The vanished Imam : Musa al Sadr and the Shia of Lebanon /
Fouad Ajami.
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 1986.
228 p. : port.
0801419107 (alk. paper)
More Details
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 1986.
0801419107 (alk. paper)
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1986-07:
Sayyid Musa al Sadr came to Lebanon in 1959 and disappeared during a visit to Libya in 1978. What begins as a narrow study of a relatively minor figure becomes a sensitive and probing analysis of current Middle Eastern society. Ajami elucidates, for the general reader as well as the specialist, a charismatic and enigmatic man, combining religious and political leadership in contemporary Lebanon, a country torn by religious and political conflicts. In portraying this striking individual, Ajami brilliantly illustrates the religious and social conservatism of the Shiite community. He avoids the facile characterization of fanatic and provides an understanding of the tensions building in the Shiite community before erupting into bloody civil war and fueling international terrorism. Highly recommended. Elizabeth R. Hayford, President, Assoc. Colls. of the Midwest, Chicago (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, July 1986
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Main Description
In the summer of 1978, Musa al Sadr, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Shia sect in Lebanon, disappeared mysteriously while on a visit to Libya. As in the Shia myth of the "Hidden Imam," this modern-day Imam left his followers upholding his legacy and awaiting his return. Considered an outsider when he had arrived in Lebanon in 1959 from his native Iran, he gradually assumed the role of charismatic mullah, and was instrumental in transforming the Shia, a quiescent and downtrodden Islamic minority, into committed political activists. What sort of person was Musa al Sadr? What beliefs in the Shia doctrine did his life embody? Where did he fit into the tangle of Lebanon's warring factions? What was behind his disappearance? In this fascinating and compelling narrative, Fouad Ajami resurrects the Shia's neglected history, both distant and recent, and interweaves the life and work of Musa al Sadr with the larger strands of the Shia past.

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