Most Shia scholars do not make any assumptions about the authenticity of a hadith book. Most believe that there are no "sahih" hadith books that are completely reliable. Hadith books are compiled by fallible people, and thus realistically, they inevitably have a mixture of strong and weak hadiths. Kulayni himself stated in his preface that he only collected hadiths he thought were important and sufficient for Muslims to know, and he left the verification of these hadiths up to later scholars. And whatever contradicts it, reject it" [ citation needed ]. God—to whom belongs all praise—has facilitated the compilation of what you requested.
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Author: al Kulayni Publisher: W. Tahrike Tarsile Quran P. A Phone: Fax: A brief introduction of 6 pages beginning with the praise of God and the description of the attributes of His beauty and power, deals with the purpose of creation, particularly of man; after the mission of God's messengers ending with the last Prophet S and the significance of the Quran and Amir al muminin A is discussed and the need for a continuous chain of infallible Imams A is substantiated with the support of the traditions.
He also complains against the people's complacency with regard to the capacity of human intellect. It seems that an over-confident rationalism was predominant in those days, which ignored the guidance provided by the tradition.
Al-Kulayni took up the work of compilation of the traditions for the sake of arming the believers with sufficient body of hadith that could serve as a guide.
He himself did not write any commentary on the traditions he compiled, but his preference for the traditions emphasizing the importance of reason and knowledge in placing them before all other traditions shows his own inclination towards rationalism. He was a muhaddith, and it is generally believed that mahaddithun were anti-rationalists but in the case of al-Kulayni this yard-stick is not applicable.
He tried to save the faith from the arrogance of rationalism, which refused to accept any other authority except intellect. He aimed to strike a balance between dogmatism and extreme type of rationalism. We shall discuss his view of reason in a separate section of our article.
Here it would suffice to mention that al-Kulayni's discourse on the duties and responsibilities of human beings prescribed by the law of Shariah is based on his rationalist approach to the problem, underlying the principle that God does not saddle human beings with impossible duties. The lack of this realization has led Muslim Ummah to accept many ideas and beliefs that are alien to Islam. Even in his brief introduction he emphasized the significance of knowledge and- reason.
So far as the confusion created by different and sometimes contradictory traditions is concerned al-Kulayni adopts a balanced view. He writes:. You have brought to my notice that the meaning of the traditions were difficult for you to understand due to the conflicting records in various books, and it was even more difficult to ascertain whether differences arose because of difference in the reasons and motives; you also complained of having no access to a reliable scholar of Islamic sciences with whom through dialogue and discussion you could arrive at a conclusion, neither you had any book that could cover all the branches of 'ilm ad-Din to save a seeker of truth from the labour of referring to many books and which could suffice as a guide and source of spiritual light in the matters of theology and the traditions of the rightly guided true Imams A.
You expressed urgent need of such a book, and I hope that the present book would serve this purpose Nobody is able to distinguish between one and the other tradition received from the Imams A except with the guidance of an Imam or the rule laid down by an Imam. There are three ways to do this:. According to this rule, only a few traditions can be specified as authentic. In the matter of traditions that are conciliating, the easiest way is suggested by the Imam A , i.
The first book is kitab al-'aql wa al-jahl, which has one chapter consisting of thirty-four traditions. Among them one tradition deals with the accompanying forces of reason 'uql and ignorance jahl. The second book kitab fadl al-'ilm is divided into thirty-two chapters and contains traditions on the whole.
Some of the chapters deal with the following issues: significance of knowledge and distinguishing features of wise men; three meanings of 'ilm; three types of useful knowledge; types of human beings; characteristics of scholars; reward for scholars and students; the place and rights of a scholar; death of a scholar; forbiddance from speaking without knowledge; devotion to knowledge; distributors and guardians of knowledge; heresies and opinions; virtues and importance of writing; reference to the Quran and hadith; the problem of differences in the traditions; four types of the narrators of tradition; how to derive truth from the sayings of the Prophet S ; four meanings of the word sunnah.
The third book kitab al-tawhid consists of thirty-six chapters and traditions. This book deals with the problems that form the main body of 'ilm al-kalam. Some of the basic issues are as follows:. Contingent nature of the world; nature of Divine Essence and Personality; God's Knowledge of Himself; stages of the realization of God; existence and space; refutation of the visibility of God; forbiddance from defining God; absence of plurality in God; Divine Attributes; Attributes of Essence and Attributes of Divine Action;.
Divine Will is an Attribute of Divine Action; Divine Names and their nature; motion and transference; Seat of God 'arsh wa kursi ; soul; origin mabda' and its meaning; intention and will; examination and test; contraction qabd and expansion bast in relation to God; felicity and vice; good and evil; free will and determinism qadar wa jabr and intermediate stage 'amr bayna al-'amrayn ; belief in determinism, freedom and delegated freedom tafwid ; meaning of Divine permission; grace lutf ; Divine proofs; Divine guidance.
The fourth book consists of two parts, the first part having chapters, and the second part having histories of the lives of the Prophet S and Fatima al-Zahra' A and the twelve infallible Imams A , at the end of which four discourses are included that sum up the general issues related to the role and place of the Imams.
This book is entitled kitab al-hujjah, i. This is the longest and the most detailed book of the first volume of Usul al-Kafi, and deals with man's need for Divine guidance in the form of prophets and Imams. Some chapters deal with the nature of the prophets' guidance and their role in human society, describing their specific characteristics and virtues.
The first part of this book contains arguments for the presence of a Divinely guided prophet or Imam in the earth, which can never remain without such guidance. The later chapters describe the signs of the Imam and necessity of following him. The topics that are emphasized are: explanation of the Quranic verse " The second part, as mentioned above, gives brief account of the lives of the fourteen Infallibles ma'sumun. It also consists of four books. The first book is kitab al-'iman wa al-kufr the book of belief and unbelief , and is the most exhaustive and the lengthiest book of the whole compendium, which covets two-third part of the second volume.
It contains chapters, in which a total number of traditions are recorded. The issues discussed in this book can be summarized under the following general headings:. Nature of belief iman and unbelief kufr , meaning of tawhid Divine Unity and shirk dualism or polytheism , nature of Islam faith and nifaq hypocrisy , yaqin firm conviction , the problem of individual and collective belief and unbelief and unity and disunity, praiseworthy or desirable and cursed or undesirable qualities and habits etc.
The last topics are dealt with in details. In short it may be justifiably said that no issue related with various forms and signs of belief and unbelief is left undiscussed in length.
The second book is kitab al-du'a' book of invocations , consisting of four chapters and covering traditions. The third book is kitab 'aqamat al-Qur'an the book concerning the virtues and greatness of the Quran , which consists of fourteen chapters and covers traditions.
This book deals with different aspects of the Quran and serves as a key to the understanding of the Holy Book. The fourth book, that is the last part of Usul al-Kafi, concerns with social issues, and is entitled as Kitab al-mu'arharah. It deals with the most profound problems of the Islamic ethics and social philosophy. The issues paid special attention are: an individual's responsibilities towards others, Muslims in particular and non-Muslims in general; obligations and rights of Muslims in relation to each other and to the enemies of Islam.
The discussion about these issues covers all major aspects of a Muslim's individual and social life. This book consists of thirty chapters and traditions in all. The total number of ahadith of the second volume is If we add to this hadith of the first volume, total number of the traditions recorded in Usul al-Kafi is The second part of al-Kafi is Furu' al-Kafi.
It is compiled after the pattern of Usul. While Usul deals with the fundamentals of Islamic belief concerning various tenets of the faith, Furu' serves as a guide to Islamic jurisprudence, covering all aspects of life from tahdrah cleansing to diyat blood-money. Al-Kulayni has arranged the traditions according to the main issues concerning fiqh, and classification also is in conformity with the natural order of the problems of fiqh.
He has neither expressed his own views nor reported others' judgements in order to preserve impartiality of the book, so that a scholar should remain free to form his own opinions. He did not want to prejudice others' minds with a biased explanation of ahadith.
This approach is aimed at preserving the purity of the traditions and is a clear sign of his objectivity. A brief resume of the contents of all the five volumes of Furu' al-Kafi is given below:.
Kitab al-taharah deals with all general and particular issues concerning the prescribed process of cleansing one's body, the basic rules and their derivations, in three parts.
Kitab al-salat is a detailed discussion of legal fiqhi issues concerning salat prayer. It consists of chapters and covers traditions.
Kitab al-zakat is the third and last part of the first volume and contains only a part of the traditions regarding the laws of alms-giving or poor-due. This part of the book consists of 47 chapters and traditions. Kitab al-zakat, consisting of 43 chapters and traditions. On the whole this book contains traditions. Kitab al-sawm is the second book of this volume dealing with Al-Kulayni and His Works the issues concerning fasting and consists of traditions divided into 83 chapters.
This volume contains three books that deal with the issues concerning jihad struggle in the way of God , trade and commerce, and marriage. Kitab al-jihad: The word jihad is usually translated as holy war, but no English word can communicate the true sense of the term, for jihad covers very wide range of connotations.
The term can be roughly defined as covering all the acts that promote the Divine cause as well as welfare of human individual and society. It embraces in its fold another principle of Islam, i.
Jihad and the other principle 'enjoining good and forbidding evil', if elaborated in details and stretched to their logical corollaries, cover the whole socio-political system of Islam. Kitab al jihad consists of traditions divided into 23 chapters.
Al-Kulayni has taken great care in compiling the relevant traditions in such an order that the fundamental rules governing Islamic state and society are laid down in unambiguous terms. Kitab al-tijarah provides the key to understanding and following the rules laid down by Islam with regard to economics. All the issues of jurisprudential significance compiled under ma'ishah economy concern with different aspects of economic activity at individual and social levels, such as, means of livelihood, just earning, forbidden earnings makdsib muharramah , contracts, dealing in money matters, loan dayn , mortgage rahn , farming, trade, renting ijarah , something found by chance luqtah , right of pre-emption shuf'ah , surety or guaranty daman , etc.
This book consists of traditions divided into chapters. Kitab al-nikah deals with the permissible forms and conditions of marriage and marital relations, covering all the aspects of man- woman relationship: social, economic, psychological, dower, legal rights of husband and wife etc.
This book consists of chapters and traditions. Kitab al-'aqiqah deals with the issues related to child-birth, education and upbringing of children, and the rights of sons and daughters. It covers traditions and 38 chapters. Kitab al-talaq, divided into 82 chapters, deals with the issues concerning ila' a form of divorce in which a man vows not to have connections with his wife for more than four months; zihar, a kind of divorce which results from likening one's wife to the husband's mother or other immediate female kins with whom one is not permitted to marry; li'an, mutual cursing, in which a man accuses his wife of adultery and the wife swears for her chastity.
These issues are usually discussed under separate headings by fuqaha', but al-Kulayni has brought them under one topic. This book consists of traditions. This book deals with the rules of 'itq, manumission freeing of slave, tadbir, management of individual affairs , and Kitabah writing , and consists of traditions divided into 19 chapters. Kitab al-sayd and kitab al-dhabh: These are two separate books which deal with the issues related to hunting and slaughter or sacrifice of animals.
Kitab al-sayd covers traditions under 17 headings, and Kitab al-dhabh contains 74 traditions under 15 different headings. Kitab al-'at'imah, dealing with the rules of eating, consists of hadith under chapters. Kitab al-'ashribah, dealing with the issues related to drinking permissible and prohibited , covers 62 traditions under 11 sections. As an appendix to this book abwab al-nabd'idhah wines and alcoholic drinks is added, which consists of 24 chapters, of which the last two chapters are devoted to the issues dealing with ghina' music , nard gambling with dice and shatrani chess.
The total number of traditions of this book is Kitab al-libas wa al-tajammul wa al-zinah: This book covers the traditions concerning the matters related to dress, make-up, ornament and decorations under three heads, libas, tajammul and zinah. It covers traditions divided into 69 chapters.
It is the most important and authentic collection among the Four Books. It was compiled by thiqat al-Islam al-Kulayni d. Al-Kafi consists of three parts: Usul principles , Furu' branches , and Rawda miscellaneous issues ; Usul is the most important part. Al-Kulayni tries to collect hadiths in such a way that they agree with the consensus and there is no incompatibility between them and the Qur'an.
Books dealing with Hadith (Traditions)
"The authenticity of Furu al Kafi"