SHIITES VS. SUNNIS
The extension of the masses movements and of the motor means at attainable prices, by the employment of the oil products and the internal combustion and of reaction engines and the exponential development of the wireless communications, especially in the digital age, have allowed the proverbial Sunni Shiite rivalry to concentrate in the beginnings of the 21st century in a new and major clash in the geostrategic center of the Islam. That has showed in numerous simultaneous and unconnected poles in his respective nationals political processes. But that, integrated in an expression of higher range, allow to define a clear, expressive and sufficient trend of how and why these clashes happen. It is an irregular networks war with multiple politician social knots, realized in different national theaters that spreads over the Dar al-Islam ecumene. They are the lands where the Muslims govern and are a qualified majority, though the sharia does not always apply. This hard core or center heart («nuclear core») of the Islam is the so called Middle East, that geographically corresponds with the southwest of Asia and Egypt. It is the Great War of the Islam. And, as in all the violent dialectics, it has its own strategies, opportunities, actions, aims and times.
The War inside the Umma is inconceivable.
The Koran, religious common source of the shiites and sunnis, is not highly revealing about the internal armed disputes within the believers’ universal community. In the epoch of the Prophet this problem was not contemplated. And if those had existed, on having joined with the external harassment that the Muslims were suffering, probably they were leading together to the dispersion and the disappearance of the faithful group. In the Sura (chapter) 49, aleya (verse) 9 is ordered: «When two believers’ nations are in war, try to reconcile them… The believers are your brothers (it is the maximum relation of consanguinity). Arrange, so, the differences of your brothers and be afraid of God, so that He has piety of you.» And in 4, 33: «Oh, believers… do not kill between yourself … (or, do not kill yourself)». The beginning of the verse is directed against the greed and the illicit appropriation. And the Legislator could have extended it to the murder (death of the innocent) and its variants (as example, the suicide).
There exists a great ideological and practical difference between the sunnism and the shiism. This feels chased, in reason of the dynastic (the rights of the family of the Prophet to the conduction of the Islam) and ideological (it admits fewer sources of revelation) orthodoxies, that proclaims and defends. The chiism arises in 680 A.D., from the fourth caliph, Ali, cousin, son-in-law and distinguished companion of the Prophet. His supporters being called in Arab, shi’at Ali or, summarizing, shi’is. But, the chiíes had neither organization, nor means to triumph and to dominate in the territories where they were abounding. This way, the shiism, in demographic minority always, assumes historically a fatalistic, passive attitude, even of physical suffering for it. They wait for the return of the (caliph) missing Imam. This is the name that the political – religious guides take in the chiism and that does not have to do with the sunnis imames, of lesser range and ideological formation, which direct the prayer in the mosques. That one will come as al-Mahdi (guided by Allah) at given moment in the History, to make triumph the orthodox Umma (the shiites). But also cases of insurgent or warrior action have been given in the shiismo, even successfully and with popular implantation, as in Jomeini’s Iran and in The Lebanon with Hizbullah or Allah’s party. The principal shiíes national communities are in Iran (65 millions), India (22 millions), Pakistan (36 millions), Iraq (17 millions) and Afghanistan (5 millions), being a majority in Iraq and Iran.
The sunnism, which follow nowadays near 90 % of the Muslims, also accepts as divine revelation the Tradition or Sunna of the Prophet, where from they take the name. The facts and Mohammed’s comments form the tradition. The major or minor rigor in the selection for the purity of its origin and in the acceptance of this tradition, which was gathered and transmitted by his more immediate followers, characterize the four sunnis «ideological schools», founded astride between the VIIIth and IXth century. The most opened and flexible school, the chafií founded by the Palestinian al-Chafii, died in Cairo on 820 at the age of 53 years, opened an encouraging door for the pacific evolution of the Islam. She accepts also the «consensus of the wise persons» of the community or Umma and the “analogical reasoning or qiijas”, as correct routes for the temporal adjustment of the Islam to all the times and geographical places. Departing from his «rural, illiterate, poor, medieval and surrounded of hostile and barbarism» origin. For it, it departs from the hadis: «Allah recognizes the good in what the Muslims have judged as such».
