An English translation of a seminal book on Sufism from a Shi'i perspective by an eminent Muslim thinker.
Kernel of the Kernel is an authoritative work on Sufism from a Shi'i perspective that is not only fascinating, but also contains much practical advice. In addition to providing a theoretical discussion of spiritual wayfaring, it is also the account of a personal fifty-year spiritual journey by Sayyid Muḥammad Ḥusayn Ṭabāṭabā'ī, a renowned Iranian-Shii scholar and spiritual master. In Kernel of the Kernel, Ṭabāṭabā'ī discusses the doctrinal foundations of spiritual wayfaring as well as processes and stages that an aspiring wayfarer must go through in order to attain spiritual realization. He discusses the relation between the exoteric and esoteric aspects of Islam and clearly demonstrates that these inward and outward dimensions of Islam complement each other. The book also provides information on the Quranic origins of Sufism and its special relations with Shi'ism as well as the role of Shi'i Imams in the spiritual realization of a sincere wayfarer.
Sayyid Muḥammad Ḥusayn Ṭabāṭabā'ī (1901–1982) was a prominent Muslim scholar who taught Islamic philosophy, jurisprudence, ethics, and gnosis in the seminaries of Qum, Iran. He is celebrated for the example of his spiritual life and for his spiritual writings. Sayyid Muḥammad Ḥusayn Ḥusaynī Tihrānī (1925–1995) was one of Tabataba'i's most brilliant students. A teacher, eloquent speaker, and prolific writer, his most important works include comprehensive studies on the nature of God, the lives and spiritual status of Shii Imams, and eschatology. Formerly a Professor at the University of Tehran, Mohammad H. Faghfoory is affiliated with George Washington University and the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London.
"Aside from its historical and theological background, the Lubb al-Lubab or Kernel of the Kernel stands by itself as a masterpiece in the field of spirituality and gnosis. While naturally couched in the language and terminology of the Quran and Hadith, it conveys a message of universal order meant for all human beings. " — from the Foreword by Seyyed Hossein Nasr