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Khalid Bin Waleed Group

Islamic Theology Schools & their discussions

SEMESTER 1/ SESSION 2010-2011 Islamic Studies (UWA10102) Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Wan Salim


TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgement Introduction Defination 4 Types Of Theology Chart of various Islamic Theology Schools Sunni s view of Islam a) School of Law b) School of Belief c) Movements 7) Shia s view of Islam 8) Sunni vs. Shiites 9) Kharijate Islam 10) Sufie s view of Islam 11) Sunni VS. Sufi 12) Other theology groups 13) Conclusion 14) References 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6)

Page 3 4 4-5 6 7-8 8 9-10 10-11 11-15 15-22 23 23-25 25-26 26-31 31 32



In the name of Allah, the Almighty who gives us the enlightenment, the truth, the knowledge for guiding us to the straight path. We thank to Allah for giving us strength and success to complete this project.

First of all, I would like to express my sincere and in-depth gratitude to Prof. Dr. Wan Salim for giving us opportunity to work on such a nice and important topic and for his essential guideline.

I am also deeply gratified by my group members cooperation , their encouragement and their great support throughout the whole work.

We hope that this report will help our great Muslim Nation to understand the importance of unity, working together and respect each other regardless of culture, country and belief InsyaAllah.

Mohammad AmimulIhsanAquil (AD100003) The Captain Khalid Bin Walid Group



Over the period of time after the death of the prophet of Islam, Muhammad, there have arisen distinctions by means of schools of thought, traditions, and related faiths. However, the central text of Islam, the Qur'an ordains that Muslims are not to be divided into divisions or sections and rather be united under a common goal of faith in one Godalone Allah[Qur'an 3:103]
Muslims enumerate their creed to include the Six articles of belief. There is a consensus on the elements of this creed across all spectrums as they are clearly articulated in the qur n. Sectarian differences between Shias and Sunnis are often expressed in differences in branches or elaboration of creedal beliefs as opposed to the core creed (aqidah). For example, Muslims may have different ideas regarding the attributes of God or about the purpose of angels. However there is no dispute on the existence of God, that he has sent his revelation via messengers nor that man will be held to account and rewarded or punished with heaven or hell.

Defination: Islamic theology (Arabic: Aq dah, plural aq 'id) is a branch of Islamic studies regarding

the beliefs associated with the Islamic faith. Any religious belief system, or creed, can be considered an example of aqidah. However, this term has taken a significant technical usage in Muslim history and theology, denoting those matters over which Muslims hold conviction. Types of theology Muslim theology is the theology that derived from the Qur'an and Hadith. The contents of Muslim theology can be divided into theology proper such as theodicy, eschatology and comparative religion. Kalam 'Ilm al-kalam (literally 'the science of debate') denotes a discipline of Islamic thought generally referred to as 'theology' or (even less accurately) as 'scholastic theology'. The discipline, which evolved from the political and religious controversies that engulfed the Muslim community in its formative years, deals with interpretations of religious doctrine and the defence of these interpretations by means of discursive arguments. 4

The rise of kalam came to be closely associated with the Mu'tazila, a rationalist school that emerged at the beginning of the second century ah (seventh century ad) and rose to prominence in the following century. The failure of the Mu'tazila to follow up their initial intellectual and political ascendancy by imposing their views as official state doctrine seriously discredited rationalism, leading to a resurgence of traditionalism and later to the emergence of the Ash'ariyya school, which attempted to present itself as a compromise between the two opposing extremes. The Ash'arite school gained acceptability within mainstream (Sunni) Islam. However, kalam continued to be condemned, even in this 'orthodox' garb, by the dominant traditionally-inclined schools. In its later stages, kalam attempted to assimilate philosophical themes and questions, but the subtle shift in this direction was not completely successful. The decline of kalam appeared to be irreversible, shunned as it was by traditionalists and rationalists alike. Although kalam texts continued to be discussed and even taught in some form, kalam ceased to be a living science as early as the ninth century ah (fifteenth century ad). Attempts by reformers to revive it, beginning in the nineteenth century, have yet to bear fruit.

Eschatology Eschatology is literally understood as the last things or ultimate things and in Muslim theology, eschatology refers to the end of this world and what will happen in the next world or hereafter. Eschatology covers the death of human beings, their souls after their bodily death, the total destruction of this world, the resurrection of human souls, the final judgments of human deeds by Allah after the resurrection, and the rewards and punishments for the believers and non-believers respectively. The places for the believers in the hereafter are known as Paradise and for the non-believers as Hell. Comparative religion Comparative religion in Muslim theology is about the differences and similarities between Muslim theology and other theologies such as Christian, Jewish theologies as explained in the Qur'an and the Prophetic traditions.


Chart of various Muslim Theological Schools In the history of Muslim theology, there have been theological schools among Muslims displaying both similarities and differences with each other in regard to beliefs.

Figure: Chart of different denominations within Islam


Sunni¶s view of Islam
Sunni Muslims, often referred to as Ahl as-Sunnahwa¶l-Jam µh or Ahl as-Sunnah, are the largest denomination of Islam. The word Sunni comes from the word sunnah, which means the teachings and actions or examples of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. Therefore, the term "Sunni" refers to those who follow or maintain the sunnah of the prophet Muhammad. Another etymology proposed by someis that the word "sunni" comes from a movement "Am-ul-sunnah" started by Mu'awiya. The Sunni believe that Muhammad did not specifically appoint a successor to lead the Muslim ummah (community) before his death, and after an initial period of confusion, a group of his most prominent companions gathered and elected Abu BakrSiddique²Muhammad's close friend and a father-in-law²as the first caliph of Islam. Sunni Muslims regard the first four caliphs²Abu Bakr, `Umar ibn al-Khatt b, UthmanIbnAffan and Ali ibn Abu Talib²as "al-Khulaf ¶ur-R shid n" or "The Rightly Guided Caliphs." Sunnis also believe that the position of caliph may be democratically chosen, but after the Rashidun, the position turned into a hereditary dynastic rule. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1923, there has never been another caliph as widely recognized in the Muslim world. Six articles of belief In a hadith collected in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, the Islamic prophetMu ammad explains, "Faith is to affirm your faith in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers and the Last Day, and to believe in the Divine Destiny whether it be good or bad." The six Sunni articles of belief are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Belief in God (Allah), the one and only one worthy of all worship (tawhid). Belief in all the Prophets (nabi) and Messengers (rusul) sent by God Belief in the Angels (mala'ika). Belief in the Books (kutub) sent by God[1] (including the Qur n). Belief in the Day of Judgment (qiyama) and in the Resurrection (life after death). Belief in Destiny (Fate) (qadar). nic creeds:

The first five are based on several Qur

Whoever disbelieveth in God and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers and the Last Day, he verily wandered far stray (4:136) Who is an enemy of God, His Angels, His Messengers, Gabriel and Michael! Then, lo! God is an enemy to the disbelievers (2:98) «righteous is he who believeth in God and the Last Day and the angels and the scripture and the prophets (2:177) «believer believe in God and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers (2:285)


The sixth point made it into the creed because of the first theological controversy in Isl m. Although not connected with the sunni-shi i controversy about the succession, the majority of Twelfer Shi ites do not stress God's limitless power (qadar), but rather is boundless justice adl as the sixth point of believe ± this does not mean that Sunnis deny his justice, or Shi ites negate his power, just the emphasis is different. In Sunni and Shia view, having Iman literally means to have belief in Six articles. However the importance of Iman relies heavily upon reasons. Islam explicitly asserts that belief should be maintained in that which can be proven using faculties of perception and conception. Schools of Law Madhhab is an Islamic term that refers to a school of thought or religious jurisprudence, or fiqh, within Sunni Islam. Each of the Sahaba had a unique school of jurisprudence, but these schools were gradually consolidated or discarded so that there are currently four recognized schools. The differences between these schools of thought manifest in minor practical differences, as most Sunni Muslims consider them all fundamentally the same. Sunnis generally do not identify themselves with a particular of the following schools of thought ² simply calling themselves "Sunnis".




