In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Ever Merciful…
Controversial American preacher, Yusuf Estes, has been openly promoting and defending the religion of the Iranian Shiites for years. We have previously documented his endorsement of the Ja’fari math-hab (the official math-hab of the Raafidhah state of Iran) and his claim that it is perfectly fine to call oneself a “Ja’fari” (click here), while blaming Muslims who ascribe to the Sunnah by calling themselves “Sunnis” (click here). We have also documented his promotion of the “true scholar” Ayatollah Muhammad Hadi Marifat, an Iranian Shia scholar (pp.52-58 of this PDF). We have also shown how he has studied directly under Shiite scholars. (click here) Yusuf Estes has even gone so far as to claim that Shiite follow the Quran and Sunnah (click here), while someone who calls himself a “Sunni” does not even follow the Quran! (click here)
As every Muslim of balance can detect: There is obviously some connection here between Yusuf Estes and the Shia, to say the least.
To confirm this and to more closely examine Yusuf’s misguided and inaccurate claim that the Iranian Raafidhah Shiite follow the Quran and Sunnah, we will now look at what he has claimed about the Shiite and their following of the Quran. The more severe ghulat (extremists) of the Shiite are the likes of the disbelieving “Twelvers” (Ithnaa’ashariyyah) Cult, also known as the Raafidhah, the Ja’faris, or the Imamiyyah. These are the names of the Shia of modern-day Iran. While it is widely known that they claim to have much more revelation of the Quran than the Sunnis, Yusuf Estes actually makes the deceitful claim that they have the exact same Quran! His exact words are as follows:
There is a bit of a rift between two large groups of Muslims. This is a group called Sunnis, a group called Shiite. Shiites are mostly in Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran. And then the Sunnis are pretty much in the rest of the Muslim world. And there are, there have been times throughout history where there’s been some confrontation, but I assure you: They have exactly the same book. There’s no difference. We had, uh, the Shiites had a Quran recitation contest in Pennsylvania, in the United States, and they recited exactly word-for-word-for-word, the same thing that when the Sunnis had their little thing, that they did the same thing. There wasn’t any difference.
Please note the following significant points found in these misguided words of Yusuf Estes:
- He affirms that the Shiite he is referring to are found in Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran.
- The Sunnis and the Shiite have exactly the same Quran.
- He attends Shiite gatherings (Quran recitation contests).
- Notice the use of “us and them” in the last part of the passage, with a reference to the Sunnis and “their little thing that they did.”
Iranian Shiite – Who are they?
Yusuf Estes has identified exactly whom he was referring to with these words – the Shiite of Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran. The Iranian state specifically is officially an Ithna’ashariyyah (Twelver Shiite) state, where 90-95% of the people there are Twelvers.
Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy upon him) identified them as the most dangerous of all Shia sects. He said:
…The Shiites have many different sects, each one having a variety of deviations. The most dangerous of them is the Khomeinian Raafidhah Twelver Sect (the official religion of Iran), due to the large number of their missionaries and all the major acts of polytheism found in it, like seeking help from the (deceased) Prophetic family members, believing them to have knowledge of the Unseen, especially the twelve imams, as they claim. This is also due to their expelling the majority of the Companions from the Religion and their abusive speech toward them, the likes of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with them). We ask Allah for safety from the falsehood they are upon…
Source: His Fatwa Collection (4/439). (Arabic)
The Exact Same Quran?
To claim that Iranian Raafidhah Shia have the same Quran as Ahlus-Sunnah is an outright lie. Additionally, it is a claim that is in line with the kind of lying this disbelieving sect believes they are allowed to do to hide and remain undetected among the Muslims. They may claim they have the exact same Quran as Ahlus-Sunnah, just like they may claim to love all the Companions when confronted. However, they are a deceptive cult, and it is essential that Muslims return to their scholars to know this sect for who they are, since the scholars look past the deceitful claims and study their own source books that lay the foundations for their actual beliefs.
