Portal:Shia Islam

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Shia Islam

Shia Islam (/ˈʃə/) is the second-largest branch of Islam. It holds that the Islamic prophet Muhammad designated Ali ibn Abi Talib (r. 656 – 661 CE) as his successor (khalīfa) and the Imam (spiritual and political leader) after him, most notably at the event of Ghadir Khumm, but was prevented from succeeding Muhammad as the leader of the Muslims as a result of the choice made by some of Muhammad's other companions (ṣaḥāba) at Saqifah. This view primarily contrasts with that of Sunnī Islam, whose adherents believe that Muhammad did not appoint a successor before his death and consider Abū Bakr, who was appointed caliph by a group of senior Muslims at Saqifah, to be the first rightful (rāshidūn) caliph after Muhammad (632–634 CE). Adherents of Shia Islam are called Shia Muslims.

Shia Islam is based on a hadith report concerning Muhammad's pronouncement at Ghadir Khumm. Shia Muslims believe that Ali, Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, should have been the designated successor to Muhammad as Islam's spiritual and political leader. This belief later developed into the concept of Imamah, the idea that certain descendants of Muhammad, the Ahl al-Bayt, are rightful rulers or Imams through the bloodline of Ali and his firstborn son Ḥasan, whom Shia Muslims believe possess special spiritual and political authority over the Muslim community. Later events such as Husayn ibn Ali's martyrdom in the Battle of Karbala (680 CE) further influenced the development of Shia Islam, contributing to the formation of a distinct religious sect with its own rituals and shared collective memory.

Shia Islam is the second-largest branch of Islam, followed by 10–15% of all Muslims. Although there are many Shia subsects in the Muslim world, Twelver Shīʿīsm is by far the largest and most influential, comprising about 85% of all Shia Muslims. Others include the Isma'ilis, Zaydis, and Alevis. Shia Muslims form a majority of the population in four countries across the Muslim world: Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, and Bahrain. Significant Shi’ite communities are also found in Lebanon, Kuwait, Turkey, Yemen, and the Indian subcontinent. Iran, a theocratic Islamic republic governed by a framework established by Ayatollah Khomeini known as the Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist, stands as the only country where Shia Islam forms the foundation of both its laws and governance system. (Full article...)

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In the news

21 February 2024 – Iraqi conflict
Reports emerge that clashes between rival Shia militias, primarily Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq and Saraya al-Salam, have killed at least 200 fighters across Iraq in the past two months. (The Medialine)
6 January 2024 – Afghan conflict
Five people are killed and 15 more injured during the explosion of a bomb planted by Islamic State members on a bus carrying Shiites in the neighbourhood of Dashte Barchi, Kabul, Afghanistan. (AP)
5 January 2024 – Iraqi conflict
Prime Minister of Iraq Mohammed Shia' Al Sudani announces that the Iraqi government is beginning the process to remove the U.S.-led international military coalition from the country after a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad yesterday killed a militia leader. (Reuters)
8 November 2023 – Afghan conflict
Seven people are killed and 20 others injured when a bomb planted by Islamic State militants explodes on a bus carrying Shiites in Kabul. (AP)
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