Who represents Alawites?

Submitted on Fri, 23/07/2021 - 01:51

Who represents Alawites?...

Neither you nor I

(A reply to a critic)

In the Name of Allāh, the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful

All praise is to Allāh; prayers and peace be upon the last of prophets, and on his pure family and companions.

So then,

This is a commentary on who says that he has an independent approach to worships and rules, and that what I write and publish is mislaying and misleading.

Before criticizing his words, I would like to say that no individual has the right to claim that he represents others except those who accept him as a representative of them. Each of us in this sect has his own opinion and approach, and behaves according to what he sees true; and this is normal. We don’t have one man who has got the consensus of all people about the correctness of his approach; each writer has his own opinion and fans, and his supporters and dissenters.

Many of our sheikhs have testified how difficult the consensus of opinion is. They have described our situation in many essays and poems published in several places such as: an-Nahḏah magazine issued by dr. Wajīh Moẖiī ad-Dīn, and al-ʻIrfān magazine, etc.

One of which what Sheikh ʻAbd al-Laṯīf Ibrāhīm (rest in peace) has said: [poem]

“My people, shall blame affect you after the knots of firm covenant had been loosened?

I see us in darkness due to ignorance. Not realizing goodness, neither being led to the right path

Self-love has taken up the reins of us to the surrounding death, God knows,

So, wake up from your sleep! It’s time for us to get up”

In an-Nahḏah magazine, issue7, May 1938, p320, Sheikh ʻAbd al-Laṯīf Saʻʻūd (rest in peace) published a poem in which he says: [poem]

“I urge you, by God, to help me in my calamity. My patience has run out!

Release me from every praise that raises who deserves to be lowered

It’s not by praise I can attain what I wish for you, al-Murtaḏá’s Shīʻah1

You thought that life has become serene only for you, and turned a blind eye to others

So, you paid people back in their own coin2 , like if you were fully authorized!

I swear to God you are not safe from their side after that, neither in anger nor in peace time

Therefore, treat your neighbours with kindness and never say they are obsolete

Perhaps, they take command one day, and I think God has appointed it for you!”

Dr. Wajīh Moẖiī ad-Dīn (rest in peace) says: [poem]

“Oh precious elements mountain3 , get up please God protect you!

Knowledge has lit everything hidden, but you are distracted from its shining light!

Foreigners have ridden the wind approaching the sky and seeking Saturn!

While you are still keeping quiet and settled for a little bit wet from the sea after struggling!4

Your men were equal to the strongest people since antiquity, aren’t you still like that?! Or not even one man?!”

So, the first thing that I introduce is that my writing doesn’t require every Alawite to adopt it, in the same way that other writings do not. For each writer, there are some people who adopt his view, and others who neglect it. No one can claim that his saying is the reference for the sect, but each one writes his opinion according to his comprehension.

Moreover, a piece of evidence that many of us represent only a minority is that our senior sheikhs have testified to that. Take the case of the words of Sheikh ʻAbd al-Laṯīf Ibrāhīm (rest in peace) describing the situation in the sixties:

“And is there in the mentioned districts who truly and honestly represents his district? except for you maybe? But as for me, I can’t represent even my village, let alone the rest”

Therefore, let no one imagine that we claim to represent anyone. Nowadays, no writer or composer in Alawites can claim that he is representing the whole sect haphazardly5 , whether he is correct or wrong [in any matter], unless all people unanimously agree on him.

No matter how highly esteemed a person is, his sayings are not considered as an argument against anyone except for those who accept him or adopt his sayings. So often we adopt whatever we like and reject whatever we dislike; everyone chooses what he likes.

We are not all in agreement to have a representative or anyone to defend us. Some of us don’t pay any attention to this matter at all, and never mind about what is being said about them; whether a document has been issued here or there, or whether they have been considered Muslims or not. Each of us has his own view of the principles of religion, as of ancillaries. And many of us accept no view but theirs, never caring about others’.

