Lebanese scholar Seyed Sadeq Musavi consulted some 80,000 scholarly works and spent 25 years assembling “the ultimate edition” of the classic collection of the Imam ‘Ali’s sayings, sermons, orations and letters, known as “Nahj Al-Balagha” (The Course of Eloquence). On Thursday, he donated a copy of the elaborately designed and decorated book to Hartford Seminary’s library.
Prof. Mahmoud Ayoub first met Mr. Musavi through Seminary Corporators Dr. Ali Shakibai (pictured above with Librarian Steven Blackburn and Mr. Musavi) and Syed Raza. It was through this association that Mr. Musavi was invited to the seminary to give a talk about his book and research.
“He visited our library and was deeply impressed with it,” Professor Ayoub said. “More than 20 students and faculty participated in this interesting event.”
Mr. Musavi’s book, entitled “Tamam Nahj al-Balagha,” is in the original Arabic. According to Seminary Librarian Steven Blackburn, it is the only work published outside of Iran that has been selected as a basic textbook for training clerics in Shi’i seminaries such as Qom. An English translation is anticipated in the future.
Of the 80,000 scholarly works consulted in the research process, more than 1,200 were found to contain seminal work that Mr. Musavi used to provide reference materials that were missing or incomplete from the original text.