The Qur'an is the sacramental foundation of prayer in Islam. Its inspirational power is perpetually renewed through being recited and meditated upon by Muslims on a daily basis throughout their lives. This succinct monograph provides a unique contemporary insight into the spiritual, intellectual and moral dynamics set in motion by the short Qur'anic chapters recited in their prayers by Muslims of all traditions, but which are particularly recommended within Shi'i Islam. Dr Shah-Kazemi engages creatively with the chapters of the Qur'an, including the 'Opening' (al-Fatiha) chapter, basing his own philosophical reflections on the teachings of Imam 'Ali. He focuses in particular on the relationship between the moral and the mystical aspects of the texts. The result is a stimulating philosophical meditation probing the depths of meaning comprised within the verses of a Revelation by which the spiritual quest of Muslims has constantly been inspired, nourished and fulfilled.
Reza Shah-Kazemi is a Research Associate at the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London, where he specialises in Sufism, Shi'ism and comparative mysticism. His books include Justice and Remembrance: Introducing the Spirituality of Imam Ali (I.B. Tauris, 2007) Doctrines of Shi'i Islam (I.B. Tauris, 2001) and Avicenna (1997). He has published numerous articles in academic journals.