The Islam And The Muslim Community

1651 Words7 Pages
The Islam faith grew stronger and united during the lifetime of the Prophet Mohammed. Soon after his death, differences regarding leadership of the Muslim community instigated conflict. By the year 650 AD, the Islamic community had divided into two main branches, the Shia and the Sunnis. Similar beliefs and practices among both sects have allowed for their members to co-exist for centuries. However, differences in theology, law, and religious organizations have caused drastic conflict and competition among the two, dividing and tearing communities apart.
With approximately eighty-five percent, Sunnis are the majority of the Muslim population. They see their branch of Islam as traditionalist and orthodox. The Qur’an and traditions, or
…show more content…
Shia accounts only to fifteen percent of the Muslim population with its vast majority residing in Iran and Iraq. They claim that the Prophet Mohammed had appointed Ali as a successor to lead the Muslim community after his death. He was appointed caliph in 656 but lost control of the Islamic world, he was murdered soon after that. Ali’s sons Hassan and Hussein tried to recuperate their legitimate right to leadership but were not successful, and they were also murdered. Shia or “party of Ali” believe that Ali and his descendants should be the leaders of the Islamic faith. Shia Muslims believe that there were divinely inspired figures called imams. Shias often worship the Imams as saints, “an imam speaks with the authority of God”. In contrast, Sunni Muslims see imams as simply humans who lead the prayers of the community. Shias believe that there will be a messiah, they expect for this figure to appear on day and “lead the world into an era of justice”. They often do not trust the traditional readings and interpretation of the Qur’an by Sunnis, given that Ali is not mentioned as the successor of Mohammed.
In conclusion, it is worth mentioning that despite the differences between the Sunni and the Shia Muslims, they share the main Islamic beliefs. They venerate the Prophet Mohammed, above everything else and regardless of their involvement in any particular group. They read the same Qur’an and follow the same Five Pillars of Islam. Most importantly, they accept each
Get Access