Conservative and Reform Judaism are more liberal. Conservative Judaism follows a traditional interpretation of the religion. There are also secular Jews who do not follow rabbinical laws, yet consider themselves Jewish since they are born to a Jewish family and raised in the Jewish culture with a Jewish identity.
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The attractiveness of Sufism is also due to the fact that it does not ban modern means of entertainment, unveiling or mixed dancing and chanting. Rather, the difference between virtues and vice is not determined by appearance but by intent and action. However, Sufism started to come under attack particularly with the rise of Salafism.
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.
Over the following centuries, Hashashin appeared in other regions around the world although adherents became known as Nizaris, who constitute the majority of Ismaili Muslims. Today, the sect runs more than 140 for-profit and not-for-profit organizations spanning more than 30 countries to serve the Ismaili community. These organizations employ approximately 58,000 staff and about 20,000 volunteers.
Shamanism is practiced around the world and its followers are estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands in Europe, Asia, especially China and South Korea, Africa and South America. Many people have turned to shamans for treatment in the hope of finding spirits that can cure them of mental and physical illnesses that conventional medicine has not.
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.
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.