Response: According to the investigative scholars, the most appropriate opinion is that Abdullah bin Saba’ the Jew interpolated it and openly proclaimed it. This is also the fact acknowledged by the Shiite books that claim that Abdullah bin Saba’ was the very first person to openly declare the Imamate of Ali (may Allah be pleased with him). This belief of the Imam- ate of Ali is the bedrock of the doctrines of Shiism. Also, the same Abdullah bin Saba’ has been mentioned, by their books, to be the first to defame the son-in-laws of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, Abubakar, Umar and Uthman (may Allah be pleased with them) and the first to openly say that Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) was god…
Al-Hassan An-Nubukhti, an erudite Shiite scholar, said: “As-Saba’iyyah are the followers of Abdullah bin Saba’, who was among those who openly defamed Abubakar, Umar, Uthman and the companions. He dissociated himself from them and proclaimed that Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) ordered him to do so. However, Ali eventually got hold of him and questioned him about his proclamations. He answered to the affirmative and Ali ordered for his killing”.(1)
He continued: “A group of scholars amongst the disciples of Ali (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Abdullah bin Saba’ was a Jew who embraced Islam and became a supporter of Ali. He was known, before his Islam, for proclaiming that Yusha’ bin Nun, after Musa (Alayhis salaam), was god(2). Then he made the same proclamation about Ali (Allah be pleased with him) after the death of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam. He was the first to openly claim that the Imamate of Ali (Allah be pleased with him) is compulsory and whoever was his enemy is dissociated from ((and are disbelievers))(3). At this juncture, those who opposed the Shiites said: The origin of Shiism and Rafidites emanated from Judaism”(4). Then the scholar of all scholars of the Shiites, Sa’d Al-Qummi, mentioned that “the position of Ibn Saba’ the Jew on hearing about the death of Ali (Allah be pleased with him) was that he Ali did not die, he became the proponent of his return and went extreme about it”(5).
(1) Firaq Al-Shee’ah (The Sects of Shiites) p. 50 (Variation of the Saba’iyyah Alawite Shiites after the Murder of Ali (Allah be pleased with him)) by Al-Hassan bin Musa An-Nubukhti, who is one of their scholars of the third Hijri century.
(2) i.e. while he was a Jew, he proclaimed that both of them were god, and the same he claimed about Ali after he outwardly declared Islam. See: Al-Anwaar An-Nu’maaniyyah vol 2 p. 234 (Noor fee Bayaan Al-Firaq wa Adyaaniha wa maa yata’llaq bihi min Al-Muqad-dimaat wa Al-Lawaahiq) by Ni’matullah Abdullah Al-Husseini Al-Musawi D. 1112. This author was described as being “ “an erudite investigative scholar of great value” by another Shiite Sheikh, Muhammad bin Al-Hassan Al-Hurr Al-Amili (d. 1104) in his book “Amal Al-Aamil fee Ulamaa’ Jabal ‘Aamil” vol. 2 p. 336 no. 1035.
(3) What is between the brackets is found in “Firaq Al-Shee’ah” by An-Nubukhti and Al-Qummi p. 33 as edited by Dr. Abdulmun’im Al-Hafni, Dar Al-Rasheed first edition 1412H.
(4) Firaq Al-Shee’ah p. 50 (Variation of the Saba’iyyah Alawite Shiites after the Murder of Ali (Allah be pleased with him)).
(5) Al-Maqaalaat wa Al-Firaq pp. 10-21 by Sa’d bin Abdullah Al-Ash’ari Al-Qummi (d.301). See: Ikhtiyar ma’rifat Al-Rijal Al-Ma’ruf bi Rijal Al-Kashshi for Muhammad Al-Kashshi (d. 350) by Abu ja’far Muhammad bin Al-Hasan At-Tusi (d. 460 AH) Discussion No. 174 vol.2 p. 191 (Abdullah bin Saba’). Muhammad bin Ali Al-Ardabili said: “Abdullah bin Saba’ is a cursed extremist who was burnt with fire by the leader of the believers, Ali (Allah be pleased with him). He used to proclaim that Ali was god and a Prophet. He later ended up a non-believer