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A Shi'i Sunni dialogue

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Author  Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi
Similar  Then I was Guided, Peshawar Nights, Kitab al‑Kafi, Ask Those Who Know, Al‑Ghadir

A Shiʼi-Sunni dialogue also translated as The Right Path is a book written by the Lebanese Shiʼa Muslim cleric and religious authority Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi in Arabic as al-Murājaʿāt (Arabic: المراجعات), then it has been translated to more than ten languages including English.


Although there is absolutely no evidence of being real, the author says he visited Egypt on 1913, and met Shaykh Salim al-Bishri, who was the head of Al-Azhar University, and had long discussions with him regarding controversial issues between the Shia Muslims and the Sunni Muslims. The outcome of their discussions and long correspondence resulted in this book, which is highly recognized and circulated among Shia Muslims. Sunni Muslims totally reject the authenticity of the book and consider it as an insult to sheikh Salim al-Bishri who was dead when the book was published decades after the dialogue supposedly took place.

Shia view the book as being one of the best known books in Islamic studies due to its objective approach, depth, concise language and the strength of its arguments.

Sunni view the book as being fake, an invention by his author from beginning to end. Author says in the introduction of the book that the originals of the letters are lost. Sources from University of al-Azhar and Salim al-Bishri's family have consistently denied the authenticity of the work.


Sunni view: Even when it is called a dialogue by the shia author, the book itself is not a dialogue as aprox. 95% of the words are said by the shia scholar. The supposed sunni scholar limits himself to ask questions showing his ignorance and from time to time shows how amazed he is about the great knowledge of the shia.Therefore a monologue would be a more appropriate way to call this book.

Shia view: The book takes the form of a collection of a series of written communications between Sayyid Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi (signing with the first letter of his name 'Sh') and Shaykh Salim al-Bishri (signing with the letter 'S') (the letters sh and s also possibly allude to the shia-sunni nature of the dialogue). The book is particularly unique due to combining:

1) The authors relate their thoughts in a very academic yet respectful manner. Very occasionally, the dialogue turns heated, which is only expected given the nature of the topic under discussion, yet that only leads to more interesting and fruitful discussions.

2) The book is written in a highly elegant manner, making use of literary references, in contrast with numerous other books in this area wherein the arguments are typically presented in monotonic, putely academic tones.

3) Due to the colloquial nature of the communications, the discussions take unexpected turns and are filled with notes that are not commonly encountered in this area.

4) The author has provided informative footnotes/references to the original letters.


  • It is translated from the Arabic by Yasin T. al-Jibouri and published in May 1994 by the Imam Husayn (as) Islamic Foundation, Beirut, Lebanon.
  • Ansariyan Publications published it in 2001 then in 2005 then in 2008
  • World Federation of KSI Muslim Communities
  • References

    A Shi'i-Sunni dialogue Wikipedia

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