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Forum LockedAbdullah Ibn Saba

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Killabee View Drop Down
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    Posted: 08-Nov-2007 at 22:54

This subject might be a little touchy but I just want to gather your idea about Abdullah Ibn Saba, a former Jewish Rabbi converted to Islam whom most of Sunni Islam sources recorded  that he was the founder of Shia Islam.  He was among the first Shi‘at ‘Ali (party of Ali) to campaigned for the caliphate of Ali and went so far to proclaim Ali was God incarnation. Sunni scholars held him responsible for initiating First Fitna. In return, Ali exiled him and  had his followers burned at the stake for blasphemy. Some Shia scholars denied his existence by saying he was a total fabrication from Sunni.

Any thought of about it?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ahmed The Fighter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Nov-2007 at 08:44
 Dear Killabee,Ibn Saba'a never existed ,I will give you my reasons:
the story is originated by Saif Bin Umer Al-Timimy who lived in the second century A.H 100 years after Ibn Saba'a.While the existence of a person in the name of Abdullah Ibn Saba in the early history of Islam is seriously under question,so I don't know from where Umer took his sources.
Sayf Ibn Umar distorted the biographies of the companions of the Holy
Prophet (PBUH&HF) to please the government of his time, and to distort the history of Shia and to ridicule Islam.
it is just a tale,The tale of Abdullah Ibn Saba is over twelve centuries old. Historians and writers, one after the other recorded it, adding more and more to it.
With a glance at the chain of transmitters of this story, you will find the
name of Sayf sitting in there. The following historians recorded directly
from Sayf:
1) Tabari.
   (2) Dhahabi. He has also cited from Tabari.
   (3) Ibn Abi Bakir. He has also recorded from Ibn Athir,who has
       recorded from Tabari.
   (4) Ibn Asakir.
So he was the Only source for those (great Historians)the tell the story through his only.
Therefore, Sayf's character and his history should be studied and analyzed with a great care.
Sayf wrote the following two books which
were available even during the reign of Umayad:
1. "al-Fotooh wa al-Riddah" which is the history of the period before the
    death of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) until the third Caliph Uthman resumed
    office as the ruler of Muslim world.
2. "al-Jamal wa Maseeri Aisha wa Ali" which is the history from the
    murder of Uthman to the battle of Jamal (the fight that happened
    between Imam Ali and some companions).
These books are now lost but survived for a number of centuries after
Sayf's own lifetime. Based on what we found, the last person who had said
that he had possessed Sayf's books was Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (d. 852 AH).
The following leading Sunni scholars confirm that Sayf Ibn Umar was a well-known liar and untrustworthy:

(1) al-Hakim (d. 405 AH) wrote: "Sayf is accused of being a heretic. His
    narrations are abandoned."

(2) al-Nisa'i (d. 303 AH) wrote: "Sayf's narrations are weak and they
    should be disregarded because he was unreliable and untrustworthy."

(3) Yahya Ibn Mueen (d. 233 AH) wrote: "Sayf's narrations are weak and
    useless."

(4) Abu Hatam (d. 277 AH) wrote: "Sayf's Hadith is rejected."

(5) Ibn Abi Hatam (d. 327 AH) wrote: "Scholars have abandoned Sayf's
    narrations."

(6) Abu Dawud (d. 316 AH) wrote: "Sayf is nothing. He was a liar. Some of
    his Hadiths were conveyed and the majority of them are denied."

(7) Ibn Habban (d. 354 AH) wrote: "Sayf attributed fabricated traditions
    to the good reporters. He was accused of being a heretic and a liar."

(8) Ibn Abd al-Barr (d. 462 AH) mentined in his writing abut al-Qa'qa:
    "Sayf reported that al-Qa'qa Said: I attended the death of the Prophet
    Muhammad."  Ibn Adb al-Barr continued: "Ibn Abu Hatam said: Sayf is
    weak. Thus, what was conveyed of the presence of al-Qa'qa at the death
    of the Prophet is rejected. We mentioned the Sayf's traditions for
    knowledge only."

(9) al-Darqutini (d. 385 AH) wrote: "Sayf is weak".

(10) Firoozabadi (d. 817 AH) in "Towalif" mentioned Sayf and some others by
     saying: "They are weak."

(11) Ibn al-Sakan (d. 353 AH) wrote: "Sayf is weak."

(12) Safi al-Din (d. 923 AH) wrote: "Sayf is considered weak."

(13) Ibn Udei (d. 365 AH) wrote about Sayf: "He is weak. Some of his
     narrations are famous yet the majority of his narrations are
     disgraceful and not followed."

(14) al-Suyuti (d. 900 AH) wrote: "Sayf's Hadith is weak."

