By Lesley Hazleton

During this gripping narrative background, Lesley Hazleton tells the tragic tale on the center of the continuing competition among the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam, a rift that dominates the inside track now greater than ever.
Even as Muhammad lay demise, the conflict over who might take keep watch over of the hot Islamic country had started, starting a succession predicament marked by means of strength grabs, assassination, political intrigue, and passionate faith. Soon Islam was once embroiled in civil struggle, pitting its founder's arguable spouse Aisha opposed to his son-in-law Ali, and shattering Muhammad’s excellent of unity.
Combining meticulous study with compelling storytelling, After the Prophet explores the risky intersection of faith and politics, psychology and tradition, and background and present occasions. it truly is an essential advisor to the intensity and tool of the Shia–Sunni split.

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Extra info for After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split in Islam

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The declaration itself must have seemed absurd to many of those who heard it, let alone the idea of appointing a successor. There was, after all, nothing to succeed to. At that moment in time, Islam had only three believers, Muhammad, Khadija, and Ali. How could any rational person imagine that it would develop into a great new faith, into a united Arabia and an empire in the making? Muhammad was a man who appeared to have nothing worth bequeathing. That was to change over the next two decades.

Al-Tabari understood that human truth is always flawed—that realities are multiple and that everyone has some degree of bias. ” Reading these voices from the seventh century, you feel as though you are sitting in the middle of a vast desert grapevine, a dense network of intimate knowledge defying the limitations of space and time. As they relate what they saw and what they heard, what this one said and how that one replied, their language is sometimes shocking in its pithiness— not at all what one expects from conventional history.

Perhaps only Khadija could be the matriarch, and only her eldest daughter, Fatima, could be the mother of Muhammad’s treasured grandsons, Hasan and Hussein. There can be no question of impotence or sterility on Muhammad’s part; his children by Khadija were proof of that. No question either of barrenness on the part of the later wives, since all except Aisha had children by previous husbands. Perhaps, then, the multiply married Prophet was celibate. Or as Sunni theologians would argue in centuries to come, perhaps this late-life childlessness was the price of revelation.

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