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Further information: Nizārī Ismā’īlī, Imamah (Nizari Ismaili doctrine), History of the Shī‘a Imāmī Ismā’īlī Ṭarīqah, Musta’li Ismaili, and Taiyabi Ismaili

Batini-Twelver ʿAqīdah schools

Main article: Batiniyyah

The followers of “Batiniyyah-Twelver” madh’hab consist of Alevis and Nusayris, who developed their own fiqh system and do not pursue the Ja’fari jurisprudence. Their combined population is nearly around 1% of World overall Muslim population.[32]


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Main articles: Alevism, Sufism, Qutb ad-Dīn Haydar, Qalandariyya, Haji Bektash Veli, and Bektashi Order

Alevis are sometimes categorized as part of Twelver Shia Islam, and sometimes as its own religious tradition, as it has markedly different philosophy, customs, and rituals. They have many Tasawwufī characteristics and express belief in the Qur’an and The Twelve Imams, but reject polygamy and accept religious traditions predating Islam, like Turkish shamanism. They are significant in East-Central Turkey. They are sometimes considered a Sufi sect, and have an untraditional form of religious leadership that is not scholarship oriented like other Sunni and Shia groups. Seven to Eleven Million Alevi people including the other denominations of Twelver Shiites live in Anatolia.[32]

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Alevi Islamic school of divinity

Main articles: Safaviyya, Shaykh Haydar, Qizilbash, Imadaddin Nasimi, Hurufism, and Bektashism and folk religion

In Turkey, Shia Muslim people belong to the Ja’fari jurisprudence Madhhab, which tracks back to the sixth Shia Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (also known as Imam Jafar-i Sadiq), are called as the Ja’faris, who belong to Twelver Shia. Although the Alevi Turks are being considered as a part of Twelver Shia Islam, their belief is different from the Ja’fari jurisprudence in conviction.

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“The Alevi-Turks” has a unique and perplex conviction tracing back to Kaysanites Shia and Khurramites which are considered as Ghulat Shia. According to Turkish scholar Abdülbaki Gölpinarli, the Qizilbash (“Red-Heads”) of the 16th century – a religious and political movement in Azerbaijan that helped to establish the Safavid dynasty – were “spiritual descendants of the Khurramites”.[33]

Among the members of the “Qizilbash-Tariqah” who are considered as a sub-sect of the Alevis, two figures, firstly Abu Muslim Khorasani who assisted Abbasid Caliphate to beat Umayyad Caliphate, but later eliminated and murdered by Caliph Al-Mansur, and secondly Babak Khorramdin who incited a rebellion against the Abbasid Caliphate and consequently was killed by Caliph al-Mu’tasim, are highly respected. This belief provides strong clues about their Kaysanites Shia and Khurramites origins. In addition, the “Safaviyya Tariqah” leader Ismail is a highly regarded individual in the belief of “Alevi-Qizilbash-Tariqah” associating them with the Imamah (Shia Twelver doctrine) conviction of the “Twelver Shi’a Islam”.

Their aqidah (theological conviction) is based upon a syncretic fiqh system called as “Batiniyya-Sufism”[29] which incorporates some Qarmatian sentiments, originally introduced by “Abu’l-Khāttāb Muhammad ibn Abu Zaynab al-Asadī”,[25][26] and later developed by “Maymun al-Qāddāh” and his son “ʿAbd Allāh ibn Maymun”,[28] and “Mu’tazila” with a strong belief in The Twelve Imams.

Not all of the members believe that fasting in Ramadan is obligatory although some Alevi-Turks perform their fasting duties partially in Ramadan.

Some beliefs of Shamanism still are common amongst the Qizilbash Alevi-Turkish people in villages.

On the other hand, the members of Bektashi Order have a conviction of “Batiniyya Ismailism”[29] and “Hurufism” with a strong belief in The Twelve Imams.

