Kas ir sunnītu un šiītu plaisa?

Kas ir sunnītu un šiītu plaisa?


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Lai gan divas galvenās islāma sektas, sunnīti un šiīti, vienojas par lielāko daļu islāma pamatpārliecību un prakses, rūgta šķelšanās starp abiem ir apmēram 14 gadsimtus sena. Šķelšanās cēlonis bija strīds par to, kam būtu jāaizpilda pravietis Muhameds kā viņa ieviestā islāma ticības līderis.

Pašlaik aptuveni 85 procenti no aptuveni 1,6 miljardiem musulmaņu visā pasaulē ir sunnīti, bet 15 procenti ir šiīti, liecina Ārlietu padomes aplēses. Lai gan šiīti pārstāv lielāko daļu iedzīvotāju Irānā, Irākā, Bahreinā un Azerbaidžānā un daudzus Libānā, sunnīti ir vairākums vairāk nekā 40 citās valstīs - no Marokas līdz Indonēzijai.

Neskatoties uz atšķirībām, sunnīti un šiīti lielāko daļu vēstures ir dzīvojuši līdzās viens otram relatīvā mierā. Bet, sākot ar 20. gadsimta beigām, šķelšanās padziļinājās, daudzviet Tuvajos Austrumos izvēršoties vardarbībā, ekstrēmiem sunnītu un šiītu islāma zīmoliem cīnoties par reliģisko un politisko pārākumu.

Muhameda nāves sekas

Sunītu un šiītu šķelšanās saknes meklējamas septītajā gadsimtā, drīz pēc pravieša Muhameda nāves 632. gadā. Kamēr lielākā daļa Muhameda sekotāju uzskatīja, ka pārējiem islāma kopienas elites pārstāvjiem jāizvēlas viņa pēcnācējs, mazāka grupa uzskatīja, ka viņam vajadzētu sekot tikai kādam no Muhameda ģimenes-proti, viņa brālēnam un znotam Ali. Šī grupa kļuva pazīstama kā Ali sekotāji; arābu valodā Šīts Ali, vai vienkārši šiīti.

"Problēmas būtība ir tāda, ka Muhameds nomira bez vīrieša mantinieka, un viņš nekad skaidri nepateica, kurš vēlas būt viņa pēctecis," saka Leslija Hāzletone, grāmatas autore. Pēc pravieša: episkais stāsts par sunnītu-šiītu šķelšanos islāmā. "Tas bija svarīgi, jo līdz nāvei viņš būtībā bija apvienojis visas Arābijas ciltis tādā kā konfederācijā, kas kļuva par ummu - islāma tautu vai tautu."

Galu galā sunnītu vairākums (nosaukts par sunnavai tradīcija) uzvarēja un izvēlējās Muhameda tuvu draugu Abu Bakru kļūt par pirmo islāma kopienas kalifu jeb līderi. Ali galu galā kļuva par ceturto kalifu (jeb imamu, kā šiīti sauc savus līderus), bet tikai pēc tam, kad abi pirms viņa bija noslepkavoti.

Pats Ali tika nogalināts 661. gadā, turpinoties rūgtajai cīņai par sunnītu un šiītu varu. Uz spēles tika likta ne tikai Muhameda reliģiskā un politiskā mantojuma kontrole, bet arī liela nauda nodokļu un nodevu veidā, ko maksāja dažādas ciltis, kuras apvienojās zem islāma karoga. Šī naudas un varas kombinācija tikai pieaugs. Gadsimtā pēc Muhameda nāves viņa sekotāji bija izveidojuši impēriju, kas stiepās no Vidusāzijas līdz Spānijai.

Karbalas kauja un tās ilgstošā nozīme

681. gadā Ali dēls Huseins vadīja 72 sekotāju un ģimenes locekļu grupu no Mekas uz Karbalu (mūsdienu Irāka), lai stātos pretī korumpētajam kalifam Jazidam no Ummayad dinastijas. Viņus gaidīja milzīga sunnītu armija, un līdz 10 dienu pārtraukumam ar dažādām mazākām cīņām Huseins tika nogalināts un nokauts, un viņa galva tika nogādāta Damaskā kā veltījums sunnītu kalifam.

“Ummayads acīmredzot bija nolēmis galīgi izbeigt visas pretenzijas uz ummas vadību, kas ir tieša Mahometa pēctecība,” saka Hāzletons par Huseina nāvi un visu pārdzīvojušo Muhameda ģimenes locekļu nāvi. Karbala. "Bet tas, protams, nenotika." Tā vietā Huseina mocekļa nāve Kārbalā kļuva par šiītu tradīcijas centrālo stāstu, un tā tiek pieminēta katru gadu kā Ašura, svinīgākais datums šiītu kalendārā.

