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Islamic schools and branches

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Islamic schools and branches have different understandings of Islam. There are many different sects or denominations, schools of Islamic jurisprudence, and schools of Islamic theology, or ʿaqīdah (creed). Within Islamic groups themselves there may be differences, such as different orders (tariqa) within Sufism, and within Sunnī Islam different schools of theology (Atharī, Ashʿarī, Māturīdī) and jurisprudence (Ḥanafī, Mālikī, Shāfiʿī, Ḥanbalī).[1] Groups in Islam may be numerous (the largest branches are Shīʿas and Sunnīs), or relatively small in size (Ibadis, Zaydīs, Ismāʿīlīs). Differences between the groups may not be well known to Muslims outside of scholarly circles, or may have induced enough passion to have resulted in political and religious violence (Barelvi, Deobandi, Salafism, Wahhabism).[2][3][4][5] There are informal movements driven by ideas (such as Islamic modernism and Islamism) as well as organized groups with a governing body (Ahmadiyya, Ismāʿīlism, Nation of Islam). Some of the Islamic sects and groups regard certain others as deviant or accuse them of being not truly Muslim (for example, Sunnīs frequently discriminate Ahmadiyya, Alawites, Quranists, and Shīʿas).[2][3][4][5] Some Islamic sects and groups date back to the early history of Islam between the 7th and 9th centuries CE (Kharijites, Sunnīs, Shīʿas), whereas others have arisen much more recently (Islamic neo-traditionalism, liberalism and progressivism, Islamic modernism, Salafism and Wahhabism) or even in the 20th century (Nation of Islam). Still others were influential in their time but are not longer in existence (non-Ibadi Kharijites, Muʿtazila, Murji'ah). Muslims who do not belong to, do not self-identify with, or cannot be readily classified under one of the identifiable Islamic schools and branches are known as non-denominational Muslims.

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Islam

Islam

Islam is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centered around the Quran and the teachings of Muhammad. Adherents of Islam, called Muslims, number approximately 1.9 billion globally and are the world's second-largest religious population after Christians.

Aqidah

Aqidah

Aqidah is an Islamic term of Arabic origin that literally means "creed". It is also called Islamic creed and Islamic theology.

Ash'ari

Ash'ari

Ashʿarī theology or Ashʿarism is one of the main Sunnī schools of Islamic theology, founded by the Arab Muslim scholar, Shāfiʿī jurist, reformer, and scholastic theologian Abū al-Ḥasan al-Ashʿarī in the 9th–10th century. It established an orthodox guideline based on scriptural authority, rationality, and theological rationalism.

Hanafi

Hanafi

The Hanafi school, Hanafism, or the Hanafi fiqh, is the oldest and one of the four traditional major Sunni schools (madhhab) of Islamic Law (Fiqh). It is named after the 8th century Kufan scholar, Abu Hanifa, a Tabi‘i of Persian origin whose legal views were preserved primarily by his two most important disciples, Imam Abu Yusuf and Muhammad al-Shaybani. It is considered one of the most widely accepted maddhab amongst Sunni Muslim community and is called the Madhhab of Jurists. Most of the later and modern day Ahnaf, plural of Hanafi follows Maturidi theology.

Hanbali

Hanbali

The Hanbali school is one of the four major traditional Sunni schools (madhahib) of Islamic jurisprudence. It is named after the Arab scholar Ahmad ibn Hanbal, and was institutionalized by his students. The Hanbali madhhab is the smallest of four major Sunni schools, the others being the Hanafi, Maliki and Shafi`i.

Ibadi Islam

Ibadi Islam

The Ibadi movement or Ibadism is a school of Islam. The followers of Ibadism are known as the Ibadis.

Islamic modernism

Islamic modernism

Islamic modernism is a movement that has been described as "the first Muslim ideological response to the Western cultural challenge" attempting to reconcile the Islamic faith with modern values such as democracy, civil rights, rationality, equality, and progress. It featured a "critical reexamination of the classical conceptions and methods of jurisprudence" and a new approach to Islamic theology and Quranic exegesis (Tafsir). A contemporary definition describes it as an "effort to re-read Islam's fundamental sources—the Qur'an and the Sunna, —by placing them in their historical context, and then reinterpreting them, non-literally, in the light of the modern context."

Islamism

Islamism

Islamism is a religio-political ideology which posits that modern states and regions should be reconstituted in constitutional, economic and judicial terms, in accordance with what is conceived as a revival or a return to authentic Islamic practice in its totality.

Ahmadiyya

Ahmadiyya

Ahmadiyya, officially the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community or the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at, is an Islamic revival or messianic movement originating in Punjab, British India, in the late 19th century. It was founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835–1908), who claimed to have been divinely appointed as both the Promised Mahdi and Messiah expected by Muslims to appear towards the end times and bring about, by peaceful means, the final triumph of Islam; as well as to embody, in this capacity, the expected eschatological figure of other major religious traditions. Adherents of the Ahmadiyya—a term adopted expressly in reference to Muhammad's alternative name Aḥmad—are known as Ahmadi Muslims or simply Ahmadis.

Alawites

Alawites

The Alawis, Alawites, or pejoratively Nusayris are an ethnoreligious group that lives primarily in the Levant and follows Alawism, a sect of Islam that originated from Shia Islam. The Alawites venerate Ali ibn Abi Talib, revered as the first Imam in the Twelver school, as the physical manifestation of God. The group is believed to have been founded by Ibn Nusayr during the 9th century. Ibn Nusayr was a disciple of the tenth Twelver Imam, Ali al-Hadi and of the eleventh Twelver Imam, Hasan al-Askari. For this reason, Alawites are also called Nusayris.

Islamic neo-traditionalism

Islamic neo-traditionalism

Islamic neo-traditionalism is a contemporary strand of Sunni Islam that emphasizes adherence to the four principal Sunni schools of law (madhahib), belief in the Ash'ari and Maturidi schools of theology, the practice of tasawuff (Sufism) and initiating into a Tariqah, which its followers consider to be representative of the classical Sunni tradition. While believing in the authority of the four Sunni schools of law; the neo-traditionalists do not strictly adhere to one of the schools and are receptive to multiple legal schools for juristic interpretations. Opinions from the era of Sahaba (companions) and the books of pre-madhab scholars are also widely referenced when issuing fatwas.

International propagation of Salafism and Wahhabism

International propagation of Salafism and Wahhabism

Starting in the mid-1970s and 1980s, the international propagation of Salafism and Wahhabism within Sunni Islam favored by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies has achieved what the French political scientist Gilles Kepel defined as a "preeminent position of strength in the global expression of Islam." Until the 1990s Saudi break-up with Muslim Brotherhood, interpretations included not only Salafiyya Islam of Saudi Arabia, but also Islamist/revivalist Islam, and a "hybrid" of the two interpretations.

Overview

Diagram showing the various branches of Islam: Sunnīsm, Shīʿīsm, Ibadism, Quranism, Non-denominational Muslims, Mahdavia, Ahmadiyya, Nation of Islam, and Sufism.
Diagram showing the various branches of Islam: Sunnīsm, Shīʿīsm, Ibadism, Quranism, Non-denominational Muslims, Mahdavia, Ahmadiyya, Nation of Islam, and Sufism.

The original schism between Kharijites, Sunnīs, and Shīʿas among Muslims was disputed over the political and religious succession to the guidance of the Muslim community (Ummah) after the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.[6] From their essentially political position, the Kharijites developed extreme doctrines that set them apart from both mainstream Sunnī and Shīʿa Muslims.[6] Shīʿas believe ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib is the true successor to Muhammad, while Sunnīs consider Abu Bakr to hold that position. The Kharijites broke away from both the Shīʿas and the Sunnīs during the First Fitna (the first Islamic Civil War);[6] they were particularly noted for adopting a radical approach to takfīr (excommunication), whereby they declared both Sunnī and Shīʿa Muslims to be either infidels (kuffār) or false Muslims (munāfiḳūn), and therefore deemed them worthy of death for their perceived apostasy (ridda).[6]

In addition, there are several differences within Sunnī and Shīʿa Islam: Sunnī Islam is separated into four main schools of jurisprudence, namely Mālikī, Ḥanafī, Shāfiʿī, and Ḥanbalī; these schools are named after their founders Mālik ibn Anas, Abū Ḥanīfa al-Nuʿmān, Muḥammad ibn Idrīs al-Shāfiʿī
, and Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, respectively.[1] Shīʿa Islam, on the other hand, is separated into three major sects: Twelvers, Ismāʿīlīs, and Zaydīs. The vast majority of Shīʿa Muslims are Twelvers (a 2012 estimate puts the figure as 85%),[7] to the extent that the term "Shīʿa" frequently refers to Twelvers by default. All mainstream Twelver and Ismāʿīlī Shīʿa Muslims follow the same school of thought, the Jaʽfari jurisprudence, named after Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq, the sixth Shīʿīte Imam.

