شیعی Shia Islam

Shia Islam is the second largest denomination of Islam, after Sunni Islam.
The followers of Shia Islam are called Shi'ites or Shias. "Shia" is the short form of the historic phrase شيعة علي  (Shiatu Ali), meaning "followers of Ali", "faction of Ali", or "party of Ali".
Like other schools of thought in Islam, Shia Islam is based on the teachings of the Islamic holy book, the Qur?an and the message of the final prophet of Islam, Muhammad.

In contrast to other schools of thought, Shias believe that only the Almighty has the right to choose a representative to safeguard Islam, Quran and Shariah (Based upon verses in the Quran which stipulate this according to Shias).
Shias believe that these Quranic verses make it clear that only Allah chooses a vicegerent on Earth, therefore no one else has a choice in the matter.
This means that God's representatives like Prophets and Imams cannot be elected by common Muslims, which is why Shias disown the election and selection of Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman by the people, to represent Islam and the Quran. 
Thus Shias do not consider Ali to be the fourth Caliph, rather the first "Imam". Shias believe that there are numerous narrations where the prophet selected Ali as his successor.

Ahl al-Bayt

Shias believe that Muhammad's family, the Ahl al-Bayt ("the People of the House"), and certain individuals among his descendants, who are known as infallible Imāms, have special spiritual and political authority over the community and they acquired this authority since God gave it to them just the same way God chose Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus and other prophets, Imams such as the offspring of Abraham and from amongst the Children of Israel as well as kings, such as King Saul.
Shia Muslims further believe that Ali, Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, was the first of The Twelve Imams and was the rightful successor to Muhammad and thus reject the legitimacy of the first three caliphs.
The Grandsons of the Prophet Muhammad, Hasan ibn Ali and Husayn Ibn Ali are agreed upon by all Muslims to be the "leaders of all youths in Paradise."
Shias also believe that these sons of Imam Ali were the true leaders and caliphs of the Muslims.
Shias regard Ali as the second most important figure after Prophet Muhammad.
According to them, Muhammad suggested on various occasions during his lifetime that Ali should be the leader of Muslims after his demise.
According to this view, Ali as the successor of Muhammad not only ruled over the community in justice, but also interpreted the Shariah Law and its esoteric meaning. Hence he was regarded as being free from error and sin (infallible), and appointed by God by divine decree (Nass) to be the first Imam.
Ali is known as "perfect man" (al-insan al-kamil) similar to Muhammad according to Shia viewpoint.
As a result, Shias favor Hadiths attributed to Muhammad and Imāms, and credited to the Prophet's family and close associates, in contrast to the Sunni traditions where the Sunnah is largely narrated by the Prophet Muhammad's companions, whom Sunnis hold to all be trustworthy.
Thus the Qurʻān and Hadithinterpretation and differences in Hadith narrators are the main distinction of the Shias.

The position of Ali is supported by numerous Hadith, including Hadith of the pond of Khumm, Hadith of the two weighty things, Hadith of the pen and paper, Hadith of the invitation of the close families, and Hadith of the Twelve Successors. In particular, the Hadith of the Cloak is often quoted to illustrate Muhammad's feeling towards Ali and his family by both Sunni and Shia scholars. Therefore, the Shi'a believe that the Family of the Prophet's hadiths are predominant over the others sources.
Although there were several Shia branches through history, nowadays Shi'a Islam is divided into three main branches.

The largest Shia sect in the early 21st century is the Ithna Ashariyyah,
commonly referred to in English as the Twelvers, while smaller branches include the Ismaili and Zaidi, who dispute the Twelver lineage of Imams and beliefs.
Twelvers constitute the majority of the population in Iran, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, and Iraq.
Zaidiyyah constitute a considerable portion of Yemen.
Other countries with a significant proportion of Shia are Syria, Lebanon, Kuwait, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, south Turkey.
The Shia Islamic faith is vast and inclusive of many different groups.
Shia theological beliefs, and religious practise such as prayers slightly differ from the Sunnis. While all Muslims pray 5 times daily, Shi'as have the option of always combining Dhuhr with Asr and Maghrib with Isha, as there are 3 distinct times mentioned in the Qur'an.
The Sunnis tend to combine only under certain circumstances.
Shi'a Islam embodies a completely independent system of religious interpretation and political authority in the Muslim world.
The Shi'a identity emerged during the lifetime of Muhammad, and Shia theology was formulated in the 2nd century AH, or after Hijra (8th century CE).
The first Shi'a governments and societies were established by the end of the 3rd century AH/9th century CE.
The 4th century AH /10th century CE has been referred by Louis Massignon 'the Shiite Ismaili century in the history of Islam'.
Whereas Sunnis believe the Mahdi will appear sometime in the future, Shias believe the Mahdi was already on earth, is currently the "hidden imam" who works through mujtahids to interpret Qur'an; and will return at the end of time.

