Tamhid al-usul fi 'ilm al-kalam (book)
|Tamhid al-usul fi 'ilm al-kalam (book)|
|Original title||تَمهیدُ الأصول فی علمِ الکَلام|
Tamhīd al-uṣūl fī ʿilm al-kalām (Arabic: تَمهیدُ الأصول فی علمِ الکَلام) is an Arabic book concerning theology and the principles of religious beliefs written by Muhammad b. Hasan al-Tusi, known as al-Shaykh al-Tusi, a Shiite scholar of the 5th/11th century. The book is written as an exposition of the first part of the book, Jumal al-'ilm wa l-'amal, which is devoted to theology. Jumal al-'ilm wa l-'amal was written by al-Sharif al-Murtada at the command of al-Shaykh al-Mufid.
Contrary to the common practice of his contemporary and previous scholars, the author of Tamhid al-usul did not cite the text of Jumal al-'ilm wa l-'amal. Instead, he elaborated the issues touched on in the text. At the beginning of the book, he does not even follow the order of the text.
Tamhid al-usul consists of four parts, each containing several chapters. After a discussion of what obligatory actions are and that knowing God is the first obligation, it discusses other issues, such as the incipience of bodies and their properties, the existence of God and His attributes, obligation or duty, promised rewards and punishments, enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong (al-amr bi l-ma'ruf wa l-nahy 'an al-munkar), prophethood, and imamate.
In Tamhid al-usul, al-Shaykh al-Tusi mainly supports the views of his teacher, al-Sayyid al-Murtada, and in case he does not agree with his views, he tries to bring arguments for his views and reply to objections.
Jumam al-'ilm wa l-'amal was well-known and referred to in Shiite seminary schools. In addition to al-Shaykh al-Tusi's exposition of the book, other expositions have been written for it.
At the request of al-Shaykh al-Tusi, al-Sayyid al-Murtada himself explained the part of the book concerning theology in some of his lectures in which al-Shaykh al-Tusi was present.
Al-Shaykh al-Tusi's exposition is also known as Sharh al-jumal, Sharh ma yata'allaq bi l-usul min jumal al-'ilm wa l-'amal, Tamhid al-usul fi sharh al-jumal al-'ilm wa l-'ama wa ma yata'allaq minh bi l-usul.
There are several manuscripts of Tamhid al-usul available to us today. The author says at the beginning of his discussion of imamate that he will follow the order of al-Sayyid al-Murtada in Jumal al-'ilm wa l-'amal and discuss five issues (the necessity of imamate, features of an Imam, the names of the Imams, the rulings of fiqh regarding aggressors, and the Occultation of Imam al-Mahdi (a)), but in manuscripts available to us today he only tackled the first issue, and with respect to the third issue, he only wrote a little about Imam 'Ali (a). Given that all these issues are discussed in Jumal al-'ilm wa l-'amal and al-Iqtisad (which was written after Tamhid al-usul ), it seems that all available manuscripts are incomplete. 'Abd al-Muhsin Mishkat al-Dini edited Tamhid al-usul on the basis of three manuscripts and it was published by the University of Tehran Publications. He then translated the book into Persian which was published by the Iranian Institute of Philosophy.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from تمهید الاصول فی علم الکلام in Farsi WikiShia.