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Q: why did division arise within islam after the death of muhammad? think about:the "rightly guided" caliphs,family caliphates and relatives of muhammad.
A: With the death of Muhammad, the Muslim community was faced with the problem of succession. [ Who would be its leader? There were four persons obviously marked for leadership: Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, who had not only accompanied Muhammad to Medina ten years before, but had been appointed to take the place of the Prophet as leader of public prayer during Muhammad's last illness; 'Umar ibn
al-Khattab, an able and trusted Companion of the Prophet; 'Uthman ibn 'Affan, a respected early convert; and 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law. To avoid contention among various groups, 'Umar suddenly grasped Abu Bakr's hand, the traditional sign of recognition of a new leader. Soon everyone concurred and before dusk Abu Bakr had been recognized as the khalifah of Muhammad. Khalifah- anglicized as caliph - is a word meaning "successor" but also suggesting what his historical role would be: to govern according to the Quran and the practice of the Prophet. The Succession to Muhammad concerns the various aspects of successorship of Muhammad after his death, comprising who might be considered as his successor to lead the Muslims, how that person should be elected, the conditions of legitimacy, and the role of successor. Different answers to these questions have led to several divisions in the Muslim community since the first century of Muslim history; most notable giving rise to Sunnis, Shias and Kharijite ]
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Asked 10/28/2012 6:34:44 AM
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