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Ali and the Evolution of Shia Islam - Research Paper Example

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The author concludes that understanding the meaning of the Shi’a religion is impossible without taking a look on Ali’s religious, political, and personal life. It would be fair to say that Ali played the social, political, and religious role in the emergence and expansion of the Shi’a Muslim trends…
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Download file to see previous pages Understanding the meaning and significance of the Shi’a religion is impossible without taking a look at Ali’s religious, political, and personal life. It would be fair to say that Ali played the social, political, and religious role in the emergence and expansion of the Shi’a Muslim trends.
The division between the Sunni and Shi’a religion is often interpreted in purely political terms. Numerous authors attribute the growing gap between the Sunni and Shi’a to the political conflict between the Islamic religious followers and Umma, who later fueled the ongoing conflict between himself, his leadership ideals, and Ali’s religious and political principles.1 However, to say that the persistent division of the two Islamic trends is inherently political means to distort the real picture of religious events. In reality, the political picture of the Islamic evolution is oversimplified. Even if the death of the Prophet, the absence of a direct heir, and the establishment of Umma and his followers in power disrupted the stability of the social relationships within the Islamic community, a whole range of reasons, including social, political, and religious ones, that turned Shi’ism into a religious movement different from the principal body of Islamic believers.2
It should be noted, that Shi’a supporters hold most common beliefs with other Muslims, including the Sunni groups, but the principal differences are in the Shiites’ commitment to imamate. The latter is fairly regarded as the distinctive feature of Shi’a Islam.3 Sunni Muslims treat imamate as the source of temporal leadership and view an imam as a prayer leader only; in the meantime, Shi’a Muslims pursue a hereditary vision of Muslim leadership, with imamate as its foundation and most essential ingredient.    ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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