Introduction to Imamiyyah Scholars: Al-Shaykh al-Saduq and His Works

By Dr. Wahid Akhtar

Al-Tawhid, Vol. 3, No. 1 Muharram- Rabi’ al-Awwal 1406

This is second in a series of articles meant to give some insight into the lives and works of some great Imamiyah Shi’ah scholars whose works of pioneering nature in various fields of Islamic sciences, particularly kalam, fiqh, hadith and ethics. The first article of this series, published in two parts in Nos. 3 and 4 of vol. II of al-Tawhid, dealt with al-Kulayni, the compiler of the famous compendium of hadith, al-Kafi. Hopefully, future articles will deal with such scholars as al-Shaykh al-Mufid, al-Shaykh al-Tusi, al-Sayyid al- Murtadha, al-Sayyid al-Radi, al-Muhaqqiq al-Hilli, Ibn Tawus, Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, al- ‘Allamah al-Majlisi and others. The paucity of literature particularly in English on this subject is the main reason for undertaking this project. Dr. Wahid Akhtar, Professor of philosophy at Aligarh Muslim University, India, is presently on the editorial board of al-Tawhid (English).


After al-Kulayni, the second great teacher and scholar of the Imamiyyah Shi’ah was Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Musa ibn Babawayh al-Qummi, born after the death of Muhammad ibn ‘Uthman al-‘Amri, the second of the nuwwab of the Twelfth Imam (A.F). His date of birth is not exactly known, but what we learn from his own book Ikmal al-Din and al-Shaykh al Tusi's al-Ghaybah and al-Najashi's al-Fihrist is that he was perhaps born during the early years of the safarah of the third na’ib of the present Imam (A.F) (circa 305/917-18) in the city of Qum. It is also reported that he was born as a result of the blessings of the Imam (A.F.), who was approached by his father, ‘Ali ibn Babawayh with a request to bless him with a male child.1

Al-Shaykh al-Saduq and his father are known as al-Saduqun’ and the father is known as ‘Saduq the First’: This family was among the most scholarly and respected families of the Imamiyyah Shi'ah of the time. Babawayh, after whom the family is named, it is presumed, was alive till the early years of the second half of the second century of Hijrah.2 ‘Ali ibn Babawayh was born circa 260/873-74 in Qum and died in 329/940- 41. He is reported to have written 200 books, including Kitab al-sharayi’ and Kitab al-risalah3. By profession he was a merchant. Al-Shaykh al-Shahid says that ‘ulama’ of the Imamiyyah issued religious decrees (fatawa) on the authority of ‘Ali ibn Babawayh whenever they failed to find any tradition of the Imams.

Al-Saduq was brought up in the city of his birth, where he received early education under the supervision of the renowned scholars of Qum, which had been acquiring fame as a center of learning in the field of Imamiyyah studies. After attaining maturity, he went to Baghdad, where he spent a major part of his academic career. He probably travelled to Iraq twice. One of his teachers was ‘Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Hashim al-Qummi, who himself belonged to a learned family and was famous as a jurist, traditionist, and interpreter of the Quran. These two families formed the nucleus of the intellectual climate of Qum at that time. In order to have an idea of the atmosphere in which al-Shaykh al-Saduq and his father lived and pursued their work, we should cast a cursory glance at the scholarly tradition that was in making before the birth of al-Saduq.

Qum and its Intellectual Climate

Qum, a small Iranian town of no significance till the death there of Fatimah bint al-Imam Musa al-Kazim (A), the sister of al-Imam ‘Ali ibn Musa al-Ridha’ (A), in 200/815, gained importance gradually as a center of the Imamiyyah Shi’ah, and many families devoted to the study of religious sciences settled there. The earliest of the renowned families of Imamiyyah scholars at Qum was the family of Ibrahim ibn Hashim al-Qummi, who shifted to Qum from Kufah. He was a pupil of Yunus ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman, a companion of al-Imam ‘Ali al-Ridha’ (A).

Ibrahim ibn Hashim is the first person to carry with him the traditions of the Imams of the Twelver Shi’ah from Kufah to Qum. It is said that he himself personally met the eighth Imam (A) and permitted many ruwat and muhaddithun to quote ahadith on his authority. Two books are said to have been compiled by him, one of which is the Kitab al-qadaya, which begins with a heading “‘Aja’ib ahkam Amir al-mu’minin ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (A)”; the other book is entitled Kitab al-nawadir.

The Mustadrak al-wasa’il and the A’yan al-Shi’ah refer to many great scholars paying high tribute to his authoritative knowledge of hadith. Some of them are: Sayyid Bahr al- ‘Ulum, Sayyid Ibn Tawus, al-Muhaqqiq al ‘Ardabili, al-Shaykh al-Baha’i, Sayyid Damad, and Sayyid Muhsin Amin. His son ‘Ali ibn Ibrahim, was alive until 307/919-20 according to a testimony of Hamzah ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad al- ‘Alawi, as recorded by al-Saduq and quoted by Shaykh ‘Abbas al-Qummi in his research work concerning his date of expiry.

However, it is established that he lived during the part of the third century corresponding to the period of al-Imam al-Hasan al- ‘Askari (A) and the period of the minor occultation of al-Imam al-Mahdi (A.F.). He is also regarded as a reliable narrator of ahadith by such scholars as al-Najashi, Shaykh Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Hurr al- ‘Amili, Shaykh ‘Abbas al-Qummi and others. One of his works is Qurb al- ‘asnad, a book which contains traditions that reach very close to some of the Imams (A). But the most important of his works is a tafsir of the Quran, supposed to be the earliest extant exegesis by an Imamiyyah scholar. This tafsir, along with the tafsir ascribed to al-Imam al-Hasan al- ‘Askari (A), has been published many times. In its introduction forty-five issues relating to the Quran are enumerated; for instance, nasikh wa mansukh, muhkam wa mutashabih, ‘amm wa khass, mutlaq wa muqayyad, taqdim wa ta’khir, etc. The salient feature of this tafsir is that it is based on the traditions of the Prophet (S) and the Imams (A); most of these traditions are referred to a particular group of sixty narrators of hadith, generally through his father to Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (A)4.

The author of The Quran and its Interpreters write about this tafsir: “‘Ali ibn Ibrahim al-Qummi (d.328/939) was one of the important architects of Shi’i hadith tradition. He represents the formative and consequently isolated and somewhat extremist stage of Imami Shi’i hadith development. His tafsir is Shi'i in the fullest sense of the word. Qummi was a hadith transmitter who neither analyzed nor evaluated his material. Thus, his work compared with the later comprehensive commentaries is brief. It is, however, the most complete extant commentary of its time.”5

He died in Qum and was buried there. His son Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Ibrahim, according to Shaykh ‘Abbas al-Qummi, was referred to by ‘Allamah Baqir al-Majlisi in the Bihar al- ‘anwar as one of the muhaddithun who had narrated a number of traditions and who lived during the time of al-Saduq. Thus, this celebrated family produced scholars of eminence for three consecutive generations.

Al-Saduq al- ‘Awwal, ‘Ali ibn Babawayh was a pupil of ‘Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Hashim al-Qummi. He is reported to have close contacts with Abu al-Qasim al-Husayn ibn Ruh, a na’ib of the Twelfth Imam (A.F.), through whom he sent a letter to the Imam. He was also known to al-Imam al-Hasan al- ‘Askari (A), who wrote a letter to him addressing him as “O Shaykh! my· confidant, my jurisconsult”, and then informed him of the birth of a son by his second marriage, and advised him to observe and follow the prescribed rituals, pursue religious knowledge, and propagate the teachings of the Quran. This letter is referred to and reproduced in a number of authentic books of Imamiyyah scholars of significance6.

The Twelfth Imam (A.F.), too, informed him that he would be blessed with the birth of two sons who would become great fuqaha’, and would greatly benefit the people with their knowledge and guidance. Al-Shaykh al-Saduq used to take pride in being born as a fruit of the Imam’s blessing. ‘Ali ibn Babawayh had three sons, Abu Ja'far Muhammad, Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Husayn and al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali; the second one was also a scholar of fiqh and hadith, and among his pupils were persons of the calibre of al-Sayyid al-Murtadha and al-Ghada’iri; the third one was a pious man. ‘Ali ibn Babawayh left behind him many valuable works, some of which are: Kitab al-tawhid, Kitab al-nisa’ wa al-wildan, Kitab manasik al-Hajj, Kitab qurb al- ‘asnad and Kitab al-Mi’raj. Unfortunately, none of these books is available today. ‘Allamah Baqir al-Majlisi has quoted in Bihar al- ‘anwar from one of his books, i.e. al­ ‘Imamah wa al-tabsirah min al-hayrah, which too disappeared later.

He died in 329/940-41, the year during which scholars like al-Kulayni and the fourth na’ib of the Twelfth Imam (A.F.) died and the Twelfth Imam (A.F.) went into major occultation. Some traditions record his death in 328 A.H. He was buried in Qum near the tomb of Ma’sumah-ye Qum. Afterwards the Babawayh family settled in Ray and the greater part of Ibn Babawayh al-Saduq’s life was spent there. During this period, the political climate in Iraq and Iran was also changing and gradually becoming favourable for the Imamiyyah scholarship.

In the last phase of the Umayyad rule, when ‘Alawid and ‘Abbasid revolts were shocking and shattering the Umayyad empire, al-Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (A) and al-Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (A) concentrated their energies on systemizing and propagating Islamic religious sciences, and trained thousands of disciples in various scholarly disciplines ranging from the Quranic studies, tafsir, fiqh, hadith to dialectical theology (‘ilm al-kalam). Al-Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (A) found conditions more favourable to pursue his academic work with the ‘Abbasids capturing power. However, al-Imam Musa al-Kazim (A), the next Imam, was again put under surveillance by Harun al-Rashid. After him, al-Imam ‘Ali al-Ridha’ (A) was designated as the heir apparent by al­Ma’mun, and was poisoned later, but it did not affect any considerable change except that the Imamiyyah could exercise some influence in some pockets of the vast empire, and Khurasan gradually emerged as a strong hold of the Shi'ah.

Al-Ma’mun’s patronization of the Mu’tazilah weakened the grip of orthodoxy and traditionism on the educated class, which subsequently prepared ground for the acceptance of a more balanced rationalism of the Imamiyyah by a section of enlightened Muslims. Al-Imam Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al-Taqi al-Jawad (A), Imam ‘Ali ibn Muhammad al-Naqi al-Hadi (A) and al-Imam al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali al­ ‘Askari (A), due to being under house arrest, could not find the conditions very conducive for scholarly work; nevertheless, they trained and guided a group of dedicated scholars for developing the religious sciences on the Imamiyyah lines.

During the period of minor occultation, the Twelfth Imam (A.F.) maintained close contact with the ‘ulama’ through his sufara’ or nuwwab. Al-Kulayni and al-Saduq the First belonged to this period, and had the privilege of direct guidance from the Imam (A.F.). Another important change took place five years after the death of al-Kulayni. The Buwayhids of Daylam, a Shi’ite sect of Zaydi inclinations, conquered Baghdad in 334/945. The Imamiyyah persuasion better suited them politically, so they professed to follow and encourage this faith.

They did not depose the ‘Abbasid caliph due to political expediency, and took refuge in the Zaydi doctrine of the imamah of mafdul, according to which a man of lesser excellence (mafdul) could rule the Ummah in case the most excellent, i.e. al- ‘afdal, did not publicly assert his right to the lmamate. However, their legal views were very similar to those of the Imamiyyah School. The Buwayhids not only declared the Muharram and the Ghadir Khum festivals to be celebrated officially, but also encouraged the Imamiyyah scholars to propagate their faith. Al-Shaykh al-Saduq found this atmosphere congenial for pursuing his inclinations as a scholar and teacher of religious sciences.

Al-Shaykh al Saduq and his brother, al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali Babawayh, were treated with high reward in the court of Rukn al-Dawlah and his influential wazir, Sahib ibn ‘Ubbad, himself a scholar and prolific writer. Al-Shaykh al-Saduq, his brother al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali, al-Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn Hasan al-Qummi, and al-Tha’alibi wrote books at his instance and dedicated them to him. There is a detailed record of a polemical debate between al-Saduq and the ‘ulama’ who opposed his faith and views in the court of Rukn al-Dawlah, who, in a way, acted as a referee.

Books such as ‘Uyun akhbar al-Ridha’, Nafi al-tashbih, Tarikh Qum, and Yatimat al-dahr were dedicated to him by al-Saduq and other ‘ulama’. Al-Saduq, it is conjectured, was assigned to propagate the Imamiyyah creed among the people, and some historians have a hunch that his travels to different parts of Iraq, Khurasan, and Trans­oxiana were undertaken with the same purpose at the behest of Rukn al-Dawlah. Perhaps he was more closely connected with the Buwayhid rulers than supposed generally, and was instrumental in shaping their religious policy.

Life and Works

Al-Shaykh al-Saduq’s mother was a Daylamite lady of great virtue and excellence. Al-Saduq showed signs of genius and great promise from his early childhood. His father supervised his early education and brought him up with care and inculcated in him all moral virtues. He was under his father’s training for more than twenty years, until ‘Ali ibn Babawayh died. Al-Saduq had won admiration and respect of the eminent scholars of his time when he was a youth. One of his contemporaries, Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al- ‘Aswad, who saw him many times the company of much older scholars, remembered him always with admiration for his unique intelligence and knowledge of the Quran and hadith. On an invitation from the people of Ray he went and settled there for some time.

