The Origin of Key Shiʿite Thought Patterns in Islamic History

Adel S. al-Abdul Jader

in Living Islamic History

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780748637386
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653218 | DOI:
The Origin of Key Shiʿite Thought Patterns in Islamic History

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This chapter discusses the origins of some of the key concepts to the Shi،ite beliefs and to the intellectual life of Shi،ite Muslims, and briefly recounts the political–religious division that emerged after the killing of ،Ali b. Abi Talib. It discusses the origin of the terms ghayba, raj،a, bada،, batin and ta’wil, and their historical background in the first and second centuries after the hijra, during the Umayyad reign until the establishment of the Abbasid state. In the chapter, the focus is on particular terms: the imam and imamate, the legatee (wasi) and wasiyya, the family of the Prophet (ahl al-bayt), infallibility (،isma), deserters (rafida), religious dissimulation (taqiyya), anthropomorphism (tashbi), transmigration or metempsychosis of souls (tanasukh), incarnation (hulul) and antinomianism (ibaha). The chapter aims to understand the transformation of some of the technical linguistic terms into religious practice as well as its political meaning, particularly to the Islamic Shi،ite groups and organisations that claim legitimacy based on some of these precepts.

Keywords: Shi،ite beliefs; Shi،ite Muslims; imam and imamate; legatee (wasi); Prophet; anthropomorphism (tashbi); incarnation (hulul); religious dissimulation

Chapter.  5648 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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