THE TALE OF A NATION-9
A Detailed Analysis Of Muslim History
Sects and further sub-sects: Sects In Shia Islam- 2
Recitation of the Holy Scripture.
Follow what has been revealed to you from your Lord, and do not follow besides Him any allies. Little is what you remember.
And indeed this, your religion, is one religion, and I Am your Lord, so fear Me.
But they cut off their affair (of unity) between them into sects, each faction rejoices in what it has.
So leave them in their confusion for a time.
Then when Our punishment comes to them, their plea is not except that they say, “Indeed, we are wrongdoers.
End of Recitation of the Holy Scripture.
In part 34, I was discussing sects within Shia Muslims. And that they are broadly divided into three categories Twelvers, Fivers and Ismailis. I already talked about first two let’s discuss Ismaili Shias. Ismailis separated from the Main Shia group as they accepted Ismail ibn Jafar as their Imam instead of Musa Kazim younger brother of Ismail. History reveals that Ismail actually died before his father Jafar Sadiq. Some Ismaili denies the death of Ismail in the life of his father. The split among them came with the death of Muhammad bin Ismail. The majority denied his death; they recognized him as the Mahdi. They are known as Seveners. The minority believed in his death and would eventually emerge in later times as the Ismaili Fatimid Caliphate, which is also the precursors to all modern Ismaili groups. The secret wisdom of the Ismaili’s was accessible only through a hierarchical organization headed by the imam and was disseminated by Dais missionaries, who introduced believers into the elite through carefully graded levels.
I already told you that Seveners are mostly Qarmatians which are now almost extinct. In the second half of the Ninth century in southern Iraq Ismailis Seveners became active under the leadership of Hamdan Qarmat. This branch of the sect is known as the Qaramitah or Qarmatians, established itself in Iraq, Yemen, and especially Bahrain, in the 9th to 11th century.
All other Ismaili subgroups emerged from the Imams and Rulers of Fatimid Caliphate. First split occur after 6th Caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah when in 1021 AD he did not return form a journey and his mule returned soaked in blood. Then his followers did not recognize his successor and they believed al-Hakim to be alive, the incarnation of God and the prophesied Mahdi. Those followers are known as Druze which further split from both Ismailia and Islam. The second split occurred in 1094AD after the death of 8th Fatimid Caliph Maad al-Mustansir Billah. His sons Nizar the older, and Al-Mustali billah the younger, fought for political and spiritual control of the dynasty. Nizar got defeated and Jailed. Then the Egyptians recognized Mustali as Imam and are called Mustali Ismaili and Syrian and Iranian recognize Nizar as Imam and thus called Nizari Ismaili.
Now Nizari Ismaili also split into Muhammad-Shahi Nizari and Qasim-Shahi Nizari. They have 28 common Imams until 1310 AD then on the death or Hiding of Shamsu-d-Din Muhammad the 28th Nizari Imam some Nizari took his elder son Ala ad-Din Mumin Shah as Imam and are called Muhammad-Shahi Nizari because of his son and next Imam Muhammad Shah bin Mumin Shah. They obey this line of Imams until the 40th Imam Amir Muhammad al-Baqir disappeared in 1796. So this line of Nizari Ismaili almost died out. The others Nizari took the younger son of Shamsu-d-Din Muhammad called Qasim Shah and are called Qasim-Shahi Nizari. And they are the largest branch of Ismailis almost 95% of the Ismaili community. Their 46th Imam moved from Iran to India in 1840. They have an unbroken chain of Imams and the current and the 49th Imam is Shah Karim Al-Husayni known as Prince Karim Aga Khan IV.
