Sunni and Shia Islam part 2
As Ali becomes caliph, the Ummayads under the leadership of Muawiya refuse to recognize him, sparking the first Muslim Civil War. The increased division leads eventually to the Tragedy at Karbala which is a defining event for Shia Muslims.
Want to join the conversation?
- If all direct descendants of Mohammed were killed off, who do the Shi'a think should be their leader today? Or were there survivors from this massacre?
What are the doctrinal differences that keep Shi'a and Sunni apart today?(17 votes)
- first of all, because of Ali Ibn Abi Talib Ibn Abdul Muttalib, there are still some descendants left. Second of all, the Sunnis pray their salah separate, while Shias pray Dhur and Asr and Maghrib and Isha together. Shias fast a little longer than Sunnis in Ramadhan. the Shias pray using a brick instead of a rug because the Prophet (S) prayed on the ground. Shias wear a small recreation of Ali's sword engraved with Arabic words known as a Zulfiqar. Also, Baha'iism and other sects emerged from Shiism, whereas no other sect has come from Sunni Islam.(3 votes)
- Why did all of this happen? Didn't Muhammad choose a successor?(3 votes)
- It depends on your point of view - some would say that yes, Muhammed did name a successor during his sermon at Ghadir Khumm - Ali, born in around 601, who was Muhammed's cousin and son-in-law.
In the Ghadir Khumm sermon Muhammed stated that "Of whomsoever I had been Mawla (meaning leader/protector/friend), Ali here is to be his Mawla."
Shia Muslims interpret this to mean that Muhammed was designating Ali as the next caliph. Sunni Muslims, on the other hand, interpret it more loosely - they say that Muhammed was merely saying that Ali would inherit Muhammed's familial responsibilities, not his politcal power.(3 votes)
- What made the first fenta so irrelevant(2 votes)
- I would say that that the First Fitna was anything but irrelevant - it deepened the schism between Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims, a division that still affects relations between Muslim countries today (e.g., predominantly Shia Iran and Sunni-majority Iraq.)
You can read more about the First Fitna here:
- At1:00Muawiya isn't happy about the injustice of the assassins but what would have been done if he was the one in power?(1 vote)
- Why do the Shia believe the imams should rule at9:04when these imams are descendants of Muhammad? The Shia follow Ali, as mentioned in the first video.(0 votes)
- The reason that the Shia followed ali in the first place was because they thought that Muhammad appointed him as successor, and from this they believed that the caliphs should be relatives of Muhammad(PBUH). These imams were the next closest relatives of the Prophet.(2 votes)
- What happens in the period betwwen when Ali refuses not to be a caliph and his assasianation, because as Sal says the battle at Siffin and arbitration happened in 657 and Ali dies in 661. So, did he continue to rule after the battle of Siffin or the battle lasted so long?(0 votes)
- [Instructor] Where we left off in the last video we were in the year 656, and the third caliph, Uthman or Usman is assassinated, and Ali is chosen to be caliph. And remember, Shias believe that Ali should have been caliph immediately after the death of Mohammed, and they cite the events of Ghadir Khumm as evidence that that is what Mohammed intended. But Ali becomes caliph in 656, but this sparks what is called the First Fitna, or the first Muslim civil war. Because Uthman has a fellow member of the Umayyad clan, the Umayyad clan, they're also Quraysh, just like Mohammed's clan, the Hashem are also Quraysh, and Uthman's family member, Muawiya was has-been governor of Damascus since the time of the caliph Umar, and when Uthman is assassinated, Muawiya is not happy, and when Ali comes to power, he thinks that Ali is not making a solid effort to put the assassins to justice. And he refuses to pledge his allegiance to Ali as the caliph, now the other context here is that Muawiya has already built a significant military force, and that force is becoming stronger and stronger and stronger, and so this leads to a lot of tension. Muawiya wants Ali to bring the assassins of Uthman to justice, and Ali wants Muawiya to pledge allegiance to him, who is now caliph. Now just for a little bit extra context, Ali also decides to move the capital of the caliphate to Kufa, which is in modern day Iraq. Now things are getting increasingly tense and this is where we have Aisha entering into the picture, and we talk about Aisha in the previous video, she is one of Mohammed's wives, married at a very young age, and she is considered a very strong figure in early Islam. So she leads a delegation, really an army, in order to convince Ali to bring the assassins of Uthman to justice. The meet in Basra, once again in modern day Iraq, and while they're talking about, or negotiating what Ali needs to do, some of Ali's followers, as the narrative goes, were a little bit more extreme and really didn't want a peace brokered between Muawiya and Ali, and so they attack, and that's what leads to what is known as the Battle of the Camel, which is depicted here, named after Aisha's camel, and it becomes a very bloody battle. Aisha is really one of the leaders in this battle. Once again, you can imagine, a very very strong figure in early Islam, but Ali's forces are victorious, and they send Aisha back home and then she goes into something of a political retirement, and it is somewhat inconclusive. But then that leads later on to what is known as the Battle of Siffin, the Battle of the Camel was in 656, the Battle of Siffin is in 657, and in this situation, you once again have a delegation, or really an army on the side of Ali meeting an army directly now with Muawiya at Siffin. And once again, they are not fighting for roughly 100 days, they want to negotiate something, but some of the more ardent followers of Ali don't want any form of peace with Muawiya, so they attack Muawiya's army and you have a very bloody battle that ensues. Now both sides don't want all of this bloodshed in this burgeoning Muslim community, so they decide to let it be decided to arbitration. Now the arbitration, according to the accounts that I've looked at, say that they decided that neither Ali or Muawiya should be caliph and that it should be an election from the Muslim community. Now Ali refuses this, and what's interesting about this is the accounts I've seen is that those same zealous folks who you could say instigated the Battle of Siffin and the Battle of the Camel during this Muslim civil war, they're no longer trusting Ali that he can protect them, that he is the strong leader they need, and so they are the ones that then decide to assassinate, and are successful in assassinating Ali. So after the assassination of Ali, his son, Hassan, comes to power, officially as the caliph based in Kufa, but remember, you have this very powerful leader in Muawiya with a very significant military, leading or in control of the Levant and the governor of Syria. And so they enter into a treaty, clearly Hassan sees the writing on the wall, he can't really fight Muawiya by force, he really doesn't have strong control really much further than this region around Kufa, so he gets into a treaty with Muawiya where he gives control of the caliphate to Muawiya, and according to that treaty, as long as Muawiya allows the next caliph after his death to be based on some form of an election, let the Islamic world choose the successor afterwards. But then later Hassan, he goes into something of a retirement, he dies in his mid 40s, and some accounts say that he was assassinated, poisoned by his wife, maybe due to the Umayyads who didn't want him around, and then in 680, Muawiya dies. Now according to the treaty between Muawiya and Hassan, it should have been some form of an election there, but Muawiya says, or before his death, he makes Yazid the successor. And so Hussein, who is another son of Ali, Hassan's younger brother, and by this point Hassan is dead, he says hey, this is a breach of the treaty, and does not pledge his allegiance to Yazid. But there is a group in Kufa who say hey, we will support you, and so Hussein goes to Kufa but on the way there, and he is with his family, when Yazid catches wind of this, he sends an army to stop them, and Yazid's interest is essentially to eliminate Hussein and his family so that you don't have any other legitimate claimants to the caliphate, especially because, remember, Hussein is a living descendant of Mohammed. And so you then have this event where Yazid's forces intercept Hussein's caravan in Karbala, and this is known in the Shia tradition as the Tragedy of Karbala, because at Karbala, you have Hussein's family gets massacred. There is an account that his six month old son is beheaded and killed along with Hussein, and so this becomes he defining event of the Shia tradition, the tragedy of Karbala, we've already taught their belief that Ali should have been the caliph from the beginning, but now you have Yazid, proported caliph, who murders, who kills off, according to Shia tradition, a significant member of Mohammed's family and does this in bloody, bloody fashion. And so even to this day, a significant part of the Shia tradition is mourning what happens at the Battle of Karbala, and this is not a part of the Sunni tradition, the Sunni tradition views this as a tragedy, as an unfortunate event, but they do not view this as a significant part of their theology, and also as part of Shia tradition and theology, Battle of Karbala is the determining event, the thing that Shias mourn in their religious faith, and they also believe that the leadership of the community should be by imams who are descendant of Mohammed, which is not believed by the Sunnis.