1. Was Abdullah ibn Saba the founder of the shias, and do the shias hold him in high regard?
2. The dawoodi bohras, a sect from the shias, thier leader is a corrupt man who takes millions and millions of dollars from his followers, they are a business, for example if a bohri is to do a nikah or a janazah or anything of that nature they will not commence until the imam is payed a good amount of money. I have many bohri friends here, and the ones who criticize the bohra leader tell me this. So i was wondering what is their(dawoodi bohras) status is in regards to islam.
2. so are mainstream shias, the ones you mentioned in your lectures a part of Ahl us Sunnah, or will we consider them Muslims but Ahlul Bidaa’, due to their practices such as mataam, mutah, some deviant beliefs which do not conform to Ahlus sunnah, etc ? JazakAllau Khairan
Shaykh Abdullah’s response
The answers to your questions are as follows:
1. No. Abdullah b. Saba’ was not the founder of the Shiites. It’s only Sunnis who promote this idea. The first to allege that he was the source of their views was a man by the name Sayf b. ‘Umar who is relied upon heavily by major scholars of Sunni history, like Imam al-Tabari. The problem with Sayf is that he has been unanimously agreed upon by scholars as being a liar and fabricator of reports as alluded to by Ibn Hajar al-’Asqalani in his Taqrib al-Tahdhib. In spite of this, Sunni historians have relied on his historical accounts in determining the authenticity of a number of occurrences. This is because the scholars were much more lenient in historical reports than they were with respect to the acceptance of hadiths. Many scholars in their polemic against the Shiites have continued to regurgitate this claim in spite of the problems inherent in the credibility of Sayf b. ‘Umar. As for Shiites, they do not hold Abdullah b. Saba’ in high regard, while many critical historians believe that Abdullah b. Saba’ is a fictitious character.
2. As for the Bohris, I have no knowledge of them and their beliefs, so I cannot comment on them. As for taking large sums of money to perform a marriage, this does not put a person outside of Islam.
3. As for the Shiites I speak about in my lecture, none of them fall within the confines of Ahl al-Sunna, though most of them I spoke about are considered Muslims. They are deemed to be heretics according to Sunni standards, as many of them consider Sunnis, likewise, to be the real heretics. May Allah bring light where there is darkness, and guidance where there is deviancy.
Utilize the Month of Ramadan to gain a deeper understanding of your Deen! Click the image below and listen to a sample of Dr. Khalid Blankinship’s discourse on the “Sunni vs Shi’ah: A Clash of Historical Narratives”