Hanafi ± Founded by ImamAbu Hanifa an-Nuµman, Hanafi is considered to be the school most open to modern ideas. It is predominant among Sunni Muslims in northern Egypt, Pakistan , India, Iraq, Turkey, Balkans and in many western countries. Shafi`i ± Shafi`i was founded by Imam Muhammad ibn Idris ash-Shafi`i, and has adherents among many high-ranking Islamic scholars. It is practiced throughout the Muslim world, but is most prevalent in Egypt, Somalia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, among Kurds and The Philippines, and is the school of thought officially followed by the government of Brunei and Malaysia. It is followed by 28% of Muslims worldwide, being the second largest School in terms of followers Maliki ± The Maliki school derives from the work of Imam Malik ibn Anas. Maliki is practiced in North and West Africa. It is the third-largest of the four schools, followed by approximately 15% of Muslims. Hanbali ± Hanbali is considered to be the most conservative of the four schools and the one that relies on Hadith the most. Hanbalis reject the use of philosophical argument in matters of religious belief. The school was started by the students of Imam Ahmad. Hanbali jurisprudence is predominant among Muslims in the Arabian Peninsula.


Schools of Belief (Aqidah)

Aqidah is an Islamic term meaning creed or belief. Any religious belief system, or creed, can be considered an example of aqidah. However this term has taken a significant technical usage in Muslim history and theology, denoting those matters over which Muslims hold conviction. The term is usually translated as 'theology'. Such traditions are divisions orthogonal to sectarian divisions of Islam, and a Mu'tazili may for example, belong to Jafari, Zaidi, or even a Hanafi sect/jurisprudence school, though the latter is usually a rare occurrence.



Ash'ari Ash'ari is a school of early Islamic philosophy founded in the 10th century. It was instrumental in drastically changing the direction of Islam and laid the groundwork to "shut the door of ijtihad" centuries later in the Ottoman Empire. The Asharite view was that comprehension of the unique nature and characteristics of God were beyond human capability. Maturidi A Maturidi is one who follows Abu Mansur Al Maturidi's theology, which is a close variant of the Ash'ari school. Points which differ are the nature of belief and the place of human reason. The Maturidis state that belief (iman) does not increase nor decrease but remains static; it is piety (taqwa) which increases and decreases. The Ash'aris say that belief does in fact increase and decrease. The Maturidis say that the unaided human mind is able to find out that some of the more major sins such as alcohol or murder are evil without the help of revelation. The Ash'aris say that the unaided human mind is unable to know if something is good or evil, lawful or unlawful, without divine revelation. Murji'ah Murji'ah (Arabic ) is an early Islamic school, whose followers are known in English as Murjites or Murji'ites (Arabic ). During the early centuries of Islam, Muslim thought encountered a multitude of influences from various ethnic and philosophical groups that it absorbed. Murji'ah emerged as a theological school that was opposed to the Kharijites on questions related to early controversies regarding sin and definitions of what is a true Muslim. They advocated the idea of "delayed judgement". Only God can judge who is a true Muslim and who is not, and no one else can judge another as an infidel (kafir). Therefore, all Muslims should consider all other Muslims as true and faithful believers, and look to Allah to judge everyone during the last judgment. This theology promoted tolerance of Umayyads and converts to Islam who appeared half-hearted in their obedience. The Murjite opinion would eventually dominate that of the Kharijites. The Murjites exited the way of the Sunnis when they declared that no Muslim would enter the hellfire, no matter what his sins. This contradicts the traditional Sunni belief which states that some Muslims will enter the hellfire temporarily. Therefore the Murjites are classified as Ahlul Bid'ah or "People of Innovation" by the majority of other Muslims.


Mu'tazili Mu'tazili theology originated in the 8th century in al-Basrah when Wasil ibn Ata left the teaching lessons of Hasan al-Basri after a theological dispute. He and his followers 9



expanded on the logic and rationalism of Greek philosophy, seeking to combine them with Islamic doctrines and show that the two were inherently compatible. The Mu'tazili debated philosophical questions such as whether the Qur'an was created or eternal, whether evil was created by God, the issue of predestination versus free will, whether God's attributes in the Qur'an were to be interpreted allegorically or literally, and whether sinning believers would have eternal punishment in hell. Athari Athari is a school that derives its name from the Arabic word Athar, meaning "Narrations". The Athari methodology is to avoid delving into extensive theological speculation. They use the Qur'an, the Sunnah, and sayings of the Sahaba. Athari is generally synonymous with Salafi. Zahiri A school of thought which literally translates as literalist, who were regarded as heterodox among many Muslim for rejecting qiyas, though classically they are regarded as the fifth main school of Sunni Islam.

Movements There are a few numbers of groups which have created their own movements mainly named after the founder of the group, which follow much of the teachings of the schools and theologies of Sunni however some ie. Salafis, disagree to the teachings to some extent. These groups include:



Salafism ± Salafism was created by the 18th century teacher Sheikh Muhammad ibn Abd-alWahhab in the Arabian peninsula, and was instrumental in the rise of the House of Saud to power. Salafism is a puritanical and legalistic Islamic movement under the Sunni umbrella, and is the dominant form of Islam in Saudi Arabia. The terms "Wahhabism" and "Salafism" are often used interchangeably. In addition to the Qur'an and hadith, and the works of earlier scholars like Ibn Taymiyya are used for religious guidance. They are often associated with the Hanbali madhhab, although they generally reject the following of a traditional mazhab. Salafis preach Islamic monotheism (tawhid), and claim teachings from Ibn Taymiyyah, a 14th century Syrian scholar. Salafism is in general opposed to Sufism and Shi'a Islam, which they regard as heresies. They see their role as a movement to restore Islam from what they perceive to be innovations, superstitions, deviances, heresies and idolatries. Barelwi± The Barelwi is the sufi movement led by Maulana Ahmed Raza Khan of Bareilly, RohilkhandIndia (hence the term Barelvi). They are found mostly in the Indian Subcontinent. Other denominations of Sunni Islam widely accuse Barelwis of indulging in practices which lead to shirk and bi'dah. Deobandi ± The Deobandi is one of the two major divisions of the Hanafi school of law in the Indian subcontinent. Deobandi are Muslims of South Asia and Afghanistan, and have more recently spread to other countries such as South Africa and the United Kingdom. Deobandis follow the fiqh of Imam Abu Hanifa and the Maturidi school of aqidah. The largest missionary group which follows the movement is the Tablighi Jamaat. It is a reformist movement within the Hanafi school of fiqh that advocates a return to the early days of Islam, quite like the Salafis and




Ahle Hadith. The Taliban are reputed to follow the teachings of the Deoband school, although a strict and simplistic version of the school's teachings. Al-Ikhwan Al-Muslimun ± Translated as The Muslim Brotherhood, this organisation was founded by Egyptian Scholar Hassan al-Banna who graduated from Dar al-Ulum. With its various branches it is the largest Sunni movement in the Arab world, with an affilaite usually being the largest opposition party in many Arab nations. The Muslim Brotherhood is not concerned with theological differences, accepting Muslims of any of the four Sunni schools of thought, it is the world's oldest and largest Islamist group. Its aims are to re-establish the Caliphate and in the mean time push for more Islamisation of society. The Brotherhood's stated goal is to instill the Qur'an and Sunnah as the "sole reference point for... ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community... and state." Jamaat-e-Islami ± Jamaat-e-Islami is an Islamist political party in the Indian Subcontinent. It was founded in Lahore, India, by Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi on 26 August 1941, and is the oldest religious party in Pakistan &India.Today sister organizations with similar objectives and ideological approaches exist in India, (Jamaat-e-Islami Hind), Bangladesh (Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh), Kashmir, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka, and there are "close brotherly relations" with the Islamist movements and missions "working in different continents and countries", particularly those affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood or Akhwan-al-Muslimeen. The JI envisions an Islamic government in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan governing by Islamic law. It opposes Westernization--including capitalism, socialism, or such practices as bank interest, and favours and Islamic economic order and Caliphate.

