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THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS ARABIC TEXT . Without proper rendering support , you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols .

_SHIA_ (/ˈʃiːə/ ; Arabic : شيعة‎‎ _Shīʿah_, from _Shīʻatu ʻAlī_, followers of Ali) is a branch of Islam which holds that the Islamic prophet Muhammad designated Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor ( Imam ). Shia Islam primarily contrasts with Sunni Islam , whose adherents believe that Muhammad did not appoint a successor and consider Abu Bakr (who was appointed Caliph through a shura , i.e. community consensus) to be the correct Caliph.

Adherents of Shia Islam are called SHIAS OF ALI, SHIAS or the SHI\'A as a collective or SHI\'I individually. Shia Islam is the second-largest branch of Islam: in 2009, Shia Muslims constituted 10–13% of the world's Muslim population. Twelver Shia (_Ithnā'ashariyyah_) is the largest branch of Shia Islam. In 2012 it was estimated that perhaps 85 percent of Shias were Twelvers.

Shia Islam is based on the Quran and the message of Muhammad attested in hadith , and on hadith taught by their Imams . Shia consider Ali to have been divinely appointed as the successor to Muhammad, and as the first Imam . The Shia also extend this Imammah doctrine to Muhammad's family, the _ Ahl al-Bayt _ ("the people/family of the House" ), and some individuals among his descendants, known as _Imams _, who they believe possess special spiritual and political authority over the community, infallibility and other divinely ordained traits. Although there are many Shia subsects , modern Shia Islam has been divided into three main groupings: Twelvers , Ismailis and Zaidis , with Twelver Shia being the largest and most influential group among Shia.


* 1 Etymology

* 1.1 Terminology

* 2 Beliefs

* 2.1 Imamate

* 2.1.1 Succession of Ali * 2.1.2 Ali\'s caliphate * 2.1.3 Hasan ibn Ali * 2.1.4 Husayn * 2.1.5 Imamate of the _Ahl al-Bayt_

* 2.2 Imam of the time, last Imam of the Shia * 2.3 Theology * 2.4 Hadith * 2.5 Profession of faith * 2.6 Infallibility * 2.7 Occultation

* 3 History

* 3.1 Fatimid caliphate * 3.2 Safavids

* 4 Community

* 4.1 Demographics

* 4.1.1 List of nations for which the Shia population may be estimated

* 4.2 Persecution * 4.3 Holidays * 4.4 Holy sites

* 5 Branches

* 5.1 Twelver

* 5.1.1 Doctrine * 5.1.2 Books * 5.1.3 The Twelve Imams * 5.1.4 Jurisprudence

* 5.2 Zaidi ("Fiver")

* 5.2.1 Doctrine * 5.2.2 Timeline

* 5.3 Ismaili ("Sevener")

* 5.3.1 Ismaili imams * 5.3.2 Pillars * 5.3.3 Contemporary leadership

* 6 Other doctrines

* 6.1 Doctrine about necessity of acquiring knowledge * 6.2 Doctrine concerning Du\'a

* 7 See also * 8 Notes * 9 References * 10 Further reading * 11 External links


Main article: Shia etymology

The word _Shia_ (Arabic : شيعة‎‎ _shīʻah_ /ˈʃiːʕa/) means follower and is the short form of the historic phrase _shīʻatu ʻAlī_ (شيعة علي /ˈʃiːʕatu ˈʕaliː/), meaning "followers of Ali", "faction of Ali", or "party of Ali". _Shi'a_ and _Shiism_ are forms used in English, while _Shi'ite_ or _Shiite_, as well as _Shia_, refer to its adherents.


The term for the first time was used at the time of Muhammad. At present, the word refers to the Muslims who believe that the leadership of the community after Muhammad belongs to Ali and his successors. Nawbakhti states that the term Shia refers to a group of Muslims that at the time of Muhammad and after him regarded Ali as the Imam and Caliph. Al-Shahrastani expresses that the term Shia refers to those who believe that Ali is designated as the Heir, Imam and caliph by Muhammad and also Ali's authority never goes out of his descendants. For the Shia, this conviction is implicit in the Quran and history of Islam. Shia scholars emphasize that the notion of authority is linked to the family of the prophets as the verses 3:33,34 shows: _"Indeed, Allah chose Adam and Noah and the family of Abraham and the family of 'Imran over the worlds - (33) Descendants, some of them from others. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing. (34)"_ Shia search for the true meaning of the revelation to get the purpose of the life blood and the human destiny.


