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IMAM JA`FAR AL-SADIQ
The sixth Imam in the line of the Twelve Imams descended from the Prophet Muhammad, Imam Ja`far ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq (702-765 C.E. or 17th Rabi` al-Awwal 83 AH - 15th Shawwal 148 AH) was the founder of the Ja`fari School of Islamic Law and a renowned scholar of his age. His father was the Imam Muhammad al-Baqir and his mother, Farwa, was a great-granddaughter of Abu Bakr. He lived in Arabia in the eighth century. He devoted his attention to interpreting divine utterances and applied himself to such controversial subjects as iraadah (free will) and qadr (the power to direct one's own actions). He is regarded as one of the greatest of the imams and is also revered by the Naqshbandi Sunni Sufi chain.
THE LANTERN OF THE PATH
The Lantern of The Path comprises ninety-nine chapters. Each one is a threshold to the next, guiding the reader through the broad spectrum of ageless wisdom, like a lantern along the path of reality. The author illuminates the inner meanings of outer practices which range from practical everyday acts of behavior, to the practices of worship, morals and ethics, and the pillars of religion.
ABOUT THIS TRANSLATION
This small and simple book was most difficult and complex to translate. The translation was begun four years ago by my father, Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri, when he translated 'The Lantern of The Path' during some discourses.
Though the task then fell to me to coordinate and execute the final translation, it was not without the considerable help of several scholars that the final version was achieved. A formal translation was first done by Aisha Abdar-Rahman Al-Tarjumana.
Both hers and Shaykh Fadhlalla's versions were used in translating it anew, throughout which Muhsin Muzaffar helped in unearthing the meanings of obscure words and phrases.
This translation was subsequently reviewed and edited by both Asadullah adh-Dhakir Yate and Christopher Flint. I am deeply grateful to all of them, not least for all that I learnt in the process, especially from my father. I sincerely hope that for those who read 'The Lantern of The Path', it will open up inner delights, as it has done for me.
Muna H. Bilgrami