Like all religions, Islam took several hundred years to develop its orthodoxy. This episode is dedicated to the history behind how sharia and orthodoxy developed in Islam. We discuss the historical circumstances from the political aspiration of the Abbasids to redefine the caliphate along a divine monarchy lines to the intellectual debates between the Mutazili and the Ash’ari known as the minha. We talk about the emergence of shariah as a counter culture to the courtly lifestyle of the caliphate, the development of the madhhab or the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, the philosophical tradition of cultural Islam, and the rise of popular mysticism in the form of Sufism. We discuss the evolution of Sunnism and Shi’ism and the formations of the concept of the Imamate and “taqiyya.” We also talk about the influence of the previous Greek and Persian civilization on the developments of Islam. As usual we end with book recommendations.