Succession of Ali

Shī'ah Muslims believe that just as a prophet is appointed by God alone, only God has the prerogative to appoint the successor to his prophet. They believe that God chose 'Alī to be the successor, infallible and divinely chosen. Thus they say that Muhammad, before his death, appointed Ali as his successor.
Ali was Muhammad's first cousin and closest living male relative, as well as his son-in-law, having married his daughter Fatimah.

Ali would eventually become the fourth Muslim caliph.
Shi'a Muslims believe that after the last pilgrimage, Muhammad ordered the gathering of Muslims at the pond of Khumm and it was there that Muhammad nominated Ali to be his successor.The Hadith of the pond of Khumm (Arabic: غدير خم‎) refers to the saying (i.e. Hadith) about a historical event of appointment, crucial to Islamic history. This event took place on 18th of Dhu al-Hijjah of 10 AH in the Islamic calendar (March 10, 632 AD) at a place called Ghadir Khumm, which is located near the city of al-Juhfah, Saudi Arabia.
Shi'a Muslims believe it to be an appointment of Ali by Muhammad as his successor, while Sunni Muslims believe it to be a simple defense of Ali in the face of unjust criticism.
Shi'a Muslims further believe the wordings of sermon delivered by Muhammad was as follows;
"Oh people! Reflect on the Quran and comprehend its verses. Look into its clear verses and do not follow its ambiguous parts, for by Allah, none shall be able to explain to you its warnings and its mysteries, nor shall anyone clarify its interpretation, other than the one that I have grasped his hand, brought up beside myself, [and lifted his arm,] the one about whom I inform you that whomever I am his master (Mawla), this Ali is his master (Mawla); and he is Ali Ibn Abi Talib, my brother, the executor of my will (Wasiyyi), whose appointment as your guardian and leader has been sent down to me from Allah, the mighty and the majestic."
When Muhammad died, 'Ali and Muhammad's closest relatives made the funeral arrangements. While they were preparing his body, Abu Bakr, 'Umar, and Abu 'Ubayda met with the leaders of Medina and elected Abu Bakr as khalifa ("caliph"). 'Ali and his family were dismayed, but accepted the appointment for the sake of unity in the early Muslim community.
It was not until the murder of the third khalifa, 'Uthman, that the Muslims in Medina invited 'Ali to become the fourth khalifa.
While 'Ali was caliph, his capital was in Kufah, in current day Iraq.
'Ali's rule over the early Muslim community was often contested, to the extent that wars were waged against him.

As a result, he had to struggle to maintain his power against the groups who broke away after giving him allegiance, or those who wished to take his position. After Ali's murder in 661 CE, his main rival Mu'awiya claimed the caliphate.
While the rebels who accused 'Uthman of nepotism affirmed 'Ali's khilafa, they later turned against him and fought him.
'Ali ruled from 656 CE to 661 CE, when he was assassinated while prostrating (sujud) in prayer. Shī'as add "و عليٌ وليُّ الله" "and Ali is the wali (chosen one) of God" (wa-'Aliyun waliyu l-Lāh), to the adhan and shahada but this is not obligatory.[
Ali is regarded as the foremost authority on the Tafsir and hadith.


