The purpose of this thesis is to explain how and why many modern Twelver Shi'a, Sunni, and Western scholars have structured political and religious conflict during the formative era of Islam (610-945 C.E.) around a partisan Sunni-Shi'a divide that did not truly exist, at least as we know it today, until the sixteenth century. By analyzing the socio-political and economic developments from the time of the Prophet Muhammad (570-632) to the Abbasid Revolution (750), I intend to show that there was no clear line that divided Sunni and Shi'a Muslims during the formative era of Islam, and that the concepts of Sunnism and Twelver Shi'ism took centuries to develop into the theological, legal, and spiritual characteristics that we associate with the two main sects of Islam today. In other words, I intend to show that Twelver Shi'ism and Sunnism were the products of several centuries of theological and legal speculation. During the first two centuries of Islam, a diversity of religious and political movements clouded the line between Sunnism and Shi'ism. Moreover, many of the life stories of important "Twelver Shi'ite" and "Sunni" historical figures of the formative era also blurred the line between what we know today as Sunnism and Shi'ism.
|Advisor:||Miller, James A.|
|Commitee:||Bein, Amit, Marks, Steven, Miller, James A.|
|School Location:||United States -- South Carolina|
|Source:||MAI 46/05M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Religious history, Middle Eastern history|
|Keywords:||Islam, Shi'a, Shi'ism, Shi'ite, Sunna, Sunni|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be