Shi'a Islam in Afghanistan

Shi'a Islam in Afghanistan

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Shi'a Islam in Afghanistan makes up 10-19% of the total population of the state
Demography of Afghanistan
The population of Afghanistan is around 29,835,392 as of the year 2011, which is unclear if the refugees living outside the country are included or not. The nation is composed of a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual society, reflecting its location astride historic trade and invasion routes between...

, while the remaining 80-89% practice Sunni Islam
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....

.

Many of the Pamir language speakers
Pamir languages
The Pamir languages are a group of the Eastern Iranian languages, spoken by numerous people in the Pamir Mountains, primarily along the Panj River and its tributaries. This includes the Badakhshan Province of northeastern Afghanistan and the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province of eastern Tajikistan...

 of the northeastern portion of the country (predominantly in Badakhshan Province
Badakhshan Province
Badakhshan is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, consisting of 28 districts. It is located in the north-east of the country, between the Hindu Kush and the Amu Darya. It is part of the Badakhshan region.-Geography:...

 bordering Tajikistan
Tajikistan
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

) are followers of the 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
Ismaili
' is a branch of Shia Islam. It is the second largest branch of Shia Islam, after the Twelvers...

 sect, while majority of the Hazara people, the third largest ethnic group in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, are Shi'a 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 who practice Twelver and Ismailism. Qizilbash and Bayaat
Bayat
The surname Bayat or Baiyat is derived from clans in Iran and Afghanistan.-Clans:Bayat is the name of an originally Turkic clan in Iran which traces its origin to the 12th century...

 people also practices Twelver Shi'a Islam
Shi'a Islam
Shia Islam is the second largest denomination of Islam. 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", "faction of Ali", or "party of Ali".Like other schools of thought in Islam, Shia Islam is...

. And the Sayeds are also mostly Shias.

Baghlan Ismailis


Baghlan Province is home to a Ismaili population, lead by a hereditary leadership, the Sayeds of Kayan. During the Soviet-Afghan War, 10,000 Ismaili militamen defended the Baghlan Ismaili stronghold of Kayan, having sided with the soviets due to differences with the Islamist opposition.

See also

  • Islam in Afghanistan
    Islam in Afghanistan
    Islam is the official state religion of Afghanistan, with approximately 99.7% of the Afghan population being Muslim. About 80-89% practice Sunni Islam and belong to the Hanafi Islamic law school while 10-19% are Shi'a, majority of whom follow the Twelver branch with smaller numbers of Ismailis...

  • Religion in Afghanistan
    Religion in Afghanistan
    The official religion in Afghanistan is Islam, which is practiced by over 99% of its citizens. Sunni Islam makes up 80-89% of the total population while the remaining 10-19% are Shi'as and about 1% or less practice other religions....

  • Islamic conquest of Afghanistan
    Islamic conquest of Afghanistan
    The Islamic conquest of Afghanistan began in the middle of the 7th century after the Islamic conquest of Persia was completed, when Arab Muslims defeated the Sassanid Empire at the battles of Walaja, al-Qādisiyyah and Nahavand. The Muslim Arabs then began to move towards the lands east of Persia...

  • Shi'a Islam in 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...