In the seventies, a statement signed by eighty sheikhs of ours was issued. It held the title “Alawite Muslims; [are] Ahl al-Bayt’s Shīʻah” but not all Alawites adopted it. It included the principles of religion in addition to the ancillaries, and it stated that the guides of legislation6 are: the holy Qurʼān, the Sunnah of the prophet, consensus (ijmāʼ), and intellect (ʻaql), and that our references in the ancillaries are the four books7 . However, some of us didn’t know about this statement.

On this occasion, it was indicated in the above-mentioned statement that Imamate is one of the principles of religion. Nevertheless, some of our scholars consider it one of the ancillaries, for instance, Sheikh ʻAbd al-Laṯīf Ibrāhīm (rest in peace) when he said:

“And even if there is some variation in ancillaries between us and our sunnī brothers, our agreement with them in the principles doesn’t harm the variation in ancillaries as long as it is an secondary variation due to the multiplicity of perspectives and doesn’t touch the essence of religion”.

Moreover, the statement of our scholars included that the Jaʻfarī school is our school of law and also Shīʻah’s school of law. And the words (ʻAlawī) and (Shīʻī)8 have the same meaning. Again, some of us adopt this, others reject it, and some don’t care about it.

There is one of our sheikhs who said that there was no problem with the caliphate9 and we don’t know who the best of caliphs is. Sheikh ʻAlī H̱amdān ʻImrān, one of the Alawite judges, published an essay in an-Nahḏah magazine, issue 8, 1938, where he said:

“The islamic denominations holding the Furqān10 are in fact one denomination, not several, and this segregation doesn't go beyond the right of caliphate and preference, so let’s stop replicating and hitting the same boring chord talking about caliphate and caliphs. There was no division or segregation, and I don’t believe anything other than their satisfaction about succeeding each other. They were on a hard-to-get degree of  virtues, and each of them had such remarkable qualities that the broad horizon was too narrow to contain; and all we know is that God has favoured all of them over the rest of humanity and showed favour specifically to whom he wished over the others”.

Furthermore, many of our sheikhs say that we don’t have an independent school, but our school of law is the Imami school. As an example is the words of Sheikh Sulaymān Aẖmad (rest in peace):

“Alawites don’t have an independent school for worships and rulings built on the comprehension of H̱alāl and H̱arām, or transactions like inheritance and the like, because they depend on the Imami Jaʻfari school which is the origin and they are a branch of it; hence, taking it as a reference in the principles and ancillaries of jurisprudence is a must, especially that it does mention all the ins and outs without omitting any single detail. This is what I see, say, and believe in”

Though, some of us say they don’t adopt these words because we have an independent school without writing anything about this independent school.

Some of our sheikhs say that there is no difference between us and shiʻah. On the other hand, some say there is a lot of difference.

Sheikh ʻAbd al-Laṯīf Ibrāhīm (rest in peace) says:

“And you asked about our variation from sunni and jaʻfari.
My answer: There is no difference between us and jaʻfari at all, because we are jaʻfari, we adopt the school of Imam Jaʻfar as̱-S̱ādiq. And every ʻAlawī is jaʻfarī and vice versa, considering that the doctrine of Imam ʻAlī is exactly the doctrine of Imam Jaʻfar. Hence, your question about the difference between ʻAlawī and Jaʻfarī is wrong”

Sheikh Maẖmūd as̱-S̱āliẖ (rest in peace) has said:

“There is no difference at all between Alawite Muslims and their Imami brothers in any of the rules of religion, whether in principles or in ancillaries”

Sheikh ʻAbd ar-Raẖmān al-Khayyir (rest in peace) has said:

“Alawites don’t differ from Imami Shiʻah; They are not something else”

Based on that, every human being adopts what he sees right. That is to say, whoever writes, he writes according to his opinion, and this writing will either be liked and adopted, or disliked and abandoned. And so everything I personally write or others write describes only the opinion of the writer according to his comprehension, and whoever says: our Alawite approach/system of belief/methodology/ideology, this means his own opinion or view and doesn’t apply to all of us, since each of us has his own view and approach.

