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Basics of Islam
Allah is Yahweh
History of Islam
Prophet Muhammad
Non-Muslims Testify
The Companions
The Quran
Miracles of Islam
Evolution vs Islam
Sunnis vs. Shia
End of Time
Questions & Answers
Women in Islam
Islamic Lectures
Converts to Islam
Famous Muslims
Living like a Muslim
Islamic Resources
Terror& Evil Forces
Religious Principles
Moussa Articles
Islamic Chat





                                                                      Sunnis vs. Shia


Disclaimer: This section of our site is highly critical of Shiism. There are many evil and blasphemous beliefs in Shiism; however, the Shia, as individuals, are not necessarily evil. Many Shiites do not have full knowledge about all the doctrines of Shiism. So, this section is not intended to offend the Shia, but rather to uncover the evil and blasphemous beliefs in Shiism. We do not harbor hated toward the Shia. Furthermore, we oppose acts of violence between the Shia & Sunnis that are committed against individuals simply because they are Shia or Sunnis.



The purpose of this section about Shiism:


(a) To enlighten Sunni Muslims about the evil and blasphemous beliefs in Shiism.


(b) To invite the Shia to revert to pure Islam. People have the right to choose the religion they want to follow. If you were born to a Shia family, you don't have to spend your life as a Shiite. We know that many of the Shia beliefs we uncover in this section will shock you. You may indeed say that these  doctrines are not part of Shiism. The sad fact is that these beliefs are truly part of Shiism. When we present a Shia belief or doctrine, we mention the Shia reference book and page on which this belief is stated, so just read these books.


(c) To warn people interested in reverting to Islam that Shiism represents a deviation from pure Islam and the doctrines of Shiism have no basis in the Quran or Hadith.



The relationship of Shiism to Islam is very similar to the relationship of Christianity to Jesus' true message. Like Christianity, Shiism lures and deceives its followers by operating under the name of Islam and incorporating some Islamic doctrines while adding new doctrines that have no basis & contradict with Islam as taught by the Quran and preached by Prophet Mohammad.


We have to be more cautious regarding classifying or labelling individual Shiites. Because Shiism encourages Taqiya (concealing and lying about one's true beliefs), it is hard to know what a specific Shiite individual truly believes in. We will leave it to Allah to judge the true beliefs of individual Shiites. The more a Shiite individual follows Shiism, the more likely he/she will be straying away from Islam.



Who are the Shia & what is Shiism?


Shia (Shi'a) is a plural word that refers to the people who follow Shiism. Shii (or Shiite) is singular word that refers to an individual who follows Shiism. Shiism (or Shiaism) is the name of the religious beliefs or ideology of the Shia.


The Shia are those who elevate the status of Imam Ali (& his descendant Imams), who was prophet Mohammad's cousin and son in law. The way the Shia elevate the status of Imam Ali is very similar to the way Christians elevate the status of prophet Jesus and worship him. Sunni Muslims highly respect Imam Ali as a Caliph, cousin, companion, & son-in-law of prophet Mohammad. Unlike the Shia, Sunni Muslims tend to be good hearted and don't hate the Shia, but regard them as misguided.


All Shia sects together represent 10% -12% of people who claim to be Muslims. The Shia consist of several distinctive sects. They are very insistent on distinguishing themselves as followers a specific sect.


There are many Shia sects. The following are the main Shia sects:


(a) The Twelvers (sometimes called Imamis or Jafaris)  are those Shia who believe in twelve divinely-appointed Imams. This is the largest Shia sect today and its adherents represent 90% of the population of Iran, about 55% of the population of Iraq, 55% of the population of Azerbaijan, 27% of the population of Lebanon, with significant presence in Kuwait, Bahrain, and Yemen.


(b) Ismailis are those Shia whose line of Imams is continuous. The Agha Khan, a billionaire living in Europe, is their current Imam. They believe that the Quran has a esoteric/hidden meaning that is different from its apparent meaning and only their Imams know this esoteric/hidden meaning, not even prophet Mohammad knew this esoteric/hidden meaning. Today, the largest concentration of Ismailis is in India and Pakistan.


