Shia Islam in Afghanistan

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Masjid Jame in Kabul during construction in 2008, which is the largest Shia mosque Afghanistan.[1]

Shia Islam in Afghanistan is practiced by 10 to 19% of the population.[2][3][4][5] Afghan Shia are primarily the Twelvers, while a minority are Ismailis.

Twelvers[edit]

The majority of Afghan Shia are Twelvers, primarily of the Hazara ethnicity. The next-largest Twelver community are the Farsiwan of the western Herat and Farah provinces. Other, far smaller, Afghan Twelver communities include the Bayat and Qizilbash populations, as well as some of those who claim to be Sayeds.

Ismailis[edit]

A smaller portion of Afghan Shia are Nizari Ismailis ("Seveners"); these populations include many of the Pamir language speakers of the northeastern portion of the country (predominantly in Badakhshan Province bordering Tajikistan).

Baghlan Province is also home to an Ismaili community, the Sayeds of Kayan. Their leader is Sayed Mansur Naderi and his son, Sayed Jaffar Naderi.[6] During the Soviet-Afghan War, about 10,000 Ismaili militamen defended the Baghlan Ismaili stronghold of Kayan. They have sided with the Soviets due to differences with the other groups of fighters.[7] Unlike other Ismaili communities in the region and worldwide, the Baghlan Ismailis do not defer to the spiritual leader of Ismailis worldwide, the Agha Khan.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Mapping the Global Muslim Population: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Muslim Population". Pew Research Center. October 7, 2009. Retrieved 2010-09-03. "Afghanistan 10-15% Shi'a" 
  3. ^ Miller, Tracy, ed. (October 2009). Mapping the Global Muslim Population: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Muslim Population (PDF). Pew Research Center. Retrieved 2010-09-03. 
  4. ^ "Country Profile: Afghanistan". Library of Congress Country Studies. August 2008. Retrieved 2010-09-03. "Religion: Virtually the entire population is Muslim. Between 80 and 85 percent of Muslims are Sunni and 15 to 19 percent, Shia." 
  5. ^ "Afghanistan". Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook. Retrieved 2010-09-03. 
  6. ^ a b Hindokosh, May 2003 at UNHCR.org
  7. ^ Michael V. Bhatia; Mark Sedra (2008). Afghanistan, arms and conflict: armed groups, disarmament and security in a post-war society. Psychology Press. pp. 252–. ISBN 978-0-415-45308-0. Retrieved 30 March 2011.