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Sunni Defence - Request For Resource

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Salamun alaykum brothers and sisters,

Can anyone guide me to popular and academic sources which defend the Sunni position? Ideally, the book defends itself against the Shia position. Also, if you happen to know of any sources that criticizes the Shia position (irrespective of whether it is Sunni, Ismaili, or Christian, etc.) that would also be great.

I wish to understand the Sunni position from their scholars, rather than Shia scholars. I wish not to be biased in my research. I know it may be difficult for Shia believers to point me to sources, but I would appreciate it.

Thank you!

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I think its very good of you, but don't get absorbed by the baseless opinions and check for authenticated sources.

ps: I don't know any books, but there are very good (read cunning and decieving) youtube channels out there.

Edited by Jaysro

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Salamun alaykum brothers and sisters,

Can anyone guide me to popular and academic sources which defend the Sunni position? Ideally, the book defends itself against the Shia position. Also, if you happen to know of any sources that criticizes the Shia position (irrespective of whether it is Sunni, Ismaili, or Christian, etc.) that would also be great.

I wish to understand the Sunni position from their scholars, rather than Shia scholars. I wish not to be biased in my research. I know it may be difficult for Shia believers to point me to sources, but I would appreciate it.

Thank you!

Waleykum Salaam,

May Allah help you and guide you through your research. The best source to defend the Sunni position is the Quran.

Other sources are (I will add more later):

www.http://www.*****************.com

Also it is better to ask these type of questions in a Sunni forum (i.e [URL Edited] or Sunniforum.com)

Edited by Abul Hussain Hassani

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To be honest, it is kind of difficult to find an academic refutation of Shi'ite beliefs from a Sunni perspective. I've been looking but most of the polemical works found online or even in bookstores are quite absurd. I say this becuase most of the works don't even accurately assess the actual Shi'ite beliefs and practices. I don't see how a person (regardless of affiliation) can refute another ideology when they don't understand where the opposition stands on a particular issue. Also, there doesn't appear to be much works on the subject from a Sunni perspective becuase they have often been the majority. So, there wasn't much of a need from traditional Sunni scholarship to defend themselves from an ideology or mode of thought that is considered outside the mainstream anyways. Whereas, Shi'ites were often a minority, so it made sense for most of their scholars to write works refuting mainstream Sunni beliefs in order to preserve their own identity. Although, I do think that we are seeing a shift now as Shi'ites began to accurately present themselves in a much more favorable climate (free from the hostile conditions they found themselves in for centuries), both in the West and East. So, perhaps we might see some rigourous and serious attempts at refuting Shi'ite beliefs soon. Nonetheless, I was able to find one short treatise on Sunni creed, Al-Aqidah At-Tahawiyyah by Imam at-Tahawi. It is considered one of the earliest and most accurate accounts of traditional Sunni doctrine agreed upon by all of its adherents. There isn't really any refutation, just a concise explanation of Sunni beliefs and some evidence for their claims. Here is the link. And if I find some more relevant material to aid in your research, I'll be sure to post it. Hope this helps.

(wasalam)

Edited by Al-Hassan

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Nonetheless, I was able to find one short treatise on Sunni creed, Al-Aqidah At-Tahawiyyah by Imam at-Tahawi. It is considered one of the earliest and most accurate accounts of traditional Sunni doctrine agreed upon by all of its adherents. There isn't really any refutation, just a concise explanation of Sunni beliefs and some evidence for their claims. Here is the link. And if I find some more relevant material to aid in your research, I'll be sure to post it. Hope this helps.

Thank you brother Hassan! You have been very helpful and insightful on this forum! I will start by reading this document, and begin to identify top Sunni scholars and see if they have any books refuting Shi'ism. At least it's a starting point.

I understand that many think this question is not well suited for this site, but I believe otherwise. Just as brother Hassan said "I don't see how a person (regardless of affiliation) can refute another ideology when they don't understand where the opposition stands on a particular issue.", then we should be able to identify top Sunni scholarly work and refute them if we believe our position to be more correct. In other words, we should know authoritative Sunni opinions, papers, books well before choosing Shi'ism. As such, I asked here since I hoped a brother or sister had walked this path before and could point out authoritative sources I should know about.

Inshallah, if I find well-articulated and authoritative sources, I will share them on this thread as well.

Thank you everyone!

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(bismillah)

(salam)

That's all that comes to mind. Some youtube channels dealing with Anti-Shi`a stuff:

Some famous Anti-Shi`a speeches:





  • (I made a concise rebuttal to this over here when it was posted)

Anti Shi`a speakers:

Hope this helps, and brings as many laughs to you as it did to me.

(salam)

Edited by AlAjalYaImam

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Thank you brother Hassan! You have been very helpful and insightful on this forum! I will start by reading this document, and begin to identify top Sunni scholars and see if they have any books refuting Shi'ism. At least it's a starting point.

I understand that many think this question is not well suited for this site, but I believe otherwise. Just as brother Hassan said "I don't see how a person (regardless of affiliation) can refute another ideology when they don't understand where the opposition stands on a particular issue.", then we should be able to identify top Sunni scholarly work and refute them if we believe our position to be more correct. In other words, we should know authoritative Sunni opinions, papers, books well before choosing Shi'ism. As such, I asked here since I hoped a brother or sister had walked this path before and could point out authoritative sources I should know about.

