S yi ah asal usul ciri khasnya
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S yi‘aH : asal usul & ciri khasnya. Dr Syamsuddin Arif. What ?. The word “ shi‘ah ” ( شيعة ) and its meanings: Literal: group, division (tribal, ethnic, etc.) Political: supporters, party (members, loyalists) Religious: sect, ideology (‘aqidah) > theology. Who ?.

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S yi ah asal usul ciri khasnya

Syi‘aH : asalusul & cirikhasnya

Dr Syamsuddin Arif

S yi ah asal usul ciri khasnya

What ?

  • The word “ shi‘ah ” (شيعة) and its meanings:

  • Literal: group, division (tribal, ethnic, etc.)

  • Political: supporters, party (members, loyalists)

  • Religious: sect, ideology (‘aqidah) > theology

S yi ah asal usul ciri khasnya

Who ?

  • Literal: ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas, Abu Dharr al-Ghiffari,

    Salman al-Farisi, Malik al-Ashtar

  • Political: al-Mukhtar (the revolt leader of Kufah)

    - Zayd (ibn Ali ibnHusayn)’s revolt in Kufah

    - Yahya (ibnZaydibn Ali)’s revolt in Herat

    - ‘Abdullah (ibnMu‘awiyahibn ‘Abdillahibn

    Ja‘faribnAbiTalib)’s revolt in Kufah

    - Abu Muslim al-Khurasani (revolt leader)

  • Theological: ‘Abdullah ibn Saba’, at-Tusi, al-Hilli

S yi ah asal usul ciri khasnya

Why ?

  • Political discontents (due to perceived injustice)

  • Racism (anti-Arab sentiments)

  • Tribalism (rivalry and dispute)

  • Personal interest/ambition/agenda

  • Hypocricy (anti-Islam, crypto-Jew, Manichean etc.)

S yi ah asal usul ciri khasnya

How ?

  • Pledge of loyatly & support (ﺑيعة)

  • Preference & favor (ﺗﻔﻀﻳﻞ)

  • Repudiation & opposition (ﺮﻔﺾ)

  • Excommunication & condemnation (ﺗﻀﻟﻳﻞ)

  • Accusation of apostasy & disbelief (ﺗﻜﻓﻳﺮ)



  • Prophet Muhammad died in 632 A.D. without a male heir or a designated successor.

  • Abu Bakr, being the most senior and closest companion of the Prophet, was elected as the first caliph by mutual consultation (shura) and consensus (ijma’). ‘Ali swore his allegiance (bay‘at) 6 month later (following the death of Fatimah) and served as one of the state counsellors and advisers to the caliph.

  • When the Prophet died, Abu Bakr was over 60 years old, ‘Umar was about 51, ‘Uthman was almost 58, and ‘Ali was only 33.

  • Before he died, Abu Bakr nominated ‘Umar as his successor.

  • When he lay on his deathbed, ‘Umar appointed a commission of six prominent companions (‘Uthman, ‘Ali, ‘Abdurrahman, Sa‘d, Zubayr, and Talhah) to meet and decide who should be the next caliph. Q: “If I should not name you, who would you nominate?” ‘Uthman and Zubayr replied: ‘Ali, whereas ‘Ali, Talhah, Sa‘d said: ‘Uthman. > 2:3 hence ‘Uthman was elected.


Roman persian empires before islam

Roman & Persian Empires before Islam:


Conflict :

  • Caliph ‘Uthman had to face several new problems arising from the effect of territorial expansion, mass transmigration, and urbanization, compelling him to change ‘Umar’s policy (which forbade the Arabs (migrants) to till the soil of conquered provinces) and to allow the Quraysh to leave Medina and reside in various cities in Egypt, Syria, Iraq (Mesopotamia), Persia, and (North) Africa.

  • The new policy was to have negative impacts, causing resentment and discontents among the native population. Added to that the policy of undisguised favoritism carried out by Marwan ibn al-Hakam (the Caliph’s cousin).

  • A lot of complaints were received by ‘Ali, who acted as mediator and negotiator between them and the Caliph.

