update 05/31/12: if you’re looking for info on the hatfield and mccoy feud, see here. (^_^)
sooooo … the whole sunni–shi’a split just started as a family argument, huh?
lemme see if i got this straight:
muhammad, of the banu hashim branch of the quraysh tribe, dies.
his followers — a lot of them who are ALSO members of the quraysh tribe — disagree on who his successor should be.
on the one hand, muhammad’s closest family (wife and kids) and closest followers) want ali, muhammad’s paternal cousin AND son-in-law**, ANOTHER member of the banu hashim, to be the new leader of islam.
muhammad’s enemies, primarly the members of the umayyad family, aka the banu abd-shams, which is a DIFFERENT branch of the quraysh tribe, support abu bakr as the new leader of islam. abu bakr was muhammad’s father-in-law and a member of the banu taym branch of, again, the quaraysh tribe.
the umayyad branch of the family and their allies won, and they and all their fellows became sunnis. muhammad’s closest family and the banu hashim lost out, and they and all their fellows became shi’as.
so, we’ve got a minimum of three branches of ONE tribe (the quaraysh tribe) — the banu hashim on one side vs. the umayyad family and the banu taym — fighting over the succession.
afaics, then, the whole sunni-shi’a split started as one great arab hatfield-and-mccoy battle to secure supremacy over mecca and other territories as well as over any other clan-branches|clans|tribes that had happened to convert to islam at that time. no?
click for LARGER view:
“Me against my brother, me and my brother against my cousin; me, my brother, and my cousin against the world.”
**notice the inbreeding.
previously: cousin marriage conundrum addendum
(note: comments do not require an email.)