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Islamic Studies’ Requirements & Opportunities Outside of Iran

Today we are not alone in the field of Islamic jurisprudence, and many countries hold the chair of Islamic jurisprudence. All Islamic countries have law colleges.It is very important that our knowledge, in addition to national usage, be noteworthy to other nations.

The following article is Professor Muhaqqiq’s[1] talked about his memories of the time he was studying in Mashhad seminary. He also mentioned the features of orientalists’ works and their different views. He also informed about the multiplicity of studies and chairs of Islamology and Shi’a studies at universities all around the world. He talked about his valuable experiences regarding the issue.

Foreword

I am so happy to participate in this scientific meeting and see you great seminarians. I have studied here, in Nawwāb School. At that time, Ustād (professor) Adīb Nayshābūrī was teaching in Khayrāt Khān School, and two of my friends, who have come here before me, encouraged me to come in Mashhad seminary. One of them was late ‘Abd al-Jawād Ḥakīmī (known as Falaturi) studying at Dudarb & Hajj Hassan School, who later became a professor of philosophy at universities of Cologne and Hamburg. His services to Islam were significant, for he caused to wipe Islam and the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) from false accusations and libels imputed to them in German books, and reformed that misrepresentation of Islam and the Prophet (P.B.U.H.), a great work that was unattainable even for the authorities like Sheikh al-Azhar and Ayatollah Brūjirdī. The other friend was Dr. Muhammad Ja’far Ja’farī Langrūdī who later on became the head of law school as well as State Organization for Registration of Deeds and Properties, and he is writing an encyclopedia in London nowadays.

Let me refer to an educational point, which used to be considered in the olden days. Being a sole speaker for teacher is a shortcoming in the educational process of seminaries, which must be reformed gradually and systematically. Students must participate in class discussions, take notes and show their notes to the teacher. As I know, late Ayatollah Brūjirdī used to ask students to do homework. I have seen the notes that Hajj Sheikh Luṭfullah Ṣāfī (in hadith), and Mr. Wā‘iz Zādah and others have written for Ayatollah Brūjirdī. It shows that Ayatollah Brūjirdī noticed the defect that we seminarians are not accustomed to research and write, which subsequently will reduce our efficiency. When I was in Mashhad with late Shānehchī and Mr. Wā‘iz Zādeh Khurāsānī, we decided to write an article and read it together on Fridays. Late Adīb Nayshābūrī, who was teaching us Muawwal (a book about rhetoric), asked me to write about the literary advantages of two lines of Nāṣir Khusraw’s poem, and it was a starting point. Later, it motivated me to work more on Nāṣir Khusraw’s poetry so that it became the topic of my doctoral thesis. Furthermore, I published his poetry, which has republished six times; also, I wrote a commentary on his odes.

Today we are not alone in the field of Islamic jurisprudence, and many countries hold the chair of Islamic jurisprudence. All Islamic countries have law colleges, for example, there are two colleges of Islamic jurisprudence at the University of Damascus. Dr. Ramadan al-Bouti is the dean of one of them, and the other college is under the management of Dr. Wahba al-Zuhayli, the author of Musū‘ah al-Fiqhīyah (encyclopedia of Islamic jurisprudence). It is very important that our knowledge, in addition to national usage, be noteworthy to other nations. It is not about language, but rather it is regarding analysis, which is the main point, because it is possible for a scholar to transfer his analysis with the assistance of a skillful translator. For example, in your field, capability to provide precise analyses is indispensable for knowing comparative jurisprudence. Vice chancellor for research of Tehran University requested from all lecturers and professors of any field from Iranian universities to write down two pages about the skills and innovations in any field they are capable of. It is possible to translate the outcome into modern languages in order to present it to others, which in turn leads to their negative or positive feedbacks, thus the way for interaction and dialog with others will be opened, and the scientific experiences will be exchanged.

Being informed of international researches

I have heard that the Ufuq (horizon) scientific panel is looking for new horizons, and its members are engaged in the activities like discourse and writing. It is praiseworthy that you attempt to obtain up to date scientific information and achieve prominent position of scholarship. Thank God that Mashhad branch of Propagation Office have a rich library, which is hard to find in other cities, however it is necessary to frequently monitor new books and keep them within reach. We need to acquaint ourselves with international academic discourses and scientific publications. As an example, Professor Joseph Schacht[2] is a professor at Columbia University who holds unique views about hadiths, fiqh, and Islamic organizations. He believes that the Islamic organizations, which are created at the time of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.), in fact, do not belong to that era, but rather are founded in second and third centuries after Hijrah. In many meetings outside Iran, people asked me about the viewpoint of Iranian scholars concerning Schacht’s ideas, and I said I do not know any person who has criticized his views. However, recently some Arabic books are published in Riyadh in order to reject his thoughts. If we are studding fiqh, we must be informed of anything comes about that issue all around the world. There are Islamic research centers in many countries like Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc., and we must be familiar with them.

We have to introduce our famous jurisprudential works to the world. For example, regarding comparative jurisprudence, Mr. Wahba Zuhayli[3] even was not heard of the book Masā’il al-Khilāf written by Sheikh Ṭūsī. I gave that book to Mr. Taskhīrī[4] so that he presents it to Mr. Wahba Zuhayli. Surprisingly, this book changed his thoughtway, and subsequently, he mentioned in different occasions that I have acquired a new document which shows that there are more disagreement among Sunni jurisprudential Schools than these Schools have with Shi’a. Introducing that book, and this famous scholar’s words, in fact, are a step forward in support of Shi’a School. One of my old-time students (Dr. Ẓafar Isḥāq Anṣārī)[5], who is the head of Islamic Researches Institute in Islamabad, invited me to the International Congress of Abu Hanifah in Islamabad in order to give a literary lecture, which I decided to present it on the subject of Abu Hanifah and Persian language. As you know, and ibn Nadīm has reported, Abu Hanifah’s jurisprudence holds a subject: permission for praying ritual prayer in Persian. Sarakhsī (a Hanafī jurist) in his book al-Mabū mentions that Persians asked Salmān Fārsī at early Islam to translate Chapter Fātihah so that they recite it in prayer. That translation was presented to the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) and he gave them conditional permission to recite that translated Chapter Fātihah in prayer until they become fluent in Arabic.[6] Abu Hanifah, in ilbah al-alabah (a book or a section in books which means: what students want) of his books, mentions the Persian equivalent of any (Arabic) term he uses, and these jurisprudential terms are published as an article in Farhangistān magazine.

Anyway, my friend said that the president, prime minister, and many great scholars are attending the meeting and it is better to speak in English so all audiences can comprehend your lecture, which I accepted. Two mawlawīs (Sunni scholars) delivered their lectures in Urdu before me, but one of them repeated the term, al-rawāfi al-mulid (heretic infidels). I surprised! This term is expired. It belongs to a thousand years ago. I guessed that surely he is alluding to Shi’a. At the middle of my lecture, I shifted to Arabic because it was more familiar than English for those mawlawīs. I said, we are supposed to respect great scholars like Abu Hanifah, and avoid reviving such dead terms. Dr. Wahba Zuhayli, who was in that meeting, supported me, and said: “I have traveled to Iran 5-6 times and always I was treated with courtesy. Iran is the only country where Islamic law is fully operated. It is shameful to use such offensive expressions.” However, thereafter, they were embarrassed.

