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9780190689469

The Caliph and the Imam The Making of Sunnism and Shiism

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780190689469

  • ISBN10:

    0190689463

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2023-03-09
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Summary

The authoritative account of Islam's schism that for centuries has shaped events in the Middle East and the Islamic world.

In 632, soon after the Prophet Muhammad died, a struggle broke out among his followers as to who would succeed him. Most Muslims argued that the leader of Islam should be elected by the community's elite and rule as Caliph. They would later become the Sunnis. Others—who would become known as the Shia—believed that Muhammad had designated his cousin and son-in-law Ali as his successor, and that henceforth Ali's offspring should lead as Imams. This dispute over who should guide Muslims, the Caliph or the Imam, marks the origin of the Sunni-Shii split in Islam.

Toby Matthiesen explores this hugely significant division from its origins to the present day. Moving chronologically, his book sheds light on the many ways that it has shaped the Islamic world, outlining how over the centuries Sunnism and Shiism became Islam's two main branches, and how Muslim Empires embraced specific sectarian identities. Focussing on connections between the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East, it reveals how colonial rule and the modern state institutionalised sectarian divisions and at the same time led to pan-Islamic resistance and Sunni and Shii revivalism. It then focuses on the fall-out from the 1979 revolution in Iran and the US-led military intervention in Iraq. As Matthiesen shows, however, though Sunnism and Shiism have had a long and antagonistic history, most Muslims have led lives characterised by confessional ambiguity and peaceful co-existence. Tensions arise when sectarian identity becomes linked to politics.

Based on a synthesis of decades of scholarship in numerous languages, The Caliph and the Imam will become the standard text for readers looking for a deeper understanding of contemporary sectarian conflict and its historical roots.

Author Biography


Toby Matthiesen is a Fellow at St. Antony's College, Oxford. He is the author of a number of books, and won prizes from the American Political Science Association and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books and Foreign Policy, and has published op-eds in the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Guardian. He has been a guest on CNN, BBC, NPR, ABC and al-Jazeera English.

Table of Contents


Prologue
Part 1 The Development of Sunnism and Shiism
Introduction: The Problems of Definition (Confessional Ambiguity)
After the Prophet: The Party of Ali and the People of the Tradition and the Community
Competing Visions of Legitimate Rule
The Codification of Sunnism under the Umayyads and Abbasids
The Codification of Shiism and the Shii Century
The Decline of Shii Dynasties and the Sunni Reassertion during the Crusades
The End of the Abbasid Caliphate: Mongol-Mamluk Rivalry, Confessional Ambiguity and Polemics
Part 2 The Shaping of Muslim Empires
Ottomans and Safavids
Sunnism, Sufism and Shiism in India
Ottoman Reform, the Wahhabis and Shiism
Part 3 The Modern State
Empire, Orientalism, and the Institutionalisation of Difference
The Modernising Ottoman State and European Powers
The British Mandate for Iraq
The French Mandate for Syria and Lebanon
Salafism, Islamic Unity and Arab Nationalism
Sectarian Identity and Nationalism
Part 4 Islam in Revolution and Inter-State Rivalry
Political Islam and the Iranian Revolution of 1979
2003 and after: Sectarianism in International Relations
2011: The Sectarianisation of the Arab Uprisings

Supplemental Materials

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The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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