The Shiites: A Short History / Edition 2

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $157.23
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (2) from $157.23   
  • New (1) from $176.82   
  • Used (1) from $157.23   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any coupons and promotions
Seller since 2011

Feedback rating:



New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

Brand new and unread! Join our growing list of satisfied customers!

Ships from: Phoenix, MD

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Sort by


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.

Read More Show Less

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.
A solid, knowledgeable, and readable book without ideological baggage. . . .
Middle East Quarterly
An "authoritative account".
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Table of Contents

Remarks on the spelling of Arabic and Persian words and names

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'

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

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

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

Shiíites Outside of Iran

1. Azerbaijan
2. Lebanon
3. India and Pakistan
4. Iraq
5. Syria
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)