Zaydīs, also known as Fivers, follow the Zaydī school of thought (named after Zayd ibn ʿAlī). Ismāʿīlīsm is another offshoot of Shīʿa Islam that later split into Nizārī and Musta‘lī, and the Musta‘lī further divided into Ḥāfiẓi and Ṭayyibi.[8] Ṭayyibi Ismāʿīlīs, also known as "Bohras", are split between Dawudi Bohras, Sulaymani Bohras, and Alavi Bohras.[9]

Similarly, Kharijites were initially divided into five major branches: Sufris, Azariqa, Najdat, Adjarites, and Ibadis. Of these, Ibadi Muslims are the only surviving branch of Kharijites. In addition to the aforementioned groups, new schools of thought and movements like Ahmadi Muslims, Quranist Muslims, and African-American Muslims later emerged independently.

Muslims who do not belong to, do not self-identify with, or cannot be readily classified under one of the identifiable Islamic schools and branches are known as non-denominational Muslims.

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History of Islam

History of Islam

The history of Islam concerns the political, social, economic, military, and cultural developments of the Islamic civilization. Most historians believe that Islam originated in Mecca and Medina at the start of the 7th century CE. Muslims regard Islam as a return to the original faith of the Abrahamic prophets, such as Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, and Jesus, with the submission (Islām) to the will of God.

Political aspects of Islam

Political aspects of Islam

Political aspects of Islam are derived from the Quran, ḥadīth literature, and sunnah, the history of Islam, and elements of political movements outside Islam. Traditional political concepts in Islam include leadership by elected or selected successors to Muhammad, known as Caliphs in Sunnī Islam and Imams in Shīʿa Islam; the importance of following the Islamic law (sharīʿa); the duty of rulers to seek consultation (shūrā) from their subjects; and the importance of rebuking unjust rulers.

Shia–Sunni relations

Shia–Sunni relations

The origin of Shia–Sunni relations can be traced back to a dispute over the succession to the Islamic prophet Muhammad as a caliph of the Islamic community. After the death of Muhammad in 632, a group of Muslims, who would come to be known as the Sunnis, believed that Muhammad's successor should be Abu Bakr, whereas a second group of Muslims, who would come to be known as the Shias, believed that his successor should have been Ali. This dispute spread across various parts of the Muslim world, which eventually led to the Battle of Jamal and Battle of Siffin. Sectarianism based on this historic dispute intensified greatly after the Battle of Karbala, in which Husayn ibn Ali and some of his close partisans, including members of his household, were killed by the ruling Umayyad Caliph Yazid I, and the outcry for revenge divided the early Islamic community, albeit disproportionately, into two groups, the Sunni and the Shia. This is known today as the Islamic schism.

Shia Islam

Shia Islam

Shīʿa Islam or Shīʿīsm is the second-largest branch of Islam. It holds that the Islamic prophet Muhammad designated ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib as his successor (khalīfa) and the Imam after him, most notably at the event of Ghadir Khumm, but was prevented from succeeding Muhammad as the leader of the Muslims as a result of the choice made by some of Muhammad's other companions (ṣaḥāba) at Saqifah. This view primarily contrasts with that of Sunnī Islam, whose adherents believe that Muhammad did not appoint a successor before his death and consider Abū Bakr, who was appointed caliph by a group of senior Muslims at Saqifah, to be the first rightful (rāshidūn) caliph after Muhammad. Adherents of Shīʿa Islam are called Shīʿa Muslims, Shīʿītes, or simply Shīʿa or Shia.

Ibadi Islam

Ibadi Islam

The Ibadi movement or Ibadism is a school of Islam. The followers of Ibadism are known as the Ibadis.

Quranism

Quranism

Quranism is a movement within Islam. It holds the belief that traditional religious clergy has corrupted religion, and Islamic guidance should be based strictly on the Quran, thus opposing the religious authority of all or most of the hadith literature and extra non-Quranic sources. Quranists believe that religious laws already in the Quran are clear and complete, and can be understood without referencing outside texts. Quranists claim that the vast majority of hadith literature may be fabrications, and that the Quran itself criticizes the hadith both in the technical sense and the general sense. In the Muslim world, Quranists have faced opposition and have been labeled as "animals" and "apostates" in fatwas issued against them. In several countries, being a Quranist is punishable by death and/or torture. Quranist authors who fear for their lives write anonymously or under a pseudonym.

Non-denominational Muslim

Non-denominational Muslim

Non-denominational Muslims are Muslims who do not belong to, do not self-identify with, or cannot be readily classified under one of the identifiable Islamic schools and branches.

Mahdavia

Mahdavia

Mahdavia or Mahdavism is an Islamic movement founded by Syed Muhammad Jaunpuri in India in the late 15th century. Syed Muhammad claimed to be Mahdi at the holy city of Mecca, in front of the Kaaba in 1496, and is revered as such by the Mahdavia community.

Ahmadiyya

Ahmadiyya

Ahmadiyya, officially the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community or the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at, is an Islamic revival or messianic movement originating in Punjab, British India, in the late 19th century. It was founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835–1908), who claimed to have been divinely appointed as both the Promised Mahdi and Messiah expected by Muslims to appear towards the end times and bring about, by peaceful means, the final triumph of Islam; as well as to embody, in this capacity, the expected eschatological figure of other major religious traditions. Adherents of the Ahmadiyya—a term adopted expressly in reference to Muhammad's alternative name Aḥmad—are known as Ahmadi Muslims or simply Ahmadis.

Nation of Islam

Nation of Islam

The Nation of Islam (NOI) is a religious and political organization founded in the United States by Wallace Fard Muhammad in 1930. A black nationalist organization, the NOI focuses its attention on the African diaspora, especially on African Americans. While it identifies itself as promoting a form of Islam, its beliefs differ considerably from mainstream Islamic traditions. Scholars of religion characterize it as a new religious movement. It operates as a centralized and hierarchical organization.

Kharijites

Kharijites

The Kharijites, also called al-Shurat, were an Islamic sect which emerged during the First Fitna (656–661). The first Kharijites were supporters of Ali who rebelled against his acceptance of arbitration talks to settle the conflict with his challenger, Mu'awiya, at the Battle of Siffin in 657. They asserted that "judgment belongs to God alone", which became their motto, and that rebels such as Mu'awiya had to be fought and overcome according to Qur'anic injunctions. Ali defeated the Kharijites at the Battle of Nahrawan in 658, but their insurrection continued. Ali was assassinated in 661 by a Kharijite seeking revenge for the defeat at Nahrawan.

Muslims

Muslims

Muslims are people who adhere to Islam, a monotheistic religion belonging to the Abrahamic tradition. They consider the Quran, the foundational religious text of Islam, to be the verbatim word of the God of Abraham as it was revealed to Muhammad, the main Islamic prophet. The majority of Muslims also follow the teachings and practices of Muhammad (sunnah) as recorded in traditional accounts (hadith).

Main branches or denominations

Geographical distribution of the main three Islamic branches and their schools of jurisprudence: .mw-parser-output .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}  Shīʿīsm – Jaʿfari, Ismāʿīlī, Zaydī  Sunnīsm – Ḥanafī, Mālikī, Shāfiʿī, Ḥanbalī  Ibadism
Geographical distribution of the main three Islamic branches and their schools of jurisprudence:

Demographic distribution of the main three Islamic branches:

  Sunnīsm (85%)
  Shīʿīsm[10] (15%)
  Ibadism and others (0.5%)

Sunnī Islam

Sunnī Islam, also known as Ahl as-Sunnah waʾl Jamāʾah or simply Ahl as-Sunnah, is by far the largest denomination of Islam, comprising around 85% of the Muslim population in the world. The term Sunnī comes from the word sunnah, which means the teachings, actions, and examples of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his companions (ṣaḥāba).