He undertook a number of journeys to different parts of the Islamic world for collecting the traditions of the Prophet (S) and the Imams (A). He also, like al-Kulayni, belongs to the group of muhaddithun called “rihlat al-hadith”. His first travel took place in the month of Rajab, 339 A.H., when he went to Ray and lived there till 347. During this period, he occasionally went to Qum to see the ‘ulama’ and pay his homage to Ma’sumah-ye Qum. He travelled to Khurasan three times, for the first time in 352, then subsequently in 367 and 368. In the course of these travels he visited Nishabur, Tus, Sarakhs, Marw, Farghanah, and Balkh.

He referred to these travels in the introduction of Man la yahduruhu al-faqih. He went on a journey to Baghdad in 352 and travelled to all the cities of the region where he could get some traditions.

Mirza Muhammad Tunukabuni, in the Qisas al- ‘ulama’, writes that the journey was undertaken in 355. During these journies al-Saduq, according to his statement in the introduction to Man la yahduruhu al-faqih, met two hundred and eleven scholars and narrators of hadith. According to his own statement recorded in the Ma’ani al- ‘akhbar he visited two hundred and fifty-two persons in this connection. It is said that al-Saduq met many ‘ulama’ at Balkh, among whom many were descendants of the Prophet (S), i.e. sadat; one of them, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan Ni’mat Allah, asked him to compile a collection of hadith, that motivated al-Saduq to take up compilation of Man la Yahduruhu. This meeting took place before 381/991-92, most probably during his second visit to Khurasan.

Besides collecting and editing the books of ahadith, al-Saduq trained a large number of pupils, who carried on his work of preserving, collecting, and propagating the traditions of the Ma’sumun (A) throughout the Islamic world. Among them twenty-seven pupils, who excelled in scholarship, are mentioned in the introduction to the Ma’ani al­’akhbar. For his unparalleled efforts in the field of hadith he is remembered as “Ra’is al-muhaddithin”.

Al-Saduq occupied a central place in the circle of Imamiyyah ‘ulama’, and had a large number of followers among the common people. He was accepted as a marji’ in the field of ijtihad and his muqallidun approached him from all the corners of the Shi’i world to answer their difficulties and solve the problems of fiqh. Al-Najashi, in his al-Fihrist has named some letters and small treatises written by al-Saduq in response to questions put to him. Some of them are as follows:

1. Kitab in answer to the questions sent to him from Wasit.

2. Kitab in answer to the questions sent from Qazwin.

3. Kitab in answer to the questions sent from Mr (Egypt).

4. Kitab in answer to the questions sent from Barah.

5. Kitab in answer to the questions sent from Kufah.

6. Kitab dealing with the issues related to talaq (divorce) raised by his muqallidun from Mada’in.

7. Kitab in answer to the issues raised by the people of Nishabur.

8. Kitab written to explain the significance of the month of Ramadan at the request of Abu Muhammad. This work is in Persian.

9. A similar treatise concerning Ramadan for the people of Baghdad.

10. A treatise explaining the meaning of ghaybah (Occultation) for the people of Ray.

He is among the first Imamiyyah ‘ulama’ to participate in debates and controversies against the critics and opponents of the Shi’i faith. His success in such debates brought him fame and raised his status in the eyes of his opponents also, and his reputation spread all over the Islamic world.

Most of the researchers believe that al-Saduq wrote and compiled about three hundred books, of which two hundred and nineteen titles are given in the introduction of Man la yahduruhu. Mirza Muhammad Tunukabuni gives a list of 189 books, including the most famous of his works. A number of these works are probably short treatises on various issues of fiqh and basic tenets of the faith. There are some titles related to the lives and histories of the Imams (A), some important companions and close relatives of the Prophet (S), and historical figures, e.g. Kitab fi ‘Abd al-Muttalib wa ‘Abd Allah, Kitab fada’il Ja’far al-tayyar, Kitab fi Zayd ibn ‘Ali Kitab al-rijal al-mukhtarin min ashab al-Nabi, Kitab al-Jamal, Kitab al-Mukhtar ibn Abi ‘Ubaydah, Kitab akhbar ‘Abd al- ‘Azim ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Hasani, Akhbar Salman wa zuhduh wa fada’iluh, Kitab Abu Dharr wa fada’iluh.

A series of rasa’il entitled al-Masabih consists of fifteen books, dealing with the persons who narrated from the Ma’sumun (A); the first two give an account of the men and women, in separate volumes, narrating from the Prophet (S); from the third to the fourteenth rasa’il give accounts of those persons who narrated ahadith from Fatimah (A) and the eleven Imams (A); the fifteenth gives an account of the persons to whom letters were written by any one of the Ma’sumun(A) (al-Rijal al-ladhina kharajat ilayhim al-tawqi’at).Among his works there is a book entitled as kitab al shi’r.

A list of his selected works is given below.

1. Al- ‘Amali: also, known as al-Majalis; it consists of answers to various questions put to al-Saduq by his followers or other ‘ulama’. This book has been translated into Persian.Al- ‘amali is a general title for collections of miscellaneous writings. Amali is plural of imla’, meaning dictation. The amali are those books which are collections of the notes dictated by teachers to their students. These books are like collections of the malfuzut of Sufis.

2. Tafsir al-Qur’an: Al-Najashi mentioned it as being a comprehensive and voluminous commentary on the Quran. He also refers to a shorter commentary, Mukhtasar tafsir al Qur’an.

3. Al-Tawhid: One of the most important works of al-Shayk-al-Saduq, which contains the most profound and delicate problems regarding tawhid (Unity of God) expounded from the point of view of the Imamiyyah school. The author has dealt with these issues in the light of the Quran and the traditions of the Ma’sumun (A). Some of lmamiyyah ‘ulama’ wrote commentaries on this book, of which the following are mentioned by Sayyid Hashim al-Husayni al-Tehrani:

(a) Sharh by al-Qadi Muhammad Sa’id ibn Muhammad Mufid al­Qummi, a pupil of al-Fayd al-Kashani; this is a detailed commentary covering the issues of philosophy, ‘irfan and kalam, which was completed in 1099 A.H.

(b) Uns al-Wahid fi sharh, al-Tawhid, by Sayyid Ni’mat Allah ibn’Abd Allah al-Tustari (d.1112 A.H.)

(c) Sharh, by Amir Muhammad ‘Ali Na’ib al-Sadarah, Qum.

(d) Sharh (in Persian) by Muhammad Baqir ibn Muhammad Mu’min al-Sabzawari (d. 1090 A.H., buried in Mashhad).

(e) Al-Dhari’ah includes a summary of al-Tawhid with some comments.

(f) Asrar-e tawhid by Muhammad ‘Ali ibn Muhammad Hasan al­ ‘Ardakani, a scholar of the thirteenth century A.H.; it is a translation of al-Tawhid with summaries of some of its commentaries, published a few years ago.

(g) A translation of it, most probably in Persian, was completed by Sayyid Hashim al-Husayni al-Tehrani; not yet published. None of these commentaries have undergone publication yet except the Asrar-e Tawhid (Persian).8

Al-Tawhid covers 583 ahadith distributed in 67 chapters. In some manuscripts or editions there are 66 chapters, for either chapter 43 or chapter 49 is combined with its previous one. Every chapter deals with a specific issue; each issue is related to God’s Essence or Attributes or Acts.9

4. Thawab al- ‘a’mal: Once published with another work of al-Saduq ‘Iqab al- ‘a’mal.

5. Al-Khisal: This work deals with moral virtues and vices, consisting of four hundred chapters. This has also been translated into Persian.

6. 'Ilal al-shara'i' wa al-'ahkam wa al-'asbab.

7. 'Uyun akhbar al-Ridha’: Written at the request of al-Sahib ibn 'Ubbad and presented to him for his library. This book has been translated and commented upon by five scholars.

8. Kamal al-Din wa tamam al-ni'mah: Also, known as Ikmal al-Din wa itmam al-ni'mah: This book was written at the instance of the Twelfth Imam (A.F.), who appeared in a dream and asked al-Saduq to write a book to affirm the occultation of the Imam. Al-Saduq mentioned this incident in the introduction to his book, which he undertook to write after his return from Nishabur and Khurasan in the year 354. He refuted the objections to the ghaybah of the 12th Imam (A) raised by other sects of Muslims.

9. Madinat al-'ilm: This book is said to be larger in extent than Man la yahduruhu al-faqih, and was counted among al-Kutub al-'arba'ah, (or al-Kutub al-khamsah), but unfortunately was lost. 'Allamah Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi and some other experts of Imamiyyah literature made efforts to recover the book but failed. There are some hints about the significance of this book in the introduction to Man la yahduruhu al-faqih, which describes Madinat al-'ilm as being larger than Man la yahduruhu.

10. Ma'ani al- 'akhbar: This book is in the field of the explanation and interpretation of akhbar (reports) and ahadith. It was published with an introduction by Shaykh 'Abd al-Rahim Rabbani al-Shirazi in one volume of 436 large-size pages.

11. Man la yahduruhu al-faqih: One of the four most authentic books of Imamiyyah hadith, which has been accepted as one of the main sources of Shi'i studies for last nine hundred years, and 'ulama ' have been referring to it for deducing the laws of the Shari’ah.

12. Risalat al-'i'tiqadat: This treatise is an exposition of the author's creed. The Arabic text of it is contained in a collection named after its first treatise: al-Bab al-hadi 'ashar (Tehran: Markaz-e Nashr-e Kitab, 1370 A.H.), pp. 66-115, which is a reprint of an edition of 1292 A.H. Faydi’s, A Shi’ite Creed is a translation of the Risalat al-‘I’tiqadat from the Arabic editions of Najaf and Delhi, consulting a Tehran edition of 1270 A.H. Its Urdu translation by M. I’jaz Husayn al-Musawi al-Badayuni was published before 1347 A.H.10

13. Al-Hidayah; 14. Da'a'im al-Islam fi al-halal wa al-haram·15. Al-Nubuwwah; 16. Ithbat al-wasiyyah li 'Ali; 17. Ithbat al-khilafah; 18. Kitab al- 'ard 'ala al-majailis; 19. Kitab al- 'awa'il; 20. Kitab al-awakhir;21. Kitab al-manahi; 22. Risalat al- 'adillah fi al-ghaybah; 23. Risalah fi arkdn al-Islam; 24. Kitab khalq al-'insan; 25. Kitab al-nawadir; 26. Kitab fadl al-masjid; 27. Kitab mawaqit al-Salat; 28. Kitab fiqh al­Salat; 29. Kitab al-jum'ah wa al-jama'ah; 30. Kitab al-zakat; 31. Kitab khums; 32. Kitab Haqq al- 'ajdad; 33. Kitab al-jizyah , 34. Kitab fadl al­ma'ruf; 35. Kitab fadl al-Sadaqah; 36. Kitab fadl al-Sawm; 37. Kitab al- i'tikaf; 38.Kitab jami' al-hajj;

39. Kitab jami' hujaj al-'anbiya'; 40. Kitab jami' hujaj al- 'a'immah; 41. Kitab jami' fadl al-Ka'bah wa al­Haram; 42. Kitab jami' adab al-musafir; 43. Kitab al-Madinah wa ziyarat qabr al-Nabi (S); 44. Kitab ziyarat qubur al a'immah; 45. Kitab al-nikah ; 46. Kitab al-wasaya; 47. Kitab al-waqf ; 48. Kitab al- hudud; 49. Kitab al-diyat; 50. Kitab al-ma'ayish wa al-makasib; 51. Kitab al­ tijarah: 52. Kitab al-qada ' wa al-'ahkam: 53. Kitab al-liqa ' wa al-salam; 54. Kitab Sifat al-Shi'ah; 55.Kitab tahrim al-fuqqa ';56. Kitab al-mut'ah; 57. Kitab al-raj'ah; 58. Kitab al-sultan ; 59. Kitab al-fawa'id ; 60. Kitab fada'il al-'ulum, 61. Kitab al-malahi; 62. Kitab al-'abanah, 63. Kitab al-Siyanah; 64. Kitab al-tarikh; 65. Kitab 'alamat akhir al-zaman;

66. Kitab al-zuhd; 67. to 78. Kitab al-zuhd (one each dealing with the piety of the Prophet (S) and the eleven Imams (A) ; 79. Kitab al-Masabih ( 15 books) ; 80. Kitab al-mahafil; 81. Kitab al-majalis; 82. Kitab Dhikr al-majlis alladhi jara lahu bayna yadayy Rukn al-Dawlah (an account of the debate with many 'ulama ' in the court of Rukn al-Dawlah); 83.Dhikr al-majlis al-'akhir; 84. Dhikr al-majlis al- thalith, 85. Dhikr al-majlis al-rabi' ; 86 .Dhikr al-majlis al-khamis, 87.Kitab al-taqiyyah;88.Kitab al-Tara'if ; 89. Kitab al-shura; 90. Kitab al-masa'il ; 91. Kitab al-su'alat; 92. Kitab masa'il al-mawarith; 93. Kitab al-Ridha’ (A); 94.Kitab al-nasikh wa al-mansukh ; 95. Kitab ibtal al-'ikhtiyar wa ithbat al-nass; 96. Kitab al-ma'rifah bi rijal al-Barqi; 97. al-Jami' al-kabir; 98. Kitab tafsir Qasidah fi Ahl al-Bayt;99 .Kitab mawlad Amir al-mu'minin ; 100. Kitab mawlid Fatimah (A); 101. Kitab Da'a'im al-1slam; 102. Fada'il al-Shi'ah.

