How Many Sects Of Islam Are There? (Solution found)

A disagreement over succession after Mohammed’s death in 632 split Muslims into Islam’s two main sects, Sunni and Shia.

What are the names of the two major sects of Islam?

  • In Islam, there are two main sects: Sunni and Shi’a. Sunni Islam is the largest sect, although in some countries it is a minority. Sunnis have their historical roots in the majority group who followed Abu Bakr, an effective leader, as the successor of Muhammad, instead of his cousin and son-in-law Ali.

What are the 73 sects Islam?

Sectarian divisions

  • Sunnī Islam.
  • Shiʿa Islam.
  • Kharijite Islam.
  • Murijite Islam.
  • Muʿtazila Islam.
  • Sunnī
  • Shiʿa.
  • Ibadi.

How many sects are there in Islam now?

Though the two main sects within Islam, Sunni and Shia, agree on most of the fundamental beliefs and practices of Islam, a bitter split between the two goes back some 14 centuries. The divide originated with a dispute over who should succeed the Prophet Muhammad as leader of the Islamic faith he introduced.

What are the 4 main sects of Islam?

As with all other world religions, Islam is represented by several major branches: Sunni, Shi’a, Ibadi, Ahmadiyya, and Sufism. These branches started to develop after Muhammad’s death when people began to disagree on the successor of the religion.

How many sects are there in Islam 72?

The most frequently cited hadith regarding the 73 divisions of the Muslim faith is reported as: the Jews are divided into 71 sects (firqa), the Christians into 72 sects, and my community will divide into 73 sects (Ibn Majah, Abu Daud, al-Tirmidhi and al-Nisa’i). The hadith also occurs in many other versions as well.

Is Pakistan Sunni or Shia?

Almost all of the people of Pakistan are Muslims or at least follow Islamic traditions, and Islamic ideals and practices suffuse virtually all parts of Pakistani life. Most Pakistanis belong to the Sunni sect, the major branch of Islam. There are also significant numbers of Shiʿi Muslims.

What will be the largest religion in 2050?

By 2050, Christianity is expected to remain the majority religion in the United States (66.4%, down from 78.3% in 2010), and the number of Christians in absolute numbers is expected to grow from 243 million to 262 million.

Are Druze Shia?

The Druze are a derivative of the Ismaili Shia branch of Islam, but they do not claim to be Muslim, but rather they practice what is a mix of Shia, ancient Greek philosophies, and Hinduism.

Do Shias have a different Quran?

The Shia view of the Qur’an differs from the Sunni view, but the majority of both groups believe that the text is identical. While some Shia disputed the canonical validity of the Uthmanic codex, the Shia Imams always rejected the idea of alteration of Qur’an’s text.

What’s the difference between Sunni and Shiite?

The main difference between Sunni and Shiite Muslims is their belief surrounding who should have succeeded the Prophet Muhammad in 632 AD. Historically, Sunni Muslims believed that Abu Bakr was the rightful successor, while Shiite, or Shia, Muslims thought it should have been Ali ibn Abi Talib.

What is the oldest religion?

The word Hindu is an exonym, and while Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, many practitioners refer to their religion as Sanātana Dharma (Sanskrit: सनातन धर्म, lit.

Are Shias allowed in Mecca?

Both Sunni and Shia Muslims share the same five pillars of Islam, the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, Ramadan, the prayer, Chahada, and Zakat. However, Saudia Arabia has forbidden Shia Muslims to perform the sacred Hajj pilgrimage. If individuals refused to identify, they were not allowed in Mecca.

What is Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat?

The Jamaat Ahle Sunnat (Urdu: جماعت اہل سنت) is a Muslim religious organization in Pakistan that represents the Barelvi movement.

What is Hanafi law?

The Hanafi School is one of the four major schools of Sunni Islamic legal reasoning and repositories of positive law. While the Hanafi madhab, along with other Sunni schools, utilizes qiyas (analogical reasoning) as a method of legal reasoning, Abu Hanifa himself relied extensively on ra’y (personal opinion).

What is Wahhabism in Islam?

Wahhabism (Arabic: الوهابية, romanized: al-Wahhābiyyah, lit. ‘Wahhabism’) is a term used to refer to the Islamic revivalist and fundamentalist movement within Sunni Islam which is associated with the Hanbali reformist doctrines of the Arabian scholar Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab (1703-1792).


Despite the fact that Islam is divided into numerous sects, all Muslims adhere to the idea of Tawhid (belief in a single God, Allah), believe in the Quran, and adhere to the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him). ​


​Sunni Sunni Islam is the biggest branch of Islam, and those who adhere to it are referred to as Sunnis. Because they think that they are following the Sunnah (also known as “custom” or “tradition”) of the prophet Muhammad, they are referred to as Sunnis (pbuh). Although the exact number of Sunni Muslims in the world is unclear, some experts believe that between 85 and 90 percent of the world’s Muslim population adheres to this branch of Islam. They trace their historical origins to the dominant group that accompanied the caliph Abu Bakr to the throne of Muhammad as his successor.

