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BRANCHES OF ISLAM

BRANCHES OF ISLAM

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BRANCHES OF ISLAM

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  1. BRANCHES OF ISLAM The Most Important Schism

  2. Disputed Leadership On the death of Muhammad, the Prophet, two followerships developed: I. Sunnis – followers of Abu Bakr, Muhammad’s father-in-law – 800 million II. Shiites – followers of Ali, Muhammad’s son-in-law – 100 million

  3. SUNNIS • Called “Sunni” because they accept the “sunnas,” the oral traditions and interpretations of the Koran after Muhammad’s death • Usually more liberal than Shiites • Believe the “caliph” (“successor” of Muhammad) should always be elected, not hereditary • Believe in Predestination

  4. SHIITE • “Partisans” – More orthodox and militant than Sunnis • Mainly in Iran, Iraq, and Palestine • Created the office of “Imam” = “leader” or “guide” • Twelve Imams succeeded Ali (last one went into hiding in 940 & will reemerge to rule the world as “Mahdi” = Messiah)

  5. Shiite Ayatollahs • The present Ayatollahs (“signs of God”) see themselves as joint caretakers of the office of the Imam until he returns at the end of time

  6. Wahhabi - I • Small group founded by al-Wahhab in 18th century • Primary force in creation of Saudi Arabia* in 1932 • The Puritans of the Muslims – literal interpreters of the Koran *[Mecca & Medina, cities of pilgrimage, are both located in Saudi Arabia]

  7. Wahhabi - II • Consider visits to graves of the saints is polytheism • Are against observance of the Birth of the Prophet • Discourage such Western innovations as cinema and dancing

  8. Kharijites • The early seceders of Islam • First major sect that appeared in Islam • Broke off when Ali submitted a conflict between himself and Mu’awiyah* to arbitration *[fought Ali, seized Egypt for himself, became fifth caliph after Ali was assassinated - descendents established as the Umayyad dynasty] • Dogmatic and fanatical sect