Zehra Naqvi : Why I am Shia

Beautifully expresses what being Shia means. (The author of the post also happens to have the same name as me.)

Muharram In Manhattan

calligraphy Bismillah by Irfan Haider Mirza

Most of my peers think religion is backwards, a relic of more superstitious times, an ideology based on fairy tales.

I don’t deny I grew up with stories, but the stories of my faith shaped my understanding of social responsibility, justice, and purpose. I’m a professional in my thirties and although I never considered myself particularly devout, I realize that most of the people around me see me as a person of faith. One of the first things most people learn about me is that I’m Muslim. Shortly thereafter, they learn that I’m part of the Shia minority sect of the faith. Most people don’t know what to do with the latter information. I imagine the questions they have in mind but never ask out loud, are: Why are you Shia? What does being Shia mean to you?

Admittedly, it’s not a simple answer. Most…

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