The Succession to Muhammad Book Review

The Succession to Muhammad Book Review - Munir Betelmal...

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Munir Betelmal ARIC 337 Shi’i Muslim in History October 21, 2010 The Succession to Muhammad Book Review The Succession to Muhammad by Wilferd Madelung is a sophisticated and well build book about the troubled era that followed the death of Prophet Muhammad. Madelung uses rich language and intensive research to transmit his point of view of the conflict that arose over the succession of the prophet. Unfortunately he reaches conclusions that are built upon false logic and was not subjective while dealing with the matter since he used sources that support his ideas and views of the turmoil only. It is a true shame that such an extensive research was build upon bias thus supporting Madelung ideas alone. It would have been wonderful if the book succeeded to give an unbiased big picture of one of the most controversial events in the history of Islam. Madelung’s book supports the Shi’i stance on the problem of succession; he believes that ruling the faithful men and women of the Islamic world should have been passed down to Ali Ibn Talib and not to Abu Baker El Sadiq. Madelung says that “In the Quran, the descendants and close kin of the prophets are their heirs also in respect to kingship (mulk), rule (hukm), and wisdom (hikma).” (page 17) Therefore he believes that Ali should have been the successor to the prophet but his argument is falsified by the Quran itself since all of the relatives of the previous prophets that inherited their message did so by receiving a holy message for themselves such as Ismail and Ishaq, the sons of the prophet Ibrahim. They were not given power by men but by god himself so men cannot simply appoint Ali if god did not. Decisions on 1
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matters that god did not send revelation about are meant to be taken through shura (consultation), but Madelung disagrees with this. “The Quran advices the faithful to settle some matters by consultation, but not
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This note was uploaded on 10/21/2010 for the course ARIC 246 taught by Professor Muhammad during the Spring '10 term at American University in Cairo.

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The Succession to Muhammad Book Review - Munir Betelmal...

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