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Is the conflict between Sunni and Shia political?

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Is the conflict between Sunni and Shia just a political fight?

Actually it is mostly ideological.

The primary disagreement is about the successorship of the Prophet. Shia believe in it as a part of religion and they believe Imam (successor of the Prophet) must be identified through Allah’s word because Imam is going to clarify and interpret the religion.

On the contrary, Sunnis believe it is like any other government specified by people.


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40 minutes ago, mighdad said:

Is the conflict between Sunni and Shia just a political fight?

Actually it is mostly ideological.

The primary disagreement is about the successorship of the Prophet. Shia believe in it as a part of religion and they believe Imam (successor of the Prophet) must be identified through Allah’s word because Imam is going to clarify and interpret the religion.

On the contrary, Sunnis believe it is like any other government specified by people.


Depending on your perspective, it's political or ideological.  Non-muslims would mostly see it as political, as would most Sunnis.  As you say, Shia' see it as an ideological difference, whose right on what kind of differences/fight is irrelevant, since today the circumstances surrounding that fight have dissipated.  Relegating the forum topic/question itself, irrelevant. 

If you want to really get down to the nitty gritty and resurrect the past,  Sunni-Shiaism  wasn't a strictly defined "thing" back 1400 years ago.  When you consider the context of the succeeding caliphs, they ruled over people with their influence and for the most part disregarded scholars/interpretations of Islam, which in of themselves wouldn't really make them "sunni's".

The labels are superfluous and counter productive to unification, in my opinion.   Self proclaimed Sunni's should take a moment to reflect and really wonder what they actually are, and if they actually care regarding sectarian differences. 

Sunni's (whatever way you want to define them, since they in themselves don't really  know what they are generally),  actually believe the Khalifah as a strict political system that can't be simply overthrown because the ruler is corrupt, or forcibly taken leadership as a tyrant.  Sunni's say that to disobey the Caliph is strictly forbidden, and that to rebel and cause disunity is an exploitable weakness recognizable to opposition (such as the Byzantines, Persians, etc.)  which is quite a fair point. Many Sunni's opposed for example, Muawiyahs forcibly taking the Khilafat, but didn't have much choice to oppose because the guy ruled with a Sword (reminds us of our dear Saudi government).  Regardless whom one thinks should be the Khalifah, its a much different question one should be asking than if this is just politics.  Under Muawiyah, there were significant campaigns in spreading the ummah/faith and borders of Islam, and it could not afford a rebellion within leadership which in turn could risk completely wiping out all muslims.

Though we all should agree based on history and what we know from facts, that 'Ali ibn Abi Talib AS should have been the Khalifa, and was more than qualified to reside over those campaigns.   The ideological premises to a Sunni would be irrelevant, even if they agreed that 'Ali AS should have been the Khalifa, and would have been a competent one too because the Umayyads forcibly took control and for the most part, were tyrannical (with exceptions).

However on the other side of the coin, we are commanded in the Qu'ran to always fight against oppression and never be the instigators of aggression (and by logic, never oppress), which nearly every Ummayad /Abbasid etc. rulers violated.  Sunni logic should recognize that fact and highlight these issues.


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4 hours ago, mighdad said:

Is the conflict between Sunni and Shia just a political fight?

Actually it is mostly ideological.

The primary disagreement is about the successorship of the Prophet. Shia believe in it as a part of religion and they believe Imam (successor of the Prophet) must be identified through Allah’s word because Imam is going to clarify and interpret the religion.

On the contrary, Sunnis believe it is like any other government specified by people.


If we look from the perspective of Imamat, then it is part of religious belief. The scenario is the same as to the belief in Imam Mahdi where Sunni and Shia believe in similar doctrine.

If we look from the perspective of worldly and culture administrator, then the people will have to decide. For example, the president of Pakistan, US or Iran, the people of these countries have the right to decide, even though we do have Imam at present time.

Most of Arabs and Muslim in the time of Prophet and also today are more culture oriented, meaning they want their leaders to preserve their culture more than religion. Whereas, Ahlulbayt are more to preserve the religion than the culture, especially to demolish the Jahiliyah culture. Only those elements in a culture that are compatible with religion are preserved.

The current fight between Sunni and Shia is mostly political. But there are Muslim leaders among Sunnis and Shias that will turn it into religious disputes, resulting call each other as deviated from right path.

Religious disputes shall be done by learned persons among Sunnis and Shias in scholarly manner.

The Shias can accept what happened after the death of our Prophet as political move by few dominant figures. Ali (as), accepted it by been quiet and patient. Because it was purely political. 

