What is the difference between a sunni muslim and a shiah muslim?
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
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what is the difference between a sunni muslim and a shiah muslim?
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Difference between shia and Sunni
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 22 Surah Hajj verse 77-78:
O you who have believed, do ‘rukooh’ (bow down) and do ‘sajdah’ (prostration), and worship your Lord Allah Alone, and do righteous deeds: it may be that you attain true success! Exert your utmost for the cause of Allah, as one should. He has chosen you for His service, and has not laid on you any hardship in your religion. Therefore, be steadfast in the religion of your father Abraham. Allah had named you ‘muslims’ before this, and has named you (muslims) in this Quran also, so that the Messenger may be a witness in regard to you, and you may be witnesses in regard to the rest of mankind.
Allah is our witness brother, our Creator has chosen to call and name the believers as ‘muslim’; the prefixes of ‘shia’ and ‘sunni’ are no more than self-invented, man-made terms and have absolutely no basis or validity in the religion of Islam!
When both believe in the One and Only Lord as the Creator, Sustainer, and Cherisher of the heavens and the earth and all that is in between, when both believe in all the Prophets of Allah, when both believe that Mohamed (saws) was the Last and Final Messenger of Allah, when both believe with conviction in the Glorious Quran being the Last and Final Testament, when both believe in the concept of the Hereafter, when both believe in all the Angels, and when both believe in the Divine Qadr and Destiny….and when both claim to have submitted their wills to their Majestic Lord in Islam, then how is it possible that they are different!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 23 Surah Al-Mu’minun verse 52:And this ‘Ummah’ of yours is one ‘Ummah’, and I (Allah) am your Lord, so fear Me alone!
Thus my dear and beloved brother, instead of focusing on the differences, our role as true believers in Allah Subhanah and the Last Day, is to try and strive our utmost to bring this Muslim Ummah together as One Universal Brotherhood; and thus disregard the small and insignificant differences which the Shaytaan has sowed between the brothers in Islam.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 49 Surah Hujaraat verses 10:
The believers are the brothers of one another; so set the relations right between your brethren and fear Allah. It is expected that you will be shown Mercy.
Every muslim is aware of the declaration of Allah Subhanah that the believers are brothers; but unfortunately a majority of us are not aware of the very next command of our Lord Most Gracious…. ‘so set the relations right between your brethren’ ! Allah has Himself commanded the believers to set relations right between our brethren if they happen to differ on something, and fear Allah…. Allah is my witness brother, if the believers do this, it is expected that they will be shown the Magnanimous and Magnificent Mercy of the Lord Most Merciful.
Your Question: what is the difference between a sunni muslim and a shiah muslim?
Beloved brother in Islam, the Truth is there is no major difference between the muslims; and the differences which are created and exaggerated are so small and so insignificant, that they really do not matter too much! Allah is our witness brother, never ever will we be questioned on the Day of Judgment whether we were ‘Shias’ or ‘Sunnis’; but every single person will be asked and Judged whether he was one of those who submitted their wills to their Lord in Islam or not!
Our focus should always be on the similarities rather than the differences, and our striving should be to set relations right between our brethren, if indeed we are of those who are desperate to seek the Mercy of our Majestic and Supreme Lord.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,