Chart: Sunni and Shia Islam

Chart: Sunni and Shia Islam

Sunni and Shia Islam
All Muslims believe in the teachings of the Qur'an, Islam's holy scripture; in the Prophet Muhammad, who was divinely inspired to recite the Qur'an; and in the Five Pillars of Islam: prayer, a declaration of faith, charity, fasting during Ramadan, and pilgrimage. However, in the 7th century, adherents split into the majority Sunni group and the minority Shiite group. Here's how the beliefs of the two groups differ.
  Sunnis Shias
Early Spiritual Leaders Sunnis believe that the first four caliphs--religious leaders--after the Prophet Muhammad's death were legitimate. Shiites believe that the Prophet Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, Ali ibn Abi Talib, and his descendants are the prophet's lawful successors and ultimate authorities on questions of law and doctrine.
Current Spiritual Leaders Sunnis TK Sunnis do not have a formal clergy, just scholars and jurists, who may offer non-binding opinions. Shias believe that their supreme Imam is a fully spiritual guide, inheriting some of Muhammad's inspiration ("light") . Their imams are believed to be inerrant interpreters of law and tradition. Sunnis retained the doctrine of the selection of leaders by consensus, Shiites believe that the last of the spiritual leaders, the Twelfth Imam, disappeared in the TK century but will reappear to judge and save the world. The best known modern example of the Shia supreme Imam is the late Ayyatollah Khomeni, whose portrait hangs in many Shia homes. The Shia Imam has come to be imbued with Pope-like infallibility and the Shia religious hierarchy is not dissimilar in structure and religious power to that of the Catholic Church within Christianity.
Tone Sunnis TK Sunnis Martyrs, suffering, mysticism
Scripture After Muhammad's death, his followers compiled Gods revelations to the prophet into the Quran, the holy scripture of Islam. Other sayings and teachings of his and his companions as recalled by those who had known Muhammad, became the hadith. The precedent of his personal deeds and utterances was set forth in the sunna. Together the Quran, the hadith, and the sunna form a comprehensive guide to the spiritual, ethical, and social life of an orthodox Sunni Muslim. the Quran is the principal source of religious law, supplemented by the Sunna, which sets forth the perfect example of the Prophet as represented by his deeds, his teachings and decisions, and his unspoken approval as reported by witnesses. In addition to "Allah's Quran and the Prophet's Sunna," the hadith records the deeds, teachings, legal interpretations, and consensual decisions by the Prophet's companions in the period immediately after his death. but later the word "sunna" came to have a special religious meaning. The sayings and practices of Muhammad, in addition to being repeated for the spiritual edification of the believer, were codified as legally binding precedents. Called the "Sunna", it thus became a second source of law in addition to the law found in the Qur'an, and the following story will help us understand its importance. The 'Sunnis credit the Sunna' or the traditions of the Holy Prophet as being bf canonical authority but the Shia reject the Sunni collections of them as apocryphal and incredible. do not consider the Sunna (the oral law, tradition) of any authority, but rather charge it as being apocryphal.
Adherents Sunnis make up 90% of Muslims worldwide but only 35% of the Iraqi population. Sunnis make up 10% of Muslims worldwide but 60% of the Iraqi population.


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