Main article: Shia Islamic beliefs and practices


Succession Of Ali

Main articles: Shia view of Ali and Succession to Muhammad

Shia 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 God chose Ali to be Muhammad's successor, infallible, the first caliph (_khalifa_, head of state) of Islam. The Shias believe that Muhammad designated Ali as his successor by God's command.

Ali was Muhammad's first cousin and closest living male relative as well as his son-in-law, having married Muhammad's daughter Fatimah . Ali would eventually become the fourth Muslim (Sunni) caliph.

After the Farewell Pilgrimage , Muhammad ordered the gathering of Muslims at the pond of Khumm and it was there that Shia Muslims believe Muhammad nominated Ali to be his successor. The hadith of the pond of Khumm was narrated on 18th of Dhu al-Hijjah of 10 AH in the Islamic calendar (10 March 632 AD) at a place called Ghadir Khumm , located near the city of al-Juhfah, Saudi Arabia. Muhammad there stated:

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, the one about whom I inform you that whomever I am his master (_Mawla_ ), then 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. — Muhammad, from _The Farewell Sermon_

* ^ The word _mawla_ has many meanings as discussed in the book "Patronate And Patronage in Early And Classical Islam" By Monique Bernards, John Nawas on page 25: "_awla_ may refer to a client, a patron, an agnate (brother, son, father's brother, father' brothers son), an affined kinsman, (brother-in-law, son-in-law), a friend, a supporter, a follower, a drinking companion, a partner, a newly-converted Muslim attached to a Muslim and last but not least an ally. Most of these categories have legal implications. In Islamic times, the term _mawala_ mostly referred to Muslim freedmen and freed non-Arabs who attached themselves to Arabs upon their conversion to Islam. In these senses, _Mawla_ is commonly translated as "a client". The association of _mawla_ with non-Arabs and a low status imparted an increasingly pejorative connotation to it.

Shia Muslims believe this to be Muhammad's appointment of Ali as his successor.

Ali\'s Caliphate

The Investiture of Ali at Ghadir Khumm (MS Arab 161 , fol. 162r, AD 1309/8 Ilkhanid manuscript illustration)

When Muhammad died in 632 CE, Ali and Muhammad's closest relatives made the funeral arrangements. While they were preparing his body, Abu Bakr , Umar , and Abu Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah met with the leaders of Medina and elected Abu Bakr as caliph. Initially, Ali did not accept the caliphate of Abu Bakr and refused to pledge allegiance to him. This is indicated in both Sunni and Shia _sahih_ and authentic Hadith.

Ibn Qutaybah , a 9th-century Sunni Islamic scholar narrates of Ali :

I am the servant of God and the brother of the Messenger of God. I am thus more worthy of this office than you. I shall not give allegiance to you affirmed Ali's _khilafa_ (caliph-hood), they later turned against him and fought him. Ali ruled from 656 CE to 661 CE, when he was assassinated while prostrating in prayer (_sujud _). Ali's main rival Muawiyah then claimed the caliphate.

Hasan Ibn Ali

Main article: Hasan ibn Ali

Upon the death of Ali, his elder son Hasan became leader of the Muslims of Kufa, and after a series of skirmishes between the Kufa Muslims and the army of Muawiyah, Hasan agreed to cede the caliphate to Muawiyah and maintain peace among Muslims upon certain conditions:

* The enforced public cursing of Ali, e.g. during prayers, should be abandoned * Muawiyah should not use tax money for his own private needs * There should be peace, and followers of Hasan should be given security and their rights * Muawiyah will never adopt the title of Amir al-Mu\'minin * Muawiyah will not nominate any successor

Hasan then retired to Medina, where in 670 CE he was poisoned by his wife Ja'da bint al-Ash'ath ibn Qays, after being secretly contacted by Muawiyah who wished to pass the caliphate to his own son Yazid and saw Hasan as an obstacle.


