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The Succession to Muhammad - Wikipedia

The succession to Muhammad: a study of the early caliphate , written by Wilferd Madelung , the Christian orientalist and researcher in Islamic studies. Using many sources, he has written the book about the succession of the Holy Prophet s and his true caliph. This book begins with the story of pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr and continues until the time of Marwanids. Wilferd Ferdinand Madelung born on December 26, in Stuttgart is among the contemporary Islamic scholars. Madelung mentioned his goal of writing the book to make reconsideration of most western historians' serious mistrust in Islamic sources of early Islam, which were called old myths and taking a new look at the analysis of these events based on the sources which are the closest in time to that period and his effort in making a balance between concision and loyalty to texts and traditions.

The author first takes a look at the issue of kinship in the Holy Qur'an and the role of previous prophets' a families in supporting the prophets a and preserving their heritage and makes this conclusion that based on the Holy Qur'an , natural successor of the Holy Prophet s could not be Abu Bakr.


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He writes that, "Insofar as the Qur'an expresses the thoughts of Muhammad s , it is evident that he s could not have considered Abu Bakr his natural successor or have been pleased by his succession. In the preface, Madelung mentions the viewpoints of two witnesses to the event, i.

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Aisha and 'Abd Allah b. His discussion is actually a reaction to the talks of those western researchers who have introduced the reports of these two based on prejudice and under influence of love and hatred and have considered what is to the favor of Shia among forgery of later periods. Jump to: navigation , search.

Q&A: The Succession to Muhammad

The succession to Muhammad: a study of the early caliphate. According to the Sunni view of Islam's earliest history, the prophet Muhammad did not designate anyone to succeed him.

The Succession to Muhammad

Muhammad having been the last of God's prophets, the question, in any case, was of succession to the polity he had founded in Medina, not to his prophetical office. It was therefore left to the community to decide on his succession, and after some discussion and uncertainty a number of the Prophet's Companions elected Abu Bakr , a leading member of the community and Muhammad's father-in-law, as the first caliph.

Before his death two years later c. No other period in the history of Islam has been the subject of greater debate than the events of the Fitna.

October Meeting

For the Sunnis, the Companions are second only to the Prophet as sources of religious guidance, and yet during the civil war they were ranged on opposite sides and bitterly fought each other. Indeed, it is to the events of the First Civil War that the origins of the major religio-political schisms in Islam are datable. A distinctive doctrine of those who, in the ninth century, emerged as the Sunnis was that all four of the Prophet's immediate successors were equally righteous, and that the historical sequence of their succession was also the order of their religious ranking.

Agreement on this position did not come about easily. By the time of the hadith scholar Ahmad ibn Hanbal d.

It was also in the late eighth and early ninth centuries that a tradition of the Prophet, according to which the "caliphate" would last only thirty years after his death—that is, only for the duration of the reigns of his first four successors—became widely current. Though the Umayyads and the Abbasids claimed, of course, to be caliphs and were recognized as such by the Sunni religious scholars, a position such as that enshrined in the "thirty years" hadith signaled that the age of the Rashidun was to be set apart from all subsequent eras.

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Formation of Muslim Sectarian Identities

For the Sunnis, that age has continued to be seen as a time, indeed the only time, when Islamic ideals were truly implemented. As such, invocations of the Rashidun have continued to be part of the religio-political discourse in the Sunni Islamic world to the present. Ess, Josef van. Hinds, Martin. Studies in Early Islamic History.