Difference Between Sunni and Shia
Sunni vs Shia
A difference between Sunni and Shia has originated from political and spiritual grounds. The other differences are on the basis of religious practices and rituals people follow. Sunni is an Arabic word which means the one who follows the traditions or Sunah of the Prophet whereas Shia word is derived from Shiayat e Ali that means friends of Ali.
Sunni and Shia developed different political beliefs regarding the leadership after the death of Prophet Muhammad PBUH. All those who are in favor of Abu bakar, Umar and Ottoman ,the first three caliphs, are called Sunnis and those who believe that leadership only belonged to the family of the Prophet call themselves Shia. Shia Muslims believe that Ali was the legitimate successor and eligible as the first caliph since he was the cousin and son- in- law of the Prophet.
Sunni Muslims are in majority as compared to the Shia Muslims and they are spread all over the world. Shia Muslims are more significantly present in Iraq, Iran, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Pakistan.
Sunni and Shia Muslims have different religious practices although they share the set of same basic beliefs of Islam. They have almost fifteen minutes difference in their prayer and fasting times. There is also a difference in their rituals and other ceremonies like nikah or marriage ceremony. Shia Muslims also believe in Mutah or marry a woman for a brief period of time whereas Sunni Muslims do not believe in this obsolete ritual which is forbidden by the Prophet.
Shia and Sunni both have different rituals for pilgrimage as well. Shia Muslims often travel to pay their homage to the tombs present in Iran and Iraq. Sunni Muslims base their religious practices on the basis of Hadith or traditions of the Prophet as narrated by the companions of the Prophet whereas Shia Muslims reject and do not follow the Hadith books etc.
Another major difference and bone of contention between the two sects is the animosity and hatred of Shiites towards the first three caliphs in Islam and other companions of the Prophet. Shia Muslims follow extremes of hatred towards some companions and love for some of the other companions of the Prophet.
Shia Muslims believe that the twelfth Imam Mahdi has already been born and would soon come out from his hiding whereas Sunni Muslims believe that he has yet to be born and will emerge soon. Shia muslims lead Ashoora or mourning processions in the memory of martyr Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet.
1. Shia Muslims believe that the legitimate leadership inheritance belonged only to the Ahle-e-bayet or bloodline of the prophet.
2. Sunni Muslims follow the Sunnah or hadith. Hadith or sunnah is the practice of following the traditions of Prophet narrated by the Prophet’s companions.
3. Shia Muslims lead mourning processions in the memory of martyr Imam Hussain and mourn for a period of ten days in the Islamic month of Moharum.
4. Sunni and Shia Muslims both follow same beliefs but have differences in the religious and ritual practices such as prayer or salat and fasting.
5. Sunni and Shia populations exist all over the world whereas Shia Muslims are more significantly found in Iran, Iraq etc.
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