Shi'a Islam

Shi'a Islam

Overview
Shia Islam is the second largest denomination
Islamic schools and branches
Muslims are basically divided in two major factions, Sunnis and Shias, that are further divided into various Schools of Jurisprudence and orders of Imamate. All other movements within such as Salafi, Modernists, the Mystical Sufi Orders, Deobandi and Barelvi are either Sunni or Shia or both...

 of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. The followers of Shia Islam are called Shi'ites or Shias. "Shia" is the short form of the historic phrase Shīʻatu ʻAlī , meaning "followers of Ali
Ali
' |Ramaḍān]], 40 AH; approximately October 23, 598 or 600 or March 17, 599 – January 27, 661).His father's name was Abu Talib. Ali was also the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and ruled over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661, and was the first male convert to Islam...

", "faction of Ali", or "party of Ali".

Like other schools of thought in Islam, Shia Islam is based on the teachings of the Islamic holy book
Islamic holy books
Islamic holy books are the texts which Muslims believe were dictated by God to various Islamic prophets throughout the history of mankind. All these books, in Muslim belief, promulgated the code and laws of Islam. Muslims believe the Qur'an, the final holy scripture, was sent because all the...

, the Quran and the message of the final prophet
Last prophet
The term Last Prophet is used in religious contexts to refer to the last person through whom God speaks, after which there is to be no other.-Islam:...

 of Islam, Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

. In contrast to other schools of thought, the Shia believe that only God
God in Islam
In Islamic theology, God is the all-powerful and all-knowing creator, sustainer, ordainer, and judge of the universe. Islam puts a heavy emphasis on the conceptualization of God as strictly singular . God is unique and inherently One , all-merciful and omnipotent. According to the Islamic...

 has the right to choose a representative to safeguard Islam, the Quran and sharia
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

(based upon verses in the Quran which stipulate this according to the Shia).
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Encyclopedia
Shia Islam is the second largest denomination
Islamic schools and branches
Muslims are basically divided in two major factions, Sunnis and Shias, that are further divided into various Schools of Jurisprudence and orders of Imamate. All other movements within such as Salafi, Modernists, the Mystical Sufi Orders, Deobandi and Barelvi are either Sunni or Shia or both...

 of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. The followers of Shia Islam are called Shi'ites or Shias. "Shia" is the short form of the historic phrase Shīʻatu ʻAlī , meaning "followers of Ali
Ali
' |Ramaḍān]], 40 AH; approximately October 23, 598 or 600 or March 17, 599 – January 27, 661).His father's name was Abu Talib. Ali was also the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and ruled over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661, and was the first male convert to Islam...

", "faction of Ali", or "party of Ali".

Like other schools of thought in Islam, Shia Islam is based on the teachings of the Islamic holy book
Islamic holy books
Islamic holy books are the texts which Muslims believe were dictated by God to various Islamic prophets throughout the history of mankind. All these books, in Muslim belief, promulgated the code and laws of Islam. Muslims believe the Qur'an, the final holy scripture, was sent because all the...

, the Quran and the message of the final prophet
Last prophet
The term Last Prophet is used in religious contexts to refer to the last person through whom God speaks, after which there is to be no other.-Islam:...

 of Islam, Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

. In contrast to other schools of thought, the Shia believe that only God
God in Islam
In Islamic theology, God is the all-powerful and all-knowing creator, sustainer, ordainer, and judge of the universe. Islam puts a heavy emphasis on the conceptualization of God as strictly singular . God is unique and inherently One , all-merciful and omnipotent. According to the Islamic...

 has the right to choose a representative to safeguard Islam, the Quran and sharia
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

(based upon verses in the Quran which stipulate this according to the Shia). The Shia believe that these Quranic verses make it clear that only God chooses a viceregent on Earth, therefore no one else has a choice in the matter. This means that God's representatives like prophets and imam
Imam
An imam is an Islamic leadership position, often the worship leader of a mosque and the Muslim community. Similar to spiritual leaders, the imam is the one who leads Islamic worship services. More often, the community turns to the mosque imam if they have a religious question...

s cannot be elected by common Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s, which is why the Shia disown the election and selection
Succession to Muhammad
The Succession to Muhammad concerns the various aspects of successorship of Muhammad after his death, comprising who might be considered as his successor to lead the Muslims, how that person should be elected, the conditions of legitimacy, and the role of successor...

 of Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr was a senior companion and the father-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He ruled over the Rashidun Caliphate from 632-634 CE when he became the first Muslim Caliph following Muhammad's death...

, Umar
Umar
`Umar ibn al-Khattāb c. 2 November , was a leading companion and adviser to the Islamic prophet Muhammad who later became the second Muslim Caliph after Muhammad's death....

 and Uthman ibn Affan by the people, to represent Islam and the Quran. Thus the Shia do not consider Ali to be the fourth caliph
Rashidun
The Rightly Guided Caliphs or The Righteous Caliphs is a term used in Sunni Islam to refer to the first four Caliphs who established the Rashidun Caliphate. The concept of "Rightly Guided Caliphs" originated with the Abbasid Dynasty...

, rather the First Imam. The Shia believe that there are numerous narrations where Muhammad selected Ali as his successor.

The Shia believe that Muhammad's family, the Ahl al-Bayt
Ahl al-Bayt
Ahl al-Bayt is an Arabic phrase literally meaning People of the House, or family of the House. The phrase "ahl al-bayt" was used in Arabia before the advent of Islam to refer to one's clan, and would be adopted by the ruling family of a tribe. Within the Islamic tradition, the term refers to the...

("the People of the House"), and certain individuals among his descendants, who are known as infallible Imams, have special spiritual and political authority over the community and they acquired this authority since God gave it to them just the same way God chose Adem, Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa
Islamic view of Moses
Musa , known as Moses in the Old Testament, is considered an Islamic prophet, messenger, lawgiver and leader in Islam. Moses is mentioned more in the Quran than any other individual, and his life is narrated and recounted more than that any other prophet...

, Dawud, 'Isa and other prophets, Imams such as the offspring of Abraham
Abraham
Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

 and from amongst the Children of Israel as well as kings, such as Saul
Saul
-People:Saul is a given/first name in English, the Anglicized form of the Hebrew name Shaul from the Hebrew Bible:* Saul , including people with this given namein the Bible:* Saul , a king of Edom...

. Twelver Muslims further believe that Ali, Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, was the first of The Twelve Imams and was the rightful successor to Muhammad and thus reject the legitimacy of the first three caliph
Caliph
The Caliph is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari'ah. It is a transcribed version of the Arabic word   which means "successor" or "representative"...

s. The grandsons of Muhammad, Hasan ibn Ali
Hasan ibn Ali
Al-Hasan ibn ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib ‎ is an important figure in Islam, the son of Fatimah the daughter of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and of the fourth Caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib. Hasan is a member of the Ahl al-Bayt and Ahl al-Kisa...

 and Hussein ibn Ali are agreed upon by all Muslims to be the "leaders of all youths in Paradise
Jannah
Jannah , is the Islamic conception of paradise. The Arabic word Jannah is a shortened version meaning simply "Garden". According to Islamic eschatology, after death, one will reside in the grave until the appointed resurrection on . Muslims believe that the treatment of the individual in the life...

." The Shia also believe that these sons of Ali were the true leaders and caliphs of the Muslims.

The Shia regard Ali as the second most important figure after Muhammad. Muhammad suggested on various occasions during his lifetime that Ali should be the leader of Muslims after his demise. According to this view, Ali as the successor of Muhammad not only ruled over the community
Ummah
Ummah is an Arabic word meaning "community" or "nation." It is commonly used to mean either the collective nation of states, or the whole Arab world...

 in justice, but also interpreted the sharia law and its esoteric meaning. Hence he was regarded as being free from error and sin (infallible), and appointed by God by divine decree (nass
Nass (Islam)
Nass is an arabic word meaning "a known, or clear, legal injunction". In Twelver Shi`ah Islam, nass is used to reference the nomination of an Imam by a previous Imam....

) to be the first imam. Ali is known as "perfect man" (al-insan al-kamil) similar to Muhammad according to Shia viewpoint. As a result, the Shia favor ahadith
Hadith
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

attributed to Muhammad and imams and credited to his family and close associates, in contrast to Sunni
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

 traditions where the Sunnah
Sunnah
The word literally means a clear, well trodden, busy and plain surfaced road. In the discussion of the sources of religion, Sunnah denotes the practice of Prophet Muhammad that he taught and practically instituted as a teacher of the sharī‘ah and the best exemplar...

is largely narrated by Muhammad's companions, whom Sunnis hold to all be trustworthy. Thus the Quran and Hadith interpretation and differences in Hadith narrators are the main distinction of the Shia.

Etymology



The word Shia (Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic , also known as Qur'anic or Koranic Arabic, is the form of the Arabic language used in literary texts from Umayyad and Abbasid times . It is based on the Medieval dialects of Arab tribes...

: /ˈʃiːʕa/) means follower and is the short form of the historic phrase ( /ˈʃiːʕatu ˈʕaliː/), meaning "followers of Ali", "faction of Ali", or "party of Ali". The term has widely appeared in hadith and is repeated four times in the Quran; for example verse 37:83 mentions Abraham as a Shia (follower) of Noah
Noah
Noah was, according to the Hebrew Bible, the tenth and last of the antediluvian Patriarchs. The biblical story of Noah is contained in chapters 6–9 of the book of Genesis, where he saves his family and representatives of all animals from the flood by constructing an ark...

. Shi'ite, Shiite, Shia, and Shiism are alternative terms.

Doctrine


The position of Ali is supported by numerous hadith, including Hadith of the pond of Khumm
Hadith of the pond of Khumm
The Hadith of the pond of Khumm refers to the saying about a historical event crucial to Islamic history. This event took place on 18th of Dhu al-Hijjah of 10 AH in the Islamic calendar at a place called Ghadir Khumm, which is located near the city of al-Juhfah, Saudi Arabia and was a place...

, Hadith of the two weighty things
Hadith of the two weighty things
The Hadith al-Thaqalayn refers to a saying about al-Thaqalayn, which translates to "the two weighty things." In this hadith Muhammad referred to the Qur'an and Ahl al-Bayt as the two weighty things...

, Hadith of the pen and paper
Hadith of the pen and paper
The Hadith of the pen and paper is a famous Hadith in Islam about an event when the Islamic prophet Muhammad was prevented from writing out his will...

, Hadith of the invitation of the close families
Hadith of warning
The warning hadith , also known as "invitation of the close families" is a famous Islamic hadith, that is recorded in all Muslim books through different chain of narration, which is considered to be mutawatir and sahih...

, and Hadith of the Twelve Successors
Hadith of the Twelve Successors
The Hadith of the Twelve Successors is a famous hadith in Islam, in which the Islamic prophet Muhammad speaks about twelve Muslim rulers succeeding him...

. In particular, the Hadith of the Cloak
Ahl al-Kisa
Ahl al-Kisā refers to the Islamic prophet Muhammad, his daughter Fatimah, his cousin and son-in-law Ali, and his two grandsons Hasan and Husayn. They are also referred to as Āl al-‘Abā or Panj-tan-e Āl-e Abā or simply Panj tan...

 is often quoted to illustrate Muhammad's feeling towards Ali and his family by both Sunni and Shia scholars. Therefore, the Shia believe that the Ahl al-Bayt hadiths are predominant over the others sources.

Although there were several Shia branches through history, nowadays Shia Islam is divided into three main branches. The largest Shia sect in the early 21st century is the Ithnā‘ashariyyah (which constitute approximately 85% of all Shia Muslims worldwide), commonly referred to in English as the Twelvers, while smaller branches include the Ismaili (10% of all Shia) and Zaidi
Zaidiyyah
Zaidiyya, or Zaidism is a Shi'a Muslim school of thought named after Zayd ibn ʻAlī, the grandson of Husayn ibn ʻAlī. Followers of the Zaydi Islamic jurisprudence are called Zaydi Shi'a...

 (3.5% of all Shia), who dispute the Twelver lineage of imams and beliefs. Twelvers constitute the majority of the population in Iran (90%), Azerbaijan (75%), Bahrain (70%), Lebanon (65% of Muslims) and Iraq (65%). Zaidiyyah constitute a considerable portion of Yemen (45%). Other countries with a significant proportion of Shia are Syria (15%), Kuwait (35%), Pakistan (20%), India (23% of Muslims), Afghanistan (15%), Saudi Arabia (18%), Turkey (20%), United Arab Emirates (16%), Qatar (15%), Albania(25%).

