Author: Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar
Publisher: Kazi Publications (March 2007)
Pages: 710 Binding: Paperback
Description from the publisher:
Biography of Laleh Bakhtiar, Ph.D.
As I am unlettered, so to speak, in modern Arabic, I relied upon my many years oftutoring in classical Quranic Arabic grammar. It was at that time that I had becomefamiliar with the al-Mu jim al-mufahris: al-lafad al-quran al-karim (ArabicConcordance). The Arabic Concordance lists every Arabic root and its derivative(s)found in the Quran as verbs, nouns and some particles (adverbs, prepositions,conjunctions or interjections). Each time a specific word appears, the relevant part of theverse containing that word is quoted with reference to Chapter and Sign (verse). They arelisted under their three-letter or four-letter roots. I transliterated the words according tothe system of transliteration developed by the American Library Association/ Library ofCongress 1997 Romanization Tables in preparing an accompanying Concordance. I thenfound a viable English equivalent that I would not repeat for another Arabic word. Ifound that there are 3600+ different Arabic verbs and nouns, excluding mostprepositions, that appear at least one time in the Quran. Only in some 50+ cases was itnecessary to use the same English word twice for two different Arabic words. Forexample, there are two different Arabic words for parents, or the number “three,” or theword “year,” and three for the word “time.”At this point I should say that there will be those who see me as a person having aparticular Muslim point of view. Let me assure the reader that I am most certainly aMuslim woman. I have been schooled in Sufism which includes both the Jafari (Shia) andHanafi, Hanbali, Maliki and Shafii (Sunni) points of view. As an adult, I lived nine yearsin a Jafari community in Iran and have been living in a Hanafi community in Chicago forthe past fifteen years with Maliki and Shafii friends. While I understand the positions ofeach group, I do not represent any specific one as I find living in America makes itdifficult enough to be a Muslim, much less to choose to follow one sect or another.However in this translation I have not added any indication of differences ininterpretation between the sects so that it does represent the majority view. At the sametime, I have chosen to continuously engage in the greater struggle of self-improvement.This is the beginning stage of the Sufi path and I cannot even claim that I have movedbeyond that. God knows best.I grew up in the United States with a single parent, a Christian, American mother.My father, an Iranian, lived in Iran. I was an adult before I came to know him. He wasnot religious, but spiritual, devoting his life as a physician to help to heal the suffering ofpeople.My mother was not a Catholic, but she sent me to a Catholic school. At the age ofeight I wanted to become a Catholic, to which she had no objection. When I was twenty-four, I went to Iran for the first time as an adult, not speaking a word of Persian, with myformer husband and our children. I began taking classes taught in English at TehranUniversity. The classes on Islamic culture and civilization were being taught by SeyyedHossein Nasr. One day he asked me what religion I followed, and I said that I had beenbrought up as a Christian. He said: Well, now that you are in Iran and your father isMuslim, everyone will expect you to be Muslim. I said: I don’t know anything aboutIslam. He said: Well, learn! And that was the beginning of my journey culminating in thistranslation.