According to the four schools of thinking, Sunnis base their faith on the Quran and Sunnah as perceived by the majority of the community within the framework of the four schools of thought (madhhabs).

They are all subsets of one another.

They will continue to seek Islamic solutions for the questions given by growing civilizations, regardless of time or place in which they are practiced.


It is believed that the name ‘Shi’ism’ comes from the Arabic phrase’shi’at ‘Ali,’ which literally translates as ‘the party of Ali.’ Several Shi’ite scholars argue that Ali, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuhson-in-law )’s and cousin, should have been elected caliph following the Prophet’s (pbuh) death. The Shiat adhere to the notion of Imamate, who is described as “the divinely inspired, religious and political head of the society;” one who is without sin and who bestows real knowledge on humanity, which is another key distinction.

The great majority of Shi’ites are twelvers, or adherents of the branch known as ‘Ithna Ashari,’ who comprise the bulk of the population.

Shi’a thinking is divided into several schools of thought, the most important of which being the Ja’faryia, which was formed by Ja’far al-Sadiq, the 6th Shia Imam.

They all allude to the number of divine imams who were recognized after the Prophet Muhammad’s death, and they are all capitalized (pbuh).

The three primary holidays observed by Shi’a Muslims are Eid al-Adha, Eid al-Fitr, and Ashura (the Day of the Dead). They also observe Ramadan, which is the month of fasting. ​


Ismailis, also known as the ‘Seveners,’ are Shi’a Muslims who developed in 765 as a result of a debate over who should succeed Ja’far al-Sadiq as the sixth imam. Some Muslims think that Ismail, the eldest son of Imam Ja’far, was the legitimate ruler of the whole Muslim community. Ismailis believe that after the sixth Imam Ja’far went away, his eldest son, Ismail, received the authority to govern, and therefore became the seventh Imam of the Islamic faith. These beliefs are in contrast to those held by the twelvers, who believe that the imamate was passed on to Musa al-Kazaim, Ismail’s brother.

  • Mawlana Hazar, referred to as ‘His Highness the Aga Khan 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia’ Imami Ismaili Muslims,’ is believed to be a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad and is the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia’ Imami Ismaili Muslims (pbuh).
  • Ismaili leaders that are well-known include Ubaydulla, who claimed to be a direct descendant of Fatima and Ali.
  • “One of its most enduring landmarks was its religious center, the Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo,” which has continued to serve as an epicenter of Islamic instruction to the present day, according to the Associated Press.


Unlike the other Shi’a groupings, the Zaydiyyah school of law has a distinct conception of the imamate than the other Shi’a parties. They recognize Zayd ibn Ali, the grandson of Hussain, as the ‘Fifth Imam,’ as their spiritual leader. Zaydis believe that the Imam does not have to be a direct descendant of Fatima, the Prophet’s daughter (pbuh), but rather can be anybody connected to Ali who possesses the highest level of moral purity. Islam: The Straight Path, by John L. Esposito, Oxford University Press, 1994, p.

Islamic Publications Limited launched the official website of the Ismaili Muslim Community in 2007.

48; John L.

Islam’s Sunni-Shia Divide, Explained

Despite the fact that the two largest factions within Islam, Sunni and Shia, agree on the majority of Islam’s essential principles and practices, a severe division exists between the two that dates back more than 14 centuries. In the beginning, there was a disagreement about who should follow the Prophet Muhammad as head of the Islamic faith that was introduced by the Prophet Muhammad. According to a recent estimate by the Council on Foreign Relations, around 85 percent of the approximately 1.6 billion Muslims across the world are Sunni, with only 15 percent belonging to the Shia faith.

Despite their differences, Sunni and Shia Muslims have coexisted in relative peace for the most of history, despite their disagreements.

However, beginning in the late twentieth century, the split became more entrenched, eventually erupting in bloodshed in many regions of the Middle East as extreme versions of Sunni and Shia Islam compete for both religious and political power.

The Aftermath of Muhammad’s Death

The origins of the Sunni-Shia division may be traced all the way back to the seventh century, just after the death of the prophet Muhammad in A.D. 632, when the two groups first met. While the majority of Muhammad’s supporters felt that his successor should be chosen by the other prominent members of the Islamic community, a tiny fraction believed that only someone from Muhammad’s family—specifically, his cousin and son-in-law, Ali—should be chosen to replace him. This group became known as Ali’s followers, or in Arabic, the Shiat Ali, or just Shia, as a result of their religious beliefs.

