Nakhawila

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Nakhawila
Total population
32,000[1]
Regions with significant populations
Medina, Wadi al-Fara'
Languages
Hijazi Arabic
Religion
Twelver Shi'a Islam
Related ethnic groups
Ismailis of Najran

The Nakhawila (Arabic: النخاولة‎) are a community of indigenous Hijazi Twelver Shias, typically of low social class, who have traditionally resided in and around the city of Medina in Saudi Arabia, numbering around 32,000. For decades, the Nakhawila community in Medina was headed by Sheikh Muhammad Ali al-Amri, a Shia jurist who studied in Najaf under the guide of several notable scholars, up until his death on 24 January 2011. Al-Amri's son Hashim resumed his father's prayer leading position (Imam) at Medina's first Shia mosque, located at his father's farm.[2]

Origins[edit]

Most members of the Nakhawila community claim descent from native Medinan Arab tribes such as the Khazraj or Hashemites, while others are descended from black African slaves said to have been freed by Hasan ibn Ali and ordered to work on his farms.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Marja and the Survival of a Community: The Shia of Medina], Yousif al-Khoei in "The Most Learned of the Shiʻa: The Institution of the Marjaʻ Taqlid", ed Linda Walbridge, 2001, Oxford University Press US. p, 248.
  2. ^ http://www.rohama.org/en/content/479

Further reading[edit]

  • The Nakhāwila, a Shia Community in Medina Past and Present, Werner Ende, Die Welt des Islams, New Series, Vol. 37, Issue 3, Shiites and Sufis in Saudi Arabia, (Nov., 1997), pp. 263–348
  • Marja and the Survival of a Community: The Shia of Medina, Yousif al-Khoei in "The Most Learned of the Shiʻa: The Institution of the Marjaʻ Taqlid", ed Linda Walbridge, 2001, Oxford University Press US
  • More Questions than Answers: The Origin of the Nakhāwila, Werner Ende in I. Abbas et al. (eds.), Studies in History and Literature in Honour of Nicola Ziadeh (London: Hazar Publishing Ltd., 1992), pp. 68–72.