir, Banu Mustalaq and Khyber. Abu Muhammad Hassan bin Musa has unraveled these secrets. He is the earliest Shia historian who has given an account of the Shia sects. He is one of the most famous Shias of the third century A.H. He writes:
"Saba-is are the companions of Abdullah bin Saba. Abdullah bin Saba made faces at Hadhrat Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and other companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and disaffiliated himself from them and he imputed his acts to the command of Hadhrat Ali. When Hadhrat Ali caught hold of him and asked him about it, he confessed to it. After his confession, he ordered him to be executed. On hearing the order, (quite a few people) made a humble submission to Hadhrat Ali: O Amir-ul-Momineen ! You have ordered the execution of a person who professes your friendship and the love of your Ahl-i-Bait. Hadhrat Ali complied with the submission and exiled him to Madain.
A group of scholars among the companions of Hadhrat Ali has stated that Abdullah bin Saba was a Jew. He outwardly professed Islam and was on friendly terms with Hadhrat Ali. During the period of Judaism he used to claim that Y'osha bin Nun was the Caliph after Moses, and after embracing Islam he insisted that Hadhrat Ali was the Caliph after the Prophet (peace be upon him). Ibn Saba is the first person who popularized the concept of Hadhrat Ali's Imamat, disaffiliated himself from his enemies and publicly proclaimed his hostility towards his opponents. This is the point that has forced the opponents of Shiaism to state that the real source of Rafidhism is Judaism.
When the news of Hadhrat Ali's death was conveyed to Abdullah bin Saba in Madain, he told the messenger: you are lying. If you wrap u Hadhrat Ali's brain in seventy sacks and offer seventy veracious witnesses as evidence of his martyrdom, I will not believe you. he can neither die simply nor as a martyr unless he is the monarch of the entire earth".*
Abu Umro bin Abdul Aziz Kashi, who was one of the scholars of the fourth century, has given an account of the life of Abdullah bin Saba, some of his traditions and his beliefs and ideas in his book that is supposed to be the earliest on the subject. A few of these beliefs are given below:
(Muhammad bin Qaulwiyyah, Saad bin Abdullah, Yaqoob bin Yazeed and Muhammad bin Isa through Ali bin Mahzyar, Fadhalah bin Ayyab Azdi) report it from Abban bin Uthman. I have heard from Abu Abdullah:
"May God curse Abdullah bin Saba ! He had staked out the claim of God-head for the Amir-ul-Momineen, though, by God, Amir-ul-Momineen was a humble creature of God. There is nothing but ruin and ravage for a person who blurts out lies on our behalf. Some people attribute to us words we have never uttered about ourselves. We express our disaffiliation with these people before God and, by the grace of God, we are exempt (from the false allegations of) these people".
Through Yaqoob bin Yazeed, through Ibn Abi Umair and Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Isa through his father and Hussain bin Said, through Ibn Abi Umair Hasham bin Salim and Abu Hamza Thamali, Hadhrat Ali bin Hussain is reported to have said:
"May God curse him who tells lies about us. When I recalled the words of Abdullah bin Saba, the hair all over my body stood on end. He staked out a bi claim. My God malign him ! By God, Hadhrat Ali was a pious creature of God and the brother of the Messenger of Allah ; whatever honor and prestige he gained, he gained out of his submission to the will of the Lord and His Messenger (peace be upon him); and whatever honor and prestige the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his family gained, they gained out of their submission to the will of the Lord".
Through Muhammad bin Khalid Tiyalsi, through Ilen Abi Najran, Abdullah bin Sanam is reported to have said : Abu Abdullah stated : We Ahl-i-Bait are on the right but we are not immune to fabrication : any liar can impute lies to us, and damage our veracity by telling lies to people against us. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was the greatest truth-teller among the people and the most righteous person on earth. But Musalma, the liar, used to impute lies to him. Similarly, Hadhrat Ali ranked next to him in the uninhibited articulation of truth but Abdullah bin Saba spread lies about him. He tried to replace his true words by false assertions and relied on hyperbole in his praise.
"Some scholars have mentioned that Abdullah bin Saba was a Jew. After donning the robes of Islam, he started cultivating friendship with Hadhrat Ali. During the Jewish period he praised Hadhrat Y'osha bin Nun out of all proportion and openly declared that he was the exactor of the will of Moses. After draping himself in Islamic robes he insisted that after the Prophet (peace be upon him) Hadhrat Ali was the executor of his will: First of all he spread the self-fabricated concept of Hadhrat Ali's Imamat, disaffiliated himself from his enemies; He told his enemies without mincing matters that he opposed them and considered them infidels. That is why some of the Shias in the opposite camp believe that Rafidhism and Shiaism are derived from Judaism".*
Similarly Hassan bin Ali writes in his famous book on the study of men :
"Abdullah bin Saba was inclined towards the denial of belief. His views were extremist. He claimed himself to be a prophet and regarded Hadhrat Ali as Allah. For three days Hadhrat Ali insisted that he should recant. But he did not recant. Hadhrat Ali thus burned him alive along with the other seventy persons who had made similar claims on his behalf".*
One of the later scholars Ma-Maqani in his book "Tanqih-ul-Maqal" has plunked out the same issue* and another Shia historian of Iran observes in his book in Persian language :
"When Abdullah bin Saba came to know that there was a burgeoning opposition to Hadhrat Uthman bin 'Affan, he went to Egypt to capitalize on it. He started preaching piety and the pursuit of knowledge. When he secured for himself an intimate niche in the hearts of people, he switched back to the propagation of his ideology and faith that each Prophet has an executor and a preceptor. No one except Hadhrat Ali can be the executor and preceptor of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) because he possesses knowledge and wisdom, magnanimity and bravery, integrity and piety. The Muslim community committed excesses against him and usurped his right to rule. Therefore it is obligatory for them that they should get ready to help and support him and back out of the obedience and pledge of Hadhrat Uthman. A large number of Egyptians were impressed by his views and beliefs and they revolted against Hadhrat Uthman".*
The famous Shia biographer Istra-badi has also endorsed it :
"Abdullah bin Saba claimed that Hadhrat Ali is Allah and he is his Prophet. When the news reached the Amir-ul-Momineen, he sent for him and asked him about it. He owned it and insisted that he is really the one (who is the referee of his claim). The Amir-ul-Momineen said : The devil has seduced you. Therefore you should repent at once. But he refused to repent and he put him behind the bars for three days. When he did not repent even after three days, he burned him alive".*
The exegete of Nahj-ul-Balaghah, and a fanatic and M'otazili Shia Ibn Abi Hadid rejects the claim that Hadhrat Ali had punished him by burning him alive because, in his view, Abdullah bin Saba had claimed Hadhrat Ali as God after his death. Some of the people started practicing his views and beliefs and they were known as Sabais".*
Sheikh Abdul Qadir Baghdadi among the Ahl-i-Sunnat has supported this view. He thinks that on account of the fear of Syrian in-urgency, Hadhrat Ali did not burn him alive. He explains in the context of Ibn Saba and Sabaism.
