The succession to Muhammad: a study of the early caliphate , written by Wilferd Madelung , the Christian orientalist and researcher in Islamic studies. Using many sources, he has written the book about the succession of the Holy Prophet s and his true caliph. This book begins with the story of pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr and continues until the time of Marwanids. Wilferd Ferdinand Madelung born on December 26, in Stuttgart is among the contemporary Islamic scholars. Madelung mentioned his goal of writing the book to make reconsideration of most western historians' serious mistrust in Islamic sources of early Islam, which were called old myths and taking a new look at the analysis of these events based on the sources which are the closest in time to that period and his effort in making a balance between concision and loyalty to texts and traditions.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. In a convincing reinterpretation of early Islamic history, Wilferd Madelung examines the conflict that developed after the death of Muhammad for control of the Muslim community. He demonstrates how this conflict, which marked the demise of the first four caliphs, resulted in the lasting schism between Sunnite and Shi'ite Islam.
In contrast to recent scholarly trends, the a In a convincing reinterpretation of early Islamic history, Wilferd Madelung examines the conflict that developed after the death of Muhammad for control of the Muslim community.
In contrast to recent scholarly trends, the author takes up the Shi'i cause, arguing in defense of the succession of 'Ali. This book will make a major scholarly contribution to the debate over succession.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 7. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Succession to Muhammad , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about The Succession to Muhammad. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Feb 18, Dmitri rated it it was amazing. Many historians have held that the Sunni-Shia conflict began over a century later as a political justification for the overthrow of the Umayyad caliphate by the Abbasids.
Madelung shows how the selection of Muhammad's companion and father-in-law Abu Bakr over Ali, his cousin, and son-in-law, initiated the conflict much earlier. In the Quran, the prophets were descendants of a single bloodline from Adam, Noah, and Abraham down through Ismael and Muhammad.
Madelung argues as far as the Quran represents the beliefs of the Prophet, Ali would have been seen as a natural successor over Abu Bakr and the other companions. By not concentrating spiritual and political power in one family, others have maintained this was a paradigm shift from dynastic succession to one based on religious merit.
The remaining early caliphs were each elected by a council of the companions. The second caliph Umar, who greatly expanded the empire, was felled by dagger in the mosque of Medina after a ten year reign.
The third caliph Uthman perished by the sword at prayer in his palace, following a twelve-year reign criticized for nepotism. Finally elected, Ali resisted a coup by the Prophet's wife Aisha, only to be slain by saber in the mosque of Kufa after five years of civil war. The coming Ummayad caliphate in Damascus would revert command of the faithful to a simple dynasty with a hereditary head of state.
This is not an easy book, but it hasn't been superseded in twenty years since its publication. For anyone interested in the political aspects of the first caliphate it is essential.
It is not a complete history because it includes nothing about the major conquests that occurred during the period. Instead, it unravels the complex internal conflicts of tribes and clans in the medieval Mideast.
Covering the thirty year period of the Rashidun caliphate in four hundred pages allows for much detail to be developed. Towards the end of the story, the accounts of internecine warfare can become tiresome. The book received the Book of the Year from the Republic of Iran, so it is an acceptable Shia view of events.
Without much objection from Sunni critics, it may not be terribly biased against their views either. While there is bitter disagreement over the succession to Muhammad, both sides see Ali as an important spiritual and political leader. For a detailed account of the struggle following the death of the Prophet, this may be the best English language book available.
View all 7 comments. Sep 25, Edith rated it really liked it Shelves: islam , history. Nevertheless I have a fondness for Umar's most quotable quotes. In brief, he concludes that Abu Bakr and Umar worked out some kind of conspiracy to keep Ali out of the leadership, which were partly motivated by personal grudges as well as by differing visions for the Muslim community.
At such a nascent stage, the fragile alliance between tribes could have easily fractured at the death of its prophet, and action needed to be taken quickly. Madelung puts forth a convincing argument that Ali should have been the rightful heir to Muhammad, following similar parallels in prophetic history.
