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Last Updated: 2010/09/05
Summary of question
Why is Shia the best religion?
question
Why is Shia the best religion? I am a follower of the Shia religion but I do not know what the superiority of Shia religion over Wahabism is. I am afraid lest we should be part of the 72 misguided Muslim sects. How can I be sure about it?
Concise answer

The superiority of the Shia religion is because of its being the "true" religion and there is only one true religion in all times and ages. As for other religions, they are either invalid and baseless or defunct and abrogated. Today, the true and righteous religion is the religion of Islam which manifests itself in Shi'ism. Indeed, it is only the teachings of the Shia religion that can depict the pure Muhammadan Islam.

Historical evidences and religious texts confirm the point that we mentioned, and Wahabism lacks this feature.

Detailed Answer

The superiority of the Shia religion over other religions is because of its being the "true" religion. There is only one true religion in all epochs. The true religion of God, the Exalted, is one in all times and eras; any religion other than the One True Religion is either false or abrogated or defunct.

The multiplicity of divine religions that have so far been revealed upon the humanity is longitudinal not latitudinal which means that the new religion is abrogative of and supplementary to the former one. Thus, with the coming of the new religion, the previous religion becomes defunct and is no longer considered valid. It would be necessary on all people to follow and have faith in the new religion as it replaces the old one. That is why, the holy scripts and religious texts use the term "Kafir" (infidel) to describe those who do not have faith in the new religion.

Islam is the last and the most complete of the revealed religions. God shall not accept any religion other than Islam.  "ان الدین عندالله الاسلام" (Verily, the only religion acceptable to Allah is Islam.[1]) "و من یبتغ غیر الاسلام دینا فلن یقبل منه" (And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him.[2]).

Unfortunately, Muslims like the people and adherents of the previous religions are divided into different religions. Surely, all of them cannot be true at the same time. The holy Prophet of Islam said:

"ان امّتی ستفرق بعدی علی ثلاث و سبعین فرقة، فرقة منها ناجیة، و اثنتان و سبعون فی النار"

My Ummah will be divided into seventy-three sects, one of which will be in Paradise and seventy-two will be in the Fire.[3]

The holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh) also said:

"ایها الناس انی ترکت فیکم ما ان اخذتم به لن تضلوا، کتاب الله و عترتی اهل بیتی"

"O People, I leave you two weighty things, if you stick to both you will never go astray after me: the Book of Allah and my progeny – the Ahlalbayt.[4]"

Abuzar Ghaffari, one of the trusted and honorable companions of the holy Prophet (pbuh) narrates:

"سمعت النبی (ص) انه قال: الا ان مثل اهل بیتی فیکم مثل سفینة نوح فی قومه، من رکبها نجی و من تخلف عنها غرق"

"The similitude of my Ahlalbayt amongst you is the same as that of Noah's Ark amongst his tribe. Whoever boards it will be saved and he who avoided it will drown.[5]"

The pillars and principles of the Shia religion are belief in divine unity (tawhid), divine justice (adl), prophecy (nubuwwah), Imamat and resurrection (ma'ad). Shia believes in the leadership of the twelve infallible Imams (a.s.) as the successors of the Prophet of Islam (pbuh) the first of them being Ali (a.s.) and the last one Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance).

In the traditions narrated from the Holy Prophet of Islam the number and names of the twelve Infallible Imams (a.s.) have been mentioned.

One day Abdullah bin Mas’ud was sitting in a gathering of people when a nomad Arab came over and asked: “Which one of you is Abdullah bin Mas’ud?”

Abdullah answered: “I am.”

Arab nomad: “Did your Prophet inform you about the number of his successor?”

