Selim determined on war with Persia, where the heresy was the prevalent religion, and in order that the Shiites in Turkey should give no trouble during the war, "measures were taken," as the Turkish historian states, which may be explained as the reader desires, and which proved fully efficacious.
' Abul Hassan Ali, al Reza, commonly known as Imam Reza, the eighth imam of the Shiites, a son of Musa al Kazim, the seventh imam, was the leader from whom the party of the Alids (Shiites) had such hopes under the caliphate of Mamun.
To the Shiites he is a martyr, being believed to have been poisoned by Mamun.
The hidden imam of the common Shiites is, however, the twelfth imam, Mahommed Abu`l-Qasim, who disappeared mysteriously in 879.
They constitute a class quite distinct from the native Arab population, and they and the Turkish government in general are intensely unpopular among the Arabs, an unpopularity increased by their religious differences, the Arabs being as a rule Shiites, the Turks Sunnites.
1420, and is held in great veneration by all Mussulmans, and especially by Shiites, because it is supposed to be the tomb of Ali, the son-in-law of Mahomet.
When the seat of the Fatimite Empire was removed to Egypt, the Zirites, a house of the Sanhaja Berbers, ruled as their lieutenants at Mandia, and about 1050 Mo`izz the Zirite, in connexion with a religious movement against the Shiites, transferred his very nominal allegiance to the Abbasid caliphs.
The Persian and heterodox party (the Shiites) insisted on heredity.
Another small body of Shiites, the Isniailites (Assassins (q.v.) of the crusading chronicles), also said to be of Persian origin, live about Kadmus at the extreme N.
The population of Kerbela, necessarily fluctuating, is estimated at something over 60,000, of whom the principal part are Shiites, chiefly Persians, with a goodly mixture of British Indians.
Before his "manifestation " (zuhur), of which he gives in the Persian Bayan a date corresponding to 23rd May 1844, he was a disciple of Sayyid Kazim of Rasht, the leader of the Shaykhis, a sect of extreme Shiites characterized by the doctrine (called by them Rukn-irabi`, " the fourth support ") that at all times there must exist an intermediary between the twelfth Imam and his faithful followers.
Among the more possible explanations is that the name is derived from that of Mahommed ibn Nusair, who was an Isma`ilite follower of the eleventh imam of the Shiites at the end of the 9th century.
Now when we consider that at that time there were many Moslems who had heard the Koran from the mouth of the Prophet, that other measures of the imbecile Othman met with the most vehement resistance on the part of the bigoted champions of the faith, that these were still further incited against him by some of his ambitious old comrades until at last they murdered him, and finally that in the civil wars after his death the several parties were glad of any pretext for branding their opponents as infidels; - when we consider all this, we must regard it as a strong testimony in favour of Othman's Koran that no party found fault with his conduct in this matter, or repudiated the text formed by Zaid, who was one of the most devoted adherents of Othman and his family, and that even among the Shiites criticism of the caliph's action is only met with as a rare exception.
With them all malcontents, in particular the Shiites, found support; by them the dynasty of the Omayyads and the supremacy of the Arabs was finally overthrown.
But the Shiites were dissatisfied and 1 A single genealogist, Abu Yagazan, says that he was a legitimate son of Abu Sofian, and that his mother was Asma, daughter of A`war.
Seven of them who refused to pledge themselves to obedience were put to death; the Shiites considered them as martyrs and accused Moawiya of committing a great crime.
Meanwhile Yazid, having been informed of the riotous behaviour of the Shiites in Kufa, sent Obaidallah, son of the famous Ziyad and governor of Basra, to restore order.
"Revenge for Hosain" became the watchword of all Shiites, and the Meshed Hosain (Tomb of the martyr Hosain) at Kerbela is to them the holiest place in the world (see Kerbela).
But he was detained a whole year in the former country, by a rising of the Shiites in Kuf a, who were still in mourning for Hosain and had formed an army which called itself "the army of the penitent."
Meanwhile Mokhtar (son of that Abu `Obaid the Thaqifite who had commanded the Arabs against the Persians in the unfortunate battle of the Bridge), a man of great talents and still greater ambition, after having supported Ibn Zobair in the siege of Mecca, had gone to Kufa, where he joined the Shiites, mostly Persians, and acquired great power.
He claimed that he was commissioned by Ali's son, Mahommed ibn al-Hanafiya, who after the death of Hosain was recognized by the Shiites as their Mandi.
A vague message from Mahommed, that it was the duty of every good Moslem to take part with the family of the Prophet, was interpreted in favour of Mokhtar, and thenceforward all the Shiites, among them the powerful Ibrahim, son of Ali's right hand Malik Ashtar, followed him blindly as their chief.
Al-Hanafiya, Mandi of the Shiites; and that of the Kharijites, who were at that time under the command of Najda b.
From that time the Abbasids began their machinations against the Omayyads in the name of the family of the Prophet, avoiding all that could cause suspicion to the Shiites, but holding the strings firmly in their own hands.
Moawiya, a great-grandson of Ali's brother Ja t far, put himself at the head of a band of Shiites and maulas, made himself master of Kufa and marched upon Hira, where, since Yusuf b.
This adventurer now went into Media (Jabal), where a great number of maulas and Shiites, even members of the reigning dynasty and of the Abbasid family, such as the future caliph Mansur, rejoined him.
The other party, that of the ultra-Shiites, named Hashimiya after Abu Hashim the son of Mahommed b.
The unfortunate fanatics were hunted down and massacred to the last man, and thereby the ties that bound the Abbasids to the ultra-Shiites were severed.
In the last days of the Omayyads, the Shiites had chosen as caliph, Mahommed b.
Abdallah, a brother of Mahommed and Ibrahim, the rivals of Mansur, succeeded in escaping, and fled to Egypt, whence by the help of the postmaster, himself a secret partisan of the Shiites, he passed into West Africa, where at a later period his son founded the Idrisite dynasty in Fez (see Morocco).
He showed his hatred for the Shiites by causing the mausoleum erected over the tomb of Hosain at Kerbela, together with all the buildings surrounding it, to be levelled to the ground and the site to be ploughed up, and by forbidding any one to visit the spot.
The only deed of power, however, that is recorded of him, is that he opposed himself to the substitution of a Shiite head cadi for the Sunnite, so that Baha addaula had to content himself with giving to the Shiites a special judge, to whom he gave the title of naqib (superintendent).
But in the following year, 450, during his absence, the Shiites made themselves masters of the metropolis, and proclaimed the Caliphate of the Fatimite prince Mostansir.
Their name seems to have been first used in Persia of the Shiites in allusion to their red caps.
The question of Ali's right to succeed to the caliphate is an article of faith which divided the Mahommedan world into two great sects, the Sunnites and the Shiites, the former denying, and the latter affirming, his right.
The Persians (who were mostly Shiites) under a Moslem officer named Mokhtar (Mukhtar), whom they regarded as their mahdi, vainly attempted to assert, their independence in Kuf a, but were soon defeated.
A stipulation was included in the treaty to the effect that Persians were not to curse any longer the first three caliphs, a sort of privilege previously enjoyed by Shiites as part and parcel of their religious faith.
The conditions were that the crown should be hereditary in his family, that the claim of the Safawids was to be held for ever extinct, and that measures should be taken to bring the Shiites to accept uniformity of worship with the Sunnites.
Although most fervent Shiites, they are on very good terms both with their Sunnite and with their Russian neighbours.