Sunītu un šiītu iedalījums 21. gadsimtā

Papildus Karbalai, NPR podcast Caurlīnija beigās noteica trīs galvenos pavērsienus, kas pastiprinātu sunnītu un šiītu šķelšanos. Vispirms notika Safavīdu dinastijas uzplaukums 16. gadsimtā, kas pārveidoja Irānu (ar spēku) no sunnītu centra par Tuvo Austrumu šiītu cietoksni. 20. gadsimta sākumā uzvarošie sabiedrotie pēc Pirmā pasaules kara sadalīja bijušās Osmaņu impērijas valdījumā esošo teritoriju, šajā procesā izgriežot gadsimtiem senās reliģiskās un etniskās kopienas. Visbeidzot, 1979. gadā Islāma revolūcija Irānā radīja radikālu šiītu islāma zīmolu, kas turpmākajās desmitgadēs vardarbīgi sadursies ar sunnītu konservatīvajiem Saūda Arābijā un citur.

Pieaugot islāma politizācijai un fundamentālistu uzplaukumam abās šķelšanās pusēs, 21. gadsimta sākumā pastiprinājās spriedze sektantiskajās attiecībās, it īpaši divu Persijas līča karu izraisīto satricinājumu laikā-haosā, kas sekoja ASV atbalstītajam Sadama Huseina gāšanai. Sunnītu režīms Irākā un masu sacelšanās visā reģionā, kas sākās ar arābu pavasari 2011.

Sunnītu un šiītu divīzijas veicinātu ilgstošu pilsoņu karu Sīrijā, cīņu Libānā, Irānā, Irākā, Jemenā un citur, kā arī teroristu vardarbību abās pusēs. Lielākajā daļā šo konfliktu kopīgs pavediens ir notiekošā cīņa starp sunnītu Saūda Arābiju un šiītu Irānu par ietekmi naftas bagātajos Tuvajos Austrumos un apkārtējos reģionos.

Neskatoties uz sunnītu un šiītu plaisas ilgstošo raksturu, fakts, ka abas sektas daudzus gadsimtus pastāvēja relatīvā mierā, liek domāt, ka viņu cīņām var būt mazāks sakars ar reliģiju nekā ar bagātību un varu.

"Neviens no viņiem nepārstāv lielāko daļu sunnītu musulmaņu vai lielāko daļu šiītu musulmaņu visā pasaulē," saka Hāzletons par fundamentālistu režīmiem, kas pārvalda gan Saūda Arābiju, gan Irānu.

"Kad sabiedrība sabrūk, jūs atkāpjaties pie vecajām identitātes formām, un šiīti un sunnīti ir 1400 gadus veci identitātes veidi."


Sunnītu un šiītu musulmaņi: izskaidrots islāma un#x27 1400 gadus vecais šķelšanās

Spriedze starp Saūda Arābiju un Irānu pamatā ir saistīta ar divām lietām - cīņu par dominējošo valsti Tuvajos Austrumos un faktu, ka valstis pārstāv divu konkurējošu islāma atzaru reģionālos cietokšņus.

Saūda Arābijas Karalisti pārvalda sunnītu monarhija, kas pazīstama kā Saudas nams, un 90 procenti iedzīvotāju piekrīt viņu līderu ticībai. Tikmēr Irānas Islāma Republika pārsvarā ir šiīti, un konfesijai pieder līdz pat 95 procentiem pilsoņu.

Abas valstis ir galvenās naftas ražotājas, bet, lai gan Saūda Arābija aizņem ievērojami lielāku sauszemes masu, Irānas iedzīvotāju skaits ir vairāk nekā divas reizes lielāks.

Tieši teoloģiskā plaisa patiešām virza ķīli starp abām valstīm, tomēr katra nespēj pieņemt otras valsts dominējošās ticības leģitimitāti.

Kas izraisīja sunnītu un šiītu plaisu?

Sunītu un šiītu konflikts tiek veidots 1400 gadus, un tas aizsākās gados tūlīt pēc pravieša Muhameda nāves 632. gadā.

Pravietis nomira, neieceļot pēcteci, kas izraisīja milzīgu šķelšanos strauji augošās reliģijas nākotnē - galvenokārt, vai reliģijas nākamais līderis jāizvēlas pēc sava veida demokrātiskas vienprātības, vai arī jāvalda tikai Muhameda asins attiecībām.

Argumenti ir sarežģīti, taču būtībā tie ir saistīti ar faktu, ka sunnīti uzskata, ka praviešu uzticamais draugs un padomdevējs Abu Bakrs bija pirmais likumīgais musulmaņu līderis jeb “kalifs”, savukārt šiīti uzskata, ka tika izvēlēts Muhameda brālēns un znots Ali. Allāhs, lai turētu titulu.

Abi vīrieši galu galā ieguva titulu - Abu Bakrs pirmais līdz nāvei, bet Ali ceturtais pēc divu iepriekšējo kalifu slepkavības -, bet šķelšanās patiešām skāra to, kam nākt tālāk. Kamēr musulmaņi sunnīti apgalvo, ka viņu islāma interpretācija seko sunnām (Muhameda veidi), šiīti apgalvo, ka Ali bija likumīgais pirmais kalifs un tikai viņa pēcnācēji varēja apgalvot, ka ir patiesie musulmaņu līderi.