Shia¶s view of Islam
Shia (Arabic: Sh µah, sometimes Shi'a or Shi'ite), is the second-largest denomination of Islam. Shia Muslims²though a minority in the Muslim world²constitute the majority of the populations in Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Iran, and Iraq, as well as a plurality in Lebanon and Yemen.

In addition to believing in the authority of the Qur'an and teachings of the Muhammad, Shia believe that his family²the Ahl al-Bayt (the People of the House), including his descendants known as Imams²have special spiritual and political rule over the community and believe that Ali ibn Abi Talib, Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, was the first of these Imams and was the rightful successor to Muhammad, and thus reject the legitimacy of the first three Rashidun caliphs.

The Shi'a Islamic faith is vast and inclusive of many different groups. There are various Shi'a theological beliefs, schools of jurisprudence, philosophical beliefs, and spiritual movements. The Shia identity emerged soon after the death of 'Umar Ibnil-Khattab²the second caliph²and Shi'a theology was formulated in the second century and the first Shi'a governments and societies were established by the end of the ninth century.



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As stated above, an estimate of approximately 10±15% of the world's Muslims are Shi'a, which corresponds to about 130±190 million Shi'a Muslims worldwide. Shi'a Muslims also constitute over 30% of the population in Lebanon, over 45% of the population in Yemen, over 35% of the population in Kuwait, 20±25% of the population (primarily Alevi) in Turkey, 20% (primarily Bektashi) of the population in Albania, 20% of the population in Pakistan and 20% of population in Afghanistan. They also make up at least 25%-31% of the Muslim populations in India, 15-20% in the United Arab Emirates, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Montenegro, and Kosovo although the total number is difficult to estimate due to the intermingling between the two groups and practice of taqiyya by Shiites. Bangladesh has a small Shi'a community, specially in Old Dhaka, Muhammadpur and Mirpur area of Dhaka city. Around 5% Bangladeshi Muslims are Shi'a. Significant Shi'a communities exist on the coastal regions of West Sumatra and Aceh in Indonesia (see Tabuik). The Shi'a presence is negligible elsewhere in Southeast Asia, where Muslims are predominantly Shafi'i Sunnis. A significant syncretic Shi'a minority is present in Nigeria, centered around the state of Kano (see Shia in Nigeria). East Africa holds several populations of Ismaili Shia, primarily descendants of immigrants from South Asia during the colonial period, such as the Khoja. According to Shi'a Muslims community, one of the lingering problems in estimating Shi'a population is that unless Shi'a form a significant minority in a Muslim country, the entire population is often listed as Sunni. The reverse, however, has not held true, which may contribute to imprecise estimates of the size of each sect. For example, the 1926 rise of the House of Saud in Arabia brought official discrimination against Shi'a. Shi'a Islam is divided into three branches. The largest and best known are the Twelver ( i n a ariyya), named after their adherence to the Twelve Imams. They form a majority of the population in Iran, Azerbaijan, Bahrain and Iraq. Other smaller branches include the Ismaili and Zaidi, who dispute the Twelver lineage of Imams and beliefs. The Twelver Shi'a faith is predominantly found in Iran (90%) , Azerbaijan (85%), Bahrain (75%), Iraq (65%), Lebanon (35%), Kuwait (35%), Albania (20%), Pakistan (20%),Afghanistan (20%)and India (25% - 31%) of its Muslim population. The Zaidi dispute the succession of the fifth Twelver Imam, Muhammad al-Baqir, because he did not stage a revolution against the corrupt government, unlike Zaid ibn Ali. They do not believe in a normal lineage, but rather that any descendant of Hasan ibn Ali or Husayn ibn Ali who stages a revolution against a corrupt government is an imam. The Zaidi are mainly found in Yemen. The Ismaili dispute the succession of the seventh Twelver Imam, Musa al-Kadhim, believing his older brother Isma'il ibn Jafar actually succeeded their father Ja'far al-Sadiq, and did not predecease him like Twelver Shi'a believe. Ismaili form small communities in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, India, Syria, United Kingdom, Canada, Uganda, Portugal, Yemen, mainland China, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia and have several subbranches.


Twelver Twelvers believe in twelve Imams. The twelfth Imam is believed to be in occultation, and will appear again just before the Qiyamah (Islamic view of the Last Judgment). The Shi`a Hadiths include the sayings of the Imams. Many Muslims criticise the Shia for certain beliefs and practices, including practices such as the Mourning of Muharram (Mätam). They are the largest Shi'a school of thought (85%), predominant in Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Bahrain and have a significant population in Pakistan, Kuwait and the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia. The Twelver Shi'a are followers of the Jaf'arimadh'hab. Followers of the madh'hab are divided into the following sub-divisions, although these are not considered different sects:



The Usuli form the overwhelming majority within the Twelver Shia denomination. They follow a Marja-i Taqlid on the subject of taqlid and fiqh. They are concentrated in Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon.


Akhbari, similar to Usulis, however reject ijtihad in favor of hadith. Concentrated in Bahrain.


Shaykhism is an Islamic religious movement founded by Shaykh Ahmad in the early 19th century Qajar dynasty, Iran, now retaining a minority following in Iran and Iraq. It began from a combination of Sufi and Shiµa and Akhbari doctrines. In the mid 19th-century many Shaykhis converted to the Bábí and Bahá'í religions, which regard Shaykh Ahmad highly. Others Ismailism The Ismailis and Twelvers both accept the same initial Imams from the descendants of Muhammad through his daughter Fatima Zahra and therefore share much of their early history. However, a dispute arose on the succession of the Sixth Imam, Ja'far al-Sadiq. The Ismailis are those who accepted Ja'far's eldest son Ismail as the next Imam, whereas the Twelvers accepted a younger son, Musa al-Kazim. Today, Ismailis are concentrated in Pakistan and other parts of South Asia. The Nizari Ismailis, however, are also concentrated in Central Asia, Russia, China, New Zealand, Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea, Syria, Australia, North America (including Canada), the United Kingdom, Bangladesh and in Africa as well.

Nizari ± The Niz riyya are the largest branch (90%) of Ismaili, they are the only Shia group to be have their absolute temporal leader in the rank of Imamate, which is currently invested in Aga Khan IV. Their present living Imam is Mawl n Shah Karim Al-Husayni who is the 49th Imam. 13


The Niz riyya believe that the successor-Im m to the Fatimid caliph al-Mustansir was his elder son al-Niz r. Mustaali ± The Mustaali group of Ismaili Muslims differ from the Niz riyya in that they believe that the successor-Im m to the Fatimid caliph, al-Mustansir, was his younger son al-Musta l , who was made Caliph by the Fatimad Regent Al-Afdal Shahanshah.

In contrast to the Nizaris, they accept the younger brother al-Musta l over Nizar as their Imam. The Bohras are an offshoot of the Taiyabi, which itself was an offshoot of the Mustaali. The Taiyabi, supporting another offshoot of the Mustaali, the Hafizi branch, split with the Mustaali Fatimid, who recognized Al-Amir as their last Imam. The split was due to the Taiyabi believing that Tayyab Ab alQ sim was the next rightful Imam after Al-Amir. The Hafizi themselves however considered Al-Hafiz as the next rightful Imam after Al-Amir. The Bohras believe that their 21st Imam, Taiyab abi al-Qasim, went into seclusion and established the offices of the Da'i al-Mutlaq ( ), Ma'zoon ( ) and Mukasir ( ). The Bohras are the only surviving branch of the Mustaali and themselves have split into the Dawoodi Bohra, Sulaimani Bohra, and Alavi Bohra.

