Open main menu

Shi‘a ("followers" or "partisans") as an Islamic term traces its etymology to the very first century of Islam.

Etymology of Shia
Literal meaningfollower/partisan


The singular/adjective form of Shi‘ah (Arabic: شيعة‎) is Shi‘i (Arabic: شيعي‎). The apostrophe frequently used (e.g. Shi'a) is technically incorrect, since the Arabic letter is the ayin (ع), standardly represented with a grave accent (`), left half-circle (ʿ), or turned comma (). The apostrophe represents the hamza, which has a noted difference in pronunciation. The final Arabic letter is the ta' marbuta, which also causes difficulty in transliteration. It is often pronounced as a soft /h/ (e.g. Shi‘ah), but in a construct state, and in more classical Arabic, it is pronounced as a /t/ (e.g. Shi‘at ‘Ali). The ta' marbuta is frequently dropped in transliteration (e.g. Shia).

Due to the complexities of Arabic, there are approximately 30 possible transliterations of شيعة. For technical accuracy Shi‘ah is the preferred form. Using the Arabic chat alphabet, the transliteration is Shi3a.



Imam JafarEdit

From Imam Jafar, The Sixth Ahlul Bayt Imam and fifth grandson of Muhammad:



Imam RidaEdit

  • Imam Rida, The eight Ahlul Bayt Imam and seventh grandson of Muhammad:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Sunni Sources:
    a) Fadha'il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v2, p655,
    b) Hilyatul Awliyaa, by Abu Nu'aym, v4, p329,
    c) History of Baghdad by Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, v12, p289,
    d) al-Awsat, by al-Tabarani,
    e) Majma al-Zawa'id, by Ali ibn Abu Bakr al-Haythami, v10, pp 21-22,
    f) al-Darqunti, who said this tradition has been transmitted via numerous authorities.,
    g) al-Sawa'iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar Al-Haythami , Ch. 11, section 1, p247.
  2. ^ Shia source: Allamah Muhammad rida al-Muzaffar - The faith of Shi'a Islam p66
  3. ^ Shia source: Allamah Muhammad rida al-Muzaffar - The faith of Shi'a Islam p67
  4. ^ Shia source: Ziyarat Nahiya al-Muqadasa - Vahid Majd p1
  5. ^ Shia source: Ziyarat Nahiya Al-Muqadasa - Vahid Majd p10

External linksEdit