I had mentioned in one of the threads regarding the confusion that may arise when one uses the term "Rafidhi" to describe modern-day Twelver Shias.
I personally think that even some of the 'Ulama are not well-versed with what the beliefs of the Twelver Shias are in reality. For example, Daruliftaa.com says that there are two types of Shias and explains it thus:
a) Those who hold beliefs that constitute disbelief (kufr), such as having the belief that the Qur’an has been altered, Sayyiduna Ali (Allah be pleased with him) is God, the angel Jibril made an error in descending with the revelation on the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) rather than Sayyiduna Ali (Allah be pleased with him), accusing Sayyida Ai’isha (Allah be pleased with her) of committing adultery or denying the Companionship (suhba) of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him).
b) Those who do not hold beliefs that constitute Kufr, such as believing that Sayyiduna Ali (Allah be pleased with him) was the rightful first Caliph after the demise of the Messenger of Allah, belief in the twelve Imams, etc…
Such Shi’as cannot be termed as out of the fold of Islam, rather they are considered to be severely deviated and transgressors (fisq).
Now the problem with this approach is:
In the first instance discussed, none of the points mentioned above would be accepted by modern-day Twelver Shias as being part of their religion. The Twelver Shias would accept that they are the second type of Shias discussed, so apparently the problem would be solved and they are considered as Muslims.
However, the Mufti did not mention that Twelver Shias hold onto other types of repugnant beliefs that make them not only "Rafidhis" but also "Ghulat", extremist heretics, no different from lunatics such as those from the "Nation of Islam", "Qadianis", etc.
For example, let us suppose that saying that Ali (Radhia Allahu Anhu) was the rightful Khaliph is not Kufr. Also, let us suppose that saying that those who took the Khilaphah from him wronged him is not Kufr again. However, what about holding onto the belief that whoever was responsible for denying the Khilaphah to Ali (Radhia Allahu Anhu) is a disbeliever, since this would include the most senior of the Sahabah, whose Islam and whose entrance to Paradise is accepted without disagreement? According to the scholars of Aqeedah, what is the situation of such a person?
Let us move on. Regarding the Qur'an, almost no Twelver Shia will openly say that the Quran has been tampered with. However, they they do not consider the soundness of the text of the Quran nor the soundness of its arrangement to be essential parts of their religion, meaning that a person can hypothetically hold on to the view that distortion has occured in the Qur'an and still be a Twelver Shia. I want to ask the 'Ulama or those who have access to 'Aalims, can a person who holds that the soundness of the Quran and its arrangement is not part of their religion be considered a Muslim?
Let us move on again. The fatwa says that it is not Kufr to believe in 12 Imams. However, what happens when the person believes that these twelve Imams are higher in status to almost all the Prophets? Ok, let us suppose that the Shia does not himself believe that, but considers that this is a matter of Ijtihad, that there are narrations that according to him may lead the Shia to believe one way or the other without the person exiting the Twelver Shia religion. Again I need to ask, what do our 'Ulama make of this belief, is it within Islam or not?
So these are some of the reasons why I believe that using the term "Rafidhi" is very light when it comes to describing Twelver Shias, because it conjures up in the mind someone who may simply say a mean word or two to the Sahabah, while for the most part holding onto acceptable beliefs. This is definitely not the case with Twelver Shias, as their beliefs are terrifyingly horrible and repugnant.