After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split in by Lesley Hazleton

By Lesley Hazleton

During this gripping narrative historical past, 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 death, the conflict over who could take keep watch over of the recent Islamic state had all started, starting a succession problem marked through energy grabs, assassination, political intrigue, and passionate faith. Soon Islam was once embroiled in civil battle, pitting its founder's debatable 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 risky intersection of faith and politics, psychology and tradition, and heritage and present occasions. it really is an crucial advisor to the intensity and gear of the Shia–Sunni split.

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

Sample text

One thing was not ambiguous, however. Nobody, Sunni or Shia, denies the extraordinary closeness between Muhammad and Ali. In fact the two men were so close that at the most dangerous point in the Prophet’s life, Ali served as Muhammad’s double. That had been when the Meccans had plotted to kill Muhammad on the eve of his flight to Medina. While the would-be assassins lay in wait outside his house for him to emerge at dawn—even in their murderous intent, they obeyed the traditional Arabian injunction barring any attack on a man within the confines of his own home—Ali had arranged for Muhammad to escape along with Abu Bakr, and stayed behind as a decoy.

It had been Muhammad’s own sword, given by him to Ali—bequeathed, you might say. And after he had fought valiantly in battle with this sword, despite multiple wounds, Ali earned the best known of the many titles Muhammad would confer on him: Assad Allah, Lion of God. That is why he is often shown with a magnificently maned lion crouched at his feet, staring out at the viewer with the calm gaze of implacable strength. The name Lion of God was intended to convey spiritual as well as physical strength, and that is the sense you get from these ubiquitous posters.

No matter how upright she sat on Safwan’s camel, how high she held her head or how disdainful her glare, she must have heard the tongues start to wag as children ran ahead, spreading the word, and must have known what that word was. The sight was too much to resist. The Prophet’s youngest wife traveling alone with a virile young warrior, parading through the series of villages strung along the valley of Medina? Word of it ran through the oasis in a matter of hours. A necklace indeed, people clucked.

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