Sectarian controversies have a long and complex history in Islam, and they have been exploited and amplified by rulers for political ends. However, the notion of Muslim unity has remained an important ideal, and in modern times intellectuals have spoken against sectarian divisions. Prominent figures who refused to identify with a particular Islamic denomination have included Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani, Muhammad Iqbal and Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Recent surveys report that large proportions of Muslims in some parts of the world self-identify as "just Muslim", although there is little published analysis available regarding the motivations underlying this response.
Non-denominational Islam has in some quarters been used interchangeably with the term ghair-madhhabi or non-madhhabi, i.e. "without a madhhab." Not to be confused with the term ghair-muqallid, i.e., "non-follower", used to describe movements such as Salafism and Ahl-e-Hadith who do not necessarily follow the rulings of a particular traditional madhhab (school of jurisprudence) but identify as Sunni Muslims. On the other hand, Pew uses the description of "choose not to affiliate" while Russian officials use the term "Unaffiliated Muslims" for those who do not belong to any branch or denomination. Sometimes, the religious affiliation of non-denominational Muslims is abbreviated through the initialism NDM.
After the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, two conflicting views emerged about who should succeed him as the leader of the Muslim community. Some Muslims, who believed that Muhammad never clearly named his successor, resorted to the Arabian tradition of electing their leader by a council of influential members of the community. Others believed that Muhammad had chosen his cousin and son-in-law Ali ibn Abi Talib to succeed him. This disagreement eventually resulted in a civil war which pitted supporters of Ali against supporters of the founder of the Umayyad dynasty Muawiyah, and these two camps later evolved into the Sunni and Shia denominations. For the Shias, Ali and the Imams who succeeded him gradually became the embodiment of God's continuing guidance, and they tended to stress the religious functions of the caliphate and deplore its political compromises; Sunnis were more inclined to circumscribe its religious role and more readily accepted its pragmatic dimensions. As these differences became increasingly vested with religious importance, they gave rise to two distinct forms of Islam.
One assumption is that Sunnis represent Islam as it existed before the divisions, and should be considered as normative, or the standard. This perception is partly due to the reliance on highly ideological sources that have been accepted as reliable historical works, and also because the vast majority of the population is Sunni. Both Sunnism and Shi'ism are the end products of several centuries of competition between ideologies. Both sects used each other to further cement their own identities and divisions.
In the Early Modern period the conflict between Shias and Sunnis took a turn for the worse when the Safavid and Ottoman dynasties turned the military conflict between them into a religious war after the Safavids made Shia Islam the state religion in their empire. During that era some Sunnis and Shias for the first time began refusing to recognize each other as Muslims. Sectarianism continued to be exploited for political benefits into modern times. An example of this was the Zia regime in Pakistan, who used sectarian divisions between the Sunni and Shia to counter the growing geopolitical influence of Iran, as well as to distract from the domestic political problems. Post-Zia governments in Pakistan continued to "cynically manipulate sectarian conflicts for short term political gain."
Islam originally brought a radical egalitarianism to a fiercely tribal society, within which a person's status was based on his tribal membership. The Quran set all individuals as equals, erasing the importance of tribal status. The primary identity of "Muslims" became simply "Muslim", rather than as a member of a tribe, ethnicity or gender. The Quranic concept of the ummah depends on this unified concept of an Islamic community, and it was appealed to again in the 19th century, as a response to colonialism by European powers. One Muslim scholar leading the emphasis on Muslim unity was Muhammad Iqbal, whose views have been referred to as "ummatic". Iqbal emphatically referred to sectarianism as an "idol" that needed to be "smashed forever". He is quoted as having stated, "I condemn this accursed religious and social sectarianism, there are no Wahhabis, Shias, Mirza's or Sunnis. Fight not for interpretations of the truth when the truth itself is in danger." In his later life, Iqbal began to transcend the narrow domain of nationalist causes and began to speak to the Muslims spread all over the globe, encouraging them to unify as one community.
Iqbal's influence on Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, is also well documented. Jinnah, who was born to a Ismaili Shia family and converted to Twelver Shi'ism as a young man, publicly described himself as neither Shia nor Sunni, his standard answer to questions asking him to define his sect being: was Muhammad the Prophet a Shia or a Sunni?
