The Muslims are divided into two major sects, namely the Sunnis and the Shias. These two are major sects but there are some other sects in Muslims. There is another class of Muhammadan called Motazillas. It is not clear whether they form the separate sect or are an offshoot of the Shia sect.
Qadianis also follow the Sunni law and so do the Ahl-e-Hadith. Ahmadis of the Qadianis Group are concerned, it is admitted that they consider Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Qadiani movement. They believe in the qualified finality of the Prophet Hood of Muhammad PBUH and not upon it absolute unqualified finality. The first portion of the definition of Muslim i.e. a person, who does not believe in the absolute and unqualified finality of the Prophet Hood of Muhammad PBUH the last of the Prophets, covers the case of Qadiani Group of Ahmadis.
Sunni and Shia are further divided into many other sub sects.
Sub-sect of Sunni
The Sunnis are divided into four sub-sects namely,
- The Hanfis
- The Malikis
- The Shafis
- The Hanbalis
The Sunni Muslims of India belong principally to the Hanfi School of thought. Muslim male of female is presumed to have the faith of his or her father and can renounces the faith when he or she acquires the age of puberty. In indo-Pakistan subcontinent there is the initial presumption that a Muslim is governed by Hanfi Law, unless the contrary is established by good evidence. As most Sunni are Hanfi the presumption is that a Sunni is governed by Hanfi Law.
Sub-sects of Shia
The Shias are divided into three main sub sects;
- The Athna-Ashaias
- The Ismailyas
- The Zaidyas
The Athan-Asharias are further divided in two sects, Akhbari and Usuli
As most Shias are Athna-Asharias, the resumption is that a Shia is governed by the Atha-Asharia exposition of law. The Aga Khan is the spiritual head of the Ismaili Khojas and he was once regarded as having the sole right of determining who shall or shall not remain a member of the community, but this right has been curtailed later. The Sunnis and the Shia are spread all over world.