Some Early Sects in Islam

Saturday 17-Nov-2018, 9:50AM / 2203

Raafidah (Shia): They go beyond bounds regarding the household of the Prophet (salaLlaahu alayhi wa sallam). They do accuse the Companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) of disbelief or corruption. They are into several divisions among which are the ghulaat (extemists) who say Alee (may Allaah be pleased with him) is divine. There are other sub-sects with lesser evil.

The first appearance of their heresy was during the regime of Alee (may Allaah be pleased with him) when Abdullaah bn Saba’ (a former Jew who embraced Islam to cause destruction within) said to Alee: ‘You are a deity.’ Alee (may Allaah be pleased with him) commanded that those who share that idea with Abdullah should be burnt but Abdullaah bn Saba escaped.

They have diverse views concerning the Attributes of Allaah. Some of them are mushabbiha (those who liken Allaah's Attributes to those of His creatures) while some are mu’attilah (those who deny Allaah's Attributes). Some of them are in between the two views.

They are called Rawaafid (‘the rejecters’) for their rejection Zayd bn Alee bn Husayn bn Alee bn Abee Taalib when they asked him to pass a verdict on Aboo Bakr and Umar (may Allaah be pleased with both) but sought Allaah's mercy for them. They thereupon turned against him and deserted him.

They also call themselves Shia (the Party) because they attribute themselves to the Prophet’s Household especially Alee and his descendants. Their Shia love that they are in charge of the Muslims' affair globally.

[The Rawaafid are largely found in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Yemen, etc. today]

Al-Jahmiyyah: They are named after Jahm bn Safwaan who was killed by Saalim bn Ahwaz in the year 121 Hijrah.

Their positions regarding the Attributes of Allaah is Ta’teel (denial of His Attributes). As to Qadar (preordainment), they say it is a ‘coercion’ (al-Jabr). As to the issue of Eemaan, they are Murjiah. Irjaa’ is the erroneous belief that Eemaan is a mere accpetance in the heart that is not essentially pronounced on the tongue or carried out by the limbs. A major sinner is a perfect believer according to the belief of Irjaa.

[They are also those who championed the ideology that the Qur'aan was created].

Al-Khaarijiyyah (the people here are called khawaarij (the rebels)): They were those who revolted against the rule of Alee bn Abee Taalib (may Allaah be pleased with him) over the issue of appointment of an arbitrator (in settling the misunderstanding between the warring Muslims).

Their doctrine is based on disavowal for Uthmaan bn Affaan, Alee bn Abee Taalib (may Allaah be pleased with them), revolting against any leader whenever he contradicts the Sunnah. They believe that whoever commits any major sin is an apostate that will remain perpetually in Hell. The Khawaarij too are of different facets.

Al-Qadariyyah (should not be mistaken with Qadriyyah of the Soofi Sect): They are those who deny that human actions are preceded by Qadar [preordainment] and that the man has will and wish that are independent of Allaah's Will and Wish, may He be Exalted. The first person to pronounce this ideology was Al-Ma’bad Al-Juhanee who in turn adapted from a fire worshipper from Basra. That was towards the end of the era of the Companions (may Allaah be pleased with them).

The Qadariyyah are of two enclaves: the extremists and the moderate. The extremists deny Allaah’s Knowledge and Ability. They also deny the fact that human actions were created by Allaah. It is very hard to see such people today. As for the moderate, they say Allaah is aware of human actions but occur without His Will, Wish and Permission.

Al-Murjiah: They are those who say actions are not connected with Eemaan. According to them, actions are no part of Eemaan. Eemaan is mere acknowledgement of the heart. An immoral person, according to the Murjiah, possesses a perfect Eemaan. The sin committed is not considered nor the act of righteousness abandoned. They will only accuse a person of unbelief when the person's heart does not recognize some of the tenets of the Shareeah it left. The Jahmiyyah and Khawaarij share the same ideology with the Murjiah in this respect.

Al-Mu’tazilah: They are the followers of Waasil bn Attaa’ who withdrew from the sittings of Hasan Al-Basree over a faith-related difference. He said a sinner is between two states – Islam and Kufr, but will abide forever in the Hell if he dies upon that Kufr. Thus they are the same as the Khawaarij in that respect. One of those who followed Waasil was Amr bn Abeed.

Like the Jahmiyyah, the Mu'tazilah deny the Attributes of Allaah. They are also similar to the Qadariyyah regarding the issue of Qadar. They are however different from the Jahmiyyah in that they say whoever commits a major sin (and dies upon it) will remain forever in the Hell. They say while alive, he is between two states – Islam and unbelief.

[Adapted from: Majmoo’ fataawa war-rasaa’il (5/90) of Ash-Shaykh Muhammad bn Saalih Al-Uthaymeen (may Allaah bestow mercy on him)].