Was The Founder Of Bareilawi’ism A Shee’ah?

The founder of Bareilawi’ism was Ahmad Raza, born on 14 June 1865 and died in 1921. Some of his detractors alleged that he belonged to a Shee’ah family, performed taqiyyah (1) and hid his identity in order to live amongst Ahlus-Sunnah and propagate his Shee’ah beliefs.

He played a major role in propagating some of the beliefs taken from the Shee’ah (2). He even wrote some treatises that were apparently against the Shee’ah and in favour of Ahlus-Sunnah. Thus he fulfilled all of the requirements of taqiyyah.

Ahmad Raza (the founder of the Bareilawiy sect) used narrations in many of his words that were exclusive to the Shee’ah. These narrations were contrary to the beliefs of Ahlus-Sunnah.

For example:

‘Alee will distribute hell on the day of judgement. [Alaaman Wal ‘Alee, by Ahmad Raza Bareilawi, p. 53]

He also said about ‘Alee that “he is the distributer of Hell, meaning he will admit his friends to Paradise, and his opponents to Hell.” [Alaaman Wal ‘Alee, by Ahmad Raza Bareilawi, p. 56]

Faatimah was named as such because Allah protected her and her progeny from hellfire. [Khatam Nahuwat, by Ahmad raza Bareilawi, p. 97]

Sanctifying the Imaams of the Shee’ah. He stated that ‘Agwath (the ones who beseech for the creation) began with ‘Alee and continued till Hasan Askari. He reproduced the same chain as the Imaams of the Shee’ah. [Mulfuzat, p. 118]

Ahmad Raza declared ‘Alee as ‘mushkil kusha’ (one who removes difficulties) and said, “One who supplicates with the famous du’aa of Saifi (which reflects the beliefs of the Shee’ah), his difficulties are removed.” [Al-Aman Wal-Alaa, Pp. 12-13]

The du’aa of Saifi is: “Call ‘Alee who manifests wonders. You will find him as one who helps. O ‘Alee by the mediation of your walayah (canonisation) all worries are extinguished.” [Al-Aman Wal-Alaa, Pp. 12-13]

He made famous the usage of “panjtan paak” and promoted this couplet, which means, “There are five who’s barakah (blessings) remove all my afflictions: Muhammad, ‘Alee, Hasan, Husain and Faatimah.” [fataawa Razwiyah, 6/187]

In affirmation of the “article of Ja’far” that resembles the Shee’ah beliefs, he wrote in his book “Khalis Al-‘Itiqaad”, “Ja’far is a book made of leather which was written by Imaam Ja’far for Ahlul-Bait. In it are mentioned all the things of necessity. Similarly all events which will happen till the day of judgement are recorded in it.” [Khalis Al-‘Itiqaad, p. 47]

He wrote about the Shee’ah article “Al-Jami’ah”, “that is was the scripture in which ‘Alee documented in alphabetical order all the incidents of the world.” [Ibid, p. 47]

Ahmad raza Bareilawi made mention of the following Shee’ah narration, “It was asked of Imaam Raza (the eighth Imaam of the Shee’ah) to teach a supplication which could be recited at the graves of Ahlul-Bait. So he replied that one should go to the graves and recite ‘Allaahu Akbar’ forty times and then say, ‘Peace be upon you, O Ahlul-Bait. O Ahlul-Bait, I invoke you as intercessors with Allaah for my problems and ailments and I declare myself free from the enemies of the family of Muhammad.’ ” [Fataawa Razwiyyah, by Ahmad Raza Bareilawi, 4/299]

He publicised such narrations in order to glorify the Imaams of the Shee’ah at the expense of the Companions of the prophet (saw). However such narrations are unknown to Ahlus-Sunnah.

To carry favour with the Shee’ah ta’ziyah (3) he wrote, “There is no problem in having a replica of Husain’s tomb in your house to derive blessings from it.” [Risaalah Badrul-Anwaar, p. 57]

He gave ‘Alee divine attributes in the following poem, “Call upon ‘Alee Murtaza – (the) manifestation of wonders: You will find him the one who helps in ordeals All worries and woes will vanish: By his wilayah, Ya ‘Alee, Ya ‘Alee.” [Al-Aman Wal-Alaa, p. 13]

He said about Ahlul-Hadeeth (the non-blind followers), “The mon-conformists (Ahlul-Hadeeth) are the dogs of hell. The statement that the Rawaafidh (Shee’ah) are more wicked than them (Ahlul-Hadeeth) is wronging the rawaafidh (Shee’ah), and underestimating the wickedness of Ahlul-Hadeeth.” [Fataawa Ridwiyyah, 4/198]

And it is well known that Ahmad Raza Bareilawi wrote many exaggerated passages in praise of the Imaams of the Shee’ah in the same way the Shee’ah did. [Hadaa’iq Bakhshish, by Ahmad Raza]


(1) The Shee’ah act of hiding one’s faith from the people and apparently agreeing with what is around him.

(2) Fataawaa Bareilawiyyah, p.14.

(3) Husain’s sarcophagus; commemorative model of Husain’s tomb carried by the Shee’ah in procession during Muharram.

[Taken from “Brelwis Exosed” by Sh. Ehsaan Elahi Zaheer]


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