Now Mustali Ismaili later moved their religious center to Yemen and they further split into Hafizi and Tayyebi Ismaili. They had not recognized any Fatimid after Al-Mustali’s son al-Amir. Hafizi Ismaili claimed that Al-Amir died without an heir and was succeeded as Caliph and Imam by his cousin Al-Hafiz. The Hafizi Ismaili is also an extinct sect. They had 26 Imams lived in Egypt and Syria but had died out by the 15th century AD. Tayyibi Ismaili are those who believed that after Al Amir death in 1130 AD al-Amir’s infant son al-Ṭayyib their 21st Imam remained alive. They further believe that the line of the imams is hidden until a future time. In the interim, they are governed by the chief Dai. Because Hafizi are extinct so current-day Mustalis are all Tayyibi. The Tayyibi branch continues to this day, headed by a Dai al-Mutlaq as vice-regent in the imam’s occultation. In 1592, after the death of the 26th Dai Suleman bin Hasan, the grandson of the 24th Dai, was in charge in Yemen and claimed the succession, some accepted and became Sulaymanis Bohras and now are mainly located in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. But the followers of Dawood Bin Qutubshah denied his claim and became the Dawoodi Bohra. Later a split in 1637 from the Dawoodi Bohras resulted in the Alavi Bohra. Dawoodi Bohra, found mostly in the Indian subcontinent and also in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. The name Bohra is a transformation of the Gujarati word vahaurau “to trade.” The Bohra are mostly traders merchants but also has a Sunni Bohra minority who are mainly peasant farmers.
I already told you in Part 32 that other than Sunnis and Shia a third group already emerged in Usman’s time which later became Kharjities, during the days of Ali’s caliphate. After the battle of Siffin, they broke away from Ali’s army and formed their own party called Kharjities those who exit OR The Outsiders. Thus started the Battle of Nahrawan in 658 AD at Nahrwan few Km from Baghdad between Ali and the Kharijites commanded by Abdullah ibn Wahb al-Rasibi which ended in a total defeat of the Kharijites. The Kharijites that survived the battle against Ali managed to flee to Basra, Sistan, Khurasan, Oman, Yemen and few other parts of world, where they had their offspring, spread their beliefs and recruited more followers. Three years later In 661 AD Ali is assassinated by a Kharijite called Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam. After that they were initially divided into five major branches: Sufris, Azariqa, Najdat, Adjarites and Ibadis. Out of all these only Ibadis are the surviving group all rest are extinct now. While Ibadi Muslims maintain most of the beliefs of the original Kharijites, they have rejected the more aggressive methods. Ibadis strongly object of being called Kharijites although they recognize that their movement has its roots back to Kharijities uprising. They are living mostly in Oman and makeup majority almost 70% of Oman’s population. There are almost 2.72 million Ibadis worldwide and only 250,000 live outside Oman. Ibadis recognize Abu Bakr and Umar as rightly guided Caliphs and only approve the first half of both Usman and Ali’s caliphate as rightly guided. The Ibadis are the more moderate groups that oppose Ali and actually wanted to return Islam to its form prior to the conflicts Ali faced from Aisha and Mauwiya.
O Muslims all this I described is just a broader outline of division between your community. While the fact of the matter is that there are divisions upon divisions even within the smallest party included in a subgroup. O Muslims remember the favor of your Lord when He bestowed upon you His Blessings and fulfilled His Covenant with you and sent his Beloved Messenger with an enlightening Book clearly telling you the truth and that be afraid of Him alone. And that remember when you were few and He increased you. But since then you are fighting with each other. You are reaping that crop which your forefathers sow. All mishap with you since more than thousand years is because of those blunders that you did with your holy book and with your history. You call yourself Sharif to show off your descendancy from Hassan Bin Ali or Sayyids to show off your descendancy from Hussein bin Ali or Shareefayn, Sayyidayn and Najeeb AlTarfayn to show you have ancestors from both sides while the fact of matter is that you have no similarity with these noble figures. You are a pile of dirt and rubbish. Any connection with prophets and saints do not make someone noble. Remember wife and children of Nuh and Lot and father of Abraham.