"The followers of Abdullah bin Saba are called Sabains. Ibn Saba relied on exaggeration about the status of Hadhrat Ali and claimed that he was a prophet. Then, relying on further exaggeration he claimed that he (Hadhrat Ali) was God and he invited a party of the Kufi rebels to adopt these beliefs. When the news reached Hadhrat Ali, he had some of these people thrown into two pits of fire, as has been hinted at by a poet :
( If the vagaries of circumstances have not hurled me into these two pits, they may throw me any where--i.e., to be thrown into the pits of fire was the worst punishment and any other punishment was comparatively milder).
Hadhrat Ali did not burn the rest of them in view of the danger of Syrian opposition. Besides the fear of the Syrians, he also dreaded the difference of opinion of his own companions. Therefore he exiled Ibn Saba to the Jewish tribes of Madina. When Hadhrat Ali was martyred, he claimed that the martyred man was not Hadhrat Ali but the devil who had revealed himself in the guise of Hadhrat Ali. Hadhrat Ali was whisked away towards the skies as Hadhrat Isa bin Miriam had been whisked away. Just as the Jews and the Christians had relied on fibs in their claim about the murder of Christ, similarly these people saw a slain person who resembled Hadhrat Ali ; they at once claimed that he had been murdered, though Hadhrat Ali ; they at once claimed that he had been murdered, though Hadhrat Ali had ascended towards the heavens and would soon reappear to avenge himself ".
Some people believe that Hadhrat Ali lives among the clouds. The thunder is his voice, the lightening is his whip and when these people hear the clap, they shout out : O Amir-ul-Momineen ! peace be on you".
Amir bin Shurahil S'hobi reports : When Ibn Saba was told that Hadhrat Ali had been murdered, he replied : Even if you bring to me his brain in a bag, I will not confirm his death unless he descends from the skies and rules the entire earth.
This group also believes that the awaited Mehdi is none else but Hadhrat Ali. Ishaq bin Suwaid Adiv has composed a few verses in which he has dissociated himself from Khawarij, Rawafidh and Qadiryyah. The verses are reproduced below:-
( I dis-associate myself from Khawarij, their Gahazali and Ibn Bab, I have no links with them whatsoever ).
( But I love the Messenger of Allah-peace be upon him and Hadhrat Abu Bakr form the depths of my heart. I know that it is true and I will be rewarded for holding this view ).
S'hobi has stated that Abdullah bin Saba wasted no opportunity to anchor the tenets of Sabaism. Ibn Saba was actually a Jew of Hira who had masqueraded to win the masqueraded himself as a Muslim and was determined to win the leadership of the Kufi's. Therefore he started conditioning their minds with fantastic notions. He told them he had read in the old Testament that each prophet has an executor who executes his will ; and Hadhrat Ali is the executor of Hadhrat Muhammad (pace be upon him). Just as the Prophet (peace be upon him) is superior to all the prophets, Hadhrat Ali is superior to all the executors. When the Shias of Ali heard these views, they told Hadhrat Ali that he was his friend. Accordingly he honored him and made him sit with him near the steps of the pulpit. But when he came to know about his views and beliefs, he decided to murder him. But Hadhrat Ibn Abbas restrained him by saying that if he murdered him, it would create a rift among his own companions. Since he had made up his mind to fight against the Syrians, it was necessary that he should keep his companions in good humor. When he realized the mischief his murder might spark off, which Hadhrat Ibn Abbas had also pointed out, he exiled him to Madain. But after the martyrdom of Hadhrat Ali, the shepherds of Madain fell into his trap. Ibn Sauda told them : two springs will bubble up for Hadhrat Ali in the Kufa mosque : One of them will flow with ghee and the other with honey and the Shias of Ali will drink them.
The Sunni research scholars re of the opinion that Ibn Saba was a worshipper of Judaism but he tried to damage the faith of the Muslims by spreading cooked-up tales about Hadhrat Ali and his children so that Muslims may hold the same views about Hadhrat Ali as were held by Christians about Christ. When he found that the Rafidhis were the easiest to lead astray, he merged Sabaism with Rafidhism and tried to conceal his own ignorance behind the smokescreen of naive interpretations".*
All the Shia scholars have given an account of Ibn Saba, his views and beliefs and his party ; Syed Qummi (who died in 301 A.H.*, Sheikh Taifah Tusi*, Tastri in Qamus-ur-Rijal*, Abbas Qummi in Tohfat-ul-Ahbab*, Khu Ansari in Raudhat-ul-Jannat*, Sabhani in Nasikh-ut-Tawarikh and the author of Raudhat-us-Safa, have all mentioned him and his party".*
Among the Ahl-i-Sunnah, Baghdadi has touched the issue in his book "Al-Firq Bain-ul-Firq" as has been stated earlier. Similarly, Isfraini in his book Kitab-ut-Tabsir* and Ibn Hazn in Al-Fasl have also mentioned him. Shahrastani writes under the heading of Sabaism:
"Sabais are the followers of Abdullah bin Saba who had told Hadhrat Ali: you are you i.e., you are God, but he had extradited him to Madain The historians suggest that he was actually a Jew, but he had tacked on to himself the label of Islam. During the Jewish phase, he used to claim that Hadhrat Y'osha bin Nun was the executor of Moses. Similarly after apparently embracing Islamic faith, he claimed about Hadhrat Ali that he was the executor of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). He is the person who first spilled out the concept of Hadhrat Ali's Imamat. The extremist Shia sects have fattened mainly on the calories provided by the views and beliefs of Ibn Saba. Therefore these hard-boiled Shias believe that Hadhrat Ali was not martyred : he is alive. He has godly qualities in him. No other man can become a ruler in his presence. He reveals himself in the clouds. The thunder is his voice and the lightening is his lash. When he descends soon, he will fill with justice the earth that is reeking with tyranny and oppression. It should be noted that Ibn Saba had articulated these views after the martyrdom of Hadhrat Ali".*
Ibn Asakar has cited a tradition of Hadhrat Jabir in his history :
"When the oath of allegiance was taken at the hand of Hadhrat Ali and he delivered his address, Abdullah bin Saba stood up and said: you are "Dabat-ul-Ardh"
Hadhrat Ali replied : fear God. Ibn Saba said : you are the king. Hadhrat Ali replied : fear God. Ibn Saba said again : you have created mankind and you have blessed them with food and means of subsistence. At this Hadhrat Ali ordered him to be executed. But the Rafidhis intervened and asked him to spare him and exile him to the tribes of Madain".*
Allama Al-Wasi has quoted from Ibn-ul-Hakim Ad-Dehlvi :
"Sabaism is associated with people who made companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) the target of their spite and venom with the exception of Salman Farsi, Abu Zar, Miqdad and Ammar bin Yasir. They call them disbelievers and dissociate themselves from them. Some of them also believe that on the day of the festival of Ali when the Prophet had nominated Hadhrat Ali as his successor, all of them had turned apostate, and after the death of the Prophet (peace be upon him) they backed out of their commitment to the Prophet and did not pledge fealty to Hadhrat Ali. On the other hand they had pledged fealty to someone else. On account of the scandalous deeds of Abdullah bin Saba, this sect had raised its head during the tenure of Hadhrat Ali".*
Finally I quote the words of Ahmad Amin in support of Ibn Saba and is party : A secret organization had gained wide currency during the last phase of Hadhrat Uthman's tenure. They invited people to remove Hadhrat Uthman and appoint some one else in his place as Caliph. Some of them wanted to install Hadhrat Ali as the Caliph, of whom Abdullah bin Saba was the most active. He was a Jew from Yemen and was wearing the badge of Islam. He roamed through Basra, kufi, Syria and Egypt. His message always focused on the point that each prophet has an executor and Ali is Muhammad's executor. No one is more cruel than a person who prevents the implementation of the will of Allah's Messenger and usurps the right of his Executor. He was the ring leader of all those rebels who had put out their heckles against Hadhrat Uthman until he fell a martyr to their conspiracies".*
"He chalked out plans to dismantle the house of Islam, and established a secret organization to propagate his views and beliefs. He used Islam only as a smoke-screen for his hideous intentions. After professing Islam he came to Basra and launched a campaign to publicize his movement out the ruler of Basra drove him away. Then he moved to kufi but he was also driven out from there. And then he turned towards Egypt. The people rallied round him and he started airing his views about resurrection and preceptor hood. He had already fabricated his notion of the role of the executor which provided the basis for the Egyptian revolt against Hadhrat Uthman. he had propagated the claim that Hadhrat Uthman had usurped the Khilafat of Hadhrat Ali. He had also picked a number of holes in Hadhrat Uthman's personality. He initiated his campaign for return or resurrection by suggesting that the Prophet (peace be upon him) would soon reappear in the world. He expressed a sense of outrage about a person who affirmed the return of Christ but denied the return of the Prophet (peace be upon him). But then suddenly he changed his gear and asserted that Hadhrat Ali would come back to the world.
Ibn Hazm believes that, after the martyrdom of Hadhrat Ali, Abdullah bin Saba had said that he would not confirm his death even if they brought his brain packed in a bag because he could not die until he flooded the world, full of tyranny and oppression, with justice and equity. The idea of return or reappearance Ibn Saba had taken over from Judaism because the Jews believed that Hadhrat Elias had ascended the heavens and would soon return to the earth to restore law and order. The initial phase of Christianity also centre around this notion"*
This is the identity of Abdullah bin Saba and these are the views and beliefs he had taken over from Judaism. The enemies of Allah and His Messenger, the enemies of Islam and Muslims, and the enemies of the soldiers and champions of the Muslim community spread the poison of these bogus views and beliefs among the Muslims in the name of Islam. I shall shortly prove how the Shias adopted these beliefs, how changes appeared in the fabric of early Shiaism and how the Shias of Ali fell into the trap of these spurious speculations which are discarded be Hadhrat Ali himself, and how those people sneaked into the Shia community whom Hadhrat Ali had not only snubbed and punished but also expressed his public dissociation from them and who were also cursed and maligned by his sons and their children.
