Schisms in Islam
Schisms in Islam Several schools evolved among Muslims. The majority of Muslims belong to the school called Ahlul Sunnah Wal Jamaat. Shiites Muslims constitute the largest minority. The former follow the teachings of Prophet Muhammad as interpreted by the four Imams: Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Ahmed bin Hambal, Imam Malik and Imam Shafi. The latter follow the interpretation of the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, interpreted by Imam Ali and Imams from his family. The differences among Muslims occurred after the death of prophet Muhammad, in regard to his succession, and were of a political nature. The Sunni Muslims believe that the succession to Muhammad was left up to the people to decide, whereas the Shiites Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad had designated his cousin and son-in-law Ali as his successor. Since then kings, rulers, religious leaders have exploited these differences in order to achieve their selfish and material objectives. It must be emphasized that he fundamentals of the faith are common to all Muslims. All Muslims believe in One God. All Muslims follow one book, the Qur’an. All Muslims believe in Prophet Muhammad and strive to emulate him. All Muslims agree upon the basic tenets of Islam.