Difference Between Sunni Muslims and Shiite Muslims
Spiritually, Sunni and Shiite Muslims are alike but they differ on political terms. All the sects, preaching and tenets mentioned in Islam are proactively practiced by them but when it comes to political explanation of history, they tend to differ. It is the political difference that led them to different paths of spirituality. It was after the death of Mohammed the Prophet that Shiite and Sunni Muslims started showing difference between them.
Sunni means the ones who follow the tradition and path shown by the Prophet. After the death of the Prophet some felt that leadership should be in the hands of someone within the family. Hence, the difference arose with the two sub groups. The Shiite believed that Ali, the cousin of Prophet should have been given the command and differed with Sunnis on the choice of elected leaders.
The word Sunni means one that follows the tradition of the Prophet. Some of the followers felt that the leadership of the Islamic nation should be with one of the family members of the Prophet. Hence the differences arose between the two sub-groups of Islam.
The word Shia means the ‘support group’. Sunni enjoys a larger community. More than 85 % of the Muslims follow Sunni sect. Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Baharin are some of the places where Shiite could be seen as natural inhabitants. As religious leaders, Shiites look up to Imams and Sunnis believe that no one can be regarded as saint in Islam. They believe that the leadership should not be hereditary but conferred on someone by people. .
It is to be noted that these are the only political differences that keep the sub groups apart. Otherwise, never have been the communities have shown any kind of deviation from the spiritual part of Islam. Both the sub-groups enjoy good communal relationship.