Other intellectuals who spoke against sectarianism during this era were Altaf Hussain Hali, who blamed sectarianism for the decline of Muslims, the Aga Khan III, who cited it as a hindrance to progress, and Muhammad Akram Khan, who said sectarianism drained the intellectual capacities of Muslim scholars.
Non-denominational Muslims may also defend their stance by pointing to the Quran such as Al Imran verse 103, which asks Muslims to stay united and not to become divided. In Pakistan, sectarianism is cited as a hindrance to the unification of Islamic Law: "Codification of the Islamic Laws related to family and property on the basis of the concept of Talfiq should also be considered. This will require strong public opinion in favour of this unification of the Islamic Law on a non-sectarian basis, as no change can be considered permanent unless it has full support of the public."
There are faith schools and graduation programs with curriculums that have been described as being oriented towards non-denominational Islam. Non-denominational Muslims have been adopted by some theocratic governments into their fold of pan-Islamism as a means to tackle unreasoning partisanship and takfirism. Some academic press publishing companies have assigned a proper noun-like title to Muslims without a specific sectarian affiliation by capitalizing the designation as Just a Muslim. The customs and rituals practised by non-denominational Muslims in Northern Nigeria are statistically more likely to be Sunni-inclined. In other jurisdictions, some officials have applied a mandatory religious instruction that purportedly gives students a non-denominational outlook in an attempt to appear pluralistic, but in practice, does no such thing.
Western-born Muslims are more likely to be non-affiliated than immigrant Muslims, and when pressed may suggest they try to follow Islamic religious texts "as closely as possible". Although Pew has given comprehensive figures on Muslims with an unspecified branch or affiliation, earlier research from 2006 has also come from CAIR. Some publishers and authors have categorized such non-specified Muslims as being within the liberal or progressive stream of the faith. Sahelian non-denominational Muslims have demonstrated an aversion to austere religious measures. Although some non-denominational Muslims came to their position influenced by their parents, others have come to this position irrespective and in spite of their parents.
According to the Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project, at least one in five Muslims in at least 22 countries self-identifies as "just Muslim". The country with the highest proportion of Muslims identifying themselves in this non-sectarian way is Kazakhstan at 74%. It also reports that such respondents make up a majority of the Muslims in eight countries (and a plurality in three others): Albania (65%), Kyrgyzstan (64%), Kosovo (58%), Indonesia (56%), Mali (55%), Bosnia and Herzegovina (54%), Uzbekistan (54%), Azerbaijan (45%), Russia (45%), and Nigeria (42%). Other countries with significant percentages are: Cameroon (40%), Tunisia (40%), Guinea Bissau (36%), Uganda (33%), Morocco (30%), Senegal (27%), Chad (23%), Ethiopia (23%), Liberia (22%), Niger (20%), and Tanzania (20%). However, Encyclopædia Britannica reports that in the 20th century the majority of Muslims in all nations except Iran, Iraq, and Yemen were Sunnis.
It has been described as a phenomenon that gained momentum in the 20th century which can overlap with orthodox Sunni tenets despite adherents not adhering to any specific madhab. In an alluding commentary on surah Al-Mu'minoon verse 53, Abdullah Yusuf Ali states:
The people who began to trade on the names of the prophets cut off that unity and made sects; and each sect rejoices in its own narrow doctrine, instead of taking the universal teaching of unity from Allah. But this sectarian confusion is of man's making. It will last for a time, but the rays of truth and unity will finally dissipate it. Worldly wealth, power and influence may be but trials. Let not their possessors think that they are in themselves things that will necessarily bring them happiness.
Reform movements within Islam:
Anyone who has travelled to Central Asia knows of the non-denominational Muslims – those who are neither Shiites nor Sounites, but who accept Islam as a religion generally.
THE appalling and catastrophic pictures of the so-called new extremist Isis Jihadist group made me think about someone who can say I am a Muslim of a non-denominational standpoint, and to my surprise/ignorance, such people exist. Online, I found something called the people's mosque, which makes itself clear that it's 100 per cent non-denominational and most importantly, 100 per cent non-judgmental.
