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Monday, October 23, 2017

So You Never Really Knew the Difference Between Shia and Sunni Muslims -- A Chart to Help

At the bottom you will also find:How About Protestants Compared to Catholics?

They are quite a bit closer in core beliefs than Shia and Sunni.
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ShiaSunni
Population 200 million 1.2 billion
Believe Muhammad nominated a successor? Yes, his cousin and son in law Ali ibn Abu Talib No
Required lineage for ruler Must be male child from lineage of Ali from Fatimah. Can be any practicing Muslim chosen by agreement of the authorities of the muslim populace (ummah).
Successors after the Prophet 12 Infallible Imams; Ali bin Abi Talib, Hassan, Hussain, Ali ZainulAbideen, Muhammad AlBaqir, Jaafar AlSaadiq, Musa AlKaazim, Ali AlRaza, Muhammad AlTaqi, Ali AlNaqi, Hasan AlAskari, Muhammad AlMahdi (hidden). The Four Rightly Guided Caliphs: Abu Bakr, Umar bin Al Khattab, Uthman bin Afan, Ali bin Abi Talib,
View on the personality of Imaam Ali Prophet said inter alia: - “Exemption from the Hellfire comes with love for Ali (A.S).” - “Of whomever I was master, Ali (A.S) is his master.” - “Ali (A.S) is from me and I am from him, and he is the protector of every true believer after m Considered as a 'Lion of God', the first male convert to Islam, and a warrior champion of the faith.
Imams identified as Divinely guided. Considered as the only legitimate interpreters of the Quran. Saints. Considered as persons with strong faith in Quran and Sunnah.
Name of the practice means "party" or "partisans" of Ali "Well-trodden path" or "tradition"; "People of tradition and the community"
Continuation of authoritative revelation Partially true. Imaams are considered divinely guided. The purpose is to explain and safeguard the current faith and its esoteric meaning. No, authoritative revelation ended with Prophet Muhammad.
Self Flagellation (Lattum) To commemorate the martyrdom of Hussein, Shiite groups march in massive parades on the 10th day of the Muharram month. There is self-flagellation i.e. flogging own back, chest with hands, knives, blades or chains. Permitted by some scholars. No, termed as major sin
Building and visiting shrines permitted Yes No
Angels Angels obey God's commandments. They have limited free will, though no drive to sin. God created angels from light. They do not have their own free will and always obey the commandments of God.
Place of worship Mosque, Imambarah or Ashurkhana, Eidgah Mosque, Eidgah
Use of statues and pictures Not permitted Not permitted
Clergy Imaam (divinely guided), Ayatollah, Mujtahid, Allamah, Maulana, Hojatoleslam, Sayed, Mollah (colloquial) Caliph, Imaam (Saint), Mujtahid, Allamah, Maulana
Marriage Man may marry up to 4 women. Man may marry up to 4 women.
Offshoot religions Baha'i - a separate religion Ahmadiyya (Ahmedi) - a sect of Islam
Belief of God One God One God
Original Language(s) Arabic, Farsi Arabic
Birth of Jesus Virgin Birth Virgin Birth
Second coming of Jesus Affirmed Affirmed
Death of Jesus Denied. Jesus did not die on the cross, but his body went up to heaven. Denied. Jesus did not die on the cross, but his body went up to heaven.
View of other Abrahamic religions Christianity and Judaism are "People of the Book." Christianity and Judaism are "People of the Book."
Resurrection of Jesus Denied. Jesus did not die on the cross. Jesus will come back down from heaven in the future. Denied. Jesus did not die on the cross. Jesus will come back down from heaven in the future.
Holy days Ashura, Eid al Fitr, Eid al Adha, Eid al ghadeer Eid al Fitr, Eid al Adha, Eid-e-Milaad-un-Nabi
Origin From teachings of Prophet Muhammad, a 7th century Arab religious and political figure. From teachings of Prophet Muhammad, a 7th century Arab religious and political figure.
Places most closely associated with independent history of the faith Kufa, Karbala Madinah (Medina), Makkah (Mecca)
Adherents called Shiites, Shia, Shii, Ehl-e-Tash'e Sunni, Ehl-e-Sunnah
Geographic Presence Majority in Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Lebanon. Minority spread across the world. Majority in most Muslim countries. Minority spread across the world.
