Al-Amali (by al-Mufid)
|Subject||Ethics, beliefs and history|
Al-Amālī (Arabic: الأمالي, literally: dictations) is an Arabic book written by al-Shaykh al-Mufid (d. 413/1022) consisting of hadiths concerning moral issues, religious beliefs, and the history of Islam. The book was dictated by al-Shaykh al-Mufid to his students during seven years in the months of Ramadan within 42 meetings. Al-Najashi referred to the book as al-Amali al-Mutafarriqat (miscellaneous dictations) because its dictation took seven years from 404/1014 through 411/1021.
In bibliographical books, over 30 books entitled "al-Amali" are mentioned, the best-known of which are the ones by prominent scholars such as al-Shaykh al-Saduq, al-Shaykh al-Mufid, al-Sayyid al-Murtada, and al-Shaykh al-Tusi. "Amali" refers to what a teacher reads from memory or from his book in certain meetings or on certain occasions to his students, which is written down by them. It is also called "al-Majalis" (Arabic: المجالس; meetings) and "'Ard al-majalis" (Arabic: عرض المجالس; presentations at meetings).
Time and Place of the Meetings
Hadiths cited in the book were dictated in the time period between Ramadan 1, 404/March 6, 1014 and Ramadan 27, 411/January 14, 1021. For reasons unknown to us, no meeting was held in 405/1014-5 and 406/1015-6. It seems that all meetings in the first year were held in the house of Damra Abu l-Hasan 'Ali b. Muhammad al-Farsi (about whom nothing is known) located in Ziyarayn in the Riyah Gate of Baghdad. In the subsequent years, the meetings were held in al-Shaykh al-Mufid's mosque in the Riyah Gate and was thus more public.
The meetings were mostly held in the months of Ramadan and sometimes in the month of Sha'ban and Rajab. They were almost always held on Saturdays, but sometimes on Wednesdays and Mondays.
More meetings were held in 407/1016-7 than other years. Twelve meetings were held in this year. In 408/1017-8, only two meetings were held.
The book contains 42 meetings in which a total of 387 hadiths were cited. The largest number of hadiths (47) is cited in meeting 23, and the smallest number of hadiths (4) is cited in meeting 31.
The book contains hadiths regarding topics in ethics, principles of religious beliefs, and history, such as the following:
- Human actions being recorded by angels.
- Love of Ahl al-Bayt (a) being a reason for going to the Heaven.
- Virtues of 'Ali (a), Fatima (a), al-Hasan (a), al-Husayn (a), and their Shi'as.
- Virtues of people who seek knowledge.
- Illnesses purify one's sins.
- Knowing the position of Ahl al-Bayt (a) and the acceptance of one's actions by God being conditional upon wilaya.
- The closest people to the Prophet (s) on the Day of Judgment.
- The story of 'Uthman b. 'Affan and Banu Umayya, and his preference of the latter over others in their shares of the Treasury, as well as his beating 'Ammar b. Yasir.
- Some supplications specific to mornings and evenings, the Prophet's (s) request for the forgiveness of Shi'as.
- Some sermons of Imam 'Ali (a) regarding unachievable dreams and the pursuit of one's appetites.
- A sermon by Imam al-Sajjad (a) regarding self-reckoning of one's actions.
- A remark by Zayd b. 'Ali regarding Ahl al-Bayt (a) and their not being afraid of brutal rulers.
- Advice by Muhammad b. Hanafiyya.
- That praying after saying one's obligatory prayers is answered by God.
- 'Ali's (a) ordering his Shi'a to observe cautionary dissimulation (taqiyya).
- The last sermon delivered by the Prophet (s).
- God's offering wilaya to all creatures.
- That 'Ali's (a) enemy dies an ignorant.
- That believers' needs will be met.
- When God wills the good for a servant of His, He will make him a faqih (knowledgeable) in religion,
- Imam 'Ali's (a) remark concerning asceticism (zuhd),
- The expiation for backbiting,
- The virtues of crying for the elegies of Ahl al-Bayt (a), and …
Significance and Reliability
Al-Amali is a reliable book by al-Shaykh al-Mufid. According to al-'Allama al-Majlisi, we have found older manuscripts of the book and have evidence for their reliability.
Translation and Publications
The book has been translated into Persian by Husayn Ustadwali and was published by the Publications of Astan Quds Razavi. It was then published in Qom by the World Congress of al-Shaykh al-Mufid's Millennium.
- Āqā Buzurg al-Tihrānī, Muḥammad Muḥsin. Al-Dharīʿa ilā taṣānīf al-Shīʿa. Beirut: Dār al-Aḍwāʾ, n.d.
- Majlisī, Muḥammad Bāqir al-. Biḥār al-anwār al-jāmiʿa li-durar akhbār al-aʾimmat al-aṭhār. Beirut: Muʾassisat al-Wafāʾ, 1403 AH.
- Mufīd, Muḥammad b. Nuʿmān al-. Al-Amālī. Beirut: Dār al-Mufīd, 1414 AH.
- Shubiyrī, Sayyid Muḥammad Jawād. 1372 Sh. "Āthār-i Shaykh Mufīd". Kungira-yi Jahānī-yi Shaykh Mufīd 92: (142-163)