They believe that he will return as a Messiah. If Ali was explicitly designated by the Prophet peace be upon him, that would imply that Abu Bakr unjustly usurped the right of the caliph. Interestingly enough, there are significant d ifferences between Sunni and Shia Islam, but that is part of what makes religion so fascinating. – Sunnis have arms folded in various position, from below navel to the chest, right over left. 877-WHY-ISLAM, P.O. Differences between Sunni and Shia Prayer. Shia Muslims do not accept the narrations of some Companions and therefore differ in some elements of religious practice. There are, This is the main reason for the two sects existing in the Muslim community. You might be thinking, they both revere Allah as God, believe Muhammad to be the the Prophet, and they both follow the teachings in the Quran--so how are Sunnis and Shiites different? Some have compared the Sunni-Shia split to that of Catholics and Protestants in the sense that they share the same religion but differ on some important elements. – Shias usually raise their hands for each Allahu Akbar in the salah. The word Sunn, in Arabic, comes from a word meaning "one who follows the traditions of the Prophet." Both Sunni and Shia Muslims live throughout the world. Interestingly enough, there are significant differences between Sunni and Shia Islam, but that is part of what makes religion so fascinating. Shia Muslims believe that imams always have a direct line from Ali whereas Sunnis do not have any hierarchy among clergy. What are the differences between Sunnis and Shiites? Approximately 85% of Muslims are Sunnis, leaving the Shiites to make up about 15% of the Muslim population. Sunnism is the largest and most orthodox branch of Islam. The difference between Sunni and Shia Muslims began as a political question in Islam’s early history. accept Muhammad as the final prophet in order to have a chance at Paradise. Sunnis hold this view to be problematic because they hold all of the Companions in high regard based on the Qur’an’s praise of them. Islam is based on the Qur’an and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. The division between Shia and Sunni dates back to the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632. Shia Muslims make up a majority or significant population of countries like Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria. However, Hussein and many in his family were massacred. Sunni and Shia are two different denominations of Islam. Here are 10 ways Sunnis and Shiites differ from one another. The division among Muslims is rooted from differences in political beliefs. After the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him died his Companions needed to decide who became the leader of the Muslim community. 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