Background of Unity

If we develop our communication with academic institutions, making unity between Islamic sects would be achievable in an improved and scientific way. Making unity between sects has a historical background, and in the past, the person was regarded as the best jurist who attempts to create unity among different jurisprudential sects. Abu al-‘Alā’ Ma‘arrī[7] has composed an ode for a Hanafi jurist and/ which is to say, “he was a jurist who tried to reduce disagreement among jurisprudential schools of Iraq (Abu Hanifah) and Hejaz (Shāfi‘i)”. If we present our academic works in a rational and scientific manner, surely, it will bring great prosperity for our country and culture.

Q: there is a question that how we can classify the overseas scientific sources, and how much they are needed for us? Well, we know that being advised of foreign researches may cause to enrich our researches, or inspire new ideas; but, we are less-informed about the scientific realms of Islamic and western countries, especially in the field of jurisprudence. Of course, there are different realms such as the realm of North Africa, including Egypt, Sudan, and Algeria; the realm of Arabic Middle East including Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq; the realm of Europe like England and France; the realm of North America and Canada; the realm of Far East like Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia; and the Spanish realm, which probably have no considerable Islamic studies. Considering the existing structures of these countries and our scientific products, how do you list these countries in order of priority for scientific exchange about Islamic studies? Which one is proper as a starting point?

A: your question refers to scientific issues rather than missionary subjects. Regarding scientific issues, especially religious studies, at first we must study and seriously contemplate the scientific works of senior lecturers at foreign universities in different fields of Islamic history, jurisprudence, law, philosophy, theology etc. To do so, we must have a system for translating these texts. It is what Dr. Hassan Ḥabībī[8] has done at Iranology Foundation in a limited level for few subjects, such as translating some theological articles in Persian. If a senior professor delivers a significant lecture in Paris, America, Canada etc., it must be translated, classified, and accessible to scholars and students. Iraqi magazine al-Mawrid, thematic journals of Egypt and other scientific institutions must be observed. There is a thematically classified bibliography in foreign languages Index Islamicus, whose jurisprudence and law section includes 50-60 great articles about Shi’a jurisprudence presented by senior lecturers. Translating such texts opens up new horizons.

Universal Science Competition

Recently, we have taken measures to translate the important texts of Islamic medical history to prepare those who are interested for scientific competition in that field. Nowadays, a scientific center or a real university is somewhere that can enter scientific contest. The head of International Institute of Islamic Thought in Malaysia said, we have to be well-informed and up to date for taking part in that contest. As an example, the Oxford’s[9] research articles regarding the issue are indispensable to us. If an article is wrong, we should refute it, and if it is right, we should examine and analyze its documents and arguments. Once in Italy I met a young man, named Cartrel from Europe or America, at Congress of Orientalists, who had presented a specialty article about Arabic syntax. It was published in the book of Sībwayh’s syntax under the title of ‘Ishrūn Dirham at the festschrift for Adīb Nayshābūrī[10]. Newly, Dr. Fathullah Mujtabā’ī has written a debatable book on Arabic syntax under the title of Nahv-i Hindī wa Nahv-i Arabī, and has argued that Arabic syntax is inspired from Sanskrit syntax of India. However it is a scientific idea and needs to criticize, but for someone who wants to make a judgment it is necessary to see such works. Syntactic books never discuss about its history, and no one has worked about the history of syntax. We are even poor at lecturers in history, and have few historians. Today, Iran has a good relationship with scientific world in the field of Islamic philosophy. Well, Professor Henry Corbin[11] has considered Shi’a philosophy of Sayyid Heidar Āmulī. Professor Corbin made many regular trips to Iran, and had several meetings with ‘Allāmah Ṭabāṭabā’ī and Dr. Hussein Naṣr[12]. However, there is a shortage of such activities in the other fields of science.

A: to answer your question, let me mention a point that most of great science centers, which meet the standard, are at the universities of England and America. Islamic countries are in different condition, for instance, there are famous scholars concerning historical issues in Iraq and Egypt, like Dr. Hussein Maḥfūẓ[13] whose works about Shi’a are considerable. Islamic texts, like Tārīkh abarī, and Tārīkh Murawwij al-Dhahab etc. were published in Europe for the first time. However, among European countries, any country of France, England, and Germany involves a different subject. For example, Germany has focused more on philological subjects. Egyptians took course on correcting manuscripts from a German master, Gotthelf Bergsträsser[14], than, persons like ‘Abd al-Salām Hārūn and Iḥsān ‘Abbās learned how to correct and print Arabic manuscripts. Many books regarding the issues as geography, like Asan al-Tafāsīr fi Ma‘rifah al-Aqālīm, lexicon, Islamic history etc. were printed in Germany. The Netherlands provides a large library, whose books are still on a great importance. In addition, there is a significant Arabic Chair at Leiden, and many texts are firs printed in this city.

Well, we should be well informed about what they have done, and know their methodology. When I was teaching at London, I had a 20-years German student named Heinrichs who was interested in language issues. Later I noticed that he has obtained his PhD from an American university, and when I saw him at Princeton University, he was in charge of Institute of Arabic Literature over there. He gave me an English book, the hand of the northwind. I realized that this title is inspired from an Arabic poem mentioned in Muawwal: «قد اصبحت بید الشمال ذمامها». This book includes all subjects that we study in the book Muawwal, and other texts of Sakkākī, ‘Abd al-Qāhir Jurjānī etc. A Russian professor, Krachkovsky, has written a book about geography of Islamic countries al-Adab al-Jughrāfī ‘Ind al-‘Arab, which includes log books.

International Scientific Magazines and Journals

Q: you mentioned that scientific journals are of the best sources that lead us to up to date data. Can you explain more about it?

A: any scientific institute has a journal over there. For example, al-Sunnah Sharqīyah is the great institute in London, which has its own journal. Jew scholar, Henning is one of the lecturers of that institute, who is the most informed person about Pahlavi language. Dr. Mahyar Nawaei and Dr. Ehsan Yarshater, who were Pahlavis’ teachers, are also giving lecture over there. Moreover, Minanski, who was most informed about the geography of Islamic world, published his articles in that journal. There is another authentic journal, Studia Islamica published in Paris, which lists the topics concerning Islamic studies in index order, like Persian articles index prepared by Īraj Afshār.

Q: so you believe that journal articles, for containing up to date information, are more authentic than stable articles of encyclopedias.

A: the information presented in the encyclopedias is abridged, and most journals are professional.

Q: in your point of view what are the most important textual and contextual deficiencies of scientific environment in Iran, especially in seminaries?

A: well, we must train the qualified experts who become accepted in different countries. For example, in the Arab countries the only scholarly honored person, as I know, was late Sheikh Abū ‘Abdullah Zanjānī, the author of the holy Qur’an’s history. He was so proficient in Arabic that he established good relation with Sheikh al-Azhar when he went to Egypt, and was admitted to them. We should have persons that others acknowledge their qualification, and such persons should be conversant in language. Among Arab countries, some persons, like Dr. Mustafa Jawād[15] and Dr. Jawād Ali[16] from Iraq were very effective. Church trains the scholars who are teaching at foreign universities, but very few scholars from our seminaries are admitted as an official lecturer at foreign universities, less than … if we count them, like Dr. Mehdi Haeri Yazdi,[17] Dr. Falaturi,[18] Mahdawī Dāmghānī, and me. However, we should be more effective, at least in Islamic countries like Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc. so, we must be acquainted with their scientific activities and articles. For instance, I receive a journal from Malaysia, namely Afkār, and I have asked to be on its editorial board. Also, Dr. Riḍwān Sayyid mails the journal Al-Tasāmuh to me from Oman. We should observe the material that such journals present.

Q: what are the methodological defects of native scientific researches? Islamic articles, indeed, should meet the research standards to be qualified for a conference, seminar, or journal.