Saspīlējumu nemazina Hadits, kurā pravietis citēja: “Mana Umma (kopiena) tiks sadrumstalota septiņdesmit trīs sektās un visas, izņemot vienu, atradīsies elles ugunī.” Neizbēgami gan sunnīti, gan šiīti apgalvo, ka ir viena “tīra” islāma sekta.

Kam katra grupa tic?

Tāpat kā jebkura sadalīšana, kas ilgst vairāk nekā tūkstoš gadus, sunnītu un šiītu šķelšanās noveda pie tā, ka katra konfesija attīstīja savas unikālās kultūras, doktrīnas un domāšanas skolas.

Lai gan jebkuras grupas sekotāji ir no mēreniem līdz ekstrēmistiem, sunnīti lielā mērā koncentrējas uz Dieva spēku fiziskajā pasaulē, savukārt šiīti vairāk raugās uz pēcnāves atalgojumu un tādējādi piešķir nozīmīgu vērtību mocekļa svinēšanā.

Kāds ir sunnītu un šiītu ģeogrāfiskais sadalījums?

Lielākā daļa musulmaņu pasaulē ir sunnīti, kas veido pat 85% no reliģijas piekritējiem. Tie ir izplatīti visā pasaulē - no Marokas līdz Indonēzijai - un veido dominējošo reliģiju Ziemeļāfrikā un Tuvajos Austrumos.

Ieteicams

Tikai Lranā, Irākā, Azerbaidžānā un Bahreinā ir šiītu vairākums, lai gan Jemenā, Libānā, Kuveitā, Sīrijā un Katarā ir arī ievērojamas šiītu populācijas.

Neskatoties uz reliģiskās minoritātes pārstāvjiem, Saūda Arābijas atbalstīto Bahreinas Karalisti jau sen pārvalda Khalifas sunnītu nams. Tāpat Irākā vairāk nekā 20 gadus valdīja sunnīti Sadams Huseins, kura laikā viņš nežēlīgi apspieda šiītu musulmaņus.

Pašreizējo Irākas konfliktu veicina arī sektantiska sāncensība, kas sagrāva prezidentu Bašaru al Asadu un viņa šiītu alavītu sekta ģimenes locekļus, savukārt daudzas viņa valsts nemiernieku grupas, tostarp teroristu grupējums “Islāma valsts”, ir sunnītu piekritēji. .

Un, protams, pašreizējais pilsoņu karš Jemenā ir kļuvis par sektantisku pilnvaroto karu, Irānai atbalstot šiītu houtiešu nemierniekus, kuri gāza valstī valdošo sunnītu valdību, savukārt Saūda Arābijas vadītā koalīcija kopš tā laika ir iejaukusies, lai atjaunotu sunnītu vadību.


Sunnītu un šiītu šķelšanās izskaidrojama ar ārkārtīgi noderīgām kartēm un laika grafikiem

"Ja mēs vēlamies saprast Tuvos Austrumus, ja vēlamies saprast, kāpēc konflikti notiek tā, kā tie ir, un kā šos konfliktus var atrisināt, mēs nevaram pievērst uzmanību šiītu un sunnītu konfliktam," saka Vali R. Nasrs, Džona Hopkinsa universitātes Augstāko starptautisko studiju skolas dekāns Ārlietu attiecību padomes (CFR) videoierakstā.

Video ir daļa no CFR veidota interaktīva informatīvā ceļveža, kas ir padziļināts ieskats plaisas saknēs, kas ir daudzu vardarbīgu konfliktu pamatā, kas pašlaik aptver Tuvajos Austrumus.

"Šīītu un sunnītu plaisa ir politiska un reliģiska šķirtne ap to, kurš bija likumīgais mantinieks pēc pravieša Muhameda aiziešanas islāma sākumā. Jā, tā ir attāla vēsture, kas aizsākās septītajā gadsimtā, bet miljoniem musulmaņu visā pasaulē , tas ir tas, kas viņus definē- sektantisms, "kopsavilkumā saka Eds Husains, CFR Tuvo Austrumu studiju palīgdarbinieks.

Atskatieties uz šķelšanās izcelsmi, izmantojot šo interaktīvo laika skalu:


Lai redzētu, kā šis senais strīds ir izspēlēts mūsdienu vārdos, šī laika skala sākas ar Irānas islāma revolūciju un turpinās līdz mūsdienām:

Kur šī spriedze ir visizplatītākā? Apskatiet karti, lai redzētu valstis, kurās dominē sektantu konflikts, un noklikšķiniet uz valstīm, lai uzzinātu vairāk par to demogrāfisko sastāvu.


