// DIfference between Sunni and Shiite
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Author Topic: DIfference between Sunni and Shiite  (Read 3858 times)
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« on: Jan 19, 2009 03:14 AM »

Good Day! I am confused between the Sunni and the Shiite Muslims. Do they practise the same Islam that we know? 
« Reply #1 on: Jan 19, 2009 05:43 AM »


and good day to you too.

what is the Islam you know?

Shiite and Sunnis both believe in the One and Only God, who has no son or spouse; the One God who always was and always will be; the One who created everything, and all created things will die; the One God who does not take a day off for Sabbath because He never gets tired or sleepy; the One God who will one day resurrect all living things, and dispense Justice, tampered with His Mercy.

They both both believe in the prophets (as), some of whom were given Books, some miracles.

They both both believe in the Muhammad (saw) as the last Prophet of God.

They both both believe in the Quran, the unaltered word of God, which God has undertaken to protect Himself.

They both both believe in the pillars of Islam- Salah (five times a day), Sawm (fasting from dawn to dusk every day in the month of Ramadan), Zakah (annual purification of one's wealth), Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah)

all these to be in the way the Prophet (saw) taught us.

There are some minor differences.

So, what is the Islam you know?
« Reply #2 on: Jan 19, 2009 09:31 AM »

the difference arises from

1) the shia consider some prominent sunni narrators of hadith to be unreliable.   thus their books of hadith, hence their laws of jurisprudence, etc.. are a bit different.  they do not accept the hadith of ayesha or abu huraira -- extremely important sources of hadith for sunnis.

2) but because both the sunnis and shia accept the quran -- their core beliefs are the same.

3) however, because hadith are used to illuminate the quran, some things are very different


a)  the shia still practice mutaa (temporary marriage) -- because they do not believe certain hadith narrators who said that the prophet actually outlawed it.  they don't accept their testimony and hence they engage in something which sunnis consider to be only 1/2 a step removed from legalized prostitution

b) because the quran says nothing negative about the concept of the 12 imams or the special legitamacy to rule of the blood relatives of the prophet -- the shia have grown an elaborate construct whereby infallible imams (much like a pope, except more important) exist and interpret the law for the uncleaned masses.  sunnis have lots of hadith (which the shia don't accept) saying indicating such a thing is outrageous.  so from this you get a very big difference between the two.

so the difference is on that the laws are a bit different because the shia don't accept a significant fraction of the hadith (quoted statements of the prophet) because they were narrated by people who politcally opposed Ali during his rule.

interesting, ain't it, how everything boils down to politics?

-mr bean
« Reply #3 on: Jan 20, 2009 04:04 AM »

The reason I asked these questions was that a few days back, I watched over CNN a docu on muslims in Iran. It was reported that the nation were preparing to welcome the birth of Jesus (accepted as a prophet) somewhere in early January. So do the two sects actually put this to practise? 
« Reply #4 on: Jan 20, 2009 06:44 AM »

the concept of jesus comes from the quran. hence it is a core belief and there are no differences between shia and sunnis about jesus being  a prophet of islam.

hence it should not be surprising that he is held in extremely high regard.

however, i don't know about celebrating his birth.  most muslims don't celebrate muhammad's birth or the births of any super pious people because they believe it eventually leads to deification sometimes in the very long run.  (e.g. jesus is revered, then jesus dies and people eventually people worship jesus -- i.e. christians).

« Reply #5 on: Feb 10, 2009 06:51 AM »

In concluding, Should I wish to embrace Islam as my religion, which shall I opt for?
« Reply #6 on: Feb 10, 2009 10:55 AM »

if you like superstitious stuff and people being infallible like the pope and hokus pokus magical stuff and like emotion people who supposedly have a direct link to god and can put you in hell or heaven, then shiism is maybe for you.

if stuff like that makes you think religion is a joke, then sunnism is a possible alternative for you.

« Reply #7 on: Feb 10, 2009 07:14 PM »


That's uncalled for.

In answer to which one should you pick anon, I'd say Sunni, however, read up on both first and make yours an informed choice inshallah.

Also I've always found it useful to pray for guidance, you believe in a creator I assume, pray to your creator for guidance inshallah.

« Reply #8 on: Feb 10, 2009 08:38 PM »

Asalamualaikum wrt wb,

All praise be to Allah.

I am very happy to hear that you are interested in embracing Islam.  May Allah continue to guide you and make you firm in your religion and adherence to the Sunnah (Prophetic Tradition.)

The answer to the question you have asked may be difficult for you to understand right now since you are, quite understandably, new in learning about Islam.  Shaitan is eager to draw you into controversial issues since you may not have reached a sufficient level of knowledge to ward off his whispers.

The Shia (Partisans of Ali) are a group of followers that divided from the main body of Muslims (Sunni, meaning traditional) based on differences over leadership of the Muslim community.  The Shia today are very diverse, some of them very close to traditional Islam, and some very far away. 

One does not accept Shia Islam or Sunni Islam, one simply accepts Islam, since Allah says: "Indeed the only (true) religion with Allah is Islam", submission to the Lord of the Universe. 

I will give you some advice, and if you follow it, you will find Islam easy and beautiful and logical and you will remain guided, by the will of Allah:

All doctrinal beliefs in Islam must come from one of two authentic sources: Either the Quran, or the Hadith narrations of the Prophet, pbuh.  Any imposition or innovation of beliefs which are not grounded in the Quran or Sunnah are not part of Islam, and they are later additions and add ons.  And it does not matter how pious or famous the person is who states a belief, he must follow in the tradition of Prophet Muhmammad, pbuh, and not innovate new teachings.  The Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, said: "Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (Islam), it is rejected."

We see that this is what happened to Jesus', pbuh, teachings.  As time went on, people added and innovated in the religion until it became vast misguidance and ended up in the false doctrine of the Trinity.

In conclusion, make your reference in all religious matters the Quran and Sunnah, and stick with the traditions of Prophet Muhammad, pbuh. 

On a side note, we have to call our brothers with wisdom beautiful preaching, and not hatred which will push them away from the Sunnah.

I hope this helps you.  May Allah guide you always, and unite the Ummah upon the truth.

And Allah knows best.
« Reply #9 on: Feb 10, 2009 11:04 PM »

I think it’s amazing that you’re thinking of becoming Muslim, may God Make it an easy passage for you. 

Before you decide whether you want to be sunni or shia, you need to know what Islam actually is and what a Muslim believes in.  Thereafter, when it comes to other matters, such as praying etc, you can then look in to this separately.  In order to be Muslim one must have the correct belief in God and His Messengers.  One becomes Muslim by saying the two testifications of belief which mean: No one is God except Allaah and Muhammad is His Messenger.  These two testifications have much more detail in them which you must learn and believe in order to retain the belief of a Muslim.  Such further detail for the first testification of faith includes matters like There is only One God; He Has no Partners; God Has no flaws/imperfection/limits; He does not resemble the creation; He Has always Existed; He is Eternal; He does not have a son;  and the second testification has further details such as Muslims believe in all Prophets; all the Prophets were Muslim; Prophet Adam was the first Prophet; Prophet Muhammad is the last Messenger of God; the Prophets were truthful in all that the they conveyed; there is a Heaven and Hell; and so on.

Find out first what it means to be a Muslim, what does one actually believe in when one follows the religion of Islam.  Believe it or not, sunnis and shias share the same kind of beliefs but differ on certain matters.  Your priority is to learn what it is it that makes someone a Muslim, not one makes someone sunni or shia.

May Allah Guide you on the correct path.
« Reply #10 on: Feb 12, 2009 03:51 AM »

Thanks for the guidance. I appreciate it most.
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