Printer Friendly

Shiites.

Shiites

(Arab, shiah, " sect " ) Those Muslims who regard Ali as the first rightful Imam or Caliph (rejecting the three Sunni Caliphs), and do not consider the Sunna, or oral law, of any authority, but look upon it as apocryphal. There are numerous Shiite sects, all of them regarded as heretical by the orthodox Sunnites. Because of the Shiite doctrine of the Mahdi, a twelfth Imam who is supposedly living in concealment through the centuries but is expected to rule Islam, the Shiites have had a political as well as a religious influence on the development of Islam as evidenced in the overthrow of the Shah of Iran in 1979 and the subsequent rise of Shiite fundamentalism in other countries of the Middle East.

COPYRIGHT 1987 HarperCollins Publishers
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia, 3rd ed.
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1987
Words:123
Previous Article:She Stoops to Conquer, or, The Mistakes of a Night.
Next Article:Shipman's Tale, The.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters