Shia and Sunni are considered to be the two main sects of Islam. We believe that both major schools of thought are Muslims but with some difference in the interpretation on certain issues. However, this does not change the fact that both sects have a lot of similarities amongst them.
It is a strong belief of the Shia to not fight their brothers in religion, the Sunnis. Whoever decides to oppose this belief is going against the teachings of Islam and therefore, not serving Islam accordingly.
As stated above, the Shia and the Sunni hold two different interpretations on certain issues. It is essential to be both realistic and to have strong knowledge in order to approach those issues. Otherwise, one would come to a conclusion out of misconceptions which causes a misunderstanding between the two sects.
We support the love and peace amongst Shia and Sunni but at the same time we do not want to put the truth under the rock. We would like to present and discuss those differences in the most respectable manner possible.
In our articles we will present proofs on the claim of the Muslim who belong to the Shia Madhab that they are the one who are practicing the correct Islam. We will give references from the Holy Quran and Bukhari/Muslim (two authentic books of Ahadith of the Sunni). We will try our best to use respectable and polite wordings because our goal is to convey the real teachings of Islam and not to hurt others.
In this article we will have a short review of Shia-Sunni differences.
Some Muslims, especially new converts, are not aware that Islam has different sects called the Shia and the Sunni. Many of the new converts are introduced to the reality of Islam itself and embrace it and call themselves Sunni Muslims while being ignorant of the ideologies of a Shia and Sunni. They are not aware that the Islam they have come to follow is the Wahabi/Salafi branded of Islam. They accept Islam on the name of the Holy Quran but unknowingly, they settle for being a Wahabi.
There are many differences between the Sunni and the Wahhabi. The Wahhabi religion was established in 1737 by Mohamad Ibne Abdul Wahab. This distorted version of Islam was officially introduced by Saudi Government and endorsed by the British Government. The Wahhabis declare all other sects of Islam as “Kafir” and “Mushrik”. The current extremist and terrorist version of Islam spread out in the world is the ideologies of the Wahhabi. The Wahhabis are ultimately a big asset to the anti-Islamic forces whose aim is to damage the real image of Islam so they are able to make the Muslim Ummah weaker.
There is a lot more to discover within Islam to find out what is the right path.
Here we would like to share the Sunni website/link about Wahhabism. This could help more to understand that how Wahhabi sect was created (by British) and the difference between the Sunni and the Wahhabi.
In this article we want to provide a clear guidance for our Sunni brothers and sisters to help them understand the fundamental differences between Shia and Sunni. It is always recommended to focus on the basic ideology of any school of thought to get the true information about that religion or sect.
For example, if an average person was to find knowledge about the religion of Islam they would start to question the commands set out by Islam. They would start questioning the logic behind halal (kosher) meat, 5 prayers vs. weekly prayer or why Muslims fast for a month when they could just fast once in a while. It is not recommended to focus only on such issues because the person will attain superficial and partial knowledge of Islam. It is more beneficial for the person to focus on the basic and fundamental ideology of Islam so they can understand the true religion of Islam and the principles behind its practices.
The core belief of Islam is to believe in:
- One God
- Creator of the universe sent his messengers to guide the humanity
- Prophet Muhuammad (PBUH) is the last messenger
- Day of Judgment
- Heaven and Hell (reward/punishment for good/bad deeds)
If someone wants to prove whether Islam is right or wrong that person should discuss these fundamental belief to know the clear picture.
For those people who want to research about Shia and Sunni differences we would like to recommend for them to focus first on the fundamental ideology of Shia and Sunni School of thoughts.
Those core beliefs which separate from Shia to Sunni needs to be addressed in order to have clear picture about these two sects.
We would like to suggest for our Muslim brothers and sisters to focus on the following two ideologies which Shia and Sunni disagree over. These two fundamental beliefs are the root of division between the Shia and the Sunni:
- The successorship of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). Shias believe that there are 12 successors (12 caliphs of the Prophet (PBUH) and Imams of the Muslims) while Sunnis believe that the prophet did not appoint any successor but there are 4 caliphs whom they follow (1 was elected, 2 and 3 were appointed and 4th were requested).
- Shia and Sunni opinion about the companions of the Prophet (PBUH. Sunnis believe that all of the companions of the Prophet are righteous, on justice and that they (the companions of the Prophet) are the authentic source of information to learn Islam after the Prophet. On the other hand, Shias do not believe that all the companions are pious and righteous. Shias believe that there are other special people who have the authority in all Islamic affairs after the Prophet.
Please find our articles on these differences.
May Allah(swt) guide those who seek for the truth and send blessings to the Holy Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) and his Ahlulbait.