Some titles are repeated, of which we have contented to mention the first one only. Perhaps al-Saduq compiled treatises on the same issue on different occasions; such topics are Salat, hajj, life and excellences of the Prophet (S) and the Imams (A), khums, zakat, ghaybah, hudud and matters of similar nature and of the same importance. The titles mentioned above are selected from the list of al-Saduq's books given by al-Najashi in his al-Rijal.11

Some scholars regard four books by al-Saduq as Kutub arba'ah ghayr mashhurah or ghayr mutadawilah, second in importance to the four famous books, i.e. Kutub arba'ah mashhurah or mutadawilah. These are:

1) Madinat al-'ilm; 2) al-Khisal; 3) 'Uyun akhbar al-Ridha’ (A) and 4) al-'Amali. But the fourth title, according to some scholars, refers to al- 'Amali of 'Alam al-Huda not to al- ‘Amali of al-Saduq.12

Man la yahduruhu al-faqih

This is the most important of all the extant works of al-Shaykh al­Saduq, considered as one of the four most authentic and highly respected books of hadith compiled by Imamiyyah scholars. It is regarded as the second authentic collection of ahadith after al-Kulayni's al-Kafi. Its arrangement is different from that of al-Kafi. Mirza Husayn Nuri (1250-1320 A.H. / 1834-35-1902), in his book Mustadrak al-wasa'il, writes that each of the three great compilers of al-Kutub al- 'arba'ah followed a different method in recording the names of the narrators for authenticating the ahadith.

According to him al-Kulayni followed the method of earlier writers by giving the complete chain of 'the narrators; he omitted the names of his immediate predecessors only in such cases in which the chain of the narrators had been already given earlier in connection with some other hadith. But the Ra'is al-muhaddithin al-Saduq usually deleted the names of the first few narrators for the sake of brevity, and named the last links of the chain only, these names were supposed sufficient to indicate the whole chain of the particular narrators.13 Al-Shaykh al-Saduq accepts in the introduction of his collection that the full chain of authorities was deleted by him so that the book might not become unwieldy.

He acknowledges that if the full chain is given and is traced back to its origin, it would be of immense value. He further says that, "I intend to quote those traditions only on the basis of which a verdict (fatwa) can be given regarding some issue with a degree of certainty. I sincerely believe that so far as authenticity of a tradition is concerned it is a matter between me and God.... All the traditions quoted here are taken from the famous books whose authenticity is accepted and agreed upon by all. Wherever necessary, the names of the books have been mentioned ...."14

Man la yahduruhu al-faqih is a complete and Comprehensive collection of ahadith that covers all the issues and problems of fiqh from taharah to diyat. The total number of ahadith in this collection is counted to be five thousand nine hundred and sixty-three spreading over four huge volumes. The first volume consists of 87 chapters and 1618 ahadith, of which 777 are masanid and 841 are marasil. The second volume consists of 228 chapters and 1637 ahadith, of which 1064 are masanid and 573 are marasil. The third volume consists of 78 chapters and 1805 ahadith, of which 1295 are masanid and 510 marasil. The fourth volume consists of 173 chapters and 903 ahadith of which 777 are masanid and 126 are marasil. On the whole, this collection has 5963 traditions, of which 3913 are masanid and 2050 are marasil.

Murad Tafrishi says that the 'ulama', in this context, by 'mursal' mean 'mursal a’amm ', for no name of narrator is mentioned instead a tradition begins with the words "it is said" or "qala 'alayhi al-salam “. In some cases, the name of the book or the narrator is mentioned but the chain of the narrators is not given.15

In his preface to the book, al-Saduq writes:

When, during my journey, I happened to be in a small town, Ilaq near Balkh, where a descendant of the Prophet’s family, from among the grandchildren of al-Imam Musa ibn Ja'far (A) known as Ni'mat, arrived, and I had many opportunities to enjoy his company and benefit from his talk.... Once we talked about a book by Muhammad ibn Zakariyya al-Razi that he wrote on medicine (tibb), Man la yahduruhu al-tabib (for those who do not have access to a physician); he (Sayyid Ni'mat) praised the book and its utility , and he suggested to me to compile a similar book on halal wa haram (that which is permitted and prohibited by religion) and the rules and laws prescribed for them by the Din , in which all the books written on this issue are condensed, and to entitle it as Man la yahduruhu al-faqih. Such a book can serve as a reference book for all who are in need of consulting an authority in fiqh, so that they can find a ready reference to all problems related to religious practices and are able to act upon the traditions accordingly.

There were two hundred and forty-five books of fiqh and hadith available at that time, and I accepted his suggestion for it deserved to be paid heed to. I compiled this book by deleting the chains of narrators, so that the narration itself is not lost in the labyrinth of the names and is of greater use to a person concerned. I also did not wish to compile all the traditions concerning a specific issue, I rather preferred to select those traditions only on whose basis I could make a judgement (fatwa) and which, in my view, were authentic, and, I believed, 'l were conclusive proofs of God, a matter between God and myself. Whatever is contained in this collection is taken out from famous books that are accepted as authentic and referred to by 'ulama'. 16

Many books in the form of commentary on Man la yahduruhu, I have been written, twenty of which are mentioned in the introduction to Man la yahduruhu. Shaykh Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ibn Zayn al-Din al-Shahid (d. 1030/ 1620-21) wrote a commentary entitled Mu'ahid al-tanbih, and Mulla Muhammad Taqi al-Majlisi (d. 1070/1659-60) wrote a commentary in six volumes, under the title Rawdat al-muttaqin; the sixth volume is devoted to biographies of the narrators. He wrote another commentary of the book in Persian, al-Lawami' al­ muqaddasah, in two big volumes.17

Man la yahduruhu al-faqih was for the first time published in Lucknow, India in 1300 A.H. For the first time in Iran it was published from Tabriz in 1334 A.H. afterwards it was thrice published from Tehran in the years 1374, 1377 and 1380 A.H. The 1377 edition was edited with a detailed introduction by Sayyid Hasan al-Musawi al-Khurasani, and this edition was reprinted in 1390 A.H.18

All the scholars of hadith or fiqh or rijal who have referred to al­Shaykh al-Saduq paid rich tributes to this book. A few of the opinions are quoted here:

1. Sayyid Ibn Tawus, 'Ali ibn Musa al-Hasani, Radi al-Din (589-664/ 1193-1265-66) in Kashf al-hujjah li thamarat al-muhajjah, acknowledges Man la yahduruhu as a reliable and authentic book.19

2. Al-'Allamah al-Tabataba'i, Bahr al-Ulum, Muhammad Mahdi ibn Murtadha ibn Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Karim al-Hasani, (1154-1212/ 1741-1797-98) says: ·'This is one of al Kutub al-'arba'ah, and its light is as manifest as that of the sun, and the ahadith (collected in this book) are both important and authentic.20

3. Mirza Husayn ibn Muhammad Taqi al-Nuri (1250-1320/ 1834-1902), in the last part of Mustadrak al-wasa'il, write that Man la Yahduruhu al faqih is the most reliable book after al-Kafi in the view of the experts of hadith according to the standards set by them ....21

Some other opinions expressed by the greatest of Imamiyyah 'ulama' may be quoted here in order to show in how great reverence al­Saduq was held by the majority of Muslim scholars:

1. Al-Shaykh al-Tusi, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan, known as 'Shaykh al-Ta'ifah (385-460/995-1067-68) in two of his works, al-Rijal and al­Fihrist; paid tribute to him in the following words: "He was a retainer of akhbar (who could reproduce innumerable traditions by heart), possessed unique insight into biographies of the narrators of hadith (rijal al-hadith), and himself related ahadith from the Imams (A) of the Ahl al-Bayt. The like of him who could excel in the power of memory and breadth and depth of knowledge as much as he did was not born among the people of Qum.”22

2. Al-'Allamah al-Hilli, al-Hasan ibn Yusuf (d. 726/ 1249-50) subscribes to the views expressed by al-Shaykh al-Tusi.23

3. Al Najashi, Abu al- ‘Abbas Ahmad ibn ‘Ali (d.450/1058), in his al-Rijal says: “Abu Ja’far al-Qummi, a resident of Ray, was the shaykh and faqih of the Shi'i faith. He came to Qum in 355/965-66, and was among great scholars of hadith, who had received m any traditions (from authentic sources), and a large number of students were benefited by him, though (at that time) he was very young. He has a number of books to his credit ...."24

4. Ibn Idris, Fakhr al-Din Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad 'Ajalli al­ Hilli (543-598/ 1148-1201-2) in the Kitib al-sara'ir, "al-hawi li tahrir al­ fatawa, bab al-nikah," says; "Al-Shaykh al-Saduq is authentic and trustworthy, a scholar of high calibre, with insight into the akhbar (traditions), an expert of academic disciplines, a master of 'ilm al­rijal with all necessary details on his fingertips, and the teacher of our teacher Shaykh Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Nu'man al-Mufid."25

5. Shaykh 'Add al-Din Husayn ibn 'Abd al-Samad al-Harithi (d. end of the 10th century), father of al-Shaykh al-Baha'i, in his book the Kitab al-dirayah, writes: "Al-Shaykh al-Saduq was highly respected among the Shi'ah and the Sunnis; was a retainer of ahadith, had unique insight into fiqh , rijal and all branches of knowledge, both the rational and traditional (‘aqli wa naqli); [he] was an expert critic of akhbar ; the shaykh and faqih of eminence among the Shi'ah ; writer of highly valuable books, which come to about three hundred in number . In that period, nobody could match his knowledge and mastery of hadith; the range of his knowledge was unparalleled. He was a young man when many scholars attended his classes and were benefited by him ...."26

6. Sayyid Khwansari, Muhammad Baqir ibn Zayn al-'Abidin al-Musawi (1226-1313/ 1811-1895), in Rawdat al-jannat, in the beginning of his account of al-Saduq, writes: "[He is] shaykh, scholar, honest, trustworthy of the millat and faith (Din), leader of muhaddithun (ra'is al-muhaddithun), Abu Ja'far the second, reliable, faqih, knowledgeable .... known as al-Saduq; his judgement in the matters of knowledge, justice, insight, research, fiqh, and authenticity (of akhbar) is taken as a final word; he was a prolific author, and many of his qualities are so known that they need no further elaboration ...."27

7. Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahim al-Rabbani al-Shirazi, in his introduction to the Ma'ani al- 'ak hbar, says: "Al-Saduq's attainments in scholarship, knowledge, culture, understanding, thinking ability, greatness, strength of views, his status as a prolific writer, and the worth of his works surpass all the praise that the pen and the tongue are able to shower upon him; it is beyond the capacity of the power of expression to praise him. All the scholars who came after him, in their books of rijal (lives of great men) acknowledged his greatness."28

The epithets, expressing reverence and regard for al-Saduq, which are usually prefixed to his name are: ‘one of the greatest scholars of hadith’: ‘a great Imamiyyah muhaddith without parallel among the 'ulama' of Qum'; 'the leader of the experts of hadith, akhbar, lives and works of the Imams of the Ahl-al-Bayt (A)'; 'highly esteemed scholar '; 'a unique muhaddith'; 'a competent critic of the akhbar and a propagator of the works of the Imams (A)'; 'a pillar of millat , faith and Din'; 'leader, guide and marji' (final authority ) of muhaddithun '; 'one of the great teachers of the Imamiyyah Shi'ah '; 'one of the pillars of Shari'ah'; 'leader of the retainers of ahadith and traditions' ; ‘al-saduq ibn al-saduq’ ( the truthful son of the truthful); 'supporter and sustainer of Islam ', etc.

As al-Shaykh al-Saduq went to many places f or collecting ahadith, he found ample opportunities to be profited by various scholars engaged in different fields of Islamic studies at the famous centres of teaching. Apart from his father, he learned hadith and allied disciplines under the guidance of a number of scholars, upon whose authority he also narrated hadith. We do not have all the names of his teachers, but we can name a few of them: Abu al-'Abbas al-Taliqani, Ja'f ar ibn 'Ali al-Kufi, Muhammad ibn Hasan ibn Ahmad ibn al-Walid, Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya al-'Attar, Muhammad ibn Musa ibn al-Mutawakkil , Muhammad ibn 'Ali Majilawayh , Husayn ibn Ahmad ibn Idris, Abu Muhammad 'Ammar ibn al-Husayn al-'Ashrusi, Abu Muhammad 'Abdus at Samarqand; Ahmad ibn Ziyad ibn Ja'far al­ Hamadani, Ahmad ibn Harun al-Fami, Abu Muhammad ibn Ja'far al­ Bundar al-Farghani at Farghanah; Hamzah ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-'Alawi, 'Ali ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Qazwini, Ahmad ibn Safar al-Sa'igh, 'Ali ibn Ahmad ibn 'Abd Allah al-Barqi, Abu Nasr Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Tamim al-Sarakhsi at Sarakhs; Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Rahman and al-Maqri al-'Astarabadi.

In his turn al-Saduq, being a great teacher, trained hundreds of pupils and benefited even more, whose names are scattered in various books. Here we give only a few names, the most outstanding among his disciples: al-Shaykh al-Mufid, Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Nu'man al-'Akbari al-Baghdadi (d. 413/1022); Husayn ibn 'Abd Allah al-Ghada'iri; Abu Muhammad Harun ibn Musa al-Shaybani Tal'akbari; Abu al-Husayn Ja'far ibn Zakariyya Hasan ibn Haskas al-Qummi; Muhammad ibn Sulayman al-Hamdani ; and 'Ali ibn Ahmad ibn al­ 'Abbas al-Najashi. 29

Al-Shaykh al-Saduq’s Place in Imamiyyah Islamic Thought

A. Fiqh

Al-Saduq's works are not classified under different heads by any scholar, and therefore no attention is paid to assessing the worth of his contributions to various disciplines in the field of Islamic studies. He is generally regarded as a great collector of the traditions of the Prophet (S) and the Imams (A). Particularly his major work Man la yaduruhu is referred to by the Imamiyyah Shi'ah. But it is a fact that his works are not confined to hadith only. In his time tafsir and fiqh were considered to be parts of hadith, for tafsir, according to the Shi'ah view, meant exposition of the Quranic verses with the help of the ahadith of the Prophet (S) and the Imams (A) of his family; similarly, fiqh was not treated as an independent discipline, but as a part of the study of hadith. Al-Shaykh al-Saduq's name is mentioned by some great authorities of fiqh among the earliest fuqaha' of the Imamiyyah.

