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Author Topic: Sunnis and Shias
Mohamad Khan
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1752

posted 24 April 2003 11:57 PM      Profile for Mohamad Khan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
just noticed this article from the Guardian on Rabble:

Sunnis and Shias

cool. it's quite a good and much-needed introduction. just one error, i think:

quote:
There are many branches of Islam with Sunni and Shia being the two major ones. Some of the other branches are Sufi, Wahhabi, and Ismaili.

actually, Ismailism is generally considered a branch of Shi'ism, and Wahhaabism is a branch of Sunni Islam. i have a very good Ismaili friend, and he's always talking about Shi'i discourse. Shi'ism branches off into two main divisions: Ithna `Aashiris or "Twelvers," who form the majority; and the Ismailis. perhaps the Ismailis on the board would like to elaborate/correct/chastise... as for Wahhaabism, my ancestors were Wahhaabi, and it's definitely a branch of Sunni Islam, among many other branches.

Sufism (my fave) is more difficult to define; the most prevalent forms tend to have Shi'i overtones, but this is largely circumstantial; it's not inherently Sunni or Shi'i. besides, some say a real Sufi doesn't announce that he/she's a practitioner:

ای مرغِ سحر عشق ز پروانه بیاموز
کان سوخته را جان رفت و آواز نیامد

[ 25 April 2003: Message edited by: Mohamad Khan ]


From: "Glorified Harlem": Morningside Heights, NYC | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
SamL
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2199

posted 06 May 2003 12:03 AM      Profile for SamL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
perhaps the Ismailis on the board would like to elaborate/correct/chastise...

Sorry that took me so long.

The splits in the Shia branch mostly arose because of disputes over who would be the next Imam, or spiritual leader of the entire faith.

You forgot the Zaydis, but then one could say that they're not a major Shia division. In 732 CE, the third Shia Imam Zainul Abideen had two sons. Those who followed the younger -- Zaid -- are called the Zaydis. They are found mostly in Yemen.

Then there are some divisions of the Ismailis that are no more, or else they are very small. The "Druze" (Northern Lebanon), the Mustaalis, the Momin Shahis (around 4000 in Syria)... thus, taking all of these splits into account, today's Ismailis are "Shia Imami Nizari Ismaili Muslims," but since we're the only Ismailis around, that's what we're called.

As to whether the Ithna'asharis of the Ismailis form the majority, current numbers show the Ithna'ashari are around a 60-80% majority, IIRC, but there are known to be a significant number of Ismailis in the Northwest of China. Some people say that Chinese Ismailis could actually form the majority of Ismailis world-wide, but I'm not as optimistic about that.

More to come later. I'm tired....


From: Cambridge, MA | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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Babbler # 1292

posted 06 May 2003 12:39 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:

More to come later. I'm tired....


Yeah, I guess.
And I thought the biblical and somebody begot someone else who begot another who begot a begettting ... was hard.

I really hope I am not being offensive but I am a product of my culture and I can barely tell you who my extended family is.


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
SamL
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2199

posted 06 May 2003 07:51 PM      Profile for SamL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh no, this is easier.... somewhat. It's just that I usually don't stay up late.
From: Cambridge, MA | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged

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