Sunni and Shia Islam part 1 | World History | Khan Academy


– [Instructor] We’re
now going to talk about the main division that emerges in Islam shortly after the death of Muhammad. And that division is
between Sunnis and Shias. And this division even exists today where roughly 90% of the world’s 1.5 or 1.6 billion Muslims are Sunni, and roughly 10% are Shia. And that 10% is concentrated mainly in places like Iran,
Iraq, but they are spread throughout the Muslim world
or the world in general. Now, the word Sunni comes
from the word Sunnah which is referring to
examples of Muhammad. The word Shia comes from shi’atu ‘Ali which means followers
of Ali or party of Ali, and we’ll talk more about
Ali in a little bit. But, the general division is over who should succeed
Muhammad after his death as the leader of the Muslim community. Shias believe it should be
members of Muhammad’s family and especially descendants of Muhammad, while the Sunnis believe
that it doesn’t necessarily have to be that. But, as we’ll see, this division becomes stronger and stronger and stronger as there’s more and more bloodshed between the two parties. Because so much of this revolves around the family of Muhammad,
let’s just review that first and then we’ll talk about the division over who should succeed
Muhammad as caliph or successor to lead the Muslim community. So, you see Muhammad
right over here born 570. We have his birth on our timeline as well. And just to read this timeline, it goes from light blue to dark blue when Muhammad, according
to Islamic tradition, starts to have the revelations from God. And the Muslim calendar starts at 622, the time of the Hijrah
where the Muslim community, in order to escape
persecution from the Quraysh, migrate from Mecca to Medina. Now, we’ve talked about
several of these figures in other videos. Right over here, you have
Muhammad’s dad, Adbullah, who dies several months
before Muhammad is born. You have Aminah here who
is Muhammad’s mother, and she dies when
Muhammad is six years old. Then, you have Abdul-Muttalib
who is the head of Muhammad’s, you could say, household and he takes custody
after the death of Aminah. And he takes custody until
Muhammad is eight years old when Abdul-Muttalib dies, and then Muhammad’s uncle,
Abu Talib, takes custody. It’s under Abu Talib that
Muhammad learns his trade as a merchant and as a trader. Now, later on, we talk about Khadijah who is a wealthy widow in Mecca, and she employs Muhammad and
according to Islamic tradition, is impressed by him and proposes to him, and she’s 15 years older than Muhammad. This is her third marriage,
and Muhammad marries her. She’s a significant figure in Islam, not because she is Muhammad’s first wife, but also because she is the first Muslim. Now, as you can see,
Muhammad and Khadijah, they have several children, and I list one of them here, Fatimah, because Fatimah ends up
marrying Abu Talib’s son, Ali. And Ali is the Ali that
we’re talking about where the word Shia, shi’atu
‘Ali comes from, party of Ali. Because Ali is considered
the second Muslim. He is one of the early
followers of Muhammad. As you can see, he is Muhammad’s cousin. He grows up in the same
household with Muhammad with Abu Talib, and he is
also Muhammad’s son-in-law. He marries Fatimah and
they have several children, two of which are Hassan and Hussein who figure very prominently
in the narrative I’m going to talk about in
this video and the next. Now, the other figures that you see here, you have Abu Bakr who
was a close companion of Muhammad, also one
of the early Muslims. And you can see he was a little
bit younger than Muhammad. And they are connected through Aisha. Muhammad marries Aisha
after the death of Khadijah, and Aisha is a significant
figure in early Islam. She’s considered to have
a very strong personality. Many of the Hadith are narrated by her. The Hadith are the Muslim
traditions and accounts of Muhammad’s life, and
it’s a significant part of the religion outside of the Quran. And she is married to Muhammad
at a very, very young age, and there’s some debate about
how young she actually was. But, as we’ll see, she
also figures prominently in this narrative and in
this schism that develops between the Sunni and the Shia. And the Sunni and the
Shia view her differently. So, let’s go back to the timeline here. So, as Muhammad’s life
nears its end in 632, in previous videos, we talk about his final pilgrimage to Mecca. And then, on his way back to Medina, at a place like Ghadir
Khumm, he gives a sermon, a sermon that is especially
very important to the Shia. According to that short sermon. And Ghadir Khumm, Ghadir
literally means pond or small stream, so it’s the
sermon at the pond Khumm. There’s one quotation that Shia consider to be very, very important
where Muhammad says “Of whomsoever I had been Mawla.” Ali here is to be his Mawla. And the word Mawla means
protector or leader, or it could mean guardian or
people that you are close to. And the Shia view this as clear evidence that Muhammad intended
Ali to be his successor. Many members of the Sunni tradition take a slightly different interpretation where they say Mawla
doesn’t necessarily have to mean protector or leader. It could mean companion or friend or member that is close to, and so they don’t view this
as strongly of evidence. But, in the Shia tradition,
the event at Ghadir Khumm is actually a significant
event and it is even a holiday. So, that’s the evidence that Shia point to as why Ali should be the successor. But, then Muhammad dies, and
according to the tradition, while his funeral was being
planned by his family, the close companions were meeting and discussing who
should succeed Muhammad. And the close companions decide that is should be Abu Bakr. So, Abu Bakr becomes the first caliph, and he rules for two years. He’s succeeded by Umar,
sometimes pronounced as Omar, who then is assassinated
who is succeeded by Uthman, sometimes pronounced as Osman
who is then assassinated. And then, Ali takes power. According to Sunni tradition,
these first four caliphs are considered the Rashidun caliphs or the rightly guided. And under their rule, you
have the significant spread of what becomes this Islamic empire that we talk about in other videos. In Shia tradition, they consider these first three caliphs as usurpers. They believe that Ali
should have been caliph from the beginning right in 632 at the time of Muhammad’s death. And once again, they cite
the events at Ghadir Khumm which was observed according to the Hadith by thousands of people and there’s many, many accounts of this. Now, Ali is in power, but as we will see in the next video, this
starts the first civil war, the first Muslim civil war, often referred to as the First Fitna, between Ali and the Umayyad’s who
are the family of Uthman, and we will cover that in the next video.

