Split of Islam

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  • Topic: Islam, Ali, Caliph
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  • Published : February 13, 2013
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Split of Islam (Shi’a and Sunni)
The Shi’a and Sunni religions came about for various reasons; beginning with the birth of the leader Muhammad in 570. Muhammad founded the religion Muslim (Islam) in 610 and throughout his life began preaching Islam in 613 and conquered Mecca in 630. Following Muhammad’s death in 632, Abu Bakr and Ali are nominated to serve in Muhammad’s position. Abu Bakr is selected but the minority that voted for Ali became known as Shiat Ali. In 656, Abu Bakr was assassinated making Ali the 4th caliph thus creating the spilt beliefs in the Muslim religion. The group of Ali supporters believe Ali should be known as the 4th caliph, while Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman are the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. On the other hand the Shi’a Muslims believe Ali is the 1st since the caliphate should only be someone of direct descendant of Muhammad. Beginning in 661, violence began to spread throughout the Muslims and resulted in the assassination of Ali. Ali’s son Hussein promised to hold the caliphate until Mu'awiya, who had declared himself caliph after the death of Ali, died. In 680, Hussein declares battle at Karbala in Iraq with Mu’awiya’s son Yazid. Being extremely outnumbered, he is defeated, his army massacred, and he is beheaded. The split between Shi’a and Sunnis deepens. Shi’a consider Ali as their 1st Imam and Hussein as the 3rd Imam. Many years pass and in 873 the 11th Shiite Imam dies but no one serves after him. During the Lesser Occultation period from 873-940, the 11th Imam’s son disappears and leaves his representatives to run the Shiite faith. In 940 during the Greater Occultation period, there is no 12th Imam leaving the Shiite faith vulnerable. In 1258, The Mongols, led by Hulagu, destroy Baghdad, ending the Sunni Arab caliphate. The schism of another religion is highly possible because of the very biased and separate opinions and beliefs modern society has today. Because of the Islamic schism, various parts of the Middle East and vast parts of the world are separated. The schism has caused numerous wars and still is causing problems. The differentiation in the religious practices causes one group to act differently than the other. September 11th 2001 was caused by a leader of the Sunni Muslims. In the virtual museum of Iraq, the cenotaph of Ali Al-Aquli was created by Jalalal-din ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Ali Al-Aquli who attended a Sunnite canonic school of law. The cenotaph is one of the most representative objects in Islamic decorative art. It consists of 4 Kufic inscriptions and the nashki inscriptions along the cover. The Minbar of Al-Ahmadiya is said to be used in Medina in 629 by Muhammad to be seen by the worshippers during the hutba.

Sources:
1. Shuster, Mike. "Chronology: A History of the Shia-Sunni Split : NPR." NPR : National Public Radio : News & Analysis, World, US, Music & Arts : NPR. National Public Radio, 12 Feb. 2007. Web. 16 Sept. 2011. <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7280905>. 2. Amin, Hussein Abdulwaheed. "The Origins of the Sunni/Shia Split in Islam." Islam For Today. Hussein Abdulwaheed Amin, 2001. Web. 16 Sept. 2011. <http://www.islamfortoday.com/shia.htm>. 3. Staff, Hnn. "What Is the Difference Between Sunni and Shiite Muslims--and Why Does It Matter?" History News Network. History News Network, 22 Feb. 2011. Web. 16 Sept. 2011. <http://hnn.us/articles/934.html>. 4. Virtual Museum of Iraq: http://www.virtualmuseumiraq.cnr.it/homeENG.htm

1. The division of Islam into Sunni and Shia branches goes far back in Muslim history to the aftermath of the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Its repercussions have rippled through history, with periods of peace and periods of war. With the recent turmoil, the conflict between Shia and Sunni is once again a driving force behind events in the Middle East. Read a chronology: 570: The Prophet Muhammad is born.

598: Ali, who will become the fourth caliph and the first Shiite Imam, is born. 610: The year...
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