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1. Orientations
a. Figures
2. Koran
3. Theology
4. Concept of divine
5. Sharia
6. Muhammad
7. Cult and Festivals
8. Mecca
9. Cultic personalities
10. Caliph
11. Structures
12. Popular religion
13. Others
14. Calendar

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Islam / Shi'i /
Arabic: sab¢īya

Related articles
Ahl-e Haqq
Official offspring
Alevism 19,000,000
Alawism 2,250,000
Ahl-e Haqq 2,200,000
Isma'ilism 900,000
Druze 605,000

Figures are for Middle East only.

Branch of Shi'i Islam, going back to 765 with the death of the 6th imam, Jafar as-Sadiq, and the following dispute over who was the legitimate new imam.
Some confusion is linked with terms 'Seveners' and 'Isma'ili', which are often used synonymously. Sevener is most correctly defined as an early group, which would split into highly different orientations, and it would be wrong to define any of the existing orientations as a direct continuation of the original Seveners.
The Isma'ilis are as a matter of fact just one of several gruops originating with the Seveners. The others are the Nusayris or Alawites, the Alevis, the Ali-ilahis or Ahl-e Haqq and the Druze. Still, these groups may just as well be seen as pre-Sevener, using the complexity of the Sevener theology to preserve pre-Islamic religious ideas while taking the refuge of defining themselves officially as part of Islam (see Taqiyya religions).
The name 'Seveners' may be linked to the strife over imams only by creation. Their relation to the number 7 is a central part of the theology, so the schism in the 760's may be defined long after it happened to fit the need to link their origins with the number 7. Within in the Sevener traditions, different ways of making the last active imam being number 7, have caused them to define Ali outside the imam line, though, of course, not reducing his value in any way.
In general, there were not many theological differences between early Seveners and the main Shi'i group, which would emerge as the group today known as Twelvers.

765: Followers of the 6th imam's son, Isma'il, who died in 762, do not accept who is chosen new imam of the Shi'is. They establish their own religious communities.
9th century: Sevener groups act as secret movements, aiming at overthrowing the Abbasid Dynasty.
874: The Nusayris break with the other Seveners.
890: Emergence of the Fatimid Isma'ilis.
1021: A group breaks with the Fatimids, forming a group that would develop into the Druze religion.
1094: Split among the Fatimids, forming two branches, the Nizaris and the Musta'lis.
12th century: Attempts are made from the Assassin leadership in Alamut to "unveil the truht", and make Isma'ilism stand out as independent from Islam. This situation would only last
1591: Split among the Musta'ilis, causing the formation of the Sulaymanis and the Daudis.

By Tore Kjeilen