Quran & Ḥadīth Sciences

Questions & Answers on Pressing Matters in the Quran (With a Focus on Women)

Questions & Answers on Pressing Matters in the Quran (With a Focus on Women) Compiled, translated and edited by Naseem Meghjee Selected sections were taken from the book: ‘Questions and Answers for Students’ – Exegesis of Selected Verses (Volume 1) by Ali Reza Mustashari Please note: This is a very brief and concise compilation made … Read more

Syntactic and Morphological Principles | al-Usul al-Nahwiyyah wa al-Sarfiyyah

Below are notes I made from an advanced class on Arabic grammar taught by Shaykh ‘Abid Husayn in Madrassah Imam al-Hadi (a) in Qom in 2020, based on the doctorate thesis al-Uṣūl al-Naḥwīyyah wa al-Ṣarfīyyah by Dr. Muhammad Abdullah Qasim, which is an analysis on the book al-Ḥujjah of Abū ‘Alī al-Fārisī (d. 377). Although … Read more

Familiarity with the Tradition: A Prerequisite for Reform

A recent public exchange with Shaykh Arif on the topic of Ziyārat ‘Āshūrā’ left me thinking about the importance of familiarity with the religious intellectual tradition before advocating for reform, particularly for those who have positioned themselves or naturally assumed the spot of being on the forefront of a growing reform movement. In this post, … Read more

“La Uqsimu” in the Quran: I Swear or I Do Not Swear?

In a number of places in the Qurān the phrase lā uqsimu has been used. Consider the following verses: 1) Surah Wāqi‘ah فَلَا أُقْسِمُ بِمَوَاقِعِ النُّجُومِ – 56:75 وَإِنَّهُ لَقَسَمٌ لَّوْ تَعْلَمُونَ عَظِيمٌ – 56:76  [56:75] So, I swear by the setting places of the stars, [56:76] and it is certainly a great oath if … Read more

Did the Early Shia Believe In Tahrif? Insights from a 2nd Century Hijri Work

By Dr. Hassan Ansari  In the important work Kitāb al-Rudūd by ʿAbdallāh b. Yazīd al-Fazārī—one of the prominent and influential Ibāḍī theologians of Kūfa in the mid-second century—there is a section devoted to the belief in addition and omission in the Qur’ān. In this book and his other works, the author repeatedly mentions the Shīʿa … Read more

The Injunction for Salatul Layl: A Case Study for Abrogation (Naskh) As a Changing Concept in Shi’i Literature

The injunction for Salātul Layl: a case study for abrogation (Naskh) as a changing concept in Shi’i literature By Sr. Maleeha Abdullah Introduction The issue of abrogation in the Qur’ān has been one that has been discussed since the revelation of the Qur’ān itself. The occurrence – or lack thereof – of the abrogation of … Read more

The Theme of Salvation & Quranic Stories

The following is a summarized transcription of a lecture given by Dr. Ahmad Pakatchi on December 5th, 2020 for Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran. — History has numerous definitions. I prefer to define history as the understanding of the relationship between past events and actions that create a change in humanity, that are worth remembering. Therefore, … Read more

Sayyid Sīstānī on Why Shīʿa and Sunni Ḥadīth Differ

Originally published on Shiitic Studies What follows is a translation of a small part of the notes of Sayyid ʿAlī al-Sīstānīʾs Baḥth al-Khārij (advance lessons) on Uṣūl al-Fiqh (legal theory) as transcribed by one of his students, Sayyid Hāshim al-Hāshimī, dating back to approximately forty years ago[1]. The discussion concerns a major topic in Uṣūl al-Fiqh, which is, the problem … Read more

A New Approach to Authenticating Shia Hadith – The Bahth al-Fihristi

Originally posted on Shiitic Studies. What is Fihrist? Why Fihrist? Most readers will possess a rudimentary understanding of Rijal (or Ilm al-Rijal), the discipline in which the status of a narrator is studied in order to evaluate whether his reports should be accepted or not. Much less is known about the Faharis (sing. Fihrist) – the name given to works composed by early … Read more

Tusi and the Tahdhibayn (Pt. I)

Originally posted on Shiitic Studies. Introduction Shaykh Tusi (d. 460) stands out among that famous trio (the other two being Kulayni and Saduq) for having authored two of the ‘Four Books’ of Hadith (i.e. Tahdhib al-Ahkam and al-Istibsar fi ma-khtalafa min al-Akhbar). These books are rightly considered to be the bed-rock of Twelver Imami jurisprudence. Despite the recognition … Read more

Shaykh al-Hurr al-Amili’s Dreams and Miracles of the Mahdi (a)

One of the lengthiest and most significant works on the transmitted proofs of Imamate is Ithbāt al-Hudāt bil-Nuṣūṣ wa al-Mu’jizāt, written by Shaykh al-Ḥurr al-‘Āmilī (d. 1104/1693) the author of Wasā’il al-Shī’a. This work is essentially an exhaustive collection of traditions on the prophethood of Muḥammad (p) and each of the 12 Imams (a). In … Read more

Kulayni and al-Kafi (Pt. II)

Originally posted on Shiitic Studies. Does He Have a Methodology? Kulayni does not give us the Manhaj (methodology) he follows when selecting reports for inclusion in al-Kafi. The only thing we have to work with is a critical passage towards the end of the Khutba (preface) where he outlines three principles that should be followed in the face of … Read more

Kulayni and al-Kafi (Pt. I)

Originally posted on Shiitic Studies. Introduction The Four Books (i.e. al-Kafi, Man La Yahdhuruhu al-Faqih, Tahdhib al-Ahkam, al-Istibsar fi ma-khtalafa min al-Akhbar) are rightly considered to be the bed-rock of Twelver Imami Hadith. Despite the recognition they have achieved in Shi’i discourse, many commit the error of treating them under the same rubric, without considering the vastly different motivations … Read more

Reconciliation of Contradictory Traditions Regarding Someone Who Intends to Sin

In his discussion on tajarrī (temerity to commit a crime, or false obedience) Shaykh Anṣārī (1781-1864) briefly deals with two sets of apparently contradictory narrations on the issue of someone who intended to commit a sin, but they did not. I have previously posted a treatment of one of these traditions by Sayyid Shubbar over … Read more

Are Shia Hadiths Reliable?

Originally posted on Shiitic Studies. Introduction One of the claims made by those seeking to weaken confidence in our Hadith corpus is that many of the books of the companions of the Imams were affected by the hidden hand of the Ghulat, who were inserting reports into these books, before distributing the tainted material among … Read more

Three Interpretations of the word “Kaaffah” in Verse 28 of Surat Saba

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا كَافَّةً لِّلنَّاسِ بَشِيرًا وَنَذِيرًا وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ – 34:28 Shaykh Adnan Ibrahim, in his daily classes of exegesis held in this holy month of Ramadhan, presented three interpretations of the word kaaffah in verse 28 of Surat Saba. As we shall observe, nearly all the famous translations of the Quran … Read more

Al-Fakhr al-Razi on Why Sabeans in Surat al-Maida is not in the Accusative State

There is a common grammatical question raised as to why the word ‘Sabeans’ in two very similar verses appears in two different grammatical states. In Surat al-Baqara, the verse appears in the accusative case (النصب) whilst in Surat al-Maida, the verse appears in the nominative case (الرفع). We observe in Surat al-Baqara Ayah 62: إِنَّ … Read more

Salat Has Four-Thousand Limits

From Maṣābīḥ al-Anwār fī Ḥall Mushkilāt al-Akhbār written by al-Sayyid ʿAbdullah Shubbar (d. 1242 AH / 1827). Slight edits have been made to the original text for greater readability. — What we narrate from the three Muḥammads – may Allah sanctify their souls – in al-Kāfī and al-Tahdhīb with an authentic chain, and in Man Lā Yaḥḍuruhu … Read more

The Intention of a Believer is Better Than His Action

Taken from Maṣābīḥ al-Anwār fī Ḥall Mushkilāt al-Akhbār written by al-Sayyid ʿAbdullah Shubbar (d. 1242 AH / 1827). Slight edits have been made to the original text for greater readability. — What we transmitted from Thiqa al-Islam (Shaykh al-Kulaynī) from ʿAlī b. Ibrahīm from al-Nawfalī from al-Sakūnī from Abī ʿAbdillah (a) who said: The Messenger of … Read more

The World is a Prison for the Believer and Paradise for the Disbeliever

The following translation is taken from the work Maṣābīḥ al-Anwār fī Ḥall Mushkilāt al-Akhbār written by al-Sayyid ʿAbdullah Shubbar (d. 1242 AH / 1827). Two editions of the work exist, one published by Mu’assasah al-Nūr lil-Maṭbūʿāt of Beirut in the late 1980s, and a recent edition was published by Dār ol Ḥadīth in 2011. In … Read more

Does Sheer Quantity of Hadith on a Subject Indicate Its Importance?

The following is an expanded transcript from advance lessons on Expediency (al-maṣlaḥa) and Purposes of Islamic Law (al-maqāṣid al-sharʿīyyah) being delivered by Shaykh Ḥaider Ḥobbollah in Qom. An article comparing the views of Imām Ṭufī and Imām Khomeynī from the same class was posted a few weeks ago. In lesson 67 (January 6th, 2019) and … Read more

Shaykh Kulayni, Shaykh Saduq’s & Shaykh Tusi’s Paths to Zurarah b. A’yun & Hisham b. Hakam – Part 2

The Path of Kulaynī to Zurārah From the reliable Uṣūl works is the book of Zurārah[1]. He himself is very trustworthy[2] and is from the companions of Imam Bāqir and Ṣādiq (a). Sometimes Shaykh Kulaynī mentions Zurārah without a path in al-Kāfī, such as in Kitāb al-Zakāt, pg. 520 and 526.   Other times he … Read more

Authentication of the Four Canonical Books

By Syedwajee Ul Hasan Shah, student at Imam Mahdi Hawzah of Birmingham This essay will attempt to tackle the question of the authentication of every hadith within the Four Canonical books of the Shi’a by first providing the definitions of the key terms ḥadīth and khabar, whilst also introducing the reader to what content consists within the … Read more

Shaykh Kulayni and Shaykh Tusi’s Paths to Sahl b. Ziyad – Part 1

The following is a translation of excerpts from the book Al-A’lām al-Hidāyah al-Rafīyyah fī I’tibār al-Kutub al-Arba’a al-Manī’ah written by Shaykh ‘Alī Namāzī Shāhrūdī. The intent of the author in this book is to prove the reliability of the four canonical books (al-Kāfī, al-Tahdhīb, al-Istibṣār and Man lā Yahḍuruhū al-Faqīh) through the process of analyzing … Read more

Analysis of Traditions on the Birth of the Mahdi (a) – 1

The following are notes from a mubāḥatha (study-session) with Br. Yusuf Alsalhi and myself. الْحُسَيْنُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ الْأَشْعَرِيُّ، عَنْ مُعَلَّى بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ، عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ، قَالَ: خَرَجَ عَنْ أَبِي مُحَمَّدٍ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ حِينَ‏ قُتِلَ‏ الزُّبَيْرِيُ: «هذَا جَزَاءُ مَنِ افْتَرى‏ عَلَى اللَّهِ فِي أَوْلِيَائِهِ، زَعَمَ أَنَّهُ يَقْتُلُنِي‏ و لَيْسَ لِي عَقِبٌ‏، فَكَيْفَ رَأى‏ قُدْرَةَ اللَّهِ؟» وَ … Read more

Book of Intellect and Knowledge – Mu’jam al-Ahadith al-Mu’tabara | Ayatullah Asif Muhsini

Download PDF The first section (The Book of Intellect and Knowledge) of volume 1 of Ayatullah Muhammad Asif Muhsini’s 8-volume work Mu’jam al-Ahadith al-Mu’tabara has now been completed and can be downloaded. The work is being translated by brother Ammaar Muslim. For further information about the work, author and translator, refer to the book and … Read more

Is Knowledge of God Gifted Knowledge or Earned Knowledge – Remarks of ‘Allamah Majlisi & ‘Allamah Tabatabai

Two books I was introduced to very early on in the Ḥawzah were Maṣābīḥ al-Anwār fī Ḥall al-Mushkilāt al-Akhbār of al-Sayyid ‘Abdullah Shubbar (d. 1827) published in two volumes, and Ta’līqāt bar Biḥār al-Anwār of ‘Allāmah Ṭabāṭabāī (d. 1981). The first book is a series of traditions which are difficult to understand and comprehend, oftentimes … Read more

The Presence of Metaphors in the Qur’an: Observations on the Linguistic Theory of Ruh al-Ma’ani

Written for the module: Sources of Islamic Knowledge, taken at The Islamic College for a MA in Islamic Studies with professor Amina Inloes. Originally submitted on 12th February, 2018. Qur’ānic hermeneutics have been a challenging area of study amongst scholars of Islam in modern times. With numerous linguistic theories and philosophies springing about, the Qur’ānic text has naturally … Read more

“Be you spurned apes” (Qur’an 2:65): The Dilemma of a Literal and Figurative Reading

Written for the module: Methods and Perspectives in Islamic Studies, taken at The Islamic College for a MA in Islamic Studies with professor Ali Paya. Originally submitted on 23th February, 2017. The verses of the Qur’ān with all their magnificence – as argued by the Muslims – at times have been at the centre of heated inter-faith polemics. … Read more

‘Allāmah Ṭabāṭabā’ī’s Treatment of Different Readings of the Qurān

One of the most extensive and important discussions within Qurānic studies is regarding its variant readings (qirā’āt). The readings are generally discussed within commentaries themselves and even within historical discussions regarding the collection and transmission of the Qurān. Utilizing a 25-page research paper titled Rawish Shināsi Ruyikard ‘Allāmeh Ṭabāṭabā’ī Dar Ikhtilāf Qirā’āt by Muḥamad Khāmehgar of … Read more

A Prophetic Hadīth Narrated on the Authority of a Muslim Jinn

Some of the most interesting anecdotes and descriptions of historical events, relationships between scholars, how books were transferred from one century to another, and so on, can be found in Ijāzāt given to one scholar by another. The Ijāzāt were a kind of licence permitting one to transmit certain texts or narrations on someone else’s … Read more

How to Develop Affinity with Hadīth

Below is a translated transcript of advice given be Āyatullah Mufīdī Yazdī to seminary students in one of his classes. He is a scholar from Yazd who studied in Qom under scholars like Āyatullah Behjat and Āyatullah Ḥasanzādeh Āmulī. He currently gives lessons on various subjects in the city of Qom and is known for his … Read more

Repeated Chains of Narrations in al-Kafi

By Mohsin Jaffery The original research was conducted by Muhammad Qurbani and published in a 24-page paper titled Asnād Pur-Tikrār Nishānī az Manābi’ Maktūb al-Kāfī. The paper attempts to collect chains of narrations that are most often repeated in al-Kāfī and tries to trace down the works that Shaykh al-Kulaynī (d. 329 AH) was making use … Read more

Verse 1 – Sūrat al-Ṣaff | Grammatical Analysis

Originally written and posted by the author of the Light of the Furqan blog. Introduction I and a couple of other students, including the author of Iqra Online, have been holding weekly Qurānic grammar discussions and have decided to share our notes from our weekly discussions. The discussions, however, are quite technical, largely because the initial … Read more

Most Narrations on Islamic Medicine Have No Chains

⚡️ 85% narrations on Ṭibb do not have a chain of narration ⚡️From 6000 narrations, only 60 have to do with treatments ✔️- Sayyid Kāzim Ṭabatabā’ī – head of Dār al-Ḥadīth, Qom 🔻 🔹 I am against the term “Ṭibb Islāmi” (Islamic Medicine). Meaning, I do not believe that the purpose of religion and the … Read more

Brief Look at the Development of Arabic Grammar

Given the role Arabic grammar has to play in Qur’anic and Hadith sciences, it is important for one to not just study grammar as it is generally taught today and suffice with it, rather it is crucial to have an understanding of its development and as well as a critical approach towards it in order for its further development and progression. These are summarized notes I have taken over time, describing the general phases of development of Arabic grammar. Due to the usage of technical terms in these notes, the post will be understood by those who already have a brief background in Arabic grammar.

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How to Better Understand and Study Hadith

Narrations (ahadith) make up one of the most important sources of Islamic knowledge and are subsequently greatly utilized in various different Islamic sciences. In order to best make use of narrations, it is imperative to have a good and correct understanding of them before making or basing conclusions based off of them. A correct and … Read more

List of Important Arabic Dictionaries for Qur’an and Hadith Studies

Previously I had compiled a list of some of the most famous and well-known Qurʼānic Exegeses that have been written throughout history. This time I have tried to compile a list of some of the famous Arabic dictionaries that are beneficial for a student of Qur’ān and Aḥādīth. These have been collected and taken from a … Read more