Ruling on the Nusayri/Alawi Sect

What follows is Imam ibn Taymiyyah’s, may Allah have mercy on him, answer to a question posed to him about the sect called an-Nusayriyyah (in English they are also known as Alawis/Alawite sect).

The question is very long, as it mentions many Nusayri beliefs and practices, and most of it is not translated for the sake of brevity.

Those who want to see the question in full, they can refer to Ibn Taymiyyah’s Fatawa 35/145. In summary, the questioner mentioned, among other things their legalization of intoxicants, belief in reincarnation; disbelief in resurrection, Paradise and Hellfire; belief that “Five Prayers” (as-Salawat al-Khams) is an expression referring to five names: “`Ali, Hasan, Husayn, Muhsin and Fatimah”, and that mentioning these five names suffices one instead of making ghusl from major impurity, or ablution, or fulfilling other conditions and obligatory actions of the five daily prayers; that `Ali is the creator of the heavens and the earth, and that he is their god in heavens and imam on the earth etc.

What follows is the end of the question and Ibn Tayiyyah’s answer.


“…Is it permissible for a Muslim (man or woman) to marry them (Nusayris)? Is it permissible to eat the meat of cattle they slaughter? What is the ruling on eating the cheese made from the rennet of their sacrificed animals? What is the ruling on using their dishes and clothes? Is it permissible to bury them with Muslims? Is it permissible to employ them in Muslim ports and handing the ports over to them? Or is it obligatory upon the ruler to cut them off and employ others from among qualified Muslim men; and is there a sin in delaying their explusion?”


All Praise is for Allah, Lord of all worlds. These people named “Al-Nusayriyyah”, and other groups from among the Qaraamitah and Baatiniyyah, are greater disbelievers than the Jews and Christians. Nay, they are greater disbelievers than most of the mushrikeen (polytheists from other than Ahl ul-Kitab), and their harm to the Ummah of Muhammad, sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, is greater than the harm of the disbelievers who are in war with Muslims, such as at-Tatar, disbelieving Europeans and others.

For they present themselves in front of ignorant Muslims as supporters and advocates of Ahl ul Bayt, while in reality they do not believe in Allah, or the Messenger, or the Book, or [Allah’s] orders, or prohibitions, or reward, or punishment, or Paradise, or Fire, or in one of the Messengers before Muhammad, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, or in a religion from among previous religions. Rather, they take the words of Allah and His Messenger, known to the scholars of Muslims, and they interpret them based on their fabrications, claiming that their interpretations are “hidden knowledge (“ilm `ul-baatin”), such as what the questioner mentioned and more. They have no limit in their unbelief with regards to Allah’s Names, His verses, and their distortion of the Speech of Allah, the Most High, and His Messenger from their proper places [usages]. Their aim is repudiation of Islamic Beliefs and Laws in every possible way, trying to make it appear that these matters have realities that they know, like those mentioned by the questioner and others, such as that “five prayers” means knowledge of their secrets, “obligatory fast” hiding of their secrets, and “pilgrimage to Bayt al-`Atiq” visit to their shaikhs, and that the two hands of Abu Lahab represent Abu Bakr and Umar, and that “the great news and the manifest imam” (an naba’ul `adheem wal imaamul mubin) is `Ali ibn Abi Talib.

There are well known incidents and books they have written with regards to their enmity to Islam and its people. When they have an opportunity, they spill the blood of Muslims, such as when they once killed pilgrims and threw them into the well of Zamzam. Once they took the black stone and it stayed with them for a period of time, and they have killed so many Muslim scholars and elders that only Allah knows their number. They wrote many books, such as what the questioner mentioned, and others.

Muslim scholars have written books, unveiling their secrets, exposing their veils, explaining what they are upon from disbelief, infidelity and atheism, by which they are greater disbelievers than the Jews, Christians, and Indian idol-worshipping Brahmans.

What the questioner mentioned as their description is a little from a great deal that is known to the scholars regarding their characteristics. It is known to us that the coast of Sham was only taken over by the Christians from their (Nusayri) side. And also that they are always on the side of every enemy against Muslims, so [you find that] they are with Christians against Muslims.