Sunnītu un šiītu šķelšanās

Kristiešiem ir savi protestanti un katoļi, ebrejiem - pareizticīgie un reformāti. Arī musulmaņi ir sadalīti sunnītos un šiītos. Tas, kas sākās kā strīds par to, kam bija tiesības vadīt islāmu pēc pravieša Muhameda nāves 632. gadā, izraisīja atšķirīgu sunnītu un šiītu teoloģiju un pasaules uzskatu. Šķelšanās impērijas, valstis un kaimiņus ir strīdējusi savā starpā 14 gadsimtus. Mūsdienās daudzos pilsoņu karos Tuvajos Austrumos tas dažkārt ir virzošais spēks un reizēm vainu pastiprinošs faktors. Vietējās cīņas saasina  konkurence   starp sunnītu un šiītu lielvalstīm Saūda Arābiju un Irānu.

Situācija

Saspīlējums starp reģionālajiem konkurentiem ir saasinājies, jo Irāna ir vienojusies par starptautisku vienošanos par savu kodolprogrammu, kas atbrīvoja valsti no kropļojošajām ekonomiskajām sankcijām. Saūda Arābijas kroņprincis Muhameds bin Salmans draudējis cīnīties ȁIrānā, ” un Irānas vadītāji vaino Saūda Arābijas pilsoņus, kas palīdzēja tur veicināt pret valdību vērstus protestus, kas sākās decembra beigās. Jemenas pilsoņu karu un#xA0 ir pastiprinājušas abas varas, kas atbalsta pretējās puses gar sunnītu un šiītu līnijām.  Sīrija un#x2019s sektantu ugunsgrēks. Savukārt Sīrijas konflikts atkal uzliesmoja  Sunni-šiītu un#xA0cīņas Irākā, kas asiņoja no šīs valsts 2000. gadu vidū. Lielākajai daļai šiītu valstī, ko tradicionāli uzskata par spēcīgu spēku arābu pasaulē, sunnīti Tuvajos Austrumos ir pauduši satraukumu par šiītu ietekmes pieaugumu. Daudzi sunnīti baidās, ka Irāna cenšas nodibināt to, ko Jordānijas karalis Abdulla nodēvēja par šiītu pusmēnesi, ietverot Irāku, Sīriju un Libānu. Satraukumu par šiītu varu ir izmantojuši ekstrēmistu grupējumi, jo īpaši džihādistu Islāma valsts, kuras ideoloģija sakņojas Saūda Arābijā un 200 gadus vecajā puritāniskajā vahabī un#xA0movement. Vahabīti uzskata sevi par sunnītiem, lai gan daudzi sunnīti viņus uzskata par ārpusē.  Sunni-šiītu šķelšanās izraisa arī vardarbību starp musulmaņiem tādās vietās kā  Pakistāna,  Nigērija ਊnd#xA0Indonēzija. Aptuveni 85 procenti pasaules un 1,6 miljardi musulmaņu ir sunnīti. Šiīti veido vairākumu tikai Irānā, Irākā, Azerbaidžānā un Bahreinā, un#xA0kuru pārvalda sunnītu karaliene. Ja sunnīti ir valdošā valdošā vai dominējošā valdība, šiīti bieži sūdzas par diskrimināciju un otrādi. Saskaņā ar 2012. gada aptauju aptuveni 24 procenti ne šiītu visā pasaulē noraida šiītus kā līdzcilvēkus musulmaņus, šis skaitlis ir 7 procenti sunnītu.  

Fons

Mohameda sekotāji strīdējās par to, vai viņa vietā vajadzētu būt asinsradiniekam vai kādam, ko sabiedrība izvēlējusies, pamatojoties uz nopelniem. Pasākumā viņa pavadonis Abu Bakrs tika izvēlēts par pirmo pēcteci jeb kalifu. Pravieša brālēns Ali ibn Abi Talibs, kandidāts tiem, kas kļūs par šiītiem, tika izraudzīts par ceturto kalifu 656. gadā. Pēc tam, kad viņu nogalināja dedzīgs, šiīti sekoja atsevišķiem līderiem jeb imāmiem no Mohameda un#x2019 asinslīnijas. viņi uzskatīja, ka ir dievišķi iecelti. Šķelšanās padziļinājās 680. gadā, kad sunnītu kalifu armija nogalināja trešo imamu, Ali dēlu Huseinu - notikumu, ko šiīti atzīmē ikgadējā sēru rituālā. Lielākā daļa šiītu uzskata, ka bija 12 likumīgi imami, no kuriem pēdējais devītajā gadsimtā slēpās un atgriezīsies, kad mesijas apakšgrupas pārtrauksies pie piektā un septītā imama. Tā kā imama nav, šiīti uzskata, ka izciliem zinātniekiem ir plašas tiesības interpretēt reliģiskās zināšanas sabiedrībai. Sunnisms noraida dievišķās prasības ikviena vārdā, izņemot Mohamedu un citus praviešus Korānā. Daudzi sunnīti neapmierina šiītu praksi godināt Muhameda radiniekus un#x2014 veidot kapu svētnīcas un dzimšanas dienas. Sunnīti uzskata, ka reliģiskā autoritāte nāk tieši no Korāna un Mohameda tradīcijām. Viņu zinātniekiem ir mazāk iespēju interpretēt islāmu.

