Who Are Alawites Nusayris?
By Dr. Ahmed Adeeb Ahmed
There is a lot of conflicting and incomprehensible information about us as Alawites, especially since most of those who have talked about us throughout history have tried to defame us and to repudiates our imams. Therefore, if we review the books and sites that have talked about us, we will find them contradictory in terms of the information contained therein, and all this information is not documented, and sometimes it goes beyond the limits of logic and credibility. And if we browse the Alawite sites via the Internet, we find that these sites are trying to present the Alawites as a branch of the Shiites, and for this reason we wanted this site to be titled:
Syrian Alawite Congregation
It is a window through which we show the world who the Alawites are, to get to know them by their real sons!
First, let us know why some people sought to underestimate the Alawites, and to claim that the Alawites are a branch of Shiism.
Of course, we are not like that! Those who claim that we are a branch of Shiism are either liars or ignorant about Alawite. This claim is for several reasons:
The first is that we follow the approach of Amir al-mu’minin (Prince of faithful) Imam Ali (peace be from him) and Imams after him.
The second is the merger that was in the era of the Imams between the commoners and special people and the most special people. So, the confusion happened and historians were not able to distinguish between commoners and special people.
The third is the emergence of Sedition, distractions, and depravity in the times of the Umayyad and Abbasid which were of the most difficult periods the Islam have experienced: where its meanings have been distorted and its teachings have been reversed, but the Alawite, although they were not numerous, they remained conservative on the covenant and the charter imposed by the Imams, and remained committed to the origin, from which the other sects branched.
To those who accuse us that we have Secret or Esoteric Religion we say:
There is nothing called “Esoteric Religion”, because God almighty says: “The Religion before of Allah is Islam (submission to His Will)” (3:19). This accusation is due to the ignorance of knowledge which came, and following the branches instead of the roots, for God says in the same verse “Nor did the People of the Book dissent t from except through envy of each other after knowledge had come to them” (3:19).
We have our special philosophical vision, which transcends the sensed materialism and is based on Spiritual worship with the motions of the physical body (Sharia), in compliance with the saying of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (AS): “Whoever uses the Sharia (physical worship) and knows the truth (philosophical meaning) is a real believer”.
The Sharia is the physical worship that we practice of the legislation as founded by God’s Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) by revelation. The truth (philosophical meaning) is monotheism, which we believe in, explained by the interpretation of Amir Al-Mu’minin Imam Ali (Peace be from him).
These all are in the Book of God (Quran) in which the Messenger Muhammed (PBUH) said: “The Quran was revealed in a “letter”, each verse has an obvious meaning and another philosophical one”. The obvious meaning is for the commoners, the philosophical meaning is for special people, and the letter is for the most special people“.
If our opponents call this letter of Quran “Esoteric Religion”, we call it “the Secret of God”, about which Imam Jafar Al-Sadiq (AS) said: “The Secret of God is obvious among people, but most of them do not know it. If God wants them to know, so he will do”.
This secret is a divine wisdom and monotheistic science and essence of knowledge, which we have been ordered to preserve and keep it in compliance with the saying of Jesus (AS): “Do not give wisdom to undeserving people in order not to aggrieve it, nor veil it from those who deserve it in order not to aggrieve them”.
Among the most prominent accusations to us, hyperbole in Imam Ali (Worship of Imam Ali).
We must understand the meaning of the word “Hyperbole” to respond to the charge.
Hyperbole it is excessiveness and negligence, and believer isn’t excessive nor negligent. According to this definition it means the belief that the divine essence is composite and has a body.
Our faith, as Alawites, isn’t extremist “Hyperbole” but rather it is in compliance with the sayings of Imam Jafar Al-Sadiq (AS): “the young believers must be aware of extremists (al- Ghulat) in order not to be let down them. The extremists are the evilest humans. They belittle God Almighty”.
