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The Succession to Muhammad: A Study of the Early Caliphate / Edition 1

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Overview

In a convincing reinterpretation of early Islamic history, Wilferd Madelung examines the conflict that developed after the death of Muhammad for control of the Muslim community. He demonstrates how this conflict, which marked the demise of the first four caliphs, resulted in the lasting schism between Sunnite and Shi'ite Islam. In contrast to recent scholarly trends, the author takes up the Shi'i cause, arguing in defense of the succession of 'Ali. This book will make a major scholarly contribution to the debate over succession.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Succession of Muhammad is not a work for the faint of heart....it is a compelling reassessment of the Rashidun caliphate that should be required reading for evryone interested in the historiography of early Islam." James E. Lindsay, MESA Bulletin

"For those who have been lamenting the decline or near demise of solid, historical narratives, this is a book to cherish." Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Religious Studies Review

"This erudite, complex, and fascinating book rexamines the struggle over and for the office of caliph. This book performs a valuable service by counter-balancing popular views about the origins and development of Shìism." Elton L. Daniel, Middle East Journal

"Madelung brilliantly dissects the myriad, conflicting accounts of Ali's numerous confrontations, as well as the final one...Bound to provoke controversy, this volume has laid down a marker. Critics will be expected to attain a standard of scholarship considerably more incisive than all too much of what has been available to date." Andrew J. Newman, University of Edinburgh

"This is a judicious and honestly critical account of monetous events that reflects the weight of information in a wide array of Arabic texts...The response this book should provoke has possibilities for opening up a discussion of the succession to leardership in general at the endof Late Antiquity." Jrnl of Near Eastern Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521646963
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 1,137,120
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Abu Bakr: the successor of the Messenger of God and the caliphate of Quraysh; 2. 'Umar: Commander of the Faithful, Islamic meritocracy, consultation and Arab empire; 3. 'Uthman: the Viceregent of God and the reign of 'Abd Shams; 4. 'Ali: the counter-caliphate of Hashim; Conclusion: Restoration of the community and despotic kingship.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 18, 2014

    A very well researched piece on the foundation of the Shi'a/Sunn

    A very well researched piece on the foundation of the Shi'a/Sunni schism. Probably the best introduction to the subject matter written to date.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2002

    Thorough

    Madelung starts off in the introduction with how a lot of things regarding the Shia-sunni conflict have been taken for granted, citing the major works in the area, such as Lammens and Caetani. He then gradually works his way from the time of the death of the Prophet till the martyrdom of Ali. No where in his book would you find him forcing his opinion on you. The sources and the references he gives are thorough, very well established and agreed by all. He usually tries to quote directly from the book he is refering to before he comments on the information, hence you are left free to disagree with any conclusion that Madelung may have drawn. A truly scholarly work. This book was definitely needed. I don't think any of should now hold any opinions regarding the Shia sunni debate without going through this book first! And I agree with Mr Khurram Rizvi, reading the book together with Dr Jafri's origins will work exponentially in helping the uninitiated understand the subtler points and arguments of the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2001

    unique scholarly work on Islamic history

    undoubtedly the most comprehensive research on the early history of Islam - great resource for a researcher as well as a novice...

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