The Sunna and Shi'a in History

The news is rife with talk of the Sunni-Shi'i split among Muslims. A recent article in The Telegraph (UK) describes ongoing tensions between Sunni and Shi'i Iraqis as part of a larger sectarian war between these two streams of Islam. As Ofra Bengio and Meir Litvak's new book The Sunna and Shi'a In History: Division and Ecumenism in the Muslim Middle East shows, the division between these two groups has deep historical roots. 

For excellent background reading on these two groups, their beliefs, and their demographics, we reccomend this short BBC Religions article

For a more in-depth look at the history of Sunni-Shi'i relations, be sure to check out the upcoming episode of Diwaniyya, featuring Ofra Bengio and Meir Litvak. 

Looking for other great books on the Middle East? The Moshe Dayan Center's biannual book review Bustan features essays, reviews, and articles in English drawing upon multi-lingual sources. An excellent read for any student of the Middle East. 


Diwaniyya Contributor