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Nice Article[edit]

Nice Article, lots of good information. As a history major a lot of this I already knew but there were a couple interesting bits of new knowledge that seem legitimate. I'd like there to be more sourcing though —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:08, August 28, 2007 (UTC)


The picture shown in the article is not a depiction of an Imam but the depiction of Prophet Muhammad:

Pictures of the prophet are quite common in Iran and other Shia communities. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:52, 19 December 2007

New Structure[edit]

@Sa.vakilian and Mhhossein:The structure of the article needs to be changed.

I suggest this structure: Shia Islam

  1. Twelvers
    1. Usul al-Din
      1. Tawhid
      2. Adl
      3. Nubuwah
      4. Imamah
      5. Ma'ad
    2. Theology
    3. Philosophy
    4. Jurisprudence
      1. The Roots of Jurisprudence.

Salman mahdi (talk) 12:23, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

I can not understand how do you separate Theology, Philosophy and Usul al-Din from each other? We should add History as well.--Seyyed(t-c) 12:31, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

@Salman mahdi: So, where can we include materials such as what's included in "Notable scholars". Do you mean to have other sections not changed? Mhhossein (talk) 13:19, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
  • The roots of Shia Jurisprudence is different from Sunni's. Also the doictrines of Theology and Philosophy is different. Ofcourese some especial beliefs to Shia like Tawassol, Shafa'a, Taqiya, Muta'h, Bada', Raj'a should be added.I agree with history section, too. This is my present suggestion, perhaps with increasing my studies, I suggest adding another sections.Salman mahdi (talk) 06:17, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • As the article is especial for Shia, I think all the material that are comparing Shia-Sunni should be deleted. Also the section of Occultation should be added. Also the table of the list of the Twelve Imams should be deleted, because it has its own article.Salman mahdi (talk) 07:15, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Ofcourse Walayah and Ismah has an important position for shia, What we do with them?Salman mahdi (talk) 07:29, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Good ideas, however I could not find your answer to my question! I can not understand how do you separate Theology, Philosophy and Usul al-Din from each other? --Seyyed(t-c) 11:03, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps I can not understand you, too. But Theology, Philosophy and Usul al-Din of Shia and Sunni are not different?Salman mahdi (talk) 11:56, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
In my view "Usul al-Din" , "Theology" and " Philosophy" of Twelvers refer to the same things with different arguments. So all of them can merge in "Usul al-Din".--Seyyed(t-c) 08:14, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, is it good to have a subsection under Imamah, namely the succession to Muhammad?Salman mahdi (talk) 12:06, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, of course.--Seyyed(t-c) 08:12, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps it would be better to add a subsection namely velayat-e faqih under the subsection of the Occultation.Salman mahdi (talk) 14:28, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Salman mahdi: It seems suitable to me. Mhhossein (talk) 14:43, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

I think this section,[Prayer ] is not related to this article.Salman mahdi (talk) 20:11, 19 May 2015 (UTC) It is needed to add The Terminology.Salman mahdi (talk) 05:26, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

  1. Terminology
  2. Theological Doctrine (Usul al-Din)
    1. Tawhid (Oneness of God)
      1. Zati (Essential)
      2. Sefati (attributes)
      3. Af'ali (activities)
      4. Ubudiat (the worship belongs solely to God)
    2. Adl (Gos's Justice)
      1. Justice in Creation
      2. Justice in Religious Dispensation
      3. Justice in Recompense
    3. Nubuwah (Prophethood)
      1. Wahy
      2. Angels
      3. Miracles
    4. Imamah and Walayah
      1. The Succession to Muhammad
      2. Ziarat nad Tawassul
      3. Esmah
      4. The Occultation
    5. Ma'ad (Resurrection and judgment)
      1. Raj`a
      2. Akhirah
      3. Shaf'ah
  3. Shari'ah (Furu al-Din)
    1. Shahada: Declaration of faith
    2. Prayer
    3. Fasting
    4. Khums and Zakat
    5. Haj
    6. Jihad
    7. Tawalla and Tabarra
    8. Commanding the Good and Prohibiting the Evil
  4. Fiqh (Jurisprudence)
    1. The sources of Jurisprudence
    2. Guardianship of the jurisprudent
    3. Taqlid: Accepting a scholar's verdict
  5. History
    1. Imamat Era
      1. Emergence (583/13 BH Bi'sat- 713/95 AH Death of Imam Sajjad)
      2. Formulation (713/95 AH Imam Baghir - 765/148 AH Death of Imam Sadiq)
      3. Organizing (765/148 AH Imam Kazim - 874/260 AH Death of Imam al-Askari)
    2. Crisis and Consolidation
      1. Minor Occultation/Sufara (874/260 AH - 941/329 AH)
      2. From 941/329 AH to 991/380 AH (Death of Abul Hasan Ali ibn Muhammad al-Samarri to death of Shaykh al-Saduq)
      3. Baghdad School: Consolidation of Shia disciplines in Fiqh, Kalam, Rijal, Usul, etc (991/380 AH Al-Shaykh Al-Mufid to Death of 1067/460 AHShaykh Tusi)
    3. Jurisprudencial and theological development:
      1. Hillah School: (543 AH Birth of Ibn Idris Hilli to death of 1325/726 AH Allame al-Hilli)
      2. Jabal Amel School (1334/734 Ah Birth of Shahid Awwal to Death of 1558/966 AH Shahid Thani)
    4. Rising to power
      1. Isfahan school (1501/909 AH establishment of Safavid Dynasty and Migration of Muhaqqiq Karaki to 1698/1110 AH Deat of Muhammad Baqir Majlisi)
      2. Ikhbari-Usuli controversies (1698/1110 AH Deat of Muhammad Baqir Majlisi to Death of 1791/1205 AH Muhammad Baqir Behbahani)
      3. Najaf school (Death of 1791/1205 AH Muhammad Baqir Behbahani to Death of 1980/1400 AH Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr)
      4. Qom school, Islamic revolution and Islamic republic (1922/1340 AH establishment of Qom seminary onward)

