Shia Religion, also Shiite Islam or Shiism is the second largest denomination of the religion of Islam. Shia religion in Iran adhere to what they consider to be the teachings of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the religious guidance of his family whom they refer to as the Ahlul Bayt. Thus, Shias considers the first three ruling Sunni Caliphs a historic occurrence and not something attached to faith.
Shia Religion Overview:
Shia Muslims believe that Muhammad’s family were the best source of knowledge about the Qur’an, Islam, and Emulation, and the most trusted carriers and protectors of Muhammad’s Sunnah (traditions).
In particular, Shia Muslims recognize the succession of Ali (Muhammad’s cousin, son-in-law, the first male to convert to Islam second person only to Muhammad’s wife Khadija and the male head of the Ahl al-Bayt or “people of the [Prophet’s] house” as opposed to that of the caliphate recognized by Sunni Muslims. Shia Muslims believe that Ali was appointed successor by Muhammad’s direct order on many occasions, and that he is therefore the rightful leader of the Muslim faith pursuant to the Prophet’s wishes.
This difference between following either the Ahl al-Bayt or the Caliph Abu Bakr has shaped Shia and Sunni views on some of the Qur’an, the Hadith, and other areas by extension. For instance, the collection of Hadith venerated by Shia Muslims is centered around narrations by members of the Ahl al-Bayt, while some Hadith by narrators not belonging to the Ahl al-Bayt are not included.
Regardless of the dispute about the Caliphate, Shias recognize the authority of theShia Imam as a religious authority, though different sects within Shia Islam dispute the rightful succession of this Imam and the current rightful successor.