A Comparison Between the Sunnis and Shiites
Have you ever wondered about other religions that are out there and why they are out there? I have and that is why I chose to write my paper on the Sunnis and Shiites. Read on to learn more about a brief history and then I will break each of them into separate religions. In books written on Islam the word "hadith" usually refers to the sayings or "traditions" which have been given from the Prophet. Muslims hold these to be the most important source of Islamic teachings after the Qur'an. A lot of books have been written in English about what the hadith means in Islam and a number of important translations have been made. Almost all the studies have been limited to the point of view of Sunni Islam and based on Sunni sources and collections. Practically no one has ever paid any attention to the different nature of the hadith literature in Shiism and the different sources from which the hadiths are recieved. The main difference to be made between Shiite and Sunni hadiths is that in Shiism the traditions are not limited to those of the Prophet, but include those of the Imams as well. I will explain more of the distinctions later on. The difference between the two religions is still hard to distinguish even with easy to understand books like the Encyclopedia of World Faiths. There, the author of the article is aware that there is some difference between Shiism and Sunnism on the question of which hadiths are included, but he thinks that it lies in the fact that the Shiite collections accept "only traditions traced through 'Ali's family." But this is incorrect, since a lot of traditions are also gotten through other sources. What the author fails to mention is that the hadith literature as understood by Shiites is not limited to the sayings of the Prophet, but includes those of the Imams as well. The most famous and reliable collections of Shiite hadiths are four books. These books relate to the Six Correct Collections in...
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