[ONLINE] - Hassan Abbas, The Prophet’s Heir

The Life of Ali ibn Abi Talib

Ali ibn Abi Talib is arguably the single most important spiritual and intellectual authority in Islam after prophet Mohammad. Through his teachings and leadership as fourth caliph, Ali nourished Islam. But Muslims are divided on whether he was supposed to be Mohammad’s political successor—and he continues to be a polarizing figure in Islamic history.

Hassan Abbas provides a nuanced, compelling portrait of this towering yet divisive figure and the origins of sectarian division within Islam in The Prophet’s Heir. Abbas reveals how, after Mohammad, Ali assumed the spiritual mantle of Islam to spearhead the movement that the prophet had led. While Ali’s teachings about wisdom, justice, and selflessness continue to be cherished by both Shia and Sunni Muslims, his pluralist ideas have been buried under sectarian agendas and power politics. Today, Abbas argues, Ali’s legacy and message stands against that of ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and Taliban.

Join the New America Fellows Program the International Security Program for a conversation about Ali’s legacy with Hassan Abbas and journalist and author Kim Ghattas.

Follow the conversation online using #ProphetsHeir and follow us at @NAFellows.


Hassan Abbas,
2017 and 2018 National Fellow, New America
Author, The Prophet’s Heir: The Life of Ali ibn Abi Talib

Kim Ghattas, @KimGhattas
Author, The Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East

Copies of The Prophet’s Heir are available for purchase here through our bookselling partner Solid State Books.