Al-Muhaqqiq al-Hilli, Ja'far ibn Hasan ibn Zakariyya Yahya (602-676/ 1205-61277-78), after mentioning the names of the early fuqaha' of the period of the imams (A), such as al-Hasan ibn Mahbub, Ahmad ibn Abi Nasr al-Bizanti, al-Husayn ibn Sa'id al-'Ahwazi, Fadl ibn Shadhan, and Yunus ibn 'Abd al-Rahman, refers to al-Kulayni and al-Saduq among the muta'akhkhirun (of the later period of fuqaha, and mentions the names of 'Ali ibn Babawayh al-Qummi (al-Saduq's father) al-'Askafi, Ibn Abi 'Aqil, al-Shaykh al-Mufid (338-413./ 949-50-·022): al-Sayyid al-Murtadha (355-436/966-1048) and al-Shaykh al-Tusi (385-460/995-1067-68) among the ashab al-fatwa. 30

Al-Muhaqqiq al-Hilli (602-676/1205-6-1277-78) considers the first group, i.e., the mutaqaddimun and muta'akhkhirun fuqaha of the period of the Imams (A), to be ‘ahl al-nazar wa al-'ijtihad', as their books did not contain fatawa but represented the essence of their learning and ijtihad in the form of books of ahadith that they compiled. Thus, the early collectors of ahadith were considered to be fuqaha' in their own right, for their selection of ahadith indicated their preference and implied their judgement on various issues pertaining to the Shari'ah and its ahkam.

It is commonly said that the Sunnis preceded the Shi'ah in the field of fiqh. This belief does not even contain a partial truth. The Shi'ah did not sever their connection with the Imams of the Ahl-al-Bayt (A) and till the inception of the Major Occultation of the Twelfth Imam (A) they had recourse to them for solving the issues related to the matters of fiqh. What an Imam said was accepted as the final word or fatwa in the matters of the Shari'ah. But, on the other hand, it is a fact that the Imams (A) used to encourage their disciples to deduce legal or juristic judgements from the Quran and the traditions. Charles Adams, discussing the reason why the Shi'ah lagged behind the Sunnis in the field of fiqh', holds that they did not need to develop fiqh as a separate science, because they had access to the Imams (A), but after the last Imam (A.F) went into occultation they were compelled by the pressing need of the time to pursue it as an independent discipline. It is maintained by some Imamiyyah scholars also that the Shi'ah had fiqh-e akhbari (fiqh totally dependent on the traditions of the Ma'sumun (A)) till the beginning of the Major Occultation, and did not employ reason (nazar or 'aql) or ra'y (opinion) in the matters of the Shari'ah. However, it is conceded that the Shi'ah had developed some kind of fiqh, although it was totally reliant on the akhbar. We need to probe this issue a little further in the proper historical perspective.

Fiqh is defined by al-Raghib al-'Isfahani (d. 502/1108-9), in the Mufradat fi ghara'ib al-Qur'an in these words:" 'Fiqh means arriving at the knowledge of the unknown by means of the knowledge of the known." The same method is also called ijtihad. It is not surprising that the above definition also applies to what is termed in logic 'induction', which requires a leap from the known to the unknown. In both fiqh and ijtihad judgements are passed with regard to unsolved issues in the light of the issues on which judgements have been made in the tradition. Another term used in this regard is 'istinbat ', which literally means drawing water from under the ground. The 'ulama' of Islam hold that beneath the layers of words there is pure water of meaning.31

Istinbat is translated into English as inference or deduction. In all logical methods, there is always some kind of a leap from known to, unknown, but it does not imply that everybody who knows logic can derive right conclusions without having full knowledge of the issue under study. Similarly, any person well-versed in the grammar and syntax of Arabic cannot claim to make judgements in the matters of Shari'ah by just ref erring to the Quran and the hadith, as everybody cannot draw water ·from under the ground. Al-Ghazali, in al-Mustafi, compares the adillah with a tree and ahkam with its fruits and istikhraj (inference) with plucking the fruits.32

Both the Quran and the hadith need constant efforts to be understood fully. The Shi'ah believe that no one except the Imams (A) of the lineage of the Prophet (S) can fully know the deeper meanings and implications of the Quran, therefore their traditions are complementary to the teachings of the Quran. Hence, they referred to the Imams whenever the need arose to seek judgement with regard to some issues whose solution is not obviously found in the Quran and the traditions of the Prophet (S), and their word was taken as the final verdict on the issue. But there is sufficient historical evidence in support of the fact that the Imams (A) encouraged their followers to arrive at conclusions on their own in the light of the Quran and the Sunnah. Al-Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq advised Aban ibn Taghlib:33

.... Sit in the mosque of al-Madinah and issue fatwa's (religious judgement) for the people. I love to see people like you among my Shi'ah.

There are many reasons for which the Imams asked their knowledgeable companions to practice ijtihad. Firstly, all the followers of the Imams did not live in al-Madinah; they were scattered all over the Islamic world in far off places like Iraq and Khurasan, and they could not come to the Imams every time they had some problem; hence they referred to those knowledgeable persons who had been in the company of the Imams for a long time, and they had to infer the required ahkam for them. Secondly, even for those who lived in al-Madinah or some place near the city of the residence of the Imams, it was not possible to approach the Imams on all occasions, for some of the Imams were imprisoned or kept under house arrest for long periods of time, and some were forced to live in distant places, like al-Imam Musa al-Kazim, al-Imam 'Ali al-Ridha’ and his descendants.34

It is, therefore, unfounded to say that the Shi'ah did not pay any attention to ijtihad until the Imams lived amidst them. Mutahhari stresses that the Shi'ah 'ulama ' need not be apologetic on this count. He holds that the first book of fiqh was compiled by a companion of 'Ali (A), 'Ali ibn Abi Rafi'. Ibn al-Nadim, in al-Fihrist, gives a list of the Imamiyyah fuqaha' belonging to the age of the Imams.35

The early development of fiqh among the Imamiyyah can be broadly divided into four stages:

1. The earliest fuqaha, besides the Imams (A), were their companions, who narrated traditions from them directly or indirectly, and recorded them in books. These collections consist of the Imams utterances on the fundamental doctrines, ethics, jurisprudence (furu' or fiqh), the births and deaths of the Imams and their virtues and excellences. These were disorderly, not arranged systematically, and were known as the Usul (the roots). Supposedly, there were about 400 of such compilations, but this number should be taken as a tentative one. Such collections were also compiled by the theologians of the period of the Minor Occultation, containing the utterances of the Twelfth Imam (A.F.) on the authority of his nuwwab. Some other such collections were compiled soon after the Major Occultation. Some of the names of the compilers of the Usul, given by al-Shaykh al-Tusi in al-Fihrist, are given here:

Isma’il ibn Muhammad; Ishaq ibn ‘Ammar al-Sabati; Jabir ibn Yazid al-Ju'f i; Sulaym ibn Qays al-Hilali; Jamil ibn Darraj; Dawud ibn Farqad; 'Ali ibn Dhi'ab ; Aban ibn Taghlib ; Abu Nar al-Bizanti; Sa'id ibn Yasar; Bishr ibn Muslimah ; Bashshar ibn Yasar ; Asbat ibn Salim ; Ishaq ibn Jarir ; al-Narsi; 'Ali ibn Mahziyar al-'Ahwazi; 'Umar ibn Udhaynah.

There were some other collections, edited by Imamiyyah muhaddithun and fuqaha', which contained authentic traditions regarding the issues of fiqh and provided details of the prescribed acts obligatory upon the followers of Shi’i faith. Al-Shaykh al-Tusi and others categorized these books as Lahu yu'add fi al- 'usul (the books counted among the (Usul).36

It would not be uncalled-for to point out that the first school of fiqh in Islam was the Ja'fari school of the Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (A), which was contemporaneous with the Hanafi school of Abu Hanifah and the Maliki school of Malik ibn Anas (179/795), which were inspired by it. These three schools were followed by the Shafi’i and Hanbali schools of fiqh. All the founders of the four Sunni schools were directly or indirectly influenced by the Ja’fari fiqh.

2. The next stage in the development of fiqh is marked by the books written systematically on some specific problem, compiling the traditions narrated from the Imams directly or indirectly through one or two intermediaries. They are different from the books of Usul in respect of their systematic dealing of a specific issue.

A few of them are:

• The Kitab by Hamdan ibn Sulayman al-Nishaburi;

• The Kitab al-nawadir by Hammad ibn Isa;

• The Kitab al-mathalib by Bundar ibn ‘Asim al-Dhahli;

Al-Masa’il by al-Hasan ibn Jahm ibn Bukayr;

• The Kitab al-nawadir, the Kitab al-hudud, the Kitab al-mashikhah and the Kitab al-nikah by al-Hasan ibn Mahbub al-Sarrad or al-Zarrad.37

These books contain names of the narrators also like the Usul, but their authenticity is of varying degree. Some of them were accepted as authentic by their contemporaries, but were later on rejected because of their inclination towards some other school or sect. Al-Tusi, in al­ Fihrist, has referred to two such compilers, viz. Tahir ibn Hatim ibn Mahwayh and Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn al-Junayd, nicknamed Abu ‘Ali, who later changed their views and committed errors.38

3. The third stage is represented by the authors who exercised ijtihad and based their views on the principles of reason. Two of them who occupy a prominent position are: Hasan ibn ‘Ali al- ‘Ammani and Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Junayd al-‘Askafi.

Al-Tusi has mentioned their names in his al-Fihrist and regarded them as eminent fuqaha’ and mutakallimun of their times. Al- ‘Ammani is among the teachers of Ja’far ibn Muhammad al-Qulawayh al-Qummi, and Ibn Junayd is among the teachers of al-Shaykh al-Mufid. Both of them are considered to be the earliest, i.e., al-qadimiyyun. Abu Muhammad Hasan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi al- ‘Aqil al- ‘Ammani is the first person to systematize Imamiyyah fiqh on the basis of rational principles. He laid down the foundations of istinbat and ijtihad. He, from the time of the Major Occultation, taught and popularized ‘ilm al­usul among Imamiyyah fuqaha'. Abu 'Ali Muhammad ibn al-Junayd al­ 'Askafi, born in Askaf, a town in Khuzistan, followed al-'Ammani in deducing laws from the fundamentals on rational grounds. He was a contemporary of 'Ali ibn Muhammad al-Samari (d.329/843-44) and Mu'izz al-Dawlah (d.356/869-70). At a time when Mu'izz al­ Dawlah was popularizing Shi'i rituals of Muharram, Ibn Junayd taught Shi'i fuqaha' the method of deducing laws on the basis of rational principles. Among his works Tahdhib al-Shi'ah li ahkam al-shari'ah consists of twenty volumes.39 During the period of the Imams (A) al-tariq al-qat'i (method of certainty) was preferred to al-tariq al-zanni (method of inference)40, but during this period, due to the absence of the source of certainty, i.e. the Imam, the later method was to be employed.

4. The fourth stage of Imamiyyah fiqh is heralded with the appearance of al- kutub al-'arba'ah, which are much more comprehensive and systematic books of hadith than the earlier ones. These books include the compendiums edited by al-Kulayni, al-Saduq, and al-Tusi. The most salient feature of these books is the order and arrangement according to which the traditions were classified and chapterized under main headings and then further divided into subgroups under various subheadings to suit the purpose of fiqh. What al-Kulayni and later al­ Saduq actually accomplished was an elaborate scheme of the fundamentals of fiqh and its branches (furu'). Many later scholars justifiably counted the books of al-Kulayni and al-Saduq among the earliest books of Imamiyyah fiqh.

Apart from his magnum opus, Man la yahduruhu, al-Saduq wrote and compiled treatises on different issues of importance separately. A glance at the list of his works, given earlier, would prove his ingenuity and ijtihad in fiqh. His works herald a new era in Imamiyyah fiqh, for they are distinguished from the works of al-Kulayni, to which we have no access except al-Kafi, in the matter of details and his own occasional comments. In answer to the problems referred to him from different corners of the Islamic world, he gave his own judgements in clear terms, of course, based upon the Quran and the Sunnah. His position as a marji' was established not as a collector of hadith but as a faqih (jurisprudent).

To say that al-Saduq did not try his hand at fiqh or ijtihad because of his inability to deal with them is utterly nonsensical, for, as quoted above from his introduction to Man la yahduruhu al-faqih, his main interest was fiqh itself. The reasons why he did not write his fatawa directly without referring to the traditions were many: firstly, till that time the fuqaha' of the Imamiyyah held that the ahadith were sufficient to resolve all issues and all problems arising from time to time; secondly, they considered these terms to be more intelligible than any other kind of terms, particularly those of philosophy and logic, which were far from the common man’s comprehension.

Till the time of al-Shaykh al-Saduq, philosophy, logic, 'ilm al-kalam and 'irfan had become current in the Islamic world, but their appeal was confined to a limited circle. Even among the Shi'ah many outstanding mutakallimun had distinguished themselves, whom we would mention later while discussing the position of Imamiyyah kalam in those days. However, al­Saduq and his predecessors preferred to resolve all the controversial issues in terms of the Quran and hadith does not mean that they were incapable of exercising ijtihad and could not argue their points logically.