At Mohammed’s death, the tribal Arabic alliances that he created were threatening to dissolve, when all did not recognize his message and/or the political religious control from Medina. The first caliph Abu Baker al-Siddique, two years minor that Mohammed, affirmed his authority in the community and consolidated the caliphate as the «religious politician successors of the Prophet». Not as «Legislators of the Islam», institution that went out with that one. And for it he used the Jihad, in the so called war of the riddas, establishing a regular army, but without receiving any regular pay.. The first 4 caliphs, from Abu Baker to Alí, are known by the sunnis as the Rashidun, «the straightly guided (by God)». In this historical original stage, the Muslims realize their first conquests, departing from his initial core Meca-Medina, towards the north, east and west it. The transmission of the caliphate would enter already immediately in irreconcilable conflict with later called shiís.
Origin, need and transmission of the Islamic Tradition.
The histories orally transmitted of “the customs and sayings» (the Sunna) of Mohammed, were transformed soon in writings, which were, in turn, objects of big summaries. Every story or written comment is called the hadith or hadis. The term also is used to refer the generality of them. The length of the hadithes is very variable, depending on the theme. More interesting and important for us is its intelligent internal structure. This characterizes them and gives faith of their verisimilitude. In each hadith is usually first exposed the «transmission chain» up to its writing or the checking of her, from his oral origin, with the figure of the «transmitter». Nowadays, we would call this its historical traceability. Aixa or A’isa, the second and preferred wife of the Prophet, and Alí, his nephew, perform first importance as «transmitters» of the hadithes. Then, there comes the content of the story or the comment, called the «matn».
The Koran in the chapter 4, verse 59, guarantees and grants a special power of decision and explanation to the Prophet or Envoy of God and to the sovereign, successors or Muslim caliphs, who are those who hold the authority in the Umma. This would explain and justify the need of a qualified interpretation, foreseen by Allah, for the practical application of the Koran along the geography and the history of the peoples. With Mohammed acting as interpreter, as exceptional and privileged «intermediary» of Allah.
There exist hundreds of thousands hadithes that have come up to us. And between them appear numerous contradictions. In addition, their total text is excessive for have commented or saying and lived or realized by Mohammed. Even using for it all his life. From almost the beginning, the own doctors and apologists of the Islam saw this. The hadithes were in risk of turning into a chain of myths, tribal embellished stories and realities more or less preserved of a vaporous and insecure Tradition of the Prophet. And soon was established a system of critique of the «isinad» or transmission, to guarantee the quality of the content in strict sense or «matn» of the hadithes as written Muslim Tradition.
The Origin of the Jihad.
The Jihad expressed in the precise concept that we all understand, is not gathered in the Koran. Nevertheless, though there appear in the Koran approximately 8 «pacifists» verses, exist near 100 aleyas which encourages the Muslims to the defense of the community, to the fight against the unfaithful people and to the armed spread of the Islam. Established the main lines, rapidly the political chiefs of the Umma, including the Prophet, threw hand of the instrument that so clearly was offering them and that they needed in a “struggle of life or death”. And they named it Jihad.
The Islam establishes the obligatory nature of the Jihad as Holy War, comparing her to so called «5 pillars of the Islam», which are symbolized by the back of an opened hand. They are the elementary obligations, of ritual and collective character, and simple, of every Muslim in his «submission to the God’s will». At the beginning of the Islam, when was reigning the jahiliyya (definition of the barbarism previous to it) in the Arabs, in the times of Mohammed, the Jihad was indispensable and inevitable for the defense of the new religion. That was arising in the middle of a “stormy sea” of pagan and idolatrous and more or less nomadic tribes and clans, which were populating Arabia. It had not even begun the first expansion of the Islam to the whole Arabic world, and the Muslims groups could be easily eliminated by their enemies. Any radical change, even only new, finds always an initial rejection, which originates in the conservative «ideological and tradition inertia», which exists in the society where it appears.
(TO BE CONTINUED)