A: firstly, the sources are very important. We are in shortage of scientific sources; however, thank God that Mashhad branch of Propagation Office has a great library. In the course of conducting a research, we discover the deficiency of our libraries. Let me mention the book the theological thoughts of Sheikh Mufīd as an example. It was a doctoral thesis at Chicago University, but the question is that, are the references of that thesis accessible at our universities? If someone wants to research about Sheikh Ṭūsī’s work, are all sources accessible here for him to do it? It is improper that a researcher can find the sources at universities like Chicago, Princeton, or Columbia, but they were inaccessible in Mashhad. Head of your library (Mashhad branch of Propagation Office) said there are some books that no one reads them. A scientific institute should have even a book that only one person reads it within forty years. We compare two references in tarājī (a method to prefer a reliable version of a narration among different sources), which is a scientific method that Muslim scholars have been fallowing from early centuries, but is disregarded nowadays. Great Muslim scholars, while considering a book, observe that whether all sources are surveyed or not. Ghaḍanfar Tabrīzī has written a treatise on astrology, and has surveyed the Babylonian, Hermetic, Greek, Persian, and Indian sources of his time concerning that issue. Well, if we write an article but do not know the background of the subject, we will not have something new to present.

So, the first point is sources, second is scientific methodology, and the third one is scientific dominance, Regarding methodology, before learning English, I started to work in Arabic, and studied many texts of western scholars like Goldzyiher[19] about the Qur’an and Islamic history. There was a book namely Maāhib al-Tafsīr in Germany by Goldziher, and I could not read it, so I realized its research methodology by Arabic translation. Bernard Lewis’s[20] doctoral thesis was about Ismailism, which is translated in Arabic under the title of Uūl al-Ismā‘īlīyah. A Jewish scholar and a university lecturer, Professor Salman Pinas, has written a book about indivisible particulars (atomism), which is an important philosophical and religious subject that is argued by many scholars from Democritus to Ibrāhīm bin Sayār Mu‘tazilī. This book is translated in Arabic under the title of Madhhab al-Dharrah ‘inda al-Muslimīn wa ‘Alāqatuhā bi Madhhab al-Yūnān wa al-Hind, and I read it. Fortunately, some organizations like the Center for Great Islamic Encyclopedia include rich libraries, and it is possible to Xerox or translate their English articles.

Q: Arabic is the current language of science and culture in Islamic world, and, today, the predominant cultural and scientific language of the world is English. In your point of view, is writing in one of these languages helpful for us to succeed at international level?

A: of course. Arabic Muslim countries are publishing scientific journals which most of them are in both Arabic and English languages. I have presented my Arabic articles in Arabic magazines of Majma‘ al-Lughat al-Arabiya in Cairo and Majma‘ al-Arabiya in Damascus, and also in the English scientific journals. I was invited to two scientific congresses at the time of Saddam. Yesterday, before I come here, there was an important congress on Islamic medicine in Shirm al-Sheikh, where I presented the article, al-Jarāah wa al-Jarrā fi al-Islam. A Kuwaiti sheikh wanted to pay one hundred thousand dollars for the best book about medicine history, and they came to my name in the course of searching for the person who has researched more into the medical texts. I think we are restricted in Persian language, and without penetrating into foreign journals, it is impossible to have a proper response to their works and strongly support our scientific products.

Q: our articles, even those published in scientific institutes of Arabic world, or some other places, as encyclopedia suffer from methodological deficiencies. Do our academic products reach the research standards truly, or their writers’ authority covers some of their shortcomings?

A: basically, scientific principles are applied in the articles. Al-Majma‘ al-Mulkī li Uṣūl al-Wizārah al-Islamiya (…) in Jordan wanted to prepare the encyclopedia of Islam, but when they noticed that two significant encyclopedias are in print in Iran, and observed our articles, which I have offered them, they stopped their work. One of them is Encyclopedia of the World of Islam, which I was its founder and the Supreme Leader is supervising it, and the other one is Encyclopedia of Shi‘a. when they observed the articles and our strenuous effort, they found it impossible to gather such an energetic group.

Memories

Q: please tell us about your daily program of scientific activities from schooldays.

A: motive is the main base for scientific activities. I was below twenty when I came to Mashhad and entered the seminary. My motive was the compliments that Mr. Falaturi had paid to Adīb Nayshābūrī, Sheikh Hāshim, and Mujtabá Qazwīnī. Before that, I was studying at Tehran and I noticed that my teacher commits solecism. In short, I came Mashhad and entered Nawwāb School. My father said you had malaria and you will perish with cold. He bought about thirty kilos coal to light a stove, but, winter passed and I even did not touch them, for all the day we were in classrooms. We used to take lesson from Mr. Adīb from 7 to 9 A.M., then attend Hajj Mīrzā Ahmad Mudarris’s lesson to learn Shar Qawānīn, and take lesson again from Mr. Adīb at 2 P.M. After that, as we knew that he sits in a store in front of  Khayrāt Khān School after finishing his lesson until sunset, we avail ourselves of this opportunity to learn more. These strong motives compensated the lack of facilities, but, unfortunately, the youth of today partly learn for scores.

The strong desire for knowledge led us to go anywhere in search of knowledge and knowledgeable people. For instant, there was a person named Dhabīḥ Bihrūz who was expert in astronomical tables (Yazdgerd calendar, Hegira calendar, Gregorian calendar, Hindu calendar, etc.). We were so motivated that I decided to take advantage of this opportunity and learn this knowledge from him, although he had a dog in his house, and I was wearing clerical dress and I was afraid that his dog pollutes my dress. When I was in Tehran I studied under a person named Badī‘ al-Zamān Kurdistānī, and it was valuable, for he was expert in Arabic texts even more than Mr. Adīb.

Once I decided to learn English. I used to excerpt at least 200 vocabularies from dictionary and write them down every night. Well, now I can give lecture in English about scientific issues at international meetings. If I was comfort-seeking and content to university salary receive from, I would never be in this position. I have always fallowed moderation in my scientific work. Once I felt my memory is poor, so I asked Mr. Adīb for a way to enhance the memory. He offered me a concoction of frankincense, saffron, honey and some other things. Then it conceived in my mind that it might drive me mad, while I imagine that my memory has enhanced. Later someone told me exercise enhances memory. He said; use your useless hours to memorize something, for instance a sermon of Nahj al-Balāgha or some poems of Alfīyah. That method worked very well.

One of the important works in scientific activities is taking notes of key points. I have published a book under the title of 1500 notes, which is consisted of my scientific notes from seminary schooldays until now. Late Humā’ī used to write his scientific notes on back of cigarette packets. For example, I read that bricklayers of Kaaba were singing in Persian, as westerners say, it is a piece of information. However these notes do not organize an essay alone, but could be used as a scientific example in an essay. For example, above-mentioned note is useful for someone who wants to work on the influence of Persian sings on the Arabian Peninsula. Late Qazwīnī has composed “the notes of Qazwīnī“, and late Mīnū’ī has published “the note of Mīnū’ī“.