Dawoodi Bohra ± The Dawoodi Bohras are a denomination of the Bohras. After offshooting from the Taiyabi the Bohras split into two, the Dawoodi Bohra and the Sulaimani Bohra, over who would be the correct dai of the community. Concentrated mainly in Pakistan and India. Sulaimani Bohra ± The Sulaimani Bohra named after their 27th Da'i al-Mutlaq, Sulayman ibn Hassan, are a denomination of the Bohras. After offshooting from the Taiyabi the Bohras split into two, the Sulaimani Bohra and the Dawoodi Bohra, over who would be the correct dai of the community. Concentrated mainly in Yemen. Alavi Bohra ± Split from the Dawoodi Bohra over who would be the correct dai of the community. The smallest branch of the Bohras. Hebtiahs Bohra ± The Hebtiahs Bohra are a branch of Mustaali Ismaili Shi'a Islam that broke off from the mainstream Dawoodi Bohra after the death of the 39th Da'i al-Mutlaq in 1754. Atba-i-Malak ± The Abta-i Malak jamaat (community) are a branch of Mustaali Ismaili Shi'a Islam that broke off from the mainstream Dawoodi Bohra after the death of the 46th Da'i al-Mutlaq, under the leadership of Abdul Hussain Jivaji. They have further split into two more branches, the Atba-i-Malak Badra and Atba-i-Malak Vakil. Druze ± The Druze are a small distinct traditional religion that developed in the 11th century. It began as an offshoot of the Ismaili sect of Islam, but is unique in its incorporation of Gnostic, neo-Platonic and other philosophies. Druze are considered heretical and non-Muslims by most other Muslims because they are believed to address 14






prayers to the Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, the third Fatimid caliph of Egypt, whom they regard as "a manifestation of God in His unity." The Druze believe that he had been hidden away by God and will return as the Mahdi on Judgment Day. Like Alawis, most Druze keep the tenets of their Faith secret, and very few details are known. They neither accept converts nor recognize conversion from their religion to another. They are located primarily in the Levant. Druze in different states can have radically different lifestyles. Some claim to be Muslim, some do not, though the Druze faith itself abides by Islamic principles. Zaidiyyah Zaidiyyahs historically come from the followers of Zayd ibn Ali, the great-Grandson of 'Ali b. Abi Talib. They follow any knowledgeable and upright descendant of al-Hasan and al-Husayn, and are less esoteric in focus than Twelverism or Ismailism. Alawi Alawites are also called Nusayris, Nusairis, Namiriya or Ansariyya. Slightly over one million of them live in Syria and Lebanon. Alevi Alevis are sometimes categorized as part of Twelver Shi'a Islam, and sometimes as its own religious tradition, as it has markedly different philosophy, customs, and rituals. They have many Sufi characteristics and express belief in the Qur'an and the Shi'a Imams, but reject polygamy and accept religious traditions predating Islam, like Turkish shamanism. They are significant in East-Central Turkey. They are sometimes considered a Sufi sect, and have an untraditional form of religious leadership that is not scholarship oriented like other Sunni and Shia groups. They number around 25 million worldwide, of which 22 million are in Turkey, with the rest in the Balkans, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Azerbaijan, Iran and Syria Comparison: Sunnis vs. Shi'ites

An Outline Of The Differences Between The Sunnis and The Shi'ite in Matters of Faith And Doctrine 1. 2. 3. 4. The Glorious Qur'an Ahaadeeth (The Prophetic Traditions) The Companions of the Prophet Belief in the oneness of Allah


5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Seeing Allah The Unseen Ahlur-Rasool (the family of the Messenger - may Allah be pleased with them all) The meaning of Shari'ah and Haqeeqah Islamic jurisprudence

10. Al-walaa' (obedience and devotion) 11. Taqiyyah (calculated deception) 12. Governing the Islamic state The Glorious Qur'an Sunnis There is unanimous agreement among them regarding its authenticity, and its text being safeguarded from any additions or deletions. The Qur'an is to be understood in consonance with the rules and bases of the Arabic language. They believe in every single letter of it, it being the word of Allah the Exalted. The Qur'an is neither temporal nor newly created, but is eternal. Falsehood does not approach it from before it or behind it. It is the primary source of all the Muslims' tenets of faith, their rites and rules of conduct. Shi'ites To some of them, the Qur'an's authenticity is doubtful, and if it appears to contradict any of their sectarian beliefs or doctrines, then they give the Qur'anic text strange, far-fetched interpretations that agree with their sectarian views. For that reason they are called Al-Mutawwilah (those who give their own interpretations to the revealed texts). They love to draw attention to the discord that occurred at the time when the Qur'an was first compiled. The views and opinions of their Imams are the primary source of their jurisprudence.


Hadeeths (The Prophetic Traditions) Sunnis For the Sunnis, it is the second source of revealed law, complementary to the Noble Quran It is not permissible to contradict or reject the rulings and directives contained in those Hadeeths (ahaadeeth) which are reliably attributed to the Prophet (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him). The methodology applied in determining the authenticity of these traditions utilizes a set of stringent rules agreed upon by the scholars who specialize in this field, and involves detailed analysis of the chain of transmitters of any given tradition. No distinction is made between male and female narrators; judgment is made solely on the basis of individual trustworthiness and technical ability in relating traditions, and every narrator's history is recorded. No tradition is accepted from a known liar, or from one whose morals or scholarly ability were not corroborated, or from anyone, merely on the basis of his family connection or lineage. The compilation of the Prophetic Traditions is taken to be a sacred Trust, the fulfillment of which overrides all other considerations. Shi'ites

The Shi'ites reject all Prophetic Traditions which were not related by members of Ahlul-Bait, or their descendants. The only exception to this rule is their acceptance of a few Hadeeths (ahaadeeth) narrated by those who sided with 'Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) in his political wars. They do not attend to the authenticity and soundness of the chain of narrators, nor do they approach the study of the Prophetic Traditions with a scientific, critical attitude. Their narrations often appear in a form like that of the following example: "It has been reported regarding Muhammad bin Isma'eel by way of some of our friends through a man who transmitted it from him ['Ali] that he said..." Their books are filled with hundreds of thousands of traditions whose authenticity cannot be confirmed. They have built their religion specifically upon these spurious texts while outright rejecting over three quarters of the authentic Prophetic Traditions. This is one of the main differences between the Shi'ites and the Sunnis.


The Companions Of The Prophet Sunnis Shi'ites They charge that all save a few of the Companions had turned apostate after the death of the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). On the other hand, they grant the Companion 'Ali bin Abi Taalib a very special status; some of them consider him vicegerent, and some view him as a prophet, while others take him for a god! Shi'ites pass judgment on Muslims in accordance with their position with regards to 'Ali. Whoever was elected caliph before 'Ali is held by them to be a tyrant, an apostate or a sinner. The same judgment is passed on every Muslim ruler who did not step down for any of the descendants of 'Ali and his wife Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with them). The Shi'ites have thus created an atmosphere of animosity throughout the history of Islam, and the question of partisanship of Ahlul-Bait developed into a school of thought which preached and perpetuated such detrimental teachings down through the generations.

It is unanimously agreed that the noble Companions deserve our utmost respect, and are absolutely trustworthy. As for the discord which occurred among them, it is to be considered as the consequence of the sincere exercise of personal conviction and opinion. The discord was resolved and is a thing of the past. It is not permissible for us to hold, on the basis of past differences among the Companions, grudges and ill will which continue for generations. The Companions are those whom Allah has described in the best of terms; He has praised them upon many occasions. It is not lawful for anyone to make any accusation against them or cast suspicion upon them, and there is no benefit to be derived therefrom.

