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Ibrahim b. 'Ali al-Kaf'ami

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Ibrahim b. 'Ali al-Kaf'amihttp://en.wikishia.net
قبر کفعمی 2.jpg
Personal Information
Full Name Taqī al-Dīn Ibrāhīm b. ʿAlī al-ʿĀmilī al-Kafʿamī
Epithet al-Kaf'ami
Religious Affiliation Twelver Shi'a
Birth 840/1436
Place of Birth Jabal 'Amil, Lebanon
Residence Jabal 'Amil, Karbala
Death 905/1499
Burial Place Jebchit village
Scholarly Information
Permission for Hadith
Transmission From
Shaykh 'Ali al-Kaf'ami
Works Misbah of al-Kaf'ami, Al-Balad al-amin wa l-dar' al-hasin

Taqī al-Dīn Ibrāhīm b. ʿAlī al-ʿĀmilī al-Kafʿamī (Arabic:تَقی الدّین إبراهیم بن عَلی العامِلی الکَفعَمی) (b. 840/1436 - d. 905/1499) was among Shi'a scholars of the 9th/15th century. He lived in Jabal 'Amil, Lebanon and his lineage reached Harith al-Hamdani. Due to his expertise in different sciences of his time, al-Kaf'ami had miscellaneous works, and biographers have spoken highly of him. Al-Misbah and al-Balad al-Amin are among his famous works in ziyara and supplication.

Birth and Lineage

Taqi al-Din, Ibrahim b. ALi al-'Amili al-Kaf'ami was born in Kfar 'Ayma village of Jabal 'Amil in 840/1436. Aqa Buzurg Tihrani has mentioned the date of his birth in 828/1425.

His lineage reached Harith Hamdani, the companion of Imam Ali (a). At the end of his Misbah, al-Kaf'ami have introduced himself a descendant of Harith. His birthplace, Kfar 'Ayma village is near Jebchit and today, only some ruins are left of this abandoned village.

Al-Kaf'ami Family

There are famous people in al-Kaf'ami family. His first teacher was his father, Shaykh Ali al-Kaf'ami who gave him permission to narrat hadiths and is considered among his sources of hadiths. Shaykh Ali al-Kaf'ami was among the scholars and mystics of Jabal 'Amil who devoted his life and children to Islam and Shia. His children were:

  1. al-Shaykh Taqi al-Din Ibrahim al-Kaf'ami, author of al-Misbah, etc.
  2. al-Shaykh Shams al-Din Muhammad al-Jaba'i al-'Amili (d. 886/1481) who was also an Islamic scholar and the great grandfather of al-Shaykh al-Baha'i and thus both al-Shaykh al-Baha'i and al-Kaf'ami were descendants of Harith.
  3. al-Shaykh Jamal al-Din Ahmad was also a Shia author and wrote Zubdat al-bayan fi 'amal shahr Ramadan. Apparently, Shaykh Jamal al-Din passed away before Ibrahim al-Kaf'ami who has quoted from in his book.

Teachers and Students

Al-Kaf'ami had many teachers which have been listed in references of rijal and biography. Three of his most famous teachers were:

  1. Ali b. Hasan al-Kaf'ami, his father who gave him permission to narrate hadiths.
  2. Sayyid husayn b. Musa'id al-Husayni , author of Tuhfat al-abrar fi manaqib al-a'immat al-abrar.
  3. Sayyid Ali b. 'Abd al-Husayn al-Musawi al-Husayni, author of Raf' al-malamat 'an Ali (a) fi tark al-Imama.

In the books of rijal and biography, there is no mention of his students.

Works

During 65 years of his life, al-Shaykh Ibrahim al-Kaf'ami wrote many scholarly books and treatises in different fields such as mysticism, spiritual journey, literature, poetry, history, supplication and ziyara. When mentioning the works of al-Kaf'ami in A'yan al-Shi'a, Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin has listed the names of 49 books, the volume of some of which is more than 1000 pages.

  1. Junnat al-aman al-waqiya wa jannat al-iman al-baqiya or Misbah of al-Kaf'ami. The cause of naming this book as Misbah is that this book is written in the same style as al-Shaykh al-Tusi's Misbah al-mutahajjid, and thus is named as Misbah, but to be distinguished from al-Shaykh al-Tusi's Misbah, it has been named Misbah of al-Kaf'ami.
  2. Al-Junnat al-Waqiya is a summary of Misbah.
  3. Al-Balad al-amin wa l-dar' al-hasin which is among the biggest books of al-Kaf'ami and much more voluminous than Misbah, even though it is similar to it in content.
  4. Nihayat al-arab fi amthal al-'Arab in two thick volumes which, according to great scholars, is the best book in the field.

And many other books.

Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya

Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya with the handwriting of al-Kaf'ami is one of the oldest manuscripts of Sahifa which was taken out of Iran and lost many years ago; but was finally recognized in the Indian peninsula and was moved to Qom in Iran and was then published. In addition to the 54 supplications of Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya, this manuscript has four more supplications.

Poems and Literary Speeches

Al-Kaf'ami was also knowledgeable in literature, poetry and speech-making. Talmasani, the Sunni scholar praised al-Kaf'ami for his Qur'anic speech. One of al-Kaf'ami's famous literary works is a poem about the Day of Ghadir, names of that day, praising merits and values of Imam Ali (a) which is known as ode of Ra'iyya.

In the Views of Others

Mirza 'Abd Allah Afandi, author of Riyad al-'Ulama introduced al-Kaf'ami, the top of his time in Arabic literature.

Al-Shaykh Hurr al-'Amili, author of Wasa'il al-Shi'a considered al-Kaf'ami, a trustworthy, knowledgeable, man of literature, a poet and righteous.

In al-Ghadir, al-'Allama al-Amini mentioned him as Jami' 'ilm wa adab ["Perfect man in knowledge and literature"].

Khayr al-Din Zirikili, a Sunni biographer mentioned al-Kaf'ami as "a man of literature among Imamiyya scholars".

His Demise

Al-Shaykh Ibrahim al-Kaf'ami lived in Karbala and had willed to be buried there, but toward the end of his life, he had a journey to his birth town and passed away at the age of 65 in Kafar 'Ima in 905/1499-1500.

Discovery of His Grave

Kafara 'Ima village was destroyed over time and nothing remained of the grave of al-Kaf'ami, but after years (after 11th/17th century), a farmer found a grave on the stone of which, it was written, "Hadha qabr al-Shaykh Ibrhim b. Ali al-Kaf'ami, Rahmatullah 'alayh" ["This is the grave of al-Shaykh Ibrhim b. Ali al-Kaf'ami, blessings from God be upon him"]. When people were informed of it, they repaired and reconstructed the place of his grave and today, Shia visit his grave.

References