One of the misfortunes that befell the Islamic world is the appearance of a sect labeled Wahabiyah. They call themselves Salafi and believe that they act in accordance to the culture and ideology of the righteous companions of the advent of Islam. This claim is without foundation because Islamic sects – Hanbaliyah, Shafa’iyah, Malikiyah, Hanafiyah, and Ja’fariyah – have lived with each other for centuries. They studied in one school. They took part in each others’ lessons. The lived in an environment full of unity.
Imams (a) told us to have relations with them because without these relations Islam will become weak and the enemy will be able to have the upper hand. In the 7th and 8th century of Islam a person by the name of Ibn Taymiyah appeared and wrote a book called Minhaj al-Sunnah. There is abundant material in this book which is anti-Shia and anti-Ahl al-Bait (a) and which does not have any rational backing or proofs to it. ‘Allahmah Amini rejects these accusations in the book Al-Ghadir.
Then, in the 12th century a person by the name of Abd al-Wahab continued the path of Ibn Taymiyah and the sect of Wahabiyah was formed. These people were, without doubt, built by the enemies of Islam. These people showed enmity towards the Shia and the Ahl al-Bayt (a). They do not use logic or reasoning and they do not appear in debates but they publish material that is extremely anti-Shia.
Recently in the Holy Mosque of Mecca one of the prayer leaders clearly stated that Shias are disbelieves. They are not prepared to answer our books such as Al-Ghadir and Al-Marja’at which are in their hands. If they would give an answer we would listen and see what they have. The Shia state that they would not be able to answer these criticisms.
One of the prayer leaders in the Holy Mosque labeled Shias as disbelievers in front of thousands of Shias who were present there. We want to tell this person that Shias follow that person who destroyed 360 idols by throwing them off the Ka’bah. Shia follow that person who killed 36 people at Badr. The Shia follow the person who it was said of him ‘There is no young man like Ali and no sword like the Dhul-Fiqar at Uhud. In the Khandaq war the Prophet stated: “The strike of ‘Ali on the day of Khandaq is better than the worship of the thaqalayn.” In regards to Khaybar, those two people went are were unable to be victorious. The Prophet then stated: “Tomorrow I will give the standard to one who Allah and the messenger loves and who loves Allah and the messenger…” The next day ‘Ali went and was victorious. We are followers of him.
You can read about his history in your books. In Surah Bayinah, surah 98, it states: “Those who have faith and do righteous deeds, they are the best of creatures.” Your own commentaries of the Quran have quoted traditions stating that these are the Shia of Ali.
We are facing a misfortune which affects the whole Islamic world. There is a sect which has been created by the enemies and which presents enmity to the Ahl al-Bayt (a) and the enemies of Islam in order to create fitna. They are not prepared to answer our criticisms in books or debates. But, they treat Shia pilgrims violently – even women.