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Islamic sects and schools

In the religion of Islam, sects are not really "denominations," if that word is understood to mean various valid approaches to the same religion. The division between Muslim sects - mainly Sunni and Shia - is deeply rooted in Islamic history. Debates revolve around key historical figures and important core beliefs, all of which have significant implications for how Muslims are to live in the world today.

Members of one Islamic group do not usually recognize members of other groups as fellow Muslims, and open conflict between sects is not uncommon.

Yet, numerically, it could be said that Islam is less divided than many other faiths because the vast majority of the world's Muslims are Sunnis.

  • Ahmadiyya

    Ahmadiyya Islam was founded in 1889 by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (c. 1839-1908) in Qadian, Punjab, India. Ahmad claimed to be the appearance of the Messiah or, according to some sources, the manifestation of the prophet Muhammad and incarnation of Jesus and Krishna... full article →
  • Shi'a Islam

    Shi'a Islam encompasses most Muslims who are not counted among the Sunni. The division between Sunni and Shia dates to the death of the prophet Muhammad, when his followers were faced with the decision of who would be his successor as the leader of Islam... full article →
  • Sufism

    Sufism is less an Islamic sect than a mystical way of approaching the Islamic faith. It has been defined as "mystical Islamic belief and practice in which Muslims seek to find the truth of divine love and knowledge through direct personal experience of God... full article →
  • Sunni Islam

    With 940 million adherents out of about 1.1 billion Muslims, Sunni Islam is the largest Islamic sect. (Shia Muslims make up about 10% of all Muslims worldwide... full article →

Article Info

Title Islamic sects and schools
Last UpdatedNovember 21, 2016
URL www.religionfacts.com/islam/branches
Short URLrlft.co/1370
MLA Citation “Islamic sects and schools.” ReligionFacts.com. 21 Nov. 2016. Web. Accessed 22 Feb. 2017. <www.religionfacts.com/islam/branches>

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