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Al-Nur al-mubin fi qisas al-anbiya' wa l-mursalin (book)

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Al-Nur al-mubin fi qisas al-anbiya' wa l-mursalin
Author al-Sayyid Ni'mat Allah al-Jaza'iri
Original title النّورُ المُبين فی قِصَص الانبياءِ و المُرسَلين
Language Arabic
Series 1 vol.
Subject History of Prophets (a)
Published 1404/1984
Publisher Library of Ayatollah Mar'ashi Najafi

Al-Nūr al-mubīn fī qiṣaṣ al-anbīyāʾ wa l-mursalīn (Arabic: النّورُ المُبين فی قِصَص الانبياءِ و المُرسَلين) is a book written by al-Sayyid Ni'mat Allah al-Jaza'iri concerning the biographies and stories of prophets who are mentioned in Shiite hadiths. Before narrating the stories of the prophets, the author wrote an introduction about the number of the prophets, their commonalities, Ulu l-'Azm prophets, and the difference between prophets and Imams (a). He also narrated other Quranic stories, such as the story of Seven Sleepers (Ashab al-Kahf). The book is written in Arabic and is published in one volume.

Author

Al-Sayyid Ni'mat Allah al-Jaza'iri, known as al-Muhaddith al-Jaza'iri, was a Shiite scholar of 11th/17th and 12th/18th centuries. He was the head of the well-known scholarly and religious household of Jaza'iris whose lineage goes back to Imam al-Kazim (a). Al-Sayyid Ni'mat Allah was a student of prominent scholars such as al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Jamal al-Din Khwansari, Mulla Muhsin al-Fayd al-Kashani and al-Shaykh Hurr al-'Amili. Sayyid Ni'mat Allah wrote many books, and is counts as a prolific author. His best-known work includes al-Anwar al-nu'maniyya and the anthological book, Zahr al-rabi' (the spring flower). He counts as a high-ranking Akhbari scholar.

Motivation for Writing

In the preface of the book, the author says that Shiite libraries need a brief book regarding the history of the prophets on the basis of hadiths from Ahl al-Bayt (a), and so he wrote such a book. He also says that this book is a detailed account of the stories of the prophets and their stories written at the request of religious brothers in order to supplement his previous book, Riyad al-abrar fi manaqib al-a'immat al-athar.[1]

Style of Writing

The book is based on investigating Shiite hadiths. The author tried to avoid superstitious stories about the prophets and to appeal only to verses of the Qur'an and reliable hadiths.[2]

According to the author, he cannot rely on general histories and their accounts such as Wahb b. Munabbih's book. He only appeals to these books as supporting evidence for his claims.

The book obviously has a Shiite approach. In fact, the book contains the main Shiite books regarding the prophets.[3]

Contents

The book contains a sermon, a preface, 23 parts (each containing several chapters), and an epilogue.

In the preface of the book, the author appeals to hadiths by the Infallibles (a) to review some facts about the prophets, such as their number, Ulu l-'Azm prophets, the difference between prophets and Imams (a), and the infallibility of prophets. He cites a reliable hadith from 'Ali b. Ibrahim al-Qummi as an exegesis of the Quran,[4] according to which all the prophets and their followers pledged their allegiance to the Prophet Muhammad (s), and at the time of raj'a, all prophets and their true followers will go back to life and together with the Prophet (s) and Imam 'Ali (a), they will help Imam al-Mahdi (a) to avenge for Imam al-Husayn (a).

He takes all prophets, the Imams (a), and angels to be infallible from any sins. He interprets away the verses of the Qur'an in which they appear to have made mistakes or committed sins by an appeal to a hadith from Imam al-Rida (a), taking them to be immune to any mistakes. (See: abandoning the better)

The author starts with a chapter concerning the creation of the prophet Adam (a) and his wife and the stories of angels asking God about the reason why Adam (a) was created, God ordering angels to prostrate for Adam (a) and the Iblis (Satan) refusing to do so, their descent to the Earth, Adam's (a) repentance and the acceptance of his repentance by God. The stories are all based on Quranic verses.

With respect to the angels prostrating for Adam (a) and its permissibility, the author appeals to a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a) in response to questions by zindiqs (unbelievers). The Imam (a) was asked whether it is permissible to prostrate (do sajda) for anyone other than God. He replied: no. He was then asked why God ordered the angels to prostrate for Adam. He replied: if someone prostrates for someone else at the command of God, then this is an obedience of divine command. According to a hadith from Imam al-Hadi (a), the angels' sajda for Adam (a) was because of obeying the divine command and their love for Adam (a). He also cited the views of Quranic exegetes in this regard, criticizing some of their views.

He goes on to give biographies of Noah (a), Hud (a), Salih (a), Moses (a), Aaron (a) and other Israelite prophets, Ibrahim (a), Jacob (a), and Joseph (a), Jesus (a), and the Prophet Muhammad (s) on the basis of Quranic verses and hadiths. At the end of the book, he provides stories of the Israelite.[5]

Notes

  1. Jazā'irī, al-Nūr al-mubīn, 1404 AH, p. 2.
  2. Jazā'irī, al-Nūr al-mubīn, 1381 Sh, p. 4.
  3. Khurramshāhī, Danishnama-yi Qurʾān, vol. 2, p. 2282.
  4. Qurʾān, 3:81.
  5. Khurramshāhī, Danishnama-yi Qurʾān, vol. 2, p. 2282.

References

  • Qurʾān.
  • Jazā'irī, Niʿmat Allāh al. al-Nūr al-mubīn fī qiṣaṣ al-anbīyāʾ wa l-mursalīn. Qom: Kitābkhāna-yi Ayatollāh Marʿashī, 1404 AH.
  • Jazā'irī, Niʿmat Allāh al. Qiṣaṣ al-anbīyāʾ. Translated by Fatima Mashāyikh. Qom: Inteshārāt-i Farḥān, 1381 Sh.
  • Khurramshāhī, Bahāʾ al-Dīn. Danishnama-yi Qurʾān wa Qurʾān pazhūhī. Tehran: Dūstān -Nāhīd, 1377 Sh.