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5. Rulings on Ismailism

Why are Ismailis not Shia?

Ismaili are ShiaNizari Ismailis claim that they are the ‘second-largest’ branch of Shia Islam. This claim however, is widely and almost unanimously rejected in the Shia circles and by all of the Shia scholars.

Shia Islam consists mainly of the following:

  • Twelvers (Athnā‘ashariyyah or Ithnā‘ashariyyah)l, also known as Jafaris
  • Seveners (Shish Imimeyyah), also known as Ismailis
    • Dawoodi Bohra Ismailis
    • Sulaimani Bohra Ismailis
    • Alavi Bohra Ismailis
    • Satpanthi Ismailis
    • Druze
    • Nizari Ismailis (also known as Aga Khani Ismailis)

Shia Islam mainly consist of the first group of Twelvers; only a small fraction of Shia are Seveners . The Twelver majority countries are Iran, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Iraq and Lebanon. None of these countries have any Sevener or Ismaili population even worthy of a census.

Despite being a very small community, Aga Khani or Nizari Ismailis continue to claim being the “second largest” Shia community. On some occasions they have tried representing Shia Islam. However, Shia Muslims continue to reject Nizari Ismailis and any initiatives sponsored by the Aga Khan.

The recent establishment of Aga Khan Education Board was met with stiff opposition by Grand Ayatollah Sistani in a ruling made in Persian which was explained in Urdu by Aga Salehi that Twelver Shias can not be associated with the Aga Khan Education Board in any form. The video can be seen as follows (courtesy ShiaTV.net):

Muhammad Raza Dawoodani also explained the “fitna of Aga Khaniyat” and the dangers of AKU-EB in his following explanation:

Muhammad Raza Dawoodani also explained in the above video that Shia and Sunni are united in their stance in rejecting Ismailis as any sect of Islam.

One of the severest blows against Aga Khani Ismailis’ efforts to disguise themselves as the ‘second-largest’ group of Shia Muslims was when the Shia Grand Ayatollah Allama Shaykh Muhammad Hussain Najafi clearly declared them outside of the fold of Shia Islam and Islam altogether.

Allama Muhammad Hussain Najafi is known in the Twelver (Athnā‘ashariyyah or Ithnā‘ashariyyah) circles as being as non-Takfiri (one who does not declare other sects as outside the fold of Islam) and has earned further respect by being included int he lists of “The 500 Most Influential Muslims” in 2010 and 2011. He is also one of the only two Twelver Shi’i aalims from Pakistan who have been elevated to the status of marjiyyat. Marjaʿ (Arabic: مرجع) is a title provided to a Shia authority – a Grand Ayatollah who has the authority to make legal decisions within the confines of Islamic law for followers and less-credentialed clerics. After the Qur’an and the Prophets and Imams, marājiʿ are the highest authority on religious laws in Shia Islam.

Here is the video excerpt from the question and answer session:

Allama Najafi clearly explains in the above that the reason for ruling Aga Khani Ismailis out of the fold of Islam is their rejection of all the tenants of Islam such as prayer, fasting, zakat and Hajj.

Rulings by other Muslims groups can be found on other pages on this site as well as in the Downloads/Books section.


About Akbar Khoja

Giving out free #LessonsInIsmailism.


2 thoughts on “Why are Ismailis not Shia?

  1. Imám Ali ibn Abu Tálib (ra) said about ALLAH TABÁRAK wa TA’ALA:

    “If you understand ALLAH’s MAJESTY, then you will not attach any importance to the creatures.”
    (Nahjul Balaghah, Maxim 128).

    “If a man, in his mind, regards ALLAH’s GLORY AS BEING HIGH, and believes in his heart that ALLAH’S POSITION IS SUBLIME, then it is his right that on account of the Greatness of these Things he should regard all other things small.”
    (Nahjul Balaghah, part of Sermos 215)

    “All Praise belongs only to ALLAH, WHO IS ABOVE all similarity to the creatures, IS ABOVE the words of describers, WHO displays the wonders of HIS management for the on-lookers, IS HIDDEN from the imagination of thinkers by virtue of the GREATNESS of HIS GLORY, has knowledge without acquiring it, adding to it or drawing it (from someone), and WHO IS THE ORDAINER of all matters without reflecting or thinking.
    HE IS SUCH that gloom does not concern HIM, nor does HE seek light from brightness. Night does not overtake HIM nor does the day pass over HIM (so as to affect HIM in any manner). HIS comprehension (of things) is not through eyes and HIS knowledge is not dependent on being informed.”
    (Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 212)

    Masha ALLAH!!!!
    Subhanal LLAAH!!!!

