The Shi'is of Iraq

The Shi'is of Iraq

by Yitzhak Nakash

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Overview

The Shi'is of Iraq by Yitzhak Nakash

The Shi'is of Iraq provides a comprehensive history of Iraq's majority group and its turbulent relations with the ruling Sunni minority. Yitzhak Nakash challenges the widely held belief that Shi'i society and politics in Iraq are a reflection of Iranian Shi'ism, pointing to the strong Arab attributes of Iraqi Shi'ism. He contends that behind the power struggle in Iraq between Arab Sunnis and Shi'is there exist two sectarian groups that are quite similar. The tension fueling the sectarian problem between Sunnis and Shi'is is political rather than ethnic or cultural, and it reflects the competition of the two groups over the right to rule and to define the meaning of nationalism in Iraq. A new introduction brings this book into the new century and illuminates the role that Shi'is could play in postwar Iraq.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691190440
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 06/26/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 34 MB
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About the Author

Yitzhak Nakash teaches Middle Eastern history at Brandeis University. His publications on Iraq and Shi‘i Islam have gained recognition in the United States and Europe as well as in the Arab world and in Iran. He is currently completing a new book focusing on Shi‘ism and nationalism in the Arab world.

Table of Contents

Prefacexiii
Introduction to the 2003 Paperback Editionxv
A Note on Transliterationxxiii
Abbreviationsxxiv
Introduction3
Part 1The Formative Years
Chapter 1The Making of Iraqi Shi'i Society13
Iraq the Frontier14
The Shrine Cities18
The Conversion of the Tribes to Shi'ism25
The Nature of the Conversion43
Chapter 2Years of Upheaval49
The Impact of Two Revolutions50
Muslim Unity and the Jihad Movement55
The 1919 Plebiscite61
The 1920 Revolt66
Part 2The State and the Shi'is
Chapter 3Exercising Social Control75
Containing the Mujtahids75
Managing the Tribal Shaykhs88
Baghdad and the Shrine Cities94
The Blow to the Status of Persians100
Human Dilemmas105
Chapter 4The Search for Political Representation109
Recognizing the State109
The 1935 Revolt120
The Bid for Power125
The Radical Options132
Part 3The Transformation of Rituals and Religious Practices
Chapter 5The Commemoration of 'Ashura'141
The Nature of the Muharram Observances142
The Mujtahids and the Muharram Observances154
The State and 'Ashura'157
Chapter 6Pilgrimage to the Shrine Cities and the Cult of the Saints163
Foreign Pilgrimage164
Internal Visitation173
Chapter 7The Corpse Traffic184
Development and Socioeconomic Functions185
The Religious Creed versus the Social Order192
The State and the Corpse Traffic197
Part 4The Decline of Financial and Intellectual Institutions
Chapter 8Shi'i Money and the Shrine Cities205
The Building of an Economic Base206
The Oudh Bequest211
The Consequences of Dependency on Foreign Funds229
Chapter 9The Shi'i Madrasa in Iraq238
Features and Functions241
Signs of Decline247
A New Iraqi Shi'i Madrasa262
Conclusion269
Epilogue: The Gulf War and its Aftermath273
Appendix 1The Constitution of the Buraq Quarter of Najaf283
Appendix 2Important Shi'i Shrines, Tombs, and Holy Sites in Iraq285
Appendix 3Shi'i Holy Burial Sites287
Bibliography289
Index303

What People are Saying About This

A first-rate work of scholarship...Nakash is particularly good on the origins of Iraqi Shi'ism. His treatment of this important issue is a splendid case study of the sociology of religion.

Fouad Ajami

The most authoritative account we have on the Shi'a of Iraq. . . . Nakash's book provides a powerful corrective to earlier books on Iraq which have been battered by recent events. No reader who goes through Nakash's work will fail to be moved by the historical vistas he opens up.
Fouad Ajami, School of Advanced International Studies, The Johns Hopkins University

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