Different Sects?

When I first seen that there are different denominations of the Islam faith it threw me. I don’t know why but for some reason I had it in my head that all Muslims believed that exact same way! Just goes to show that even I have alot of preconceived notions:-S

How many divisions the Islamic faith has is really up for debate but 2 of the more agreed upon are Sunni and Shi’a. Here is a chart I found breaking down some of their viewpoints.

Shia (or Shi’ah)
adherents called
Shiites, Shi’i
meaning of name
“well-trodden path” or “tradition”
“party” or “partisans” of Ali
current adherents
940 million
120 million
percentage of total Muslims
primary locations
most Muslim countries
Iran, Iraq, Yemen
none, but four major schools of Muslim law are recognized
Ithna ‘Ashariyah (Twelvers; the largest), Isma’iliyah and Zaydiyah
c. 632 CE; theology developed especially in 10th cent.
c. 632-650 CE; killing of Ali’s son Husayn in 680 CE is major event
did Muhammad designate a successor?
true successor of the Prophet
Abu Bakr, father of the Prophet’s favoured wife, ‘A’ishah (elected by people of Medina)
‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, husband of the Prophet’s daughter Fatimah (designated by the Prophet)
qualifications for ruler of Islam
tribe of the Prophet (Quraysh); later, any qualified ruler
family of the Prophet
current leaders
identity of imams
human leaders
infallible manifestations of God and perfect interpreters of the Qur’an
Al Mahdi
will come in the future
was already on earth, is currently the “hidden imam” who works through mujtahids to intepret Qur’an; and will return at the end of time
religious authority other than the Qu’ran
ijma’ (consensus) of the Muslim community
infallible imams
concealing faith for self-protection (taqiya)
affirmed under certain circumstances
temporary marriage (mut’ah)
practiced in the Prophet’s time, but now rejected
still practiced
holy cities
major holidays

They are the majority. They believe that Muhammad had no rightful heir and that a religious leader should be elected through a vote among the Islamic community’s people. They believe that Muhammad’s followers chose Abu Bakr, Muhammad’s close friend and advisor, as his successor. They also believe that Mahdi, which is Arabic for “guided one.” and the sole ruler of the Islamic community has not yet been born and anticipate his arrival.

They only represent about 10% of the faith. They believe that only Allah, the God of the Islam faith, can select religious leaders, and that therefore, all successors must be direct descendants of Muhammad’s family. They maintain that Ali, Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, was the rightful heir to the leadership of the Islam religion after Muhammad’s death. They also believe that the Mahdi was born in 869 A.D. and will return to Earth under Allah’s orders.

There are other division within each group but how and what divides them I could not find definite answers. Nor could I find striaght answers on what groups belong where. It gets kinda confusing at this point for me1

Well I am back from my break. I’m still upset over the lack of respect other religions give each other but I can see I need this blog and how it is really helping me grow! It is really nice to be able to correct the bigots with facts too 🙂 It probably shouldn’t be but I do love taken them down!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: