Prof. Dr Johan ter Haar has held the Chair of Persian Language and Literature and the Cultural History of Iran at Leiden University. His specializations include mystical Islam (Sufism) and Shia Islam. Prof. Ter Haar is the author of, among other works, Follower and Heir of the Prophet. Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi (1564-1624) as Mystic (Leiden, 1992) en Volgelingen van de imam. Een kennismaking met de sji’itische islam (Amsterdam, 1995). He is also the author of a Persian grammar in Dutch, Een Perzische grammatica (Amsterdam, 1996, 1999) and translated one of the most popular novels written in modern Iran, written by Simin Danesjwar, into Dutch, Het offer (Amsterdam, 1995).