The Grand Council of Basra was a council called by Caliph Umar Bahar Al-Nasser Nur-Raman Al-Ruqqaya, the third Rashidun Caliph since the fall of the Abbasids . The purpose of the council was to establish a unified doctrine for Ziyadi and Sunni Islam, in the hope of merging the two sects back together.


Succession of Muhammad

For many centuries, the main separating factor between the Shia and Sunni factions had been the succession of the Prophet Muhammad. During the Rashidun Caliphate in the 7th century AD, the Shiat Ali preferred a heretitary succession passed through the male descendents of Muhammad. The Sunni, however, acknowledged the Caliph as a succession of eminent, non-dynastic scholars known as the "Rightly-guided ones" (or Rashidun). Ali himself ultimate became the fourth Rashidun Caliph, but he was ultimately assassinated by the Kharijite tribe who defected to rule from the Ummayyad clan. For the next thousand years, the role of Caliph was passed down as heretitary succession, first by the Umayyad, then the Abbasid dynasties. Meanwhile, the Shia at first held on to a heretitary claim in the main Jaffari sect, but after the death of Muhammad Al-Mahdi in 880 AD this was mostly abandoned. Instead, the various Shia sects mostly held to the notion that their leader was "occulated" (or hidden) until they are revealed at the end of the world. As such, the leadership of the Shia held to a more non-dynastic view in the same way the Rashidun originally was.

After the fall of the Abbasid dynasty in the late 16th century, the new Rashidun Caliphate adopted a more purely-elected system, allowing any eminent scholar in the Ulema to have the potential to be Caliph. As such, the re-introduction of this system made the key difference between Shia and Sunni a mute point. 

Relationship between Iran and Arabia

After the conqests of Tamerlane in the later 14th century, and the establishment of the Gurkani Sultanate in the early 15th century, the many branches of Shia Islam were mostly marginalized and merged into the Ziyadi sect, which was adopted and propogated by the Gurkani Sultan. After the Treaty of Batman in the 1520s, the dominence of the Gurkani Sultanate was overthrown, but the influence of Ziyadi Islam remained. 

Although the relaitonship between Iran and the Middle East was always back and forth in the early modern era, they ultmately proved to be close enough allies to help break apart the Aryavarta Empire in the Golden Jihad

Proceedings of the Council

Topics of discussion

  • Ecclesiastical organization
  • Political realtions
  • Doctrinal disputes, including:
    • Succession of the Prophet
    • Nature of Salat prayer (on mat vs on ground)
    • Times of Salat prayer (five vs three)
    • Nature of Jihad (a sixth pillar of Shia)


  • Working proposal between the Caliphate and Iran:
    • Equal participaiton is given between Ziyadi and Sunni scholars in the Council of Senior Scholars of Damascus
    • The Sunni world adopts the Salat prayer directly on the ground, while the Shia world will adopt prayer five times a day
    • The doctrine of Jihad is adopted partially as a pillar, restricting its authority to princes and ministers
    • Ali, Hassan and Hussein are considered martyrs of the faith of Islam


Participating members

Any Muslim nation is free to participate

  • Rashidun Caliphate
  • Sultanate of Iran
  • African Sultanate of Maghrib (via sending Imamas to dis talk)


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