In the name of Allah,
I was born in Iran, in the Persian town of Shemiran, in the mid-80s into a Shia family (father’s side traditionally conservative and religious, well, at least once upon a time, mother’s side less religious, since like forever). My father and mother’s side of my family claims Arab ancestry, my grandfather was very proud of that and always emphasised on our (alleged) ancestry. Arab tribes did indeed settle all over Iran after the Islamic conquest, there is no doubt about that, however, I’ve always been very sceptic about Hashimite ancestry claims, and thus have always introduce myself as a Muslims who was born into an Iranian Persian Shia family first and foremost. Anyways, I mention this because I am from the Abbasi family (Abbasi is my actual surname).
I was born during a time when the Iran-Iraq War (22 Sept 1980 – 20 Aug 1988) was in full swing, during the so-called “War of the Cities” when the Ba’athist army of Iraq attacked major cities and urban areas in the western half of Iran with air raids, missile attacks and artillery shelling. So basically before I was even born, in the womb, I heard Ba’athist bombings, which is kind of ironic, since the Khomeinic state, a few decades later, has been the main lifesaver of the tyrannical and secularist Ba’athist regime of Syria that has been bombing the Syrian people for their uprising.
I lived in Germany for many years, however, I’ve been living in the UK for around 1.5 decades i.e. I have spent the most important part of my adult here.
I’m a polyglot (4) and a teacher (Qur’an and languages) and have been studying Linguistics (BA). I’ve started studying Arabic right after I left Shi’ism in my early 20s. Little to no significance is usually given to the study of Arabic in Shia circles, even in their al-Hawzat al-‘Ilmiyyah (so called ‘scientific seminaries’ in Iran like in Qom where students learn more Persian than Arabic and are even taught in Persian (in contrast to that, in many Sunni institutes in the non-Arab world, studies are often taught in Arabic, like in Karachi, Pakistan). Even in basic sciences of the Qur’an like Tajwid most Shi’tes, especially their clergy, fail and are put to shame by Ahlus-Sunnah as per confession of their ‘Ayatollahs’.
In 2010 I moved to Jordan and studied Arabic and Qur’anic studies. I regard that period as one of the most fulfilling and best times of my life. Jordan, especially the city of Zarqa` (Zargeh), has a special place in my heart.
In short: I’m a convert from Twelver Shia Imamism to Ahlus-Sunnah.
I’m from the lands of Persia by qadr but Muslim and from Ahlus-Sunnah by the graces of my Rabb.
إن من سعادة الحدث (الصغير السن) والأعجمي أن يوفقهما الله لعالم من أهل السنة. [أصول الاعتقاد (1/66/30) والتلبيس (ص.17)]
Imam Ayyub al-Sakhtiyani said: ‘It is from the good fortune of a youth and an a’jami for them to be directed to a scholar from the people of Sunnah (Ahlus-Sunnah).’ [Al-Lalika’i, Sharh Usul I’tiqad Ahlus-Sunnah, 1/60/30]
Imam Yusuf Ibn Asabat said: ‘My father was a Qadari (denier of pre-destination), and my maternal uncles were Rafidis (extreme Shi’ites), but Allah has saved me through Sufyan [al-Thawri).’ [Al-Lalika’i, Sharh Usul I’tiqad Ahlus-Sunnah, 1/60/32]
Note: I was never eager to share my story, I almost forgot my Rafidi past, my main focus was my da’wa in debunking Rafidism. However, over the years a number of brothers (rightfully) advised me to share my story, as much as possible. I left Shi’ism in 2003 and gave my first ever interview about my journey in 2016 i.e. 13 years after I left Shi’ism. If I wanted to milk it (which I should have) I could have done that a decade ago. I see the benefit in sharing my story as much as possible and advise other to that as well.
As for paraoid Shia claims that I’m fake or that there are more converts to Shi’ism from Sunnism than vice versa, to them I say: Get a grip, first of all, I couldn’t care less what others think about me, secondly, you have zero prove for your claim, there is no semi-scientific proof for the claim that more Shi’ite have converted to Sunnism than vice versa. I could easily make a similar claim. What is undeniable is that Sunnism is growing inside Iran by the confession of the Iranian regime and Shia clerics (I know, they don’t present you such delicate facts on Press TV and other Iran regime mouthpieces).
