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Shaykh al-Ijaza

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Authority of Permission or Shaykh al-Ijāza (Arabic: شیخ الاجازة), the plural form Mashāyikh al-Ijāza (مشایخ الاجازة), or Mashīkhat al-Ijāza, (مشیخة الاجازة) refers to a master or a teacher who gave the permission to others to transmit hadiths or books of hadiths. Not all transmitters of hadiths had the position of Shaykh al-Ijaza. A transmitter of hadiths who had such a position was considered by some Shiite scholars of rijal to be reliable.

Reason for Appellation

The word, "shaykh", in Arabic means a senior or old person, and its plural form is "mashayikh", "mashikha" and "shuyukh". A senior teacher or scholar is called "shaykh" because they are older than their students and spent a long time for their studies. In the terminology of hadith, "shaykh" refers to transmitters of hadiths from whom other people heard or transmitted hadiths.

Permission of Hadith

"Ijazat al-riwaya" or permission for the transmission of hadiths refers to a permission given by a teacher or a master to their reliable students or other reliable people to transmit hadiths or books of hadiths. The teacher who issued such a permission was known as "Shaykh al-ijaza".

Significance for Rijal

Shiite scholars of rijal disagree over whether being a Shaykh al-ijaza implies one's reliability or praiseworthiness or not:

  • Other people, such as Mirza Abu l-Qasim al-Naraqi, believe that being a Shaykh al-ijaza implies reliability only if the person who received the permission transmits hadiths from reliable people only. Al-Naraqi believes, however, that being a Shaykh al-ijaza implies reliability much less than being a Shaykh al-ta'ifa. Al-Sayyid Muhammad al-Mujahid holds that the reliability of a Shaykh al-ijaza depends on whether or not probable beliefs (zann) are sufficient for knowledge of someone's reliability. Since zann is, for him, sufficient for reliability, he believes in the reliability of Shaykh al-ijaza.

Monography

Al-Mirza al-Qummi has written an essay as Risala fi ma'rifa mashayikh al-ijaza (regarding the knowledge of Mashayikh al-ijaza) which is mentioned in al-Dhari'a.

See Also

References

  • The material for this article is mainly taken from شیخ اجازه in Farsi Wikishia.