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  • The History of the Sunni and Shia Split

  • Understanding the Divisions within Islam
  • By: Charles River Editors
  • Narrated by: Colin Fluxman
  • Length: 1 hr and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 227
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 201
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 201

Different branches of the same religion are the exception more than the rule, and they have had a profound impact upon history. The schism between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches influenced relationships between nations across Europe, and religious intolerance based on different Christian faiths led to persecution and outright violence across the continent for centuries.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent preface to making sense of intl news.

  • By Jan on 07-16-15

Very Informative

5 out of 5 stars
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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-07-17

As a practicing Sunni Muslim who has always tried to wrap his head around the Sunni-Shia split, I found this book to be very informative. It helped me really understand how certain events unfolded and just what their effects were.

I would like to say to those readers who are not Muslim, to keep in mind 2 things:

1. The history of the split is not really argued over. It's the results and the religious conclusions that become the problem. For example, Sunnis don't really argue that Ali (ra) was correct and Muawiya (ra) was incorrect, but we would not take from this that Muawiya (ra) was some sort of apostate and evil. They were two great men who were both loved by the God and His Messenger (pbuh) who had a disagreement (albeit a serious one!). For Sunnis, vilifying either man is going too far. This is one example, and there are many others (e.g. Yazid was a tyrant) that also make this point.

2. The book does not (and I don't expect it to) touch upon the bond and love that all the sahabah had for each other. They did not want to fight each other and I think for me that's the biggest tragedy of the split: that the main actors involved would never have wanted it to happen. They had a serious disagreement and though they loved each other they felt they had a duty to fight for what they thought was right. That's basically the Sunni viewpoint as I understand it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful