Sunni vs Shi’ah-Shaykh Abdullah Ali and Dr Khalid Blankinship


Today, as the Middle East erupts in violent turmoil, Sunni Muslims who constitute the majority in the West are often confronted with questions about the Shi’ah. The debate over Iran and nuclear weapons, the presence of Hezbullah, the taking of power by Shi’ah factions in Iraq along with controversies surrounding ISIS all present challenging questions for Muslims in America. Too often, we view the historical Sunni-Shi’ah debate through the lens of romanticism and partisanship as each faction clings to its positions. The Lamppost Education Initiative is pleased to present these detailed presentations from Dr Khalid Yahya Blankinship, a noted Islamic historian and author and Shaykh Abdullah bin Hamid Ali, the Director of Islamic Law at Zaytuna College. Dr. Blankinship provides a unique view of this historical debate. Utilizing both Sunni and Shi’ah sources, Dr. Blankinship gives us an objective look at early Islamic history and examines the factors that lead to the Sunni-Shi’ah split. Shaykh Abdullah Ali provides a look at some of the issues of law and theology debated between the Sunni and Shi’ah.

It is important to note that these presentations from two Sunni Muslims attempt to provide an objective and fair view of the issues of debate between the Sunni and Shi’ah while providing a historical context that gives us a better understanding of the issues that confront us today

This course includes:

  • Historical details of the Sunni-Shi’ah split
  • Details surrounding the Origins of the Crisis
  • Sayyidina ‘Ali, the Shi’a and the Early Caliphate
  • The First Civil War: Act I
  • The Emergence of Historical Shiism
  • The Differing Shi’a Sects
  • Similarities & Polemical Distortions

Question and Answer Session and much more!

    • Mp3 downloadable recordings
    • A detailed pdf presentation to be viewed with Dr Khalid Blankinship’s MP3 recording
    • Q&A Session

Listen to a sample of this seminar where Dr Khalid Blankinship explains the circumstances behind the murder of Uthman (ra)

Murder of Uthman

What are some of the theological differences between the Shi’ah and the Sunnis? In this sample, Shaykh Abdullah Ali talks about the reign of Yazid ibn Mu’awiyah

Listen to the sample here:

Order your copy of this seminar. It includes a powerpoint presentation in pdf. format along with a detailed discussion that includes:

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Cost: $12.00


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Abdullah_Ali_1Abdullah bin Hamid Ali is a founding member of the Lamppost Education Initiative and a full-time faculty member specializing in Islamic Law, Theology, and Hadith Science at Zaytuna College in Berkeley, CA. He is an author and translator of numerous Islamic works. He holds a BA from the Al-Karaouine/Al-Qarawiyin University’s Faculty of Islamic Law (Shariah) and an MA in Ethics & Social Theory from The Graduate Theological Union (2009-2012) of Berkeley, CA. He is also pursuing his PhD in Cultural & Historical Studies at GTU, as one of the institution’s Presidential Scholars.

Dr.Khalid_7Dr.Khalid Yahya Blankinship obtained his BA in History in 1973 from the University of Washington, an MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language in 1975 from the American University in Cairo, and an MA in Islamic History in 1983 from Cairo University. His Ph.D. in History is from the University of Washington in 1988. In 1990, Blankinship moved to Philadelphia, where he was appointed in the Department of Religion at Temple University. Promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 1996, he has served as Chair of the Department of Religion 1998-2002, Departmental Graduate Director 2003-2013, and Chair again from 2013. He is active in lecturing and research on religion in general and Islam in particular.