Before delving into details, I deem it necessary to point out that some people born in the fourteenth century, especially the Shias, deny the very existence of this crooked Jew. Their des-acknowledgement is not, however, backed by any cogent reasoning and substantive evidence. This denial is like denying the sun when it is at its maximum blaze because this Abdullah bin Saba is not mentioned only by a handful of his supporters or detractors, but he is mentioned also by each and every person who has spilled the ink on biography, history, character analysis and the theme of the evolution of sects as I have already established with reference to the scholars functioning in their respective fields, I have presented a post - mortem of these high-sounding claims along with a highly reasoned, logical, and thoroughly substantiated analysis of issues involved in my book "Shias and the House of Ali". I would only like to ask if any body has ever denied his existence before the advent of the fourteenth century, even if that person happens to be a Shias ? Then how will you explain the formidable quantity of books riddled with overt references to his personality, his attributes and the nature of his beliefs and convictions, and display and element of unapologetic convergence of opinion on the nuts and bolts of the Sabai suit ?
If they deny because denial is their second nature, they can also deny the existence of Hadhrat Ali and Hadhrat Muawiyah and the differences that led to an out - break of hostilities between them A contemporary Shia scholar, in spite of his prejudice, has come out with a candid statement. Giving a historical account of the degree of factional extremism he observes :
"When Amir - ul - Momineen was elevated to the office of Khilafat, there were some people who placed his Khilafat on the highest platform of divinity, obliterating the distinction between two absolutely non - identical positions. When Hadhrat Ali was apprised of their intentions, he condemned them in the most sever accents and those who persisted in their heinous extremism and perversion were burnt alive by him." On the face of it, it appears that Abdullah bin Saba did not practice his extremistic beliefs. This is perhaps the reason that he managed to escape the punishment of fire. Ibn Abi Al-Hadid has supported it by remarking that he kept it a secret for at least a year. Then he suddenly appeared on the scene in his true colors and a party of people danced to his tunes. These were the people who were labeled the practitioners of Sabaism.
Shahrastani has also endorsed it that "Ibn Saba expressed his true beliefs after the death of Hadhrat Ali", but also opposing them he comments: "Abdullah bin Saba claimed to be a prophet. He believed that the Amir-ul-Momineen was Allah. When he came to know about it, he sent for him. As he came over, he asked him about it. Confessing it he said: you are the one (you are the god-head). He replied: the devil is playing pranks with you. Therefore recant your statement and repent. He had him arrested for three days. And when he did not recant and repent after a passage of three days, he burned him alive".
It is not far-fetched to assume that Ibn Abi Al - Hadid is nearer the truth and Ibn Saba was not burned alive as he expressed his intentions after the death of Hadhrat Ali.
Allama Shahristani has also agreed with it though he remarked earlier that Ibn Saba had told Hadhrat Ali: you are you i.e. you are God ! and Hadhrat Ali had extradited him to Madain.
Allama Shahristani's later statement does not contradict his earlier statement as it is quite possible that he must have said about Hadhrat Ali : "you are you" but kept it a guarded secret during his life and during the days of his own exile and articulated it in a year, or even less than a year, after his death.
Nevertheless it is a fact that Ibn Saba existed in flesh and bone and blurted out the heretic extremism, though some people doubt his existence and regard him as a fiction who had been created as a result of personal compulsions. But I have no doubt whatsoever about his existence and about the heresies he blabbed out. We believe that Ibn Saba committed an unpardonable outrage against the Islamic faith and his innovatory speculations affected a massive party, made rapid strides in its incipient phase, and instead of believing in the divinity of one individual, it posited the divinity of two, three, four and even more individuals from among the Ahl-i-Bait.*
Among the later Shia scholars Muzfar has also affixed the seal of his approval on the existence and corporeality of this individual in his book "Tarikhush-Shia". Similarly one of their veteran scholars Sayyid Mohsin Amin in his encyclopedia*and a host of other people have acknowledged the reality of his existence.
This was Abdullah bin Saba and these were the beliefs he had spread among the Muslims, rather among the Shias, because the Shias proved the most fertile soil for the nourishment of this seed. Ibn Saba's expectations had come true because the Shias responded to his plans the way he had visualized it. He had also expected to flare up their feelings of jealousy by exploiting the name of their leader. he had practical success in diverting most of them towards his crackpot convictions and gasseous beliefs, especially after the death of the innocent Imam Hadhrat Uthman, he broke out of the leash and galloped in all directions, without any check or restriction. he cooked up a number of stories to bolster his new - fangled faith.* He carved out a secret organization to propagate the belief that Hadhrat Ali was the executor and legatee of the Prophet (peace be upon him). The members of this secret organization believed in the divinity of Hadhrat Ali and they vested him with divine attributes to give a practical shape to their beliefs. All of these people had interpenetrated the ranks of Shias of Ali and had rallied under their banner and they were actively engaged in spreading the contagion of their poison -- flavored beliefs among their friends and companions. Some of them were simply influenced, others muffled the truth and still others gave a free rein to their views. Hadhrat Ali inflicted severe punishments on those who had articulated themselves openly and publicly. Some of them were exiled, some were beheaded while others were burnt alive. He came out with a public declaration that he was an obedient creature of God. If he came to know about any one who had links with the Sabais, he would be burnt alive, and if he came to know about any one that he drew inspiration from the Sabais and preferred them to Hadhrat Abu Bakr and Hadhrat Umar or used abusive language about them, he would be publicly flogged in proportion to the quantum of his offence.