The best method of argument was considered to be proving one's point by quoting the relevant hadith. The method of logical or philosophical argument was also employed by the Imamiyyah and even the Imams in their debates (ihtijajat) with their opponents; but the argument by hadith was regarded as more convincing in the case of debating an issue with the believers. Al-Saduq, of course, compiled his books on fiqh for the Imamiyyah only, and adopted the proper method. Fuqaha, who were considered to be the vicegerents of the Prophet (S), were defined by him to be the scholars who would quote his traditions and would talk in the terms of his hadith. The recording of hadith was regarded as a duty of a faqih; it was an essential instrument of ijtihad.

The nusus of the Quran and narration of hadith were regarded as the most suitable guides for arriving at proper judgements. On this basis, five different centres of Imamiyyah fiqh had been established in different parts of the Islamic world: Hijaz, where 'Ali (A) and his descendants lived, formed the nucleus of Imamiyyah fiqh, and to this centre belonged Salman al-Farisi, Miqdad, Abu Dharr, 'Ammar ibn Yasir, Mitham al-Tammar, Malik al-'Ashtar and Sulaym ibn Qays; Kufah: 'Ammar ibn Yasir and 'Abd Allah ibn Mas'ud, after their migration from al-Madinah, and their followers with the help of Hudhayfah ibn Yaman and some other companions of the Prophet (S) and 'Ali (A) established the city as a centre of fiqh, whose leadership was later taken up by 'Ali (A) himself as he shifted his capital to this city; Syria: under the bold and unflinching leadership of Abu Dharr a group of fuqaha acquired a hold over the Muslims' minds which could not be weakened even by the unceasing efforts of Banu Umayyah, and which spread to Jabal 'Amil and Halab; Yemen : with the changing conditions of the Muslim politics a group of fuqaha' emerged , which later aligned itself with the Iranians, for they were also inclined towards the Shi'ah faith; Qum : here a school of fiqh was started during the 80th year of the Hijrah by the Asha'irah, which in the course of time gravitated towards the Shi'ah school, and dominated till the middle of the fourth century. Al-Saduq was the last representative of this school, who inferred all his fatawa from hadith. After him this centre changed its method and adopted the logical method of rational theology (kalam).

We see that al-Saduq represents the culmination of the old tradition in fiqh, and he eventually paved the way for the later developments in Imamiyyah fiqh. Al-Saduq, like his predecessors, had a firm conviction that there could be no better argument for a judgement than its verification by the Quran and hadith; but he gradually realized that the Quran and hadith could convince the believers only. The trend was rapidly changing in those days, because the Muslim scholars had to meet the challenge of the unbelievers also, who could be silenced by strong irrefutable logical arguments only. This realization made him change, his style in al-Tawhid, which mostly contains the ihtijajat (polemical debates) of the Imams (A), and hence it was a book of kalam at its core. This shift in his attitude marked a new era in Imamiyyah fiqh. Anyhow, al-Saduq resisted the onslaughts of extreme rationalism and tried to retain the authority of ahadith in the matters of ijtihad. After him the Imamiyyah Sh i'ah were themselves divided into many schools, viz. the Akhbari, the Usuli, the muqallid and the ghayr muqallid,41but it was due to his healthy influence that no Imamiyyah school of fiqh could alienate itself from the tradition.

At a time when the Imamiyyah thought was threatened with diversion from the tradition, al-Saduq's influence saved it from an extremism that gave too much importance to ‘aql, ra’y or qiyas. ·Those lmamiyyah 'ulama' who followed in the foot-steps of al-Saduq did not let Imamiyyah fiqh to slip into the labyrinth of ambiguous and complex philosophical jargon. They are known as the reformist jurisprudents, and are represented by the schools of Jabal 'Amil, Bahrayn and Isfahan, which flourished in the Safawid period.

The representatives of these schools paid due attention to the teaching and propagation of hadith literature. The 'ulama' of the Bahrayn School, who contributed richly in this direction, were Ibn Mitham, Sayyid Hashim al-Bahrani, and Shaykh Yusuf, the author of al-Hada'iq. Of the Isfahan school, al-Majlisi al-'Awwal, Muhammad Taqi, wrote a commentary on the Man la yahduruhu al-faqih and also translated it into Persian in simple language. It is reported that he saw Hadarat al-Khamsah al-Nujaba', i.e. the Prophet (S), 'Ali (A), Fatimah (A), al-Imam al-Hasan (A) and al-Imam al-Husayn (A), and al-Imam 'Ali ibn al-Husayn Sayyid al-Sajidin (A), in his dream and they unanimously expressed their pleasure for his interest in ahadith and advised him to pursue the same line in his work. Al-'Allamah al-Majlisi al-'Awwal was thus prompted to do more work in the field of hadith, which was later carried on by his son, al-Majlisi the Second, al-'Allamah Muhammad Baqir. In this way, the tradition of al-Saduq was kept alive among the Imamiyyah 'ulama '.

Al-Saduq, in the preface of his magnum opus, explains that the reason for compiling the Man la yahduruhu al-faqih was that he wanted to provide an authentic collection of ahadith to the Shi'ah, which could help them as a ready guide in the matters of fiqh. Hence al-Saduq 's major aim was to lay down a secure foundation for fiqh. For this purpose, he employed the safest method that could be acceptable to all, and that was quoting the relevant traditions under each of the fiqhi issues. He made use of hadith as an instrument of argument as well as the highest authority. The titles of his books and treatises indicate that he did not confine his concern with fiqh to the matters related to ‘ibadat only, but also dealt with issues pertaining to broader areas of human activities, in social and political fields.

If the conjecture that he was asked by the Buwayhid rulers to help them in propagating true religion and in implementing the laws of the Shari'ah is justified, the wide range of the issues on which he compiled books shows that what he did was to meet the requirements of his time. In this light, it would not be a far-fetched conclusion that he systematized the Imamiyyah fiqh in accordance with the pressing need of his age, which at the same time provided a favourable climate for this kind of work, of which earlier Imamiyyah fuqaha' were deprived.

b. Al-Kalam wa al-'aqa'id

‘Ilm al-kalam is translated as 'dialectical philosophy ', because both the words kalam and dialectics mean dialogue. This branch of Islamic philosophy can be defined as 'the discursive approach to Islamic beliefs'. That is why Muslim scholars usually combine kalam with 'aqa'id, and this branch is called al-kalam wa al-'aqa'id. Usually attempts are made to trace back the origin of 'ilm al-kalam in non-Islamic philosophies. But it actually originated in the intellectual climate created by Islam, which encouraged free enquiry and rational approach to the tenets of faith. Even during the lifetime of the Prophet (S) some of his companions had a different view of his ascension (mi’raj) to the Heaven, saying that the ascension was not physical. After the Prophet (S) the Muslims differed among themselves on some other issues too. Some of such issues assumed immense importance during the tyrannical rule of the Umayyad rulers. Of such issues, the most crucial was related to the problem of freedom of human will and action, on which opinion was sharply divided, giving emergence to the group of the Qadrites and the Jabrites.

As early as the year 80 A.H. al-Hasan al-Bari is reported to have refuted the position of the Jabrites by dubbing them as the enemies of Islam. The doctrine of predestination was propagated by the rulers and their agents in order to justify their injustices; they shifted, the responsibility of their own acts to Divine Will, saying that man was; helpless and whatever happened was willed by God. Thus, this controversy, perhaps the first of its nature in the Islamic world, had its roots in the socio-political conditions of the time. However, it was not the beginning of theological disputes.

In the Battle of Siffin some of the companions of 'Ali (A) did not accept settlement between the warring parties through arbitration (tahkim), and raised bitter controversy which culminated in the emergence of the Khawarij as a separate sect. Many other similar controversies can be referred to, which show that the question of the interpretation of some theological doctrines gave rise to differences, which divided the believers into two or more groups, one sticking to the literal meaning of the words of the Quran or hadith, and the other advancing a rational interpretation. Had the Nahj al­ balaghah of 'Ali (A) been not ignored by the Muslim as well as non- Muslim historians of Islamic ideas, many of the concepts which were developed later by Muslim thinkers, could have been traced back to the Nahj al-balaghah as their major source.

In the Nahj al-balaghah one can find rational and logical treatment of issues concerning tawhid, jabr, tafwid, and ‘adl, nature of the world, eternity, contingency, and many other problems which engaged the attention of later mutakallimun. All the Imams (A) of the Prophet’s family trained their companions in the art of munazarah (debate) in order to prove the validity of their stand on controversial issues.

Al­ Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (A) paid special attention to ‘ilm al-kalam, and a number of eminent Shi’ah mutakallimun were trained in his school. He and the other Imams (A) regarded the art and science of defending the Islamic faith as the noblest of all arts and sciences, which required, besides knowledge of the Usul and furu', full command over philosophy and logic also. The Quran is full of the reports of prophet's disputations with infidels, in which they made use of all devices that appealed to reason as well as the heart. As in the case of fiqh, the literature of Imamiyyah kalam is also mixed with the hadith literature, but it does not mean that it is inseparable from the latter.

There are some books written in the first and the second centuries of Hijrah calendar by Imamiyyah scholars that are exclusively on the issues of kalam, such as the books of Hisham ibn al-Hakam, an eminent companion of al-Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (A), and Mu'min al-Taq Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn 'Ali ibn Nu'm an al-Kufi, another companion of the Sixth Imam (A). Hisham, for whom the Imam (A) expressed his admiration on many occasions, participated in a number of debates (munazarah) arranged by the Barmakids, against the Mu'tazilah and the Khawarij.

He compiled some books, of which we know something about the Kitab al- 'Imamah, al-Dalalah 'ala huduth al-'ashya', al-Radd 'ala al-Zanadiqah, al-Radd 'ala Ashab ul-taba'i' and Kitab al-mizan. Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn 'Ali ibn Nu'man al-Kufi, Mu'min al-Taq, in a debate on the issue of the Imamate of al-Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, made Abu Hanif ah Nu'man ibn Thabit al-Kufi (80-150/696-767) and Zayd ibn 'Ali ibn al-Husayn to concede to some of his points.

He compiled many books, such as the Kitab al-'ihtijaj fi imamat 'Ali (A), al- 'Imamah wa al-Jamal, al-Radd 'ala al-Mu'tazilah, the Majalis Abu Hanifah, and If‘al la taf’al. Among the companions of the sixth Imam (A) Abu Malik Muhammad ibn Nu’man al-Hadrami, Hisham ibn Salim, Humran ibn A'yan, and Qays ibn Masar are also worth mentioning. Other early Imamiyyah mutakallimun who contributed to the development of 'ilm al-kalam were: Muhammad ibn Abi 'Umayr, a companion of al-Imam Musa al-Kazim (A); Abu al-Hasan 'Ali ibn Mansur, a pupil of Hisham ibn al-Hakam , the author of the Kitab al-tadbir fi al-tawhid wa al-'imamah ; Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Khalil al-Sakkak, another pupil of Hisham; Abu Muhammad Yunus ibn 'Abd al-Rahman, a great scholar who had the privilege of being benefited by the company of al-Imam al-Kazim (A) and al-Imam al-Ridha’ (A); Abu Ja'far al-Haddad al-Nishaburi; Abu 'Isa al-Warraq ; Abu al-Husayn Ahmad ibn Yahya, known as Ibn al-Rawandi (d. 245/859); Sa'd ibn 'Abd Allah al-'Ash'ari al-Qummi, the author of al-Maqalat wa al-firaq and the Kitab al-lmamah ; Abu al-'Ahwas Dawud ibn Sa'id al-Misri, a contemporary of Hasan ibn Musa al-Nawbakhti; Abu Muhammad Hasan ibn Musa al- Nawbakhti; and Abu Sahl Isma'il ibn 'Ali al-Nawbakhti. Some other names may be mentiond to complete the list of early Imamiyyah mutakallimun.

It is to be noted that some of them belonged to the early period of al-Ghaybat al-Kubra, such as: Abu al-Husayn 'Ali ibn 'Abd Allah ibn Wasif al-Nashi, author of the Kitab al-Imamah; Abu al-Jaysh Muzaffar ibn Muhammad al-Khurasani, one of the slaves of Abu Sahl al-Nawbakhti and the author of the Kitab al-Imamah and the Kitab al-muthalibah, who also wrote the refutation of the Kitab naqd al-'Uthmaniyyah li al-Jahiz and was a teacher of al-Shaykh al-Mufid, Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Nu'man; al-Shaykh al-Mufid ; and his pupils, al-Sayyid al-Murtadha 'Alam al-Huda and Shaykh al-Ta'ifah al-Tusi.42

Some of the above-mentioned mutakallimun were benefited from the writings of al-Saduq or were his direct disciples, like al-Shaykh al­Mufid. The vast literature of 'ilm al-kalam in the Shi'i world shows how much importance was attached to the art of proving one's point logically. Among al-Saduq's numerous works some are specifically in the field of kalam, viz. 'Ilal al- sharayi', the I'tiqadat al-'Imamiyyah, al­Tawhid and the Majalis or al-'Amali. In conformity with his method, he has mainly depended on traditions, but occasionally he has expressed his own views and advanced arguments in their support.

The main thrust of the Imamiyyah books of kalam in this period is refutation of the Mu'tazilah on the issue of the Imamah. But it should not be misconstrued that the Mu'tazilah were considered to be the main opponents of the Imamiyyah. On the contrary, the Mu'tazilah were of all the schools of kalam the closest to the Imamiyyah school. The issues on which Mu'tazilah doctrines are similar to those of the Imamiyyah are: 'adl (justice), lutf (grace), ijad-i aslah (creation of the best or the fittest), khalq al-Qur'an (createdness of the Quran) and the necessity of the Imamah.

