After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split in Islam

Imam Ali Shrine in Najaf

Imam Ali Shrine in Najaf. To the Muslim Times’ Editorial team this book is a case against sectarianism and Islamism and a case for human rights and modern ways of governance and women rights. In the 21st century Islam is meant for personal and spiritual life and not to be forced in the public domain

Book written by Lesley Hazleton, who is a British-American author whose work focuses on the vast and volatile arena in which politics and religion intersect

Brief review from Amazon:

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 than ever.

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, political intrigue, 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 of unity.

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.

Buy the book in Amazon and listen to a small section by the author

2 replies

  1. Reblogged this on Progressive Islam. and commented:
    Thank you Zia, this excellent topic to be discussed here!
    This is my comment, hopefully it will be benafit for Muslim who read this article—Amen.

    “I seek refuge with the Lord of mankind, The King of mankind, The God of mankind, From the evil of the whisperer who withdraws (when Allah’s name is pronounced), The one who whispers in the hearts of people, Whether from among the Jinn or Mankind.

    Definition of blasphemy is that those who insult Islam, insult Prophet Muhammad (saw), or those who belief differ to establish of Islam will accuse blasphemy such as Muslim Shia, Muslim Ahmadiah, Sufi etc. Or those who tear up Al Quran etc is accused blasphemy.
    Pakistan Government create Blasphemy laws.
    So those who insult Islam will be punish as some examples above.

    ANCIENT interpretation. Often we hear from extremist Muslim that those who insult Prophet Muhammad or Islam is accused blasphemy and should be punished severely with stoning to death like in Pakistan, Afghanistan (Taliban), Sudan etc.
    This extremist Scholar still believe in Ancient Arab tradition 1400 year ago, through the book of Hadits as below;

    When the end times will appear young people and bad attitude. They said word by using the word of GOD , when they had come out of Islam as an arrow from his bow slipping . Wherever you meet them , then kill them . Because real people are killed they will get a reward on the resurrection day ” HR Bukhari.

    Anyone of you who saw heresy, apostasy, let is changing with your HANDS, if not able, let the verbal, if not able to let the heart. However, such is weak as weak faith.HR.Muslim

    ” That there is a Jewish woman who often denounce and vilify the Prophet . (Due to the offense ) , then the woman had been strangled to death by a man. It turns out that the Messenger of Allah justifies his blood ” . (Abu Dawud )

    An extremist Scholar Ibn Kathir interpret the verse QS 4:115 wrongly and misguide Muslim around the world, create the bad image of Islam.
    If anyone contends with the Messenger even after guidance has been plainly conveyed to him, and follows a path other than that becoming to men to Faith, We shall leave him in the path he has chosen, and land him in Hell,-what an evil refuge!QS 4:115.

    He said: “Let anyone who insults the Prophet, both physically and spiritually, in his fear maligned form of infidelity, hypocrisy, heresy, a painful punishment in the world, he was executed, imprisoned.”

    Those who follow ancient scholar Ibn Katsir will became extremist and commit violence and kill people who insult prophet and Islam.
    Blasphemy laws is against Human right, meant against Allah’s laws, against freedom of speech and expression.

    PROGRESSIVE interpretation; We have to admit that the the ancient interpretation created violence, discrimination, oppression, injustice, and poverty. There is no freedom of speech,expression and belief.

    Based on al Quran, we, moderately educated Muslim who live in 21st century, have to correct or to reform the old interpretation of Islam, if we want to show and prove that Islam is really peaceful religion and bring mercy to all mankind.

    How did prophet Muhammad (saw) spread Islam 1400 year ago? Prophet Muhammad (saw) always was insulted by his people everywhere he went to convey God’s messages. How did prophet Muhammad’s respond?
    Prophet Muhammad said through Al Quran as follow;

    Invite (people) to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good counsel. And argue with them in the best of manners. Surely, your Lord knows best the one who deviates from His way, and He knows best the ones who are on the right path. QS 4;125.

    Invite (people) to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good counsel. And argue with them in the best of manners. Surely, your Lord knows best the one who deviates from His way, and He knows best the ones who are on the right path. QS.16:125.

    It is part of the Mercy of Allah that thou dost deal gently with them. Wert thou severe or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about thee: so pass over (their faults), and ask for (Allah’s) forgiveness for them; and consult them in affairs wordly). Then, when thou hast taken a decision, put thy trust in Allah. For Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).QS 3:159.

    Does those who make division of Islam will be punished? The answer is No. As Allah command it.

    Surely, those who have made divisions in their religion and turned into factions, you have nothing to do with them. Their case rests with Allah alone; then He will tell them what they have been doing. QS 6:159.

    Verily your Lord knows best who has strayed from his way, and He is well aware of those who are on the right path. QS 6:(7)

    Extremist Muslim accuse Muslim Shia and Muslim Ahmadiyah blasphemy because they divide Islam from Majority Sunni. This blasphemy law cause religious war in Syria, Iraq, cause millions innocent people and children are suffering and die.
    So it is very clear that Allah and Prophet Muhammad (saw) never command his followers to punish and kill those who insult Islam, and Prophet Muhammad(saw). Also it is clear that extremist Muslim misguide people with wrong interpretation and show the bad, violent image of Islam.
    We always claim that Islam is a peaceful religion and bring mercy for all mankind.

    Was salam with love ❤️

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