Islam like other religions has followers who practice this religion differently. There are two subgroups within Muslims with different views, Sunnis and Shias. These two groups are muslims but they have their own ways of practicing the religion. Shias strongly feel that they should be separately identified as the Shia Muslims. According to John L. Esposito, "the revolt of Ali's son Husayn, led to the division of the Islamic community into its two major branches, Sunni and Shii." I believe that the distinction between the Shias and Sunnis began after the death of the Holy Prophet. The battle of Karbala was a moment where the Shia identity was confirmed. The identity building process of shias started from the caliphate. They believed that the direct descendants of the holy prophet were the only true successors of the Holy prophet. The descendants of the holy prophet are also called the Imams. Shia Muslims believe that, Ali, Prophet Muhammad’s son-in-law and cousin was the only rightful
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This note was uploaded on 01/31/2011 for the course HIST 109 taught by Professor Kimsearcy during the Spring '10 term at Loyola Chicago.