  1. Ali finally rose to become the fourth caliph (or Imam, as Shiites refer to their religious leaders), but only after the two caliphs who came before him were both slain.
  2. Not only was the control of Muhammad’s religious and political heritage at danger, but also a substantial sum of money in the form of taxes and tributes collected from the different tribes that had gathered under the banner of Islam, which was at stake as well.
  3. Within a century after Muhammad’s death, his followers had established an empire that spanned from Central Asia all the way down to southern Europe.
  4. Fine Art Photographs/Heritage Photographs/Getty Images
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Battle of Karbala and Its Lasting Significance

A group of 72 followers and family members marched from Mecca to Karbala (present-day Iraq) in 681 to face the corrupt caliph Yazid of the Ummayad dynasty, who was ruling the country at the time. Upon their arrival, a vast Sunni army awaited them, and at the conclusion of a ten-day standoff that included several minor battles, Hussein had been murdered and beheaded, and his head had been sent to Damascus as a tribute to the Sunni caliph. Hussein’s death, as well as the deaths of all surviving members of Muhammad’s family, at Karbala was “clearly intended by the Ummayads to put an end to all claims to leadership of the ummah based on direct descent from Muhammad,” writes Hazleton of the Ummayads’ intention to put an end to all claims to leadership based on direct descent from Muhammad.

“But, of course, that’s not what occurred,” says the author. He was killed in Karbala, and his martyrdom at Karbala became the primary tale of Shia tradition, and it is honored every year on the Shia calendar on Ashoura, which is the most serious day.

The Sunni-Shia Divide Into the 21st Century

A party of 72 followers and family members marched from Mecca to Karbala (present-day Iraq) in 681 to fight the corrupt caliph Yazid of the Ummayad dynasty, which Ali’s son led to victory. He was slain and beheaded by a vast Sunni army waiting for them at the end of a 10-day stalemate that included several minor battles. His head was then sent to Damascus as a gift to the Sunni caliph. Hussein’s death, as well as the deaths of all surviving members of Muhammad’s family, at Karbala was “clearly intended by the Ummayads to put an end to all claims to leadership of the ummah based on direct descent from Muhammad,” writes Hazleton of the Ummayads’ intention to put an end to all claims to leadership based on direct descendence from Muhammad.

Ashoura is the most somber day in the Shia calendar, and it commemorates Hussein’s martyrdom at Karbala, which has instead become the core tale of Shia tradition.

The mystery of 73 sects

THE HADITH given to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), according to which his ummah will be divided into 73 factions, but only one would be saved, has been one of the most lasting issues of Muslim sectarian polemics for centuries. All Muslim sects are quick to proclaim that their sect is the’saved one’ (naji), and that the ‘others’ are doomed to eternal damnation. If we were to follow the usual line of logic, this hadith would split the Muslim ummah into two groups: those who have been rescued and those who have been condemned to hell.

  1. In recent years, however, there has been a movement toward seeing this hadith in a more objective light, moving beyond sectarian interpretations.
  2. Attempts have been made in recent years to decipher the context of this hadith and to evaluate its ramifications for today’s society.
  3. The hadith can be found in a variety of different variants as well.
  4. Frequently, it was assumed that 72 sects would be condemned and one group would be rescued in this manner.
  5. Muqaddasi (a 10th-century geographer), according to Roy Mottahedeh (Diversity and Pluralism in Islam), tells us that “72 sects are in paradise and one in hell, according to what he feels is a more sound line of transmission (isnad)”.

Some, according to Mottahedeh, have questioned the authenticity of this tradition, claiming that if by 72 they mean the fundamentals of religious belief (usul), then they do not reach this number; however, if by 72 they mean the practices (furu), then the number exceeds this number by several multiples, according to Razi (d.

  1. The second interpretation of this hadith holds that the number 73 is not meant literally, but rather is a relative and metaphorical number that has been determined because of the context in which it appears.
  2. According to the author, “70 meant ‘a significant number,’ and 70-odd meant ‘a significant number and then more,’ which is rather obvious.
  3. Another liberal signal towards God’s recompense may be inferred in this case, as is the case in the previous instance.
  4. Two well-known figures, al-Baghdadi (d.
  5. 1153), provide contrasting descriptions of the sectarian numbers and their origins in their respective works.
  6. Great Muslim poet Hafiz (d.
  7. According to Mottahedeh, Mowlana Jalaluddin Rumi believes that the “deeper religion is the trans-religious wonder of God’s love,” in a similar vein to Mowlana Jalaluddin Rumi.
  8. 72) and takes the soul beyond the realm of existence.
  9. Contrary to popular belief, truth cannot be limited or constrained by disputes between societies.

This point is reinforced by Abdul Aziz Sachedina in his remarkable book The Islamic Roots of Democratic Pluralism, which demystifies the mystery of different religions and sects, as well as how Islam views this diversity, in order to demonstrate the importance of religious diversity in democratic pluralism.

