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Quran (Koran)
Prophet Muhammad

Sunnis vs Shiites and their distribution?

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May 07, 2014 10:43AM

Answer 1

The two main Islam groups or schools are Sunnis and Shiites. Both Sunnis and Shiites are Muslims.

No one has the right to expel anyone out of Islam and to consider him/her unbeliever (or Kafir) so far as:

  • he/she witness that there is no god Except one God (Allah), who has no partners, and that Muhammad is his messenger and prophet
  • he/she doesn't deny intentionally any of the five pillars of Islam

As for Sunnis and Shiites, they, both, believe that there is no god except the one and only one God, the Creator with no partner, no father, no son, no companion, and no resemblance, and that the prophet is His messenger. They both believe in God's Angels, all Prophets sent from God, all of God's holy book, the Day of Judgment, and destiny. They believe in the five Pillars of Islam. They both face the direction of Kaaba when praying. They pray in any mosque regardless of whether the prayer leader is Sunni or Shi'ite. They may differ in some minor details of rituals but these details are not critical to neither the Shiites nor the Sunnis.

The major difference is historical. The Shiites did not agree on the elected Caliphs (who followed Prophet Muhammad after his death). They believed that the Caliphs should only be selected by God according to Koran and prophet has said all Caliphs after him are within Prophet Muhammad descendants and family. Accordingly, they were supporting Ali Ibn about Taleb (Prophet cousin and the husband of prophet's daughter Fatima Zahra) to be the first Caliph. they did protest against the elected Caliphs (Abu Bakr, Omar, and Othman). Ali supported and helped Caliphs and was adviser to the three Caliphs until he was elected as the fourth Caliph.

However, some Shiites (not all) have some minor practices and habits that do not go along with Islam's teachings, such as beating one's self on the day of Ashura (Qatl-un-Nafs, a major sin) and creating pictures of Hassan and Hussein. Some other Shiites (not all of them) wrongly (and against Islamic teachings) elevate Ali (RA) over the Prophet (S) and/or believe that Allah has the same powers as the Imams. they were called AliAllahi that Ali storngly opposed them and threaten them to burn them. Some other Shiites (as well as some other Sunnis) ask the deceased descendants of the Prophet Muhammad (S) for things as mediators to Allah according verse 5:35 of Koran saying seek the means of approach unto Him (Allah). These wrong practices, by either Shiites or Sunnis, are called Bid'ah (innovation in English) and is said that 'kulli bid'atin dalalatin, WA kulli dalalatin fin-nar' (in English: Each innovation is misguidance, and each misguidance will be in the hell fire). However, the basic Islam beliefs remain the same for both Sunnis and Shiites.

A majority of the Muslims are Sunnis. Sunnis constitute about 80% of all world Muslims. Shiites are majority mainly in Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, and some parts of Pakistan.

Answer 2

Both Sunni's and Shia's are Muslims, believe in the same One God (Allah), believe in His Prophet (Muhammd) and follow the same book (Quran).

The major difference comes in following the Hadith (Sermons of the Prophet). Since both the groups had their own historians, there were contradicting facts between the individual books. The Sunni's believe in the Quran and the Sunnah (Hadith) whereas Shia's believe in the Quran, Sunnah and the Ahlalbayt (Prophet's Family). After the death of the Prophet, the two major sects were formed, one who followed Abu Bakr as Siddique and the other who followed Ali ibn Abi Talib. The major argument between the groups was that the Prophet had already chosen a successor in the place called Ghadeer al-Khum, which was Ali, and that, the future 2nd Caliphate bore witness and allegiance to him. But after Prophet's death, it was argued that a successor wasn't chosen and that the Muslim's had the right to chose the successor and thus Abu Bakr was chosen by the Muslims. However, the events leading to the succession led to a forming of groups. Some of the questions asked by the people were: Was it right to choose a successor if a successor was already chosen; was it morally right to choose a successor soon after the demise of the Prophet, choosing to be absent from his funeral to be able to select the successor; Was it right to have the elections withing close doors, without representing the major parties to the election (Ali being absent from elections as he was attending the funeral), and was it right to let just the elite and nobles to choose without the proper voting from the general public of the Arab World? Another question that came later on was that if successor is chosen by the people and thus Abu Bakr was chosen as the successor by the people, why was Omal al-Khattab chosen as successor by Abu Bakr, why didn't he let the people choose him if that's according to the Islamic tradition? These were some of the question that were raised at that time.

