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Difference between Shia and Ismaili

Difference between Shia and Ismaili

What is the difference between Shia and Ismaili? Both sects of Islam differ in their beliefs, but there are also some key similarities. Let’s explore what sets these two groups apart.

What is Ismaili?

Ismaili is a branch of Islam. The Ismailis are sometimes referred to as “Seveners” because they believe in the seven pillars of Islam. Ismailis follow the teachings of the Quran and Hadith, but they also have their own set of beliefs and practices. Ismailis live in countries all over the world, but the majority are located in South Asia. The Ismaili community is led by the Aga Khan, who is responsible for promoting Ismaili values and beliefs. Ismaili places of worship are called Jamatkhanas, and they are open to people of all faiths.

Ismailis believe in creating an equitable society, and they work to promote peace and understanding between different religions and cultures. Ismaili values emphasize tolerance, respect, and compassion. Ismailis are committed to making a positive difference in the world, and they offer financial and social support to those who need it most. Ismailis are a diverse and vibrant community that makes a valuable contribution to the global community.

What is Shia?

Shia Islam is one of the two main branches of Islam. Shia Muslims believe that Ali, the son-in-law, and cousin of the Prophet Muhammad, was the rightful successor to the Prophet after his death. They also believe that Muhammad appointed Ali as his successor before his death. Shia Muslims make up about 10-15% of the Muslim population worldwide. Shia Islam has a number of unique features, including its own religious texts, laws, and calendar. Shia Muslims also have different practices with regard to worship, marriage, and social interactions. In recent years, Shia Islam has been in the headlines due to the rise of the Shia militant group known as Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Difference between Shia and Ismaili

While Shia and Ismaili Muslims share many beliefs, there are some key differences between the two groups. Shia Islam is the largest branch of Islam, and Ismaili Islam is a sub-branch of Shia Islam. Both groups believe in the Five Pillars of Islam and the six articles of faith. However, Shia Muslims also believe in the principle of Ali’s infallibility, while Ismaili Muslims do not.

Additionally, Shia Muslims have a strong focus on providing social welfare, while Ismaili Muslims typically emphasize education and self-improvement. As a result of these different priorities, Shia and Ismaili Muslims often approach social and political issues in different ways. However, both groups are united in their belief in the Islamic faith.


The difference between Shia and Ismaili is significant, but both sects of Islam are united in their beliefs. If you’re interested in learning more about either sect, we’ve provided some links to helpful resources below.

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