Qual é a divisão sunita-xiita?

Qual é a divisão sunita-xiita?


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Embora as duas seitas principais dentro do Islã, sunitas e xiitas, concordem com a maioria das crenças e práticas fundamentais do Islã, uma amarga divisão entre as duas remonta a cerca de 14 séculos. A divisão se originou com uma disputa sobre quem deveria suceder ao Profeta Muhammad como líder da fé islâmica que ele introduziu.

Hoje, cerca de 85% dos cerca de 1,6 bilhão de muçulmanos em todo o mundo são sunitas, enquanto 15% são xiitas, de acordo com uma estimativa do Conselho de Relações Exteriores. Enquanto os xiitas representam a maioria da população no Irã, Iraque, Bahrein e Azerbaijão, e uma pluralidade no Líbano, os sunitas são maioria em mais de 40 outros países, do Marrocos à Indonésia.

Apesar de suas diferenças, sunitas e xiitas viveram lado a lado em relativa paz durante a maior parte da história. Mas, a partir do final do século 20, o cisma se aprofundou, explodindo em violência em muitas partes do Oriente Médio, à medida que marcas extremistas do islamismo sunita e xiita lutam pela supremacia religiosa e política.

As consequências da morte de Muhammad

As raízes da divisão sunita-xiita remontam ao século sétimo, logo após a morte do profeta Maomé em 632 DC. Enquanto a maioria dos seguidores de Maomé pensava que os outros membros da elite da comunidade islâmica deveriam escolher o seu sucessor, um grupo menor acreditava que apenas alguém da família de Muhammad - a saber, seu primo e genro, Ali - deveria sucedê-lo. Este grupo ficou conhecido como os seguidores de Ali; em árabe o Shiat Ali, ou simplesmente Shia.

“A essência do problema é que Muhammad morreu sem um herdeiro homem, e ele nunca declarou claramente quem gostaria de ser seu sucessor”, diz Lesley Hazleton, autor de Depois do Profeta: a história épica da divisão sunita-xiita no Islã. “Isso foi importante porque, na época em que ele morreu, ele basicamente reuniu todas as tribos da Arábia em uma espécie de confederação que se tornou a ummah - o povo ou nação do Islã.”

Eventualmente, a maioria sunita (nomeado para Sunna, ou tradição) venceu e escolheu o amigo próximo de Maomé, Abu Bakr, para se tornar o primeiro califa, ou líder, da comunidade islâmica. Ali acabou se tornando o quarto califa (ou Imam, como os xiitas chamam seus líderes), mas somente depois que os dois que o precederam foram assassinados.

O próprio Ali foi morto em 661, enquanto a luta pelo poder entre sunitas e xiitas continuava. Em jogo estava não apenas o controle do legado religioso e político de Maomé, mas também uma grande quantidade de dinheiro, na forma de impostos e tributos pagos pelas várias tribos unidas sob a bandeira do Islã. Essa combinação de dinheiro e poder só aumentaria. No século seguinte à morte de Maomé, seus seguidores construíram um império que se estendia da Ásia Central à Espanha.

Batalha de Karbala e seu significado duradouro

Em 681, o filho de Ali, Hussein, liderou um grupo de 72 seguidores e familiares de Meca a Karbala (atual Iraque) para enfrentar o califa corrupto Yazid da dinastia Ummayad. Um enorme exército sunita esperava por eles e, ao final de um impasse de 10 dias com várias lutas menores, Hussein foi morto e decapitado, e sua cabeça foi levada a Damasco como um tributo ao califa sunita.

“Obviamente, os Ummayads pretendiam dar um fim definitivo a todas as reivindicações de liderança da ummah como uma questão de descendência direta de Muhammad”, diz Hazleton sobre a morte de Hussein e a morte de todos os membros sobreviventes da família de Muhammad, em Karbala. "Mas é claro que não foi o que aconteceu." Em vez disso, o martírio de Hussein em Karbala se tornou a história central da tradição xiita e é comemorado anualmente como Ashoura, a data mais solene do calendário xiita.

A divisão sunita-xiita no século 21

Além de Karbala, o podcast da NPR Pano de fundo identificou três marcos importantes que intensificariam as divisões sunitas-xiitas até o final do século XX. Primeiro veio a ascensão da dinastia Safávida no século 16, que transformou o Irã (pela força) de um centro sunita em uma fortaleza xiita do Oriente Médio. No início do século 20, os aliados vitoriosos dividiram o território mantido pelo antigo Império Otomano após a Primeira Guerra Mundial, destruindo comunidades religiosas e étnicas centenárias no processo. Finalmente, em 1979, a Revolução Islâmica no Irã produziu uma marca radical do islamismo xiita que entraria em choque violentamente com os conservadores sunitas na Arábia Saudita e em outros lugares nas décadas seguintes.

Em meio à crescente politização do Islã e à ascensão de fundamentalistas em ambos os lados da divisão, as tensões sectárias se intensificaram no início do século 21, especialmente em meio às revoltas causadas por duas guerras do Golfo Pérsico, o caos que se seguiu à derrubada de Saddam Hussein, apoiada pelos EUA O regime sunita no Iraque e as revoltas em massa na região que começaram com a Primavera Árabe em 2011.

As divisões sunitas-xiitas alimentariam uma longa guerra civil na Síria, lutando no Líbano, Irã, Iraque, Iêmen e em outros lugares, e violência terrorista em ambos os lados. Um traço comum na maioria desses conflitos é a batalha em curso entre a Arábia Saudita sunita e o Irã xiita pela influência no Oriente Médio rico em petróleo e nas regiões vizinhas.

Apesar da longa divisão entre sunitas e xiitas, o fato de as duas seitas coexistirem em relativa paz por muitos séculos sugere que suas lutas podem ter menos a ver com religião do que com riqueza e poder.

“Nenhum deles é representativo da vasta maioria dos muçulmanos sunitas ou da vasta maioria dos muçulmanos xiitas em todo o mundo”, disse Hazleton sobre os regimes fundamentalistas que governam a Arábia Saudita e o Irã.

“Quando a sociedade desmorona, você recorre a velhas formas de identidade, e xiitas e sunitas são formas de identidade de 1.400 anos.”


Muçulmanos sunitas e xiitas: Islã e divisão de 1.400 anos explicada pelos 27s

As tensões entre a Arábia Saudita e o Irã se resumem fundamentalmente a duas coisas - a batalha para ser a nação dominante no Oriente Médio e o fato de os países representarem redutos regionais de dois ramos rivais do Islã.

O Reino da Arábia Saudita é governado por uma monarquia sunita conhecida como Casa de Saud, com 90 por cento da população adeptos da fé de seus líderes. A República Islâmica do Irã, por sua vez, é predominantemente xiita, com até 95% dos cidadãos pertencentes à denominação.

Ambos os países são grandes produtores de petróleo, mas enquanto a Arábia Saudita cobre uma extensão de terra significativamente maior, a população do Irã é mais do que o dobro do tamanho.

É a divisão teológica que realmente separa os dois países, no entanto, cada um é incapaz de aceitar a legitimidade da fé dominante da outra nação.

O que causou a divisão sunita-xiita?

O conflito sunita-xiita está ocorrendo há 1.400 anos, remontando aos anos imediatamente após a morte do profeta Maomé em 632.

O Profeta morreu sem ter nomeado um sucessor, levando a uma divisão massiva sobre o futuro da religião em rápido crescimento - principalmente se o próximo líder da religião deveria ser escolhido por uma espécie de consenso democrático, ou se apenas as relações de sangue de Maomé deveriam reinar.

Os argumentos são complicados, mas essencialmente se resumem ao fato de que os sunitas acreditam que o amigo de confiança e conselheiro dos Profetas, Abu Bakr, foi o primeiro líder legítimo dos muçulmanos ou "califa", enquanto os xiitas acreditam que Ali foi escolhido o primo e genro de Maomé. por Allah para manter o título.

Ambos os homens acabaram por deter o título - Abu Bakr primeiro até sua morte, e Ali quarto depois que dois califas anteriores foram assassinados - mas a cisão realmente atingiu quem deveria vir em seguida. Enquanto os muçulmanos sunitas argumentam que sua interpretação do Islã segue a Sunnah (modos de Maomé), os xiitas argumentam que Ali foi o primeiro califa legítimo e apenas seus descendentes poderiam reivindicar ser os verdadeiros líderes dos muçulmanos.

