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mansab.jafri

"the Succession To Muhammad" By Wilferd Madelung

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An excellent objective destruction of the Sunni mindset on the Caliphate. Wilferd Madelung is a professor of Arabic at Oxford.

This book makes Abu Bak'r and Umar and Uthman look like heathens, with only objective reasoning. He clearly shows that it was Imam Ali who was the rightful heir of Prophet Muhammad. I think we should have a non-Muslim like Madelung come and debate publicly against Sunnis, and show the truth through objective analysis.

I just wanna know your views on this book if you've read it. What do you think about his arguments, and why. Also, do you think there are better books on the topic, and why?

May Allah reward Madelung for his work.

- Mansab

Edited by mansab.jafri

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much as the book is a great objective study ....i beg to differ from your conclusion , nowhere does madelung say or imply that the first 3 caliphs were heathens.Only those sunnis who cling dogmatically to the doctrine of all sahaba as pious blameless will get a shock

Alos the book if closely read tries to refutes just as much the shia idea of imamate esp. in the time of Imam Ali & Hasan.Other essays by madelung and similar authors have drawn similar conclusions.In other words madelung conclusion that Ali might have been the rightful successor does not in any way equate with the shia doctrine of imamate.

frankly i dont think anyone on this forum is knowledgable enuf to really give a scholarly opinion on this book ...this book is more useful for a debate amongst the orientalists and a rebuttal to caetani's work and later anti-Ali writiers like patricia crone and martin hinds rather than for scoring sectarian points amongst shias and sunnis

but yes to your last question there are really not much better books in the english language free from sectarian bias on this subject

Edited by Panzerwaffe

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I've read Madelung's works, and believe them an excellent and well-written source for the Shia position.

However I don't think that one should look to demolish the Sunni Caliphate, the reality is that the Caliphate created some of the most brilliant civilizations in human history, and is an important institution within Sunni Islam, at least historically.

So it should be respected, and although the Caliphate has not always been perfect; as an institution it has provided some of Islam�s greatest leaders, and has earned my respect.

Salaam

Edited by Jawanmardan

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I've read Madelung's works, and believe them an excellent and well-written source for the Shia position.

However I don't think that one should look to demolish the Sunni Caliphate, the reality is that the Caliphate created some of the most brilliant civilizations in human history, and is an important institution within Sunni Islam, at least historically.

so did the firawns. should i give them my respects.

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so did the firawns. should i give them my respects.

Brother, if by Firwan your refering to the Pharaoh (is that spelled right??) then I respect and admire the Ancient Egyptians as well. It’s really up to you, I wouldn’t say you should or should not respect someone. Just adding my point of view.

Peace

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Brother, if by Firwan your refering to the Pharaoh (is that spelled right??) then I respect and admire the Ancient Egyptians as well. It’s really up to you, I wouldn’t say you should or should not respect someone. Just adding my point of view.

Peace

yes bro pharaoh spelling is fine

Phar·aoh also phar·aoh(fâr, fr)

n.

1. A king of ancient Egypt.

2. A tyrant.

these very tyrants were kaffirs and mushriks. infact they called themselves god.

you have not given this very much thought have you.

but then my bro

you are in the habit of respecting willy nilly, previous kafirs or mushriks.

i understand your stance.

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yes bro pharaoh spelling is fine

Phar·aoh also phar·aoh(fâr, fr)

n.

1. A king of ancient Egypt.

2. A tyrant.

these very tyrants were kaffirs and mushriks. infact they called themselves god.

you have not given this very much thought have you.

but then my bro

you are in the habit of respecting willy nilly, previous kafirs or mushriks.

i understand your stance.

:unsure:

Salaam Brother;

This is perhaps not the appropriate thread to discuss ancient Egypt, but I do take your point. However, as a matter of fact I have given this subject considerable thought.

I believe we as Muslims face great threats to our prosperity, and security, and giving the likes of Yazid such a prominent position 1000 years later, and allowing him to divide us today, really grants him a privilege he does not deserve.

If you examine this forum; you will find we spend an awful lot of time, and with respect, too much time in my opinion, on Muwaiya, Yazid and the others that we as Shia disagree with historically.

When I call for respect, particularly for the Sahaba, I call for the mind set to move to the present, and the future and spending time on building bridges. Please take this in the manner it was intended.