Main article: Husayn ibn Ali The Imam Hussein Shrine in Karbala , Iraq is a holy site for Shia Muslims. Battle of Karbala, Brooklyn Museum

Husayn, Ali's younger son and brother to Hasan, initially resisted calls to lead the Muslims against Muawiyah and reclaim the caliphate. In 680 CE, Muawiyah died and passed the caliphate to his son Yazid , and breaking the treaty with Hasan ibn Ali. Yazid asked Husayn to swear allegiance (_bay\'ah _) to him. Ali's faction, having expected the caliphate to return to Ali's line upon Muawiyah's death, saw this as a betrayal of the peace treaty and so Husayn rejected this request for allegiance. There was a groundswell of support in Kufa for Husayn to return there and take his position as caliph and imam, so Husayn collected his family and followers in Medina and set off for Kufa. En route to Kufa, he was blocked by an army of Yazid's men (which included people from Kufa) near Karbala (modern Iraq), and Husayn and approximately 72 of his family and followers were killed in the Battle of Karbala .

The Shias regard Husayn as a martyr (_shahid _), and count him as an Imam from the Ahl al-Bayt. They view Husayn as the defender of Islam from annihilation at the hands of Yazid I . Husayn is the last imam following Ali whom all Shiah sub-branches mutually recognize. The Battle of Karbala is often cited as the definitive break between the Shiah and Sunni sects of Islam, and is commemorated each year by Shiah Muslims on the Day of Ashura .

Imamate Of The _Ahl Al-Bayt_

Main article: Imamah (Shia doctrine) Zulfiqar with and without the shield. The Fatimid depiction of Ali 's sword as carved on the Gates of Old Cairo, namely Bab al-Nasr shown below. Two swords were captured from the temple of the pagan polytheist god Manāt during the Raid of Sa\'d ibn Zaid al-Ashhali . Muhammad gave them to Ali, saying that one of them was Zulfiqar , which became the famous sword of Ali and a later symbol of Shiism. Ali's Sword and shield depiction at Bab al Nasr gate wall, Cairo

Most of the early Shia differed only marginally from mainstream Sunnis in their views on political leadership, but it is possible in this sect to see a refinement of Shia doctrine. Early Sunnis traditionally held that the political leader must come from the tribe of Muhammad—namely, the Quraysh tribe . The Zaydis narrowed the political claims of Ali's supporters, claiming that not just any descendant of Ali would be eligible to lead the Muslim community (_ummah_) but only those males directly descended from Muhammad through the union of Ali and Fatimah . But during the Abbasid revolts, other Shia, who came to be known as Imamiyyah (followers of the Imams), followed the theological school of Imam Ja\'far al-Sadiq , himself the great great grandson of Muhammad's son-in-law Imam Ali. They asserted a more exalted religious role for Imams and insisted that, at any given time, whether in power or not, a single male descendant of Ali and Fatimah was the divinely appointed Imam and the sole authority, in his time, on all matters of faith and law. To those Shia, love of the imams and of their persecuted cause became as important as belief in God's oneness and the mission of Muhammad.

Later most of the Shia, including Twelver and Ismaili , became Imamis. Imami Shia believe that Imams are the spiritual and political successors to Muhammad. Imams are human individuals who not only rule over the community with justice, but also are able to keep and interpret the divine law and its esoteric meaning . The words and deeds of Muhammad and the imams are a guide and model for the community to follow; as a result, they must be free from error and sin, and must be chosen by divine decree, or _nass_, through Muhammad.

According to this view, there is always an Imam of the Age, who is the divinely appointed authority on all matters of faith and law in the Muslim community. Ali was the first imam of this line, the rightful successor to Muhammad, followed by male descendants of Muhammad through his daughter Fatimah.

This difference between following either the Ahl al-Bayt (Muhammad's family and descendants) or Caliph Abu Bakr has shaped Shia and non- Shia views on some of the Quranic verses, the hadith (narrations from Muhammad) and other areas of Islam. For instance, the collection of hadith venerated by Shia Muslims is centered on narrations by members of the Ahl al-Bayt and their supporters, while some hadith by narrators not belonging to or supporting the Ahl al-Bayt are not included. Those of Abu Hurairah , for example, Ibn Asakir in his Ta'rikh Kabir and Muttaqi in his Kanzu'l-Umma report that Caliph Umar lashed him, rebuked him and forbade him to narrate hadith from Muhammad. Umar said: "Because you narrate hadith in large numbers from the Holy Prophet, you are fit only for attributing lies to him. (That is, one expects a wicked man like you to utter only lies about the Holy Prophet.) So you must stop narrating hadith from the Prophet; otherwise, I will send you to the land of Dus." (A clan in Yemen, to which Abu Huraira belonged.) According to Sunnis, Ali was the fourth successor to Abu Bakr, while the Shia maintain that Ali was the first divinely sanctioned "Imam", or successor of Muhammad. The seminal event in Shia history is the martyrdom in 680 CE at the Battle of Karbala of Ali's son Hussein ibn Ali, who led a non-allegiance movement against the defiant caliph (71 of Hussein's followers were killed as well). Hussein came to symbolize resistance to tyranny.