O Muslims come I make peace between you. Come that I make settlement between you in justice. Remember surah Imran chapter 3 verse 64 that come people of the Book on common terms. When God is inviting them on common terms, then you have much more common than them. You have all preserved all secured book of God with you. Come that we start writing a new history from here. Come that we burn all books written by all saints of your sects and start a new life a new origin. Remember all your saints and Imams were all human beings there words cannot be universal and valid for all ages as the word of God. Their intellect was limited. They did not have that knowledge of the kingdom of God with them which now a common child of 12 years has with him. Consider how can anyone understand the kingdom of God with totally obsolete knowledge. Come that we write a new commentary and translation and interpretation of Quran as per this age of science and evolved human being. I will do this for you without any spectacle of bias of any sect. I know that I am nothing I am less than an earthworm in this universe. But God loves to use nothingness to show what he can do. He doesn’t need degrees. He doesn’t need a resume. What God needs is brokenness and humility. God does not call the qualified but he qualifies the one He called. And he Calls those who are unqualified to qualify them to reach out to His people.
O Muslims and leaders of different sects your hearts know that how much falsehood has entered in your books. You cannot go forward from here if you don’t admit the mistakes of your past. If you will not correct your history. Remember the best time to plant a tree was ten years ago, the second best time is today. The sooner you start, the better chance that you will succeed. Remember the hardest things to do in life are often the least complicated. As a scientific mind, I only know for sure one thing that on wrong grounds weak and fake grounds you cannot make a good foundation. You are in the habit of sweeping all rubbish under the Rug. You have tried your level best to camouflage the mistakes and blunders of your past generations and in this process distorted your history. So the disease is there. In all the past centuries you only tried to hide it, but the wound is not healing because wounds do not heal like this. They need special care specific diagnosis then a proper treatment and sometimes even surgery. Come sit together and reconcile all this otherwise you will become a tale of the past. Within 50 years you will finish from this planet and God will replace you with other people who will not be like you. So it is your choice will you want to continue like this fighting, killing hating each other or will unite together as true human beings as true Muslims.
Your hearts know very well that you are not admitting your mistakes and wrongdoings, for if you admit you will lose your followers and that your opponent sect will get strength. But just consider you have earned much in this world you have done much for your personal and your sects gains now let’s do something for your hereafter may be your lord forgive you for all that you did. Just strengthen yourself and do it with your full courage so that your lord write your names among those who are successful just as the companions of Prophet and forgive your all past sins. Look with all these deeds that you have been doing for more than thousand years you are not going anywhere. Look what is your situation in this world nowadays. Do you want to continue like this fighting hating killing each other and remaining as the lowest nation in the world or want to rise again and reach to the level that would never be seen by sky before. If you keep on doing this and not reconsider your thoughts then soon you will be erased from this world and no one will ever remember you in future. Remeber If you don’t heal, the others have to deal. That is if you don’t heal your wounds then people around will deal with your wounds and give you more pain and use it in their interests. But your Lord promised you in His book that He will prevail His religion. He may make it prevail over all religions. So it is your choice if you will not agree he will replace you by another people and they will not be like you. Remember every sinner has a future and every saint has a past. But I know that you are such a beautiful and God fearing people it’s just that you are severely misguided but I have full trust on God that all your small and big clerics will soon realize their mistakes and repent and my Lord is generous to forgive them. Remember Until you ask the question the answer is always NO and God makes possible the things that seem impossible.
If my Lord Wills, I Will continue this in next Program.
Recitation of the Holy Scripture.
Indeed, those who divide their religion and break up into sects, you have no concern with them in the least. Their affair is only with God, Who then will tell them what they used to do.
Say, “Indeed as for me, my Lord has guided me to a straight path- a right religion – the religion of Ibrahim, a true monotheist. And he was not of those who associated partners with Allah.
Say, “Indeed my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for God, Lord of the worlds.
He has no partner; with this I have been commanded. And I am the first of those who surrender to Him.