(632 A.D) in respect of his real successor. The followers of Islam explicitly split after the Battle of Karbala (AP/HUMA 289-90), where Hussain Ben Ali and his companions and family members were brutally martyred, and the House of the Holy Prophet was plundered by the cruel Umayyad ruler yazid. The paper looks for comparing and contrasting the authority acclaimed by the two, which has been constructed in an absolutely different way and maintaining completely divergent approaches in their nature and scope. The Sunni caliphs, according to the Sunni doctrine, are elected by consensus of community called ijma, in the light of which the first caliph Abu Bakr was elected; whereas the Shiite claim that the imams are appointed from Almighty Lord and explicit designation made by his predecessor through the statutes of holy sayings or statements called nass from the House of the Prophet; it is therefore Hazrat Ummey Salma was not included under the mantle, and only the progeny of Ali and Fatima was entitled to be the members of the House of the Holy Prophet (AP/HUMA 297). In order to illustrate these differences in authorities, 1) the paper will discuss the issues of succession to the Prophet; 2) the election of caliphs as political elected leader and the imam as divinely guided leader, 3) and lastly, the scope of their religious knowledge.
The succession of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) serves as one of the most contradictory issues of Islamic history, which has divided its followers into two major sects. Hence, like its predecessor Abrahamic faiths, i.e. Judaism and Christianity, Islam has also witnessed division of its followers into groups and factions in the name of religion. The majority Sunni sect of Muslims, views the four righteous caliphs as the successors of the Holy Prophet, which appeared at the helm of the governmental affairs turn by turn after the departure of the Holy Prophet from the world. On the contrary, the Shiite