(c) Arab Alawis  are a sect founded by Ibn Nusair, that is why Alawis are also called Nusairis. They primarily live in Syria, and to a lesser extent, in Northern Lebanon and Southern Turkey. Even though Alawis constitute not more than 15% of Syria's population, the President of Syria, Bashar Assad, comes from a Alawi family and he maintains his power by relying on the Alawis who hold top leadership positions in the Syrian army and domestic intelligence service. Little is known about the true beliefs of the Alawis because they are secretive. Twelver Shia don't consider Alawis as Shia.


(d) Turkish Alewis are a sect that combines Shiism with Sufism. They are very different from the Arab Alawis in terms of their beliefs, even though their name is almost the same. They constitute about 15% of Turkey's population.


Throughout our discussion about Shiism and Shia, we will be mainly focusing on the beliefs of the Twelver Shia.



Unlike the Shia, the Sunni Muslims (also called Ahl-Sunna) do not have distinctive sects, but rather four schools of thought (called Mazahibs) and it is not compulsory to follow any specific Sunni school of thought.


The Shia believe Imam Ali & his descendant Imams were sinless, similar to prophets. They believe the Imams have a divine mission to rule the Muslims and be God's representative on Earth. They believe Imams receive divine revelations, similar to prophets. The Shia believe their Imams have extra-ordinary abilities and attributes. The Imams have full knowledge of the past, present and the future. According to the most influential Shia scholar in modern time, Iran's AyatuAllah Khomeini, the Shia Imams used to be made of light, before being sent to Earth by God.


The Shia believe in a very dangerous doctrine called Taqiya (which allows concealing their true beliefs, lying, deceiving). Their scholars have said Taqiya is nine tenth (90%) of their religion. That is why it is very difficult to know what they truly believe in. The Shia use Taqiya most often to publicly claim to have beliefs very close to mainstream Sunni Muslims, while in their heart, they may have totally different or opposite beliefs.


Some Shia (particularly the Ismaelis & Arab Alawis) believe Ali is God; while others reject this. However, many of the Twelver Shia even though they don't believe Imam Ali is God, yet they assign to Imam Ali  some of God's functions and attributes. For example, they say that Imam Ali is the one who determines who will go to Hell and who will go to Paradise. This is one of the most serious blasphemies because it constitutes "Shirk" (associating partners with God) which is the most serious sin in Islam.


The Khomeini, who was the top religious figure of Twelver Shiism in Iran and around the World, said in his book Al-Hukumah Al-Islamiyyah: " Our Imams occupy a rank unattainable by either an angel or a major Prophet....before the creation of the universe, the greatest Prophet s.a.w., and the Imams - peace be upon them - were in the form of light which Allah made orbit." Such beliefs have no basis in Islam and contradict Islam. For example, the Quran makes it clear that Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.) was an ordinary human being. Khomeini is suggesting that Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.) and the Imams existed before the creation of the universe and were in the form of light.


Furthermore, given the fact that Shia believe in Taqiya, it is fair to assume that some of those who claim they do not believe Ali is God, do in their heart believe that Ali is God, but because of the Taqiya, they deny such a belief.

Some Shia believe Quran has a hidden meaning & only Ali & his descendants (not even Mohammad) know it. Many Shia believe that the present Quran is not the complete, original Quran.


One example of the blasphemies of the Shia is the following Shia narration: يا بشير أن من زار قبر الحسين عليه السلام عارفاً بحقّه كان كمن زار الله في عرشه  ["Whoever visits the tomb of Al-Hussain, peace be upon him, acknowledging his status, it is as if he has visited Allah."]

