Islamic Sects

Islamic Sects

About Islamic Sects

Geographer and historian Al-Muqaddasi once satirically described the adherents of these schools as possessing contrasting personal qualities: Hanafites, conscious of being hired in official positions, appeared deft, well-informed, devout and prudent; the Malikite dull, obtuse and confining himself to observance of Muslim prophetic tradition; the Shafi'ite shrewd, impatient, understanding and quick-tempered; the Zahirite haughty, irritable, loquacious and well-to-do; the Mu'tazilite elegant, erudite, free-thinking and ironic; the Shi'ite entrenched in his old rancor, intractable and enjoys riches and fame; the Hanbalite anxious to practice what he preaches, charitable and inspiring; the Karamite pious, partisan, avicarous and predatory; the litterateur frivolous, vain, clever and pompous; and the reciter of the Qur'an greedy, vanglorious, hypocritical and -effeminate. While such descriptions were most assuredly humorous in nature, differences did and still do exist.