In the matter of the Imamah, the Mu'tazilah differed from the Imamiyyah on the issues pertaining to the knowledge and infallibility ('ismah) of the Imams and their appointment by God and nomination by the Prophet (S). They also had views different from the Imamiyyah in the matters concerning the negation of any intermediary between existence and nothingness (nafy al-wastah bayna al-wujud wa al-'adam), and the intermediate stage between the two extremes (manzilah bayna al manzilatayn).

Despite such differences, some eminent Mu'tazilah thinkers, like al-Nazzam, were inclined to support the Imamiyyah position regarding the Imamah. Even some of the Mu'tazilah were converted to the Shi'ah Imamiyyah faith, such as Ibn al-Rawandi. This angered the staunch Mu'tazilah thinkers, and they tried to malign thinkers like Ibn al-Rawandi by calling them names and dubbing the Imamiyyah as a whole as infidels and Zoroastrians at the core of their faith. As a reaction, the Imamiyyah mutakallimun also had to direct their main attack against the Mu'tazilah. Among the books written by a single Imamiyyah thinker, for instance, Abu Muhammad Hasan ibn Musa al-Nawbakhti 43 , we find a number of them in refutation of Mu'tazilite doctrines and thinkers, such as al-Radd 'ala Abi al-Hudhayl al-Allaf fi anna na'im ahl al-jannah munqati', al-Radd 'ala ashab al­manzilah bayna al-manzilatayn fi al-wa'id, al-Radd 'ala 'Abi Ali al­Jubba'i fi raddihi ala al-munajjimin, Musa'alah li al-Jubba'i fi masa'il shatta, Mujalasah ma'a Abi al-Qasim al-Balkhi, and al-Naqd 'ala Abi al-Hudhayl fi al-ma'rifah.

Among the later Mu'tazilite thinkers Abu 'Ali al-jubba'i (d. 303/ 915-16) died three years before the birth of al-Saduq; al-Ka'bi, 'Abd Allah ibn Ahmad Abu al-Qasim al-Balkhi (D. 319/ 931), and Abu al-Hashim al-Jubba'i (d. 321/ 933) died when al-Saduq was a raw youth, but Qadi 'Abd al-Jabbar (D. 415/ 1024) was his junior contemporary. Al-Saduq should have been in touch with all controversies of theology that were prevalent at that time. Both the Baghdad and Basrah schools of Mu'tazilite kalam were at the zenith of their intellectual activity in those days. The Basrah School was under the leadership of al-Jubba'is, father and son, which was later divided into two groups, the Bahshamiyyah and the Ikhshidiyyah; the latter was led by Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn 'Ali al-'Ikhshid. These two off -shoots of the rah school of the Mu 'tazilah shifted their centre of activity from Basrah to Baghdad.44 These developments indicate that the intellectual climate of al-Saduq’s times was conducive to rational theology. And, therefore, an intellectually active man like him could not remain indifferent to all disputations and controversies which influenced his immediate predecessors and contemporaries.

Al-Saduq, in accordance with the traditions, holds that disputations (jadal) are forbidden by al-Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (A) except only in the form of quoting the words of God, the Prophet (S) and the Imams (A), which is also reserved for the learned only.

The chapter eleventh of the I'tiqadat al-Imamiyyah opens with his decree that disputation concerning Allah is prohibited, because it leads to that which does not befit Him. He further says that vain disputation is prohibited concerning all matters of faith. He quotes the Leader of the Faithful, 'Ali (A), as saying: "He who seeks religion by disputation will become a heretic (zindiq) ". And al-Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (A), as al­Saduq reports, has said that the people who indulged in vain disputations would perish and the Muslims would be saved. In the words of the Imam (A): "...As for engaging in controversy against opponents by making use of the utterances of Allah, the Prophet (S), and the Imams, or by means of the meanings of their utterances, it is allowed without restriction to him who is well versed in theology (kalam), but is not permitted to him who is not well versed in it and totally forbidden (muharram)." Al-Imam al-Sadiq (A) further adds: "Controvert the people with my sayings, and if they overcome you by argument, it will be I who will be controverted, not you ''. It is related from him that he said: "Speaking in (the defense of) the truth is better than silence in respect of falsehood." And it is related that Abu al-Hudhayl al-‘Allaf said to Hisham ibn al-Hakam: "I wish to have a debate with you on the condition that if you overcome me I shall adopt your faith; and if I overcome you, you must accept mine". Hisham said: "You have not dealt justly with me. Nay, I will have a debate with you on the condition that if I overcome you, you will accept my faith; but if you overcome me, I shall refer to my Imam (A) (for a proper answer)."45

In the light of the Imams’ encouragement of discussions with others in order to convince them of the rightfulness of the lmamiyyah position in the matters of faith, al-Saduq accepts the importance of the role of reason. He argues for a necessity of upholding rationally some tenets of faith, e.g., in the case of the belief in the continuity of the succession to the Prophet (S). His argument can be framed in the following form: God cannot oblige men to do what is beyond their capacity; it follows, therefore, that God does not call for acceptance of a doctrine unless it is acceptable to human reason.46

He further argues that we know even God through reason. What he actually holds is that we know God by God, which, on the one hand, means that we know Him through reason, which is bestowed upon man by God; on the other hand, it means that we know God through the prophets and the Imams sent to us by God.47

In the view of al-Saduq, rational knowledge is in correspondence with revealed knowledge. By implication it also means that we are in need of Divine guidance along with rational knowledge. Both are complementary to each other. In his book ‘Ilal al-sharayi’ wa ma ‘ani al- ‘akhbar, he elaborates the view that the causes and reasons of all commands are explained by the traditions,48 which means that nothing is without reason. Al-Saduq reconciles reason and revelation in accordance with the Shi'ite rational approach to religion as expounded by al-Kulayni in the beginning of the Usul al-Kafi.

Between the two major schools of kalam, i.e. the Mu‘tazilah and the Asha’irah, the main points at issue are: (1) priority of reason over revelation, or vice versa; (2) status of the Attributes with relation to the Divine Essence; (3) freedom of the human will or predestination; (4) whether the Quran is created or eternal; (5) Divine Justice, its import and implications; and (6) the criterion of good and evil.

The Shi'ite Imamiyyah position in general can be stated as follows: (1) there is no question of priority between reason or revelation, for both are complementary to each other and they do not contradict each other, as is wrongly held by the Asha’irah in some matters. (2) The Divine Attributes are essentially included in the Divine Essence, as the Mu’tazilah hold. (3) There is neither absolute freedom or tafwid., nor absolute determinism. The Shi'ite position is a via media between the two extreme positions taken by the Mu'tazilah and the Asha'irah in this matter. (4) The Shi'ah believe that the words of the Quran are created, and cannot be held as eternal. (5) Divine Justice implies that man is not asked to do what is beyond his capacity. (6) The criteria of good and evil are provided by the revelation, but they are in conformity with the dictates of reason. This controversy, therefore, is uncalled-for.

In the particular case of al-Saduq, the first and the fifth points at issue have been clarified in brief in connection with his position regarding the relationship between reason and revelation. The remaining points need some elaboration, particularly the question of freedom or tafwid. In the context of the Divine Will another issue arises that gave rise to a controversy, i.e., the doctrine of bada’, and brought into discussion the issue of Divine intervention or abrogation. Without going into details, we shall confine our exposition of al-Saduq’s views only to some issues: The Attributes of Essence (Dhat) and the Attributes of Actions (af’al); Divine Intention and Will; tafwid; destiny (qada’) and decree (qadar); human capacity (istita'ah), human nature (fitrah), and Divine Guidance (hidayah); Divine justice and bada’.

With regard to the Divine Attributes and Essence, al-Saduq holds that there are two types of Divine Attributes: The Attributes of His Essence (Dhat) and the Attributes of His Actions (af’al). While the former is eternal, the latter are created. Al-Saduq holds that, ‘whenever we describe Allah by the Attributes of His Essence, we only desire by each attribute the denial of its opposite in respect of Him.’49

It means that they are not meant to delimit the Divine Essence, but are meant to express our belief that they cannot be attributed to Allah. On the contrary, the opposites of the Attributes of Actions can be ascribed to Him. ‘He is living (Hayy) describes an Attribute of His Essence, while to say that 'He is Muhiy ‘, i.e. He gives life, is a description of one kind of His Acts. In the latter case, He can be also described as the One Who takes away life, because giving and taking life are Attributes of action.50

Al-Mufid describes the two types of Divine Attributes in the following manner: The Attributes of Essence are possessed by God eternally, they are necessary to His Essence and they are not over and above His Essence; the Attributes of Actions are necessary to the execution of an act, but are not necessarily with His Essence before or after the execution of an act.51

There are many issues related to human capacity (istita’ah) and action, some of which would be referred to briefly here. With regard to human acts al-Saduq says that they are created (makhluq), in the sense that Allah possesses foreknowledge (khalq taqdir) of them and not in the sense that Allah compels mankind to act in a particular manner by creating a certain disposition (khalq takwin).52

He further holds that Allah has never ceased to be aware of the potentialities (maqadir) of human beings. So far as the capacity (al-istita'ah) is concerned, al-Saduq, with reference to al-Imam Musa ibn Ja’far al-Kazim (A), says that a human being has capacity (to act), provided he possesses four characteristics: he should be free in respect of action (mukhalla al-sarb); in good health; complete in possession of limbs; and in the possession of capacity given him by Allah. If all these conditions are fulfilled, man is regarded as capable to act.53 His view is that a human being is saddled with duties which are within his reach without causing hardship. This question is connected with that of freedom or tafwid, and predestination.

There can be three positions in this matter: (1) the reference of man 's act to him is merely metaphorical, that is, he has no power (the Jabrites); (2) man 's capacity differs in respect of good and evil (the Ash'arites); and (3) complete capacity (the Mu'tazilites).54 Al-Saduq seems to take the third position.

The human capacities are ingrained in human nature, which is created according to the nature (fitrah) of Allah55 He has shown the right path and has also warned of the dangers of wrong paths. Therefore, man can act in the light of Divine Guidance, for Allah has adduced reasons to mankind for what is given to man and what He has made known to them.56

The word fitrah cannot be easily translated into English, ‘fitrat Allah’ conveys the sense of natural. It may be said that God has created man with a natural disposition to accept true religion, and to act in the light of His Guidance. It is because of his own nature that man can choose between good and evil, and act accordingly.

The criterion of good and evil is laid down in the Quran and the tradition, and Allah has given reasons for His preferences. It amounts to say that Allah Himself has laid down the criterion rationally. Hence there is no contradiction between what is ordained by Allah and what is acceptable to reason. When man's nature is endowed with a capacity to act in the light of Divine Guidance, he is also held responsible for his acts. This position is the logical conclusion of the above discussed premises. Al-Saduq's position is midway between the Ash'arite and Mu'tazilite positions. His doctrine concerning this issue is based on a saying of al-Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (A): 'There is neither (complete) compulsion nor (complete) delegation (or freedom).

The Imamiyyah Shi'ah use the term 'tafwid' meaning 'delegation' instead of the term ikhtiyar (freedom). The other Imams of the Shi'ah are also reported to give the same opinion in the matter. They say that the matter is midway between the two extremes. Al­ Imam al-Sadiq (A) explained the view by citing the example of a man who made an effort to dissuade another person from committing a crime, but failed in his effort. Now the man, who left the committer of crime after admonishing him, cannot be called in any way responsible for the commission of crime.57

In the Imamiyyah theology tafwid denotes delegated freedom or delegated power to act according to a man's choice between good and evil, right and wrong. As God has shown the difference bet ween right and wrong, it is up to man to exercise his will freely. No act on the part of human being may be ascribed to God, and man himself is the doer, and consequently has to face all the consequences.

There is another meaning of tafwid, according to which Allah has delegated the matter of creation to Muhammad (S) and 'Ali (A) and to His chosen few. This doctrine is held by the Isma'ilites and other ghulat (extremists), who believe that Allah has created intermediaries that are responsible for continuing the process of creation on His behalf. The Imamiyyah rejected this doctrine, as they considered it to be bordering on shirk (polytheism). Al-Saduq refers to this view with the following comments

And it is related from Zurarah that he said: I said to Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (A) that a man from among the descendants of 'Abd Allah ibn Saba' was a believer in (the doctrine of) delegation (tafwid). And he said: And what is Tafwid? I (Zurarah) said: According to him Allah, the Mighty and Glorious, (in the first instance) created Muhammad (S) and 'Ali (A), and then delegated the matter (of creation) to them, and these two created and gave sustenance, and caused life and death. The Imam said: He, the enemy of Allah, has lied. When you return to him recite to him the verse of the chapter of the Thunder:

'Or assign they unto Allah partners who created the like of His creation so that the creation (which they made and His creation) seemed alike to them? Say: Allah is the Creator of all things and He is the One, the Almighty (13:16) ....

Now (undoubtedly) Allah has delegated matters concerning religion to His Prophet (S) and He, the Mighty and Glorious, says:

"And whatsoever the Messenger giveth you take it. And whatsoever he forbiddeth, abstain (from it)" [59:7].

