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Difference Between Sunni and Shiite Islam

islam Sunni vs Shiite Islam

Islam is considered to be one of the largest religions practiced in the world. Established by the Prophet Mohammad during the 7th century AD, it is a religion and a way of life practiced in many countries all over the world.

For many of us, we see Islam to be apparently one cohesive religion with a few fanatics here and there. But in reality, there are two different branches of the Islam religion: the Sunni Islam and Shiite Islam. While these two branches of Islam both use the same teachings and practice the same principles, this is pretty much where the similarities between the two branches of Islam end. In fact, there are a number of different beliefs central to the religion of Islam where these two branches differ.

Perceptions in Leadership
The division in Islam had been noted to have occurred after the death of the Prophet Mohammad. After his death, the two branches began to have differences in opinions with regards to the true and rightful leader of the Islam religion. For the Sunni Islam sect, they believed that the rightful heir of Mohammad’s place as leader of the Islam religion is one who is voted based out of the consensus of the Islam communities. For this reason, they regard Abu Bakr, Mohammad’s close friend and advisor, as the heir to the leadership.

Mohammad to the Islam religion.
On the other hand, the Shiite Islam sect believed that only Allah had the ability to choose who the next leaders of the Islam religion should be. As such, they believed that only those can trace their ancestry directly to the family to of the Prophet Mohammad should stand as leaders of the Islam faith. This is why for the Shitte Islam sect, it is Ali, the fourth caliph and a direct descendant from the family of the Prophet Mohammad that is the rightful heir to the leadership of the Islam religion.

Belief of the Rightfully Guided One

Another difference between the Sunni Muslims and Shiite Muslims is with regards to their belief of the Mahdi, or the ‘Rightfully Guided One.’ While both sects believe that the Mahdi would serve as the global caliph of all Islam, the Sunni Muslims look forward to his birth and coming into the Earth. On the other hand, the Shiite Muslims believe that the Mahdi had already arrived to earth, and will be returning soon.

1. Sunni and Shiite Muslims are sects of the Islam religion which was established by the Prophet Mohammad with the division between the two sects occurring right after the death of the prophet.
2. Sunni Muslims believe that their leaders are those that are voted by the members of the Islam communities based on their capability to fulfill the required tasks. Shiite Muslims believe that their leaders must be those who are direct descendants of the Prophet Mohammad who had been elected by Allah to serve as the first leader of the Islam faith.
3. Sunni Muslims believe that the Mahdi, or the ‘Rightfully Guided One’ is yet to come to Earth and make his presence felt. Shiite Muslims believe that the Mahdi is already here and is just waiting for the right time for him to make his reappearance.

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  1. what you state is clearly true, however, shia-ism has transformed into a multitude of sects and beliefs at variance with orthodox islam and they do not accept sunni,s as muslims!
    contrary to what they claim, this a fact which i have experienced first hand!

    lastly, the shia,s predicament can easily be answered of succession by reading the hindu holy book which clearly records the advent of prophet mohammed and his helpers in a prophecy as the first 4 rightly guided caliphs who the shia,s reject except Alai (ra)!

    It would also be a point to note that the policys of each caliph never differed from each other in succession, if they were happy with that who the heck are these shia,s to dispute?

  2. I still don’t understand why they’re so at odds. got to be more than just those specific beliefs. What about cultural and class differences?

  3. There is division everywhere, christ is the key of peace.

    • True – there is differences everywhere and particularly in Christianity. There’s the the Orthdox Christians vs Roman Catholics vs the Protestants (Lutherans, Calvinists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Congregationalists, et al from the Reformation, Restoration and New Thought periods). Christianity can not proclaim peace when it is one of the most denominationally divided religions I have ever known to exist. Perhaps when Christianity returns to the ways of the New Testament church founded by Jesus in the 1st century AD then maybe there will be peace and piece of mind. But what do I know, I’m a Scientologist .

      • America and the rest of the west are not a christian nations like they claim to be. Their governments like all are murderers and liars. True Christianity can only be understood and attained via a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You’ll never know a greater peace and contentment until you accept Jesus as your lord and savior.

