Definition of Shia in English:

Shia

(also Shiah, Shi'a)

noun

  • 1One of the two main branches of Islam, followed especially in Iran, that rejects the first three Sunni caliphs and regards Ali, the fourth caliph, as Muhammad's first true successor.

    Compare with Sunni
    • ‘They are also unintentionally collaborating in the composition of future sagas of Sunni and Shia martyrdom.’
    • ‘Everyone who looks at Iraq sees a nation divided between Shia, Sunni and Kurd communities.’
    • ‘Sunni is the larger branch of Islam, with Shia being the smaller.’
    • ‘His father, Ali, met a similar fate 19 years earlier, and it was this latter deed that gave rise to the great fissure in Islam between Sunni and Shia.’
    • ‘In fact the solidarity between the Sunni and Shia goes further.’
    • ‘The tribes who dominate the town are a combination of Sunni and Shia.’
    • ‘Today, we are still trying to make this Heath-Robinson state work, instead of dividing it into three nations: Kurdish, Sunni and Shia.’
    • ‘It will be drawn from Sunni and Shia, from secular and religious backgrounds, from trade unionists and women's organisations.’
    • ‘This is a religious organisation of Shi'a followers of Islam.’
    • ‘The split between Shia and Sunni arose soon after the death of Islam's founder, Mohammed, in the year 632.’
    • ‘They are divided into two main groups, Shia and Sunni, with different interpretations of the religion.’
    • ‘Understanding the differences between the Sunni and Shi'a Muslims is important.’
    • ‘It is fine to boast of one's Kurdish, Berber, Sunni, or Shia loyalties, but not of pan-Arabism.’
    1. 1.1 A Muslim who adheres to the Shia branch of Islam.
      • ‘I mean, as so many countries in the Middle East are, you have the Kurds in the north and the Sunni and Shia.’
      • ‘For Islam, Sunnis and Shi'as will also be considered as separate groups.’
      • ‘To my surprise, a large number of people have shown up to vote: men and women, Muslims and Christians, Sunnis and Shias.’
      • ‘Some are atheists, some are secular; even religious Shia did not all follow the same leader.’
      • ‘The Shias to whom the Masjid belonged would have happily given up their claim to the Masjid but our secularists would have none of that.’
      • ‘He said that it is common that Sunnis offer Namaz in Masjids constructed by Shias and vice versa.’
      • ‘What is the best way to guarantee Shia and Sunni alike are included in the social-political nexus, and to ensure that the region grows economically?’
      • ‘They were at pains to point out the integration of Sunni and Shia, whether by marriage or by tribe.’
      • ‘Leaving aside the division of Islam into two broad communities of Shia and Sunni, there are national differences which influence the thinking of individual Muslims.’
      • ‘There is distrust between Shi'a and Sunni, between secularists, conservatives and Islamists, and between tribes and clans.’
      • ‘Modernly, such a zone would be both wildly provocative to both Sunnis and central Iraqi Shia and also geopolitically tempting for Iran to get involved.’
      • ‘You have Baathists, Islamists, Sunnis, Shias, sometimes you also have Kurds.’
      • ‘He stressed that today there was an immediate need for unity between Shias and Sunnis.’
      • ‘Relations between Shias and Sunnis have been strained for much of Muslim history.’
      • ‘In 1917-20 it took the British three years to unite the Sunni and Shia against them.’
      • ‘For the Kurds the effective veto is seen as a protection against any attempt by Shias to impose Sharia law.’
      • ‘Would Kurd sit in moral judgment on Sunni, Shia on Kurd, exiles on those who stayed and suffered?’
      • ‘If they don't, it may finally trigger a full-scale uprising of both Sunni and Shia.’
      • ‘The Shi'as were ruthlessly suppressed and they retreated to Persia, joining with the local groups of Shi'a and eventually forming their own state under the Safavid Shahs.’
      • ‘Lebanon has been divided in so many ways: between left and right, between Shia and Sunni, Christian and Druse.’

Origin

Early 17th century: from Arabic šī‘a ‘party (of Ali)’.

Pronunciation

Shia

/ˈʃiˌɑ//ˈSHēˌä/