Shia etymology

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This is a sub-article of Shi'a Islam.
'Shi'a ("followers" or "partisans") as an Islamic term traces its etymology to the very first century of Islam.


The singular/adjective form of Shi‘ah () is Shi‘i (). The apostrophe frequently used (e.g. Shi'a) is technically incorrect, since the Arabic letter is the ayin (), standardly represented with a grave accent (`), left half-circle (), or turned comma (). The apostrophe represents the hamza, which has a noted difference in pronunciation. The final Arabic letter is the ta' marbuta, which also causes difficulty in transliteration. It is often pronounced as a soft /h/ (e.g. Shi‘ah), but in a construct state, and in more classical Arabic, it is pronounced as a /t/ (e.g. Shi‘at ‘Ali). The ta' marbuta is frequently dropped in transliteration (e.g. Shia).

Due to the complexities of Arabic, there are approximately 30 possible transliterations of . For technical accuracy Shi‘ah is the preferred form. Using the Arabic chat alphabet, the transliteration is Shi3a.


Sunni Sources:

a) Fadha'il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v2, p655,
b) Hilyatul Awliyaa, by Abu Nu'aym, v4, p329,
c) History of Baghdad by Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, v12, p289,
d) al-Awsat, by al-Tabarani,
e) Majma al-Zawa'id, by Ali ibn Abu Bakr al-Haythami, v10, pp 21-22,
f) al-Darqunti, who said this tradition has been transmitted via numerous authorities.,
g) al-Sawa'iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar Al-Haythami......

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