What is a fact is that mass-conversions to Sunnism amongst Ahwazi Arabs have been confessed by the regime and Shia clerica. We are speaking about Iran, the fortress of Shi’ism! So you be content with your gullible former Sufi converts to Shi’ism in parts of Africa and Asia whilst we are growing within your Shia stronghold. That’s a good deal.
For a detailed post about why I left Shi’ism and accepted Islam/Sunnah, please refer to the following post here:
Why and when did you leave Shi’ism?
Watch this in English:
And here a two episode interview I gave in Arabic where I was invited on the TV channel of the legend Mohammad Saber (Egypt):
Long story made longer: I did not leave Twelver Imamite Shi’ism overnight. It was a struggle that involved months of research and even discussions with a former Shia (cleric) and convert to Islam/Ahlus-Sunnah. What I can say with confidence and a peace of mind is that If i were after worldly gains I would have remained Shia (more to that alter), however, my decision was based on research, conviction and the love for the truth.
People from a similar background like myself will probably understand me the best, especially Iranians, as they know well that religious Shia youth are scarce within Iran, much less so in the West. Those who are from a religious Shia background or chose to become one will face some disadvantages, especially if they are of the pro-Iranian regime type (most Iranians, including Shi’ites, despise the Shia clergy and the Iranian regime and anybody and everything that is associated to them), however, it also comes with a lot of benefits that I experienced first hand myself.
I used to be treated well in my Shia community and almost like royalty (by pro-regime Iranian folks inside Iran and Basiji militias and their likes with whom I became close friends) during my visits to Iran. Therefore, I have no personal grudge against any person of Shia faith (or any other faith for that matter), as a matter of fact I wish them nothing but the best which is guidance.
To me, the masses, the laypeople of the Shia, are not enemies (one of the principle enemies of Islam and Ahlus-Sunnah are the heads of Rafidi Shi’ism), far from that. Most of my family are still Shi’ites and I keep good relations with them, as a matter of fact I always emphasise how most Shi’ites, especially Iranians are only loosely ascribe themselves to Shi’ism, they are a very decent people with an ancient history and beautiful culture and country that putting all religious talk aside I cherish myself.
Nonetheless, from a theological and ideological point of view I regard the masses of the Shi’ites as victims (not enemies) of extreme Tashayyu’ (i.e. Rafidi Shi’ism) and its clergy and I trust in the intelligence and the love for the truth of many Iranians (and non-Iranian) that has already lead many of them (Ex-Shia and Shia reformists) to the realisation that Twelver Shi’ism is nothing but a heresy in the name of the Prophet’s (ﷺ) progeny and that rejecting, dissecting and exposing it for the falsehood it is, is a service to Islam, the Muslims, and a sign of true love for the Ahlul-Bayt (peace be upon them) who have a right upon us to purify them from the exaggeration and heresies that the Twelvers have attributed to them.
Back to myself during my Shia times: I had the best chances to further benefit by becoming an actual stooge for the regime (some former close friends of mine actual ended up exactly like that) but my conscious and my passion and love for the truth and my realisation of the falsehood of Twelver Shia Imamism and the Khomeinic revolution prevented me from that path, ولله الحمد والمنة.
Lucrative (Iranian regime affiliated) jobs were offered to me, I was even offered a secured place to study at the Hawzah, the Al-Mustafa International University (MIU) in Qom, Iran. All praise is due to Allah alone who saved me from that cesspit of zandaqat (heresies), the factory of kufr (disbelief) and ghuluw (exaggeration) in the name of the blessed Ahlul-Bayt (peace be upon them), the cause for the alienation and even grudge of millions upon millions of decent Iranians towards Islam (or at least what they falsely perceive to be Islam).