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In conclusion, Qizilbash-Alevis are not a part of Ja’fari jurisprudence fiqh, even though they can be considered as members of different Tariqa of Shia Islam all looks like sub-classes of Twelver. Their conviction includes “Batiniyya-Hurufism” and “Sevener-Qarmatians-Ismailism” sentiments.[29][34]

They all may be considered as special groups not following the Ja’fari jurisprudence, like Alawites who are in the class of Ghulat Twelver Shia Islam, but a special Batiniyya belief somewhat similar to Isma’ilism in their conviction.

 Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

Part of a series on Nizari-Ismāʿīli Batiniyya, Hurufiyya, Kaysanites and Twelver Shī‘ism

online quran education


The Twelver branch of Shia Islam Muslim population of Turkey is composed of Mu’tazila aqidah of Ja’fari jurisprudence madhhab, Batiniyya-Sufism aqidah of Maymūn’al-Qāddāhī fiqh of the Alevīs, and Cillī aqidah of Maymūn ibn Abu’l-Qāsim Sulaiman ibn Ahmad ibn at-Tabarānī fiqh of the Alawites,[35][36] who altogether constitutes nearly one third of the whole population of the country. (An estimate for the Turkish Alevi population varies between Seven and Eleven Million.[37][38] Over 85% of the population, on the other hand, overwhelmingly constitute Maturidi aqeedah of the Hanafi fiqh and Ash’ari aqidah of the Shafi’i fiqh of the Sunni followers.)

Further information: Al-Hallaj, Sevener, Qarmatians, Baba Ishak, Babai Revolt, Hassan II (imam), and Nur al-Din Muhammad II

ʿAqīdah of Alevi-Islam Dīn Services

Main articles: ʿAqīdah, Dīn, and Buyruks

What’s Alevism, what’s the understanding of Islam in Alevism? The answers to these questions, instead of the opposite of what’s known by many people, is that the birthplace of Alevism was never in Anatolia. This is an example of great ignorance, that is, to tell that Alevism was emerged in Anatolia. Searching the source of Alevism in Anatolia arises from unawareness. Because there was not even one single Muslim or Turk in Anatolia before a specific date. The roots of Alevism stem from Turkestan – Central Asia. Islam was brought to Anatolia by Turks in 10th and 11th centuries by a result of migration for a period of 100 – 150 years. Before this event took place, there were no Muslim and Turks in Anatolia. Anatolia was then entirely Christian. We Turks brought Islam to Anatolia from Turkestan. – Professor İzzettin Doğan, The President of Alevi-Islam Religion Services.[39]

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Some of the differences that mark Alevis from Shi’a Islam are the non-observance of the five daily prayers and prostrations (they only bow twice in the presence of their spiritual leader), Ramadan, and the Hajj (they consider the pilgrimage to Mecca an external pretense, the real pilgrimage being internal in one’s heart); and non-attendance of mosques.[40]

Some of their members (or sub-groups) claim that God takes abode in the bodies of the human-beings (ḥulūl), believe in metempsychosis (tanāsukh), and consider Islamic law to be not obligatory (ibāḥa), similar to antinomianism.[41]

online quran education

Some of the Alevis criticizes the course of Islam as it is being practiced overwhelmingly by more than 99% of Sunni and Shia population.

They believe that major additions had been implemented during the time of Ummayads, and easily refuse some basic principles on the grounds that they believe it contradicts with the holy book of Islam, namely the Qur’an.

Regular daily salat and fasting in the holy month of Ramadan are officially not accepted by some members of Alevism.

Some of their sub-groups like Ishikists and Bektashis, who portrayed themselves as Alevis, neither comprehend the essence of the regular daily salat (prayers) and fasting in the holy month of Ramadan that is frequently accentuated at many times in Quran, nor admits that these principles constitute the ineluctable foundations of the Dīn of Islam as they had been laid down by Allah and they had been practised in an uninterruptible manner during the period of Prophet Muhammad.

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