The Shia Islamic faith is vast and inclusive of many different groups. Shia theological beliefs, and religious practise such as prayers slightly differ from the Sunnis. While all Muslims pray five times daily, Shias have the option of always combining Dhuhr
Dhuhr
The dhuhr prayer is the prayer after midday Performed daily by practicing Muslims, it is the second of the five daily prayers...

with Asr
Asr
The Asr prayer is the afternoon daily prayer recited by practising Muslims. It is the third of the five daily prayers . The five daily prayers collectively are one pillar of the Five Pillars of Islam, in Sunni Islam, and one of the ten Practices of the Religion according to Shia Islam...

and Maghrib
Maghrib
The Maghrib prayer , prayed just after sunset, is the fourth of five formal daily prayers performed by practicing Muslims.The formal daily prayers of Islam comprise different numbers of units, called rak'at. The Maghrib prayer has three obligatory rak'at. The first two fard rak'at are prayed...

with Isha', as there are three distinct times mentioned in the Quran. The Sunnis tend to combine only under certain circumstances. Shia Islam embodies a completely independent system of religious interpretation and political authority in the Muslim world. The Shia identity emerged during the lifetime of Muhammad, and Shia theology was formulated in the 2nd century AH, or after Hijra
Hijra (Islam)
The Hijra is the migration or journey of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE. Alternate spellings of this Arabic word are Hijrah, Hijrat or Hegira, the latter following the spelling rules of Latin.- Hijra of Muhammad :In September 622, warned of a plot to...

 (8th century CE). The first Shia governments and societies were established by the end of the 3rd century AH/9th century CE. The 4th century AH /10th century CE has been referred by Louis Massignon
Louis Massignon
Louis Massignon was a French scholar of Islam and its history. Although a Catholic himself, he tried to understand Islam from within and thus had a great influence on the way Islam was seen in the West; among other things, he paved the way for a greater openness inside the Catholic Church towards...

 'the Shiite Ismaili century in the history of Islam'.

Whereas Sunnis believe the Mahdi
Mahdi
In Islamic eschatology, the Mahdi is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will stay on Earth for seven, nine or nineteen years- before the Day of Judgment and, alongside Jesus, will rid the world of wrongdoing, injustice and tyranny.In Shia Islam, the belief in the Mahdi is a "central religious...

 will appear sometime in the future, Twelver Shia Muslims believe the Mahdi was already on earth, is currently the "hidden Imam" who works through mujtahids to interpret the Quran; and will return at the end of time.

Succession of Ali



Shia Muslims believe that just as a prophet is appointed by God alone, only God has the prerogative to appoint the successor to his prophet. They believe that God chose Ali to be the successor, infallible and divinely chosen. Thus they say that Muhammad, before his death, appointed Ali as his successor.

Ali was Muhammad's first cousin and closest living male relative, as well as his son-in-law, having married his daughter Fatimah
Fatimah
Fatimah was a daughter of the Islamic prophet Muhammad from his first wife Khadijah bint Khuwaylid. She is regarded by Muslims as an exemplar for men and women. She remained at her father's side through the difficulties suffered by him at the hands of the Quraysh of Mecca...

. 'Ali would eventually become the fourth Muslim caliph.

Shia Muslims believe that after the last pilgrimage
The Farewell Pilgrimage
The Farewell Pilgrimage was the last and only Hajj pilgrimage the Islamic prophet Muhammad participated in, in 632 CE .-Preparations:...

, Muhammad ordered the gathering of Muslims at the pond of Khumm and it was there that Muhammad nominated Ali to be his successor. The hadith of the pond of Khumm refers to the saying (i.e. Hadith) about a historical event of appointment, crucial to Islamic history. This event took place on 18th of Dhu al-Hijjah
Dhu al-Hijjah
Dhu al-Ḥijjah is the twelfth and final month in the Islamic calendar.This is a very sacred month in the Islamic calendar, marking the end of the year. It is in this month in which the Hajj takes place....

 of 10 AH in the Islamic calendar
Islamic calendar
The Hijri calendar , also known as the Muslim calendar or Islamic calendar , is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days. It is used to date events in many Muslim countries , and used by Muslims everywhere to determine the proper day on which to celebrate Islamic...

 (March 10, 632 AD) at a place called Ghadir Khumm, which is located near the city of al-Juhfah, Saudi Arabia.

Shia Muslims believe it to be an appointment of Ali by Muhammad as his successor, while Sunni Muslims believe it to be a simple defense of Ali in the face of unjust criticism.

Shia Muslims further believe the wordings of sermon delivered by Muhammad was as follows;
When Muhammad died, Ali and Muhammad's closest relatives made the funeral arrangements. While they were preparing his body, Abu Bakr, Umar, and Abu Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah (Abu 'Ubayda) met with the leaders of Medina and elected Abu Bakr as khalifa ("caliph"). Ali and his family were dismayed, but accepted the appointment for the sake of unity in the early Muslim community.

It was not until the murder of the third khalifa, Uthman, that the Muslims in Medina invited 'Ali to become the fourth khalifa.

While Ali was caliph, his capital was in Kufa
Kufa
Kufa is a city in Iraq, about south of Baghdad, and northeast of Najaf. It is located on the banks of the Euphrates River. The estimated population in 2003 was 110,000....

h, in current day Iraq.

Ali's rule over the early Muslim community was often contested, to the extent that wars were waged against him. As a result, he had to struggle to maintain his power against the groups who broke away after giving him allegiance, or those who wished to take his position. After Ali's murder in 661 CE, his main rival Muawiyah
Muawiyah I
Muawiyah I was the first Caliph of the Umayyad Dynasty. After the conquest of Mecca by the Muslims, Muawiyah's family converted to Islam. Muawiyah is brother-in-law to Muhammad who married his sister Ramlah bint Abi-Sufyan in 1AH...

 claimed the caliphate
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

. While the rebels who accused Uthman of nepotism affirmed Ali's khilafa, they later turned against him and fought him.

Ali ruled from 656 CE to 661 CE, when he was assassinated. while prostrating (sujud) in prayer. Shia add "و عليٌ وليُّ الله" "and Ali is the wali
Wali
Walī , is an Arabic word meaning "custodian", "protector", "sponsor", or authority as denoted by its definition "crown". "Wali" is someone who has "Walayah" over somebody else. For example, in Fiqh the father is wali of his children. In Islam, the phrase ولي الله walīyu 'llāh...

(chosen one) of God" (wa-'Aliyun waliyu l-Lāh), to the adhan
Adhan
The adhān is the Islamic call to prayer, recited by the muezzin at prescribed times of the day. The root of the word is meaning "to permit"; another derivative of this word is , meaning "ear"....

and Shahada
Shahada
The Shahada , means "to know and believe without suspicion, as if witnessed"/testification; it is the name of the Islamic creed. The shahada is the Muslim declaration of belief in the oneness of God and acceptance of Muhammad as God's prophet...

but this is not obligatory. Ali is regarded as the foremost authority on the Tafsir
Tafsir
Tafseer is the Arabic word for exegesis or commentary, usually of the Qur'an. Ta'wīl is a subset of tafsir and refers to esoteric or mystical interpretation. An author of tafsir is a mufassir .- Etymology :...

and hadith.

Hussain



The Shia regard Hussein ibn Ali as an imam (which is considered as a divine spiritual leader appointed by God) and a martyr
Shahid
Shahid is an Arabic word meaning "witness". It is a religious term in Islam, meaning both "witness" and "martyr." While a martyr may die as a consequence of fighting, a shahid is a "witness" because he gives his life out of passion for truth. The shahid exchanges himself for the divine and thereby...

. He is believed to be the third of the imams from the Ahl al-Bayt which are supposed to succeed Muhammad and that he set out on his path in order to save the religion of Islam and the Islamic nation from annihilation at the hands of Yazid I
Yazid I
Yazīd ibn Mu‘āwiya ibn Abī Sufyān , commonly known as Yazid I, was the second Caliph of the Umayyad Caliphate . He ruled for three years from 680 CE until his death in 683 CE. Many Muslims condemn Yazid's rule as contentious and unjust...

. He is notable for being the only imam following Ali which all Shia branches agree on.

Imamate of the Ahl al-Bayt



Most of the early Shia as well as Zaydis differed only marginally from mainstream Sunnis in their views on political leadership, but it is possible in this sect to see a refinement of Shia doctrine. Early Sunnis traditionally held that the political leader must come from the tribe of Muhammad—namely, the Quraysh. The Zaydis narrowed the political claims of the Ali's supporters, claiming that not just any descendant of Ali would be eligible to lead the Muslim community (ummah) but only those males directly descended from Muhammad through the union of Ali and Fatimah. But during the Abbasid revolts, other Shia, who came to be known as Imamiyyah (followers of the imams), followed the theological school of Ja'far al-Sadiq
Ja'far al-Sadiq
Jaʿfar ibn Muhammad al-Sādiq was a descendant of Muhammad and a prominent Muslim jurist. He is revered as an Imam by the adherents of Shi'a Islam and as a renowned Islamic scholar and personality by Sunni Muslims. The Shi'a Muslims consider him to be the sixth Imam or leader and spiritual...

. They asserted a more exalted religious role for imams and insisted that, at any given time, whether in power or not, a single male descendant of Ali and Fatimah was the divinely appointed imam and the sole authority, in his time, on all matters of faith and law. To those Shia, love of the imams and of their persecuted cause became as important as belief in God's oneness and the mission of Muhammad.

Later most of Shia, including Twelver and Ismaili, became Imami. Imamis Shia believe that Imams are the spiritual and political successors to Muhammad. Imams are human individuals who not only rule over the community with justice, but also are able to keep and interpret the divine law and its esoteric meaning. The words and deeds of Muhammad and the imams are a guide and model for the community to follow; as a result, they must be free from error and sin, and must be chosen by divine decree, or nass, through Muhammad.

According to this view, there is always an Imam of the Age, who is the divinely appointed authority on all matters of faith and law in the Muslim community. Ali was the first imam of this line, the rightful successor to Muhammad, followed by male descendants of Muhammad through his daughter Fatimah.
This difference between following either the Ahl al-Bayt (Muhammad's family and descendants) or the Caliph Abu Bakr has shaped Shia and non-Shia views on some of the Quran, the hadith (narrations from Muhammad) and other areas of Islam. For instance, the collection of Hadith venerated by Shia Muslims is centered on narrations by members of the Ahl al-Bayt and their supporters, while some Hadith by narrators not belonging to or supporting the Ahl al-Bayt are not included (those of Abu Hurairah
Abu Hurairah
Abu Hurairah , was a companion of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the narrator of Hadith most quoted in the isnad by Sunnis.-Early life:...

, for example). According to Sunnis, Ali was the fourth successor to Abu Bakr while the Shia maintain that Ali was the first divinely sanctioned "Imam," or successor of Muhammad. The seminal event in Shia history is the martyrdom in 680 CE at the Battle of Karbala
Battle of Karbala
The Battle of Karbala took place on Muharram 10, in the year 61 of the Islamic calendar in Karbala, in present day Iraq. On one side of the highly uneven battle were a small group of supporters and relatives of Muhammad's grandson Husain ibn Ali, and on the other was a large military detachment...

 of Ali's son Hussein ibn Ali, who led a non-allegiance movement against the defiant caliph (71 of Hussein's followers were killed as well). Hussein came to symbolize resistance to tyranny.

It is believed in Twelver and Ismaili Shia Islam that 'aql
'Aql
‘Aql , is an Arabic language term used in Islamic theology or philosophy to the intellect the rational faculty of the soul or mind. It is the normal translation of the Greek term nous...

, divine wisdom, was the source of the souls of the prophets and imams and gave them esoteric knowledge called ḥikmah and that their sufferings were a means of divine grace to their devotees. Although the Imam was not the recipient of a divine revelation
Wahy
Wahi is the Arabic word for revelation. In Islamic context, it refers to the revelations of God to his prophets, for all humankind. In Islam, the Qur'an is considered a wahi given to Muhammad.-Awha:...

, he had a close relationship with God, through which God guides him, and the imam in turn guides the people. Imamate
Imamate
The word Imamate is an Arabic word with an English language suffix meaning leadership. Its use in theology is confined to Islam.-Theological usage:...

