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The Origins and Early Development of Shi'a Islam (Millennium (Series))
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2005
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This book is a definite eye opener. I recommend this book to every Muslim or non-Muslim with an open mind and a deep understanding of the issues involved. I have read most of the earlier work on the life of Mohammed. This book offers by far the most accurate account of major events that unfolded after the death of Mohammed. The political upheaval amidst the last days of Mohammed's life, are well documented by experts. This book sketches a balanced approach to decipher and extract the motives behind the political battles that raged internally, and the development of a strategy by master planners to select a successor of Mohammed without his input. Is it possible that Mohammed would leave the Muslim community (Umma) without a successor? The answer is no. History stands witness that Ali was his choice and was repeatedly introduced as a successor. The tragic political fallout emerging out of a quick coup d'etat, immediately after Mohammed's demise, was confiscation of the task of leadership from Ali. History, turned sympathetic to the architects of the new regime, and the likes of, Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan and Yazid forged ahead into the fold of Khilafath.

His presentation style is extraordinary in the sense that he compiles authoritative references and sources universally acceptable, and synchronizes his conclusions. The logical flow of his analyses based on historic facts allows one to discern the realities not presented before.

Khilafath is Allah's (God's) assigned task on an individual, symbolic to represent piety, and devotion to the principles of Quran and Islam. Khilafath was designed to foster love, freedom and Islamic justice. Assiduous research of the early history of Islam suggests that Khilafath with one exception was obtained through espionage, coercion, intimidation and political trickery.

Muawiya was a self proclaimed Khalif. Muawiya's mother, Hinda; was popularly known for her promiscuity and barbaric voracity for chewing human liver in a battlefield. His father Abu Sufyan was a bitter enemy of Islam all his life, and fought all wars against Islam. Later when captured, Abu Sufyan begged for mercy and forgiveness of his life from Mohammed.

Muawiya and his son Yazid acquired Khilafath through despotic means. Yazid, a drunkard and a womanizer who publicly ridiculed Islam and Mohammed was imposed on Muslims as Khalifa. The disenfranchised and morally degraded Muslims were unwilling to accept his Khilafath. Yazid, however, was determined to hang onto it. His immediate response was to seek and obtain allegiance from a major threat, Husain Ibn Ali; grandson of Mohammed, and the rightful inheritor of the title of Khilafath. It is important to note that Husain never claimed Khilafath, yet Yazid needed Husain's endorsement to legitimize his character and Khilafath.

Husain, the embodiment and enforcer of Quranic and Islamic principles, would never succumb to Yazid's demand for allegiance. With Husain's rejection, the atmosphere became charged for a showdown between the evil and the righteous. The opposing forces exploded on the plains of Kerbala. Islam was in an intensely compelling need to put down this storm of evil with a powerful blow of conviction to reinstate the principles of Islam. Husain achieved this through an "Ultimate Sacrifice" known in Quranic terminology as "Zibhul Azeem". Highlights of this violently barbaric massacre of Husain, his family, and friends including the newborn baby, in Kerbala are presented briefly by the author in chapter 6.

The author has made a sincere attempt to present the facts by putting together the pieces of the puzzle that exposes the difference between true believers/followers and the opportunists/hypocrites who hijacked the principles of Quran and the morals of Islam for centuries.

Some Shias may not be comfortable with parts of his interpretations. Sunnis, on the other hand will be shocked to see the truth radiating through, as the events unfolded dramatically after the death of Mohammed the Messenger of Allah.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Although this book is an excellent piece of scholarship, and presents a balanced view point, it is not necessarily the best book to use if you are just beginning to learn more about Shia Islam. That is, although the book does provide a brief form of introduction to Shia terminology in its opening chapter, it does assume some general knowledge of Shia Islam and is written much like a history book. Hence, if the reader is very advanced in his knowledge of Shia Islam or looking to the book for information to be used in a scholarly paper or article, this is a great resource.

