Thursday, March 24, 2005

Great Books

I was thinking if I were to recommend a handful of books to someone as must-reads, what would I recommend?

1. Lantern of the Path by Imam Sadiq (as) - this book is fantastic - it is very deep, you can read it over and over and over and never exhaust the growth and learning available within it. It has many short sections, so you can read a particular section of a page or two and ponder it without having read ten earlier chapters.

2. Self Building by Ayatullah Ibrahim Amini (as) - this is a great book that should be read cover to cover over a period of time. It is a wonderful guide for self-reform and an introduction to some gnostic concepts.

3. Sahifa Sajjidiya by Imam Ali ibn Husayn (as) - a very moving and inspiring collection of dua'as. Does anyone know of an edition that includes transliteration by chance?

4. Qur'an - goes without saying - but for those of us who speak English only I recommend a transliterated version and I recommend some good tafsirs like Light of Holy Qur'an and Al-Mizan.

5. Al-Ghayba by An-Nu'mani - an important read for any Shia to learn about our Imam (as).

6. Nahjul Balagha - another that goes without saying. However, I struggle with Nahjul Balagha - I think not being able to read the Arabic makes it difficult to get out of it what is really there for me. I know people say the Arabic itself is very difficult. What's the best translation/edition out there?

7. Adabus Salat by Imam Khomeini - Deeper in the gnosis and improving salat. Difficult, though. Needs to be digested very slowly.

I could add more but the point is to keep the list short. I would love to hear your thoughts on the most important books to read and why and your thoughts on these books.

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