What is the reality of Ibn Saba?
Q: What is the reality of Ibn Sabah? Shia says its only Novel written by Saif bin Umar a liar person. But sunni says thats its true that Ibn Sabah was the leader of shia. Is it true?
A: There are multiple personalities which have been mentioned in the history books with the named “Abdullah Ibn Saba'”. One of them is the leader of the people who worshiped Imam Ali (A) and said that he is God. Then the Imam fought them and we have some Hadeeths from other Imams cursing this person and condemning his actions and beliefs.
The personality in question, however, is the personality which is described as a Jew who then created the idea of the Shia sect and became the leader of the Shia. This personality is referenced and originated from the books of Tabari. He narrates these stories from two people Saif Ibn Umar and Alsari Ibn Yahya. Both of these individuals are liars who make up Hadeeths and are not to be taken seriously according to the top scholars of Hadeeth in the Sunni school of thought. This personality according to many scholars Sunni and Shia is made up to get back at the Shia and to weaken their position. We mention a few of these opinions from Sunni Historians:
Dr. Abdulaziz Alhilabi (Historian at King Saud University in Riyadh, SA): “ Saif [the narrator of this story about Ibn Saba'] wanted to hurt the Shia in the code. He attempted to do so by attributing their sect to a Jew who hated Islam and who wanted the collapse of Islam. He wanted to say that all the Shia idea moderate or extreme came from this Jew” (Abdullah Ibn Saba', 26).
Dr Taha Hussain : “The matter of Saba'iyah is made up and fictional. It came about when the Shia were at conflict with other Islamic sects and their enemies wanted to put a Jewish element into the Shia sect so they can get back at them.” (Ali Wa Banooh, 518).
Mohammad Kurd Ali: “And what some writers have said about the Shia sect being a product of Abdullah Ibn Saba' (Ibn Alsawda') is fiction and lack of knowledge about their sect. Anyone who knows the Shia position from this man and their distancing themselves from him, his sayings, his actions and the unanimous words of their scholars criticizing him would know the Shia position about him.” (Khutat Alsham. 6.251)
The topic does not warrant much attention because of the obviousness of its falsity with the least bit of knowledge about the Shia, their beliefs and their practices. The Shia sect is established by the Prophet (S) who appointed Imam Ali (A) as his true successor and that is our belief and we are ready to defend and discuss that belief with anyone. Making up lies and fake personalities just to attack the Shia sect just shows the weakness of the person's position.