shia n : one of the two main branches of orthodox islam; mainly in iran [syn: shiah, shia, shiah islam, the shiites]
Dictionary source: hEnglish - advanced version
English to English translation of shia
The term "Shia" means "party" or "partisans," and refers to the followers of Ali who held that Mohammed had appointed Ali as his successor. After Ali's assassination, they split from their fellow Moslems (who became know as the Sunni Moslems). In English, this branch of Islam is called Shiite Islam.
Shia (; Shīʿah), an abbreviation of Shīʻatu ʻAlī (, "followers of Ali"), is a branch of Islam which holds that the Islamic prophet Muhammad's proper successor as Caliph was his son-in-law and cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib. Shia Islam primarily contrasts with Sunni Islam, whose adherents believe that Muhammad's father-in-law Abu Bakr, not Ali ibn Abi Talib, was his proper successor.