Nāṣibī (Arabic: ناصبي) is someone who is hostile, and publicly displays his or her hostility, towards Imam Ali (a) or other persons from Ahl al-Bayt (a). Instances of Nasibism is said to include the denial of the virtues of Ahl al-Bayt (a), the cursing of Imams (a), and enmity towards Shi'as.
According to Shiite jurists, Nasibis are najis and are treated as disbelievers. Thus, it is impermissible to eat an animal slaughtered by Nasibis, to pay charity to them, or to marry them, and they cannot inherit from Muslims.
According to some contemporary scholars, Nasibism officially emerged after the murder of Uthman and the beginning of the Umayyad dynasty. Nasibism in this period is characterized by prevention of the propagation of Ahl al-Bayt's virtues, murder of Shi'as, and the cursing of Imam Ali (a) on minbars. Nasibis are said to include Mu'awiya b. Abi Sufyan, Khawarij, Uthmaniya, and Hariz b. Uthman.
Shiite scholars wrote books and essays concerning Nasibis and Nasibism.
Notion and Instances of Nasibism
Nasibism is to publicly display ones hostility towards Ahl al-Bayt (a) and their followers. Thus, enmity towards Shi'as or followers of Ahl al-Bayt (a) counts as Nasibism only if it is because of their love for Ahl al-Bayt (a).
The majority of Muslim scholars characterize Nasibis as people who are hostile towards Ahl al-Bayt (a) and publicly display their hostility, and according to some scholars, they also take animus towards Imam Ali (a) as part of their religious beliefs. They take the following as instances of Nasibism: belief in the impiety (fisq) or disbelief of Imam Ali (a), belief in the superiority of others over Imam Ali (a), the cursing of Ahl al-Bayt (a), the denial of their virtues, and the refusal to mention them.
Hasan b. Farhan al-Maliki, a Sunni scholar, counts any deviation from Imam Ali (a) and Ahl al-Bayt (a) as an instance of Nasibism. His instances of Nasibism include the rejection of correct hadiths in praise of Imam Ali (a), believing that the Imam (a) made mistakes in battles of the period of his caliphate, excessive praise of his enemies, skepticism about his caliphate, and the refusal to pledge one's allegiance to him. Al-Muhaddith al-Bahrani, a Shiite jurisprudent, counts the priority of others to Imam Ali (a) with regard to the position of Imamate (that is, the acceptance of their imamate) as an instance of animus towards Ali (a) and Nasibism.
Sunnis are not Nasibis
The majority of Shiite jurists characterize Nasibis as people who are hostile, and publicly display their hostility, towards Ahl al-Bayt (a). Thus, in their view, Sunni Muslims who are not hostile towards Ahl al-Bayt (a) do not count as Nasibis. However, al-Muhaddith al-Bahrani maintains that Nasibis are people who give priority to others over Imam Ali (a) with regard to imamate, or believe in their imamate. His evidence is a hadith in which the belief in the imamate of any person other than the Shiite Imams counts as Nasibism. Al-Najafi the author of Jawahir al-kalam takes the view to be contrary to the practice of Shi'as. Moreover, doubts are cast over the validity of the chain of the transmission and implications of the hadith cited by al-Bahrani.
An essay under "The property of the Nasibi and that not all opponents are Nasibis" is attributed to Sayyid Abd Allah al-Jaza'iri, a Shiite scholar, in which he rejects the view that Sunni Muslims are Nasibis.
Rulings of Nasibis
According to Shiite jurists, Nasibis are najis and are treated as disbelievers. In books of jurisprudence, Nasibis are discussed in the section on the najasa of disbelievers. Here are some jurisprudential rulings of Nasibis:
- Impermissibility of eating animals slaughtered by them
- Impermissibility of marrying them
- Impermissibility of performing the Funeral Prayer for them
- Impermissibility of saying a congregational prayer behind a Nasibi
- Impermissibility of representing a Nasibi in hajj
- Not inheriting from Muslims
- Impermissibility of paying charity to Nasibis
- Impermissibility of paying expiation to Nasibis
Emergence of Nasibism
Some contemporary scholars believe that Nasibism started after the murder of Uthman and became official during the Umayyad dynasty. According to historical sources, when Mu'awiya b. Abi Sufyan appointed Mughira b. Shu'ba as the ruler of Kufa in 41/661-62, he commanded him to curse Imam Ali and defame his companions. Umayyad caliphs from Mu'awiya to the period of Umar b. Abd al-Aziz cursed Ali on their minbars. Al-Hakim al-Niyshaburi characterizes the forth/tenth century as replete with opposition and hostility to Imam Ali (a), saying that his motivation for writing his Fada'il Fatima al-Zahra (virtues of Fatima al-Zahra) was to resist the strand. He characterizes the atmosphere of the time as follows:
- "The time has made us captives to leaders for the proximity to whom people appeal to animus towards, and humiliation of, the family of the Messenger of God."
