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The successor of the Prophet: A historical analysis of the early political differences between the Sunni and Shi’a Islamic school of thoughts.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The early split of Islam is regarded as one of the most profound and complex events in Islamic history, not only would it lay the foundation of two predominant branches of Islam, but it would also be one of the oldest arguments in Islamic history. Who is the rightful successor to the Prophet Muhammed? This essay aims to explore the deep root behind the initial schism of Islam and understand the arguments both schools use to legitimize their position. What do the Sunnis and Shi’as say about the event of Ghadir, the hadith of the two weighty things and the incident of Saqifa, and how do each school of Islam interpret these events? The source material consists of Hadiths and scholastic literatures from both Sunni Islam, Shi’a Islam, as well as literatures from Secular sources. By basing the analysis on Wilfred Madelung’s and Ali Asghar’s theory of disserting Orientalist understanding of a monolith perspective on Islamic history, the essay aims to understand and broaden the reality of the schism of Islam and to bring emphasis on the events that often goes ignored throughout history. Finally, the results prove that both Sunnis and Shi’as differ regarding the caliphate, and the assertions for these lay in their respective interpretations. The Shi’as maintain that Ali should’ve been the successor, while the Sunnis believe Abu Bakr was the caliph.   

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 38
Keyword [en]
Saqifa, Ghadir Khumm, Orientalism, Thaqalayn, Ahlul Bayt, Mawla, Wali, Caliphate, Hadith, Sunni, Shi’a, Sahih sittahs, Bukhari, Muslim, Nahjul Balagha.
National Category
History of Religions
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-338594OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-338594DiVA, id: diva2:1172737
Subject / course
History of Religion and Social Sciences of Religion
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-01-16 Created: 2018-01-10 Last updated: 2018-01-16Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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