Ball State Student Sadie Sial identifies as a non-denominational Muslim, and her parents belong to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. She has participated in multiple blood drives through the Indiana Blood Center.
Although many Iranian hardliners are Shi'a chauvinists, Khomeini's ideology saw the revolution as pan-Islamist, and therefore embracing Sunni, Shi'a, Sufi, and other, more nondenominational Muslims
40 per cent called themselves "just a Muslim" according to the Council of American-Islamic relations
of Muslims identified themselves as Sunni, 12 per cent as Shi'a, 3 per cent as Ahmadiyya but 44 per cent as 'just Muslim' (Pew Forum, 2010)
A January 2004 survey by the Iraq Centre for Research and Strategic Studies, for instance, asked people which description suited them best Sunni Muslim, Shi'a Muslim or just Muslim'.
What is your religion, asked a UN official. Muslim. Are you Shi'a or Sunni. Just Muslim
Nineteen said that they are Sunni Muslims, six said they are just Muslim without specifying a sect, two said they are Ahmadi, and two said their families are Alevi
Many Iraqis take offense at reporters' efforts to identify them as Sunni or Shiite. A 2004 Iraq Centre for Research and Strategic Studies poll found the largest category of Iraqis classified themselves as "just Muslim."
This is due to the historical, sociological, cultural, rational and non-denominational (non-madhhabi) approaches to Islam employed at IAINs, STAINs, and UINs, as opposed to the theological, normative and denominational approaches that were common in Islamic educational institutions in the past
It is a mistake to assume as is commonly done that Sunni Islam arose as normative from the chaotic period following Muhammad's death... This mistake is based in... the taking of later and often highly ideological sources as accurate historical portrayals - and in part on the fact that the overwhelming majority of Muslims throughout the world follows now what emerged as Sunni Islam...
Each of these sectarian movements... used the other to define itself more clearly and in the process to articulate its doctrinal contents and rituals.
Iqbal's vision was Ummatic and hence he should be referred to as "the poet philosopher of Muslim unity."
Iqbal was no longer writing for Indian Muslims alone but for his coreligionists scattered all over the world. He had switched from Urdu to Persian to make his message available to the largest number of the adherents of Islam.
Most theology schools are based in a religious tradition—a specific sect or denomination of a major religion (i.e., a branch of Rabbinical Judaism, a Catholic order, or a school of Buddhism); a general foundation in a major religion (i.e., nondenominational Islam or Christianity)
... the Ahmadiyya (3%), the 'something else' (2%), the 'Just a Muslim' (42%), and the 'Don't Know' (4%) (Pew 2010, 21). Most of the 'Just a Muslim' are also likely to be Sunni-inclined
The Turkish government maintained that religious instruction was mandatory because it was objective, pluralist and neutral, that is nondenominational ... The perception of the applicants was totally different ... they argued that the teaching was done from the perspective of Sunni Islam
If people ask me “What are you, Sufi, Shiite or Sunni?” I say No, I'm just a Muslim. I follow the Quran as much as I can, and if I have questions I go to scholars, but I don't get myself involved in any divisions.
In a 2006 survey of 1,000 Muslim registered voters, about 12% identified themselves as Shi'a, 36% said they were Sunni, and 40% called themselves "just a Muslim," according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Their dream of turning the conflict into an Arab against the Shiite's is turning into a reality. A dark twisted reality for the liberal non denominational Muslims
In town, the jihadists have begun imposing Shariah laws on the locals. Many of the citizens are already devout, if non-denominational Muslims, but this pushes them.
In the 20th century the Sunnis constituted the majority of Muslims in all nations except Iran, Iraq, and perhaps Yemen. They numbered about 900 million in the late 20th century and constituted nine-tenths of all the adherents of Islām.
We are Muslims! 100% non-denominational, 100% non-judgmental, 100% dedicated to helping the people
Society for Spreading Faith, founded 1926 in India, an international and nondenominational movement directed towards re-Islamization
Condemning the historically prevailing trend of blindly imitating religious leaders, al-Afghani refused to identity himself with a specific sect or imam by insisting that he was just a Muslim and a scholar with his own interpretation of Islam.