Shia Muslims commemorate the Battle of Karbala every year in the Islamic month of Muharram. The mourning begins on the first day of the Islamic Calendar and then reaches its climax on Muharram 10, the day of the battle, known as Ashurah.
It is a day of Majlises, public processions, and great grief.
Men and women chant and weep, mourning Husain ibn Ali, his family, and his followers. Speeches emphasize the importance of the values the sacrifices Husain ibn Ali made for Islam. Shia mourners in countries with a significant Shi'a majority flagellate themselves with chains or whips, usually causing bleeding.
This mainly takes place in countries such as Pakistan and Iraq and the villages and poorer areas of Iran.
Most Shias show grievances, however, through weeping and beating their chests with their hands in a process called Mattum.
Forty days after Ashurah, Shias mourn the death of Husain ibn Ali in a commemoration called Arba'een.

The Battle of Karbala

The Battle of Karbala took place on Muharram 10, in the year 61 of the Islamic calendar (October 10, 680) in Karbala, in what is now known as Iraq.
On one side of the highly uneven battle were a small group of supporters and relatives of Muhammad's grandson Husain ibn Ali, and on the other was a large military detachment from the forces of Yazid I, the Umayyad caliph, whom Husain had refused to recognise as caliph. Husain and all his supporters were killed, including Husain's six months old infant son, and the women and children were taken as prisoners.
The dead are regarded as martyrs by Muslims, and the battle has a central place in Islamic history and tradition with particular emphasis in the faith, and has frequently been recounted in Shi'ah Islamic literature.
The Battle of Karbala is commemorated during an annual 10-day period held every Muharram by the Shi'ah as well as many Sunnis, culminating on its tenth day, Ashura.
It is widely regarded as an event which saved Islam.
Hussein bin Ali is credited with saving Islam from oblivion by offering timely sacrifice to draw the line of demarcation between real Islam and the version promoted by the tyrannical Yazid.

Shrine of Abu-Ahrar Hussein bin Ali

The rule of the third Caliph Uthman ibn Affan concluded with a violent uprising.
This uprising ended with the martyrdom of Uthman and for many days rebels seized and occupied the city of Medina.
Under the overwhelming pressure of the Ummah, Ali ibn Abu Talib (Alihi Al Salam) was elected as the fourth Caliph with massive numbers of people swearing their allegiance to him.
His immediate steps were to ensure the unity of Muslims.
He issued the orders of not attacking the rebels until order was restored.
The governor of Syria, Muawiya, kinsman to the murdered Caliph Uthman, refused allegiance to Ali and revolted against him, using his cousin's unpunished murder as a pretext.
This resulted in armed confrontations between the Islamic Caliph Ali ibn Abu Talib and Muawiya. The battles of Al Jamal and Al Saffain, parts of the confrontations mentioned above, had many a companion of the Prophet Muhammad (sahaba) fighting on either sides killed.
It was a war of Muslims facing Muslims to kill and was mandated against in the Holy Quran itself. At no cost the believers in the faith of Islam were to take up arms against each other excepting where a group of Muslims who had unlawfully started a fight, had to be fought against till they were subdued and made subservient to Allah's commands and that too with justice to the wronged faction, peace and goodwill between the two factions following the fight. (Surah: Alhujuraat Quran:Part 27).
This in fact was the preamble to the battle of Karbala where Muslims who had prayed for the safety and prosperity on the progeny of the Prophet Muhammad in the same way the safety and prosperity granted to the progeny of Abraham, by Allah, in all of their five mandated daily prayers,(Dua Ibrahimia) had killed the grandson of their Prophet Muhammad along with his family, followings and not to be forgotten the six month old infant son of that grandson.
Practically, the Muslim world became divided.
At the death of Ali ibn Abu Talib, his elder son Hasan ibn Ali succeeded him but soon signed a treaty with Muawiya to avoid further bloodshed.
Muawiya remained the ruler of Syria.
Prior to his death, Muawiya was actively plotting a major deviation from Islamic norms.
He was establishing his son Yazid I as the next ruler hence establishing dynastic rule for the first time in Islam.
This was a move which was considered unacceptable by some leaders of the ummah including the younger son of Ali ibn Abu Talib, Husain ibn Ali.
The majority of Muslims were observing the conduct of the leaders of prominent companion families, namely, Abdullah Ibn Abbas, Abdullah Ibn Zubair, Abdullah Ibn Omar, Husain ibn Ali and Abdu'l-Rahman ibn Abu Bakr.
In his written instructions to Yazid, Muawiya suggested specific strategies for each one of them. Muawiya warned Yazid specifically about Husain ibn Ali, since he was the only blood relative of the prophet Muhammad.
Yazid was successful in coercing Abdullah ibn Abbas, Abdullah Ibn Omar and Abdu'l-Rahman ibn Abu Bakr.
Abdullah Ibn Zubair took refuge in Mecca.
Husain ibn Ali believed the appointment of Yazid as the heir of the Caliphate would lead to hereditary kingship, which was against the original political teachings of Islam.
Therefore, he resolved to confront Yazid.