And this (that is, religious authority) has also been delegated to the Imams. 58

In continuation of his exposition of the true Imamiyyah position, al­Saduq goes on to criticize Sufis also:

The sign of the Delegators (al-mufawwidah) and the extremists (al-ghulat) and their likes is the belief that their Shaykhs and 'ulama' have attributed less than their due (to the Imams). And the sign of the Hallajites among the extremists is the claim of Manifestation (tajalli) in their devotion, in spite of their doctrinal belief in the abandonment of prayer and all the obligatory acts (fara'id) , and their claim of knowing the Most High Names of Allah and their claim of the incarnation (intiba') of the Divine Being in bodily shape for them ....59

The second sense of tafwid, refuted by the Imamiyyah, is reflected in the Isma’ilite view of the intermediary al-‘aql al-‘awwal, which is supposed to be the creator. In the Sufi doctrines, particularly in the doctrine of the Unity of Being of Ibn al- ‘Arabi, the order of the descents (tanazzulat) is marked by an intermediary between Allah and the remaining descents; it is termed as the stage of wahidiyyah or al-'aql al-'awwal, and is defined as the intermediary status of the Prophet Muhammad (S), who is believed to be the originator of the worlds and all that is in them. It seems that this idea was borrowed from the Isma'ilite sources. Al-Saduq has absolved the Imamiyyah from this belief.

Hence, the doctrine of tafwid concerning human freedom should not be confused with the above-discussed distortion of the term by non-Imamiyyah. However, the doctrine of the intermediary entered the philosophy of Shi'ah 'irfan, probably through the influence of Ibn al-'Arabi, evidence of which may be found in the ontology of Mulla Sadra. He, borrowing the terminology of the doctrine of wahdat al­ wujud, maintains that haqiqat-e Muhammadiyyah is the manifestation of the Highest Name of Allah, an intermediary between God and the world. He based this view on the following: Had you not been, I would not have created the heavens.

The self of the Prophet (S) is a proof of God. But Mulla Sadra or his followers do not seem to assign explicitly the power of creation to the Prophet (S) in their doctrine. According to him all human beings are the vicegerents of God (khulafa' Allah), for man is the goal of all creation. This doctrine found way into Shi'ah Imamiyyah thought much after the time of al-Saduq. 60 But this view is equally shared by all Sufis belonging to various Muslim sects.

At this stage, another question arises, that is, the issue of Divine Intention (iradah) and Will (mashi'ah). Al-Saduq quotes another tradition of al-Imam al-Sadiq (A) in this context: 'Allah wills (sha’a) and intends (arada); or He does not like (lam yuhibba) and He does not approve (lam yarda)'. Here sha'a (He wills) means nothing takes place without His knowledge, and arada is synonymous with it. It does not mean, as the opponents of the Shi'ah say, that Allah desired the murder of al-Imam al-Husayn ibn 'Ali (A), that Allah desired sin to be committed. but only that He desired sins to be contra-distinguished from obedience; desired sins, viewed as actions, should not be ascribed to Him, but the knowledge of these sins may be ascribed to Him even before commission thereof.61

A position contrary to this was taken by the Banu Umayyah and their so-called 'ulama' and fuqaha'. Al­Saduq goes at length to refute this view. The question of human freedom and determinism came to the forefront after the martyrdom of al-Imam al-Husayn (A). The Banu Umayyah rulers and their protégés tried to shift the responsibility of their ghastly crime to God by referring to the Quranic verses that ascribed all power to God; and ignored the verses that emphasized human freedom and responsibility. Al-Hasan al-Basri refuted the Banu Umayyah's argument which had given rise to the Jabrite school, and as a reaction to it the Qadrite school asserted the opposite view. This controversy was inherited by the Mu'tazilites, against whom the Ash'arites waged war, and advanced the doctrine of acquisition (kasb). The Imamiyyah, adhering to the teachings of the Imams, adopted an intermediate path.

The seventh chapter of I'tiqadat is based upon the dogma that man is utterly incapable of comprehending the secrets of destiny (qada') and decree (qadar). With reference to the sayings of Amir al-Mu'minin 'Ali (A), al-Saduq describes destiny as a dark path, a secret and a veil of Allah's veils. 'Ali (A) described it as having priority (overall) among the things within the knowledge of Allah, and that he who probed into this secret invited the wrath of Allah. Al-Mufid explains that this prohibition applies to people, who as a consequence of this probe lose true faith and tend to question Divine Wisdom of creation and its causes and effects. Al-Saduq has discussed ten different meanings of qada' and eight meanings of qadar in his book al-Tawhid.62 Even then it is not clear if originally there was a distinction between the two terms. However, it may be concluded that qada' means predestination, that is, God's Will that a certain thing should happen; and qadar is the actual happening of the event in consequence of such predestination.

Al-Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (A), in answer to Zurarah 's question concerning qada' and qadar, said: ‘...On the Day of Resurrection, God will ask His slaves concerning what He had enjoined on them, and will not question them concerning what He had destined for them .63

It is in the context of qada’ and qadar that the question of bada’ was raised in the Imamiyyah circles, and was immediately taken up by their opponents in order to malign them. Al-Saduq discussed the doctrine of bada’ both in I’tiqadat and al-Tawhid. In al-Tawhid, he says:

Bada’ is not, as ignorant people think, the bada’ of repentance. Far is God above that. But we must admit that God does have bada’ in the sense that He begins one of His creatures, creating it before another thing, and then destroys it and begins the creation of another thing. Or He gives a command and then He forbids such a thing, or He forbids something and then orders the like of what He has forbidden. Examples of this are the abrogation of laws, the changing of the qiblah, and the waiting period of widows.64

This reduces the meaning of bada’ to abrogation, as it was conceived by Ibn al-Rawandi. Had it been so, there would not have arisen a controversy regarding this concept. There are different variations of the bada’ meaning as ‘it appears’ or as ‘it manifests’, bad’ meaning ‘beginning’ or ‘origination’ (mabda’), and another word from the same root bada'a. Al-Mufid's exposition of the use of this term in Arabic clarifies the import of the term. Different usages mean “appeared from so-and -so” or “appeared in it” or “appeared from Him (God)”. He concludes: "What is meant here is not a change of mind or a matter being made clear which had formerly been hidden from Him. All His Actions upon His creatures which appear after they have been non- existent have been known (to Him) from eternity." 65

Al-Saduq has quoted eleven traditions in al-Tawhid and two in I’tiqadat. He begins the chapter on bada’ in I’tiqadat with his remarks concerning the Jews’ belief that Allah, after creating the universe, relinquished the act of creation. He expounds the belief of Islam on the authority of the Quran, maintaining that Allah creates and sustains and acts as He wills. The process of creation and destruction is continuous, which is not the sort of creation in which the Jews and those that follow them believe. In this context, he relates a tradition of al-Imam al-Sadiq (A):

He who asserts that Allah, the Mighty and the Glorious, does something new which He did not know earlier, from him I dissociate myself.

And he said:

He who asserts that Allah, after doing something repents concerning it, then he, in our opinion, is a denier of Allah, the Great.66

This tradition clarifies the Imamiyyah position defining bada’ as that which “appeared from God” at a particular moment. But at the same time, it is asserted that what appeared was in the knowledge of God from eternity. The objections that were raised against this doctrine emanated from confusion of different senses in which the term bada’ was used. Al-Shahristani outlined three different meanings as follows:

(a) Bada’ in knowledge, when the opposite of what He knew occurs to Him. I do not think any intelligent person holds this belief. (b) Bada’ in will, when a right course occurs to Him which is opposite of what He had known and judged to be right. (c) Bada’ in command, that is, He commands something and then afterwards commands its opposite. Anyone holds the possibility of abrogation considers different commands at different times· successively abrogating. 67

The third meaning was ascribed to the Imamiyyah by their opponents. Al-Baghdadi and al-Shahristani ascribe the doctrine of abrogation to al-Mukhtar 68, who declared his mission to be that of avenging the martyrdom of al-Imam al-Husayn (A), in which he succeeded to a large extent. After his defeat in a battle, for which he had said God had promised him victory, he claimed that God changed His mind or will. The Imamiyyah disown al-Mukhtar and do not attach any value to what he said or claimed. The real point of contention is the occasion on which al-Imam al-Sadiq (A) explained bada’ in the context of the death of his son Isma’il:

And as for the saying of Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, peace be upon him , that ‘Nothing appeared to Allah concerning any matter, as it appeared to Him as regards my son lsma’il’, verily he (Imam Ja'far) says: Nothing manifested (itself ) from (the Will of) Allah , Glory be to Him, concerning any affair, as that which appeared regarding my son Isma’il, when he cut him off by death before me, so that it may be known that he was not the Imam after me.69

It is said that al-Imam al-Sadiq (A) had declared his eldest son Isma’il to be his successor to the Imamah, but he died before his father. Due to his untimely death, the Imam (A) had to make the above quoted statement. The Isma’ilis as well as the Mu’tazilah and the Sunnis made it a point of contention to challenge the infallibility of the Imam (A). The issue was first raised by the Zaydi leader Sulayman ibn Jarir. The Imamiyyah Shi'ah had to defend their position. Ibn al­Rawandi, a Shi'i scholar, as quoted by al-Khayyat, said: “As for bada’, the more intelligent of the Shi'ah holds the same thesis that the Mu’tazilites hold on the subject of abrogation. The difference between them is verbal, not real.”70

According to this view the intelligent among the Shi'ah restricted the meaning of bada’ to a change of command, which could not be challenged by any Muslim sect or school. Al-Rawandi rather made use of the concept of bada’ to score a point against the Mu’tazilite notion of unchangeable God:

An agent to whom new ideas occur (taridu lahu li badawah) and to whom acts are possible is mightier and worthier of mention than an agent who cannot add or take anything away from his own act, who cannot advance or retard it. 71

Thus bada’ means something more than abrogation (naskh), and it underlines the All-powerfulness of God, which no rational believer can challenge.

Al- ‘Ash‘ari gives three meanings of bada’ according to the Shi'ah:

(1) God changes His mind and does not do what He wanted to do due to a new idea occurring to Him; but if He has revealed His mind to somebody, no change of mind is possible. (2) God can change His plan before the event that He knows is to happen, even if it is revealed to somebody. (3) It is not possible f or God to change His Mind. 72

Al-Saduq and other rational believers accept the second meaning. He explains his position in these words:

God never gives His creatures a command unless He knows it is in their best interests at that time for Him to order them so. And He knows it to be for their interests at another time that He forbids them from what He had commanded. When that time comes, He commands them what is best for them.73

He asserts two more points: God is free in His Will and Action, and nothing, not even His own plan, can restrict His freedom of Will and Action. The doctrine of bada’ is extremely useful to refute the Jewish doctrine of suspended creation.

So far as the case of Isma’il is concerned, al-Saduq gives another version of the tradition of al-Imam al Sadiq (A) on the authority of Abu al-Husayn al- ‘Asadi, substituting “my son Isma’il” by “my ancestor Isma'il (A)”. The last part of the tradition is as follows:

"...For He commanded his father to sacrifice him, and then He redeemed him with a great sacrifice."74

He says that he has explanations for either of the two versions, but he brought them up for the meaning of the expression bada’. Anyhow, the first version remains a problem for interpreters. Al-Mufid, realizing the difficulty, uses the term reluctantly, saying that since there are accepted traditions he uses the expression in a sense that is not repugnant to reason. However, his position on this issue is not different from that of his teacher, al-Saduq. Al-Mufid says:

Only that act is described by the term bada’ whose appearance was not counted on and whose occurrence was not thought likely. The term is not used for what is known and considered likely. 75

He adds further that the term is used as an anthropomorphic expression, and can be interpreted metaphorically. This position could be acceptable to the Mu’tazilites, who rationally explained anthropomorphic expressions in the Quran, but they were not ready to give the same treatment to an Imam’s tradition. The question arises: why did the Mu’tazilites or others insist on treating the words of traditions at their face value? Their refusal to understand metaphorical expressions in a tradition is unintelligible.

There are a number of issues that are significant in kalam which were dealth with by al-Saduq. A cursory glance at the contents of al­Tawhid and I’tiqadat is sufficient to form an idea of his interest in kalam. He has made an attempt to spell out the anthropomorphic meaning of many terms related to God and the other world. For instance, after explaining the literal sense of the word “kursi” (chair) he adds: ‘Al-Imam al-Sadiq (A) said: That it (kursi) is His ‘ilm (knowledge)’. Similarly, ‘arsh (the throne) is also interpreted as knowledge. 76 Thus, by adhering to rational approach, al-Saduq has saved himself from accepting the position of anthropomorphist’s (believers in tashbih). Despite being an expert of tradition, al-Saduq was not a mere traditionist in the commonly accepted sense of the term.

c. Ethics

Al-Saduq compiled some treatises on the problems of morality and moral code. Among them the most important are two: Al-Khisal and Thawab al- ‘a’mal wa ‘iqab al- ‘a’mal. 77These books along with his monumental work in hadith Man la yahduruhu al-faqih serve as pioneering efforts in Islamic ethics. Their importance in ethical literature of the Muslims in general, and the Shi’ah in particular, lies in there being the oldest of the collections of traditions compiled to deal with morality systematically.

Though al-Saduq has not treated the subject from psychological or social viewpoints, his treatment is quite systematic, and he does not fail to highlight social aspects and implications of purely moral behaviour. Islamic ethics neither ignores the social aspect of morality nor does it overlook psychological factors involved in moral conduct. Al-Khisal is an outline of the Islamic code of moral conduct, while the other one, because of its emphasis on reward (thawab) and punishment (’iqab), approaches the issue from an angle that gives consideration to the psychological incentives encouraging morally good behavior.