[1]– Mehdi Muhaqqiq, (born 1930, Mashhad, Iran) is an Iranian clergyman and scholar specializing in Islamic studies, philosophy, and Persian literature. He started his religious study in Mashhad, and received permission of ijtihad (using individual reasoning for eliciting legal verdicts) from grand Ayatollah Muhammad Taqī Khānsārī and grand Ayatollah Muhammad Hussein Kāshif al-Ghiṭā’ in 1951. Next year, he obtained the license from Ministry of Education to teach traditional sciences. He obtained his PhD in theology (1958) and Persian language and literature (1959) from Tehran University. Dr. Muhaqqiq enjoyed many great scholars at university and seminary in different fields of science which some of them are mentioned bellow: Arabic literature: Mīrzā Muhammad Taqī Adīb Nayshābūrī Thānī and Badī‘ al-Zamān Kurdistānī. Fiqh and uṣūl: Sheikh Muhammad Rizā Turābī Khānrūdī, Mīrzā Ahmad Mudarris Yazdī, Sheikh Muhammad Ali Mudarris Tabrīzī, and Abū al-Qāsim Gurjī. Logic: grand Ayatollah Waḥīd Khurāsānī. Philosophy: Mīrzā Mehdi Mudarris Āshtiyānī, Ayatollah Muhammad Taqī Āmulī, Sayyid Muhammad Kāzim ‘Aṣṣār Tehrānī, Ayatollah Mehdi Ilāhī Qumshi’ī, and Mīrzā Abū al-Hassan Sha‘rānī. Mysticism: Sheikh Muhammad Ali Ḥakīm Shīrāzī. Persian language and literature: Badī‘ al-Zamān Furūzānfar, Jalāl al-Dīn Humā’ī, and Ustād Muhammad Mu‘īn.

Dr. Muhaqqiq is the author of numerous works, whether writings, translations or proofreading, which include 80 books, 130 Persian and Arabic articles, and more than 35 English articles. His articles are published in prestigious journals in Iran as well as many other countries like, England, France, America, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. He was awarded the title of “Unforgettable Faces” in its first ceremony in 2001.

Works

Some of his works are as follows: proofreading of Kashf al-Asrār wa ‘Uddah al-Abrār written by Rashīd al-Dīn Maybudī (Tehran University, 1339); Taḥlil-i Ash‘ar-i Naṣir Khuṣraw (Tehran University, 1344); proofreading of al-Sīrah al-Falsafīyah written by Rāzī, with a preface to Rāzī’s biography, works and thoughts (1964); Lisān al-Tanzīl, including preface, proofreading and alphabetical index of words of the Qur’an (1965); English translation of Sharḥ Ghurar al-Farā’id, known as Sharḥ Manzūmah Ḥikmat Sabziwārī, by Mehdi Muhaqqiq and Toshihiko Izutsu (McGill University, 1969); al-As’alah wa al-Ajwabah, edited and prefaced in English and Persian by Mehdi Muhaqqiq and Sayyid Hussein Naṣr (1973); Yādnāmeh-i Adīb Nayshābūrī (1977); An outline of Shi’ite Encyclopedia: with Index of articles (Taher Islamic Foundation, 1983); Medical Sects in Islam (1990); al-Shukūk ‘alá Jālīnūs, with proofreading and preface in English, Arabic and Persian (Malaysia, 1993); al-Dirāsah al-Taḥlīlīyah li-Kitāb al-Ṭibb al-Rūḥānī written by Muhammad ibn Zakarīyā Rāzī, in English, Arabic and Persian (1999); 1500 notes about subjects like lexicon, literature, history, philosophy, theology, and the history of sciences (1999); proofreading of Awāmir wa Nawāhī, (a chapter of M‘ālim al-Uṣūl) including a glossary of terms and their English equivalents (2006); etc.

Offices and positions

Dr. Muhaqqiq had held many offices and positions in Iran as well as other countries. He has been teaching at Tehran University (1966-1982), School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in England (1961-1963), McGill University Institute of Islamic Studies in Canada (1965-1998), and The International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC) in Malaysia (1991-1996). He was founder and director of the McGill Institute of Islamic Studies Tehran Branch since 1968, head of Manuscripts Department of National Library of Iran (1958- 1960), research and education assistant at Faculty of Literature and Humanities at Tehran University (1968-1969), director of the department of Persian Language and Literature at Tehran University (1969- 1978), editorial board chairman of the Encyclopedia of Shi‘a (1982- 1983), executive director of the Encyclopaedia Islamica Foundation (1983- 1985), permanent member of the Academy of Persian Language and Literature since 1990, member of Academy of Medical Sciences (department of Islamic medicine), member of international forum on medical history, vice-president of Indian originated Ibn Sina Academy of Medieval Medicine and Sciences since its inception, member of the Egyptian and Syrian Academies of Arabic Language, member of The Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought in Jordan, etc.

[2]– Joseph Schacht was a famous German Islamologist and an expert in Islamic law, jurisprudence, and theology, who died in Englewood, 1969, when he was 67. He studied at Breslau University, and later, for being prominent in the field of Islamic law, jurisprudence, and theology, he became a professor at universities of Freiburg (1927), Königsberg (1932), Egypt, Leiden, Columbia (1957-1958), and a professor speaker at Oxford University (1948). Professor Joseph Schacht lived in German, England, and he spent rest of his life in America. He stayed in Cairo and Nigeria as visiting professor for a while. Yet he stayed in many countries for a short time, but his scientific work was significant and reliable. He was co-founder and editor of the review Studia Islamica, with Professor Robert Brunschvig. he is well known among experts for carrying out and disseminating researches into Islamic law, jurisprudence, and theology, and showing their origin and amendment. Professor Schacht contributed with professor grunbaum to write Unity and Variety in Muslim Civilization, printed in Chicago, 1955. Joseph Schacht has a chapter in that book under the title of Law, which is interesting and eruditely written. Dr. Schacht, in this chapter, mentions remarkable things about the subjects as diverse as Islamic law, judges, arbitration, inheritance, endowment, penal system, ijtihād (independent legal reasoning), and imitation. In the section of Islamic law, he says that the knowledge of Islamic law is in accord with reason, meaning that the teachings and principles presented in this knowledge are supported by rational reasons, which are, in turn, based upon Qur’anic arguments. He also says, Islamic jurisprudence, through ruling people’s mind and heart, had a great influence over them, and this ruling and spiritual influence is still in power, and it is the origin of contemporary intellectual movements. This chapter occupies almost thirty pages of the book. Dr. Schacht was member of many scientific communities including the Arab Academy in Damascus. (Quoted and translated from Persian, www.al-Shia.org)

[3]– Dr. Sheikh Wahba Mustafa al-Zuhayli was born in the Syrian town of Dair Atiah, north of Damascus, in 1932 (1351 A.H.). He graduated from the University of Damascus in 1952. Then he went Egypt and furthered his education at al-Azhar University. He received his PhD with a major in Islamic sharia from College of al-Sharia at al-Azhar University in 1956, received an ijaza (permission) in teaching Arabic from College of Arabic literature at al-Azhar University in 1957, and also received a bachelor of law degree from ‘Ain Shams University in 1957. Dr. Zuhayli is the head of Islamic jurisprudence at Damascus University, and his writings are mostly about fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) and uṣūl al-fiqh (jurisprudential principles).

Some of his works concerning fiqh and uṣūl al-fiqh include: al-Fiqh al-Islamī wa Adillatuh, al-Fiqh al-Islamī fi Uslūbih al-Jadīd, Uṣūl al-Fiqh al-Islamī, al-Fiqh al-Ḥanbalī al-Muyasir, Āthār al-Ḥarb fi al-Fiqh al-Islamī (doctoral dissertation). Some of his works about the holy Qur’an are as follows: al-Qur’an al-Karīm: Bunyah al-Tashrī‘īyah wa Khaṣā’iṣah al-Ḥiḍārīyah, al-Qiṣṣah al-Qur’ānīyah, al-Tafsīr al-Wasīṭ, and al-Tafsīr al-Munīr fi al-‘Aqīdah wa al-Sharī‘ah wa al-Minhaj. See for more information: the Journal of Ḥadīth-e Andīshih, the College of Hadith Sciences, V. 10 & 11, P.193.

