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God and His Attributes: {Lessons on Islamic Doctrine}

God and His Attributes: {Lessons on Islamic Doctrine}


Item Code: IDK291

by Sayyed Mujtaba Musavi Lari & Hamid Algar

Paperback (Edition: 2005)

Foundation of Islamic C.P.W.
ISBN 1871031079

Size: 8.5 X 5.7"
Pages: 206
Price: $27.50
Discounted: $20.62   Shipping Free
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Author's Preface to the First Persian Edition

An Intellectual and ideological vacuum is increasingly drawing man away from the perception of reality towards a whirlpool of corruption. Today we witness many of man's creative energies beings squandered as he closes his eyes to the rich and surging ocean of culture and thought that religion constitutes and as he permits his intellectual life to be slaughtered by the ideologies of the modern world.

Today various ideas are being presented to the thirsty and distraught generation of our day derive from the hasty and defective notions o philosophers and scholars with limited horizons. These ideas pretend to answer the needs of the present generation, but they do not suggest any meaning or purpose for life.

The mono-dimensional mode of thought that underlines these ideas is not suitable nurture for the sensitive minds of our age, and is not even worthy of consideration in any environment where intellect and logic still retain a grip on existence.

There can be doubt that the various inequalities, cruelties, torments and disorders that can be seen throughout history, arise from the contradictions that dominate the world and the life of man.

We believe that Islam and its ideology, based on tauhid, containing, as it does, an extensive series of profound philosophical and scientific analyses of the objective world and external, reality and acquainting man with all the dimensions of his being, has the capacity to solve radically all contradictions and inconsistencies and to guide man in the direction of sustained creative action to assure his future.

Every belief system, although its principles may be universal and its bases eternal, needs to be presented anew to each generation in accordance with the circumstances of the age. Thinkers and guardians of spirituality, who are acquainted with the spirit of the time and conscious of the need for more research in fundamental concerns in order to confront the innovations brought about modern philosophy and science, must, therefore, pay careful, serious and wide-ranging attention to these questions, drawing on the sources of Islam. They must present the truth as the broad and progressive spirit of Islam demands that it be presented, and acquaint the world with the intellectual principles of Islam.

The present work is an effort to present, in a concise and lively form, a survey of the creedal bases of Islam, combining philosophical reasoning with simplicity of wording. Since our aim has been to present a relatively concise work, we have refrained from quoting the opinions of various philosophers and scientist at length.

The first part of our work deals with the topics of divine unity and justice. We hope that it will be a contribution to making known the views of Islam on these fundamental questions.

About the Author

Sayyid Mujtaba Musavi Lari is the son of the late Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Asghar Lari, one of the great religious scholars and social personalities of Iran. His grandfather was the late Ayatullah Hajj Sayyid Abd ul-Husayn Lari, who fought for freedom in the Constitutional Revolution. In the course of his lengthy struggles against the tyrannical government of the time, he attempted to establish an Islamic government and succeeded in doing so far a short time in Larestan.

Sayyid Mujtaba Musavi Lari was born in 1314/1935 in the city of Lar where he completed his primary education and his preliminary Islamic studies. In 1932/1953, he departed for Qum to continue his study of the Islamic sciences, studying under the professors and teachers of the religious institution, including the main authorities in jurisprudence (maraji').

In 1341/1962, he became a collaborator of Maktab-I-Islam, a religious and scientific journal, writing a series of articles on Islamic ethics. These articles were later collected into a book published under the title Ethical and Psychological Problems. Nine editions of the Persian original of this book have been published, and it has also been translated into Arabic and, most recently, French.

In 1342/1963, he traveled to Germany for medical treatment, and returning to Iran after a stay of several months, he wrote a book called The Face of Western Civilization. The book includes a comparative discussion of Western and Islamic civilization, and in it, the author seeks to prove, by way of a comprehensive, reasoned, and exact comparison, the superiority of the comprehensive and multidimensional civilization of Islam to that of the West. This book has recently been reprinted for the seventh time. In 1349/1970, it was translated into English by a British Orientalist, F.G. Goulding, and it aroused much attention in Europe. Articles concerning the Book appeared in several Western periodicals, and the BBC arranged an interview with the translator in which the reasons for translating the book the reception accorded it in England were discussed. The English version of the book has up to now been printed three times in England, five times in Iran, and twice in America.

