Identification of Shias

In Tafseer of Imam Hasan Askari(as) regarding the Almighty’s words in Sura-e-Baqar, Verse 80-82:

 وقالوا لن تمسنا النار الا اياما معدوده قل اتخذتم عندالله عهدا فلن يخلف الله عهده ام تقولون علي الله ما لا نعلمون بلي من كسب سييۀ و احطت به خطييه فاوليك اصحاب النار هم فيها خالدون و الذين امنوا و عملوالصالحات اوليك اصحاب الجنۀ هم فيها خالدون

And they say: Fire shall not touch us but for a few days. Say: Have you received a promise from Allah, then Allah will not fail to perform His promise, or do you speak against Allah what you do not know? Yea! whoever earns evil and his sins beset him on every side, these are the inmates of the fire; in it they shall abide. And (as for) those who believe and do good deeds, these are the dwellers of the garden; in it they shall abide.

 Simply: And these Jews said: Hellfire will touch us only for a few days. O Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) ask these Jews if they have taken covenant from Allah regarding this? If it is so, Allah will not go against His word. Or do you speak regarding Allah what you don’t know? Those who commit wrong and their errors surround them, will belong to Hell and they will remain in it forever and those who accept faith and do good, they shall be dwellers of the garden, in it they shall abide forever.

In the tafseer of the above mentioned verse Imam Hasan Askari(as) has mentioned numerous ahaadees on identification of shia's. The same are mentioned below. 


The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: 

Friendship towards Ali (a.s.) is such a good deed in presence of which no sin, however great, can harm. But in order to purify such sinners they have to suffer some worldly hardships and they get some punishment in hereafter till they are absolved of their sins through the intercession of their purified masters. Whereas love for the enemies of Ali (a.s.) and opposition of Ali (a.s.) is such a sin that in its presence no good deed can benefit. But through the enmity of Ali (a.s.) they surely get benefit of worldly bounties and good health and when they pass away, they are involved in a severe chastisement in the hereafter.

 Then he said: Denier of Ali’s guardianship will not even see Paradise but he will be shown only as much to know that if he had been friend of Ali (a.s.), this palace would have been there for him by learning about it his sorrow and regret would increase. One who loves Ali (a.s.), is disgusted with his enemies and honors his successors, will not even see the fire of Hell. But indeed, he would be shown that if he had been on the path opposed to this, that would have been his destination. If he committed sins other than disbelief he will be sent to Hell to abide in it till his sins are purified like the warm water of bath cleans the dirt from body. After that he will enter Paradise through the intercession of his honorable masters.

Then His Eminence (a.s.) said: O Shias, fear Allah, indeed you’ll get Paradise though it be late due to your bad deeds. You must try to get better grades in it. 

Someone asked: O Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.s.), would any of your and Ali’s friend also go to Hell? 

He replied: Yes. Those who have made their souls unclean by opposing Muhammad and Ali (a.s.) and by oppressing the faithful men and women and disobeying our law. That man will arrive on Judgment Day in unclean and filthy condition. Muhammad and Ali (a.s.) will tell him: O man you are covered with such dirt and filth that you are not fit to accompany your righteous masters, heavenly fairies and proximate angels unless and until you become pure from the dirt of the sins you are responsible of. Then he will be made to enter the first level of Hell and there he will be involved in a severe punishment for his other sins. Some guilty persons will suffer great hardships in the field of resurrection. Then from there some pious Shias sent by their masters will pick them up as birds pick grains. Sins of some Shias are very minor and light. They become pure after suffering hardships from kings etc. and suffering physically in the world. So their sins are forgiven by the time they are buried. Some Shias are such that their sins are not forgiven by the time of death, so they feel severe agonies of death; and this is the expiation of their sins. And if some sins are still left on him and they are very severe and if he feels uneasiness or horror on Judgment Day and people flee from him, this disgrace will also be expiation of his sins. If some sins are still left, then, when his body is placed in the grave and people disperse, leaving him alone, then the fatigue of his loneliness will be the expiation of his sins. If his sins are more and great, they will be forgiven through bearing the severities of the field of resurrection. If they are still more, he will be sent to the upper level of Hell and purified of his sins. This is the greatest punishment that our fans (Mohib) may have to suffer. And these are the greatest sinners among them and they are not our Shias. They are called our fans. They are friends of our friends and enemies of our enemies because our Shias are those who obey us, who follow our path and emulate our deeds.


