The Islamic Texts Institute and Its Endeavors

Shaykh Rizwan Arastu

Shaykh Rizwan Arastu

We have all felt the frustration at some point in our lives of not being able to find the answers to those crucial questions that assault every inquiring mind. We somehow innately believe that the Qur’an holds the answers to many of these questions, but when we turn to even the best translations at our disposal, we find them inadequate, either because the translation is obtuse or because there is no authoritative explanation to address the very question in whose quest we began our search.

We intrinsically believe that the traditions of the Prophet and Imams (peace be upon them) contain the panacea for all ills of body and soul, yet the language divide between us and them proves too vast: Few collections of their sayings are translated into English, and arguably none convey the inimitable power of their teachings.

It was to fill this abyssal void that the Islamic Texts Institute (ITI) was founded. ITI is a non-profit organization that aims to make Islamic primary sources available to Muslims in the West by providing accurate, scholarly translations of major Shia collections of traditions accompanied by sufficient commentary to facilitate the reader’s comprehension and assimilation of these teachings.

The team at ITI currently consists of three highly trained scholars of the howzah, or Islamic seminary, of Qum with expertise in various fields vital to the study of the traditions. Shaikh Hameed Ha’iri, a pupil of the late Mudarris Afghani, is a renowned expert of Arabic grammar and literature and a tireless researcher. No more than twenty seconds pass from the time he enters the Institute before he delves into the substantial pile of books on his desk and begins laboriously taking notes on every aspect of the tradition he is studying. In the five years I have known him, no grammatical structure, no matter how convoluted, has proved too difficult for him to tackle. It is not uncommon for him to stay long after hours to pursue an evasive tradition.

full article: www.insight-info.com

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