About three years after the publication of the English translation, Rudolf Singer, a German University professor, translated it into German, and the version he produced proved influential in Germany. One of the leaders of the Social Democratic Party informed the translator in a letter that the book had left a profound impression upon him, causing him to change his views of Islam, and that he would recommend the book to his friends. The German translation has now been reprinted three times.

The English and German versions of the book were reprinted by the Ministry of Islamic Guidance for wide distribution abroad through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Islamic Students' Associations abroad.

At the same time as the first printing of the German translation was published, an Indian Muslim scholar by the name of Maulana Raushan Ali translated it into Urdu for distribution in India and Pakistan. This Urdu translation has now been reprinted five times.

Sayyid Mujtaba Musavi Lari has also written a pamphlet on tauhid (divine unity), which was translated in England and published several times in America.

In 1343/1964, he established a charitable organization in Lar with the purposes of propagating Islam, teaching Islam to rural youth, and helping the needy. This organization remained active until 1346/1967. Its main accomplishments were the dispatch of students of the religious sciences to the countryside to teach Islam to children and young people; providing thousands of school children with clothing, books and writing equipment; building a number of mosques, schools, and clinics in towns and villages; and the provision of miscellaneous services.

Sayyid Mujtaba Musavi Lari pursued his interest in Islamic ethics, writing new articles on the subject. In 1353/1974, a collection of these articles, revised and supplemented, appeared in book form under the title. The function of Ethics in Human Development. This book has now been reprinted six times.

In 1357/1978, he traveled to America at the invitation of an Islamic organization in that country. He then went to England and France and after returning to Iran began writing a series of articles on Islamic ideology for the magazine Soroush. These articles were later collected in a four-volume book on the fundamental beliefs of Islam (tauhid, divine justice, prophethood, imamate, and resurrection) under the litle The Foundations of Islamic Doctrine.

This four-volume work has been translated into Arabic, some parts of it having already been printed three times. The English translation of the first volume of this work forms the present book; the remaining volumes will also be translated and published. Urdu, Hindi and French translations are also underway; two volumes of the French translation have already appeared.

In 1359/1980, Sayyid Mujtaba Musavi Lari established an organization in Qum called Office for the Diffusion of Islamic Culture Abroad. It dispatches free copies of his translated works to interested persons throughout the world. It has also undertaken the printing of a Quran for free distribution among Muslim Individuals, institutions and religious schools in Africa.

Back of the Book

God and His Attributes: Explains the monotheistic view of Islam in twenty-one lessons with brilliant clarity. Drawing heavily on the Traditions of the Prophet as well as extensive quotes from the Quran, the author convir cingly refutes the materialist point of view while presenting sound reasoning for the monotheistic world view.

Sayyid Mujtaba Musavi Lari: Author of Western Civilization Though Muslim Eyes, and The Role of Ethics in Human Development, among others, he was born in 1935 in Lar. He completed his studies in Qum and continues to write extensively on all aspects of Islamic ideology, culture and civilization. His books have been translated into Arabic, Bengali, English, French, German, Japanese, Kurdish, Malay, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Thai and Urdu.

About the Author 5
Author's Preface to the First Edition 9
Lesson OneThe Development of Beliefs Through the Ages 11
Lesson TwoThe Depths of Man's Being Impel Him to Seek God 19
Lesson ThreeGod and Empirical Logic 29
Lesson FourBelief in the Reality of the Unseen Involves More than God 37
Lesson FiveThe Manifestations of God in Nature 47
Lesson SixThe Need of the World for One Without Need 65
Lesson SevenThe Finiteness of the Chain of Causality 73
Lesson EightPseudo-Scientific Demagoguery 81
Lesson NineHow does the Quran present God? 95
Lesson TenThe Conditions for an Ideal Object of Worship 101
Lesson ElevenThe Incomparability of the Divine Attributes 111
Lesson TwelveThe Infinite Power of God 121
Lesson ThirteenThe Boundless Knowledge of God 127
Lesson FourteenOpinions Concerning God's Justice 133
Lesson FifteenAn Analysis of Misfortune and Hardship 139
Lesson SixteenHardship, a Cause of Awakening 145
Lesson SeventeenSome Aspects of Inequality 151
Lesson EighteenA General View of the Problem 159
Lesson NineteenFree Will 171
Lesson TwentyThe Forms of God's Will and Volition 183
Lesson Twenty-OneAn Improper Interpretation of Fate and Destiny 193
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