A Concise History of Sunnis and Shi'is (Paperback)John McHugo (author)
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The 1,400-year-old schism between Sunnis and Shi'is is currently reflected in the destructive struggle for hegemony between Saudi Arabia and Iran--with no apparent end in sight. But how did this conflict begin, and why is it now the focus of so much attention?
Charting the history of Islam from the death of the Prophet Muhammad to the present day, John McHugo describes the conflicts that raged over the succession to the Prophet, how Sunnism and Shi'ism evolved as different sects during the Abbasid caliphate, and how the rivalry between the Sunni Ottomans and Shi'i Safavids ensured that the split would continue into the modern age. In recent decades, this centuries-old divide has acquired a new toxicity that has resulted in violence across the Arab world and other Muslim countries.
Definitive, insightful, and accessible, A Concise History of Sunnis and Shi'is is an essential guide to understanding the genesis, development, and manipulation of the schism that for far too many people has come to define Islam and the Muslim world.
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
Number of pages: 347
Weight: 499 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
It is no mean feat to cover over 1400 years of history...Masterful and fascinating--Jordan Times
Excellent ... McHugo is a lucid interpreter of complex events.--Law Society Gazette
An important corrective . . . provides the reader not just wish all the historical background he or she could want, in an accessible and comprehensive fashion, but also employs this sound knowledge to a clear-headed appraisal of the modern Middle East.--Times Literary Supplement
McHugo guides readers through the complicated history of how succession led to the Sunni/Shi'ite division. But, more importantly, he underlines the two divergent theological approaches to how a Muslim believer should guide his or her life. McHugo contends these two approaches emerged early in Islam.--Jewish Herald-Voice
McHugo's main accomplishment lies in his ability to present Shi'ism as one of the two main political-religious currents rather than a grouping that split from the mainstream after the death of the Prophet. He skillfully weaves parallel academic narratives about the evolution of Sunni and Shi'i Islam.--Arab Studies Quarterly
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