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['Aalim Network QR] Shi'a Traditions (Ahadith)

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|       In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the All-Merciful       |\
|  Greeting of Allah be upon Muhammad and the pure members of his House |\
Salamun 'Alaykum

The following question was kindly answered by Shaykh Hasnain.

Fee Amaanillah,

Akil Karim
Moderator - 'Aalim Network

---------- Forwarded Message ----------


What are the sources of shiah hadiths (by hadith, I mean the words of the
Holy Prophet [p.b.u.h] and not our Imams [a.s]), and how authentic are they
compared to the sunni sihah-e-sittah? Also, if they were compiled during the 
same (around about) era then what makes them more authentic?


With the Shi`ah Ithna-Asheri Muslims Hadith is what has been said, done
and tacitly appoved by the Holy Prophet (s), the Twelve Imams (a) and (for
some scholars) Bibi Fatima al-Zahra (a). Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq (a) has said,
"My words (hadeeth) are the words of my father, and the words of my father
are the words of my grandfather, and the words of my grandfather are the
words of al-Hasan and the words of al-Husayn, and their words are the words
of Ameer al-Mu'mineen (a), and the words of Ameer al-Mu'mineen are the words of 
the Prophet of Allah (s) and the words of the Prophet are the sayings (qawl) of 
Allah, the Mighty and the Magnificence (Al-Kafi, Book 2, Hadith 155-14.)

As for the sources of our Hadith, including those attributed to the Holy
Prophet(s), the following three sets of books are normally referred to:

A. Al-Kutub al-Arba' (the four cannonical books)-

1. Al-Kaafi by Abu Ja`far Muhammad ibn Ya`qun al-Kulayni (d. AH 329/941        
2. Man laa Yahduaruh al-faqeeh by Abu Ja`far Muhammad b. `Ali al-Babuwayh
   popularly known as Shaykh al-Saduq (d.381/991-2).
3.& 4. Tahdheeb al-ahkam and Al-Istibsaar, both by Abu Ja`far Muhammad
       b.Hasan b. `Ali al-Toosi. He was also known as Shaykha al-Taaifah       
(d. 460/1067).

B. The later four books

1. Al-Wafi by Mulla Mohsin Fayd al-Kaashaani (d.1091/1680)
2. Wasaa'il al-Shi`ah by Shaykh Muhammad b. Hasan al-Hurr al-`Aamili
3. Bihaar al-Anwaar by `Allamah Muhammad Baqir b. Muhammad al-Taqi
   al-Majlisi (d. 1110/1699).
4. Mustadrak al-Wasaa'il by Shaykh Husayn al-Noori (d.1320/?).

c. The two special compilations

1. Nahj al-Balagha being a collection of sermons, writings and maxims of    Imam 
`Ali b. Abi Talib and compiled by Sharif al-Radi (d.406/1015).
2. Al-Saheefa al-Sajjadiyyah containing du`as and munajat from Imam `Ali
   Zayn al-`Abidin (a).

	Unlike the Sunni Muslims, none of our books is considered by our scholars 
as Sahih (authentic) in its entirety. Our scholars when making use of these 
hadith, especially when arriving to a juristic ruling (fatwa), study the 
authenticity of each individual hadith, employing the elaborate rules prescribed 
in the science of Hadith. One important principle in asserting the validity of a 
hadith is that it should conform with the Holy Qur'an.


*Al-Shaykh al-Baha'i, "Al-Wajizah: A Short Treatise on `Ilm Dirayat
al-Hadith," Al-Tawhid, vo. II, No. 2, 1985.
*Rasul Ja`fariyan, "Tadwin al-Hadith: A Historical Study of the Writing and
Compilation of Hadith," (in 3 parts), Al-Tawhid, vo.V, Nos. 2, 3&4, 1988;
vol. VI, No. 1, 1988.
*Al-Muhaqqiq al-Karaki, "Tariq Istinbat al-Ahkam," Al-Tawhid, vol.II, No.3,1985.
*Mustafa Awliya'i, "Outlines of the Development of the Science of Hadith,"
(in 3 parts)Al-Tawhid, vol.I, No. 1, 2. & 3, 1984.
*S. S. Akhatar Rizvi, The Qur'an & Hadith,Imam Hussain Foundation, Beirut,
1996, Chapter Four, pp.87-126.
*S.M.H. Tabaatabaa'i, Shi`a, Ansariyan Publications, Qum, n.d.,pp.101-103.

God knows the best.

Hasnain Kassamali
Humble servant of the Ahlul Bayt (a).

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