Different Shee’ah Sects

Many people assume that the Shee’ahs are united in their beliefs. This is incorrect. The Shee’ah have split into many different sects, each sect as misguided as the other.

Among the different sects are:

– Isma’eelis: In the early days of Shee’ism, the belief of imaamate was that the Imaamate goes from father to the eldest son, and no other line of succession is possible. But when Imaam Ja’far As-Saadiq’s eldest son Isma’eel died in his father’s lifetime, his younger son Musa was designated by his father as the next Imaam. In this case the Imaamate moved from Isma’eel to Musa and the normal procession from father to eldest son was broken. Some Shee’ahs objected to this solution and a new sect developed within the group. This is the origin of the Isma’eeli sect which holds that the belief that Isma’eel Ibn Ja’far was the last rightful Imaam. Ja’far As-Saadiq being the husband of Faatimah, who was the daughter of Hasan Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Husain Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Abee Taalib.

– The Nusayriyyah.

– The Twelvers. This sect appear to judge the Isma’eeli and Nusayriyyah sect as disbelievers. This sect believes that the 12 Imaams have all come and gone, except for the 12th “hidden” Imaam (the one they believe to the the Mahdi). They claim that the 12th Imaam is hidden in a cave somewhere and will soon come out. The 11th Imaam being Al-Hasan Al-‘Askari. Strangely, Ja’far, the brother of this Al-Hasan Al-‘Askari said that he had no child. Fearing that the foundations of the Shee’ah sect will fall asunder, a Shee’ah scholar named ‘Uthmaan Ibn Sa’d claimed that the Imaam actually had a son who went into hiding at the age of 4 and that he (‘Uthmaan) was his deputy. Since then, over 1000 years ago, this hidden Imaam is still in a cave and the Shee’ahs are awaiting for the time he comes out of hiding!

– The Kaisaniyyah.

– The Zaidiyyah. Many Shee’ah sects consider this sect to be infidels.

– The Jaroodiyah. This are an offshoot of the Zaidiyyah sect and are the only ones that are considered Rawaafidh from that branch.

– The Ghaliyyah.

– The Ja’fari. They call upon ‘Ai Ibn Abee Taalib, Hasan and Husain, and according to the permanent committee of Saudi Arabia (comprising of Sh. ‘Abdul-Razzaaq Al-Afifi, Sh. ‘Abdullaah Ibn Ghudayaan & Sh. ‘Abdulaah Ibn Qa’ood) this sect are polytheists who have apostatized from Islaam.

– The Durooz.

– The Shaykiyyah. The former of this sect is the Shee’ah scholar Ahmad Al-Ahsaa’i.

– The Kashifiyyah. The former of this sect was the disciple of Ahmad Al-Ahsaa’i^, a Shee’ah scholar by the name of Kazim Ar-Rushti.

– The Karimkhniyyah. The former of this sect was the disciple of Kazim Ar-Rushti^, a Shee’ah scholar by the name of Muhammad Karim Khan.

– The Qartiyyah. The former of this set was a female scholar named Qurrat Al-Ayn, and was a disciple of the Shee’ah scholar Muhammad Karim Khan^.

– The Bayaniyyah. The former of this sect was a Shee’ah scholar by the name of Mirza ‘Ali Ash-Shirazi

– The Baha’iyyah. The former of this sect was a Shee’ah scholar by the name of Mirza Husain ‘Ali.

– The Khattabiyyah. Like the Isma’eeli sect, this sect also believes that after Ja’far As-Saadi, his son Isma’eel should have been the next Imaam.

– The Futaihiyyah. The followers of ‘Abdullaah “Al-Aftah” Ibn Ja’far As-Saadiq, and reject the other “Imaams” who came after him.

– The Waqifiyyah. This sect stopped their Imaams at Musa, the son of Ja’far and do not accept the Imamate of all the Imaams after him.

– The Nawusiyyah. This sect are the followers of a man called Nawus or Ibn Nawus, who believed that Ja’far As-Saadiq did not die and that he is the Mahdi.

One finds that almost each and every Mujtahid and marji’ has his own madhhab in some sort of way, despite the fact that about 30 scholars claimed that they are in contact with the hidden 12th Imaam (who is believed to be hidden in a cave).

In the encyclopedia “Dairatul Ma’arif” is says: “Many Shee’ah sects appeared, the number far exceeded the 73 known sects that splintered away from Islaam.” [Dairatul Ma’arif, 4/67]

Al-Maqrizi mentioned that the Shee’ah sects are more than 300 in number! [See Al-Khitat, 2/351]


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