Arguments

Berze starp sunnītiem un šiītiem neapšaubāmi daļēji rodas no patiesa aizvainojuma pār citiem uzskatiem. Tomēr šodienas konfliktus lielā mērā veicina politiskās programmas. Jautājums ir mazāks par to, kā musulmaņiem jāievēro sava ticība, nevis par to, kam vajadzētu būt varai. Arhivācijas un Saūda Arābijas un Irānas gadījumā atbalsts un#x2014 vai uztvertais atbalsts##citiem sunnītiem vai šiītiem citur mēdz piesaistīt otra iejaukšanos pretējā pusē. Pat neatvainojoši slepkavīgajai Islāma valstij ir politisks mērķis, vērsties pret šiītu civiliedzīvotājiem. Tā cenšas sēt haosu, lai destabilizētu sabiedrību, lai sasniegtu savu galīgo mērķi - globālu kalifātu.


Monoteisms pēc Freida: salīdzinošs skatiens

Ja Ašura zvana kristīgajam lasītājam, tā vajadzētu. Līdzības starp Huseinu un Jēzu ir pārāk daudz, lai tās palaistu garām: abi bija bezspēcīgi, cienīgi vīri, kas sacēlās pret esošajām varām, un ar upurēšanu atspēkoja tirāna prasību ticēt. Abi nāves gadījumi bija pietiekami traģiski, lai izraisītu gadsimtiem ilgas sēras un radītu jaunas reliģiskās doktrīnas. Tāpēc stāsts par Jēzu un ebrejiem var dot mums priekšstatu par pašreizējā islāma pasaules konflikta saknēm.

Kādreiz 1939. gadā Londonā, kad ebreju vajāšanas Vācijā bija sasniegušas vēl nebijušu augstumu un otrais pasaules karš bija pārņēmis Eiropu, vecais sirdssāpīgais Zigmunds Freids, aizbēdzis no savas mīļotās Vīnes uz Londonu, lai pavadītu pēdējos gadus trimdā, līdz pēdējai daļai viņa pētījumā par jūdaismu.

Grāmatas otrajā daļā Freids atkārto pamatidejas Totems un Tabu, aprakstot, kā tēva nogalināšana no seno brāļu rokas nodibināja cilvēku sabiedrību. In Mozus un monoteisms, viņš uzskata patricīdu arī par monoteisma pamatu, apgalvojot, ka monoteistiskais dievs ir nogalinātais tēvs, kas paaugstināts līdz dievišķajam statusam. Viņš arī īsi salīdzina ar islāmu, apgalvojot, ka „jaunās reliģijas iekšējā attīstība tomēr drīz apstājās, iespējams, tāpēc, ka tai trūka dziļuma, kas ebreju reliģijā izrietēja no tās dibinātāja slepkavības”. Šiīti lūgtu atšķirties: viņiem Huseina un viņa ģimenes slepkavība Kārbalā ir ne mazāk saistoša nekā kristiešu krustā sišana.

Freids reliģiju vēsturi lasa kā mokošu ceļu uz augšanu. Papildus tēva nogalināšanai saspīlējums un kari, kas rodas reliģiju sākumposmā, cilvēkā ir milzīgas bērnības traumas. Tāpat kā traumām ir inkubācijas periods un tās atgriežas, lai iekostos vēlāk, reliģiju vēsturiskās traumas ilgstoši, dažreiz gadsimtus ilgi, slēpjas latenti. Mēs apspiežam traumas, lai padarītu dzīvi izturīgu, bet represētie noteikti atgriezīsies. Vai mums nevajadzētu attiecināt daļu reliģisko un sektantisko karu vēsturē uz traumām, kuras viņi piedzīvoja bērnībā?

Freida neraksturīgi drūmā grāmata stāsta, ka vēsturiskās un reliģiskās rētas viegli neizbalē. Katrs nozīmīgs notikums vēsturē, pēc tās koncepcijas, ir skāris rētas. Rēta islāma centrā nav izņēmums: neapmierinātība, kas radīta Šura kamieļu karš pārvērtās par skrāpējumiem, bet Karbala - par dziļu rētu. Šādas traumas vienkārši nepazūd, bet tās var kontrolēt, tāpat kā šī trauma tika ierobežota simtiem gadu.

Pēdējo divu gadsimtu vēsture Tuvajos Austrumos ir secīgi triecieni visiem spēkiem, kas satur islāma bērnības traumu. Brutālais koloniālisms, titulētie karaļi, kas nodarīja pāri saviem rietumu kungiem, jebkurš skaits laicīgo diktatoru, kuru aklā brutalitāte deva iespēju reakcionāriem garīdzniekiem, nopietni sabojāja gadsimtiem ilgu mierīgu līdzāspastāvēšanu visā islāma pasaulē.

