The experience of proselytizing Shiism and the Ahl al-Bayt school in the international space changed radically after the Islamic Revolution of Iran, both qualitatively and quantitatively; and the Shiites – in effect – turned from a dominated and alienated minority into self-aware and self-founded groups in most parts of the world. In this atmosphere, the experience of Nigeria – due to its rapid growth with no previous presence of local Shiism there – is a unique one, not interrupted in spite of continuous attacks against them during the last two decades. Here, questions on the most important factors for success of proselytizing Shiism in Nigeria, understanding the action of Islamic movement and its leader, Sheikh Zakzaki, and the current status of the Shiites based on the political-social structure of Nigeria are most important for showing the strategies of promoting the Shiites’ status in that country. The present article shows that the strategy of social proselytizing is the main factor in success of proselytizing Shiism in Nigeria, which could form the Shiites’ social action, while establishing a relationship between Ahl al-Bayt’s teachings and Nigeria’s social issues, and finally creating the self-aware community of Nigeria.
The present article studies the tribe as the foundational concept of the social structure of Nigeria, which has led to deep social crises in connection with colonialism and formation of the modern government – crises such as identity crisis, trends of eccentricity and internal wars – to show that the Shiite identity-seeking and self-aware action has been identified as a crisis-making action. Finally, the strategy of reconstructing the image of Shiism from a crisis-making trend to a generative one, and reconstructing the Shiite identity and formation of the Shiite self-founding community in Nigeria have been proposed as a way out of this challenge; and the Shiite community must focus on education, poverty and health problems under the social approach of proselytizing.
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