Shiites: A Short History / Edition 2

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Overview

This book is an updated and expanded edition of Shi'a Islam. The author, Heinz Halm, discusses events in the Middle East during the last ten years, including the situation in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and in the Gulf States, the results of the American invasion in Iraq, and what is called the new Shia' revival and Shia Crescent.

Combining history, comparative religion, and political interpretations, the author elucidates Shi'ism and political developments in the Middle East for the Western reader.

The author highlights three main aspects of Shi'a Islam: its historical development, especially the history of the Imans, the rituals, including flagellation and passion plays, and the rules of the mullahs, known as the "government of experts." Halm explains the exalted position of the religious scholars, the mullahs and ayatollahs, who established themselves as clergy in the Safavid Empire and defined themselves as the "administrators" of the Hidden Iman.

The relationship between the rulers of Iran and the mullahs has always been tense.The Khomeini revolution was the powerful culmination of a lengthy historical conflict that has expanded into Iraq and Lebanon after the American invasion in Iraq.

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Editorial Reviews

Digest of Middle East Studies
Illustrations, glossary, and index make this primer accessible and informative to nonspecialists . . . recommended for courses on Islam and comparative religions, especially at the undergraduate level, and as a welcome addition to the literature on Shi'ism in general.
International Journal of Middle East Studies
The translation of Shi`a Islam is a most welcome event. It provides the English reader with an authoritative conspectus of Shi`i history and an accurate description of the revolutionary transformation of Shi`ism since 1979, including some useful information collected by the author in Iran in 1993. As a short historical introduction to Shi`ism, it is serviceable to the general public and has no rival or substitute."--- International Journal of Middle East Studies
Journal of Palestine Studies
Heinz Halm, an internationally renowned expert on Shi'ism, provides a concise and highly readable introduction to the historical and intellectual development of Twelver (Imamite) Shi'a Islam. He also presents Shi'i rituals as seen by European travelers. Halm considers these rituals as more important than Shi'a legal codes in terms of influencing culture. For example, he maintains that the 1979 Iranian revolution selectively utilized those historical and cultural symbols of Shi'ism that appealed to the sentiments of the masses; these symbols thus became tools in the hands of religious leaders.
Listen
A solid, knowledgeable, and readable book without ideological baggage. . . .
Middle East Quarterly
An "authoritative account".
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558764378
  • Publisher: Wiener, Markus Publishers, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Series: Princeton Series on the Middle East
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 631,773
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Remarks on the spelling of Arabic and Persian words and names

PART ONE
The House of Sorrow
The Twelve Imams

1. The Commander of the Faithful: Al' ibn Ab'
T'lib (656-661)
2. The Abdication of al-Hasan (661)
3. The Tragedy of Karbal' (680)
4. The Origins of Shi'i Religious Tradition: The Campaign of the "Penitents" (684)
5. Withdrawal from Politics: The Sixth Imam,
Ja'far as-S'diq (702-765)
6. The Deportation of the Seventh Imam (796)
7. The Eighth Imam Al' ar-Rid' as Heir Apparent (816)
8. The Shrine of Qom
9. The Imams in S'marr' (836-873)
10. The Occultation of the Twelfth Imam (873)
11. The Fourteen Infallible Ones
12. The Return of the Mahd'

PART TWO
The Deluge of Weeping
Flagellant Procession and Passion Play

1. The Origins of the ¬shšr' Ritual
2. European Reports from the Time of the Safavid Dynasty (1501-1722)
3. The Elegy
4. The Ten Days of Muharram
5. The Passion Play
6. Chest Beaters and Flagellants

PART THREE
The Islam of the Mullahs

1. The Representative of the Hidden Imam
2. The Imam's Money: the "Fifth"
3. Participation in the Government (Tenth to Eleventh Centuries)
4. The Foundation of Shi'i Law: the "Four Books"
5. The New Center: al-Hilla (Thirteenth to Fourteenth Centuries)
6. The Basis of the Authority of the Mullahs: the Principle of Ijtih'd
7. The Emergence of the Shi'i Clergy (Sixteenth Century)
8. Monarchy and Clergy as Rivals (Seventeenth Century)
9. Usšl's and Akhb'r's: Rationalists and Traditionalists (Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries)
10. Secular and Spiritual Arm (Nineteenth Century)
11. Marja' at-taql'd: the Source of Imitation

PART FOUR
The Revolutionary Shiía

1. The Struggle against Westernization
2. The Rise of Qom
3. Shi'i Revolutionary Ideology
4. Khomein' and the "Government of the Jurist"
5. The Leader of the Revolution
6. Illustrating Ijtih'd Using the Example of Birth Control
7. The Successor to the Rahbar

PART FIVE
Shiíites Outside of Iran

1. Azerbaijan
2. Lebanon
3. India and Pakistan
4. Iraq
5. Syria
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