A Restatement of the History of Islam and Muslims

A Restatement of the History of Islam and Muslims

A Restatement of the History of Islam and Muslims This is a new story of Islam. It is the story of the movement which was launched by Muhammad, the Messenger of God, in A.D. 610 in Makkah, and was consummated with the support of his cousin, collaborator, and vicegerent, Ali ibn Abi Talib, in A.D. 632 in Medina.

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A Restatement of the History of Islam and Muslims

A Restatement of the History of Islam and Muslims

Countless histories of Islam have been written in the past and will be written in the future. The spectacular advance of Islam in the missionary field in our own times; the renaissance of the Muslim nations after many centuries of slumber; the obtrusion of oil as a new factor in world politics in this century; but above all and most recently, the success of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, all are acting, both in the east and in the west, as catalysts of a new interest in Islam.

The Revolution in Iran, has, in fact, triggered a worldwide explosion of interest in Islam, and many new books are being written on the subject – both by Muslims and nonMuslims.

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These days when the leaders of the Christian world are quietly working to realize the old dream of Christian ecumenism, many Muslims are also looking back nostalgically toward that ideal state when Islam was monolithic. Islam, however, was monolithic only during the lifetime of its Prophet, Muhammad, the blessed one.

As soon as he died, the first crack appeared in the “monolith” of Islam. His followers – the Muslims – were polarized into two groups. In this polarization, most of his companions were on the one side and the members of his family on the other.

While the members of his family were occupied with his obsequies, some of his companions were occupied in “electing” a new leader to succeed him. During the interval between his death and his burial, the latter gathered in the outhouse of Saqifa in Medina and elected one out of themselves as the new head of the Muslim umma (community).

They, then, confronted the members of the bereaved family with a fait accompli. This confrontation, most, unfortunately, became a permanent feature of the history of the Muslims.

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