13 May 2003, 13:10

Shiism

Shiism (from Arabian "ash-shija" - a group, a party, adherents) - the second (after soonism) Islam direction, according to a number of followers. Shiism occured due to a political group of supporters of transferring the state authority to Ali ibn Abuh Talibformed in second half 7 in. A political group (formed in the 2nd part of 7 century) of supporters of transfer of authority in the state to Ali ibn Abuh Talib - the son-in-law and the cousin of Prophet Muhammad - as to his close relative and the spiritual successor. This group became a main body of movement which later resulted in split of a Muslim community into sunnits and shiits.

Shiits recognize the Koran as a divine revelation, however they consider, that in its Osman editions there were omitted verses (ajats), concerning to Ali. They accept soonnah, too, but only in the part where the circuit of khadis transmitters goes back to Ali. Shiism has the legend - akhbars which collections are esteemed by shijits as well as six initial collections of khadis, esteemed by sunnits. Shiits reject an elective principle of caliph. They consider, that from four "just" caliphs only Ali had the right to be the master of all moslems, while the first three caliphs were usurpers. After Ali the succession of mission of Prophet Muhammada may belong extremely to his real descendants, i.e. children, grandsons, great-grandsons, etc. of Ali and Fatimah, daughter of the Prophet. Adherents of the most numerous Shiism branch - imamitah - believe that there have been eleven real descendants - imams, starting with Ali, and the twelfth imam lost in the beginning of 9 century and became a makhdi (lead by Allah). When he returns back to the Earth, justice will triumph and the Golden Age of Islam will come.

The feature of the Shiism doctrine is takyja - the sanction to hide the religious beliefs if their detection mihgt be dangerous. Cult practice of Shiism has no essential differences from the similar practice of Soonnism. Parallel with pilgrimage to Mecca (khaddzh), shijits make pilgrimage to Meshed and Koom (Iran), Kerbela and Nedzhef (Iraq), they mark the Urazah-bajram and the Kurban-bajram. Especial value is given to a ten-day mourning ceremony during the mukharram month (the first month of a Muslim lunar calendar), adhered to imam Hussein - the son of caliph Ali - and accompanied by sermons, singing songs and self-tortures of its participants.

Adherents of Shiism is the overwhelming majority of the population of Iran, more than half of population of Iraq, a significant part of moslems of Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrein. In Russia the Shijit communities live long since in Dagestan. Lately, in connection with amplification of migratory streams from Transcaucasia, they have appeared and in other regions, too.

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