After the Prophet the Epic Story of the Shia Sunni Split in Islam Lesley Hazleton Doubleday New York London Trowe Sydney valued
AFTER THE PROPHET THE EPIC STORY OF THE SHIA SUNNI SPLIT IN ISLAM – Book Description
In her riveting and meticulously researched book, After the Prophet: The Epic Story of The Shia Sunni Split, author Lesley Hazleton delves deep into the heart of a centuries-old rift that has shaped the Muslim world in profound ways. With a keen understanding of the complexities surrounding this historic schism, Hazleton takes readers on a gripping journey through time, revealing the dramatic events that culminated in the tragic and transformative moment at Karbala.
From the onset, Hazleton acknowledges the challenge of presenting this intricate narrative, opting to utilize first names for key figures rather than overwhelming readers with a daunting array of unfamiliar Arabic names. With this thoughtful approach, she deftly navigates the “Russian novel effect,” ensuring that readers remain engaged and connected to the saga unfolding before them.
In a harrowing account that echoes with both historical resonance and contemporary relevance, the book opens with a visceral depiction of the Ashura Massacre that rocked Karbala in 2004. Hazleton vividly captures the deafening shockwaves and the ensuing chaos that followed nine consecutive explosions during the commemoration of Ashura, a solemn event for Shia Muslims. This event not only marked a tragic loss of life but also exposed the deep-seated tensions between Sunni and Shia factions, resonating as a stark reminder of a schism that has persisted for centuries.
Tracing back to the year 680, Hazleton unveils the foundational story of the Sunni-Shia divide – the massacre at Karbala. Through meticulous research, she brings to life the anguish, devastation, and tribulation that marked this fateful day. Hazleton’s narrative prowess enables readers to feel the shockwaves of the past, transporting them to a world where Muhammad’s male descendants were massacred, and his family taken captive and chained. This watershed moment reverberated across the Muslim world, and as Hazleton points out, the question echoed through history: “How had it come to this?”
Through her eloquent prose, Hazleton elucidates how the events of Karbala in the 7th century have transcended time and continue to shape the faith, politics, and personal identities of millions across the globe. The Sunni-Shia split, a central theme in Islamic history, is dissected with precision, allowing readers to grasp the intricate nuances of a complex divide that remains deeply entrenched in the fabric of the Muslim world.
The author’s insights into the contemporary repercussions of this schism are poignant, shedding light on the ongoing struggles and tensions that have plagued regions like Iraq, the very cradle of Shia Islam. Hazleton underscores that the Karbala story is far from over, emphasizing that it continues to unfold with devastating consequences across the modern Muslim landscape.
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