How did Shiism emerge?
There appeared quite a new era in the whole of humanity with the Qurans being sent down, which is the greatest torch through the way of Allah. People were rejoicing at embracing the True Religion, which was their souls most natural need. They reached to the Unity from polytheism, to light from darkness, to truth from superstitions, to knowledge from ignorance. The Qurans vital principles took them to both material and spiritual elevation any moment.
In the era of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Islam established its absolute sovereignty in Mecca, Medina, and Hijaz and in neighboring lands. The age of ignorance and darkness have been replaced by that of bliss and light.
With the magnificent conquests that were conducted at the times of Abu Bakr and Umar within a short time, the conquest of Syria, Egypt, Iraq, and Persia became successful.
This wonderful expansion caused the enemies of Islam, especially Jews, to increase their envy and hatred against Islam. Jews were horrified in the face of the advancement that Islam enjoyed within such a short period; they were bursting with envy. Furthermore, the conversion of most Jewish religious groups drove them crazy. This rapid and brilliant spread of Islam by all means should have been stopped.
It was quite necessary that the conspiracy, which once was organized against Christians, must be done for Muslims this time. They negotiated the matter and put Ibn-i Sebe on the stage. Abdullah Ibn-i Sebe was the chief rabbi and a master manipulator.
Ibn-i Sebe based his destruction plans on mainly two principles. First, he would prevent the advancement of Islam by causing diversity among Muslims and second, he would seek the ways for a diversity of opinions among Muslims, which would continue until the end of the world by inserting superstitions into the Islamic faith and creed. In order for these two ends to be achieved, he would set up covert groups and through them, he would conduct intense activities that would first debilitate and then obliterate the spiritual ties among Muslims such as the spirit of unity, love, brotherhood. There would be an immediate summing-up the situation just after every stage of mischief- making, the planned goals and received results would be evaluated, there would be new plans to achieve further aims under changing and developing conditions and these plans would be put into practice.
Ibn-i Sebe fully achieved his first goal for he caused disunity and battles within Muslims.
Ibn-i Sebe was approaching his main objective through these inside battles. For his main objective was to have Islam gone corrupt by introducing superstitions into the Islamic creed.
All fighting Believers might have made peace soon and re-set up the Islamic unity by coming together. It was vital that there be a controversy among them, which would continue until the end of the world, and disunite them in respect of faith and divide them into opposing parties. The most important task now to do was to make them swerve from the right way by inserting religious superstitions. The abuse of the love of the Prophets Family was the first thing to resort to by Ibn-i Sebe. He appeared to be the most zealous adherent to the Family of Prophet. He propagated that Ali needed to be incumbent of Caliphate and it was usurped from him unjustly. He attempted to distort the religion of Islam from its creed of Unity, as is the case in Christianity, by rendering Ali and his children (may Allah be pleased with them) so-called A Dynasty of Gods. Finally, a group of people headed by Ibn-i Sebe came before Ali and said to him, You are our God, you are our Lord. Ali had some of them burnt to death. He then decided not to have him burnt fearing that his death would provoke further mischief and weakness since he has many adherents in the army. He exiled him to Medayin, the former centre of government of Persia.
Unfortunately, Medayin was a very appropriate place for Ibn-i Sebes perverted ideas to flourish. Ibn-i Sebe met Kharijites (1) here, who in the past fled from Ali, and found their chief Ibn-i Evfa. Realizing that Ibn-i Evfa was about to take action against Ali, he told him, You cannot defeat Ali with such an action; on the contrary, you will be defeated. When Ibn-i Evfa asked him about his opinion, he said that they could finish him off with three assassins.
After this meeting, they agreed on the assassination of Ali, Muawiya, and Amr Ibnul-Âs (May Allah be pleased with them). To this end, they sent three assassins. Three Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) were to be killed on the seventeenth day of Ramadan while they were performing their morning prayer. Through Divine Determining, Muawiya and Amr Ibnul Âs survived these assassination attempts but the assassin named Ibn-i Mulcem succeeded in wounding Ali with a poisonous sword, which would soon occasion his martyrdom.
