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What is in al-Kafi?

 What is in al-Kafi?

The contents of al-Kafi are precious gifts from Ahl al-Bayt (the fourteen infallible family members of Prophet Muhammad, (Divine Supreme Covenant Body) to their followers.

Each piece is as valuable as the wealth of the whole world. In this volume (vol. 1 of 8) there are about fourteen hundred pieces of such costly items but in the form of Hadith. Based on the above, one can imagine the value of this precious gift from Ahl al-Bayt DivineSupremeCovenantBody) to their followers.

The followers and supporters of Ahl al-Bayt DivineSupremeCovenantBody) would not dispute that such Ahadith are generous gifts to them.

The value of each item of such gift is mentioned in a Hadith from Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq (DivineSupremeCovenantBody). He has said, “One Hadith about the lawful and unlawful matters that you may receive is better for you than the whole world and all that it contains.”

How would an individual accept that these items are really worth so much?

As a translator, for what I know of therein, I would only ask, “Have you opened the gift yet?”

If the answer would be negative one would ask, “How would you know the contents of the package and the value of the items therein? ”

The above statements are facts. They are not mere assumptions. The value of the gift is real and the way to find such value is also realistic and logical. Simply open up your gift and check it out thoroughly. You will never agree to sell it for less than the stated value.

The Source of Hadith

The following Hadith, in addition to other valuable information therein, also makes it possible for one to learn about the source and emergence of Hadith.

“A number of our people have narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad, from ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Hajjal, from Ahmad ibn ‘Umar al-Halabi, from abu Basir who has said the following:

‘Once I went to see abu ‘Abd Allah (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) and said to him, “May Allah take my soul in service for your cause, I would like to ask you a question. Is there anyone else in this house who may hear my words?’”

The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) then folded the curtain between his room and the next room and looked into it. Then the Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, “O abu Muhammad, ask whatever you wish.”

I said, “May Allah take my soul in service for your cause, your followers say that the Messenger of Allah taught Ali (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) a thousand chapters of knowledge and from each chapter there opened a thousand chapters. I then said, “This, I swear by Allah, is knowledge.” He would mark the ground with his staff (perhaps a sign of thinking) for a while. He then said, “That is knowledge but it is not that.” The narrator has said that the Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, “O abu Muhammad, with us there is al-Jami‘a. Do they know what al-Jami‘a is?”

I asked, “May Allah take my soul in service for your cause. What is al-Jami‘a?”

The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, “It is a parchment seventy yards long by the yards of the Messenger of Allah. It contains his dictations from his very own mouth that are recorded onto it in the handwriting of Ali (DivineSupremeCovenantBody). It contains all the lawful and unlawful, and all matters that people need. Even the law of compensation for a scratch caused to a person.” He then extended his hand towards me and asked, “May I, O abu Muhammad?” I replied, “May Allah take my soul in service for your cause, I am entirely at your disposal.” He pinched me with his hand and said, “The law of compensation, even for this much, is included therein.” He seemed angry. I said, “This, I swear by Allah is knowledge.”

The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, “It certainly is knowledge but not that one.” The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) remained silent for a while and then said, “With us there is al-Jafr. Do they know what al-Jafr is?”

I asked, “What is al-Jafr?”

The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, “It is a container made of skin that contains the knowledge of the prophets and the executors of their wills. It is the knowledge of the scholars in the past from the Israelites.”

I said, “This certainly, is the knowledge.”

The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, “It certainly is knowledge but not that knowledge.” The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) remained silent for a while and then said, “With us there is the book (Mushaf) of Fatima, (DivineSupremeCovenantBody). Do they know what Mushaf of Fatima is?” The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, “Mushaf of Fatima is three times bigger than your Quran. There is not even a single letter therein from your Quran.”

I then said, “This, I swear by Allah, is the knowledge.”

The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, “This certainly is knowledge, but it is not that.” The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) remained silent for a while and then said, “With us there is the knowledge of whatever has been, and the knowledge of everything that will come into being to the Day of Judgment.”

I said, “May Allah take my soul in service for your cause. This, I swear by Allah, certainly, is the knowledge.”

The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, “It certainly is knowledge but not that knowledge.”

I asked, “May Allah take my soul in service for your cause. What is the knowledge?”

The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, “It is whatever takes place during the night and during the day, one matter after the other matter, and one thing after the other to the Day of Judgment.” (Al-Kafi Vol. 1, H614, Ch. 40, h1)

 

Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from ‘Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Isa from al-Hassan ibn Mahbub from Ali ibn Ri’ab from Sadir al-Sayrafi who has said the following.

“I heard Humran ibn A‘yan ask abu Ja‘far (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) about the words of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High Allah, ‘ . . . One Who is the Originator of the heavens and the earth . . .” (6:101) Abu Ja‘far (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, “Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, originated all things through His knowledge. It was unprecedented. He invented the heavens and earth and there were no heavens and earths before. Have you not considered the words of Allah, ” . . .His Throne existed on water . . .” (11:7)

Humran then said, “Have you considered His words, Majestic is Whose name, ‘He knows the unseen and He does not allow anyone to know His secrets . . .” (72:26)

Abu Ja‘far (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) then said, ” . . . except those of His Messengers whom He chooses. (72:26) Muhammad (DivineSupremeCovenantBody), I swear by Allah, was one of those whom Allah had chosen. However, there are His words, “He knows the hidden facts.” The fact that Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, knows what is hidden from His creatures of the things that He measures and determines and decrees in His knowledge before creating it and before assigning to the angels, it is because of the following. O Humran, there is the knowledge withheld before Him in which He has a wish. He then decrees it when He wills. Bada’ may take place in it and He then will not decree it. The knowledge that, however, Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, measures and determines and approves is the knowledge that reaches the Messenger of Allah and then it reaches us.” (H664, Ch. 45, h2)

This remarkable Hadith takes the word ‘impossible’ out of the dictionary of the created world. It simply states that once Allah creates a thing or things it or they comes/ come in public then if one would have the means he may know what it is or what they are and the Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) has said, “We know them all”. Note the end of previous Hadith, “I then asked, “May Allah take my soul in service for your cause. What is the knowledge?”

The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, “It is whatever takes place during the night and during the day, one matter after the other matter, and one thing after the other to the Day of Judgment.”

No one has so far, in the history of man, has come up with such a statement.

