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Ismaʿili ModernGlobalization and Identity in a Muslim Community$
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Jonah Steinberg

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834077

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807899458_steinberg

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Antecedents and Precursors: The Historical Contexts of Ismaʿili Globalization

Antecedents and Precursors: The Historical Contexts of Ismaʿili Globalization

Chapter:
(p.33) Chapter One Antecedents and Precursors: The Historical Contexts of Ismaʿili Globalization
Source:
Ismaʿili Modern
Author(s):

Jonah Steinberg

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807899458_steinberg.6

This chapter examines the role of leadership, succession, and schism in the history of Islam. It is only through an understanding of these processes that the story of Isma'ilism can be fully explained. At almost every historical moment, how the Isma'ili community defined and redefined itself revolved around questions of succession and rightful authority. This was always an issue in Shi'ism in general, since legitimate authority was the domain of the Ahl al-Bayt, the “people of the house” of the Prophet Muhammad, especially through the line of his nephew and son-in-law 'Ali. The Shi'a opposed the Sunni notion of rule by consensus of the community, because they believed that leadership should only be in the hands of the qualified, especially since leadership involved elucidation of the underlying truth of the religion.

Keywords:   leadership, succession, schism, Islam, Isma'ilism, Shi'ism

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