Tabarra ( _ar. تبرأ) - is a Shia Muslim doctrine that refers to the obligation of hating those who hate Allah and cursing those who reject the wilayah of Ahl al-Bayt. According to Shia Islam, it is obligatory to disassociate oneself from a person who has committed atrocities against Prophet Muhammad and his family.


Every Shia Muslim believes it to be their duty to dissociate themselves from the enemies of God and his Messengers. Muslims differ on whom to consider to be the enemies of Allah, Muhammad and the Ahl al-Bayt. For brevity, only Ahl al-Bayt will be mentioned in this article.

The doctrine of Tabarra itself does not dictate whom to dissociate from or whom to associate with. It dictates the dissociation of those identified as enemies of Ahl al-bayt. The identification is up to every individual.

For example, some people may regard Umar as the enemy of Ahl al-Bayt. In that case, it becomes obligatory to dissociate oneself from Umar. However, others may regard Umar to be a friend and lover of Ahl al-Bayt, and for them the opposite comes obligatory in accordance to Tawalla.

Although Tabarra specifically means to dissociate from enemies of God, it contains by effect the obligation to dissociate from evil acts and fobidden things, for example seeing someone's awrah.

The concept of cursing exists in Shia Islam, but does not refer to the act of cursing as perceived in Western societies. The definition of cursing someone in Shia Islam is to ask Allah to remove him or her from His Mercy.


A Qur'anic verse can be found that carries the same message as this doctrine. By Arberry, verse 9:1::"An acquittal (Arabic: "Baraatun"), from God and His Messenger, unto the idolaters with whom you made covenant:

Baraatun is derived from the same consonantal root as Tabarra.

Shia and Sunni differences

Since Shias and Sunnis have different sources of hadith, they tend to come to different conclusions regarding whom the enemies of Ahl al-Bayt are.

In some cases Sunni and Shia have the same view, for example regarding Abu Lahab, Abu Jahl and Umayah ibn Khalaf. But controverses arise concerning Sahabas since Sunnis believe in the Uprightness of all Sahaba while Shia do not.

Due to the Shi'ah view of early Muslim history, one Shia scholar stated:

:"Regarding the doctrine of' 'Tabarri' we believe that we should seek disassociation from four idols namely, Abu Bakr, Omar, Uthman and Mu'awiyah; from four women namely, Ayesha, Hafsa, Hind and Ummul Hakam, along with all their associates and followers. 'These are the worst creation of Allah. It is not possible to believe in Allah, His Messenger and the Imams without disassociating oneself from their enemies." Haqqul Yaqeen: 2:519

Note that the scholar says "from their enemies" and not "from Umar & co". Every Muslim believes that it is important to disassociate themselves from the enemies of Muhammad, however Muslims differ upon who those are.

Shia also believe that this view was held by the descendants of Muhammad. Shia hold for authentic a narration attributed to Muhammad al Baqir. He was reported to have replied to his disciple who had sought the Imam's opinion regarding Abu Bakr and Umar:

:"What are you asking me about them (Abu Bakr and Umar)? Whoever among us (Ahl al-Bayt) or the progeny of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) departed from this world, departed in a state of extreme displeasure with them. The elders among us admonished the younger ones to perpetuate it (extreme displeasure with them), Verily, the two of them have unjustly usurped our right. By Allah! These two were the first to settle on our (Ahl al-Bayt) necks . Therefore, may the la'nat (curse) of Allah, the Malaikah (angels) and of mankind be on the two of them." Kitabur Raudhah Page 115

In the same book, on the same page appears the following:

:"Verily. these two elders (Abu Bakr and Umar) departed from this world without having made taubah for what they had perpetrated against Ameerul Mumineen Alayhis Salaam. In fact, they did not even think of us (of their wrongs against Hadhrat Ali). Therefore, the la'nat of Allah, the Malaikah and of mankind be on them." Kitabur Raudhah Page 115

Since Shia hold for authentic narrations where the descendants of Muhammad cursed the Sunni Caliphs, Shia also curse them when doing tabarra.

This added to the persecution of the Shias by the Sunnis. To protect themselves in times where their life where in jeopardy, Shias used the doctrine of Taqiyya and where prevented from using tabarra in public.

Even though Tabarra is not a part of the Sunni aqidah, they have been known to use it in some occasions, for example to cursed upon Ubaid-Allah ibn Ziyad, a person they hold as responsible for the killing of Husain ibn Ali in the Battle of Karbala::"May Allah curse the son of Ibn Sumiyya (Ibn Ziyad, la’natullahi ‘alayh)!" [ ref]

Contemporary status

In countries where Shias are in a minority they continue to perform Taqiyya. For example, Saudi Arabia, Southern Afghanistan, Sunni areas of Pakistan, and in parts of Jordan.

Doing tabarra still causes Sunnis to feel dislike when confronted with the prayers. Due to some hadith attributed to the Shia Imams, some Shia scholars have argued that it is not permissible to pray for divine curse upon Sahaba in front of Sunnis, since that would hurt their feelings and the strive for unity among Muslims.

See also

*Shia view of Umar ibn al-Khattab
*Real Shi'a

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • tabarra — sustantivo femenino 1. (no contable) Uso/registro: coloquial. Molestia, pesadez: No me gusta el trabajo que hago ahora, es una tabarra. Sinónimo: lata. Frases y locuciones 1 …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • tabarra — (De tabarro). f. Molestia causada por algo pesado e insistente. Dar la tabarra …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • tabarra — ► sustantivo femenino 1 coloquial Persona o cosa molesta e impertinente: ■ menuda tabarra de profesor; es una tabarra tener que ir a comprar. SINÓNIMO lata pesadez FRASEOLOGÍA dar la tabarra …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • tabarra — {{#}}{{LM SynT37845}}{{〓}} {{CLAVE T36929}}{{\}}{{CLAVE}}{{/}}{{\}}SINÓNIMOS Y ANTÓNIMOS:{{/}} {{[}}tabarra{{]}} {{《}}▍ s.f.{{》}} = {{<}}1{{>}} {{※}}col.{{¤}} {{SynI22013}}{{↑}}incordio{{↓}} • pesadez • murga (col.) = {{<}}2{{>}} {{{}}dar la… …   Diccionario de uso del español actual con sinónimos y antónimos

  • tabarra — s. perorata, charla molesta y pesada. ❙ «...pero eso no les da derecho a que tengamos que soportar sus tabarras...» Fernando Martínez Laínez, Andante mortal. 2. dar la tabarra expr. molestar, importunar, aburrir. ❙ «Plomizo idiota [...] que da la …   Diccionario del Argot "El Sohez"

  • tabarra — sustantivo femenino lata, tostón, paliza. Tabarra se emplea, sobre todo, en la frase dar la tabarra (a alguien): siempre me está dando la tabarra con lo mismo; ve a darle la tabarra a tu madre. * * * Sinónimos: ■ incordio, lata, matraca, pesadez …   Diccionario de sinónimos y antónimos

  • tabarra — ta|bar|ra Mot Pla Nom femení …   Diccionari Català-Català

  • tabarra — Lata, molestia …   Diccionario Castellano

  • dar la tabarra — También significa molestar, aburrir. o es ese insecto, llamado más comúnmente , una especie de pesado e insistente moscardón que a duras penas conseguimos quitarnos de encima …   Diccionario de dichos y refranes

  • dar la tabarra — ► locución coloquial Molestar mucho una persona: ■ ¡deja ya de darme la tabarra, que tengo trabajo! …   Enciclopedia Universal

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