A tensão não é aliviada por um Hadith em que o Profeta foi citado dizendo: "Minha Ummah (comunidade) será fragmentada em setenta e três seitas e todas elas estarão no fogo do Inferno, exceto uma." Inevitavelmente, sunitas e xiitas afirmam ser a única seita islâmica "pura".

O que cada grupo acredita?

Como acontece com qualquer divisão que dura mais de mil anos, a divisão sunita-xiita levou cada denominação a desenvolver suas próprias culturas, doutrinas e escolas de pensamento.

Enquanto os seguidores de qualquer grupo variam de moderados a extremistas, os sunitas estão amplamente focados no poder de Deus no mundo físico, enquanto os xiitas olham mais para as recompensas da vida após a morte e, como tal, dão um valor significativo na celebração do martírio.

Qual é a divisão geográfica entre sunitas e xiitas?

A grande maioria dos muçulmanos no mundo é sunita, chegando a 85% dos adeptos da religião. Eles estão espalhados por todo o globo - do Marrocos à Indonésia - e constituem a religião dominante no Norte da África e no Oriente Médio.

Recomendado

Apenas o Irã, Iraque, Azerbaijão e Bahrein têm maioria xiita, embora também haja populações xiitas significativas no Iêmen, Líbano, Kuwait, Síria e Qatar.

Apesar de ser membro de uma minoria religiosa, o Reino do Bahrein, apoiado pelos sauditas, há muito é governado pela Casa sunita de Khalifa. Da mesma forma, o Iraque foi governado pelo sunita Saddam Hussein por mais de 20 anos, durante os quais ele oprimiu brutalmente os muçulmanos xiitas.

O atual conflito no Iraque também é alimentado por rivalidades sectárias, que enfrentaram o presidente Bashar al-Assad e seus familiares da seita xiita alawita, enquanto muitos dos grupos insurgentes em seu país - incluindo o grupo terrorista do Estado Islâmico - são adeptos sunitas .

E, claro, a atual guerra civil no Iêmen se tornou uma guerra por procuração sectária, com o Irã apoiando os rebeldes xiitas Houthi que derrubaram o governo dominado pelos sunitas do país, enquanto uma coalizão liderada pelos sauditas desde então interveio para reinstalar a liderança sunita.


A divisão sunita-xiita explicada com mapas e cronogramas extremamente úteis

"Se quisermos entender o Oriente Médio, se quisermos entender por que os conflitos estão acontecendo da maneira que estão e como esses conflitos podem ser resolvidos, não podemos tirar nossos olhos do conflito xiita-sunita, disse Vali R. Nasr, Reitor da Escola de Estudos Internacionais Avançados da Universidade Johns Hopkins em um vídeo do Conselho de Relações Exteriores (CFR).

O vídeo é parte de um infoguida interativo produzido pelo CFR, que é um olhar aprofundado sobre as raízes de uma divisão que está no cerne de muitos dos conflitos violentos que atualmente engolfam o Oriente Médio.

"A divisão xiita-sunita é uma divisão política e religiosa em torno de quem era o herdeiro legítimo após a morte do profeta Maomé no início do Islã. Sim, é uma história remota, que remonta ao século sétimo, mas para milhões de muçulmanos em todo o mundo , é o que os define - sectarismo ", diz Ed Husain, membro sênior adjunto de Estudos do Oriente Médio no CFR, na visão geral.

Dê uma olhada nas origens do cisma com esta linha do tempo interativa:


Para ver como essa antiga disputa está se desenrolando no mundo moderno, esta linha do tempo começa com a revolução islâmica do Irã e vai até os dias atuais:

Onde essas tensões são mais prevalentes? Dê uma olhada no mapa para ver os países dominados por conflitos sectários e clique nos países para saber mais sobre sua composição demográfica.


Divisão sunita-xiita

Os cristãos têm seus protestantes e católicos, os judeus, seus ortodoxos e reformistas. Os muçulmanos também estão divididos em sunitas e xiitas. O que começou como uma disputa sobre quem tinha o direito de liderar o Islã após a morte do Profeta Maomé em 632 d.C. levou a diferentes teologias e visões de mundo para sunitas e xiitas. O cisma colocou impérios, nações e vizinhos uns contra os outros de forma intermitente por 14 séculos. Nas muitas guerras civis no Oriente Médio hoje, às vezes é uma força motriz e às vezes um fator agravante. As lutas locais são agravadas pela competição & # xA0 & # xA0entre as potências sunitas e xiitas, Arábia Saudita e Irã.

A situação

As tensões entre os rivais regionais aumentaram & # xA0desde que o Irã negociou um & # xA0 acordo internacional sobre seu programa nuclear que libertou o país de sanções econômicas paralisantes. O príncipe saudita Mohammed bin Salman ameaçou assumir a luta & # x201Cinside Iran & # x201D e os líderes no Irã culpam os sauditas por ajudarem a fomentar protestos antigovernamentais que começaram no final de dezembro. A guerra civil do Iêmen & # x2019 & # xA0 foi intensificada pelas duas potências que apoiavam lados opostos ao longo das linhas sunitas-xiitas. uma conflagração sectária. O conflito da Síria, por sua vez, reacendeu a luta & # xA0Sunni-xiita & # xA0 no Iraque que sangrou aquele país em meados da década de 2000. Para a maioria xiita em um país tradicionalmente visto como uma força potente no mundo árabe, os sunitas no Oriente Médio expressaram ansiedade sobre o aumento da influência xiita. Muitos sunitas temem que o Irã esteja tentando estabelecer o que o rei Abdullah, da Jordânia, na época de 1920, chamou de meia-lua xiita, abrangendo o Iraque, a Síria e o Líbano. A inquietação com o poder xiita foi explorada por grupos extremistas, notadamente o Estado islâmico jihadista, cuja ideologia está enraizada na Arábia Saudita & # x2019s 200 anos de idade puritana wahabita & # xA0movement. Wahhabis se consideram sunitas, embora muitos sunitas os considerem fora do rebanho. O cisma & # xA0Sunni-xiita também provoca violência entre muçulmanos em lugares como & # xA0Pakistan, & # xA0Nigeria & # xA0and & # xA0Indonesia. Cerca de 85% da população mundial - 1,6 bilhão de muçulmanos são sunitas. Os xiitas são maioria apenas no Irã, Iraque, Azerbaijão e Bahrein, & # xA0, que é governado pela realeza sunita. Onde os sunitas são maioria ou dominam o governo, os xiitas freqüentemente reclamam de discriminação e vice-versa. De acordo com uma pesquisa de 2012, cerca de 24 por cento dos não xiitas em todo o mundo rejeitam os xiitas como companheiros muçulmanos - o número é de 7 por cento para os sunitas. & # XA0

O fundo

Os seguidores de Mohammad discutiram se ele deveria ser sucedido por um parente de sangue ou alguém escolhido pela comunidade com base no mérito. No evento, seu companheiro Abu Bakr foi escolhido como o primeiro sucessor, ou califa. O primo do profeta Ali ibn Abi Talib, o candidato dos que se tornariam xiitas, foi selecionado o quarto califa em 656. Depois de ser assassinado por um fanático, os xiitas seguiram líderes separados, ou imames, da linhagem de Maomé & # x2019s, a quem eles acreditavam que foram designados divinamente. O cisma se aprofundou em 680, quando o exército do califa sunita & # x2019s matou o terceiro imã, o filho de Ali & # x2019s, Hussein, um evento que os xiitas marcam em um rito anual de luto. A maioria dos xiitas acredita que houve 12 imãs legítimos, o último dos quais se escondeu no século IX e retornará quando os subgrupos de messias se separaram no quinto e no sétimo imams. Na ausência de um imã, os xiitas acreditam que estudiosos ilustres têm ampla autoridade para interpretar o conhecimento religioso para a comunidade. O sunismo rejeita as reivindicações divinas em nome de qualquer pessoa que não seja Maomé e os outros profetas do Alcorão. Muitos sunitas desaprovam a prática xiita de reverenciar os parentes de Mohammad & # x2019s & # x2014 fazendo santuários de seus túmulos e dias festivos de seus aniversários. Os sunitas acreditam que a autoridade religiosa vem diretamente do Alcorão e das tradições de Maomé. Seus estudiosos têm menos latitude para interpretar o Islã.

O argumento

O atrito entre sunitas e xiitas, sem dúvida, surge em parte da ofensa genuína em relação às crenças dos outros. Ainda assim, os conflitos de hoje são amplamente alimentados por agendas políticas. A questão é menos como os muçulmanos devem observar sua fé do que quem deve ter o poder. No caso dos arquirrivais & # xA0Saudi Arábia e Irã, o apoio & # x2014 ou suporte percebido & # x2014 de um para os companheiros sunitas ou xiitas em outros lugares tende a atrair a intervenção do outro no lado oposto. Até mesmo o Estado Islâmico sem remorso assassino tem um propósito político de alvejar civis xiitas. Ele busca semear o caos para desestabilizar as sociedades em busca de seu objetivo final: um califado global.