However, according to the main difference, Sunni's emphasize more on the companion of the Prophet for his way of living whereas Shia's emphasize on the Prophet's family (Ahlalbayt) for relying on the Prophet's life. The Shia's believe that the 12 Imams (descendants of the Prophet) were infallible, that is pure from sins, based on the hadith of the Prophet, and have lived life according to the way the Prophet led his life.

More details from Shiites view

Shia and Sunni have mainly conflict on Imamat (leadership).

shia say Imamat is one of 5 pillars of Islam and only God can select leader for people. but sunni say Imamat is not part of Islam and leader can be selected by people by any method like shura (for example for Abubakr) or by will of previous leader for example for Omar) or by people (for example for Ali).

the conflict of shia and sunni has been always amplified by world Imperialism to prevent Islam from spreading in world.

Shia believes in Allah, prophet and all fundamentals of Islam.

Shia pray 5 times a day but usually do the 2, 3 and 4, 5 pray together and so may seem they do only 3 pray a day. there is some differences in details of pray like genuflect (for shia should be on a stone or part of earth and for sunni on carpet or floor ).

shia believe after death of prophet God selected the successive for prophet who is the political leader of Muslim community and people can not and does not the right to selected it.

shia refers to many verse of Quran like: "Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority" (Quran 2:30) or "O David! We did indeed make thee a vicegerent on earth" (Quran 38:26) also other verses.

Shia believes such verses means only God can select an Islamic political leader (Caliph) and there is no mention in Quran people have the right to select leader. and shura is not allowed to be used for selecting leader and prophet himself always selected leaders of wars and other leaders by command of God.

In Shia Islam Caliphs after prophet are 12 infallible Imams who have inherited divine knowledge of prophet.

Shia Muslims do not consider selection of Abubakr as Caliph by people valid because God did not select him. They believe God ordered prophet to declare people that Ali is selected as successor of prophet and prophet did this mission many times during his prophet-hood and mainly in Ghadir event after last Hajj of his life at a 3-4 hour speech in front of 120,000 Muslims at Ghadir in hot desert after 2 days stop of long caravan for gathering and 3 days after speech for congratulations and homage of Muslims to Ali.

Islam at that time had high power in world and Some companions had high interest in leadership position after prophet. Muslims knew that it is the final Hajj of prophet (predicted by prophet) and were going along with prophet to hear what prophet says at end of his life.

Shia believes Ghadir event is the most important event of Islam and is mentioned in Koran in many verses like "Today" (اليوم) in verse 5:3 of Quran is the day of Ghadir. Or Verse 5:67: "(O Messenger! proclaim the (message) which hath been sent to thee from thy Lord. If thou didst not, thou wouldst not have fulfilled and proclaimed His mission. And Allah will defend thee from men (who mean mischief). For Allah guide not those who reject Faith)" is revealed at Ghadir day and is about declaring political and spiritual leadership of Ali S.A. after prophet.

Both Sunni and Shia Muslims accept happening of Ghadir event But different interpret. Some Sunni writers tried to reject the event of Ghadir as declare of leadership of Ali S.A. and said at Ghadir prophet only wanted to say Ali S.A. is my friend and no one should bother him.

Ali S.A. had 3 different missions to Yemen by prophet during 10 years and in 2 of them some companions of prophet had some conflicts with Ali S.A. and prophet said some sayings about Ali S.A. to solve conflicts and some sunni writers have mixed stories of missions of Ali S.A. to Yemen with story of Ghadir to prove Ghadir event is not about Leadership of Ali and is not important.