The Shia are waiting for their 12th Imam called Imam Mahdi (they also call him "Al-Qa'im") whom they expect will appear before the Day of Judgment and will bring the full Quran. The Shia believe today's Quran is only is small part of the original full Quran. Sunni Muslims believe today's Quran is fully authentic and complete. Sunni Muslims also are expecting a Caliph (Leader, not a prophet) titled Al-Mahdi to appear at the End Times, based on prophecies of Prophet Mohammad صلى الله عليه وسلم . However, the characteristics of Shia's Imam Mahdi are different from Sunni's Al-Mahdi. The trouble is that some of the Shia may reject the true Mahdi because he is not going to be a Shiite and instead they may wait until the Anti-Christ appears and follow him, thinking he is the Mahdi. Shia believe Imam Mahdi has been alive for the past 1200 years since he supposedly disappeared and went into a state of occultation. While the Sunnis believe that the Mahdi will be normal human being and will be born 30 - 40 year years before he accepts the leadership of Muslims. The Anti-Christ is similar to Shia's Imam Mahdi in the fact that he has been alive, but chained, at least since the time of Prophet Mohammad صلى الله عليه وسلم , but he will not be released until the End Times.


The Shia believe that Imam Al-Mahdi will be a prince of vengeance who will kill Sunni Scholars and will resurrect those whom the Shia perceive as their top enemies, such as Prophet Mohammad's صلى الله عليه وسلم  companions & Caliphs, Abu Bakr & Omar, and Prophet Mohammad's  صلى الله عليه وسلم wife, Aisha, and will punish them severely.



What does the Quran say about the Shia & their connection with the Anti-Christ?

The following 2 consecutive verses 158- 159  of Sura Al-Anaam (Chapter 6) provide additional clear evidence that connects the Shia to the Dajjal (Anti-Christ):

158. هَلْ يَنظُرُونَ إِلاَّ أَن تَأْتِيهُمُ الْمَلَآئِكَةُ أَوْ يَأْتِيَ رَبُّكَ أَوْ يَأْتِيَ بَعْضُ آيَاتِ رَبِّكَ يَوْمَ يَأْتِي بَعْضُ آيَاتِ رَبِّكَ لاَ يَنفَعُ نَفْسًا إِيمَانُهَا لَمْ تَكُنْ آمَنَتْ مِن قَبْلُ أَوْ كَسَبَتْ فِي إِيمَانِهَا خَيْرًا قُلِ انتَظِرُواْ إِنَّا مُنتَظِرُونَ
158. They are just waiting for the angels (of torment) to reach them, or your Lord to come (Himself), or some (exclusive) Signs of your Lord to come (perceptibly. Tell them:) ‘The Day when some Signs of your Lord will come (in such an evident way, then accepting) the belief will not benefit someone who had not believed before, or did not earn any good (in the state of) having believed.’ Say: ‘Wait; we (too) are waiting.’
159. إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَرَّقُواْ دِينَهُمْ وَكَانُواْ شِيَعًا لَّسْتَ مِنْهُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ إِنَّمَا أَمْرُهُمْ إِلَى اللّهِ ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ يَفْعَلُونَ
159. Those who have caused schism (splitting or division) in their religion and they have become Shia (sects or groups), you (Prophet Mohammad صلى الله عليه وسلم ) are not one of them in any way. Their case (for judgment & punishment) is up to Allah. Then, He (Allah) will tell (confront) them about what they used to do.

Verse 158 of Chapter 6 is telling us that once Certain Signs of God occur, believing in God will no longer benefit because God will no longer accept repentance.

The following Hadith specifies these Certain Signs. One of these signs is the Dajjal (Anti-Christ):

ثلاث إذا خرجن لم ينفع { نفسا إيمانها لم تكن آمنت من قبل } الآية الدجال ، والدابة ، وطلوع الشمس من المغرب – أو من مغربها
الراوي: أبو هريرة المحدث: الألباني - المصدر: صحيح الترمذي


Abu Huraira said: "Three things that once they occur, the soul will not benefit from believing (in God) if it did not believe before ... (verse 6:158): the Dajjal (Anti-Christ), Daabba (Beast), and Sun rise from the West." (Tirmizi and Al-Albani)

So, we have verse 158 that refers indirectly to the Dajjal and the next verse 159 warns us about the Shia. It seems that God, in these verse, is making a connection between the Shia and the Anti-Christ. For more details and evidence regarding connection between the Shia and the Anti-Christ, click here.


