Heresy in Islam
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Heresy in Islam concerns the relationship that larger Islamic bodies have with smaller or newer Muslim sects that dissent from a previous religious or social orthodoxy.
Sunni- Shi'a relations
Shi'i have been considered amongst the oldest sects to be considered as heretical they are mostly criticized for their granting the power of intercession to the family of Ali bin Abi Talib and his Lineage . . It has been argued[who?] that they have turned Islam into cult that insults the Islamic Prophet Mohammed's closest companions and turns faith into an everlasting struggle for power and corruption. Scholars[who?] have since called them "Rafidha" which means "those who refuse the truth" and many[who?] no longer believe that Shi'i should be considered Muslims.
Smaller Islamic sects
Groups like the Khawarij are most often seen as extremely heretical, while the Ismailis, the Hurufiya, the Alawis, the Bektashi and even the Sufis, have also been regarded as heretical by some, such as the ultra-conservative Salafi. Although Sufism is often accepted as a valid religious form by Shi'a and many Sunnis, the relatively recent movement of Wahhabism view it as heretical (which in turn is viewed as heresy by Sunni and Shi'a).
Faiths like Druze and Bahá'í Faith although now separate religions, have their roots in Islam and were considered by some Muslims to be heresies when they first appeared since they emerged as alternative currents in Islamic culture, and were founded by people who were considered to be Muslims, much as Christianity is viewed by some to be a Jewish heresy, or Islam a Christian heresy.
Both the Ahmadiyya and the Nation of Islam are regarded by many Muslim Ulema as being apostate, but in the case of the Ahmadiyya movement, attitudes towards designating the sect apostatical, heretical or Islamic differ depending on region or Islamic schools of thought. In Pakistan, where many Ahmadis live, the state considers the group to be apostatical; whereas in the neighbouring state of Iran, the same group is considered to fall within the bounds of Islamic belief.
Another example concerning the Ahmadiyya movement is the Al-Azhar Islamic University in Egypt, which accepts a certain Ahmadi belief concerning the nature of prophethood in Islam, considered by other schools as being heretical, to fall within Islamic jurisdiction.
Categories of believers and unbelievers
Some categories of believers and unbelievers in Islam are:
- Mu'min: A Muslim believer.
- Fajir: A Muslim who is wicked or an evil doer, a sinner (by action).
- Fasiq: A Muslim who openly violates Islamic law.
- Munafiq: A hypocrite, one who does not believe in Islam, but declares as a Muslim (mainly used in non religious context).
- Kafir: An unbeliever, an apostate from Islam, a person who hides, denies, or covers the truth.
- Murtad: Apostate, A previous Muslim who no longer accepts Islam.
- Ahl al-Kitâb: "People of the Book", members of the monotheistic religions whose holy books share the Qur'an's origins, i.e. Jews and Christians
- Sharqui: "Idolater" or "Oriental", people perceived by Muslims to practice idolatry, i.e. Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and the Indian religions in general, as well as Taoists, Shintoists and other far-eastern religions.