Shi'ism

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Shi‘ites (or Shi‘is) are adherents of Shi‘ite Islam (also referred to as Shi‘a Islam or Shi‘ism), and make up the second largest sect of Islam with an estimated 10-20% of the total Muslim population worldwide.[1][2][3][4][5]

The historic background of the Sunni–Shi'ite split lies in the schism that occurred when the Islamic prophet Muhammad died in the year 632 AD, leading to a dispute over succession to Muhammad as a caliph of the Islamic community spread across various parts of the world which led to the Battle of Siffin.

According to this Shi'ite view, Ali is the singular, rightful successor of Muhammad in his role as leader of the Muslim community, not only ruled over the community in justice, but also as the interpreter of Shari'ah law and its esoteric meaning. Hence he was regarded as being free from error and sin (infallible), and appointed by Allah by divine decree (nass) to be the first Imam.

Shi'ites allow for the combination of the five prayers into three prayer times; morning, afternoon and night. The five prayers are still proscribed however these combinations are allowed with regard to time constraints on the believer's day.

Shi'ites, as with the Sunnis, also follow the Qur'an and Sunnah. Shi'ites have their own form of hadith which only they follow, largely based on sermons by Ali, Al-Kafi and Nahj al-Balagha being seen as the most reliable.[6] Shi'ite fiqh (according to a fatwa by Al-Azhar, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam)[7] is accepted as a fifth school of Islamic thought.

Islamic Unity

Islamic unity is a term that usually refers to establishing good and peaceful relations between Shi'ites and Sunnis, who together form almost the entire Islamic Ummah, and can refer to political unity in the form of a Caliphate.

Shi'ite Ja'fari fiqh (according to a fatwa by Al-Azhar, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam)[8] can be accepted as a legitimate fifth school of Islamic thought.

Other advocates of Islamic unity between Shi'ites and Sunnis include; Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani,[9] Hojatoleslam Ali Yunesi,[10] Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini,[11] Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei,[12] Hezbollah,[13] the Grand Mufti of Kashmir, Mufti Bashiruddin,[14] and Zakir Naik.[15] Opponents include Abu Musab Zarqawi,[16] and Sipah-e Sahaba.[17]

See Also

  • Sunni
  • Shi'ites - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Shi'ites

References

  1. Comparison of Sunni and Shia Islam - ReligionFacts
  2. Shīʿite - Encyclopædia Britannica Online (2010)
  3. Mapping the Global Muslim Population: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Muslim Population - Pew Research Center, October 7, 2009
  4. Tracy Miller - Mapping the Global Muslim Population: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Muslim Population - Pew Research Center, October 2009
  5. The World Factbook
  6. Al Kafi - The Bukhari of Shi'ism - AHYA
  7. al-Azhar Verdict on the Shia - Shi'ite Encyclopedia v2.0, Al-islam
  8. al-Azhar Verdict on the Shia - Shi'ite Encyclopedia v2.0, Al-islam
  9. Former Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani: Iran Supports Palestinian and Lebanese "Mujahideen," But Will Not Initiate the Annihilation of Israel - MEMRI TV, Video No. 1470, May 18, 2007
  10. RFE/RL Iran Report - GlobalSecurity, 8 July 2002, Volume 5, Number 25
  11. Mubahala - Imam Khumayni on Islamic Unity - Eng sub - YouTube
  12. Kumail12 - muslim unity - YouTube
  13. Hezbollah: We don’t have Shia agenda - The Asianage, August 16, 2006
  14. Syed Ali Safvi - Remembering Ayatollah Yousuf Kashmiri - KashmirAffairs, September 24, 2008
  15. Shakirshuvo - Unity Of The Ummah - Dr. Zakir Naik (1/13) - YouTube
  16. Michel Chossudovsky - Al Qaeda and the Iraqi Resistance Movement - Global Research, September 18, 2005
  17. Najum Mustaq - America’s Musharraf Dilemma - Moderate Observer, March 2, 2007