Abbas Di Palma, Shaykh Abbas Di Palma holds a BA and an MA degree in Islamic Studies, and certifications from the Language Institute of Damascus University. He has also studied traditional Islamic sciences in... Answered 3 years ago

"Shia", in his technical sense, originally indicated a person who followed Ali and preferred him to the other sahabah. It was not supposed to be a sect or a variety of doctrinal branches with different theological or religious views. As a matter of fact divisions were spread, the book "Firaq al-Shia" by Hasan Ibn Musa al-Nawbakhti, available also in English, mentions most of their ramifications. Nowadays the main surviving schools are the Zaydiyyah (Zaydis), the Ismailiyyah (Ismailis) and Ithna Ashariyyah (Twelvers).

With prayers for your success.