Shia scholars believe some Sunni writers who were related to Kings have changed and deviated historical evidences about political leadership of Ali S.A. in old historical books and republished them to destroy evidences of leadership of Ali from old Sunni books.

The famous Shia book Al-Ghadir (الغدير) by Allameh Amini is a collection of evidences and proofs for Ghadir Events written all from sunni historical books by referring to 100,000 Sunni books and full reading of 10,000 sunni books. Allameh Amini is a famous Shia scholar and spent 40 years of his life in traveling to access original old Sunni books in libraries in different countries to write this 20 volume book only from Sunni books and not using any Shia book. Some Sunni scholars tried to reply this book but then said if we want to reply this book we should first destroy all sunni books.

Shia doctrine have root in Battle Karbala.

When tragedy of Karbala happened most of Iranians understood there is two different interpret of Islam that both can not be true. so most of Iranians became shia and followers of "Ahl al-Bayt" and forgive their lives for them like what they did in Iranian Revolution and Iran-Iraq War.

Shia Muslims have at least 120,000 Hadith (saying) from The Fourteen Infallibles that is the base of Shia Islam along with Quran.

Shia believes according to " Hadith of the two weighty things" The Fourteen Infallible are the only valid interpreters of Quran and sayings of them are from God because they are Representative of God in earth and they have inherited divine knowledge of prophet.

Shia believes 12th of them (Imam Mahdi S.A.) is alive and because people have killed all 11 Imams before him, he is in occultation like Jesus S.A. and will rise with Jesus S.A. when people become ready and want to accept his leadership. All 11 Imams have been killed and during their life they all have been in prison or under hard control of government to not have any political activity.

They never had enough serious followers to can get political power. Among them only the sixth Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq was relatively free (for transition of power between Umayyads and Abbasids) to have only scientific activities and so only he is known in west because he established university and had students from all over the world. Westerns know him as a polymath: an astronomer, alchemist, Imam, Islamic scholar, Islamic theologian, writer, philosopher, physician, physicist and scientist. He was also the teacher of the famous chemist, Jābir ibn Hayyān (Geber), and of Abū Ḥanīfa, the founder of the Hanafi school of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence. He never wanted be a famous man and only shared his knowledge with seekers of knowledge. Some researchers consider his teachings the root cause of renaissance.

Sunni Muslims also accept Mahdi and his worldwide leadership as Caliph of God in earth at end of world. There is a famous Hadith from prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that Mahdi at occultation is like sun behind cloud, he is hidden from people but people receive his benefits.

Shia Muslims say some faithful believers have connection with Mahdi and use his knowledge and at least 1000 persons have had connection and talk with Mahdi during his occultation but Any one having relation with Mahdi S.A. should keep it secret and does not declare it in public until death.

Answer_3">Answer_3">Answer 3

Both Sunnis and Shiites are just different Islamic schools. They mainly differ on the way the successor of the prophet (after his death) should be. Muslims elected Abou Bakr to be the first Caliph after prophet Muhammad (PBUH) death. However, some Muslims believed that the successor should be from the family of the prophet and hence should Ali Ibn Abou Taleb (the prophet cousin and husband of his daughter). However, after the election of AbouBakr, they joined the majority and even Ali Ibn Abou Taleb (God be pleased with him) supported the elected Caliph. The same scenario was repeated after election of Omar Ibn Alkhattab as the second Caliph and Othman Ibn Affan as the third Caliph. Ali Ibn Abou Taleb was then elected as the fourth Caliph.

However, Sunnis and Shiites are just two Islamic schools that differ in minor issues.The outsiders are trying to feed up assumed differences and conflicts between Muslim groups to gain control on Muslim countries and on their resources. The two main groups are Sunnis and Shiites. Both groups agree upon basic Islam pillars, believe in same and only version of Quran, believe and follow the sunnah of same prophet (PBUH), pray to same direction (facing Kaba in Makkah or Mecca in Saudi Arabia, go to same places on pilgrimage (or Hajj), and adhere to same Islam morals and ritual worships. They only differ on some side issues that are not critical.