Salaam

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I believe we as Muslims face great threats to our prosperity, and security, and giving the likes of Yazid such a prominent position 1000 years later, and allowing him to divide us today, really grants him a privilege he does not deserve.

I agree and like ur way of thinking....but I would agree with bro haideriam that the "civilization" that muslim dynasties created was decadent corrupt and rotten to the core , it was just the same byzantine sassanian imperialism in a different flavor....the puritin Islam of RasoolAllah was perverted beyond recognition so all their achievements of the "golden age" are pretty much achievements of arab,perisna , turkish nationalism not of islam

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It's a bit old and has been discussed on SC before... but basically, it was the first orientalist book that diverged with the previous Orientalists' view that Sunnism is orthodox and Shi'ism (and others) are deviations.

I agree with one of the posters, that the author argues that it's unlikely that the Prophet Muhammad would have leave his community without appointing a successor. However, he still relies on many Sunni accounts and judges Shi'is based on those.

It's good, but we need more.

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:unsure:

Salaam Brother;

When I call for respect, particularly for the Sahaba, I call for the mind set to move to the present, and the future and spending time on building bridges. Please take this in the manner it was intended.

Salaam

salams my bro

with your permission i will rephrase that

respect for the person you are communicating with or are trying to 'make understand' your point of view. otherwise respect for the ones' on whom the wrath is brought down or those who went astray could end up misleading not just ourselves but others too. so the wrongs have to be pointed out in a dignified manner and at the right time in a way which aids assimilation.

otherwise this aya becomes redundant

[shakir 1:7] The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors. Not (the path) of those upon whom Thy wrath is brought down, nor of those who go astray.

so we have to know who were the ones in either of the 2 groups to be able to follow the straight path.

respect should not

enough of this divergence.

agree with bro waiting it is not the whole truth, but better than no truth.

at least we are moving in the right direction.

salams

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An excellent objective destruction of the Sunni mindset on the Caliphate. Wilferd Madelung is a professor of Arabic at Oxford.

This book makes Abu Bak'r and Umar and Uthman look like heathens, with only objective reasoning. He clearly shows that it was Imam Ali who was the rightful heir of Prophet Muhammad. I think we should have a non-Muslim like Madelung come and debate publicly against Sunnis, and show the truth through objective analysis.

I just wanna know your views on this book if you've read it. What do you think about his arguments, and why. Also, do you think there are better books on the topic, and why?

May Allah reward Madelung for his work.

- Mansab

much as the book is a great objective study ....i beg to differ from your conclusion , nowhere does madelung say or imply that the first 3 caliphs were heathens.Only those sunnis who cling dogmatically to the doctrine of all sahaba as pious blameless will get a shock

Alos the book if closely read tries to refutes just as much the shia idea of imamate esp. in the time of Imam Ali & Hasan.Other essays by madelung and similar authors have drawn similar conclusions.In other words madelung conclusion that Ali might have been the rightful successor does not in any way equate with the shia doctrine of imamate.

frankly i dont think anyone on this forum is knowledgable enuf to really give a scholarly opinion on this book ...this book is more useful for a debate amongst the orientalists and a rebuttal to caetani's work and later anti-Ali writiers like patricia crone and martin hinds rather than for scoring sectarian points amongst shias and sunnis

but yes to your last question there are really not much better books in the english language free from sectarian bias on this subject

A lot of shias think this is a pro-shia book, and so promote it as such. The truth is as Pazerwaffe says, in fact it doesn't actually go into the religious beliefs of either sects but more into the personalities involved with an almost-conclusion that Imam Ali was a better successor than Abu Bakr.

i think Madelung identifies a political issue (which sunnis ignore) rather than a religious issue (which shias want).

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Definitely worth a read. It does prove how Quran elevates the status of the Prophet's families and Ahlul Bayt's rights are specially highlighted in the Quran yet they found themselves ignored and oppressed after the departure of the Prophet (saww) from this world. Also the first 3 caliphs and their ambitions, inspirations, and antics are analysed. Interestingly he points out how each of the 3 viewed themselves with the first calling himself "Khalifatur Rasool", the second one calling himself "Ameer ul Momineen", and the third reached the peak of delusion by considering himself "Khalifatullah".

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I have been looking to buy this book for a while & even Seyyed Ammar recommended it in one of his lectures. Is it worth the read?

definitely worth a read. Raises some good points, and to be fair does try an objective approach to the issue.

