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Thread: Who was Abdullah ibn Saba?

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    Senior Member jello's Avatar
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    Default Who was Abdullah ibn Saba?

    Assalamu Alaykum

    I was having a discussion with some Shia brothers, and as some brothers here may know, the issue of Abdullah ibn Saba will spring up.

    Anyway, the Shia claim that there is no single authentic Sunni reference of the person anywhere, so it is basically something we have made up in order to hide the truth.

    But is there any authentic narration of this person ?


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    Assalamu 'Alaikum!

    I think I have only heard or read of ibn Saba. Some of the links by Bro. Saeed Mazhar at http://www.sunniforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1204 contain reports from ibn Saba.

    Wassalam


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    Salam,

    from my memory i believe that Ibn Saba was the one who led the rebellion against Uthman (ra) and gained approximately 10,000 followers, many of whom were unwitting followers. He positioned himself to be the upholder of the status of the ahle bayt, but in reality was not. He was also a former Jew and was condemned by Abdullah ibn Salam (ra) when he met him.

    Although, i say this from memory of reading the history of islam book about 6 months ago.
    After almost 7 whole months, finallyHanafi.co.uk has been updated. Any commnets?the Hanafi Forum? :mrgreen:


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    Assalamu 'Alaikum!

    Sorry about that. After reading Bro. Abu Usama's post, I must have got the wrong man. Jazak Allah Abu Usama.

    Wassalam


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    Senior Member Abu Usama's Avatar
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    Salam,

    just to add on my previous post. Many scholars have said that the shia sect is originated from Ibn Saba and this is why the shia say there is no authentic narration of this guy having even existed. It's all very clouded and the best thing to do is read the "Histpry of Islam" which looks at this. Also, as Shaykh Nuh has said, once the ahle bidah (and he was talking specifically about the shia) become entrenched in their innovation, then you should avoid them completely.

    Shaykh Nuh - Dealing with the poeple of Innovation.mp3
    After almost 7 whole months, finallyHanafi.co.uk has been updated. Any commnets?the Hanafi Forum? :mrgreen:


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    Senior Member Muawiyah's Avatar
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    Maulana Mufti Taqi Uthmaani damat barakaatuhum has mentioned in his his "`Uloom ul-Quraan" one Abun Nasr Muhammad bin As Said al Kalbi (d. 146 AH) a Kufi shi'te forger of narrations. The muhaddith Yazeed bin Zurai' rahimahullah said regarding him, "...I have seen him myself, beating his chest and saying, "I am a Sabai, I am a Sabai"" Tahzeeb ut Tahzeeb page 78 to 181 {via `Uloom ul Quraan}

    Imam Ibn Habbaan rahimahullah says: "Kalbi was a sabai and was one of those who say that `Ali {Radhi Allaahu `anh} did not die and he will return to the world and fill it with justice when it will be full of injustice, whenever these people see a cloud they say "The Amir ul Mumineen is in it""
    {Uloom ul-Quraan page 498-499}


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    Quote Originally Posted by jello View Post
    Anyway, the Shia claim that there is no single authentic Sunni reference of the person anywhere, so it is basically something we have made up in order to hide the truth.

    But is there any authentic narration of this person ?
    I also want to ask this question!


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    It seems like the whole Ibn Saba issue is overrated. Personally i have not found so strong evidence as to believe the story in its totality. A Ibn Saba probably existed, but other then that there doesn't seem to exist much reliable material. It's important to understand that there was one Shiat-e-'Ali during the time of the Prophet and during the time of Hadhrat 'Ali's Khilafa. This Shi'a was not created by anyone but was made up of the supporters and close companions of 'Ali ibn Abi Talib . And then of course the people who claimed to follow Amirul Mu'mineen but did not do so.


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    Moderator Saad's Avatar
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    Assalam o 'alaykum,

    Existence of 'Abdullah ibn Saba is both accepted by Sunnis, Shias and the Westerner historians. Today some Shias try their best to even deny his existence, let alone the role he played in the foundation of Shiahism. He is to Shiahism, what Saint Paul is to Christianity.

    1. It says in Anwar al-N'umaniyyah, a Shia book,

    'Abdullah Ibn-i-Saba was the first who declared the faith in Imamat and that Sayyiduna 'Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) is the true God (Na’uzubillah).