  • Today, there is a growing worldwide movement to learn from and appreciate the plurality of faiths in a variety of ways, which is a positive development.
  • We must see Muslim diversity with respect, humility, responsibility, and joy rather than through the lens of sectarianism, as we have done in the past.
  • Everyone is on the lookout for the truth.
  • if thy Lord had willed, everyone who are on the world would have believed together.” Would you (Muhammad PBUH) compel people to become believers till they are?

“He has brought uncleanness upon people who are without of comprehension” (10:99-100). The author is a history and culture professor at a private institution in Pakistan, where he specializes in Muslim societies.

The Major Branches Of Islam

In Sudan, a Sufi Ritual is performed. Sufis are classified as belonging to a mystical Islamic dimension. The Islam religion has more than 2 billion adherents all across the world. The religion itself has been around for about 1,300 years. Practicing Muslims believe that Islam started around 610 CE, when the final prophet, Muhammad, began receiving revelations from God, according to the Quran and other sources. These revelations were written down in the Qur’an by followers of the faith. Islam, like all other global faiths, is divided into various major branches: Sunni, Shi’a, Ibadi, Ahmadiyya, and Sufism, to name a few examples.

Despite their differences, the main denominations all hold some fundamental ideas in common, such as monotheism, sacred scriptures, and so on.

The Major Denominations Of Islam

Approximately 89-90 percent of all Muslims belong to the Sunni branch of Islam, which is by far the largest of the religion’s denominations. In the Middle East, they are found in vast numbers throughout the region, with the highest populations in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. After several years and much argument, Sunni followers came to the conclusion that Muhammad had not designated a specific successor. Abu Bakr Siddique was chosen by his followers after a long period of time and much disagreement This guy was one of Muhammad’s in-laws as well as a close companion of the Prophet.

Islam’s Sunnis believe that the Qur’an applies to all aspects of life and that individuals can approach God personally, with the expectation that he would appear to them on the Day of Judgement.


They believe that Muhammad did pick a successor, Ali ibn Abi Talib, who was also his son-in-law, and that he was chosen by Allah. Shi’a believers also have Imams, who are more central characters and community leaders than other religious leaders since they are the ideal incarnation of God on the earth. More than anything else, this branch is concerned with the individual’s relationship with God, as opposed to the cleric’s interpretation of the Qur’an. Humans will not see God on Judgement Day, according to the Shi’a, in contrast to the Sunni faith.

The vast majority, on the other hand, appears to be concentrated in Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, and Azerbaijan.


Ibadi Islam is a branch of Islam that is less well-known. This sect predates both Sunni and Shi’a Islam and is believed to be a highly orthodox branch of the religion. They have the same belief as the Shi’a, which is that God will not appear on the Day of Judgment. In contrast to Sunni and Shi’a beliefs, the Ibadi believe that the Muslim community may rule itself without the need for a single leader to guide it.

Ibadi also varies in that they do not believe that the Muslim monarch must be a descendent of Muhammad’s tribe, the Quraysh, as does the majority of the Muslim population. The Ibadi ethnic group constitutes 75% of the population of Oman.


Ibadi is a branch of Islam that is less well-known than others. Predating both the Sunni and Shi’a schools of thought, this denomination is believed to be the most traditional form of Islam. On Judgment Day, they believe, as do the Shi’a, that God will not be present. To the contrary of Sunni and Shi’a beliefs, the Ibadi maintains that the Muslim community may govern itself without the intervention of a single leader. A further point of disagreement between Ibadi and other Muslims is that they do not believe the Muslim monarch must be a descendent of Muhammad’s family, the Quraysh.


Ibadi is a branch of Islam that is less well-known. This sect predates both Sunni and Shi’a Islam and is believed to be a highly orthodox interpretation of the faith. They adhere to the Shi’a belief that God will not appear on the Day of Judgment. In contrast to Sunni and Shi’a beliefs, the Ibadi believe that the Muslim community may rule itself without the need for a single leader to guide them. Ibadi also varies in that they do not believe that the Muslim monarch must be a descendent of Muhammad’s tribe, the Quraysh, as does the majority of the Muslim world.

Strength Of Beliefs

Although not a complete list of the various branches of Islam, the denominations listed above are among the most well-known of them. Islam is a centuries-old religion that is also one of the largest in the world, with a complex set of beliefs and customs. Islamists believe that the objective of human life is to live and thank God in order to one day win admittance into Paradise, regardless of which sect they belong to.

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Major Branches Of Islam – Similarities And Differences

Rank Major Branches Of Islam Estimated Global Adherents
1 Sunni 1.39 billion
2 Shi’a 200 million
3 Ahmadiyya 15 million
4 Ibadi 3 million
5 Sufism Widely Disputed

Sunnis and Shia: Islam’s ancient schism

AP is the source of the image. Caption for the image The pilgrimage to Mecca is one of many rites that both religions practice, and it is one of the most important. The schism that exists between Sunnis and Shias is the greatest and most ancient in Islamic history. Historically, members of the two religions have lived side by side for centuries and have a number of core beliefs and practices in common. However, there are significant differences in philosophy, ritual, law, theology, and religious organization.