Sunnīs believe that Muhammad did not specifically appoint a successor to lead the Muslim community (Ummah) before his death in 632 CE, however they approve of the private election of the first companion, Abū Bakr.[11][12] Sunnī Muslims regard the first four caliphs—Abū Bakr (632–634), ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb (Umar І, 634–644), ʿUthmān ibn ʿAffān (644–656), and ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib (656–661)—as al-Khulafā'ur-Rāshidūn ("the Rightly-Guided Caliphs"). Sunnīs also believe that the position of caliph may be attained democratically, on gaining a majority of the votes, but after the Rashidun, the position turned into a hereditary dynastic rule because of the divisions started by the Umayyads and others. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1923, there has never been another caliph as widely recognized in the Muslim world.

Followers of the classical Sunnī schools of jurisprudence and kalām (rationalistic theology) on one hand, and Islamists and Salafists such as Wahhabis and Ahle Hadith, who follow a literalist reading of early Islamic sources, on the other, have laid competing claims to represent the "orthodox" Sunnī Islam.[13] Anglophone Islamic currents of the former type are sometimes referred to as "traditional Islam".[14] Islamic modernism is an offshoot of the Salafi movement that tried to integrate modernism into Islam by being partially influenced by modern-day attempts to revive the ideas of the Muʿtazila school by Islamic scholars such as Muhammad Abduh.

Shīʿa Islam

Shīʿa Islam is the second-largest denomination of Islam, comprising around 10–15%[15] of the total Muslim population.[16] Although a minority in the Muslim world, Shīʿa Muslims constitute the majority of the Muslim populations in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain, and Azerbaijan, as well as significant minorities in Syria, Turkey, South Asia, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia, as well as in other parts of the Persian Gulf.[17]

In addition to believing in the supreme authority of the Quran and teachings of Muhammad, Shīʿa Muslims believe that Muhammad's family, the Ahl al-Bayt ("People of the Household"), including his descendants known as Imams, have distinguished spiritual and political authority over the community,[18] and believe that ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib, Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, was the first of these Imams and the rightful successor to Muhammad, and thus reject the legitimacy of the first three Rāshidūn caliphs.[19]

Major sub-denominations

Ghulat movements

Shīʿīte groups and movements who either ascribe divine characteristics to some important figures in the history of Islam (usually members of Muhammad's family, the Ahl al-Bayt) or hold beliefs deemed deviant by mainstream Shīʿa Muslims were designated as Ghulat.[38]

Non-denominational Muslims

Non-denominational Muslims (Arabic: مسلمون بلا طائفة, romanizedMuslimūn bi-la ṭā’ifa) are Muslims who do not belong to, do not self-identify with, or cannot be readily classified under one of the identifiable Islamic schools and branches.[39][40][41][42]

Non-denominational Muslims make up a majority of the Muslims in eight countries (and a plurality in three others): Albania (65%), Kyrgyzstan (64%), Kosovo (58%), Indonesia (56%), Mali (55%), Bosnia and Herzegovina (54%), Uzbekistan (54%), Azerbaijan (45%), Russia (45%), and Nigeria (42%).[43] They are found primarily in Central Asia.[43] Kazakhstan has the largest number of non-denominational Muslims, who constitute about 74% of the population.[43] Southeastern Europe also has a large number of non-denominational Muslims.[43]

Kharijite Islam

Kharijite (literally, "those who seceded") are an extinct sect who originated during the First Fitna, the struggle for political leadership over the Muslim community, following the assassination in 656 of the third caliph Uthman.[44][6] Kharijites originally supported the caliphate of Ali, but then later on fought against him and eventually succeeded in his martyrdom while he was praying in the mosque of Kufa. While there are few remaining Kharijite or Kharijite-related groups, the term is sometimes used to denote Muslims who refuse to compromise with those with whom they disagree.

Sufris were a major sub-sect of Kharijite in the 7th and 8th centuries, and a part of the Kharijites. Nukkari was a sub-sect of Sufris. Harūrīs were an early Muslim sect from the period of the Four Rightly-Guided Caliphs (632–661 CE), named for their first leader, Habīb ibn-Yazīd al-Harūrī. Azariqa, Najdat, and Adjarites were minor sub-sects.

Ibadi Islam

The only Kharijite sub-sect extant today is Ibadism, which developed out of the 7th century CE. There are currently two geographically separated Ibadi groups—in Oman, where they constitute the majority of the Muslim population in the country, and in North Africa where they constitute significant minorities in Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya. Similarly to another Muslim minority, the Zaydīs, "in modern times" they have "shown a strong tendency" to move towards the Sunnī branch of Islam.[20]

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Shia Islam

Shia Islam

Shīʿa Islam or Shīʿīsm is the second-largest branch of Islam. It holds that the Islamic prophet Muhammad designated ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib as his successor (khalīfa) and the Imam after him, most notably at the event of Ghadir Khumm, but was prevented from succeeding Muhammad as the leader of the Muslims as a result of the choice made by some of Muhammad's other companions (ṣaḥāba) at Saqifah. This view primarily contrasts with that of Sunnī Islam, whose adherents believe that Muhammad did not appoint a successor before his death and consider Abū Bakr, who was appointed caliph by a group of senior Muslims at Saqifah, to be the first rightful (rāshidūn) caliph after Muhammad. Adherents of Shīʿa Islam are called Shīʿa Muslims, Shīʿītes, or simply Shīʿa or Shia.

Isma'ilism

Isma'ilism

Isma'ilism is a branch or sub-sect of Shia Islam. The Isma'ili get their name from their acceptance of Imam Isma'il ibn Jafar as the appointed spiritual successor (imām) to Ja'far al-Sadiq, wherein they differ from the Twelver Shia, who accept Musa al-Kadhim, the younger brother of Isma'il, as the true Imām.

Zaydism

Zaydism

Zaydism is a unique branch of Shia Islam that emerged in the eighth century following Zayd ibn Ali‘s unsuccessful rebellion against the Umayyad Caliphate. In contrast to other Shia Muslims of Twelver Shi'ism and Isma'ilism, Zaydis, also sometimes incorrectly called Fivers, consider Zayd to be the Imam to whom obedience is obligatory, due to him being a patrilinial descendent of Fatima and making the Call (Dawah) to jihad, two necessary qualities for an Imam of Obedience for the Zaydis.

Sunni Islam

Sunni Islam

Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam, followed by 85–90% of the world's Muslims. Its name comes from the word Sunnah, referring to the tradition of Muhammad. The differences between Sunni and Shia Muslims arose from a disagreement over the succession to Muhammad and subsequently acquired broader political significance, as well as theological and juridical dimensions. According to Sunni traditions, Muhammad left no successor and the participants of the Saqifah event appointed Abu Bakr as the next-in-line. This contrasts with the Shia view, which holds that Muhammad appointed his son-in-law and cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor.

Hanafi

Hanafi

The Hanafi school, Hanafism, or the Hanafi fiqh, is the oldest and one of the four traditional major Sunni schools (madhhab) of Islamic Law (Fiqh). It is named after the 8th century Kufan scholar, Abu Hanifa, a Tabi‘i of Persian origin whose legal views were preserved primarily by his two most important disciples, Imam Abu Yusuf and Muhammad al-Shaybani. It is considered one of the most widely accepted maddhab amongst Sunni Muslim community and is called the Madhhab of Jurists. Most of the later and modern day Ahnaf, plural of Hanafi follows Maturidi theology.

Maliki

Maliki

The Mālikī school is one of the four major schools of Islamic jurisprudence within Sunni Islam. It was founded by Malik ibn Anas in the 8th century. The Maliki school of jurisprudence relies on the Quran and hadiths as primary sources. Unlike other Islamic fiqhs, Maliki fiqh also considers the consensus of the people of Medina to be a valid source of Islamic law.

