Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Women in Shi’ism

  • Bridget BlomfieldEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_9312

Shi’a Muslims are the second largest sect of Islam, following the Sunni majority. Unfortunately a number of disputes following the Prophet Muhammad’s death disagreed about who should be the rightful successor to Islam. Shi’a believe that Muhammad appointed his first cousin and subsequent son-in-law, Ali, to be his successor. Sunnis believe that the companions of the Prophet were the appointed leaders. The assassination of Ali’s son and successor, Imam Husayn and followers in 670 CE in Karbala, Iraq, provoked a long-lasting split and the psychology of lamenting Husayn’s death by Shi’a. The women’s role in this is psychologically and spiritually interesting.

Shi’a women’s rituals secure an important dimension in developing and sustaining their personal and community psychology, allowing these women spiritual and religious agency and authority. Although men and women practice devotional rituals, this entry pertains exclusively to women’s ritual participation. Although the Quran argues for...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Religious StudiesUniversity of Nebraska at OmahaOmahaUSA