Inshallah, if I find well-articulated and authoritative sources, I will share them on this thread as well.

Thank you everyone!

I think you can find some enlightening works by classical Sunni scholars on matters of theology in general, but there isn't really any quality polemical material refuting Shi'ite beliefs. I think your best route is to do a comparision of the two by looking at their core literature. Read the works yourself then do some "critical analysis." Actively read the texts by trying to understand the main arguments, examining the evidence, asking questions, coming up with possible objections, etc. I see this as a better approach. For example, here is a link to Kitab Qawaid al-Aqaid (The Foundations of the Articles of Faith) by al-Ghazzali (a well-known classical Sunni scholar). I've skimmed through it and read parts here and there, it looks like it might be of interest to you. It deals with tawhid, prophethood, epistemology, etc (all from an Ash'ari perspective). In fact, half of it seems to be criticizing Mu'tazilite views. Perhaps compare it to al-Bab al-Hadi 'Ashar by Allama Hilli (a classical Shi'ite text on theology). Here is the book. Maybe acquainting yourself with the core beliefs of each sect will help better understand the real underlying differences between the two. Again, this is just a suggestion, as I myself plan on thoroughly reading both.

(wasalam)

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Thanks brother Al-Hassan.

I am a bit surprised at the difficulty of finding scholarly books that criticize Shi'ism or justify the Sunni position. On the forums, people are just bashing each other. The popular books are of the same nature, and the Shia position is often incorrectly presented. Your suggestion of reading classical scholars seems to be the way to go. I'll give those two a read. Thanks!

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The hardest Sunni book to find will be the one that actually refutes Shia beliefs, instead of refuting 'the sunni version of Shiaism'.

They will write incredible amounts stating how we believe in a different Quran Kareem, how we believe our Imams are better then Prophet Muhammad (saaw), how a mistake was made in revelation when it should have been sent to Ali (as), how we worship the dead, how we beat ourselves after killing Imam Hussain (as), how we believe Allah (swt) changes his mind etc

Im still looking for a Sunni book that actually understands what the Shia believe!! After 14 centuries and the invention of the Internet, most of these top Sunni scholars havent got a clue about the Shia. They have been reading the works of their own scholars about us and never bothered to read any of our books lol

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The hardest Sunni book to find will be the one that actually refutes Shia beliefs, instead of refuting 'the sunni version of Shiaism'.

They will write incredible amounts stating how we believe in a different Quran Kareem, how we believe our Imams are better then Prophet Muhammad (saaw), how a mistake was made in revelation when it should have been sent to Ali (as), how we worship the dead, how we beat ourselves after killing Imam Hussain (as), how we believe Allah (swt) changes his mind etc

I agree with you brother. It is formally called the "Straw Man Fallacy", and quite honestly, it annoys me to say the least. The few books I found refuting Shi'ism were exactly as you stated. This is why I was hoping to obtain a more objective, and scholarly, Sunni critique of Shi'ism.

Having said that, I should mention that Shias are not immune to this. Reading posts in Sunni forums, the Sunnis basically have a different account of history. Even in the Battle of the Camel, Sunnis argue that Aisha did not want to start a war and was involved only to resolve problems amongst the Muslims. Shias on the other hand vehemently account the event as proof of her greed for power, hated for Imam Ali, and ignorance of the "righteous path". The difficulty is knowing what really happened, with no Straw Men in sight. I have a feeling I may need to read into how History can be studied before I can find an answer to this question.

Either way, it seems sources are scattered and incomplete in their critique. Inshallah, I will group their argument together and make a post when possible. Thank you for all those that replied and provided their input!

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I don't know if anybody has mentioned TOHFA E ISNA ASHRIYA by

Shah abdul aziz dehlvi, apparently its suppose to be one of Sunnis best book of refutation on Shia Aqeedha.

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I don't know if these books will necessarily be "anti Shia". I also don't think that's a good way to study. Looking for independent/academic sources might be a good way to go. You can search amazon for a book on Sunni usul al fiqh. There are several. That will explain the methodology used by the Maliki, Hanafi, Shafii, and Hanbali madhabbs and their development. I'd also suggest reading a general history of Islamic societies that will probably go into creed and theology and just as important explain power struggles. If you want to read something radical, completely opposed to Shias, Sufis, the vast majority of Sunnis, and all others check out anything by ibn Wahhab. ibn Tammiya (sp?) was also pretty conservative, he was ibn Wahhab's inspiration, but wasn't as extreme. Keep in mind that ibn Wahhab's father and brother disowned him...his brother wrote a lot refuting him and most Sunni Muslims aren't of this type either. The Salafi movement is generally just a more modern off shoot of Wahhabis. They just don't like it when you call them Wahhabis because it puts emphasis on the man (Wahhab). The Shia Revival by Avi Schlaim is another good book, but he is Shia. This isn't an easy topic, good luck in your research!!!!

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