Alawites

The Alawis, Alawites (Arabic: علوية Alawīyah), or Nusayris (Arabic: نصيرية Nuṣayrīyah) are an ethnoreligious group and nation primarily in the Levant which originated from Shia Islam. The Alawites revere Ali (Ali ibn Abi Talib), considered the first Imam of the Twelver school. The group is believed to have been founded by Ibn Nusayr during the 9th century. Ibn Nusayr was a disciple of the tenth Twelver Imam, Ali al-Hadi and of the eleventh Twelver Imam, Hasan al-Askari. For this reason, Alawites are also called Nusayris. Another name, Ansari, is believed to be a mistransliteration of “Nusayri”.