Last Iran trip: Summer 2003
The last time I visited Iran was in summer 2003. It was an overall very positive experience (I was treated well) and disturbing at the same time . Every chain of events starts with one push, a catalyst, and my last Iran visit was the catalyst that helped me to see through the falsehood of Imamism and the charlatanism of the Khomeinic establishment.
That year we visited Iran and as usual stayed at my beloved and sweet grandmother’s (may Allah have mercy upon her) house. As mentioned, my mother’s family have never been considered conservative, but they were not godless folks, my grandfather and grandmother never missed a prayer. As a matter of fact, my mother took us every year to the shrine of Imam al-Ridha (رحمه الله) Mashhad.
Visit to the Imam Ridha shrine
We visited Iran many times and there was not a single Iran visit without a trip to the Imam Ridha (رحمه الله) shrine. I am not saying that these rituals are part of Islam, on the contrary, however, to my family, a Shia family, this was considered religiosity and spirituality.
Several Sufi rulers (in pre-Safavid Iran) expanded the shrine. By the end of the third Hijri century, a dome was built on the grave of ‘Ali ibn Musa al-Ridha. In 383 A.H. / 993 A.D., Sebuktigin, the Ghaznavid sultan devastated Mashhad and stopped the pilgrims from visiting the holy shrine of Imam Reza. But in 400 A.H./ 1009 A.D., Mahmud of Ghazni (born 971, ruled, 998-1030 A.D.,) started the expansion and renovation of the holy and built many fortifications around the city.
Mongol rulers also contributed to the expansion of the shrine. Sultan Muhammad Khudabandeh (known in the Sunni Persian world as ‘Shaytanbandeh’) Iljaitu (b. 1282 AD), the Mongol ruler of Iran, converted to Shi’ism and ruled Iran in 703–716 A.H (1304–1316 AD), and renovated the shrine on a grand scale. With the emergence of the Safavid dynasty in 1501 A.D. and their declaration of the Twelver Shi’ite sect as the state religion, Mashhad reached the peak of its development and soon became one of the greatest sites of pilgrimage.
The Safavid rulers slaughtered Sunnis in the Persian Sunni region and city of Herat (today part of Khorasan) and plundered tons of gold and jewelery which was used for the decoration of the shrine of Imam Rida. Abul-Fadhl al-Borqei (former Shia Ayatollah) mentions this historical fact and cites is as one of many evidences why praying in the Imam Rida complex is religiously prohibited as it is a place of Shirk and built upon haram i.e. the wealth of the Muslims of Khorasan.
Needless to mention that what I witnessed there was shocking, absolutely shocking to the core. From the clergy to the laymen, I could hear wailing and prayers (that are always justified under the pretext of intercession, just like how Catholics justify their saint worship) that were directly addressed to the Imam. People asked their every tiny need from the buried demigod, for every mentiond of Allah/God there were hundreds of ‘Ya Imam this and that’. I always felt umcomfortable with the Shia practice of calling on the Imams, but I never dared to speak about it openly, I suppressed my doubts.
In the shrine I met an Iraqi Shia cleric from Iraq (who of course spoke Persian, he probably was of Iranian descent like many Shia clerics and their clans in Iraq). He was so deluded, we talked about Sunni and Shia issues, he (with a straight face stated) that the Shia are going to outnumber the Sunnis soon anyway as the Shia to Sunni ratio among the Muslims worldwide is roughly 50/50. I was shocked, I tried to educate him on this but he insisted that this is true. Mind you, that was Shia cleric in his thirties, so how backwarded are the older one I was thinking.
I also asked him about the excessive practices around the shrine that I was witnessing sitting right next to him. People were literally praying to the Imam, they were throwing money into the shrine (that of course the clergy later collects), rubbed themselves against the grill of the shrine, God was a second thought except in formality and some parts of their prayers, the main focus was the Imam (Shi’ism is Imam-centric instead of being God-centric).
The Shia cleric assured me that everything is legit and according to Shia standards and under the supervision of major ‘Ayatollahs’ and that I would experience the same scenarios if I visit sayyidunah ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) in his home town in Najaf. I was devestated, but on a positive note, it turned me deep inside further away from Shi’ism.