Someone told Amirul Momineen (a.s.): O Amirul Momineen (a.s.), so and so person is guilty of oppressing his soul and inspite of this he from your Shias. His Eminence (a.s.) said: One or two lies have been written on you. If that man is guilty of oppressing his soul and inspite of that he loves us and is inimical to our enemies, it is a lie, because he is our fan but not our Shia. If he is the friend of our enemy and according to you he is not guilty, then also it is a lie because if he oppresses his soul by committing sin and neither he loves us nor is the enemy of our enemies. In this way you have uttered two lies.


A man asked his wife to go to Lady Fatima Zahra (a.s.) and ask her if he was from her Shias. That woman did so. 

Lady Fatima Zahra (s.a.) replied: Go and tell your husband, if he acts upon our commands and abstains from that which we have prohibited, then indeed he is our Shia, otherwise not. 

The woman returned and told her husband what Lady Fatima (s.a.) had said. Her husband said: Woe upon me, who is it that can be immune from all sins? I will burn in the fire of Hell forever because one who is not included among their Shias will dwell in Hell forever. The wife again came to Lady Fatima (s.a.) and mentioned the husband’s remarks. 

Lady Fatima (s.a.) said: Go and tell him that it is not so. The fact is that our Shias are foremost dwellers of Paradise. All our fans, friends of our friends, enemies of our enemies and those who accept us with sincerity, if they oppose our commands and prohibitions they may not be our Shias but still they will go to Paradise, but only after they are purified of their sins by being subjected to hardships and calamities or by bearing hardships on Judgment Day or being punished in the top layer of Hell till they are freed from there as a result of love towards us and come to us.


A man came to Imam Hasan Ibne Ali (a.s.) and said: O son of Prophet! I am from your Shias. 

His Eminence (s.a.w.s.) said: O servant of Allah, if you are really obedient in our commands and prohibitions, then indeed you are true. If not then you must not increase your sin by claiming an excellence you don’t deserve and don’t say that you are from our Shia. Just say that you are our friend and fan and enemy of your enemies. In this way also you would be upon righteousness.


Someone told Imam Husain Ibne Ali (a.s.): O son of Allah’s Messenger, I am your Shia. His Eminence (a.s.) said: Fear Allah, and don’t claim that for which Allah labels you as a liar and transgressor because our Shias are those whose souls are immune from all kinds of deceit, hypocrisy and cheating. Just say that you are our fan.


Someone told Imam Zainul Aabideen Ali Ibne Husain (a.s.): O son of Allah’s Messenger, I am your sincere Shia. 

His Eminence (a.s.) said: O servant of Allah, you have become like Prophet Ibrahim Khalilullah (a.s.) regarding whom Allah says:

 وان من شيعته لابراهيم اذ جاء ربه بقلب سليم

And most surely Ibrahim followed his way. When he came to his Lord with a free heart. 

If your heart is perfect like the heart of Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.), then indeed you are our true believer and if you are not purified of all deceit and treachery you are not our Shia. And know that if you are purposely telling a lie, you will be involved in paralysis and will be not cured till death or you will be involved in leprosy so that it be expiation of this lie of yours.


Someone told Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that one day Ammar Dahni came to the court of Abu Laila the Qazi of Kufa to give testimony. The Qazi told him: O Ammar! Go away from here, we will not accept your testimony because we know that you are a Rafidi. Hearing this, Ammar stood up, his limbs were trembling with fear and he was weeping. Seeing this, the Qazi said: O Ammar! You are a learned man. If you feel bad to be addressed as a Rafidi, then leave it and then you will be our brother. Ammar said: It is not what you think. I weep for you and for myself because you conferred a lofty status on me, which I am not deserving of. You think that I am a Rafidi, woe upon you. Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) has told me that the first people to be labeled as Rafidis were the magicians (called by Firon to challenge Prophet Musa. When they saw the miracle of Musa’s staff, they accepted faith and began to follow Musa’s path leaving the religion of Firon and they willingly accepted the consequences that befell them. Firon labeled them as Rafidis because they left Firon’s obedience. Hence Rafidi is one who gives up things that Allah has forbidden and acts upon that which Allah has commanded. Where is such a man in this time? I wept on himself only for the fear that Allah may become aware of my conscience and that I gave myself this title and that my Lord may involve me in a severe punishment and say: O Ammar, are you a Rafidi; who gave up all forbidden acts and performed all commands as he has called you a Rafidi? Thus this will decrease my status if He deals kindly with me. And if He punishes me it will cause trouble to me. Though if my renowned masters intercede for me I can hope to be released from punishment.