Answer 4

While the differences between Sunnis and Shiites began simply as the political dispute over who the successor to Mohammed would be, over time, more and more distinctions developed between the two groups (without Western intervention - if I may add):

Imamat or Leadership: Shiites and Sunnis mainly have a conflict on Imamat (leadership).

Sunnis, the majority, believe that the first four caliphs, Mohammed's successors, rightfully took his place as the leaders of Islam. They recognize the heirs of the four caliphs as legitimate religious leaders. These heirs ruled continuously in the Arab world until the break-up of the Ottoman Empire following the end of the First World War.

The Shiites say that Imamat is one of the 5 pillars of Islam and only God can select a leader for people whereas the Sunnis say Imamat is not part of Islam and the leader can be selected by people by any method they propose, including Shura - High-Level Elections (for example for Abu Bakr) or by will of previous leader (for example for Omar) or by people (for example for Ali) provided he is capable of performing the job. Shiites believe after death of Mohammed, God selected the prophet's successor who should be the political leader of Muslim community and people cannot and do not have the right to select such an individual.

Self-Identification: Sunni Muslims agree with the position taken by many of the Prophet's companions, that the new leader of the Umma (Islamic Community) should be elected from among those capable of the job. This is what was done, and Mohammed's close friend and advisor, Abu Bakr, became the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. The word "Sunni" in Arabic comes from a word meaning "one who follows the traditions [of the Prophet]."

The word "Shiite" in Arabic means a group or supportive party of people. The commonly-known term is shortened from the historical "Shia-t-Ali," or "the Party of Ali." They are also known as followers of "Ahl-al-Bayt" or "People of the Household" (of the Prophet).

Prayer Styles: Shiites pray five times a day just like Sunnis but usually do the second and third prayers and fourth and fifth prayers together. Thus, it may seem they do only three prayers a day. There are some differences in details of prayer like genuflecting (for Shiite should be on a stone or part of earth and for the Sunnis it should be on carpet or floor).

Doctrines of Karbala: Shiite doctrines have their roots in Battle Karbala.

When tragedy of Karbala happened most of Iranians understood that there were two different interpretations of Islam that could not both be true. So, most of Iranians became Shiites and followers of "Ahl al-Bayt".

Hadith Collections: Shiite Muslims have at least 120,000 Hadith (sayings) from The Fourteen Infallible Imams (who came after Mohammed) that form the base of Shiite Islam along with Qur'an. Sunni Hadith collections are much smaller as they do not contain volumes from people who lived after the Prophet. Sunni collections also differ based on the School of Sunni Islam. Abu-Hanifa, Ibn Hanbal, Ash-Shafi'i, and Ibn Annas of the Hanafi, Hanbali, Shafi'i, and Maliki Schools each have their own collections.

The Imams and Infallibles: Sunnis do not believe in any of the following. Shiites believe according to "Hadith of the two weighty things" that the Fourteen Infallible Imams are the only valid interpreters of Quran and their sayings come directly from God because they are Representatives of God on earth and they have inherited divine knowledge of prophet. These individuals are the 12 Imams, the Prophet and his daughter Fatimah Zahra. All of them are without impurity and have no mistake and have knowledge of everything. (This knowledge is from God according to His will and is not absolute knowledge. Absolute knowledge is only for God and they still do not know many things, but they know anything a human may need to know.) They never died and they hear all sayings and even thoughts of all humans after their death by permission of God. They are intermediates between God and human.

Shiites do not accept that the Imam is to be only a political leader but they believe that they are literally 'manifestations of God', they are sinless, infallible and the bringers of true understanding to all humanity. They are referred to within the Shiite tradition as being masum, that is, free from error or sin.

Shiites believe that the 12th Imam (Imam Mahdi) is alive. Because people have killed all 11 Imams before him, he is in hiding like Jesus and will rise with Jesus when people become ready and want to accept his leadership. All 11 Imams have been killed and during their life they all have been in prison or under hard control of government to avoid them having any political activity.

