At least 43 people from minority Shia Ismaili community were killed and several others injured after eight gunmen entered their bus and opened fire in Karachi. More than a dozen others were injured after gunmen opened fire. Gunmen attacked a bus carrying members of a religious minority in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi on Wednesday, killing 43 and injuring about a dozen. The Pakistani Taliban and other Sunni Muslim groups that have a presence in cities like Karachi have long targeted Shi‘ites(Shia), believing that they are apostates. That’s the probability, which some section of the Taliban or some other extremist sectarian organization carried out these types of attack every now and then.
The killing in the name of Islam is quite brutal; the religion which is known for peace and harmony has got under the cover of terror and killings. Islam is divided in Sunnis, Shias and Wahabis. Muslims were split into two main branches, the Sunnis and Shias. The split got initiated in a disagreement soon after the death of the Prophet Muhammad over who should lead the Muslim community. The boundless majority of Muslims are Sunnis – approximations suggest the figure is somewhere between 85% and 90%. It is important to note that the Wahabi ideology itself is extreme in its interpretation and can turn militant over time. Sunni Muslims regard themselves as the orthodox and traditionalist branch of Islam. The word Sunni comes from “Ahl al-Sunna”, the people of the tradition. The tradition in this case refers to practices based on precedent or reports of the actions of the Prophet Muhammad and those close to him. Sunnis venerate all the prophets mentioned in the Quran, but particularly Muhammad as the final prophet. All subsequent Muslim leaders are seen as temporal figures.
Members of the two sects have co-existed for centuries and share many fundamental beliefs and practices. Though, they may not intermingle much outside the public sphere, there are always exceptions. In urban Iraq, for instance, intermarriage between Sunnis and Shia was, until recently, quite common. The differences lie in the fields of doctrine, ritual, law, theology and religious organisation. Their leaders also often seem to be in competition. From Lebanon and Syria to Iraq and Pakistan, many recent conflicts have emphasized the sectarian divide, tearing communities apart.
These differences comes in the death of the Prophet, once the Prophet died, there was a question as to who should be the next leader. Shia believes it should be Imam Ali (a.s.), whereas Sunnis believe it should be Abu Bakr. That is the difference. Imam Ali did not want to cause any conflict so he allowed Abu Bakr to take it without fight. Then he allowed without protest Omar and Uthman to take it. When they all died, Imam Ali took his position as Caliph of the Ummah. Muwaiyyah was not happy with this and so imitated war with Imam Ali. Shia most commonly prays 3 times a day, while Sunnis prays 5 times. However, it is not uncommon to find Shia praying the 5 prayers separately. Also Shia put their hands to the side when they pray and have a sand block called as ‘Sajdagah’ that they prostate on. Sunnis have their hands held in front and pray without ‘Sajdagah’. But fasting in Roza during Ramadan and the Islamic beliefs are almost same.
Sunni Muslims believe in four imams of fiqah or Islamic laws such as Hanafi, Hambli, Malaki and Shaafeyi whereas Wahabi does not follow an Iman in Fiqh. Shia believes in Jafa’ri school of teachings. Wahabi Muslims are a group of fundamentalists and have an orthodox version of Islam. Wahabis in Saudi Arab do not allow their females to work side by side with their men and they also are not allowed to drive a car. The women are treated as third rate citizens and they are bound to wear a long abayaa or garment to cover them from head to toe which we call as burqaa or naqab in India. Sunni and Shia Muslims are moderate and believe in the equality of women as suggested by Islam. Sunni Muslims celebrate the birthday of the Holy Prophet and arrange Meelaad. Meelaad is a form of gathering in which the Sunni Muslims get together and praise the Holy Prophet. Shia Muslims also celebrate Prophet’s birthday as jashn or Mehfil by reciting ‘qasida’ i.e. praising in poetic form. The birthdays of Sufi saints are also celebrated with much dedication and enthusiasm. The day of their deaths are commemorated in the form of Urs, whereas Shia organized ‘majalis’ on the death of Islamic personalities. Wahabi Muslims do not believe in celebrating and practicing all these events which are very strongly rooted in Islam. Wahabis call these practices of events as unlawful and wrongful innovations. Wahabis also believe that this is as close to shirk or polytheism and Sunnis and Shia follow the ways of infidel Hindus. Sunni and Shia Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad as Noor (light, brighten). Wahabis do not believe in using pious individuals as intermediaries, when asking Allah as they consider it shirks or polytheism. Sunnis believe in the saints and mysticism whereas Wahabis do not believe in mysticism, intercession and prostration as well. Sunni and Shia Muslims visit the tombs of the saints and perform tawassul for the blessings of Allah whereas it is the greatest sin for Wahabis.