Iraq: Sunni and Shi'i

632: The Prophet Muhammad, founder of Islam, died. Abu Bakr, his father-in-law, became the first Caliph.

656-661: Ali, husband of Muhammad’s daughter Fatima, was the 4th Caliph.

661-680: Mu’awiya, who was not a member of the Prophet's family, was Caliph. He shifted the capital of the growing Muslim empire to Damascus.

680: Husayn, second son of Ali, was killed at Karbala.

The Sunni, the mainstream of Islam, derived from the people who accepted the legitimacy of Mu'awiya as caliph.

The Shi'i refused to accept Mu'awiya. They felt that a legitimate caliph could come only from the family of Ali and Husayn.


Important Sunni individuals and groups in Iraq today:


Important Shi'a individuals and groups in Iraq today, all Arabs I think