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Islam: World Religion - Family Tree   [Return to List of Trees]

Islam is the religion founded by the Prophet Muhammad (570-632), who is believed by followers to be the final prophet. The word "Islam" means "submission." Muslims follow the sacred text of the Koran, stress the oneness of God, and practice the Five Pillars: praying, fasting during Ramadan, almsgiving, pilgrimage, and a testimony of faith. The two main branches of Islam are Sunni and Shi'ite. This split occurred in 632 due to different opinions on leadership succession.

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Included in this tree

Group/Place/Event Founded Description
Moorish Science Temple of America 1926 The Moorish Science Temple was organized by Timothy Drew (aka Noble Drew Ali) (1886-1929) who took materials from American Spiritualism to publish a "Koran."
Nation of Islam The original Nation of Islam was founded by Master Wallace Fard Muhammad in the years following the death of noble Drew Ali, founder of the Moorish Science Temple. It was developed further by Elijah Poole, who was also known as Elijah Muhammad (1897-1975). It began with ideas available in the popular culture and only in the 1980s began to move toward an orthodox Muslim position under the guidance of Elijah Muhammad's son, Warith Deen Muhammad (1933-2008). Under his leadership, the former Nation of Islam changed its name several times and eventually lost its distinctive organizational existence and became part of the larger American Sunni Muslim community.
American Muslim Mission Changes occurred within the original Nation of Islam in the years following Elijah's Muhammad's death (1975). Elijah's brother, John, rejected the changes and formed the American Muslim Mission. John Muhammad taught that Elijah Muhammad was the last messenger of Allah. After the American Muslim Mission disbanded in 1975, it was superceded by the ministry of W. Deen Mohammed. Although Mohammed has passed away (2008), the name is still in use.
Muhammad No description available.
Sunni Islam Sunnism represents the primary tradition of Islam as defined by the Quran and Hadith. It found expression in four legal schools-Hanafi, Malekite, Sghai'ite, and Hanbalite.
Shi'a Islam (Twelvers) Shi'a Islam emerged among the followers of Ali ibn Abi Talib (d.661), the son-in-law of the prophet Muhammad, and favored the lineage of leadership in the growing Muslim community to remain in the hands of Muhammad's descendents. They believe that the twelfth leader (or Imam) went into concealment in 874 and will one day reappear, hence they are often termed Twelvers. They are the dominant form of Islam in Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, and Azerbaijan. As the community developed, Shi'as looked to a slightly different collection of stories about Muhammad in the Hadith.
Ibadiyya (Oman) 7th c. CE The Ibadiyya Muslim community can be traced to a seventh century schism in the Muslim community over the leadership of Ali ibn Abi Talib to serve as the Caliph. They came to opposed any leadership succession based on genealogy in favor of the selection of the best leader from among those available. It is the dominant form of Islam in Oman, and has a following in various parts of Africa and elsewhere.
Hanbalite (Saudi Arabia) A legal school within the larger Sunnni Islam community, the Hanbalite school looks to the work of Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d.855). It is considered the most conservative of the four legal schools and has become the dominant form of Islam in Saudi Arabia.
Malekite (North and West Africa) A legal school within the larger Sunnni Islam community, the Malekite school looks to the work of Malik ibn Anas (c.708-795). It is the dominant form of Islam across North Africa west of Egypt.
Shafi'ite (S. Asia from India to Indonesia) A legal school within the larger Sunnni Islam community, the Shafi'ite school looks to the work of Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shafi (767-820). It is the dominant form of Islam in East Africa, southern India, Malaysia, and Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country.
Hanafi (Lands of the former Caliphate from India to Egypt and Bosnia) A legal school within the larger Sunnni Islam community, the Hanafi school looks to the work of Abu Hanafi (d.767). His approach dominated throughout the old Muslim empire (the Caliphate) based in the Middle East. It is the largest of the Sunni schools in terms of the number of adherents, and considered the most liberal of the several Sunni schools. It remains the dominant form of Islam from Egypt to India and from Bosnia to northeast Africa.
Chishti Sufi Order The Chishti Sufi Order was founded in India by Muin al-Din Chishti (d.1236).
Melvani Sufi Order 1200s The Mevlevi Sufi Order was founded in what today is Turkey by Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207-1273).
Nimatullahi Order of Sufis The Nimatullahi Sufi Order is the Western representative of the Nimatullahi Order of Sufis, which is based in Iran.
Qadiri Sufi Order The Qadiri Sufi Order was founded by the students of Abd al-Qadir al-Julani (1077-1166) a Hanbalite jurist.