[4]– Ayatollah Mohammad-Ali Taskhiri (born 1948, Najaf) was the former Secretary General of the World Assembly for Proximity of Islamic Schools, and now, he is grand Ayatollah Khamenei’s Senior Advisor in Islamic world affairs. He is the author of numerous scientific works including: Opinion of dialogue with others, Unity and Proximity of Islamic Religious, Islamic Unity based on Scientific Authority of Ahl al-Bayte (A.S.), On Idealism and Realism, Social Evolution of Human Being, About “Globalization “, Muslims! March towards Unity, the Islamic View on the Imposed Peace.  For further information visit: http://www.taskhiri.ir (in Persian).

[5]– Dr. Zafar Ishaq Ansari (born 27 December 1932) is a scholar of Islamic Studies. He is the Director General of the Islamic Research Institute of the International Islamic University. Previously, he has also been the President of the International Islamic University Islamabad. He has published a number of books and articles, and has spoken at international conferences on Islamic Studies and inter-religious dialogue. (Wikipedia)

[6]– Shams al-Dīn Sarakhsī, al-Mabṣūṭ, Egypt, 1324 A.H., V. 1, P. 37. (Quoted from: Mehdi Muhaqqiq, Athar al-Lughah al-Farsīyah fi al-Lughah al-Arabiya fi Ahd al-Rasūl al-Akram, Journal of Majma‘ al-Lughah al-Arabiya, Damascus, V. 62, Sha’ban, 1407.

[7]– Abū al-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī, (Arabic أبو العلاء المعري, full name  أبو العلاء أحمد بن عبد الله بن سليمان التنوخي المعري Abū al-ʿAlāʾ Aḥmad ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sulaymān al-Tanūkhī al-Maʿarrī) was born in Maʿarra (now Ma’arat al-Nu’man), Syria (region), in 973 (363 A.H.), and died in 1058 over there. He was a blind Arabian philosopher, poet, and writer. He was a controversial rationalist of his time, attacking the dogmas of religion rejecting the claim that Islam or any other religion possessed the truths they claim, and was equally sarcastic towards the religions of Muslims, Jews, and Christians. Abū al-ʿAlāʾ was a skeptic in his beliefs and denounced superstition and dogmatism in religion. Thus, he has been described as a pessimistic freethinker. (Wikipedia)

[8]– Hassan Habibi was born in Tehran in 1937, and died on 31 January 2013. He held a PhD in law and sociology. He was head of the Academy of Persian Language and Literature, as well as head of Iranology Foundation. Following the Iranian revolution, he was among the jurists who prepared the first draft of Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in light of Constitutions of other countries. (Quoted and translated from official website of The Guardian Council of the Constitution: www.Shora-gc.ir)

[9]www.oxcis.ac.uk

[10]– Muhammad Taqī Adīb Nayshābūrī (1893-1976), known as Adīb Thānī, who was using a pen name of Rāmūz, was a contemporary scholar of Islamic sciences, and a Persian poet. He was expert in Arabic literature, which he taught in Mashhad for many years. He studied Persian literature, logic, philosophy, mathematics, uṣūl, fiqh, rijāl (biography and criticism of traditions), hadith, exegesis, traditional medicine, and astrology. (Translated from Persian, Wikipedia)

[11]– Henry Corbin (1903–1978) was a French philosopher, orientalist, Iranologist, and expert in Islamic and Shi’a Studies. He was a professor at the Sorbonne in Paris. He spent part of his life in Iran and Middle East. ‘Allāmah Ṭabāṭabā’ī and Professor Corbin were in scientific contact with each other by mail, or face to face, which started in 1958 and continued for the rest of his life. (Translated from Persian, Wikipedia)

[12]– Seyyed Hussein Nasr was born in 1933 in Tehran. He is an Iranian prominent philosopher, theologian, and University Professor of Islamic studies at George Washington University. For his in-depth knowledge about science, philosophy, Islam, and comparative religion, Dr. Nasr has written many books and articles in English, and has become the worldwide most famous Muslim scholar of the time. Professor Nasr speaks and writes based on the doctrine and the viewpoints of the perennial philosophy, whose prominent authority is Frithjof Schuon. His works are translated in many languages like Arabic, French, Turkish, Indonesian, Malaysian, Dutch, Italian, Japanese, Albanian, Serbo-Croatian, Urdu, Bengali, Portuguese, and Spanish. Dr. Nasr was founder and head of the Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy (Tehran), member of the Academy of Athens, head of Farah Pahlavi Cultural Center, president of Aryamehr University (Sharif University) of Technology, former dean of the Faculty of Literature and Humanities, and Chair Professor in Islamic Studies at George Washington and Temple Universities. He counts the contribution to found Isfahan University of Technology as one of the great achievements of his life.

[13]– Iraqi scholar, Hussein Ali Mahfouz, was born in Kazemain, 1926. He was expert in oriental languages and is the author of many works, including: Ummuhāt al-Nabī li-ibn abīb, 1952; Risālah al-Firāshah li-ibn al-Khuwām al-Baghdādī, 1954; SharAynayh ibn Sīnā li-Sayyed Ni‘mah al-Jazā’irī, 1954; al-Mutanabbī wa Sa‘dī, 1957; aīfah al-Riā fi al-Aādīth al-Nabawīyah, 1957; Dīwān ibn Sīnā, 1957; Fatayā Faqīh al-‘Arab li-ibn Fārs, 1958; etc.

[14]– Gotthelf Bergsträsser (1886, Plauen –1933, near Berchtesgaden) was a German linguist who studied Semitic languages, Arabic in particular, under August Fisher at Leipzig University.  He received his Ph.D. in 1911 for his thesis, Die Negationen im Kur’an (the negations in the Qur’an), and in 1912 he became a lecturer in Semitic languages as well as Islamic studies by presenting dissertation, Mu‘jam Qurrā’ al-Qur‘an wa Trājimuhum. He was head of Center for the Comparative Study of Civilizations. See more on: دوفصل‌نامه قرآن‌پژوهي خاورشناسان، شماره 9، پاييز و زمستان 89، مقاله زيست‌شناخت برخي خاورشناسان و آثار آنان، حسن رضايي‌هفتادر، ص179.

[15]– Mustafa Jawād, of Turkoman extraction, was born in 1900s in Baghdad. He entered Ja’farīyah School of Baghdad where he was motivated to memorize Arabic texts and poems and learn foreign language. Then he went Dār al-Muta‘allimīn where he studied more about Arabic literature and the history of Arabic lands. There were two persons, Anastas Al-Karmali and ‘Allāmah Qazwīnī, who affected the course of his scientific life, whether in Baghdad or afterwards in Cairo and then Paris. After getting PhD, he returned from Paris. He was very knowledgeable and zealous in Arabic. At the end of a critical review on an Arabic elementary schoolbook, he says: “thirty errors are sufficed to kill the language of the holy Qur’an, let alone the book which is full of errors.” For a high level of proficiency in history and Arabic literature, he succeeded in correcting Arabic and historical texts. Proofreading a volume of Tāj al-‘Arūs written by Zubaydī is one of his works that shows his proficiency in correcting the errors, distortions, and letter substitutions in Tāj al-‘Arūs. He died in 1969. (Quoted from the magazine of Āyini  Mīrāth, Summer 1380, V. 13)

[16]– Dr. Jawād Ali (1907-1987) was an Iraqi thinker and historian. Some of his works are as follows: Tārīkh al-Arab Qabl al-Islam, Anām al-Arab wa Tārīkh al-Arab fi al-Islam.