Abdullah bin Mas’ud: “Yes, he did, they are twelve caliphs, (like) the number of the Chiefs of Bani Israel.”[6]

Our arguments for the righteousness of the Shia religion are the Quran and Sunnah. Almighty Allah commanded us to obey God, the Messenger and Ulul Amr (those vested with authority) who, according to the Holy Prophet’s saying, are the Shia Imams. There are many a number of Quranic verses referring to leadership and wilayat (successorship) of our Imams. Some of them are the following:

 

"وانذر عشیرتک الاقربین" " یَاأَیُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَیْکَ مِنْ رَبِّکَ وَإِنْ لَمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ "— " الیوم اکملت لکم دینکم و اتممت علیکم نعمتی و رضیت لکم الاسلام دینا" —" انما یرید الله لیذهب عنکم الرجس اهل البیت و یطهرکم تطهیرا"

It has been mentioned in history books and in the narrations that the Prophet (pbuh) always called the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.), his trustee and successor. Tabrasi narrates in his history book that when the verse "وانذر عشیرتک الاقربین" (and warn your closer relatives) was revealed, the Prophet (pbuh) addressed his relatives as such: Almighty God has commanded me to invite you to Him. Whoever helps me in this matter will be my brother, my trustee (wasi) and my successor after me.

Then the Commander of the faithful, Ali (a.s.) stood up before him and said:

“O Apostle of God, I will help you.”

There and then the Prophet (pbuh) said, “Verily, this (Ali) is my brother, my trustee, my helper, my successor after me among you. Follow him and be obedient to him. Some of the Prophet’s relatives laughed at this and declared to Abu Talib mockingly that he must bow down to his own son, as Ali was now his Emir.[7]

In the last year of his life and as he was returning from his last pilgrimage, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) formally nominated Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.) as the Muslims’ leader and ruler. He ordered all the pilgrims in a gathering at Ghadir Khum to vow allegiance to Ali as the Commander of the Faithful. This famous saying “of whomsoever I am a mawla (master and ruler), this Ali would be his master” is the Holy Prophet (pbuh)’s saying on this day. This is a well-known and mutawatir (mass-transmitted) tradition.

This is a brief explanation of the evidences of the superiority and righteousness of Shi’ism over other religions on the basis of Quranic verses and narrations. Definitely, we can also deal with this issue by drawing a comparison between the teachings of the Shia religion and those of non-Shia religions through which we could prove Shia’s superiority over other religions but we would rather leave this discussion for some other time.

When it comes to Wahabism, it would be enough to suffice with Sayed Mustafa Razvi’s writing in the book titled “Pakistan: Political and Religious Information” in which the writer says that Wahabism considers the followers of all other Muslim sects, Shia and Sunni, as pagans, infidels and idolaters. They declare seeking the intercession of the Prophet and Infallible Imams, visiting their graves, respecting and revering them as a form of innovation and idolatry. Thus, they forbid such acts on the ground that they are polytheistic acts. They do not permit greeting, respecting and revering the Prophet (pbuh) anywhere other than in the prayer and they believe that commemoration and reverence of the Prophet (pbuh) ended on the day he passed away from this world. They consider any kind of structures, monuments and tombs on the graves of the Imams and religious saints as bid’ah (innovation) and they believe that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was a human being who died and who no longer has the power to do anything because he has no information about us nor does he know anything about what is going on in this world. Therefore, it is forbidden to visit his grave. [8]

We let your common sense to judge as to whether these doctrines can be consistent with the Quran or human nature. Is this the love of the Ahlul Bayt which has been regarded as the wage of prophethood[9]? Did the Quran not tell that the martyrs are alive and sustained by their Lord?[10] And is the Prophet’s rank lower than that of the martyrs?!

Should you want to discuss the subject further, do not hesitate to email us. May Allah grant you success.



[1]  - Aal-e Imran: 19

[2]  - Aal-e Imran:85

[3]  - Al-Ebanah al-Kubra, Ibn-e Vol. 1, p.3; Khesal, p.585

[4]  - Kanzul Ummal, Vol.1, p.44, Babul E'tesam bil-Kitab Wassunnah.

[5] - Al-Mustadrak 'Ala al-Sahehain, Vol.3, p.151

[6] - Khesal, p.467

[7]  - Tarikh Tabari, vol.2, p. 320, Egypt Publication: Kamil Ibn-e Athir, Vol.2, P.41, Beirut Publication

[8]  - Sayed Mustafa Razavi, Political and Religious on Pakistan, p.63-64

[9]  - قُلْ لا أَسْئَلُکُمْ عَلَیْهِ أَجْراً إِلاَّ الْمَوَدَّةَ فِی الْقُرْبى (I do not ask you any wage (in return for my prophethood) except to love my near kin.

[10]  - Aal-e Imran: 169

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