I weep for you because you told a great lie about me and labeled me with something I am not. Also that I feared your being involved in Allah’s punishment, because you decreased the status of a great name to a lowly grade. I don’t know how your body will tolerate the chastisement that you became worthy of by uttering these words.

When His Eminence (a.s.) heard this, he said: Even if Ammar is having a sin greater than the skies and the earths, by saying these words it will be erased and his good will be so numerous with Allah that each of their grains as little as a mustard seed, will be a thousand times bigger than the world.


After Mamoon Rashid, the Abbasid, made Imam Reza (a.s.) his heir apparent, one day a servant came to His Eminence (a.s.) and said: Some people are at the door seeking permission to enter, and they say: We are Shias of Ali (a.s.). 

His Eminence (a.s.) said: I have no time, send them away. The servant sent them away. 

Next day again they came but the same answer was given to them and they went away. Thus two months passed and they got the same answer every day. When they despaired of meeting the Imam they said to the servant: Go and tell our master, that we are Shias of his grandfather, Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.) and our enemies laugh at us for not getting permission to meet him. This time if we go back, due to the first shamefulness and disgrace and sorrow of future and taunts of enemies we shall leave the city and go away to some other place. At last they got permission; they entered and saluted the Imam but did not get reply to their salutation and the Imam did not ask them to sit. They waited for a long time. At last they said: O son of Allah’s Messenger, after waiting so long, what is the reason of your anger? What is the fault that remains on us? 

His Eminence (a.s.) said: Recite this verse:

و ما اصابكم من مصيبۀ فبما كسبت ايديكم و يعفو عن كثير

And whatever affliction befalls you, it is on account of what your hands have wrought, and (yet) He pardons most (of your faults).

I have followed the path of Allah, the Holy Prophet and Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and others with regard to you. All of them are angry at you and I also did the same. 

The people asked: O son of Allah’s Messenger! What is the reason of this? 

He said: Because you claimed to be Shias of Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.). Woe upon you. The true Shias are Hasan, Husain (a.s.), Salman, Abu Tharr, Miqdad, Ammar and Muhammad bin Abu Bakr (r.a.). They did not go against His commands and never committed what He prohibited. But how can you claim to be Shias? Though often you have opposed in deeds and fail to perform many duties. You are lazy in fulfilling the rights of your brothers in faith. You resort to dissimulation where you must not and fail to observe it where you should. If you had said that you were his fans, friends of his friends and enemies of his enemies, your claim would have been acceptable. But when you make a great claim that your deeds cannot justify you will be destroyed, unless divine mercy saves you.

 When they heard this, they said: O son of Allah’s Messenger! We seek pardon from Allah and repent for our statements. We say as our master has instructed us, that we are fans of you and your friends and enemies of your enemies. Now His Eminence (a.s.) said: Welcome, my brothers and my friends come up; and he called them up till they joined him. Then he asked his sentry: How many times did you stop them? He said: Exactly sixty times. His Eminence (a.s.) said: Now you salute them and give my regards the same number of times, as their sins are erased because of their repentance and because of our friendship and love they have became eligible for our kindness and generosity. Then he inquired about their family and children, conferred them estates, cash and presents; and solved their problems and difficulties.


One day a man came happily to Imam Muhammad Taqi (a.s.) and said: O son of Allah’s Messenger, I have heard from your ancestors that a man should be happy when Allah gives him chance to give charity and solve the problems of his brothers in faith. So today, ten persons from my religious friends came from so and so city and I treated each of them with such and such kindness. That is why I am elated. His Eminence (a.s.) said: I swear by my life, elation befits you only when you have not nullified your good deeds or after that you must not nullify them. The man asked: How did I nullify my good deeds, though I am your sincere Shia?