[17]– Mehdi Haeri Yazdi (born 1923 in Qom – death 1999 in Tehran) was a prominent Shia Islamic cleric and philosopher, and a lecturer at Qom seminary and the universities of Tehran, Canada, and America. He was Ayatollah Brūjirdī’s representative in the U.S., and, after Islamic revolution, he was appointed as Iran’s first ambassador over there in consultation with imam Khomeini. He studied religious sciences under great scholars like: Ruhollah Khomeini, Ahmad Khānsārī, Mīrzā Mehdi Āshtiyānī, Sayyid Hussein Ṭabāṭabā’ī Brūjirdī, and Sayyid Muhammad Ḥujjat. He was the first person who received absolute ijtihād (the certificate of higher studies in theology that allow person to use individual reasoning for eliciting legal verdicts) from Ayatollah Brūjirdī, and after that he went America as Sayyid Hussein Ṭabāṭabā’ī Brūjirdī’s representative. He studied western philosophy in America and Canada and obtained his PhD in analytical philosophy from the University of Toronto by dissertation of “The Principles of Epistemology in Islamic Philosophy: Knowledge by Presence“.

[18]– Abdoldjavad Falaturi (1926–1996) was an Iranian philosopher. He studied religious studies in Mashhad seminary under Mīrzā Hāshim Qazwīnī and Mīrzā Muhammad Taqī Adīb Nayshābūrī, and then he continued his study in Tehran under ‘Allāmah Muhammad Taqī Āmulī and Mīrzā Mehdi Āshtiyānī. He also entered Tehran University where he took his first degree in philosophy in 1954. In very year, he went Germany and continued studying philosophy, where he received his first academic appointment at the University of Cologne. In 1960, he was appointed Associate Professor of Persian language at university of Hamburg. In 1962, he received his PhD in philosophy for presenting a dissertation under the title of “examining Kantian ethics with respect”. In 1968, He established a library for Shi’a research in Cologne, which is internationally famous and the only one of its kind in Europe. In 1974, he was appointed as full Professor at University of Cologne. He presented a plan for Shi’a research at 19th congress of German orientalists in Freiburg, which was based on investigating oriental thoughts (in an accepted way for western scholars). After this lecture, University of Tübingen asked for preparing the Atlas of Religion, and University of Bonn requested a plan for Muslim minorities. (Quoted and translated from Persian, Wikipedia)

[19]– Ignác (Yitzhaq Yehuda) Goldziher (1850 –1921), often credited as Ignaz Goldziher, was born in a family of Jewish heritage. He was a Hungarian scholar of Islam and, along with the German Theodore Nöldeke and the Dutch Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje, he is considered the founder of modern Islamic studies in Europe. He was educated at the universities of Budapest, Berlin, Leipzig and Leiden with the support of József Eötvös, Hungarian minister of culture. He became privatdozent (an academic title conferred by some European universities to someone who holds certain formal qualifications that denote an ability to teach independently at university level.) at Budapest in 1872. In the next year, under the auspices of the Hungarian government, he began a journey through Syria, Palestine and Egypt, and took the opportunity of attending lectures of Muslim sheikhs in the mosque of al-Azhar in Cairo. (Wikipedia)

[20]– Bernard Lewis was born to middle-class Jewish parents in Stoke Newington, London, in 1916. He is a British-American historian specializing in oriental studies who is also known as a public intellectual and political commentator. He is the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. Lewis’ expertise is in the history of Islam and the interaction between Islam and the West, and is especially famous in academic circles for his works on the history of the Ottoman Empire. (Wikipedia)

……………………………………………..

[1]– Mehdi Muhaqqiq, (born 1930, Mashhad, Iran) is an Iranian clergyman and scholar specializing in Islamic studies, philosophy, and Persian literature. He started his religious study in Mashhad, and received permission of ijtihad (using individual reasoning for eliciting legal verdicts) from grand Ayatollah Muhammad Taqī Khānsārī and grand Ayatollah Muhammad Hussein Kāshif al-Ghiṭā’ in 1951. Next year, he obtained the license from Ministry of Education to teach traditional sciences. He obtained his PhD in theology (1958) and Persian language and literature (1959) from Tehran University. Dr. Muhaqqiq enjoyed many great scholars at university and seminary in different fields of science which some of them are mentioned bellow: Arabic literature: Mīrzā Muhammad Taqī Adīb Nayshābūrī Thānī and Badī‘ al-Zamān Kurdistānī. Fiqh and uṣūl: Sheikh Muhammad Rizā Turābī Khānrūdī, Mīrzā Ahmad Mudarris Yazdī, Sheikh Muhammad Ali Mudarris Tabrīzī, and Abū al-Qāsim Gurjī. Logic: grand Ayatollah Waḥīd Khurāsānī. Philosophy: Mīrzā Mehdi Mudarris Āshtiyānī, Ayatollah Muhammad Taqī Āmulī, Sayyid Muhammad Kāzim ‘Aṣṣār Tehrānī, Ayatollah Mehdi Ilāhī Qumshi’ī, and Mīrzā Abū al-Hassan Sha‘rānī. Mysticism: Sheikh Muhammad Ali Ḥakīm Shīrāzī. Persian language and literature: Badī‘ al-Zamān Furūzānfar, Jalāl al-Dīn Humā’ī, and Ustād Muhammad Mu‘īn.

Dr. Muhaqqiq is the author of numerous works, whether writings, translations or proofreading, which include 80 books, 130 Persian and Arabic articles, and more than 35 English articles. His articles are published in prestigious journals in Iran as well as many other countries like, England, France, America, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. He was awarded the title of “Unforgettable Faces” in its first ceremony in 2001.

Works

Some of his works are as follows: proofreading of Kashf al-Asrār wa ‘Uddah al-Abrār written by Rashīd al-Dīn Maybudī (Tehran University, 1339); Taḥlil-i Ash‘ar-i Naṣir Khuṣraw (Tehran University, 1344); proofreading of al-Sīrah al-Falsafīyah written by Rāzī, with a preface to Rāzī’s biography, works and thoughts (1964); Lisān al-Tanzīl, including preface, proofreading and alphabetical index of words of the Qur’an (1965); English translation of Sharḥ Ghurar al-Farā’id, known as Sharḥ Manzūmah Ḥikmat Sabziwārī, by Mehdi Muhaqqiq and Toshihiko Izutsu (McGill University, 1969); al-As’alah wa al-Ajwabah, edited and prefaced in English and Persian by Mehdi Muhaqqiq and Sayyid Hussein Naṣr (1973); Yādnāmeh-i Adīb Nayshābūrī (1977); An outline of Shi’ite Encyclopedia: with Index of articles (Taher Islamic Foundation, 1983); Medical Sects in Islam (1990); al-Shukūk ‘alá Jālīnūs, with proofreading and preface in English, Arabic and Persian (Malaysia, 1993); al-Dirāsah al-Taḥlīlīyah li-Kitāb al-Ṭibb al-Rūḥānī written by Muhammad ibn Zakarīyā Rāzī, in English, Arabic and Persian (1999); 1500 notes about subjects like lexicon, literature, history, philosophy, theology, and the history of sciences (1999); proofreading of Awāmir wa Nawāhī, (a chapter of M‘ālim al-Uṣūl) including a glossary of terms and their English equivalents (2006); etc.