The whole city is literally named after a shrine. The older name of Mashhad (during the Sunni period of Iran) is Sanabad (سناباد). It was eventually renamed to Mashhad during the anti-Sunni Safavid Empire. The name Mashhad comes from Arabic, and refers to places where someone was martyred.
The core of the city is the shrine, the shrine is encompassed by a massive complex, a complex so large that one would confuse it with that of Makkah or Madinah (the only true harams in Islam, in addition of al-Aqsa). The complex itself is was purposely (during the Shah’s era) encompassed by a ring road so that cars could symbolically perform Tawaf (circumambulate) around the shrine.
After the 1979 Revolution, the Shia clergy (who always had large influenced on Iranian politics anyways) took modern day grave and shrine veneration to a next level. Today, a network of roads goes both around and underneath the shrine, ensuring that it is a central traffic circle for the entire city. They have literally built an ‘holy’ underpass!
Even air-crafts like aeroplanes are told to circumambulate the complex to the best of their abilities. A culture of Shirk and excessive grave and shrine veneration all in the name of ‘spirituality and love for Ahlul-Bayt’.
It was a four weeks stay in Iran and I totally enjoyed most of it, especially the benefits. I was embraced by religious folks like a king (due to not just being one of them but on top of it being raised in the West and in spite of that being religious), became friends with high ranking Basiji militia members and IRGC members who even took me to Khamenei. Basically, I was living the textbook Shia life of a pro-regime Iranian young man.
The pitiful Friday Prayers of Tehran
I also attended the Friday prayer in Tehran as well, it was the most unspiritual Friday prayer that I remember in my whole life. I could rant relentlessly about the hideous ‘Tajwid’ of the ‘Ayatollahs’ who were leading the prayers (who like most Shias always recite very short Surahs) , but that wasn’t even the biggest issue.
Their whole Friday prayer is a farce, it’s more of a political chanting marathon rather than a spiritual Jumu’ah (that of course could include political elements). Their laypeople and clerics do not abide by the smallest etiquettes of the Friday prayer and the Sunnah related to it. People were chanting during the khutbah, shriki/polytheistic flags and banners (with invocations to other than Allah/God) were covering the complex), the Qur’an recitation is usually an absolute mess. The whole thing is shambolic to say the least.
I felt uncomfortable and disturbed (at the tangible shirk and falsehood, not at the anti-American rethoric that is nothing but hot air anyway), but it was mainstream Shia culture after all, it’s not like I did not experienced it before in my Shia centre back in Europe., so I pushed away the doubts and put on my nice face, but something was different this time, my heart did not feel at ease (for a good reason).
By the way, in the entire city of Tehran which even back then (2003) had a population of at least 10 million, there is only one Friday prayer. Yes, you read it right, one. So even if 100,000 people would attend (which they don’t) it would still be a very low turnout (even Friday prayers in secular countries like Albania and Turkey are more packed, in Sunni areas of Iran as well where in cities like Zahedan more than half of the Sunni population attends Friday prayers regularly). The Shia clergy are indeed humiliated and despised in their fortress, they should enjoy their reign until it lasts for once they are gone they will sit on the throne again, that’s for sure.
I closely observed those who attended and was told by family members that no sane person attend the Friday prayers, except people associated to the regime (Basij, Revolutionary guards, military personal, etc.). And at that time I bitterly had to admit that they were right. Did young people attend the prayer? Yes, however, they were mostly Hawzah students, young Shia clerics and Basij militia and other than them who are coming to prayers under orders. The problem also lies within Shi’ism itself where Friday prayers are not considered as an obligation during the occultation of the hidden Shia Imam. The result: self-flagellation centres are usually more filled than places mosques and Friday prayers where at least semi-Islamic rituals are performed.
So do not get fooled by the likes Press TV and other Iranian regime mouthpieces. They boast about a few thousand people who attend the Friday prayers (like as if it’s big deal), not telling you that proportionally speaking that’s nothing and an absolute failure for the regime (who encourages everybody to attend and pray on the streets). By Allah, the turnout of Muslims to Friday prayers in the capital of Russia is higher than that of Iranian Shi’ites in Tehran.
