After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split in Islam

By Lesley Hazleton

In this gripping narrative historical past, Lesley Hazleton tells the tragic tale on the middle of the continued contention among the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam, a rift that dominates the inside track now greater than ever.
Even as Muhammad lay death, the conflict over who may take keep an eye on of the recent Islamic kingdom had started, starting a succession situation marked by means of strength grabs, assassination, political intrigue, and passionate faith. Soon Islam used to be embroiled in civil conflict, pitting its founder's arguable spouse Aisha opposed to his son-in-law Ali, and shattering Muhammad’s perfect of unity.
Combining meticulous learn with compelling storytelling, After the Prophet explores the unstable intersection of faith and politics, psychology and tradition, and historical past and present occasions. it's an integral advisor to the intensity and gear of the Shia–Sunni split.

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As had the Rejectionists, the Wahhabis quickly raided all over the place out in their wilderness stronghold. Early within the 19th century, they destroyed the domes over the shrines of Fatima and others in Medina, or even broken the Prophet’s personal tomb. Such ornate shrines have been idolatry, they acknowledged, and rode on north into Iraq, the place they ransacked the shrines of Ali and his son Hussein in Najaf and Karbala. The Wahhabis’ impassioned demand a go back to what they observed because the purity of early Islam accumulated power within the 20th and twenty-first centuries, not just in Saudi Arabia but in addition in such hobbies because the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Salafis in Egypt, and Al Qaida.

Within the ten days major as much as Ashura, each aspect of the ordeal at Karbala fourteen hundred years in the past is recalled and reenacted. the tale so important to Shia Islam has been saved alive yr after yr, century after century, no longer in holy writ yet by way of the impassioned strength of reminiscence, of repetition and reenactment. an enormous cycle of taziya, or ardour performs, is staged each year—so lots of them in such a lot of areas that the Oberammergau cycle of medieval Christianity is a light reflect by way of comparability. The pacing is sort of stately, the discussion extra a chain of speeches than give-and-take, yet no Broadway or West finish functionality has ever had so rapt an viewers.

Like his father sooner than him—like any tyrannical ruler at any time, in fact—Ubaydallah knew how harmful wish might be, and knew both good how one can quash it. there has been absolute confidence of his ever permitting Hussein to arrive Kufa, none both of Muslim’s ever leaving town alive. “Do no longer disclose yourselves to death,” he instructed the Kufans. “If you protect this guy, you are going to style the evil you could have earned. ” And with the stick good tested, he brought the carrot: a wide bounty on Muslim’s head. not anyone in Kufa entertained the slightest doubt as to precisely how Ubaydallah may possibly wield the stick.

To Basra! ” And now, midway there, she was once beset through the howling of the canines, and she or he used to be the single who’d roused them. The romance she’d present in the wilderness until eventually the Affair of the Necklace was once a specific thing of the prior. She’d been then, alongside for the thrill; now she used to be in her forties, on the head of a military of hundreds of thousands, and for the 1st time, she hesitated. was once she fairly to guide those males into conflict? without doubt it can no longer come to that. The plan used to be to take Basra with no violence, through strength of numbers, then circulate up the Euphrates including the Basrans to Kufa.

A gathering of this value couldn't be stored mystery for lengthy. be aware received out, and quite a few hours after the shura had all started, these now not invited—the Meccan Emigrants—decided to ask themselves. via early night of that fateful Monday, Abu Bakr had roused Omar from his grief. There will be time adequate to mourn as soon as the succession to Muhammad have been settled, he acknowledged. The Medinans couldn't be allowed to damage away; that may paintings opposed to every thing Muhammad had accomplished. the recent chief of Islam needed to be an individual who might unite, no longer divide, the Muslim neighborhood.

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