His Eminence (a.s.) said: You have just nullified your good deeds and charity to your brothers. He asked: How is it? His Eminence (a.s.) said recite this verse:

 يا ايها الذين امنوا لا تبطلوا صدقاتكم بالمن و الاذي ...

O you who believe! Do not make your charity worthless by reproach and injury

The man said: O son of Allah’s Messenger, I have not shown favor of any kind on the ones I did charity and neither did I hurt them in any way. 

His Eminence (a.s.) said: Allah says in this verse only that don’t make your charity worthless by boasting of favor and has not said that you boast directly to those to whom you give charity. It denotes all types of hurts. Now tell me what is worse, your hurting those whom you gave charity to or hurting your proximate guarding angels or hurting us? The man said: O son of Allah’s Messenger! Hurting you is the greatest sin. 

His Eminence (a.s.) said: You hurt us and those angels and nullified your charities. He asked: How? His Eminence said: You said: How can my good deeds become worthless, since I am your sincere Shia? Woe to you, don’t you know, who our sincere Shia is? He said: No. 

His Eminence said: Our sincere Shias are Hizqil, Believer of Aale Firon and the person of Surah Yasin, regarding whom Allah says:

 و جاء من اقصا المدينۀ رجل يسعي ...

And from the remote part of the city there came a man running…

And Salman, Abu Tharr, Miqdad, and Ammar (r.a.). You made yourself equal to them. Did you not hurt the angels and us? 

The man said: I seek pardon from Allah and feel ashamed of my deeds. Now tell me, how I should say? 

His Eminence (a.s.) said: Say: I am your friend and fan, enemy of your enemies and a friend of Your friends. 

He said: Son of Allah’s Messenger, I say like this only and I am like this only. I repent for my words that you and the angles disliked and your dislike was due to the dislike of Allah. 

His Eminence (a.s.) said: The rewards of your charity have returned to you and they are saved from being nullified.


Abu Yaqoob Yusuf bin Ziyad and Ali Ibne Sayyar, narrators of the Tafseer say: One evening we were present in the upper chamber of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.). The ruler of that time and his officials used to show respect and honor to His Eminence (a.s.). At that moment the governor of the city, who was the ruler of Bahrain, passed that way along with a man whose hands were tied behind as punishment. Imam (a.s.) was leaning out to watch the scene from his chamber. When the governor saw His Eminence (a.s.) he jumped down from his horse as a mark of respect. His Eminence (a.s.) ordered him to mount; he mounted and humbly asked: O son of Allah’s Messenger, tonight I found this man at the door of a moneychanger shop and arrested him under the suspicion that he was about to rob the place; and it is my rule that whomsoever I arrest in suspicion has to take five hundred lashes so that he may be recompensed for some sins. Before that any other person may come, whom I cannot remove. Thus as per the tradition when I decided to give him five hundred lashes, he said: Fear Allah and do not get involved in Allah’s chastisement because I am a Shia of Amirul Momineen Ali (a.s.) and his son Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.), father of Qaim Aale Muhammad (a.s.). Hearing this I desisted from it and told him: I shall take you to him. If he accepts your being a Shia, I shall let you off, otherwise whip you a thousand times and cut off your limbs. O son of Allah’s Messenger, I have come to you for this reason. Now tell me if he really is Shia of Ali (a.s.) as he claims to be? 

Imam (a.s.) said: God forbid, he is not a Shia of Ali (a.s.) and Allah has made him arrested by you for this reason, because according his own belief he is a Shia of Ali (a.s.). 

The governor said: You saved me the trouble of giving him five hundred lashes. Anyway it does make any difference. He ordered that he should be taken to a distance, made to lie face down and that two executioners should stand on each side to beat him up severely. They brought out their belts and started beating him but not a single strike fell on his back; all fell on the ground. Seeing this, the governor was disgusted and said: Why do you hit the ground? Beat him on his back. Their hands turned from that side and started beating each other and they started screaming and wailing.