  • The situation culminated in a mass protest and armed clash which led to the dramatic assassination of Caliph ‘Uthman in the year 35 A.H. by two unidentified men.

Muslim territories in 750 ce

Muslim territories in 750 CE

Civil war

Civil war :

  • Following the death of Caliph ‘Uthman, all the Companions in Medina gave their allegiance to ‘Ali as the new caliph. Ashtar pledged the support of the people of Kufah, Zubayr and Talhah on behalf of the Muhajirin and Abu Ayyub for the Ansar.

  • However, there were at least three men of Quraysh who refused to recognize ‘Ali as caliph, namely: Marwan ibn al-Hakam, al-Walid ibn ‘Uqbah, and Mu‘awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, who later managed to gather troops to seek vengeance and demanded that their clan be allowed to retain their posts.

  • Zubayr and Talhah withdrew their allegiance, formed an army and set out for Mecca and soon Ummul Mu’minin ‘A’ishah joined them, marching to Basrah, where they were confronted and defeated by the armed supporters (Shi‘a) of Caliph ‘Ali.

S yi ah asal usul ciri khasnya

Thus, …

  • 661 C.E. – Caliph ‘Ali was assassinated by one of the rebels. Mu‘awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, the governor of Syria, emerged as caliph after offering Ali’s son al-Hasan an impressive retirement to step aside. Death of Ali and his son al-Hasan led to the transfer of caliphate to Damascus, which marked the beginning of first Muslim dynasty (the Umayyad).

  • 680 C.E. –Yazid succeeded his father Mu‘awiyah as caliph of the Umayyad. Al-Hasan’s brother, al-Husayn revolted against Yazid in an attempt to re-establish the right of Ali’s family to rule. In this act, Shi‘a transformed into a religious sect. Yazid has Husayn killed, turning Husayn into a martyr in the eyes of the Shi‘ites. The massacre of Husayn and his supporters at Karbala in 680 C.E. marked the beginning of Shi’a as a religio-political movement.

  • 750 C.E.- Umayyad dynasty fell to the efforts of a Shi‘ite-Abbas alliance. Some Umayyad family members fled to Spain (Andalus) to later establish an Umayyad principality.


Seterusnya …

  • 755 C.E. – ‘Abbas promised Husayn’s great-grandson Ja‘farthat Ja‘farcould claim his right as caliph, but ‘Abbas died before the deal was set and Jafarwas murdered by ‘ Abbas’ son al-Mansur who then founded the ‘Abbasid Caliphate.

  • 945-1050 C.E. – The Shiite Buyid family took control of western Iran and Iraq, thusly controlling the Abbasid caliph until the arrival of the Sunni Turks in 1050 C.E.

  • 1258 C.E. – Mongolian invaders killed the last of the Abbasid family in Bagdad. The Mongolian conquests led to relative tolerance between the Sunnis and Shiites who were forced to work together to fight off the invaders.

  • 1501 C.E. – The Safavid Dynasty (1502-1736) was established in Persia by Ismail I, who proclaimed Shi‘ism as the official, state religion, thereby ending the tolerance between Sunnis and Shiites and resulting in long-lasting conflict with the Sunni Ottomans.

  • 1587 C.E. – Abbas I, the greatest ruler in the Safavid Dynasty, was declared as shah at age 16.

Sunni and shia today

Sunni and Shia Today

  • Population statistics (Sunni 90%, Shia 10%)

  • Cult of Martyrdom- the 12 Imams

  • Concept of the Mahdi

  • Concealing Faith for Self Protection

  • Temporary Marriages

  • Frequency of Prayer



85-90% of Muslims

Leadership by consensus (of Muhammad’s followers)

No organized clergy; author- ity from below to above

Literal interpretation of the Qur’an (apparent meaning)

Majority status throughout duration of the caliphate


10-15% of Muslims

Leaders only descended from family of Muhammad

Authoritarian: guidance from Imams (above) to below

Leadership determines (hidden) meaning of Qur’an

Oppressed, tragic minority: greater emphasis on martyrdom, and use of dissimulation (taqiyyah)



Artwork of shi ism

Artwork of Shi‘ism

The Quran, Islamic Holy Scripture

Court in the Safavid Dynasty

Shah Abbas I in later life



  • Sunni: Eid al-Adha, Eid al-Fitr

  • Shia: Eid al-Adha, Eid al-Fitr, Ashura

  • Ashura- a day of mourning. Men would beat their chests, and cut their bodies with knives. As most religious elite ban the cutting practice it still happens, they encourage the Shia to donate blood instead to commemorate the blood spilled at the battle of Karbala.

