THE RAFIDA

1. The Ghaliya [Extremists]. They make the claim that ‘Ali (may Allah be well pleased with him) is the most excellent of the Prophets (may the blessings of Allah be upon them all). They also claim that he does not lie buried in the earth like all the rest of the Companions (may Allah be well pleased with them), but that he is up there in the clouds, fighting His enemies (Exalted is He) above the clouds, and that he (may Allah ennoble his countenance) will return at the end of the age, to rid the earth of his haters and foes. They claim that ‘Ali and the rest of the Imams have never died. They insist that they will continue to survive until the Final Hour is at hand, and that death has no way of gaining access to them.

They also claim that ‘Ali (may Allah be well pleased with him) is a Prophet [nabi], and that Gabriel (peace be upon him) made a mistake in failing to deliver the Divinely inspired revelation [wahy] to him. They have gone so far as to claim that ‘Ali was a god [ilah].

May they be subjected to the curse of Allah, of His angels, and of all the rest of His creatures, until the Day of Judgment! May He eradicate all trace of them. May He destroy them root and branch. May He leave them no place on earth in which to dwell, because they have gone far beyond all acceptable bounds in their wildly heretical extravagance.

They have carried their rebellion to the point of unbelief [kufr]. They have abandoned Islam and parted company with faith [iman]. They have repudiated God [al-Ilah], the Messengers [Rusul], and the revelation of scripture [tanzil]. We must therefore take refuge with Allah from all those who subscribe to this doctrine.

(a) The Bannaniyya, an offshoot of the Ghaliya. Their name and origin can be traced to Bannan ibn Sam’an. Their fabrications and futile notions include the doctrine that Allah (Exalted is He) is shaped in the form of a human being. They have propagated lies about Allah. Exalted is Allah, far above and beyond everything of this kind! As He has said (Almighty and Glorious is He):

There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing. (42:11)

(b) The Tayyariyya, another offshoot of the Ghaliya, are related historically to ‘Abdu’llah ibn Mu’awiya ibn ‘Abdi’llah ibn Ja’far at-Tayyar. They teach the doctrine of the transmigration of souls [tanasukh], and maintain that the spirit [ruh] of Adam (peace be upon him) is the spirit of Allah, which entered him by way of metempsychosis.

The most extreme of all the Ghaliya are those who teach the doctrine of the transmigration of souls. They maintain that when the spirit is transported back to these earthly realms, after it has left this world because of death, the first stage of its transmigration is into a camel. Then it is transferred into the physical form of the next inferior creature, and so on down the scale, stage by stage, until it takes on the form of the worms and maggots that thrive in human excrement, and of creatures similar to these, at which point it has reached the end of the process of transmigration. Some of them go so far as to maintain that the spirits of disobedient sinners are transformed by metempsychosis into iron, mud and potter’s clay, and are then tormented by exposure to the fire and the processes of baking, hammering and smelting, and by the undignified and humiliating handling and treatment they must undergo, as a punishment for the sins they have committed.

(c) The Mughiriyya trace their name origin to Mughira ibn Sa’d, who laid claim to Prophethood [nubuwwa]. He maintained that Allah is a light in the shape of a man. Among other things, he claimed the ability to bring the dead to life.

(d) The Mansuriyya take their name from their founder, Abu Mansur. He used to assert that he had ascended to heaven, and that the Lord had anointed his head. He maintained that Jesus (peace be upon him) was the first to be created by Allah, then ‘Ali (may Allah be well pleased with him). He also taught that the Messengers of Allah will never cease [to arrive in succession], and that there is no Garden of Paradise and no Fire of Hell.

This faction [ta’ifa] maintains that if someone kills forty souls from among those who differ with them, that person will surely enter the Garden of Paradise. They consider it lawful to confiscate the property of other people. They maintain that Gabriel (peace be upon him) made a mistake in delivering the Message [to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)]. This amounts, of course, to unadulterated unbelief [kufr].

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