        • Mathew 10:34-36 talks about conflict within the family and in Proverbs 20:5 ” The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out”. The fruit of the Spirit keeps me accountable for my own salvation.
          The main idea in my personal belief is not acquiring peace in life but retaining peace through conflict. If there wasn’t conflict in the world the Bible would probably have a different tone and we’d probably be in a different reality.
          Also, I belief letting go of earthly things and relations is like asking me to severe a limb. I’m talking about an addiction or an ideal that I hold dear. I would have to have spiritual intervention. Every time I find myself struggling to get along with a family member or a co-worker I picture people on a global scale, tribe vs tribe, and nations. All basically going through the same exact thing. I think to my self; can I relate to the U.S or China in their political agendas or the Sunni and the Shiite in their contention towards each other.

        • America does not have a religion. It goes against one of our basic right to freedom of religion; choosing one from them all to represent our country would be illegal.

          Plus, saying that all of the West is non-Christian simply because you hear about how corrupt many of out politicians are is just as offensive as me saying that all people of the Middle East are trained Jihadist terrorists.

          • Incorrect drivel spouted by today’s public schools. Jefferson’s Establishment Clause to the Danbury Baptists was an assurance that there would not be an established state religion like the Anglican church. It was not, nor was ever meant, to imply that the state should separate itself from faith. If you read all the other documents from that time (not later interpretations, but first sources), it’s impossible to miss that faith was assumed — required, even, for public office.

            As to Sunni vs. Shi’ite, the difference I have experienced is that Sunni are focused on domination.

          • People are so glib, yet don’t even know the ‘separation of church and state’ “clause” is not in the Constitution, but excerpted from Jefferson’s letter to the Baptist reverend; also not widely known is Jefferson had no part in writing the USC; it was James Monroe. But, I digress.

        • According to the Holy books including bible: The GOD Of Abraham a.s Never Change. Meaning, THE GOD OF ABRAHAM A.S NEVER CHANGE to become in a human form. Your Christian beliefs are really dangerous for your souls.
          The fact that Vatican has revealed the Christian Jesus to be the son of Lucifer this tells everything.
          Conclusions: No matter if you are a catholic or a protestant your Christian Jesus is not the real son of Mary.
          With your Christian Jesus you are dealing with the [Anti-Messiah].
          Because, The Anti-Messiah [The son of Lucifer] claims to be the god almighty.
          Is something that the real son of Mary Isa a.s has warned us.
          The real son of Mary Isa a.s will Return.
          Your Christmas Jesus [The son of Lucifer [The Anti-Messiah] will melt after seeing the real son of Mary (Isa a.s).
          After The Returning of prophet Isa a.s…..
          The major signs of the Last Day with begin to appear fast one to another.
          Please, read with an open mind The right Bible which was written in Aramaic language. The Real son of Mary Isa a.s spoke Aramaic language and he used To Call The God Of Abraham a.s in Aramaic As Following: ALAAH, THE FATHER AND ELAHI

    • God says to all on this blog: The only way that God will bring peace to the world is that everyone must change their ways for His Sake. Which means pray, repent and stop sinning against God altogether. Honor the Laws of God. Otherwise, as Christ stated: “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

      God says to all Muslims specifically: God knows that in your Islamic book, The Koran, it indicates Jesus Christ was not crucified. God says, His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ was crucified. So please start finding in your hearts to accept this one God Given Fact. God also says, it doesn’t mean you have to give up your Islamic faith, which means to “submit your total will to God (Allah).” You can still practice Islam, and also include beliefs in Jesus, Our Lord Christ and Saviour, and that He was crucified and died for all mankind.

      Written at the Instructions of God (The Almighty, Hashem, Allah)

      by Vanessa Nawrocki, The Last Appointed Messenger
      Position below a Prophet
      (Same status as Joan of Arc, Bernadette Soubirous, and Children of Fatima)

      Urgent Note: God says only two (2) prophets are forthcoming, Christ will arrive on Clouds from Heaven with His Mighty Sword, and He will send His Angels with a Loud Trumpet Call to gather His elect! Then God will end the world.

      • Allah is a false god. Do your research and you will find the truth.

        • Open your mind for your own good and confirm the following truth about the real son of Mary Isa a.s (Jesus for your understanding). The Real son of Mary spoke Aramaic language and he a.s used to Call The GOD Of Abraham a.s as following: ALAAH, THE FATHER AND ELAHI.
          Islam is the religion of Abraham a.s. You have to make a proper research and confirm the above truth.

