Imam 'Ali: From Concise History to Timeless Mystery
The life of 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, fourth caliph of early Islam and fountainhead of Shi'ite and Sufi lineages, "...is both inspirational and controversial: intrinsically inspirational and extrinsically controversial." These words set the tone for what is an detailed and penetrating view of the figure of Imam 'Ali on various planes, the spiritual and ethical, the individual, the political, and social.
This book may be too Shi’a for some Sunnis, and too Sunni for some Shi’a, and it may be too political for some, and too spiritual for others, and so its main value lies precisely in a higher perspective where it reveals harmony, in a keen vision of the forces of tawhid, the drive to union, alive at the centre of historical events as in the hearts of men. It will have a cathartic effect upon the many, Sunnis and Shias alike, who wish to see ‘Ali as a fountainhead of unity in Islam, not as a source of division. It makes accessible to both Muslims and non-Muslims the treasures of loving mercy flowing from ‘Ali, a global paragon of initiatic wisdom. - From the Editor’s Preface