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Islamic Politics and Culture - Essay Example

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The sectarian conflict that has underpinned the relationship between the Shia and Sunni Muslims has been fueled by a history of competition for power and influence that date back centuries. At the core of the question, was the debate on who is the legitimate successor to…
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Islamic Politics and Culture
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Islamic Politics and Culture

Download file to see previous pages... They were the minority and through them, he ruled for some time as the Caliph, a title that was normally given to Muhammad successor. However, this rule ended after the majority Sunni Muslims killed his son Hussein and went ahead to monopolize political power. After this, the Shia has lived in the shadow of the state and appeared to give up politics in favor of religious concerns looking to Imams rather than political leaders. The first 12 of the Shia Imams descending from Ali gradually directed the faith of their followers to create a disparity between them and the Sunni.
Sunni Muslims regard themselves to be the orthodox or traditionalist of Islam, their name, Sunni is derived from the word Ahl al-Sunna” which translates into people of tradition. This is in reference to the traditions that were inherited form the actions of the prophet and those he held close. The Sunnis are well known for their veneration of all the prophets that came before Mohamed although they view those that followed him to be little more than temporal figures. Unlike the Shias, religious teachers by the Sunni have in most cases come under state control given that their system emphasis a codified system of Islamic law and the adherence to its four schools of low. The Shias on the other hand have a messianic attribute about them and they have a hierarchy of clerics that practice independent and current interpretations of the Islamic texts. The Shia Muslim number between 120 to 170 million, which is on average about a 10th of all Muslims globally. The Shia are the majority in Iran, Iraq Bahrain and some people claim that they are also the majority in turkey although this has never been verified (Barzegar 51).
Shia Muslims hold that the Imam is holy and cannot commit sins which makes his authority both perfect and divine under the assumption that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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