The Differences between Shia and Sunni
When it comes to the Islamic faith, its followers are predominantly categorized into two groups: Shia and Sunni. While both these sects have faith in the same Quranic revelations, their beliefs, practices, and customs differ quite significantly.
The split between these two sects occurred after the Prophet Muhammad’s death in 632 AD. The Shiite branch believed that the prophet’s cousin and son-in-law, Ali, was the Prophet’s truthful successor. The Sunni branch believed that the Prophet did not name a successor, and thus they regarded the three subsequent caliphs as the legitimate rulers of the Muslim Ummah.
The most significant doctrinal difference between Shia and Sunni is their understanding of the position and authority of the Prophet Muhammad’s family members. In Shiaism, Ali, his family members, and the 12 Imams who succeeded him, are viewed as divinely guided leaders who have access to unique spiritual knowledge. In contrast, Sunnis do not agree with this belief; they believe that leadership of the Muslim community is a matter to be decided by consensus, with the caliphs and scholars serving as guidance.
Practices and Customs
In terms of daily practices and customs, the two sects also differ. For instance, Shias commemorate the tenth day of the Islamic month of Muharram as Ashura, believing that it was the day that Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Hussain, was martyred. In contrast, Sunnis celebrate this day as a day of fasting or as an optional day of fasting.
Another difference lies in the form of prayer. Shias perform the daily five prayers, but they also have additional prayers that they consider as “recommended.” Sunnis only perform the mandatory five prayers; for them, additional prayers are optional and can only be done as a form of voluntary worship.
In conclusion, while both sects of Islam follow the same religious text, The Quran, there are significant differences in their beliefs, practices, and customs. While each sect respects the other, the historical and doctrinal differences remain.
Table difference between shite and sunni
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