Articles of Belief One God, Angels, Revealed Books of God including the Quran, Messengers, Day of Judgement, Prophethood, Imaamah One God, Angels, Revealed Books of God including the Quran, Messengers, Day of Judgement, Prophethood
Pillars of faith 1. Prayer 2. Fasting 3. Pilgrimage 4. Mandatory alms, 20% for Imaam and the needy (khums) 5.Jihad 6. Promotion of good 7. Dissuasion from bad 8. Re-affirmation 9. Disassociation from the enemies of Islam starting from first Caliph. 1. Testament of Faith 2. Prayer 3. Mandatory alms, 2.5% for needy (zakaat) 4. Fasting 5. Pilgrimage 6. Struggle in the way of God to promote good and stop bad.
Beliefs regarding revealed scriptures Belief in the Quran Belief in the Quran
Collection of religious narrations from Imaams and Mujtahids Nahajul Balagha, Kitab al-Kafi, Man la yahduruhu al-Faqih, Tahdhib al-Ahkam, Al-Istibsaar Muatta Maalik, Musnad Ahmad, Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunan Abu Dawood, Jami al-Tirmidhi, Sunan Nasae.
Branches and their status Ithna Ashariyya ('Twelvers'), Ismailis ('Seveners') and Zaidis ('Fivers'). The latter do not agree to infallibility of Imaams or to the occultation of the 12th Imaam Mahdi. Four contributing schools of Law: Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi and Hanbali. Two Schools of Creed: Ashari and Maturidi. These branches count each other on right path with different way of thinking.
Special Day of worship Friday Friday
Temporary unannounced Marriage Yes No, termed as adultery.
Current leaders Mujtahids Imaams (not in the same sense as Shi'a, where Imaams are divinely guided), Sheikhs and Murshids
Intercession permitted Yes (14 Infallibles only - From Prophet until the Mahdi, including Fatima, daughter of the Prophet and wife of Ali) Major groups of Sunnis do not accept intercession. However, the method of prayer at dargahs or ziyarat-gahs (tombs of saints) may be considered close to intercession.
Public affirmation of faith and propagation of teachings The Shia allow 'Taqiyya': which is to be able to deny faith when under grave danger. This extends to the belief that true meaning of faith is hidden until the coming of twelfth Imaam. Little stress on esoteric meaning or taqiyya. While 'inner meaning' of Quraan is accepted as existing, stress is on literal rather than mystic interpretation. Notable exceptions are Sufi schools.
Did Islam achieve ultimate glory? No, it was hijacked by hypocrites, especially the first three Caliphs. Yes, mission of Muhammad achieved glory at the time of first three Caliphs and sustained by next three Caliphs including Ali bin Abi Talib.
Building and visiting mosques permitted Yes Yes
Worship at graves Yes Not permitted; is considered 'shirk' or a hypocrisy against faith.
Ashura Day of Mourning and self-flagellation (however contemporary Shia clergy disagree with flagellation and say only to give a blood donation if anything). Mourning is common in Shia Mosques and Imambaras for Hussain. Day of Fasting and remembrance, both of Hussain and Moses' reported crossing of the sea.
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How About Protestants Compared to Catholics?   They are quite a bit closer in core beliefs than Shia and Sunni.

CatholicProtestant
Use of statues and pictures Permitted as means of inspiration Not used
Place of worship Church, chapel, cathedral Church, chapel, cathedral
Place of origin Palestine & Rome; Roman Empire Palestine & Rome, with a schism originating in Germany
Second coming of Jesus Affirmed Affirmed
Scriptures Holy Bible, a collection of canonical books in two parts (the Old Testament and the New Testament). Usually Douay-Rheims or Knox Version. Holy Bible, a collection of canonical books in two parts (the Old Testament and the New Testament). Usually King James Version.
Concept of Deity Believe in the Trinity of God. Three persons in one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit Believe in the Trinity of God. Three persons in one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Death of Jesus Death by Crucifixion Death by Crucifixion
Authority of Pope Affirmed Denied.
Belief of God Catholics believe that there is only one God and that he has revealed himself as the Trinity. Protestants believe that there is only one God and that be has revealed himself as the Trinity.
Birth of Jesus Virgin Birth Virgin Birth
Literal Meaning catholic - from the Greek adjective καθολικός (katholikos), meaning "universal" Protestant - to 'protest'
Status of Adam Sin came into the world, through Adam. Sin came into the world, through Adam.
Identity of Jesus The Son is consubstantial with the Father, which means that, in the Father and with the Father the Son is one and the same God. The Word was made Flesh and dwelt among us. The Son is consubstantial with the Father, which means that, in the Father and with the Father the Son is one and the same God. The Word was made Flesh and dwelt among us.
Clergy The Pope, followed by Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, and Priests, Monks and Deacons. Women can be nuns. Each church independent, headed by Pastors, Elders, and Deacons.
Resurrection of Jesus Affirmed Affirmed
Time of origin c. 315AD c. 33 AD, but believe it eventually became corrupt. Split off in an attempt to return to church's origins approx. 1517 - 1534 A.D.
Day of worship Sunday. Personal Sacrifice during Lent. Traditionally Sunday, but other days accepted if treated with same level of focus on worship.
Practices All Catholics are expected to participate in the liturgical life of the Church, but personal prayer and devotions are entirely a matter of personal preference. Regularly study the Bible, pray, and commune with other believers on Sunday (or other day of worship)
Founder Jesus Christ, followed by Peter as the first Pope, then all Popes following Peter. Jesus Christ, followed by Peter, Paul, and other disciples of Jesus. Position of The Pope denied, and eventually split off of The Catholic church to attempt to re-establish the original church.
Ressurection of Jesus Affirmed Affirmed
Status of women Variable but treated with respect. Women are not allowed to be priests. However, they can become nuns. Variable but treated with respect. Usually, women are not allowed to be part of the clergy, but are permitted to teach or work in other areas.
About Catholics follow the teachings of Jesus Christ as transmitted through the Old & New Testament via Rome and the Vatican and follow the Catechism. Catholics believe that the Catholic Church is the original and first Christian Church. Protestants follow the teachings of Jesus Christ as transmitted through the Old & New Testament. Protestants believe that the Catholic Church stemmed from the original Christian Church, but became corrupt. Men can not add or take away from scripture.
Savior Jesus Christ Jesus Christ
View of other Abrahamic religions According to Catholic doctrine, Catholicism is the original Christian Church. Christianity is the true religion. Judaism is a true religion, but they do not believe Jesus is the Messiah. Islam is a false religion, pagan religions are also false. Judaism is a true religion, but they do not believe Jesus is the Messiah. Islam is a false religion. Pagan religions are also false.
Life after death Eternal Salvation in Heaven; Eternal Damnation in Hell; Temporal third state before Heaven, known as Purgatory. There is no purgatory. Those that trust in Jesus as savior go to paradise, those that trust in their own works for salvation go to hell. In the end times, these groups are let into heaven and the lake of fire, respectively.
Jesus The Son is consubstantial with the Father, which means that, in the Father and with the Father the Son is one and the same God. The Word was made Flesh and dwelt among us. The Son is consubstantial with the Father, which means that, in the Father and with the Father the Son is one and the same God. The Word was made Flesh and dwelt among us.
Marriage The Holy union of a man and woman. What God has bound together, no person can separate. The Holy union of a man and woman. What God has bound together, no person can separate. Divorce permitted in cases of adultery or abandonment.
Confessing sins To God through priests To God through Jesus
Geographical predominance Italy, Philippines, Latin America, France, Spain, Mexico, Poland, Ireland North America and Europe
Holy days Christmas, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, Saints' Feast Days. Christmas and Easter
Original Language(s) Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin Hebrew, Greek, and German
Population 1.2 billion 590 million
Means of salvation Received at baptism; may be lost by mortal sin; regained by faith and penance. You must believe Jesus is the only son of God, confess your sins, must have a relationship with Jesus. Faith in Jesus Christ as having already paid the penalty for your sins.
Human Nature Humans are free to devote themselves to knowledge and communion in the image of God. "original sin" inherited from Adam - tendency towards evil (Infants must be baptized) "original sin" inherited from Adam, tendency towards evil, but the sins of the father do not pass through the son, therefore Children are holy, and until they reach the age where they can know good from evil, their sins are not held against them.
