Shi’ism and its rising trend inside and outside of Iran. *
By Mahmut Akpinar
Shi’ism is a most-wide spread of Islamic school of thought after Sunnism. What is commonly believed on why Shi’ism and Sunnism have divergence each other is politically motivated reasons. The dispute between them based on the leadership of the state of Islam after Hazrat Muhammad (p.b.u.h) as “ who will be the Caliph” and “who will be in the management of the governmental structure”. 680, when Hazrat Hussain and the family of Hazrat Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) were assassinated in Karbala, it helped the Shi’ism to be embodied and became more obvious. The way Shi’ism which has many sub-branches differs from Sunnism is only for the different variation of interpretation on characteristics of leadership as for being the Caliph where those who belong to Sunni tradition based their understanding and practices on the same matter on the teachings of Quran and Sunnah.
%10-%15 of entire Muslim community is Shia and it makes around 150-200 million people who mostly live in Middle East. In the history, Shias established many powerful states such as Fatimids (909-1171) , Buyids (932-1062), Safavids ( 1501- 1736) which were influential on Muslim world as well.
Shia world like Sunni world became so passive and weak after the invasions, collapses and internal turbulences took place for last 2-3 centuries. But, after Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979, Shias and Shi’ism gained a rising trend.
While the Revolution declared their thought of ideology as the reunion of Muslim Ummah at first, later they seek a way to organize all Shias around the World and focus on Shi’ism rather than Islam. Iran regime began to see itself as the one who has the possession of all Shias, no matter where they live and the regime by using the state apparatus had made the propaganda of Shi’ism through Shias.The increase of Iran’s Shia politics had yet been observed after 9/11 in the region. Because of the invasions and operations of the West in the region had favored only Iran which is only constitutionally established as Shia state in the World. After the intervention of the West, the system in the region got collapsed and Iran and Shias had the most benefits from this uncertainty and new circumstances. Iran and Shias have used the opportunity at the best level and this helped them a lot to became effective and influential in Muslim World.
In this work, we will focus on understanding of Iran and Iran’s Shi’ism beside the born of Shi’ism and characteristics of Shi’ism in general. We tried to seek and understand that what kind of changes and outcomes were noticed by the innovation of the “Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist” by Ayatollah Khomeini in the culture of Shi’ism and Shia politics. The role of Iran and its relationship with the West after 9/11 was discussed in the detail. We examined that what kind of benefits were gained by Iran and Shias in the region after the invasion of Iraq and Syrian civil war, how well did the collaboration of Shias in the region and Iran’s Shias contribute to peace in the region. We tried to look for the answer of the question that “ Is there a real rising of Shi’ism by itself in the region, or were all the Shias left in the hands of Iran to be converted to Iranian Shia tradition and used as propaganda tools to make Iran’s foreign politics more effective in the region as a result of the space that was opened by the West after 9/11”.
*This article is a translation of Yukselen Siilik veya Iranin Emperyal Sehveti. It is almost 30 pages of work and I will translate it part by part.
The article was first published in Turkish and written by Dr.Mahmut Akpinar, @mahmutakpinar1.
I tried to translate the article with respect of its content. If there is any flaw, it is because of my translation, not because of the author.
To read the original article, click.