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The entire Muslim community is often considered to be Sunni meaning that the Muslims who hold unto Shias school of thought are relatively few. For this reason its quiet difficult to estimate the Islamic population who strongly hold on the Shias school of thought. The Twelver Islamic branch forms most of the Iranian population. The other smaller sects of Shias religious thoughts are Ismaili and Zaidi. The Zaidi population do not agree with the Twelvers because they belief that the Twelvers failed in fighting corruption during there time. One of the other differences is that these groups of Muslims do not agree with a normal lineage because they think that any person from Ali’s lineage who is able to fight corruption can be an imam. The Zaidi Muslim population mainly covers the Yemen region. On the other hand the Ismaili Islamic community does not accept the seventh imam of the Twelver. The reason why they reject him is that his father was succeeded by his older brother and not him. For these reason they belief the imam listed seven among the twelve did not serve as an imam because it’s his elder brother who took the responsibility from his father. The Ismaili forms some of the Afghanistan’s small groups or communities (Azmah and Al-Azmeh, 1986).
The Shia school of thought is mainly criticized by majority of Muslim community because of some of the practices that were carried out by the Twelvers. One of there activities that is mainly criticized is the Mourning of Muharram. The above schools of thoughts are the largest Shias beliefs. The people who strictly follow madhhab are the Twelvers. The madhhab followers are divided into a number of sects. For example Usilim sect whose followers are mainly from the Middle East. The other two remaining madhhab sects are the Akhbarism and the shaykhism. The later sect was founded in the 19th century in Iran. The sect began as a result of combining a number of doctrines from the Akhbari, sufi and Shia. One of the similarities between the two Shias schools of thought is that the two groups agree when it comes to the early imams who were the descendants Muhammad’s Cousin Ali. Therefore there is much similarity between the two as far as the early history is concerned.
The Islamic dimension which is considered to be most internal is the Sufism. Scholars have defined Sufi as a science with the objective of heart preparation for the purposes of God. By following Sufi one is expected to be in a position to move into divinity because by its practice an individual is purified. The practice of Safi varies greatly from other existing sects of Islamism because Safi deals with the spiritual issues of the heart. Through the practice of Safi an individual is able to realize his short comings as far as purity and spiritual matters are concerned. Safi scholars’ belief, that it’s impossible for an individual to examine himself unless there is some kind of formal authorization. Some of the activities that are mainly practiced in this sect of Safi are the strict adherence to the Islamic culture. One of the main initiatives is the complete practice of the Muhammad religious practices. The followers of Safi strictly follow the Hadith Qudsi (Enayat, 2005).
There are some Islamic believers who are opposed to the four schools of thoughts. These people believe that the true Muslims should only follow Quran which is the true word of God and some of the Mohammad sayings which are opposed to the division of Islamism to the different sects. They claim that most of these thought were created many years ago therefore they have been passed by time and season. These Muslims who claim to be the true followers of Mohammed oppose to the issue of going to the imams for guidance because they belief that one should seek direct counseling and guidance from the holy Quran. The many school of thoughts in the Islamic religion has influenced the trend of Islamic region. Muslims in different regions of the world has been divided on this basis. Most of this diverse beliefs and practices are the main causes of the conflicts and wars being experienced in the Middle East (Kamrava 2005).