    (Anwar al-N'umaniyyah, 2:234 - Published Iran)
    http://www.kr-hcy.com/references/shia/070.shtml

    2. The name of 'Abdullah bin Saba figures in the most reliable book of Shias on Isma ur-Rijal, entitled Rijal-i-Kashshi and it is related in it from Imam Jafar Sadiq (may Allah have mercy on him) that Ibn Saba believed in the divinity of Sayyiduna 'Ali (may Allah be pleased with him), and, ultimately, he was burnt alive at his command. About 'Abdullah bin Saba, Rijal-e-Kashshi says,

    "Many knowledgeable people have stated that 'Abdullah bin Saba was a Jew who had accepted Islam and showed great devotion for Sayyiduna 'Ali (may Allah be pleased with him). As a Jew, he used to exaggerated the personality of Joshua, the son of Nun, and the Wasi of Moses. After becoming a Muslim he began to exalt the personality of Sayyiduna 'Ali much beyond the due limit, and he was the first person to declare that it was obligatory to believe in the Imamat of Sayyiduna 'Ali, and completely dissociated himself form his enemies and he openly opposed them and denounced them as infidels". (Rijal-i-Kashi, p.71)

    3. The earliest historian Tabri has sketched out the details in these words,

    "'Abdullah bin Saba was a Jew and lived in Sana. His mother was called Sauda. He embraced Islam during the period of Sayyiduna Uthman. he roamed through the Muslim cities and tried to seduce the Muslims from the straight path. He launched his diabolical campaign from Hijaz and then visited Basra, Kufa and Syria. None of the Syrians cooperated with him. On the contrary, they drove him out of Syria. Thus he moved over to Egypt and settled down there permanently. He started drumming into the minds of the Egyptians that it was strange they believed in the return of Christ and denied the return of Sayyiduna Muhammad [peace be upon him]. God himself had declared. Therefore he has a better claim to return to the world in comparison with Christ. He fabricated the concept of the 'return' or resurrection and the Egyptians turned in into a hot debating issue."

    4. Hafiz Ibn Kathir (may Allah have mercy on him) and Hafiz Ibn Athir (may Allah have mercy on him) have commented on it on similar lines and 'Allamaj Ibn Khaldun (may Allah have mercy on him) has also written about it,

    "Abdullah bin Saba, who was popularly known as Ibn Sauda, was a Jew. He had left his country during the tenure of Sayyiduna 'Uthman but he had not embraced Islam from the core of his heart. When he was honked out of Basra, he left for Kufa from where he made a bee - line for Syria. The Syrians also whipped him out of their country and he left for Egypt. He made Sayyiduna 'Uthman (may Allah have mercy on him) the special butt of his critical remarks and secretly invited people to institute the Khilafat of the Ahl-i-Bay't. He pressed upon people to launch the campaign and he spared no opportunity to criticize the rulers. Some of the people openly sided with him. They had come from different cities and therefore they kept up their links through correspondence. Khalid bin Maljim, Saudan bin Hamran and Kinana bin Basher supported the campaign launched by 'Abdullah bin Saba. They had also persuaded 'Ammar not to return to Madina. 'Ammar was one of those people who had openly lambasted Sayyiduna Uthman (may Allah have mercy on him) for first turning Sayyiduna Abu Zar (may Allah have mercy on him) out of Syria into Madinah and then for pushing him out of Madinah towards Abzah, though, under the circumstances, the action of 'Uthman was justified. Abu Zar (may Allah have mercy on him), out of the intensity of his piety and austerity, used to force people to lead their lives on similar lines and to learn to face the hardships of life. He persuaded people to stock for themselves not more than a day's ration. He also illustrate ed with reasoning the undesirability of hoarding gold and silver. Ibn Saba used to instigate Abu Zar (may Allah have mercy on him) against Sayyiduna Muawiyyah by stressing that he supported the distribution of goods among the people. Abu Zar (may Allah have mercy on him) started condemning Muawiyyah (may Allah have mercy on him). Muawiyyah (may Allah have mercy on him) coaxed him a little and told him: I'll also harp on the same turn that all goods belong to Allah."

    5. Hafiz ibn Hajr (may Allah have mercy on him) has related on the authority of Tarikh Abi Asakir,

    "He belonged to Yemen. He was a Jew, but he had donned the guise of Islam and roamed through the Muslim cities to lead the Muslims astray and dissuade them from the obedience of their Imams and to sow dissension among them. He also visited Damascus with this end in view". (Tarikh Damishq, 7:430)

    6. 'Allamah Asfaraini (may Allah have mercy on him) has also commented on it in a similar vein,

    "Ibn Sauda was a Jew who had donned the gown of Islam to addle the faith of the Muslims".