To summarize the differences between the Quran of the Muslims and the deviated book of the Raafidhah, as mentioned by the scholars:
- Muslims of Ahlus-Sunnah believe the Quran was revealed to Muhammad (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace), and its revelation was complete when he died.
- The disbelievers of the Raafidhah religion of Iran believe the opposite – that Quran kept coming down after the death of the Prophet, to ‘Alee and other members of the Prophetic household. As a result, the mus-haf held by Ahlus-Sunnah is deficient, containing only a mere third of the complete Quran.
- Ahlus-Sunnah believe that the Quran remains preserved by Allah in its original form.
- The Raafidhah believe the opposite – that over 1,000 verses of the Muslims’ mus-haf (which is only one-third of the entire Quran to begin with!) have been corrupted and changed.
- The Muslims of Ahlus-Sunnah believe that the Angel Jibreel (Gabriel) was a trustworthy and capable Messenger, and that he completely fulfilled the trust of bringing the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace) as he was ordered.
- The non-Muslims of the Iranian Raafidhah religion believe the opposite – that Jibreel was treacherous, and that he conspired with others to prevent the revelation from coming to the truly chosen Prophet (‘Alee, as they believe), and to give it to Muhammad instead.
Sources: “The Shia Believe Revelation Continued After the Messenger and the Saying of Their Imams Is the Saying of Allah” (found here), al-Fisal of Ibn Hazm, al-Milal wan-Nihal of ash-Shahrastani, ash-Shee’ah wal-Quran of Ihsaan Ilaahi Thaheer, and the quotes from the Shiite source books (like “Fasl al-Khitaab“) mentioned by the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah. (We will not link our visitors to Shiite sources.)
Attending Shiite Gatherings
Whether Yusuf Estes is himself a Shiite, or whether he just promotes them and tries to pass them off as acceptable mainstream Islam, the danger is the same – the Iranian Twelver Raafidhah religion is being packaged and sold – treacherously – to the Muslims as legitimate Islam.
Yusuf Estes puts himself forward to be seen as an example of “balanced behavior” in dealing with them, as he paves the way for Muslims to attend their gatherings, openly leading the way with stories of his attendance at their functions. He even leads the way as someone who has studied directly from Shiite scholars:
I’ve sat with Sufi scholars, Shiite scholars, I’ve sat with those of the Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah, those who called Sunnis, and Sufis, all, tareeqahs even, and I took benefit where I could take benefit. (source)
Real Muslims who value the guidance of Allah and recognize the danger of religious innovation would never speak or behave like this. Let us turn to our scholars to learn what the correct stance of a Muslim is regarding the Twelver Imamiyyah Shiite of Iran.
The Muslim scholars of the Permanent Committee for Fatwas in Saudi Arabia issued the following official published verdict, as an answer to a student enquiring about the permissibility of reading Iranian literature and studying under Shiite teachers:
You must study under scholars known for their knowledge and untainted beliefs. You must stay away from innovators who contradict Ahlus-Sunnah, like the Shiite and the Imamiyyah. Do not study under them, do not sit with them, do not correspond with them, and do not look at their books, so they do not lead you away from the Path of Allah…
Source: Their official Fatwa collection (12/99-100). (Arabic)
US and THEM to Yusuf Estes
After understanding the true stance of a Muslim on the people of innovation, especially the most dangerous and deceptive of them, like the Iranian Twelver Raafidhah Shia, it is no surprise to see someone who mixes with them, speaks well of them, and even sits with and benefits from their scholars, saying something like this:
We had, uh, the Shiites had a Quran recitation contest in Pennsylvania, in the United States, and they recited exactly word-for-word-for-word, the same thing that when the Sunnis had their little thing, that they did the same thing. (Source)
Written by: Moosaa Richardson
To understand more about the true evils of the Shiite religion, visit: www.Shia.bs