Since centuries, the Bakris (the so-called Sunnis) have attempted to deride the true Shias by calling them names, the most prominent of them being ‘Raafezi” (the plural of which is ‘Rafaawez’). This propaganda was so massive that even some Shias became apologetic and started saying that we are not Raafezis, rather we are Shias. (A couple of years ago, a Kuwaiti Shiite parliamentarian very proudly, albeit foolishly, claimed in the house that he was a Shia and not a Raafezi!)
To reiterate, Rafz means to refute and reject and Raafezi is the one who refutes or rejects. Yes, we are Raafezis because we reject all forms of falsehood or misrepresentations and don’t indulge in bogus diplomacy in matters of faith.
Importantly, it is not only us but even our infallible guides (peace be on them) – the divinely appointed caliphs – have endorsed this viewpoint. We will quote one narration here to validate our viewpoint.
Abu al-Jaarood says, “May Allah make his ears deaf like He has blinded his eyes if he has not heard Imam Abu Ja’far (al-Baqer) (peace be on him) when a man said to him, ‘Verily, so and so are calling us names’.
He (peace be on him) asked, ‘And what is that name?’ He replied, ‘They call us Raafezah’.
Imam Abu Ja’far (al-Baqer) (peace be on him) retorted – while pointing towards his own chest, ‘I am from the Raafezah and he is from me.’ He (peace be on him) repeated this thrice.”
(Al-Mahaasin by Ahmad al-Barqi, p. 157, H. 91; Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 65, p. 97, H. 2)
In fact, our extremely reliable scholars and traditionalists have also brought chapters on this subject in their precious tomes. For example, the great traditionalist of the third century Hijri, Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Khalid al-Barqi (exp. 274 A.H.) has brought a Chapter (no. 24, p. 157) in his famous book al-Mahaasin called The Chapter of the Raafezah. Similarly, the unparalleled Allamah Shaikh Muhammad Baqir Majlisi (exp. 1110 A.H.) in his magnum opus Behaar al-Anwaar has brought a Chapter (no. 17) called “The Excellence of the Raafezah and the Praise of Being Called by this Name” in volume 65, page 96.
This is sufficient to establish that it was the creed of our Imams (peace be on them) to reject falsehood and our great scholars and historians followed the divine emissaries (peace be on them) in this aspect.
May Allah the High give all of us the grace to emulate these great personalities! Aaameen!