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After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split in Islamby Lesley Hazleton
Synopses & Reviews
Narrative history at its most compelling, After the Prophet relates the dramatic tragic story at the heart of the ongoing rivalry between Shia and Sunni Islam.Even as Muhammad lay dying, the battle over his successor had begun. Pitting the family of his favorite wife, the controversial Aisha, against supporters of his son-in-law, the philosopher-warrior Ali, the struggle would reach its breaking point fifty years later in Iraq, when soldiers of the first Sunni dynasty massacred seventy-two warriors led by Muhammad's grandson Hussein at Karbala. Hussein's agonizing ordeal at Karbala was soon to become the Passion story at the core of Shia Islam.Hazleton's vivid, gripping prose provides extraordinary insight into the origins of the world's most volatile blend of politics and religion. Balancing past and present, she shows how these seventh-century events are as alive in Middle Eastern hearts and minds today as though they had just happened, shaping modern headlines from Iran's Islamic Revolution to the civil war in Iraq. After the Prophet is narrative nonfiction at its finest, and an emotional and political revelation for Western readers.
In this gripping narrative history, Lesley Hazleton tells the tragic story at the heart of the ongoing rivalry between the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam, a rift that dominates the news now more thanever.
Even as Muhammad lay dying, the battle over who would take control of the new Islamic nation had begun, beginning a succession crisis marked by power grabs, assassination, politicalintrigue, and passionate faith. Soon Islam was embroiled in civil war, pitting its founder's controversial wife Aisha against his son-in-law Ali, and shattering Muhammad's ideal ofunity.
Combining meticulous research with compelling storytelling, After the Prophet explores the volatile intersection of religion and politics, psychology and culture, and history and current events. It is an indispensable guide to the depth and power of the Shia-Sunni split.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Balancing past and present, Hazelton shows how 7th-century events are alive in Middle Eastern hearts and minds today as though they had just happened, shaping modern headlines from Iran's Islamic Revolution to the civil war in Iraq.
About the Author
British-born Lesley Hazleton is a psychologist and veteran Middle East journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Esquire, Vanity Fair, Harper’s The Nation, New Republic, New York Review of Books, and other publications. The author of several acclaimed books on Middle East politics, religion, and history, including Jerusalem, Jerusalem and Mary: A Flesh-and-Blood Biography of the Virgin Mother, she now lives in Seattle, Washington.
Table of Contents
Muhammad — Ali — Hussein.
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Biography » Religious