Meaning of term Shia
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Aslam ou kum dear brother , i just want 2 know that what does really meaning of "shia" word by word s h i a ?
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Meaning of term Shia
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
The literal meaning of the term shia means a group or followers of. This term has been used several times by Allah Subhanah in the Glorious Quran in a similar context.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anaam verse 159: As for those who divide their religion and break up into shias (sects or groups) thou hast no part in them in the least: their affair is with Allah: He will in the end tell them the truth of all that they did.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anaam verse 65: Say: "He hath power to send calamities on you from above and below or to cover you with confusion in shia (groups), giving you a taste of mutual vengeance each from the other." See how We explain the Signs by various (symbols) that they may understand.
Initially the term Shia-ne-Ali (followers or Ali) was coined to differentiate the believers who sided with the Fourth Khalifah Hadrat Ali ibn Abi Taalib (r.a.) against the people who sided with Muawiyyah ibn Abi Sufyan during the fitnah of the Battle of Siffeen. But unfortunately with the passage of time, a splinter group broke off from mainstream Islam over political differences of the Khilaafah, and came to be recognized and known as Shias.
The biggest contention of difference today amongst the people who call themselves Shias and mainstream Islam is that they believe today that Hadrat Ali ibn Abi Taalib (r.a.) should have been the first Khalifah, rather than the unanimous choice of the companions after the death of the Messenger of Allah (saws): Hadrat Abu-Bakr as-Siddeek (r.a.).
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,