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Lecture 4

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Religious Studies
RELS 226
Sayeh Meisami

Monday October 1, Week 4 After the Prophet What was the immediate problem after the death of Muhammad?  The problem of succession The question of authority  Schism over the successor o „wise old man‟ .. the seniors are respected and considered wise and capable  Abu Bakr: the beginning of Caliphate o He was a companion of the prophet, which was really respected o Also very old, therefore very wise. He was the first “deputy” and died within two years he was so old  The ridda wars o Believed that these wars were waged against them (Abu Bakr & followers) by those who had turned their backs on Muslims  Early conquests: unity and authority  Umar and the expansion of Muslim rule across the Near East o Umar was the most important Caliph based on the conquests that he accomplished  Slow Islamazation of the Hellenistic Egypt and Zoroastrian Persia o Difference in languages and world views, religions were very different, didn‟t really like Umar, etc. o These wars weren‟t always giant bloodshed, etc. Sometimes places surrendered, etc.  Uthman selected by a Shura (committee/counsel); decline of military and political power o He wasn‟t exactly the best choice for a Caliph  The collection of the Qur‟an by Uthman o The collection that he got people to create is believed to be what Muslims today use  The authorized version supervised by Zayd ibn Thabit to the exclusion of other codices  Uthman‟s assassination: the beginning of obvious political strife  Ali from hesitation to assassination o He didn‟t want to accept because there were so many things against him… that and he was probably afraid. He did eventually accept. o The Sunnis don‟t acknowledge the other 3 Caliphs and only regard Ali as the one o He was eventually assasinated  Switch of capital from Medina to Kufa  Medinan‟s support and Meccan (Umayyads) opposition : The Battle of the Camel  Ale vesus Mu‟awiyah  The beginning of a deep-rooted conflict with tragic consequences Ummayyad Dynasty  Noble lineage versus non-Muslim background  The supremacy of worldly politics  The Descisive Battle: Qur‟an on the spears o Mu‟awiya was losing to Ali  Negotiation and the following resentment of followers  The Kharijites (earliest form of Fundamentalism)  Pressures on Ali and his murder in 661 Sunnis and Shi‟is  The abdication of Ali‟s son to M‟awiyah  The replacement of “Islamic rule” by “Arab Kingdom”  Karbala martyrs: the Shi‟i-Sunni drift widening o One by one the grandchildren of the prophet were killed, but one of them was killed tragically in war. His killer became ruler and his palace was rather elaborate… he didn‟t really lead a very Muslim lifestyle.  Seeking the spiritual aspect of Isla in Ali and his children  Oath of allegiance to Caliphs versus the divine appointment of the Imams Shi‟ism and non-Arab support  The story of dhimmis (non converts) and mawalis (converts/non-arab
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