      • Of course like always with all my respect to all of you Christmas.
        Your Christman beliefs is based according to your Church system. Which is really dangerous for your souls.
        No matter if you are a Catholic or a Protestant, with all my respect I have to Inform you. Vatican has revealed officially Jesus to be the son of Lucifer [Satan himself].
        Meaning, your Christian Jesus is not the real son of Mary.
        With the Christian Jesus, you are dealing with The son of Lucifer [The Anti-Messiah].
        In the other side, the real son of Mary spoke Aramaic language and used To Call The God Of Abraham a.s as following: ALAAH, THE FATHER AND ELAHI
        The Real son of Mary Isa a.s (Jesus for your understanding) warned us for the Anti-Messiah and his claim to be the god almighty. Here we have Jesus the son of Lucifer claiming to be the god.
        Woe to you.

    • Jesus christ of your Church is the key to Hellfire.
      Vatican has declared officially Jesus to be the son of Lucifer. [Satan Himself]. Meaning, your Jesus is [The Anti-Messiah].
      With all my respect, I am just giving you the right information.
      Please, find the right Bible which was written in Aramaic language and read the Holy Qur’an with an open mind because, Isa a.s which is the real son of Mary, spoke Aramaic Language and he used to Call The God Of Abraham a.s as following: ALAAH, THE FATHER AND ELAHI.


  4. 1) obviously there are some people on BOTH sides who believe the other side to not be Muslim
    2) the battle of Karbala (less than 100 shias vs 10000+ sunnis = massacre of shias and disrespectful treatment of women and children) is the reason for the dispute, led into modern times
    3) the division between sucession is the main reason which led to the deaths of women and children
    4) Sunnis “democratically” appointed Abu Bakar without telling people who were close to Prophet Muhammad (saw) about the vote, namely Imam Ali (as) who was attending to funeral preparations for Prophet Muhammad (saw)
    5) on there way to Medina, Prophet Muhammad (saw) stopped EVERYONE to say that Imam Ali (as) was his SUCCESSOR but Sunnis beleive that he stopped EVERYONE to say that Imam Ali (as) was his FRIEND. now which makes more sense?

  5. also, Islam is a way of life and the Quran dictates everyday activities, so u can see why there is such a rift between the two because ur way of life is being threatened with murder on both sides

  6. so what if the majority agrees?? just because the majority agrees with something does NOT make it right. (ie in sunni dominated countries, Shias r oppressed just like in shia countries, sunnnis r oppressed)

  7. shi’as are slightly the same to the cristians.!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. yes i acpect nd i know all that so plz call me on this no 9711883021

  9. shea is moslem because alah set mohammad for people and mohhamad set ali with several reason that you can read in history

    who is now that ali is beter or abu bakar alah by mohhamad or democratically appointed?

    If sunnis do reset our thinks and without prejudice we can compare ability of Ali & Abu bakar

    that who is prefer for leader of people?

    everybody can guess that Mohhamad before die of course he set next leader

    we living in 2011 we can thinking !!!!!!

  10. I think Islam is the best!that’s all!

  11. Shiism has corrupted many things, and invented many things that have no relation with Islam:
    1- the corrupted the Adhan.
    2-they combine prayers, while we should combine it only under certain circumstances.
    and many many things…..

  12. well i , think its not like this that all shias belive so……. there are also the shia ismailies whoes belives are different from the twelver shias,……

  13. salam alaykom
    my dears
    i and u will die . time in this word is short we should answer to alah and Rasolalah (salamolah) not answer to my leader and your leader your idea not useful for me in this word and another word
    yes i am shia but if i can find reason of course i will sonni
    please first of all we should restart all old idea and clean our thinks about sonni and shia
    please help
    i have a simple question mohhamad(s) had a hard life 23 years very hard life for allah and give massage of allah to people ok??
    1-who can accept he dont set leader for after die?
    2- in sonnis books explain for GHADIR
    where is ghadir history in sonni people who erase GHADIR from sonni thinks
    Thanks A Lot

    • In all honesty Allah is the only leader and christians muslims jews catholics at the end of the day all believe in our creator God. Muslims come from the bloodline of abraham and God stated that our savior would be born from his blood line which was Jesus Christ of Nazereth. One thing for sure though is that in the 10 commandments it states that you should not Kill and i know he would not want death for anyone just becuase there is a disgreement on who was Muhameds succesor. In reality those directly under him were holy men who devoted their lives to God and they were leaders just like Muhamed. In the end though it was the devine influence of God that made them leaders and it is God who continues to make others Leaders. There is no one human who is more than the next and there is no one human who is more important than the lesson that God wants us all to live by which is LOVE.