, or belief in the divine guide is a fundamental belief in the Twelver and Ismaili Shia branches and is based on the concept that God would not leave humanity without access to divine guidance.

In Shia Islam, there is a third phrase of the Shahada, Ali-un-waliullah, which depicts the importance of the Imamate.

- The fundamental first phrase La- ilaha-ill-al-lah is the foundation stone of Islam, the belief that "there is no god but God". This is the confession of Tawhid
Tawhid
Tawhid is the concept of monotheism in Islam. It is the religion's most fundamental concept and holds God is one and unique ....

.

- The second phrase, Mohammad-ur –rasul-al-lah, says "Mohammad is God's Rasul
Apostle (Islam)
In Islam, an Apostle or Messenger is a prophet sent by God.According to the Qur'an, God sent many prophets to mankind. The five universally acknowledged messengers in Islam are Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus and Muhammad, as each is believed to have been sent with a scripture...

, Nabi, the Messenger, Apostle". This is the acceptance of the "Nabuwat", or prophethood
Prophethood
Prophethood is the word used to reference the institution by which God sends emissaries, or prophets, to guide mankind. Use of the word is almost always theological.-Islam:...

, of Muhammad.

- According to Shia Islam, Muhammad declared Ali bin Abu Talib as his successor and said that "for whoever I am a Moula of them, Ali is his Moula". Hence, they say the Kalema required further confession of the third phrase Ali-un- wali-ul-lah, meaning "Ali is his (Muhammad's) Wali", its caretaker, stressing the need that for continuation of faith there is a requirement of Wali, the imams which are the real caretakers of Islam.

The Shahada includes three Islamic teachings, Tawhid, Nabuwat and Imamate. In this belief, the Nabi, Muhammad and the imams are so linked together that these cannot be viewed separately. One leads to the other and finally to God, "God", the Almighty.

In one of the Qibla
Qibla
The Qiblah , also transliterated as Qibla, Kiblah or Kibla, is the direction that should be faced when a Muslim prays during salah...

of Ma'ad al-Mustansir Billah of the Fatimid Caliphate, the Mosque of Ibn Tulun
Mosque of Ibn Tulun
The Mosque of Ahmad Ibn Ţūlūn is located in Cairo, Egypt. It is arguably the oldest mosque in the city surviving in its original form, and is the largest mosque in Cairo in terms of land area....

, was engraved his name and the phrase kalema‐tut‐sahadat (see image above left), giving specific importance to the third phrase Ali –un‐ wali ‐ ul –lah hence to the Imamate.

Ismah


Ismah is the concept of infallibility
Infallibility
Infallibility, from Latin origin , is a term with a variety of meanings related to knowing truth with certainty.-In common speech:...

 or "divinely bestowed freedom from error and sin" in Islam. Muslims believe that Muhammad and other prophets in Islam possessed ismah. Twelver and Ismaili Shia Muslims also attribute the quality to Imams
Imamah (Shi'a doctrine)
Imāmah is the Shia doctrine of religious, spiritual and political leadership of the Ummah. The Shīa believe that the A'immah are the true Caliphs or rightful successors of Muḥammad, and further that Imams are possessed of divine knowledge and authority as well as being part of the Ahl al-Bayt,...

 as well as to Fatimah, daughter of Muhammad, in contrast to the Zaidi, who do not attribute 'ismah to the Imams.

According to Shia theologians, infallibility is considered a rational necessary precondition for spiritual and religious guidance. They argue that since God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 has commanded absolute obedience from these figures they must only order that which is right. The state of infallibility is based on the Shia interpretation of the verse of purification
The verse of purification
The verse of purification is part of the 33rd verse of Surah al-Ahzab of Qur'an, which says,This verse has especial importance for Muslims due to giving information about Ahl al-Bayt of Muhammad...

. Thus they are, the most pure ones, the only immaculate ones preserved from, and immune to, all uncleanness. It does not mean that supernatural powers prevent them from committing a sin, but it is due to the fact that they have an absolute belief in God so that they find themselves in the presence of God.

They also have a complete knowledge of God's will. They are in possession of all knowledge brought by the angels
Islamic view of angels
Angels are mentioned many times in the Qur'an and Hadith. Islam is clear on the nature of angels in that they are messengers of God. They have no free will, and can do only what God orders them to do...

 to the prophets (nabi) and the messengers (Rasul). Their knowledge encompasses the totality of all times. They thus act without fault in religious matters.

Intercession


Tawassul is an Islamic religious practice in which a Muslim seeks nearness to God. A rough translation would be: "To draw near to what one seeks after and to approach that which one desires." The exact definition and method of tawassul is a matter of some dispute within the Muslim community.

Muslims who practice tawassul point to the Quran, Islam's holy book, as the origin of the practice. Many Muslims believe it is a commandment upon them to "draw near" to God. Amongst Sufi
Sufism
Sufism or ' is defined by its adherents as the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a '...

 and Barelvi
Barelvi
Barelvi is a term used for the movement of Sufi , Sunni Islam originating in the Indian subcontinent.The Movement is known as Ahle Sunnat movement to its followers....

 Muslims within Sunni Islam, as well as Twelver Shia Muslims, it refers to the act of supplicating to God through a prophet
Prophet
In religion, a prophet, from the Greek word προφήτης profitis meaning "foreteller", is an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine, and serves as an intermediary with humanity, delivering this newfound knowledge from the supernatural entity to other people...

, imam or Sufi saint
Pir (Sufism)
Pir or Peer is a title for a Sufi master equally used in the nath tradition. They are also referred to as a Hazrat or Shaikh, which is Arabic for Old Man. The title is often translated into English as "saint" and could be interpreted as "Elder". In Sufism a Pir's role is to guide and instruct his...

, whether dead or alive.

The Occultation


The Occultation
The Occultation
The Occultation in Shia Islam refers to a belief that the messianic figure, or Mahdi, who in Shi'i thought is an infallible male descendant of the founder of Islam, Muhammad, was born but disappeared, and will one day return and fill the world with justice. Some Shi'is, such as the Zaidi and...

 in Shia Islam refers to a belief that the messianic figure
Messiah
A messiah is a redeemer figure expected or foretold in one form or another by a religion. Slightly more widely, a messiah is any redeemer figure. Messianic beliefs or theories generally relate to eschatological improvement of the state of humanity or the world, in other words the World to...

, the Mahdi, is an Imam who has disappeared and will one day return alongside Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 and fill the world with justice. Some Shia, such as the Zaidi and Nizari
Nizari
'The Shī‘a Imami Ismā‘īlī Tariqah also referred to as the Ismā‘īlī or Nizārī , is a path of Shī‘a Islām, emphasizing social justice, pluralism, and human reason within the framework of the mystical tradition of Islam. The Nizari are the second largest branch of Shia Islam and form the majority...

 Ismaili, do not believe in the idea of the Occultation. The groups which do believe in it differ upon which lineage of the Imamate is valid, and therefore which individual has gone into occultation. They believe there are many signs that will indicate the time of his return.

Family tree of six Islamic Nabi and Shia Islam





Origin of the Shia


According to Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
The Encyclopædia Britannica , published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia that is available in print, as a DVD, and on the Internet. It is written and continuously updated by about 100 full-time editors and more than 4,000 expert...

 and others, the Shia are believed to have started as a political party
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

 and developed into a religious movement, influencing Sunnis and produced a number of important sects.
Hossein Nasr disagrees with this as he writes:

Early


Disagreement broke out over who would succeed Muhammad as leader of the Muslim community. While the Sunnis followed the companions
Sahabah
In Islam, the ' were the companions, disciples, scribes and family of the Islamic prophet...

 of Muhammad, the Shia followed Ali. This dispute eventually led to the First Fitna
First Fitna
The First Islamic Civil War , also called the First Fitna , was the first major civil war within the Islamic Caliphate. It arose as a struggle over who had the legitimate right to become the ruling Caliph...

, which was the first major civil war
Civil war
A civil war is a war between organized groups within the same nation state or republic, or, less commonly, between two countries created from a formerly-united nation state....

 within the Islamic Caliphate. The Fitna began as a series of revolts fought against the first Imam, Ali ibn Abi Talib, caused by the assassination of his political predecessor, Uthman ibn Affan. It lasted for the entirety of Ali's reign, and its end is marked by Muawiyah's assumption of the caliphate (founding the Umayyad dynasty), and the subsequent recorded peace treaty
Peace treaty
A peace treaty is an agreement between two or more hostile parties, usually countries or governments, that formally ends a state of war between the parties...

 between him and Hasan ibn Ali.

The Second Fitna
Second Fitna
The Second Fitna, or Second Islamic Civil War, was a period of general political and military disorder that afflicted the Islamic empire during the early Umayyad dynasty, following the death of the first Umayyad caliph Muawiyah I...

 was when the first Umayyad Caliph Muawiya I was succeeded upon his death in 680 by his son, Yazid I. Yazid's first opposition came from supporters of Hussein ibn Ali, who was the grandson of Muhammad and the son of the former Caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib, who had been assassinated. Husayn and many of his closest supporters were killed by Yazid's troops at the Battle of Karbala. This battle is often cited as the definitive break between the Shia and Sunni sects of Islam, and until this day it has been commemorated each year by Shia Muslims on the Day of Ashura
Day of Ashura
The Day of Ashura is on the 10th day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar and marks the climax of the Remembrance of Muharram.It is commemorated by Shia Muslims as a day of mourning for the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad at the Battle of Karbala on 10...

.

Fatamid rule (909–1171)



One of the earliest nations where the rulers were Shia (Ismaili) Muslims was the Fatamid Caliphate which controlled much of North Africa, the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

, parts of Arabia
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

 and Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 and Medina
Medina
Medina , or ; also transliterated as Madinah, or madinat al-nabi "the city of the prophet") is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, and serves as the capital of the Al Madinah Province. It is the second holiest city in Islam, and the burial place of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, and...

.

Būyid rule



The founders of the Būyid confederation were 'Imad al-Daula
'Imad al-Daula
Ali ibn Buya "'Imad al-Daula" was the founder of the Buyid dynasty in Iran .- Early career :'Ali first entered the services of the Samanids under Nasr II, where he became a member of the ruler's entourage. From there he eventually joined Makan, who ruled Gorgan and Ray as a governor of the...

 and his two younger brothers, Rukn al-Dawla and Mu'izz al-Daula
Mu'izz al-Daula
Ahmad was the first of the Buwayhid emirs of Iraq, ruling from 945 until his death. He was the son of Buya.During the Buwayhid conquest of Fars, Ahmad distinguished himself in battle. In 935 or 936, Ahmad's oldest brother 'Ali sent Ahmad to Kerman with the task of conquering that province from the...

.

Safavid rule (1501–1736)


A major turning point in Shia history was the Safavid dynasty
Safavid dynasty
The Safavid dynasty was one of the most significant ruling dynasties of Iran. They ruled one of the greatest Persian empires since the Muslim conquest of Persia and established the Twelver school of Shi'a Islam as the official religion of their empire, marking one of the most important turning...

 in Persia.
  • The ending of the relative mutual tolerance between Sunnis and Shias that existed from the time of the Mongol conquests
    Mongol Conquests
    Mongol invasions progressed throughout the 13th century, resulting in the vast Mongol Empire which covered much of Asia and Eastern Europe by 1300....

     onwards and the resurgence of antagonism between the two groups.
  • The beginning of the emergence of an independent body of ulama
    Ulama
    -In Islam:* Ulema, also transliterated "ulama", a community of legal scholars of Islam and its laws . See:**Nahdlatul Ulama **Darul-uloom Nadwatul Ulama **Jamiatul Ulama Transvaal**Jamiat ul-Ulama -Other:...

    capable of taking a political stand different from the policies of the state.
  • The growth in importance of Iranian centers of religious learning and change from Twelver Shiaism being a predominantly Arab phenomenon.
  • The growth of the Akhbari
    Akhbari
    The Akhbārīs are Twelver Shī‘a Muslims who reject the use of reasoning in deriving verdicts, and believe only the Qur'an, aḥadīth, and consensus should be used as sources to derive verdicts . The term Akhbārī is used in contrast to Usūlī...

     School which preached that only the Quran, hadith
    Qur'an and Sunnah
    Qur'an and Sunnah is an often quoted Islamic term regarding the sources of Islam. Muslims hold that Islam is derived from two sources: one being infallible and containing compressed information — the Qur'an — and another being a detailed explanation of the everyday application of the principles...

     in deriving verdicts, rejected the use of reasoning.


