In this short interview, Dr Reza Shah-Kazemi shares his reflections on how the teachings of Imam Ali could inspire an intellectual and rational engagement with the Qu’ran, leading to a fuller and richer understanding of the religious experience.
The 22-minute video interview with Dr Reza Shah-Kazemi on his book, “Spiritual Quest: Reflections on Qur’anic prayer according to the teachings of Imam Ali” features his aspirations for writing the book. In his interview, Dr Shah-Kazemi shares his reflections on how the teachings of Imam Ali could inspire an intellectual and rational engagement with the Qu’ran, leading to a fuller and richer understanding of the religious experience.
The book provides a unique contemporary insight into the spiritual, intellectual and moral dynamics set in motion by the short Qur’anic chapters recited by Muslims of all traditions in their prayers, and specifically examines those recommended amongst Shi‘i communities. Basing his own philosophical reflections on key interpretive principles expressed by Imam Ali, Dr Reza Shah-Kazemi creatively engages with these chapters,.
Q1: How did you select the Qur’anic chapters for this book? 00:08 – 02:07
Q2: In what ways are your reflections on the Qur’an derived from Imam Ali’s teachings? 02:08 – 05:07
Q3: How are the teachings of Imam Ali relevant to an intellectual understanding of the Qur’an? 05:08 – 07:35
Q4: How is the notion of Tanzil (descent of God’s message) distinct from that of Tajalli (Gods’ manifestation). 07:36 – 09:36
Q5: Why have you chosen surah al-Fatiha for detailed reflection? 09:37 – 15:28
Q6: Surah al-Insan, unlike other surahs in the book, is a long one. Why did you choose this Surah? 15:29 – 19:24
Q7: What are your concluding thoughts about the book? 19:25 – 22:17