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Shii Islam: An Introduction Najam Haider

Shii Islam: An Introduction

Najam Haider

Published
ISBN : 9781107031432
Hardcover
264 pages
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 About the Book 

During the formative period of Islam, in the first centuries after Muhammads death, different ideas and beliefs abounded. It was during this period of roughly three centuries that two particular intellectual traditions emerged, Sunnism and Shiism.MoreDuring the formative period of Islam, in the first centuries after Muhammads death, different ideas and beliefs abounded. It was during this period of roughly three centuries that two particular intellectual traditions emerged, Sunnism and Shiism. Sunni Muslims endorsed the historical caliphate, while Shii Muslims, supporters of Ali, cousin of the Prophet and the fourth caliph, articulated their own distinctive doctrines. The Sunni-Shii schism is often framed as a dispute over the identity of the successor to Muhammad, whereas in reality, Sunni and Shii Muslims also differ on a number of seminal theological doctrines concerning the nature of God and legitimate political and religious authority. This book examines the development of Shii Islam through the lenses of belief, narrative, and memory. In an accessible yet nuanced manner, it conceives of Shiism as a historical project undertaken by a segment of the early Muslim community that felt dispossessed. This book also covers, for the first time in English, a wide range of Shii communities from the demographically predominant Twelvers to the transnational Ismailis to the scholar-activist Zaydis. The portrait of Shiism that emerges is that of a distinctive and vibrant community of Muslims with a remarkable capacity for reinvention and adaptation, grounded in a unique theological interpretation of Islam.