Katastrofālais iebrukums Irākā bija pēdējais piliens. Tas saplēsa pēdējos audus, kas turēja kopā šo sasisto ķermeni. Tāpat kā Hitlera parādīšanās sabojāja mierīgu eksistenci jau tā cietušajā Eiropā un pavēra rētu jūdu-kristiešu sabiedrību centrā, kas radās Jēzus krustā sišanas laikā no viņa ebreju līdzcilvēku puses, Buša iebrukums Irākā kalpoja kā maču dinamīta mucā.

Tāpēc šiītu-sunnītu spriedze ir tikpat neizbēgama un neatņemama islāmā kā jebkura cita reliģiskā, sektantiskā spriedze ir neatņemama jebkurai citai reliģijai. Pateicoties milzīgajam vardarbības apjomam, kas gadsimtiem ilgi tika uzkrāts Tuvajos Austrumos, islāma bērnības trauma ir eksplodējusi uz tās virsmas.

Katastrofa ceļo pa sektantiskām līnijām, un pasaules līderi to vēro. Ik pa brīdim viņi nāk klajā ar kosmētiskiem miera plāniem, kas nekad nedarbojas, jo šāda veida rētas nesadzīs ar politiskiem manevriem un viltīgu brinksmanship. Tikai fundamentāla apņemšanās panākt mieru visās pusēs var to izbeigt. Ja nebūs godīgas sadarbības starp karojošajām grupām, rēta turpinās asiņot, līdz ķermenis būs neatgriezeniski miris.

Amir Ahmadi Arian ir irāņu rakstnieks un tulkotājs, salīdzinošās literatūras doktora grāds Kvīnslendas universitātē, šobrīd ir uzņemts NYU ’s radošās rakstīšanas programmā. Irānā viņš strādājis ar dažādiem laikrakstiem un žurnāliem, publicējis vairāk nekā 200 rakstu par Irānas un Tuvo Austrumu kultūru un politiku.


Sunnīti - šiīti: īsa vēsture

Gan sunnītiem, gan šiītiem ir musulmaņi, kuriem ir visbūtiskākie islāma uzskati un ticības raksti. Atšķirības starp šīm divām galvenajām islāma apakšgrupām sākotnēji izrietēja nevis no garīgām, bet politiskām atšķirībām. Tomēr gadsimtu gaitā šīs politiskās atšķirības ir radījušas vairākas dažādas prakses un nostājas, kurām ir bijusi garīga nozīme.

Šķelšanās starp šiītiem un sunnītiem ir datēta ar pravieša Muhameda nāvi un jautājumu par to, kam jāuzņemas musulmaņu nācijas vadība. Musulmaņi sunnīti piekrīt daudzu pravieša pavadoņu nostājai, ka jaunais līderis ir jāievēl no tiem, kas spēj veikt šo darbu. Tas tika izdarīts, un pravieša Muhameda tuvs draugs un padomnieks Abu Bakrs kļuva par pirmo islāma nācijas kalifu.

Vārds "sunnīti" arābu valodā nāk no vārda, kas nozīmē "tas, kurš ievēro pravieša tradīcijas".

No otras puses, daži musulmaņi ir vienisprātis, ka vadībai vajadzēja palikt paša pravieša ģimenē, starp tiem, kurus viņš bija īpaši iecēlis, vai starp imāmiem, kurus iecēlis pats Dievs.

Šiītu musulmaņi uzskata, ka pēc pravieša Muhameda nāves vadībai vajadzēja būt tieši viņa brālēnam/znotam Ali. Visā vēsturē šiītu musulmaņi nav atzinuši ievēlēto musulmaņu vadītāju autoritāti, tā vietā izvēloties sekot imāmu līnijai, kuru, viņuprāt, ir iecēlis pravietis Muhameds vai pats Dievs. Vārds "šiīts" arābu valodā nozīmē cilvēku grupu vai atbalstošu partiju. Plaši pazīstamais termins ir saīsināts no vēsturiskā "Shia-t-Ali" vai "Ali partija". Viņi ir pazīstami arī kā "Ahl-al-Bayt" vai "Pravieša mājsaimniecības" sekotāji.

No šī sākotnējā jautājuma par politisko vadību daži garīgās dzīves aspekti ir ietekmēti un tagad atšķiras abās musulmaņu grupās.

Šiītu musulmaņi uzskata, ka imāms pēc būtības ir bezgrēcīgs un ka viņa autoritāte ir nekļūdīga, jo tā nāk tieši no Dieva. Tāpēc šiītu musulmaņi bieži godā imāmus kā svētos un veic svētceļojumus uz viņu kapenēm un svētnīcām, cerot uz dievišķo aizbildniecību. Musulmaņi sunnīti iebilst, ka islāmā nav pamata iedzimtai priviliģētai garīgo līderu klasei un noteikti nav pamata svēto godināšanai vai aizlūgšanai. Musulmaņi sunnīti apgalvo, ka kopienas vadība nav pirmdzimtības tiesības, bet gan uzticība, kas tiek nopelnīta un kuru var dot vai atņemt paši cilvēki.

