Sunnah and Shi’a Conflict
Sunnah: follow the ways of Prophet Muhammad. They mainly believe in the holy quran as well as the hadith, Sayings of the prophet.
Shi’a; a Group. The group that follow Imam Ali because they believe he followed the teachings of Prophet Muhammad. They believe in the Quran, hadith as we as history books.
The History Conflicts between Sunnah and Shi’a
The situation between Sunnah and Shi’a is far more complicated. There are many different approaches of understanding this wide issue. This issue started after the Prophet Muhammad’s death and after the death of the first two Caliphs, Abu Baker Al-Siddiq and Omar Ibn Al-Katab. When Othaman Bin Affan became the third Caliph the situation between the two sides, Sunnah and Shi’a, was still stable. However, Othman Bin Affan was killed and His cousins claimed that Ali and his followers are the ones who are in charge of his death. Ali Ibn Abe Taleb became the fourth Caliph because he was chosen by the people.
The first war, the camel war” Al-jamal”, took place in albas’rah, Iraq, between Ali Ibn Abe Taleb and Muaiah Bin Abe Sufian, Othman’s cousin. It’s believed among the Sunnah that Muaiah wanted to avenge his cousin. However, many other perspectives claim that was he only taking advantage of his death in order to establish his own kingdom. Eventually Ali bin Abi Taleb was killed some say it was planned by Muaiah and some say that he was killed by other Arab tribes.
After the death of Ali, Hussian, Ali’s son, was chosen to be the fifth Caliph. However, Mauiah and his followers did not agree on this. Hussain decided to pass to Mauiah in order to prevent war and blood, but Mauiah had to agree to two conditions, which was Mauiah must not inherit the leadership to his sons and cousins as well as he must not establish his own kingdom because the Quranic Laws is against it. Mauiah did not follow these rules. Mauiah became the first king and he established his own empire that lasted one century. Before his death, he prepared the position to his son Yazzed Ibn Mauiah to be the next king. Hussian did not agree on Yazzed to be the next king because the people did not choose him as well as to be a king is against the Islamic teachings. The second war appeared between the two sides in Iraq, Karbala, which caused the death of Al-Hussian. Hussain’s head was chopped off and the leader of Yazzed army gave Hussain’s head to Yazzed.
How do Muslims Choose Their Leader and what are The Rules?
There are many different perspectives within the Sh’ia as well as the Sunnah. Sunnahs believe that leader should be chosen by the people through consultation then Mubaia’h, an old form of voting. Also, Many Sunnah believes that Ali should have been the leader after the prophet Muhammed. However, they believe that Abu Baker, Omar, and Othman are great leaders. Moving to Shi’a perspective, there are many sects within the Shi’a. Zaidi shi’a share almost the same believe with many Sunnah which is Ali should have been the leader after the prophet Muhammad, but they do not see the first three Caliphs as an issue and they believe that they are great leaders because they were chosen by the people. However, the 12 Imam Sh’ia as well as the Jarood Shi’a see that only Ali and his descendant must be leaders, and they believe it’s part of the faith in order to be Muslim. They claim that the first three Caliphs are enemies of Islam. This idea created the conflict between the Sunnah and Sh’ia because Sunnah admire, love, and respect almost all prophet Muhammad’s companions including Muaiah bin Abi Sufian as well as Yazeed bin Muaiah. This idea also created more hate between the two sides because Hussain and many of his followers were killed by Muaiah and his son Yazeed. For many Sunnah nowadays they rely on the Hadith, prophet Muhammad sayings, the highest authority law after the Quran, written by Muaiah. If the Sunnahs agree with Sh’ia in terms of Mauiah’s situation, it means that many laws will change.
What is the solution to end the conflict?
The only solution to solve the Shi’a and Sunni conflict is to focus on what is common between the two sides. The solution is the Holy Quran because both sides believe that the Quran is highest authority. In order to understand the solution more, it is important to know how the Quran was revealed. Whenever the prophet Muhammad goes through a situation that he cannot solve, a verse reveals in order to show him how to deal with the issue. The Quran is divided into two sections, Madinah and Makkiah. Focusing on only Madaniah chapters, the chapters revealed the city of Madinah when the prophet Muhammad was the leader, is mainly discuss politics in general. In chapter Shura, consultation, The Quran speaks about differences and how to deal with it. To be different is part of human’s lives, so the solution is to focus on the common approaches and leave the differences not only among Muslims, but as well as everyone else. Also, the Quran is against division, such as Sunnah and Shi’a as well as one of the chapters instructing the prophet Muhammad “Indeed, those who have divided their religion and become sects – you, [O Muhammad], are not [associated] with them in anything. Their affair is only [left] to Allah; then He will inform them about what they used to do”. The Quran is against the idea of Kings and establishing empires, which many Muslim countries have done and do have until nowadays. if the Sunni and Shi’a conflict based on religion, they would solve the issue easily;however, the issue is more about maintaining control, gaining power, and earn more wealth.