Tawhid al-Mufaddal (book)
|Kitab al-fakkir known as Tawhid al-Mufaddal|
|Author||Attributed to Imam al-Sadiq (a) (dictated by the Imam to Mufaddal b. 'Umar al-Ju'fi)|
|Original title||کتاب الفکر know as توحيد المُفَضَّل|
|En. title||Tradition of Mufaddal|
Tawḥīd al-Mufaḍḍal (Arabic:توحيد المُفَضَّل) or Kitāb Fakkir: Kitāb fī badʾ al-khalq wa l-hathth ʿala l-iʿtibār (Arabic: کتاب فَکِّر: کتابٌ في بَدءِ الخلق و الحَثِّ علی الإعتبار) is a book consisting of a long hadith narrated form Imam al-Sadiq (a) about God’s wisdom, theology, and wonders of creation. Imam al-Sadiq (a) dictated this hadith to Mufaddal b. 'Umar al-Ju'fi in four sessions.
- Main article: Mufaddal b. 'Umar al-Ju'fi
It is commonly known that Imam al-Sadiq (a) has dictated this book to Mufaddal b. 'Umar al-Ju'fi al-Kufi, one of the prominent and great companions of the Imam (a). There is no disagreement that this book is not written by Imam al-Sadiq (a); however, it has been discussed whether Imam al-Sadiq (a) has dictated this book to Mufaddal b. 'Umar or Mufaddal b. 'Umar has written this book based on Imam al-Sadiq's teachings and ascribed it to him. Majority of Shi'a scholars believed that Mufaddal b. 'Umar was a close companion to Imam al-Sadiq (a) and Imam al-Kazim (a). Moreover, refuting the opinion of those who counted Mufaddal as an unreliable narrator, some scholars approved him and said that he was a reliable narrator to whom Imam al-Sadiq (a) has dictated this hadith. Some other scholars asserted that there is a book attributed to Imam al-Sadiq (a) called "Ihlilaja", which he gave to Mufaddal but Tawhid al-Mufaddal is his dictation to Mufaddal. However, Najashi ascribed this book to Mufaddal and added that his works are not reliable and according to some opinions he was an al-Ghali al-Khattabi.
Authenticity of the Text
Assuming that this book is a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a) which he dictated to Mufaddal b. 'Umar, the discussion about the authenticity of the text still remains: is the available text the same book which was written by Mufaddal? Sayyid b. Tawus has mentioned this book in the index of his books and according to the details he mentioned, the available book is apparently the same as his book. He added that so far no scholar has reported distortion or change in the book and non of them has claimed the inauthenticity of the book; rather their attitudes toward this book, such as narrating, translating and commentating, indicates that they believed it was an authentic text which was not changed or distorted.
Cause of Writing
Mufaddal b. 'Umar reported the story of writing the book as follows: "In one evening in Masjid al-Nabi, I was sitting next to the Prophet’s tomb thinking about his status and dignity when Ibn Abu l-'Awja' and his companions entered and sat in a corner and stared speaking. They described the Prophet (s) as a philosopher who has kept his name alive in the world very astutely and said that there is no God and every thing is created all by itself and this world was and will ever be. I could not suppress my anger, so I shouted at them and said: “O enemies of God! Did you become infidels?" They replied: "If you are a companion of Ja'far b. Muhammad, [know that] he is not talking to us like this." I left them and went to Imam al-Sadiq (a) and told him what happened. Imam (a) said, "Come to me tomorrow morning and bring paper and pen so that I inform you about the wisdom of God in creation of the world." I went to him the next morning and he dictated this hadith to me in four sessions."
Imam al-Sadiq (a) dictated this book to Mufaddal in four sessions in four days from the morning to the noon. By mentioning the secrets of creation, the Imam (a) proved that there must be a wise and knowledgeable creator. Tawhid al-Mufaddal is counted as one of the valuable and reliable Shi'a books on theology.
Four Sessions of the Book
1- At the beginning, Imam al-Sadiq (a) counts the lack of knowledge about the causes and the ways of creating the universe as reasons of denying or having doubt about God’s existence. Then he mentions the creation of the universe, human and body organs, such as digestive system and the five sense. By counting these things, he comes to the conclusion that all of them must be created by a Wise, Knowledgeable, and Powerful God.
2- In the second session Imam (a) mentions the wonders in creation of animals, such as horse, elephant, giraffe, monkey, dog, chicken, bat, bee, grasshopper, ant, and fish.
3- In the third session Imam (a) mentions the wonders of sky and the earth - such as the color of the sky, the sunrise and the sunset, seasons of year, sun, the moon, other celestial bodies and their fast motion - and the creation of the cold and heat, wind, air and how sound is produced in the air, mountains and plants.
4- The last session is dedicated to the reality of death and life, the reason of creation of human, the way of understanding the universe, the difference between sense and reason in understanding the universe and its realties.
Aqa Buzurg Tihrani has mentioned that Sayyid Mirza Abu l-Qasim al-Dhahabi, contemporaneous scholar with Aqa Buzurg, claimed that he has found a part of this book, about "Malakut A'la" (the Higher Kingdom), which was not included in the common manuscripts during the time of Sayyid b. Tawus. Sayyid Abu l-Qasim Dhahabi has narrated all that part in his book Tabashir al-hikma.
Various manuscripts from this book have survived. Some of which are kept in Iran in different libraries, such as the library of the holy shrine of Imam al-Rida (a), National Library of Iran, Ayatollah Mar'ashi Najafi Library, and some are kept in Iraq. Apparently, the oldest manuscript of this book is the one written in 1056/1646 by 'Abd al-Razzaq al-Jilani which is kept in the library of Ayatollah Gulpaygani in Qom. Tawhid al-Mufaddal was printed in 1325/1907 in Iran for the first time. Since then, the text, various translations, and commentaries on this book have been printed in Egypt, Iraq, and Iran.
Apparently, Shaykh Fakhr al-Din Turkistani, who resided in Qom, translated the book into Persian for the first time in 1065/1655. Moreover, Muhammad Baqir Majlisi has translated and commentated on this work and also narrated it in his book, Bihar al-anwar. Other than this, many scholars have translated and wrote commentaries on this book.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from توحید مفضل in Farsi WikiShia.