Never before has it been more important to attain the valuable knowledge bestowed upon us through the Holy Qur’an and teachings of the Holy Ahl ul Bayt(a). With this objective in mind the Custodians of the holy shrine of Imam Redha(a) (The eighth Imam of Shia school of thought) in Iran established the Islamic Research Foundation in 1984. The foundation is a non-profit institution and offshoot of the holy shrine. This year it celebrates its 31st anniversary. The foundation comprises 22 research departments with numerous cultural achievements already under its belt. By recruiting expert scholars and researchers, the Islamic Research Foundation has carried out intensive studies in Islamic sciences and humanities. Bearing in mind the importance of top quality researchers, the foundation is constantly on the lookout for new researchers and translators to carry out translation and editing of scriptural texts. Acknowledging the importance of enhancing the scientific capability of the researchers the foundation provides scholarship opportunities for its researchers in scientific organisations within Iran and abroad. At a more academic level the Islamic Research Foundation has so far conducted six international congresses and more than 70 seminars as well as cooperating and participating in seminars within the country and abroad. The foundation is also a familiar face in the world of publication. In its 30 years of activities it has published over 1698 titles in 3387 volumes of which at least 92 titles have received meritorious distinction and awards from research institutes, universities and Islamic seminaries. Almost 1656 of its volumes have been reprinted a second time or more. They include the leading Islamic quarterly in Persian, Mishkat and the largest Persian selling annual diary Quds Diary, both mainstays of the foundation for the last two decades. The foundation’s comprehensive research on the Nahjul Balagha [Sermons, Letters and Sayings of Imam Ali(a)] is one of the treasured works of this organisation. A large group of specially selected researchers from the Islamic seminary (Hawza) and universities have lovingly worked on this project. The foundation’s published work has so far surpassed the figure of 12.8 million copies which has placed the organisation among the most distinguished international research institutions and publishers.
The foundation’s research departments are Theology and Islamic Philosophy; Geography of Islamic Countries and Astronomy; European Languages Translation; Children and Young Adults’ Literature and can be considered its spinal cord. Some of these departments are responsible for works such as the great Encyclopaedia of the Lexicon of the Holy Qur’an that by far is the greatest work that the Foundation has ever undertaken. The encyclopaedia ‘Al-Mojam fi Fiqh Lughat al-Qur’an wa Sirr Balagha’, is currently being compiled by nearly 20 scholars and the final work is expected to reach as many as 60 volumes. On the other hand the departments of Biography and Genealogy have jointly conducted five national-level seminars with different organisations elucidating the lives of the prominent Ulama and religious personalities. This department has recently launched its exclusive website titled ‘Derakht-e-Tooba’ (The Blessed Tree) introducing the great personalities of Islam.
Research Project in Comparative Islamic Jurisprudence
Research and editing of the famous work of the Shi’i scholar Allamah Hilli (648-726 A.H.) ‘Muntaha al-Matlab fi Tahqiq al-Mazhab’ is one of the most valuable works in comparative Islamic Jurisprudence. With twenty-three years of non-stop efforts by researchers from the Islamic Hawza (seminary) this department has successfully accomplished the research and edit of this book. This book contains both the Shi’i and Sunni jurisprudents’ views in detail and also consists of contemporaneous jurisprudence issues. This work is published in 15 volumes. Another major achievement of the foundation is the compilation of the Encyclopaedia of Imam Husayn(a). The compilation of this comprehensive encyclopaedia is the joint endeavour of 50 research scholars and took seven years to accomplish. The encyclopaedia includes 3000 entries and 1300 articles covering 44 subjects. They comprise an annotated bibliography of 4000 books written on the life of Imam Husayn(a) together with the Holy Ahlul Bait genealogical tree; the historical journey of Imam Husayn(a) from Madina to Karbala; audio, pictures and videos of elegies and Maqtal-khwani (Reading the book of martyrdom of Husayn(a)) in Arabic, Persian and Turkish, in addition to 800 entries on the sayings of Imam Husayn(a) and detailed views of the Sunni scholars on the martyrdom of the Imam. A DVD of the encyclopaedia was released in November 2012.
Islamic Research Foundation has successfully organised two international seminars in the field of Islamic Economics and has presented articles in Persian, Arabic and English in this field. In addition to this, it has produced a book on ‘the Islamic Economics Texts in the Holy Qur’an, Sunnah and the views of the jurisprudents’ in 16 volumes.
Seminars and Congresses
In order to develop the expertise in its fields The Islamic Research Foundation has organised various seminars and congresses such as the International Seminar on Geography of Islamic Countries in 1985; Seminar on Rural Migration in 1986; International Seminar on Silk Road with the cooperation of UNESCO, in 1990; The Congress of Books and Libraries on Islamic Civilisation in 1995 and finally the Imam Ali(a) Conference Al-Ghadeer and Islamic Unity, in 2001. An International Congress of Waqf (Endowment) is on the horizon. The Islamic Research Foundation has made it its duty and aim to explore all roads in attaining and spreading the knowledge of the Qur’an and the Holy Ahl ul Bayt(a) and in this respect invites international scholars and researchers in Islamic Studies [Quranic studies] to collaborate in its work.
Contact Information: Islamic Research Foundation,
Tabarsi Underpass, Adjoined to the Holy Shrine of Imam Redha(a)
P. O. Box: 91735-366 Mashhad – IRAN
Tel No: 0098-51-32232501-10
Fax No: 0098-51-32230005