Portal:Shia Islam

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Shia Islam

Shia (/ˈʃə/; Arabic: شيعةShīʿah, from Shīʻatu ʻAlī, "followers of Ali") is a branch of Islam which holds that the Islamic prophet Muhammad designated Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor (Imam), most notably at the event of Ghadir Khumm. Shia Islam primarily contrasts with Sunni Islam, whose adherents believe that Muhammad did not appoint a successor and consider Abu Bakr (who was appointed Caliph through a Shura, i.e. community consensus) to be the correct first Caliph. Unlike the first three Rashidun caliphs, Ali was from the same clan as Muhammad, Banu Hashim.

Adherents of Shia Islam are called Shias of Ali, Shias or the Shi'a as a collective or Shi'i individually. Shia Islam is the second largest branch of Islam: in 2009, Shia Muslims constituted 10-13% of the world's Muslim population. Twelver Shia (Ithnā'ashariyyah) is the largest branch of Shia Islam, with 2012 estimates saying that 85% of Shias were Twelvers.

Shia Islam is based on the Quran and the message of Muhammad attested in hadith, and on hadith taught by their Imams. Shia consider Ali to have been divinely appointed as the successor to Muhammad, and as the first Imam. The Shia also extend this Imammah doctrine to Muhammad's family, the Ahl al-Bayt ("the people/family of the House"), and some individuals among his descendants, known as Imams, who they believe possess special spiritual and political authority over the community, infallibility and other divinely ordained traits. Although there are many Shia subsects, modern Shia Islam has been divided into three main groupings: Twelvers, Ismailis and Zaidis, with Twelver Shia being the largest and most influential group among Shia.

Selected article

Name of Twelve Imams
The Twelve Imams are the spiritual and political successors to the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Twelver or Athnā‘ashariyyah branch of Shia Islam and in Alevi Islam.

According to the theology of Twelvers, the Twelve Imams are exemplary human individuals who not only rule over the community with justice, but also are able to keep and interpret sharia and the esoteric meaning of the Quran. Muhammad and Imams' words and deeds are a guide and model for the community to follow; as a result, they must be free from error and sin, known as Ismah or infallibility and must be chosen by divine decree, or nass, through the Prophet.

Selected picture

li is the vicegerent of God' (Arabic: علي ولي الله‎) in obverse and reverse
Credit: Mahmoud Ibrahim

Example of mirror writing in Islamic calligraphy. 18th-century Ottoman levha, or calligraphic panel, which depicts the Shi'i phrase 'Ali is the vicegerent of God' (Arabic: علي ولي الله‎) in obverse and reverse, creating an exact mirror image. The calligrapher has used the central vertical fold in the thick cream-colored paper to help trace the exact calligraphic duplication (Selim 1979, 162) prior to mounting it onto a cardboard and pasting rectangular pink frames along its borders.

Selected quote

Hassan ibn Ali, the second Imam of Shia.
"The heart that is empty of doubt is the cleanest of hearts."


  • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.78, p. 109.

In the news


  • 10-Nov: Arba'een of Imam Hussain and his diehard companions was observed on 10 November, 2017 (including Arba'een Walk in countries other than Iraq) throughout the world in countries having population of Shia Muslims. Arba'een Pilgrimage was held in Iraq. It was estimated that 25 million would participate in addition to Iranian pilgrims. Different news sources indicate that more than 20 million pilgrims have attended Arbaeen walk/pilgrimage in Iraq from Najaf to Karbala on road by foot. Considering unofficial entries and 1-3 months old entries to Iraq, social media has placed figures highs from 30 to 40 million. However, Western/European Media reports estimates vary of the total attending from highs of 15-17 million [1], (Dawn), (Tehran Times), [2] & [3]


  • 1-Oct: On Ist October & 30th Sept-2017 approximately 6 million people across the globe gathered in Karbala for observing Ashura. Shia Muslims around the world observe Ashura with the aim to express deep sorrow over the martyrdom of Hussein Ibn Ali and the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, at the Battle of Karbala on 10 Muharram in the year 61 AH ( October 10, 680 CE). Ashura is not only observed in the Muslim world but also in Europe, Australia, America and Canada, etc. [4] [5] & [6]
Commemoration of Ashura is a national holiday in Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Lebanon and Bahrain. Also in India Ashura is a public holiday. [7] (ABNA)
This year in Nigeria Ashura mourning processions held in more than 60 towns and cities across the country organized by Islamic Movement in Nigeria.[8]
  • After 21 years, Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin has held the Muharram Majlis series in Karachi, ended on 30 Sept-2017. In addition to local members of the community, these Majalis were attended by 40,000 Shia Muslim belonging to Dawoodi Bohras community from all over the world especially from India, Sri Lanka, Iraq, UAE, Far East, Malaysia, UK, Canada and USA.(Daily Dawn) (The New York Times)
  • 2-Oct: Malaysian Government has freed 200 Shia Iraqi nationals, mostly Masters and Postgraduate students and their family members who were arrested by Malaysian authority in September-2017 on account of their participation in recent Ashura mourning. A former Malaysian ambassador has condemned the arrest of Iraqi Shia Muslims, saying this could court condemnation from the United Nations Human Rights Commission.[9]& (ABNA)

Chosen holy figures

The shrine of Husayn, as seen from the shrine of Abbas in Karbala, Karbala Governorate, Iraq
Husayn ibn ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (Arabic: الحسين بن علي بن أبي طالب‎‎; 08 January 626 AD – 10 October 680 AD) (3rd / 4th Sha'aban 4 AH – 10th Muharram 61 AH), sometimes spelled Hussein, was the son of Ali ibn Abi Ṭalib (fourth Rashidun Caliph of Sunni Islam, and first Imam of Shia Islam) and Fatimah Zahra (daughter of Muhammad) and the younger brother of Hasan ibn Ali. Husayn is an important figure in Islam, as he is a member of the Ahl al-Bayt (the household of Muhammad) and Ahl al-Kisa, as well as being the third Shia Imam.Husayn is highly regarded by Shiite Muslims because he refused to pledge allegiance to Yazid I, the Umayyad caliph because he considered the rule of the Umayyads unjust. As a consequence, he left Medina, his home town, and traveled to Mecca. At Karbala his caravan was intercepted by Yazid I's army. He was killed and beheaded in the Battle of Karbala in 680 (61 AH) by Shimr Ibn Thil-Jawshan, along with most of his family and companions. The annual memorial for him, his family, his children and his companions is called Ashura (tenth day of Muharram) and is a day of mourning for Shiite Muslims. The killings at Karbala fueled the later Shiite movements. Anger at Husayn's death was turned into a rallying cry that helped undermine and ultimately overthrow the Umayyad Caliphate.

Selected biography

Seyyed Ali Khamenei
Ali Hosseini Khamenei (Persian: علی حسینی خامنه‌ای‎; born 17 July 1939) is the second and current Supreme Leader of Iran and a Muslim cleric. Ali Khamenei succeeded Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Iranian Revolution, after Khomeini's death, being elected as the new Supreme Leader by the Assembly of Experts on 4 June 1989. He had also served as the President of Iran from 1981 to 1989. In 2012, 2013, and 2014 Forbes selected him 21st, 23rd, and 19th respectively in the list of The World's Most Powerful People. Khamenei is head of state, and is considered the most powerful political authority in Iran.

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On this day: 8 Dhu al-Qi'dah

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