Author Topic: The Role of Hadith in Sectarian Origins & Conflicts  (Read 84 times)

Neptin

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The Role of Hadith in Sectarian Origins & Conflicts
« on: July 07, 2018, 05:53:11 AM »
Disclaimer: This is rather an historical piece, and as such is not perfect. No history is perfect. But whatever is written here is verifiable from traditional Muslim and western historic works of early Islam.

Shiism

In the wake of Muhammad's death and interval preluding his burial, Abu Bakr As Sadik and Umar ibn Khatab quietly abandoned Muhammad's family for Saqifa. There, the Ansar were gathered at short notice deliberating on Muhammad's political successor. Sure enough, the duo arrived in time to convince the Ansar to select Abu Bakr. Abu Bakr won the vote of the Ansar, won the vote of most Muhajirun despite the contentious nature of his appointment.

Yet there were those bent on Ali bin Abu Talib and his descendants as the rightful heir of the caliphate, they rejected Abu Bakr, and they began to recite hadith bolstering their claims. These hadith survived till date and Sunnis and Shiites continue to disagree on on their meaning.

Thus the Shiites were the first sect to emerge with a distinct ideology, but for much of the pre-Ummayad era they did not pose much political threat, despite their apprehension for the regimes of prior Ali.
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Neptin

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Re: The Role of Hadith in Sectarian Origins & Conflicts
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2018, 05:54:10 AM »
Kharijites

Next comes the infamous Kharijites whose brutality and barbarity seem to have clouded other aspects of their creed. Yet for all their overbearance, they were the product of Ali-Muawiya endless conflict that was tearing apart the empire. In sharp contrast from the Shiites, they were a democratic group and understood better than other sects that Belief without Righteousness is Disbelief. And even though they went overboard with this, it would be inaccurate to define them as just another terrorist group.

The early Kharijites differed on the validity of hadith, lending credit to the argument that hadith rejection is no recent phenomenon. As such it is unlikely that they resorted to hadith fabrication for vindication. Rather, defamatory hadith were fabricated against them. Again, these hadith were passed down till date and Sunnis and Shiites reinterpret them as in indicative of modern Muslim insurgents.
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Neptin

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Re: The Role of Hadith in Sectarian Origins & Conflicts
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2018, 05:55:39 AM »
Sunnism

Commencing with the reign of Ali, the Shiites eventually got to taste the power they'd longed for. But it would not last. The Kharijites first, and then the Umayyads persisted as a thorn on their side. The Shiite leadership were eventually overcome by the Umayyads, who cemented their dynasty after upon laying to waste Hussein, his family and much of the Shiites.

The Umayyad who were relatively secularists did not need religious justification for their flagrant corruption. What they needed was a narrative to counter the widespread Shiite narrative of Imamah that still posed a political threat, even after the tragedy of Karbala. So, Abu Hurayra was employed to demean Ali, while the Shiites exalted him; to endorse the Ummayad while the Shiites denounced them. And thus, Sunnism was conceived. Sunnism is therefore a reaction to Shiism, not a precursor to Shiism.

By the end of the Umayyad reign, fabricated hadith had become propaganda by both the warring Sunnite Umayyad and Shiites factions. In cooperation with the Abbasids, the Shiites succeeded in toppling the Umayyads after nearly a century. But on attaining power, the Abbasids immediately ditched the Shiites, all their doctrines, all their bargains, and declared a Sunnite caliphate.

The Shiite had been fooled. The Abbasid recommenced Hadith fabrication and commenced its documentation. They could not go back on their promise to establish an Islamic state, so hadith fabrication became a means to qualify all their tyranny and transgressions as Islam. The Umayyads had conceived Sunnism, while the Abbasid shaped and fleshed it.
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Neptin

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Re: The Role of Hadith in Sectarian Origins & Conflicts
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2018, 05:56:49 AM »
Mutazilah

Historians do not all agree that Mutazilah emerged from the Shiites, but given the emphasis on dialectical reasoning on both sides, a connection between the the two can be made. The Mut'azilah were Arabs of the early Abbasid era, so influenced by Greek philosophy that if they bore any connection with Shiism, they parted with it completely and turned to a philosophical interpretation of Islam.

Obviously, this philosophical approach to the Qur'an detract from the authority of hadith , drawing the ire of the Sunnite Imams. But the Mutazilah would enjoy political tolerance and even prominence under three consecutive early Abbasid caliphs, even though these caliphs were Sunnites. Their eventual fall from grace cemented the dominance of Sunnism in the caliphate, and till their extinction, they remain a truly noble sect innocent of any hadith fabrication.
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Neptin

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Re: The Role of Hadith in Sectarian Origins & Conflicts
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2018, 05:57:43 AM »
Conclusion:

Thenceforth, the Abbasid Sunnis dominated the heart of Muslimdom, persecuting all other Muslim sects and divisions. Causing the Shiites to flee, converge in north Africa, eventually establish their own empires and codify their own hadith.

Peace
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