(15) Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (d. 852 AH) wrote after mentioning a tradition:
     "Many reporters of this tradition are weak, and the weakest among them is Sayf."
in modern time:
In recent years some scholars have questioned the existence of Abdullah Ibn Saba. Taha Husayn, an Egyptian scholar believed that Ibn Saba was a fictitious character invented by groups opposed to Shi'ism. Ali al-Wardi, professor of history at Baghdad University wrote that "it is claimed that Ibn Saba' incited unrest, but no such person ever existed." Most modern twelver Shia deny the existence of Ibn Saba. The first book of Murtadha Askari in this field, titled "Abdullah Ibn Saba’" which was published in 1954. He theorized that Sayf Ibn Omar al-Tamimi made up Abdullah ibn Saba.
 
 
if you have any question my friend be free to ask it.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote çok geç Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Nov-2007 at 16:22
Well, there are two points here. 1) the existance of Abdullah Ibn Saba' 2) his role as the founder of the Shiite sect.
I leave the second point to Shiite scholars as we all know that Shiism and Sunnism did not start right away as different ideologies. Rather, it was more of a political split and later was associated with ideological differentiation.
To the first point, Ahmed presented a well argument that one of the narrators of the story is himself an unreliable source by Sunni sources. However, Shiite sources did not deny his existance for the past 13 hundred years. In fact, well known shiite historical scholars, like Al Nobakhti who lived around the 800's CE, supported the existance of Abdullah Ibn Saba and even regarded him as a founder of one of the Shiite sects (The sects of Shiah, pp. 43, 44).
Was Abdullah Ibn Saba a founder of Shiism? I doubt it. Did he exist? some sources of Sunni and shiite hisotrians support his existance and Imam Ali prosecution of him.

Edited by çok geç - 09-Nov-2007 at 22:16
D.J. Kaufman
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Killabee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Nov-2007 at 18:48
Ahmed, I read that even the Jewish Encyclopedia gave credit to Ibn Saba for founding Shiism. I don't know where they cited the sources from.
 
I just wonder assuming Ibn Saba really existed, is the Alawite in Syria  possibly the direct descendant of the sect that founded by Ibn Saba given they both believed the divinity of Ali?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Nov-2007 at 20:52
Abdullah ibn Saba existed in one the most terrible times during Islam's long history, the long unrest from 30 to 85 AH. This unrest and civil wars that came with it led to the deaths of over 200 000 combatants in the conservative figures and up to a million civilians. The main struggle during the time of Abdullah ibn Saba was a pure political struggle between Muawiyah and Ali. Muawiyah wanted revenge for Uthman's death and he and almost all the living Sahaba were angered by Ali's refusal to persecute Uthman's killers who some of them were part of his Army. Of course he did want to take revenge but was prevented by the chaos and because of other reasons that this is not the place for them to be explained. Any way, Muawiyah was not an usurper as Shias usually proclaim. He had swore allegiance to Ali and did all what Ali ordered him like protecting the nothern borders, gathering taxes and establishing law. The Khutbah was always in the name of Ali not Muawiyah so were the money that was minted in that time in Muawiyah's territories. Shiism was until those day just another political doctrine nothing more. Abdullah ibn Saba took that political doctrine a little bit far and established the first vestiges of the sect. the first step was to prefer Ali over all the Sahabah while continuing to revere them especially the first three. But that was not enough, certain groups with the Sabaian movement went further. Already there was much hate for Uthman within the ranks of Ali's shia since many actually contributed to his death. He was the first "villain" of many. Other promenent Sahabah who opposed Ali were quickly included, then Umar and Abu Bakr were pictured as usurpers from the legitimate caliph. By the time of the Zaidi revolt Shiasm became a religious sect when they refused to pray for the first three caliphs when Zaid ibn Ali ordered them and the first schism happened in Shiism with the Zaidis accepting the legitimacy of the first three caliphs but maintaining the primacy of Ali over them and the Jaafari shias who hate the first caliphs and indeed most of the Sahabah. An interesting note here is about the position of Abdullah ibn Abbas among the Jaafaris, though he was the judge and chief chancellor to Ali he is not considered a real Sahabi of the prophet and some Shia scholars even equate him with the rest of the Sahabah like Umar who are not accepted by the Shias. The reason for this is according to sunni traditions, he was very brutal against ibn Saba and his followers and he oreder their execution. he also clearly preferred the first three caliphs over Ali and attacked any one who said otherwise.
 
 
Alert:Sensitive religious material
 
 
As for the Alawaits, well the story is quite interesting. The real name for them is Nusairi's because the founder of the cult, it is a cult not a sect, is ibn Nusair, a member of the inner circle of the 11th Imam, Al-Hasan Al-Askari. When Al-Askari died, a romour about a son for the spread and that one of his harem was pregnant so his brother ordered for the women to be kept for 1 year instead of the typical 4 month and 10 days. The result was than no proof that any pregnancy happened. The stroy of the 12th Imam and the Sirdab was invented, According to Sunni and early Shia sources, by non other than ibn Nusair. Until late 10th century, very few people actually believed the existance of a 12th Imam, sources like Al-Tabari, Al-Asfahani and other never mentioned a 12th Imam but the theory exploded in popularity when the Dailamites came. Ibn Nusair went to establish his own cult that literally worships Ali and Fatimah. Jaafaris reject the Nusairis as non muslims and they are indeed non muslims.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ahmed The Fighter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Nov-2007 at 06:45
 Hi Cok nice to see you again, maybe Ibn Saba'a exist but not like the sunnis sources pictured him,he was a mad guy from(Ghulat).
Hasan Ibn Musa al-Nawbakhti (d. 310) mentioned Ibn Saba'a,However he never mentioned from whom he got the report and what his source was.
If there was any Abdullah Ibn Saba at that time, his story was much different than what Sayf manipulated.
"May the eyes of cowards never sleep"
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