Visit to Khomeini’s grave:
Of course, during my stay in Iran I was also eager to visit the infamous Khomeini shrine (which even then resembled a Sassanian Zoroastrian palace rather than the modest grave of an alleged ascetic Muslim and leader of the oppressed).
Even the Taxi driver was perplexed and asked why an Iranian from abroad wants to see Khomeini’s grave. He told me that most Iranians don’t care about him, and if I was being serious, I told him I absolutely am serious. Later I found out how right the driver was, boy was he right, Khomeini’s grave will be turned into a public toilet if the majority of Iranians had a say, there is no doubt about that.
I arrived at the mausoleum during the scorch of the afternoon heat. The mausoleum is located to the south of Tehran in the Behesht-e Zahra (Paradise of Zahra) cemetery. Construction commenced in 1989 following Khomeini’s death on June 3 of that year. It is still under construction, but when completed will be the centerpiece in a complex spread over 20 square kilometres (4,900 acres).
The evolution of Khomeini’s grave is the typical evolution of all Shia graves, especially that of their saints. It’s starts humble and turns into an anti-Islamic wasteful complex where a grave is located in the middle of a place of worship (something the Prophet of Islam condemned and cursed those who induldge in such practices).
During my visit in 2003 the complex was already huge. Visitors flocked around the huge rectangular tomb (Shia and Sufi shrines always resemble a Ka’bah like structure) in the centre of the mausoleum. People unwrapped green silk threads (dakhil) and tied them around the crosses of the lattice frame (common Shia practices) for the sake of Tabarruk (seeking blessings). They kissed the frame and performed Tawaf-like rituals (circumambulating) around the shrine that is bigger in size than the shrines in Karbala, Najaf, and Mashhad.
I could hear people whispering odes and their wishes to Khomeini. There was I, in the midsts of the evolution of the mother of all Shirk (polytheism) i.e. the excessive veneration of saints, saint worship, conducted in the name of ‘intercession’ just as it is done in the Church (Catholics and Orthodox Christians). To my surprise I realised that the many visitors were actually non-Iranians.
They were visitors were either Arabs from Iraq, the Persian Gulf countries and Lebanon or Asians from the Indian subcontinent (especially Pakistanis). I was reminded by the Taxi driver who told me that most Iranians don’t really come down to Khomeini’s resting place. That’s how humiliated the Iranian regime is. Khomeini and the Shia clergy by large are despised and hatred by a very large portion of the population, this is you why you will mostly find non-Iranian Shias idealising and romanticising the Iranian Revolution and the Shia clergy.
As for what I’ve witnessed there: the typical exaggerated and excessive Shia practices and rituals of grave veneration and worship. Shia clerics from all over the world were roaming that place, people were prostrating towards the shrine and they (clerics) didn’t blink an eye (but Tarawih is bid’ah they say…). Why would they anyway? They are the culprits, they are the cause for the ghuluw (exaggeration) in the name of Ahlul-Bayt, they are the one’s who are lenient with such practices (they verbally claim that prostrating to graves is haram, on the other hand they tell their followers that doing so in the form of ‘thanking Allah’ is permissible).
Keep in mind, I visited Khomeini’s tomb in 2003, even back then it was still in development! Today it is nearly finished and looks like a a giant jewellery box, like a royal Sassanian palace (the tombs of Shahs of Iran look more modest), but certainly not like a modest Islamic grave. Its ceiling is decorated with fine rose-tinged quartz, golden stars embedded in between. Fine rugs cover every inch of the mausoleum. Hundreds of them carpet the polished marble floors. The Iranian regime has reportedly devoted 2 billion US dollars to his mausoleum.