Hanbali

Hanbali

The Hanbali school is one of the four major traditional Sunni schools (madhahib) of Islamic jurisprudence. It is named after the Arab scholar Ahmad ibn Hanbal, and was institutionalized by his students. The Hanbali madhhab is the smallest of four major Sunni schools, the others being the Hanafi, Maliki and Shafi`i.

Ibadi Islam

Ibadi Islam

The Ibadi movement or Ibadism is a school of Islam. The followers of Ibadism are known as the Ibadis.

Religious denomination

Religious denomination

A religious denomination is a subgroup within a religion that operates under a common name and tradition among other activities. The term refers to the various Christian denominations. It is also used to describe the five major branches of Judaism. Within Islam, it can refer to the branches or sects, as well as their various subdivisions such as sub-sects, schools of jurisprudence, schools of theology and religious movements.

Sunnah

Sunnah

In Islam, sunnah, also spelled sunna, are the traditions and practices of the Islamic prophet Muhammad that constitute a model for Muslims to follow. The sunnah is what all the Muslims of Muhammad's time evidently saw and followed and passed on to the next generations. According to classical Islamic theories, the sunnah are documented by hadith, and along with the Quran, are the divine revelation (Wahy) delivered through Muhammad that make up the primary sources of Islamic law and belief/theology. Differing from Sunni classical Islamic theories are those of Shia Muslims, who hold that the Twelve Imams interpret the sunnah, and Sufi who hold that Muhammad transmitted the values of sunnah "through a series of Sufi teachers."

Muhammad

Muhammad

Muhammad was an Arab religious, social, and political leader and the founder of Islam. According to Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet divinely inspired to preach and confirm the monotheistic teachings of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets. He is believed to be the Seal of the Prophets within Islam. Muhammad united Arabia into a single Muslim polity, with the Quran as well as his teachings and practices forming the basis of Islamic religious belief.

Companions of the Prophet

Companions of the Prophet

The Companions of the Prophet were the disciples and followers of Muhammad who saw or met him during his lifetime, while being a Muslim and were physically in his presence. "Al-ṣaḥāba" is definite plural; the indefinite singular is masculine صَحَابِيٌّ, feminine صَحَابِيَّةٌ.

Schools of Islamic jurisprudence

Geographical distribution of the schools of Islamic jurisprudence in the Muslim world[45]
Geographical distribution of the schools of Islamic jurisprudence in the Muslim world[45]

Islamic schools of jurisprudence, known as madhhab, differ in the methodology they use to derive their rulings from the Quran, ḥadīth literature, the sunnah (accounts of the sayings and living habits attributed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad during his lifetime), and the tafsīr literature (exegetical commentaries on the Quran).

Sunnī

Sunnī Islam contains numerous schools of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) and schools of Islamic theology (ʿaqīdah).[1] In terms of religious jurisprudence (fiqh), Sunnism contains several schools of thought (madhhab):[1]

In terms of religious creed (ʿaqīdah), Sunnism contains several schools of theology:[1]

The Salafi movement is a conservative reform branch and/or revivalist movement within Sunnī Islam whose followers don't believe in strictly following one particular madhhab. They include the Wahhabi movement, an Islamic doctrine and religious movement founded by Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab, and the modern Ahle Hadith movement, whose followers call themselves Ahl al-Ḥadīth.

Shīʿa

In Shīʿa Islam, the major Shīʿīte school of jurisprudence is the Jaʿfari or Imāmī school,[47] named after Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq, the sixth Shīʿīte Imam. The Jaʿfari jurisprudence is further divided into two branches: the Usuli school, which favors the exercise of ijtihad,[48] and the Akhbari school, which holds the traditions (aḵbār) of the Shīʿīte Imams to be the main source of religious knowledge.[49] Minor Shīʿa schools of jurisprudence include the Ismāʿīlī school (Mustaʿlī-Fāṭimid Ṭayyibi Ismāʿīlīs) and the Zaydī school, both of which have closer affinity to Sunnī jurisprudence.[47][50][51] Shīʿīte clergymen and jurists usually carry the title of mujtahid (i.e., someone authorized to issue legal opinions in Shīʿa Islam).

Ibadi

The fiqh or jurisprudence of Ibadis is relatively simple. Absolute authority is given to the Quran and ḥadīth literature; new innovations accepted on the basis of qiyas (analogical reasoning) were rejected as bid'ah (heresy) by the Ibadis. That differs from the majority of Sunnīs,[52] but agrees with most Shīʿa schools[53] and with the Ẓāhirī and early Ḥanbalī schools of Sunnism.[54][55][56]

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Fiqh

Fiqh

Fiqh is Islamic jurisprudence. Fiqh is often described as the human understanding and practices of the sharia, that is human understanding of the divine Islamic law as revealed in the Quran and the Sunnah. Fiqh expands and develops Shariah through interpretation (ijtihad) of the Quran and Sunnah by Islamic jurists (ulama) and is implemented by the rulings (fatwa) of jurists on questions presented to them. Thus, whereas sharia is considered immutable and infallible by Muslims, fiqh is considered fallible and changeable. Fiqh deals with the observance of rituals, morals and social legislation in Islam as well as political system. In the modern era, there are four prominent schools (madh'hab) of fiqh within Sunni practice, plus two within Shi'a practice. A person trained in fiqh is known as a faqīh.

Madhhab

Madhhab

A Madhhab is a school of thought within fiqh.

Muslim world

Muslim world

The terms Muslim world and Islamic world commonly refer to the Islamic community, which is also known as the Ummah. This consists of all those who adhere to the religious beliefs and laws of Islam or to societies in which Islam is practiced. In a modern geopolitical sense, these terms refer to countries in which Islam is widespread, although there are no agreed criteria for inclusion. The term Muslim-majority countries is an alternative often used for the latter sense.

Principles of Islamic jurisprudence

Principles of Islamic jurisprudence

Principles of Islamic jurisprudence, also known as uṣūl al-fiqh, are traditional methodological principles used in Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) for deriving the rulings of Islamic law (sharia).

Ahkam

Ahkam

Ahkam is an Islamic term with several meanings. In the Quran, the word hukm is variously used to mean arbitration, judgement, authority, or God's will. In the early Islamic period, the Kharijites gave it political connotations by declaring that they accept only the hukm of God. The word acquired new meanings in the course of Islamic history, being used to refer to worldly executive power or to a court decision.

Quran

Quran

The Quran, also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text of Islam, believed by Muslims to be a revelation from God. It is organized in 114 chapters, which consist of verses. In addition to its religious significance, it is widely regarded as the finest work in Arabic literature, and has significantly influenced the Arabic language.

Hadith

Hadith

Ḥadīth or Athar refers to what most Muslims and the mainstream schools of Islamic thought, believe to be a record of the words, actions, and the silent approval of the Islamic prophet Muhammad as transmitted through chains of narrators. In other words, the ḥadīth are transmitted reports attributed to what Muhammad said and did.

Sunnah

Sunnah

In Islam, sunnah, also spelled sunna, are the traditions and practices of the Islamic prophet Muhammad that constitute a model for Muslims to follow. The sunnah is what all the Muslims of Muhammad's time evidently saw and followed and passed on to the next generations. According to classical Islamic theories, the sunnah are documented by hadith, and along with the Quran, are the divine revelation (Wahy) delivered through Muhammad that make up the primary sources of Islamic law and belief/theology. Differing from Sunni classical Islamic theories are those of Shia Muslims, who hold that the Twelve Imams interpret the sunnah, and Sufi who hold that Muhammad transmitted the values of sunnah "through a series of Sufi teachers."

Muhammad

Muhammad

Muhammad was an Arab religious, social, and political leader and the founder of Islam. According to Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet divinely inspired to preach and confirm the monotheistic teachings of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets. He is believed to be the Seal of the Prophets within Islam. Muhammad united Arabia into a single Muslim polity, with the Quran as well as his teachings and practices forming the basis of Islamic religious belief.

Tafsir

Tafsir

Tafsir refers to exegesis, usually of the Quran. An author of a tafsir is a mufassir. A Quranic tafsir attempts to provide elucidation, explanation, interpretation, context or commentary for clear understanding and conviction of God's will.

