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Sunnis and Shi'a: A Political History

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A compelling history of the ancient schism that continues to divide Islam

When Muhammad died in 632 without a male heir, Sunnis contended that the choice of a successor should fall to his closest companions, but Shi'a believed that God had inspired the Prophet to appoint his cousin and son-in-law, Ali, as leader. So began a schism that is nearly as old as Islam itself. In a sweeping historical narrative spanning the Islamic world, Laurence Louër tells the story of this ancient rivalry, taking readers from the last days of Muhammad to the political and doctrinal clashes of Sunnis and Shi'a today.

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