All praise and thanks be to Allah, and all peace and blessings be upon Muhammad, the best of humankind, and upon his Household, the Guides.
As I wrote down these doctrines, my one and only objective was to record a summary of what I had concluded through my understanding of the Muslim doctrines according to the approach of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a).
I have recorded this summary without using proofs and points of evidence or supportive texts reported from the Holy Imams (`a) in most cases, so that a beginner, a student, and a scholar will all avail themselves of it. I have entitled it, ‘`aqa'id al-shi`ah (Doctrines of the Shi`ah)’. By shi`ah, I mean the Twelver Imamiyyah Shi`ah in particular.
In AH 1363, I recorded these papers in an effort to deliver them as regular lectures in the College of Muntada al-Nashr for Religious Studies so that I could use them as a preamble for the higher level of researchers of theology.
At that time, I succeeded in delivering many of these papers without preparing them in book form for publishing and public reading. Consequently, I ignored these scattered papers just like many of the lectures and lessons that I used to write down under these circumstances, especially the ones pertaining to doctrines and theology.
This year, however, after the elapse of eight years, the noble and virtuous Mr. Muhammad Kazim al-Katabi—may Allah keep him under His custody—awakened my desire to review these papers and compile them as a brief thesis in book form with an attached series and publish them. The need arose when many accusations were being leveled at the Imamiyyah Shi`ah, especially by some modern writers in Egypt and other countries, who were using their pens to wage vehement campaigns against the Shi`ah and the doctrines of Shi`ism owing to their ignorance, or pretended ignorance of the religious methods of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a).
They united their efforts to abuse the truth and publicize ignorance among the readers of their books in order to sow dissension among Muslims, arouse rancor and malice in their hearts, and even set Muslims against each other. A well-informed person cannot neglect the urgent need for approximation between the opposing Muslim sects to bury their rancor, especially in the present times, even if we cannot unite them and bring them under one pen.
Unfortunately, I have to admit that we will never be able to achieve unity through such modest attempts, which we have already tried with writers like Dr. Ahmad Amin and his group who call for disunity. Our demonstration of the doctrines of the Imamiyyah Shi`ah has not increased anything except stubbornness in such writers and our drawing their attention to the truth has not increased anything in them except obduracy in wrong.
We would not have cared for such people had it not been that we fear that the simple-minded people would be deceived by such offensive attacks and arouse their rancor and malice against their brethren. Whatever the case may be, I only hope that truth-seekers would find useful material in this book and I would thus serve not only Islam but also entire humanity. I have arranged this thesis in an introduction and a number of chapters, seeking success from none save Almighty Allah.
Muhammad Ridha al-Muzaffar
Holy Najaf, Iraq
Jumada al-Akhirah 27, 1370 AH