Offices and positions

Dr. Muhaqqiq had held many offices and positions in Iran as well as other countries. He has been teaching at Tehran University (1966-1982), School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in England (1961-1963), McGill University Institute of Islamic Studies in Canada (1965-1998), and The International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC) in Malaysia (1991-1996). He was founder and director of the McGill Institute of Islamic Studies Tehran Branch since 1968, head of Manuscripts Department of National Library of Iran (1958- 1960), research and education assistant at Faculty of Literature and Humanities at Tehran University (1968-1969), director of the department of Persian Language and Literature at Tehran University (1969- 1978), editorial board chairman of the Encyclopedia of Shi‘a (1982- 1983), executive director of the Encyclopaedia Islamica Foundation (1983- 1985), permanent member of the Academy of Persian Language and Literature since 1990, member of Academy of Medical Sciences (department of Islamic medicine), member of international forum on medical history, vice-president of Indian originated Ibn Sina Academy of Medieval Medicine and Sciences since its inception, member of the Egyptian and Syrian Academies of Arabic Language, member of The Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought in Jordan, etc.

[2]- Joseph Schacht was a famous German Islamologist and an expert in Islamic law, jurisprudence, and theology, who died in Englewood, 1969, when he was 67. He studied at Breslau University, and later, for being prominent in the field of Islamic law, jurisprudence, and theology, he became a professor at universities of Freiburg (1927), Königsberg (1932), Egypt, Leiden, Columbia (1957-1958), and a professor speaker at Oxford University (1948). Professor Joseph Schacht lived in German, England, and he spent rest of his life in America. He stayed in Cairo and Nigeria as visiting professor for a while. Yet he stayed in many countries for a short time, but his scientific work was significant and reliable. He was co-founder and editor of the review Studia Islamica, with Professor Robert Brunschvig. he is well known among experts for carrying out and disseminating researches into Islamic law, jurisprudence, and theology, and showing their origin and amendment. Professor Schacht contributed with professor grunbaum to write Unity and Variety in Muslim Civilization, printed in Chicago, 1955. Joseph Schacht has a chapter in that book under the title of Law, which is interesting and eruditely written. Dr. Schacht, in this chapter, mentions remarkable things about the subjects as diverse as Islamic law, judges, arbitration, inheritance, endowment, penal system, ijtihād (independent legal reasoning), and imitation. In the section of Islamic law, he says that the knowledge of Islamic law is in accord with reason, meaning that the teachings and principles presented in this knowledge are supported by rational reasons, which are, in turn, based upon Qur’anic arguments. He also says, Islamic jurisprudence, through ruling people’s mind and heart, had a great influence over them, and this ruling and spiritual influence is still in power, and it is the origin of contemporary intellectual movements. This chapter occupies almost thirty pages of the book. Dr. Schacht was member of many scientific communities including the Arab Academy in Damascus. (Quoted and translated from Persian, www.al-Shia.org)

[3]- Dr. Sheikh Wahba Mustafa al-Zuhayli was born in the Syrian town of Dair Atiah, north of Damascus, in 1932 (1351 A.H.). He graduated from the University of Damascus in 1952. Then he went Egypt and furthered his education at al-Azhar University. He received his PhD with a major in Islamic sharia from College of al-Sharia at al-Azhar University in 1956, received an ijaza (permission) in teaching Arabic from College of Arabic literature at al-Azhar University in 1957, and also received a bachelor of law degree from ‘Ain Shams University in 1957. Dr. Zuhayli is the head of Islamic jurisprudence at Damascus University, and his writings are mostly about fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) and uṣūl al-fiqh (jurisprudential principles).

Some of his works concerning fiqh and uṣūl al-fiqh include: al-Fiqh al-Islamī wa Adillatuh, al-Fiqh al-Islamī fi Uslūbih al-Jadīd, Uṣūl al-Fiqh al-Islamī, al-Fiqh al-Ḥanbalī al-Muyasir, Āthār al-Ḥarb fi al-Fiqh al-Islamī (doctoral dissertation). Some of his works about the holy Qur’an are as follows: al-Qur’an al-Karīm: Bunyah al-Tashrī‘īyah wa Khaṣā’iṣah al-Ḥiḍārīyah, al-Qiṣṣah al-Qur’ānīyah, al-Tafsīr al-Wasīṭ, and al-Tafsīr al-Munīr fi al-‘Aqīdah wa al-Sharī‘ah wa al-Minhaj. See for more information: the Journal of Ḥadīth-e Andīshih, the College of Hadith Sciences, V. 10 & 11, P.193.

[4]- Ayatollah Mohammad-Ali Taskhiri (born 1948, Najaf) was the former Secretary General of the World Assembly for Proximity of Islamic Schools, and now, he is grand Ayatollah Khamenei’s Senior Advisor in Islamic world affairs. He is the author of numerous scientific works including: Opinion of dialogue with others, Unity and Proximity of Islamic Religious, Islamic Unity based on Scientific Authority of Ahl al-Bayte (A.S.), On Idealism and Realism, Social Evolution of Human Being, About “Globalization “, Muslims! March towards Unity, the Islamic View on the Imposed Peace.  For further information visit: http://www.taskhiri.ir (in Persian).

[5]- Dr. Zafar Ishaq Ansari (born 27 December 1932) is a scholar of Islamic Studies. He is the Director General of the Islamic Research Institute of the International Islamic University. Previously, he has also been the President of the International Islamic University Islamabad. He has published a number of books and articles, and has spoken at international conferences on Islamic Studies and inter-religious dialogue. (Wikipedia)

[6]- Shams al-Dīn Sarakhsī, al-Mabṣūṭ, Egypt, 1324 A.H., V. 1, P. 37. (Quoted from: Mehdi Muhaqqiq, Athar al-Lughah al-Farsīyah fi al-Lughah al-Arabiya fi Ahd al-Rasūl al-Akram, Journal of Majma‘ al-Lughah al-Arabiya, Damascus, V. 62, Sha’ban, 1407.

[7]- Abū al-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī, (Arabic أبو العلاء المعري, full name  أبو العلاء أحمد بن عبد الله بن سليمان التنوخي المعري Abū al-ʿAlāʾ Aḥmad ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sulaymān al-Tanūkhī al-Maʿarrī) was born in Maʿarra (now Ma’arat al-Nu’man), Syria (region), in 973 (363 A.H.), and died in 1058 over there. He was a blind Arabian philosopher, poet, and writer. He was a controversial rationalist of his time, attacking the dogmas of religion rejecting the claim that Islam or any other religion possessed the truths they claim, and was equally sarcastic towards the religions of Muslims, Jews, and Christians. Abū al-ʿAlāʾ was a skeptic in his beliefs and denounced superstition and dogmatism in religion. Thus, he has been described as a pessimistic freethinker. (Wikipedia)

[8]- Hassan Habibi was born in Tehran in 1937, and died on 31 January 2013. He held a PhD in law and sociology. He was head of the Academy of Persian Language and Literature, as well as head of Iranology Foundation. Following the Iranian revolution, he was among the jurists who prepared the first draft of Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in light of Constitutions of other countries. (Quoted and translated from official website of The Guardian Council of the Constitution: www.Shora-gc.ir)

[9]- www.oxcis.ac.uk

[10]- Muhammad Taqī Adīb Nayshābūrī (1893-1976), known as Adīb Thānī, who was using a pen name of Rāmūz, was a contemporary scholar of Islamic sciences, and a Persian poet. He was expert in Arabic literature, which he taught in Mashhad for many years. He studied Persian literature, logic, philosophy, mathematics, uṣūl, fiqh, rijāl (biography and criticism of traditions), hadith, exegesis, traditional medicine, and astrology. (Translated from Persian, Wikipedia)

[11]- Henry Corbin (1903–1978) was a French philosopher, orientalist, Iranologist, and expert in Islamic and Shi’a Studies. He was a professor at the Sorbonne in Paris. He spent part of his life in Iran and Middle East. ‘Allāmah Ṭabāṭabā’ī and Professor Corbin were in scientific contact with each other by mail, or face to face, which started in 1958 and continued for the rest of his life. (Translated from Persian, Wikipedia)

