Results for Category: Religions

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The Three Branches of Shia Islam

Indeed, there is no clear line between the Sunnis and the Shiites, as there have been disagreement and disputes within each of these communities. All Shia Muslims believe in the Imamat – or spiritual leadership – of Ali, who was Prophet Muhammad’s son-in-law, but differences remain between different Shia sects. As we will see in this article, there have been leadership and succession disputes among the Shiites which have resulted in the emergence of different branches of Shia Islam.

Quranists, Islam’s Outcasts

Quranists are a small group of Muslims who regard the Koran as the only valid source of religious belief, guidance and law in Islam. They call themselves ‘the people of the Koran’ while their opponents call them ‘disruptors of the Prophet’s sunnah’. Quranists have long suffered persecution and non-recognition in the Middle East. Their rights have been curtailed and they have been the subject of attacks by governments and Islamic institutions.

Ramadan, the Holiest Month for Muslims

Muslims are obliged to fast during Ramadan – the fourth pillar of Islam – by refraining from eating, drinking, sexual intercourse and other whims between sunrise and sunset, i.e. between the prayers of fajr and maghrib. The exceptions to this obligation are sickness, travel and menstrual periods in the case of women. However, the fasting days missed must be made up at another time of the year or an animal sacrificed for breaking the fast.