• Major split in the Islam faith.
  • Emerges directly after the death of Muhammed.
    • Because there is nobody who can replace the final prophet of God.
  • Arabs elect 4 different people for sucession, the "Caliphs"
  • Lead the conquests of teritories outside of the peninsula.
  • Significant minority of muslims who don't want these Caliphs to be their leaders
    • They believe that Muhammad can only be succeeded by a relative.
  • The division grows over time.
  • People who want to rebel against the authorities often switch to Shia islam.
  • Heartland of Shia Islam was southern Mesopotamia (southern Iraq and Kuwait)
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