Religion Islam which over 2+billion people follow around the world have mainly two sects (Division). Division is basically on differences and not ideology. Countries which are Pro-Sunni r the ones having Sunni Islam as their state religion are Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey Algeria etc and the countries having Shite sect as their state religion with in Islamic Country are Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. Majority of Shite sect members are present in Iran & Iraq as it holds shrines and battleground of Karbala.
Main Causes of Split in ISLAM
Muslims following Islam split in to two branches i-e Sunni and Shite soon after Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) on the issue of who will lead the Muslim world. This was the time when Islamic Caliphate was emerging in world and had conquered Persian Empire & continuously clashing with Byzantine Empire. Majority of Muslims (combining shias and Sunnis) are of Sunnis proportioning to about 85 to 90%. Both the sects have fundamental beliefs and practices in common and co-existed for centuries. Although there are some clashes going in both the sects from centuries; one problem is of intermarriage between both the sects which is considered of great issue when you are shifting west, ratio becomes low but if you move east families do not consider it as an obstacle. Main differences lie on the basis of Rituals, law, Doctrine and how one should organize Muslims. Nowadays both the sects seem to be in competition as we see in Middle east and Pakistani Sectarian Killings. One sect is funding to promote Sunni Islam while the other is arming its population to fight Sunni influence.
Who are SUNNIS and What do they Believe in :
Sunni sect is further divided into four schools of law which are Hanafi, Hanbali, Maliki and Shafi’i. Division in Islam was carved from Sunni Islam as there was only one Islam before introduction of Shite sect. After the death of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) people who preferred Abu Bakr (R.A) as first caliph are considered to be Ahl-Sunnah or from the sect of Sunnis. Sunni’s Regard Abu Bakr (R.A) as first caliph, Hazrat Umar (R.a) as Second, Hazrat Uthman (R.A) as third and Hazrat Ali (R.A) as fourth and all four caliphs are regarded as Rashiduns or Rightly guided ones. In Arabic Sunni word means One who follows & practices the traditions of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H). Sunni’s have believed on Electing leaders rather than choosing leadership from blood lines. Sunnis consider that Islam Doesn’t teaches to select leaders from hereditary class or same blood lines. They believe that ruling people is not a birth right of any muslim but its a trust that should be earned, which later on may be taken away by people themselves ( More like Democracy: But change comes with referendum of people not Elections).
Who are SHITE’s and What do they Believe in :
Shia Sect is Divided into four school of thoughts which are Ismaili, Jafari, Zaidi and other minor school of thoughts. They believe that After the death Of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) leadership of the muslim world should have been given to Hazrat Ali (R.A) who was the cousin and son in law of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H). From the beginning Shia followers have challenged the Authenticity of Elected Muslims leaders and believe on choosing a line of Imams who they consider would have been appointed by Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) or God (ALLAH) Himself. Shi’a word in Arabic means Group of people. People from Shia Sect are also referred as followers of Ahl-e-Bayt(People from the bloodline of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H)). Shias consider Imam’s at the place of Caliphs who could guide them in Government & Public affairs. They believe that Imam is pious in nature and his authority is unquestionable as he is directly assigned by GOD by spiritual means.
Third Factor :
Now as Muslims continue to loose the territory a sense of deprivation is occurring in Muslims present in Islamic Countries as why they should fight among themselves and continue to loose grounds ? These group of people do not like to differentiate themselves with Sunnis and Shias and consider the in fight among both the sects as Political instead of Ideological. Entire countries have been decimated with the in fight of these large sects and they blame it on both Shia and Sunni leaders. They demand Unity of both the parties in terms of Religion, leadership and Spirituality.
It was not possible for me to discuss both these sects in detail due to long nature of differences and ideology. i have been careful to write this article as even a small mistake could result in huge blunder. I therefore apologize if there is any mistake present. you are welcome to point it as it will be better for both of us to learn from each other.