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Misbah al-Kaf'ami (book)

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Misbah al-Kaf'ami
Author Ibrahim b. 'Ali al-Kaf'ami
Original title مصباح الکفعمی
Language Arabic
Subject Du'a and Ziyara
Genre Hadith

Junnat al-amān al-wāqīya wa jannat al-īmān al-bāqīya (Arabic: جُنَّةُ الأمانِ الْواقیَة وَ جَنَّةُ الإیمان الباقیَة), known as Miṣbāḥ al-Kaf'amī (Arabic: مصباح الکفعمی) and al-Misbah (Arabic: المصباح), is one of the most important Shiite sources of supplications and ziyarah written by the Shiite scholar of hadith and literature, Ibrahim b. 'Ali al-Kaf'ami (d. 905/1499). Al-Misbah was written after al-Balad al-amin and is, in fact, its summary. Because of its similarities with Misbah al-mutahajjid written by al-Shaykh al-Tusi, it came to be known as al-Misbah. In this book, the author cited the recommended practices of lunar months, manners of supplication, and some literary and historical points within 50 chapters.

Author

Shaykh Taqi al-Din Ibrahim, the son of Zayn al-Din 'Ali al-Harithi al-Luwayzi al-Jaba'i, known as "al-Kaf'ami", was a scholar of the 9th/15th century. He was born in 840/1436 in Kfar 'Ayma, a village near Jabal Amel in Lebanon. His father was a pious person and a scholar of jurisprudence. Al-Kaf'ami was a scholar of hadiths and literature, a poet, and a prominent Shiite scholar. He was a master of various disciplines and was very eloquent. He wrote many works.

Date of Writing

Al-Kaf'ami wrote the book, Misbah, 10 years before his death, in 895/1489.[1]

Significance and Reliability

Misbah was frequently transcribed because it received a wide attention and popularity. In early centuries after it was written, it could be found in people's houses everywhere in Islamic lands.

In the preface of the book, al-Kaf'ami wrote:

I have collected Misbah from reliable sources to which one should appeal. I organized it in a way that can take its reader to the highest ranks of closeness to God.[2]

Al-Shaykh al-Tusi's Misbah was a widely popular book which was found in every house. When al-Kaf'ami's Misbah was written, al-Shaykh al-Tusi's Misbah al-mutahajjid was replaced by Misbah al-Kaf'ami.[3]

Structure

Misbah consists of 50 chapters beginning with the rulings of will, tahara (cleanliness) and preparations for prayer. It then deals with supplications after the introduction of obligatory and recommended prayers as well as the recommended practices after saying prayers.

The recommended practices and supplications during days and nights are mentioned in different chapters. Chapter 41 and its following chapters are concerned with ziyarah. He then mentions days of a year with births and martyrdoms of the Imams (a).

The author then mentions the recommended practices of lunar months from Rajab to Dhu l-Hijja. At the end of the book, there is an epilogue in which he mentions the manners of praying and reciting supplications, conditions in which supplications are more probably answered by God, the conditions of the person who prays, and preparations for it.

Al-Kaf'ami has also referred to some literary and historical points in the book, including parts of the Event of Karbala, heroic acts of Imam 'Ali (a) in different battles, poems and sermons, such as a sermon by Imam 'Ali (a) that does not contain the letter, aleph.[4]

Sources of the Book

At the end of the book, al-Kaf'ami has mentioned his sources which amount to 238. They include books concerning supplications, exegesis of the Qur'an, jurisprudence, and ziyara.[5]

Translations

There are many translations of Misbah into Persian, including:

  • A translation by Qadi Jamal al-Din b. Fath Allah al-Shirazi (who lived in India).[6]
  • Rahat al-arwah fi tarjima al-Misbah by Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Khan al-Musawi al-Jaza'iri.[7]
  • A translation by Sayyid Muhammad Rida Husayni.
  • Munis al-'abidin or Nikhbakhtiyya by Mirza Mahmud b. 'Ali.[8]
  • Misbah al-jinan wa miftah al-janan by Sharaf al-Din al-Bayrami al-Lari. In addition to the translation of the book into Persian, this volume also contains a preface and an epilogue. It has summarized and edited the main work in the translation.[9]

Summaries

  • Al-Jannat al-waqiya by the author himself. Since Misbah was too long, al-Kaf'ami decided to summarize the book. He organized it into 40 sections. He was the first one who summarized the book.[10]
  • Al-Anwar al-muqtabasa min misbah al-abrar[11]
  • Diya' al-thaqalayn by Mirza Hatam al-Nazzam al-Maliki. In addition to summarizing the supplications of Misbah, he added many rulings of sharia as well as supplications from al-Shaykh al-Tusi’s Misbah al-mutahajjid. The author himself added comments on the margins of the book.[12]

Commentaries

  • Al-Hashiya 'ala Junnat al-aman by Ahmad b. Muhammad b. 'Ali al-Qayyumi al-Misri.
  • Commentaries on Misbah by Taqi al-Din Ibrahim b. 'Ali al-Kaf'ami.

The latter is the most important commentary on the book written by the author himself. These commentaries are as big as the book.[13]

Notes

  1. Amīn, Aʿyān al-Shīʿa, vol. 2, p. 185.
  2. Kafʿamī, al-Miṣbāḥ, p. 2-3.
  3. Pāknīyā Tabrīzī, "Kafʿamī wa Miṣbāḥ", p. 112.
  4. Pāknīyā Tabrīzī, "Kafʿamī wa Miṣbāḥ", p. 113.
  5. Kafʿamī, al-Miṣbāḥ, p. 772-773.
  6. Āqā Buzurg al-Tihrānī, al-Dharīʿa, vol. 4, p. 135.
  7. Āqā Buzurg al-Tihrānī, al-Dharīʿa, vol. 10, p. 55.
  8. Āqā Buzurg al-Tihrānī, al-Dharīʿa, vol. 24, p. 436.
  9. Āqā Buzurg al-Tihrānī, al-Dharīʿa, vol. 21, p. 105.
  10. Āqā Buzurg al-Tihrānī, al-Dharīʿa, vol. 20, p. 193.
  11. Āqā Buzurg al-Tihrānī, al-Dharīʿa, vol. 26, p. 63.
  12. Āqā Buzurg al-Tihrānī, al-Dharīʿa, vol. 15, p. 123.
  13. Āqā Buzurg al-Tihrānī, al-Dharīʿa, vol. 6, p. 57.

References

  • Amīn, Sayyid Muḥsin al-. Aʿyān al-Shīʿa. Beirut: Dār al-Taʿāruf, n.d.
  • Āqā Buzurg al-Tihrānī, Muḥammad Muḥsin. Al-Dharīʿa ilā taṣānīf al-Shīʿa. Beirut: Dār al-Aḍwāʾ, n.d.
  • Kafʿamī, Ibrāhīm b. ʿAlī al-. Junnat al-amān al-wāqīya wa jannat al-Imān al-bāqīya (al-Miṣbāḥ). Beirut: Muʾassisat al-Aʿlamī, 1403 AH.
  • Pāknīyā Tabrīzī, ʿAbd al-Karīm. 1388 ,1389 Sh. "Āshināyī bā manābiʿ-i muʿtabar-i Shiʿa: Kafʿamī wa Miṣbāḥ". Muballighān 126: (112-124).