- Shi'ah Muslims make up about 20% of the total population of the Muslim world (40% make up the population in the middle east)
- The Shi'ah form a clear majority of the population of Iraq, Yemen.
- The Shi'ah title dates back to the first decades of the Islamic Era , when they formed the Party of Ali, the last of the four Rightly Guided Khalifhas to follow Muhammad (PBUH)
- In 661CE Ali was murdered and the Khalifahship passed to the Umayyads who weren't directly descendants from the Prophet
- The Shi'ah have since waged an intermittent 1,300 year war to overthrow the Umayyad dynasty and the Sunni rulers who followed them and place Ali's descendants back on the throne of a united Islamic empire
- Shi'ah Islam is thought to be older than Sunni'sm which is much more closely modelled on the political practises of Muhammad and the four original Khalifahs.
- The twelvers believe that the direct descendants of the Prophet via his daughter Fatima and son-in-law Ali are the rightful rulers of the Muslims world
- They are the largest group of Shi'ah
- They take their name from Muhammad ibn al-Askari; The 12th imam in the line of Ali. He become Imam aged four; and within days he mysteriously disappeared and was never found. He had no brothers so this line became extinct.
- Shi'ah Muslims found it hard to accept he had died. They believed that one day he will make himself visible to sinners again as the al-Madhi- shortly before the end of the world.
- The early muslims, including Muhammad believed the world would end by 1100AD. Shi'ah's thought that because the world hadn't ended by 1100AD the world would end by the end of the 9th Century. And then when it failed to appear again, around the 12th Century the Muslim community arranged the Ulama.
- Over the centuries as the al-Mahdi failed to reveal himself, the ulama and Muslims gained authority.
- The Ulama taught that its imam were divinely guided, incapable of error, sin-free and able to converse with al-Mahdi in dreams.
- The Ulama became the central political institution and legal of the Shi'ah during when they were the official creed of persian state.
- Ali's offspring is held to be divinely guided and immune from sin. And have the same authority of that of the Prophet himself.
- The twelver imams are given sole access to sacred books containing knowledge given by Allah to the 12 Shi'ah imams. No other humans are allowed to read them. They contain interpretations of the Qur'an, both good and bad.
- In the past popular twelver imams were…