Site logo

Category: Shia Branches of Islam

Apr 06
Iftar traditions among Dawoodi Bohras

The Iftar traditions among Dawoodi Bohras is unique and different from many other customs during the month of Ramadan. While most Muslims break their fast with dates and water, the Bohra community starts all edibles – even sweets – with a little salt which they believe gives protection from numerous illnesses. Each year and every […]

Feb 12
The Nizari Ismailis

The Nizari Ismailis are the largest segment of the Ismaili Muslims, who are the second-largest branch of Shia Islam after the Twelvers. Nizaris, along with Twelvers, adhere to the Jaʽfari school of jurisprudence. The Aga Khan, is the spiritual leader and Imam of the Nizaris. The global seat of the Ismaili Imamate is in Lisbon, Portugal. The Nizari Ismailis have had their own complex history and separate doctrinal development. The circumstances of […]

Feb 08
“Yawm‐e Ali” Among The Ismaili Shias

Yawm‐e Ali – literally the “Day of Ali” – is the birthday anniversary of Hazrat Imam Ali (a.s.) which is commemorated on the 13th Rajab. According to tradition, Hazrat Ali’s birthday is on 13 Rajab in the year 599 CE. He was Prophet Muhammad’s companion, son-in-law, and cousin who married his daughter Bibi Fatimah Al Zahra […]

Feb 02
An Introduction on Sulaymani Tayyibis

History and Demographics of Sulaymani Tayyibis The Sulaymani branch of Tayyibi Isma’ilism is an Islamic community, of which around 70 thousand members reside in Yemen, while a few thousands of Sulaymani Bohras can be found in India. The Sulaymanis are headed by a Da’i al-Mutlaq from the Makrami family. “Da’I Mutlaq” is the absolute, or unrestricted, missionary who is the most senior spiritual rank and office in Tayyibi Isma’ilism. A […]

Feb 01
The History, Origins and Beliefs of Dawoodi Bohras

Bohras are a subset of Tayyibi, Ismaili branch of Shia Islam. The Bohras trace their heritage to the Fatimid Caliphate, named after Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad, and so veneration of the Fatimid Imams and Muhammad’s family is central to their faith. In western India, the Ismaili converts, mostly of Hindu descent, are known as Bohras, a name believed to have been derived from the Gujarati […]

Jan 27
Shia religious rituals for Iraqi women

In the previous article we introduced two of the most famous Shia religious rituals for Iraqi women. In this part we are going to introduce two more of the women’s ritual in this country.   Chay al-Abbas Chay al-Abbas, literally  “Abbas’ tea,”  is one of the Shia religious rituals for Iraqi women and it is […]

Jan 24
Shia Women’s Religious Rituals in Iraq

Shia women’s religious rituals in Iraq are affected by the notion of a split between public and private worlds was a common paradigm in the mid–twentieth century that was used to describe the behavior of men and women in Middle Eastern society. The woman’s world was supposedly the private world, the world of the family, […]

Jan 12
Muharram Rituals among Bohras

As we discussed in the previous article, the month of Muharram is commemorated by the Bohras in numerous ways. Muharram rituals among Bohras extend for a total of forty days—the prescribed period of mourning. The first ten days are characterized by intense piety, with a tapering off for the remaining period. The Bohri mahalleh and […]

Jan 10
The Religious Rituals of the Dawoodi Bohras

Year-round expression of popular piety is the hallmark of the Bohra sect. One need only examine their calendar to find it marked with important days of birth and death anniversaries of the Prophet, his family, and other saints and holy persons. The Month of Ramadan However, three months in the Islamic calendar see a heightening […]

Jan 08
The Bohra Sect, a subsect of the Isma’ili Shias

The Muslim community in South Asia is composed of the majority Sunni and the minority Shi’i sects. Shi’is are divided into two major groups: the larger Twelver and the smaller Isma’ili sect. The Bohra sect and Khojas are sister subsects of the Isma’ili branch. Among the Bohras there are several divisions—Daudi, Sulaymani, Aliya, and Mahdibaghwalla, […]