This erudite, complex, and fascinating book reexamines the struggle over and for the office of caliph, primarily during the period from the death of the Prophet Muhammad to that of his grandson al-Hasan bin `Ali bin Abi Talib (632-670 AD).
In a comprehensive study of early Islamic history, Wilferd Madelung examines the conflict which developed after Muhammad’s death for the leadership of the Muslim community. He pursues the history of this conflict through the reign of the four ‘Rightly Guided’ caliphs to its climax in the first inter-Muslim war. The outcome of the war, which marked the demise of the reign of the Early Companions, resulted in the lasting schism between Sunnite and Shi’ite Islam. Contrary to recent scholarly trends, the author brings out Ali’s early claim to legitimate succession, which gained support from the Shi’a, and offers a convincing reinterpretation of early Islamic history. This book will make a major contribution to the debate over succession. Wilferd Madelung’s book The Succession to Muhammad has been awarded the Best Book of the Year prize by the Islamic Republic of Iran for the year 1997.
About the Author
Wilferd Madelung is a historian of early Islam. His research has focused on the rise of the caliphate, sectarian schisms, religious movements, and theological schools in medieval Islam. He is currently editing and studying Ibadi theological texts of the eighth century.
Title: The Succession to Muhammad: A Study of the Early Caliphate
ٍAuthor: Wilferd Madelung
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Length: 421 pages
Pub. Date: 2008-01-12