Many recent conflicts, ranging from Lebanon and Syria to Iraq and Pakistan, have emphasized the sectarian difference, driving families and communities apart.

Who are the Sunnis?

It is estimated that Sunnis constitute between 85 percent and 90 percent of the world’s more than 1.5 billion Muslims. Sunnis constitute 90 percent or more of the populations of Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, respectively, in the Middle East. Getty Images is the source of this image. Caption: Egypt is home to a number of Sunni Muslims. The earliest centers of study in Islam Sunnis consider themselves to be the religiously orthodox branch of Islam. The term “Sunni” comes from the Arabic word “Ahl al-Sunnah,” which translates as “People of the Tradition.” Specifically, the term “tradition” refers to actions that are founded on what the Prophet Muhammad said or did or agreed to or condemned.

Shia are also directed by the wisdom of Muhammad’s descendants, who are represented by Ali, Muhammad’s son-in-law and cousin. There are four schools of legal thinking that regulate Sunni living, and each of these attempts to bring the Sunnah to its fullest practical implementation.

Who are the Shia?

Shia Muslims account for around 10% of the world’s Muslim population, with a global population estimated to be between 154 and 200 million people. AP is the source of the image. Caption for the image The deaths of Ali, Hassan, and Hussein paved the way for the development of the Shia notion of martyrdom. Shia Muslims constitute the majority of the population in Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Azerbaijan, and, according to some estimates, Yemen. Shia Muslims are also the majority in Syria. Afghanistan, India, Kuwait, Lebanon, Pakistan, Qatar, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates are also home to significant Shia populations.

  • Ali was killed in 661 at the end of a five-year caliphate that had been beset by internal conflict.
  • While Hassan is supposed to have died from poisoning in 680 at the hands of Muawiyah, the first caliph of the Sunni Umayyad dynasty, Hussein is believed to have been murdered by the Umayyads on the battlefield in 681.
  • There are three major sects of Shia Islam practiced today: the Zaidis, the Ismailis, and the Ithna Asharis (or Ithna Asharis) (Twelvers or Imamis).
  • In 878, the 12th Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, is reported to have vanished from a cave beneath a mosque, according to legend.

What role has sectarianism played in recent crises?

Shia Muslims are disproportionately represented among the weakest elements of society in nations where Sunnis have ruled. They frequently believe that they are the victims of prejudice and injustice. Sunni radicals routinely decry Shia as heretics who should be put to death, and they have a point. AFP is the source of this image. Caption for the image The killing by Saudi Arabia of a famous Shia cleric sparked a diplomatic crisis with Iran, which has since been resolved. A hardline Shia Islamist agenda was initiated by the Iranian revolution of 1979, which was viewed as posing a threat to traditional Sunni countries, notably those in the Persian Gulf.

Many of the battles taking place in the region today have significant sectarian undertones.

While this is happening, Sunni jihadist organizations, especially the Islamic State (IS), have been targeting Shia and their sites of worship in Syria and its neighboring country of Iraq.

Anger erupted across the Middle East in January 2016 following the death by Saudi Arabia of a prominent Shia cleric who had supported widespread anti-government rallies. The murder sparked a diplomatic crisis with Iran as well as protests across the region.

More on this story

The Sunni and Shia sects of Islam are the two main branches of the religion. The following are some of the sub-denominations or other orders within these religions: Ahmadiyya (Alawi), Druze (Hanafi), Ismaili (Jafari), Kharijite (Khalifa), Maliki (Shafi), Sufi (Sufi), Wahabi (Zaidi), and others. There are many distinct Islamic denominations, just as there are many different Christian faiths, but these are the two most important ones practiced by the world’s 1,6 billion Muslims.

Sunni Sect

Sunni Muslims are the majority of Islam’s members, accounting for 85-90 percent of the religion’s population. Since the Shi’is were expelled from the main fold in 661, it has maintained a near-constant position of dominance (the Kharijis left in 658). Islam as defined by the revelations given to Muhammad and his life is considered to be Sunni Islam, which is supported by the fact that Shi’i Islam has had a small following and no meaningful, formal structure for a number of decades. In terms of theology, Sunni Islam is neither more or less of a continuation of Islam than any of the other orientations in the religion.

Due to the fact that Sunni Islam was the religious orientation of the rulers, and that Shi’is had not established administrative organizations for a long period of time, it was necessary to establish a law, known as Shari’a – Seriat (for which the hadiths served as a central source), and that the rulers were Sunni Muslims.