Shadhili Sufi Order The Shadhili Sufi Order, which exists in a number of loosely associated branches, looks to Abu al-Hasan Ali al-Shadhili (d.1258) as its founder.
Muslim Brotherhood 1900s A revivalist movement founded in Egypt by Hasan al-Banna (1909-1949). It developed a broad program of charity works while also becoming politically involved in opposition to Western influence in Muslim lands. It was the ultimate source of a variety of radical groups across the Muslim world, including al-Qaeda (also spelled as al-Qaida). Hamas is the Palestinian affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Salafism A reform movement begun in Egypt by Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (d.1897) and Muhammad Abduh (d.1905) which looked to a conservative and literal reading of the Quran.
Wahabbism A reform movement based on the teachings of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (d.1792), whose approach aligned closely with the Hanbalite School of Sunni Islam and opposed both Shi'a and Hanafi emphases. It has been most influential in Saudi Arabia and played a role in Arabia's separation from the Hanafi-dominated Caliphate.
African American Islam The emergence of an African American Islam was accomplished without direct reference to traditional Islam or any contact with Muslim organizations. The reference to Islam was picked up from popular images in the mass culture.
Ishmalis 8th c. CE Ismaeli Islam developed out of a disagreement over succession in the Shi'a community. Following the death of the sixth Shi'a Imam, some felt his son Ismail (c.721-755) should be the new Imam. Prior to the 20th century, they were found primarily in India, Iran, Yemen, and Afghanistan. At one time, they were the ruling force in Egypt.
Daudi Bohras 11th c. CE The Daudi Bohras community developed over a disagreement concerning leadership of the Ismaili community in the 11th century, at which time the Ismaili-based Fatimid Dynasty ruled Egypt. They spread through the Middle East and are today based in India.
Baha'i Faith 1844 The Baha'i Faith is an independent monotheistic religion with its own sacred scriptures, laws, calendar, and holy days. It was founded by Baha'u'llah in 19th-century Persia (today known as Iran). It is not a part of Islam, but its origins cannot be understood apart from the Shi'a Muslim environment in which it was born. The first public mention of the Baha'i Faith in North America was at the 1893 Parliament of Religions in Chicago, IL. The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States and Canada was incorporated in 1927.
Muridi Sufi Order 1880s The Muridi Sufi Order was formed in the mid 1880s by Ahmadu Bamba (1850-1927), a former member of the Qadiri Sufi Order in Senegal.
Ahmadiyyas 1889 A revival movement begun in what is today Pakistan by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (c.1825-1908). The movement divided in 1914 among those who came to be see Ahmad as a prophet and those who saw him as a religious leader sent by Allah to renew the community but rejected the designation of him as a prophet (and thus the equal of Muhammad). Much of the Sunni community has moved against the Ahmadiyyas as heretics.
Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam, Lahore, Inc. 1914 No description available.
Sufi Order International c. 1910 The Sufi Order International was founded by Pir Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882-1927) a member of the Chishti Sufi Order who worked in Europe and North America beginning in the second decade of the twentieth century. He originally left the order in the hands of a female disciple, Rabia Martin. She led the order to become a part of the following of India teacher Meher Baba. In the 1960s, Khan's son, Pir Vilayat Khan assumed his father's mantle and reestablished the Sufi Order.
International Sufi Movement 1927 The International Sufi Movement was founded by relatives of Pir Hazrat Inayat Khan who rejected the leadership of the original Sufi Order he had founded and left in charge of a female disciple, Rabia Martin.
Nation of Five Percenters 1964 The Nation of Five Percenters was founded in 1964 by Clarence 13X (formerly Clarence Smith) a member of the Nation of Islam who had developed a set of innovative ideas based upon those of the original Nation of Islam. Among is unique ideas was that only five percent of African Americans understood the conditions that produced the present dilemma of the black community and were hence able to lead that community to understand that Black people collectively were Allah.
Lost Found Nation of Islam 1977 Following the death of Elijad Muhammad, his brother, John Muhammad (1910-2005), formed an independent organization which he also called the Nation of Islam.
Nation of Islam (Farrakhan) 1978 Changes occurred within the original Nation of Islam in the years following Elijah's Muhammad's death (1975). Louis Farrakhan, one of the most talented ministers in the organization, rejected changes made by Elijah's son, Wallace, and left to establish a group that maintained the beliefs and practices that had prevailed in earlier years.
Tijaniyya Sufi Order c. 1784 Tijaniyya Sufi Order was founded by Ahmad b. Muhamad as-Tijani (1737-1815) around 1784 in Algeria.

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