It is standard these days to describe Shi’ah Islam as a splinter group that formed very early in the history of Islam as a result of disagreement over the rightful successor to the Prophet Muhammad. But the student of religion should consider this explanation as part of the sacred history (traditional narrative) of Islam and not as historical fact.
Tag Archives: Islam
When studying religion, either on your own or in university, it is helpful to recognize that there are, almost always, two types of literature associated with a religion, that is, if the religion has a written tradition.
The two types of religious texts are 1) sacred scripture, and 2) non-sacred, but cherished, traditional writings and commentaries.
It is endlessly troublesome to create helpful categories for the myriad religions of the world.
The centuries of hostility between the so-called Abrahamic religions originate from their competitive claims to the Hebrew prophetic tradition and from their mutually exclusive claims to the revelations attributed to Abraham and the canon of Israelite prophets. I’m not sure why this category title ever felt right to anyone, religious or otherwise. Continue reading →
Most all religions have at one time or another described themselves as a path to truth and a recipe for happiness. As these recipes are believed to come from a spokesperson for the divine, it’s fair to say that some part of religion consists of a ‘how to’ set of instructions, like a recipe, revealed, as it were, from the Divine Chef.