100 thoughts on “Sunni and Shia Islam part 1 | World History | Khan Academy

  1. I hope that the Shia and Sunni divide is one day abolished. Sunni and Shias will do nothing but butt heads against each other, but fir what? Sunni and Shia Muslims follow the same exact faith, believe in the same god, both only that god, read the Qur'an, follow the Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) So why is there a division?

    Shia Muslims believe the Muhammad's (PBUH) cousin should've been the first caliph, while Sunni Muslims believe that Abu Bakr should have been the first caliph. But why should this create a religous split? Why should we now be against each other over something that had nothing to do with the original teachings?

    Saudi Arabia and Iran are against each other, but why? Over something that their ancestors fought over? Abu Bakr and Muhammad's (PBUH) cousin are not alive today, they are not still fighting for a place to become a caliph or leader. So why does it matter in this day and age? Why should we let something as this split Muslims up? I will hope to someday abolish these sects that divide us.

  2. What happened with Fatima bint Muhammad??? Why is her grave not known??? Who was present at the funeral of Muhammad and his daughter?

  3. But we should unite against foreign…. First is out safety against West then it's our internal problem…..

  4. Dear Teacher, please do not talk about islamic faith not having enough knowledge, u may think u have knowledge but u know nothing. there are many topics you can choose from, but it is very rude by your side to talk about Islam without even having little knowledge, what you are talking is very rude. you know nothing about Islam, please talk about maths, that is what u are good at, not religion. and islam is not a tradition, it is religion, the last religion. Hope for your understanding, i am really sorry if i said something that may have offended you. You may watch Dr. Zakir Naiks lecture "is the Quran God's word" and any more of his lectures where people who have absolutely wrong or no knowledge about Islam give question to him in from of thousands of people where he answers to all of them. And anothing Islamic speaker Nouman Ali Khan. Please avoid watching those who are athiests or christians who speak about islam, they have very little or incorrect knowledge which may have been acquired from people who claim to be muslims yet dont know what they are saying or infos from medias exhagerations and fictions. I respect you as i learnt too much from you alhamdulillah, and i dont want stop watching your classes just because u unintentionally insulting our religion. Assalamu aleykum !

  5. You got the history all wrong. When Islam spread to Persia there was a lot of opposition. Abu Bakr and Umar kept them under control but under Uthman rule they started to cause division. The way they caused division was to reject any governor assigned to them and by saying Uthman should not be in power, Ali should. They just picked Ali because he was next in line. This movement was traced back to a Jew who converted Muslim Abdullah bin Saba. Eventually Shia evolved out the this movement to cause division.

