Culture & Knowledge – Announcing the details of the Biannual Nahj al-Balaghah World Prize for selected books, the head of Nahj al-Balaghah Research Center said, “subject-matters of submitted books should be directly concerned with Nahj al-Balaghah, or should be about cultural aspects of Nahj al-Balaghah at the judgment of the board of referees.”
In an interview with IQNA, Ahmad Pakatchi, the head of Nahj al-Balagha Research Center and the scientific secretary of the prize said in response to a question about the main motivation for the Nahj al-Balaghah Biannual World Prize for Selected Books: “Nahj al-Balaghah is a collection of Amir al-Mu’minin ‘Ali’s sermons, letters, and aphorisms. It is not only a precious work of hadiths and a set of constructive Islamic teachings, but also one of the most important works concerning Arabic literature and a symbol of Arabic rhetoric. The book has since a long time ago been a focus of the attention of Muslim scholars, and after the Quran, it is a religious text most written about. This is because of the special status of Nahj al-Balaghah as a symbol of the Tradition along with the Holy Quran and its comprehensiveness with regard to practical and applied doctrines in the lives of Muslims.
“The significance of Nahj al-Balaghah motivated us to assign this prize in order to propagate the Alawi culture and lofty doctrines of the book more than ever, and Nahj al-Balaghah Research Center, Nahj al-Balaghah Foundation, the Book House, and the Deputy of the Quran and ‘Itrat of the Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance can thus play their role in this regard as the first scholarly-cultural institute,” Pakatchi added.
With regard to the goals of the project, he referred to “the identification of the best works and authors and their proper introduction to the academic community, the encouragement and support of authors of the best books as well as translators, editors, and researchers, the propagation of Alawi lifestyle within the public culture with an introduction of the selected works that can be useful in the field of Nahj al-Balaghah studies, the propagation of the book-reading culture especially books concerning Nahj al-Balaghah and Amir al-Mu’minin (peace be upon him) among all people, and the making of a cultural stream with a network of elite researchers on Alawi doctrines, especially the teachings of Nahj al-Balaghah.”
About the qualifications for participation in the Nahj al-Balaghah Biannual World Prize of Selected Books, the head of Nahj al-Balaghah Research Center and the scientific secretary of the prize said, “subject-matters of submitted works must be directly concerned with Nahj al-Balaghah, or they should concern the cultural domain of Nahj al-Balaghah at the judgment of the board of referees. The submitted works must have been published for the first time within the last 5 years, that is, from 2013 to 2017.”
“Books are refereed and evaluated for this prize only if their authors or publishers fill out registration forms on the website of the prize and then send them together with two copies of the book. Given that the prize is international, works concerning Nahj al-Balaghah in any languages can be accepted,” Pakatchi said.
About the most important criteria for the selection of the best books in this world prize, he said, “the research being focused on a certain problem, its involving analysis and logical inferences, presenting Amir al-Mu’minin’s solutions to the problems of the society in the best possible way, helping the theoretical solidification of the foundations of Imam Ali’s approach to lifestyle, making a positive cultural stream about Imam Ali and Nahj al-Balaghah, and the improvement of the public knowledge of Alawi teachings are the most important criteria for the selection of the best works in this prize.”
“The committees for this prize consist in Alawi teachings with a focus on Nahj al-Balaghah, including both traditional studies of topics and interdisciplinary studies, sciences of Nahj al-Balaghah such as documents, literature, rhetoric, commentaries and bibliography, textual studies of Nahj al-Balaghah including edits of manuscripts and translations,” Pakatchi stated.
He pointed out at the end that “international works will be admitted in each section. Moreover, the most prominent international work, which is effective enough, will be acknowledged and prized.”
The deadline for the submission of works to the prize is November 21, 2018. Those interested can contact the secretariat of the world prize at Shemiran, Qods St., Shariati St., Shahid Bahman Mahmoudi alley, Nahj al-Balaghah Foundation, and the phone numbers (+9821) 22701609 (the secretariat of the prize) and (+9821)22720128 & 22710479 (Nahj al-Balaghah Foundation), or consult the prize’s website at ibbmb.ir.