Belief In The Oneness Of Allah Sunnis Sunnis believe that Allah is the One, the Only, God, the Almighty Subduer. He has no partners or rivals, and He has no equal. There is no intermediary between Him and His worshippers. They believe in His attributes as they were revealed In the Qur'anic verses, and they do not obscure their obvious meanins with far-fetched Interpretations. They do not strike any comparison between the divine attributes and other things, for as Allah says in His Book "There is nothing like unto Him." They believe that Allah sent the Prophets and commissioned them with conveying to mankind His Message and Guidance. They conveyed Allah's Message and did not conceal any part of it They believe that knowledge Of the Shi'ites The Shi'ites also believe in Allah the Exalted and His Oneness, except that they adulterate this belief with polytheistic rituals and observances. They implore and make supplication to Allah's slaves and worshippers rather than to Him alone, saying "O Ali! and "O Husain!" and "O Zainab!" Similarly they make vows and sacrifice beasts in the name of others besides Allah. They request the dead to fulfil their needs as is shown by their prayers and poems. They consider their Imams to be infallible, to have knowledge of the unseen, and to partake In the administration of the universe. It is the Shi'ites who Invented Sufism (mysticism) to consecrate their deviated tenets and thus give them the air of legitimacy They claimed


unseen belongs to Allah alone. Intercession is confined to the Hereafter, and none may intercede except by Allah's permission. All supplication, vows, offerings of sacrifices and requests for needs are to be directed to God alone; they are not to be directed to any other besides Him. Allah alone controls good and evil. There is no one, living or dead in His authority or in His administration of affairs. All beings depend on Him, and need His favor and mercy. The knowledge of Allah is attained through knowledge of divinely revealed law, and this has precedence over the exercise of reason, which might never guide one to the truth, although it may provide reassurance to the believer, and help him to achieve tranquillity.

that there is special power and authority invested in the "awliyaa"' (mystic saints), "aqtaab" (those considered to be the spiritual axes of the universe, which turns due to their exalted status), and Ahlul-Bait Shi'ite scholars and clergy impressed upon their followers the concept of a hereditary privileged class, as a matter of religion, although this has no foundation in Islam at all. Knowledge of Allah, is attained, according to them, through the exercise of reason, not by knowledge of divinely revealed law. That which came to us by way of revelation in the Qur'an merely represents an affirmation of reason's judgment; it is not considered to be a source which is independent of, and beyond the limits of reason.

Seeing Allah Sunnis Sunnis believe that believers will be blessed with the sight of Allah in the Hereafter, as is mentioned in the Qur'an: "On that Day faces [of the believers] will be resplendent, looking towards their Lord." Shi'ites

The Shi'ites believe that to see Allah is not possible in this world nor in the Hereafter.

The Unseen Sunnis Allah the Exalted has reserved knowledge of the unseen for Himself; however, He has revealed to His Prophets some of the affairs and conditions of the unseen, for particular reasons. The Qur'an says: "And they do not encompass anything of God's knowledge except what He will to reveal thereof" Shi'ites They claim that knowledge of the unseen belongs solely to their Imams, and it is not for the Prophet to inform us about the unseen. Some Shi'ites have gone so far as to claim godhead for those Imams.


Aalur-Rasool (The Family Of The Messenger) (May Allah Be Pleased With Them All) Sunnis Ahl Al-Bait , according to the Sunnis, has various meanings. The best single definition of this term is "the followers of the Prophet Muhammad in the faith of Islam." It is also defined as "the pious and God-fearing people of the Prophet's ummah (nation of believers)." It is also said that the term refers to the believing relatives of Muhammad, from the tribes of Haashim and 'AbdulMuttalib. Shi'ites

According to the Shi'ites, the term Ahl Al-Bait refers only to 'Ali bin Abi Taalib, to some of his sons, and to the descendants 'of those sons.

The Meaning Of Shari'ah (Islamic Law) And Haqeeqah (The Truth) Sunnis In the Sunnis' view, the Shariah (the divinely revealed law) is itself the Haqeeqah (the essential knowledge, the reality). They hold that Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, did not conceal from his nation of believers any part of that knowledge, contained in the revealed law. There was no good thing that he did not guide us to, and no evil thing that he did not warn us about. Allah has said 'On this day, I have completed your religion. Therefore, ' the sources of the Islamic faith are Allah's Book and the sunnah (practice) of the Prophet, and there is no need to add anything to that. The relationship of the believer with Allah, and the path to the achievement of good works and worship, are clear and direct. The only one to know the actual condition of the believers is Allah, so (i.e do not pass judgment on the praiseworthiness or purity of anyone, lest we overstep our bounds). The views and opinions of anyone may be accepted or rejected, except or those of the infallible Prophet of Allah, upon whom be Allah's blessings and peace. Shi'ites The Shi'ites see the Shari'ah as being merely the various rulings and directives set forth by the Prophet; they concern the common and superficial folk only. As for the Haqeeqah, no one knows it except the Imams of Ahl Al-Bait These Imams acquire the sciences of Haqeeqah through inheritance, one generation after another. It remains a secret possession among them. Furthermore, the Shi'ites consider their Imams infallible; their every work and practice is deemed incumbent upon their followers. They believe that one may communicate with God only through intermediaries, and it is for this reason that their religious leaders have such an inflated opinion of themselves, as evidenced by the exaggerated titles they take for themselves, e.g. Baabullah (the door to Allah), Waliyullah (the friend of Allah), Hujjatullah (Allah's proof), Ayatullah (the sign of Allah), Al-Ma'soom (the infallible one), etc.


Islamic Jurisprudence Sunnis Shi'ites They depend only on the exclusive sources which they claim for their Imams: upon their farfetched interpretations of the Quran; and upon their contrary attitude which puts them at odds with the majority of the Muslim peoples. The Shi'ites consider their Imams to be infallible, and to have the right to create new rulings and directives .in contradiction to the revealed law. For example, they have altered: (a) The call to prayer and the prescribed times and postures of prayers. (b) The rites of Hajj (pilgrimage) and visitation to the sacred places. (c) The specified times for beginning and breaking the fast. (d) The rulings with regards to zakaah (alms-tax) and its distribution. (e) The inheritance laws. The Shi'ites are very particular to take positions in opposition to Ahlus-Sunnah, thus widening the gap between Sunnis and Shi'ites.

Ahlus-sunnah adhere strictly to the legal rulings and directives of the Noble Qur'an, as clarified by the sayings and practices of the Messenger We also depend upon the sayings of the Companions and the generation of trustworthy scholars who followed them. They were the nearest to the Prophet's era and the most sincere in supporting his mission, throughout the tests and trials which had to be endured in the course of establishing Islam. Since this religion has been completed, no one has the right to formulate new legislation or directives; however, in order to properly understand the details of the revealed law, and to apply it according to new situations and circumstances while keeping in mind the general welfare of the people, one must refer to the qualified Muslim scholars who must work solely within the bounds established by Allah's Book and the sunnah of the Prophet (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him).

Al-Walaa' (Obedience And Devotion) Sunnis Al-walaa ' means "total adherence, obedience and devotion." The Sunnis believe that it is due only to the Messenger of Allah, for Allah says in His Book "Whosoever obeys the Messenger, he has verily obeyed Allah.'' No other person deserves our strict adherence or our obedience and devotion. Our responsibilities to others are defined by known legal principles, and there is no obedience due to any human being if that entails disobedience to the Creator. Shi'ites They view al-walaa' as being one of the pillars of iman. They define it as the firm belief in the Twelve Imams including the "hidden" Imam). They consider one who does not have strict devotion to Aalul-Bait as one who has no faith. They will not pray behind such a person, nor will they give him zakaah although he be deserving of it. Such a person would be treated as a kaafr by them.