Zaid bin Wahb reports that once Suwaid bin Ghaflah came over to see Hadhrat Ali during his reign. he told him : I happened to pass by a knot of ment. They were talking about Hadhrat Abu Bakr and Hadhrat Umar and they insisted that I should share their opinion about them. Abdullah bin Saba was the most vocal among them and this Ibn Saba was the first man who had given vent to these views. Hadhrat Ali replied: I have nothing to do with this reprobate and he added: I seek God's protection if I conceal anything in my heart about Siddiq and Farooq. I have a very good opinion of them. Then he conveyed his message to Ibn Saba and exiled him to Madain. He told him not to settle down in the town where he lived. Later he ascended the pulpit to deliver the sermon. When people had crowded out, he lavished the highest praise on Hadhrat Siddiq and Farooq, and he capped the sermon with the words: if I ever come to know about a person that he regards me superior to these two pious persons, I shall inflict on him as many lashes as are inflicted on a person as Had who levels false allegation against another person.*
Hamdani Motazili has also mentioned his tradition. It is in a way exceptional as it contains certain pointers not found in other traditions. I would also like to cite it to illuminate my thesis. He writes: This Ibn Saba used to tell his companions that Amir -ul- Momineen had confided in him that he will go to Damascus and reduce their mosque to a shambles. His might will prevail over the entire earth. He will un-veil the secrets and reveal to the people that he is their creator. How could people like Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman be elevated to such to position ?
Suwaid bin Ghaflah came over to see Amir -ul- Momineen. He was one of his respected and closest associates. He said: O Amir -ul- Momineen ! I bumped into a party of Shias who were lambasting Hadhrat Abu Bakr and Hadhrat Umar. And they said that you have the same thing tucked away in a corner of your heart what they were ventilating openly. He repeated twice. May God protect me ! May God protect me ! that I should conceal anything against them in my heart. I act out what I have in my mind. May God curse him who harbors any thing in his heart against them except a good thing. Both of them were the brothers, companions and advisers of the prophet (peace be upon him). May God shower His blessings on them ! Then he rose from his seat. His eyes were wet with tears He was holding Suwiad,s hand as he entered the mosque and ascended the pulpit. He was grasping his white beard in his hand until the mosque was packed with people. He stood up and delivered a condensed but highly eloquent sermon:
"What has happened to some of these people that they talk on these lines about the two Quraish chieftains and the forefathers of the Muslims. I am not only exempt from what they say but I'll also punish them for what they have said. I swear by the Power who nurtured the seed and created the soul ! Only a pious and virtuous person can love them and only an impious and vicious person can be jealous of them. They spent their days truthfully and sincerely in the company of the Prophet (peace be upon him). They commanded people; they prohibited them as well; they announced decisions as well as punished the culprits, but whatever they did, they never violated the advice of the Prophet (peace be upon him). The Prophet (peace be upon him) also preferred their opinion to the opinion of other people. He never loved any one else the way be loved them. When the prophet (peace be upon him) left the world, he was pleased with them to the roots of his hair. When they left the world, all the believers were pleased with them. The Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded Hadhrat Abu Bakr to lead the prayer during his life time when he fell ill. When God called His Prophet back to Him, who also preferred the next world to this world, the believers appointed him to the highest office. He was also appointed to supervise the system of Zakat because the highest administrative office and the disbursement and collection of Zakat are concomitant. Then the Muslims readily and willingly took the oath of allegiance at his hand (and elected him formally as their Caliph). I was the first person among Banu Mutlib who had paved the way for his well - being though he did not like it. It was his strong wish that some one else should be appointed to the highest office though he surpassed all others in piety and in his loyalty to Islam. The Prophet himself had identified him with Michael on the basis of his leniency and mildness and with Hadhrat Ibrahim on the basis of his sense of dignity and capacity for forgiveness. He followed in the foot - steps of the Prophet (peace be upon him) till his death. He handed over the office of the Caliphate to Hadhrat Umar after consultation with the Muslims. Some of the people were pleased with him while others were annoyed with him. But when he died, even the displeased ones were pleased with him. He also followed the footprints of the Prophet furing his tenure. He followed the Prophet (peace be upon him) as the off-spring of a she-camel follows its mother. By God ! He showered mercy on the weaklings among the Muslims; he supported the believers against the oppressors and tyrants. He did not flinch from any sacrifice for the sake of Allah. God had empowered his tongue to speak out what was right; truth was a part and parcel of his life. It seemed as if an angel spoke in his voice. God honored Islam by his conversion, strengthened the faith with his migration and He infused the hearts of the believers with his love and filled the hearts of the disbelievers and the hypocrites with his awe. The Prophet (peace be upon him) identified his sense of determination in the face of enemies with that of Hadhrat Noah. Even during prosperity he was keenly aware of his obligation and gratitude towards God and always preferred submission to arrogance. May God shower the flowers of His blessings on him ! Do you find any one like him ? May God give us the power to follow his footprints ! The status and position he achieved can be achieved only by loving him and following his practice. Therefore anyone who claims to love me should also love them. Any one who does not love them, it seems, he has some spite against me and I am exempt from what he does. If I have apprised you of these things earlier, I would have inflicted severe punishment on any one who dared to abuse them. Listen ! From today onward if any such person is brought to me, I shall inflict on him the most severe punishment which is inflicted on all those who exceed the limits.