  • It was once believed that the only way to distinguish Sunni Islam from Shi’i Islam was by devotion to theCaliphas, who was considered the head of the Muslim world.
  • In terms of key concepts, Sunni and Shi’i Islam are essentially the same: the oneness of God, belief in the revelations of Muhammad, and belief in resurrection on the Day of Judgment (Ashura).
  • Sunni Islam requires the performance of five prayers every day, but Shi’i Islam requires only three.
  • Islam’s Sunni adherents admire Ali, but they do not see him as the only legitimate continuation of Muhammad’s legacy, nor do they place any emphasis on him bringing forth a divine light from the Prophet.

While Sunnis place a strong emphasis on the Prophet Muhammad’s practice and teachings (known as the “Sunna”), Shi’a believe that their Ayatollahs are physical manifestations of God on Earth. Turkey’s Sunni population accounts for around 85 percent of the country’s total population.

Shi’i Sect

The Shi’i, the biggest non-Sunni branch of Islam, constitutes around 10-15 percent of the world’s Muslim population in its different forms. As a result of Muhammad’s daughter Fatima becoming Ali’s sister-in-law, Ali became the fourth Caliph, and thus the last to be chosen from the original nucleus of converts from theMecca-Medinaperiod. The term Shi’i refers to the supporters of Ali, who was Muhammad’s son-in-law through his daughter Fatima, and the fourth Caliph to be elected. Shiites, in their different forms, are major minority in countries such as Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Pakistan, and India.

  • In accordance with Shi’i tradition, the Prophet Muhammad indicated that Ali would be his successor as the leader of Islam while on his deathbed, thereby sowing the seeds of split in the Islamic community.
  • Ali’s election and rule turned out to be extremely turbulent, and he was assassinated during the fifth year of his reign, which ended his reign.
  • There were numerous improvements brought about by Muawiyaa’s authority, and the old adherents of Ali served as the basis of the resistance.
  • Husayn departed Medina for Kufah when Mu’awiyaa died in 680 AD, seeking to stake a claim to the Caliphate and establish himself as the legitimate ruler.
  • Husayn and his followers waged a desperate struggle against overwhelming odds, and Husayn and many of his supporters were slaughtered as a result of their efforts.

Because the main tenet of the Shi’i faith is the illegitimacy of the Caliphate after Ali, the Shi’i cause drew a large number of supporters from among the disaffected in the Caliphate over the next few centuries, particularly among those who were not of Arab origin and were therefore considered second class citizens.

  • Other than a series of unsuccessful rebellions, the Shi’i played crucial roles in the overthrow of the Ummawiyya dynasty, and the Shi’i Buwayhid, an Iranian dynasty, ruled over the Abbasid Caliphate for more than a hundred years.
  • Both were Shi’a.
  • But the fortunes of the Shi’i were perilous until they were recognized as the official religion of the Safavid kingdom in Persia in the sixteenth century.
  • It has only been during the 16th century that the Twelver Shi’i sect has risen to prominence as the dominant Shi’i sect, developing a unique personality from that of the Sunnimajority.
  • While any of Ali’s descendants, the Alids, were considered suitable candidates to be Shi’i leaders during the first few centuries of the Islamic era, as time progressed, it became increasingly vital for the Shi’i leader to be descended from Ali via Husayn along a certain line.

In today’s Shi’i community, the most significant division is between those who recognize 12 Imams, known as Twelvers, and those who recognize 7, known as Seveners, or more commonly Ismailis, after Ismail, their seventh Imam, and those who differ after the fourth Imam, and who accept any Alid who is learned and who asserts his rule through force of arms, known as Zayyidi.

Other aspects of Shi’i religion that have their origins in Judeo-Christian tradition include the emphasis on the trials of the martyrs (rawda kani) and general exultation over martyrdom, the use of self-flagelation as a part of religious ritual, and the commemoration of the 10 days culminating in the events of Karbala (ta’ziya), which are the central event of the Shi’i calendar and bear significant similarities to the passion of Jesus.

  1. Shi’i innovators include the permitted use of pragmatic dissimulation (taqiyya), which is the denial of religion in public while keeping it in private, as a means of expressing one’s belief in private.
  2. The lady who enters the mut’a is compensated with a certain sum of money.
  3. The Iranian revolution resulted in the restoration of the mut’a system as an integral aspect of Shi’i Muslim practice as a whole.
  4. In order to understand this quandary, it is necessary to consider the techniques by which the early Muslims sought guidance in issues that were not specifically covered by the Koran.
  5. As a result, the Sunni depended on traditions derived from theological and juridical schools, which included parallels drawn from the Koran and Hadith, and, in cases where analogies were not attainable, on the consensus of theologians.
  6. They next acknowledge Ali Zaid l’Abidin’s son, Zayyid, following which they recognize a plethora of Imams who have appeared at various periods and locations throughout history.
  7. The Twelvers and the Ismailis both acknowledge Muhammad al Baqir, and Jafar as Sadiq, following which the Ismailis recognize Jafar’s son Ismail as a legitimate successor.
  8. Musa al Kazim, Ali ar Rida, Muhammad at Taqi, Ali al Hadi, Hassan al Askari, and Muhammad al Mahdi, their last Imam, whom they believe to be concealed, are the Twelvers’ remaining Imams.

