What are the major similarities and differences in the different sects of Islam?

The InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit

There are two major sects in Islam. The Sunni and Shi’a sects. Some refer to Muslim mystics, the Sufis, as a sect of Islam. They are, however, considered as Sunni. A study conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2010 and released January 2011 found that there are 1.62 billion Muslims around the world, and it is estimated that the Sunni population is between 75% and 90%.

The Sunni Islam

The word “sunni” comes from the Arabic word sunnah which means way and is referred to, the way of the prophet or the tradition (actions and sayings) of the Prophet Muhammad. The Sunni Islam is sometimes referred to as Orthodox Islam.

Among the Sunni sect there are four major schools of thought or sub-sects each follow a particular Islamic law. They are:

1) The Hanafi school of thought: The founder is the Persian scholar Imam Abu Hanifah al-Nu’man ibn Thabit…

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