Test Your Knowledge of Shīʿa Islam with Our Quiz!



9 Questions

What is the percentage of Muslims that follow Shīʿa Islam?

Which group of Shīʿa Muslims is the largest and most influential?

What is the concept of Imamah in Shīʿa Islam?

What is the Occultation in Shīʿa Islam?

Which branch of Shīʿa Islam believes in the living Imam, who is the current Aga Khan IV?

Which branch of Shīʿa Islam is named after Zayd ibn ʿAlī and does not consider the Imam infallible?

Which city is the most revered by Shīʿa Muslims?

What is the name of the messianic figure in Shīʿa Islam who will return to Earth and fill the world with justice?

What is the concept of infallibility in Shīʿa Islam?


Shīʿa Islam is the second-largest branch of Islam, followed by 10-15% of all Muslims, and is based on the belief that ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib should have been Muhammad's successor as the leader of the Muslims, as opposed to the Sunnī belief that Abū Bakr was the first rightful caliph after Muhammad. Shīʿa Islam is divided into two main groups: Twelvers and Ismāʿīlīs, with Twelver Shīʿas being the largest and most influential group. Shīʿa Muslims believe in the concept of Imamah, which holds that certain descendants of Muhammad, the Ahl al-Bayt, are rightful rulers or Imams with special spiritual and political authority over the Muslim community. Shīʿa Muslims append the phrase Ali-un-Waliullah to the Shahada, the Islamic profession of faith, which emphasizes the inheritance of authority through Muhammad's family and lineage. Shīʿa Islam also holds the concept of infallibility or "divinely bestowed freedom from error and sin" for Imams and Fāṭimah, daughter of Muhammad, in contrast to the Zaydī Shīʿas, who do not attribute ismah to the Imams. The Occultation is an eschatological belief held in various Shīʿa Islam denominations concerning a messianic figure, the hidden and last Imam known as "the Mahdi", who will one day return to Earth and fill the world with justice. Shīʿa Muslims have their own separate ḥadīth canon, which emphasizes the Ahl al-Bayt and close associates. Shīʿa Islam also believes in the passing down of armaments and sacred items from all of the prophets, including Muhammad, to the Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt. Praying has an important place in Shīʿa Islam, and Duʼa is considered a feature of the Shia community.Overview of Shīʿa Islam

  • Shīʿa Muslims have a strong emphasis on the leadership of ʿAlī and his descendants, believing that they are the rightful leaders of the Muslim community.

  • Shīʿa religious practices are similar to Sunnīs, but they have the option of combining certain prayers.

  • Shīʿa Muslims celebrate annual holidays, including Ashura and Arbaʿeen.

  • The cities of Najaf, Karbala, and Qom are the most revered by Shīʿa Muslims.

  • Shīʿa Muslims make up 10-20% of the global Muslim population, with estimates of up to 200 million as of 2009.

  • Shīʿa Muslims form a majority in Iran, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, and Iraq, and a plurality in Lebanon.

  • The largest branch of Shīʿa Islam is Twelver Shīʿīsm, which believes in twelve divinely ordained leaders, known as "the Twelve Imams".

  • Twelver Shīʿa Muslims follow the Jaʽfari jurisprudence.

  • Ismāʿīlīs are another branch of Shīʿa Islam, who recognize Ismāʿīl ibn Jaʿfar as the divinely appointed spiritual successor to Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq.

  • The Ismāʿīlīs are followers of the Aga Khan and the largest group within Ismāʿīlīsm.

  • Shīʿa Muslims have several books of scripture and authoritative guidance, including collections of sayings and traditions attributed to Muhammad and the Twelve Imams.

  • Shīʿa Muslims believe that the successor of Muhammad is an infallible human individual, who is able to keep and interpret the divine law and its esoteric meaning.Overview of Shīʿa Islam and its branches

  • Shīʿa Islam is a branch of Islam that believes in the leadership of Imams, who are the guides between humans and God and possess divine knowledge.

  • Nizārī Ismāʿīlīs believe in a living Imam, who is the current Aga Khan IV, and have seven pillars of practice.

  • Musta‘lī Ismāʿīlīs believe in the authority of the Da'i al-Mutlaq, who is the vicegerent of the last Imam, while the Druze have their own unique doctrines and beliefs.

  • Zaydism is a branch of Shīʿa Islam named after Zayd ibn ʿAlī, who is recognized as the 5th Imam by Zaydīs, and who believed that any descendant of Ḥasan ibn ʿAlī or Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī could become the next Imam after fulfilling certain conditions.

  • Zaydīs do not consider the Imam infallible and do not believe that the Imamate must pass from father to son.

  • Zaydīs follow the teachings of Zayd ibn ʿAlī in matters of Islamic jurisprudence.

  • Zaydīs have had their own states in the western Maghreb and northern Iran, and form a significant part of the population in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

  • The Houthi movement in Yemen is a prominent Zaydī political movement.

  • Shīʿa Muslims believe that ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib was appointed by God to be Muhammad's successor and the first caliph of Islam.

  • Shīʿa Muslims believe that Muhammad designated ʿAlī as his successor by God's command during the event of Dhul Asheera, in which he warned his family members against adhering to their pre-Islamic religious practices.Shi'a Islam: A Summary

  • The direct appointment of ʿAlī as heir was established at the very beginning of Muhammad's prophetic activity.

  • The point of contention between different sects arises when Muhammad gave the proclamation "Anyone who has me as his mawla, has ʿAlī as his mawla".

  • ʿAlī did not accept the caliphate of Abū Bakr and refused to pledge allegiance to him.

  • Fāṭimah, ʿAlī's wife and daughter of Muhammad, refused to pledge allegiance to Abū Bakr and remained angry with him until she died.

  • It was not until the murder of the third rāshidūn caliph, ʿUthmān, that the Muslims of Medina invited ʿAlī to become the fourth caliph.

  • ʿAlī's rule over the early Muslim community was often contested and wars were waged against him, leading to the First Fitna.

  • Ḥasan ibn ʿAlī ceded the caliphate to Muawiyah and maintained peace among Muslims upon certain conditions.

  • Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī was killed in the Battle of Karbala.

  • Imami Shīʿītes believe that Imams are the spiritual and political successors to Muhammad.

  • Those of Abu Hurairah are not included in ḥadīth collections venerated by Shīʿa Muslims.

  • The seminal event in Shīʿa history is the martyrdom at the Battle of Karbala.

  • In Shīʿa Islam, Imam Mahdi is regarded as the prophesied eschatological redeemer of Islam who will rule for seven, nine, or nineteen years.


How much do you know about Shīʿa Islam? Test your knowledge with our quiz! Covering the history, beliefs, and practices of Shīʿa Islam and its various branches, this quiz will challenge you to see how much you really know about this fascinating and diverse religion. From the role of ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib to the belief in the infallibility of the Imams, this quiz will cover everything you need to know

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