Sarmaya-yi iman (book)
|Author||'Abd al-Razzaq Lahiji|
|Original title||سرمایه ایمان|
Sarmāya-yi īmān (Persian: سرمایه ایمان, lit: wealth of faith) written by 'Abd al-Razzaq Lahiji is a well-known book concerning usul al-din (the principles of the religion), written after another well-known book by the same author on the same subject-matter called Gowhar-i murad. The book is structured in five parts in accordance with the five principles of the religion. In this work, Lahiji avoids citing various views on the issues in question and tries to avoid abstruseness. One feature of the book is its formulation of the arguments in a logical form.
- Main article: 'Abd al-Razzaq Lahiji
'Abd al-Razzaq Lahiji was a pupil of Mulla Sadra and his son in law, though he had Peripatetic tendencies in his philosophical thoughts and criticized Mulla Sadra's Transcendent Philosophy. He has left works such as Shawariq al-ilham which is an exposition of Nasir al-Din al-Tusi's Tajrid al-i'tiqad, commentaries on al-Isharat of Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, commentaries on Khafri's al-Ta'liqat, Gowhar-i murad , and Sarmaya-yi iman. His son, Mirza Hasan, the author of Jamal al-salihin, was one of his pupils. Lahiji has a significant role in philosophizing Islamic theology. He taught in Qom, and died there in 1072/1661.
Motivation for Writing
In the introduction of the book, Lahiji talks about his motivations for writing the book that a friend of his had read his Gowhar-i murad and found it difficult to comprehend for the novice, thus he asked him to write an essay concerning religious beliefs that suit the novice, and yet presents the essential issues of religious beliefs in a discursive manner. Lahiji wrote Sarmaya-yi iman in response to this request.
Relation with Gowhar-i murad
Though some biographies have claimed that Sarmaya-yi iman is a summary of Gowhar-i murad , others argue that the former is an independent book from the latter in having reorganized the issues. There are issues discussed in the former that have not come under consideration by the latter. In some cases, Sarmaya-yi iman presents new formulations and arguments absent in Gowhar-i murad.
Lahiji wrote Sarmaya-yi iman as a book with a simple language that suits the novice. He has formulated the issues in a simple, non-abstruse way. Except for some few cases, the book has avoided citing other theologians' views.
Logical Formulations of the Issues
The book presents theological and philosophical arguments in their logical formulations. In the introduction of the book, Lahiji has committed himself to mention only the arguments which are the strongest of all, and to present them in the first form of syllogistic deductions or in the form of modus ponens.
There are some innovative, and sometimes groundbreaking researches, in this book that are not introduced or discussed in the other works of Lahiji:
- Lahiji's view concerning goodness (husn) and badness (qubh): he takes the propositions involving goodness and badness, such as the proposition justice is good, to be self-evident propositions. However, he does not take this position to be in opposition with the view of philosophers according to which such propositions are popular or commonsensical propositions (mashhurat), since, in his view, there are aspects of such propositions that make them self-evident and other aspects that make them commonsensical.
- In his response to objections about the problem of predestination (jabr) and free will ('ikhtiyar), Lahiji allegedly provides innovative responses.
Sarmaya-yi iman is a short introduction to all Islamic beliefs. The book is written after Gowhar-i murad in order to modify and simplify it so as to suit the beginners.
The book considers propositions involving goodness and badness as self-evident propositions. In order to reconcile the claim with the view of philosophers according to which such propositions are popular or commonsensical ones, Lahiji claims that propositions can be subsumed under different such modalities as discursive (burhani), dialectical (jadali), commonsensical (mashhurat), self-evident (badihiyyat) and so on from different aspects. This is an innovation of Lahiji to which Muhammad Husayn Gharawi Isfahani points in his Nihayat al-diraya.
Unlike Gowhar-i murad, Sarmaya-yi iman is similar to the third part of Tajrid al-'itiqad in its structure, parts, chapters, and issues. And in some cases, it reiterates the same issues as those discussed in Tajrid. The book has an introduction and five parts in accordance with the five principles of the religion.
The first part: monotheism (tawhid) containing 10 chapters:
- Chapter 1: the notions of existence (wujud) and non-existence ('adam)
- Chapter 2: on the existence of the necessary being
- Chapter 3: on the necessary being
- Chapter 4: some properties of the necessary being
- Chapter 5: some issues of causation
- Chapter 6: the notions of incidence or createdness (huduth) and pre-eternity (qidam) …
- Chapter 7: the reason why contingent beings need a cause
- Chapter 8: the proof of the necessary being
- Chapter 9: on the rejection of partners (sharik) for the necessary being
- Chapter 10: the attributes of the necessary being.
The second part: justice ('adl) containing eight chapters:
- Chapter 1: the goodness and the badness of acts
- Chapter 2: on the rejection of evils (shurur) and badness in case of the necessary being
- Chapter 3: the problem of creating actions and a reply to the problem of predestination (jabr)
- Chapter 4: the problem of evil and the issue of predestination and fate (al-qada wa l-qadar)
- Chapter 5: the wisdom (hikma) of God
- Chapter 6: the goodness of obligation (taklif)
- Chapter 7: the necessity of grace (lutf) for God
- Chapter 8: the necessity of the better ('aslah) for God
The third part: prophecy (nubuwwa) containing five chapters:
- Chapter 1: the goodness of sending prophets by God and its rational necessity
- Chapter 2: the necessity of the infallibility ('isma) for the prophets
- Chapter 3: how to know the truth of the prophets …
- Chapter 4: on the prophecy of our prophet Muhammad b. 'Abd Allah (s)
- Chapter 5: the superiority of the prophets over angels
The fourth part: imamate, containing five chapters:
- Chapter 1: the notion of Imamate
- Chapter 2: on the necessity of Imam's infallibility and superiority
- Chapter 3: the determination of Imams after the Prophet (s)
- Chapter 4: how to know other Imams (a)
- Chapter 5: the occultation of Imam al-Mahdi (a)
- Chapter 6: on the unjust leaders (imams) and the necessity of disassociation (tabarri) with them
The fifth part: resurrection (ma'ad), containing five chapters:
- Chapter 1: the truth of the resurrection and the return [of the dead]
- Chapter 2: on the awards and punishments
- Chapter 3: on the faith (iman), Islam, unbelief (kufr), vice (fisq), and hypocrisy (nifaq)
- Chapter 4: on the rejection of the foiling ('ihbat) of actions by God, the possibility of God's remission ('afw), and the truth of shafa'a (intercession)
- Chapter 5: the necessity of repentance (tawba), and the enjoining of the virtues and the forbidding of the vice (al-amr bi-l-ma'ruf wa l-nahy 'an al-munkar)
Publications and Prints
The book was printed once in Mumbay and once in Iran both containing some mistakes and distortions that have been corrected in the new version published by the efforts of Sadiq Larijani in al-Zahra Publications.
- The material for writing this article has been mainly taken from سرمایه ایمان in Farsi WikiShia.