Differences And Shiites: Similarities Between Sunni And Shiites

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The Sunni and Shia factions began when the Muslim community was without a successor. Both factions had different ideas on who was the rightful heir. The Sunni group was established, they thought themselves as true believers to the Sunnah, or the prophet’s tradition. The Shia followers were known as Shiites, stemming from the phrase Shiat Ali, or followers of Ali. There are some similarities between the groups like certain religious practices and beliefs, but there are many differences that cause these groups to be extremely hostile to one another. Present day, there are many more Sunni followers than Shiites. Despite the fact that the Shiites are outnumbered, this does not stop the political disruption and instability.
The Shia and Sunni factions formed when the prophet Muhammad died in 632. The members of the Shia community, called Shiites, believed that the descendants of Ali
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“The Sunni and Shiite sects of Islam encompass a wide spectrum of doctrine, opinion and schools of thought. The branches are in agreement on many aspects of Islam, but there are considerable disagreements within each” (Harney). A disagreement is that the Shiites consider Ali and subsequent leaders as imams. Sunnis regard imams as prayer leaders without any spiritual or political authority, a stark difference from Shiites who believe imams are a direct descendant of Muhammad. They believe in 12 imams, the last of which has vanished in Iraq after the murder of his father. The Shiites who follow this are known as Twelvers, they anticipate his return in the form of the Mahdi, or Messiah. His return will bring forth a new era of peace and justice, which precedes the Last Judgement. The Sunnis also believe that the Madhi will come and bear the name of the Prophet before the Last Judgement. But where the two differ is that the Sunnis do not believe it will be a specific person named Muhammad that is the upcoming

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