We, as Alawites, believe that Amir al-mu’minin Imam Ali (peace be from him) is the Guardian (has the absolute Guardianship). We don’t underestimate him to a degree lesser than guardianship; We also do not raise the Prophets and Messengers to the degree of divinity. The accusation of hyperbole came because the authors don’t understand the meaning when we say that “The guardianship is higher than the Message“, in compliance with the Almighty saying: “There the divinity is [completely] for Allah, the Truth”. (18:44).
The person, who equates between the guardianship and the Message, he equates God to the Prophets. This is the “hyperbole” that we were warned by Alawites theologians, led by Master Abu Shuaib Muhammed Bin Nusayer and Master Al-Hussein bin Hamdan Al-Khasibi (Peace be upon them).
What I mentioned confirms that we were the most special people in the days of the imams, and our continuation after them was through our master Muhammad bin Nusayer (AS) who was contemporary of the two Imams Ali Al-Hadi and Al-Hassan Al-Askari and the Imam Muhammad Al-Qa’im (PBUH). And about him Imam Al-Hassan Al-Askari said: “Muhammad bin Nusayer is my envoy for creation. Take all what he said, citing me, because he is sincere”.
That is why we were called the Nusayrite (Nusayris), after him, and this is our pride, because he was one of the fiercest militants against the concept of hyperbole, in which many of the common people fell. As it was mentioned in the statements of Master Abu Shuaib, he said: “God has associated these names with himself and has not associated them with others; when Almighty says: O People of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion” (4:17).
In response to the accusations against our master Abu Shuaib Muhammad bin Nusayer, we remember what was mentioned in the book of the Al-Hidaya Al-Kubra (i.e. The Grand Guidance) of our master Al-Hussein bin Hamdan Al-Khusaybi, where he said: “Upon Ali bin Hassan, Muhammad bin Saleh told me: I entered to Master Abi Al-Hassan Al-Askari (peace be upon us from him) and I said to him: “May Allah make me a redemption for you, from whom do I take religious sciences? And who will guide me to the path of truth?”
Imam said (AS): “You take your religious sciences from whom the enemies of the Ahl al-Bayt accuse of being a Rafidite, the Shiite negligent accuse him of (hyperbole), and the extremists (Al-Gulat) accuses him of disbelief, so ask him, then you will have what you want from the features of your religion. The truth is there”.
I said: I did not find this characteristic other than our master Abu Shuaib Muhammad bin Naseer (AS). Then I knew that the reference was to him, so I followed him, and I was guided to the truth”.
In conclusion, brothers, I say: religion is for God, and every person has absolute freedom to choose the path that leads him to God. God is not restricted in places, and methods cannot reach him, but as Jacob the Prophet, peace be upon him, said to his sons: “O my sons, do not enter by one gate, but enter by different gates. I cannot avail you anything against God. The decision rests only with God” (12: 67).
Therefore, we seek to know God, unify and worship Him, according to our Al-Nusayri Al-Khusaibi Al-Alawi approach, and we have the right and freedom to do so, just as for others to worship God as they please, for the Almighty saying: “And each one hath a goal toward which he turneth; so vie with one another in good works. Wherever you are” (2:148).
I ask God Almighty to reconcile, and bid you farewell in God’s preservation!
Explanation of terms used:
- Guardianship: Responsibilities of the guardian who is a defender, protector, or keeper.
- Guardian: is a defender, protector, or keeper.
- Sharia= physical worship: Islamic canonical law based on the teachings of the Koran and the traditions of the Prophet (Hadith and Sunna), prescribing both religious and secular duties.
- Truth (philosophical meaning): not obvious meaning
- Monotheism: the doctrine or belief that there is only one God.
- Worship: the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity.
- Hyperbole: exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally = extremism = Ghulat.
- Exaggeration: a statement that represents something as better or worse than it really is.
- Negligence: failure to take proper care in doing something.
The Alawite religious scholar Dr. Ahmed Adeeb Ahmed
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