Sunni Islam

Sunni Islam

Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam, followed by 85–90% of the world's Muslims. Its name comes from the word Sunnah, referring to the tradition of Muhammad. The differences between Sunni and Shia Muslims arose from a disagreement over the succession to Muhammad and subsequently acquired broader political significance, as well as theological and juridical dimensions. According to Sunni traditions, Muhammad left no successor and the participants of the Saqifah event appointed Abu Bakr as the next-in-line. This contrasts with the Shia view, which holds that Muhammad appointed his son-in-law and cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor.

Schools of Islamic theology

Aqidah is an Islamic term meaning "creed", doctrine, or article of faith.[57][58] There have existed many schools of Islamic theology, not all of which survive to the present day. Major themes of theological controversies in Islam have included predestination and free will, the nature of the Quran, the nature of the divine attributes, apparent and esoteric meaning of scripture, and the role of dialectical reasoning in the Islamic doctrine.

Sunni

Classical

Kalām is the Islamic philosophy of seeking theological principles through dialectic. In Arabic, the word literally means "speech/words". A scholar of kalām is referred to as a mutakallim (Muslim theologian; plural mutakallimūn). There are many schools of Kalam, the main ones being the Ashʿarī and Māturīdī schools in Sunni Islam.[59]

Ashʿarī

Ashʿarīsm is a school of theology founded by Abū al-Ḥasan al-Ashʿarī in the 10th century. The Ashʿarīte view was that comprehension of the unique nature and characteristics of God were beyond human capability. Ashʿarī theology is considered one of the orthodox creeds of Sunni Islam alongside the Māturīdī theology.[59] Historically, the Ashʿarī theology prevails in Sufism and was originally associated with the Ḥanbalī school of Islamic jurisprudence.[59]

Māturīdī

Māturīdism is a school of theology founded by Abū Manṣūr al-Māturīdī in the 10th century, which is a close variant of the Ashʿarī school. Māturīdī theology is considered one of the orthodox creeds of Sunni Islam alongside the Ashʿarī theology,[59] and prevails in the Ḥanafī school of Islamic jurisprudence.[59] Points which differ are the nature of belief and the place of human reason. The Māturīdites state that imān (faith) does not increase nor decrease but remains static; rather it's taqwā (piety) which increases and decreases. The Ashʿarītes affirm that belief does in fact increase and decrease. The Māturīdites affirm that the unaided human mind is able to find out that some of the more major sins such as alcohol or murder are evil without the help of revelation. The Ashʿarītes affirm that the unaided human mind is unable to know if something is good or evil, lawful or unlawful, without divine revelation.

Traditionalist theology

Traditionalist theology, sometimes referred to as the Atharī school, derives its name from the word "tradition" as a translation of the Arabic word hadith or from the Arabic word athar, meaning "narrations". The traditionalist creed is to avoid delving into extensive theological speculation. They rely on the Qur'an, the Sunnah, and sayings of the Sahaba, seeing this as the middle path where the attributes of Allah are accepted without questioning their nature (bi-la kayf). Ahmad ibn Hanbal is regarded as the leader of the traditionalist school of creed. The modern Salafi movement associates itself with the Atharī creed.[60][61][62][63]

Muʿtazila

Muʿtazilite theology originated in the 8th century in Basra when Wasil ibn Ata left the teaching lessons of Hasan al-Basri after a theological dispute. He and his followers expanded on the logic and rationalism of Greek philosophy, seeking to combine them with Islamic doctrines and show that the two were inherently compatible. The Muʿtazilites debated philosophical questions such as whether the Qur'an was created or co-eternal with God, whether evil was created by God, the issue of predestination versus free will, whether God's attributes in the Qur'an were to be interpreted allegorically or literally, and whether sinning believers would have eternal punishment in hell.

Murji'ah

Murji'ah was a name for an early politico-religious movement which came to refer to all those who identified faith (iman) with belief to the exclusion of acts.[64] Originating during the caliphates of Uthman and Ali, Murijites opposed the Kharijites, holding that only God has the authority to judge who is a true Muslim and who is not, and that Muslims should consider all other Muslims as part of the community.[65] Two major Murijite sub-sects were the were Karamiya and Sawbaniyya.[66]

Qadariyyah

Qadariyyah is an originally derogatory term designating early Islamic theologians who asserted that humans possess free will, whose exercise makes them responsible for their actions, justifying divine punishment and absolving God of responsibility for evil in the world.[67][68] Some of their doctrines were later adopted by the Mu'tazilis and rejected by the Ash'aris.[67]

Jabriyah

In direct contrast to the Qadariyyah, Jabriyah was an early islamic philosophical school based on the belief that humans are controlled by predestination, without having choice or free will. The Jabriya school originated during the Umayyad dynasty in Basra. The first representative of this school was Al-Ja'd ibn Dirham who was executed in 724.[69] The term is derived from the Arabic root j-b-r, in the sense which gives the meaning of someone who is forced or coerced by destiny.[69] The term Jabriyah was also a derogatory term used by different Islamic groups that they considered wrong,[70] The Ash'ariyah used the term Jabriyah in the first place to describe the followers of, Jahm ibn Safwan who died in 746, in that they regarded their faith as a middle position between Qadariyah and Jabriya. On the other hand, the Mu'tazilah considered the Ash'ariyah as Jabriyah because, in their opinion, they rejected the orthodox doctrine of free will.[71] The Shiites used the term Jabriyah to describe the Ash'ariyah and Hanbalis.[72]

Jahmiyyah

Jahmis were the alleged followers of the early Islamic theologian Jahm bin Safwan who associated himself with Al-Harith ibn Surayj. He was an exponent of extreme determinism according to which a man acts only metaphorically in the same way in which the sun acts or does something when it sets.[73]

Batiniyyah

The Bāṭiniyyah is a name given to an allegoristic type of scriptural interpretation developed among some Shia groups, stressing the bāṭin (inward, esoteric) meaning of texts. It has been retained by all branches of Isma'ilism and its Druze offshoot. Alevism, Bektashism and folk religion, Hurufis and Alawites practice a similar system of interpretation.[74]

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Aqidah

Aqidah

Aqidah is an Islamic term of Arabic origin that literally means "creed". It is also called Islamic creed and Islamic theology.

Schools of Islamic theology

Schools of Islamic theology

Schools of Islamic theology are various Islamic schools and branches in different schools of thought regarding ʿaqīdah (creed). The main schools of Islamic Theology include the Qadariyah, Falasifa, Jahmiyya, Murji'ah, Muʿtazila, Batiniyya, Ashʿarī, Māturīdī, and Aṯharī.

Creed

Creed

A creed, also known as a confession of faith, a symbol, or a statement of faith, is a statement of the shared beliefs of a community in a form which is structured by subjects which summarize its core tenets.

Predestination in Islam

Predestination in Islam

Qadar is the concept of Divine Destiny in Islam. As God is all-knowing and all-powerful, everything that has happened and will happen in the universe—including sinful human behavior—is not only known but commanded by him. At the same time, human beings are responsible for their actions, and will be rewarded or punished accordingly on Judgement Day.

Quranic createdness

Quranic createdness

Quranic createdness refers to the doctrinal position that the Quran was created, rather than having always existed and thus being "uncreated". In the Muslim world the opposite point of view — that the Quran is uncreated — is the accepted stance among the majority Muslims. Shia Muslims on the other hand argue for the createdness of the Quran.

Names of God in Islam

Names of God in Islam

Names of God in Islam are names attributed to God in Islam by Muslims. While some names are only in the Quran, and others are only in the hadith, there are some names which appear in both.

Batin (Islam)

Batin (Islam)

Bāṭin or baten literally means "inner", "inward", "hidden", etc. The Quran, for instance, has a hidden meaning in contrast to its exterior or apparent meaning, the zahir (zaher). Sufis believe that every individual has a batin in the world of souls. It is the inward self of the individual; when cleansed with the light of one's spiritual guide, it elevates a person spiritually. This notion is connected to Allah's attribute of the Hidden One, who cannot be seen but exists in every realm.

Kalam

Kalam

ʿIlm al-Kalām, usually foreshortened to Kalām and sometimes called "Islamic scholastic theology" or "speculative theology", is the philosophical study of Islamic doctrine ('aqa'id). It was born out of the need to establish and defend the tenets of the Islamic faith against the philosophical doubters. However, this picture has been increasingly questioned by scholarship that attempts to show that kalām was in fact a demonstrative rather than a dialectical science and was always intellectually creative.

Islamic philosophy

Islamic philosophy

Islamic philosophy is philosophy that emerges from the Islamic tradition. Two terms traditionally used in the Islamic world are sometimes translated as philosophy—falsafa, which refers to philosophy as well as logic, mathematics, and physics; and Kalam, which refers to a rationalist form of Scholastic Islamic theology which includes the schools of Maturidiyah, Ashaira and Mu'tazila.

Dialectic

Dialectic

Dialectic, also known as the dialectical method, is a discourse between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject but wishing to establish the truth through reasoned argumentation. Dialectic resembles debate, but the concept excludes subjective elements such as emotional appeal and rhetoric. Dialectic may thus be contrasted with both the eristic, which refers to argument that aims to successfully dispute another's argument, and the didactic method, wherein one side of the conversation teaches the other. Dialectic is alternatively known as minor logic, as opposed to major logic or critique.

Ash'ari

Ash'ari

Ashʿarī theology or Ashʿarism is one of the main Sunnī schools of Islamic theology, founded by the Arab Muslim scholar, Shāfiʿī jurist, reformer, and scholastic theologian Abū al-Ḥasan al-Ashʿarī in the 9th–10th century. It established an orthodox guideline based on scriptural authority, rationality, and theological rationalism.

Maturidi

Maturidi

Māturīdī theology or Māturīdism( is one of the main Sunnī schools of Islamic theology, founded by the Persian Muslim scholar, Ḥanafī jurist, reformer, and scholastic theologian Abū Manṣūr al-Māturīdī in the 9th–10th century.

Sufism

Sufism is Islam's mystical-ascetic dimension and is represented by schools or orders known as Tasawwufī-Ṭarīqah. It is seen as that aspect of Islamic teaching that deals with the purification of inner self. By focusing on the more spiritual aspects of religion, Sufis strive to obtain direct experience of God by making use of "intuitive and emotional faculties" that one must be trained to use.[75]

The following list contains some notable Sufi orders:

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List of Sufi orders

List of Sufi orders

The following is a list of notable Sufi orders or schools (tariqa).

List of Sufi saints

List of Sufi saints

Sufi saints or Wali played an instrumental role in spreading Islam throughout the world. In the traditional Islamic view, a saint is portrayed as someone "marked by [special] divine favor ... [and] holiness", and who is specifically "chosen by God and endowed with exceptional gifts, such as the ability to work miracles."

Mysticism

Mysticism

Mysticism is popularly known as becoming one with God or the Absolute, but may refer to any kind of ecstasy or altered state of consciousness which is given a religious or spiritual meaning. It may also refer to the attainment of insight in ultimate or hidden truths, and to human transformation supported by various practices and experiences.

Asceticism

Asceticism

Asceticism is a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from sensual pleasures, often for the purpose of pursuing spiritual goals. Ascetics may withdraw from the world for their practices or continue to be part of their society, but typically adopt a frugal lifestyle, characterised by the renunciation of material possessions and physical pleasures, and also spend time fasting while concentrating on the practice of religion or reflection upon spiritual matters. Various individuals have also attempted an ascetic lifestyle to free themselves from addictions, some of them particular to modern life, such as money, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, entertainment, sex, food, etc.

Azeemiyya

Azeemiyya

The Silsila Azeemia is a Muslim Sufi order based in Pakistan with a following in the UK, the US, Austria, Serbia, Russia, Australia, Canada & various countries of the Middle East. The tariqa was started by Qalandar Baba Auliya also known as Syed Muhammad Azeem Barkhia (1898-1979). It is currently headed by Khwaja Shamsuddin Azeemi since 1980.

Qalandar Baba Auliya

Qalandar Baba Auliya

Qalandar Baba Auliya is the title of the Sufi Scholar and Mystic Muhammad Azeem Barkhiyya, the founder of the Azeemia order of Sufis. He was given the honorifics Abdal-i-Haq and Hasn-e-Ukhra.

Haji Bektash Veli

Haji Bektash Veli

Haji Bektash Veli or Wali was a Muslim mystic, saint, sayyid, and philosopher from Khorasan who lived and taught in Anatolia. He is revered among Alevis for an Islamic understanding that is esoteric (spiritual), rational, progressive, and humanistic. Alevi and Bektashi Muslims believe the path of Haji Bektash is the path of Ali since he was the source of Bektash's teachings. His original name was Sayyid Muhammad ibn Sayyid Ibrāhim Ātā. He was one of the figures who flourished in the Sultanate of Rum and had an important influence on the Turkish nomads of Asia Minor. He is also referred to as the "Sultan of Hearts" and the "Dervish of the Dervishes". Haji Bektash Veli was a descendant of Musa al-Kazim, the Seventh Imam of Twelver Shi'a Islam.

Hurufism

Hurufism

Hurufism was a Sufi doctrine based on the mysticism of letters (ḥurūf), which originated in Astrabad and spread to areas of western Iran (Persia) and Anatolia in the late 14th and early 15th centuries.

Balım Sultan

Balım Sultan

Balım Sultan was a Bektashi sufi who established and codified the Bektashi Order at the beginning of the 16th century. The mystical practices and rituals of the Bektashi were systematized and structured by Balım, after which many of the order's distinct practices and beliefs took shape. He is considered the primary personality in the Bektashi Order after Hacı Bektaş-ı Veli (Haji Bektash) and is regarded as the “Second Pir”.

Persian language

Persian language

Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is a Western Iranian language belonging to the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian subdivision of the Indo-European languages. Persian is a pluricentric language predominantly spoken and used officially within Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan in three mutually intelligible standard varieties, namely Iranian Persian, Dari Persian and Tajiki Persian. It is also spoken natively in the Tajik variety by a significant population within Uzbekistan, as well as within other regions with a Persianate history in the cultural sphere of Greater Iran. It is written officially within Iran and Afghanistan in the Persian alphabet, a derivation of the Arabic script, and within Tajikistan in the Tajik alphabet, a derivation of the Cyrillic script.

Khawaja

Khawaja

Khawaja is an honorific title used across the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Central Asia, particularly towards Sufi teachers.

Abu Ishaq Shami

Abu Ishaq Shami

Abu Ishaq Shami was a Muslim scholar who is often regarded as the founder of the Sufi Chishti Order. He was the first in the Chishti lineage (silsila) to live in Chisht and so to adopt the name "Chishti", so that, if the Chishti order itself dates back to him, it is one of the oldest recorded Sufi orders. His original name, Shami, implies he came from Syria (ash-Sham). He died in Damascus and lies buried on Mount Qasiyun, where Ibn Arabi was later buried.

Later movements

African-American movements

Many slaves brought from Africa to the Western Hemisphere were Muslims,[85] and the early 20th century saw the rise of distinct Islamic religious and political movements within the African-American community in the United States,[86] such as Darul Islam,[85] the Islamic Party of North America,[85] the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood (MIB),[85] the Muslim Alliance in North America,[85] the Moorish Science Temple of America,[86] the Nation of Islam (NOI),[86][87][88][89] and the Ansaaru Allah Community.[90] They sought to ascribe Islamic heritage to African-Americans, thereby giving much emphasis on racial and ethnic aspects[87][86][88][89][91] (see black nationalism and black separatism).[85][90][92] These black Muslim movements often differ greatly in matters of doctrine from mainstream Islam.[86][88][90][92] They include:

Ahmadiyya Movement In Islam

The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam was founded in British India in 1889 by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, who claimed to be the promised Messiah ("Second Coming of Christ"), the Mahdi awaited by the Muslims as well as a "subordinate" prophet to the Islamic prophet Muhammad.[98][99][100][101] Ahmadis claim to practice the pristine form of Islam as followed by Muhammad and his earliest followers.[102][103] They believe that it was Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's task to restore the original sharia given to Muhammad by guiding the Ummah back to the "true" Islam and defeat the attacks on Islam by other religions.[98][99][100][101][104]

There are a wide variety of distinct beliefs and teachings of Ahmadis compared to those of most other Muslims,[98][99][100][101] which include the interpretation of the Quranic title Khatam an-Nabiyyin,[105] interpretation of the Messiah's Second Coming,[99][106] complete rejection of the abrogation/cancellation of Quranic verses,[107] belief that Jesus survived the crucifixion and died of old age in India,[99][100][108] conditions of the "Jihad of the Sword" are no longer met,[99][109] belief that divine revelation (as long as no new sharia is given) will never end,[110] belief in cyclical nature of history until Muhammad,[110] and belief in the implausibility of a contradiction between Islam and science.[104] These perceived deviations from normative Islamic thought have resulted in severe persecution of Ahmadis in various Muslim-majority countries,[99] particularly Pakistan,[99][111] where they have been branded as Non-Muslims and their Islamic religious practices are punishable by the Ahmadi-Specific laws in the penal code.[112]

The followers of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam are divided into two groups: the first being the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, currently the dominant group, and the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for the Propagation of Islam.[99] The larger group takes a literalist view believing that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was the promised Mahdi and a Ummati Nabi subservient to Muhammad, while the latter believing that he was only a religious reformer and a prophet only in an allegorical sense.[99] Both Ahmadi groups are active in dawah or Islamic missionary work, and have produced vasts amounts of Islamic literature, including numerous translations of the Quran, translations of the Hadith, Quranic tafsirs, a multitude of sirahs of Muhammad, and works on the subject of comparative religion among others.[99][101] As such, their international influence far exceeds their number of adherents.[99][101][113] Muslims from more Orthodox sects of Islam have adopted many Ahmadi polemics and understandings of other religions,[114] along with the Ahmadi approach to reconcile Islamic and Western education as well as to establish Islamic school systems, particularly in Africa.[115]

Barelvi / Deobandi split

Sunni Muslims of the Indian subcontinent comprising present day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh who are overwhelmingly Hanafi by fiqh have split into two schools or movements, the Barelvi and the Deobandi. While the Deobandi is revivalist in nature, the Barelvi are more traditional and inclined towards Sufism.

Gülen / Hizmet movement

The Gülen movement, usually referred to as the Hizmet movement,[116] established in the 1970s as an offshoot of the Nur Movement[117] and led by the Turkish Islamic scholar and preacher Fethullah Gülen in Turkey, Central Asia, and in other parts of the world, is active in education, with private schools and universities in over 180 countries as well as with many American charter schools operated by followers. It has initiated forums for interfaith dialogue.[118][119] The Cemaat movement's structure has been described as a flexible organizational network.[120] Movement schools and businesses organize locally and link themselves into informal networks.[121] Estimates of the number of schools and educational institutions vary widely; it appears there are about 300 Gülen movement schools in Turkey and over 1,000 schools worldwide.[122][123]

Islamic modernism

Islamic modernism, also sometimes referred to as "modernist Salafism",[124][125][126][127][128] is a movement that has been described as "the first Muslim ideological response"[129] attempting to reconcile Islamic faith with modern Western values such as nationalism, democracy, and science.[130]

Islamism

Islamism is a set of political ideologies, derived from various fundamentalist views, which hold that Islam is not only a religion but a political system that should govern the legal, economic and social imperatives of the state. Many Islamists do not refer to themselves as such and it is not a single particular movement. Religious views and ideologies of its adherents vary, and they may be Sunni Islamists or Shia Islamists depending upon their beliefs. Islamist groups include groups such as Al-Qaeda, the organizer of the September 11, 2001 attacks and perhaps the most prominent; and the Muslim Brotherhood, the largest and perhaps the oldest. Although violence is often employed by some organizations, most Islamist movements are nonviolent.

Muslim Brotherhood

The Al-Ikhwan Al-Muslimun (with Ikhwan الإخوان brethren) or Muslim Brotherhood, is an organisation that was founded by Egyptian scholar Hassan al-Banna, a graduate of Dar al-Ulum. With its various branches, it is the largest Sunni movement in the Arab world, and an affiliate is often the largest opposition party in many Arab nations. The Muslim Brotherhood is not concerned with theological differences, accepting both, Muslims of any of the four Sunni schools of thought, and Shi'a Muslims. It is the world's oldest and largest Islamist group. Its aims are to re-establish the Caliphate and in the meantime, push for more Islamisation of society. The Brotherhood's stated goal is to instill the Qur'an and sunnah as the "sole reference point for... ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community... and state".

Jamaat-e-Islami

The Jamaat-e-Islami (or JI) is an Islamist political party in the Indian subcontinent. It was founded in Lahore, British India, by Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi (with alternative spellings of last name Maudoodi) in 1941 and is the oldest religious party in Pakistan. Today, sister organizations with similar objectives and ideological approaches exist in India (Jamaat-e-Islami Hind), Bangladesh (Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh), Kashmir (Jamaat-e-Islami Kashmir), and Sri Lanka, and there are "close brotherly relations" with the Islamist movements and missions "working in different continents and countries", particularly those affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood (Akhwan-al-Muslimeen). The JI envisions an Islamic government in Pakistan and Bangladesh governing by Islamic law. It opposes Westernization—including secularization, capitalism, socialism, or such practices as interest based banking, and favours an Islamic economic order and Caliphate.

Hizb ut-Tahrir

Hizb ut-Tahrir (Arabic: حزب التحرير) (Translation: Party of Liberation) is an international, pan-Islamist political organization which describes its ideology as Islam, and its aim the re-establishment of the Islamic Khilafah (Caliphate) to resume Islamic ways of life in the Muslim world. The caliphate would unite the Muslim community (Ummah)[131] upon their Islamic creed and implement the Shariah, so as to then carry the proselytizing of Islam to the rest of the world.[132]

Quranism

Quranism[133] or Quraniyya (Arabic: القرآنية; al-Qur'āniyya) is a protestant[134] branch of Islam. It holds the belief that Islamic guidance and law should only be based on the Quran, thus opposing the religious authority and authenticity of the hadith literature.[135][136] Quranists believe that God's message is already clear and complete in the Quran and it can therefore be fully understood without referencing outside texts.[137] Quranists claim that the vast majority of hadith literature are forged lies and believe that the Quran itself criticizes the hadith both in the technical sense and the general sense.[138][135][139][140][141][142]

Liberal and progressive Islam

Liberal Islam originally emerged out of the Islamic revivalist movement of the 18th-19th centuries.[143] Liberal and progressive Islamic organizations and movements are primarily based in the Western world, and have in common a religious outlook which depends mainly on ijtihad or re-interpretation of the sacred scriptures of Islam.[143] Liberal and progressive Muslims are characterized by a rationalistic, critical examination and re-interpretation of the sacred scriptures of Islam;[143] affirmation and promotion of democracy, gender equality, human rights, LGBT rights, women's rights, religious pluralism, interfaith marriage,[144][145] freedom of expression, freedom of thought, and freedom of religion;[143] opposition to theocracy and total rejection of Islamism and Islamic fundamentalism;[143] and a modern view of Islamic theology, ethics, sharia, culture, tradition, and other ritualistic practices in Islam.[143]

Mahdavia

Mahdavia, or Mahdavism, is a Mahdiist sect founded in late 15th century India by Syed Muhammad Jaunpuri, who declared himself to be the Hidden Twelfth Imam of the Twelver Shia tradition.[146] They follow many aspects of the Sunni doctrine. Zikri Mahdavis, or Zikris, are an offshoot of the Mahdavi movement.[147]

Non-denominational Islam

Non-denominational Muslims is an umbrella term that has been used for and by Muslims who do not belong to or do not self-identify with a specific Islamic denomination.[148][40][41][42] A quarter of the world's Muslims are non-denominational Muslims.[149]

Tolu-e-Islam

Tolu-e-Islam ("Resurgence of Islam") is a non-denominational Muslim organization based in Pakistan, with members throughout the world.[150] The movement was initiated by Ghulam Ahmed Pervez.

