WikiShia:Featured Article/2016/28

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Biḥār al-ʾanwār al-jāmiʿat li-durar ʾakhbār al-ʾAʾimmat al-ʾAṫhār (Arabic: بِحارُالأَنوار الجامِعَةُ لِدُرَرِ أَخبارِ الأَئِمَّةِ الأَطهار, literally: Seas of lights: the collection of pearls of the reports of the pure Imams) known as Bihar al-anwar, is the most comprehensive Shi'a hadith collection written under supervision of al-'Allama al-Majlisi. Writing of this book lasted more than 30 years and a group of al-'Allama al-Majlisi's students helped him in this task.

The author has organized the book based on 25 general topics and thus in 25 books, (however it is published in 110 volumes). In every volume, the author has collected related subtopics in different chapters. In every chapter then, he first has mentioned verses of the Qur'an related with that issue together with their interpretations and then has mentioned hadiths related to that chapter.

Al-Majlisi has tried to cover all common topics and issues in Bihar al-anwar; for example, this collection begins with the book (topic) of "al-'Aql wa l-jahl" (wisdom and ignorance) and continues with topics about theology, unity of God, divine justice and the history of the Prophet (s). From volume 15 to volume 53 (of the 110 volume set) is dedicated to the life and merits of the Prophet (s), Lady Fatima (s), and Shi'a Imams (a).

Due to its maximum number of hadiths narrated from Shi'a Imams (a), chaptering of topics, explanation of hadiths, various theological, historical, jurisprudential, exegetical, ethical, hadith, and lexical researches, Bihar al-anwar has a great position among researchers; so that regardless of its many volumes, since its first publication, many manuscript copies of that were written and with later development of printing industry, all or parts of it have been frequently printed. Read more...