Monoteísmo de Freud: um olhar comparativo

Se Ashura soa como uma campainha para o leitor cristão, deveria. As semelhanças entre Hussein e Jesus são muitas para serem ignoradas: ambos eram homens decentes e sem poder que se levantaram contra os poderes constituídos e, por um ato de sacrifício, desmascararam a reivindicação de fé do tirano. Ambas as mortes foram trágicas o suficiente para desencadear séculos de luto e gerar novas doutrinas religiosas. A história de Jesus e dos judeus, portanto, pode nos dar alguma pista sobre as raízes do conflito atual no mundo islâmico.

Em algum momento de 1939, em Londres, quando a perseguição aos judeus na Alemanha atingiu um nível sem precedentes e a segunda guerra mundial engolfou a Europa, o velho coração partido Sigmund Freud, tendo fugido de sua amada Viena para Londres para passar seus últimos anos no exílio, sentou-se para baixo para escrever a última parcela de seu estudo do judaísmo.

Na segunda parte do livro, Freud reitera as ideias centrais da Totem e Tabu, descrevendo como o assassinato do pai pelas mãos de irmãos antigos fundou a sociedade humana. No Moisés e o monoteísmo, ele também considera o patricídio o fundamento do monoteísmo, argumentando que o deus monoteísta é o pai assassinado elevado ao status divino. Ele também faz uma breve comparação com o Islã, afirmando que “o desenvolvimento interno da nova religião, no entanto, logo parou, talvez por não ter a profundidade que, na religião judaica, resultou do assassinato de seu fundador”. Os xiitas discordariam: para eles, o assassinato de Hussein e sua família em Karbala não é menos convincente do que a crucificação para os cristãos.

Freud lê a história das religiões como caminhos tortuosos para o crescimento. Além da morte do pai, as tensões e guerras que ocorrem nas primeiras fases das religiões equivalem a traumas massivos de infância em uma pessoa. Assim como os traumas têm um período de incubação e voltam para picar mais tarde na vida, os traumas históricos das religiões permaneceram latentes por longos períodos, às vezes séculos. Reprimimos traumas para tornar a vida suportável, mas o reprimido está fadado a voltar. Não deveríamos atribuir uma parte das guerras religiosas e sectárias da história aos traumas que sofreram na infância?

O livro atipicamente sombrio de Freud nos diz que as cicatrizes históricas e religiosas não desaparecem facilmente. Cada grande desenvolvimento na história, em sua concepção, foi marcado por cicatrizes. A cicatriz no coração do Islã não é exceção: o descontentamento criado no shura transformou-se em um arranhão pela guerra do Camelo e em uma cicatriz profunda por Karbala. Traumas como esse não simplesmente desaparecem, mas podem ser controlados, assim como esse trauma foi contido por centenas de anos.

A história dos últimos dois séculos no Oriente Médio representa golpes sucessivos em todas as forças que contêm o trauma infantil do Islã. O colonialismo brutal, reis titulares que fizeram pouco mais do que agradar seus senhores ocidentais, qualquer número de ditadores seculares cuja brutalidade cega fortaleceu clérigos reacionários, prejudicou gravemente séculos de coexistência pacífica em todo o mundo islâmico.

A desastrosa invasão do Iraque foi a gota d'água. Ele rasgou os últimos tecidos que mantinham este corpo machucado unido. Assim como o surgimento de Hitler arruinou a existência pacífica na já sofrida Europa e abriu a cicatriz no coração das sociedades judaico-cristãs que se originou na crucificação de Jesus pelas mãos de seus companheiros judeus, a invasão de Bush ao Iraque serviu como o fósforo em um barril de dinamite.

Portanto, a tensão xiita-sunita é tão inevitável e parte integrante do Islã quanto qualquer outra religião; a tensão sectária é parte integrante de qualquer outra religião. Graças à enorme quantidade de violência acumulada no Oriente Médio durante séculos, o trauma de infância do Islã explodiu em sua superfície.

A catástrofe está viajando ao longo de linhas sectárias e os líderes mundiais estão olhando para ela paralisados. De vez em quando, eles vêm com planos cosméticos de paz, que nunca funcionam, porque esse tipo de cicatriz não será curado por manobras políticas e manobras astutas. Somente o compromisso fundamental com a paz de todas as partes pode acabar com isso. Na ausência de cooperação honesta entre as facções em guerra, a cicatriz continuará a sangrar, até que o corpo esteja irremediavelmente morto.

Amir Ahmadi Arian é um escritor e tradutor iraniano, PhD graduado em literatura comparada pela Universidade de Queensland, atualmente matriculado no programa de escrita criativa da NYU & # 8217s. No Irã, ele trabalhou com vários jornais e revistas e publicou mais de 200 artigos sobre a cultura e a política do Irã e do Oriente Médio.


Sunita - Shia: Breve História

Os muçulmanos sunitas e xiitas compartilham as crenças islâmicas e artigos de fé mais fundamentais. As diferenças entre esses dois subgrupos principais dentro do Islã inicialmente não se originaram de diferenças espirituais, mas políticas. Ao longo dos séculos, entretanto, essas diferenças políticas geraram uma série de práticas e posições variadas que passaram a ter um significado espiritual.

A divisão entre xiitas e sunitas remonta à morte do profeta Muhammad e à questão de quem assumiria a liderança da nação muçulmana. Os muçulmanos sunitas concordam com a posição assumida por muitos dos companheiros do Profeta, de que o novo líder deve ser eleito entre os que são capazes para o trabalho. Isso foi feito, e o amigo próximo e conselheiro do Profeta Muhammad, Abu Bakr, tornou-se o primeiro califa da nação islâmica.

A palavra "sunita" em árabe vem de uma palavra que significa "aquele que segue as tradições do Profeta".

Por outro lado, alguns muçulmanos compartilham a crença de que a liderança deveria ter ficado dentro da própria família do Profeta, entre aqueles especificamente nomeados por ele ou entre os Imames nomeados pelo próprio Deus.

Os muçulmanos xiitas acreditam que após a morte do profeta Muhammad, a liderança deveria ter passado diretamente para seu primo / genro, Ali. Ao longo da história, os muçulmanos xiitas não reconheceram a autoridade dos líderes muçulmanos eleitos, optando por seguir uma linha de Imames que eles acreditam ter sido nomeados pelo Profeta Muhammad ou pelo próprio Deus. A palavra "xiita" em árabe significa um grupo ou partido de apoio de pessoas. O termo comumente conhecido é abreviado do histórico "Shia-t-Ali" ou "o Partido de Ali". Eles também são conhecidos como seguidores de "Ahl-al-Bayt" ou "Povo da Família" (do Profeta).

A partir dessa questão inicial de liderança política, alguns aspectos da vida espiritual foram afetados e agora diferem entre os dois grupos de muçulmanos.

Os muçulmanos xiitas acreditam que o Imam não tem pecado por natureza e que sua autoridade é infalível, pois vem diretamente de Deus. Portanto, os muçulmanos xiitas frequentemente veneram os imames como santos e realizam peregrinações aos seus túmulos e santuários na esperança da intercessão divina. Os muçulmanos sunitas respondem que não há base no Islã para uma classe hereditária privilegiada de líderes espirituais, e certamente nenhuma base para a veneração ou intercessão dos santos. Os muçulmanos sunitas afirmam que a liderança da comunidade não é um direito de nascença, mas uma confiança conquistada e que pode ser dada ou retirada pelas próprias pessoas.

Os muçulmanos xiitas também sentem animosidade por alguns dos companheiros do Profeta Muhammad, com base em suas posições e ações durante os primeiros anos de discórdia sobre liderança na comunidade. Muitos desses companheiros (Abu Bakr, Umar, Aisha, etc.) narraram tradições sobre a vida e a prática espiritual do Profeta. Os muçulmanos xiitas rejeitam essas tradições (hadith) e não baseiam nenhuma de suas práticas religiosas no testemunho desses indivíduos. Isso naturalmente dá origem a algumas diferenças na prática religiosa entre os dois grupos. Essas diferenças afetam todos os aspectos detalhados da vida religiosa: oração, jejum, peregrinação, etc.

