In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy
Imaam Barbahaaree (rahimahullaah) stated:
‘Tu’mah Ibn Amr and Sufyaan Ibn Uyainah said, ‘Whoever withholds judgment with regard to Uthmaan and Alee, he is Shee’ee. He is not to be held as reliable, nor spoken to, nor sat with. Whoever prefers Alee over Uthmaan is a Raafidee, who rejects the narrations from the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam). Whoever gives precedence to the four over the rest of them and supplicates for Allaah’s Mercy upon the rest and withholds regarding their slips, he is upon the correct path and guidance in this matter.’ [Ref 1]
Sheikh Saaleh Al-Fawzaan (hafidha-hullaah) commented on the above statement of Imaam Barbahaaree (rahimahullaah) saying: ”Whoever withholds in the affair of Uthmaan and Alee, and says that the khilaafah belongs to Alee and not to Uthmaan, is a shee’ee and is one to be disowned. ‘He is not to be held as reliable’ meaning: he is not judged to be reliable. ‘He is neither spoken to’ (with) kind, pleasurable and agreeable speech ”nor sat with’, because his harm will be extended to the one who sits with him, and that is because the callers to misguidance do have an effect upon the man who sits with them and the one who accompanies them.
‘Whoever prefers Ali over Uthmaan is a Raafidee’: meaning: concerning the affair of the khilaafah. As for with regards to which of them is more virtuous, the scholars differed in this affair; some of them held that Ali is more virtuous and others held that uthmaan is more virtuous. As for with regards to the affair of the khilaafah, then whoever prefers Ali over Uthman is from the people of misguidance, because the Companions along with Ali himself all agreed that uthmaan is given preference (i.e. in the affair of the khilaafah)
‘He (i.e. the one who prefers Ali over uthman in the affair of the khilaafah) is one who rejects the narrations of the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam)’; and they are called Raafidah, because they said to Zaid ibn Ali, ‘what do you say about Aboo Bakr and Umar?’ He (Zaid) said: ‘I love them and give them allegiance, because both of them were ministers of my grandfather, the Messenger of Allaah (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam).’ So they said, ‘then we reject you.’ So they rejected him and were called Raafidah (the rejecters), because they rejected Zaid Ibn Ali.
‘Whoever gives precedence to the four (i.e. Aboo Bakr, Umar, Uthmaan, and Ali) over the rest of them”: That is (precedence) over the rest of the Sahaabah, ‘and supplicates for Allaah’s Mercy upon the rest’ of the sahaabah; ”and withholds regarding their slips, he is upon correct path and guidance in this affair’: (That is he) withholds (from speaking) regarding the mistakes that occurred from some of them, because they are not infallible as individuals, (because) some mistakes did occur from some of them, but they have of excellence and Eemaan that which overrides their mistakes. They have of companionship with the Messenger of Allaah (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) that which overrides what occurred of minor mistakes.
Ref 1: Explanation of the Creed’ translated by Abu Talhah (may Allaah grant him and his wife jannatul firdaws Aameen.
Ref 2:It’haaful Qaaree Bittaleeqaat Alaa Sharh As-Sunnah Lil Imaam Barbahaaree (rahimahullaah) pages 287-288′ vol 2′ by Shaikh Saaleh al-Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him). Translated by Al-Markazus Salafi