However it is clear his mind was made up by the time of writing the work. As a reader I found it convincing and worth a read but does not make the issue a closed case. He took on a lot of assumptions about personal motivations of men and women who cannot speak to us now, and who lived in a time and setting we cannot know directly.
Unfortunately as historians, erudite and thorough guesswork is the best we can do. In that, Madelung was successful. Nov 06, Mubeen Irfan rated it really liked it.
Not much can be written about this amazing book without causing any controversy amongst the fellow Muslims therefore I would not comment on the content which can clearly be judged by the cover.
It is a very detailed and scholarly researched account of the events following Muhammad's PBUH death. It is not a definitive account but challenges very sources being used in the narrative propagated by two major sects in Islam.
It would have been 5 stars had it not been so much difficult to read due Not much can be written about this amazing book without causing any controversy amongst the fellow Muslims therefore I would not comment on the content which can clearly be judged by the cover.
It would have been 5 stars had it not been so much difficult to read due to thesis style writing. Sep 21, Mohamed rated it really liked it. A good book that shows the most important stage of Islamic history with the forces that led to the First Civil War that Muslims still suffer from its aftermath. Dec 20, Anant rated it really liked it Shelves: history , islam. I watched Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story the other night, about the time I was at the post-Siffin section of the book.
I am not now quite sure what I set out to know when I started reading this book, but the movie did give me my clearest thought on what I got out of reading it. It was the sense of tragedy of Ummah. The prophet's wildly ambitious task of leading one community under God, rocked by 3 civil wars barely years into his death and fractured to this day.
It is imperative that we know o I watched Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story the other night, about the time I was at the post-Siffin section of the book. It is imperative that we know of this history, to see that the Rashidun caliphs were not a monolith - that they were men with sometimes deep differences in their interpretations of the design of the Ummah, how each tried to mold it and failed in important ways.
There is footnotes galore for anyone too concerned with partisanship not me - he was certainly positively disposed towards Ali A. I don't know enough to say if it was fully non-partisan but then again, is there ever such a thing? I say this and I know none of it will matter, because those who will benefit most from reading will either never do so or will have already made up their minds before they attempt it. I know I did. Nov 06, Basit Ijaz rated it it was amazing. Well, I read this book more then 10 years ago and loved it so much that get the whole book photo copied at that ebook was fantasy, for me at least.
I still have that copy but content of this book are still fresh in my mind. Madelung used almost all authentic sources for his research which is so much important to make your point. Jun 12, Segantang Helmi rated it really liked it. And up to now, i dont know why those eyes are blinded My advice, read the book, see 'them' with your eyes and understand in your heart.
May Allah guide us to the right path. Aug 25, Jbondandrews rated it it was amazing. A very interesting read concerning the early Caliphate of Islam. Wilferd Madelung does a very competent job writing the early history. Nikki rated it it was amazing Aug 06, Inderjit Kaur rated it really liked it Oct 03, Grace rated it liked it Oct 15, Jazib Ali Naqvi rated it it was amazing Feb 15, Jawad Hassan rated it really liked it Dec 11,
The succession to Muhammad: a study of the early caliphate (book)
This struggle resulted in the difference between Sunnite and Shi'ite Islam over authority spiritual and temporal. The Journal of the American Oriental Society applauded Madelung's mastery of the subject, but was critical of his reliance on ancient sources and neglect of modern scholarship, stating that the author "falls outside the emerging consensus in the field which maintains a moderately skeptical attitude toward the Arabic materials". It further comments although Madelung did take an "optimistic view of the sources" and " Crone's and Hinds' ideas about the nature of caliphal authority are dismissed in one sentence", it still "offers a chance to see the Shi'ite case imaginatively made by a master scholar in complete control of the sources. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The Succession to Muhammad: A Study of the Early Caliphate