|Slogan||An online encyclopedia of the school of Ahl al-Bayt (a)|
Type of site
|Available in||English, Farsi, Arabic, Spanish, French, Bahasa Indonesia, Turkish, Urdu, German, Russian|
|Owner||Ahl al-Bayt (a) World Assembly|
|Launched||June 22, 2014|
WikiShia is a free online encyclopedia about Shi'a, one of the major denominations in Islam. This wiki contains more than 26000 pages about Shi'a in fifteen languages including English, Farsi, Arabic, Spanish, French, Bahasa Indonesia, Turkish, Urdu, German, Russian, Chinese, Hindi, Tajiki, Bengali, and Swahili. WikiShia, which is affiliated with Ahl al-Bayt (a) World Assembly, was officially launched on June 22, 2014 in the International Congress of Sibt al-Nabi (a) in Tehran, by Hassan Rouhani, the former president of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The word "Shi'a" (Arabic: شيعة) literally means "follower". This term is used for the people who believe in Ali b. Abi Talib (a) as the first and the inherent successor of Prophet Muhammad (s), in religious leadership and the caliphate of Muslims. WikiShia provides visitors and readers with information about Shia's twelve Imams and their families as well as the political, social and cultural aspects of their lives. This wiki is managed by a group of scholars in Qom, Iran.
Due to religious disagreements, authors try their best to benefit from first-hand sources accepted by the two great Islamic schools (Shi'a and Sunni).
History of WikiShia
Religion in general, Islam and especially Shiism are among topics on which there is extensive information provided in many encyclopedias. The contributors of these encyclopedias either lack enough Islamic information or might be non-believers in Islam or Shi'a, which is why frequent misconceptions and errors are found in entries regarding Islamic concepts.
Due to the problems in those websites about the beliefs of Shi'a, the needs of the Shi'a around the world and also other researchers to access genuine Islamic and Shi'a beliefs remain unmet and it was found necessary to build this encyclopedia on the web for them. Therefore, launching WikiShia with the goal of introducing and defending the school of the Ahl al-Bayt (a) was scheduled among the programs of the Cultural Deputy of the Ahl al-Bayt (a) World Assembly.
On May 22, 2013, the first session for collaboration of the authors of WikiShia was held and after some sessions, on June 18, the first entry of WikiShia was published on the web. And so, on July 2013, the website was made accessible to all Internet viewers.
The content of WikiShia includes:
- Beliefs, figures, books, places, events, ceremonies and rituals, sects believing in the Ahl al-Bayt (a), history of Shi'a and any other issue which would be related to the Ahl al-Bayt (a) in some ways.
- General Islamic concepts that are accepted by all Muslims or are related to Islamic history.
- Concepts related to other Islamic sects will be introduced in WikiShia only if they are related to the school of Ahl al-Bayt (a) in some ways or if they are frequently mentioned in WikiShia.
Number of the articles
The first entry of English WikiShia was Hannana Mosque which was published on November 30, 2013. By the end of 2014, the number of articles reached 597. Right now, WikiShia has 4,220 articles in English and this number is growing day by day.
Supervision of the Content
- The content of WikiShia is supervised, so it can be relied upon as an authentic source for introducing Shi'a.
- WikiShia is an encyclopedia that is currently running in a way that limited number of authors, but it is planned to be opened to all Shi'as so that they can contribute to its perfection and propagate the teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt (a). Currently, editing this encyclopedia is only possible through the permission of the managers. Users are allowed to contribute to writing the entries in order to increase the scholarly value of them.
- Neutrality policy in the concepts of Shi'a and the Ahl al-Bayt (a) are well observed but it is obvious that WikiShia is preaching the school of the Ahl al-Bayt (a) and the entries are written to explain and defend their teachings.
- WikiShia entries are not scientific-research, meaning that the discussions are not first-hand and original and do not try to solve scholarly problems; therefore, WikiShia tries to present available information of current resources and thus authors should not present their personal ideas.
- Judgment about scholarly and historical disagreements is left to the reader; thus, WikiShia stays neutral in such cases.
- Due to religious disagreements, authors try their best to benefit from first-hand sources accepted by the two great Islamic schools (Shi'a and Sunni).
- Constant editing.
- Updating and adding information to entries.
- History tab on top of every page, where any change in the entry is recorded and readers can see the changes and the authors.
- The page "Recent changes" shows all changes made to the entries of WikiShia to the readers.
- The option for retrieving previous information and changes.
- Cross-links between entries, without much effort you can read about anything mentioned in the entries without searching and the reader can instantly hit the cross-link and go to the entries explaining the concepts in the links. This feature helps the reader to have access to all the concepts in every entry and receive complete information regarding the topic he is studying.
- Linking every entry in one language to the same entry in other languages.
- Using categories at the end of entries, categories are general topics and topic indices of WikiShia.
- Navigation templates, which make the links related to every entry in the horizontal box below the entries and sometimes are placed vertically at the sides of the entries. The links between the concepts in these boxes are parallel so that all these concepts are categorized under one general topic.
- Infoboxes, which are usually placed above entries and play the role of presenting information in brief. By referring to Infobox, one can get a picture of the major issues mentioned in the entry without reading all of it.
- Every page and entry in Wikishia has a discussion tab as well. The discussion page allows the readers to alarm the authors and editors of the entries about their opinions. The discussion page is in fact a place for discussion of experts and enthusiasts on one topic and helps the content richness of the entries.
- The material of this article is mainly taken from ويکی شيعه:آشنایی با ویکیشیعه in Farsi WikiShia.