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Introduction to Shi'i Islam

Religion, Theology & Philosophy
12 weeks
Weekly Study
Sep 17-Dec 7
Register By
September 17, 2020

Shoghi Effendi states that the Bahá'í Faith started as “a heterodox and seemingly negligible offshoot of the Shaykhi school of the Ithna-‘Ashariyyih sect of Shi‘ah Islam” (God Passes By xii). He also says that Bahá'ís “must strive to obtain, from sources that are authoritative and unbiased, a sound knowledge of the history and tenets of Islam--the source and background of their Faith” (The Advent of Divine Justice 75: 74). In this course we will focus on Shi‘ism and, especially, on the Ithna-‘Ashariyyih (or Twelver) school of Shi‘ah Islam. We will also examine the history of this sect and its distinctive teachings.

In particular, we will look at the split into Sunni and Shi‘ah in Islamic history, the history and doctrine of the Imamate, the Twelfth Imam, and the developments in Shi‘ism (especially the Shaykhi movement) that led to the Bábí and Bahá'í Faiths. The primary text for this course is Moojan Momen, Introduction to Shi‘i Islam (George Ronald or Yale University Press, 1985); new and second-hand copies can be obtained from Amazon, and second-hand copies, from ABEbooks and

Registration for this course is not yet open. It is being considered for university/credit course status. If you are interested in taking this course, please contact us.

Meet Your Faculty
Moojan Momen, MD
WI Department Co-Chair, Author

Dr. Moojan Momen was born in Iran, but was raised and educated in England, attending the University of Cambridge. He has a special interest in the study of Shi`i Islam and the Bahá’í Faith, both from the viewpoint of their history and their doctrines. In recent years, his interests have... See Faculty Bio

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