  6. It is not about Muhammad's family. It is because Muhammad nominated Ali as his wazeer, with the status of Aaron to Moses without being a prophet. May God bless them all. Additionally the prophet says that he is the most knowledgeable and noble and is the waly/mawla and khalifah of the Muslims in a way that the prophet was. Additionally, Ali's two children are are called two leaders in paradise. Sunni hadeeth also say that the blood family of the prophet would never separate from the Quran and that the prophet let behind these two to guide the Muslims.

  7. I can see a duplication of these techniques of 'revelations' in many modern 'gurus' in India. Basically it was a fight for wealth, riches and power. The kind that goes on everywhere even today.

  8. The word "fight" maybe much offensive word for some folks. It is due to translation of Arabic to English..The best word which can be used is " Combat".. If They combat you combat…If they cease you cease…For sure God is merciful….
    There are many verses in Bible that people may seem offensive…But it is all due to translation….
    In the story of Noah (p.b.u.h) where God finished a whole nation… And it really doesn't matter which religion you follow unless you pray to one God almighty and at the end of the day we all going to same God…For God doesn't see you face ,color or race but faith in him alone.United we stand.Divided we fall….

  9. In the end to the western world will create a civil war between the sunnis and shiatts supporting the shiats as they are minority promise them a piece of the pie. once they succeed invade any muslim country and change the government take power THE END. i am a sunni i have no problem with shiatt on a personal level. I may disagree with some of their teachings but i have no hate.

  10. Please make it correct that the khatijah s.a was not a widow before to marry prophet MUHAMMAD peace be upon him.

  11. I really liked your video that you done about Islam but I'm going to say this. if his companion were close to the prophet Muhammad wouldn't they help with his family setting up the funeral rather than talk about who should be the next leader?

  12. One has to go through deep history its not so superficial……
    And ghadeer e khum is not just one sentence ….its an event and 5 hours long sermon of prophet muhammad saww….which is often not revealed …..
    So understanding shia narrative requires long hard work

  13. Incorrect… Shiism started in the sasavid Persian empire… The "shia" at the time of Ali and Abu bakar were only political nothing with the religion. After the savavid empire took over perisa they made it a religion and over time added and removed beliefs.

  14. How ridicules, Do you really call this a research that people are supposed to learn something from ? how long did you research the topic before you just vomit all of these false information ? The lady Khadija may peace and blessings be upon her was not a widow nor was she married ever to begin with let alone your claim of her being married 3 times. I really doubt you and your resources that have lead to these lies to be spread. Second of all, Fatima is spelled with the letter T not th as you pronounced. Third of all, how would those animal be called "close companions" when they left their "close friend" at the time that they should have been around to help take care of the holy prophet's funeral (May peace and blessings be upon him and his holy and pure family and curse be upon Abubaker,Omar and their daughters)

  15. Khan Academy failed to nail it … ALI ist the FIRST MUSLIM. … He was with the prophet Muhamemd on the mountain.

  16. There is no debate on how old Aisha was. The Sahih hadiths are extremely clear on how old she was. Even Zakir Naik among others would admit her age.

  17. Muhammad(S) appointed Ali(a.s) as his successor in the feild of Khumb, which Shias celebrate as Gadeer-e-Khum, and which is widely written in all the books of SHia and Sunnis

  18. Something not mentioned here that seems important is the fact that Abu Bakr and the others that became caliphs pledged allegiance to Ali after Muhammed's speech.

  19. As a Christian, an outsider, and obviously not knowing all the details, so far the impression that history and facts leave upon me is that Shia are correct.

  20. As I understood from what I read, although the Sunni – Shia difference was visible immediately after Muhammed's death, the distinct Sunni and Shia dividing identities were formed much later.

  21. It is not Islam that was a prophet of Islam. This is Yazid's religion. These oppression killed the Prophet's Apostle and wronged him.

  22. Hello, I just have one doubt about your video, I realize and understand Aisha is a wife of Muhammed, but what's her connection with Abu Bakr? Was she his daughter?

  23. I love how you took the time and research and how u setup you presentation I don't understand why you are not Muslim with the knowledge you can gain.

  24. Great video. I'm just a Muslim. I refuse to label myself Sunni or Shia. The Quran is clear, do not break the religion into sects….

  25. I am Muslim my self and u are the first person who doesn't use bias during their informational videos so i have to say Thank you

  26. What is the reference of Muhammad's sermon? Is there any Hadith on that sermon? It will be very nice if you provide that. Thanks in advance.

