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Significant People and ideas - Islam

When the Prophet Muhammad died in 11 AH (632 CE), he left


behind a Revelation from Allah (the Quran), a tradition (the sunna
of the Prophet), and the reports of what he did, said and approved
(hadith). There were also his companions who would assume
leadership roleswho would be the teachers and interpreters
within the community, who were followers of the Prophet.
In Islam, there is a widely held belief based on sunna that God
sends a renewer at the beginning of each century to restore or
strengthen Islam. Who is a genuine renewer (mujaddid) is a
matter of considerable dispute.
Through the centuries, from the earliest years of Islam, there have
been individuals and groups who have had great influence on the
practice of Islam. Sometimes they have been a focus for
consolidation, sometimes they have challenged, and sometimes
they have caused disputes that resulted in rifts within the
community of Islam in a way
that is still apparent today.
Indeed, the major division
between Sunni and Shii Islam
occurred with the assassination
of the fourth caliph only twentynine years after the Prophets
death.

Living Religion 4th edition