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Dala'il al-imama (book)

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Dala'il al-imama
Author Muhammad b. Jarir al-Tabari al-Saghir
Original title دلائل الامامة
Language Arabic
Series 1 volume
Subject the biography, virtues and miracles of lady Fatima (a) and the Infallible Imams (a)
Published Qom, 1383/1963
Publisher Dar al-Dhakha'ir

Dalāʾil al-imāma (Arabic: دَلائِل الإمامَة), is an Arabic book written by Muhammad b. Jarir al-Tabari. It contains the biography, miracles, and virtues of lady Fatima (a) and the Infallible Imams (a). There are doubts about the name of this work and its ascription to al-Tabari. Dala'il al-imama is published for several times by several publishers.

The Author

For a long time it was thought that Muhammad b. Jarir b. Rustam al-Tabari, the Shi'a author of al-Mustarshid fi l-imama, was the author of this book. But there is evidence in the book that shows it is not written by him. Therefore, some scholars believed that there was another Muhammad b. Jarir b. Rustam - whom they titled as al-Saghir (the Junior) – that authored the book. On the contrary, some believed that basically the book is not written by Muhammad b. Jarir, not al-Kabir (the Senior) nor al-Saghir (the Junior). The reason the book was attributed to Mahammad b. Jarir al-Tabari was a false impression from some hadiths in the book which start with "Muhammad b. Jarir al-Tabari said …." They added that Dala'il al-imama is written by an unknown author who lived in early 5th/11th century and was contemporaneous with al-Shaykh al-Tusi and most probably lived in Baghdad. However, probably, due to his contemporaneity, al-Shaykh al-Tusi and al-Najashi did not mention his name in their Rijal books.

Name

In early sources, the title of the book is mentioned as Dala'il, Dala'il al-A'imma, Dala'il al-imama, and al-Imama. Because the first pages of the available manuscripts of the book are missing, the title that the author gave to his book is unknown. However, as Sayyid b. Tawus explicitly mentioned Dala'il al-imama as the title of the book, the book is commonly known by this name.

Date of Compilation

Due to missing first and last pages of the available manuscripts, identifying the accurate year of compilation of the book is almost impossible. However, according to a part of the book which says, "I narrate this report from a text written by al-Shaykh Abu 'Abd Allah al-Ghada'iri's handwriting," Aqa Buzurg Tihrani said that it was probably written after the demise of Gada'iri (d. 411/1020).

Content

The book contains the biography, virtues and miracles of lady Fatima (a) and the Infallible Imams (a). According to Sayyid b. Tawus and 'Allama al-Majlisi the book had two volumes; however, the available book starts from the chapter "Musnad Fatima" to "Ma'rifat Rijal Mawlana Sahib al-Zaman" (knowing the companions of our master the Owner of this Time).

Structure

Except for lady Fatima (a) and Imam al-Mahdi (a), the biography for each Imam contains these chapters: identification, sobriquets, mother, close companions, engraved words on the ring, children, and miracles. In subsequent manuscripts there is no chapter about the close companions. Biography of lady Fatima (a) starts with her Musnad and contains topics such as: the news of her birth, meaning of Muhadditha, emigration, marriage, marriage formula, Mahr (dowery), Zifaf (consummation), Fadak, visiting of women of Medina, Mushaf, her supplication, will, her dream before her martyrdom and hadiths about her virtues. In the chapter of Fadak, he has narrated the Hadith of Fadak from several chains of narrators. The last part of the book contains different topics such as: the existence of al-Qa'im (a), the hadith of the mother of Imam al-Mahdi (a) and her life story, Imam al-Mahdi's birth, lineage, Kunya, sobriquets, people who saw Imam al-Mahdi (a) during the life of his father, hadiths about the necessity of Occultation (Ghayba), people who saw Imam al-Mahdi (a) during Occultation, supplication of Imam al-Mahdi (a) and the name of his companions.

Publication

The available edition of the book is taken from an incomplete manuscript form the last few centuries. The first chapter which was about Amir al-Mu'minin (a) and lady Fatima (a) is incomplete. The manuscript of the book that was available to Sayyid b. Tawus is lost, and even al-'Allama al-Majlisi has used the incomplete edition. However, based on Sayyid b. Tawus's reports from this book, some scholars have added the missing parts to it. The book has been published in 1369/1949-1950 and 1383/1963-1964 in Najaf, in 1383/1963 in Qom and in 1408/1987-1988 in Beirut. In 1413/1992-1993, based on the reports of Sayyid b. Tawus from Dala'il al-imama in his books, such as al-Yaqin and Faraj al-mahmum, a part from the biography of Amir al-Mu'minin (a) was added to the book and it was published in Qom.

References