The prominent Shia lecturer Dr Ammar Nakshawani has called some of the Prophet Muhammad’s closest companions, including the first two caliphs of Islam, Abu Bakr al Siddiq and Umar Ibn al Khattab terrorists.
Dr Nakshawani made the controversial comments during a lecture delivered in Masjid Al Husayn in Leicester on Sunday 9 October 2016.
The lecture – which is over one hour long and has since been removed from the mosque’s YouTube channel – argued that the “radical Islam” of groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda stems from the ideology of some of the first generation of Muslims after the Prophet (peace be upon him) died.
Dr Nakshawani is not considered to be a scholar in the Shia community and does not have the credentials to deliver fatwas, but he does have a large following among the youth, and in the past has been given mainstream platforms to speak, and has even been involved in Sunni-Shia unity and other inter-faith initiatives.
He is a visiting scholars of Islamic Studies at the University of Cambridge and is listed as one of The 500 Most Influential Muslims.
Dr Nakshwani’s comments contradict the religious edicts issued by the two major Shia leaders in the world today – Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Ayatollah Ali Sistani – who have both forbidden the cursing the Prophet’s companions and wives.