Al-'Umda (book)

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Bibliographical Information
Bibliographical Information
AuthorYahya b. Bitriq
Original titleعُمْدَةُ عُيونِ صِحاحِ الأخْبار فی مَناقبِ إمامِ الأبرار
Series1 vol.
SubjectExcellence of Ahl al-Bayt (a)
PublisherJami'a Mudarrisin of Hawza 'Ilmiyya, Qom

ʿUmdat ʿuyūn ṣiḥāḥ al-akhbār fī manāqib Imām al-Abrār (Arabic: عُمْدَةُ عُيونِ صِحاحِ الأخْبار في مَناقبِ إمامِ الأبرار) known as al-ʿUmda (Arabic: العُمدَة) is a book about the virtues of Imam Ali (a) and some of the Ahl al-Bayt (a) written by Yahya b. al-Hasan al-Asadi al-Hilli, known as Ibn al-Bitriq (d. 600/1203-4). In this book written in the style of hadith books, Ibn al-Bitriq has mentioned 1000 hadiths in several chapters and has discussed about the position of Imam Ali (a) in the Qur'an and hadiths. The book also discusses about the merits of Lady Fatima (a), Lady Khadija (a) and some other companions of the Prophet (s).


Abu l-Husayn Yahya b. al-Hasan b. al-Husayn b. Ali b. Muhammad b. al-Bitriq al-Hilli al-Asadi al-Rib'i known as Ibn al-Bitriq was among great Shi'a scholars in jurisprudence, theology, hadith, and literature in 6th/12th century. His lineage reached Al Bitriq who were among great reputable families of Hillah. Even though Ibn al-Bitriq emigrated from Hillah to Baghdad, he is known among dignitaries of Hillah.

He had some works, most of which were efforts to find agreement between Shia and Sunni hadiths.


Al-'Umda was written toward the end of the 6th/12th century and considered Sunni hadiths as references and source. Ibn al-Bitriq compiled almost all of what are mentioned in authentic Sunni books including Sihah and Masanid in the topic and explained about them.


This book contains 913 hadiths in addition to 83 unnumbered ones. The number of chapters of the book is 45 and in the current edition of the book, the two chapters about Imam al-Hasan (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a) have been put together as one chapter. Thirty six chapters of the book are about the life, merits and verses of the Qur'an about Imam Ali (a) such as the verses of al-Tathir, Uli l-Amr and also hadiths from the Prophet (s) about the greatness of Imam Ali (a) such as hadiths of al-Thaqalayn, al-Manzila and al-Ghadir.

Other chapters of the book are about the merits of other Infallible Imams (a), some relatives of the Prophet (s) or his great Companions such as Lady Fatima (a), Lady Khadija, Abu Talib, Ja'far b. Abi Talib and one chapter is about the events after the Prophet (s).


Ibn al-Bitriq quoted from sources such as Sahih Muslim, Sahih al-Bukhari, al-Jam' bayn al-sahihayn, al-Jam' bayn al-Sihah al-Sitta by Abu l-Hasan Razin b. Mu'awiya al-'Abdari, Musnad Ibn Hanbal, Tafsir al-Tha'labi and Manaqib by Ibn al-Maghazili. At the beginning of the book, the author has mentioned the chain of transmission of his discussion from the mentioned books. In each chapter, the order of mentioning hadiths in every chapter is based on the date of the sources, i.e. first the hadiths from Ibn Hanbal are mentioned, and then from al-Bukhari, Muslim, and al-Tha'labi.

In the footnotes of the book, hadiths from more than 40 sources have been extracted.


This book was published by Jami'a Mudarrisin of Hawza 'Ilmiyya in Qom in 1407/1986-7.