Visit to Khomeini’s hosseiniyyeh and house
One of the local and high ranking Basiji militia members (he was later killed by his Afghan labourers. Afghan’s, especially Sunnis, are constantly humiliated in Iran, I’ve witnessed with my own eyes how Basiji militias cursed the Sahabah in the presence of poor Afghan builders) took me to several places, including to a trip to Khomeini’s house and Hosseinieh (Husayniyyah, a Shia place of worship, mourning and self-flagellation) in Jamaran (village in northern Tehran). Khomeini specifically chose that place for his residence after he came back to Iran from exile, drawing a sharp contrast between his humble way of life and the luxurious lifestyle of the former Shah of Iran.
Khomeini used to give sermons from a small brick balcony. Every Friday, he sat on the worn-out sofa, covered by a white sheet, and talked about Iran’s pivotal role in distributing his form of Islam and the Revolution to the world. He condemned Saddam Hussein and America—the Great Satan, in his words— and the Saudi clan (whom he ironically attacked for their lavish lifestyles) and promised paradise on earth for his over-zeleaous followers who used to climb the balcony or held their children in the air to be blessed by his hands.
Pictures from the outside of his so-called modest home, notice the hideous and idolatrous Catholic-like iconography of Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). This despicable portrayal of the Prophet (ﷺ) is quite common in Shia Iran, Khomeini the heretic used to keep the picture of this effeminate boy in his house.
The portrait of a young Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) that is common in Iran and approved by the Shia clergy (Khomeini kept one in his house) is actually the picture of a pubescent young boy from Tunisia who posed half-dressed for some sick-minded German in 1920! Here>>> my article on this Rafidi calamity.
Visit to Khamenei’s hosseiniyyeh
The climax of my trip was when I was invited to see ‘Ayatollah’ Khamenei in person in the larger and new ‘Hosseiniyyeh Emam Khomeini’ where he (Khamenei) usually gives speeches. Due to the strong connection (the high ranking Basiji friend) I passed all security gates and was allowed to sit in the front rows (reserved for a few). It was surreal, I was realising that in a few moments I’d be sitting just metres away from the most powerful man of Iran.
It was a special occasion, the so-called Fatimiyya where the Imamites mourn the ‘martyrdom’ of Fatimah al-Zahra’s (based on the hateful Shia narrative and myth that the closest companions/Sahabe of the Prophet physically attacked and abused her). As if ritualising (!) a whole month of mourning and self-flagellation (something that the Prophet and his family never ritualised) was not enough, the extremist Shia clergy have also introduced ‘Ayyam-Fatimiyyah which literally means ‘days of Fatimah’ where they mourn 10 days for her (and then there are the death anniversaries of a dozen other Imams, Khomeini, etc., their calender is an absolute mess due to their heresies that they have innovated in the name of Islam).
Some Qur’an was recited, but unsurprisingly that was overshadowed by a number of eulogists who made the masses cry and weep. A culture of lamentation that reminded me of the Jews and their Rabbis at the so-called Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. High ranking regime members entered the scene, among them ‘Ayatollah’ Shahroudi (dead), ‘Ayatollah’ Rafsanjani (dead) and the then-president Mohammad Khatami and a bunch of other high calibre ‘Ayatollahs’ and Iranian MPs.
Whilst waiting for Khamenei (who was anticipated like a demigod), I suddenly started contemplating. It was loud, people were wailing and wailing and it felt like hours. They were stirred up even more when the eulogist, in typical Shia fashion, dramatised the story of Fatimah being abused more and more until people got up and started beating themselves silly. It was a scene from a mental hospital and at that moment I took a step back, I got up and rested against a pillar and started to contemplate. I looked at the charlatans in front of me, the likes of Khamenei and other ‘Ayatollah’s’ and their eulogists (who make big money in Iran), I could tell from their looks that they enjoyed how gullible their followers were.
It was absolutely cult-ish, they revered him like little girls revere their favourite boy bands or how Catholics revere their clergy, saints and pope. People were holding images of Shia saints (‘Imams’), pictures of Khomeini and Khamenei, everybody around me was constantly invoking other than Allah, and even if Allah/Khoda was mentioned at times, for every ‘ya Allah’ or ‘Khoda’ (God in Persian) there were ten ‘ya ‘Ali’ and ‘ya Hossein’.
