A History of the Shi’a People

A History of the Shi’a People

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Author:  Sayyid Saeed Akhtar Rizvi

Foreword by Professor Noel Q. King

Published by Al-Ma’arif Publications, Toronto, Canada


This book deals with the history of the Shi‘a Ithna-‘Ashari Muslim community from the early days of Islam up to present day. Starting with a brief note on the origin of the Shia faith, the book describes the early days of its followers’ history from the 7th-11th century. From there, it focuses on regions; beginning with the history of the Shi‘as of Iran, Iraq & Afghanistan, reviewed together due to the multiple layers of mutual influences among them on socio-religious and political levels. Then it moves on to the Arab Middle-East & Turkey; followed by the east, to the Indian Sub-Continent; and then to Sub-Saharan Africa; followed by a review of Shi‘a communities in South-East Asia, Australia, and the Commonwealth of Independent States of the former USSR. The book ends with a brief look at the emerging Shia communities in Europe and the Western Hemisphere.

It is worth mentioning that the section on Shī‘a communities in Africa, particularly East Africa, is a seminal work in which the author was not only a spectator observing the events and reporting them; rather he played a pivotal role in furthering the cause of the Shī‘ī faith in that region, especially among the indigenous African people.

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