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Ithbat al-hudat bi-l-nusus wa l-mu'jizat (book)

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Ithbat al-hudat
Author Al-Shaykh Hurr al-Amili
Original title إثباتُ الهُداة بِالنُّصوص وَ المُعجِزات
Language Arabic
Published 2005, Beirut
Publisher Mu'assisa al-A'lami li l-Matbu'at

Ithbāt al-hudāt bi al-nuṣūṣ wa l-muʿjizāt (Arabic: إثباتُ الهُداة بِالنُّصوص وَ المُعجِزات) is a book written by the Shiite scholar of hadith, al-Shaykh al-Hurr al-'Amili (d. 1104/1692). The book is concerned with biographies of Shiite Imams (a) and proofs for their imamate and wilaya by appealing to hadiths and their super-human acts or miracles. The book is structured in 35 sections, each containing a few chapters.

Author

Main article: al-Hurr al-'Amili

Al-Shaykh al-Hurr al-'Amili was an Imami scholar of hadith and fiqh in the 11th/17th century and the author of many important books, the best-known of which is Wasa'il al-Shi'a. Al-Shaykh al-Hurr al-'Amili is also known as “Ṣāḥib al-wasā'il” (صاحِب الوَسائل), that is, the author of Wasa'il al-Shi'a. He died in Mashhad and his mausoleum is located in the Holy Shrine of Imam al-Rida (a).

The book is concerned with hadiths signifying the prophethood of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and the imamate of the Imams (a) as well as their miracles and super-human acts. According to Agha Buzurg Tihrani, the book was written in 1096/1684.

Motivation for Writing

Al-Shaykh al-Hurr al-'Amili says in the preface of the book:

I could not find a book sufficiently dealing with this issue [i.e. prophethood and imamate], satisfying intelligent people. And I saw that these materials are hidden in a scattered way and it takes a long time for one to find them. This is why I have collected them in this book.

Style of Writing

Since the author of the book was an Akhbari scholar, he was lenient in relying on hadiths. He collected all relevant hadiths in old Shiite sources, and his comments on them do not involve any critical assessments. This led to the vulnerability of the work, just like other similar works. The author’s comments are like those he provided in his Wasa'il al-Shi'a; he usually explains that a similar hadith also appears in a previous or a subsequent section. Al-Hurr al-'Amili mentioned the whole chains of narrators of hadiths as well as their sources.

Contents

Ithbat al-hudat has 35 sections:

  • Sections 1 through 5 are concerned with the reliability and other issues regarding hadiths by the Infallibles (a).
  • Sections 8 and 9 are concerned with hadiths signifying the Prophet Muhammad’s (s) prophethood and his miracles.
  • Sections 10 through 34 are devoted to hadiths regarding the imamate and miracles of each Imam (a).
  • And section 35 is concerned with ghuluw (exaggeration about the Imams).

Each section contains several chapters, each of which is devoted to hadiths cited by a collection of hadiths.

Sources of the Book

The book’s sources are all important Shiite hadith collections from the beginning to the author’s time, such as al-Kafi, Basa'ir al-darajat, Kifayat al-athar, al-Khara'ij wa l-jara'ih, books by al-Shaykh al-Saduq, Sayyid b. Tawus, 'Imad al-Din al-Tabari, al-Tabrisi, and exegeses of the Holy Qur'an, such as Tafsir 'Ali b. Ibrahim al-Qumi.

However, he also cited books written by Sunni scholars regarding prophethood, imamate, and miracles of the Infallibles (a).

Number of Hadiths

As the author himself pointed out in an autobiography in his Amal al-amil, he cited 20,000 hadiths directly from 200 books and indirectly from 250 books in his Ithbat al-hudat. He said that 142 books that he cited were Shiite collections of hadiths, and 24 books were non-Shiite sources. In addition to these books, the author cited 439 books in chains of narrators of hadiths. He also tried to avoid repetitive hadiths.

Manuscripts and Publications

The author himself structured the book in two volumes, but its contemporary publication appeared in five volumes. The book was published by Mu'assisa al-A'lami li l-Matbu'at in Beirut in 1425/2004.

References