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A History of Shi’ism in Bahrain: 630-1524

The history of Shīʻism in Bahrain has long been a neglected area of academic  attention; partly  due  to  a  lack  of  easily  accessible  sources.

While  significant  work  has  been undertaken on certain aspects of this history, such as the Ismāʻīlī Shīʻī Qarmatian period, little  has been  written on the  Twelver Shīʻī dynasties that came afterwards.  The aim of this  paper  is  to  provide  a  clear  and  coherent  narrative  of  this  history  from  the  earliest days  of Shīʻism  up  until  just  before  the  beginning  of  the  Portuguese  colonisation  of Bahrain  to  show  how Shīʻism  in  its  different  manifestations  became  established  in Bahrain. To do this, attention shall be paid to the early connections of the country with proto-Shīʻism,  the  string  of Shīʻī dynasties  that  ruled  Bahrain  and  the  contribution  of Bahraini ulamā to Shīʻī thought.

Historically, Bahrain  was  the  name used to refer  to the  region of Eastern Arabia which stretched  from  Southern  Iraq  to  the  mountains  of  Oman  while  the  islands  of  Bahrain were known as  Awal.  While Bahrain was referred to as Awal  during the time  period of this  paper’s focus,  for  the  purpose  of  clarity,  Bahrain  shall  be  used  throughout  this paper to refer to the islands while the region of Bahrain shall be specified as such. Although  the  intention  of  this  paper  is  to  show  the  development  of Shīʻism  on  the islands of Bahrain, the histories of neighbouring areas such as Ahsa and Qatif shall often be taken into account to place Bahrain in a broader historical context.

Bibliographic Information

Title: A History of Shi’ism in Bahrain: 630-1524

Author: Adam Ramadhan

Published by: Center for Islamic Shi’a Studies, February 2018

 Language: English

Length: 18 pages

A History of Shi’ism in Bahrain 630-1524

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