Taqiyyah (Calculated Deception) Sunnis It is defined as presenting an outer appearance that belies what one conceals inside, to protect oneself from harm. It is considered impermissible for a Muslim to deceive other Muslims, because of the Prophet's saying: Whoever deceives is not of us." Resorting to Taqiyyah is permitted only in one situation: during war against the disbelievers who are the enemies of Islam. That is part of the etiquette of war. It is incumbent on the Muslim to be truthful and courageous in upholding the truth, and to be neither ostentatious, nor deceiving, nor treacherous. A muslim should give sincere counsel, enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil. Shi'ites In spite of the differences among the various Shi'ite sects, they all agree that Taqiyyah is a prescribed duty and a pillar of their faith. Their schools of thought could not stand without it. They learn its principles and methods and they practice it, especially if they are in dire circumstances. They exaggeratedly praise and flatter those whom they consider disbelievers, whom they consider deserving of slaughter and destruction. The verdict of kufr is passed on anyone who is not of their sectarian school, and for them "the end justifies the means." Their ethics allow every manner of lying, cunning and deception.

Governing The Islamic State Sunnis Shi'ites Generally speaking, the right to govern according to Shi'ites, is hereditary, and restricted to 'Ali, and his descendants by Fatimah (the daughter of the Prophet). There is, however, some slight difference among them on the point of the hereditary right as to whom it belongs to. Due to this view of theirs, the Shi'ites are never loyal to any ruler unless he is one of the descendants of 'Ali bin Abi Taalib. When the practice of hereditary leadership vested in the descendants of 'Ali and Fatimah could no longer be maintained, because the line had come to an end, the Shi'ites invented the doctrine of Ar-Raj'ah, according to which the last Imam was not dead, but "hidden". He is expected to arise and return at the end of time, when he will slaughter all of his political opponents, and those of his ancestors, and will restore to the Shi'ites their rights which were "plundered" by the other sects over the centuries.

The state is ruled by a Caliph (Khalifa) elected to his position of leadership from among the Muslim people. To be leader, a man must be sane, rightly guided and knowledgeable. He should be known for his piety and trustworthiness, and he should be capable of bearing such a responsibility. The caliph is nominated to his position Of leadership by those Muslims endowed with knowledge and experience. If he does not hold firm to his duty, and deviates from the directives of the Qur'an, then they may remove him from his position and strip him of all authority. Otherwise, he deserves the obedience and cooperation of every Muslim. The role of caliphate is, to the Sunnis, a great burden and responsibility, not a mere honor or opportunity for exploitations.


Kharijite Islam Kharijite (lit. "those who seceded") is a general term embracing a variety of Muslim sects which, while originally supporting the Caliphate of Ali, eventually rejected his legitimacy after he negotiated with Mu'awiya during the 7th Century Islamic civil war (First Fitna). Their complaint was that the Imam must be spiritually pure, and that Ali's compromise with Mu'awiya was a compromise of his spiritual purity, and therefore of his legitimacy as Imam or Caliph. While there are few remaining Kharijite or Kharijiterelated groups, the term is sometimes used to denote Muslims who refuse to compromise with those with whom they disagree. Ibadi The only surviving Kharijite sect is the Ibadi. The sect developed out of the 7th century Islamic sect of the Kharijites. Nonetheless, Ibadis see themselves as quite different from the Kharijite. Believed to be one of the earliest schools, it is said to have been founded less than 50 years after the death of Muhammad. It is the dominant form of Islam in Oman, but small numbers of Ibadi followers may also be found in countries in Northern and Eastern Africa. The early medieval Rustamid dynasty in Algeria was Ibadi. Ibadis usually consider non-Ibadi Muslims as unbelievers, though nowadays this attitude has highly relaxed. They approve of the caliphates of Ab Bakr and Umar ibn al-Khattab, whom they regard as the "Two Rightly Guided Caliphs". Specific beliefs include: wal yah- friendship and unity with the practicing true believers and the Ibadi Imams, bar 'ah- dissociation and hostility towards the unbelievers and sinners, and wuq f- reservation towards those whose status is unclear. While Ibadi Muslims maintain most of the beliefs of the original Kharijites, they have rejected the more aggressive methods.

Sufies View of Islam
Sufism or ta awwuf (Arabic: ) is, according to its adherents, the inner, mystical dimensionof Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a f ( ). Another name for a Sufi is Dervish.
.Sufism is a mystical-ascetic form of Islam. By focusing on the more spiritual aspects of religion, Sufis strive to obtain direct experience of God by making use of "intuitive and emotional faculties" that one must be trained to use. Sufis usually considered Sufism to be complementary to orthodox Islam, however it has often been accused of being an unjustified Bidµah or religious innovation by the Salafi. One starts with sharia (Islamic law), the exoteric or mundane practice of Islam and then is initiated into the mystical (esoteric path of a Tariqah (Sufi Order). Some Sufi followers consider themselves as Sunni or Shi'a, while others consider themselves as simply 'Sufi' or Sufi-influenced.

Classical Sufis were characterised by their attachment to dhikr (a practice of repeating the names of God) and asceticism. Sufism gained adherents among a number of Muslims as a reaction

against the worldliness of the early Umayyad Caliphate (661-750 CE). The Sufi movement has spanned several continents and cultures over a millennium, at first expressed through Arabic, then through Persian, Turkish and a dozen other languages"Orders" ( uruq), which are either Sunn or Sh µ in doctrine, trace many of their original precepts from the Islamic ProphetMuhammad through his cousin µAl , with the notable exception of the Naqshbandi who trace their origins through the first Caliph, Abu Bakr. Other exclusive schools of Sufism describe themselves as distinctly 'Sufi'. They believe Sura 12 (Yusuf) of the Qur'an is not an authentic Sura

Qadiri The Qadiri Order is one of the oldest Sufi Orders. It derives its name from Abdul-Qadir Gilani (10771166), a native of the Iranian province of G l n. The order is one of the most widespread of the Sufi orders in the Islamic world, and can be found in Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Turkey and the Balkans and much of East and West Africa. The Qadiriyyah have not developed any distinctive doctrines or teachings outside of mainstream Islam. They believe in the fundamental principles of Islam, but interpreted through mystical experience. Bektashi The Bektashi Order was founded in the 13th century by the Islamic saint Hajji Bektash Wali, and greatly influenced during its fomulative period by the Hurufi Ali al-'Ala in the 15th century and reorganized by Balim Sultan in the 16th century. Because of its adherence to the Twelve Imams it is classified under Twelver Shi'a Islam. Bektashi are concentrated in Turkey and Albania. Chishti The Chishti Order (Persian: ) was founded by (Khawaja) Abu IshaqShami ("the Syrian") (d. 941) who brought Sufism to the town of Chisht, some 95 miles east of Herat in present-day Afghanistan. Before returning to the Levant, Shami initiated, trained and deputized the son of the local Emir, (Khwaja) Abu Ahmad Abdal (d. 966). Under the leadership of Abu Ahmad¶s descendants, the Chishtiyya as they are also known, flourished as a regional mystical order. Naqshbandi The Naqshbandi order is one of the major Sufi orders of Islam. Formed in 1380, the order is considered by some to be a "sober" order known for its silent dhikr (remembrance of God) rather than the vocalized forms of dhikr common in other orders. The word Naqshbandi is Persian, taken from the name of the founder of the order, Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari. Some have said that the translation means "related to the image-maker," some also consider it to mean "Pattern Maker" rather than "image maker," and interpret "Naqshbandi" to mean "Reformer of Patterns", and others consider it to mean "Way of the Chain" or "Golden Chain."


