Misbah al-Shari’ah


‘Allamah Hasan Mustafawi, “Misbah al-Shari‘ah: A Commentary on Misbah al-Shari‘ah (Lantern of the Path) Attributed to Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq (‘a),” trans. Mansoor Limba (, 2020), 564 pages.

This treatise is a commentary on Misbah al-Shari‘ah (Lantern of the Path) attributed to Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq (‘a), which is written by His Eminence ‘Allamah Hasan Mustafawi, who was himself a man of divine gnosis and mystical knowledge. For citation purposes, this commentary is conspicuously and amply embellished with relevant elegant Persian poetical lines.

As a classic text on the science of ethics (‘ilm al-akhlaq) and purification of the soul (tazkiyyat al-nafs), Misbah al-Shari‘ah covers a wide range of subjects that include:

  • degrees of the heart’s secrets; intention (niyyah); remembrance (dhikr); gratitude (shukr); God-wariness (taqwa’); remembrance of death; reckoning; entrustment; certainty (yaqin); fear and hope; being pleasing and pleased (rida’); gnosis (ma‘rifah); love of God and love for His sake; yearning; wisdom; the essence of servanthood (‘ubudiyyah);
  • garment; toothstick (miswak); using the lavatory; purification (taharah); leaving one’s home; entering the mosque; eating and drinking; walking and lowering the gaze; sleeping and rest; sociability; speech;
  • different actions in the ritual prayer; fasting; pilgrimage; charity; physical wellbeing; seclusion; worship; reflection; silence; contentment; greed; abstinence; piety; heedfulness;
  • generosity; brotherhood; consultation; forbearance; humility; following a model; pardon; exemplary character; knowledge; recognizing the prophets, guides (a’immah), and companions (sahabah); honoring the believers;
  • goodness to parents; exhortation; admonition; truthfulness; trust in God (tawakkul); sincerity; acknowledgment of ignorance; repentance; struggle and self-discipline; tribulation; patience; sorrow; modesty;
  • arrogance; hypocrisy; reason and desire; satanic insinuation (waswasah); self-admiration (‘ujb); praising and reproaching; disputation; backbiting; showing off; envy and covetousness; corruption; false claim; giving judgment; enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil; and blemish of scholars and Qur’an reciters.


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