Love of Ahl Al-Bayt wrote in message <7imsua$lgk$>...

> al-Shafi'i said: > > If the love of the members of the House of the Prophet is Rafd >(rejection), let mankind and the Jinns testify that I > am a rejecter (Rafidi)."

The above emphasizes love of the Prophet's House -- Allah bless and greet him and his Family -- and in no way signifies praise of rafd and shi`ism.

Al-Buwayti asked: "Should I pray behind the Rafidi?" Imam al-Shafi`i said: "Do not pray behind the Rafidi, nor behind the Qadari, nor behind the Murji'." Al-Buwayti said: "Define them for us." He replied: "Whoever says ‘Belief consists only in speech’ is a Murji’, and whoever says ‘Abu Bakr and `Umar are not Imams’ is a Rafidi, and whoever attributes destiny to himself is a Qadari."

Another student of al-Shafi`i, Imam Ahmad, defined the Rafidi as "He who insults Abu Bakr and `Umar." Both Imams forbade from praying behind such as these, not because they were apostates but because they were innovators. It is not authentically related from any of the Four Imams that they declared Rafidis to be disbelievers, and Allah knows best.

Imam al-Dhahabi wrote in Siyar A`lam al-Nubala':

To prefer `Ali [to `Uthman] is neither Rafd nor a bid`a, for several of the Companions and Successors did. Both `Uthman and `Ali possess great merits and precedence and are among the foremost martyrs. However, the vast majority of the Community agree to give precedence to `Uthman, and this is our position also; and better than both of them without doubt are Abu Bakr and `Umar. Whoever differs with this is a hardened Shi`i. Whoever disrespects the Two Shaykhs [Abu Bakr and `Umar] while accepting the validity of their imamate is a disgusting Rafidi. As for those who both insult them and reject the validity of their imamate, they are extremist Rafidis – may Allah lead them to perdition!

> Ibn Manzur says the following in his lexicon Lisan al-Arab where he >defines the Shi`as: > > The Shi`as are the people who love what the Prophet's Progeny loves, >and they are loyal to such Progeny. [ Refer > to p. 189, Vol. 8, of Lisan al-Arab lexicon by Abul-Fadl Jamal ad-Din >Muhammad Ibn Manzur (630 - 711 > A.H./1233 - 1311 A.D.)]. > > Commenting on this statement, Dr. Sa`id Abd al-Fattah Ashoor says: > > "If the Shi`as love whatever the Prophet's Progeny loves and are loyal >to such Progeny, who among the Muslims > would refuse to be a Shi`a?!"

Without doubt, the true Shi`a or party of our master `Ali are those who love him without committing calumny and slander in his name, and without exceeding bounds in recognizing the rank given to him by Allah's Messenger -- Allah bless and greet him.