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The smaller of the two main branches of Islam which is the Shi'at Ali (the Party of Ali), as it recognizes Ali's claim to succeed his cousin and father-in-law, the Prophet Muhammad, as the spiritual leader of Islam during the first civil war in the Islamic world (ad 656–61). In most of the Islamic world the Sunnis are in a majority, but the Shi'ites comprise around 80 million adherents, or 13 per cent of all Muslims. They are predominant in Iran, Iraq, and the United Arab Emirates.

Subjects: Islam — Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500).

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