The Succession to Muhammad: A Study of the Early Caliphate / Edition 1by Wilferd Madelung
Pub. Date: 10/28/1998
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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
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.
- Cambridge University Press
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- New Edition
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- 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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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.
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.
undoubtedly the most comprehensive research on the early history of Islam - great resource for a researcher as well as a novice...