With the fall of the Safavids, the state in Persia – including the state system of courts with government-appointed judges (qadi
Qadi
Qadi is a judge ruling in accordance with Islamic religious law appointed by the ruler of a Muslim country. Because Islam makes no distinction between religious and secular domains, qadis traditionally have jurisdiction over all legal matters involving Muslims...

s) – became much weaker, This gave the Sharia courts of mujtahids an opportunity to fill in the slack and enabled "the ulama to assert their judicial authority." The Usuli School also increased in strength at this time.

Akhbaris versus Usulis


The Akhbari movement "crystalized" as a "separate movement" with the writings of Muhammad Amin al-Astarabadi
Muhammad Amin al-Astarabadi
Muhammad Amin al-Astarabadi was an Iranian theologian and founder or proponent of the conservative strand in Twelver Shi'a Islamic belief, that is, those who favor hadith over fatwās....

 (died 1627 AD) It rejected the use of reasoning in deriving verdicts, and believed only the Quran, hadith, (prophetic sayings and recorded opinions of the Imams
Imamah (Shi'a twelver doctrine)
Imāmah means "leadership" and it is a part of the Shi'a theology. The Twelve Imams are the spiritual and political successors to Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, in the Twelver or Ithna Ashariya branch of Shia Islam....

) and consensus should be used as sources to derive verdicts (fatāwā
Fatwa
A fatwā in the Islamic faith is a juristic ruling concerning Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar. In Sunni Islam any fatwā is non-binding, whereas in Shia Islam it could be considered by an individual as binding, depending on his or her relation to the scholar. The person who issues a fatwā...

). Unlike Usulis, Akhbari did and do not follow marjas who practice ijtihad
Ijtihad
Ijtihad is the making of a decision in Islamic law by personal effort , independently of any school of jurisprudence . as opposed to taqlid, copying or obeying without question....

.

It achieved its greatest influence in the late Safavid and early post-Safavid era when it dominated Twelver Shia Islam. However, shortly thereafter Muhammad Baqir Behbahani
Muhammad Baqir Behbahani
Muhammad Baqir ibn Muhammad Akmal al-Wahid Bihbahani, also Vahid Behbahani , was a Twelver Shia Islamic scholar. He is widely regarded as the founder or restorer of the Usuli school of Twelver Shi'a Islam and as playing a vital role in narrowing the field of orthodoxy in Twelver Shi'a Islam by...

 (died 1792), along with other Usuli mujtahids, crushed the Akhbari movement. and it remains now in the Shia Muslim world only as a small minority. One result of the resolution of this conflict was the rise in importance of the concept of ijtihad and the position of the mujtahid (as opposed to other ulama) in the 18th and early 19th centuries. It was from this time that the division of the Shia world into mujtahid (those who could follow their own independent judgment) and muqallid
Taqlid
Taqlid or taklid is an Arabic term in Islamic legal terminology connoting "imitation", that is; following the decisions of a religious authority without necessarily examining the scriptural basis or reasoning of that decision, such as accepting and following the verdict of scholars of...

(those who had to follow the rulings of a mujtahid) took place. According to author Moojan Momen, "up to the middle of the 19th century there were very few mujtahids (three or four) anywhere at any one time," but "several hundred existed by the end of the 19th century."

Majlisi


"One of the most powerful and influential Shi'i ulama of all time" also preached during this era. Working during the Safavid era, Muhammad Baqir Majlisi, worked diligently to rid Twelver Shiaism of the influence of Sufiism (which had been closely linked to Shiaism) and philosophy, and propagate strict adherence to obedience of Islamic law (sharia). Majlisi promoted specifically Shia rituals such as mourning for Hussein ibn Ali and visitation (ziyarat
Ziyarat
Ziyārah is an Arabic term literally means "visit", used to refer to a pilgrimage to sites associated with Muhammad, his family members and descendants , his companions, or other venerated figures in Islām, such as the Prophets, Sufi saints and Islāmic scholars...

) of the tombs of the Imams and Imamzadas; and stressed "the concept of the Imams as mediators and intercessors for man with God."

Demographics


It is variously estimated that 10–20% of the world's Muslims
Muslim world
The term Muslim world has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization...

 are Shia, while the remaining larger percentage follow Sunni Islam.
They may number up to 200 million as of 2009. The Shia majority countries are Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan and Bahrain. They also constitute 36.3% of entire local population and 38.6% of local Muslim population of Middle East.

Shia Muslims constitute over 35% of the population in Lebanon, over 45% of the population in Yemen, 20-40% of the population in Kuwait, over 20% in Turkey, 10–20% of the population in Pakistan, and 10-19% of Afghanistan
Shi'a Islam in Afghanistan
Shi'a Islam in Afghanistan makes up 10-19% of the total population of the state, while the remaining 80-89% practice Sunni Islam.Many of the Pamir language speakers of the northeastern portion of the country are followers of the Nizari Ismaili sect, while majority of the Hazara people, the third...

's population.

Saudi Arabia hosts a number of distinct Shia communities, including the Twelver Baharna in the Eastern Province, the Nakhawila
Nakhawila
The Nakhawila are a community of Arab Hijazi Shias who live in the city of Medina in Saudi Arabia. They are Twelver Shi'a ; a branch of Shia Islam that forms majority...

 of Medina, and the Ismaili Sulaymani and Zaidiyyah of Najran
Najran
Najran , formerly known as Aba as Sa'ud, is a city in southwestern Saudi Arabia near the border with Yemen. It is the capital of Najran Province. Designated a New town, Najran is one of the fastest-growing cities in the kingdom; its population has risen from 47,500 in 1974 and 90,983 in 1992 to...

. Estimations put the Shiite number of citizen at 2-4 million accounting for roughly 15% of the local population.

Significant Shia communities exist on the coastal regions of West Sumatra
West Sumatra
West Sumatra is a province of Indonesia. It lies on the west coast of the island Sumatra. It borders the provinces of North Sumatra to the north, Riau and Jambi to the east, and Bengkulu to the southeast. It includes the Mentawai Islands off the coast...

 and Aceh
Aceh
Aceh is a special region of Indonesia, located on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra. Its full name is Daerah Istimewa Aceh , Nanggroë Aceh Darussalam and Aceh . Past spellings of its name include Acheh, Atjeh and Achin...

 in Indonesia (see Tabuik
Tabuik
Tabuik is the local manifestation of the Remembrance of Muharram among the Minangkabau people in the coastal regions of West Sumatra, Indonesia, particularly in the city of Pariaman. The festival includes reenactments of the Battle of Karbala, and the playing of tassa and dhol drums...

). The Shia presence is negligible elsewhere in Southeast Asia, where Muslims are predominantly Shafi'i
Shafi'i
The Shafi'i madhhab is one of the schools of fiqh, or religious law, within the Sunni branch of Islam. The Shafi'i school of fiqh is named after Imām ash-Shafi'i.-Principles:...

 Sunnis.

A significant Shia minority is present in Nigeria, centered around the state of Kano
Kano
Kano is a city in Nigeria and the capital of Kano State in Northern Nigeria. Its metropolitan population is the second largest in Nigeria after Lagos. The Kano Urban area covers 137 sq.km and comprises six Local Government Area - Kano Municipal, Fagge, Dala, Gwale, Tarauni and Nassarawa - with a...

 (see Shi'a Islam in Nigeria). East Africa holds several populations of Ismaili Shia, primarily descendants of immigrants from South Asia during the colonial period, such as the Khoja
Khoja
The Khojas are ethnic group of Shia Muslims. The word Khoja derives from Khwaja, a Persian title .In Pakistan, many Khojas migrated to and settled in the province of Sindh and especially in the city of Karachi. While in India, most Khojas live in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and...

.

According to Shia Muslims, one of the lingering problems in estimating Shia population is that unless Shia form a significant minority in a Muslim country, the entire population is often listed as Sunni. The reverse, however, has not held true, which may contribute to imprecise estimates of the size of each sect. For example, the 1926 rise of the House of Saud
House of Saud
The House of Saud , also called the Al Saud, is the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia and one of the wealthiest and most powerful dynasties in the world. The family holds thousands of members...

 in Arabia brought official discrimination against Shia.

List of nations with Shia population


Figures indicated in the first three columns below are based on the October 2009 demographic study by the Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center
The Pew Research Center is an American think tank organization based in Washington, D.C. that provides information on issues, attitudes and trends shaping the United States and the world. The Center and its projects receive funding from The Pew Charitable Trusts. In 1990, Donald S...

 report, Mapping the Global Muslim Population.
Nations with over 100,000 Shia
Country Shia population Percent of Muslim population that is Shia Percent of global Shia population Minimum estimate/claim Maximum estimate/claim
Iran
Islam in Iran
The Islamic conquest of Persia led to the end of the Sassanid Empire and the eventual decline of the Zoroastrian religion in Persia. However, the achievements of the previous Persian civilizations were not lost, but were to a great extent absorbed by the new Islamic polity...

66,000,000 – 70,000,000 90–95 37–40
Pakistan
Shi'a Islam in Pakistan
According to the Library of Congress, Pew Research Center, Oxford University, CIA World Factbook, U.S. State Department and many others, Shi'as make up 5-20% of the total Muslim population of Pakistan. The total number of Shias in Pakistan is approximately 17 million to as high as 30 million...

17,000,000 – 26,000,000 10–15 10–15 43,250,000 – 57,666,666
India 16,000,000 – 24,000,000 10–15 9–14 40,000,000 – 50,000,000.
Indonesia 5,000,000 – 6,000,000 2,77 3 <7,000,000
Iraq
Shi'a Islam in Iraq
An estimated 65% of the population of Iraq consider themselves Shi'a Muslims.The question of religious demographics is controversial and some Iraqis who follow Sunni Islam dispute these figures, including an ex-Iraqi ambassador, referring to American sources. claiming that many reports only include...

19,000,000 – 22,000,000 65–70 11–12
Turkey 7,000,000 – 11,000,000 10–15 4–6
Yemen 8,000,000 – 10,000,000 35–40 5
Azerbaijan
Islam in Azerbaijan
Approximately 99.2 percent of the population of Azerbaijan is Muslim according to a 2009 Pew Research center report. The rest of the population adheres to other faiths or are non-religious, although they are not officially represented...

5,000,000 – 7,000,000 65–75 3–4 85% of total population
Afghanistan
Shi'a Islam in Afghanistan
Shi'a Islam in Afghanistan makes up 10-19% of the total population of the state, while the remaining 80-89% practice Sunni Islam.Many of the Pamir language speakers of the northeastern portion of the country are followers of the Nizari Ismaili sect, while majority of the Hazara people, the third...

3,000,000 – 4,000,000 10–15 <2 15–19% of total population
Syria 3,000,000 – 4,000,000 15–20 <2
Saudi Arabia 2,000,000 – 4,000,000 10–15 1–2
Nigeria <4,000,000 <5 <2 5-10 million
Lebanon
Shi'a Islam in Lebanon
Shi'a Islam constitutes between 40% to 47% of Lebanon's population, forming the fastest growing population in Lebanon. Most of its adherents live in the northern and western area of the Beqaa Valley, southern Lebanon and Beirut's southern suburbs...

1,000,000 – 1,600,000 30-35 <1 Estimated, no official census.
Tanzania <2,000,000 <10 <1
Oman 700,000 – 900,000 5–10 <1 948,750
Kuwait
Shi'a Islam in Kuwait
Shi'a Islam in Kuwait came by Iran , Iraq and Bahrain . The country's Shi'a are found mostly in Kuwait city . 30 to 40% of theShi'a Population are Twelvers . Also the country contains about 20 to 40 Shi'a Mosques . 400 to 600 Hussainias Exists in the Country ....

500,000 – 700,000 30–35 <1 35–40% of total population
Germany 400,000 – 600,000 10–15 <1
Bahrain 400,000 – 500,000 60–70 <1
Tajikistan
Shi'a Islam in Tajikistan
Shi'a Islam is practiced by only a small percentage of the population of Tajikistan; a 2009 U.S. State Department report puts the proportion at 3% of the country, compared to 95% for Sunni Islam....