Today, the enemies of Islam want to destroy the Muslims by advocating that the fight between Sunnis and Shias is purely due to religion, so that they will call each other deviated. We have heard that the Saudis Sheikh calling Iranian Shia leaders as religiously deviated with no proofs whatsoever. Simple minded followers will kill each other under the pretext of preserving the religion, but in reality it is politically, worldly and culturely motivated.

Personally, I view the Khalifahs after the death of Prophet as political figures. All other Khalifahs during Ummayyah, Abbasiyyah, Othmaniyyah (and Ale Saud) as family inherited political leaders and not rooted in religious beliefs. They are just part of human history with no significant in the protecting the Pure Value of Religion.



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6 hours ago, mighdad said:

Is the conflict between Sunni and Shia just a political fight?

Actually it is mostly ideological.

The primary disagreement is about the successorship of the Prophet. Shia believe in it as a part of religion and they believe Imam (successor of the Prophet) must be identified through Allah’s word because Imam is going to clarify and interpret the religion.

On the contrary, Sunnis believe it is like any other government specified by people.


The conflict between Sunni and Shia is more than just a political fight, rather it is about the pristine Islam, preached and nurtured by the noble Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.a).

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8 hours ago, mighdad said:

Is the conflict between Sunni and Shia just a political fight?

Actually it is mostly ideological.

The primary disagreement is about the successorship of the Prophet. Shia believe in it as a part of religion and they believe Imam (successor of the Prophet) must be identified through Allah’s word because Imam is going to clarify and interpret the religion.

On the contrary, Sunnis believe it is like any other government specified by people.



Salam Alaykum.

In reality, there is no conflict between Sunnis and Shias, all the problems and conflicts are created by the outside force, Zionists Jews, who are  trying to divide and rule over Muslim lands and infiltrate the true Islam and deviate its mass. Zionism aka Satanists are trying to control the globe and Islam is standing against it, this is the reason why whats happening in the Middle East, they are trying to weaken Shia Islam, because all the other sects of Islam has been disarmed by Shayton except the true Islam which is Shia Islam and they will never defeat it, rather they will be defeated very soon Inshalah when Imam Mehdi a.s returns. Zionism has different shapes and forms, like Christian Zionism and Muslim Zionism aka Wahabist and Salafist are one form of Muslim zionnists.

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In one line we can say "Shia believe that Islam provides guidance for Wilaya/Khilafah/Imamah through Quran and Sunnah while Sunni believe there is no such guidance provided from Quran and Sunnah and politics is separate from religion/Quran/hadith instructions"

The consequence is Shia believe in perfectness of divine guidance for Wilaya/Khilafah/Imamah while Sunni believe Islam is imperfect because there is no divine guidance for Wilayah/Khilafah/Imamah.

This is brief summary answer.

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AssalamAlaikum Brothers,

The Word ¨Shia¨   means -- Followers

Then  im also  Shia ( alhamdulilah)

im  Shia  of Prophet muhammad , Ali  n  the righteous Servants of Allah.

if im following the Prophet then im a True Shia.    :)

1)if i wash the feet instead of wiping or vice versa does it mean Allah reject my prayers... .   . .   .  .   Nooo

2)if i hold or Place my hand in a certain way during Namaaz (hands-it has to be simple n Decent), Does it certify as one being sunni  or  Shia , does it mean Allah reject my prayers becuz of it.   .   .  .  .  Nooo

--->if you dont accept my 2 points , then all your education in schools is gone to Waste.  This is the truth.

Allah accepts Prayers of all good people from  abrahamic religions  and few from non-abraham religions too.

Allah is not this Petty.

i also like sufi influenced songs...


i follow sunnah hadith, true follower(shia), and like some things in sufi..

What am i     ?

Every good Muslim is also True Shia .  . 

Sufi is a nonviolent form of sunni  . .  (  i  think  )(not   sure   )

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The Conflict is Ideological rather than Political

     Though certain theological texts speak in a way that may imply to some that the conflict between Shias and Sunnis is political with Shias believing that the first caliph was Ali bin Abi Talib and the Sunnis holding that Abu Bakr was the first caliph instead, the fact of the matter is that it is not political at all but instead deeply ideological rooted in their respective worldviews.

     Based on their fundamental doctrines, Shias believe that the office of imamate is a divine one having the same essence as prophecy with the minor difference that the former does not produce a new religion; instead it preaches what the latter has already introduced. According to Shiite sources, imam is a divine authority (hujjutullah) without whom the world cannot continue. If imamate were a political portfolio then why should one die the death of ignorance when one does not get to know the imam of his time? According to Shias, managing political affairs is a trivial part of the imam's duty. His main duty is to explain religious texts and to serve as a bridge between the Heaven and the Earth. It is because of these complicated religious rules an imam plays, that the Shias assume that the imam has to be determined by Allah. Being unaware of the particulars of the imam, others are in a position to choose their imam.  

