Or Shiah; Member of a sect of Islam that believes that Ali was Mohammed's first true successor. The Shiites are doctrinally opposed to the Sunni Muslims. They developed their own law differing only in minor directions, such as inheritance and the status of women. In Shi'ism, the clergy are empowered to intervene between God and humans, whereas among the Sunni, the relationship with God is direct and the clergy serve as advisers.
The Shiites are prominent in Iran, the Lebanon, and Indo-Pakistan, and are also found in Iraq and Bahrain.
A member of the branch of Islam that regards Ali as the legitimate successor to Mohammed and rejects the first three caliphs; Also called: Shi'ite, Shiite Muslim, Shi'ite Muslim.