It is believed in Twelver and Ismaili Shia Islam that \ 'aql , divine wisdom, was the source of the souls of the prophets and imams and gave them esoteric knowledge called _ḥikmah_ and that their sufferings were a means of divine grace to their devotees. Although the imam was not the recipient of a divine revelation , he had a close relationship with God, through which God guides him, and the imam, in turn, guides the people. Imamate , or belief in the divine guide, is a fundamental belief in the Twelver and Ismaili Shia branches and is based on the concept that God would not leave humanity without access to divine guidance.


The Mahdi is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will rule for seven, nine or nineteen years (according to differing interpretations) before the Day of Judgment and will rid the world of evil. According to Islamic tradition, the Mahdi's tenure will coincide with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Isa), who is to assist the Mahdi against the Masih ad-Dajjal (literally, the "false Messiah" or Antichrist). Jesus, who is considered the Masih (Messiah) in Islam, will descend at the point of a white arcade, east of Damascus, dressed in yellow robes with his head anointed. He will then join the Mahdi in his war against the Dajjal, where Jesus will slay Dajjal and unite mankind.


The Shia Islamic faith is vast and inclusive of many different groups. Shia theological beliefs and religious practises, such as prayers, slightly differ from the Sunnis'. While all Muslims pray five times daily, Shias have the option of combining _ Dhuhr _ with _ Asr _ and _ Maghrib _ with _Isha\' _, as there are three distinct times mentioned in the Quran. The Sunnis tend to combine only under certain circumstances. Shia Islam embodies a completely independent system of religious interpretation and political authority in the Muslim world. The original Shia identity referred to the followers of Imam Ali, and Shia theology was formulated in the 2nd century AH, or after Hijra (8th century CE). The first Shia 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 to by Louis Massignon as "the Shiite Ismaili century in the history of Islam".


The Shia believe that the status of Ali is supported by numerous hadith, including the 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. Shias prefer hadith attributed to the Ahl al-Bayt and close associates, and have their own separate collection of hadiths.


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Kalema at Qibla of the Mosque of Ibn Tulun in Cairo , Egypt with phrase "Ali-un-Waliullah"

The Shia version of the Shahada , the Islamic profession of faith, differs from that of the Sunni. The Sunni Shahada states _There is no god except Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah_, but to this the Shia append _ Ali is the Wali (custodian) of God_, علي ولي الله. This phrase embodies the Shia emphasis on the inheritance of authority through Muhammad's lineage. The three clauses of the Shia Shahada thus address _tawhid _ (the unity of God), _nubuwwah _ (the prophethood of Muhammad), and _imamah _ (imamate, the leadership of the faith).


Ali is credited as the first male to convert to Islam . Main article: Ismah

_Ismah_ is the concept of infallibility or "divinely bestowed freedom from error and sin" in Islam. Muslims believe that Muhammad and other prophets in Islam possessed _ismah_. Twelver and Ismaili Shia Muslims also attribute the quality to Imams as well as to Fatimah, daughter of Muhammad, in contrast to the Zaidi, who do not attribute 'ismah to the Imams. Though initially beginning as a political movement, infallibility and sinlessness of the imams later evolved as a distinct belief of (non-Zaidi) Shiism.

According to Shia theologians, infallibility is considered a rational necessary precondition for spiritual and religious guidance. They argue that since God has commanded absolute obedience from these figures they must only order that which is right. The state of infallibility is based on the Shia interpretation of the verse of purification . Thus, they are the most pure ones, the only immaculate ones preserved from, and immune to, all uncleanness. It does not mean that supernatural powers prevent them from committing a sin, but due to the fact that they have absolute belief in God, they refrain from doing anything that is a sin.

They also have a complete knowledge of God's will. They are in possession of all knowledge brought by the angels to the prophets (_nabi_) and the messengers (_rasul_). Their knowledge encompasses the totality of all times. They thus act without fault in religious matters. Shias regard Ali as the successor of Muhammad not only ruling over the community in justice, but also interpreting Islamic practices 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.


