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Shia ({{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}}; Arabic: شيعة‎{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} Shīʿah), an abbreviation of Shīʻatu ʻAlī (شيعة علي{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}, "followers/party of Ali"), is a denomination 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.

Adherents of Shia Islam are called Shias or the Shi'a as a collective or Shi'i individually.<ref>Shi'a is an alternative spelling of Shia, and Shi'ite of Shiite. In subsequent sections, the spellings Shia and Shiite are adopted for consistency, except where the alternative spelling is in the title of a reference.</ref> Shia Islam is the second-largest denomination of Islam: in 2009, Shia Muslims constituted 10-13% of the world's Muslim population, and between 68% and 80% of Shias lived in four countries: Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, and India.<ref name=PEW2009>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Twelver Shia (Ithnā'ashariyyah) is the largest branch of Shia Islam.<ref name="Newman2013">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> In 2012 it was estimated that perhaps 85 percent of Shias were Twelvers.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref>

Shia Islam is based on the Quran and the message of the Islamic prophet Muhammad attested in hadith recorded by the Shia, and certain books deemed sacred to the Shia (Nahj al-Balagha).<ref name="Esposito, John 2002. p. 40">Esposito, John. "What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam." Oxford University Press, 2002 | ISBN 978-0-19-515713-0. p. 40</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Shia consider Ali to have been divinely appointed as the successor to Muhammad, and as the first Imam. The Shia also extend this "Imami" doctrine to Muhammad's family, the Ahl al-Bayt ("the People of the House"), and certain individuals among his descendants, known as Imams, who they believe possess special spiritual and political authority over the community, infallibility, and other divinely-ordained traits.<ref name=franc46>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Although there are myriad Shia subsects, modern Shia Islam has been divided into three main groupings: Twelvers, Ismailis and Zaidis, with Twelver Shia being the largest and most influential group among Shia.<ref>Tabataba'i (1979), p. 76</ref><ref>God's rule: the politics of world religions - Page 146, Jacob Neusner - 2003</ref><ref>Esposito, John. "What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam," Oxford University Press, 2002. ISBN 978-0-19-515713-0. p.40</ref>


Shia Islam sections
Intro  Etymology  Beliefs  History  Community  Branches  See also  Notes  References  Further reading  External links  

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