400,000 7 <1
United Arab Emirates 300,000 – 400,000 10 <1
United States 200,000 – 400,000 10–15 <1
United Kingdom 100,000 – 300,000 10–15 <1
Bulgaria 100,000 10–15 <1
Qatar 100,000 10 <1


Persecution


The dispute over the right successor to Muhammad resulted in the formation of two main sects, the Sunni and the Shia. The Sunni, or "followers of the way," followed the caliphate and maintained the premise that any devout Muslim could potentially become the successor to Muhammad if accepted by his peers. The Shia, however, maintain that only the person selected by God and announced by the Prophet
Eid al-Ghadeer
Eid al-Ghadeer is a festive day observed by Shia Muslims on the 18th of Dhu al-Hijjah in the Islamic calendar to commemorate the appointment of Ali ibn Abi Talib by the Islamic prophet Muhammad as his immediate successor...

 could become his successor, thus Ali became the religious authority for the Shia people. Militarily established and holding control over the Umayyad government, many Sunni rulers perceived the Shia as a threat – both to their political and religious authority.

The Sunni rulers under the Umayyads sought to marginalize the Shia minority and later the Abbasids turned on their Shia allies and further imprisoned, persecuted, and killed them. The persecution of the Shia throughout history by Sunni co-religionists has often been characterized by brutal and genocidal acts. Comprising only about 10–15% of the entire Muslim population, to this day, the Shia remain a marginalized community in many Sunni Arab dominant countries without the rights to practice their religion and organize.

At various times Shia groups have faced persecution. In 1514 the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 sultan
Sultan
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...

, Selim I
Selim I
Selim I, Yavuz Sultân Selim Khan, Hâdim-ül Haramain-ish Sharifain , nicknamed Yavuz "the Stern" or "the Steadfast", but often rendered in English as "the Grim" , was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1512 to...

 ,ordered the massacre of 40,000 Anatolian Shia. According to Jalal Al-e-Ahmad
Jalal Al-e-Ahmad
Jalal Al-e-Ahmad was a prominent Iranian writer, thinker, and social and political critic.-Personal life:...

, "Sultan Selim I carried things so far that he announced that the killing of one Shiite had as much otherworldly reward as killing 70 Christians." In 1801 the Al Saud-Wahhabi armies attacked and sacked Karbala
Karbala
Karbala is a city in Iraq, located about southwest of Baghdad. Karbala is the capital of Karbala Governorate, and has an estimated population of 572,300 people ....

, the Shia shrine in eastern Iraq that commemorates the death of Husayn.

In March 2011, the Malaysian government declared the Shia a 'deviant' sect and banned them from promoting their faith to other Muslims, but left them free to practise it themselves.]

Holidays



Both Sunni and Shia, celebrate the following annual holidays:
  • Eid ul-Fitr
    Eid ul-Fitr
    Eid ul-Fitr, Eid al-Fitr, Id-ul-Fitr, or Id al-Fitr , often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting . Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity," while Fiṭr means "breaking the fast"...

     which marks the end of fasting during the month of Ramadan
    Ramadan (calendar month)
    Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and the month in which the Quran was revealed.Ramadan is the holiest of months in the Islamic calendar, and fasting in this month is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month is spent by Muslims fasting during the daylight hours from dawn to...

  • Eid al-Adha, which marks the end of the Hajj
    Hajj
    The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

     or pilgrimage to Mecca


The following days are some of the most important holidays observed by Shia Muslims:
  • Eid al-Ghadeer
    Eid al-Ghadeer
    Eid al-Ghadeer is a festive day observed by Shia Muslims on the 18th of Dhu al-Hijjah in the Islamic calendar to commemorate the appointment of Ali ibn Abi Talib by the Islamic prophet Muhammad as his immediate successor...

     which is the anniversary of the Ghadir Khum, the occasion when Muhammad announced Ali's Imamate before a multitude of Muslims. Eid al-Ghadeer is held on the 18th of Dhu al-Hijjah.
  • The Mourning of Muharram
    Mourning of Muharram
    The Mourning of Muharram is an important period of mourning in Shia Islam, taking place in Muharram which is the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is also called the Remembrance of Muharram...

     and the Day of Ashura
    Day of Ashura
    The Day of Ashura is on the 10th day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar and marks the climax of the Remembrance of Muharram.It is commemorated by Shia Muslims as a day of mourning for the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad at the Battle of Karbala on 10...

     for Shia commemorates Hussein ibn Ali's martyrdom. Imam Husayn was grandson of Muhammad, who was killed by Yazid ibn Muawiyah, Ashurah is a day of deep mourning which occurs on the 10th of Muharram
    Muharram
    Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is one of the four sacred months of the year in which fighting is prohibited...

    .
  • Arba'een
    Arba'een
    Arba'een or Chelom , is one of the largest pilgrimage gatherings on Earth, in which over 10 million people go to the city of Karbala in Iraq. As it is known by Persian-speaking and Urdu-speaking Muslims in Central and South Asia, Arba'een is a Shia Muslim religious observation that occurs 40 days...

     commemorates the suffering of the women and children of Hussein ibn Ali's household. After Hussein was killed, they were marched over the desert, from Karbala (central Iraq) to Shaam (Damascus
    Damascus
    Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

    , Syria). Many children (some of whom were direct descendants of Muhammad) died of thirst and exposure along the route. Arba'een occurs on the 20th of Safar
    Safar
    Safar is the second month in the Islamic calendar.The root of the name, صفر ṣafr, has three basic areas of meaning: 1) whistle, hiss, chirp; 2) be yellow, pale ; 3) to be empty, devoid, vacant...

    , 40 days after Ashurah.
  • Mawlid
    Mawlid
    Mawlid or sometimes ميلاد , mīlād is a term used to refer to the observance of the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad which occurs in Rabi' al-awwal,...

    , Muhammad's birth date. Unlike Sunnis who celebrate 12th of Rabi' al-awwal
    Rabi' al-awwal
    Rabi' al-awwal is the third month in the Islamic calendar. During this month, Muslims around the world celebrate Mawlid - the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Sunni Muslims believe the exact date of birth of Muhammad to have been on the twelfth of this month, whereas Shi'a Muslims believe...

     as Muhammad's birthday, Shia Muslims celebrate the 17th of the month, which also coincides with the birth date of the sixth imam, Ja'far al-Sadiq. After the 1979 Iranian revolution
    Iranian Revolution
    The Iranian Revolution refers to events involving the overthrow of Iran's monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and its replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the...

    , the week of 12th to 17th was called Shia-Sunni Unity Week.
  • Fatimah
    Fatimah
    Fatimah was a daughter of the Islamic prophet Muhammad from his first wife Khadijah bint Khuwaylid. She is regarded by Muslims as an exemplar for men and women. She remained at her father's side through the difficulties suffered by him at the hands of the Quraysh of Mecca...

    's birthday on 20th of Jumada al-Thani
    Jumada al-thani
    Jumada al-Thani is the sixth month in the Islamic Calendar.It is also known as Jumaada al-Akhir and Jumada al-Akhira.This is the sixth month of the Islamic calendar...

    . It's also considered as the "Women and Mothers' day".
  • Ali
    Ali
    ' |Ramaḍān]], 40 AH; approximately October 23, 598 or 600 or March 17, 599 – January 27, 661).His father's name was Abu Talib. Ali was also the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and ruled over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661, and was the first male convert to Islam...

    's birthday on 13th of Rajab
    Rajab
    Rajab is the seventh month of the Islamic calendar. The lexical definition of Rajaba is "to respect", of which Rajab is a derivative.This month is regarded as one of the four sacred months in Islam in which battles are prohibited...

    . It's also considered as the "Men and Fathers' day".
  • Mid-Sha'ban
    Mid-Sha'ban
    Mid-Sha'ban is thereceding night is known as Laylatul Bara’ah or Laylatun Nisfe min Sha’ban in the Arab world, and as Shab-e-barat in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran and Afghanistan...

     is the birth date of the 12th and final Imam of Twelvers, Muhammad al-Mahdi
    Muhammad al-Mahdi
    Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan al-Mahdī is believed by Twelver Shī‘a Muslims to be the Mahdī, an ultimate savior of humankind and the final Imām of the Twelve Imams...

    . It is celebrated by Shia Muslims on the 15th of Sha'aban
    Sha'aban
    Sha'aban is the eighth month of the Islamic calendar.This is the month of ‘separation’, so called because the pagan Arabs used to disperse in search of water...

    .
  • Laylat al-Qadr
    Laylat al-Qadr
    Lailatul Qadr , the Night of Destiny, Night of Power, Night of Value, the Night of Decree or Night of Measures, is the anniversary of two very important dates in Islam that occurred in the month of Ramadan...

    , anniversary of the night of Quran's revelation.
  • Eid al-Mubahila
    Eid al-Mubahila
    Eid al-Mubahila is annual commemoration of the event of Mubahila occurred on 24th of Dhul-Hijja 9 Hijri corresponding to Wednesday, 6 April 631 CE., On this day when Muhammad and the Christians of Najran gathered to debate - and imprecate - each other....

     celebrates a meeting between the Ahl al-Bayt (household of Muhammad) and a Christian deputation from Najran. Al-Mubahila is held on the 24th of Dhu al-Hijjah.

Holy Sites




Both Shia and Sunni Muslims share a certain veneration and religious obligations towards certain shrine
Shrine
A shrine is a holy or sacred place, which is dedicated to a specific deity, ancestor, hero, martyr, saint, daemon or similar figure of awe and respect, at which they are venerated or worshipped. Shrines often contain idols, relics, or other such objects associated with the figure being venerated....

s and holy sites, such as Mecca (Masjid al-Haram
Masjid al-Haram
Al-Masjid al-Ḥarām is the largest mosque in the world. Located in the city of Mecca, it surrounds the Kaaba, the place which Muslims worldwide turn towards while performing daily prayers and is Islam's holiest place...

), Medina (Al-Masjid al-Nabawi
Al-Masjid al-Nabawi
Al-Masjid al-Nabawi , often called the Prophet's Mosque, is a mosque situated in the city of Medina. As the final resting place of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, it is considered the second holiest site in Islam by Muslims and is one of the largest mosques in the world...

) and Jerusalem (Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa Mosque also known as al-Aqsa, is the third holiest site in Sunni Islam and is located in the Old City of Jerusalem...

). In addition, there are several cities and sites which are highly revered by Shia Muslims. The most significant of these sites are Imam Husayn Shrine
Imam Husayn Shrine
The Shrine of Husayn ibn ‘Alī is one of the oldest mosques on Earth and a holy site of Shīah Islām in the city of Karbalā, Iraq. It stands on the site of the grave of Husayn ibn ‘Alī, the second grandson of Muhammad, near the place where he was killed during the Battle of Karbalā in 680 C.E....

 and Al Abbas Mosque
Al Abbas Mosque
The Al-‘Abbās Mosque or Masjid al-‘Abbās is the mausoleum of ‘Abbās ibn ‘Alī, located across from the Imām Husayn Mosque in Karbalā, Iraq. ‘Abbās was the brother Hasan and Husayn, and was the flag-bearer for Husayn in the Battle of Karbalā...

 in Karbala, Imam Ali Mosque
Imam Ali Mosque
The Imām ‘Alī Holy Shrine , also known as Masjid Ali or the Mosque of ‘Alī, located in Najaf, Iraq, is the third holiest site for some of the estimated 200 million followers of the Shia branch of Islam. ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib, the cousin of Muhammad, the fourth caliph , the first Imam is buried here...

 and Wadi-us-Salaam
Wadi-us-Salaam
Wadi-us-Salaam is an Islamic cemetery, located in Shiite holy city of Najaf, Iraq. It is reputed to be the largest cemetery in the world. It is estimated more than half a million corpses are interred in the cemetery each year...

 cemetery in Najaf
Najaf
Najaf is a city in Iraq about 160 km south of Baghdad. Its estimated population in 2008 is 560,000 people. It is the capital of Najaf Governorate...

, Al-Baqi'
Al-Baqi'
Maqbaratu l-Baqī is a cemetery in Medina, Saudi Arabia, located to the southeast of the Masjid al-Nabawi. The mosque is built where the Islamic prophet Muhammad used to live, built a mosque and is currently buried. The cemetery therefore holds much significance. It contains many of Muhammad's ...

 cemetery in Medina, Imam Reza shrine
Imam Reza shrine
Imām Reza shrine in Mashhad, Iran is a complex which contains the mausoleum of Imam Reza, the eighth Imām of Twelver Shi'ites. It is the largest mosque in the world by dimension and the second largest in capacity...

 in Mashhad
Mashhad
Mashhad , is the second largest city in Iran and one of the holiest cities in the Shia Muslim world. It is also the only major Iranian city with an Arabic name. It is located east of Tehran, at the center of the Razavi Khorasan Province close to the borders of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. Its...