Main article: The Occultation

The Occultation is a belief in some forms of Shia Islam that a messianic figure , a hidden imam known as the Mahdi , will one day return and fill the world with justice. According to the Twelver Shia, the main goal of the Mahdi will be to establish an Islamic state and to apply Islamic laws that were revealed to Muhammad.

Some Shia, such as the Zaidi and Nizari Ismaili, do not believe in the idea of the Occultation. The groups which do believe in it differ as to which lineage of the Imamate is valid, and therefore which individual has gone into occultation. They believe there are many signs that will indicate the time of his return.

Twelver Shia Muslims believe that the Mahdi (the twelfth imam , Muhammad al- Mahdi ) is already on Earth, is in occultation and will return at the end of time. Fatimid/ Bohra/ Dawoodi Bohra believe the same but for their 21st Tayyib , whereas Sunnis believe the future Mahdi has not yet arrived on Earth.


Main article: History of Shia Islam Ghazan and his brother Öljaitü both were tolerant of sectarian differences within the boundaries of Islam , in contrast to the traditions of Genghis Khan .

Historians dispute the origin of Shia Islam , with many Western scholars positing that Shiism began as a political faction rather than a truly religious movement. Other scholars disagree, considering this concept of religious-political separation to be an anachronistic application of a Western concept.

Following the Battle of Karbala (680 AD), as various Shia-affiliated groups diffused in the emerging Islamic world, several nations arose based on a Shia leadership or population.

* Idrisids (788 to 985 CE): a Zaydi dynasty in what is now Morocco * Uqaylids (990 to 1096 CE): a Shia Arab dynasty with several lines that ruled in various parts of Al-Jazira , northern Syria and Iraq. * Buyids (934–1055 CE): at its peak consisted of large portions of modern Iraq and Iran. * Ilkhanate (1256–1335): a Mongol khanate established in Persia in the 13th century, considered a part of the Mongol Empire . The Ilkhanate was based, originally, on Genghis Khan 's campaigns in the Khwarezmid Empire in 1219–1224, and founded by Genghis's grandson, Hulagu , in territories which today comprise most of Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, and Pakistan. The Ilkhanate initially embraced many religions, but was particularly sympathetic to Buddhism and Christianity. Later Ilkhanate rulers, beginning with Ghazan in 1295, embraced Islam his brother Öljaitü promoted Shia Islam. * Naubat Khan accepted Islam under the Guidance of Mughal General Bairam Khan 's son Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana . * Bahmanis (1347–1527 CE): a Shia Muslim state of the Deccan in southern India and one of the great medieval Indian kingdoms. Bahmanid Sultanate was the first independent Islamic Kingdom in South India.


* Fatimids (909–1171 CE): Controlled much of North Africa, the Levant , parts of Arabia and Mecca and Medina . The group takes its name from Fatima, Muhammad's daughter, from whom they claim descent. * In 909 CE the Shiite military leader Abu Abdallah, overthrew the Sunni ruler in Northern Africa; which began the Fatimid regime.


Main articles: Safavid dynasty , Safavid conversion of Iran to Shia Islam , and Ideology of Safavids One of Shah Ismail I of Safavid dynasty first actions, was the proclamation of the Twelver sect of Shia Islam to be the official religion of his newly-formed state. Causing sectarian tensions in the Middle East when he destroyed the tombs of Abū Ḥanīfa and the Sufi Abdul Qadir Gilani in 1508. In 1533, Ottomans , upon their conquest of Iraq , rebuilt various important Sunni shrines.

A major turning point in Shia history was the Safavid dynasty (1501–1736) in Persia. This caused a number of changes in the Muslim world:

* The ending of the relative mutual tolerance between Sunnis and Shias that existed from the time of the Mongol conquests onwards and the resurgence of antagonism between the two groups. * Initial dependence of Shiite clerics on the state followed by the emergence of an independent body of _ulama _ capable of taking a political stand different from official policies. * The growth in importance of Iranian centers of religious learning and change from Twelver Shiism being a predominantly Arab phenomenon. * The growth of the Akhbari School which preached that only the Quran, hadith are to be bases for verdicts, rejecting the use of reasoning.

With the fall of the Safavids, the state in Persia – including the state system of courts with government-appointed judges (qadis ) – became much weaker. This gave the Sharia courts of _mujtahids _ an opportunity to fill the legal vacuum and enabled the ulama to assert their judicial authority. The Usuli School also increased in strength at this time.