On the other hand, for Shia parents who are interested in teaching their children more about their religion, and who are at a more elementary level, I would recommend "An Introduction to Shi`i Islam: The History and Doctrines of Twelver Shi`ism" by Moojan Momen as a better starting point. This book has been extremely helpful to many of my friends (of the college and professional school age) who have not necessarily grown up in a household that stresses Shia Islam but who want to learn more about the area. It is also easy enough to read that a high-school aged child should be able to follow it.
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on June 6, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
The writer has presented such a convincing argument about Shia Islam, form historical as well as faith perspective, that it has become real apparent to me why Shia belief is so much closer to the true spirit of Islam.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2005
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This book is a definite eye opener. I recommend this book to every Muslim or non-Muslim with an open mind and a deep understanding of the issues involved. I have read most of the earlier work on the life of Mohammed. This book offers by far the most accurate account of major events that unfolded after the death of Mohammed. The political upheaval amidst the last days of Mohammed's life, are well documented by experts. This book sketches a balanced approach to decipher and extract the motives behind the political battles that raged internally, and the development of a strategy by master planners to select a successor of Mohammed without his input. Is it possible that Mohammed would leave the Muslim community (Umma) without a successor? The answer is no. History stands witness that Ali was his choice and was repeatedly introduced as a successor. The tragic political fallout emerging out of a quick coup d'etat, immediately after Mohammed's demise, was confiscation of the task of leadership from Ali. History, turned sympathetic to the architects of the new regime, and the likes of, Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan and Yazid forged ahead into the fold of Khilafath.
His presentation style is extraordinary in the sense that he compiles authoritative references and sources universally acceptable, and synchronizes his conclusions. The logical flow of his analyses based on historic facts allows one to discern the realities not presented before.
Khilafath is Allah's (God's) assigned task on an individual, symbolic to represent piety, and devotion to the principles of Quran and Islam. Khilafath was designed to foster love, freedom and Islamic justice. Assiduous research of the early history of Islam suggests that Khilafath with one exception was obtained through espionage, coercion, intimidation and political trickery.
Muawiya was a self proclaimed Khalif. Muawiya's mother, Hinda; was popularly known for her promiscuity and barbaric voracity for chewing human liver in a battlefield. His father Abu Sufyan was a bitter enemy of Islam all his life, and fought all wars against Islam. Later when captured, Abu Sufyan begged for mercy and forgiveness of his life from Mohammed.
Muawiya and his son Yazid acquired Khilafath through despotic means. Yazid, a drunkard and a womanizer who publicly ridiculed Islam and Mohammed was imposed on Muslims as Khalifa. The disenfranchised and morally degraded Muslims were unwilling to accept his Khilafath. Yazid, however, was determined to hang onto it. His immediate response was to seek and obtain allegiance from a major threat, Husain Ibn Ali; grandson of Mohammed, and the rightful inheritor of the title of Khilafath. It is important to note that Husain never claimed Khilafath, yet Yazid needed Husain's endorsement to legitimize his character and Khilafath.
Husain, the embodiment and enforcer of Quranic and Islamic principles, would never succumb to Yazid's demand for allegiance. With Husain's rejection, the atmosphere became charged for a showdown between the evil and the righteous. The opposing forces exploded on the plains of Kerbala. Islam was in an intensely compelling need to put down this storm of evil with a powerful blow of conviction to reinstate the principles of Islam. Husain achieved this through an "Ultimate Sacrifice" known in Quranic terminology as "Zibhul Azeem". Highlights of this violently barbaric massacre of Husain, his family, and friends including the newborn baby, in Kerbala are presented briefly by the author in chapter 6.
The author has made a sincere attempt to present the facts by putting together the pieces of the puzzle that exposes the difference between true believers/followers and the opportunists/hypocrites who hijacked the principles of Quran and the morals of Islam for centuries.
Some Shias may not be comfortable with parts of his interpretations. Sunnis, on the other hand will be shocked to see the truth radiating through, as the events unfolded dramatically after the death of Mohammed the Messenger of Allah.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
"The Origins and Early Development of Shia Islam" is perhaps the best book I've read in explaining the events that occured after the death of Prophet Mohammed. The book primarily uses four well regarded historians from among both Sunni and Shia Muslims. There are also documented letters written by the Sunni Caliphs and Shia Imams which further elaborate the points being made in the book and allow for readers to draw their own conclusions.

I highly recommend this book to anybody who is interested in the development of Islam into it's two main sects. The author approached the subject matter academically and logically.
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