The Twelver Shi’i are also known by the names Rafidi, Jafari, Mutawahi, Qizilbash, Imami, Ithna Ashari, and al Khassa, to name a few more names. The Druze, the Nusayri, and the Baha’i are all sects that descended from Shi’i Islam. Shi’i Muslims constitute around 10% of Turkey’s population.

Sects in Islam

An examination of the division between Sunni or mainstream Islam and the Shi’i sects of Islam is presented in this article. It is possible to practice many varieties of Shi’ism, with the most widespread being the Imami or Twelver branch of Shi’ism, which is practiced by the overwhelming majority of Muslims in Iran, southern Iraq, Azerbaijan, and Lebanon. A historical outline of the division between Sunnis and Shi’ites is provided before the topic of the resurgence of Shi’ism as a political force in contemporary times is raised, beginning with its development as a radical ideology in Iran in 1979 and progressing to the present day.

  1. Sunni, Islam sects, Shi’i, Imami, extremist ideology, Iran, Sunni–Shi’ite division, political instability are some of the keywords that come to mind.
  2. Sami Zubaida is a Professor Emeritus of Politics and Sociology at Birkbeck College, University of London, United Kingdom, and a former member of the British Academy.
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Home PhilosophyReligion Beliefs in a Higher Power IslamOther possible titles: Ahl al-Sunnah, Sunna, Sunnism, Sunnite are all terms used to refer to the Sunni religion. Sunni Islam and Arabic Members of one of the two major branches of Islam, namely the branch that has the vast majority of the religion’s believers, are referred to as Sunnis. Sunni Muslims consider their denomination to be the dominant and conservative branch of Islam, as opposed to the Shiah, which they consider to be the minority religion.

  1. While the Shiah have always seen Muhammad’s government in Medina as an earthly, temporal dominion, the Sunnis have long regarded Islam’s leadership as being governed not by divine order or inspiration, but rather by the prevailing political circumstances in the Muslim world.
  2. Thus, a majority of Sunni jurists developed the stance that the caliph must come from Muhammad’s tribe, the Quraysh, while also devising a theory of election that was flexible enough to allow loyalty to be offered to the de facto caliph, regardless of his ethnic origins.
  3. Britannica QuizIslam What is your level of knowledge about the Prophet Muhammad?
  4. With this quiz, you may see how well you know about Islam.
  5. It was the institution of consensus (ijm) that the Sunnis developed that allowed them to integrate a wide range of practices and traditions that originated through regular historical development but that had no antecedents in the Qur’an.
  6. The Sunnis also recognize as orthodox four schools of Islamic law: the anaf, the anbal, the Mlik, and the Shfi.

They totaled around 900 million people in the early twenty-first century and formed the vast majority of all Muslims worldwide. Those in charge of editing the Encyclopaedia Britannica Adam Zeidan was the author of the most recent revision and update to this article.

Denominations of Islam

Islamic religious groups differ significantly from one another in terms of theological and legal doctrine. Sunni, Shi’a, and Sufi are the three major sects of Islam.


In Islam, there are a number of religious groups, each of which has major doctrinal and legal distinctions with the others. Sunni, Shi’a, and Sufi are the three primary branches.


Shia Islam encompasses the vast majority of Muslims who do not fall under the Sunni umbrella. They are divided into two groups: the Jafaryia (which refers to its founder) and the “Twelvers,” and a few minor groups known as the “Seveners” and “Fivers,” which refer to how many infallible leaders they recognize after Muhammad’s death. The Jafaryia is the largest of the Shia’s schools of thought, and the “Twelvers” are the smallest. The name Shia is commonly used to refer to the Jafaryia/Twelvers, and this is generally correct.


While some Muslims regard the Islamic mysticism known as Sufism to be a distinct branch of Islam, the vast majority of Sufis may be classified as either Sunni or Shia. In non-practitioners’ eyes, Sufism appears to be the most difficult to comprehend since sufis appear to be either of Shiah or Sunni denomination. However, it is true that some sects of Sufismcan be classified as both Sunni and Shiah, while others are not from either denomination. The contrast is made here because the schools of thought (madhhabs) are concerned with the “legal” parts of Islam, the “does” and “don’ts,” but Sufism is concerned with improving the aspect of sincerity of religion and fighting one’s own ego, as opposed to the former.

