By Lesley Hazleton
During this gripping narrative background, Lesley Hazleton tells the tragic tale on the center of the continued competition among the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam, a rift that dominates the scoop now greater than ever.
Even as Muhammad lay demise, the conflict over who might take keep watch over of the hot Islamic kingdom had began, starting a succession drawback marked through energy grabs, assassination, political intrigue, and passionate faith. Soon Islam was once embroiled in civil conflict, pitting its founder's arguable spouse Aisha opposed to his son-in-law Ali, and shattering Muhammad’s excellent of unity.
Combining meticulous study with compelling storytelling, After the Prophet explores the unstable intersection of faith and politics, psychology and tradition, and historical past and present occasions. it truly is an quintessential advisor to the intensity and tool of the Shia–Sunni split.
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Extra resources for After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split in Islam
He was well aware that his power and leadership were not beyond dispute in Medina, while to the south Mecca still remained in opposition to him and, even after two major battles, would not submit for another five years. The scurrilous satirical poems had already reached that merchant city, where they were received with outright glee. Muhammad had been placed in a double bind. If he divorced Aisha, he would by implication be acknowledging that he had been deceived. If he took her back, he risked being seen as a doting old man bamboozled by a mere slip of a girl.
Chapter 3 IF THERE WAS A SINGLE PERSON WHO SEEMED DESTINED TO BE Muhammad’s successor, it was Ali, his first cousin and the man whose name the Shia were to take as their own. They were, and are, the followers of Ali, or in Arabic, Shiat Ali—Shia, for short. Ali had been the first man to accept the new faith of Islam. He’d been only thirteen years old at the time, yet he’d remember it with the kind of absolute clarity that marks the most momentous points of one’s life. It had happened just after Muhammad’s first soul-shaking encounter with the angel Gabriel.
A carefully crafted poison in a honeyed drink or a dish of succulent lamb? Such things were not unknown. In fact, they were soon to become all too familiar. But what is most likely is that Muhammad knew that the moment he formally appointed a successor, he would be introducing divisiveness into the newly united community of Islam—or, rather, feeding into the divisiveness that already existed. He would set in motion the web of resentments and jealousies that had accumulated as people jockeyed for influence and position, as they will around any man of charisma, let alone a prophet.