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Early Developments

In the aftermath of Husayn's defeat in Karbala, several rebellions with Shiite associations took place in Iraq against the Umayyads. In 750, the Abbasid revolution ended Umayyad rule, but the Shiite demands for an Alid on the throne were not met.

Schisms and Sects

Internal disagreements among Shiites developed mostly in the 9th and 10th centuries and concern the line of succession, the role of the Hidden Imam, and activist or quietist attitudes regarding political life.

Missions and Expansion

Shiite learning and public religiosity flourished from the 10th to the 11th century, when two Shiite dynasties in particular ruled over large parts of the Islamic world: the Buyids over Iran and Iraq and the Ismaili Fatimids over North Africa and Egypt.

Exploration and Conquest

The most significant change in the development of Shiism in the early modern period took place when the Safavids, initially a Sunni Sufi order, converted to Shiism, conquered Iran, and forced the population to Shiism. Under the Safavids, the scholars gained more and more power, a development that culminated in the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

Modern Age

Shiites in the modern world experience very different living conditions, and globalization has led to greater diversity.