About ShiaGnosis

ShiaGnosis is a religious publication dedicated to disseminating in an academically informed manner the true substance of Shia tradition.  Islam as represented by the Shia faith has developed a rich and dynamic scholarly tradition encompassing a wide range of disciplines.  Unfortunately, due to the pervasive misinformation and, often, disinformation resulting in large part from adverse political motives, the West has as yet failed to appreciate the true depth of Shia morality, spirituality, and intellectuality.

Compelled by a genuine belief in human understanding, we believe that we can overcome the false barriers erected by demonic forces whose interests call for the clash of civilizations.  We believe that mutual understanding is possible, and there are many shared values and doctrines that Islam, Christianity, and Judaism share.  It is in light of this shared substance, which has its roots ultimately in the human being’s divine nature, that genuine discourse between the faiths is possible.

The Shia faith has since the advent of Islam served as a rich matrix within which a wealth of scholarly disciplines have come to fruition.  Philosophy, mysticism, the natural sciences, psychology, ethics, mathematics are some of the disciplines that flourished in the Shia community as the result of the encouragements of religious authorities who persistently reminded the devout and pious believers of the inherent as well as the practical value of knowledge.

Prophet Muhammad immortalized the Islamic viewpoint on the nature and validity of human knowledge in his eternal commandment:

“Seek knowledge even if it takes you to China, for indeed seeking knowledge is an obligation on every Muslim.”[1]

(China was then the most distant civilization and was thus considered the end of the world.)

Imam Ali, commonly referred to by his singular honorific “the Master of the Faithful,” famously said,

“Knowledge is power,”[2]

many centuries before Francis Bacon made a similar assertion.

ShiaGnosis is a small and humble yet highly motivated attempt at introducing and disseminating those branches of the Shia scholarly tradition that fall within the purview of what we today call the humanities.  Though a fledgling publication, we at ShiaGnosis are eager to move forward and to present profound and accurate works that adequately reflect the rich heritage the Shia faith encompasses.  We hope that in so doing we will show to the unbiased readership in the West – the academics and the laypeople alike – the truly universal message of Shia Islam and the values that it has strove to preserve and pass on, often in spite of stifling persecution, in the course of the past 14 centuries.

[1] Fattal Nayshaburi, Rawzah al-wa’ezin, vol. 1, p. 11.

[2] Ibn Abi al-Hadid, Sharh nahj al-balaghah, vol. 20, p. 319.