Prophet Believe in all prophets of the Books from the Holy Bible. Believe in all prophets of the Books from the Holy Bible, and that Muhammad is a false prophet.
Geographical distribution and predominance France, Italy, Spain, Latin America, USA North America, Europe
Significance of Eucharist / Communion Commonly termed the 'Mystic Supper' or 'Divine Liturgy' - This makes present Christ's sacrifice and therefore forgiveness of sins is obtained through it. It is also an encounter with the Risen Christ. Important as a symbolic remembrance of Christ's death.
God's role in salvation Christ can save people and can help in salvation. Various forms of grace and free will. In one extreme, God predestines who will be saved and there is no free will. In the other extreme it is entirely the free will of man. Most protestants are somewhere in between.
Mary Mary is considered favored among women, and was chosen by God to be the mother of Jesus through a virgin birth. Thus, she is considered holy, and may be prayed to as an intercessor to God. Mary is considered favored among women, and was chosen by God to be the mother of Jesus through a virgin birth, but is otherwise simply a human with no other special attributes.
Offshoot religions Eastern Orthodox and Protestant sects of Christianity. Thousands of denominations.
Religious Law The Bible and Catechisms, which may be added to or amended by The Pope. The Bible alone. Each person must verify all teachings through the Bible.
Presence of Christ in Eucharist / Communion During the Eucharist, the Priest calls down the Holy Spirit upon the gifts (the bread and the wine). They then change into the actual body and blood of Christ. The precise way in which this happens is a divine mystery. Christ is present in spirit, but the bread and wine are merely symbolic of his death, and of the believer's commitment to him.
Type of Worship Prayer, Praise, Singing, Scripture Reading, and Adoring Eucharist Prayer, Praise, Singing, Scripture Reading, and Teaching of the Reading
Belief Catholics believe that salvation to eternal life is God's will for all people. You must believe Jesus was the son of God, receive Baptism, confess your sins, and take part in Holy Mass to obtain this. Protestants believe that salvation to eternal life is God's will for all people. You must believe Jesus was the son of God and that he has already paid the penalty for your sins to receive this.
View of Animistic religions Pagan Pagan
View of Oriental religions Pagan Pagan
Praying to Saints, Mary, and Angel Only for their intercession or help, at end of each prayer you must say "but only God's will be done". Saints are anyone that believes, and Mary is only a human. The only intercessor between God and man is Jesus, not saints, Mary, or angels.
View of other Dharmic religions Pagan Pagan
Purgatory A place of cleansing and preparation for heaven. Also a place where the punishment due to unremitted venial sins may be expiated. Does not exist
Goal of religion Peace, Love and wilful submission to God. A relationship with Jesus
Belief of God God is the Omnipotent, Loving Creator of the Universe. Believe that there is only ONE God and that he has revealed himself as the Trinity. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit God is the Omnipotent, Loving Creator of the Universe. Believe that there is only ONE God and that he has revealed himself as the Trinity. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
Saints A special group of holy people, who are venerated. They may act as intercessors between God and Man and may be invoked in prayer. Anyone who believes in Jesus as savior is a saint.
Angels Angels are unseen creations of God, created from light. Satan is a fallen angel who rejected God. Angels are unseen creations of God, created from light. Satan is a fallen angel who rejected God.
Religion which atheists may still be adherents of No. Faith in God plays a very important role in Christianity. No. Faith in God plays a very important role in Christianity.
View of Protestantism Protestant denominations cannot be considered "churches"; they don't believe in the true Eucharist. They can't have true priests or bishops because a priest is only valid based on ordination from a valid bishop according to the Apostolic Lineage. Protestantism is way church was originally established. Catholicism corrupt with establishment of Papal Infallibility. God reveals self through scripture and prayer, not tradition.
Legislation Prerogative of the Church, which follows the Holy Spirit and the Word of God as best it can. The Bible alone
Views on other religions The Catholic Church is the only true religion. All others are false. Believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins, and that by believing in him you are saved by faith, not works, is the core principal. Any religion confirming this is a true religion; any religion denying it is a false religion.

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