What happens if I reject Shia Islam?
Before the prophet (PBUH) died he said, “Soon I will leave you and verily I leave among you two valuable things. The first of which is God’s book. In it is guidance and light and the second is my household. I advise you before God that you do not forget my household.” Sahih Muslim Book 31, Hadith 5920.
When people reject Shia Islam they are rejecting the Imam of their time who belongs to the household of the prophet, and, therefore, are rejecting the guidance that Allah and the Prophet wanted them to follow. When enough people do this it causes the distortion and perversion of Islam, ultimately leading to the following – from the book “No God But God” by Reza Aslan Pages 286-288:
“As a result of this remarkable, centuries-long process, Muslims all over the world have been galvanized by a familiar yet revolutionary idea that there need be no mediator between the believer and God, that all people have the ability to discern God’s will for themselves, and that being bonded to the past does not necessarily qualify one to decide the future. Some have used this radical creed to develop wholly new interpretations of Islam that foster pluralism, individualism, modernism, and democracy; others have used it to propound an equally new ideal of Islam that calls for intolerance, bigotry, militancy, and perpetual war. Which of these interpretations is “true Islam” is an unanswerable question, since the rejection of institutional authority means that all interpretations of Islam must be considered equally authoritative. As Martin Luther quickly discovered, once individual believers are empowered to interpret religion for themselves, there can no longer be any constraints (institutional or otherwise) on how faith is construed. Just as the Christian Reformation opened the door to multiple, often conflicting, and sometimes baffling interpretations of Christianity, so has the Islamic Reformation created a number of wildly divergent and competing ideologies of Islam. What must be recognized, however, is that the peaceful, tolerant, and forward-leaning Islam of an Amr Khaled and the violent, intolerant, and backward-looking Islam of an Osama bin Laden are two competing and contradictory sides of the same reformation phenomenon, because both are founded upon the argument that the power to speak for Islam no longer belongs solely to the Ulama. For better or worse, that power now belongs to every single Muslim in the world. It used to be that if a Muslim in Cairo wanted a fatwa, or religious edict, on a disputed topic, he had to sit at the feet of the venerable scholars of al-Azhar University, whose opinions on religious and social matters were essentially law. Today that Muslim can stay home and troll through IslamOnline’s vast archive of new and previously published fatwas by a global assembly of muftis (scholars qualified to issue a fatwa) covering women’s issues, health concerns, interfaith relations, money and business transactions, sports and games, war and peace, and every other topic imaginable. There is even a section on the site that provides ready-made fatwas linked to whatever the top news story of the day may be. There are tens of thousands of fatwas to choose from on Islam-Online, nearly five thousand of them in English. Because the fatwas are collected from a wide array of sources, the user can access multiple, and often conflicting, fatwas on a single issue; one can simply decide which fatwa one likes best. If the desired fatwa is not found in the database, the employees at IslamOnline will happily connect the user to a live “cyber-mufti,” who will chat with the supplicant in real time and issue a satisfactory fatwa in less than twenty-four hours. If the cyber-mufti’s fatwa proves unsatisfactory, the user can simply switch his browser to one of IslamOnline’s many competitors, such as Fatwa-Online.com, IslamismScope.net, Almultaka.net, Islam-QA.com (whose fatwas come in twelve languages), or Asklmam.org—all of which provide their own unique (and also often contradictory) fatwa databases. If that still does not satisfy, there is always AmrKhaled.net, or the website of Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani (Sistani.org), or a thousand other sites run by a host of different clerical leaders, activists, academics, lay leaders, spiritual guides, intellectuals, and amateurs, any of whom can spread their influence beyond their local communities with a simple IP address. And because no centralized religious authority exists in Islam to determine which of these opinions is sound and which is not, the user can simply pick and choose whichever fatwa is most appealing from whomever he or she is drawn to most.”
This summary by Reza Aslan is exactly why the Prophet must have left us a centralized religious authority and that authority was the purified members of his household. This is why Shiah Islam is the purest path in Islam. Because unless you have a centralized religious authority that has its legitimacy firmly grounded by the Prophet & Allah, then anyone can pick and choose to make Islam into whatever they want it to be. This is exactly what we have today. And the only way for a person to know if they are following the correct path is to use common sense and heed the advice that the prophet gave which is to follow the Quran and purified family members of his family. Shiah theology has its foundation based in the sayings of the family of the prophet as well as a living Imam (the Mahdi) who if needed makes himself available.