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A branch of Twelver Shiism named after Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsai (d. 1826), a Bahraini mystic and theologian. He spent fifteen years in Iran, where he won the esteem of the Qajar ruler Fath Ali Shah and attracted many followers. Al-Ahsai was eventually condemned by traditional ulama because of his doctrine of spiritual rather than physical resurrection; he retired to Mecca. Al-Ahsai was influenced by the Akhbari school, which stresses the importance of Shii traditions (akhbar) and opposes Usulis, the mainstream of clerical Shiism. After the Iranian revolution (1979), the Shaykhis were persecuted and the leader, Sayyid Ali Musawi Basri, moved the community's headquarters to Iraq.

See also Akhbaris

Subjects: Islam.

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