Some more detail here:

http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/The_Succession_to_Muhammad.html?id=2QKBUwBUWWkC

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A lot of shias think this is a pro-shia book, and so promote it as such. The truth is as Pazerwaffe says, in fact it doesn't actually go into the religious beliefs of either sects but more into the personalities involved with an almost-conclusion that Imam Ali was a better successor than Abu Bakr.

i think Madelung identifies a political issue (which sunnis ignore) rather than a religious issue (which shias want).

I fully agree with you. Still an interesting book, especially for references.

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I have read only parts of the book before, glad its full text is available online now http://books.google....epage&q&f=false. Wilferd Madelung's position is Shi'i leaning (if i may) considering in the past Western authors like Barnaby Rogerson who wrote "Heirs of the Prophet Muhammad" , a book which was trying to amalgate both shi'i and sunni views as correct, kinda sitting on the fence. Madelun's work is definitely more shi'i leaning, although as was pointed out earlier by panzerwaffe it does not establish the Im'ama as such. But then again why should it, the onus for that lies on the shoulders of Islamic scholars. Madelungs' work is more a restatement of the history that really was. When the book was released ,it was awarded the Best Book of the Year prize by the Islamic Republic of Iran for the year 1997. Though i have always wondered why Western academicians like Dr. I. K. A. Howard who translated works like 'Kitab al'Irshad of Shaikh al-Mufeed , never himself wrote ( at least to my knowledge) on the issue of Succession .

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Salaam Alaykum,

I don't understand this. What are his arguments? Ghadir? divine appointment?

None of those, infact nowhere does he explicitly states Ali per se is a better choice than abubakr.

But he highlites importance of ahlulbayt but with a caveat, which is ahlulbayt is basically banu abdul muttalib not merely the big 5.

Madelung projects a quite humble view of Ali, infact blaming him indirectly for the lack of worldly success of his caliphate and he ( which I agree with the most) absolves a lot of companions of ali of blame which is often heaped upon them by shias and sunnis alike.

On pages 18-27, Madelung quotes several contradictory narrations attributed to A’isha and Ibn Abbas. Instead of attempting to either weaken the ones with weak chains, he chooses to assert that both are liars that fabricated narrations that supported their own views. He also drew a picture that they both hated each other. He says (p.22): “It will be seen that both of them were prepared to invent stories to bolster their claims and to discredit their opponents.” However, we only have to go as far as Fadha’il Al-Sahaba by Al-Imam Ahmad to see that they both praised each other and saw each other in a great light

see thats the problem with the mindset of " brother farid"

Madelung as a serious historian does not merely get entangled in the technicality of isnads.Earlier historical reports sometimes with shorter and incomplete chains but more genuine nonpartisan reports might actually be more reliable than a elaborate impeccable chain which parrots the official version of sunni or shia doctrine.

why would the chains matter anyway if Aisha and ibn abbas were liars , we might have the most reliable chain but if the sahabi himself or herself is a liar what use can it be to us ?

Even if I was a traditional sunni I dont see how madelung's conclusion wud seriously shaken my faith

so only things which are "news" to me would be :

Abubakr was not the best suited to rule after Prophet and MAY have conspired to deprive banu hashim of their rightful place

Uthman was guilty of Nepotism and corruption

Aisha was more like a woman of jahilliya , Talha was the primary instigator of revolt against uthman

But my core beliefs are intact

As a Imami 12er shia, Madelungs conclusions are far more concerning.

No conclusive proof that ALi was nominated by Prophet

Event of Ghadeers significance is at most a great merit of ALi but nowhere is it the explicit divine appointment of ALi

Ali made mistakes "which divided his followers" and committed "some grave errors of judgement" to quote Madelung

^ This is a death blow to my core beliefs if I'm a traditional Imami shia

SO in light of all this I dont see how madelung can be accused of pro-shia bias

Edited by Panzerwaffe

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On page 42 of Wilfred Madelungs' book, there is this passage about " Ali's (as) advice to the Prophet (SAAW) to divorce A'isha after 'the event of the necklace' ( i remember reading exactly the same in Barnaby Rogersons' book too). How accurate is this account ? Plus , what is the Shi'i opinion about the" event of the necklace', for, as far as i know of what i have heard or read in our sources, the event of the necklace didnt happen, and the accusation was instead made on Mariyah Qutubia in regards to birth of Hadrat Ibrahim. And i have always wondered , what is the source of the allegation put on the shi'i that they accuse aisha of adultery ( naudbillah)?? Is there a book or some lectures dealing with this issue in detail.