Salafism and Wahhabism

Ahle Hadith

Ahl-i Hadith (Persian: اهل حدیث, Urdu: اہل حدیث: transl.People of the traditions of the Prophet) is a movement which emerged in the Indian subcontinent in the mid-19th century. Its followers call themselves Ahl al-Hadith and are considered to be a branch of the Salafiyya school. Ahl-i Hadith is antithetical to various beliefs and mystical practices associated with folk Sufism. Ahl-i Hadith shares many doctrinal similarities with the Wahhabi movement and hence often classified as being synonymous with the "Wahhabis" by its adversaries. However, its followers reject this designation, preferring to identify themselves as "Salafis".[151][152][153][154]

Salafiyya movement

The Salafiyya movement is a conservative,[155] Islahi (reform)[156] movement within Sunni Islam that emerged in the second half of the 19th century and advocate a return to the traditions of the "devout ancestors" (Salaf al-Salih). It has been described as the "fastest-growing Islamic movement"; with each scholar expressing diverse views across social, theological, and political spectrum. Salafis follow a doctrine that can be summed up as taking "a fundamentalist approach to Islam, emulating the Prophet Muhammad and his earliest followers—al-salaf al-salih, the 'pious forefathers'....They reject religious innovation, or bidʻah, and support the implementation of Sharia (Islamic law)."[157] The Salafi movement is often divided into three categories: the largest group are the purists (or quietists), who avoid politics; the second largest group are the militant activists, who get involved in politics; the third and last group are the jihadists, who constitute a minority.[157] Most of the violent Islamist groups come from the Salafi-Jihadist movement and their subgroups.[158] In recent years, Jihadi-Salafist doctrines have often been associated with the armed insurgencies of Islamic extremist movements and terrorist organizations targeting innocent civilians, both Muslims and Non-Muslims, such as al-Qaeda, ISIL/ISIS/IS/Daesh, Boko Haram, etc.[159][160][157][158] The second largest group are the Salafi activists who have a long tradition of political activism, such as those that operate in organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood, the Arab world's major Islamist movement. In the aftermath of widescale repressions after the Arab spring, accompanied by their political failures, the activist-Salafi movements have undergone a decline. The most numerous are the quietists, who believe in disengagement from politics and accept allegiance to Muslim governments, no matter how tyrannical, to avoid fitna (chaos).[157]

Wahhabism

The Wahhabi movement was founded and spearheaded by the Ḥanbalī scholar and theologian Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab,[161][162][163] a religious preacher from the Najd region in central Arabia,[164][165][166][167][168] and was instrumental in the rise of the House of Saud to power in the Arabian peninsula.[161] Ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab sought to revive and purify Islam from what he perceived as non-Islamic popular religious beliefs and practices by returning to what, he believed, were the fundamental principles of the Islamic religion.[165][166][167][168] His works were generally short, full of quotations from the Quran and Hadith literature, such as his main and foremost theological treatise, Kitāb at-Tawḥīd (Arabic: كتاب التوحيد; "The Book of Oneness").[165][166][167][168] He taught that the primary doctrine of Islam was the uniqueness and oneness of God (tawḥīd), and denounced what he held to be popular religious beliefs and practices among Muslims that he considered to be akin to heretical innovation (bidʿah) and polytheism (shirk).[165][166][167][168]

Wahhabism has been described as a conservative, strict, and fundamentalist branch of Sunnī Islam,[169] with puritan views,[169] believing in a literal interpretation of the Quran.[161] The terms "Wahhabism" and "Salafism" are sometimes evoked interchangeably, although the designation "Wahhabi" is specifically applied to the followers of Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab and his reformist doctrines.[161] The label "Wahhabi" was not claimed by his followers, who usually refer themselves as al-Muwaḥḥidūn ("affirmers of the singularity of God"), but is rather employed by Western scholars as well as his critics.[161][162][166] Starting in the mid-1970s and 1980s, the international propagation of Salafism and Wahhabism within Sunnī Islam[169] favored by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia[164][170][171] and other Arab states of the Persian Gulf has achieved what the French political scientist Gilles Kepel defined as a "preeminent position of strength in the global expression of Islam."[172]

22 months after the September 11 attacks, when the FBI considered al-Qaeda as "the number one terrorist threat to the United States", journalist Stephen Schwartz and U.S. Senator Jon Kyl have explicitly stated during a hearing that occurred in June 2003 before the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Homeland Security of the U.S. Senate that "Wahhabism is the source of the overwhelming majority of terrorist atrocities in today's world".[173] As part of the global "War on Terror", Wahhabism has been accused by the European Parliament, various Western security analysts, and think tanks like the RAND Corporation, as being "a source of global terrorism".[173][174] Furthermore, Wahhabism has been accused of causing disunity in the Muslim community (Ummah) and criticized for its followers' destruction of many Islamic, cultural, and historical sites associated with the early history of Islam and the first generation of Muslims (Muhammad's family and his companions) in Saudi Arabia.[175][176][177][178]

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Atlantic slave trade

The Atlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, or Euro-American slave trade involved the transportation by slave traders of enslaved African people, mainly to the Americas. The slave trade regularly used the triangular trade route and its Middle Passage, and existed from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The vast majority of those who were transported in the transatlantic slave trade were people from Central and West Africa that had been sold by other West Africans to Western European slave traders, while others had been captured directly by the slave traders in coastal raids; Europeans gathered and imprisoned the enslaved at forts on the African coast and then brought them to the Americas. Except for the Portuguese, European slave traders generally did not participate in the raids because life expectancy for Europeans in sub-Saharan Africa was less than one year during the period of the slave trade. The colonial South Atlantic and Caribbean economies were particularly dependent on labour for the production of sugarcane and other commodities. This was viewed as crucial by those Western European states which, in the late 17th and 18th centuries, were vying with one another to create overseas empires.

Moorish Science Temple of America

Moorish Science Temple of America

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Nation of Islam

Nation of Islam

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Black nationalism

Black nationalism

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Black separatism

Black separatism

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Wallace Fard Muhammad

Wallace Fard Muhammad

Wallace Dodd Fard, also known as Wallace Fard Muhammad or Master Fard Muhammad, was the founder of the Nation of Islam. He arrived in Detroit in 1930 with an obscure background and several aliases, and taught an idiosyncratic form of what he considered Islam to members of the city's black population. In 1934, he disappeared from public record, and Elijah Muhammad succeeded him as leader of the Nation of Islam.

Detroit

Detroit

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Allah

Allah

Allah is the common Arabic word for God. In the English language, the word generally refers to God in Islam. The word is thought to be derived by contraction from al-ilāh, which means "the god", and is linguistically related to the Aramaic words Elah and Syriac ܐܲܠܵܗܵܐ (ʼAlāhā) and the Hebrew word El (Elohim) for God.

Elijah Muhammad

Elijah Muhammad

Elijah Muhammad was an American religious leader, black separatist, self-proclaimed Messenger of Allah, and alleged rapist, who led the Nation of Islam (NOI) from 1934 until his death in 1975. Muhammad was also the teacher and mentor of Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan, Muhammad Ali, and his own son, Warith Deen Mohammed.

American Society of Muslims

American Society of Muslims

The American Society of Muslims was a predominantly African-American association of Muslims which was the direct descendant of the original Nation of Islam. It was created by Warith Deen Mohammed after he assumed leadership of the Nation of Islam upon the death of his father Elijah Muhammad. Imam W. Deen Mohammed changed the name of the Nation of Islam to the "World Community of Islam in the West" in 1976, then the "American Muslim Mission" in 1981, and finally the "American Society of Muslims".

Warith Deen Mohammed

Warith Deen Mohammed

Warith Deen Mohammed, also known as W. Deen Mohammed, Imam W. Deen Muhammad and Imam Warith Deen, was an African-American Muslim leader, theologian, philosopher, Muslim revivalist, and Islamic thinker (1975–2008) who disbanded the original Nation of Islam (NOI) in 1976 and transformed it into an ostensibly orthodox mainstream Islamic movement, the Bilalians (1975), World Community of Al-Islam in the West (1976–77), American Muslim Mission (1978–85), which later became the American Society of Muslims. He was a son of Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam from 1933 to 1975.

Population of the branches

Denomination Population
Sunni Varies: 75% - 90%[179][180]
Non-denominational Muslim 25%[149]
Shia Varies: 10% - 13%[181]
Ibadi 2.7 million[182]
Quranism n/a

Source: "Islamic schools and branches", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 28th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_schools_and_branches.

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References
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