What I understand the reason for separation was a dispute over the succession of the Caliphate (I could be wrong), how did this turn into Shias doing things (praying, adhan etc.) that differ from Sunnis.

Of course what I know could be wrong, if so please correct me.


Salaam brother,

Actually there aren't many differences between the Shi'a and Sunni school of thought...

The only differences that are there are in Jurisprudence.. and even then they are minute...

Even within Sunni School of thought you have people with different Jurisprudence.. There are 4 Sunni madhabs (Hanafi, Sha'fi, Maliki, Hanbali). The Dean of Al-Azhar University (Biggest Islamic University) Said that: "The 5th Madhab in Islam is Ja'fri(Shia)"

Having difference of opinion in Jurisprudence isn't that big of a deal... It doesn't mean if a person prays differently that he is not muslims anymore...

Most of the Ahle-Sunnat pray with their hands folded... But the Sunni Maliki's Pray with their hands on their sides, just like the Shia..

So it's not such a big deal... every school of thought, madhab, has their own proves and hadith to prove what they do is correct... we cannot say one is right and the other is wrong.

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    Shia is Not from the Ja'fri Madhab do a deep study otherwise they will also be considered as sunni and considered among the 5th madhab why all others scholars are considered as sunni. Imam jafar never gone against the decisions of companion of prophets. – Ali786 Aug 2 '14 at 5:44
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    @ali786, There are numerous hadiths from Imam al-Sadiq indicating that his holiness only recognized Prophet's purified Ahl al-Bayt as legitimate Imams of the Ummah. And if he hadn't opposed the caliphs there would've been no reason for the suppression of his followers and other members of Ahl al-Bayt by Abbassid and Umayyad caliphs that viewed the Shia Imams as a threat to their governments and thus ultimately murdered them all. – infatuated May 7 '15 at 7:03
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    Please have a look at these posts for learning about historical conditions of the Imams. islam.stackexchange.com/questions/12640 and islam.stackexchange.com/questions/16977 – infatuated May 7 '15 at 7:03
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    @infatuated, had a look to the mentioned links as you submitted, they seems useful. Jazak Allah Khaira. – اللهم صل علی محمد و آل محمد May 11 '16 at 6:52
  • We are not a site for preaching: Answers are expected to be clear and focussed and directly answer the question asked, not for inserting tangential personal opinions. – goldPseudo May 17 '16 at 3:42

Most of Islamic jurisprudence is based on two sources, the Qur'an and hadiths, this is the same between Sunnis and Shi'i. Even when both follow the same Qur'an, there are a lot of different opinions regarding the hadiths.

Many Shi'a narrations are considered unreliable by Sunnis and many Sunni narrations are considered unreliable by Shi'i. One famous example would be the case of Abu Hurayrah, who narrated over five thousand hadiths: Sunnis consider him a reliable source, Shi'ites do not, and his case is not unique. On the other hand, Shi'ite hadith sciences give far more weight to those narrations transmitted through the Ahl-ul Bayt than do Sunnis, often taking narrations by the Imams as indisputably authentic even when there is no chain between the Imam and the prophet that would meet Sunni criteria.

As a result the body of hadith literature that Shi'i use for jurisprudence can be similar to Sunnis in many cases, but vastly different in others. Because of these differences and over fourteen centuries of study and rulings based on these differences, both groups have diverged significantly.

  • No Sunnis wouldn't consider any hadith's as unreliable if it's directly narrated by companion's of prophets.Can you consider giving such an examples. – Ali786 May 7 '15 at 7:07
  • @ali786 Who said anything about that? I only said that not all Shi'ite narrations are accepted by Sunnis, please read my answer carefully. – ali.abdulaleem May 7 '15 at 15:57

The two answers here didn't really answer the question

The notion that shia and sunni happened is because of dispute over the caliph is wrong. The only dispute that happened is between Muhajreen and Ansar on whether to choose a caliph from Muhajreen or caliph from Ansar. Check: "`Umar's statement on the doctrine of succession in Islam"

Shia term came after 41 years from the death of the prophet (specifically after the death of Ali). The term shia was referring to a sunni political movement that preferred Al-Hassan to be in power instead of Muwayah.

Then, this term started to evolve and many sects started coming out from the main shia/sunni movement. After 600 years from the death of Ali. Another shia sect called Twelever Shia came to existence that claimed Abu Baker, Umar and other companions stole the khilafah from Ali. This sect had their own hadiths, fiqh, and teachings. For more info:

and so much more that I cannot fit in this answer...

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    Unfortunately you didnt really answer the question. But you were able to provide a lot of Mis-Information! First of all there was no such thing as Sunni only Shia; Shia of Imam Ali and Shia of Muawiya. (2 Opposing sides) Actually the Sunni School of thought and Twelver (Jafri) school of thought came later. In Shia who are also known as the Ja'fri get their jurisprudence from Imam Jafar-as-Sadiq. In Sunni you have Hanafi, Maliki, Sha'fi, Hanbali.. who get their Jurispudence from Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik, Imam Sha'fi, Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal all these people were students of Imam Jafar!!!!!!!! – Andre Jul 31 '14 at 23:51
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    Shia means "Follower" that is why they were called Shia of Imam Ali and Shia of Muaviya – Andre Jul 31 '14 at 23:52
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    @Sohaeb, I am Shia but never we say that Abu-Bakr has killed Fatima(S.A). And also we are not instead of Allah to judge who goes to the heaven and who goes to the hell!. And also I never heard in my denomination that the 12 Imams are better than all previous prophets. You have to be Shia to knows what is the real Shia not by listening to others. You made mistake just like me in my question about the successor, do you remember? – Fatemeh Aug 1 '14 at 10:32
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    @Fatemeh, The shia belief is that Abu-Bakr was indirectly involved in the murder of Lady Fatima for he ordered Umar to demand all muslims allegiance for his caliphate and suppress anyone who refused to recognize him! Also, that the 12 Imams are higher in spiritual status over all non-Islamic Prophets is also a definite and widely accepted shia belief. – infatuated May 6 '15 at 9:37
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    To OP: Shias describes themselves as Shia (follower) of (The Purified) Ahlulbayt (Household)and provide ample evidences from the Prophet's Purified Household in rejection of the legitimacy of the reign of the first three caliphs recognized by the so called Sunnis. They trace the conflict between Ahlulbayt and the early Caliphs to a much earlier point in history than the death of Uthman. – infatuated May 6 '15 at 9:44

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