    7. Abu Muhammad Hassan bin Musa has unraveled these secrets. He is the earliest Shiah historian who has given an account of the Shiah sects. He is one of the most famous Shiah of the third century A.H. He writes,

    "Sabais are the companions of 'Abdullah bin Saba. 'Abdullah bin Saba made faces at Sayyiduna Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman and other companions (may Allah be pleased with them) of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and disaffiliated himself from them and he imputed his acts to the command of 'Ali (may Allah be pleased with him). When 'Ali caught hold of him and asked him about it, he confessed to it. After his confession, he ordered him to be executed. On hearing the order, [quite a few people] made a humble submission to 'Ali:O Amir al-Muminin! You have ordered the execution of a person who professes your friendship and the love of your Ahl al-Bay't. 'Ali complied with the submission and exiled him to Madain."

    8. The famous Shia biographer Istrabadi says,

    "Abdullah bin Saba claimed that 'Ali is Allah and he is his Prophet. When the news reached the Amir al-Muminin, he sent for him and asked him about it. He owned it and insisted that he is really the one [who is the referee of his claim]. The Amir al-Muminin said: The devil has seduced you. Therefore you should repent at once. But he refused to repent and he put him behind the bars for three days. When he did not repent even after three days, he burned him alive".

    9. Shaykh 'Abdul Qadir Jaylani Baghdadi (may Allah have mercy on him) says,

    "The followers of 'Abdullah bin Saba are called Sabains. Ibn Saba relied on exaggeration about the status of Sayyiduna 'Ali and claimed that he was a prophet. Then, relying on further exaggeration he claimed that he was God and he invited a party of the Kufi rebels to adopt these beliefs. When the news reached 'Ali, he had some of these people thrown into two pits of fire, as has been hinted at by a poet ."

    10. All the Shiah scholars have given an account of Ibn Saba, his views and beliefs and his party ; Sayyid Qummi [who died in 301H.], Sheykh Ta'ifah Tusi, Tastri in Qamus al-Rijal, Abbas Qummi in Tuhfat al-Ahbab, Khu Ansari in Raudhat al-Jannat, Sabhani in Nasikh al-Tawarikh and the author of Rawdhat al-Safa, have all mentioned him and his party".

    11. 'Allamah Shahrastani (may Allah have mercy on him) writes under the heading of Sabaism,

    "Sabais are the followers of 'Abdullah bin Saba who had told Sayyiduna 'Ali: you are you i.e., you are God, but he had extradited him to Madain The historians suggest that he was actually a Jew, but he had tacked on to himself the label of Islam. During the Jewish phase, he used to claim that Sayyiduna Y'osha bin Nun was the executor of Sayyiduna Moses."

    12. Ibn 'Asakar has cited a tradition of Sayyiduna Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) in his history,

    "When the oath of allegiance was taken at the hand of 'Ali and he delivered his address, 'Abdullah bin Saba stood up and said: you are "Dabat al-Ardh." (Tarikh Dimishq)

    13. 'Allamah Baghdadi has touched the issue in his book Al-Firq Bayn al-Firq. Similarly, Isfaraini in his book Kitab al-Tabsir and Ibn Hazm in Al-Fasl have also mentioned Ibn Saba.

    14. Famous Shia scholar Nau Bakhti writes,

    "It is known as the Sabai sect because 'Abdullah bin Saba was its ring leader." [Khandan-i-Nau-Bakhti, p.275]

    15. Historian Professor P.K Hitti writes,

    "The enigmatic 'Abdullah ibn Saba who was converter ed into Islam...embraced 'Ali with his excessive veneration..." (History of the Arabs, p.248 - London)

    16. Famous historian Dwight M. Donaldon writes,

    "'Abdullah ibn Saba had traveled widely throughout the Empire, as Tabari says, "seeking to lead the Moslems into error...Another of his teachings that was more immediately, influential was that every Prophet has a wasi and that 'Ali was the wasi of Muhammed..." (The Sheit Religion of Islam, Part 6 p.41)

    17. Historian Dr. J. N. Hollister writes,

    "['Abdullah ibn Saba] He was the native of San'a in Yemen...He opened a campaign of behalf of 'Ali suggesting that Abu Bakar, 'Umar, and 'Usman were usurpers..." (Shias of Hind p.15)

    18. Famous historian Dr. Walter C. Klein writes,

    "'Abdullah ibn Saba had hailed Ali with the words, "Thou art Thou."...

