What You Need To Know About 5 Major Denominations In Islam

Islam is one of the numerous religions in the world. Islam as an old religion, is one of the largest in the world, and full of intricate beliefs and traditions. 

Anyone who follows Islam is called a Muslim. Muslims are monotheistic. They worship one God that they believe is, all-knowing, powerful and merciful. In Arabic he is known as Allah.


Followers of Islam aim to live a life of complete submission to Allah. They believe that nothing can happen without Allah’s permission.

Some people are not aware that like Christianity, there are denominations or sects in Islam. Islam has many sects. In this article, I would like to talk the 5 major ones.


Number one denomination of Islam I want to talk about is Sunni. The Sunnis are by far the largest denomination of Islam. They represents about 89 to 90% of all followers of Islam in the world. The Sunnis are spread throughout the Middle East with large concentrations in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Sunni followers believe that Prophet Muhammad did not appoint a particular person to succeed him. Many years after his death, significant debate ensued which led many Muslims to chose to follow Abu Bakr Siddique. Siddique was one of Muhammad’s fathers-in-law and a close friends.


The Sunnis believe that the Imam is the formal prayer leader. Sunnis strongly believe that the Qur’an applies to all of life and that individuals can approach God directly and that he will present himself on Judgment Day.


Shia Islam is one of the two main branches of Islam. It holds that the Islamic prophet Muhammad designated Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor and the Imam (spiritual and political leader) after him. Talib was Muhammed’s son-in-law.

This view primarily contrasts with that of Sunni Islam. Shiites believe that Muhammad did not appoint a successor before his death and consider Abu Bakr, who was appointed caliph by a group of senior Muslims at Saqifah, to be the first rightful caliph after Muhammad.

Shia Islam is based on Muhammad’s hadith (Ghadir Khumm). Shia consider Ali to have been divinely appointed as the successor to Muhammad, and as the first Imam.

Shiites believe that Imams are perfect manifestation of Allah. They view the Imams as central figures and community leaders.

The Shi’a followers place more emphasis on the Cleric’s interpretation of the Quran and less on the individual’s relationship with God.

Unlike the Sunni, the Shi’a do not believe that humans will see God on the day of Judgment. The majority of Shiites reside in Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, and Azerbaijan. A person observing Shia Islam is called a Shi’ite or Shi’i.


The Ibadi movement also known as the Ibadi, is a school of Islam dominant in Oman. Ibadi Islam traces the origins of the denomination to a moderate current of the Khawarij movement. The school derives its name from ʿAbdu l-Lāh ibn Ibāḍ of the Banu Tamim.


The Ibadi denomination pre-dates Sunni and Shi’a. It is widely considered as a highly orthodox version of Islam. Although they share the Shi’a belief that God will not show himself on the Day of judgment, but unlike Sunni and Shi’a, the Ibadi believe that the Muslim community can rule itself without a single leader.

Another way Ibadi is different is that they do not agree that the Muslim ruler must be a descendant of Muhammad’s tribe, the Quraysh. Seventy-five percent of the population of Oman is Ibadism also exists in parts of Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and East Africa.



Ahmadiyyah is officially known as the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community or the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’atu. It is an Islamic revival or messianic movement which originated in Punjab, British India, in the late 19th century.

The sect was founded by Mīrzā Ghulām Aḥmad who claimed to be the mahdī. The Mahdi is a figure expected by some Muslims at the end of the world.


Followers of Ahmadiyya do not recognize Muhammad as the last prophet. Ahmadiyyah sect follow the teaching of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad who they believe to be their prophet. His followers believe he was divinely appointed as the renewer of Islam. They hold similar beliefs to Sunni and also recognize the Qur’an as their holy book. The largest concentrations of Ahmadiyya are in West and East Africa, Indonesia, and South Asia.


Sufism is a mystical and ascetic form of Islam which is practiced by tens of millions of Muslims.


In the Arabic-speaking world they are known as tasawwuf. Sufism emphasizes introspection and spiritual closeness with God. Although it is sometimes mistaken as a sect of Islam by the West, it is actually a broader style of worship that transcends sects. Sufism directs followers’ attention inward.The majority of Sufis follow the Islam direction as given by Ali, Muhammad’s successor as believed by the Shi’a.

Suffis believe that humans can have an experience with God through intuitive and emotional abilities that Sufis learn through training. While Turkey and Persia are considered centers for Sufism it has also reached Greece, Albania, and Macedonia among others.


This is not an exhaustive list of the branches of Islam. The aforementioned denominations are some of the most well-known.

No matterr the sect, Islams believe that the purpose of humans is to live and praise God so that one day they may gain entrance to paradise.

Source : Opera news

Author: Histidine