Os muçulmanos sunitas constituem a maioria (85%) dos muçulmanos em todo o mundo. Populações significativas de muçulmanos xiitas podem ser encontradas no Irã e no Iraque, e grandes comunidades minoritárias no Iêmen, Bahrein, Síria e Líbano.

É importante lembrar que, apesar de todas essas diferenças de opinião e prática, os muçulmanos xiitas e sunitas compartilham os principais artigos da crença islâmica e são considerados pela maioria como irmãos na fé. Na verdade, a maioria dos muçulmanos não se distingue por alegar pertencer a nenhum grupo em particular, mas prefere se chamar simplesmente de "muçulmanos".


Explicação da divisão entre sunitas e xiitas entre o Islã e o # 8217

Os muçulmanos do mundo se dividem em dois campos principais, sunitas e xiitas, às vezes comparados aos católicos e protestantes do cristianismo. Mas a semelhança é superficial. Em termos da população muçulmana total do mundo, sunitas e xiitas discordam sobre a porcentagem de cada grupo, com os sunitas respondendo por 80-90% do total e os xiitas 10-20%.

Após a morte de Muhammad em 632 EC, a luta sobre quem deveria sucedê-lo tornou o Islã & # 8217 no meio século seguinte muito turbulento. Na verdade, três dos primeiros quatro sucessores de Maomé foram assassinados. A divisão sunita-xiita remonta ao conflito inicial.

Ali, primo e genro de Muhammad, foi escolhido pela comunidade como seu quarto sucessor. Mas uma minoria afirmou que Muhammad indicou Ali e sua linhagem para sucedê-lo, e que Ali teria liderado desde o início se famílias poderosas não o tivessem deixado de lado. Essa minoria passou a ser conhecida como xiita, do árabe shi c at c Ali, ou “partidários de Ali”. Os sunitas, seus oponentes, contestaram que, ao permitir que a maioria dos líderes muçulmanos decidisse, eles seguiram a atitude de Maomé Sunna, ou “forma” de escolha. [1]

Depois do assassinato de Ali em 661, a divisão só aumentou. Em 670, o primeiro filho de Ali, Hassan, foi assassinado. Então, em 680, no que ambos os lados concordam que foi um ato de traição, o representante do califa sunita decapitou o filho restante de Ali, Husayn, em Karbala, no atual Iraque. Ele matou a maioria dos companheiros e familiares de Husayn com ele, incluindo seu filho pequeno, Ali.

Dada essa história, sunitas e xiitas divergem naturalmente em várias questões teológicas e práticas. Uma prática definidora dos Twelver Shias, por exemplo, é o ritual anual de comemoração do martírio de Husayn e seus companheiros. A divisão sunita-xiita também é marcada por fortes divergências sobre

  • Como o cisma se desenrolou, incluindo quais personagens são heróis
  • Quais hadiths são aceitos
  • Questões jurídicas, em coisas como casamento e divórcio
  • A autoridade dos sucessores legítimos de Maomé, sejam califas (sunitas) ou imames (xiitas) [2]
  • Como a história vai se desenrolar e o papel do Mahdi, um libertador escatológico de males externos

Mas, apesar de suas muitas diferenças, sunitas e xiitas concordam sobre a importância de Maomé e do Alcorão em sua fé. Portanto, eles têm pontos de vista semelhantes na maioria dos princípios básicos:

  • Os "cinco pilares" do Islã, ou práticas essenciais - o credo, orações rituais, esmola, Ramadã e peregrinação a Meca
  • Os profetas e escrituras antes de Muhammad
  • A natureza do relacionamento do crente com Deus [3] [3]
  • Essa salvação é conquistada por boas ações e lealdade à comunidade muçulmana
  • A importância vital do último dia

A mídia frequentemente informa sobre a violência entre sunitas e xiitas em lugares como Iraque e Paquistão. Essa violência é trágica e não deve ser minimizada, especialmente com a ameaça de um Irã (xiita) e da Arábia Saudita (sunita) nuclearizados antes de nós. Mas os muçulmanos que reclamam que esses relatórios distorcem a imagem estão parcialmente certos porque o modelo de negócios de nossa mídia de notícias "tanto pressupõe quanto aumenta a polarização", [4] e muitos sunitas e xiitas coexistem pacificamente. É igualmente verdade, no entanto, que a rivalidade sunita-xiita permanecerá um desestabilizador sempre que uma das seitas for considerada uma ameaça no mundo muçulmano. Isto é, enquanto ambas as versões do islamismo - xiita e sunita - estiverem vivas e bem. [5] E atualmente nenhum dos dois mostra qualquer sinal de enfraquecimento.

[1] Ambas as visões foram vistas na Arábia pré-islâmica, embora ambas ainda estejam presentes nas tribos da Arábia Saudita e # 8217 hoje. Na maioria das tribos, os clãs eram representados por um conselho de líderes que escolheu o xeque tribal. Em contraste, uma minoria de tribos adotou uma abordagem hereditária à liderança tribal. Assim, parece que a minoria da Arábia pré-islâmica (que sentia que a sucessão tribal deveria ser hereditária) se tornou a minoria islâmica (xiita), após a morte de Maomé.

[2] Os sunitas vêem seus califas como líderes políticos ordenados divinamente, enquanto os xiitas também consideram seus imãs guias infalíveis em questões espirituais.

[3] Isso se aplica apenas superficialmente aos Ismaili Shia (Seveners). Na verdade, as duas maiores seitas xiitas (Twelvers e Fivers) provavelmente têm mais em comum teologicamente com os sunitas do que com os ismaelitas.

[4] Ross Douthat, & # 8220How Trump Hacked the Media Right Before Our Eyes & # 8221 New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/21/opinion/trump-facebook-cambridge-analytica-media.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage Acessado em 21 de março de 2018.

[5] O islamismo é a tentativa de retornar às raízes militantemente políticas do Islã.


Cisma ‘Tóxico’ do Islã

Incorporada na rivalidade entre a Arábia Saudita e o Irã, a divisão sunita-xiita é um cisma que ameaça separar o mundo islâmico. Embora suas origens remontem aos primórdios do Islã, sua toxicidade atual é um desenvolvimento recente.

Reverência xiita: retrato do Imam Husayn ibn Ali, filho de Ali ibn Abi Talib, em uma rua em Kashan, Irã.

As palavras sunitas e xiitas só surgiram na consciência pública no final da década de 1970. Antes disso - exceto entre os próprios sunitas e xiitas - os termos eram em grande parte confinados ao mundo rarefeito das faculdades de estudos islâmicos. Mas em 1978 tornou-se óbvio para os jornalistas que lutavam com os primeiros estágios da revolução islâmica no Irã que o clero xiita, rejeitado como "corvos negros" irrelevantes pelo Shah que logo seria deposto, era na verdade muito importante. Poucos analistas políticos - incluindo os da CIA e do MI6 - sabiam muito sobre eles.

Desde então, passamos de um extremo ao outro. Hoje, muitos comentaristas consideram a divisão sunita-xiita a causa raiz de todas as dificuldades enfrentadas atualmente pelo Oriente Médio e pelo resto do mundo islâmico. Esta explicação é fácil, se conveniente. Nem está confinado a neoconservadores ou empresários de identidade de direita no Ocidente, que gostam de escrever sobre uma luta darwiniana pela alma do Islã que se encaixa em seus próprios preconceitos sobre a natureza essencialmente violenta da religião. Indeed, Barack Obama is on record as stating that ‘ancient sectarian differences’ are the drivers of today's instability in the Arab world and that ‘the Middle East is going through a transformation going on for a generation rooted in conflicts that date back millenia’.

What truth is there in such statements? In order to answer that question, we need to establish how most Muslims became either Sunni or Shia and examine why the split is still theologically significant. Is the Sunni-Shia divide really a driver for conflict or is it in reality a convenient cloak for political disputes? I believe that the latter is the case and that we hinder our attempts at analysis by using the divide as an explanation for modern conflicts.

The origins of the split may go back to the final hours of the Prophet Muhammad's life in 632. When those close to him realised he was dying, they were forced to confront the question of who would lead the Muslim faithful after his death. The Muslims, followers of the new religion Muhammad believed had been revealed to him by God, now dominated Arabia. Yet there were different factions within the Muslim community and its roots were still shallow in many parts of the peninsula. Whoever became the new caliph, as the leader of the community came to be styled, would be faced with pressing political decisions, as well as the need to provide spiritual guidance. Moreover, his authority would never be able to match that wielded by Muhammad, since the caliph would not be a prophet.

