Introduction to the Arabic Translation

This book is a record of a series of lectures given by the Islamic intellectual Martyr Ayatollah Murtadha Mutahhari in one of the mosques in the Iranian capital Tehran in 1975, i.e. some three years before the triumph of the Islamic revolution. It is noteworthy that those years witnessed the high point of the Shah’s persecution of and clamping down on dissidents.

The discussions in these three lectures revolve around the concepts of both immigration (hijra) and jihad (struggle, or fighting back). The author’s methodology of research was based on the following general guidelines:

Explaining the semantics of both the concepts of immigration and jihad and their importance within the system of Islamic rules.

Discussing examples of real life situations of both the concepts and the conditions when Islam makes it incumbent on its followers to pursue immigration and jihad as religious duties.

Facing up to the false arguments about and misconceptions of both the subjects. The author paid special attention to taking issue with the attempts to make redundant immigration and jihad in the context of Islamic sharia law. That is, the proponents of this trend, by giving more weight to the superficial meaning of the two concepts, seek to justify the recoiling from social work.

By reinforcing the lawful obligation of immigration, Professor Mutahhari has sought to demolish the pretexts clung to by many people who chose to go astray from the path of Islam. Those people seem to quote “force majeure”, (or power that cannot be acted or fought against) to defend their deviant ways.

This book discusses these two subjects in a way which may leave you with the conclusion that the author is talking about identical twins. In this regard, Ayatollah Mutahhri has followed the Qur’anic approach in dealing with these two topics for they are hardly mentioned separately in the Holy Qur’an.

By opting to discuss these subjects from a practical perspective, the author has aimed to highlight this approach from an educational standpoint, as it is more beneficial than the purely academic theoretical approach; and once again, he had followed in the footsteps of the Holy Qur’an in this regard.

As regards the translation From Farsi into Arabic, I have resorted to the following:

I have done my level best as not to interfere with the original text, only insofar as the Arabic syntax necessitated.

I have opted for leaving some passages, which may seem as if the author is repeating himself, as they are. I believe there is no harm in so doing because of the nature of the original material, i.e. being delivered by way of lectures on the one hand, and, on the other, by recapping on certain points, the lecturer/author had sought to add force to the argument by introducing new elements to the discussion.

And as is customary in the gatherings held to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (a.s.), [which usually take place during Muharram and Safar of the Islamic Hijri Calandar], the orator in these lectures had finished each lecture up by making references to certain aspects of the story of the martyrdom of the Imam (a.s.). This, I also have chosen to leave unchanged, above all, for its educational value.

Muhammad Ja’far Baqiri,
Translator of the Farsi text into Arabic,
Tehran, Iran, 1987.