Who is "Super Shia" ?

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Articles
Tuesday, 21 July 2015


Can we claim to be proud Shias? Can some of us claim to be proud of stamping “Sayyid” in front of our name? Can we walk strongly in our processions, when our ladies are still not aware of the concept of Hijab? How about when our centers are full of youth who say they do not want to be Muslim? Or when our men are heads of organizations and are unjustly using their “positions”? Are these deeds simply going to be ignored and consumed like wood in fire?

“Super Shia.” It is a modern term we all may have heard the past few years to describe a person or group of the Ja’fari line that is “too” Shia. But what exactly does that mean? Is it possible to be “too” Shia? Or even “too” Sunni? What we last heard from our Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) was that we are Muslim brothers and sisters in faith. Although we are told to treat all humans respectfully, regardless of faith, ethnicity, sect, or color, there is something that separates each of us. As followers of the Ahlul Bayt (peace be upon them), and as those who claim to follow the Ja’fari school of thought, we hold a higher responsibility. This means the more we talk, the more we have to walk.

It is very important to be proud, not arrogant, of belonging in the group of followers of our blessed Prophet and Imams (peace be upon them). In the past years, the media has shed some light on “Shi’ites”, therefore making it more of a task on our part to practice our beliefs and be strong in our knowledge of our values. As Shias, we hear of – and many believe in – sayings or stories that claim no matter what sins we have done, as long as a Shia loves Imam Ali (peace be upon him), we will enter heaven. That’s all good and dandy, but there is more to it. Islam is not like the Christian faith in the sense of “salvation”. Yes, there are plenty of hadith, like: “The love for Ali bin Abi Talib consumes the evil deeds in the same way as fire consumes wood.” ([I]Fadhail al- Shia[/I])

This does not mean that we are able to sin as much as we like, and not worry about our bad deeds being accounted for – they will be. “Love for Ali” is not a simple concept. If we love our Imam, then that means we protect them, we do not hurt them by discrediting their words or advice, and we are happy about things they are happy about. Unfortunately, as Shias we are nowhere near being the kind of followers as we should be. Many of us have heard the story of the follower who told Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) that he loved him more than anyone and would do anything he said to. The Imam asked him to jump into an oven-like structure, or a pit of fire. Put on the spot, the man hesitated and did not know how to react. In the meantime, another follower heard the order and acted upon it. The Imam lifted the lid and the inside was nothing but cool, without fire.

Can we claim to be proud Shias? Can some of us claim to be proud of stamping “Sayyid” in front of our name? Can we walk strongly in our processions, when our ladies are still not aware of the concept of Hijab? How about when our centers are full of youth who say they do not want to be Muslim? Or when our men are heads of organizations and are unjustly using their “positions”? Are these deeds simply going to be ignored and consumed like wood in fire?

Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq once said to some of his believers in passing: “…help us keep on so by means of your piety and diligence. You should know that the loyalty to us cannot be obtained except by means of piety and diligence. He who follows someone should imitate his deeds. You are the Shia of Allah, you are the supporters of Allah, and you are the foremost forerunners, the last forerunners, the foremost to the love for us in this world, and the foremost to win Paradise on the Last Day.” ([I]Ibid[/I])

If we look at how our dear Imams have honored their followers, we would hang our heads in shame. As we sacrifice and compromise the status that has been given to us, we need to realize that we are slowly disconnecting ourselves from our blessings of following the path of the Ahlul Bayt. We need to imitate – as the Imam said to his believers – their deeds, their words, their way of life, in order to proudly call ourselves Shias. As we commemorate our Sixth Imam’s demise, let us remember his words describing the characteristics of his followers – humble, pious, and God-fearing.

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