    (Al-Ibanah al-Usul al-Diyanah, p.7-8)

    19 Historian Professor Nicholson writes,

    "Now the Shi'ite theory of Divine Right certainly harmonized with Persian ideas, ...'Abdullah ibn Saba...went from place to place, seeking to lead Moslems into error..." (The History of the Arabs, p.215)

    20. Famous historian and former governor of U.P, India, William Moore writes,

    "...Ibn Saba, a Jew from the South of Arabia...he became the setter forth of strange and startling doctrines...'Ali was his legate, 'Usmsn was a usurper..." (Al-Khilafat, Us ka Uruj, Inhitat aur Zawaal, p.217)

    21. The “Jewish Encyclopedia” says,

    ABDALLAH IBN SABA
    By : Hartwig Hirschfeld

    Jew of Yemen, Arabia, of the seventh century, who settled in Medina and embraced Islam. Having adversely criticized Calif Othman's administration, he was banished from the town. Thence he went to Egypt, where he founded an antiothmanian sect, to promote the interests of Ali. On account of his learning he obtained great influence there, and formulated the doctrine that, just as every prophet had an assistant who afterward succeeded him, Mohammed's vizier was Ali, who had therefore been kept out of the califate by deceit. Othman had no legal claim whatever to the califate; and the general dissatisfaction with his government greatly contributed to the spread of Abdallah's teachings. Tradition relates that when Ali had assumed power, Abdallah ascribed divine honors to him by addressing him with the words, "Thou art Thou!" Thereupon Ali banished him to Madain. After Ali's assassination Abdallah is said to have taught that Ali was not dead but alive, and had never been killed; that a part of the Deity was hidden in him; and that after a certain time he would return to fill the earth with justice. Till then the divine character of Ali was to remain hidden in the imams, who temporarily filled his place. It is easy to see that the whole idea rests on that of the Messiah in combination with the legend of Elijah the prophet. The attribution of divine honors to Ali was probably but a later development, and was fostered by the circumstance that in the Koran Allah is often styled "Al-Ali" [The Most High].

    Bibliography: Shahrastani Al-Milal, pp. 132 et seq. (in Haarbrücken’s translation, i. 200-201); Weil, Gesch. der Chalifen, i. 173-174, 209, 259.H. Hir.

    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/vi...h%20ibn%20saba
    Last edited by Saad; 03-11-2007 at 12:55 AM.
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    Indeed interesting. How reliable are the narrations though?
    And as you probably know, orientalists don't examine narrations in a way acceptable according to Islamic standards.

    Do you have an reference for that which you quote Ibn Khaldun?



    "Abdullah bin Saba, who was popularly known as Ibn Sauda, was a Jew. He had left his country during the tenure of Hadhrat Uthman but he had not embraced Islam from the core of his heart. When he was honked out of Basra, he left for Kufa from where he made a bee - line for Syria. The Syrians also whipped him out of their country and he left for Egypt. He made Hadhrat Uthman [r.a] the special butt of his critical remarks and secretly invited people to institute the Khilafat of the Ahl-i-Bait. He pressed upon people to launch the campaign and he spared no opportunity to criticize the rulers. Some of the people openly sided with him. They had come from different cities and therefore they kept up their links through correspondence. Khalid bin Maljim, Saudan bin Hamran and Kinana bin Basher supported the campaign launched by Abdullah bin Saba. They had also persuaded Ammar not to return to Madina. Ammar was one of those people who had openly lambasted Hadhrat Uthman[r.a] for first turning Hadhrat Abu Zar [r.a] out of Syria into Madina and then for pushing him out of Madina towards Abzah, though, under the circumstances, the action of Hadhrat Uthman [r.a] was justified. Hadhrat Abu Zar[r.a] , out of the intensity of his piety and austerity, used to force people to lead their lives on similar lines and to learn to face the hardships of life. He persuaded people to stock for themselves not more than a day's ration. He also illustrate ed with reasoning the undesirability of hoarding gold and silver. Ibn Saba used to instigate Hadhrat Abu Zar [r.a] against Hadhrat Muawiyah by stressing that he supported the distribution of goods among the people. Hadhrat Abu Zar [r.a] started condemning Hadhrat Muawiyah[r.a] . Hadhrat Muawiyah [r.a] coaxed him a little and told him : I'll also harp on the same turn that all goods belong to Allah."


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