You should note it that after the holy Prophet (peace be upon him), Hadhrat Abu Bakr and Hadhrat Umar were the best people in the community. And God alone knows where virtue and goodness reside after them"*
A number of Shia and Sunni scholars have endorsed the contents of this tradition and its veracity is further established by the words of the Shia scholar Nau Bakhti that he had made up his mind to punish all those who ridiculed or abused Hadhrat Abu Bakr and Hadhrat Umar as has been stated in the preceding pages.
The Sabais wrapped up their movement in the blanket of secrecy. They were secretly active and went about their business in a clandestine manner. They put on the veil of dissimulation and did not let the cat out of the bag.*
Hadhrat Ali tried to protect his followers against the incursions of Jewish and Zoroastrian beliefs, but as soon as he drank the cup of martyrdom at the hands of Ibn Maljim Kharijis, Sabaism paraded the streets in its false splendor and Abdullah bin Saba threw all secrecy to the winds and came out in his truly hideous colors. He said to the messenger who conveyed to him the news of his martyrdom :
"O enemy of God ! you are lying. By God ! Even if you bring his brain in a sack and produce seventy reliable and fair witnesses to confirm his martyrdom, I'll not believe your words. I know he has neither died not has he been martyred. He will not die until he subjugates all the Arabs and rules over the entire earth like a king. Then begged permission to enter the house as if they were convinced that Hadhrat Ali was alive and they were about to see him shortly.
When his relatives, children, friends and companions sized up their condition, they spoke out : God be praised ! Don't you know that the Amir-ul-Momineen has been martyred ? They replied : We know that he has not been martyred and he will not die until he drives the Arabs with his sword and whip them they way he had guided them with reason and argument. He can hear the whispers and can recognize what is hidden under the coarse cloth and he glitters in the dark like a polished sword".*
This depraved and unprincipled party, whose ring leader was Abdullah bin Saba, also claimed that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had borrowed all of hid teachings from Hadhrat Ali and his beliefs and convictions were derivative because they were based on these teachings. Many historians and biographers have stressed this point and it is further endorsed by Nau Bakhti who has quoted Abdullah bin Saba saying that Hadhrat Ali in his own life time had enjoined upon his followers to malign both Hadhrat Abu Bakr and Hadhrat Umar.*
A large number of Shias of Ali were enticed away by Ibn Saba and adopted his self-fabricated views and beliefs. This brought about a change in early Shiaism and in the early Shias. Shiaism was formerly restricted merely to a political party, but now it had transformed itself into a religious faith; the Shias of Ali were formerly the workers of a political party, but now they were the members of a full-fledged religious party. The transformation has been substantiated by Wellhausen, an orient list. He observes :
"The Shias of Ali did not belong to a political party. They represented political opinion in an Islamic state. All the natives of Iraq, especially the residents of Kufa, inspite of their mutual disparity, were included among the Shias of Ali, and it was not confined to individuals alone but encompassed tribes as well as their chieftains: If at all any difference existed among them, it related mainly to their respective grading of Shiaism. In their eyes, Hadhrat Ali was a symbol of the lost leadership of their town. It is, in fact, the beginning of the glorification of Hadhrat Ali and his house which had no reality during his life. Shiaism had actually started worshipping his personality behind the smokescreen of a secret religious faith"*
And this is the factual state of affairs. Not a single tradition has been imputed to Hadhrat Ali in which he has considered himself or his family a class apart from Hadhrat Abu Bakr, Hadhrat Umar and Hadhrat Uthman. On the contrary, he considered them superior to himself and his children. He modeled his conduct on the conduct of the first three Caliphs and administered the state on the lines laid down by them. In a letter addressed to Amir Muawiyyah, he writes:
"The people, who pledged fealty at the hands of Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman, have also pledged fealty at my hand and on the same terms and conditions on which they had pledged fealty to them. I cannot assert the authority of some thing that is present nor contradict what is absent (i.e., i can operate within my limitations only and can not get away with their violation) Only the natives and the refugees are vested with the right of Shoora. If they unanimously elect some one as their leader, God is pleased with him. If some one out of malice or innovation sets out on a course different from the course of Muslims, he will be made to retreat to his original position. If he denies it, Jihad will be launched against him as a punishment for deviating from the path of the believers and God will turn his face in the direction he wants to turn
By God ! O Muawiyyah if you look at me through the lens of reason and not through greed and prejudice, you'll find me innocent of the murder of Hadhrat Uthman and you'll find for yourself I have no link with it at all. But if you are pre-determined to declare me guilty, then you can do what you like"*
Well hausen writes in support of Hadhrat Ali's contention:
"The old helpers and supporters of Hadhrat Ali regarded him of the stature of other pious Caliphs: He also followed the footprints of Hadhrat Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman. His period of Caliphate was a link in the same chain. It was based on justice and equity. Against the Amwi usurpers of the Caliphate, his rule will always go down in history as based on the Shariah. No one could doubt his right to the Caliphate because he was placed not only among the most venerated companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) but he also headed the list of these pious personages. The natives of Madina took a formal oath of allegiance at his hand, and he was not entitled to Khilafat just because he happened to be a member of the Prophet's family".*
And it is a fact which only an untutored ignoramus can deny. It was also part of the strategy of these Shias and the Sabais to weaken the authority of Hadhrat Hassan in all matters in order to give a boost to their spurious faith. To achieve their nefarious ends it was imperative to keep strict tabs on the party of his father and to implement the clandestine and calculated plans which they had mutually agreed upon. These were, in fact, the conspiracies hatched by Judaism and Zoroastrianism which they had temporarily pushed behind the smoke-screen of Islam and which they had spawned, bout of sheer spite and jealousy, to impede the flow of the aggressive march of the soldiers of Islam because the Muslims had pulverized their old glory and splendor into the particles of dust. Iranis were also opposed to the Muslims because the latter had inflicted on them humiliating defeats one after the other and almost decimated their culture and civilization. The other nations who had suffered similar humiliations at the hands of the Muslims also piped out the same tune of opposition to the superiority of the Muslims as they were also itching to take their revenge against the conquerors. They were against the Muslims because they delivered mankind form the clutches of idolatry and persecution. Since they persisted in the old ruts of colossal ignorance, they could not appreciate the life-stirring message of Islam and, instead of embracing it from the core of their hearts, they started chalking out secret strategies to wriggle out of its grasp and return to their immoral ways of life.