Muawiya I died on Rajab 22, 60 AH (680 CE).
In violation of Islamic tradition and his own written agreement with Hasan ibn Ali, Muawiya I appointed his son Yazid as his successor, converting the Caliphate into a dynasty.
Few notables of the Islamic community were crucial to lending some legitimacy to this conversion of Caliphate into a dynasty, even people like Said ibn Uthman and Al Ahnaf ibn Qays denounced his Caliphate.
Husain ibn Ali was the most significant threat to this dynastic rule, since he was the only living grandson of the prophet Muhammad.
Yazid instructed his Governor Walid in Medina to force Husain ibn Ali to pledge allegiance to Yazid.
Husain refused it and uttered his famous words that "Anyone akin to me will never accept anyone akin to Yazid as a ruler."
Husain departed Medina on Rajab 28, 60 AH (680 CE), two days after Walid's attempt to force him to submit to Yazid I's rule.
He stayed in Mecca from the beginnings of the Sha'ban and all of Ramadan, Shawwal, as well as Dhu al-Qi'dah.
It is mainly during his stay in Mecca that he received many letters from Kufa assuring him their support and asking him to come over there and guide them.
He answered their calls and sent Muslim ibn Aqeel, his cousin, to Kufa as his representative in an attempt to consider the exact situation and public opinion.
Husain's representative to Kufa, Muslim ibn Aqeel was welcomed by the people of Kufa, and most of them swore allegiance to him.
After this initial observation, Muslim ibn Aqeel wrote to Husain Ibn Ali that the situation in Kufa was favorable, however, after the arrival of the new Governor of Kufa, Ubayd-Allah ibn Ziyad, the scenario changed.
Muslim ibn Aqeel and his host, Hani ibn Urwa, were executed on Dhu al-Hijjah 9, 60AH (September 10, 680 CE) without any considerable resistance of the people.
This shifted the loyalties of the people of Kufa, in favor of Yazid against Husain ibn Ali.
Husain ibn Ali also realized a deep conspiracy that Yazid had appointed `Amr ibn Sa`ad ibn al As as the head of an army, ordering him to take charge of the pilgrimage caravans and to kill al Husain ibn Ali wherever he could find him during Hajj, and hence decided to leave Mecca on 08th Dhu al-Hijjah 60 AH (12 September 680 AD), just a day before Hajj and was contented with Umrah, due to his concern about potential violation of the sanctity of the Kaaba.
He delivered a famous sermon in Kaaba highlighting his reasons to leave that he didn't want the sanctity of Kaaba to be violated, since his opponents had crossed any norm of decency and were willing to violate all tenets of Islam.
When Husain ibn Ali was making his mind to leave for Kufa, Abd-Allah ibn Abbas and Abdullah ibn Zubayr held a meeting with him and advised him not to move to Iraq, or, if he was determined to move, not to take women and children with him in this dangerous journey.
Husain ibn Ali, however, had resolved to go ahead with his plan.
He gave a speech to people the day before his departure and said:
"... The death is a certainty for mankind, just like the trace of necklace on the neck of young girls. And I am enamored of my ancestors like eagerness of Jacob to Joseph ... Everyone, who is going to devote his blood for our sake and is prepared to meet Allah, must depart with us..."
On their way to Kufa, the small caravan received the sad news of execution of Muslim ibn Aqeel and the indifference of the people of Kufa.
Instead of turning back, Husain decided to continue the journey and sent Qais ibn Musahhar al-Saydavi as messenger to talk to the nobles of Kufa.
The messenger was captured in the vicinity of Kufa but managed to tear the letter to pieces to hide names of its recipients.
Just like Muslim ibn Aqeel, Qais ibn Musahhar was executed.

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