Seyyed(t-c) 10:09, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Your recommended structure is excellent.Salman mahdi (talk) 08:06, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

All the empty and near-empty sections make the article look extremely amateurish, like an unfinished homework assignment. Why can't you write the body text first and then divide it into sections if you have more than a few sentences? A meatless skeleton is not of any value to the reader.--Anders Feder (talk) 14:32, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Also, section headings should be in sentence case per MOS:HEADINGS: "headings are in sentence case, not title case". All attempts to give the subject an air of special reverence is against WP:NPOV. The text should look no different from one about catfish or herpes simplex.--Anders Feder (talk) 14:51, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for your guides, I will take them into account.Salman mahdi (talk) 15:30, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Excellent.--Anders Feder (talk) 15:32, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Another observation: as far as I understand, the vast majority of Twelver/Shia theology is completely identical to Sunni theology. Restating these portions of the theology, such as the doctrine of Tawhid, is completely pointless. Anything that is common to all or most Muslims has no place in this article - it should go into the Islam article or Islamic theology or whatever. The only thing of relevance is how Twelvers differ from other schools of Islam - not the many ways they may be alike.--Anders Feder (talk) 17:08, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

@Anders Feder: Shia theology differs with Sunni one in details. Of course, there is not one Shia and one Sunni interpretation. Therefor, we should explain the details of Twelver's viewpoint. However, I think the comparison of Shia-Sunni views regarding each issue can be covered in its particular article. For example, the different interpretations about Oneness of God in Islam will be covered in that article.--Seyyed(t-c) 18:10, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

@Sa.vakilian and Mhhossein: I think the name of the Akhirah should change to the Day of Judgement. Why the Return is a subsection to Ma'ad?Salman mahdi (talk) 12:52, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Twelver's contribution in Science, philosophy and religious study[edit]

I have a suggestion; to add a section namely The Role of Shia Scholar in the growth of Islamic Sciences.Hum?Salman mahdi (talk) 15:40, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
My topical knowledge is far to limited to evaluate whether that would hold WP:DUE significance, but it sounds very specific/particulate, and perhaps not suitable for an article that is supposed to give a broad overview?--Anders Feder (talk) 15:59, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
@Salman mahdi:This is an article about Twelver's viewpoints and history, therefor it does not include "The Role of Shia Scholar in the growth of Islamic Sciences". You can add this issue in the more related articles such as Science in the medieval Islamic world, Islamic philosophy and Islamic golden age. --Seyyed(t-c) 18:10, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Ah! Much work going on here! The restructuring was vital for this article. Delighting that somebody finally brought it up. With respect to the original proposed structure, I suggest having a section titled "Scholarly fields" or "Religious sciences" to include such fields as Jurisprudence, Theology, Philosophy and Mysticism. These are the main fields that have been historically taught and practiced in Shia seminaries. We would however need reliable sources on Shia sciences/seminaries for the section, which I think must be available. Strivingsoul (talk) 19:49, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

