Laleh Bakhtiar holds a BA in History, MA degrees in Philosophy and Counseling Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology. Bakhtiar is a Licensed Professional Psychotherapist in Illinois. She also taught at the University of Chicago. She is co-author of A Sense of Unity: The Sufi Tradition in Persian Architecture (2000) and author of SUFI: Expressions of the Mystic Quest (1976), as well as a three volume work, God’s Will Be Done (1993, 1994, 1994), on moral healing, and 15 other books on various aspects of Islam, and is the leading authority on spiritual chivalry, most clearly expressed in the Sufi Enneagram (2013).
Bakhtiar is the first woman to present a critical translation of the Quran in any language. In her Sublime Quran (2007) translation she interprets the controversial verse that has led to domestic violence in the Islamic community to the way the Prophet understood it. Instead of husbands being allowed to beat their wives, she translates: “husbands should go away from their wives,” let the anger subside, and then consult with one another. Her translation has been introduced into evidence in child custody cases in the United States.