Holy places

Holy Places

  • Sunni: Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem

  • Shia: Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, Najaf (Site of Ali’s Tomb), Karbala

Cities and gatherings

Cities and Gatherings

Left : A Shiite parade in Esfahan

Right: Iranian pilgrims in chadors outside the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria

Left: The holy Shiite Muslim shrine Dareeh of the Imam Ali

Right: A mosque in Karbala, Iraq



Shiite Beliefs

Sunni Beliefs


  • The caliphate should only be direct descendents of Muhammad, and therefore Ali

  • Muhammad designated Ali as his successor

  • Al-Mahdi, the eleventh Imam’s son, is the savior and has already come as the Hidden Imam and will return at the end of time

  • The Imam’s authority is infallible

  • Two additional holy cities: Najaf and Karbala.

  • Celebrate Ashura

  • Additional two pillars: jihad and the requirement to do good works and to avoid all evil thoughts, words, and deeds

  • The Shiites are split into three main factions: Twelvers, Isma'iliyah, and Zaydiyah

  • The Sunnis do not believe that the prophet left a successor. This is the major difference in the two groups and is the primary reason for the split between them

  • The Sunnis believe that the savior will come in the future

  • Leadership of the community (Imam) is an earned trust that can be given or taken away by the people

  • The Shiites and the Sunnis share the five pillars of Islam, that is: shahada (confession of faith); namaz (ritualized prayer; zakat (almsgiving); sawm (fasting and contemplation during daylight hours during Ramadan); and hajj (pilgrimage to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina once a lifetime)

  • The holy cities of Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem

  • Holidays: Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr Eid.

Change over time

Change Over Time

  • The first subsect of Shia’ism develops under Zayd who leads an unsuccessful rebellion against the Umayyad caliph in 740 CE. The Zaydis, sometimes called Fivers, believe that Ali, Husan and Husayn are the first three rightful caliphs. However, after them, they believe that the caliphate is open to whoever of Ali’s descendents can ascertain themselves through revolt. The primary difference between this subsect and the majority of Shiites is that they believe Zayd is the fifth Imam while most Shiites believe his brother Al-Baqir is the fifth Imam.

  • In the early to mid 750’s, when the Umayyad dynasty is defeated, the Shiite sect begins to further divide. The Sevener Shiites, or the Ismailis, develop with the death of Jafar, the sixth Shiite Imam. They believe that Jafar was the last Imam and his heir, the seventh Imam, will come back at the end of time.

  • The majority of the Shiites who are neither Seveners nor Fivers are considered to be Twelver Shiites. Twelver Shiites believe that the line of rightful Imams ends with Hasan al-Askari, the eleventh Imam. His son Al-Mahdi is believed to be the twelfth and final Imam who disappeared and will return at the end of time.

Shiites today

Shiites Today

  • Iran is primarily made up of Shiites with the total percentage reaching about 89%.

  • Hizbollah, which are made up of Shiites, forced the Israelis out of Southern Lebanon.

  • The Shiites and the Sunnis are still at war with one another. Numerous bombings and killings have occurred as a result of their long-term conflict.

  • Iran has a Shiite theocratic republic. Their supreme leader, which is the political office in which the person rules for life, is Ali Hoseini-Khameni.

Shiite distribution

Shiite Distribution

Dark Green: Shiite; Light Green: Sunni

Syi ah


  • Bukan mazhab aqidah > Asy’ariyyah

  • Bukan mazhab fiqih > Syafi’iyyah

  • Bukan tariqah > Qadiriyyah

  • Bukan organisasi > Muhammadiyah etc

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