Friday, November 13, 2009
A lengthy book of biographical and hagiographical accounts about the first four successors (caliphs) to the Prophet Muhammad as head of the Muslim state following his death in 632 C.E.: Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (632-634 C.E.), 'Umar bin al-Khattab (634-644 C.E.), 'Uthman bin al-'Affan (644-656 C.E.), 'Ali bin Abi Talib (656-661 C.E.). This book represents, generally, the Sunni Muslim view(s) of these individuals. Shi'i Muslims from all sub-divisions of Shi'i Islam believe that 'Ali was the rightful successor to the Prophet and view him as the legitimate religious and temporal leader of the Muslim community of his time, the first Imam. Shi'is reject the legitimacy of the first three caliphs. Sunnis call the four caliphs collectively the "Rashidun" or "Rightly-guided" caliphs. Keep in mind the Sunni-centric bias when reading this book, just as one must keep in mind Shi'i-centric biases when reading Shi'i materials.
Biographies of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs
Biographies of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs (downloadable)