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ERIC Number: ED509893
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Shiism: What Students Need to Know. Footnotes. Volume 15, Number 2
Calvert, John
Foreign Policy Research Institute
This essay is excerpted from the author's book "Divisions within Islam," part of a 10-volume series for middle and high school students on the World of Islam. It provides information on the religious practices and beliefs of Shiism, and its differences with Sunni Islam. It mentions that Shiism is the second-largest denomination of Islam, after Sunni Islam. The most important group within the Shia is the "Twelvers," so called for the 12 Imams, or leaders, they venerate. It notes that the largest concentrations of Shia Muslims are found in the Islamic Republic of Iran, where they make up 89 percent of the country's total population; Iraq, where they comprise 63 percent of the country's total; and Lebanon, where they are 41 percent of the total population. In addition, both communities believe in God (Allah) and his prophet Muhammad; each regards the Qur'an as the exact word of God; and each upholds the obligations to pray, fast, dispense charity, and perform the hajj at Mecca. In contrast to the Sunnis, the Shia believe that Muhammad did in fact name a successor: Ali ibn Abi Talib.
Foreign Policy Research Institute. 1528 Walnut Street Suite 610, Philadelphia, PA 19102. Tel: 215-732-3774; Fax: 215-732-4401; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
Identifiers - Location: Iran; Iraq; Lebanon