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What Is the Difference Between Sunni and Shiite Muslims--and Why Does It Matter?
1.       Roswitha
4132 posts
 09 Feb 2009 Mon 04:18 pm

Finally I can get an insight about the difference between the Sunni and Shiite Muslims.


The Islam religion was founded by Mohammed in the seventh century. In 622 he founded the first Islamic state, a theocracy in Medina, a city in western Saudi Arabia located north of Mecca. There are two branches of the religion he founded.

The Sunni branch believes that the first four caliphs--Mohammed´s successors--rightfully took his place as the leaders of Muslims. They recognize the heirs of the four caliphs as legitimate religious leaders. These heirs ruled continuously in the Arab world until the break-up of the Ottoman Empire following the end of the First World War.

Shiites, in contrast, believe that only the heirs of the fourth caliph, Ali, are the legitimate successors of Mohammed. In 931 the Twelfth Imam disappeared. This was a seminal event in the history of Shiite Muslims. According to R. Scott Appleby, a professor of history at the University of Notre Dame, "Shiite Muslims, who are concentrated in Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon, [believe they] had suffered the loss of divinely guided political leadership" at the time of the Imam´s disappearance. Not "until the ascendancy of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1978" did they believe that they had once again begun to live under the authority of a legitimate religious figure.



2.       anka
207 posts
 09 Feb 2009 Mon 05:02 pm

Dear Roswitha,

Hz. Muhammed has founded a perfect religion.
Inviting people to be ONE, advising them to be in sisterhood, brotherhood and humane..

Advicing friendship, loving each other, respecting, loving every creature on earth, even animals, plants, stones, waters, soil...

But he didn´t founded TWO branches.


The mentality is we come from ONE God and we will turn back to that ONE God.

Because God has blowed from God´s (i don´t prefer to use "his" because Allah has no gender) own spirit.

We people have the same essence inside our hearts.

But what happened after he died?

People started to fight for nothing again!!!

what we do on earth now?

kill our sisters and brothers for NOTHING!!!

we will die one day, but we like to possess everything on earth, even raping the other´s rights like we will live here forever...

Muhammed invited people to be ONE, but people insist on dividing into small groups and like to fight with each other and change this world into the hell..

I am really sorry for this.

I saw a mail a few mins. ago, comparing the Jewish people´s experiences(photos) in II. World War and the photos of Palestinian people in today´s world.

Wasn´t that awful what had happened to Jewish those days?

and isn´t it again dreadful what is happening to the Palestinian people in there today?

what is the difference?

all are HUMAN!!!!

I really cannot comprehend how can a human do such things to other human!!!

How cruel can we become...

too sorry...........(

Edited (2/9/2009) by anka

3.       azade
1606 posts
 11 Feb 2009 Wed 12:20 am

There are many differences between sunnis and shiites. Before hz Mohammed died, he announced Abu Bakr his successor (Aisha´s father, as he did not have any sons) but the shiites refused to accept him as they wanted Ali (the husband of hz Mohammed´s daughter Fatima) instead. Since then the shiites have had a strong perference for hz Mohammed´s family and their "imams" which some state are more important than the prophets.

Shiism is full of bidah (innovation) such as worship of martyrs (eg. the day they mourn Hussein ra by hurting themselves) even though they state that they follow the Quran and sunnah. Because of their hate towards Abu Bakr and Aisha ra they don´t accept hadiths from Aisha (which are very central in sunni islam) but have some of their own hadiths instead. Furthermore shiism allow temporary marriage and have a "priesthood" as can be seen in Iran. These things and many more are against the principles of islam, but the shiites refuse to accept it. There are many sects within shiism so some of the things I mentioned above may apply to some while not to others.


If you want to know some more I can try to find some texts.

4.       azade
1606 posts
 11 Feb 2009 Wed 12:22 am

Anka there is a hadith stating that there will be 73 different variations of islam but only one will lead to jannah

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