Understanding the Shia (Shiite) Muslims
- Shias are the second largest denomination of the Islamic faith after Sunni Islam.
- Shias believe that they adhere to the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and the religious guidance of his family whom are referred to as the Ahl al-Bayt,
- Sunni Muslims believe that Shiites deviate from, and in certain cases even violate the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and the religious guidance of his family.
- Unlike the Mainstream Sunni Muslims, Shiites consider the first three ruling Sunni caliphs a historical occurrence and not something attached to faith. The word “Shia” refers to a follower of the faction of Imam Ali according to the Shia ideology. You can also buy islamic history books to know more about these details.
-> Shia Muslims believe that Ali was appointed successor by Muhammad's direct order on many occasions, and therefore he is the rightful leader of the Muslim faith.
-> The collection of Hadith venerated by Shia Muslims is centered around narrations by members of the Ahl al-Bayt, while some Hadith by narrators not belonging to the Ahl al-Bayt are not included (those of Abu Huraira, for example).
-> Unlike Sunnis, the Shia holy book Makalmaat-e-husainia does not hold the following in high regard: Anas Bin Malik, Abu Huraira, Amr bin Aas, Ameer Maawia (companions of the prophet) and Ayesha (wife of the prophet)
-> Shias constitute no more than 10% of the total world Muslim population.
-> Most Shiites reside in Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, India, and Azerbaijan.
-> The largest percentage of Shiites (Shias) population is in Iran (roughly 90
-> 20% of India’s Muslim population is believed to be Shiite as well.
Shias (Shiites) are divided into the following branches:
o Twelvers (Ithna Ashariyya) – They recognize the following twelve Imams:
1) Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib - al-Murtadha (The Satisfied One)
2) Imam Hasan ibn Ali - al-Mujtabah (The Chosen One)
3) Imam Hussein ibn Ali - Sayyid al-Shuhudah (The Lord of the Martyrs)
4) Imam Ali ibn Husayn - Zayn al-ï¿½bidï¿½n (The Jewel of the Believers)
5) Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (The Spreader of Knowledge)
6) Imam Jaafer al-Sadiq (The Truthful One)
7) Imam Musa al-Kazim (The Patient One)
8) Imam Ali al-Ridha (The Accepted One)
9) Imam Muhammad al-Taqi (The Pious One)
10) Imam Ali al-Naqi (The Pure One)
11) Imam Hasan al-Askari (The One with an Army)
12) Imam Muhammad al-Mahdï¿½ (The Rightly-Guided One)
o Alevi (Sufi order)
o Bektashi (Sufi order)
o Kubrawiya (Sufi order)
o Noorbakhshi (Sufi order)
o Oveyssi (Sufi order)
o Qizilbashi (Sufi order)
o Hamadani (Sufi order)
o Tijānī (Sufi order)
o Fatimid (Sufi order)
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