    People who follow Imám Ali’s words are the real Shia!!!!!!!

    The Ismailis exagerate regarding Imám Ali (as), when the same Imám Ali (as) says many times that he (as) is absolutely nothing in front of ALLAH TABÁRAK wa TA’ALA.

    The real Shia of Imám Ali are those who know that everything is absolutely nothing in front of ALLAH JALA JALAA LUHU.

    Those who exagerate about Imám Ali are not his Shia!!!!!!!!

    Real Shia and Sunni Muslims have a deep respect for Punjetan Pák (Muhammad, Ali, Fátima, Hassan and Hussein), but at the same time they know that Punjetan Pak are absolutely nothing in front of ALLAH TABÁRAK wa TA’ALA!!!!!

    ALLAH TA’ALA transcends incomparably the concept of Infinity and transcends incomparably all HIS Names.

    But because ALLAH’s creatures are limited, they can not go beyond ALLAH’s Holy Names.

    This is True Irfán and True Shiism!!!!!!

    Real Shias live only for ALLAH PÁK and they do not pay much attention to the creatures of ALLAH TA’ALA.

    Sadr Ad-Deen Ash-Shirazi commonly known as Mulla Sadra, and Ayatullah Khomeny, both were people of Irfán, and both said that
    ALLAH Subhana HU has angels that, since their creation, and after Qiyámat, forever, are so absorbed in the Ibadat of ALLAH TA’ALA and are so fascinated by ALLAH’s MIGHT and GLORY, that, they do not know that ALLAH PÁK has created the World, they don’t know that ALLAH PÁK created Muhammad, Ali and Iblis, and they don’t even know that ALLAH PÁK created other angels like them!!!!!!

    Subhanal LLAAH!!!!!!!
    Subhanal LLAAH!!!!!!!
    Subhanal LLAAH!!!!!!

    My dear Shia brothers and sisters!!!!
    Stop exagerating about Ahlulbayt and sincerely turn to ALLAH TA’ALA if you want Jannah in Akhirah!!!!!

    Stop saying blasphemies like “Ali Rabb” and others of the same kind!!!!!!!!

    THE CREATOR and OWNER of everything.

    ALLAH TA’ALA said:

    – “you are absolutely nothing in front of ALLAH” (Holy Qurán, Surah 35, Ayah 15);

    – “Do you not realize that to ALLAH prostrates everyone in the heavens and everyone on earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and the animals, and many of the people? But many are justly deserving of punishment. Whomever ALLAH shames, there is none to honor him. ALLAH does whatever HE wills” (Holy Qurán, Surah 22, Ayah 18);

    – “That is because ALLAH IS THE SOLE REALITY (AL-HAQQ), and what they invoke besides HIM is Nothing, and because ALLAH is the Sublime, the Grand” (Holy Qurán, Surah 22, Ayah 62).


    AL-HAQQ (THE SOLE REALITY. This means simply that ALLAH TA’ALA IS SO HIGH and TRANSCENDENT, that all HIS Creatures are absolutely nothing in front of HIM);

    AL-AHAD (ONE and ONLY);

    AS-SAMAD (THE ABSOLUTE. HE IS INDEPENDENT and everybody and everything are totally dependent on HIM);

    AL-MUTAKKABIR (THE ONE in front of WHOM, everything is absolutely nothing);



    AL-HAMID (THE ONLY OWNER of all Praise).

    So, a real shia is only one who follows the noble example of Ali (as), who lived only for ALLAH TABÁRAK wa TA’ALA.

    Wal Hamdu lil LLAAHI RABB il Alameen.


    Posted by Allama Riaz Carmali | August 3, 2020, 12:26 am


  1. Pingback: Who Were the Fatimids? | Inside Ismailism - May 22, 2017

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