@Strivingsoul: Agree Salman mahdi (talk) 03:58, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
@Strivingsoul: At present, we have a section for Fiqh. "Religious sciences" is not a good title. Let's think more about it.--Seyyed(t-c) 07:06, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Why not good? I know that's not a common term in English and may sound strange to the Western audience, but that's a matter of different cultural backgrounds. We can define "Religious sciences" as sciences involved in scholarly study, understanding and interpretation of religion (they way it is defined by muslim religious scholars themselves). I can think of no better alternative than what I have already suggested: "scholarly fields". Strivingsoul (talk) 07:45, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Because "science" has a particular meaning. What is your idea about recognizing Marxism as a religion and Marx as its prophet?--Seyyed(t-c) 12:06, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Are you suggesting to decide the terms based on Western conceptions? If so, I disagree for I think that would allow for assumptions of Western thought to distort the Islamic traditional conceptions. As you might know "Religious sciences" is quite a literal translation of "Ulum-e Dīni" (or "Ulum al-Dīni" in Arabic) which encompasses such fields as ilm al-Hadith, ilm al-Usul, ilm al-Kalam, and to take the broadest meaning of the term, even Ilm al-Falsafa (Philosophy) (Note this entry on wikifiqh which defines 'Philosophy' as a form of science), and Ilm al-Irfan (Mysticism). No term other than 'science' can account for both meaning and different applications of 'ilm' in Arabic language and in Islamic traditional scholarship. Strivingsoul (talk) 05:44, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, of course. The native speaker's interpretation is the main criteria to decide. I think you have made mistake by literal translation from Persian to English. In Persian we say "Ulum Tajrobi" which means science and "Ulum Dini" which does not mean science. I suggest you to read Parsania's work on the difference between science and "Ulum Dini", particularly[1] and [2]. --Seyyed(t-c) 17:07, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm quite familiar with major distinctions between the modern notion of science and the traditional notion. But that does not change the fact that they are still both 'science' and there's basically no alternative for the term! It's like refusing to call ancient Babylon 'a city' because cities nowadays have cars and subways while the ancient Babylon didn't! Strivingsoul (talk) 18:06, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
As I know, science is a modern term and there is no traditional notion for it. We should find a term with broader scope which includes the religious studies in its traditional meaning. I suggest to use "Ilm" and put "religious science" or "religious studies" in (). --Seyyed(t-c) 04:59, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
I think reserving 'science' exclusively for subjects and methods that only modern philosophers have recognized as valid (i.e. material and empirical) would result in a systematic epistemological bias and distortion to the representation of knowledge fields outside the realm of the modern civilization. Therefore for having a definition of Science that is neutral and distilled of implicit modern epistemological assumptions, it should be only defined as "a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge." Obviously the rest of the definition by Wikipedia i.e. " the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe" is the part that reflects the bias of the modern empiricist epistemology which dismisses metaphysical and untestable subjects as valid scientific fields. The proposed generic definition unlike the Modern notion, encompasses Metaphysics and Mysticism as valid scientific fields as well as such fields as Quran, Hadith, Semantics and History which Shia scholars in particular have defined as Ulum al-Naqli or "Transmitted Sciences". Strivingsoul (talk) 05:59, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree with you but wikipedia is not the place which such problems could be solved. The wikipedia is based on the common sense of the native English speaker.--Seyyed(t-c) 07:51, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
But "the common sense of the native English speaker" — even if that's a criterion to observe at all which I highly doubt — should not impose its cultural/philosophical biases on the topic (any topic for that matter). Otherwise, that would lead to the distortion of subjects by Western dominant norms/assumptions, whereas the subjects have to be presented objectively. Strivingsoul (talk) 09:11, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
In my view, we should look for the correct expression in the work of the reliable scholars who are familiar with Islamic culture and have academic authenticity to put forward a translation for it such as Seyyed Hossein Nasr.--Seyyed(t-c) 09:34, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

@Strivingsoul and Salman mahdi: I checked the sources and found that "knowledge" and "science" have been used in them. Nasr and Mutahhari have used "Religious science" in the fourth volume of The Cambridge History of Iran while Robinson has used "knowledge" in The Cambridge Illustrated History of the Islamic world.--Seyyed(t-c) 05:38, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

Arabic in section headings[edit]

Per WP:USEENGLISH, which also applies to section headings per MOS:HEADINGS, I propose moving the Arabic terms out of section headings and integrating them in the body text instead (thusly: [3][4]).--Anders Feder (talk) 02:59, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
As an aside, I also propose using "oneness of God" as the translation of "Tawhid" over "unity of God". The doctrine of Tawhid supposedly developed in response to things like Christian trinitarianism, and the term "oneness" accentuates the connection to this question of enumerability.--Anders Feder (talk) 03:17, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

@Anders Feder:, Thanks for your contributions, but I suppose the best translation of the Tawhid is The Unity of God, because, in addition to the Oneness of God, it also should reflect the totality of his essence, attributes, actions and names. As you have seen in the article, it is not just Oneness in number.Salman mahdi (talk) 04:27, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
"Oneness" does in fact reflect a totality or unity of parts: wikt:oneness defines it as "State of being one or undivided; unity." It is basically a synonym of "unity" where the emphasis is on the quality of being one as opposed to a multitude.--Anders Feder (talk) 04:54, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
Referring to reliable sources asHistory of Islamic Philosophy by Henry Corbin and Encyclopedias1, the word Tawhid is common in English and both of them and Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World has translated it to "Unity of God".Salman mahdi (talk) 05:08, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
Hmm. The 2013 edition of "History of Islamic Philosophy"[5] has "oneness", as does the Encyclopedia Britannica article you link to[6]: "Tawhid ... the oneness of God".--Anders Feder (talk) 05:25, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
But as I investigated, Unity is more than Oneness in both of them.Salman mahdi (talk) 06:16, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
Regarding the usage of Tawhid instead of oneness or unity as the title of the main article, I propose to use Tawhid. It is a technical term and an not be translated easily.--Seyyed(t-c) 04:50, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
I agree with the usage in the title of the main article, because "Oneness of God" would make for a poor and ambiguous article title. Here, for the section heading, I frankly would prefer even "Unity of God" over "Tawhid", exactly because the latter is jargon. If the instances of jargon can be woven into the body text, though, that is great.--Anders Feder (talk) 05:58, 7 June 2015 (UTC)