Ali bin Abi Talib, Muhammad's cousin, who had also married his daughter, Fatima, believed that the Prophet had designated him as his successor. But other leading companions of Muhammad considered Ali unsuitable. He was 30 years younger than Muhammad and therefore much younger than many of the Prophet's leading companions. Some questioned the reliability of his judgment. Perhaps most crucially, he was perceived as too close to the Muslims of Medina, the Ansar. These ‘Helpers’ were the inhabitants of Medina who had given refuge to the Prophet and his followers after they left Mecca in 622. As such, they were not members of the aristocratic Meccan tribe of Quraysh, to which Muhammad had belonged. Ali was repeatedly overlooked as the leadership passed in turn to three much older companions of the Prophet: Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman. Ali accepted this state of affairs with grudging resignation but never abandoned his belief that the Prophet had intended him as his successor.

During the 24 years in which Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman ruled the polity which Muhammad had established, it turned into an empire that conquered Greater Syria, Iraq, Egypt and much of the Iranian plateau. This success was nearly its undoing. Mutinous tribesmen, dissatisfied with their share of the booty from the conquests, murdered Uthman and it was only at this point, in 656, that Ali was acclaimed as caliph.

Ali's rule was contested from the outset. Civil wars inside the Muslim community began within months. The Prophet's widow, Ayesha, stirred up a rebellion against Ali under the leadership of two other eminent companions of the Prophet, Talha and Zubair, both figures of sufficient stature to be considered potential candidates for caliph. Ali defeated them and they were both killed on the battlefield, but then he had to fight the powerful governor of Syria, Mu'awiya, who was a kinsman of the murdered Uthman. There was a pause for negotiations but, before this dispute could be resolved, Ali was assassinated in 661 and the caliphate was taken over by Mu'awiya, who founded the Umayyad dynasty, which ruled until it was overthrown by the Abbasids in 750. Their caliphate lasted until 1258, although they had to bow to the control of families of warlords from 945 onwards. Most Muslims accepted Umayyad and then Abbasid rule, but the office of caliph decayed into little more than a symbolic source of legitimacy. Whatever power the caliph may (or may not) have once had to define Islamic teaching had drained away by the middle of the ninth century.

The civil wars that shattered the Muslim community's unity during Ali's caliphate were a scandal and left a trauma. Islam was meant to bring peace and justice. Instead, it had been torn apart by violence leaving a legacy of bitterness and mistrust, as well as calls for vengeance. Some of Muhammad's closest companions had led armies against each other. As a consequence of this discord, two competing narratives of the early history of Islam emerged, which led directly to rival conceptions of how the truths of Islam should be discerned.

All Muslims accept the Quran as their starting point. The question is: how can Muslims discern the teaching and practice of their faith when the text of the Quran does not provide a clear answer to questions about doctrine and practice. Most Muslims looked to the Prophet's companions as the source of his wisdom, his customs and his practice of the faith. But this was problematic for those who believed Muhammad had intended Ali to follow him. This group saw the overwhelming majority of the companions as people who had betrayed the wishes of the Prophet after his death, when they rejected Ali. It followed that, however close those companions may have been to the Prophet during his lifetime, they were unreliable transmitters of the faith.

Ali's followers clung instead to a belief in the Prophet's family as the source for the true teaching of Islam, especially Ali and his direct descendants through Fatima, the Prophet's daughter. In each generation, the head of the House of Ali became known as the Imam (not to be confused with the more general title given to a prayer leader by Sunni Muslims). He was deemed to be sinless and to have a direct connection with the Divine that meant his interpretation of the faith would always be the true one. Such ideas were anathema to the majority of Muslims, who believed Ali had not been chosen by the Prophet as his successor.

These are the two communities we now call Sunni and Shia. Sunnis are those who revere the companions of the Prophet and see them as the transmitters of his practice or custom (sunnah in Arabic) Shias are the partisans of Ali and his descendants through Fatima (Shi'ah means faction or party). The differences between them go back to their incompatible interpretations of the early history of Islam and each can find justification for its position in the historical sources. The Shia see Sunnis as betrayers of the true Islam, while Sunnis see the Shias as a group who have brought factional strife into their religion. Although most Shia clerics discourage this today, there have been many periods of history when Shia have cursed Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman as well as other important Sunni figures such as the Prophet's widow Ayesha. For their part, many Sunni scholars throw up their hands in horror at the Shia veneration for the Imams, which they see as a form of idolatry.

As long as the basic point concerning these rival narratives of early Islamic history and their theological significance is understood, there is no need to delve any deeper into the struggles between medieval dynasties in order to understand the tensions between Sunnis and Shias today. It is sometimes implied that those struggles have continued into modern times, but this is entirely wrong. What has survived into our own time is the existence of rival – and, to an extent, incompatible ­– teachings as to how the doctrines and practice of Islam should be discerned.

Today, up to 90 per cent of Muslims are Sunnis. Among the Shia minority, an overwhelming majority are ‘Twelvers’. ‘Twelver Shi'ism’ teaches that the 12th Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, went into hiding in the late ninth century in order to escape murder at the hands of the Sunni Abbasid caliphs. He remains alive to this day but is hidden, or absent, from the world. He will reappear at the end of time to initiate a millenarian era of justice which will precede the struggle with the Antichrist and the Last Judgement. One consequence for Twelvers of the absence of the Imam until the end of earthly time is that their religious scholars have gradually taken over the Imam's role in expounding the doctrines and practice of the faith. Iran and Azerbaijan are Twelver countries, while Twelvers constitute a majority in Iraq and Bahrain and are the largest single religious sect in Lebanon. There are also significant Twelver minorities in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central Asia and among the Muslims of India.

When people talk of the Sunni-Shia divide as an issue in international politics, they are generally alluding to the divide between Sunnis and Twelvers, since that is the divide that appears to have political significance today. Other Shia groups, such as the Ismaili followers of the Agha Khan, tend to have little significance in the politics of most Muslim countries, while others, such as the Alawis of Syria (who are an offshoot of the Twelvers) or the Zaydis of Yemen (who are not) are only of political importance in the particular countries where they are located.

It is often forgotten that the Sunni-Shia divide only became explosive internationally from the 1970s onwards. Before then, Twelvers had come to be accepted by many Sunnis almost as an additional law school alongside the four great law schools of Sunni Islam. Sunnis accept these four law schools, the Malikis, Hanafis, Shafi'is and Hanbalis, as equally valid in their teaching of the practice of the faith. Twelvers are sometimes described as followers of the Ja'fari law school, named after the sixth Imam, Ja'far al-Sadiq (died 765). It is worth noting in passing that, as well as being a Shia Imam, he was also hugely respected by Sunnis as a teacher of Muslim doctrine and practice. Malik bin Anas and Abu Hanifa, the founders of the Maliki and Hanafi law schools of Sunni Islam, were among his pupils.

None of this means that tensions between Sunnis and Shias had been absent. After the creation of the modern state of Iraq, for instance, there were bitter struggles over whether the Sunni or Shia interpretation of the early history of Islam should be taught in schools. The majority Shia felt excluded from Iraq's predominantly Sunni elite (although between 1945 and the overthrow of the Iraqi monarchy in 1958 there were four Shia prime ministers). Yet in many countries, including Iraq and Syria, secular politics based on nationalist and socialist ideas seemed to be the way forward. This made questions of sectarian identity among the Muslims there less important. When India was partitioned in 1947, Pakistan was conceived as a homeland for a new nation that would have Islam as the cornerstone of its national identity. Intra-Muslim sectarianism played no part in its creation. Frequently overlooked today (and sometimes airbrushed from history) is the fact that Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, was a Twelver Shia. So were the Bhutto family.

