Friday, October 26, 2007

A book to understand Sunni and Shi'a divisions

The Great Discord, Religion and politics at the origins of Islam (2007, La grande discorde, Religion et politique dans l’Islam des origines)

Author: Hichem Djaït
Publishing House: Cérès (Tunisia,

About the Book: The Great Discord deals with the relationship between politics and religion at the origins of Islam, taking into consideration several levels. First, the author analyses, from an historical and critical perspective, the period of primeval caliphate and mostly its last phase, the Great Discord (Fitna).

During this period, through a struggle that lasted more than five years, the “nation of Muhammad", the Umma, was torn apart. This was a period of crisis and civil wars that caused great divisions in Islam that was thereinafter split into Sunni, Shi'a and Kharji denominations.

On a different level, primeval caliphate keeps on being of great interest to modern Muslims who still project over this period the politico-religious debate deriving from the impact with modernity and the independence of national states.

Secularization of politics and of the State or Islam? A question that continues to split modern Islamic conscience in two.

Today, this critical reading of the origins is even more indispensable since it allows to better understand the present revamping of the conflict between Sunnis and Shi'as.

Language: French
Number of pages: 413 pages
Format: 14,5 x 21 cm