what's the difference between Shiite and Sunni?

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
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    Sunni Muslims are the largest denomination of Islam. They are referred to as Ahl ul-Sunna (Arabic: أهل السنة; "people of the tradition"). The word Sunni comes from the word sunna (Arabic : سنة ), which means the tradition of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad. Sunnis are also referred to as Ahl ul-Sunna wa-l-Jama'ah (Arabic: أهل السنة والجماعة) (people of tradition and congregation) which implies that the Sunnis are united. They represent the branch of Islam that came through the caliphate, which started with Abu Bakr.


    Shī‘a Islam, also Shi‘ite Islam, or Shi‘ism (Arabic شيعة šīʿah) is the second largest denomination of the Islamic faith, after Sunni Islam. It is short for šīʿat ʿAlī (شيعة علي "the party of Ali"). Shi'a Muslims adhere to the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and the religious guidance of his family whom they refer to as the Ahl al-Bayt. Thus, Shi'as consider the first three ruling Sunni caliphs a historical occurrence and not something attached to faith. The singular/adjective form is šīʿī (شيعي.) and refers to a follower of the Household of Muhammad and of Imam Ali in particular.

    Shi'a Islam, like Sunni Islam, has at times been divided into many branches, however only three of these currently have a significant number of followers. The best known and the one with most adherents is Twelvers (اثنا عشرية iṯnāʿašariyya), while the others are Ismaili and Zaidiyyah. Alawites and Druzes consider themselves Shi'as, although this is sometimes disputed by mainstream Shi'as[1]. The Sufi orders among the Shi'as are the Alevi, Bektashi, Kubrawiya, Noorbakhshi, Oveyssi, Qizilbashi, Hamadani, Tijānī, and Fatimid orders and denominations. Twenty percent of Turkey's population is Alevi while Lebanon and Syria have a large presence of Druze and Alawites


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  • 1 decade ago

    None. Both have exactly the same fundamentals of Faith; viz Faith in 1.Allah; 2. All the Holy Books (beside the Holy Qur'an); 3. all Angels; 4. all the holy Prophets(beside the last of them); 5. Life after death and accountability of deeds done on this Earth. The Holy Quran is exactly the same text. They can intermarry; can worship together and in each others' mosque; can share the meals. The differences are on theological details, cultural, and in reading the political history of the past. The example of theological niceties are like the posture while standing in worship to Allah, a few minutes' difference in the timings of Fasting, in the manner of ablution etc. Islam may be the only Religion where there has never been a Division on the Fundamentals.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Two different schools of thought in Muslims.

    Sunni beleive in:

    1. The caliph can be any good muslim

    2. Respect all companions of the Prophet (pbuh)

    3. Believes in 30 chapters of the Holy Quraan

    Shia'a beleive in:

    1. The caliph can be a good muslim from the family of the prophet.

    2. Does not respect some companions of the Prophet (pbuh)

    3. Believes in 40 chapters of the Holy Quraan, ten they say were eaten by a goat.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The big rift was over who could be Supreme Ruler

    of Islam, the Caliphe of Baghdad. Sunni say any

    good muslim, Shia say he must be of the prophets

    bloodline. But there are like 5 0r 6 different branches of Islam.

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  • Waalee
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Thats like asking whats the difference between a Catholic and a Protestant.

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  • Jecht
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    the name thats about it. both will cut your throat if it gets them something in return.

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