This is a detailed yet accessible guide to the way in which religion and politics interacted during the earliest years of Islam. It focuses on the period of the first four caliphs, untangling the crisis of sucession and the subsequent schism between the Sunni and Shi'i movements in Islam, and drawing on a combination of primary documents and scholarship in the field. It includes two appendices featuring original English translations of key source material.
Mahmoud Ayoub is Professor of Islamic Studies for the Department of Religion at Temple University and Research Fellow at the Middle East Center of the University of Pennsylvania. He has lectured at universities around the world, is Editorial Consultant of The Muslim World Journal, and the author of several books and numerous articles.