Cultural Muslims are religiously unobservant or secular individuals who still identify with the Muslim culture due to family background, personal experiences, or the social and cultural environment in which they grew up. Cultural Muslims can be found across the world, but are especially numerous in the Middle East (Arabic-speaking countries as well as in Israel, Turkey and Iran), Europe, Central Asia, North America, and parts of South and Southeast Asia.Irreligion
Irreligion (adjective form: non-religious or irreligious) is the absence, indifference to, rejection of, or hostility towards religion. According to the Pew Research Center's 2012 global study of 230 countries and territories, 16% of the world's population is not affiliated with a religion, while 84% are affiliated.Irreligion may include some forms of theism, depending on the religious context it is defined against; for example, in 18th-century Europe, the epitome of irreligion was deism, while in contemporary East Asia the shared term meaning "irreligion" or "no religion" (無宗教, Chinese pron. wú zōngjiào, Japanese pron. mu shūkyō Korean pron. Mukyo), with which the majority of East Asian populations identify themselves, implies non-membership in one of the institutional religions (such as Buddhism and Christianity) and not necessarily non-belief in traditional folk religions collectively represented by Chinese Shendao and Japanese Shinto (both meaning "ways of gods").According to cross-cultural studies, since religion and fertility are positively related while secularism and fertility are negatively related, secularism is expected to decline throughout the 21st century. By 2060, according to their projections, the number of unaffiliated will increase by over 35 million, but the percentage will decrease to 13% because the total population will grow faster.Islam
Islam () is an Abrahamic, monotheistic, universal religion teaching that there is only one God (Arabic: Allah), and that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion with over 1.8 billion followers or 24% of the world's population, most commonly known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful, and unique, and has guided humankind through prophets, revealed scriptures and natural signs. The primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran, viewed by Muslims as the verbatim word of God, and the teachings and normative examples (called the sunnah, composed of accounts called hadith) of Muhammad (c. 570 – 8 June 632 CE).
Muslims believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed many times before through prophets including Adam, Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Muslims consider the Quran in its original Arabic to be the unaltered and final revelation of God. Like other Abrahamic religions, Islam also teaches a final judgment with the righteous rewarded paradise and unrighteous punished in hell. Religious concepts and practices include the Five Pillars of Islam, which are obligatory acts of worship, and following Islamic law (sharia), which touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, from banking and welfare to women and the environment. The cities of Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem are home to the three holiest sites in Islam.Aside from the theological narrative, Islam is historically believed to have originated in the early 7th century CE in Mecca, and by the 8th century the Umayyad Caliphate extended from Iberia in the west to the Indus River in the east. The Islamic Golden Age refers to the period traditionally dated from the 8th century to the 13th century, during the Abbasid Caliphate, when much of the historically Muslim world was experiencing a scientific, economic and cultural flourishing. The expansion of the Muslim world involved various caliphates, such as the Ottoman Empire, traders and conversion to Islam by missionary activities (dawah).Most Muslims are of one of two denominations; Sunni (75–90%) or Shia (10-20%). About 13% of Muslims live in Indonesia, the largest Muslim-majority country; 31% of Muslims live in South Asia, the largest population of Muslims in the world; 20% in the Middle East–North Africa, where it is the dominant religion; and 15% in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sizeable Muslim communities are also found in the Americas, the Caucasus, Central Asia, China, Europe, Mainland Southeast Asia, the Philippines, and Russia. Islam is the fastest-growing major religion in the world.Islam in Somalia
Practitioners of Islam first entered Somalia in the northwestern city of Zeila during prophet Muhammad's lifetime whereupon they built the Labo-qibla mosque; as such, Islam has been a part of Somali society for 14 centuries. Practicing Islam reinforces distinctions that further set Somalis apart from their immediate neighbors, many of whom are either Christians or adherents of indigenous faiths.
