Unformatted text preview: ISLAMIC SECTS: COMPARISON CHART A Many Splintered Thing David Barrett’s Encyclopedia of World Christianity records nearly 1.2 billion Muslims in the world. Though
Muslims shared allegiance to Muhammed and to the Qur an, Islam faced division as soon as the prophet died.
Three major groups emerged over the centuries and Islam has experienced many smaller divides Sunnk Suﬁs Vest Muslim leadership in four early
caliphs; Abu Baler (632—34), Umar (634-
44), Uthman (644-56), and Ali (656-61).
Strongly emphasize law. Have four major legal traditions: Hanaﬁte,
Shafite, Malikite, and Hanbalite. The
Wahhabi movement that dominates Saudi
Arabia grew out of the Hanbalite tradition.
Dominate Islamic dynasties throughout
history. Number more than 1 billion. Represent the mystical tradition among
Muslims. Emerged gradually and showed inﬂuence
from both Christian and Buddhist
monasticism and Greek philosophy.
Developed in reaction to the focus on law
and doctrine in early Islam. Became more accepted in Islam after the
great Muslim thinker al-Ghazali (d.l 1 ll)
chose the Suﬁ path. Divided into orders or brotherhoods. One
famous order is the Maulawiya, founded by
Rumi (d. 1273), still a highly popular
Islamic author. Practice the mystical dance of whirling
dervishes. Folk Islam Combines Muslim orthodoxy with
superstitions ethnic and tribal groups.
Often uses charms and visits to shrines of
saints. Uses special herbs or amulets to ward off
evil (as is common in Africa and the
Middle East). Developed the acncept of the “evil eye.”
Has been pervasive= leading to many
unorthodox versions of Islam. Shias (Shiites) Believe authentic leadership passed from _
the prophet Muhammed directly to Ali, his
son—in-law. Deny the authority of the ﬁrst three Sunni
caliphs. Believe that Sunni Muslims distorted both
the Qur’an and the sayings of the prophet
(hadith) to reﬂect against Ali. Give martyrdom a central role in theology
and ritual. Number more than 170 million; dominant
in Iran. Sectarian Islamic Movements Thoma; movement started in 1 l“-
century Egypt; mixes Gnostic and neo—
Platonic thought with few links to orthodox
Islam. The Ahmadiyya formed in the late 1800s
believe their founder, Mirza Ghulam
Ahmad Qadiyani (d. 1908) is the messiah.
BiasﬂcMnsliIns combine orthodox Islam
with a belief that blacks are the divine race.
Black Muslim leaders 1n America have
included Malcolm X and Louis Farrakhan,
the provocative leader of the Nation of
Islam. The Baha'i faith emerged out of the Shia
Islam in the 1800s but retained little from
its Muslim roors. Its focus is on Bahaullah
(d. 1892}, a self—proclaimed messiah. ...
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- Fall '09