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Kashf al-ghita' (book)

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Kashf al-ghita' 'an mubhamat al-shari'at al-gharra'
Author Ja'far Kashif al-Ghita'
Original title کشف الغطاء عن مبهمات الشريعة الغرّاء
Language Arabic
Subject Jurisprudence
Published Qom, 1422/2001-2
Publisher Bustan-i Kitab

Kashf al-ghitāʾ ʿan mubhamāt al-sharīʿat al-gharrāʾ (Arabic: کَشفُ الغِطاء عَن مُبهَماتِ الشّریعَةِ الغَرّاء) is an Arabic book in jurisprudence written by the Shiite scholar of the 12th/18th and 13th/19th century, al-Shaykh Ja'far Kashif al-Ghita' (d. 1227/1812). The book has three parts: principles of Shiite beliefs, principles of jurisprudence, and parts of jurisprudence. The work is so well-known and distinguished that its author came to be known as "Kashif al-Ghita'" after the title of the book.

Author

Ja'far b. Khidr b. Yahya al-Najafi (1156/1743-44 - 1227/1812), known as Kashif al-Ghita' was a Shiite authority (marja') in the 13th/19th century after the death of his teacher, 'Allama Bahr al-'Ulum. Kashif al-Ghita' Family were his descendants. He, Like his other teacher al-Wahid al-Bihbahani, campaigned against Akhbaris and wrote books and essays to refute their claims.

Motivation for Writing

The author himself wrote in the introduction of the book:

After I wrote a brief essay about the rulings of Islam to be consulted by my public followers, I decided to write a book concerning the rulings of jurisprudence that can be consulted by great scholars and students.[1]

Contents

The author wrote the book with a particular style of writing. The book has three parts.

Significance

Kashf al-ghita' is one of the best Shiite books regarding beliefs, jurisprudence, and principles of jurisprudence. The author concerns himself with showing the truth of Twelver Shiism. The book displays his mastery of different issues, as he is quoted as saying: "the face of jurisprudence is revealed only by me, al-Shahid al-Awwal and my son, Musa".

It is also reported that the Muhammad Hasan al-Najafi, the author of Jawahir al-kalam, was asked why he does not write commentaries on Kashf al-ghita' to do justice to his teacher. He replied: "my teacher's book is very profound and I am not in a position to write commentaries on it."[3]

Features

The first distinctive feature of Kashf al-ghita' is its style of writing. The work deals with principles of beliefs, such as monotheism, Divine Justice, prophecy, and resurrection in a brief and yet well-argued way, and elaborated issues such as imamate. In this part of the book, he cited over 50 hadiths, such as Hadith al-Thaqalayn, Hadith al-Manzila, Hadith al-Rayat, Hadith Khasif al-Na'l, Hadith of Brotherhood, and Hadith al-Tayr al-Mashwi from Shiite and Sunni sources.[4]

Another distinguishing mark of the book is its deployment of painstaking issues of usul al-fiqh. In the second part of the book, he deals with 56 problems common to jurisprudence and principles of jurisprudence that are crucial for deriving the rulings of shari'a. In this part, he also attacked the Akhbari approach.[5]

Manuscripts and Publications

  • A manuscript in the library of A'zam mosque, Qom;
  • Two manuscripts in the Razavi Library in Mashhad;

The book was published in the Publication Center of the Islamic Propagation Office in Qom; And a Persian translation of the author's introduction to the book was also published in Qom under "Difa' az haqqaniyyat-i Shi'a" (a defense of the truth of Shiism).

Notes

  1. Kāshif al-Ghiṭāʾ, Kashf al-ghiṭāʾ, vol. 1, p. 43.
  2. Anṣārī, "Sīmā-yi Qurʾān Dar Kashf al-ghiṭāʾ".
  3. Kāshif al-Ghiṭāʾ, Kashf al-ghiṭāʾ, vol. 1, p. 36.
  4. Kāshif al-Ghiṭāʾ, Kashf al-ghiṭāʾ, vol. 1, p. 37.
  5. Kāshif al-Ghiṭāʾ, Kashf al-ghiṭāʾ, vol. 1, p. 37.

References

  • Anṣārī, Muḥammad Riḍā. 1373 Sh. "Sīmā-yi Qurʾān Dar Kashf al-ghiṭāʾ." Payām-i Qurʾān 2.

Kāshif al-Ghiṭāʾ, Jaʿfar b. Khiḍr al-. Kashf al-ghiṭāʾ ʿan mubhamāt al-sharīʿa al-gharrāʾ. Qom: Būstān-i Kitāb, 1422 AH.