In conclusion, all the words of our sheikhs indicate that we have differences of opinion. Therefore, there is no one book that describes our sect, and we don’t have one man to represent all of the Alawites, but each writer has his own friends and readers.


In relation to the statements about the document so-called (Ibtidār11 Document) or (Identity Reform) posted on the Internet, these words express the opinion of their authors and those who accept them.

The document has an unknown author/authors. It doesn’t sit in for me or represent me, and I will express my opinion about it in an independent statement. Also, whoever wrote the document, he/they doesn’t represent me. Similarly, I don’t represent him/them. And as the document doesn’t represent Alawites, the prospective response doesn’t represent Alawites likewise, because who knows? some people might adopt the document.

Whatever I write expresses only my opinion and I don’t represent any single person except those who adopt what I write. I am saying this again to emphasise that whoever thinks that he represents Alawites, he is wrong. He represents only those who accept him. In the end, every reader is free to choose whatever he wants.

My approach is that Islam is safety from harm, and I’m not assumed to do anything without a good manner. I don’t adopt the hadith of “the only saved denomination”12 or act according to it. Whoever likes this hadith, let them adopt it. I personally don’t know, and have no interest to know, who goes to heaven or who goes to hell. All I care about is good manners whoever the person is.

People are of two types as quoted from Amīr al-Muʼminīn13 : “either your brothers in faith or your equals in humanity...”.

Sheikh ʻAbd al-Laṯīf Ibrāhīm (rest in peace) has said: [poem]

“The value of man is nothing but the amount of good deeds towards people

By directing himself to virtues and sublimity, and radiating knowledge and civilization

And by doing a favor, relieving a misery, and alleviating the pains of humanity

These are the manifestations of God’s grace among folks, according to his eternal mercies”

Therefore, the value of the human, in my opinion, is determined by these qualities whether he is a believer or not. And the madhhab is not a standard in treating people. That who doesn’t harm anybody is the Muslim, wherever he is, and that who people are safe from his evil is the believer, whoever he is. This is my opinion, and everyone has his own opinion.

Finally, again all praise is to Allāh, prayers and peace be upon the messenger of Allāh and on his chaste family and companions.

Note: The Alawite Ibtidār document is an unknown author document published on the internet.

Tammām Aẖmad

We, the Alawite Islamic Library’s Administration, highlight this important talk because we consider it our mouthpiece, it represents us, and we adopt its content. And whoever wants to know more about us, please read: (website mission), and you are welcome!



  • 1Calling the sect or followers of Imam ʻAlī (al-Murtaḏá) -peace be upon him-.
  • 2To seek revenge on them by treating them in the same negative manner as they treated you.
  • 3He meant the Alawites who used to live in the mountains for hundred of years
  • 4Not having the courage/skill to swim
  • 5Arbitrarily or anyhow
  • 6Sources of islamic law/sharīʻah.
  • 7Al-Kāfī, Tahdhīb al-Aẖkām, al-Istibs̱ār, and "Man Lā Yaẖduruhu al-Faqīh"
  • 8Alawite and Shiʻite
  • 9Caliphate (khilāfah) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic ruler with the title of caliph (khalīfah).
  • 10Furqān: Criterion, i.e, the holy Qurʼān
  • 11Ibtidār means: Initiation.
  • 12A ẖadīth attributed to Prophet Muẖammad (PBUH) concerning the division of his ummah, after him into 73 denominations, only one of which will be saved and the others will go to the Hell. (Review: Sunan Abī Dāwūd 896/3, al-Jāmiʻ as̱-S̱aghīr [by as-Suyuṯī] 156/1, Mishkāt al-Mas̱ābīẖ 61/1, ad-Durr al-Manthūr 286/2).
  • 13Amīr al-Muʼminīn is Prince of believers Imam ʻAlī Ibn Abī Ṯālib (Peace be upon him).