The place itself was covered with polytheistic banners where instead of Jesus and Mary (peace be upon them) ‘Ali and Fatimah and their children where invoked. The pagan and polytheistic vibes were so strong, I almost felt nauseous, yet I tried hard to dismiss what I saw. I yet again put on a straight face and reminded myself that after all this was not the first time that I’ve been to a Shia mourning session and place of worship. But this time was different, a change occurred in my heart, a feeling that only grew bigger after that event.
Visit to Behesht-e Zahra
After visiting numerous local ‘mosques’ (I was told and witnessed that the majority of ‘mosques’ don’t even open for Fajr as barely anybody attends! The three times a day Adhan can also be barely heard. Secular Turkey would beat Iran easily in this field) in my grandmother’s area I ended up frequenting one I was recommended. Of course all other ‘mosques’ it was covered with images of ‘saints’ i.e. Khomeini, Khamenei and other clergy men, local martyrs, despicable depictions of womanish and Persian looking Shia ‘Imams’ with pale skin tone and not to mention the banners of shirk where other than Allah is invoked, inside the house of Allah! In there I met a zealous Khomeinist in his early 50s who turned out to be related to me. He was one of my mother’s relatives from her father’s side, which surprised me a lot for as earlier mentioned, most of my mothers family and relatives are anything but conservative (let alone ‘Hezbollahis’, a term used in Iran for religious pro-regime folks). My sweet mother never told me about that cult-ish character, for a good reason I found out later.
He introduced himself and it turned out that he was the head of the martyr section of the Behesht-e Zahra cemetery (Persian: بهشت زهرا, lit. The Paradise of Zahra, from Fatima az-Zahra, based on the heretic Shia belief that Fatimah is literally the owner of Paradise). He invited me on a special tour (grave visitation), I literally ‘enjoyed’ a VIP trip and met some high ranking Basjij, IRGC, and regime officials and visited parts of the cemetery that only few can enter and see.
The polytheistic and grave worshipping vibes were in the air again, but I tried to dismiss my doubts. As someone raised in Europe, I’ve seen many cemeteries, and Christian cemeteries are exaggeratedly decorated with raised graves, tombs, shrines, pictures of the deceased, saints, etc. according to Islamic standards. However, what I saw in that mainstream Shia cemetery was on another level of exaggeration and paganism.
Even the most simple grave was more luxuriously decorated than the average Christian or Jewish grave in Europe. Shrines were dedicated to ‘Ayatullahs’ (whom people asked for intercession!), depiction of the Shia Imams were everywhere, of course Khomeini’s and Khamenei’s pictures were not missing, in general they cover all places (like in all dictatorships, North Korea style), including graves!
As usual I was keeping a straight face and at times even a smile, however, deep inside I was disturbed, the amount of mainstream heresies and polytheism I witnessed were just too much to just brush under the carpet. But on the other hand, I was not of the illiterate type, I read tons of apologetic Shia material in defence of everything I enountered and witnessed in Iran among religious Shia folks and their clerics, so what was the problem I was asking myself. I soon found out that the problem was Shi’ism and that its justifications are nothing but superious spoofs and not proofs, flimsy pieces of evidences, ambigious texts, fabrications and weak narrations, decontextualisation of Qur’anic verses and authentic hadith upon which their entire religion rests.
Process of leaving Shi’ism
There is so much I could write; all I can say is that it wasn’t easy, nor done in a rush, on the contrary it was a struggle for months a life decision. Basically I started reading and reading, researching and researching, I went on anti-Shia website and on websites that refuted anti-Shia websites, I compared the arguments and was devastated. My conscious was telling me that the absolute majority of so-called Shia evidences against Sunnis are anything but rock-solid. I encountered numerous misquotations, misattributions, mistranslations, distortions and even blatant lies by Shia propagandists. Thus, no wonder that even some Shia propagandists have started to tone down their praise for poorly written (but highly praised and propagated by Shias at the same time) polemical Shia works like Tijani’s (Ex-Sufi) ‘Then I was guided’, ‘Peshawar Nights’, ‘al-Muraja’at’ and their likes (all books that have been thoroughly refuted by Ahlus-Sunnah.
