'Never before have the first thirty years in the life of the Muslim community been more meaningfuly interpreted. All students of Islam will want to keep this book within arm's reach.' Choice
In a convincing reinterpretation of early Islamic history, Wilferd Madelung examines the conflict which developed after the death of Muhammad for control of the Muslim community. He demonstrates how this conflict, which marked the demise of the first four caliphs, resulted in the lasting schism between Sunnite and Shi'ite Islam.