     Based on their principles, Sunnis on the other hand deal with the issue of imamate or caliphate as a worldly position having nothing to do with divine issues. According to them, with the death of the Prophet (PBUH) the link between the Heaven and the Earth was broken. For the time being, all are alike, with none having the privilege of having special relationship with Allah. It is based on such type of thinking that they do not expect Allah to interfere with their affairs. Instead they allow people to choose their ruler.

     If Shias tackled the issue of imamate in the way the Sunnis do, then the conflict was, sure, political, but since Shias treat the issue of imamate in a quite different way then we cannot, if we are of course fair enough, reduce the existing conflict to a mere political one. (For further information, see, Mutahhari, Collected Works, vol. 4, pp. 803-5).



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It is important to note that all the Muslims agree that Allah is One, Muhammad (S) is His last Prophet, the Qur’an is His last Book for mankind, and that one day Allah will resurrect all human beings, and they will be questioned about their beliefs and actions. There are, however, disagreements between the two schools in the following two areas:

1. The Caliphate (successorship/leadership) which the Shi’a believe is the right of the Imams of Ahlul-Bayt.

2. The Islamic rule when there is no clear Qur’anic statement, nor is there a Hadith upon which Muslim schools have agreed.

The second issue has root into the first one. The Shi’a bound themselves to refer to Ahlul-Bayt for deriving the Sunnah of Prophet (S). They do this in conformity with the order of Prophet reported in the authentic Sunni and Shi’i collections of traditions beside what the Qur’an attests to their perfect purity.

The disagreement about the caliphate should not be a source of division between the two schools. Muslims agree that the caliphate of Abu Bakr came through election by a limited number of people and was a surprise for all other companions. By limited number, I mean, the majority of the prominent companions of prophet had no knowledge of this election. ‘Ali, Ibn Abbas, Uthman, Talha, Zubair, Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas, Salman al-Farsi, Abu Dharr, Ammar Ibn Yasir, Miqdad, Abdurrahman Ibn Owf were among those who were not consulted nor even informed of. Even Umar confessed to the fact that the election of Abu Bakr was without consultation of Muslims. (See sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic-English, Tradition 8.817)

On the other hand, election implies choice and freedom, and that every Muslim has the right to elect the nominee. Whoever refuses to elect him does not oppose God or His Messenger because neither God nor His Messenger appointed the nominated person by people.

Election, by its nature, does not compel any Muslim to elect a specific nominee. Otherwise, the election would be coercion. This means that the election would lose its own nature and it would be a dictatorial operation.

It is well known that the Prophet said: "There is no validity for any allegiance given by force."

Imam ‘Ali refused to give his allegiance to Abu Bakr for six months. He gave his allegiance to Abu Bakr only after the martyrdom of his wife Fatimah al-Zahra (sa), Daughter of the Holy Prophet, six month after the departure of Prophet. (see Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic-English version, Tradition 5.546). If refusal to give allegiance to an elected nominee was prohibited in Islam, Imam ‘Ali would not have allowed himself to delay in giving his allegiance.

In the same tradition in Sahih al-Bukhari, Imam ‘Ali (as) said that he had some rights in Caliphate which was not honored, and he complained why Abu Bakr should have not consulted him in deciding upon the ruler. He later gave his allegiance when he found that the only way to save Islam is to leave the isolation which occurred due to his refusal of giving the oath of allegiance.

What’s more? The well known companions, Abdullah Ibn Umar and Sa’d Ibn Abi

Waqqas, refused to give their allegiance to Imam ‘Ali for the entire duration of his caliphate. (Ibn Al-Athir, his history Al-Kamil, v3, p98).

But the Imam did not punish these companions.

If it was permissible for a Muslim, who was a contemporary of the caliph, to refuse to give his allegiance, it would be more permissible for a person who came in a later century to believe or not to believe in the qualifications of that elected caliph. In doing so, he would not be sinning, provided that the Caliph is not assigned by Allah.

The Shi’a say that Imam must be appointed by God; that appointment may be known through the declaration of the Prophet or the preceding Imam. The

Sunni scholars say that Imam (or Caliph, as they prefer to say) can be either elected, or nominated by the preceding Caliph, or selected by a committee, or may attempt to gain the power through a military coup (as was in the case of Muawiyah).