, Kadhimiya Mosque in Kadhimiya, Al-Askari Mosque
Al-Askari Mosque
Al ‘Askarī Mosque or the ‘Askariyya Mosque/Shrine is a Shī‘ah Muslim holy site located in the Iraqi city of Sāmarrā from Baghdad. It is one of the most important Shī‘ah mosques in the world, built in 944...

 in Samarra
Samarra
Sāmarrā is a city in Iraq. It stands on the east bank of the Tigris in the Salah ad-Din Governorate, north of Baghdad and, in 2003, had an estimated population of 348,700....

, Sahla Mosque and Great Mosque of Kufa in Kufa and several other sites in the cities of Qom
Qom
Qom is a city in Iran. It lies by road southwest of Tehran and is the capital of Qom Province. At the 2006 census, its population was 957,496, in 241,827 families. It is situated on the banks of the Qom River....

, Susa
Susa
Susa was an ancient city of the Elamite, Persian and Parthian empires of Iran. It is located in the lower Zagros Mountains about east of the Tigris River, between the Karkheh and Dez Rivers....

 and Damascus.

Most of the holy Islamic sites in todays Saudi Arabia have been destroyed by Wahhabis and the Saudi Royal Family, the most notable being the shrines and tombs in the Al-Baqi' cemetery in 1925. In 2006, a bombing resulted in the destruction of the shrine of Al-Askari Mosque.

Branches


The Shia faith throughout its history split over the issue of Imamate. The largest branch are the Twelvers, to which over 85% of Shia belong. The only other surviving branches are the Zaidi and Ismaili. All three groups follow a different line of Imamate.

Twelver Shia believe in the lineage of the Twelve Imams. The Twelver Shia faith is predominantly found in Iran (est. 90%), Azerbaijan (est. 65%), Bahrain (est. 70%), Iraq (est. 60%), Lebanon (est. 24%), Kuwait (est. 33%), Turkey (est. 15%), Albania (est. 10%), Pakistan (est. 10–15%) and Afghanistan (est. 15%). The Zaidi Shia are predominantly found in Yemen (est. 40%).

The Zaidi dispute the succession of the fifth Twelver Imam, Muhammad al-Baqir, because he did not stage a revolution against the corrupt government, unlike Zayd ibn Ali
Zayd ibn Ali
Zayd ibn ‘Alī was the grandson of Husayn ibn Alī, the grandson of Muhammad. Zayd was born in Medina in 695. His father was the Shī‘ah Imam ‘Alī ibn Husayn "Zayn al-Abidīn"...

. They do not believe in a direct lineage, but rather that any descendant of Hasan ibn Ali or Hussein ibn Ali who stages a revolution against a corrupt government is an imam.

The Ismaili dispute the succession of the seventhi imam, Musa al-Kadhim
Musa al-Kadhim
' was the seventh of the Twelve Imams of Twelver Shi'a Islam. He was the son of Imam and his mother was Hamidah Khātūn, a student and former Zanjiyyah slave...

, believing his older brother Isma'il ibn Jafar actually succeeded their father Ja'far al-Sadiq.

Ismailis believe that Ja'far al-Sadiq thought his son, Isma'il ibn Jafar "al-Mubārak", would be heir to the Imamate. However, Isma'il predeceased his father. Some of the Shia claimed Isma'il had not died, but rather gone into occultation, but the proto-Isma'il group accepted his death and therefore that his eldest son, Muhammad ibn Ismail
Muhammad ibn Ismail
Muhammad ibn Ismail was the son of Ismail ibn Jafar and an Ismaili Imam. The majority of Ismaili follow his descendants through his son Wafi Ahmad / Abdullah ibn Mohammad who founded the Fatimid Empire, including the Nizari and Mustaali.- Biography :...

, was now Imam. Muhammad remained in contact with this "Mubārakiyyah" group, most of whom resided in Kufah. Ismailis are dominant group in Badakhshan
Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province
Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province is an autonomous, mountainous province in the east of Tajikistan. Located in the Pamir Mountains, it makes up 45% of the land area of the country but only 3% of the population....

. They form small communities in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, India, Yemen, China and Saudi Arabia and have several subbranches.

Twelver


Twelver Shia or the Ithnā'ashariyyah' is the largest branch of Shia Islam, and the term Shia Muslim usually refers to Twelver Shia Muslims only. The term Twelver is derived from the doctrine of believing in twelve divinely ordained leaders, known as The Twelve Imams. Twelver Shia are also known as Imami or Ja'fari, originated from the 6th Imams name, Ja'far al-Sadiq, who elaborated the twelver jurisprudence.

Doctrine


Twelver doctrine is based on five principles. These five priciples known as Usul ad-Din are as follow:
  1. Monotheism
    Tawhid
    Tawhid is the concept of monotheism in Islam. It is the religion's most fundamental concept and holds God is one and unique ....

    , God is one and unique.
  2. Justice
    Adl
    ʻAdl is an Arabic word meaning 'justice'. In Islamic theology, ʻadl refers to God's divine justice.Adil, and Adeel are male names derived from ʻadl and are common throughout the Arab world, Pakistan, India and in most regions with significant Muslim populations.- In Islamic jurisprudence :ʻAdl, as...

    , the concept of moral rightness based on ethics, fairness, and equity, along with the punishment of the breach of said ethics.
  3. Last Judgment, God's final assessment of humanity.
  4. Prophethood
    Nubuwwah
    In Islam, Nubuwwah means "Prophethood" and denotes that God has appointed perfect Prophets and Messengers to teach mankind Gods religion. Nubuwwah is among the five Shi'a Roots of Religion....

    , the institution by which God sends emissaries, or prophets, to guide mankind.
  5. Leadership
    Imamate
    The word Imamate is an Arabic word with an English language suffix meaning leadership. Its use in theology is confined to Islam.-Theological usage:...

    , A divine institution which succeeded the institution of Prophethood. Its appointees (imams) are divinely appointed.

The Twelve Imams



The Twelve Imams are the spiritual and political successors to Muhammad for the Twelvers. According to the theology of Twelvers, the successor of Muhammad is an infallible
Ismah
‘Iṣmah or ‘Isma is the concept of infallibility or "divinely bestowed freedom from error and sin" in Islam. Muslims believe that Muhammad and other prophets in Islam possessed ‘iṣmah. Twelver and Ismaili Shia Muslims also attribute the quality to Imāms and Fatima Zahra, daughter of Muhammad...

 human individual who not only rules over the community with justice, but also is able to keep and interpret the divine law and its esoteric meaning. The words and deeds of Muhammad and the imams are a guide and model for the community to follow; as a result, they must be free from error and sin, and must be chosen by divine decree, or nass, through Muhammad. Each Imam was the son of the previous Imam, with the exception of Hussein ibn Ali, who was the brother of Hasan ibn Ali. The twelfth and final Imam is Muhammad al-Mahdi, who is believed by the Twelvers to be currently alive, and in occultation.

List of Twelve Imams
1st Ali
Ali
' |Ramaḍān]], 40 AH; approximately October 23, 598 or 600 or March 17, 599 – January 27, 661).His father's name was Abu Talib. Ali was also the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and ruled over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661, and was the first male convert to Islam...

 
600 - 661 'Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib , also known as Amīru al-Mu'minīn
2nd Hasan ibn Ali
Hasan ibn Ali
Al-Hasan ibn ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib ‎ is an important figure in Islam, the son of Fatimah the daughter of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and of the fourth Caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib. Hasan is a member of the Ahl al-Bayt and Ahl al-Kisa...

 
625 – 669 Ḥasan ibn 'Alī , also known as Al-Hasan al-Mujtaba
3rd Hussein ibn Ali  626 – 680 Ḥusayn ibn 'Alī , also known as Al-Husayn ash-Shaheed
4th Zayn al-‘Ābidīn  658 – 713 'Alī ibn Ḥusayn , also known as Ali Zayn al-'Abideen
5th Muhammad al-Baqir
Muhammad al-Baqir
Muḥammad ibn ‘Alī al-Bāqir was the Fifth Imām to the Twelver Shi‘a and Fourth Imām to the Ismā‘īlī Shī‘a. His father was the previous Imām, ‘Alī ibn Ḥusayn, and his mother was Fatimah bint al-Hasan...

 
676 – 743 Muḥammad ibn 'Alī , also known as Muhammad al-Bāqir
6th Ja'far al-Sadiq
Ja'far al-Sadiq
Jaʿfar ibn Muhammad al-Sādiq was a descendant of Muhammad and a prominent Muslim jurist. He is revered as an Imam by the adherents of Shi'a Islam and as a renowned Islamic scholar and personality by Sunni Muslims. The Shi'a Muslims consider him to be the sixth Imam or leader and spiritual...

 
703 – 765 Ja'far ibn Muḥammad , also known as Ja'far aṣ-Ṣādiq
7th Musa al-Kadhim
Musa al-Kadhim
' was the seventh of the Twelve Imams of Twelver Shi'a Islam. He was the son of Imam and his mother was Hamidah Khātūn, a student and former Zanjiyyah slave...

 
745 – 799 Mūsá ibn Ja'far , also known as Mūsá al-Kāżim
8th Ali ar-Ridha  765 – 818 'Alī ibn Mūsá , also known as Ali ar-Riża
9th Muhammad al-Taqi
Muhammad al-Taqi
Muhammad al-Taqī or Muhammad al-Jawād was the ninth of the Twelve Imams of Twelver Shi'ism. His given name was Muhammad ibn ‘Alī ibn Mūsā, and among his titles, al-Taqī and al-Jawād are the most renowned...

 
810 – 835 Muḥammad ibn 'Alī , also known as Muḥammad al-Jawad and Muḥammad at-Taqi
10th Ali al-Hadi
Ali al-Hadi
‘Alī al-Hādī , also known as ‘Alī an-Naqī was the tenth of the Twelve Imams. His full name is ‘Alī ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Alī. The exact date of his birth and death are unknown, but it is generally accepted that he was born between 827–830 CE and he died in 868 CE.- Early years :‘Alī al-Hādī was born...

 
827 – 868 'Alī ibn Muḥammad , also known as Alī al-Ḥādī and ""Alī an-Naqī
11th Hasan al-Askari
Hasan al-Askari
Hasan al-‘Askarī was the eleventh of the Twelve Imams. His given name was Hasan ibn ‘Alī ibn Muhammad...

 
846 – 874 Ḥasan ibn 'Alī , also known as Hasan al Askari
12th Muhammad al-Mahdi
Muhammad al-Mahdi
Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan al-Mahdī is believed by Twelver Shī‘a Muslims to be the Mahdī, an ultimate savior of humankind and the final Imām of the Twelve Imams...

 
869 – In occultation Muhammad ibn Ḥasan , also known as al-Hujjat ibn al-Ḥasan, Imam al-Mahdī, Imam al-Aṣr, etc.


Jurisprudence


The Twelver jurisprudence is called Ja'fari jurisprudence. In this jurisprudence
Jurisprudence
Jurisprudence is the theory and philosophy of law. Scholars of jurisprudence, or legal theorists , hope to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature of law, of legal reasoning, legal systems and of legal institutions...

 
Sunnah is considered to be the oral traditions of Muhammad and their implementation and interpretation by the twleve Imams. There are three schools of Ja'fari jurispudence: Usuli, Akhbari, and Shaykhi
Shaykhism
Shaykhism is an Islamic religious movement founded by Shaykh Ahmad in early 19th century Qajar Iran. It began from a combination of Sufi and Shi‘a doctrines of the end times and the day of resurrection. Today the Shaykhi populations retain a minority following in Iran and Iraq...

. The Usuli school is by far the largest of the three. Twelver groups that do not follow Ja'fari jurisprudence include the Alawi
Alawi
The Alawis, also known as Alawites, Nusayris and Ansaris are a prominent mystical and syncretic religious group centred in Syria who are a branch of Shia Islam.-Etymology:...

, Alevi
Alevi
The Alevi are a religious and cultural community, primarily in Turkey, constituting probably more than 15 million people....

, Bektashi, and Qizilbash.