They never had enough serious followers to allow them to attain political power. Among them only the sixth Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq was relatively free on account of the freedom afforded during the transition of power between the Umayyads and Abbassids. He is primarily known in the West to have taken part in scientific activities, established a university, and had students from all over the world. Westerners know him as a polymath: an astronomer, alchemist, Imam, Islamic scholar, Islamic theologian, writer, philosopher, physician, physicist and scientist. He was also the teacher of the famous chemist, Jābir ibn Hayyān (Geber), and of Abū Ḥanīfa, the founder of the Hanafi school of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence. He never wanted be a famous man and only shared his knowledge with those who sought knowledge. Some researchers consider his teachings the root cause of the Renaissance.

Positions on the Mahdi: The Mahdi, according to Shiites, will bring about the Kingdom of God on Earth after an apocalyptic battle between the forces of Islam (those who believe in God) and the rest of the world. Sunni Muslims also accept Mahdi and his worldwide leadership as Caliph of God on Earth at end of world, but do not accept the Shiite teaching that this person is the twelfth Imam. There is a famous Hadith from Mohammed that the Mahdi in hiding is like sun behind cloud, he is hidden from people but people receive his benefits.

Shiite Muslims say some faithful believers have a connection with Mahdi and use his knowledge. At least 1000 persons have claimed to have had a connection and conversation with Mahdi during his period of hiding, but anyone who may have a relation with Mahdi should keep it secret and not declare it in public until death.

Seafood Consumption: Most schools of Sunni Islam permit the eating of any form of seafood. Shiites prohibit the consumption of any seafood which does not accord with the Old Testament requirement of having "fins and scales".

Answer 5

Some think that the splitting between Suniis and Shiites is due to conflict on Imamat. shia Muslims say Imamat is one pillar of Islam and leader can be selected only by God and sunni say Imamt is not part of Islam and leader can be selected by any method like shura or will of past Caliph (like for Omar).

Shia and Sunni have mostly same beliefs and both believe in fundamental beliefs of Islam. Today there is up to 260 sects in Islam that are in two main categories of shia and sunni.

the conflict of shia and sunni has been always amplified by world Imperialism to prevent Islam from gaining power.

Shia believes in Allah, prophet and all fundamentals of Islam.

Shia pray 5 times a day but usually do the 2, 3 and 4, 5 pray together and so may seem they do only 3 pray a day. there is some differences in details of pray like genuflect (for shia should be on a stone or part of earth and for sunni on carpet or floor ).

shia believes Imamat is one of five pillars of Islam and leader can be selected only by God. shia believe after death of prophet God selected the successive for prophet who is the political leader of Muslim community and people can not and does not the right to selected it.

Shia believes the Caliph (Representative of God in earth) is selected only by God and can not be selected by people because God said in Koran: "Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority" (Quran 2:30) or "O David! We did indeed make thee a vicegerent on earth" (Quran 38:26) also other verses.

Shia believes such verses means only God can select an Islamic political leader (Caliph).

In Shia Islam Caliphs after prophet are 12 Imams and all of them are the same and have no mistake and have the knowledge of everything (not absolute knowledge like knowledge of God) and they hear all sayings and even thinks of all humans after even after their death by permission of God and they are intermediates between God and human Shia Muslims always support them and forgive their lives for them.