Seeing this, the governor shouted: Shame on you, have you gone mad that you beat each other? Beat this man. They said: We are trying to beat this man but our hands turn around and we beat each other. They called four other men. Now they were six and after consulting each other they surrounded him and started to whip but their hands turned and their whips moved upwards to fall upon the governor. The governor fell down from his horse and shouted: You have killed me! May Allah kill you! What are you doing? They said: We are beating him. After that he ordered other executioners to lash that man. They also came and started beating the governor. He shouted: You are beating me. They said: By Allah, we are beating this man. The governor said: If you did not beat me how these wounds appeared on my face and body? They said: By God, may our hands be crippled if we intend to beat you.

At that moment the man, who being punished, shouted: O servants of Allah and O Governor, you don’t take a lesson from the graces of Allah, by which these whips turn away from me. Woe on you, take me to my Imam again and do whatever he orders for me. 

So the governor brought him back to the Imam and said: O son of Allah’s Messenger, it is surprising that you refused him be a Shia and one who is not your Shia, is the Shia of Iblees and will go to Hell. I have seen miracles from this man that are manifested only by apostles of Allah.

 His Eminence (a.s.) said to the governor: O servant of Allah, by claiming to be our Shia according to his own thinking he made a false statement. If he had done so purposely, he would have been punished by you and imprisoned for 30 years; but Allah did not allow him to be punished only for uttering one word and that also not thinking that it was false. So Allah favored him and released him from you. Now you also forgive him because he is our sincere friend (Mohib) but not our Shia. 

The governor said: According to us, friend and Shia are same. What is the difference between them? 

His Eminence (a.s.) replied: Our Shias are those who follow our traditions and observe all our commands and prohibitions. Such persons are our Shias but those who oppose us in many divine duties, they are not our Shias.

Then His Eminence (a.s.) said to the governor: You told a lie, if you had really punished him, Allah would have given you a thousand lashes and imprisoned you for 30 years. He said: O son of Allah’s Messenger! What is that? 

His Eminence (a.s.) replied: Your notion that the miracles he showed were not his but ours, which Allah had displayed at his hands and these were His signs that showed our proof and nobility. And if you say that I witnessed miracles in him, I would not have refuted you. Now you tell me whether the enlivening of the dead was a miracle of Prophet Isa (a.s.) or not? Thus was it the miracle of the dead or Prophet Isa (a.s.)? Were they not making images of clay birds? And the bird became alive and flew away by the command of Allah? Was it a miracle of Isa (a.s) or the bird? The people who changed into monkeys; was it not a miracle? It was the miracle of monkeys or of the Prophet of that time? Hearing this, the governor said: I seek pardon of my sins from Allah and I turn in repentance towards Him.

 Then Imam (a.s.) said to the man who claimed to be a Shia of Ali (a.s.): O servant of Allah, You are not a Shia of Ali (a.s.) but you are his fan (Mohib). Allah says:

 و الذين امنوا و عملوالصالحات اوليك اصحاب الجنه هم فيها خالدون

And (as for) those who believe and do good deeds, these are the dwellers of the garden; in it they shall abide. 

It is those who believed in Allah, attributed the positive qualities to Him and purified Him from the negative attributes. They verified all the sayings of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) and considered all his actions correct. And after His Eminence (s.a.w.s.) considered Imam Ali (a.s.) as their Sayyid and Imam; such that nobody is like him among the followers of Muhammad and all of them together also cannot be his equal. If all are kept in one pan of scale and Ali (a.s.) in other pan and weighed, they shall never be equal, Ali’s side will be weigh down just as sky and earth are heavier than a rice grain. The Shias of Ali (a.s.) are such that they don’t care if on the way of Allah death falls upon them or they fall upon death. Shias of Ali (a.s.) are such that they give preference to their brothers in faith over themselves even though they may have to undergo trouble.

They are such that they do not look at what Allah has forbidden and they do not remain absent from what Allah has commanded them. They are such that they follow Ali (a.s.) in according respect to their brothers in faith. I am not saying this on my own; I narrate the saying of the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and the words of Allah:

 ... و عملوالصالحات ...

 ...and do good…

Means that after the confession of the oneness of Allah and beliefs of prophethood and Imamate they completed all duties. And to fulfill the rights of brothers in faith and to observe dissimulation from the enemies of religion, who are (in fact) enemies of Allah, are the most important duties.