Oveyssi The Oveyssi Order was founded 1,400 years ago by Uwais al-Qarni from Yemen. Uways received the teachings of Islam inwardly through his heart and lived by the principles taught by him, although he had never physically met Muhammad. At times Muhammad would say of him, "I feel the breath of the Merciful, coming to me from Yemen." Shortly before Muhammad died, he directed Umar (second Caliph) and Ali (the first Imam of the Shi'a) to take his cloak to Uwais. According to Ali Hujwiri, Farid ad-Din Attar of Nishapur and Sheikh Muhammad Ghader Bagheri, the first recipient of Muhammad's cloak was Oveys. The Oveyssi order is still in existence today, with over 500,000 students and numerous centers worldwide. The present Pir²Molana Salaheddin Ali Nader Shah Angha²was officially appointed as the forty-second Sufi master in the unbroken chain of transmission on September 4, 1970, when the cloak of Muhammad was bestowed upon him by his father Shah Maghsoud Sadegh Angha. Suhrawardiyya The Suhrawardiyya (Arabic: ) is a Sufi order founded by the Iranian Sufi Diya al-din Abu 'nNajib as-Suhrawardi (1097 ± 1168 CE). It is a strictly Sunni order, guided by the Shafi`i school of Islamic law (madhab), and, like many such orders, traces its spiritual genealogy (silsila) to HazratAli ibnAbiTalib through Junayd Baghdadi and al-Ghazali. It played an important role in the formation of a conservative µnew piety¶ and in the regulation of urban vocational and other groups, such as trades-guilds and youth clubs , particularly in Baghdad. Certain of its usages bear a close relationship to Freemasonry.

Other Sufis Mouride is a large IslamicSufi order most prominent in Senegal and The Gambia, with headquarters in the holy city of Touba, Senegal. The Tijaniyyah order attach a large importance to culture and education, and emphasize the individual adhesion of the disciple (mur d). The Shadhili is a Sufi order founded by Abu-l-Hassan ash-Shadhili. Followers (murids Arabic: seekers) of the Shadhiliya are often known as Shadhilis.

Sunni vs. Sufi
The difference between Sunni and Sufi is that Sunni is a descendant of the conventional version of Islam whereas Sufi is an offshoot of the mystical branch of Islam. Sufi can be both Sunni and Shia. Sunnis focus on the teachings and Sunah of the holy Prophet whereas Sufi follows the basic as well as the spiritual practices. Sunni is a word derived from the Arabic word Sunah. There are many stories about the origin of the word Sufi like the person who wears wool etc. Sufi means a saint in the English language.

Sunni and Sufi both follow Islam and have same beliefs but a Sunni is more involved with worldly matters whereas Sufi is more concerned with the world hereafter. Sunni follows the code of life sent by God in the form of Sunah and Quran. Sunni Muslims follow these codes and spend their lives accordingly to get to heaven as a reward for their worldly noble deeds. They are fearful of Allah as their literature and teachings incorporate fear of hell whereas a Sufi advocates eternal and divine love rather than fear. The ambition of a Sufi is to attain spiritual enlightenment through meditation, prayers and by quitting worldly desires. Sunni believes in the indirect approach to enlighten the soul whereas a Sufi attempts to experience and feel God with the help of the direct approach. Sunni Muslim has five major legal schools and several minor ones whereas Sufi has many orders of Sufism. Almost ninety percent of Muslims around the world are Sunni and they get their religious knowledge based on the Quran and the seven books of Hadith narrated by the companions of the Prophet. Sufism or tassawuf in Arabic follows sharia or the Islamic code of life along with acquired spiritual enlightenment through purification of the heart. A Sufi or saint purifies his heart with the help of various methods and repeated recitations called ³Dhikr.´ Many of the Sunni sects do not believe in mysticism and call the deviants as Sufism which is misinterpreted. Sufis do not worship graves and they follow the basic beliefs of Islam strictly. There are many Sufi poets who are famous all over the world for their poems on divine love like Jalal ud din Rumi. Unlike many Sunni sects ,Sufism or Islamic mysticism gives importance to the special form of Sufi music and dancing like swirling dervishes. Summary: 1. Sunni came into existence after the death of the Prophet and it believes in the well-trodden path of Islam called Sunah. 2. Sufi means dervish or the one who enlightens his heart and soul by following spiritualism and religious practices. 3. Sunni and Sufi are both Muslims yet different in their schools of thought. 4. Sunni is more concerned with attaining the right path in order to get rewards from God. The reward is promised in the next life. 5. Sufi believes in divine love and focuses on meeting God directly by adopting the state of ³Fana´ which means to purify your heart and soul of worldly desires and expectations.


Other Theology groups: Jamaatul Muslimeen Jamaat al-Muslimeen or Jamaat ul Muslimeen is a new religious movement in Islam hes been founded at the 1960s by Masood Ahmad. The headquarter of this group is in Karachi, Pakistan. This group believes that they are the only true Muslim community in the world, others are not actually Muslim. This group is a heretical group. It has many branches in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, UAE and many western states where the Pakistani diaspora exists. Islamism Islamism is a term that refers to a set of political ideologies derived from various fundamentalist views, which hold that Islam is not only a religion, but a political system governing the legal, economic and social imperatives of the state. Many Islamists do not refer to themselves as such and it is not a single particular movement. Religious views and ideologies of its adherents vary, and they may be Sunni Islamists or Shia Islamists depending upon their beliefs. Islamist groups include groups such as Al-Qaeda, the organizer of the September 11, 2001 attacks and perhaps the most prominent; and the Muslim Brotherhood, perhaps the oldest, which also forms the largest opposition grouping in Egypt. Although violence is often employed by some organizations, not all Islamist movements are violent. Liberals Liberal and progressive movements have in common a religious outlook which depends mainly on Ijtihad or re-interpretations of scriptures. Liberal Muslims believe in greater autonomy of the individual in interpretation of scripture, a critical examination of religious texts, gender equality, human rights, LGBT rights and a modern view of culture, tradition, and other ritualistic practices in Islam. Quranism Qur'an-Aloners, or Qur'anists refer to those who follow the Quran alone without additional details or hadiths. There are multiple "Qur'an-Aloner" groups and movements based on the ideology. Heterodox groups Ahmadiyya The Ahmadiyya movement was founded in India in 1889 by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who claimed to be the promised Messiah ("Second Coming of Christ") the Mahdi awaited by the Muslims and a 'subordinate' prophet within Islam. The followers are divided into two groups, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for the Propagation of Islam, the former believing that Ghulam Ahmad was a non-law bearing prophet and the latter believing that he was only a religious reformer though a prophet in an allegorical sense. Ahmadis consider themselves Muslims and claim to practice the pristine form of Islam as re-established with the teachings of Ghulam Ahmad. They are, however considered nonMuslim by a majority of mainstream Muslims because of the issue of Ghulam Ahmad's prophethood. 27