Shia Muslims do not consider selection of Abubakr as Caliph by people valid because God did not select him. They believe God ordered prophet to declare people that Ali is selected as successor of prophet and prophet did this mission many times during his prophet-hood and mainly in Ghadir event after last Hajj of his life at a 3-4 hour speech in front of 120,000 Muslims at Ghadir in hot desert after 2 days stop of long caravan for gathering and 3 days after speech for congratulations and homage of Muslims to Ali. Islam at that time had high power in world and Some companions had high interest in leadership position after prophet. Muslims knew that it is the final Hajj of prophet (predicted by prophet) and were going along with prophet to hear what prophet says at end of his life. Shia believes Ghadir event is the most important event of Islam and is mentioned in Koran in many verses like "Today" (اليوم) in verse 5:3 of Quran is the day of Ghadir. Or Verse 5:67 (O Messenger! proclaim the (message) which hath been sent to thee from thy Lord. If thou didst not, thou wouldst not have fulfilled and proclaimed His mission. And Allah will defend thee from men (who mean mischief). For Allah guideth not those who reject Faith) is revealed at Ghadir day and is about declaring political leadership of Ali after prophet.

Both Sunni and Shia Muslims accept happening of Ghadir event But different interpret. Some Sunni writers tried to reject the event of Ghadir as declare of leadership of Ali and said at Ghadir prophet only wanted to say Ali is my friend and no one should bother him. Ali had 3 different missions to Yemen by prophet during 10 years and in 2 of them some companions of prophet had some conflicts with Ali and and prophet said some sayings about Ali to solve conflicts and some sunni writers have mixed stories of missions of Ali to Yemen with story of Ghadir to prove Ghadir event is not about Leadership of Ali and is not important.

Shia scholars believe some Sunni writers have changed and deviated historical evidences about political leadership of Ali in old historical books and republished them to destroy evidences of leadership of Ali from old Sunni books.

The famous Shia book Al-Ghadir (الغدير) by Allameh Amini is a collection of evidences and proofs for Ghadir Events written after referring to 100,000 Sunni books and full reading of 10,000 sunny books. Allameh Amini is a famous Shia scholar and spent 40 years of his life in travelling to access original old Sunni books in libraries in different countries to write this 20 volume book only from Sunni books and not using any Shia book. Some Sunni scholars tried to reply this book but then said if we want to reply this book we should first destroy all books of ourselves.

Shia doctrine have root in Karbala tragedy. When tragedy of Karbala happened most of Iranians understood there is two different kinds of Islam and after happening of Karbala tragedy most of Iranians became followers of "Ahl al-Bayt" and forgive their lives for them like what they did in Iranian Revolution and Iran-Iraq War. Shia Muslims have at least 120,000 Hadith (saying) from The Fourteen Infallibles that is the base of Shia Islam along with Quran. Shia believes according to " Hadith of the two weighty things" The Fourteen Infallibles are the only valid interpreters of Quran and sayings of them are from God because they are Representative of God in earth and they do not say anything from themselves. Shia believes 12th of them (Mahdi) is alive and because people have killed all 11 Imams before him, he is in hide like Jesus and will come out of hide toghether with Jesus when people become ready and want to accept his leadership. All 11 Imams have been killed and during their life thy all have been in prison or under hard control of government to not have any political action. They never had enough serious followers to can get political power. Among them only the sixth Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq was relatively free in his life to have only scientific activities (but banned from any political action) and so only he is known in west because he established university and had students from all over the world. Westerns know him as a polymath: an astronomer, alchemist, Imam, Islamic scholar, Islamic theologian, writer, philosopher, physician, physicist and scientist. He was also the teacher of the famous chemist, Jābir ibn Hayyān (Geber), and of Abū Ḥanīfa, the founder of the Hanafi school of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence. He never wanted be a famous man and only shared his knowledge with who wanted to learn. Some researchers consider his teachings the root cause of renaissance.

Sunni Muslims also accept Mahdi and his worldwide leadership as Caliph of God in earth at end of world. There is a famous Hadith from prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that Mahdi at hide is like sun behind cloud, he is hidden from people but people receive his benefits. Shia Muslims say some faithful believers have connection with Mahdi and use his knowledge. Shia Muslims believe that it is proved at least 1000 persons have had connection and talk with Mahdi during his hide period but Any one having relation with Mahdi keep it and does not declare it in public until is alive.

