Preface to the Farsi Edition
This Islamic studies course aims to elucidate the Islamic worldview and ideological foundations and to strengthen the religious beliefs of esteemed students. The previous textbooks had been written and published by a group of scholars on the basis of the needs and conditions of the universities at that time. With some technical and substantial additions and changes in certain topics, these textbooks are still taught in the universities.
For many years, the Islamic Studies Professors and Courses Affairs Department of the Office of the Supreme Leader in the Universities has included in its program the writing of new Islamic Studies textbooks based on the criticisms and assessment of the then existing textbooks and manuscripts, the suggestions of Islamic studies professors and the opinions of some students.
Thanks be to God, the Munificent, this program has been completed and the Islamic studies course notes along with other course notes have now been written and published. After using the book in experimental teaching and obtaining correctional and supplementary views of professors and students, it is hoped that a model textbook in terms of its substance and structure has now been written and published, God willing.
The present book is a product of the Islamic Studies Section of the Textbook Writing and Research Unit of the Department. After sketching out its initial table of contents, it has been written by the honorable professors and Ḥujaj al-Islām1 Ḥamīd Pārsāniyā, Muḥammad Sa‘īdī-Mehr, Amīr Dīwānī, Muḥsin Jawādī, and ‘Alī Riḍā Amīnī.2
The following notes are worth considering:
1. In writing this book, intricate philosophical discussions are avoided and an average level of understanding of students is taken into account. In explaining religious tenets, Qur’anic concepts and traditions [aḥādīth] are amply used.
2. Due to the inclusion of the topics on Resurrection [ma‘ād] in the first volume of the book and the extensive citation of Qur’anic verses and narrations [riwāyāt] in the Origin [mabda’] and Resurrection [ma‘ād] Sections, the first volume is larger than the second. As such, the respected professors can use the sections in the first volume as they deem appropriate to supplement the second volume. Also, because of the importance of the chapter on Imamate and leadership in the second volume, there is more time during the second term to examine the different dimensions of this topic.
3. The general objectives are stated at the beginning of every discourse (section). It is hoped that the arrangement of the subjects in this edition will facilitate understanding and discussion.
4. In view of the lofty station and value of ritual prayer [ṣalāh] in the devotional system of Islam, selected parts of the works of Imām Khomeinī (r)3 and a commentary of his Ādābuṣ-Ṣalāt [The Disciplines of the Prayer]4, which deals with the spiritual secrets of prayer, have been included in the last discourse on anthropology in Book One so that the students could become acquainted with the inner [bāṭinī] or celestial [malakūtī] aspects of this divine obligation. In these parts of the book, some mystical terms and phrases have been used. With the respected professors’ exposition and elucidation of the pertinent statements of Imām Khomeinī, these sections could be of much benefit to students.
In spite of diligent efforts in writing and publishing this book, the door for edition and revision is open for improvement. Suggestions and ideas expressed by concerned authorities, scholars, professors, and students can be of immense help in improving it.
Finally, we would like to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to all our esteemed colleagues who have contributed to writing, editing and typesetting this volume.
Textbook Writing and Research Unit
Islamic Studies Professors and Courses Affairs Department
Office of the Supreme Leader in the Universities
- 1. - Ḥujaj al-Islām: the plural form of the religious title Ḥujjat al-Islām which literally means “proof of Islam”. [Trans.]
- 2. - The introduction of the book is written by Ḥujjat al-Islām Pārsāniyā; the chapters pertaining to the knowledge of God by Dr. Sa‘īdī-Mehr; the initial manuscript of the topics on the Resurrection by Ḥujjat al-Islām Dīwānī and its revised edition by Dr. Sa‘īdī-Mehr; the chapter on prophethood by Dr. Jawādī; and the chapter on Imamate and leadership by Ḥujjat al-Islām Amīnī.
- 3. - The abbreviation, “r” stands for the Arabic invocative phrase, rahmatullāh ‘alayhi, rahmatullāh ‘alayhā, or rahmatullāh ‘alayhim [may peace be upon him/her/them], which is mentioned after the names of pious people. [Trans.]
- 4. - Imām Khomeinī, Ādābuṣ-Ṣalāt [The Disciplines of the Prayer], trans. Sālār Manāfī Anārī, 2nd edition (Tehran: Institute for the Compilation and Publication of Imam Khomeini’s Works, 2002). [Trans.]