In Ja'fari jurisprudence, there are ten ancillary pillars, known as Furu' ad-Din, which are as follow:
  1. Prayer
  2. Fasting
    Sawm
    Sawm is an Arabic word for fasting regulated by Islamic jurisprudence. In the terminology of Islamic law, Sawm means to abstain from eating, drinking , having sex and anything against Islamic law...

  3. Pilgrimage
    Hajj
    The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

  4. Alms giving
    Zakat
    Zakāt , one of the Five Pillars of Islam, is the giving of a fixed portion of one's wealth to charity, generally to the poor and needy.-History:Zakat, a practice initiated by Muhammed himself, has played an important role throughout Islamic history...

  5. Struggle
    Jihad
    Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

  6. Directing others towards good
    Ma'ruf
    Ma'ruf is an Islamic term meaning that which is commonly:*known*understood*recognized*acknowledged*acceptedThe word is most often found in the Qur'anic exhortation, "Amr bil Ma'ruf wa Nahy an al Munkar ." This is often translated as "Command the good and forbid the evil," but this translation...

  7. Directing others away from evil
    Forbidding What is Evil
    Forbidding what is evil , is a part of Shia Islam and means, for example, to oppose injustice. In a more political and social context, Muslims are divided: Some believe that one should not take a social stance unless the Caliph orders.-Etymology:...

  8. Alms giving
    Zakat
    Zakāt , one of the Five Pillars of Islam, is the giving of a fixed portion of one's wealth to charity, generally to the poor and needy.-History:Zakat, a practice initiated by Muhammed himself, has played an important role throughout Islamic history...

     "(One Fifth
    Khums
    Khums is the Arabic word for One Fifth . According to Shia Islamic legal terminology, it means "one-fifth of certain items which a person acquires as wealth, and which must be paid as an Islamic tax"....

    ) (20% tax on yearly earnings after deduction of house-hold and commercial expenses.)
  9. Love those who are in God's path
    Tawalla
    Tawallá "Loving the Ahl al-Bayt" , is a part of the Twelver Shī‘ah Islām Aspects of the Religion and is derived from a Qur'anic verse.Furthermore, the Sunni and Shī‘ah Hadith of the Event of the Cloak is used to define who is Muḥammad's near relatives....

  10. Disassociation with those who oppose God
    Tabarra
    Tabarra is a Shia Muslim doctrine that refers to the obligation of disassociation with those who oppose God and those who caused harm to and were the enemies of the Prophet Muhammad or his family.- Definition :...



According to Twelvers, defining and interpretation of Islamic jurisprudence is the responsibility of Muhammad and the twelve Imams. As the 12th Imam is in occultation, it's the duty of clerics to refer to the Islamic literature such as the Quran and hadith and identify legal decisions within the confines of Islamic law to provide means to deal with current issues from an Islamic perspective. In other words, Twelvers clerics provide Guardianship of the Islamic Jurisprudent, which was defined by Muhammad and his twelve successors. This process is known as Ijtihad and the clerics are known as Marja, meaning reference. The labels Allamah
Allamah
An Allamah , also spelled Allameh and Allama, is an honorary title carried by only the very highest scholars of Islamic thought, jurisprudence, and philosophy....

and Ayatollah
Ayatollah
Ayatollah is a high ranking title given to Usuli Twelver Shī‘ah clerics. Those who carry the title are experts in Islamic studies such as jurisprudence, ethics, and philosophy and usually teach in Islamic seminaries. The next lower clerical rank is Hojatoleslam wal-muslemin...

are in use for Twelvers clerics.

Ismaili


The Ismaili is a branch of Islam is the second largest part of the Shia community after the Twelvers. They get their name from their acceptance of Isma'il ibn Jafar as the divinely appointed spiritual successor (Imam) to Ja'far al-Sadiq, wherein they differ from the Twelvers, who accept Musa al-Kadhim, younger brother of Isma'il, as the true Imam.

After the death or Occultation of Muhammad ibn Ismaill in the 8th century, the teachings of Ismailism further transformed into the belief system as it is known today, with an explicit concentration on the deeper, esoteric meaning (bāṭin
Batin (Islam)
Batin is defined as the interior or hidden meaning of the Quran. This is in contrast to the Quran's exterior or apparent meaning . Some Muslim groups believe that the Batin can only be fully understood and interpreted by a figure with esoteric knowledge, who for Shi'a Muslims is the Imam of the...

) of the faith. With the eventual development of Twelverism into the more literalistic (zahir
Zahir (Islam)
According to some Muslim groups, zahir is the exoteric or apparent meaning of the Quran. In other words, this refers to interpretations of Quranic doctrine that are conducted by normal human beings...

)
oriented Akhbari and later Usuli schools of thought, Shiaism developed in two separate directions: the metaphorical Ismailli group focusing on the mystical
Mysticism
Mysticism is the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, i.e. levels of being, beyond normal human perception, including experience and even communion with a supreme being.-Classical origins:...

 path and nature of God and the divine manifestation in the personage of the "Imam of the Time" as the "Face of God", while the more literalistic Twelver group focusing on divine law (sharī'ah) and the deeds and sayings (sunnah) of Muhammad and his successors (the Ahlu l-Bayt), who as A'immah were guides and a light to God.

Though there are several sub-groupings within the Ismailis, the term in today's vernacular generally refers to the Nizari community who are followers of the Aga Khan
Aga Khan
Aga Khan is the hereditary title of the Imam of the largest branch of the Ismā'īlī followers of the Shī‘a faith. They affirm the Imamat of the descendants of Ismail ibn Jafar, eldest son of Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, while the larger Twelver branch of Shi`ism follows Ismail's younger brother Musa...

 and the largest group among the Ismailiyyah. Another famous community which falls under the Isma'il's are the Dawoodi Bohra
Dawoodi Bohra
Dawoodi Bohra is a subsect of Ismāʿīlī Shīʿa Islām. While the Dawoodi Bohra is based in India, their belief system originates in Yemen, where it evolved from the Fatimid Caliphate and where they were persecuted due to their differences from mainstream Sunni Islam...

's whose religious leader in Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin
Mohammed Burhanuddin
Doctor Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin is the 52nd Dā‘ī l-Muṭlaq of the Dawoodi Bohras. The Dawoodi Bohras are a sub group within the Mustaali, Ismaili Shia branch of Islam.- Biography :Burhanuddin was born in Surat, Gujarat, India...

, while there are many other the branches have extremely differing exterior practices, much of the spiritual theology has remained the same since the days of the faith's early Imams. In recent centuries Ismailis have largely been an Indo-Iranian community, but they are found in India, Pakistan, Syria, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, China, Jordan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, East Africa and South Africa, and have in recent years emigrated to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and North America.

Ismaili Imams



After the death of Isma'il ibn Jafar, many Ismaili believed the line of Imamate ended and that one day the messianic Mahdi, whom they believed to be Muhammad ibn Ismail, would return and establish an age of justice. One group included the violent Qarmatians
Qarmatians
The Qarmatians were a Shi'a Ismaili group centered in eastern Arabia, where they attempted to established a utopian republic in 899 CE. They are most famed for their revolt against the Abbasid Caliphate...

, who had a stronghold in Bahrain. In contrast, some Ismailis believed the Imamate did continue, and that the Imams were in hiding and still communicated and taught their followers through a network of dawah
Dawah
Da‘wah or Dawah usually denotes the preaching of Islam. Da‘wah literally means "issuing a summons" or "making an invitation", being the active participle of a verb meaning variously "to summon" or "to invite"...

 "Missionaries".

In 909, Ubayd Allah al-Mahdi Billah
Ubayd Allah al-Mahdi Billah
Abdullah al-Mahdi Billah , often referred to as Ubayd Allah, is the founder of the Fatimid dynasty, the only major Shi'a caliphate in Islam, and established Fatimid rule throughout much of North Africa.- History :...

, a claimant to the Ismaili Imamate, established the Fatimid Caliphate. During this period, three lineages of imams formed. The first branch, known today as the Druze
Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

, occurred with the Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah
Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah
Abu ‘Ali Mansur Tāriqu l-Ḥākim, called Al-Hakim bi Amr al-Lāh , was the sixth Fatimid caliph and 16th Ismaili imam .- History :...

. Born in 386 AH (985), he ascended as ruler at the age of eleven and was feared for his eccentricity and believed insanity. The typical religiously tolerant Fatimid Empire saw much persecution under his reign. When in 411 AH (1021) his mule returned without him, soaked in blood, a religious group that was even forming in his lifetime broke off from mainstream Ismailism and did not acknowledge his successor. Later to be known as the Druze, they believe al-Hakim to be the incarnation of God and the prophecized Mahdi, who would one day return and bring justice to the world. The faith further split from Ismailism as it developed very unusual doctrines which often classes it separately from both Ismailiyyah and Islam. The second split occurred following the death of Ma'ad al-Mustansir Billah in 487 AH (1094). His rule was the longest of any caliph in any Islamic empires. Upon his passing away his sons, the older Nizar
Nizar
Abū Manṣūr Nizār al-Muṣṭafá liDīnillāh was a Fatimid Caliph and a Nizāri Ismā‘ilī Imām. He was deposed by his brother, Aḥmad al-Musta‘lī but his son, al-Hādī ibn Nizār, escaped to Alamūt and took refuge with believers there, thereby continuing the Imāmate.The followers of Nizār's descendants...

 and the younger Al-Musta'li
Al-Musta'li
Aḥmad al-Musta‘lī was the ninth Fatimid Caliph, and believed by the Mustaali Ismaili sect to be the 19th imam. Al-Musta‘lī was made caliph by Regent al-Afdal Shahanshah as the successor to al-Mustansir...

 fought for political and spiritual control of the dynasty. Nizar was defeated and jailed, but according to Nizari tradition, his son escaped to Alamut
Alamut
Alamut was a mountain fortress located in the South Caspian province of Daylam near the Rudbar region in Iran, approximately 100 kilometres from present-day Tehran, Iran...

 where the Iranian
Iranian peoples
The Iranian peoples are an Indo-European ethnic-linguistic group, consisting of the speakers of Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, as such forming a branch of Indo-European-speaking peoples...

 Ismaili had accepted his claim. From here on, the Nizari Ismaili community has continued with a present, living Imam. The Mustaali
Mustaali
The Musta‘lī Ismā'īlī Muslims are so named because they accept Al-Musta'li as the nineteenth Fatimid caliph and legitimate successor to his father, al-Mustansir...

 line split again between the Taiyabi
Taiyabi
Tayyibi is a branch of Mustaali Ismailism that split with the Fatimid supporting Hafizi branch by believing Taiyab abi al-Qasim was the rightful Imam. They are the surviving branch of the Mustaali and have split into Dawoodi Bohra, Sulaimani Bohra, and Alavi Bohra.Upon the death of the 20th Imam...

 (Dawoodi Bohra is main branch) and the Hafizi
Hafizi
The Hafizi were a branch of Mustaali Ismailism that believed the current ruler of the Fatimid Empire after the reign of Al-Amir Bi-Ahkamillah, Al-Hafiz was also the Imam of the Time.-See also:*List of extinct Shia sects...

, the former claiming that At-Tayyib Abi l-Qasim (son of Al-Amir bi-Ahkami l-Lah) and the imams following him went into a period of anonymity (Dawr-e-Satr) and appointed a Da'i al-Mutlaq
Da'i al-Mutlaq
The term Dāʻī al-Mutlaq literally means "the absolute or unrestricted missionary". In Ismā'īlī Islām, the term dāʻī has been used to refer to important religious leaders other than the hereditary Imāms, and the Daʻwa or "Mission" is a clerical-style organisation. "The Daʻwa" was a term for the...

 to guide the community, in a similar manner as the Ismaili had lived after the death of Muhammad ibn Ismail. The latter (Hafizi) claimed that the ruling Fatimid Caliph was the Imam, and they died out with the fall of the Fatimid Empire.

Pillars


Ismailis have categorized their practices which are known as seven pillars. They are as follow:
  • Walayah
    Walayah
    Walayah means Guardianship.Walayah or Walaya, in the most literal form of the word, means "a person, community, or country that is under the direction and rule of another". It is an Arabic word derived from the root wly, which carries the basic meanings of “friendship, assistance”, and “authority...