Hadhrat Hassan lacked the power and authority to check the spread of these pernicious views among his followers and the sincere companions of his venerated father, especially at a time when they were split by doubt and imbecility, and had acquired a notoriety for their cowardice and lack of integrity. it was a time when fibs were foisted on people in the name of the members of the house of Ali to facilitate a mushroom growth of un-Islamic beliefs and convictions. The famous Shia scholar Syed Mohsin Amin has based his conclusions on the observations made by a Shia Imam.
"Syed Ali Khan writes in his book "Ad-Darajat ar Rafiah fee Tabaqat-ul-Imamiyah min ash-Shia" that it is related on the authority of Abu Jaffar Muhammad bin Ali Baqir who told some of his companions: O such and such ! We and our helpers and supporters suffered at the hands of the Quraish and put up with their overwhelming might though the Prophet (peace be upon him) had declared us superior to all other people. But the Quraish overpowered us and ignored our right to superiority without any logic or reason though they had stressed our right before the natives. Then the Quraish succeeded to Khilafat until it landed in our hands. But soon the pledge to us was broken and we were embattled. The ruler faced many complications and impossible situations until he was martyred. Then people pledged fealty to his son Hadhrat Hassan, made promises with him but they also betrayed him. The natives of Iraq, after embracing Islam, attacked him by driving a dagger into his side. His army was looted and the ornaments of his wives were snatched. He gave up his opposition to Muawiyah and patched up with him and he put a stopper to his bloodshed and that of his family though they themselves were limited in number. Then twenty thousand Iraqis took the oath of allegiance at the hand of Hadhrat Hussain and they betrayed him and revolted against him. The flap of fealty to him still hanged from their necks but, brushing it aside, they martyred him also. The they kept on humiliating us ; they trampled over our rights; they striped us of our credentials; they persecuted and murdered us. We suffered from constant fear and danger; we were scared for our own lives and for the lives of our supporters. It was a golden opportunity for the liars and the fabricators. They ingratiated themselves with the rulers through lies and false accusations. Each city has its quota of evil rulers. They related to them self-concocted traditions about us that had no direct or indirect link with us, neither at the berbal nor at the practical level. The only object of imputing baseless traditions to us was to discredit us in the eyes of the people".*
The liars and falsifiers kept up a study of the hot buns of lies and propagated self-manufactured tales to bolster up their bogus statements and beliefs though Hadhrat Ali and his pious children were completely innocent of these allegations. The Sabais were in the vanguard of this brigade of liars, fibbers and forgers and their ring-leader was Abdullah bin Saba. These reprobates had achieved a reasonable measure of success in their negative tactics and were able to dissuade a considerable number of Muslims from the straight and unalloyed Islam through a series of well-calculated moves. They should them into the quagmire of a strange religion in place of the religion of God. These Muslims, who believed in a simple and straight Islam, who were allergic to all forms of idolatry, who were the flag bearers of the unity of Allah, whose badge of distinction was their love of intellectual freedom, who fought in the cause of Allah, democracy, justice and equity; Muslims who were inspired with the love of man as man, who did not divide human beings on the basis of their race, status and power, fell victim to the perjury committed by the enemies of Islam. The Sabais disenchanted the Muslims with he hallowed and time - tested principles and traditions of their own faith and made them dance to a set of philosophical convictions which wee a loosely-concatenated blend of Jewish speculation, Zoroastrian idolatry and in-exhaustible mazes of Christian complication. The Muslims shed away their sense of consistency and uniformity and fell victims to a sense of disparity and division which were in fact the staple of un-Islamic forces and ideologies. They believed in family pride and racial superiority. In their view a person was superior because he was the sprig of a superior family though he was other-wise a morally bankrupt individual. And a person was inferior because he was born in a low family even though he possessed remarkable qualities of head and heart. These criteria were totally un-Islamic because Islam did not preach any form of discrimination: It stressed the essential equality of all human beings and it judged their superiority on the basis of their deeds alone. The only inference we can draw is that each Shia sect is historically Linked with the Sabais and the views and beliefs of all the Shias, irrespective of their denomination. The only difference that exists among them relates to the degree of their borrowing from Sabaism and Ibn Sauda. But it is a cinch that there is not a single Shia sect which can claim its absolute disaffiliation from Sabaism and boast of a total break with its convictions. You will directly witness these realities in the chapter which deals with various sects of the Shia community. Hakim Dehlvi makes a reference tot he early Shias in the context of his discussion of Shia sects:
"The other group is that of hypocrites with weak faith. These were the murderers of Hadhrat Uthman and the followers of Abdullah bin Saba. These people abused companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him). These people had penetrated the army of Hadhrat Ali and counted themselves among his supporters. Their sole object was to cover up their hideous acts and to immunize themselves against punishment. Some of them had buttered up their way to close affiliation with Hadhrat Ali and were looking forward to grabbing high offices in the administration. Dreams of a secure future made the present cushier and more comfortable. But inspite of their enviable position, they did not hesitate to unleash the malice and filth which they harbored in their hearts and minds against Hadhrat Ali. They never responded positively to his invitation but persisted in opposing him. They indulged in embezzlement when they were appointed to high offices; they committed excesses against the humble creatures of God and usurped their rights; they also abused companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him). This sect includes the illustrious forefathers of the Rafidhis which reflects a similar configuration of thought. They have also based the foundation of their faith on the statements and traditions of these hypocrites. Therefore what they have imputed to Hadhrat Ali has come to them enroute these malicious people. The historians have also explained why did these double-nozzle hypocrites choose the backdoor channel. They have stated that before the incident of Tahkim these people did not carry much weight in the army of Hadhrat Ali on account of the over-whelming presence of his Shias. The Shias of Ali out-stripped them in numbers and strength. But after the episode of Tahkim, and they were disappointed with the administrative functioning of the Khilafat, as it was drawing to the close of its tenure, they early Shias began to return to their countries from Domat-ul-Jandal (Tahkim). They had lost hope in the triumph of their faith and they elected to ensure the victory of their faith through Quranic instruction and interpretation and the propagation of traditions and dissemination of the wisdom contained in them. Hadhrat Ali also returned to Kufa and dedicated himself to similar assignments. Only those among the early Shias stayed with him who were the residents of Kufa. The situation had tremendous potential for these deviates to launch their campaign of subversion. Therefore they openly ventilated their beliefs which they had kept hidden in the past. Similarly they lambasted his living and dead companions. At the same time, they also wanted to grab high offices as Iraq, Kharasan, and Iran and other territories adjoining them still formed part of his state. Hadhrat Ali extended them the same treatment as they had extended to him or as Moses had extended to the Jews and the Prophet (peace be upon him) had extended to the hypocrites".*
Nau Bakhti has also acknowledged it in these words: "They split up into various sects after the martyrdom of Hadhrat Ali. Their common basis was their faith in his Imamat. They divided into three sects. One of these sects claimed that Hadhrat Ali was neither martyred nor had he died. He can never die nor achieve martyrdom until he rules over the whole of Arabia and fills the entire tyranny-riddled earth with Justice and equity. This is the first sect in Islam which gave expression to extremism and transgression for the first time after the death of the Prophet (pace be upon him). It is known as the Sabai sect because Abdullah bin Saba was its ring leader. He cursed and reviled Hadhrat Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and other companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and justified the chiding act by saying that he was following the dictates of Hadhrat Ali. When Hadhrat Ali caught hold of him and asked him about it, he confessed his fault. Hadhrat Ali ordered him to be executed. The people protested violently against the decision. They said; O Amir-ul-Momineen ! you are ordering the execution of a person who is a helper and supporter of your family, and who is publicly opposed to your enemies. Therefore don't execute him and extradite him to Madain.
A group of scholars among the companions of Hadhrat Ali has expressed the opinion that Abdullah bin Saba was actually a Jew. He tagged on to himself the label of Islam and became a close associate of Hadhrat Ali. During his Jewish phase, he used to say that Y'osha bin Nun was the executor and successor of Moses, and during his Islamic phase he gave vent to similar sentiments about Hadhrat Ali, that he was the executor and successor of the Prophet (peace be upon him). He was the first person to propagate the Imamat of Hadhrat Ali. he dissociated himself from his enemies and publicly opposed them. This is the reason the opponents of Shias believe that Judaism is the fountainhead of Rafidhism. When Abdullah bin Saba received the news of the martyrdom of Hadhrat Ali, he snubbed the messenger by saying : you are lying. I'll not confirm his martyrdom even if you bring to me his brain wrapped in seventy sacks and offer seventy just witnesses who attest to his martyrdom. He is not dead and he will not die until he subjugates the entire earth".*
Sabaism and its beliefs, which it had received as part of its Jewish heritage, will be discussed in another chapter. At the same time, it should be noted that some of the early Shias, inspite of the Jewish on-slaught, remained passionately attached to their real beliefs and convictions. There was not a streak of difference between their beliefs and the beliefs of the Muslims of that period. The people who headed the list of genuine Shias included the sons of Hadhrat Ali, Hassan, Hussain, Muhammad, Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Abbas and other children. The sons of Hadhrat Abbas, the rest of the Hashmis, Aqeel, Jaffar, Talib, the children of Hasnain's aunts and the children of the uncle of his father also shared the same set of beliefs and convictions.
In the next chapter, I will critically survey the bogus allegations, hideous accusations and a host of diverse charges the Sabais had cooked up in the oven of their malice to polish off the Islamic state of Hadhrat Uthman. The people who succeeded the early Shias were gullible enough to lap up the spurious veracity of these beliefs as genuine truth and followed a path that diverged from the teachings of Hadhrat Ali and those of the Ahl-i-Bait. They made the innocent Imam the butt of their vile tongues and villainous pens who was ultimately forced to quaff the cup of martyrdom at their bloody hands. These facts have a vital bearing on the topic of my discussion as the people, who had initially helped and supported Sabaism and clung to its fake beliefs, were actually the murderers of Hadhrat Uthman and their lousy supporters. These beliefs and opinions fanned the revolts, flamed the mutual rancour and grudge, deepened the chasm between them, filled their hearts and minds with agonizing nostalgic reverberations, sprinkled salt on festering wounds, scratched old scars and ranked up the buried skeletons of irrational loathing and revulsion.