  1. There are also some extremely big groups or sects of Sufism that are difficult to categorize as either Sunni or Shiah, such as the Bektashi, or those that may be classified as both at the same time, such as the Brelvi, that are not readily categorised as either Sunni or Shiah.
  2. According to Shaikh al-Akbar Mahmood Shaltoo The Kharijites are another religious group that may trace its origins back to the early days of Islam.
  3. Oman is home to a significant population of Ibadi Muslims nowadays.
  4. Wahhabism is a religious movement that began in the 18th century in what is now Saudi Arabia and was founded by Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab.
  5. This is one of the main differences between Wahhabis and Sunnis.
  6. The Zikris are a branch of the Nation of Islam.

Yazidism is a form of Sikhism. number one, number two, number three, number four, and number five -Refer to Wikipedia for further information. The GNU Free Documentation License is used to distribute all of the material on this website.

Sunni Countries 2021

Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam and is practiced by as many as 90 percent of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims. It is the religion of peace and prosperity. Sunnites and Sunnis are the terms used to refer to those who adhere to this branch of Islam. Sunnis and Shi’ites, who are adherents of Shia Islam, hold views that are diametrically opposed to one another. Sunnis believe that Muhammad’s first four caliphs are the legitimate heirs to his position, whilst Shi’ites believe that Ali, Muhammad’s son-in-law, and his descendants are the legitimate leaders of the Muslims.

There are a number of nations where Sunni Islam is the majority religion.

Other countries where Sunni Islam is the most widely practiced religion include:

  • Afghanistan, the Cocos Islands, the Comoros, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, the Maldives, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, and the United States

Sunni Islam is practiced in other countries as well, however it is a minority religion in certain countries, such as Bahrain and Iran.

Is it true that only one sect of the Ummah will enter paradise whereas the other 70 sects will enter hellfire?

hadith of beloved Prophet Muhammad, the Ummah will be divided into 73 sects and one will go to paradise, how to confirm that what one is following is among the ones who will go to paradise. Please give me the signs of the righteous given in Quran and Sunnah. I want to know it desperately to save my faith and my people. Thank you so much. Anas (may God be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “My ummahwill divide into 70 or 70 something groups; all of them will be in Jannahexcept for the unbelievers”.Scholarly opinionsIn his book Ahsan At-Taqasim, Mohammed ibn Ahmed Al-Bishari al-Maqdisi enumerated these groups and mentioned the two different phrasings of the hadith which read as “72 groups will be in paradise and one in Hellfire” and “72 groups will be in Hell-fire and one will be saved”.

Then, he said: “The second wording of the hadith is well-known while the first has the more authentic chain of transmission.”For this reason, ibn al-Wazir contested the hadith in general and the additional statement of “72 will be in Hell-fire and one will be saved” in particular.

He said: “Do not be misled by the”all of them will be in Hell-fire except for one” because it is an invalid and baseless addition and it is not far-fetchedthat it has been introduced by atheists.” He also quoted ibn Hazm who said: “This addition is fabricated, it is neither classified as mawqufnor as marfu’.

For example, Abu Mohammed ibn Hazm refuted the allegations of those who accuse others of disbelief due to differences in belief and based his refutation on some evidences which they mentioned in this respect.

These are:1- “The Qadariya and Murji’a are the magus of this ummah.” 2- “This ummah will divide into 70 or 70 something groups; all of them will be in Hell-fire except one which will be in Jannah.”In his commentary on the two previously mentioned hadiths, Abu Mohammed said: “In the first place, their chains of transmission are unauthentic.

So, what then of those who do not recognize it!?”In his book Al-‘Awasim wa Al-Qawasim, The Yemeni Jurist, imam and supporter of the sunnah, Mohammed ibn Ibrahim al-Wazir, reconciled intellectual and textual evidences and enumerated the hadiths narrated by Mu’awiyah (may God be pleased with him) including the 8th hadith on the ummah dividing into 70 something groups all of which will be in Hell-fire except for one.

He commented: “The chain of transmission of this hadith includes a nasibiand thus the hadith is unauthentic.” At-Tirmidhi reported the same hadith through Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘As (may God be pleased with them both) and said: “It is a gharibhadith.

Ibn Majah narrated a similar hadith on the authority of ‘Awf ibn Malik and Anas.

At-Tirmidhi authenticated the hadith narrated by Abu Huraira through Mohammed ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Alqama which does not include “All of them will be in Hellfire except for one “.

Ibn Hazm, on the other hand, maintained that it is fabricated.Despite the fact that some scholars have declared this hadith fairlike ibn Hajar or authenticlike Sheikh al-Islam ibn Taymiya due to its multiple chains of transmission, it does not stand as proof on the division of the ummah, both in manner and number, to be considered of permanent application until the day of Judgment.

Some of these sects may exist and, when they do, they will be overwhelmed by truth and then perish, never to return.


And the fact that they will be in (Hellfire) does not mean that they will be among its eternal dwellers like the disbelievers but will be dealt with like the disobedient believers.

God has forgiven people of this ummah their mistakes, forgetfulness and anything they were forced to do.

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