Why has Sunni-Shia sectarianism become so toxic? There are several reasons. The first is the tolerance of anti-Shia hate speech by the Saudi Arabian government, which, especially after it accrued massive oil revenues from 1973 onwards, has sought to export its brittle Wahhabi ideology. Saudi Arabia might see itself as promoting Muslim solidarity as a rallying point for conservatives against Arab nationalism, socialism and democracy, yet its founding ideology, Wahhabism, demonises the Shia (and Sufis) as idolaters. The second reason is the Iranian revolution of 1979. This was ‘Islamic’, although not primarily in a sectarian sense. Ayatollah Khomeini's ambition was to persuade all Muslims – Sunnis as well as Shias – to line up behind him. (That was his motive when issuing a death sentence on Salman Rushdie, for example). The spread of Iranian revolutionary ideas was seen as a threat by Saudi Arabia and all other western-aligned, conservative states with Muslim populations. As the decades passed, Saudi Arabia and Iran would both try to co-opt Sunni and Shia communities to their side in their struggle for regional power. Iran's greatest success was in the mobilisation of the Twelvers of Lebanon and the formation of the political and paramilitary organisation, Hezbollah. It also did what it could to stir up trouble for Saudi Arabia among the Twelvers of the oil-rich eastern province of the kingdom, who were always looked down on with suspicion by the Saudi monarchy and suffered discrimination. In Pakistan, as a result of Saudi influence during the military rule of General Zia ul-Haq from 1977-88, a form of strict Sunni Islam became the governing ideology of the state. This excluded the Shia and led to the sectarianisation of Pakistani politics

The third reason is the decay of Ba'athism, the ultra-secular Arab nationalist movement that came to power during the 1950s and 1960s in Syria and Iraq through a series of military coups and intrigues. Although Ba'athism pledged to remove religion from politics entirely, the manner in which Ba'athist regimes came to power ended up having the opposite effect. Military dictators have to build up power bases with patronage. Men like Saddam Hussein in Iraq (a member of the Sunni minority) and Hafez al-Assad in Syria (a member of the Shia Alawi minority) promoted family members, childhood friends from their own town or village, people from their own tribe and province and, almost inevitably, co-sectarians. It should be no surprise that Saddam's Republican Guard were recruited from (Sunni) tribes near the president's home town, or that the Alawis of the mountains where Hafez al Assad grew up supplied a disproportionate number of his secret policemen.

In both countries, democratic life ended in the late 1950s or early 1960s and the dictators were as brutal as expediency required. No wonder, then, that toxic sectarian politics should have found fertile soil in each of them. In Syria, this occurred when militant Sunni Islamists, who denounced Alawis and Ba'athists as apostates, took on the regime in Hama in 1982 and subsequently infiltrated the abortive revolution after 2011. In Iraq, Shia opposition to Saddam led to the growth of religion-based political parties linked to Iran, while the re-introduction of democratic elections after the 2003 invasion led to the flourishing of sectarian parties. The perfect storm created in both countries incubated ISIS with its extreme anti-Shia rhetoric. In Iraq, some Sunnis who felt excluded from the new order were tempted to fight under its banner, which also attracted a number of talented former army officers. In Syria, where those killed by ISIS are only a fraction of the number killed by government forces, some Sunnis could see ISIS as the lesser of two evils.

Yet sectarianism is a blind alley. The ideals of the Arab Spring in 2011 and similar movements were non-sectarian. The sectarian identity entrepreneurs who have set up groups like Al Qaidah and ISIS may succeed in manipulating enough people in their communities to destabilise the region for years to come, but in the end the ideals which shook the Arab world in 2011 showed that the people of the region wish to travel in a different direction. Those ideals such as democracy, the rule of law, freedom of speech and the wish for a modern, corruption-free economy (all summarised by the protesters by the one word karamah, ‘dignity’) still bubble away beneath the surface.

John McHugo is the author of A Concise History of Sunnis and Shi‘is (Saqi, 2017).


Conteúdo

Most of Islamic history was transmitted orally until after the rise of the Abbasid Caliphate. [note 1] Historical works of later Muslim writers include the traditional biographies of Muhammad and quotations attributed to him—the sira e hadith literature—which provide further information on Muhammad's life. [1] The earliest surviving written sira (biography of Muhammad) is Sirat Rasul Allah (Life of God's Messenger) by Ibn Ishaq (d. 761 or 767 CE). [2] Although the original work is lost, portions of it survive in the recensions of Ibn Hisham (d. 833) and Al-Tabari (d. 923). [3] Many scholars accept these biographies although their accuracy is uncertain. [4] Studies by J. Schacht and Ignác Goldziher have led scholars to distinguish between legal and historical traditions. According to William Montgomery Watt, although legal traditions could have been invented, historical material may have been primarily subject to "tendential shaping" rather than being invented. [5] Modern Western scholars approach the classic Islamic histories with circumspection and are less likely than Sunni Islamic scholars to trust the work of the Abbasid historians.

Hadith compilations are records of the traditions or sayings of Muhammad. The development of hadith is a crucial element of the first three centuries of Islamic history. [6] Early Western scholars mistrusted the later narrations and reports, regarding them as fabrications. [7] Leone Caetani considered the attribution of historical reports to `Abd Allah ibn `Abbas and Aisha as mostly fictitious, preferring accounts reported without isnad by early historians such as Ibn Ishaq. [8] Wilferd Madelung has rejected the indiscriminate dismissal of everything not included in "early sources", instead judging later narratives in the context of history and compatibility with events and figures. [9]

The only contemporaneous source is The Book of Sulaym ibn Qays (Kitab al-Saqifah) by Sulaym ibn Qays (died 75-95 AH or 694-714 CE). This collection of hadith and historical reports from the first century of the Islamic calendar narrates in detail events relating to the succession. [10] However, there have been doubts regarding the reliability of the collection, with some believing that it was a later creation given that the earliest mention of the text only appears in the 11th century. [11]

Feast of Dhul Asheera Edit

During the revelation of Ash-Shu'ara, the twenty-sixth Surah of the Quran, in c. 617, [12] Muhammad is said to have received instructions to warn his family members against adhering to their pre-Islamic religious practices. There are differing accounts of Muhammad's attempt to do this, with one version stating that he had invited his relatives to a meal (later termed the Feast of Dhul Asheera), during which he gave the pronouncement. [13] According to Ibn Ishaq, it consisted of the following speech:

Allah has commanded me to invite you to His religion by saying: And warn thy nearest kinsfolk. I, therefore, warn you, and call upon you to testify that there is no god but Allah, and that I am His messenger. O ye sons of Abdul Muttalib, no one ever came to you before with anything better than what I have brought to you. By accepting it, your welfare will be assured in this world and in the Hereafter. Who among you will support me in carrying out this momentous duty? Who will share the burden of this work with me? Who will respond to my call? Who will become my vicegerent, my deputy and my wazir? [14]

Among those gathered, only Ali offered his consent. Some sources, such as the Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, do not record Muhammad's reaction to this, though Ibn Ishaq continues that he then declared Ali to be his brother, heir and successor. [15] In another narration, when Muhammad accepted Ali's offer, he "threw up his arms around the generous youth, and pressed him to his bosom" and said, "Behold my brother, my vizir, my vicegerent . let all listen to his words, and obey him." [16]

The direct appointment of Ali as heir in this version is notable by the fact it alleges that his right to succession was established at the very beginning of Muhammad's prophetic activity. The association with the revelation of a Quranic verse also serves the purpose of providing the nomination with authenticity as well as a divine authorisation. [17]

Muhammad not naming a successor Edit

A number of sayings attributed to prominent companions of Muhammad are compiled by Al-Suyuti in his Tarikh Al Khulafa, which are used to present the view that Muhammad had not named a successor. [18] One such example, narrated by Al-Bayhaqi, alleges that Ali, following his victory in the Battle of the Camel, gave the statement "Oh men, verily the Apostle of God (Muhammad) hath committed nothing unto us in regard to this authority, in order that we might of our own judgement approve and appoint Abu Bakr." Another, recorded by Al-Hakim Nishapuri and also accredited to Ali, states that when asked if he wished to name his successor as caliph, Ali responded "the Apostle of God appointed none, shall I therefore do so?" [19] It is also claimed that when Caliph Umar was asked the same question, he replied that if he gave a nomination, he had precedent in Abu Bakr's actions if he named no one, he had precedent by Muhammad's. [18]

Hadith of Position Edit

Prior to embarking on the Expedition to Tabuk in 631, Muhammad designated Ali to remain in Medina and govern in his absence. According to Ibn Hisham, one of the earliest available sources of this hadith, Ali heard suggestions that he had been left behind because Muhammad had found his presence a burden. Ali immediately took his weapons and followed in pursuit of the army, catching up with them in an area called al-Jurf. He relayed to Muhammad the rumours, to which the latter responded "They lie. I left you behind because of what I had left behind, so go back and represent me in my family and yours. Are you not content, Ali, to stand to me as Aaron stood to Moses, except that there will be no prophet after me?" Ali then returned to Medina and took up his position as instructed. [20]