The declaration of Shiism as the state religion of the Safavid dynasty in Persia . *

Monument commemorating the Battle of Chaldiran , where more than 7000 Muslims of Shia and Sunni sects were killed in battle. *

Battle of Chaldiran , was a major sectarian crisis in the Middle East .



Main article: List of countries by Muslim population Islam by country Sunni Shias Ibadi Distribution of Sunni and Shia branches of Islam

According to Shia Muslims, one of the lingering problems in estimating Shia population is that unless Shia form a significant minority in a Muslim country, the entire population is often listed as Sunni. The reverse, however, has not held true, which may contribute to imprecise estimates of the size of each sect. For example, the 1926 rise of the House of Saud in Arabia brought official discrimination against Shia. Shiites are estimated to be 21–35% of the Muslim population in South Asia , although the total number is difficult to estimate due to that reason. It is variously estimated that 10–20% of the world\'s Muslims are Shia. They may number up to 200 million as of 2009.

The Shia majority countries are Iran , Iraq , Azerbaijan , and Bahrain . They also form the plurality (the largest group, but not the majority) in Lebanon. Shias constitute 36.3% of entire local population and 38.6% of the local Muslim population of the Middle East.

Shia Muslims constitute 27-35% of the population in Lebanon, and as per some estimates from 35% to over 35-40% of the population in Yemen, 30%-35% of the citizen population in Kuwait (no figures exist for the non-citizen population), over 20% in Turkey, 5–20% of the population in Pakistan, and 10-19% of Afghanistan 's population.

Saudi Arabia hosts a number of distinct Shia communities, including the Twelver Baharna in the Eastern Province and Nakhawila of Medina, and the Ismaili Sulaymani and Zaidiyyah of Najran . Estimations put the number of Shiite citizens at 2-4 million, accounting for roughly 15% of the local population.

Significant Shia communities exist in the coastal regions of West Sumatra and Aceh in Indonesia (see Tabuik ). The Shia presence is negligible elsewhere in Southeast Asia, where Muslims are predominantly Shafi\'i Sunnis.

A significant Shia minority is present in Nigeria , made up of modern-era converts to a Shia movement centered around Kano and Sokoto states. Several African countries like Kenya, South Africa, Somalia, etc. hold small minority populations of various Shia denominations, primarily descendants of immigrants from South Asia during the colonial period, such as the Khoja .

List Of Nations For Which The Shia Population May Be Estimated

Distribution of global Shia Muslim population among the continents Asia (93.3%) Africa (4.4%) Europe (1.5%) Americas (0.7%) Australia (0.1%)

Figures indicated in the first three columns below are based on the October 2009 demographic study by the Pew Research Center report, _Mapping the Global Muslim Population_.


Iran 7004660000000000000♠74,000,000 – 78,000,000 7001900000000000000♠90–95 7001370000000000000♠37–40

78,661,551 million

Pakistan 7004170000000000000♠17,000,000 – 26,000,000 7001110000000000000♠10–15 7001110000000000000♠10-15

43,250,000 – 57,666,666

India 7004160000000000000♠17,000,000 – 26,000,000 7001110000000000000♠10–15 7000900000000000000♠9–14

40,000,000 – 50,000,000.

Iraq 7004190000000000000♠19,000,000 – 22,000,000 7001650000000000000♠65–70 7001110000000000000♠11–12

Yemen 7003800000000000000♠8,000,000 – 10,000,000 7001350000000000000♠35–40 7000500000000000000♠~5

Turkey 7003700000000000000♠7,000,000 – 11,000,000 7001110000000000000♠10–15 7000400000000000000♠4–6

22 million

Azerbaijan 7003500000000000000♠5,000,000 – 7,000,000 7001650000000000000♠65–75 7000300000000000000♠3-4

8.16 million, 85% of total population

Afghanistan 7003300000000000000♠3,000,000 – 4,000,000 7001110000000000000♠10–15 7000100000000000000♠~2

6.1 million, 15–19% of total population

Syria 7003300000000000000♠3,000,000 – 4,000,000 7001120000000000000♠15-20 7000100000000000000♠~2

Saudi Arabia 7003200000000000000♠2,000,000 – 4,000,000 7001150000000000000♠10–15 7000100000000000000♠1-2

Nigeria 7003399900000000000♠

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