By Lesley Hazleton
During this gripping narrative background, Lesley Hazleton tells the tragic tale on the middle of the continued contention among the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam, a rift that dominates the scoop now greater than ever.
Even as Muhammad lay loss of life, the conflict over who could take keep an eye on of the hot Islamic state had began, starting a succession quandary marked through strength grabs, assassination, political intrigue, and passionate faith. Soon Islam was once embroiled in civil battle, pitting its founder's debatable spouse Aisha opposed to his son-in-law Ali, and shattering Muhammad’s excellent of unity.
Combining meticulous examine with compelling storytelling, After the Prophet explores the unstable intersection of faith and politics, psychology and tradition, and background and present occasions. it's an essential consultant to the intensity and gear 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
It had become so central less because of any geographical advantage—if anything, it involved a slight detour—than because it was home to the Kaaba. ” Mecca was thus a major pilgrimage center, and since intertribal rivalries were suspended within its walls during pilgrimage months, it also provided a safe venue for large trading fairs. This combination of pilgrimage and commerce proved highly profitable. The Quraysh skillfully melded faith and finance, charging fees for access to the Kaaba, tolls on trade caravans, and taxes on commercial transactions.
There she was kept indoors, away from prying eyes and ears, while word was put out that she had returned to her father’s house to recuperate from a sudden illness. Not that the rumormongers were buying it. Illness, indeed, they said knowingly; she was hiding her face in shame, as well she might. For the first time in her life, nothing Aisha could say—and as one early historian put it, “she said plenty”—could make any difference. She tried high indignation, wounded pride, fury against the slander, but none of it seemed to have any effect.
Her maid assumed she’d slipped down from the howdah and gone perhaps to see her mother. Muhammad himself would have been far too busy to think of her. Everyone simply assumed she was someplace else. So it was Aisha’s good fortune, or perhaps her misfortune, that a certain young Medinan warrior had been delayed and was riding alone through the heat of the day to catch up with the main expeditionary force when he saw her lying under that acacia tree. His name was Safwan, and in what Aisha would swear was an act of chivalry as pure as the desert itself, he recognized her immediately, dismounted, helped her up onto his camel, then led the animal on foot the whole twenty miles to Medina.