What are the differences between Sunnis and Shias?
Muslims are split into two main branches, the Sunnis and Shias. The split originates in a dispute soon after the death of the Prophet Muhammad over who should lead the Muslims.
The great majority of Muslims are Sunnis - estimates suggest the figure is somewhere between 85% and 90%.
The two communities share fundamental beliefs - the "oneness" of Allah, that Muhammad was the last prophet, prayer, fasting and the pilgrimage to Mecca for example. But there are differences in doctrine, ritual, law, theology and religious organisation.
They also often seem to be in competition.
The Iranian revolution of 1979 launched a radical Shia Islamist agenda that laid down a theological and ideological challenge to conservative Sunni regimes, particularly in the Gulf.
In countries with large Shia communities, Shias often make up the poorest sections of society and see themselves as oppressed and discriminated against.
In many countries the two communities live separate lives. However, in Iraq intermarriage between Sunnis and Shia was common until recently.
In Lebanon, Shias have gained widespread respect and a strong political voice due to the political and military activities of Hezbollah.
Some conservative Sunni doctrines preach hatred of Shias.
Pakistan has a history of Shia-Sunni bloodshed dating back to the 1980s.
Who are the Sunnis?
Sunni Muslims regard themselves as the orthodox and traditionalist branch of Islam.
The word Sunni comes from "Ahl al-Sunna", the people of the tradition. The tradition in this case refers to practices based on precedent or reports of the actions of the Prophet Muhammad and those close to him.
Sunnis venerate all the prophets mentioned in the Koran, but particularly Muhammad as the final prophet. All subsequent Muslim leaders are seen as temporal figures.
In contrast to Shias, Sunni religious teachers and leaders have historically come under state control.
The Sunni tradition also emphasises a codified system of Islamic law and adherence to four schools of law.
Who are the Shias?
In early Islamic history the Shia were a political faction - literally "Shiat Ali" or the party of Ali. The Shia claimed the right of Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad, and his descendants to lead the Islamic community.
Ali was killed in a power struggle over who should be caliph, leader of the Muslims. His sons also struggled to capture the caliphate - Hussein died on the battlefield opposing a subsequent caliph and Hassan is believed to have been poisoned.
These events gave rise to the Shia cult of martyrdom and the rituals of grieving.
There is a distinctive messianic element to the faith and Shias have a hierarchy of clerics who practise independent and ongoing interpretation of Islamic texts.
Estimates of the number of Shia range from 120 to 170 million, roughly one-tenth of all Muslims.
Shia Muslims are in the majority in Iran, Iraq, Bahrain and, according to some estimates, Yemen. There are large Shia communities in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Kuwait, Lebanon, Pakistan, Qatar, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Saturday, January 1, 2011
What Is Durum Wheat?
Durum wheat is a type of wheat that is high in protein, gluten, and generally very firm and strong. Kernels of durum wheat are usually large and amber colored. This wheat is most commonly used for making pasta rather than for baking because of its denseness and cooking quality. Pasta made from durum wheat is typically yellow in color because of the wheat's yellow endosperm. The endosperm of wheat is found in the kernel and is usually full of niacin, iron, starch, and protein.
What Are the Benefits of Wheat Germ?
The benefits of wheat germ are numerous, one of them being that this high fiber, high protein part of wheat is one the tastier health foods. It can easily be incorporated into lots of recipes or added to things like cereals or smoothies to include extra nutrition. Unless people are intolerant to wheat, most will find this portion of the wheat kernel easy to digest, though it may be a good idea to start slow in adding it to foods because of its relatively high fiber content.
What Are Wheat Berries?
Wheat berries are whole wheat kernels which have had their husks removed. Like other whole grains, they provide a great deal of valuable nutrition including vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and they are often touted as a good inclusion in a healthy diet. Health food stores and some supermarkets carry wheat berries in a variety of packagings, and sometimes finished food products made with wheat berries such as mixed grain salads are also available at markets.
What is a Wheat Allergy?
A wheat allergy is a type of food allergy characterized by adverse reactions to the consumption of wheat. In addition to causing problems when wheat is eaten, wheat allergies may also result in skin reactions in response to contact with wheat, and in respiratory problems after inhaling wheat pollen and wheat dust. Along with soy, dairy, egg, shellfish, tree nut, peanut, and fish allergies, wheat allergies are very widespread around the world, with people from a wide variety of backgrounds experiencing wheat allergies and sensitivity to wheat.
What is the Difference Between Whole Grain and Whole Wheat?
When it comes to the differences between whole grain products and whole wheat products, there may be some confusion among consumers. While there are many similarities between whole grain products and whole wheat products, there are a few differences that could be very important. Here are some examples.
One of the main differences between whole wheat and whole grain is the process that is used to prepare the grain flour. With whole-wheat flour, the grain has gone through a refining process that has removed some of the nutritional value from the end product. By contrast, whole-grain flour does not go through this refining process, and thus maintains the natural level of nutrients.
What is Gluten Flour?
There are several types of gluten flour, most derived from wheat. Gluten is a protein found abundantly in the endosperm of wheat that adds stickiness and sponginess to dough. When people cook with other whole grains, they may not have adequate gluten, and might need to use a bit of pure gluten in order to make breads and other baked goods lighter. There are a few ways to add extra gluten to dough, most of them employing some type of gluten flour to accomplish this.
What is Kamut® Grain?
Kamut® grain is an ancient grain, and a close relative to durum wheat. It is growing in popularity as an alternative to traditional wheat sources because it is considered nutritionally superior to many other forms of wheat. Research suggests that Kamut® grain may first have been grown in either Egypt or Asia.
When it was first grown in the US, it had no trademark, and was grown mainly as a novelty grain by one farmer in Montana, who got samples of the grain from his son, a WWII airman. The wheat was dubbed King Tut’s grain because of the suggestion of its ancient uses and possible origins. It wasn’t until the 1970s that any farmers thought to grow the wheat in a commercial manner, and there was only one remaining sample of the Montana farmer’s harvest, grown in the 1940s, with which to work.
As you can see from the picture. The endosperm makes up most of the kernal, the bran comes next and the germ makes up the least amount. Manufacturers remove the bran and germ when they make refined bread flour (white flour). Which is not good at all.
The bran is the outside layer of the grain and it is a rich source of many vitamins and minerals like magnesium, riboflavin, thiamin, phosphorus, niacin, iron and zinc. Almost all of the fiber within the grain comes from the bran.
The germ is the part of the grain from which a new plant would sprout if you were to plant it. It is a concentrated source of vitamin E, magnesium, riboflavin, thiamin, phosphorus, niacin, iron and zinc. The germ also contains some fat and protein.
The endosperm has very small amounts of vitamins, not nearly close to what the bran and germ have.
- Landmark varieties of wheat in India and their yielding ability
|Variety||Year of release||Yield potential (Q/ha)|
- The three species of wheat namely, Triticum aestivum (bread wheat), Triticum durum (macaroni wheat) and Triticum dicoccum (Emmer or Khapli) grown on commercial basis in the Indian subcontinent from pre-historic times are of spring type.
- five important varieties namely PV 18, Kalyan Sona, Sonalika, Chhoti Lerma and Safed Lerma thereby ushering in the Green Revolution in India.
- CVRC Central variety release committee, SVRC State variety release committee