A systematic analysis of these two works of al-Saduq may provide some insight into early attempts at systemization of Muslim ethics. Of course, some Muslim scholars had done pioneering work in the field of ethics before al-Saduq, but on different lines. Most of them were done under the influence of Greek thought, particularly ethics of Aristotle. Abu al- ‘Abbas (d. 286/899), besides translating some Greek texts, compiled two books in ethics: Kitab fi akhlaq al-nafs and Kitab fi sirat al­ ‘insan. Abu Zayd al-Balkhi (d. 322/934) wrote Kitab akhlaq al- ‘umam. Muhammad Zakariyya al-Razi (251-311or 320/865-923 or 932) wrote al-Sirat al-falsafiyyah and Tibb al-nafs or al-Tibb al-ruhani. By this time, Abu Nasr al-Farabi (259-339/873-950-51) had written his classical work, Tahsil al-sa’adah besides Siyasat al-madinah and Ara’ ahl-al­madinat al-fadilah, which indirectly dealt with the issue of socio­political morality. Al-Saduq 's contemporary, Abu al-Hasan al-‘Amiri (381/991) wrote al-Sa’adah wa al-sa'ad. During the lifetime of al-Saduq Ibn Miskawayh (d. 325-421/936-1030) was engaged in writing al-Fawz al- ‘akbar, Tahdhib al- ‘akhlaq wa tathir al- ‘a’raq, Tartib al-sa'adah wa manazil al- ‘ulum and Risalat al-mas’adah.

This period witnessed great interest in philosophization about moral issues. It needs to be investigated how far al-Saduq benefited from the works of ethics that were compiled during his lifetime and in the immediate past. It would be also important to know how far his successors, particularly Ibn Miskawayh, were influenced by his collections of hadith on moral issues, for Ibn Miskawayh is said to have Shi'i inclinations. A comparative study of al-Saduq’s works in ethics and the works mentioned above would be fruitful to determine his place among Muslim moral thinkers. His approach is not philosophical, and it seems that he was not influenced by the attempts at philosophization of moral issues. He rather treated them traditionally.

However, the importance of his ethical works lies in the fact that they are perhaps the oldest Shi’ah collections of hadith exclusively dealing with morality. Ibn Miskawayh has affirmed his faith in the ‘ismah (infallibility) of the Imams, and has also referred to the traditions of ‘Ali (A), al-Hasan (A), al-Husayn (A) and al-Imam al-Sadiq, which besides indicating his faith may be also indicative of the influence of al-Kulayni and al-Saduq upon him.

Al-Saduq’s range of theological interest seems to be much wider than his predecessor, al-Kulayni. He, by opening new avenues, paved the way for a more comprehensive approach to religious scholarship, and added new dimensions to the Imamiyyah understanding of the problems, with which Islam was confronted in his times. He, constituted a bridge between the traditionists of the old school on the one hand, and the daring spirit of the later period embodied in the works of al-Mufid and Shaykh al-Ta'ifah al-Tusi on the other, and culminated in the crowning achievements of al- ‘Allamah al-Hilli, Ibn Idris and Khwajah Nasir al-Din al-Tusi.

  • 1. Abu al-Qasim Razzaqi, Gami dar jihat-e shinasa’i-ye ‘ulama-ye Islam, Intisharat-e Awj, Tehran, 1363 Shamsi, p. 88.
  • 2. Khial-e Shaykh Saduq, Ayat Allah Kamreh-yi, trans. and ed ., Kitab farushi Islamiyyah, Tehran (the seventh edition), p. 21.
  • 3. Dr. Mohammad Mu’in, Farhang-e Farsi, Intisharat-e Amir Kabir 1982, vol. 5 (a’lam), p. 82.
  • 4. Gami dar jihat-e shinasa i-ye ‘ulama-ye Islam, pp.65-75
  • 5. Mahmoud M. Ayoub, The Quran and its interpreters, State University of New York Pess, Albany, 1984, p.6.
  • 6. Gami dar jihat-e shinasa’i-ye ‘ulama-ye Islam,pp.79-81.
  • 7. Al-Shaykh al-mufid, al-‘Irshad, I.A.K. Howard trans., Ansariyan publication, Qum, Iran, pp. XXIII-XXV.
  • 8. 12 Al-Tawhid li al-Shaykh al-jalil al-‘aqdam al-Saduq, Sayyid Hashim al-Husayni al-Tehrani ed., Tehran, 1398 A.H., introduction, pp. 7-8
  • 9. 13 Ibid., p. 8.
  • 10. 11 Al-Shaykh al-Saduq , A Shi’ite Creed, (I’tiqadat al- ‘Imamiyyah ), Asaf A. A.Fyzee trans. and ed., WOFIS, Tehran, Iran, 1982/ 1402 ; p. XXXVU .
  • 11. 14 Mirza Muhammad Tunukabuni, Qisas al- ‘ulama’, Intisharat-e ‘ilmiyyah Islamiyyah, Bazar Shirazi, pp. 388-89.
  • 12. 15 Sayyid Muhammad Kazim Imam, “Dawrah-ye aghaz-e fiqh wa f uqaha-ye Imamiyyah," cf . Hazarah-ye Shaykh Tusi, ‘Ali Dawwani ed., p. 396.
  • 13. 16 Gami dar jihat-e shinasa’i-ye ‘ulama-ye Islam, p. 102, cf . Mustadrak al­wasa’il, vol. 3, p. 547.
  • 14. 17 Ibid ., p. 103, cf. Introduction to Man la yahduruhu al-faqih, vol.1, pp. 3-5.
  • 15. 18 Ibid ., p. 104, cf . Murad Tafrishi, Muqaddamat Man la yahduruhu al-faqih, vol. 1.
  • 16. 19 Khisal-e Shaykh Saduq, Ayat Allah Kamreh-yi, trans.and ed., introduction. pp. 26-27 .
  • 17. 20 Gami dar jihat-e shinasa’i-ye ‘ulama-ye Islam, pp. 103-105 .
  • 18. 21 Ibid ., p. 103.
  • 19. 22 Ibid ., p. 105.
  • 20. 23 Ibid ., p. 105.
  • 21. 24 Ibid ., pp. 103-104, cf . Mustadrak al-,wasa’il, vol. 3, p. 547.
  • 22. 25 Ibid ., pp. 96-98. For dates of birth and death of the authors quoted above consult Dr. Mohammad Mu’in , Farhang-e Farsi, vols. 5& 6.
  • 23. 26 Ibid ., pp. 96-98. For dates of birth and death of the authors quoted above consult Dr. Mohammad Mu’in , Farhang-e Farsi, vols. 5& 6.
  • 24. 27 Ibid ., pp. 96-98. For dates of birth and death of the authors quoted above consult Dr. Mohammad Mu’in , Farhang-e Farsi, vols. 5& 6.
  • 25. 28 Ibid ., pp. 96-98. For dates of birth and death of the authors quoted above consult Dr. Mohammad Mu’in , Farhang-e Farsi, vols. 5& 6.
  • 26. 29 Ibid ., pp. 96-98. For dates of birth and death of the authors quoted above consult Dr. Mohammad Mu’in , Farhang-e Farsi, vols. 5& 6.
  • 27. 30 Ibid ., pp. 96-98. For dates of birth and death of the authors quoted above consult Dr. Mohammad Mu’in , Farhang-e Farsi, vols. 5& 6.
  • 28. 31 Ibid ., pp. 96-98. For dates of birth and death of the authors quoted above consult Dr. Mohammad Mu’in , Farhang-e Farsi, vols. 5& 6.
  • 29. 32 Sayyid Muhammad ‘Ali ibn Sayyid Muhammad al-Hasani Qal’ah-ye kuhnah, trans. and ed., I’tiqadat-e Saduq, Intisharat-e Quds Ridwi, Tehran, .Ahwal-e Shaykh Saduq , pp. XV11-XV111.
  • 30. 33 Murtadha Mutahhari, Khadamat-e mutaqabil-e Islam wa Iran, Shirkat Ofset Sahami ‘Am, Tehran, 2nd print, 1360 Shamsi, pp. 103-106 .
  • 31. 34 Murtadha Mutahhari, “Ilhami az Shaykh al-Ta’ifah,” cf . Hazarah-ye Shaykh Tusi, ‘Ali Dawwani ed., p. 343.
  • 32. 35 Ibid ., p. 343.
  • 33. 36 Ibid . p. 353.
  • 34. 37 Ibid ., pp. 352-53 .
  • 35. 38 Murtadha Mutahhari, Khadamat-e mutaqabil-e Islam wa Iran, pp. 103-4.
  • 36. 39 Sayyid Muhammad Kazim Imam, “Dawrah-ye aghaz-e fiqh wa fuqaha-ye Imamiyyah,” cf . Hazarah-ye Shaykh Tusi, ‘Ali Dawwani ed., pp. 377-78.
  • 37. 40 Ibid., pp. 378-79.
  • 38. 41 Ibid ., p. 379.
  • 39. 42 Ibid ., pp. 382-86.
  • 40. 43 Ibid ., p. 380.
  • 41. 44 Khisal-e Shaykh Saduq, Ayat Allah Kamreh-yi, trans.and ed.introduction , p. 58.
  • 42. 45 For detailed information refer to Zayn al-Din Ja'f ar Zahidi, “Maktab-e Kalami-ye Shaykh al-Ta’ifah al-Tusi,” cf . Hazarah-ye Shaykh Tusi, ‘Ali Dawwani ed . pp. 435-37; Murtadha Mutahhari, Ashna’i ba ‘ulum-e Islami series, kalam, chapter dealing with Shi’ah kalam ; and Murtadha Mutahhari, Khadamdat-e mutaqabil-e Islam wa Iran, chapter on kalam, pp. 138-144.
  • 43. 46 Nawbakhti, Abu Muhammad Hasan ibn Musa, Firaq al-Shi’ah Nawbakhti, Muhammad Jawad Mashkur ed . and trans., muqaddamah, Markaz-e Intisharat-e ‘ilmi wa farhangi, 1361 Sham. pp. 11-17.
  • 44. 47 For details refer to McDermott , M.J., The Theology of Al-Shaykh al-Mufid, Dar el Machreq Editeurs, Beirut, 1978, pp. 5-7.
  • 45. 48 Sh. al-Saduq , A Shi’ite Creed , pp. 42-3.
  • 46. 49 The Theology of Al-Shaykh al-Mufid , pp. 318-19, cf . Kitab Kamal al-Din.
  • 47. 50 Ibid., p. 320, cf . al-Tawhid, pp. 290-91.
  • 48. 51 Ibid., p. 321.
  • 49. 52 A Shi’ite Creed, p. 32.
  • 50. 53 Tarjumah-ye I’tiqadat-e Saduq, cf . Sh. al-Mufid, Tashih al-‘I'tiqadat, p. 15 (ft. notes); Sh. al-Saduq, Asrar-e tawhid , Persian trans. Muhammad ‘Ali Qal’ah-ye Kuhnah-yi, Intisharat-e ‘ilmiyyah Islamiyyah, Tehran, chap. 11, pp. 133-34.
  • 51. 54 Sh. al-Mufid , Tashih al- ‘I’tiqadat, Per. trans., ft. notes of Tarjumah-ye I’tiqadat-e Saduq, p. 15.
  • 52. 55 Khalq taqdir means that God has created human beings with power to do good as well as evil, but He possesses foreknowledge of what they are going 'to do. Khalq takwin implies that God created the actions also (khalq af’al), so that their actions are really His actions. This view is rejected by the Imamiyyah. ( A Shi’ite Creed, p. 120)
  • 53. 56 A Shi'ite Creed, pp. 39-40.
  • 54. 57 Ibid., p. 124 ( notes referred to Wensiek’s analysis).
  • 55. 58 Ibid ., p. 38.
  • 56. 59 Ibid ., p. 39.
  • 57. 60 Ibid ., p . 37.
  • 58. 61 Ibid ., pp. 90-91.
  • 59. 62 Ibid ., p:91.
  • 60. 63Sadr al-muta’allihin Shirazi (Mulla Sadra), al-Mazahir al-‘Ilahiyyah, Sayyid Hamid Tabibiyan trans. Persian, Intisharat-e Amir Kabir, Tehran, 1364 Shamsi, p. 54 & p. 113.
  • 61. 64 A Shi’ite Creed ., pp. 34-35; For further details refer to Asrar-e tawhid (Per. trans.) pp. 380-86.
  • 62. 65 Asrar-e tawhid , chap. 58, pp . 405-31.
  • 63. 66 A Shi’ite Creed, pp.36-37.
  • 64. 67 The Theology of Al-Shaykh al-Mufid, p . 333, cf . al-Tawhid , p. 335.
  • 65. 68 Ibid ., p. 337 , cf . Tashih al –‘I‘tiqadat.
  • 66. 69 A Shi’ite Creed , pp. 41-42.
  • 67. 70 Al-Shahristani , Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Karim , Tawdih al-milal , Per. trans. of al-Milal wa al-nihal by Mustafa Khaliq dad Hashimi, ed . Sayyid Muhammad Ridha’ Jalali Na’ini , Intisharat-e Iqbal, 1361 Sham ., p. 194.
  • 68. 71 The Theology of Al-Shaykh al-Mufid , p. 330. cf . Tawdih al-milal, p. 194.
  • 69. 72 A Shi’ite Creed , p. 42.
  • 70. 73 The Theology of Al -Shaykh al-Mufid , p. 331.
  • 71. 74 Ibid ., 332.
  • 72. 75 Ibid ., 332-33.
  • 73. 76 Ibid ., 334, cf . al-Tawhid , p. 335.
  • 74. 77 Ibid ., 335, cf . al-Tawhid , p. 336.
  • 75. 78 Ibid., p. 337, cf. Tashih, al- ‘I’tiqadat, footnotes of Tarjumah-ye I’tiqadat-e Saduq , p. 25.
  • 76. 79 A Shi’ite Creed, pp. 13-14.
  • 77. 80Al -Khisal and Thawab al-‘a’mal wa ‘iqab al-‘a’mal have been translated into Persian.