Mahdis and Millenarians: Shiite Extremists in Early Muslim by William F. Tucker

By William F. Tucker

Mahdis and Millenarians is a research of early extremist Shiites in Iraq and Iran. those sectarians originated convinced doctrines and non secular practices that inspired a few later Shiite non secular and political routine. Their millenarian expectancies and willingness to take advantage of strength opposed to perceived enemies gave them a feeling of harmony and coherence that may be successfully mobilized in progressive or clash events. they need to be seen essentially in the context of worldwide millenarian sectarian events.

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They were the uncompromising foes of Umayyad rule, which in their way of thinking consisted of the centralized control of governing power by a secular hereditary ruler. In addition to the Kharijite opposition, the Sh¯ı ites, partisans of Al¯ı ibn Ab¯ı T¯alib and his descendants, were quite active in the anti-Umayyad movements. This party was particularly strong in Iraq, primarily in the city of Kufa and its hinterland. Since this Sh¯ı ite activity constitutes the focal point of the present study, further remarks will be reserved for the following chapters.

It has been suggested recently that the earliest mention of the Mahd¯ı with the connotation “saviour” or “deliverer” comes from Ka b al-Ahbar, a South 36 37 38 39 M. J. de Goeje, “Al-Beladhori’s Ansab al-Aschraf,” Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenlandischen Gesellschaft, XXXVIII (1884), 391. E. W. Lane, “Raj ah,” in Lane’s Arabic-English Lexicon, book I, part III (New York, 1961), 1040; Marshall G. S. 2, II (Leiden, 1965), 1094. Friedlaender, “ Abdallah b. Saba',” IIXIV, 37. Said A. Arjomand, “Religion and the Diversity of Normative Orders,” in The Political Dimensions of Religion, ed.

The Book of the Himyarites, trans. Axel Moberg (Leipzig, 1924), lii; Philip K. , New York, 1963), 61. Concerning the Nestorians, particularly in San¯a , consult Thomas, Bishop of Marga, The Book of Governors, II, trans. E. A. W. Budge (London, 1893), 448; A. S. , 1968), 259; Bertold Spuler, Die Gegenwartslage der Ostkirchen in ihrer volkischen und staatlichen Umwelt (Wiesbaden, 1948), 124. J. Schleifer and W. 2, III, fasc. 41–42 (Leiden, 1965), 123. Friedlaender, “ Abdallah b. Saba',” XXIV, 26–27.

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