More verses, God warns us about Shia:


"Say: "He has power to send calamities on you, from above you or below your feet, or let you split into Shia (sects), giving you a taste of mutual vengeance - each from the other." See how We explain the Signs by various (symbols); that they may understand." (6:65)

In this verse, God warns us that he can let us become Shiites as a great punishment to us.


"Turning in repentance toward Him (Allah), and fear Him: establish regular prayers, and be not you from among the polytheists. Those who have caused schism (splitting or division) in their religion and they have become Shia (sects or groups).  Each party rejoicing with what they have!" (30: 31-32)

In this verse, God associates the word Shiites with polytheist pagans who join gods with Allah!

(Qur'an Mariam:69)

"Then shall We certainly drag out from every Shia (sect) all those who were worst in obstinate rebellion against (Allah) Most Gracious." (Qur'an Mariam:69)

In this verse, God associates the word Shiites with those who are worst in obstinate rebellion against Him.


1. Sunnis vs Shia Videos Explaining the difference using videos

2. Origins of Shiism How Shiism actually started and later evolved.

3. Exposing Shia's Beliefs (excellent video series that sheds light on the blasphemous beliefs of Shiism)

4. How Shia view their Imams Every Muslim should read this ! Lots of blasphemies ! 

5. Shia's awaited Imam Mahdi is likely to be the Dajjal (Anti-Christ)  Hot topic !

6. Shia's Imam Mahdi (in Arabic)

7. Al-Khutbah Al-Tutunjiyyah  (Sermon of the Gulf)  This is a sermon that the Shia claim was delivered by Imam Ali. It contains lots of unbelievable claims and blasphemies. Very Important !   (We have this sermon in Arabic, English, and Urdu )

8. Fallacy of Shiism

9. Khomeini's views on Shiism

10. Ayatollah Khomeini's Background revealed  Khomeini was installed by the West to rule Iran. Khomeini's father was British.

11. Islamic Rulings on Shiites Opinion of Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.), Imam Ali, and Muslim Scholars regarding the Shia.

12. Shia converts/reverts to Islam

13. Ahmad Al-Katib's (a Shia scholar who rejects many of the false beliefs of Shiism) views regarding Shia doctrines of Imamate and Wilaya of Faqih

14. Lebanese Shia Scholar, Ali Isa Mallah, living in Birmingham, the UK, says the beliefs of the Shia have no basis

15. Videos about the Shia in Arabic

16. Shia & the Practice of Taqiya (Taqiya is a very dangerous doctrine that allows Shia to lie about their true beliefs)

17. Comparison between Sunni Islam vs Shiism

18. Shia & the Practice of Intercession

19. Shia's Creed & Doctrines - by Dr. Abd Rahman Dimashqiyah

20. Shia's view of Sunnis

21. Shia's view of the Quran

22. Shia's view of Hadith Narrators & Books

23. Refutation of Shiism

24. Shiism & Hatred

25. Ghadir Khumm

26. Answering Shiism

27. Who killed Imam Al-Hussain

28. Women in Shiism

29. Mut'ah Marriage

30. Shia's Self-torture & Blood-shed Rituals

31. Shia's view of Prophet Mohammad's Companions

32. Succession of the Rulership/Leadership of Muslims after the death of Prophet Mohammad

33. Shia's view of Prophet Mohammad's Wives

34. Are Shia Monotheists ?

35. Nahj ul Balagha (a book about Imam Ali's speeches)

36. Al-Kafi (Shia's main book for narrations from their Imams)

37. The Beliefs of the Alawi Sect of Syria & Lebanon


Other sites that reveal the beliefs of the Shia & Shiism:

1. www.islamicWeb.com/beliefs/cults/shia.htm or http://shia.islamicweb.com

2. www.AhlElBayt.com (A Sunni perspective on Shiism)





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