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Mu'jam rijal al-hadith (book)

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Mu'jam rijal al-hadith (book)
Author Sayyid Abu l-Qasim al-Khoei
Original title مُعْجَمُ رجالِ الْحَدیث وَ تَفْصیلُ طَبَقاتِ الرُّواة
Language Arabic
Series 24 vol.
Subject Rijal
Published 1372/1953
Publisher Markaz nashr al-thiqafiyya al-islamiya fi al-alam

Muʿjam rijāl al-ḥadīth wa tafṣīl ṭabaqāt al-ruwāt (Arabic: مُعْجَمُ رجالِ الْحَدیث وَ تَفْصیلُ طَبَقاتِ الرُّواة) is a book in Arabic by Ayatollah Sayyid Abu l-Qasim al-Khoei in the field of hadith sciences, and particularly rijal.

The book introduces more than fifteen-thousand of Shi'a hadith transmitters in alphabetical order, and discusses their reliability in the transmission of hadiths. In the introduction, the author discusses some important topics in the discipline of rijal in six sections.

The work is published in twenty-four volumes and is used by the scholars of Islamic Studies. The content of the book is also presented in Dirayat al-Hadith database.

Author

Sayyid Abu l-Qasim al-Khoei (b.1271/1855 d.1378/1958-59), a Shi'a jurist, marja' and exegete, studied under great scholars in Najaf seminary and trained prominent students, many of whom became the marja's of the next generation. His viewpoints, especially in jurisprudence, are among the most widely discussed viewpoints in Shi'a Seminaries after him.

Ayatollah Khoei produced many works, among which Mu'jam rijal al-hadith is one of the most popular. His works are published in a collection titled Mawsu'at al-Imam al-Khoei.

Motivation for Compilation

The author wrote this book late in his life, because he believed that the science of rijal was greatly neglected at his time, as if there was no need for it in jurisprudence. This motivated him to compile a comprehensive work on rijal, containing all its discussion and contents.[1]

A Survey of the Book

Mu'jam rijal al-hadith starts with an introduction with six sections on some topics in the science of rijal. In the main part of the book, the names of hadith transmitters are mentioned in alphabetical order. For each hadith transmitter whose name appears in the Four Books, those who transmitted hadiths from him and those from whom he transmitted hadiths are mentioned, and the references to his hadiths are given. Some hadith transmitters whose names are not mentioned in the Four Books are also mentioned.[2]

The Introduction

Mu'jam rijal al-hadith starts with a lengthy introduction in which six topics are discussed.

  1. The first topic tackles the necessity of studying rijal. The author criticizes those who reject this discipline and refutes the viewpoint of those who regard the Four Books as entirely authentic.
  2. The second part of the introduction is a discussion on what proves the reliability and trustworthiness of a hadith transmitter.
  3. The third part discusses the General Testimonies of Authentication (al-tawthiqat al-'amma)
  4. The fourth part is a critique of some of the General Testimonies of Authentication.
  5. The fifth part is a survey of the hadiths of the Four Books, in which Ayatollah Khoei rejects the idea that all the hadiths found in these collections are authentic.
  6. The sixth part introduces the most important Shi'ite sources of rijal, compiled by al-Barqi, al-Kashshi, al-Tusi, al-Najashi, and Ibn al-Ghada'iri. Ayatollah Khoei questions the authenticity of Rijal al-Ghada'iri, and considers it a pseudonymous work.[3]

The Main Part

Mu'jam rijal al-hadith is organized in four parts, including names, kunyas, epithets, and female hadith transmitters. The book contains a total of 15,676 entries, each discussing a hadith transmitter. Some hadith transmitters are mentioned more than once, because of the different names by which they are referred to in hadith collections.

