A Short Introduction
By Murtaza Mutahhari
This short introduction to ‘irfan is part of the author’s book Ashna’i ba ‘Ulum Islami (An Introduction to the Islamic Sciences). ‘Irfan, also known as tasawwuf (Sufism), is one of the disciplines that originated within the realm of Islamic culture and developed there to attain a high level of sophistication. This book examines ‘irfan as both a scientific and academic discipline and branch among the branches of Islam’s scientific culture and does not deal with its social and sectarian aspects. More specifically, it explores its beliefs, practices, different parts (Shariah, tariqah and haqiqah) and its major practitioners throughout the history of Islam.
Murtaza Mutahhari (1919-1979) was one of the most dynamic and effective scholars of recent times. Born in Khurasan, he studied under the great masters of his era. He has over 23 seminal works to his credit and ranks among one of the greatest Muslim revolutionary intellectuals. The activities of this scholar were intolerable for the followers of atheistic schools, which led to his assassination. His death was indeed a great tragedy to the intellectual world.