The difference between Shiites and Sunnis lies mainly in the conception of the Prophet Muhammad’s lineage and in his political-religious authority.
After the death of the prophet Muhammad (or Mohammed), the founder of Islam and author of the holy book Qur’an , there was a dispute process to decide who should succeed him, since Islam was not just a religion disconnected from political power. Islam, in itself, is structured in a proposal of civilization that articulates religious and political principles.
From the dispute for the right of legitimate succession of the Prophet, two currents became the majority: the Shiites and the Sunnis. This dispute started in 632 AD, when the caliphs (successors of Muhammad), who were also Muhammad’s in-laws, Abu Bakr and Omar, tried to organize the transmission of political power and religious authority. This attempt was successful until the year 644 AD, when a member of the Umayyad family, also Muhammad’s son-in-law, called Othma, became caliph and his authority was challenged by Islamist Arabs who lived near the Medina. Othman ended up being murdered.
The murder of Othman was associated with the figure of Ali, Muhammad’s cousin who would succeed the murdered caliph. Muslims opposed to Ali declared war on the caliph and his supporters. The most prominent figure who contested Ali’s authority was then responsible for Syria’s power, Muhawya. The latter decided to investigate Othman’s murder and investigate Ali’s participation in the case. This was enough for another Muslim group to conspire against Ali, who was also murdered.
Don’t stop now … There’s more after the publicity;)
In addition to the holy book of the Quran, Sunnis are also guided by the Sun, a book of Muhammad’s achievements, which accentuates their difference with the Shias
Muhawya then became a powerful caliph and moved the caliphate capital from Medina to Damascus, Syria’s current capital. His opponents, who defended the succession of the caliphate through heredity, that is, by the descendants of the Muhammad family, became known as Shiites , a group that is still a minority and which is characterized by being traditionalist, preserving the ancient interpretations of the Koran and Islamic Law , Sharia.
Members of the other group, which is much larger in number of adherents today, making up about 90% of the Islamic population, became known as Sunnis , first because they differed from the Shias ‘ conception of succession and, second, because they always updated their interpretations of the holy book. of the Qur’an and Islamic Law, taking into account the transformations that the world has gone through and drawing on another source besides those mentioned, the Suna – book where the great deeds and examples of the Prophet Muhammad are compiled. Hence the Sunni name .