Answer 6

  • Despite the differences mentioned above. It is to be recognized the differences between Sunnis and Shiites never been as the differences between the Catholics and the Orthodox and the Protestant or other Christian denominations.
  • Neiher the Sunnis have the right to expel any Shiite out of true Islam nor the Shiites have the right expel any Sunni out of true Islam so far:
  • he/she witness that there is no god Except one God (Allah), who has no partner, no son, no father, no companion, no associate, and no equivalence and he/she witness that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is God prophet and messenger to whom God revealed the holy book Qur'an through the angel Jibril (or Gabriel), and
  • he/she doesn't deny intentionally any of the basic five pillars of Islam as instructed by prophet Muhammad; peace be upon him; even if they added other pillars to them.

As for Sunnis and Shiites, they, both:

  • believe that there is no god except the one and only one God, the Creator with no partner, no father, no son, no companion, and no resemblance, and that the prophet is His messenger.
  • believe in God's Angels, all Prophets sent from God, all of God's holy books, the Day of Judgment, and destiny.
  • believe in the five Pillars of Islam.
  • face the direction of Kaaba when praying.
  • pray in any mosque regardless of whether the prayer leader is Sunni or Shi'ite. They may differ in some minor details of rituals but these details are not critical to neither the Shiites nor the Sunnis.

All Muslims; although differ in minor side issues; are one unity and will never follow the exterior plans of the non Muslims who try their best to create conflicts among them to have stronger control on their mineral and energy resources and to brig them under their will and directions.

shiah believed in five principles such as prophecy , divine unity , ressurrection , imamah or successors of the prophet and divine justice . it is only in the imamah and divine justice that shia and sunni differ . in the question of the imamate , it is the insistence on the esoteric function of the imam that distinguishes the shiite perspective from the sunni .

in the question of justice it is the emphasis upon this attribute as an intrinsic quality of the divine nature that is particular to shiism . we might say that in the esoteric formulation of Sunni theology,especially as contained in Ash arism , there is an emphasis upon the will of God.whatever god will is just precisely because it is willed by god . and intelligence is a sense subordinated to this will and to the voluntarism which characterizes this form of theology.

in shiism the quality of justice is considered as innate to the divine nature .god cannot act in an unjust manner because it is his nature to be just .fa , him to be unjust would violate his own nature , Which is impossible .intelligence can judge the justness and unjustness of an act and this judgment is not completely suspended in favor of a pure voluntarism on the part of god . hence there is a greater emphasis upon intelligence in shiite theology and great enphasis upon will in scorn kalam ,or theology , at least in predominant asharite school .

shiism also differs sunnusm in its consideration of the means whereby the original message of the Quranic revelation reached the islamic community and thereby in certain aspects of the sacred history of Islam .there is no disagreement on the Quran and the prophet ., that is , on what constitutes the origin of the islamic religion .the difference in view begins in the period immediately following the death of the prophet .one might say that the personality of the prophet contained two dimensions which later to become crystallized into Sunnism and Shiism .each of these two schools was later to reflect back upon the life and the personality of the prophet solely from its own point of view ,thus living aside and forgetting and misconstruing the other dimension ecluded from its own perspective .for shiism the dry(in the alchemical sense) and austere aspect of the prophets personality as reflected in his successors in the Sunni world was equated with worldliness while his warm and compassionate dimension was emphasized as his whole personality and as the essence of the nature of the immams who were considered to be a continuation of him .for the vast majority of the islamic community the companions of the prophet represent the prophet's heritage and the channel through which his messge was transmitted to later generations .within the early community the companions occupied a favored position and among them the first four caliphs stood out as a distinct group .it is through the companions that the saying( Hadith ) and the manner of the living ( sunnah )of the prophet were transmited to the second generations of Muslims . shiism however concentrating on the question of the wilayah and insisting on the esoteric content of the prophetic message , saw in the Ali and the household of the prophet (ahi al -bayt),in its shiiate sense the sole channel through which the original message og islam was transmitted , although , paradoxically enough the majorty of descendants of the prophet beong to Sunnism and continue to do so untill today