The Subjects

This volume of al-Kafi in terms of the nature of the subjects consists of the following main topics therein.

  1. Intelligence and Knowledge
  2. Allah, the Creator and the Guardian of all things
  3. People to who Allah has given the Authority and means to be the guardian over His creatures.

Al-Kafi is not a book independent of the Holy Quran. This volume simply provides beautiful details of the above matters as they are mentioned in various passages and verses of the Holy Quran.

Oneness of Allah

Part three of al-Kafi, volume one contains elaborate details of chapter 112 of the Holy Quran and other such passages therein.

Intelligence

“No one can have faith without the permission of Allah. Allah will cast down filth on those who have no understanding (unintelligent people).” (10:100)

“These are parables which We tell to human being, but only the learned ones understand them (Intelligent people). ” (29:43)

“Allah has made the day and the night, the sun and the moon, and all the stars subservient to you by His command. In this there is evidence of the truth for people of understanding (Intelligent people).” (16:12)

 

The Lord, His Guardianship and Leadership with Divine Authority

“Allah is the Waliy (Guardian) of the believers and it is He who takes them out of darkness into light. The Devil is the Waliy (guardian) of those who deny the Truth and he leads them from light to darkness. These are the dwellers of hell wherein they will live forever.” (2:257)

“Only Allah, His Messenger, and the true believers who are steadfast in prayer and pay alms, while they kneel during prayer, are your Waliy (guardians) (5:55). One whose Waliy (guardians) are Allah, His Messenger, and the true believers should know that Allah’s party will certainly triumph.” (5:56)

Thus, this volume of al-Kafi is about Allah, and His Wilaya (guardianship), about the people who possess Divine authority and their Wilaya (guardianship) and about intelligence and knowledge.

What should one look for in Al-Kafi?

In the following hadith there is a prayer that helps one to know what one should look for in this volume of al-Kafi. The hadith is from the chapter that deals with the issues in the absence of the Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) (Leader with Divine Authority).

“Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from al-Hassan ibn Musa al-Khashshab from ‘Abd Allah ibn Musa from ‘Abd Allah ibn Bukayr from Zurara who has said the following.

” . . . He is the one whose reappearance is expected. The fact is that Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Gracious, loves to try and test the Shi‘a (his followers). It is in such a condition that people of falsehood will raise doubts, O Zurara).”

The narrator has said, “I then said, ‘May Allah take my soul in service for your cause, if I will be alive at such time, expecting his rise with Divine power, what should I do?’” The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, “O Zurara, if you will live up to such time then say the following prayer. “O Lord make me know You for if You would not make me know You, I will not know Your prophet. O Lord, make me know Your Messenger, for if You would not make me know Your Messenger, I will not know the one who possesses Your authority over the creatures. O Lord make me know the one who possesses Your authority over the creatures for if You will not make me know him I will stray away from my religion . . ..” (H 869, Ch. . 80, h 5)

This volume of al-Kafi, which is about seven hundred pages, can be considered a text of an interview with a person who possesses Divine authority. It is an established fact that the words of Ahl al-Bayt Allah’SupremeCovenantBody, are in complete harmony. An interview with any one of them would serve as an interview with all and every one of them. To have an interview of that many words as those in this volume provides one a very good chance to know the personality of the person interviewed. Thus, it could serve as the answer to the prayer at the end of hadith quoted above, ” . . . O Lord make me know the one who possesses Your authority over the creatures for if You will not make me know him I will stray away from my religion . . .”(H 869, Ch. .80, h 5)

You may be better off to open your gift and yourself examine. Keep in mind that the gift is very large. Knowing Allah and those who possess Divine authority is much more valuable than all the worldly things.

 

Muhammad Sarwar

New York

8/15/99

 

Abbreviations, conventions, special terms and symbols

A Work of the nature of al-kafi would require a great deal of the use of special terms, conventions and symbols. The translation work is still in progress. Of the available explanations the following are a few.

‘Allah’SupremeCovenantBody’

The Holy Ahl al-Bayt, the Holy Prophet and the thirteen other Holy persons, the twelve Imams and Fatima al-Zahra are infallible people. In the case of the infallible personalities, after their names, titles or titles such as Arabic words ‘abu’ or ‘ibn’, meaning father or son of so and so, the expression ‘Allah’SupremeCovenantBody’ is used in this translation. To conserve space between the words is deleted and the print size is made smaller. In English the use of words such as ‘peace be on him /upon them etc.’ has been a usual practice. The replacement of such expression in this translation is because of Hadith 39 of chapter 111, part four, al-Kafi vol. 1. According to the usual practice ‘peace be on him’, expresses a form of prayer. However, ‘ A member of Allah’s Supreme Covenant Body’ is the mention of a special entitlement in Divine Providence and a prominent position.

Hadith its plural Ahadith

The literal meaning of this term is a statement, conversation, a report or something new.

In the Islamic literature it sometimes is used to replace the word ‘Sunnah’. The Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad and the other infallible personalities consists of three issues.

  1. Their statements
  2. Their deeds
  3. Their approval or disapproval of a certain act, practice or statements.

 

Good news for Visitors of Islamic Seminary homepage

The availability on this web-site of the translations of the Holy Quran, the Islamic practical laws and ‘Usul al-Kafi has made it possible to create a comprehensive link to make understanding of the Islamic system much easier.

The principles of belief (al-’Usul) and the practical laws (al-Furu’) which are stated in the Holy Quran in concise form and in principle now in an itemized form can be linked to the appropriate explanations in Hadith and in Fiqh. This will save a great deal of time and will provide a much easier approach to various topics. However, The work is in progress. We apologize for the shortcomings and appreciate all helpful comments.

Introduction

(To the Arabic version)

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Hadith (Texts of guidance from the Holy Prophet and the Imams (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) In the Shi ‘a Muslim community

The first collection of hadith (Texts of guidance from the Holy Prophet and the Imams (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) ever recorded in a book form was the book of Ali ibn abu Talib (DivineSupremeCovenantBody). The Holy Prophet (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) would himself dictate the text of Shari ‘a and Imam Ali (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) would write them down. This book is the text of Shari‘a in details (of what is in principles in the Holy Quran).

This is stated in al-Kafi as follows:

“A number of our people have narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad, from ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Hajjal, from Ahmad ibn ‘Umar al-Halabi, from abu Basir who has said the following:

I went to see abu ‘Abd Allah (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) and said to him, “May Allah take my soul in service for your cause, I would like to ask you a question. Is there anyone else in this house who may hear my words?”

The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) then folded the curtain between his room and the next room and looked into it. Then the Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, “O abu Muhammad, ask whatever you wish.”

I said, “May Allah take my soul in service for your cause, your followers say that the Messenger of Allah taught Ali (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) a thousand chapters of knowledge and from each chapter there opened a thousand chapters. I then said, “This, I swear by Allah, is knowledge.” He would mark the ground with his staff (a sign of thinking) for a while. He then said, “That is knowledge but it is not that.” The narrator has said that the Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) then said, “O abu Muhammad, with us there is al-Jami‘a. Do they know what al-Jami‘a is?”

I then asked, “May Allah take my soul in service for your cause. What is al-Jami‘a?”

The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, “It is a parchment seventy yards long by the yards of the Messenger of Allah. It contains his dictations that are engraved onto it in the handwriting of Ali (DivineSupremeCovenantBody). It contains all the lawful and unlawful, and all matters that people need. Even the law of compensation for a scratch caused to a person.” He then stretched his hand toward me and asked, “May I, O abu Muhammad?” I then replied, “May Allah take my soul in service for your cause, I am entirely at your disposal.” He pinched me with his hand and said, “The law of compensation for this much is included therein.” He seemed angry. I then said, “This, I swear by Allah is knowledge.”

The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, “It certainly is knowledge but not that one.” The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) remained silent for a while and then said, “With us there is al-Jafr. Do they know what al-Jafr is?”

I then asked, “What is al-Jafr?”

The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, “It is a container made of skin that contains the knowledge of the prophets and the executors of their wills. It is the knowledge of the scholars in the past from the Israelites.”

I then said, “This certainly, is the knowledge.”

The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, “It certainly is knowledge but not that knowledge.” The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) remained silent for a while and then said, “With us there is the book (Mushaf) of Fatima, (DivineSupremeCovenantBody). Do they know what Mushaf of Fatima is?” The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, “Mushaf of Fatima is three times bigger than your Quran. There is not even a single letter therein from your Quran.”

I then said, “This, I swear by Allah, is the knowledge.”

The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, “This certainly is knowledge, but it is not that.” The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) remained silent for a while and then said, “With us there is the knowledge of whatever has been, and the knowledge of everything that will come into being to the Day of Judgment.”

I then said, “May Allah take my soul in service for your cause. This, I swear by Allah, is certainly knowledge.”

The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, “It certainly is knowledge but not that knowledge.”

I then asked, “May Allah take my soul in service for your cause. What is the knowledge?”

The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, “It is whatever takes place during the night and during the day, one matter after the other matter, and one thing after the other to the Day of Judgment.”

The second collection of hadith is what is called the book on al-Diyat (laws that deal with compensations and restitution. He would hang this book by the holster of his sword.

(Al-Bukhari has quoted from it in his collection of hadith.

One other collection of Hadith is that of abu Rafi‘ al-Qibti, a devoted follower of Imam Ali (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) The Holy Prophet had set abu Rafi‘ free from slavery. He called this collection Kitab al-Sunan wa al-Ahkam wa al-Qadaya (the book of laws, rules and judicial matters).

Thereafter there appeared various collections of Hadith in various forms.

The most important among these collections are:

 

  • Al-Kafi of al-Kulayni (D. 329/941)
  • Man la Yahduruhu al-Faqih, of al-Shaykh al-Saduq, abu Ja‘far Muhammad ibn Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Babawayh al-Qummi (306/919-381/991)
  • AlTahdhib al-Ahkam and al-Istibsar of al-Shaykh abu Ja‘far Muhammad ibn al-Husayn al-Tusi (385/995 – 460/ 1076)
  • Jami‘ al-Akhbar fi ’Idah al-Istibsar of al-Shaykh ‘Abd al-Latif ibn abu Jami‘ al-Harithi al-Hamdani al-‘Amili, a student of Shaykh al-Baha’ al-‘Amili (d. 1050/1640)
  • Al-Wafi of Muhammad Muhsin Fayd-e Kashani (1010/ 1599 – 1091/1690)
  • Tafsil Wasa’il al-Shi‘a ’Ila tahsil masa’il al-Shari‘a of Muhammad ibn al-Hassan al-Hurr al-‘Amili (1033/1625/1104/1693)

 

    1. Bihar al-Anwar, a collection of precious Ahadith of Ahl al-Bayt (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) of Muhammad Baqir ibn Muhammad Taqi al-Majlisi (1037/ 1928-1111/1700)

 

  • Al-‘Awalim (in 100 volumes) of Shaykh ‘Abd Allah ibn Nur Allah al-Bahrani (contemporary of al-Majlisi)
  • Al-Shifa fi hadith Al al-Mustafa of Shaykh Muhammad Rida ibn ‘Abd al-Latif Tabrizi (D.1158/1745)
  • Jami‘ al-Ahkam (in several volumes) of al-Sayyid ‘Abd Allah ibn Muhammad Rida Shubbar (1188/1774 – 1242/1827)
  • Mustadrak al-Wasa’il wa Mustanbat, al-Masa’il of al-Hajj Mirza Husayn ibn Muhammad Taqi al-Nuri Tabarsi (1254/ 1838 – 1320/1902)

 

The Shi‘a scholars had always paid proper attention to the collection, preservation and protection of Hadith throughout the history of this noble literature.

Abu Ja‘far Muhammad ibn Jarir ibn Rustsam al-Tabari, in his works Dala’il al-’Imama has said the following. “A man, once, came to Fatima (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) and asked, ‘O daughter of the Messenger of Allah, has the Holy Prophet left anything with you (of hadith) you could show me?’” She called her housemaid to bring the scroll. The housemaid had difficulty to find it out. Fatima (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, “Find it out. It is as dear to me as al-Hassan and al-Husayn.” The housemaid brought the scroll in a package and in it, of hadith, one read as follows: “Muhammad (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) the Holy Prophet has said, “One whose neighbor would not feel safe from his harms is not of the true believers. One who believes in Allah and the Day of Judgment he must not harm his neighbor. One who believes in Allah and the Day of judgment says good or remains silent. Allah loves the doer of good, the forbearing and the chaste people. He dislikes those who spread evil, the avaricious, the covetous and haughty. Bashfulness is a sign of good faith and the place of faith is in paradise. Spreading evil is meanness and the place of meanness is hellfire.”

Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said to Jabir, “O Jabir, by Allah, one hadith that you would find from an authentic source about lawful or unlawful matters is better for you than everything over which the sun shines from dawn to dusk.

Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) has said, “A hadith about the lawful and unlawful matters that you may receive is better for you than the whole world and all that it contains.”

Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) has said, “If I would see a young person of the Shi‘a who would not acquire proper understanding of religion I would discipline him strictly even if it would take me to make him suffer pains.”

It is narrated from abu ‘Abd Allah (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) who has said the following. “My father said to Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari, ‘I need your help. Whenever convenient for you I would like to see you privately to tell you what I need.” Jabir then said, “What time would you like to have the meeting?” Sometimes they had the meeting and the Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, “O Jabir tell me about the tablet that you saw my great great great grandmother had and tell me what she said to you about the contents of the tablet. Jabir said, “I swear by Allah, that in the lifetime of the Holy Prophet once I went to see Fatima (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) to congratulate her for the birth of al-Husayn (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) and I saw a beautiful green tablet in her hand. I thought it was made of Emerald on it there was a writing in white like the rays of sun. I said, ‘May Allah take my soul and souls of my parents in service for your cause, what is this tablet?’” She said, “This is a tablet that Allah has presented to His Messenger. On it there are the names of my father, my husband, names of my two sons and the names of the executors of the wills of the Imams of my descendants. My father has given it to me as a gift and a token of congratulation. She then gave it to me and I read it and copied it down.”

My father then asked Jabir, “Can you show to me the copy that you made.”

Jabir agreed and my father went with him to his house to see the copy. Jabir brought the copy of certain pages. The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, “O Jabir, I read without looking in your copy and you check if there is any difference between my reading and your copy.” When my father finished reading Jabir said, “There is no difference whatsoever between your reading and my copy. Jabir said, “Allah is my witness that I saw it in the tablet just as it is.”

Biography of al-Kulayni

Kulayn was a village 27 kilometers south west of the city of Ray, a well-known city in Iran. The ruins of the village still are near Tehran, Iran. Muhammad ibn Ya‘qub Kulayni, the compiler of al-Kafi was born in this village.

Further evidence that he was born therein is the fact that in history he is called the religious scholar of Shi‘a of Ray in his time.

Muhammad ibn Ya‘qub ibn Ishaq al-Kulayni al-Razi al-Baghdadi was from a noble family of Kulayn. Outstanding scholars in jurisprudence and hadith came from this family. Al-Kulayni himself was the most prominent religious figure of his time in Ray. He lived in Baghdad, Iraq also. He lived in the gate of Kufa, Baghdad, Iraq as the chief of the Shi‘a scholars in jurisprudence during the rule of al-Muqtadir, the ‘Abbassid Caliph. Al-Kulayni, of all other compilers of hadith, alone was a contemporary of all the four successive special representatives and ambassadors of Imam al-Mahdi, the twelfth Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody). He had the chance to collect hadith from the proper sources. Al-Kafi, the book is a unique collection of hadith. Al-Kulayni compiled this book on request from a prominent Shi ‘a scholar (as mentioned in his introduction to al-Kafi).

Prominent scholars of Islamic studies in search of knowledge would meet him at his place to discuss, exchange notes and to confer with him for better understanding of the issues.

Al-Kulayni was a great scholar, a reliable narrator of hadith and a man of great learning. He was of the outstanding scholars of law and an authority in the science of hadith science. He was a man of great chastity, piety, integrity and holiness.

His book al-Kafi, no doubt, is a treasure of Islamic literature, Shari‘a (law), Divine commandments and prohibitions, in the form of texts of the Sunna, the statements, actions and the approvals of the Holy Prophet and the twelve Imams (DivineSupremeCovenantBody). It is a text of the basis of the Islamic education and culture.

Al-Kulayni has himself prefaced his book, al-Kafi and has also provided certain explanatory notes in certain chapters which shows his skill and proficiency in writing and in Arabic literature.

He was well versed in categorizing the narrators of hadith and the texts of hadith. He is the author of a book in the science of hadith and an expert in scrutinizing the narrators. He was a great scholar of theology and he has written a book refuting al-Qaramitah (one of the several names applied to the sect of Isma‘ilies who were once very active in politics).

His two books (1) Letters of Imams Allah’SupremeCovenantBody,

(2) And poems in praises of the Imams (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) show his interest in linguistics.

His book on the interpretation of dreams is of the best books on the subject.

 

Words of Appreciation for his Efforts

Al-Najashi has said, “In our people al-Kulayni was the chief scholar in Ray, Iran. He was the most reliable in the matters of hadith.

Al-‘Allama al-Hilli has confirmed this and ibn Dawud also has expressed similar words about him.

Al-Tusi, the great scholar has called him the most dependable expert in hadith, the man of highest esteem and a scholar in hadith.

Al-Sayyid Radi al-Din ibn Tawus has said, “Muhammad ibn Ya‘qub al-Kulayni is universally accepted for his leadership and reliability.”

He has also said, “Muhammad ibn Ya‘qub, al-Kulayni is the most eloquent and the most truthful in the knowledge of hadith.”

Ibn al-Athir has called him to be of the outstanding leaders of the Shi‘a and their great scholar.”

He has also described him as “A reformer of the Shi‘a at the end of the third century, as their leader and as a renown scholar among them.”

Al-Tayyibi has called him the reviver of the ’Ummah, the whole Muslim community at the end of that century . . . He was among the most learned in Islamic jurisprudence.39

Ibn Hajar has said, “He was one among the Shi‘a scholars of law and an author of their school.” 40

He has also said, “Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Ya’qub al-Kulayni was among the chief scholars of the Shi ‘a world in the days of al-Muqtadir.” 41

Al-Shaykh Husayn ibn ‘Abd al-Samad al-Harithi al-Hamdani has said, “Muhammad ibn Ya’qub al-Kulayni was the religious chief of his time and an outstanding, noble minded and highly learned scholar. He was the most reliable person in hadith, the best critic and the most conversant in it.” 42

Al-Qadi Nur Allah al-Shushtari placed him at the top of the scholars of hadith and the chief guardian thereof. 49

Muhammad Taqi al-Majlisi, the great scholar has said,

“He is unparalleled among all the scholars we have seen. The study of his compiling hadith, his manner of editing them, proves him to be a Divinely gifted scholar.

“May Allah grant him the highest rewards reserved for the doers of the good for his services to Islam and the Muslim community.” 44

He also has called him “The shaykh (the chief) al-Sadiq (the most truthful) and Thiqatu al-Islam (the most trustworthy in Islamic learning), as one acceptable to people of all classes. Both Shi‘a and non- Shi‘a have praised him.” 46

Mirza ‘Abd Allah al-Afandi has said, “The person generally referred to with the title Thiqatu al-Islam (the trustworthy in Islamic issues) is Muhammad ibn Ya‘qub ibn Ishaq al-Kulayni al-Razi, the compiler of the book al-Kafi. He is the earliest religious chief of the Muslim world in the sight of the masses and the elite alike and the Mufti, scholar of law for both the Shi‘a and the Sunni Muslims.” 46

 

His Compilations

1. Kitab Tafsir al-Ru’ya 47

2. Kitab al-Rijal 48

3. Kitab al-Radd ‘Ala al-Qaramita 49

4 Kitab al-Rasa’il 50, Rasa’il al-’A’imma (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) 5

5 Kitab al-Kafi 52

6. Kitab ma qila fi al-‘A’imma (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) 53

 

 

Al-KAFI

This book was known as al-Kulayni 54 and also al-Kafi 55. In reply to one of his friends, al-Kulayni has explained why he compiled this book.

“Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Gracious, has made the compilation of the book that you had wished for possible. I hope it will prove to be up to your expectations. It may have shortcomings but our intentions have not been insincere to provide good advice. Providing good advice to our people is obligatory. We also hoped to be considered as partners of all benefits of this book up to the end of time.”

It took twenty years to complete al-Kafi.57

Distinctive Features

1. The compiler of al-Kafi, al-Kulayni was a contemporary of the four successive special representatives of Imam al-Mahdi (DivineSupremeCovenantBody). As al-Sayyid ibn Tawus has pointed out, “All the works and the collections (of hadith) of al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ya‘qub al-Kulayni had been completed during the life time of the special representatives of Imam al-Mahdi (DivineSupremeCovenantBody). It is a ground to believe the veracity of his collection of hadith. 71

2. The compiler, except in the case of a few hadith, has named the whole chain of narrators up to the infallible Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody). In certain cases he deletes the first narrator probably because he quotes from the original book that narrates directly from the Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody). 72

3. Al-Kulayni’s, according to great scholars, method of collecting and grading Ahadith in a chapter is by the order of (37) the authenticity and the clarity of their meaning. It is, therefore, the last hadith of every chapter that are always very general, unclear and problematic.73

4. The compiler generally has avoided the Ahadith that are contradictory. Under the heading of a chapter he has recorded those Ahadith that relate best. 74

Sub-divisions of al-Kafi

 

PART 1

AL-’USUL (principles)

This part of the book consists of Ahadith on the principles of beliefs and it is called ’Usul al-Kafi

The sections in this part are as follows:

    1. The Book of Intelligence and Ignorance (Kitab al-‘Aql wa al-Jahl)

 

    1. The Book of the Virtues of Knowledge (Kitabu Fad al-‘Ilm)

 

    1. The Book on Oneness of Allah (Kitab al-Tawhid)

 

    1. The Book about the people who possess Divine Authority (Kitab al-Hujja)

 

    1. The Book on Belief and disbelief (Kitab al-’Iman wa al-Kufr)

 

    1. The Book on Prayers (Kitab al-Du‘a’

 

    1. The Book on the Virtue of the Holy Quran (Kitabu Fadl al-Quran)

 

  1. The Book of Social Discipline (Kitab al-‘Ishra)

Editions of this part:

  1. Shiraz edition 1278/1861
    1. Tabriz edition 1281/1864 in 494 pages;

 

  • Tehran edition 1311/1893 in 627 pages;
  • Tehran edition 1311/1893 in 467 pages;
  • Lucknow, India edition 1302/1885;

 

Printed in lithography.

 

PART 2-AL-FURU’

This part consists of Ahadith on Islamic practical laws such as

The acts of worship (‘Ibadat)

Business transactions (mu‘amalat)

Judicial laws (al-Qada’)

This part is called Furu‘ al-Kafi Branches of the Islamic system that consists of the following.

    1. The Book of laws of Cleanliness (Kitab al-Tahara)

 

    1. The Book of laws of Menstruation (Kitab al-Hayd)

 

    1. The Book of laws about the dying people and their burials (Kitab al-Jana’iz)

 

  1. The Book of laws of Prayer (Kitab al-Salat)

 

    1. The Book of laws of Charities, Taxes (Kitab al-Zakat)

 

    1. The Book of laws of Fasting (Kitab al-Siyam)

 

    1. The Book of laws of Pilgrimage (Kitab al- Hajj)

 

    1. The Book of laws of Defense (Kitab al-Jihad)

 

    1. The Book of laws of Business (Kitab al-Ma’ishah)

 

    1. The Book of laws of Marriage (Kitab al-Nikah )

 

    1. The Book of laws about new born (Kitab al-‘Aqiqa)

 

    1. The Book of laws of Divorce (Kitab al-Talaq)

 

    1. The Book of laws of Emancipation of Slaves (Kitab al-‘Itq wa al-Tadbir wa al-Mukataba)

 

    1. The Book of laws of Hunting (Kitab al-Sayd)

 

    1. The Book of laws of Slaughtering Animals (Kitab al-Dhaba’ih)

 

    1. The Book of laws of Foods (Kitab al-At‘imah)

 

    1. The Book of laws of Drinks (Kitab al-Ashriba)

 

    1. The Book of laws of Dresses, Beautifying and the ideal of Manhood (Kitab al-Zay wa al-Tajammul)

 

    1. The Book of laws of animal farming and poultry (Kitab al-Dawajin)

 

    1. The Book of laws of Wills (Kitab al-Wasaya’)

 

    1. The Book of laws of Inheritances (Kitab al-Mawarith)

 

    1. The Book of laws of penalties (Kitab al-Hudud)

 

    1. The Book of laws of Restitution for Bodily Injuries (Kitab al-Diyat)

 

    1. The Book of laws of testimony and witnessing (Kitab al-Shahadat)

 

    1. The Book of Judicial laws (Kitab al-Qada’ wa al-Ahkam)

 

  1. The Book of laws of Oaths, Vows and Expiation (Kitab al-’Ayman wa al-Nudbur wa al-Kaffarat)

Printed in lithographic process in Tehran 1315 1897 in two volumes, and in Lucknow (India) in 1302/1885.

 

PART 3

 

AL- RAWDA

This part consists of miscellaneous Ahadith of both the ’Usul and Furu‘ of al-Kafi. The topics are not arranged and organized as in the other volumes. The chapters are not in alphabetical order of Ahadith or narrators.

This part, al-Rawdah (the Garden of al-Kafi,) was printed in Tehran 1303/1886 with other books in one volume. Also printed separately in Lucknow, India 1302/1885. In 1374/1955 – 1377/1958

Al-Kafi was reprinted in Tehran in typographic process in the following arrangements:

The first part in two volumes

The second part in five volumes

The third part in one volume.

Thereafter, many reprints were made. This translation is based on Tehran 5th edition Summer 1363/1978

Commentaries of al-Kafi

The famous commentaries of al-Kafi are as follows.

  1. The commentary of al-Mawla Sadr al-Din Shirazi (D. 1050/1640)
  2. The commentary of al-Mawla Muhammad Salih Mazandarani (D. 1081/1670); published in Tehran in twelve volumes in 1382/1962-1388/1968
  3. Mir’at al-‘Uqul fi sharh akhbar Al al-Rasul of al-Mawla Muhammad Baqir ibn Muhammad Taqi, al-‘Allama al-Majlisi (1037/1628-111-1/1700) published in Tehran 1321/1903 in four volumes.

 

 

The Year of al-Kuyni’s Death

According to al-Najashi, al-Kulayni (the compiler) died in Baghdad 329/941, 76 and according to al-Tusi, he died in 328/940.77 However, al-Tusi afterwards agreed with al-Najashi as mentioned in his book al-Rijal 77 compiled later on.

Al-Sayyid Radi al-Din ibn Tawus has said, “Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ya‘qub, al-Kulayni was a contemporary of all the four special representatives of Imam al-Mahdi (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) namely

1 ‘Uthman ibn Sa’id al-‘Amri

2 Abu Ja’far Muhammad, son of al-‘Amri

3 Abu al-Qasim Husayn ibn Ruh

4 ‘Ali ibn Muhammad al-Samuri

Al-Samuri died after the death of al-Kulayni. Al-Samuri died in the month of Sha‘ban 329 AH. (941 AD.) and al-Kulayni died in 328/940. Both died in Baghdad.

Ibn al-Athir and ibn Hajar both say that al-Kulayni died in 328/940. 79

Al-Shaykh al-Baha’i al-Amili has said in his book al-Wajiza that al-Kulayni died in 329/941 or 330/942. 8°

 

His grave in Baghdad

Al-Kulayni was buried in Baghdad near Bab al-Kufa. 82 His shrine can be found in the eastern part of Baghdad on the bank of the River Tigris (Dajlah) near al-Jisr al- ‘Atiq, (the old bridge). 83

A note about narrators

(a) Wherever al-Kulayni says, “A number of our people have narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Isa”, people therein are:

  1. Abu Ja‘far Muhammad ibn Yahya al-‘Attar al-Qummi
  2. Ali ibn Musa ibn Ja‘far al-Kamandani
  3. Abu Sulayman Dawud ibn Kawra al-Qummi
  4. Abu Ali Ahmad ibn Idris ibn Ahmad al-Ash‘ari al-Qummi
  5. Abu al-Hassan Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Hashim al-Qummi

(b) Wherever al-Kulayni says, “A number of our people have narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Khalid al-Barqi, the people therein are:

  1. Abu al-Hassan Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Hashim al-Qummi
  2. Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn ’Udhayna
  3. Ahmad ibn Abd Allah ibn ’Umayya
  4. Ali ibn al-Husayn al-Sa’d Abadi

(c) Wherever al-Kulayni says, “A number of our people have narrated from Sahl ibn Ziyad, the people therein are:

  1. Abu al-Hassan Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Aban al-Razi, known as ‘Allan al-Kulayni
  2. Abu al-Husayn Muhammad ibn abu ‘Abd Allah Ja‘far ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Awn al-Asadi al-Kufi, resident of Ray
  3. Muhammad ibn al-Husayn ibn Farrukh al-Saffar al-Qummi
  4. Muhammad ibn ‘Aqil al-Kulayni

(d) Wherever al-Kulayni says, “A number of our people have narrated from Ja‘far ibn Muhammad from al-Hassan ibn Ali ibn Faddal, of such people one is abu ‘Abd Allah al-Husayn ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Imran ibn abu Bakr al-Ash‘ari al- Qummi.

Introduction

(by al-Kulayni)

In the Praise of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise belongs to Allah Who is praised for His bounties, worshipped for His Might, obeyed in His rule and feared for His Majesty. He possesses all that is attractive; His commands pervade in all of His creation. He is High, the Most High. He is near in His Highness and the Most High above being seen. His being the first has had no beginning and He is eternal. He existed before the existence of all things and He is the eternal Who guards all things. He is the overwhelming power and the preservation of the things does not burden Him. He is the only Almighty in His kingdom and only power to compel what is to compel. Through wisdom He has revealed His authority over His creation. He created all things in their origin new and at the very beginning through His might and wisdom and nothing existed to invalidate His being the originator of all things. No other cause existed to compete His invention. He alone created what He wished as He wished to reveal His wisdom and the reality of His Lordship. Reason is not able to grasp Him. Imagination is not able to reach Him. Eyes are not able to see Him. Measurement is not able to limit Him. Statements fail to describe Him. Eyes turn dull in trying to see Him. Describing Him by means of qualities looses the right path.

He is veiled without any barrier and is concealed without any covering. He is known but is not seen and is described without a form. He is characterized without a body. There is no Lord except Allah, the Most Great, the Most High. Imagination looses the right path in trying to reach His reality. Intelligent becomes exhausted and is not able to reach Him. So also is the case with imaginations and eyesight. He is all hearing and all knowing. Allah has established His authority over His creatures through His messengers (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) and has explained things with evidence. He has sent His messengers with glad news and warnings. So that those who would find salvation would do so with proper evidence and those would be destroyed would be so for ignoring proper evidence. So that people would learn about their Lord what they are ignorant of and know Him through His Lordship after that they were ignorant of this fact, so that they would believe in Him as the only One Lord after considering other things like Him.

I thank Him in a way that would be a cure for the souls, of a degree to please Him, enough to fulfil the duty to express gratitude for His favors to us in the form of His pleasant blessings, graceful bounties and beautiful trials.

I testify that there is no Lord except Allah alone Who has no partners. He is the only Lord, the only self-sufficient Who has no companion or children.

I testify that Muhammad (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) is His servant. He is His chosen one, His messenger whom He sent at a time of lapse of messengers and at the time of the long sleep of the nations, wide spread of ignorance, mischief and shortages of authority, blindness to the truth, prevailing injustice and the disappearance of religion.

Allah sent His book to him (Muhammad (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) that contains the statements and explanations, a reading in straight forward Arabic language so that people may become pious.

Allah has explained and organized this book for the people and with knowledge He has given the details. He has explained a religion in it, certain obligations are made obligatory therein and certain matters are declared for His creature in it. It contains signs that lead to salvation and evidence that call to guidance.

He (Muhammad (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) preached His message and executed His commands. He fulfilled his responsibilities with patience for the sake of his Lord. He worked hard for His cause, gave good advice to his followers and invited them to salvation. He encouraged them to speak of (Allah), gave them guidance to the right path after his passing away through a system, reason, basis for the people and signs that he established for them so that they would not be mislead after him. It was all due to his kindness and sympathy for them.

When his life ended and his days were over, Allah took his soul to Himself. With Allah he is well pleased for his deeds. His reward is a good deal and his position very great. He left this world leaving behind among his followers the Book of Allah and the executor of his will, Amir al-Mu’minin Ali (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) the master of the believers and the leader (Imam) for pious people.

The twine that he left behind was a united companion. They each acknowledge and speak in support of the other.

The Imam speaks of Allah from the Book. He speaks of what Allah has made obligatory on His servants, of obedience to Him, of obedience to the Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) and the acknowledgement of Leadership with Divine Authority. He speaks of His rights that are meant to be for the completion of religion, His commandments, establishment of His authority, seeking guidance in His light from its mines, His chosen and select people who possess good from Him.

Allah through the Imams of guidance from the family of His Prophet (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) has explained His religion. Through them He has clarified the ways of His system. Through them He has opened the inside of His knowledge. He has made them to be the path to know Him, the sources of knowledge of His religion, the medium between Him and His creatures, the gate that lead to know His right and has given them the knowledge of His hidden secret.

Whenever, an Imam from them would leave this world He would establish a clearly known successor for that Imam for His creatures as a bright guide, an Imam and guardian with the truth and justice. Allah and those who preach for Him and supervise over His creatures have established their authority. Through their guidance people follow the religion and through their light people of the lands find their way.

Allah has made them, (Imams (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) the life for people, the light in darkness, the key to the words and the pillars of Islam. He has based the system of His obedience and the fulfillment of obligation submission to them (Imams (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) in all that one would know and ask them what one is ignorant of. He has prohibited others from engaging in what they are ignorant of and from rejecting what they would not know. It is because Allah has willed to save, from His creatures whoever He would will, from injustice and darkness.

May Allah grant blessings upon Muhammad (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) and the select members of his family whom Allah has cleansed thoroughly.

After my words about Allah and His Messenger, above herein below is my response to your note.

I have understood your concerns about the conditions of the people of our times who seem to have agreed up on ignorance to be the standard and authority in their dealings. They cooperate and work together to establish the ways and the manners of ignorance and distance themselves from knowledge and the people of knowledge. Consequently, knowledge is almost banished and the sources of knowledge are about to depart the people. It is all because they rely so much on ignorance (ignorant people) and lose the (blessing of) the people of knowledge.

You have asked, “Can the dealings of the people be considered proper in following a religion without knowing the rules and laws therein that show what is lawful or otherwise? Can they decide and settle all matters on the basis of what they feel is good and live a life in such a manner? Can they just do what their ancestors had been doing and rely on their own understanding of the issues great or small?”

To understand the answer to your question, O brother in faith, may Allah grant you blessings, note the following:

Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, has created human beings and has given them distinction over the animals. He has given them the ability to understand and distinguish good from bad. Human beings have been given the ability to understand Allah’s commands and prohibitions.

There are two kinds of people. (a) There are those who are physically and mentally safe and sound and (b) those who lack such abilities. Safe and sound people are held responsible to follow the commands and prohibitions of Allah. Those who lack such abilities are exempt because of their inability to learn, discipline and fulfill responsibilities. Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Gracious, has designed education, good manners and moral discipline to serve as means of survival for the people who are safe and sound. Had it been permissible for safe and sound people to follow ignorance it would have been permissible for them not to become obligated to fulfill responsibilities. Such a condition would amount to make the coming of the Divine messengers and education useless. Ignoring the book of guidance, the Divine messengers and education would destroy the whole civilization. This would be a return to atheism. The justice and wisdom of Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Gracious, required the creation of creatures who would understand the commands and prohibitions of Allah so that people would not live a useless life. Instead they realize the greatness of Allah, acknowledge His Oneness and that He is the Lord. They must know that He is their Creator Who gives them sustenance. The proof of His existence is so clear and obvious. The signs of His authority are shinning and manifest. His lighthouses are visible everywhere and call people to believe in Allah, the Most Majestic, and the Most Gracious. Each sign testifies to the existence of the Lord and the One Who deserves to be worshipped. Such proofs that exist in each sign are proofs of the effect of the creation in them. Each creature is a marvelous proof of His plan. He invites them to know Him so that they will not remain ignorant of His existence and ignorant of His religion and laws.

People of wisdom do not consider ignorance of his existence a permissible attitude, as is the case of denying His religion. Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Gracious, said:

“Did they not make a covenant (with Allah) in the Book not to speak any thing other than the Truth about Allah and to study its contents well? ” (7:169) They call a lie something that is beyond the limit of their knowledge . . .” (10:39)

People are bound to obey the commands of Allah and His prohibitions. It is not permissible for them to follow ignorance (ignorant people).

It is obligatory for them to ask if they would not already know and to acquire proper understanding of religion.

Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Gracious, has said, “Not all believers have to become specialists in religious learning. Why do not some people from each group of believers seek to become specialists in religious learning and, after completing their studies, guide their group so that they will have fear of Allah.” (9:122)

If people who are physically and mentally safe and sound were permitted to stay ignorant Allah would not have asked them to ask and learn. He would not have needed to send any messengers, books and guidance. In such case, they would have lived like animals or like people physically and mentally defective and if so they would not remain in existence even for a blinking of an eye.

In fact, it is not permissible for them to live without discipline and education. Thus, it became necessary for those physically and mentally sound to find instructors to educate and discipline them and provide answer to their questions.

The best and most important education for people of reason, the education worthwhile for one to study assiduously is the religious education. The education that would teach one about the Creator, His Oneness and how to worship Him, is the most important one. It is important to be educated in the issues of Shari‘a, His laws of guidance, His commandments, prohibitions, warnings and discipline. This is necessary because there is solid evidence to support the need for such education, that responsibility is real, life is short, indifference and procrastination is not acceptable.

The condition for a worship to be proper and acceptable is to fulfil all the obligations on the basis of certainty, knowledge and proper understanding. Only than the worshiper would be considered praiseworthy in the sight of Allah and deserving rewards and His great blessings.

On the other hand, one who acts without proper knowledge and understanding does not know what and for what reason one is acting. Ignorant people do not have trust in what they do. They do not acknowledge any thing because acknowledgement does not come without doubt free knowledge of the subject to be acknowledged.

The person who has doubts is not like a person who has certainty of the matters of piety, humbleness before the Lord and the need to seek nearness to Him. Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Gracious, has said, “Those who have witnessed the truth only they have proper knowledge.” (43:87)

Only the testimony of those who possess proper knowledge is accepted and it is because of the knowledge of the subject of the testimony. Without the knowledge of the subject of the testimony it would not have been accepted. The acceptance of the deeds of the people who act with doubts is up to Allah to decide. He may accept such deeds because of His grace or He may refuse to accept because of the absence of the conditions such as knowledge and certainty. It is Knowledge, proper understanding and certainty that separate one from those mentioned in the following words of Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Gracious, “Certain people worship Allah to achieve worldly gains. They are confident when they are prosperous, but when they face hardships they turn away from (worship). They are lost in this life and will be lost in the life to come. Such loss is indeed destructive.” (22:11)

It is all because of acting without knowledge and certainty in the beginning and in the end.

The scholar has said, “One who accepts the faith with certainty he remains in it steadfast and the faith benefits him. Those who accept the faith without certainty they leave it just as they came in.”

He has also said, “Those who get their religion from the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) the strength of their faith is as such that mountains may be destroyed but not their faith. Those who get their religion from the words of the people they may reject it”

He has also said, “Those who do not know us through the Holy Quran they fail to protect themselves against mischief.”

For this reason so many religions have emerged in our times as well as disgraceful systems that almost have entered the level of disbelief. This is because of the opportunity that Allah has provided for every one. One whose faith in the will of Allah is to remain solid He makes the means that would make it so happen, available. He then gets his religion from the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) with certainty and proper understanding. His religion is stronger than the heavy mountains. Those whose faith in the will of Allah is to be temporary and bound to failure, – may He grant us refuge- He gives them the opportunity to follow certain ideas that are devoid of Divine authority. They follow what seems good to one to follow and such other matters like following what others do, certain interpretations and so on without proper understand and certainty. In such case Allah may or may not accept their deeds. They may live as a believer in the morning and a disbeliever in the evening or vice versa. It is because such people may easily follow the influential elements in the society or act upon what they feel is good.

The scholar (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) has said, “Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Gracious, has created the prophets with prophet-hood they can be nothing but prophets. He has created the executors of the will of the prophets as the executors thus they can be nothing but the executors of the wills of the prophets. He has given temporary faith to certain people. He may complete it for them or remove it from them as mentioned in this Quranic expression, ” The established faith the temporary faith.”

You have mentioned that you are confused in the issues of the verification of hadith due to the difference in variously narrated texts and that you know the reason for variation but you do not find reliable people to discuss with. You have said that you wish you had a book sufficient (Kafi) that would contain all issues of the religion. A book that would provide a student all the material that he would need is urgently needed. A book is needed that would help people to have proper guidance in the matters of religion to follow the correct instructions of the truthful people (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) and the prevailing Sunnah, the basis of practices. So that one would fulfil his responsibilities towards Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Gracious, and follow the Sunnah of (the Holy Prophet).

You have said, that you hope such a book would, Allah willing, help our brothers in faith to find the right guidance.

My brother in faith, may Allah grant you proper guidance, please note that there is no other way to sort out the confusion that comes from the variation of the narration of the scholars except by the help of the principles that the scholar (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) has set. “Compare a narration with the text of the Holy Quran. Whatever agrees with the Holy Quran is acceptable and what does not agree is rejected.”

Also he has said, “Leave alone what agrees with the views of the others because the right is in what is opposite to them.”

Also there are his (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) words, “Follow what is unanimously agreed upon because there is no harm in what is unanimously agreed upon.”

We are only able to apply such principles to a very few of such cases. We do not find any thing better and more precautionary than to refer to the scholar (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) and accept that which is within the limit of his (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) words, “Whichever you would follow in submission and obedience is excusable for you.”

Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Gracious, has made the compilation of the book that you had wished for possible. I hope it will prove to be up to your expectations. It may have shortcomings, but our intentions have not been insincere to provide good advice because to provide good advice to our people is obligatory. We also hoped to be considered as partners of all benefits of this book up to the end of time.

The Lord is one, the Messenger is one, the last prophet (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) is one and the Shari‘a is one. What Muhammad (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) has made lawful will remain lawful up to the Day of Judgment and what he has made unlawful will remain unlawful to the Day of Judgment.

We extended the Book on ‘People with Divine Authority’ to a certain degree although not as it should have been done because we did not like to be deprived of the benefits thereof.

I hope Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Gracious, will approve what is based on our intentions. If life will give us a chance we intend to compile a book of a bigger volume to serve the causes as they should be served, by the will of Allah, the Most High. From Him comes the power and means. From Him one expects help and increase in rewards and opportunity.

May Allah grant blessings up on Muhammad and his purified family.

The first thing is the book of Intelligence and the virtue of knowledge, the excellence of the people of knowledge, the defects of the people of ignorance and its harms. Intelligence is the focal point and the axes of the matters. On the basis of Intelligence come the rewards and sufferings and Allah is the best One to provide good opportunities.

Translated

8/7/99

 

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