From the greatest afflictions that have befallen them are Muslims’ opening conquest of the coast (of Sham) and defeat of the Christians. Nay, one of the greatest afflictions that has befallen them is Muslims’ victory over Tatar, and from the greatest holidays for them is the Christians conquest – and refuge is sought with Allah the Most High – of Muslim ports.

They don’t admit that this world has a Creator that created it, or that He has a religion that he orders with, or that He has a place with which He will reward people for their deeds, other than this place (in this world).

[Majmoo` al-Faatwaa 35/145]

Ibn Taymiyyah’s Battle against Innovators and Deviant Sects:

Shaikhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah dedicated a lot of effort towards refuting various innovative sects. He even physically challenged some individuals from the heretical Sufi sect, known as the Bataa’ihiyyah that indulged in feats like walking over fire to amaze the common masses. He proposed that he would walk on fire with them on the condition that they wash themselves first with vinegar and hot water. Their refusal exposed their folly, and Ibn Taymiyyah thus exposed the charlatans of the Bataa’ihiyyah sect. [See, Majmoo al-Fatawa (11/456-457) and al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah (14/36)] He also refuted Muhiyyuddin Ibn Arabi and the heresy of Wahdat al-Wajood.

Ibn Hajr said, ‘… From the astonishing qualities of this man (i.e. Ibn Taymiyyah) was that he was the strongest amongst men against the people of innovation, the Rawaafidah, the Hululiyyah, and the Ittihaadiyyah, and his works on this are many and famous, and his fatawa on them cannot be counted… It is obligatory upon the one, who has donned the robe of knowledge and possesses intelligence that he consider the words of a man based upon his well-known books or from the tongues of those who are trusted to accurately convey his words – then to isolate from all of this what is rejected and warn from them with the intention of giving sincere advice and to praise him for his excellent qualities and for what he was correct in as is the way of the scholars.

If there were no virtues of Shaykh Taqi ad-Deen except for his famous student Shaykh Shams ad-Deen ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, writer of many works, from which both his opponents and supporters benefited from then this would be a sufficient indication of his (ibn Taymiyyah’s) great position. And how could it be otherwise when the Shafa’ee Imams and others, not to speak of the Hanbalees, of his time testified to his prominence in the (Islamic) sciences…’ [From Ibn Hajr’s endorsement of ‘Radd al-Waafir’ contained at the end]

With regards refuting the people of innovation and the danger they pose to the Muslims Ibn Taymiyyah said, ‘When some people asked Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal that they felt uneasy about criticizing people, he replied, ‘If I were to remain silent, how would the ignorant masses know the truth from falsehood?’ Those who introduce heretical writings which oppose the Qur’aan and the Sunnah and those who innovate in matters of worship, then it is obligatory that they be exposed and that the Muslims be warned against them – by unanimous agreement of the Muslims scholars. In fact, when Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal was asked about a person who fasted, prayed and secluded himself in the mosque for worship; if he was dearer to him than a person who spoke out against the innovators? He replied, ‘When he fasts and prays and secludes himself, then he does so for the benefit of his own self. However, when he speaks out against the innovators, he does so for the benefit of the Muslims in general, and this is more virtuous.’

So it is clear that openly opposing the innovators is of general benefit to the Muslims and is considered one of the types of struggles in the path of Allah. Since purifying the religion of Allah and defending it from their attacks is a collective obligation – as is agreed upon by the scholars. For, Allah did not raise up some people to oppose the innovators, then the religion would suffer harm, corruption and deviation. Indeed, this type of corruption is even greater then the corruption resulting from the disbelievers conquering the Muslims. Since when the disbelievers conquer the Muslims, they do not corrupt their hearts, or their religion, except after some time. Whereas, the innovators corrupt the hearts from the very beginning.’ [Majmoo al-Fatawa (28/231-232) Quoted from al-Istiqamah Magazine]

Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter –