Spiritual

Unity and Diversity in Islam: The Sunni Shia Divide

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1. Unity and Diversity The Sunni / Shi’a Divide 2. Overview <ul><li>Unity in Islam </li></ul><ul><li>The Sunni / Shi’a split…
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  • 1. Unity and Diversity The Sunni / Shi’a Divide
  • 2. Overview <ul><li>Unity in Islam </li></ul><ul><li>The Sunni / Shi’a split </li></ul><ul><li>Wider issues </li></ul>
  • 3. Tawhid
  • 4. “ There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah”
  • 5. “ There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah” The shahada
  • 6. Say, ‘He is God the One, God the eternal. He fathered no one nor was he fathered. No one is comparable to him’ - The Qur’an, Sura 112
  • 7. Umma
  • 8. = the Muslim community (Watton / Karen Armstrong) = the ‘family’ of Islam (Maqsood) = community, nation (Sarwar)
  • 9. “ From that unity (tawhid) all other unities flow, including the unity of the whole human population as a single umma under God” - from What Muslims Believe John Bowker, 1995
  • 10. The Pre Islamic Era: “Jahilyya” <ul><li>No political organisation (except Yemen) </li></ul><ul><li>Nomads </li></ul><ul><li>no law or legal structure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>fear of vendetta </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>warring tribes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>polytheism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allah = a creator god </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ The Daughters of Allah’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>al-Dahr = Time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>idol worship </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ The old system, with its diffuse network of gods, involved multiple areas of divine sovereignity, with competing claims to sacrifice and cult worship” - D. Pinault, The Shiites , 1992 </li></ul>
  • 11. <ul><li>Shi’a </li></ul>Sunni Kharijis
  • 13. Muhammad died in 632CE, leaving a thorny problem <ul><li>What was the problem he left? </li></ul><ul><li>How were the four people on your cards involved? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you know about them? </li></ul>
  • 14. = cousin of
  • 15. The Twelve Imams
  • 16. Distinctive characteristics of Shi’a Islam <ul><li>Imam has God-related and God-derived authority. Characterised by ismah (sinlessness and infallibility) </li></ul><ul><li>Taqiyah elevated to a guiding principle for the Shi'a: when a government is too powerful to be resisted, a Shiite may have silent resitance in his heart while outwardly supporting it. </li></ul><ul><li>Theme of martyrdom (stemming from murder of ‘Ali and Husayn) </li></ul>
  • 17. Discussion questions: How can diversity in Islam be reconciled with the concept of a single umma? Is the division of religion into sects inevitable? If so, is the aim of religious unity ever a realistic one?
  • TA

    Jul 25, 2017
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