The Shi’a scholars say that a divinely appointed Imam is sinless and Allah does not grant such position to the sinful. The Sunni scholars (including Mu’tazilites) say that Imam can be sinful as he is appointed by other than Allah. Even if he is tyrant and sunk in sins (like in the case of Muawiyah and Yazid), the majority of the scholars from the schools of Hanbali, Shafi’i, and Maliki discourage people to rise against that Caliph. They think that they should be preserved although they disagree with the evil actions.

The Shi’a say that Imam must possess above all such qualities as knowledge, bravery, justice, wisdom, piety, love of God etc. The Sunni scholars say it is not necessary. A person inferior in these qualities may be elected in preference to a person having all these qualities of superior degree.

For further details see: www.Islamportal.net


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Hello dear friend.

First of all, this is a fact that politics is the inseparable part of religion. From Shias’ point of view, 12 infallible Shia leaders used to be both political and religious leader however their political positions were usurped by their enemies.

To be honest, the conflict between Shia and Sunni dates back to the life of Prophet Mohammad(p.b.u.h). The advent of Shia coincided with the time when Prophet Mohammad introduced Imam Ali and chose him as his first successor and legatee after himself.

Shia literally means follower and technically means one, who considers Imam Ali as the first caliph after Prophet Mohammad as Prophet himself commanded people to do so.

Shia religion is believed to be true ISLAM and has superiority over other religions.

The superiority of the Shia religion over other religions is because of its being the "true" religion. There is only one true religion in all epochs. The true religion of God, the Exalted, is one in all times and eras; any religion other than the One True Religion is either false or abrogated or defunct.

The multiplicity of divine religions that have so far been revealed upon the humanity is longitudinal not latitudinal which means that the new religion is abrogative of and supplementary to the former one. Thus, with the coming of the new religion, the previous religion becomes defunct and is no longer considered valid. It would be necessary on all people to follow and have faith in the new religion as it replaces the old one. That is why, the holy scripts and religious texts use the term "Kafir" (infidel) to describe those who do not have faith in the new religion.

Islam is the last and the most complete of the revealed religions. God shall not accept any religion other than Islam. "ان الدین عندالله الاسلام" (Verily, the only religion acceptable to Allah is Islam.[1]) "و من یبتغ غیر الاسلام دینا فلن یقبل منه" (And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him.[2]).

Unfortunately, Muslims like the people and adherents of the previous religions are divided into different religions. Surely, all of them cannot be true at the same time. The holy Prophet of Islam said:

"ان امّتی ستفرق بعدی علی ثلاث و سبعین فرقة، فرقة منها ناجیة، و اثنتان و سبعون فی النار"

My Ummah will be divided into seventy-three sects, one of which will be in Paradise and seventy-two will be in the Fire.[3]

The holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh) also said:

"ایها الناس انی ترکت فیکم ما ان اخذتم به لن تضلوا، کتاب الله و عترتی اهل بیتی"

"O People, I leave you two weighty things, if you stick to both you will never go astray after me: the Book of Allah and my progeny – the Ahlalbayt.[4]"

Abuzar Ghaffari, one of the trusted and honorable companions of the holy Prophet (pbuh) narrates:

"سمعت النبی (ص) انه قال: الا ان مثل اهل بیتی فیکم مثل سفینة نوح فی قومه، من رکبها نجی و من تخلف عنها غرق"

"The similitude of my Ahlalbayt amongst you is the same as that of Noah's Ark amongst his tribe. Whoever boards it will be saved and he who avoided it will drown.[5]"

The pillars and principles of the Shia religion are belief in divine unity (tawhid), divine justice (adl), prophecy (nubuwwah), Imamat and resurrection (ma'ad). Shia believes in the leadership of the twelve infallible Imams (a.s.) as the successors of the Prophet of Islam (pbuh) the first of them being Ali (a.s.) and the last one Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance).

In the traditions narrated from the Holy Prophet of Islam the number and names of the twelve Infallible Imams (a.s.) have been mentioned.

One day Abdullah bin Mas’ud was sitting in a gathering of people when a nomad Arab came over and asked: “Which one of you is Abdullah bin Mas’ud?”

Abdullah answered: “I am.”

Arab nomad: “Did your Prophet inform you about the number of his successor?”