The key part of this hadith (in regards to the Shia interpretation of the succession) is the comparison of Muhammad and Ali with Moses and his brother Aaron. Aside from the fact that the relationship between the latter two is noted for its special closeness, hence emphasising that of the former, [21] it is notable that in Muslim traditions, Aaron was appointed by God as Moses' assistant, thus acting as an associate in his prophetic mission. [22] In the Quran, Aaron was described as being his brother's deputy when Moses ascended Mount Sinai. [23] [24] This position, the Shia scholar Sharif al-Murtaza argues, shows that he would have been Moses' successor and that Muhammad, by drawing the parallel between them, therefore viewed Ali in the same manner. [22] Of similar importance is the divine prerogatives bestowed upon Aaron's descendants in Rabbinical literature, whereby only his progeny is permitted to hold the priesthood. This can be compared to the Shia belief in the Imamate, in which Ali and his descendants are regarded as inheritors of religious authority. [25]

However, there are a number of caveats against this interpretation. The scholar al-Halabi records a version of the hadith which includes the additional detail that Ali had not been Muhammad's first choice in governing Medina, having instead initially chosen an individual named Ja'far. [note 2] It was only on the latter's refusal that Ali was given the position. [26] It is also notable that the familial relationship between Moses and Aaron was not the same as that of Muhammad and Ali, given that one pair were brothers while the other were cousins/in-laws. [27] Additionally, the Quran records that Aaron had failed in his duties during his brother's absence, having not only been unable to properly guide the people, but also joining them in performing idolatry. [28] [29] [27] Finally, Aaron never succeeded his brother, having died during Moses' lifetime after being punished by God for the latter's mistakes. [27]

Event of Ghadir Khumm Edit

o hadith of Ghadir Khumm has many different variations and is transmitted by both Sunni and Shia sources. The narrations generally state that in March 632, Muhammad, while returning from his Farewell Pilgrimage alongside a large number of followers and companions, stopped at the oasis of Ghadir Khumm. There, he took Ali's hand and addressed the gathering. The point of contention between different sects is when Muhammad, whilst giving his speech, gave the proclamation "Anyone who has me as his mawla, has Ali as his mawla." Some versions add the additional sentence "O God, befriend the friend of Ali and be the enemy of his enemy." [30]

Mawla has a number of meanings in Arabic, with interpretations of Muhammad's use here being split along sectarian lines between the Sunni and Shia. Among the former group, the word is translated as "friend" or "one who is loyal/close" and that Muhammad was advocating that Ali was deserving of friendship and respect. Conversely, Shi'ites tend to view the meaning as being "master" or "ruler" [31] and that the statement was a clear designation of Ali being Muhammad's appointed successor. [30]

Shia sources also record further details of the event. They state that those present congratulated Ali and acclaimed him as Amir al-Mu'minin, while Ibn Shahr Ashub reports that Hassan ibn Thabit recited a poem in his honour. [30] However, some doubts have been raised about this view of the incident. Historian M. A. Shaban argues that sources regarding the community at Medina at the time give no indication of the expected reaction had they heard of Ali's appointment. [32] Ibn Kathir meanwhile suggests that Ali was not present at Ghadir Khumm, instead being stationed in Yemen at the time of the sermon. [33]

Supporting Abu Bakr's succession Edit

Among Sunni sources, Abu Bakr's succession is justified by narrations of Muhammad displaying the regard with which he held the former. The most notable of these incidents occurred towards the end of Muhammad's life. Too ill to lead prayers as he usually would, Muhammad had instructed that Abu Bakr instead take his place, ignoring concerns that he was too emotionally delicate for the role. Abu Bakr subsequently took up the position, and when Muhammad entered the prayer hall one morning during Fajr prayers, Abu Bakr attempted to step back to let him to take up his normal place and lead. Muhammad however, allowed him to continue. [34]

Other incidents similarly used by Sunnis were Abu Bakr serving as Muhammad's vizier during his time in Medina, as well as him being appointed the first of his companions to lead the Hajj pilgrimage. However, several other companions had held similar positions of authority and trust, including the leading of prayers. Such honours may therefore not hold much importance in matters of succession. [34] [32]

Incident of the pen and paper Edit

Shortly before his death, Muhammad asked for writing materials so as to issue a statement that would prevent the Muslim nation from "going astray forever". [35] [36] However, those in the room began to quarrel about whether to obey this request, with concerns being raised that Muhammad may be suffering from delirium. When the argument grew heated, Muhammad ordered the group to leave and subsequently chose not to write anything. [37]

Many details regarding the event are disputed, including the nature of Muhammad's planned statement. Though what he had intended to write is unknown, later theologians and writers have offered their own suggestions, with many believing that he had wished to establish his succession. Shia writers, like Al-Shaykh Al-Mufid, suggest that it would have been a direct appointment of Ali as the new leader, while Sunnis, such as Al-Baladhuri, state that it was to designate Abu Bakr. The story has also been linked to the rise of the community politics which followed Muhammad's death, with a possible suggestion that the hadith shows that Muhammad had implicitly given his acceptance and permission to how the Muslim ummah chooses to act in his absence. It may therefore be linked with the emergence of sayings attributed to Muhammad such as "My ummah will never agree on an error", an idea perpetuated by theologians like Ibn Hazm and Ibn Sayyid al-Nās. [37]

Saqifah Edit

In the immediate aftermath of the death of Muhammad in 632, a gathering of the Ansar (natives of Medina) took place in the Saqifah (courtyard) of the Banu Sa'ida clan. [38] The general belief at the time was that the purpose of the meeting was for the Ansar to decide on a new leader of the Muslim community among themselves, with the intentional exclusion of the Muhajirun (migrants from Mecca), though this has since become the subject of debate. [39]

Nevertheless, Abu Bakr and Umar, both prominent companions of Muhammad, upon learning of the meeting became concerned of a potential coup and hastened to the gathering. When they arrived, Abu Bakr addressed the assembled men with a warning that an attempt to elect a leader outside of Muhammad's own tribe, the Quraysh, would likely result in dissension, as only they can command the necessary respect among the community. He then took Umar and another companion, Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah, by the hand and offered them to the Ansar as potential choices. He was countered with the suggestion that the Quraysh and the Ansar each choose a leader from among themselves, who would then rule jointly. The group grew heated upon hearing this proposal and began to argue amongst themselves. Umar hastily took Abu Bakr's hand and swore his own allegiance to the latter, an example followed by the gathered men. [40]

Abu Bakr was near-universally accepted as head of the Muslim community as a result of Saqifah, though he did face contention as a result of the rushed nature of the event. Several companions, most prominent among them being Ali ibn Abi Talib, initially refused to acknowledge his authority. [38] Ali himself may have been reasonably expected to assume leadership upon Muhammad's death, having been both the latter's cousin and son-in-law. [41] The theologian Ibrahim al-Nakhai stated that Ali also had support among the Ansar for his succession, explained by the genealogical links he shared with them. [note 3] Whether his candidacy for the succession was raised during Saqifah is unknown, though it is not unlikely. [43] Abu Bakr later sent Umar to confront Ali to gain his allegiance, resulting in an altercation which may have involved violence. [44] Six months after Saqifah, the dissenting group made peace with Abu Bakr and Ali offered him his fealty. [45] However, this initial conflict is regarded as the first sign of the coming split between the Muslims. [46] Those who had accepted Abu Bakr's election later became the Sunnis, while the supporters of Ali's hereditary right eventually became the Shia. [47]

Subsequent succession Edit

Abu Bakr adopted the title of Khalifat Rasul Allah, generally translated as "Successor to the Messenger of God". [48] This was shortened to Khalifa, from which the word "Caliph" arose. The use of this title continued with Abu Bakr's own successors, the caliphs Umar, Uthman and Ali, all of whom were non-hereditary. [49] [50] This was a group referred to by Sunnis as the Rashidun (rightly-guided) Caliphs, though only Ali is recognised by the Shia. [41] Abu Bakr's argument that the caliphate should reside with the Quraysh was accepted by nearly all Muslims in later generations. However, after Ali's assassination in 661, this definition also allowed the rise of the Umayyads to the throne, who despite being members of the Quraysh, were generally late converts to Islam during Muhammad's lifetime. [51]

Their ascendancy had been preceded by a civil war among the Sunnis and Shi'ites known as the First Fitna. Hostilities only ceased when Ali's eldest son Hasan (who had been elected upon his father's death) [52] made an agreement to abdicate in favour of the first Umayyad caliph, Muawiyah I, resulting in a period of relative calm and a hiatus in sectarian disagreements. This ended upon Muawiyah's death after twenty years of rule, when rather than following the previous tradition of electing/selecting a successor from among the pious community, he nominated his own son Yazid. This hereditary process of succession angered Hasan's younger brother Husayn, who publicly denounced the new caliph's legitimacy. Husayn and his family were eventually killed by Yazid's forces in 680 during the Battle of Karbala. This conflict marked the Second Fitna, as a result of which the Sunni-Shia schism became finalised. [50]

