Publication: Justice and Remembrance: Introducing the Spirituality of Imam ‘Ali
Author: Dr Reza Shah-Kazemi
In this 28 min Interview, Dr Shah-Kazemi elaborates on Imam ‘Ali’s worldview and his ethical orientation towards justice. Dr Shah-Kazemi reflects that the notion of Justice in Imam Ali's worldview is immeasurably deepened by the spiritual precepts of the Islamic faith. The spirit underlying moral rules and ethical values is strengthened by a commitment to transcendent principles, even though - or precisely because - these principles surpass the realm of action within which those rules and precepts operate. Contemplation and action are seen in this perspective as complementary, not contradictory. This complementarity is presented as an aspect of tawhid, of ‘integrating oneness’--one of the ways in which the Dr Shah-Kazemi have translated this central principle of Islam.
Justice and Remembrance is the first serious book in any western language on the intellectual and spiritual merits of Imam ‘Ali, arguably the single most important figure in Muslim history after the Prophet himself. Ali ibn Abi Talib was the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad, first Imam of all Shi'a Muslims, and fourth of the ‘rightly guided’ caliphs. The principal sources used in this book are the Nahj al-balagha and the Ghurar al-hikam. The Nahj, by far the most important source of sayings, sermons, and letters of the Imam, was compiled by al-Imam Ali. ">Sharif al-Radi (d. 406/1016), a renowned Shi‘i scholar of ‘Abbasid Baghdad.
Questions addressed in the interview:
1. What motivated you to write a book on Imam ‘Ali?
2. Who is the target audience for this work?
3. This is the first serious study on the intellectuality and spirituality of Imam ‘Ali in a western language. In your opinion, why was this topic never addressed in English before?
4. Could you please elaborate on the relationship between divine and human justice discussed in your book?
5. Could you please tell us about the spiritual teachings of Imam ‘Ali and his influence on Sufism?
6. Imam ‘Ali is an inspirational figure for all Muslims. How do you think your book will be received in the larger Muslim community?