Having sent Ibn-i Mulcem on his way to kill Ali (may Allah be pleased with him), Ibn-i Sebe sent Ibn-i Meymoon together with a couple of men of his to the city of Kufa. Ibn-i Meymoon there was to disseminate superstitions such as Ali has never died, he has gone to heavens. He is over the clouds now. Soon he will be back and distribute justice to the whole of the world with his sword
Ibn-i Sebe together with his accomplices laid down the plans of treachery that they would carry out in Persia and they immediately set to work. The social conditions of that time were quite favorable for their putting their plots into practice.
Islam spread through a very large area within such a short time. It was an extraordinarily difficult task for a newly established Islamic state to convey all meanings and subtleties, wisdom and truths to the peoples who recently converted to Islam within such a large geography, and to make those who have different ways of life co-exist in the Islamic melting pot. People were converting to Islam in large numbers. Although this situation gladdened Muslims, but on the other hand, this spiritual dough could not be kneaded properly, Muslims were not brought up as properly as expected of them and consequently Muslims could not reach integrity as desired of them in terms of ideal way of sensing and of understanding. The masses were like uncultivated soil. This situation especially made it deeply felt in Persia.
The new converts were not fully free from their old fallacies. They deemed it rather difficult to embrace the pure, clear, unadulterated truths of Islam as they were which were far from being illusions, falsifications and superstitions since these people had been exposed to the influence of superstitions and false beliefs which dated back hundreds of years. Islam was not truly being comprehended by these pious people and the true religion was not being implanted in hearts and feelings exactly. As a psychological demand, they wished to continue their previous beliefs, customs, and common usages along with Islam. On the other hand, the institution of Caliphate was unable to conduct the services of warning and guidance properly. The service to establish Islam in those places with its all institutions and to remove their suspicions and hesitations was coming to a halt. For Islam spread through a large area, most of the Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) had died inner turmoil, some chose a life of a recluse, and some other were too old to interfere with the social life.
As a result of neglecting this sacred task, these new places remained unowned for a long time. With the first enthusiasm and knowledge they received during the conquest, they could not fully understand the truths with regard to the Quran and faith. Therefore, they did not reach a point to distinguish between true and false, superstition and truth.
A mischief-making society, Jews, achieved to make use of these social conditions.
Another important factor, which made it possible for Ibn-i Sebe to implant his evil ideas in Persia, was the psychological state of the people. Their inner worlds were prevailed by emotions rather than reasoning. Their hearts were vulnerable to myths and superstitions rather than truth. They could not analyze events within a harmony of logic and reasoning.
They were unable to stomach the demolition of their centuries-long dynasties and national prides by Arabs, whom they once were regarding as slaves, also showed great envy in the sense of feelings though not in the sense of reasoning.
Ibn-i Sebe masterfully made use of these factors. He gathered his friends around him and told them: We have just started the war. Know that this is the start of a war among Muslims, which would continue until the end of the world. We shall sanctify Ali and have others to do the same. Sometimes we shall call him god, sometimes prophet, sometimes we shall tell that Caliphate was incumbent on Ali, but Abu Bakr, Umar, and Osman usurped this right of his.
After taking this decision, Ibn-i Sebe and his fellow men commissioned their men around to spread these ideas. These men inculcated people with their lies such as, Ali should have been the Caliph, he and His sons deserve it more than anybody else. This right was usurped from them. Three other caliphates, especially Umar, opposed the will of Allah by usurping this right In order to obey the will of Allah, we should take sides with Ali When these mass suggestions are accepted by the people, going further, they endeavored to insert the incarnation of God, which attributes divinity to human beings, into the Islamic creed. By trying to distort the Islamic belief from its right path, they started to disseminate a belief, which is diametrically opposite to the creed of Unity. The belief of The incarnation of God existed in old religions of Persians. Thus, this false belief enjoyed a quick popularity among them.
First, they attributed divinity to Ali (May Allah be pleased with him). Then they asserted that this divinity passed to his children and consequently there appeared a dynasty of gods in Persia.
On the death of Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) Ibn-i Sebe commented that who died actually was not Ali but a devil taking on his form, he now went up the heavens and made a throne for himself over the clouds, by showing his death in the direction of the incarnation of God.
Eventually Shiism, which was first initiated in Egypt by the establishment of Sebeiyye Sect, started to grow and flourish in Persia. Then there emerged sub-sects out of this, which are more than twenty.
(1) Kharijites: These people are known to be the adversaries of Ali (may Allah be pleased with him). These people disliked the policies of Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) and always exhibited a tough attitude towards him and his rule. Therefore, there always took place controversies between Ali and Kharijites.
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