[12]- Seyyed Hussein Nasr was born in 1933 in Tehran. He is an Iranian prominent philosopher, theologian, and University Professor of Islamic studies at George Washington University. For his in-depth knowledge about science, philosophy, Islam, and comparative religion, Dr. Nasr has written many books and articles in English, and has become the worldwide most famous Muslim scholar of the time. Professor Nasr speaks and writes based on the doctrine and the viewpoints of the perennial philosophy, whose prominent authority is Frithjof Schuon. His works are translated in many languages like Arabic, French, Turkish, Indonesian, Malaysian, Dutch, Italian, Japanese, Albanian, Serbo-Croatian, Urdu, Bengali, Portuguese, and Spanish. Dr. Nasr was founder and head of the Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy (Tehran), member of the Academy of Athens, head of Farah Pahlavi Cultural Center, president of Aryamehr University (Sharif University) of Technology, former dean of the Faculty of Literature and Humanities, and Chair Professor in Islamic Studies at George Washington and Temple Universities. He counts the contribution to found Isfahan University of Technology as one of the great achievements of his life.

[13]- Iraqi scholar, Hussein Ali Mahfouz, was born in Kazemain, 1926. He was expert in oriental languages and is the author of many works, including: Ummuhāt al-Nabī li-ibn abīb, 1952; Risālah al-Firāshah li-ibn al-Khuwām al-Baghdādī, 1954; SharAynayh ibn Sīnā li-Sayyed Ni‘mah al-Jazā’irī, 1954; al-Mutanabbī wa Sa‘dī, 1957; aīfah al-Riā fi al-Aādīth al-Nabawīyah, 1957; Dīwān ibn Sīnā, 1957; Fatayā Faqīh al-‘Arab li-ibn Fārs, 1958; etc.

[14]- Gotthelf Bergsträsser (1886, Plauen –1933, near Berchtesgaden) was a German linguist who studied Semitic languages, Arabic in particular, under August Fisher at Leipzig University.  He received his Ph.D. in 1911 for his thesis, Die Negationen im Kur’an (the negations in the Qur’an), and in 1912 he became a lecturer in Semitic languages as well as Islamic studies by presenting dissertation, Mu‘jam Qurrā’ al-Qur‘an wa Trājimuhum. He was head of Center for the Comparative Study of Civilizations. See more on: دوفصل‌نامه قرآن‌پژوهي خاورشناسان، شماره 9، پاييز و زمستان 89، مقاله زيست‌شناخت برخي خاورشناسان و آثار آنان، حسن رضايي‌هفتادر، ص179.

[15]- Mustafa Jawād, of Turkoman extraction, was born in 1900s in Baghdad. He entered Ja’farīyah School of Baghdad where he was motivated to memorize Arabic texts and poems and learn foreign language. Then he went Dār al-Muta‘allimīn where he studied more about Arabic literature and the history of Arabic lands. There were two persons, Anastas Al-Karmali and ‘Allāmah Qazwīnī, who affected the course of his scientific life, whether in Baghdad or afterwards in Cairo and then Paris. After getting PhD, he returned from Paris. He was very knowledgeable and zealous in Arabic. At the end of a critical review on an Arabic elementary schoolbook, he says: “thirty errors are sufficed to kill the language of the holy Qur’an, let alone the book which is full of errors.” For a high level of proficiency in history and Arabic literature, he succeeded in correcting Arabic and historical texts. Proofreading a volume of Tāj al-‘Arūs written by Zubaydī is one of his works that shows his proficiency in correcting the errors, distortions, and letter substitutions in Tāj al-‘Arūs. He died in 1969. (Quoted from the magazine of Āyini  Mīrāth, Summer 1380, V. 13)

[16]- Dr. Jawād Ali (1907-1987) was an Iraqi thinker and historian. Some of his works are as follows: Tārīkh al-Arab Qabl al-Islam, Anām al-Arab wa Tārīkh al-Arab fi al-Islam.

[17]- Mehdi Haeri Yazdi (born 1923 in Qom – death 1999 in Tehran) was a prominent Shia Islamic cleric and philosopher, and a lecturer at Qom seminary and the universities of Tehran, Canada, and America. He was Ayatollah Brūjirdī’s representative in the U.S., and, after Islamic revolution, he was appointed as Iran’s first ambassador over there in consultation with imam Khomeini. He studied religious sciences under great scholars like: Ruhollah Khomeini, Ahmad Khānsārī, Mīrzā Mehdi Āshtiyānī, Sayyid Hussein Ṭabāṭabā’ī Brūjirdī, and Sayyid Muhammad Ḥujjat. He was the first person who received absolute ijtihād (the certificate of higher studies in theology that allow person to use individual reasoning for eliciting legal verdicts) from Ayatollah Brūjirdī, and after that he went America as Sayyid Hussein Ṭabāṭabā’ī Brūjirdī’s representative. He studied western philosophy in America and Canada and obtained his PhD in analytical philosophy from the University of Toronto by dissertation of “The Principles of Epistemology in Islamic Philosophy: Knowledge by Presence“.

[18]- Abdoldjavad Falaturi (1926–1996) was an Iranian philosopher. He studied religious studies in Mashhad seminary under Mīrzā Hāshim Qazwīnī and Mīrzā Muhammad Taqī Adīb Nayshābūrī, and then he continued his study in Tehran under ‘Allāmah Muhammad Taqī Āmulī and Mīrzā Mehdi Āshtiyānī. He also entered Tehran University where he took his first degree in philosophy in 1954. In very year, he went Germany and continued studying philosophy, where he received his first academic appointment at the University of Cologne. In 1960, he was appointed Associate Professor of Persian language at university of Hamburg. In 1962, he received his PhD in philosophy for presenting a dissertation under the title of “examining Kantian ethics with respect”. In 1968, He established a library for Shi’a research in Cologne, which is internationally famous and the only one of its kind in Europe. In 1974, he was appointed as full Professor at University of Cologne. He presented a plan for Shi’a research at 19th congress of German orientalists in Freiburg, which was based on investigating oriental thoughts (in an accepted way for western scholars). After this lecture, University of Tübingen asked for preparing the Atlas of Religion, and University of Bonn requested a plan for Muslim minorities. (Quoted and translated from Persian, Wikipedia)

[19]- Ignác (Yitzhaq Yehuda) Goldziher (1850 –1921), often credited as Ignaz Goldziher, was born in a family of Jewish heritage. He was a Hungarian scholar of Islam and, along with the German Theodore Nöldeke and the Dutch Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje, he is considered the founder of modern Islamic studies in Europe. He was educated at the universities of Budapest, Berlin, Leipzig and Leiden with the support of József Eötvös, Hungarian minister of culture. He became privatdozent (an academic title conferred by some European universities to someone who holds certain formal qualifications that denote an ability to teach independently at university level.) at Budapest in 1872. In the next year, under the auspices of the Hungarian government, he began a journey through Syria, Palestine and Egypt, and took the opportunity of attending lectures of Muslim sheikhs in the mosque of al-Azhar in Cairo. (Wikipedia)

[20]- Bernard Lewis was born to middle-class Jewish parents in Stoke Newington, London, in 1916. He is a British-American historian specializing in oriental studies who is also known as a public intellectual and political commentator. He is the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. Lewis’ expertise is in the history of Islam and the interaction between Islam and the West, and is especially famous in academic circles for his works on the history of the Ottoman Empire. (Wikipedia)

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