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Are Saudis Sunni Or Shiite

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are saudis sunni or shiite

Are Saudis Sunni or Shiite? In Saudi Arabia, Islam holds a central position in the lives of its citizens. The overwhelming majority of Saudi Arabian residents, around 75% to 90%, identify themselves as Muslims. It is important to note that officially, all Saudi Arabian citizens are considered Muslims. Within the Muslim population, the majority, ranging from 75% to 90%, follow the Sunni sect of Islam. Additionally, a smaller percentage, roughly 10% to 25%, adhere to the Shiite sect of Islam.

Saudi Arabia has a strong affiliation with Salafi Islam, which is the country’s state religion. The ties between Islam and modern-day Saudi Arabia are deeply intertwined. The kingdom is often referred to as the “home of Islam” and holds significant religious significance as the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad. Every year, Saudi Arabia welcomes millions of Muslim pilgrims who embark on the Hajj, a religious pilgrimage to the holy sites of Mecca and Medina.

Additionally, the kingdom serves as a hub for thousands of clerics and students from around the Muslim world who come to study Islamic teachings. The King of Saudi Arabia holds the official title of “Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques,” referencing the revered Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Al-Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina. These two mosques are considered the holiest sites in Islam, attracting millions of worshippers and pilgrims from across the globe.

Saudi Arabistan in 19th Century

In the 18th century, an agreement was forged between Islamic preacher Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and regional emir Muhammad bin Saud, which introduced a new form of Sunni Islam, known as Salafism or Wahhabism, to the Najd region and later spread throughout the Arabian Peninsula.

This interpretation of Islam became the state religion and the adopted belief system of Muhammad bin Saud and his successors. Who went on to establish the modern kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932. Under the Al Saud family’s rule, Saudi Arabia, as the custodian of Islam’s holiest sites, has dedicated significant resources to promoting its interpretation of Islam. The Saudi government has invested billions of dollars from its petroleum exports in various endeavors aimed at spreading its version of Islam. These efforts include constructing mosques, publishing religious texts, providing scholarships and fellowships, hosting international Islamic organizations, and promoting what is sometimes referred to as “petro-Islam.”

By using its wealth and influence, Saudi Arabia has exerted a considerable impact on the Islamic world and beyond, shaping religious discourse and practices. This has led to varying perceptions, with supporters of this interpretation referring to it as Salafism, while others use the term Wahhabism. Regardless of the terminology, this particular strain of Islam has played a significant role in Saudi Arabia’s history and its engagement with the broader Islamic community.

Saudi Arabistan in 20th and 21th Century

For the past two centuries, the Wahhabi mission has held significant influence in the region of Najd, while its dominance in other parts of Saudi Arabia, such as Hejaz, the Eastern Province, and Najran, has been established more recently, between 1913 and 1925.

The majority of Saudi citizens, numbering between 15 to 20 million, identify as Sunni Muslims. However, the eastern regions have a notable population of Twelver Shia, and the southern regions have Zaydi Shia communities.

There is some variation in how Saudis identify themselves in terms of religious affiliation. According to several sources, only a minority consider themselves Wahhabis. However, other sources suggest that up to 40% of the population may have a Wahhabi affiliation, indicating a significant presence, even if it is a dominant minority. These estimates are based on a native population of approximately 17 million, as of 2008-09.

Another prominent religious affiliation in Saudi Arabia is Salafism, which encompasses the fundamental principles of Wahhabism, with some minor additional accepted principles that distinguish the two. Salafism shares many core beliefs with Wahhabism, making it a significant presence alongside Wahhabi ideology in the country.

Wahhabism

Many of the distinct and stringent practices observed in Saudi Arabia can be attributed to Wahhabism, which was formerly the official and dominant form of Sunni Islam in the country. This ideology takes its name from the preacher and scholar Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab. The central message of the Wahhabi school of thought is the concept of the oneness of God, known as tawhid. Its adherents refer to themselves as ahl at tawhid or muwahhidun and emphasize following the Athari school of thought.

They prioritize the teachings of the Qur’an and Hadith, rejecting speculative philosophy and aiming to stay within the boundaries established by the early Muslims, known as the Salaf. Ibn Abd al-Wahhab, influenced by the writings of Ibn Taymiyya, challenged the philosophical interpretations of Islam propagated by the Ash’ari and Maturidi schools.

He criticized what he saw as a moral decline and political weakness in the Arabian Peninsula, condemning practices such as idolatry, the veneration of saints, and shrine and tomb visitations. In the 1990s, the Saudi leadership did not explicitly emphasize its connection to the Wahhabi legacy. The descendants of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, known as the Al ash Shaykh, no longer held the highest positions in the religious bureaucracy.

Nevertheless, the influence of Wahhabism remained evident in the conservative dress code, public behavior, and communal prayers. Most notably, the Wahhabi legacy shaped the social ethos that viewed the government as responsible for maintaining moral order in society, extending its influence from individual behavior to institutions, businesses, and even the government itself.

Shia in Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, it is estimated that around 5-10% of the population are Shia Muslims, with the majority following Twelver Shia Islam. The Twelvers are primarily concentrated in the Baharna community residing in the Eastern Province, particularly in areas like Qatif and al-Hasa, where they constitute a significant portion of the population. Additionally, there is a smaller Twelver Shia minority known as the Nakhawila in Medina. Along the border with Yemen, there are also sizable Isma’ili communities found in Najran.

Shia Muslims, human rights organizations, and other observers have raised concerns about the “systematic discrimination” faced by Shia individuals in Saudi Arabia, particularly in matters related to religion, education, justice, and employment.

