Meaning of Shia in English:

Shia

(also Shi'a, Shiah)

Pronunciation /ˈʃɪə/

See synonyms for Shia

Translate Shia into Spanish

nounShia, Shias

mass noun
  • 1One of the two main branches of Islam, followed by about a tenth of Muslims, 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 divided into two main groups, Shia and Sunni, with different interpretations of the religion.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It will be drawn from Sunni and Shia, from secular and religious backgrounds, from trade unionists and women's organisations.’
    • ‘It is fine to boast of one's Kurdish, Berber, Sunni, or Shia loyalties, but not of pan-Arabism.’
    • ‘The split between Shia and Sunni arose soon after the death of Islam's founder, Mohammed, in the year 632.’
    • ‘The tribes who dominate the town are a combination of Sunni and Shia.’
    • ‘In fact the solidarity between the Sunni and Shia goes further.’
    • ‘Everyone who looks at Iraq sees a nation divided between Shia, Sunni and Kurd communities.’
    • ‘This is a religious organisation of Shi'a followers of Islam.’
    • ‘Sunni is the larger branch of Islam, with Shia being the smaller.’
    • ‘Understanding the differences between the Sunni and Shi'a Muslims is important.’
    1. 1.1count noun A Muslim who adheres to the Shia branch of Islam.
      ‘For Islam, Sunnis and Shi'as will also be considered as separate groups.’
      • ‘He stressed that today there was an immediate need for unity between Shias and Sunnis.’
      • ‘He said that it is common that Sunnis offer Namaz in Masjids constructed by Shias and vice versa.’
      • ‘You have Baathists, Islamists, Sunnis, Shias, sometimes you also have Kurds.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In 1917-20 it took the British three years to unite the Sunni and Shia against them.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They were at pains to point out the integration of Sunni and Shia, whether by marriage or by tribe.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘There is distrust between Shi'a and Sunni, between secularists, conservatives and Islamists, and between tribes and clans.’
      • ‘Lebanon has been divided in so many ways: between left and right, between Shia and Sunni, Christian and Druse.’

adjective

  • Relating to Shia.

    ‘a Shia mosque’
    • ‘Shia religious scholars’

Origin

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