Anyhow, research was possible but not easy at that time, especially since I did not know any Arabic, however, with some assistance and an iron will I always got what I needed. Eventually I stumbled across a Sunni website that was oddly in English and Thai language. It turned out that the Iranian regime sent (and is still doing so) missionaries to Thailand and the Muslims over there are naturally unaware of Shi’sim as they have zero personal exposure to it. Perfect victims for the Iranian regime and the Shia clergy and their crocodile tears and victim role da’wah.
The English section of the website (offline) had a number of articles in defence of Sahabah. Shia arguments against Abu Hurayrah, Aisha, Umar, etc. were debunked and the Sunni case was convincingly argued. But my religious bias got the better of me, I just couldn’t let go of Shi’ism despite knowing deep inside that it is nothing but a pagan folklore religion in the name of the Ahlul-Bayt (peace be upon them).
It turned out that one of the main writers of the English section of the website was Iranian, worse (to me, at that time), he was an Iranian former Shia and convert to Ahlus-Sunnah. He introduced himself to me in chats and was of excellent character. He had a very calm personality (not impulsive like myself), very soft spoken and full of mercy for Shias and every human being really. He told me that he’s not just an Ex-Shia but a also a former Shia cleric. He had to leave Iran after his wife did not just ask for divorce after he left Shi’ism, but also caused trouble to the extent that she wanted him dead. His own family denounced him, but the truth was dearer to him so he fled and ended up in Europe (they would have executed him by simply calming that he’s a ‘Wahhabi agent’ and other baseless accusations with which the Iranian regime has always got rid of Sunnis they want to get rid off).
After weeks and months of research and discussions, in winter 2003 I was convinced, convinced of the truth of Ahlus-Sunnah and the falsehood of Shi’ism. I dissociated myself from Twelver Shia Imamism with a thorough dissociation, an Abrahamic one. I stopped going to the Shia centre, lost many friends (and was accused of all sorts of things of course), but I was relieved and loaded with energy and passion.
Ever since that day, the day I left Rafidi Shi’ism, I’ve unsheathed my sword, a sword in the form of my tongue and pen with which I promised to defend the religion of Allah (who doesn’t need me, I need it, and it honours me by defending it) to the best of my ability, especially against the principle enemies of Ahlus-Sunnah, the Rafidah (their evil ‘scholars’ and propagandists, not their laypeople, the victims, may Allah guide them and us).
My research and da’wah work has never stopped ever since the day I left Rafdism. I’ve been continuously and relentlessly contributing to several Islamic online projects in several languages. I witnessed the launch of YouTube and flooded it with my material, I have served as a host and ran my live show for almost 5 years on the notorious Wesal TV (a satellite channel that was launched in reactions to a dozen+ Shia propaganda channels in Arabic and Persian) and أعوذ بالله من كلمة أنا (I seek refuge in boasting with the word “I”).
Of course, as an Iranian Shia convert to Ahlus-Sunnah I was fascinated and intrigued by the native Sunni population of Iran, their history and how Iran was brutally forced into a majority Shia country after being a majority Sunni stronghold for most of its Islamic history. (‘Iranians have always favoured Shi’ism’ is nothing but myth that is parroted by Iranian nationalists and the Shia clergy alike, both are often bedfellows when it comes to the hatred of Sahabah/Arabs, especially the likes of al-Faruq ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab).
Eventually, my passion gave birth to sonsofsunnah.com a project to which I’ve dedicated numerous articles, representing and revealing the beautiful Islamic-Sunni history of Iran that due to Shia and Iranian nationalist propaganda is often downplayed and brushed aside.
The latest main project I’ve been involved is Sunnah Discourse. I’ll leave you with my favourite videos from our channels and ask Allah to guide us all to the best:
I’m from the lands of Persia by qadr but Muslim and from Ahlus-Sunnah by the graces of my Rabb.