There have always been diverse views among the Shias regarding expressing one’s dissociation (Baraa’at) from the enemies of Allah, His Messenger and his Ahle Bait (peace be upon all of them). But Baraa’at, as a concept, is mentioned in numerous verses of the Holy Quran as well as traditions. Shia theologians and scholars are unanimous in accepting and categorizing Baraa’at among the Furu’ (branches) of religion along with the likes of Prayers, Fasting, Hajj, Khums, etc. which means that just as these acts are devotional, obligatory and attract divine rewards, so is Baraa’at. Let us look at one such tradition in which it is clearly mentioned regarding Baraa’at against the enemies of Ahle Bait (peace be upon them) being obligatory (Waajib).
A’amash narrates from Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him):
Love of the friends of Allah is obligatory and accepting their mastership (Wilaayah) is obligatory. Dissociating (Baraa’ah) with their enemies is also obligatory and (Baraa’ah) from those who oppressed the progeny of Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny), violated his sanctity, took away Fadak from Fatima (peace be upon her), withheld her inheritance from her, usurped her and her husband’s rights, gathered to burn her door, laid the foundation of oppression and changed the practice (Sunnah) of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his progeny). Baraa’ah from the oath breakers (Naaketheen i.e. people of Jamal), wrongdoers (Qaaseteen i.e. people of Siffeen) and the apostates (Maareqeen i.e. people of Nahrwaan) is obligatory. Dissociating from the Nawaasib (enemies of Shias), the Azlaam (those with raffling arrows), the Imams of deviation and leaders of oppression – all of them – their first as well as their last one, is obligatory. Animosity with the most wretched one among the first and the last ones – the one who slaughtered the she-camel of Samood, killer of Ameerul Momineen (peace be upon him) is obligatory and expressing hatred towards all the killers of Ahle Bait (peace be upon them) is obligatory.
And befriending those believers who did neither alter nor turned back after their Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) is obligatory like Salmaan al-Farsi, Abu Zarr al-Ghaffaari, Miqdaad Ibn al-Aswad al-Kindi, Ammaar Ibn Yaasir, Jaabir Ibn Abdillah al-Ansari, Huzaifah Ibn al-Yamaan, Abi al-Haitham Ibn al-Tayyihaan, Sahl Ibn Hunaif, Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, Abdullah Ibn al-Saamit, Ubaadah Ibn al-Saamit, Khuzaimah Ibn Saabit the possessor of two witnesses (Zu al-Shahaadatain), Abu Saeed al-Khudri and the one who follows their path and does what they did. And befriending their followers, those who complied with them and their guidance is (also) obligatory.
[Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 27, p. 52, H. 3 narrating from Al-Khesaal of Shaikh Saduq (may Allah have mercy upon him), part 2, pp. 153-154]
Whoever neglects Baraa’at (dissociating from the enemies of Allah, His Messenger and the infallible Ahle Bait (peace be on them all) is in reality going against the teachings of the Holy Quran and traditions and ignoring an obligatory responsibility for which he will be questioned on the Day of Resurrection. May Allah the Almighty grant us the opportunity to fulfill this important obligation till the end of our lives and may this continue in our generations!!