Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 14 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The center of Shi'a Islam is to be found in three countries where over half the population is identified with the Shi'a branch: Iran, Iraq, and Bahrain. Other countries with significant percentages of Shi'i are Lebanon, Kuwait, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. In addition, three percent of the population of Turkey is Shi'i, and around two percent of India and Saudi Arabia. Of the total world Muslim population of more than 700 million, about 10 percent, adhere to Shi'ism. The Shi'is disagreed with the Sunnis over the issue of succession, and considered Prophet Muhammad's spiritual heritage to devolve on his son-in-law, Ali, and his male descendants through the blood lineage to the prophet provided by Fatima, the prophet's daughter. The debates and dissension over the issue of succession following the prophet's death and the broader question of secular politics were crystallized into three different sects in early Islam. The Kharijis demanded a clear-cut separation of the constitutional question from the religious one. In Shi'ism, on the other hand, the two were intertwined. The Sunnis took the middle line.

Keywords: Shi'a Islam, Shi'ism, Shi'is, Sunnis, succession, Prophet Muhammad, Kharijis, secular politics

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.