Tenets of Tashayyu’

What is the Shīʿī path? Is it a political movement that emerged in reaction to certain historical events; a manifestation of Islam characterised by protest; a school of thought?  This course provides an outline of some of the tenets of tashayyu’ (practicing the Shīʿī way) based upon the early texts and teachings of the Imams (as).  It elucidates tashayyu’ as a path of love founded upon walāya (the dynamic bond between the Divine, the messengers and imams, and those on the path ) and the transmission of hikma (light and wisdom) from the Imam to his Shīʿa. It also explores two of the key components of tashayyu’: the practice of taqīyya (precautionary dissimulation) and ʿadl (the principle of justice).


Week OneTawhīd, nubuwwa and walāya
Week TwoDimensions of the Imam
Week ThreeTashayyu’ as a path of the intellect
Week FourTashayyu’ as a path of knowledge
Week FiveThe importance of love and the characteristics of the Shīʿa
Week SixInitiation
Week SevenThe concept of taqiyya
Week EightThe concept of justice


This course is at the level equivalent to a Batchelor’s degree. The rate is standard for a non-accredited short course in the Humanities.


  • To provide a rational analysis of the concept of tawhīd (the oneness of God) and to demonstrate the necessity for prophethood and imamate.
  • To elaborate on the metaphysical dimensions of the Imam and their relation to the Shīʿa.
  • To clarify the concept and practice of taqīyya as a method of strategic concealment and dissemination of knowledge.


  • Amir-Moezzi, Mohammad Ali. The Divine Guide in Early Shi‘ism: the Sources of Esoterism in Islam. Trans. David Streight (Albany: SUNY, 2004)
  • Amir-Moezzi, Mohammad Ali. The Spirituality of Shi‘i Islam (London, New York: IB Tauris in association with the Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2011)
  • ar-Rāzī, Ash-Shaykh Abū Ja‘far Muhammad ibn Ya‘qūb ibn Ishāq al-Kulaynī. Al-Kāfī. (Tehran: World Organization for Islamic Services, 1987, second ed.)
  • Corbin, Henry. En Islam iranien, Aspects spirituels et philosophiques, Vol. 1 Le shî’isme duodécimain (Éditions Gallimard, 1971)
  • Hamid, Idris Samawi. Islam, Sign & Creation (New York: Global Scholarly Publications, 2011)
  • Hamid, Idris Samawi. Islam, Station & Process (New York: Global Scholarly Publications, 2011)
  • Kohlberg, Etan. ‘Taqiyya in Shi‘i Theology and Religion’, in H.G. Kippenberg and G. Stroumsa (eds), Secrecy and Concealment. Studies in the History of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Religions (Leiden, 1995)
  • Lalani, Arzina R. Early Shī‘ī Thought (London: IB Tauris & Co. Ltd, 2000)
  • Rayshahri, M Muhammadi. The Scale of Wisdom: A Compendium of Shi‘a Hadith. Trans. N Virjee, A Kadhim, M Dasht Bozorgi, Z Alsalami, A Virjee. N Virjee (ed.) (London: ICAS Press, 2009)
  • Shirazi, Mulla Sadra. Spiritual Psychology (London: ICAS Press, 2008)
  • Tabarsi, Hassan ibn Fazl ibn. Mishkat al-Anwar fi Ghurar il-Akhbar [The Lamp Niche for the Best Traditions]. Trans. Ms Lisa Zaynab Morgan and Ali Peiravi (Qum: Ansariyan Publications, First Edition, 1422)

Course date and time

Tenets of Tashayyu’ will be running for eight weeks every Monday at 18:00 BST (UK time) from 20th May to 8th July 2024. To book, see the options below.

Full course option £130/$160: The full course consists of eight 90-minute live on-line classes. Once you have booked, you will be sent eight Reading Packs in pdf format, mp3 Recordings that guide you through each Reading Pack, and a Syllabus. You will need to provide your Skype ID. Classes are recorded. A certificate of completion is provided on the completion of an optional essay. To book the course, please click on the button below.

Half-course option £65/$80: You can book the first half of the course with four 90-minute live on-line classes. To book, please click on the button below.

Self-study option £50/$65: You will receive a Syllabus, eight pdf Reading Packs and an mp3 Recording to guide you through each Reading Pack. Study in your own time by reading the pdf Reading Packs and listening to the accompanying recorded lectures; write to the tutor with any questions and arrange for one live tutorial. To book, please click on the button below.

For more information, please check the FAQs page, or write to [email protected]