  27. it's incorrect to say shia started shortly after prophet's death. The word shia basically means partisan. It was mainly political group started 25yr after prophet's death, but shia belief back then was basically the same as other muslim, the only different is the political affiliation. It was only during the 4th caliph's reign whom shia believe to be the 1st imam that shia as a different belief started, but even then it was not the same as the shia of today. There are many different sects within shia, but the majority which exist today is 12 imam shia such as in iran which appears around 250+ yr after Prophet's death. Smaller shia sect such as zaydi or ismaili etc started earlier than 12 imam shia

  28. Oh man a simple different interpretation of a word "mawla" by two groups made all these confusion and it still good on.. breaking Islam into two..

  29. FOR GREATER CLARITY THE EVENT OF GHADIR-E-KHUM IS ACCEPTED BY BOTH SUNNI AND SHIA- THE PROPHET (SA) GOR A REVELATION TO DECLARE ALI(SA) AS HIS SUCCESSOR!!

  30. Islamic history is like a minefield, this is the Islamic history or the story that was transmitted or believed by one Muslim group, not all Muslim groups, Muslim historians have not gave a lot of figures in Islam their historical rights for political reasons.

  31. The narratar has only mentioned one daughter Hazrat Fatima but there are other daughters and sons who have died at early stage

  32. I have one question why does there have to be 1 successor why can’t they just carry on the teachings and religion?

  33. Wrong! The word shia does not come from shaiat of Ali but rather it is located in the Quran ,way before shia ever existed

  34. Shia comes from the word shi at ul Ali meaning party of Ali, it's wasn't until 200-250yrs after Shi'a developed a different theology. Again Iranian region up until around 15th-16th century was majority Sunni until the Persianized turk- Azerbaijani rulers of the Safavid empire forcefully converted all Iranians to Shi'a Islam fearing the ottoman infiltration. again politics involved. So for all the people trying to understand Shi'sim it's political party from within the early Muslim. For aslong as the Shi'as curse Abu-bakr, Umar and Aisha the prophets closest friends and family they will never be at peace with Sunni Muslim

  35. Might be better to watch Yasir Qadhi's Seerah- Shiaism was a political movement initially and there were no religious differences.

  36. When the prophet (Peace be upon him) was dying, rather than staying by his side they were busy choosing who would be the new leader.

  37. At the first the shia are not arab;(semite) they are persain (idoeuropeen),and holy Ali traducted the coran in persain,
    Saoudia's sunni destioyed in 1961 the 5 graves mousoles holy's shia in Madina city:after 1400 years respect and seniority

  38. @Khan Academy
    Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه was the first man to enter Islam and Ali رضي الله عنه was the first youth to enter Islam

  39. Small tidbit of info. In Ghadir Khum, the prophet was in the middle caravan. He called back the people who left earlier, and waiting for the people who left later to gather as many people for the sermon. Now if you want to assume that he did all that work and waiting in the sun just to let people know Ali (a.s.) was their "friend" after Ali (a.s.) was present during the entire lifespan of Islam up until that point, being the first male convert to Islam. He was also appointed as the Prophets brother in Medina even though they were both Meccan (the prophet had asked meccans and medinans to appoint each other as brothers and sister to take care of one another and promote unity). He was also the only one who spoke in defense of Muhammad (pbuh) when he presented Islam to his Qurayshi family. He was the one who dared fight one on one even when paradise was promised win or lose during the Quraysh. Yeah that dude that everyone already know was Muhammad's (pbuh) friend, yeah the whole caravan was stopped, some brought back, some waited for, just to you know remind everyone HEY GUYS THIS DUDES MY FRIEND DID U KNOW. Also totally makes sense that people have their allegiance to him in that event after he was announced as a friend. Why give allegiance to someone other than to you know…. Take them as your leige……….????

  40. Beautifully explained. I just wanted to make it clear that Shias did not decide on their own, it was all by Allah swa that the Prophet of Islam be raised by His chosen one, Abu Talib father of Ali a.s and later Ali a.s was raised by Prophet Muhammad saww therefore becomes the first male Muslim! The Ayat in Quran does not mention compainions, but the Familyof Prophet Muhammad saww and that's what us Shi'as honor.

    " Verily Allah swa desire is to remove blemish from you, O People of Household (Ahlul-Bayt) and purify you with a perfect purification" (33:33)

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