The term ‘ghuluww’ (غُلُوّ) can be translated as excessiveness or exaggeration. The one who does Ghuluww is known as “Ghali” (غالِي) with its plural being “Ghulat” (غلاة). The technical (theological) meaning of it is exaggeration or excessiveness in religion.
Now what does constitute Ghuluww according to the Twelver Imamiyyah Shia?
Warning: the bar is set very, very, very low.
The Twelver Imamiyyah Shia have attributed all sorts of extreme and exaggeration beliefs to Ali b. Abi Talib and other Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt. Among those brazen fabrications of the Sabaite type is the following kufri report (notice the mass-Takfir at the end!) attributed to ‘Ali (R) and preached from their pulpits and in their Hussayniyyat:
قال: (عليه السلام): أنا أمير كل مؤمن ومؤمنة ممن مضى وممن بقي، وأيدت بروح العظمة، وإنما أنا عبد من عبيد الله لا تسمونا أربابا وقولوا في فضلنا ما شئتم فإنكم لن تبلغوا من فضلنا كنه ما جعله الله لنا، ولا معشار العشر. لأنا آيات الله ودلائله، وحجج الله وخلفاؤه وامناؤه وأئمته، ووجه الله وعين الله ولسان الله، بنا يعذب الله عباده وبنا يثيب ومن بين خلقه طهرنا واختارنا واصطفانا، ولو قال قائل: لم وكيف وفيم؟ لكفر وأشرك، لأنه لا يسأل عما يفعل وهم يسألون
Imam Ali (A) said: “I am the leader of every male and female believer amongst the living and the deceased. I am aided by the grand spirit. I am verily a servant from amongst the servants of Allah so do not call us lords however say regarding our merits whatever you wish, for you will never know the true nature of the status that Allah has given us, for we are the signs (Ayatullah) of Allah, His proofs, His arguments, His representatives (caliphs), His confidants, His Imams, His face, His eye and His tongue. Through us (Ahl al-Bayt/Imams), Allah will punish His servants and ebcause of us He will reward. He purified, chose, and elected us from all His creations. If a person were to say: “But why, how and because of what”, then he commits disbelief (Kufr) and idolatry (Shirk), because He is not questioned about what He does but they will be questioned.”
Reference: Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi, v. 26, p. 6
Of course they have attributed similar narrations to al-Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (around 90% of Rafidi narrations are attributed to him and his father) that he said to two of his (alleged) companions:
قولوا فينا ما شئتم ، واجعلونا مخلوقين
“…Say whatever you like about us, but consider us the creation of Allah…”
Reference: Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi, v. 25, p. 289
And in another version:
وفي لفظ: ” لا تقولوا فينا ربا وقولوا ما شئتم ولن تبلغوا
“…Do not call us lords (Rabb i.e. lordship/Rububiyyah) and say whatever you like about us…”
Reference: Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi, v. 25, p. 347
Everything goes, except Rububiyyah (calling the Imams literally as Allah/God i.e. attributing Lordship to them). Here a narration attributed to ‘Ali b. Abi Talib (R) by a top Twelver Shia authority who proceeds by describing ‘Ali with all sorts of divine attributes such as ‘Ali being THE greatest name of Allah, ‘Ali having absolute control over the entire creation, ‘Ali being al-Awwal, al-Akhar, al-Batin and al-Dhahir! Claiming that there is no difference between ‘Ali, the Imams and God except that the former are not Allah Himself! That Allah made ‘Ali like Himself thus ‘Ali will never die, ‘Ali provides (Rizq) ‘Ali can create as he wishes and more Kufriyat. Here a narration he attributes to ‘Ali (رضي الله عنه):
نزّهونا عن الربوبية وارفعوا عنّا حظوظ البشرية ـ يعني الخطوط التي تجوز عليكم ـ فلا يقاس بنا أحد من الناس، فإنّا نحسن الأسرار الإلهية المودعة في الهياكل البشريّة، والكلمة الربّانية الناطقة في الأجساد الترابيّة، وقولوا بعد ذاك ما استطعتم، فإنّ البحر لا ينزف، وعظمة الله لا توصف
جاء عند الحافظ رجب البرسي (ح 813هـ)، في (مشارق أنوار اليقين: 101)
“…Declare us (Ahl al-Bayt) pure and free of al-Rububiyyah (lordship) and the fortunes of mankind i.e. the mistakes that you commit for there is nobody from amongst mankind that can be compared to us (Ahl al-Bayt); we are the treasured godly secrets in human form and the divine spoken word in human bodies, after that, say whatever you can about us for the sea does not bleed and the greatness of Allah can not be encompassed.”