     (Guardianship)
  • Shia Shahada (Shia's Profession of Faith adding references to Ali to differ from Islam's standard Shahada as testified by the majority of Muslims)
  • Salah (Prayer)
  • Zakāt
    Zakat
    Zakāt , one of the Five Pillars of Islam, is the giving of a fixed portion of one's wealth to charity, generally to the poor and needy.-History:Zakat, a practice initiated by Muhammed himself, has played an important role throughout Islamic history...

     (Charity)
  • Sawm
    Sawm
    Sawm is an Arabic word for fasting regulated by Islamic jurisprudence. In the terminology of Islamic law, Sawm means to abstain from eating, drinking , having sex and anything against Islamic law...

     (Fasting)
  • Hajj
    Hajj
    The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

     (Pilgrimage)
  • Jihad
    Jihad
    Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

     (Struggle)

Contemporary leadership


For Nizaris, there has been less of a scholarly institution because of the existence of a present Imam. The Imam of the Age defines the jurisprudence, and may differ with Imams previous to him because of different times and circumstances. For Nizari Ismailis the Imam is His Highness Karim al-Husayni Aga Khan IV
Aga Khan IV
Prince Karim, Aga Khan IV, NPk, NI, KBE, CC, GCC, GCIH, GCM is the 49th and current Imam of the Shia Imami Nizari Ismaili Muslims. He has held this position under the title of Aga Khan since July 11, 1957, when, at the age of 20, he succeeded his grandfather, Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan...

. The Nizari line of Imams has continued to this day as an unending line.

Divine leadership has continued in the Bohra branch through the institution of the "Unrestricted Missionary" Dai. According to Bohra tradition, before the last Imam, At-Tayyib Abi l-Qasim, went into seclusion, his father, the 20th Imam Al-Amir bi-Ahkami l-Lah had instructed Al-Hurra Al-Malika
Al-Hurra Al-Malika
al-Sayyida al-Hurrat-ul Malika Asma Bint Shibab al-Sulayhiyya was Muslim Malika of Yemen. The title means "The Most Noble Lady who is independent, the woman sovereign who bows to no superior authority, Queen". She was married to Sultan Ali al-Sulahi, who entrusted much of the management of the...

 the Malik
Malik
Malik is an Arabic word meaning "king, chieftain".It has been adopted in various other, mainly Islamized or Arabized, Asian languages for their ruling princes and to render kings elsewhere. It is also sometimes used in derived meanings...

a (Queen consort
Queen consort
A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king. A queen consort usually shares her husband's rank and holds the feminine equivalent of the king's monarchical titles. Historically, queens consort do not share the king regnant's political and military powers. Most queens in history were queens consort...

) in Yemen to appoint a vicegerent after the seclusion – the Unrestricted Missionary, who as the Imam's vicegerent has full authority to govern the community in all matters both spiritual and temporal while the lineage of Mustaali-Tayyibi Imams remain in seclusion (Dawr-e-Satr). The three branches of the Mustaali, the Alavi Bohra
Alavi Bohra
The Alavi Bohras are a Taiyabi Mustaali Ismaili Shi'i Muslim community from Gujarat, India.In India, during the time of the 18th Fatimid Imam Ma'ad al-Mustansir Billah around 1093 AD, the designated learned people who were sent from Yemen by the celebrated missionaries under the guidance of the...

, Sulaimani Bohra and Dawoodi Bohra, differ on who the current Unrestricted Missionary is.

Zaidi



Zaidiyya, Zaidism or Zaydi is a Shia school named after Zayd ibn Ali. Followers of the Zaidi fiqh are called Zaidis (or occasionally Fivers). However, there is also a group called Zaidi Wasītīs who are Twelvers (see below). Zaidis constitute roughly 40–45% of Yemen.

Doctrine


The Zaydis, Twelvers and Ismailis recognize the same first four Imams, however, the Zaidis recognise Zayd ibn Ali as the fifth. After the time of Zayd ibn Ali, the Zaidis recognized that any descendant of Hasan ibn Ali or Hussein ibn Ali could be Imam after fulfilling certain conditions. Other well known Zaidi Imams in history were Yahya ibn Zayd, Muhammad al-Nafs az-Zakiyah and Ibrahim ibn Abdullah. In matters of Islamic jurisprudence
Fiqh
Fiqh is Islamic jurisprudence. Fiqh is an expansion of the code of conduct expounded in the Quran, often supplemented by tradition and implemented by the rulings and interpretations of Islamic jurists....

, the Zaydis follow Zayd ibn Ali's teachings which are documented in his book Majmu'l Fiqh (in Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

: مجموع الفِقه). Al-Hadi ila'l-Haqq Yahya
Al-Hadi ila'l-Haqq Yahya
Al-Hadi ila’l-Haqq Yahya was a religious and political leader on the Arabian Peninsula. He was the first Zaydiyya imam who ruled over portions of Yemen, in 897-911, and is the ancestor of the Rassid Dynasty which held intermittent power in Yemen until 1962.-Background:Yahya bin al-Husayn bin...

, founder of the Zaydi state in Yemen, instituted elements of the jurisprudential tradition of the Sunni Muslim jurist Abū Ḥanīfa, and as a result, Zaydi jurisprudence today continues to somewhat parallel that of the Hanafi
Hanafi
The Hanafi school is one of the four Madhhab in jurisprudence within Sunni Islam. The Hanafi madhhab is named after the Persian scholar Abu Hanifa an-Nu‘man ibn Thābit , a Tabi‘i whose legal views were preserved primarily by his two most important disciples, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad al-Shaybani...

s.

The Zaidi doctrine of Imamah does not presuppose the infallibility of the Imam, nor that the Imams receive divine guidance. Zaidis also do not believe that the Imamate must pass from father to son, but believe it can be held by any Sayyid
Sayyid
Sayyid is an honorific title, it denotes males accepted as descendants of the Islamic prophet Muhammad through his grandsons, Hasan ibn Ali and Husain ibn Ali, sons of the prophet's daughter Fatima Zahra and his son-in-law Ali ibn Abi Talib.Daughters of sayyids are given the titles Sayyida,...

 descended from either Hasan ibn Ali or Hussein ibn Ali (as was the case after the death of Hasan ibn Ali). Historically, Zaidis held that Zayd was the rightful successor of the 4th Imam as he led a rebellion against the Umayyads in protest of their tyranny and corruption. Muhammad al-Baqir did not engage in political action and the followers of Zayd believed that a true Imam must fight against corrupt rulers.

Timeline


The Idrisids  were Arab Zaydi Shia dynasty in the western Maghreb
Maghreb
The Maghreb is the region of Northwest Africa, west of Egypt. It includes five countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania and the disputed territory of Western Sahara...

 ruling from 788 to 985 C.E., named after its first sultan, Idris I
Idris I
Idris I was the first ruler and founder of the Idrisid Dynasty, ruling from 788 to 791 AD. He is credited with founding the dynasty that was instrumental in the early Islamization of Morocco.-History:...

.

A Zaydi state was established in Gilan
Gilan Province
Gilan Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It lies along the Caspian Sea, just west of the province of Mazandaran, east of the province of Ardabil, north of the provinces of Zanjan and Qazvin....

, Deylaman
Deylaman
Deylaman is a city in and the capital of Deylaman District, in Siahkal County, Gilan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 1,261, in 374 families....

 and Tabaristan (northern Iran) in 864 C.E. by the Alavids
Alavids
The Alavids or Alavians , also known as the Zaydids, were a Zaidi Shia emirate based in Mazandaran of Iran. They were descendants of the second Shi'a Imam and brought Islam to the south Caspian Sea region of Iran. Their reign was ended when they were defeated by the Samanid empire in 928 AD...

; it lasted until the death of its leader at the hand of the Samanids in 928 C.E. Roughly forty years later the state was revived in Gilan and survived under Hasanid leaders until 1126 C.E. After which from the 12th-13th centuries, the Zaydis of Deylaman, Gilan and Tabaristan then acknowledge the Zaydi Imams of Yemen
Imams of Yemen
The Imams of Yemen and later the Kings of Yemen were religiously consecrated leaders belonging to the Zaidiyyah branch of Shia Islam. They established a blend of religious and secular rule in parts of Yemen from 897. Their imamate endured under varying circumstances until the republican revolution...

 or rival Zaydi Imams within Iran.

The Buyids were initially Zaidi as well as the Banu Ukhaidhir
Banu Ukhaidhir
The Banu 'l-Ukhaidhir was a dynasty that ruled in al-Yamamah from 867 to at least the mid-eleventh century. An Alid dynasty, they were descendents of Muhammad through his daughter Fatimah and his grandson Al-Hasan, and at least one contemporary traveler describes them as having been Shi'ites of...

 rulers of al-Yamama
Al-Yamama
Al-Yamamah is an ancient district lying to the east of the plateau of Najd in modern-day Saudi Arabia, or sometimes more specifically, the now-extinct ancient village of Jaww Al-Yamamah, near Al-Kharj, after which the rest of the region was named...

 in the 9th and 10th centuries.
The leader of the Zaydi community took the title of Caliph. As such, the ruler of Yemen was known as the Caliph, al-Hadi Yahya bin al-Hussain bin al-Qasim ar-Rassi Rassids
Rassids
The Imams of Yemen and later the Kings of Yemen were religiously consecrated leaders belonging to the Zaidiyyah branch of Shia Islam. They established a blend of religious and secular rule in parts of Yemen from 897. Their imamate endured under varying circumstances until the republican revolution...

 (a descendant of Hasan ibn Ali the son of Ali) who, at Sa'dah
Sa'dah
Sa`dah is the capital city of Saada Governorate in north-western Yemen. It is located at , at an elevation of about 1,800 meters. Known in antiquity as Karna, its population in 2004 was estimated at 51,870.- External links :*...

, in 893-7 CE, founded the Zaydi Imamate and this system continued until the middle of the 20th century, when the revolution of 1962 CE that deposed the Zaydi Imam. The founding Zaidism of Yemen was of the Jarudiyya group, however with increasing interaction with Hanafi and Shafi'i rites of Sunni Islam, there was a shift from the Jarudiyya group to the Sulaimaniyya, Tabiriyya, Butriyya or Salihiyya groups. Zaidis form the second dominant religious group in Yemen. Currently, they constitute about 40–45% of the population in Yemen. Ja'faris and Isma'ilis are 2–5%. In Saudi Arabia, it is estimated that there are over 1 million Zaydis (primarily in the western provinces).

Currently the most prominent Zaydi movement is Houthis
Houthis
The Houthis Houthis) are a Zaidi Shia insurgent group operating in Yemen. They have also been referred to as a "powerful clan," and by the title Ash-Shabab al-Muminin or Youthful Believers). The group takes its name from Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, their former commander, who was reportedly...

' movement known by the name of Shabab Al Mu'mineen (Believing Youth) who have been the subject of an ongoing campaign against them by the Yemeni Government in which the army has lost 743 men and thousands of innocent civilians have been killed or displaced by government forces causing a grave humanitarian crisis in north Yemen.

See also

  • List of extinct Shi'a sects
  • List of Shia books
  • List of Shi'a Muslim scholars of Islam
  • List of Shi'a Muslims
  • Shia Crescent
  • Nikah mut‘ah
    Nikah mut‘ah
    ' , is a fixed-term marriage in Shi'a Islam. The duration of this type of marriage is fixed at its inception and is then automatically dissolved upon completion of its term. The marriage is contractual and is subject to renewal...

  • Bada'
    Bada'
    Badā is a Shia concept regarding God. It refers to God revealing His true will about a decision, wherein the people thought His will had already been made on that issue...

  • Rafida
    Rafida
    Rāfiḍah is a collective noun which means "defectors" or "deserters". The word is derived from the Arabic consonantal root ر ف ض, which as a verb means "to desert". The non-collective singular form is rāfiḍī "a deserter"...

  • Hosay
    Hosay
    Hosay or Tadjah is a West Indian commemoration, in which multi-colored model mausoleums are paraded, then ritually offered up to the sea, or any body of water...

  • Hosay massacre
    Hosay Massacre
    The Hosay massacre took place on Thursday October 30, 1884 in San Fernando, Trinidad when the British colonial authorities fired on participants in the annual Hosay procession who had been banned from entering the town.-Background:After the emancipation of slaves in...


Further reading

  • Peter J. Chelkowski (ed.), Eternal Performance: Taziyah and Other Shiite Rituals (Salt lake City (UT), Seagull Books, 2010) (Seagull Books - Enactments).

External links