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Abd Allah ibn Sabaʾ al-Ḥimyarī (or Sabāʾ, also sometimes called ibn al-Sawdāʾ, ibn Wahb, or ibn Ḥarb)<ref name="EI2"></ref> was a 7th-century figure in Islamic history who, according to Salafist Islam specifically, is often associated with a group of followers called the Sabaʾiyya.<ref>Islam QA, Question # 220687: The relationship between Jews and baatini (esoteric) sects, retrieved on 27 July 2015. He (Abdullah ibn Saba') was the first one to state that ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) should have been the ruler on the basis of religious texts, and that he would return before the Day of Resurrection. He was also the first to openly cast aspersions upon the first three caliphs and the Sahaabah. All of these beliefs are fundamental to the view of the Raafidis.</ref><ref name="Hodgson51">Abd Allah b. Saba, M.G.S. Hodgson, The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. I, ed. H. A. R. Gibb, J. H. Kramers, E. Levi-Provencal, J. Schacht, (Brill, 1986), 51.</ref>

Not all modern historical views make clear which person lay behind this figure.<ref name="EI2" /> Some believe that Abdullah Ibn Saba may have actually been several figures (e.g. Hodgson), semi-legendary (Caetani, Momen Moojan), or legendary and fictional (Taha Hussein, Ali al-Wardi, Bernard Lewis, Wilferd Madelung, Askari)<ref name=Tucker/> but the Jewish rabbi and biblical scholar Israel Friedlander and Sabatino Moscati affirm his existence.<ref name="Tucker">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> His Jewish origin has been contested. Some modern historians assert that Sayf ibn Umar fabricated the episode about the killing of Uthman to "exonerate the people of Medina from participation in the caliph's murder" and the movement to support Ali as a successor to Muhammad did not exist in the time of Uthman.<ref name=Moosa/> With the exception of Taha Hussein, most modern Sunni writers affirm the existence of Ibn Saba'. In a similar vein, Shia writers deny Ibn Saba's historical existence to rid Shia'ism of the accusation by Sunni writers that Shia'ism is originally based on Judaic doctrines.<ref name=samarrai>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=citation }}</ref>

According to Jewish encyclopedia Abdullah ibn Saba' was a Jew of Yemen, Arabia, of the seventh century, who settled in Medina and embraced Islam.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref>Shatrastani al-Milal, pp. 132 et seq. (in Haarbrücken's translation, i. 200-201);

Weil, Gesch. der Chalifen, i. 173-174, 209, 259. </ref> Having adversely criticized Calif Uthman's administration, he was banished from the town. Thence he went to Egypt, where he founded an antiothmanian sect, to promote the interests of Ali. On account of his learning he obtained great influence there, and formulated the doctrine that, just as every prophet had an assistant who afterward succeeded him, Mohammed's vizier was Ali, who had therefore been kept out of the califate by deceit. Uthman had no legal claim whatever to the califate; and the general dissatisfaction with his government greatly contributed to the spread of Abdallah's teachings.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Tradition relates that when Ali had assumed power, Abdallah ascribed divine honors to him by addressing him with the words, "Thou art Thou!" Thereupon Ali banished him to Madain. After Ali's assassination Abdallah is said to have taught that Ali was not dead but alive, and had never been killed; that a part of the Deity was hidden in him; and that after a certain time he would return to fill the earth with justice.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Till then the divine character of Ali was to remain hidden in the imams, who temporarily filled his place. It is easy to see that the whole idea rests on that of the Messiah in combination with the legend of Elijah the prophet. The attribution of divine honors to Ali was probably but a later development, and was fostered by the circumstance that in the Koran Allah is often styled "Al-Ali" (The Most High).<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>


Abdullah ibn Saba' sections
Intro  Modern Views  Sunni views  Shia views  Other sources on Ibn Saba  See also   Notes    References    Further reading    External links   

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Abd Allah ibn Sabaʾ al-Ḥimyarī (or Sabāʾ, also sometimes called ibn al-Sawdāʾ, ibn Wahb, or ibn Ḥarb)<ref name="EI2"></ref> was a 7th-century figure in Islamic history who, according to Salafist Islam specifically, is often associated with a group of followers called the Sabaʾiyya.<ref>Islam QA, Question # 220687: The relationship between Jews and baatini (esoteric) sects, retrieved on 27 July 2015. He (Abdullah ibn Saba') was the first one to state that ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) should have been the ruler on the basis of religious texts, and that he would return before the Day of Resurrection. He was also the first to openly cast aspersions upon the first three caliphs and the Sahaabah. All of these beliefs are fundamental to the view of the Raafidis.</ref><ref name="Hodgson51">Abd Allah b. Saba, M.G.S. Hodgson, The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. I, ed. H. A. R. Gibb, J. H. Kramers, E. Levi-Provencal, J. Schacht, (Brill, 1986), 51.</ref>

Not all modern historical views make clear which person lay behind this figure.<ref name="EI2" /> Some believe that Abdullah Ibn Saba may have actually been several figures (e.g. Hodgson), semi-legendary (Caetani, Momen Moojan), or legendary and fictional (Taha Hussein, Ali al-Wardi, Bernard Lewis, Wilferd Madelung, Askari)<ref name=Tucker/> but the Jewish rabbi and biblical scholar Israel Friedlander and Sabatino Moscati affirm his existence.<ref name="Tucker">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> His Jewish origin has been contested. Some modern historians assert that Sayf ibn Umar fabricated the episode about the killing of Uthman to "exonerate the people of Medina from participation in the caliph's murder" and the movement to support Ali as a successor to Muhammad did not exist in the time of Uthman.<ref name=Moosa/> With the exception of Taha Hussein, most modern Sunni writers affirm the existence of Ibn Saba'. In a similar vein, Shia writers deny Ibn Saba's historical existence to rid Shia'ism of the accusation by Sunni writers that Shia'ism is originally based on Judaic doctrines.<ref name=samarrai>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=citation }}</ref>

According to Jewish encyclopedia Abdullah ibn Saba' was a Jew of Yemen, Arabia, of the seventh century, who settled in Medina and embraced Islam.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref>Shatrastani al-Milal, pp. 132 et seq. (in Haarbrücken's translation, i. 200-201);

Weil, Gesch. der Chalifen, i. 173-174, 209, 259. </ref> Having adversely criticized Calif Uthman's administration, he was banished from the town. Thence he went to Egypt, where he founded an antiothmanian sect, to promote the interests of Ali. On account of his learning he obtained great influence there, and formulated the doctrine that, just as every prophet had an assistant who afterward succeeded him, Mohammed's vizier was Ali, who had therefore been kept out of the califate by deceit. Uthman had no legal claim whatever to the califate; and the general dissatisfaction with his government greatly contributed to the spread of Abdallah's teachings.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Tradition relates that when Ali had assumed power, Abdallah ascribed divine honors to him by addressing him with the words, "Thou art Thou!" Thereupon Ali banished him to Madain. After Ali's assassination Abdallah is said to have taught that Ali was not dead but alive, and had never been killed; that a part of the Deity was hidden in him; and that after a certain time he would return to fill the earth with justice.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Till then the divine character of Ali was to remain hidden in the imams, who temporarily filled his place. It is easy to see that the whole idea rests on that of the Messiah in combination with the legend of Elijah the prophet. The attribution of divine honors to Ali was probably but a later development, and was fostered by the circumstance that in the Koran Allah is often styled "Al-Ali" (The Most High).<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>


Abdullah ibn Saba' sections
Intro  Modern Views  Sunni views  Shia views  Other sources on Ibn Saba  See also   Notes    References    Further reading    External links   

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Modern Views
<<>>