Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Origin of the Shia Sunni Conflict

1) Have you ever thought why there's conflict between Shia and Sunni?
2) Have you ever thought how can "brothers" hate each other so much?
3) Have you ever thought about why they kill each other?
4) While both sects are massacring each other, have you ever wondered how they can claim that Islam is the Religion of Peace???

The origins of the Sunni-Shia conflict was always violent, and that appears to be giving way to another period of spreading conflict in the Middle East..

That struggle is most violent and dangerous now in Iraq, but could spread to many Arab nations in the Middle East and to Iran, which is Persian.

Shiites constitute 80 percent of the native population of the oil-rich Persian Gulf region.

Shia predominate where there is oil in Iran, in Iraq and in the oil-rich areas of eastern Saudi Arabia as well.

The Partisans of Ali

The original split between Sunnis and Shia occurred soon after the death of Muhammad, in the year 632.

"There was a dispute in the community of Muslims in present-day Saudi Arabia over the question of succession," says Augustus Norton, author of Hezbollah: A Short History. "That is to say, who is the rightful successor to Muhammad?"

Most of Muhammad's followers wanted the community of Muslims to determine who would succeed him. A smaller group thought that someone from his family should take up his mantle. They favored Ali, who was married to Muhammad's daughter, Fatimah.

The Sunnis prevailed and chose a successor to be the first caliph.

Eventually, Ali was chosen as the fourth caliph, but not before violent conflict broke out. Two of the earliest caliphs were murdered. War erupted when Ali became caliph, and he too was killed in fighting in the year 661 near the town of Kufa, now in present-day Iraq.

The violence and war split the small community of Muslims into two branches that would never reunite.

An Historic Battle

The war continued with Ali's son, Hussein, leading the Shia. "Hussein rejected the rule of the caliph at the time," says Vali Nasr, author of The Shia Revival. "He stood up to the caliph's very large army on the battlefield. He and 72 members of his family and companions fought against a very large Arab army of the caliph. They were all massacred."

One of the fundamental differences between Sunni and Shia Muslims concerns Ashura. On the tenth day of Muharram, in 680 C.E. Hussein was decapitated and his head was carried in tribute to the Sunni caliph in Damascus. His body was left on the battlefield at Karbala. Later it was buried there.

The Shia called their leaders imam, Ali being the first, Hussein the third. They commemorate Hussein's death every year in a public ritual of self-flagellation and mourning known as Ashura.

It is the symbolism of Hussein's death that holds so much spiritual power for Shia.

"An innocent spiritual figure is in many ways martyred by a far more powerful, unjust force," Nasr says. "He becomes the crystallizing force around which a faith takes form and takes inspiration."

Some of the Sunnis believe that some of the Shia are actually attributing almost divine qualities to the imams, and this is a great sin because it is associating human beings with the divinity.

Political Power Fuels Religious Split

"Why has there been such a long and protracted disagreement and tension between these two sects?" asks Ray Takeyh, author of Hidden Iran: Paradox and Power in the Islamic Republic. "It has to do with political power."

I have nothing else to add, but good luck to the both sides!!!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. “And hold fast, all of you together, by the Rope of Allah and be not divided amongst yourselves.” (Quran, 42:14)

    making sect is haraam in islam ... shame on You

    “As for those who divide their religion and break up into shias (sects), you have no part in them in the least: their affair is with Allah: He will in the end tell them the truth of all that they did.” (Quran, 6:159)


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