The Shee’ah are those who have split off and taken sides with the Members of the Prophet’s Household (Ahlul-Bayt). Originally, the word tashayyu’ (splitting into factions) meant: Following and Aiding (someone).
Allaah says: “And verily from his (Nooh’s) shee’ah (i.e. those who followed his way) was Ibraaheem.” [Surah As-Saaffaat: 83] Meaning: Ibraaheem was from his followers and among the supporters of his Religion.
Then afterward, this word began to be applied to this deviant sect that claims to be followers of the Members of the Household, which consists of ‘Alee bin Abee Taailb (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) and his offspring.
They allege that ‘Alee (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) deserved to be commissioned with the Khilaafah after the Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), and that Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthmaan and the Companions (in general) oppressed ‘Alee, usurping the Khilaafah from him.
This is what they claim. But they are lying in this matter since the Companions unanimously agreed on giving the pledge of allegiance (bay’ah) to Abu Bakr. And amongst these Companions was ‘Alee himself, who pledged his allegiance to Abu Bakr, and thereafter to ‘Umar and then ‘Uthmaan. So this means that in reality, they (i.e. the Shee’ah) hold ‘Alee to be deceitful!
They also deem all of the Companions to be disbelievers except for a few amongst them. And they have turned to invoking curses on Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, labeling them as the “Two idols of Quraish”
From their beliefs and practices is that: They go to extremes with regard to the Imaams from the Members of the Household, giving them the right to legislate laws and abrogate rulings (in Islaam) because they claim that the Qur’aan is distorted and deficient.
This is to the point that they have resorted to taking their Imaams as lords besides Allaah. So they have built tombs over their graves and erected shrines for them, making Tawaaf around them, presenting sacrificial animals to them and swearing oaths to them!
The Shee’aah have split up into further denominations, some less dangerous than others and some worse than others. Amongst these denominations are the Zaydees, the Raafidees, the Isma’eelis, the Faatimees, the Qaraamitees and so on and so forth – a large amount of groups and numerous denominations.
So it is like this – everyone who abandons the truth will not cease to be upon differing and division. Allaah says:
“So if they believe in the same thing you believe (i.e. Prophet and Companions), then they are rightly-guided. But if they turn away, then they are only in divided opposition (amongst themselves). So Allaah will suffice for you against them. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 137]
So whoever abandons the truth will be tested with falling into falsehood, deviation and division, which all lead to no other result except destruction, and we seek refuge in Allaah!
The Shee’ah have split up amongst themselves into numerous sects and denominations, and likewise the Qadariyyah. The Khawaarij have also split up into various denominations (amongst themselves), such as: The Azaariqah, the Hurooriyyah, the Najdaat, the Safriyyah and the Ibaadiyyah. Amongst them are those who are extreme in their beliefs and amongst them are those who are less than that.
[Shaikh Saalih Al-Fawzaan|Lamhah ‘anil-Firaq-id-Daalah (pg. 38-39) Courtesy Of: Al-Ibaanah]