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The Sunni and Shia divide

December 31, 2011

For those not to familiar with the Islamic religion here’s a quick rundown about the Sunni and Shia divide, that has similar problems as that of Protestants and Catholics, – the division between Sunni’s and Shi’as is the largest and oldest in the history of Islam [1].  They both agree on the basics of Islam and share the same Holy Book [The Qur’an], as do the Protestants and Catholics, but there are differences mostly derived from their different historical experiences, political and social developments, as well as ethnic composition, – and again is further proof to me that the “Illuminati”, know time and again the ‘divide and rule’ game works every time, and why these differences exist in both Christianity and Islam.

     It’s said that when the Prophet Muhammad died in the early 7th century, not only did he leave the religion of Islam, but also a community of about 100,000 Muslims organised as an Islamic state on the Arabian Peninsula.  There was the question of who should succeed the Prophet and lead this relatively ‘new’ religion and Islamic state that created this divide.  The majority of Muslims chose Abu Bakr, a close Companion of the Prophet, as the ‘Caliph’, [head of state] [a bit like how Henry VIII see himself, over the Pope’s position in Rome], and he was accepted as such by much of the community which saw the succession ‘in political’ and not so much as ‘spiritual terms’. [1]

     However another smaller ‘group’, which also included some of the senior Companions, believed that the Prophet’s son-in-law and cousin, Ali, should be Caliph.  “They”, [family members and friends in whose interest it was], seemed to have “understood” that the Prophet had appointed him as the sole interpreter of his legacy, in both political and spiritual terms.

     Though to me in today’s understanding of how things are run, this is a bit like how our present monarchy, the Winsor’s and other royal families in general, like the House of Saud, the ruling royal family of the Saudi Arabia.  The head of the family is King Abdullah.  The ruling faction of the family is primarily composed of the descendants of Muhammad bin Saud and the daughter of Shaykh Muhammad bin Abdul-Wahhab.  The family also includes the descendants of Saud’s other sons, and the family is estimated to be composed of 7,000 members, – and could be argued the likes of Egypt’s Mubarak wanting his son, or like Col. Gaddafi wanting his too, to continuously take over the reins and remain in the driving seat of power and control.

     In the end Abu Bakr was appointed First Caliph, and whose followers are known as ‘Sunni Muslims’, and who argue that the Prophet chose Abu Bakr to lead the congregational prayers as he lay on his deathbed, thus suggesting that the Prophet was naming Abu Bakr as the next leader.  [Sunni means “one who follows the Sunnah”- the habits of what the Prophet said, did, agreed to etc.]

     However, the Shi’as say there is evidence is that Muhammad stood up in front of his Companions on the way back from his last Hajj, and proclaimed Ali the spiritual guide and master of all believers.  Shi’a reports say he took Ali’s hand and said that anyone who followed Muhammad should follow Ali, – and whose followers are now known as Shi’a Muslims.  Shi’a, derives for ‘Shiat Ali, meaning “follower of Ali”.

     It’s said, Ali did not initially pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr, though a few months later, according to both Sunni and Shi’a belief, Ali changed his mind and accepted Abu Bakr, in order to safeguard the cohesion of the new Islamic State.

     The 2nd Caliph, Umar ibn al-Khattab, was appointed by Abu Bakr on his death, followed by the 3rd Caliph, Uthman ibn’Affan, – when following his murder, the Prophet’s son-in-law and cousin, was eventually made the 4th Caliph.  He then moved the capital of the Islamic state from Medina [Saudi Arabia] to Kufa in Iraq.

     However, his Caliphate was opposed by Aisha, the wife of the Prophet Mohammad and daughter of Abu Bakr, who accused Ali of being lax in bringing Uthman’s killers to justice.  In 656 CE this dispute led to the Battle of the Camel in Basra in Southern Iraq, where Aisha was defeated. [1]

     Aisha later apologised to Ali, but it was too late as the clash had already created a divide in the community.  This is the basis of the divide, and the rest is history that led on to new wars, new leaders and widening divides as each factor fought one another for power, territory and continuous control.

 Extract from Trapped in a Masonic World – http://www.trappedinamasonicworld.co.uk

[1] “BBC – Religions – Islam: Sunni and Shi’a.” Insert Name of Site in Italics. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2011 http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/subdivisions/sunnishia_1.shtml

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