Arī šiītu musulmaņi izjūt naidu pret dažiem pravieša Muhameda pavadoņiem, pamatojoties uz viņu nostāju un rīcību pirmajos nesaskaņu gados par vadību sabiedrībā. Daudzi no šiem pavadoņiem (Abu Bakr, Umar, Aisha uc) ir stāstījuši tradīcijas par pravieša dzīvi un garīgo praksi. Šiītu musulmaņi noraida šīs tradīcijas (hadītu) un nevienu savu reliģisko praksi nebalstās uz šo personu liecībām. Tas, protams, rada dažas atšķirības reliģiskajā praksē starp abām grupām. Šīs atšķirības skar visus detalizētos reliģiskās dzīves aspektus: lūgšanu, gavēni, svētceļojumu utt.

Musulmaņi sunnīti veido lielāko daļu (85%) musulmaņu visā pasaulē. Ievērojamas šiītu musulmaņu populācijas var atrast Irānā un Irākā, kā arī lielas minoritāšu kopienas Jemenā, Bahreinā, Sīrijā un Libānā.

Ir svarīgi atcerēties, ka, neskatoties uz visām šīm domu un prakses atšķirībām, šiītu un sunnītu musulmaņiem ir kopīgi islāma ticības galvenie raksti, un lielākā daļa uzskata, ka tie ir ticības brāļi. Patiesībā lielākā daļa musulmaņu neatšķiras, apgalvojot piederību kādai konkrētai grupai, bet dod priekšroku saukties vienkārši par "musulmaņiem".


Islāms un sunnītu šķelšanās ir izskaidroti

Pasaules musulmaņi iedalās divās galvenajās nometnēs - sunnītu un šiītu, dažkārt tiek pielīdzināti kristietības katoļiem un protestantiem. Bet līdzība ir virspusēja. Runājot par pasaules musulmaņu kopskaitu, sunnīti un šiīti nepiekrīt, cik procentu katrai grupai pieder, jo sunnīti veido 80–90% no kopējā skaita un šiīti-10–20%.

Pēc Muhameda nāves 632. Faktiski trīs no pirmajiem Muhameda pēctečiem tika nogalināti. Sunītu un šiītu nodaļa atgriežas pie šī agrīnā konflikta.

Ali, Muhameda brālēns un znots, plašākā sabiedrība izvēlējās par savu ceturto pēcteci. Bet minoritāte apgalvoja, ka Muhameds bija iecēlis Ali un viņa ģimenes līniju viņa pēctecim, un ka Ali būtu vadījis no pirmā brīža, ja spēcīgas ģimenes nebūtu viņu atstājušas malā. Šo minoritāti no arābu valodas sāka dēvēt par šiītu shi c at c Alivai “Ali partizāni”. Sunnīti, viņu pretinieki, iebilda, ka, ļaujot vairākumam musulmaņu līderu izlemt, viņi sekoja Muhamedam sunnavai izvēles veids. [1]

Pēc Ali slepkavības 661. gadā šķelšanās tikai palielinājās. 670. gadā tika noslepkavots Ali pirmais dēls Hasans. Tad 680. gadā, abām pusēm vienojoties, bija nodevība, sunnītu kalifa pārstāvis nocēla galvu Ali atlikušajam dēlam Husainam Kārbalā, mūsdienu Irākā. Viņš kopā ar viņu nogalināja lielāko daļu Husayn pavadoņu un ģimenes, ieskaitot viņa dēlu Ali.

Ņemot vērā šo vēsturi, sunnīti un šiīti dabiski atšķiras dažādos teoloģiskos un praktiskos jautājumos. Piemēram, viena no galvenajām Twelver Shias praksēm ir viņu ikgadējais rituāls Husayn un viņa pavadoņu mocekļa piemiņas piemiņai. Arī sunnītu un šiītu šķelšanos raksturo asas domstarpības

  • Kā attīstījās šķelšanās, ieskaitot to, kuri varoņi ir varoņi
  • Kuras hadītas ir pieņemtas
  • Tiesību jautājumi par tādām lietām kā laulība un šķiršanās
  • Muhameda likumīgo pēcteču autoritāte - kalifi (sunnīti) vai imami (šiīti) [2]
  • Kā parādīsies vēsture un Mahdi, eshatoloģiskā glābēja no ārējiem ļaunumiem, loma

Bet, neskatoties uz daudzajām atšķirībām, sunnīti un šiīti ir vienisprātis par Muhameda un Korāna centrālo stāvokli viņu ticībā. Tādējādi viņiem ir līdzīgi uzskati par lielāko daļu pamatnoteikumu:

  • Islāma “pieci pīlāri” jeb būtiskas prakses - ticības apliecība, rituālās lūgšanas, maldīšanās, Ramadāns un svētceļojums uz Meku
  • Pravieši un Svētie Raksti Muhameda priekšā
  • Ticīgā attiecības ar Dievu [3] [3]
  • Šo pestīšanu nopelna labie darbi un lojalitāte musulmaņu kopienai
  • Pēdējās dienas būtiskā nozīme

