After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split in by Lesley Hazleton

By Lesley Hazleton

During this gripping narrative historical past, 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 inside track now greater than ever.
Even as Muhammad lay loss of life, the conflict over who may take keep an eye on of the hot Islamic state had all started, starting a succession hindrance marked by way of energy grabs, assassination, political intrigue, and passionate faith. Soon Islam was once embroiled in civil conflict, pitting its founder's arguable spouse Aisha opposed to his son-in-law Ali, and shattering Muhammad’s perfect of unity.
Combining meticulous learn with compelling storytelling, After the Prophet explores the unstable intersection of faith and politics, psychology and tradition, and historical past and present occasions. it's an fundamental consultant to the intensity and tool of the Shia–Sunni split.

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How could a teenage girl possibly compete against the hallowed memory of a dead woman? But then who but a teenage girl would even dream of trying? “I wasn’t jealous of any of the Prophet’s wives except for Khadija, even though I came after her death,” she said many years later. And though this was clearly untrue—whenever there was so much as a mention of another wife’s beauty, Aisha bristled—Khadija was certainly the focus of her jealousy. Muhammad’s first wife was the one woman who, precisely because she was dead, was unassailable.

In fact, they would triple. As if Ali were not close enough by virtue of being Muhammad’s paternal first cousin and his adoptive son, Muhammad handpicked him to marry Fatima, his eldest daughter, even though others had already asked for her hand. Those others were the two men who would lead the challenge to Ali’s succession after Muhammad’s death: Aisha’s father, Abu Bakr, who had been Muhammad’s companion on the flight to Medina, and the famed warrior Omar, the man who was to lead Islam out of the Arabian Peninsula and into the whole of the Middle East.

Indeed no, God has not replaced her with a better,” he said. ” There it was: Not only was Khadija the only one beyond all criticism, but the Prophet himself held Aisha’s childlessness against her. A virgin bride she may have been, but in a society where women gained status through motherhood, mother she was not and would never be. Is that where her determination began, or had it been there all along? For determination was what it would take for Aisha to remake herself as she did. This childless teenager would establish herself after the Prophet’s death as the leader of the Mothers of the Faithful, the term by which his widows were known.

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