Plus where does Madelung get some of his reports from, ' Ali's conduct in Yemen as bad " ???? Thats a gaffe LOL, Khalid bin Waleed anyone !!!!!!!!!!!!

Edited by TheHealer

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Salaam Alaykum, I don't understand this. What are his arguments? Ghadir? divine appointment?

(wasalam)

I think brother Panzerwaffe pretty much summed it up.

None of those, infact nowhere does he explicitly states Ali per se is a better choice than abubakr. But he highlites importance of ahlulbayt but with a caveat, which is ahlulbayt is basically banu abdul muttalib not merely the big 5. Madelung projects a quite humble view of Ali, infact blaming him indirectly for the lack of worldly success of his caliphate and he ( which I agree with the most) absolves a lot of companions of ali of blame which is often heaped upon them by shias and sunnis alike. see thats the problem with the mindset of " brother farid" Madelung as a serious historian does not merely get entangled in the technicality of isnads.Earlier historical reports sometimes with shorter and incomplete chains but more genuine nonpartisan reports might actually be more reliable than a elaborate impeccable chain which parrots the official version of sunni or shia doctrine. why would the chains matter anyway if Aisha and ibn abbas were liars , we might have the most reliable chain but if the sahabi himself or herself is a liar what use can it be to us ? Even if I was a traditional sunni I dont see how madelung's conclusion wud seriously shaken my faith so only things which are "news" to me would be : Abubakr was not the best suited to rule after Prophet and MAY have conspired to deprive banu hashim of their rightful place Uthman was guilty of Nepotism and corruption Aisha was more like a woman of jahilliya , Talha was the primary instigator of revolt against uthman But my core beliefs are intact As a Imami 12er shia, Madelungs conclusions are far more concerning. No conclusive proof that ALi was nominated by Prophet Event of Ghadeers significance is at most a great merit of ALi but nowhere is it the explicit divine appointment of ALi Ali made mistakes "which divided his followers" and committed "some grave errors of judgement" to quote Madelung ^ This is a death blow to my core beliefs if I'm a traditional Imami shia SO in light of all this I dont see how madelung can be accused of pro-shia bias

Agreed. I actually liked the book, but it was definitely misunderstood by some shais. Possibly, I think, not because it promotes Imami beliefs but because it casts doubts on the standard sunni views on Abu Bakr et al. The reality though is that proving them 'wrong' doesn't prove shias right.

And most importantly, the book isn't about beliefs as such but about the politics that were involved in setting up the caliphate. The book's sub-title "A Study of the Early Caliphate" is a big clue.

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Plus where does Madelung get some of his reports from, ' Ali's conduct in Yemen as bad " ???? Thats a gaffe LOL, Khalid bin Waleed anyone !!!!!!!!!!!!

whic page is that on ? presumably that refers to the event quoted in hadith by Buraidah Al-Aslami a companion who complained to Prophet that ALi took a slavegirl from 1/5 share of spoil of the Prophet , after which Prophet severely rebuked Buraidah and Prophet mentioned the " mawla" hadith and Buraidah afterwards became a staunch follower of Ali and regretted critcizing him.DOnt know how accurate this anecdotal story is, Buraidah is not mentioned to be a participant in any battles of Ali and said to have died in a frontier battle in times of Yazid I.This is mentioned in Kitab Irshad ( i,e this hadith of Buraidah) and apparently it is a very famous version of the hadith

Shia sources mention Buraidah b Husayyb AL-Aslami as one of those who withheld bayat t abubakr initially but ones I have are secondary sources maybe more knowledgable members can dig up a reference to a shia source which mentions it

Edited by Panzerwaffe

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. Possibly, I think, not because it promotes Imami beliefs but because it casts doubts on the standard sunni views on Abu Bakr et al. The reality though is that proving them 'wrong' doesn't prove shias right

Thats exactly what it is, Sunnis often think that anything that disputes the official "sunday school" version of sunnis is neccesarily a shia conspiracy.And SHias are just happy to see a western historian do a critical appraisal of abubakr/umar and rehablitate some aspects of shia beliefs.

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