Some consequences of Nasibism in the Umayyad period are as follows:
- Fabrication of hadiths in Sunni books by Nasibi transmitters, in which Ahl al-Bayt (a) are slandered and their virtues are denied.
- Ban on naming one's child as Ali and the murder of kids who were Imam Ali's (a) namesakes.
- Punishment and murder of people who expressed Imam Ali's virtues or avoided cursing him or did not cite any virtues for Mu'awiya. For example, Atiyya b. Sa'd, a follower of Imam Ali (a), was whipped at the command of Hajjaj b. Yusuf al-Thaqafi and Ahmad b. Ali al-Nisa'i, an author of one of al-Sihah al-Sitta (Sunni collections of hadiths), was murdered.
Some people are referred to as Nasibis:
- Mu'awiya b. Abi Sufyan: he was the first Umayyad ruler. He ruled over Damascus for about twenty years. Ibn Abi l-Hadid, a commentator on Nahj al-balagha, quoted "Jahiz" as saying that Mu'awiya cursed Ali (a) at the end of his Friday Prayer sermons, and emphasized that the practice of cursing had to be so propagated that no one would cite any virtues for Ali (a).
- Uthmaniyya: those who believed that Imam Ali (a) murdered Uthman or helped his murder. Thus, they refused to pledge their allegiance to him. Ibn al-Hajar al-Asqalani, a Sunni biographer of the ninth/fifteenth century, has characterized Nasibis as those who believe that Imam Ali (a) murdered, or helped murder, Uthman. Because of their exaggerated love for Uthman, these people defamed and slandered Imam Ali (a).
- Khawarij: a group of Imam Ali's army in the Battle of Siffin who accused Ali b. Abi Talib of disbelief and rioted against him. Because of their animus towards Imam Ali (a), they are also referred to as "Nasiba."
- Al-Hajjaj b. Yusuf al-Thaqafi (d. 95/713-14): according to al-Mas'udi, a historiographer of the forth/tenth century, al-Hajjaj was hostile towards Ahl al-Bayt (a). He murdered those who did not express their disassociation from Imam Ali (a) and his companions. He slaughtered Shi'as and arrested them on ground of the slightest accusation or suspicion. Under his rule, people had rather be accused of disbelief than of being a Shi'a of Ali (a). In the period of the caliphate of Abd al-Malik, al-Hajjaj was at first the ruler of Hijaz and then the ruler of Iraq.
- Hariz b. Uthman: he cursed Imam Ali (a) on his minbar. He distorted Hadith al-Manzila in which the Prophet (s) addresses Ali (a) by saying that "you are to me like Aaron (a) from Moses (a)," and changed it to: "you are to me like Korah (Qarun) to Moses." According to Ibn Hibban, a Sunni scholar of rijal, Hariz cursed Ali b. Abi Talib seventy times every morning and every evening.
- Mughira b. Shu'ba: when he was appointed by Mu'awiya as the ruler of Kufa, he cursed Imam Ali and his Shi'as on his minbar. He was a companion of the Prophet (s) who was allegedly involved in the invasion on the house of Fatima al-Zahra (a).
- Ibn Taymiyya: he is the intellectual leader of today's Salafis. Some Shiite scholars appeal to his denial of the Hadith of Radd al-Shams, his rejection of Hadith al-Ghadir, and his enmity towards Shi'as as evidence that he was a Nasibi. Moreover, according to Ibn al-Hajar al-Asqalani, Ibn Taymiyya was accused of hypocrisy because of his remarks about Imam Ali (a).
Shiite scholars and researchers wrote some books about Nasibism and its jurisprudential rulings, including:
- Al-Nasb wa l-Nawasib by Muhsin Mu'allim in Arabic. The book contains discussions of the notion of Nasibism, its instances, its rulings, and a bibliography of the literature on Nasibism. The author defines Nasibism in terms of animus towards Imam 'Ali (a), referring to 250 people as Nasibis or at least accused of being Nasibis. The book also refers to areas in which Nasibis have lived. It was published by Dar al-Hadi Publications in 1418/1997.
- Al-Shahab al-thaqib fi bayan ma'na al-nawasib by al-Muhaddith al-Bahrani
- Usul al-islam wa l-iman wa hukm al-nasib wa ma yata'allaq bih by al-Wahid al-Bihbahani are two other works concerning Nasibism.
Moreover, titles of some rejections written by Shiite scholars against their opponents involve the term, "Nawasib" (Nasibis). They include Masa'ib al-nawasib fi l-radd ala l-nawaqid al-rafawid by Qadi Nur Allah Shushtari and Mathalib al-nawasib by Abd al-Jalil al-Qazwini. The book, al-Nasb wa l-nawasib, refers to twenty nine books concerning Nasibis and Nasibism.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from ناصبی in Farsi Wikishia.