The role of religious functionaries began to shrink in the 1950s and 1960s as some of their legal and educational powers and responsibilities were transferred to secular authorities. The position of religious leaders changed substantially after the 1969 revolution and the introduction of scientific socialism. Siad Barre insisted that his version of socialism was compatible with Qur'anic principles, and he condemned atheism. Religious leaders, however, were warned not to meddle in politics.
The new government instituted legal changes that some religious figures saw as contrary to Islamic precepts. The regime reacted sharply to criticism, executing some of the protesters. Subsequently, religious leaders seemed to accommodate themselves to the government.Islamic schools and branches
This article summarizes the different branches and schools in Islam. The best known split, into Sunni Islam, Shia Islam, and Kharijites, was mainly political at first but eventually acquired theological and jurisprudential dimensions. There are three traditional types of schools in Islam: schools of jurisprudence, Sufi orders and schools of theology. The article also summarizes major denominations and movements that have arisen in the modern era.Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan ( KUR-gih-STAHN; Kyrgyz: Кыргызстан Kırğızstan (Kyrgyz pronunciation: [qɯrʁɯsˈstɑn])), officially the Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyz: Кыргыз Республикасы, romanized: Kırğız Respublikası; Russian: Кыргызская Республика, tr. Kırgızskaya Respublika), and also known as Kirghizia (Russian: Киргизия [kʲɪrˈɡʲizʲɪjə]), is a country in Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked country with mountainous terrain. It is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west and southwest, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east. Its capital and largest city is Bishkek.
Kyrgyzstan's recorded history spans over 2,000 years, encompassing a variety of cultures and empires. Although geographically isolated by its highly mountainous terrain, which has helped preserve its ancient culture, Kyrgyzstan has been at the crossroads of several great civilizations as part of the Silk Road and other commercial and cultural routes. Though long inhabited by a succession of independent tribes and clans, Kyrgyzstan has periodically fallen under foreign domination and attained sovereignty as a nation-state only after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Since independence, the sovereign state has officially been a unitary parliamentary republic, although it continues to endure ethnic conflicts, revolts, economic troubles, transitional governments and political conflict. Kyrgyzstan is a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Eurasian Economic Union, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Turkic Council, the Türksoy community and the United Nations.
Ethnic Kyrgyz make up the majority of the country's 6 million people, followed by significant minorities of Uzbeks and Russians. Kyrgyz is closely related to other Turkic languages, although Russian remains widely spoken and is an official language, a legacy of a century of Russification. The majority of the population are non-denominational Muslims. In addition to its Turkic origins, Kyrgyz culture bears elements of Persian, Mongolian, and Russian influence.NDM
NDM may refer to:
The New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase 1 enzyme
Network Data Mover, original name of Connect:Direct software
The Naturalistic decision making framework in psychology
A non-denominational person or organization is not restricted to any particular or specific religious denomination.Nondenominational Christianity
Nondenominational Christianity (or non-denominational Christianity) consists of churches which typically distance themselves from the confessionalism or creedalism of other Christian communities by calling themselves nondenominational.Quranism
Quranism (Arabic: القرآنية; al-Qur'āniyya) comprises views that Islamic law and guidance should only be based on the Qur'an, thus opposing the religious authority, reliability, and/or authenticity of hadith literature. They believe that God's message in the Quran is clear and complete as it is, and that it can therefore be fully understood without referencing the Hadith. Quranists affirm that the Hadith literature which exists today is apocryphal, as it had been written three centuries after the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad; thus, it cannot have the same status as the Quran.
In matters of faith, jurisprudence, and legislation, Quranists differ from ahl al-Hadith, which today comprises the Sunnis, Ibadis, and Shias, and which first emerged during the 2nd/3rd Islamic centuries of the Islamic era (late 8th and 9th century CE) as a movement of Hadith scholars who considered the Quran and authentic Hadith to be the only legislative authority in matters of law and creed.Quran alone-Islam is similar to movements in Abrahamic religions such as the Karaite movement in Judaism and the Sola scriptura view of Protestant Christianity.Religion in Afghanistan
Afghanistan is an Islamic republic where Islam is practiced by 99% of its citizens. As high as 80% of the population follow Sunni Islam. The remaining are Shias. Apart from Muslims, there are also small minorities of Sikhs and Hindus.
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