Ziņu mediji bieži ziņo par vardarbību starp sunnītiem un šiītiem tādās vietās kā Irāka un Pakistāna. Šāda vardarbība ir traģiska, un to nedrīkst samazināt līdz minimumam, jo ​​īpaši ar draudiem, kad mūsu priekšā ir kodolizēta Irāna (šiīti) un Saūda Arābija (sunnīti). Bet musulmaņiem, kuri sūdzas, ka šie ziņojumi izkropļo ainu, daļēji ir taisnība, jo mūsu ziņu mediju uzņēmējdarbības modelis “gan pieņem, gan pastiprina polarizāciju” [4], un lielākā daļa sunnītu un šiītu mierīgi sadzīvo. Tomēr ir vienlīdz taisnība, ka sunnītu un šiītu konkurence paliks destabilizators visur, kur kāda no sektām tiek uzskatīta par draudiem musulmaņu pasaulē. Tas ir, ja vien abi islāmisma varianti - šiīti un sunnīti - ir dzīvi un veseli. [5] Un šobrīd neviens neuzrāda nekādas mazināšanās pazīmes.

[1] Abi uzskati bija vērojami pirms islāma Arābijā, pat ja abi joprojām ir sastopami Saūda Arābijas un#8217 ciltīs. Lielākajā daļā cilšu klanus pārstāvēja līderu padome, kas izvēlējās cilšu šeihu. Turpretī cilšu mazākums cilts vadībā pieņēma iedzimtu pieeju. Tādējādi šķiet, ka pirms Islāma dzīvojošā Arābijas minoritāte (kura uzskatīja, ka cilšu pēctecībai vajadzētu būt iedzimtai) pēc Muhameda nāves kļuva par islāma minoritāti (šiītiem).

[2] Sunnīti savus kalifus uzskata par dievišķi ordinētiem politiskiem līderiem, bet šiīti arī uzskata savus imāmus par nekļūdīgiem ceļvežiem garīgās lietās.

[3] Tas attiecas tikai uz virspusēju Ismaili Shia (Seveners). Faktiski divām lielākajām šiītu sektām (Twelvers un Fivers), iespējams, teoloģiski ir vairāk kopīga ar sunnītiem nekā ar Ismailis.

[4] Ross Douthat un#8220Kā Tramps uzlauza medijus tieši mūsu acu priekšā, un#8221 New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/21/opinion/trump-facebook-cambridge-analytica-media.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage Skatīts 2018. gada 21. martā.

[5] Islāmisms ir mēģinājums atgriezties pie islāma kareivīgi politiskajām saknēm.


Islāma “toksiskā” šķelšanās

Saūda Arābijas un šiītu plaisa, kas iemiesota sāncensībā starp Saūda Arābiju un Irānu, ir šķelšanās, kas draud sagraut islāma pasauli. Lai gan tās pirmsākumi meklējami islāma pirmsākumos, tā pašreizējā toksicitāte ir nesena attīstība.

Šiītu godbijība: imama Husaina ibn Ali, Ali ibn Abi Taliba dēla, portrets uz ielas Kašanā, Irānā.

Vārdi sunnīti un šiīti sabiedrības apziņā parādījās tikai septiņdesmito gadu beigās. Pirms tam - izņemot sunnītus un šiītus - šie termini lielā mērā aprobežojās ar Islāma studiju fakultāšu sagrauto pasauli. Taču 1978. gadā žurnālistiem, kas cīnās ar islāma revolūcijas sākuma posmu Irānā, kļuva skaidrs, ka šiītu garīdznieki, kurus drīzumā gāzītais Šahs atlaida kā nebūtiskas “melnās vārnas”, patiesībā bija ļoti svarīgi. Tikai daži politiskie analītiķi, tostarp CIP un MI6 pārstāvji, par viņiem daudz zināja.

Kopš tā laika mēs esam pārgājuši no vienas galējības otrā. Mūsdienās pārāk daudz komentētāju ir saistīti ar sunnītu un šiītu dalījumu, kas ir visu grūtību, ar kurām pašlaik saskaras Tuvie Austrumi un liela daļa pārējās islāma pasaules, galvenais cēlonis. Šis skaidrojums ir vienkāršs, ja tas ir ērti. Tas neaprobežojas tikai ar neokonservatīviem vai labējās identitātes uzņēmējiem Rietumos, kuriem patīk rakstīt par darvīniešu cīņu par islāma dvēseli, kas atbilst viņu priekšstatiem par reliģijas būtisko vardarbību. 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).


Saturs

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 un hadīts 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 hadīts 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 hadīts 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 hadīts, 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 hadīts (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 hadīts 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

The hadīts 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 hadīts shows that Muhammad had implicitly given his acceptance and permission to how the Muslim umma chooses to act in his absence. It may therefore be linked with the emergence of sayings attributed to Muhammad such as "My umma 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 hadīts 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? Īsā atbilde ir nē.

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.

Saistīts

How the Iran-Iraq war will shape the region for decades to come

The Iranian revolution and its legacy of terrorism

Syria and the Six-Day War: A 50-years perspective

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.