Popular News

are saudis sunni or shiite

Are Saudis Sunni or Shiite? In Saudi Arabia, Islam holds a central position in the lives of its citizens. The overwhelming majority of Saudi Arabian residents, around 75% to 90%, identify themselves as Muslims. It is important to note that officially, all Saudi Arabian citizens are considered Muslims. Within the Muslim population, the majority, ranging from 75% to 90%, follow the Sunni sect of Islam. Additionally, a smaller percentage, roughly 10% to 25%, adhere to the Shiite sect of Islam.

Saudi Arabia has a strong affiliation with Salafi Islam, which is the country’s state religion. The ties between Islam and modern-day Saudi Arabia are deeply intertwined. The kingdom is often referred to as the “home of Islam” and holds significant religious significance as the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad. Every year, Saudi Arabia welcomes millions of Muslim pilgrims who embark on the Hajj, a religious pilgrimage to the holy sites of Mecca and Medina.

Additionally, the kingdom serves as a hub for thousands of clerics and students from around the Muslim world who come to study Islamic teachings. The King of Saudi Arabia holds the official title of “Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques,” referencing the revered Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Al-Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina. These two mosques are considered the holiest sites in Islam, attracting millions of worshippers and pilgrims from across the globe.

Saudi Arabistan in 19th Century

In the 18th century, an agreement was forged between Islamic preacher Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and regional emir Muhammad bin Saud, which introduced a new form of Sunni Islam, known as Salafism or Wahhabism, to the Najd region and later spread throughout the Arabian Peninsula.

This interpretation of Islam became the state religion and the adopted belief system of Muhammad bin Saud and his successors. Who went on to establish the modern kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932. Under the Al Saud family’s rule, Saudi Arabia, as the custodian of Islam’s holiest sites, has dedicated significant resources to promoting its interpretation of Islam. The Saudi government has invested billions of dollars from its petroleum exports in various endeavors aimed at spreading its version of Islam. These efforts include constructing mosques, publishing religious texts, providing scholarships and fellowships, hosting international Islamic organizations, and promoting what is sometimes referred to as “petro-Islam.”

By using its wealth and influence, Saudi Arabia has exerted a considerable impact on the Islamic world and beyond, shaping religious discourse and practices. This has led to varying perceptions, with supporters of this interpretation referring to it as Salafism, while others use the term Wahhabism. Regardless of the terminology, this particular strain of Islam has played a significant role in Saudi Arabia’s history and its engagement with the broader Islamic community.

Saudi Arabistan in 20th and 21th Century

For the past two centuries, the Wahhabi mission has held significant influence in the region of Najd, while its dominance in other parts of Saudi Arabia, such as Hejaz, the Eastern Province, and Najran, has been established more recently, between 1913 and 1925.

The majority of Saudi citizens, numbering between 15 to 20 million, identify as Sunni Muslims. However, the eastern regions have a notable population of Twelver Shia, and the southern regions have Zaydi Shia communities.

There is some variation in how Saudis identify themselves in terms of religious affiliation. According to several sources, only a minority consider themselves Wahhabis. However, other sources suggest that up to 40% of the population may have a Wahhabi affiliation, indicating a significant presence, even if it is a dominant minority. These estimates are based on a native population of approximately 17 million, as of 2008-09.

Another prominent religious affiliation in Saudi Arabia is Salafism, which encompasses the fundamental principles of Wahhabism, with some minor additional accepted principles that distinguish the two. Salafism shares many core beliefs with Wahhabism, making it a significant presence alongside Wahhabi ideology in the country.

Wahhabism

Many of the distinct and stringent practices observed in Saudi Arabia can be attributed to Wahhabism, which was formerly the official and dominant form of Sunni Islam in the country. This ideology takes its name from the preacher and scholar Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab. The central message of the Wahhabi school of thought is the concept of the oneness of God, known as tawhid. Its adherents refer to themselves as ahl at tawhid or muwahhidun and emphasize following the Athari school of thought.

They prioritize the teachings of the Qur’an and Hadith, rejecting speculative philosophy and aiming to stay within the boundaries established by the early Muslims, known as the Salaf. Ibn Abd al-Wahhab, influenced by the writings of Ibn Taymiyya, challenged the philosophical interpretations of Islam propagated by the Ash’ari and Maturidi schools.

He criticized what he saw as a moral decline and political weakness in the Arabian Peninsula, condemning practices such as idolatry, the veneration of saints, and shrine and tomb visitations. In the 1990s, the Saudi leadership did not explicitly emphasize its connection to the Wahhabi legacy. The descendants of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, known as the Al ash Shaykh, no longer held the highest positions in the religious bureaucracy.

Nevertheless, the influence of Wahhabism remained evident in the conservative dress code, public behavior, and communal prayers. Most notably, the Wahhabi legacy shaped the social ethos that viewed the government as responsible for maintaining moral order in society, extending its influence from individual behavior to institutions, businesses, and even the government itself.

Shia in Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, it is estimated that around 5-10% of the population are Shia Muslims, with the majority following Twelver Shia Islam. The Twelvers are primarily concentrated in the Baharna community residing in the Eastern Province, particularly in areas like Qatif and al-Hasa, where they constitute a significant portion of the population. Additionally, there is a smaller Twelver Shia minority known as the Nakhawila in Medina. Along the border with Yemen, there are also sizable Isma’ili communities found in Najran.

Shia Muslims, human rights organizations, and other observers have raised concerns about the “systematic discrimination” faced by Shia individuals in Saudi Arabia, particularly in matters related to religion, education, justice, and employment.

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