The Succession to Muhammad: A Study of the Early Caliphate by Wilferd Madelung

By Wilferd Madelung

In a resounding reinterpretation of early Islamic heritage, Wilferd Madelung examines the clash that constructed after the loss of life of Muhammad for keep watch over of the Muslim group. He demonstrates how this clash, which marked the loss of life of the 1st 4 caliphs, ended in the lasting schism among Sunnite and Shi'ite Islam. unlike fresh scholarly tendencies, the writer takes up the Shi'i reason, arguing in security of the succession of 'Ali. This publication will make a tremendous scholarly contribution to the controversy over succession.

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When all three men assembled, Muhammad dismissed them, saying that he would ask for them when he had a need. ' Then Abu Bakr went forward. The Prophet, feeling a temporary recovery, went out after him, and when Abu Bakr heard his movement, he drew back. Muhammad dragged him forward by his clothes and stood him in his place. 49 Caetani considered this report to be apocryphal and invented by the Muslim traditionists in order to explain why Muhammad had not left a 46 47 48 49

While the Ansar with their noble men {ashrdf) assembled in the Saqifat Ban! Sa'ida, 'AIT, al-Zubayr and 'those with them' gathered in Fatima's house. 'The Muhajirun' joined Abu Bakr, and ( Umar suggested that they go to 'our brethren' the Ansar. On the way there they met two 'upright' men of them who told them about the plotting of the Ansar and advised them to turn back and settle their own affairs, but ( Umar insisted on proceeding. 9 They found the Ansar and in their midst Sa*d b. 'Ubada, distinguished Companion and chief of the Banu Sa'ida and of all of Khazraj, a sick man wrapped in a mantle.

The QurJan thus accorded the ahl al-bayt of Muhammad an elevated position above the rest of the faithful, similar to the position of the families of the earlier prophets. God desired to purify them from all defilement. Certainly the renegades of the Prophet's family who opposed his mission were excluded from the divine grace, just like the renegades among the families of the past prophets. Abu Lahab, the uncle of Muhammad, and his wife were even singled out for divine curse in a Sura of the Qur'an.

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