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‘Alī, son of Abī Ṭālib, Muhammad’s son-in-law and cousin, is the only Companion of the Prophet who has remained to this day the object of fervent devotion of hundreds of millions of followers in the lands of Islam, especially in the East. Based on a detailed analysis of several categories of sources, this book demonstrates that Shi‘ism is the religion of the Imam, of the Master of Wisdom, just like Christianity is that of Christ, and that ‘Alī is the first Master and Imam par excellence. Shi‘ism can therefore be defined, in its most specific religious aspects, as the absolute faith in ‘Alī: the divine Man, the most perfect manifestation of God’s attributes, simultaneously spiritual refuge, model and horizon.

With contributions by Orkhan Mir-Kasimov & Mathieu Terrier

Translated from French by Francisco José Luis & Anthony Gledhill