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Forerunners of the Shia in Time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Shia , Imam Ali

SHAFAQNA- A number of historians have composed books on the character of some of the Companions and the Successors. What follows is a brief survey of some of these books.

Sayyid Ali Khan Madani (d. 1120/1708) wrote a book entitled al-Darajat al-Rafia fī Taqabat al-Shia al-Imamiyya. The first chapter of this book covers the Shia of the Banu Hashim and the second the non-Banu Hashim, introducing twenty three and forty six Companions respectively. He then introduces the Shia amongst the Successors.

Muhammad Husayn Kashif al-Ghita (1294–1373/1877–1954) introduces some of the close companions of Ali in Asl al-Shia wa Usuliha For example, he names Abu Dharr Al-Ghifari, Miqdad ibn Aswad al-Kindi, Ammar ibn Yasir, Khuzayma Dhu al-Shahadatayn bin Tayhan, Hudhayfa ibn Yaman, Zubayr, Fadl ibn Abbas and his brother, Abd Allah, Hashim ibn Utba al-Mirqal, Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, Aban bin Said ibn al-As, Khalid ibn Said ibn al-As, Ubayy ibn Kab, Anas ibn al-Hirth, and many others.

Sayyid Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din identifies 200 persons as the first Shia in Islamic history in his al-Fusul al-Muhimma fī Talif al-Umma (179-90). In a similar way, Dr. Ahmad al-Waili identifies, in Huwiyyat al-Tashayyu, 130 of the Prophet’s Companions who were also the close followers of Ali and concludes that it would have been impossible for such a great number of people to love and follow Ali so intimately without the Prophet’s permission (34). I have likewise introduced some of Shia pioneers and have investigated their lives and reasons for belonging to Shia in a book entitled Islamic Personalities.

(For more information, see also al-Istīʿāb fī Maʿrifat al-Aṣḥāb by Ibn ʿAbd al-Birr (d. 456/1063), Usud al-Ghāba fī Maʿrifat al-Ṣaḥāba by Ibn Athīr and al-Iṣāba fī Tamyīz al-Ṣaḥāba by Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī (d. 852/1448). )

Source:  Shīa Islam: History and Doctrines, Ayatullāh Jaʿfar Subḥānī, Chapter 6

Shiism as described by historians

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