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Vanguard of the ImamReligion, Politics, and Iran's Revolutionary Guards$
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Afshon Ostovar

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199387892

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199387892.001.0001

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From Ali to Khomeini

From Ali to Khomeini

Chapter:
(p.19) 2 From Ali to Khomeini
Source:
Vanguard of the Imam
Author(s):

Afshon Ostovar

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199387892.003.0002

This chapter begins with a discussion of the formation of Shiite Islam, from succession to the Prophet Muhammad through the tragedy of Imam Husayn’s martyrdom at Karbala. It examines the traditions and beliefs that transformed the political movement that backed the Prophet’s descendants into a separate variant of the Islamic faith, including the occultation of the Twelfth Imam. It then discusses the rise of clerical authority in the Shiite religion, and the creation of the marja al-taqlid in nineteenth-century Iraq. Reactions to Western imperialism and the Islamic movement in Iran are also discussed. The role of clergy in political activism, the emergence of pro-clerical armed groups such as the Fada’iyan-e Islam, and the impact of Ruhollah Khomeini on Islamist activism are explored. The influence of Western political ideologies on Islamist thought, especially that of Ali Shariati, and revolutionary organizations such as the Mojahedin-e Khalq are also discussed.

Keywords:   Islam, Shi`ism, Shiite Islam, Shi’a Islam, ulama, Islamism, Political Islam, Ali Shariati, Mojahedin-e Khalq, Ruhollah Khomeini

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