  14. I was a sunni muslim. I have gone through the quran, Islamic history and authenticated litreature(hadees) and find that Hazrat Ali(as) is the rightful caliph and Imam. His Caliphate and Imamat can be proven by quran and hadees. It is proven by sureh-al-mayda. On various Occassions prophet Muhammed(SAWS) declaried that Ali(as) is right ful leader of islam after him. Prophet Muhammed(SAWS) declaried “Man qunto Maula Fahaza Aliyun Maula”(Ali is the master whomsoever I am the master)

  15. Hi, i want to know only one thing to all (islamic) why u people r making worst in this beautiful world.just like terrorist, bombing &etc you guys r dont know how to live. plz

    • hi dear in fact every one trust teror and killing people they are not moslem
      yes sure
      they are fake moslem and some groups is made in some western country u know when smart thinks of some country want opposition to Islam they make some bad islamic groups(just name is islamic not real islam) for showing to people of the world that say hey people see this is islam !!!! yes it is simple why for opposition to ISLAM if u want know real islam i can help u
      i can show you some books about MOHAMMAD (S)and his family you will know he was very friendly and kind

  16. As-salam alikum,

    I am a Muslim! I fail to understand why we Muslims tend to fight on this matter of Shia and Sunni. Why dont we see that the basic’s of us being Muslims is the same, yes there is a different technique amongst us in regards to offering the namaz, adhan, etc. But the basic of being a Muslim is the same, we both believe that there is no god accept Allah and that Prophet Muhammad is his messenger. Even if we don’t believe in prophet Muhammad being the last prophet, why do we fight.

    Our enemies are having fun, they are enjoying. Infact they are the ones who are increasing the fight amongst us. Lets open the Quran and look up what true Islam is and stop fighting and UNITE!!!!

    This is the time of the coming of The Last Day of Judgement, we shouldn’t be late befor the doors of forgiveness close. Please gain knowledge, look into the basic. Dont dive too deep into what happened after our last prophet died.

    We should follow what Prophet Muhammad said because all those who came before him their words and books were manipulated my mankind to make different religious we see today e.g. Christians, Jews.

    Please Muslims unite and stop fighting on Sunni and Shia. Look into the basics. We are killing our own Muslim brothers, sisters and kids….. WAKE UP and UNITE.

    Lets show our enemies that we are united and strong.

  17. The real difference between Sunni and Shia is that Sunnis believe Mohammed is a man who was a prophet who talked to Allah. Shia believe that Mohammed was a prophet who was a man who talked to Allah.

    Totally incompatible.

  18. I believe islim is a pagan religion an it teaching is from demon

  19. Islam is a Death Cult who’s followers worship an Idol and who’s objective is Death,intolerence of anything not of Islam.

  20. If any religion tells you to kill someone, find a new religion.

  21. Humans are spiritual beings and none are perfect all have both good and evil. Our state today has been a sentence since Adam and Eave. To say that any one religion today is perfect or correct is just like saying that any person today is perfect. Due to this, and errors in translation and word of mouth no document can be perfect either.
    However, they are what we have from Adonai/Allah/God… and should be followed to the best of our knowledge regardless of the unknown falsehoods in each of them.
    In addition, profits can be seen around the world, in every belief system, to have messages from god. Many are everyday people. The Catholics have developed a long list of them, but their requirements have excluded others from different faiths.
    There is still Adonai/Allah/God, regardless of what you think of Isa/Jesus and the second or first coming and Muhammed, and we are to live by his teachings. For he is our creator and the one who sent all the profits. He is merciful, but we must not forget him or the standard he holds us to.
    Any effort to do good is admirable regardless of ignorance. And though consequences occur, every person deserves to live a life full of worth, love, valued respect, and good works. This is what knowing God/Adonai/Allah is. Great worth and resilience, will be in and around you if you do live by him.
    I hope you take this to heart, I tried to the best of my knowledge to say only truths. Allah/God/Adonai wanted us to do good for each other, don’t be deceived by the serpent. Be blessed.



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