  1. The part of names is related to those hadith transmitters whose names appear in the sources of rijal or in the chains of transmitters of a hadith. This part contains 13,853 entries, starting with the entry of "Adam b. Abi l-Husayn al-Lu'lu'i" and ending with the one of "Yunus al-Nisbani".
  2. The part of kunyas discusses the kunyas mentioned in the sources of rijal or in a hadith's chain of transmitters. This part starts with the kunya "Abu Ibrahim" and ends with "Ibn Yaqtin", and contains 1,335 entries.
  3. The part of epithets discusses the epithets that appear in the sources of rijal or in the chains of transmitters of a hadith. It starts with the epithet "al-Ajlah" and ends with "al-Ya'qubi", and includes 353 entries.
  4. The part of female hadith transmitters focuses on 135 women whose names appear in rijal sources or in the chains of transmitters of hadith. This part starts with the entry of "Asma'" and ends with the entry of "Hurayna al-Badihiyya".[4]

Features

Among the important features of Mu'jam rijal al-hadith are the following:

  • The names of all hadith transmitters of the Four Books,
  • The names of all hadith transmitters mentioned in all early Shi'ite sources of rijal,
  • Some names which only appear in later rijal sources, such as Amal al-Amil, Tadhkirat al-mutabahhirin, Rawdat al-jannat, the last part of Mustadrak al-Wasa'il, al-Wasit, the Ta'liqa of Bihbahani.
  • The book makes is possible to easily ascertain the "tabaqa" (generation) to which a hadith transmitter belongs, because the author mentions all the people a hadith transmitter quotes from and all those who quote from him,
  • Biographies of hadith transmitters are mentioned as completely as possible,
  • Hadith transmitters are evaluated; that is to say, in addition to quoting the opinions of other rijal scholars, the author has stated his own opinion about the trustworthiness of each hadith transmitter, which is sometimes totally unique.
  • Since one of the problems in the chains of transmission is misspelling the names of transmitters—such as "Hasan" instead of "Husayn" or vice versa, "Ahmad" instead of "Muhammad" or vice versa, and so forth—Mu'jam rijal al-hadith has taken this issue into consideration and pointed out these mistakes under such titles as "Ikhtilaf al-kutub" (differences in books) and "Ikhtilaf al-nusakh" (differences in manuscripts).[5]

Revision

The compilation of Mu'jam rijal al-hadith ended in 1390/1970; it was published in 23 volumes in Najaf and then in Beirut. A new edition of the book was published by a group of scholars under the supervision of Ayatollah Khoei in 24 volumes in Iran. The new edition contained the following updates: (1) certain changes in the viewpoints of Ayatollah Khoei in rijal that were mentioned in the introduction, (2) correction of some mistakes in the first edition, especially in the names of the transmitters, and (3) inclusion of a detailed table of contents for every volume.

Notes

  1. Khoei, Muʿjam rijāl al-ḥadīth, vol. 1, p. 11-12.
  2. Naẓarī, "Muʿarrifī-yi kitāb-i marjaʿ", p. 14.
  3. Khoei, Muʿjam rijāl al-ḥadīth, vol. 1, p. 13-14; Naẓarī, "Muʿarrifī-yi kitāb-i marjaʿ", p. 14.
  4. ʿAlīnizhād, "Muʿarrifī-yi yikī az muhimtarīn āthār-i rijālī-yi shīʿa", p. 164.
  5. ʿAlīnizhād, "Muʿarrifī-yi yikī az muhimtarīn āthār-i rijālī-yi shīʿa", p. 177.

References

  • ʿAlīnizhād, Abū Ṭālib. "Muʿarrifī-yi yikī az muhimtarīn āthār-i rijālī-yi shīʿa." Shiʿa Shināsī 19:153-182.
  • Khoei, Sayyid Abū l-Qāsim al-. Muʿjam rijāl al-ḥadīth. [n.p]: Nashr-i Tawḥīd, 1413 AH.
  • Naẓarī, Maḥmūd. "Muʿarrifī-yi kitāb-i marjaʿ: Muʿjam rijāl al-ḥadīth wa tafṣīl ṭabaqāt al-ruwāt." Payām-i Bahāristān 35:14.