Abdullah bin Mas’ud: “Yes, he did, they are twelve caliphs, (like) the number of the Chiefs of Bani Israel.”[6]

Our arguments for the righteousness of the Shia religion are the Quran and Sunnah. Almighty Allah commanded us to obey God, the Messenger and Ulul Amr (those vested with authority) who, according to the Holy Prophet’s saying, are the Shia Imams. There are many a number of Quranic verses referring to leadership andwilayat (successorship) of our Imams. Some of them are the following:

"وانذر عشیرتک الاقربین" — " یَاأَیُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَیْکَ مِنْ رَبِّکَ وَإِنْ لَمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ "— " الیوم اکملت لکم دینکم و اتممت علیکم نعمتی و رضیت لکم الاسلام دینا" —" انما یرید الله لیذهب عنکم الرجس اهل البیت و یطهرکم تطهیرا"

It has been mentioned in history books and in the narrations that the Prophet (pbuh) always called the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.), his trustee and successor. Tabrasi narrates in his history book that when the verse "وانذر عشیرتک الاقربین" (and warn your closer relatives) was revealed, the Prophet (pbuh) addressed his relatives as such: Almighty God has commanded me to invite you to Him.Whoever helps me in this matter will be my brother, my trustee (wasi) and my successor after me.

Then the Commander of the faithful, Ali (a.s.) stood up before him and said:

“O Apostle of God, I will help you.”

There and then the Prophet (pbuh) said, “Verily, this (Ali) is my brother, my trustee, my helper, my successor after me among you. Follow him and be obedient to him. Some of the Prophet’s relatives laughed at this and declared to Abu Talib mockingly that he must bow down to his own son, as Ali was now his Emir.[7]

In the last year of his life and as he was returning from his last pilgrimage, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) formally nominated Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.) as the Muslims’ leader and ruler. He ordered all the pilgrims in a gathering at Ghadir Khum to vow allegiance to Ali as the Commander of the Faithful. This famous saying “of whomsoever I am a mawla (master and ruler), this Ali would be his master” is the Holy Prophet (pbuh)’s saying on this day. This is a well-known and mutawatir (mass-transmitted) tradition.

This is a brief explanation of the evidences of the superiority and righteousness of Shi’ism over other religions on the basis of Quranic verses and narrations. Definitely, we can also deal with this issue by drawing a comparison between the teachings of the Shia religion and those of non-Shia religions through which we could prove Shia’s superiority over other religions but we would rather leave this discussion for some other time.

When it comes to Wahabism, it would be enough to suffice with Sayed Mustafa Razvi’s writing in the book titled “Pakistan: Political and Religious Information” in which the writer says that Wahabism considers the followers of all other Muslim sects, Shia and Sunni, as pagans, infidels and idolaters. They declare seeking the intercession of the Prophet and Infallible Imams, visiting their graves, respecting and revering them as a form of innovation and idolatry. Thus, they forbid such acts on the ground that they are polytheistic acts. They do not permit greeting, respecting and revering the Prophet (pbuh) anywhere other than in the prayer and they believe that commemoration and reverence of the Prophet (pbuh) ended on the day he passed away from this world. They consider any kind of structures, monuments and tombs on the graves of the Imams and religious saints as bid’ah (innovation) and they believe that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was a human being who died and who no longer has the power to do anything because he has no information about us nor does he know anything about what is going on in this world. Therefore, it is forbidden to visit his grave. [8]

We let your common sense to judge as to whether these doctrines can be consistent with the Quran or human nature. Is this the love of the Ahlul Bayt which has been regarded as the wage of prophethood[9]? Did the Quran not tell that the martyrs are alive and sustained by their Lord?[10] And is the Prophet’s rank lower than that of the martyrs?!

Should you want to discuss the subject further, do not hesitate to email us. May Allah grant you success.

[1] - Aal-e Imran: 19

[2] - Aal-e Imran:85

[3] - Al-Ebanah al-Kubra, Ibn-e Vol. 1, p.3; Khesal, p.585

[4] - Kanzul Ummal, Vol.1, p.44, Babul E'tesam bil-Kitab Wassunnah.

[5] - Al-Mustadrak 'Ala al-Sahehain, Vol.3, p.151

[6] - Khesal, p.467

[7] - Tarikh Tabari, vol.2, p. 320, Egypt Publication: Kamil Ibn-e Athir, Vol.2, P.41, Beirut Publication

[8] - Sayed Mustafa Razavi, Political and Religious on Pakistan, p.63-64

[9] - قُلْ لا أَسْئَلُکُمْ عَلَیْهِ أَجْراً إِلاَّ الْمَوَدَّةَ فِی الْقُرْبى (I do not ask you any wage (in return for myprophethood) except to lovemy near kin.

[10] - Aal-e Imran: 169


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Both. Though it's not about the succession anymore.

In todays world the Sunni-Shia (political) conflict mainly revolves around Syria and Iraq, where Shia-based governments and militia oppress Sunni muslims.

Religiously the difference isn't about succession anymore. There are fundamental differences in aqida and belief system. One can say that Ali (ra) should have been the successor and be a Sunni at the same time.

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