If you are into books, and history is your area of interest, you must read Leseley Hazelton’s book, “After the Prophet’.
Hazleton, a British-American author and journalist, tells a gripping story of the Islamic history of Shia and Sunni split in a remarkable manner. She efficiently formulates the story from political, psychological and historic aspect but not once she loses respect for her characters.
The story begins on the Prophet’s (PBUH) death bed where Ayesha (R.A.), his favourite wife is with him. The book tries to dig deep into each of the Prophet’s relatives and brings out a human side to each of them.
She talks about each caliphate: and the strengths and weaknesses of the four caliph– who Sunni Muslims refer to as the ‘rightly guided’.
Hazleton effortlessly reminds us the basic teachings of Islam. Equality and simplicity are the foremost principle of Islam which made Islam the second largest religion in the world.
Although she gives the benefit of doubt to Shia’a perspective while wowing a web of complex anecdotes of history ranging from politics of succession after Muhammad (PBUH) to three civil wars in Hazrat Ali’s Caliphate.
The heart wrecking anecdote of Karbala is exquisitely sketched, which will bring tears in your eye. When you think this divide in Islam is unbendable that is when she tells you whichever power tried to redeem from this split has always been unsuccessful.
The best conclusion to an enthralling complex story couldn’t be any better. ‘What unties the Muslims is far deeper than what divides them” and this is the line which resonates deep in every Muslim around the globe. The Prophet (PBUH) binds us together.