The succession subsequently transformed under the Umayyads from an elective/appointed position to being effectively hereditary within the family, [53] leading to the complaint that the caliphate had become no more than a "worldly kingship." [51] The Shi'ite's idea of the succession to Muhammad similarly evolved over time. Initially, some of the early Shia sects did not limit it to descendants of Ali and Muhammad, but to the extended family of Muhammad in general. One such group, alongside Sunnis, [54] supported the rebellion against the Umayyads led by the Abbasids, who were descendants of Muhammad's paternal uncle Abbas. However, when the Abbasids came to power in 750, they began championing Sunni Islam, alienating the Shi'ites. Afterwards, the sect limited the succession to descendants of Ali and Fatimah in the form of Imams. [41]

With the exception of Zaydis, [55] Shi'ites believe in the Imamate, a principle by which rulers are Imams who are divinely chosen, infallible and sinless and must come from the Ahl al-Bayt regardless of majority opinion, shura or election. [56] They claim that before his death, Muhammad had given many indications, in the Event of Ghadir Khumm in particular, that he considered Ali, his cousin and son-in-law, as his successor. [57] For the Twelvers, Ali and his eleven descendants, the twelve Imams, are believed to have been considered, even before their birth, as the only valid Islamic rulers appointed and decreed by God. [58] [59] Shia Muslims believe that with the exception of Ali and Hasan, all the caliphs following Muhammad's death were illegitimate and that Muslims had no obligation to follow them. [60] They hold that the only guidance that was left behind, as stated in the hadith of the two weighty things, was the Quran and Muhammad's family and offspring. [61] The latter, due to their infallibility, are considered to be able to lead the Muslim community with justice and equity. [62]

Zaydis, a Shia sub-group, believe that the leaders of the Muslim community must be Fatimids: descendants of Fatimah and Ali, through either of their sons, Hasan or Husayn. Unlike the Twelver and Isma'ili Shia, Zaydis do not believe in the infallibility of Imams nor that the Imamate must pass from father to son. [63] They named themselves Zaydis after Zayd ibn Ali, a grandson of Husayn, who they view as the rightful successor to the Imamate. This is due to him having led a rebellion against the Umayyad Caliphate, who he saw as tyrannical and corrupt. The then Twelver Imam, his brother Muhammad al-Baqir, did not engage in political action and the followers of Zayd believed that a true Imam must fight against corrupt rulers. [64]

One faction, the Batriyya, attempted to create a compromise between the Sunni and Shia by admitting the legitimacy of the Sunni caliphs while maintaining that they were inferior to Ali. Their argument was that while Ali was the best suited to succeed Muhammad, the reigns of Abu Bakr and Umar must be acknowledged because Ali had recognised them. [63] This belief, termed Imamat al-Mafdul (Imamate of the inferior), is one which has also been attributed to Zayd himself. [65] [note 4]

The general Sunni belief states that Muhammad had not chosen anyone to succeed him, instead reasoning that he had intended for the community to decide on a leader amongst themselves. However, some specific hadiths are used to justify that Muhammad intended Abu Bakr to succeed, but that he had shown this decision through his actions rather than doing so verbally. [18]

The election of a caliph is ideally a democratic choice made by the Muslim community. [66] They are supposed to be members of the Quraysh, the tribe of Muhammad. However, this is not a strict requirement, given that the Ottoman Caliphs had no familial relation to the tribe. [67] They are not viewed as infallible and can be removed from office if their actions are regarded as sinful. [66] Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali are regarded as the most righteous of their generation, with their merit being reflected in their Caliphate. The subsequent caliphates of the Umayyads and the Abbasids, while not ideal, are seen as legitimate because they complied with the requirements of the law, kept the borders safe and the community generally united. [68]

The Ibadi, an Islamic school distinct from the Sunni and Shia, [69] believe that leadership of the Muslim community is not something which should be decided by lineage, tribal affiliations or divine selection, but rather through election by leading Muslims. They see the leaders as not being infallible and that if they fail to maintain a legitimate government in accordance to Islamic law, it is the duty of the population to remove them from power. The Rashidun Caliphs are seen as rulers who were elected in a legitimate fashion and that Abu Bakr and Umar in particular were righteous leaders. However, Uthman is viewed as having committed grave sins during the latter half of his rule and was deserving of death. Ali is also similarly understood to have lost his mandate. [70]

Their first Imam was Abd Allah ibn Wahb al-Rasibi, who was selected after the group's alienation from Ali. [71] Other individuals seen as Imams include Abu Ubaidah Muslim, Abdallah ibn Yahya al-Kindi and Umar ibn Abdul Aziz. [72]


Ömer Taşpınar

Nonresident Senior Fellow - Foreign Policy, Center on the United States and Europe

Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel, in their excellent book, “Sectarianization: Mapping the New Politics of the Middle East,” provide a compilation from politicians, journalists and experts who never tire of repeating this mantra of timeless Sunni-Shiite hatred. For instance, US senator Ted Cruz has suggested that “Sunnis and Shiites have been engaged in a sectarian civil war since 632, it is the height of hubris and ignorance to make American national security contingent on the resolution of a 1,500-year-old religious conflict.” Mitch McConnell, the majority leader of the US senate, has observed that what is taking place in the Arab world is “a religious conflict that has been going on for a millennium and a half.” US Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell, a former senator himself, has also embraced this narrative: “First is a Sunni-Shiite split, which began as a struggle for political power following the death of the Prophet Muhammad. That’s going on around the world. It’s a huge factor in Iraq now, in Syria and in other countries.’’ Even New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman asserts that the “main issue in the Middle East is the 7th century struggle over who is the rightful heir to the Prophet Muhammad – Shiites or Sunnis.”

To be sure, this schism has deep historical roots. The rift indeed began shortly after the death of Prophet Mohammad and was centered on the question of rightful succession. Yet, linking the past to today begs a simple question: are Muslims in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon still fighting the same war going back to the early years of the faith? Is religion at the heart of their conflict? A resposta curta é não.

Religion only is a small part of a much bigger and complex geostrategic and political picture. The bleeding in Syria or Yemen would not stop if Sunnis and Shiites would suddenly agree on who was the rightful successor of Muhammad. Looking at the sectarianized conflicts of the Middle East through the lens of a 7th century conflict is therefore both simplistic and misleading.

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This lazy narrative of a primordial and timeless conflict needs to be replaced by serious analysis. And that should be one that looks at what the Sunni-Shiite sectarian contest has become in the 21st century: a modern conflict in failed or failing states fueled by a political, nationalist and geostrategic rivalry.

The sectarianized wars of today’s Middle East have their roots in modern nationalism, not in Islamic theology. These sectarian conflicts have become proxy wars between Iran and Saudi Arabia, two nationalist actors pursuing their strategic rivalry in places where governance has collapsed. What is happening is not the supposed re-emergence of ancient hatreds, but the mobilization of a new animus. The instrumentalization of religion and the sectarianization of a political conflict is a better way of approaching the problem, rather than projecting religion as the driver and root cause of the predicament.

Sunnis and Shiites managed to coexist during most of their history when a modicum of political order provided security for both communities. In other words, the two communities are not genetically predisposed to fight each other. Conflict is not in their DNA, and war is not their destiny.

The same goes for the nationalist rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The regional conflict between Tehran and Riyadh is neither primordial nor intractable. As late as in the 1970s, Iran and Saudi Arabia were monarchic allies against the nationalist republicanism of Egypt under Nasser. In short, Sunnis and Shiite are not fighting a religious war. Instead, Iranian and Arab nationalisms are engaged in a regional rivalry – particularly in Syria and Iraq – where governance has collapsed.

It is quite possible that the rise of identity politics in the West has blinded most American and European policymakers, analysts and journalists, who now focus almost exclusively on Islam without paying much attention to political, economic and social drivers of tension and conflict in the Middle East. Their false diagnosis will only fuel false prescriptions.

It is time to stop for the West to stop its obsession with Islam and begin focusing on the political, institutional and geostrategic factors behind sectarianism.



Comentários:

  1. Fek

    Peço desculpas por interferir ... estou familiarizado com essa situação. Vamos discutir.

  2. Mariel

    the remarkable phrase

  3. Donatien

    Absolutamente com você concorda. Nele algo também é considerado excelente.

  4. Hanraoi

    Bravo, seu pensamento é útil

  5. Tewodros

    É removido (tem seção emaranhada)



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