Shi'i Islam Origins, Faith and Practices



In six concise clearly-written chapters, Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Ali Shomali provides a scholarly and well-documented introduction to the principal features of Shi'i Islam, an important school of Islamic thought which has gained increasing prominence in Western media in recent years. 

Beginning with an examination of the term 'Shi'i' -- stressing its occurrence in numerous traditions of the Prophet, so that the origins of Shi'ism can be regarded as co-terminous with those of Islam itself--the author than moves to a discussion of textual and other sources of Shi'i thought: The Qur'an, the Sunnah of the Prophet, the teachings of the Infallible Imams from the Household of the Prophet, and the principles of reason and consensus as distinctively understood in Shi'ism. 

He follows with a review of the leading doctrines of Shi'i Islam, both those it holds in common with other Muslims and those that set it apart--divine justice, the Imamate, and the infallibility of the Imams. The devotional practices of Shi'i Islam are presented in turn, followed by a review of its general characteristics, with stress on spirituality and rationality. 

Concluding with a demographic survey of Shi'i populations and brief notes on cities with sacred associations, the book is carefully argued, and can be recommended as a useful source of reference for all those interested in islamic Studies. 

About the Author:

Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Ali Shomali is a graduate of the Islamic Seminaries of Qum and also obtained both a BA and MA in western philosophy from the University of Manchester. Additionally, he earned his PhD from the University of Manchester. 


"Dr. Shomali has written a concise and scholarly introduction to the distinctive teachings of Shi'i Islam, its cultural and intellectual as well as doctrinal features, its historical unfolding and contemporary situation. He is to be congratulated on this achievement." Dr. Hamid Algard | Professor of Persian and Islamic Studies | University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Shomali's lectures on related topic

2020 Ramadhan lecture series on Beliefs of Shia Islam Playlist (32 lectures)- Link