Shi'iah Studies

Course Description:

This course will survey the many facets of Islam as understood and practiced by Shīʿah Muslims. We will examine Shīʿism’s theological underpinnings, the history of its early followers, the history of its major sects, and make a survey of its major institutions and personalities.

Topics covered include:

  • The term “shīʿah
  • Evidence for ʿAlī’s imamate
  • What went wrong after the Prophet’s death?
  • Alternative Explanations for the Development of Shīʿism
  • ʿAlī and the Shīʿah during the first four caliphates (11-41 AH)
  • The Rise of Kūfah and Imam al-Ḥasan’s abdication 
  • Major sects of the Shīʿah: Origins, Significance, Demographics
  • Major centers of Shīʿī learning
  • Major Shīʿī Scholars and Works
  • Beliefs Peculiar to the Shīʿah
  • Practices Peculiar to the Shīʿah


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