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the larger community of the two arising from the Ahmadiyya movement and is guided by the Khalifa (Caliph), currently Khalifatul Masih V, who is the spiritual leader of Ahmadis and the successor to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. He is called the Khalifatul Masih (successor of the Messiah). The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes that Ghulam Ahmad was the 'Promised One' of all religions, fulfilling the messianic prophecies found in world religions. They believe that his claims to being several awaited personalities converging into one person were the symbolic, rather than literal, fulfillment of the messianic and eschatological prophecies found in the literature of the major religions. The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement believes Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to be the Mujaddid (reformer) of the 14th century Hijra and not a prophet in the true sense of the word. They assert that he intended his use of the terms "Nabi" and "Rasool" to be metaphorical, when referring to himself. Members of the movement are often referred to colloquially as Lahori Ahmadis. Mahdavism Mahdavi's ("Mahdavism") spread under Muhammad Jaunpuri in the Indian subcontinent including Pakistan, as well as in Afghanistan and some parts of Iran. Its followers are presently in the Deccan and Gujarat regions of India and, in a related Zikri form, in Karachi, Pakistan. Communities of Mahdaviya historically lived in makeshift thatches, surrounded by a fence, called Daira, which in Arabic means circle, boundary, or engulfment. These settlements were away from urban centers which contained thousands of followers who had left their worldly desires, pleasures, and properties for the sole purpose of Deedar (Vision of Allah the almighty). This was the important aspect for which Imam Mahdi-e-Maood (AHS) came into this world. Today, some Dairas can be found in Channapatna, near Bangalore, Chanchalguda in Hyderabad and in some parts of Gujarat. Zikri is claimed to be based around the teachings of Muhammad Jaunpuri, a 15th century Mahdi claimant. In religious practice, the Zikris differ greatly from mainstream Muslims. A main misconception that Zikris perform prayers called dhikr five times a day is a major one, in which sacred verses are recited, as compared to the orthodox practice of salah. Mehdavis also pray five times a day (salah).Most Zikris live in Balochistan, but a large number also live in Karachi, the Sindh interior, Oman and Iran. Nation of Islam The Nation of Islam was founded by Wallace Fard Muhammad in Detroit in 1930, with a declared aim of "resurrecting" the spiritual, mental, social and economic condition of the black man and woman of America and the world. It is viewed by almost all Muslims as a heretical cult, the group believes Fard Muhammad was God on earth, this is viewed as shirk among mainstream Muslims, furthermore it does not see Muhammad as the final prophet, but Elijah Muhammad as the "Messenger of Truth", plus it only allows people of black ethnicity and believes they are the original race on earth. In 1975 however, the teachings were abandoned and the group was renamed to American Society of Muslims, by Warith Deen Mohammed, the son of Elijah Muhammad. He brought the group into beliefs of Sunni Islam, establishing mosques instead of temples and promoting to follow the Five pillars of Islam. Thousands (estimated 2 28

million) of African Americans joined Imam Muhammad into mainstream Islam,however very few were dissatisfied, these include Louis Farrakhan, who revived the group again in 1978, with the same teachings of the previous leaders, currently it has from 30,000 to 70,000 members. The comparison of beliefs between mainstream Islam and the Nation of Islam: Belief God Muhammad Race Creation Qur'an Sharia law Mainstream Islam Nation of Islam

Allah is one, who has no partners (God is Wallace D. Fard came as God incarnate (God is spirit) man) The final prophet of Islam, no one comes Elijah Muhammad is the prophet to tell about after him incarnation of Fard All are equal regardless of color of skin, judged on behavior Allah created the universe, first humans were Adam and Eve Revealed to Muhammad from God through the Angel Gabriel Sacred rules and laws of Islamic life, based on Qur'an and Sunnah The Black race is superior to others, whites are devils Black scientists created the plan which repeats every 25,000 years Black scientists created and revealed the Bible and the Qur'an Not followed, own-created such as 4-6pm meal or avoid white flour cake meals

Moorish Science This faith was founded by Timothy Drew in 1913 in the United States. Its main tenet is that AfricanAmericans were descended from the Moors and thus were originally Islamic. Its followers claim it to be a sect of Islam but it also has almost equal influences in Buddhism, Christianity, Freemasonry, Gnosticism, and Taoism. They have their own book that they call "Circle Seven Koran"

Submitters The United Submitters International (USI) is a religious group, founded by Dr. Rashad Khalifa. Submitters considers themselves to be adhering to "true Islam", but prefer not to use the terms "Muslim" or "Islam," instead using the English equivalents: "Submitter" or "Submission." Submitters consider Khalifa to be a Messenger of God. Specific beliefs of the USI include: the dedication of all worship practices to God alone, upholding the Qur'an alone with the exception of two rejected Qur'an verses and rejecting the Islamic traditions of hadith and sunnah attributed to Muhammad. The main group attends "Masjid Tucson" in Arizona, US.


Ahl-e Haqq From the Ahl-e Haqq point of view, the universe is composed of two distinct yet interrelated worlds: the internal (batini) and the external (zahiri), each having its own order and rules. Although humans are only aware of the outer world, their lives are governed according to the rules of the inner world. Among other important pillars of their belief system are that the Divine Essence has successive manifestations in human form (mazhariyyat, derived from zahir) and the belief in transmigration of the soul (or dunaduni in Kurdish). The Ahl-e Haqq do not observe Muslim rites and rituals Cultural/syncretic muslim Generally, a Muslim is defined by faith in the religion of Islam; however, in the modern world there are religiously unobservant, agnostic or atheist individuals who still identify with the Muslim culture due to family background, personal experiences or fear of retribution for apostasy, an approach discussed by Malise Ruthven. There are also syncretic muslims, where they reconcile disparate beliefs with Islam, for example in Chrislam, Din-i-Ilahi or Universal Sufism. Bábism In 1844 a young man from Shiraz, Iran proclaimed to be the Mahdi and took on the title of "The Báb". The religion he began officially broke away from Islam, and gained a significant following in Iran. His followers were called heretics by the state, and in 1850 the Báb was publicly executed. Most Babis accepted the claims of Bahá'u'lláh, henceforth considering themselves Bahá'ís. Bahá'í Faith Following the death of the Báb almost all Bábís turned to Bahá'u'lláh, as the fulfillment of the Báb's prophecy of man yazhiruhu'lláh, "He Whom God shall make manifest." Baha'u'llah was a respected leader of the Bábís community. The Bábís eventually called themselves Bahá'ís. Bahá'ís believe that the Bábí and Islamic prophecies of the end times and the return of the Mahdi and Jesus were fulfilled. As does the Shaykhi school of Islamic interpretation, to which this group is historically connected, Bahá'ís interpret Islamic (and other) eschatology symbolically and metaphorically. Bahá'ís believe Bahá'u'lláh to be a Manifestation of God, a messenger on par with Muhammad. Due to its background and history, it is sometimes categorized as a sect of Islam, which is denied by its adherents and the Muslim mainstream. Bahá'ís have been persecuted as apostates in some Islamic countries, especially Iran.

Nuwaubu At various times known as the Ansaaru Allah Community, Nubian Islamic Hebrews, and Nuwaubians, this group no longer claims to be Muslim. Its founder and leader, Malachi Z. York, was known as As Sayyid Al Imaam Issa Al Haadi Al Mahdi and other similar names when he was claiming to be a Muslim and the successor to Elijah Muhammad. The Nuwaubian teachings are now based on ancient Sumerian and Egyptian texts with extraterrestrial revelations from the alien spirit said to be inhabiting York. 30

Conclusion: People around the Globe are confused in various issues related to Philosophy and Theology which are contrary to the realities of our Cosmos. Many theories are presented in such a way that these look logical religious beliefs. They have mastered the art of emotional exploitation of people. They make people believe in miracles that are made to happen by the Christian Preachers. Some people use super natural powers as proof of truthfulness of their faith. Often they use incantation (chanting) and spells to achieve their objectives. They also will-power to Subdue common people How can a true Muslim deal with these issues? Rejecting these issues µas false¶ does not work. We need to go to the crux of the matter and explain the facts to the people so that they realize the truth and come to the straight path of Islam.

Infact, Muslims are not to be divided into divisions or sections and rather be united under a

common goal of faith in one Godalone - Allah[Qur'an 3:103], failure to do which has also been deemed a sin by God and thus forbidden.[6:149][6:159] The Qur'an also ordains that the followers of Islam need to "obey Allah and obey the Messenger (Prophet Muhammad)" stressing on the importance of keeping the commandments mentioned in the Qur'an by Allah, and following all the teachings of Muhammad,[4:59]; labeling everyone who concurs as a 'Muslim'[22:78] as a part of the "best of communities brought forth from mankind".[3:110] The Quran states that creating sects in Islam is Haram(forbidden), in Surah 30 Verse 32:


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