This is a revolutionary work in the field Islamic Theology and also in the domain of seminary teaching. Theological Instruction is not only a traditional text on theology but it approaches the modern and post modern issues in a traditional style and replies the doubts raised by that domain on traditional bases. I am glad that we were taught this text while we were doing theology and for certain, this text has helped me in the field of propagation. This also portrays the uniqueness of this work because the text of hawza is usually difficult to be utilised in the field of propagation.
The translation was begun in the year 2002 when Hujjatulislam Hayder Shirazi approached me and asks for this gracious work as he was teaching theology to the hawza students in London. He recognized the importance of this work and asserted that there is definitely a need in the west for this book for the students of the hawza and also for others. I translated lesson by lesson and emailed him from Qum eventually the task was accomplished in a year. However Mr Shirazi also translated eight to ten lessons which we are thankful to him. Those lessons have been re- translated in this final translation in order the uniformity remains in the work.
The translation focuses upon providing accurate translation of Ayatulla’s work, rather than just transferring the meaning. However, a relatively academic English style has been utilised in order to facilitate the student of theology in the field of theology and others in general reading. An effort has been made to focus upon creating a uniformity between this translation and Philosophical Instruction of Ayatulullah Misbah Yazdi translated by Professor Legenhausan and Dr ’Azim Sarvdalīr. I have tried to use the same terminology used by these two translators and also adapted the title of this translation and the style from Philosophical Instruction.
I am honoured, encouraged and quite grateful to Aga Qulī Qarā’ī for writing a very rich introduction to this work. I am obligated to thank my wife for her motivation provided and Hujjatulislām Muhsin ‘Ahmedī, Hujjatulislām S. Sādiq Hāshimīyān, and Hujjatulislām Ahmed Hanif, who encouraged and provided assistance whenever needed in translating this work. I am also grateful to Dr. Rawand Osmaan for providing the work with proper transliteration of terms and also for the uniformity of the verses of the Qur’an from the translation of Aga Qulī Qarā’ī. However, if any lapses and errors remain, I accept the responsibility and humbly request the reader to provide their remarks and suggestion by corresponding on the postal and e-mail addresses provided herein. Finally this translation would not have seen the light of publication without the effort of Hujjatulislām Muhammad Shumālī, whom I sincerely thank.
The effort and work is very little for it to be a re-pay to the martyrs and to the Hawzah ’Illmiyyah (Islamic Seminary), whom I owe the most. I can only pray that this work be a piece of focus for the Imam of the time and that he prays for me and also all of those who have made this work possible.
Mīrzā Muhammad ’Abbās Rida
26 June, 2006 CE