Differences in Islam Religion

History
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  • Discuss the main similarities and differences between at least two sects of the Islamic religion.
Nov 28th, 2015

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Shia

Sunni

Population200 million1.2 billion
Believe Muhammad nominated a successor?Yes, his cousin and son in law Ali ibn Abu TalibNo
Required lineage for rulerMust be male child from lineage of Ali from Fatimah.Can be any practicing Muslim chosen by agreement of the authorities of the muslim populace (ummah).
Successors after the Prophet12 Infallible Imams; Ali bin Abi Talib, Hassan, Hussain, Ali ZainulAbideen, Muhammad AlBaqir, Jaafar AlSaadiq, Musa AlKaazim, Ali AlRaza, Muhammad AlTaqi, Ali AlNaqi, Hasan AlAskari, Muhammad AlMahdi (hidden).The Four Rightly Guided Caliphs: Abu Bakr, Umar bin Al Khattab, Uthman bin Afan, Ali bin Abi Talib,
View on the personality of Imaam AliProphet said inter alia: - “Exemption from the Hellfire comes with love for Ali (A.S).” - “Of whomever I was master, Ali (A.S) is his master.” - “Ali (A.S) is from me and I am from him, and he is the protector of every true believer after mConsidered as a 'Lion of God', the first male convert to Islam, and a warrior champion of the faith.
Imams identified asDivinely guided. Considered as the only legitimate interpreters of the Quran.Saints. Considered as persons with strong faith in Quran and Sunnah.
Name of the practice means"party" or "partisans" of Ali"Well-trodden path" or "tradition"; "People of tradition and the community"
Continuation of authoritative revelationPartially true. Imaams are considered divinely guided. The purpose is to explain and safeguard the current faith and its esoteric meaning.No, authoritative revelation ended with Prophet Muhammad.
Self Flagellation (Lattum)To commemorate the martyrdom of Hussein, Shiite groups march in massive parades on the 10th day of the Muharram month. There is self-flagellation i.e. flogging own back, chest with hands, knives, blades or chains. Permitted by some scholars.No, termed as major sin
Building and visiting shrines permittedYesNo
AngelsAngels obey God's commandments. They have limited free will, though no drive to sin.God created angels from light. They do not have their own free will and always obey the commandments of God.
Place of worshipMosque, Imambarah or Ashurkhana, EidgahMosque, Eidgah
Use of statues and picturesNot permittedNot permitted
ClergyImaam (divinely guided), Ayatollah, Mujtahid, Allamah, Maulana, Hojatoleslam, Sayed, Mollah (colloquial)Caliph, Imaam (Saint), Mujtahid, Allamah, Maulana
MarriageMan may marry up to 4 women.Man may marry up to 4 women.
Offshoot religionsBaha'i - a separate religionAhmadiyya (Ahmedi) - a sect of Islam
Belief of GodOne GodOne God
Original Language(s)Arabic, FarsiArabic
Birth of JesusVirgin BirthVirgin Birth
Second coming of JesusAffirmedAffirmed
Death of JesusDenied. Jesus did not die on the cross, but his body went up to heaven.Denied. Jesus did not die on the cross, but his body went up to heaven.
View of other Abrahamic religionsChristianity and Judaism are "People of the Book."Christianity and Judaism are "People of the Book."
Resurrection of JesusDenied. Jesus did not die on the cross. Jesus will come back down from heaven in the future.Denied. Jesus did not die on the cross. Jesus will come back down from heaven in the future.
Holy daysAshura, Eid al Fitr, Eid al Adha, Eid al ghadeerEid al Fitr, Eid al Adha, Eid-e-Milaad-un-Nabi
OriginFrom teachings of Prophet Muhammad, a 7th century Arab religious and political figure.From teachings of Prophet Muhammad, a 7th century Arab religious and political figure.
Places most closely associated with independent history of the faithKufa, KarbalaMadinah (Medina), Makkah (Mecca)
Adherents calledShiites, Shia, Shii, Ehl-e-Tash'eSunni, Ehl-e-Sunnah
Geographic PresenceMajority in Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Lebanon. Minority spread across the world.Majority in most Muslim countries. Minority spread across the world.
Articles of BeliefOne God, Angels, Revealed Books of God including the Quran, Messengers, Day of Judgement, Prophethood, ImaamahOne God, Angels, Revealed Books of God including the Quran, Messengers, Day of Judgement, Prophethood
Pillars of faith1. Prayer 2. Fasting 3. Pilgrimage 4. Mandatory alms, 20% for Imaam and the needy (khums) 5.Jihad 6. Promotion of good 7. Dissuasion from bad 8. Re-affirmation 9. Disassociation from the enemies of Islam starting from first Caliph.1. Testament of Faith 2. Prayer 3. Mandatory alms, 2.5% for needy (zakaat) 4. Fasting 5. Pilgrimage 6. Struggle in the way of God to promote good and stop bad.
Beliefs regarding revealed scripturesBelief in the QuranBelief in the Quran
Collection of religious narrations from Imaams and MujtahidsNahajul Balagha, Kitab al-Kafi, Man la yahduruhu al-Faqih, Tahdhib al-Ahkam, Al-IstibsaarMuatta Maalik, Musnad Ahmad, Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunan Abu Dawood, Jami al-Tirmidhi, Sunan Nasae.
Branches and their statusIthna Ashariyya ('Twelvers'), Ismailis ('Seveners') and Zaidis ('Fivers'). The latter do not agree to infallibility of Imaams or to the occultation of the 12th Imaam Mahdi.Four contributing schools of Law: Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi and Hanbali. Two Schools of Creed: Ashari and Maturidi. These branches count each other on right path with different way of thinking.
Special Day of worshipFridayFriday
Temporary unannounced MarriageYesNo, termed as adultery.
Current leadersMujtahidsImaams (not in the same sense as Shi'a, where Imaams are divinely guided), Sheikhs and Murshids
Intercession permittedYes (14 Infallibles only - From Prophet until the Mahdi, including Fatima, daughter of the Prophet and wife of Ali)Major groups of Sunnis do not accept intercession. However, the method of prayer at dargahs or ziyarat-gahs (tombs of saints) may be considered close to intercession.
Public affirmation of faith and propagation of teachingsThe Shia allow 'Taqiyya': which is to be able to deny faith when under grave danger. This extends to the belief that true meaning of faith is hidden until the coming of twelfth Imaam.Little stress on esoteric meaning or taqiyya. While 'inner meaning' of Quraan is accepted as existing, stress is on literal rather than mystic interpretation. Notable exceptions are Sufi schools.
Did Islam achieve ultimate glory?No, it was hijacked by hypocrites, especially the first three Caliphs.Yes, mission of Muhammad achieved glory at the time of first three Caliphs and sustained by next three Caliphs including Ali bin Abi Talib.
Building and visiting mosques permittedYesYes
Worship at gravesYesNot permitted; is considered 'shirk' or a hypocrisy against faith.
AshuraDay of Mourning and self-flagellation (however contemporary Shia clergy disagree with flagellation and say only to give a blood donation if anything). Mourning is common in Shia Mosques and    Imambaras for Hussain.                                            
Sunni:
Day of Fasting and remembrance, both of Hussain and Moses' reported crossing of the sea.    

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Nov 28th, 2015

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