Author's Foreword For The New Edition
Thanks are due to Allah for His care.
Since seeing the light, the book titled Al-Ilahiyyat was met with a great deal of acceptance and circulation by scholarly assemblies due to the attributes it enjoys the most significant of which are the following:
We have submitted researches of the principles (of the creed) in the form of a series according to a method that agrees with rational and logical sequences of topics of logic, referring each research to its suitable place. We started with general discussions about knowing the creed and its principles, then we looked into the evidences that point out to the Maker, and then to His Attributes. In them, we listed researches of justice, mutability, destiny, fate, determinism and the freedom to choose. Then we discussed the general Prophetic mission, the specific Prophetic mission, imamate and the Return.
In our discussion of each principle, we reviewed its linguistic definitions, then its idioms. If it has necessary logical precepts, we submitted them, such as the issue of mentally judging what is good and what is ugly with regard to researches in wisdom. Then we delved into the root of the research, stating the branches of its fruits, the most important questions about it, the questions that may be raised about it, answering them all.
An example is the conclusion of the research of the message's universality and the conclusion from among general researches relevant to the Prophetic mission, the questions about the Imamate of al-Mahdi, peace be with him, after discussing them, and questions about the Return after submitting its researches, in addition to many others. This has granted the researches flexibility, coloring them with practicality and getting them out of the dry status of comparison.
An example for this sort is the submitting of samples and of analyzing them as is quite often noticed in the research about the Holy Quran being a miracle, in addition to submitting questions to the researcher so he may contemplate on answering them. In this process, we noticed in some places that the branches of some researches are elaborated on in a way the listing of which falls within the main researches, mandating the divergence among their parts and the loss of the title and the main idea in them.
For this reason, we have had to list them separately in a research in special chapters as we have done with the topic of al-badaa (mutability) and that of decree and destiny, as well as the research of obligation versus freedom of choice. These are regarded as branches of the divine wisdom. We, therefore, listed each of them in a special chapter.
This is clear from the title of the book. We reviewed the evidences in the light of the guidance of reason, of the Holy Book and of the purified Sunnah. We also reviewed the evidences of the scholars of logic and of philosophers. We have discussed whatever needs a discussion, making this book unique.
There are other characteristics that the kind researcher can notice, such as the ease of expression, the pursuit of the simplest meaning, and the avoiding of complication and ambiguity.
When the book was printed, all its copies were sold out immediately, so it was reprinted twice in its original form, and all of this took place in only a couple of years. During this time period, it has been facilitated for us through a favor of the Almighty to correct and explain many of its statements. We have fully edited the book by setting up Indices for its Quranic verses, Prophet's traditions, verses of poetry, renown personalities, references, etc.
Due to the book’s large size, we were of the view to divide it into four volumes instead of two large ones so it could be easier to handle and to benefit from.
Here, we have to remind you that we prepared the book titled Nadariyyat al-Marifa (Theory of Knowledge), which we compiled from the lectures of allama Professor Subhani, may his shade prolong, to be a prelude for this book; therefore, it ought to be regarded as paving the way for studying this group of beliefs and it must not be overlooked.
In conclusion, I find it incumbent on me to thank my spiritual son, Sheikh Rashad Shuman al-Amili, may Allah look after him, for the effort which he exerted in extracting and organizing the book's Indices, and to thank the International Center for Islamic Studies for its effort to present the book in its new outfit.
Praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.
Hassan Makki al-Amili
Holy Shawwal 1411 A.H./April 1991