Reference: Mashariq Anwar al-Yaqin by Rajab al-Bursi al-Bahrani (813 AH), p. 69-70
Another reference by another Zindiq:
روي عن أمير المؤمنين (عليه السلام) إنه قال لسلمان الفارسي: ياسلمان نحن أسرار الله المودعة في هياكل البشرية، ميتنا لم يمت وغائبنا لم يغب، نزهونا عن الربوبية وارفعوا عنا الحظوظ البشرية فانا عنها مبعدون وعما يجوز عليكم منزهون، ثم قولوا: فينا ما استطعتم، فان البحر لا ينزف وسر الغيب لا يعرف، وكلمة الله لا توصف، ياسلمان أمرنا صعب مستصعب لا يحتمله إلاّ ملك مقرب أو نبي مرسل، أو من امتحن الله قلبه للايمان
كتاب مسند الإمام علي (ع) ج 8 لحسن القبانچي (ص 74 – ص 75)
‘It is narrated on the authority of the Chief of the Believers (‘Ali) that he said to Salman the Persian (al-Farisi): “O Salman! We (the Ahl al-Bayt) are the treasured godly secrets in human form, our dead are not dead and our absent ones are not absent. Declare us (Ahl al-Bayt) pure and free of al-Rububiyyah (lordship) and the fortunes (mistakes) of mankind for were are free of it and from what (of mistakes) you commit. After that, say whatever you can about us for the sea does not bleed and the secret of the unkown cannot be uncovered and the speech of Allah cannot be described. O Salman! Our affair is difficult and made difficult, nobody can bear it except an archangel, a Messenger of Allah or someone whose heart has been tested by Allah with Iman (faith).”
Reference: Kitab Musnad al-Imam ‘Ali (A), v. 8, p. 74-75 by ‘Ayatollah’ Hassan al-Qabanchi
A plethora of such narrations with similar meanings can be found in numerous Shia books, including classical ones like al-Saduq’s al-Khisal and the Rijal of al-Kashi
فقد روى الصدوق في (الخصال) قال: قال أمير المؤمنين (عليه السلام): (إياكم والغلو فينا ، قولوا إنا عبيد مربوبون ، وقولوا في فضلنا ما شئتم) (الخصال: 614)
وعن كامل التمار قال: (كنت عند أبي عبد الله (عليه السلام) ذات يوم فقال لي: يا كامل إجعل لنا رباً نؤوب إليه وقولا ما شئتم ، قال : قلت ُ : نجعل لكم رباًً تتؤوبون إليه ونقول فيكم ما شئنا؟! قال: فاستوى جالساً، ثم قال: وعسى أن نقول: ما خرج إليكم من علمنا إلا ألفاً غير معطوفة)) (رجال الكشي/ 307 حديث 556) والألف غير المعطوفة كناية عن نهاية القلة.
The infamous aqaed(.)com website (‘research’ institute supervised by ‘Ayatollah’ ‘Ali al-Sistani’s office) mentions that these hadiths exist in various other Shia books with authentic chains and are thus above (!) the level of just sahih but rather mutawatir (mass-narrated) i.e. highest level of reliability.
Blatant fabrications attributed to the Ahl al-Bayt where the limits are set so low that one can attribute any (merit) to the Ahl al-Bayt except divinity, the quality of being God. Any other forms of divinity attributed to them are fine and in fact encouraged and now – based on these corrupt and kufri Usul (basis) you may understand why the Twelver Imamiyyah Shia, the Rafidah – be it their learned ones or their laity – are all involved in all forms of borderline polytheistic and sometimes blatant polytheistic rituals.
Now you may understand what the underlying cause for mainstream Twelver kufri beliefs, rituals and slogans are. The likes of:
‘Ali Mushkil Kusha – (One of the attributes given by Shias. It means (in Persian and Urdu) the one who can ease all difficulties when called upon! With the excuse of ‘with the permission of Allah’…)
The belief that the Imams can hear every call and are able to respond to the distressed – (‘Ya ‘Ali, Hussayn, Fatimah (*insert any Shia saint/Imam) rescue me, provide for me, heal me, help (madad) me, answer my call…’ with the excuse of ‘with the permission of Allah’…
The belief that the Imams know the Unseen (with details as Allah described it for Himself) with the excuse of ‘with the permission of Allah’…
The belief that the Imams will judge us in Dunya (our graves) and Akhirah (on the Day of Judgement!) with the excuse of ‘with the permission of Allah’…
The belief that Allah created everything through the Ahl al-Bayt/Imams (similar to how Christians believe that the Father created everything through the Son) and after the creation of the Ahl al-Bayt it was them who created us with the excuse of ‘with the permission of Allah’…
The belief that the Imams (who are nowhere mentioned in the Qur’an, let alone us being ordered to follow some alleged infallible successors after the final Messenger that was sent to mankind) are superior to the Prophets including the likes of Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses) and ‘Isa (Jesus)!
… and countless more kufri beliefs and rituals (spouted by their scholars, preachers and religious singers on a daily basis). Ghuluww upon Ghuluww masqueraded as ‘love of Ahl al-Bayt’ and justified with the ‘bi`idhnillah’ (with the permission of Allah) clause as if Allah gave the permission to exaggerate in such a manner with his creation (no matter how great) and as if ‘Ali b. Abi Talib would be satisfied with such lies and exaggerations in his name. Unfortunately Shia scholars have a free pass to utter every crazy and exaggerated belief to the Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt, all they need to do is to add the ‘with the permission of Allah’ clause and refrain from attributing literal Rububiyyah to the Imams (although even that is often done).
Undoubtly, ‘Ali (رضي الله عنه) would punish the Rafidah as he punished their forefathers, the Sabaites from whom they have inherited all the Ghuluww (with some modifications to appeal to the gullible and weak minded) in his name. A ditch of fire would be their fate.