Ahh thank you for a more in depth explanation of the Sunni-Shia turmoil. I forgot about the Abbasid Dynasty in the mix, and Nur Al-din (Think that was his name) from the Seljuk Turks too, Salahadin's mentor lol. That area is always has had so many different factions. Hmm then you have Hassan Ibn Al-Sabbah and the Hashashin too lol. I'm curious what do the Sunni's think of them, since they were Nizari Ismaili Shia lol. Ohhh and the Sufi's where do they fit in?
Given that the "Hashashin" were mainly Shi'i separatists who wanted to overthrow the Fatamid Caliph and establish their own state didn't help them with either the Ismaili caliphate or the other Sunni players. They did a lot of assassinations and proselytizing, which didn't sit well with anyone. Narratives claim that they tried to assassinate Salah Addin (who was claimed to be a Sufi along with a very large part of his army by the way) too. As a matter of fact, Hashashin literally means hashish users in Arabic. It's not clear why they were called that because they weren't really accused of being so, but it remains derogatory.
Sufism is very complicated and it has many schools, and so different schools are viewed differently by mainstream Sunni Islam. They're criticized for different beliefs and practices, the most famous of which is shrine-visiting and seeking the blessings of "saints" to grow closer to God. This is why you have so many attacks on mosques and shrines by extremist Sunni militants in some countries, like Pakistan and Mali. They're persecuted in many places, especially by salafists and wahhabis. Although their literature is very popular amongst laypeople from all over the world.
On a related note to Iraq
, in an extremely ironic twist of fate (or politics really), sufis were involved with ISIS for a brief while in Iraq under the leadership of Izzat Addouri (Saddam Hussein's vice president previously). The Naqshbandi/Sufi army (basically constituted of rebels from different tribes and ex-Saddam army officers) allied themselves with ISIS to fight government forces, didn't like the savagery of ISIS and how they treated Christians and Shi'a, and so turned against them. Although there are a lot of conflicting news about this right now.
In all honestly that sounds a bit like the Vatican conclave, on how the Pope gets chosen by the Cardinals o_O! I didn't realize there was a class system. Did Mohammad leave any will or way to decide a Caliph?
I wouldn't really call it a class system as it only consists of this particular group of people and then the rest of people. It was their job to consult with the rest of the people they're supposed to represent however.
There are a number of contested hadiths about the Mohammad's caliph, of course sunni scholars contest all the ones proposed by Shi'i scholars and vica versa. The collection and compilation of hadiths was done long after the death of Mohammad and it was subject to the political context, but most scholars agree that Mohammad never named anyone explicitly, instead he left his legacy on how he'd taken his decisions before to guide the caliphs. Of course the interpretation of that legacy is a major issue.
That is very interesting, I had no idea about that lol. In the Quran, how are "the worlds" described?
Someone should! I don't know much about Libya after the fall of Gaddafi, I know that country is in chaos too though. It's ironic how all the Pan Arab Socialist states have gotten targeted, and all the leaders deposed of in a systematic fashion during the "Arab Spring".
True, while Tunisia and Egypt are very much stable now, at least relatively, Libya, Syria, and Iraq are steeped in conflict and bloodshed that won't end soon and that is fueled by outside funds. Other than this being a proxy war, pan-arab regimes have used this ideology to suppress minorities and religious freedoms, which has created the extremism playing a major role in the current conflict in the three countries.