Al-Amali (by al-Saduq)
|Publisher||Mu'assisat al-A'lami li-l-Matbu'at|
Al-Amālī (Arabic:الأمالي) is a book in Arabic written by al-Shaykh al-Saduq (b. after 305/917 — d. 381/991) who was a distinguished Shi'a theologian, man of literature and scholar of jurisprudence and hadith. The book contains the transcripts of al-Shaykh al-Saduq's classes which were held twice a week on Tuesday and Friday since Rajab 18, 367/March 1, 978 until Sha'ban 11, 368/March 14, 979 in Mashhad and the scripts were written by his students.
Muhammad b. Ali b. al-Husayn b. Musa b. Babawayh al-Qummi known as al-Shaykh al-Saduq was among the greatest Shi'a scholars of the 4th/10th century. Exact date of his birth is not known; however, it must have been after 305/917-8. His grave is in Rey. He has been considered the greatest scholar of Qom in hadith and jurisprudence and more than 300 scholarly works have been attributed to him, most of which are not available now. Man la yahduruh al-faqih which is among the Shia's Four Books is one of his works. His other important works are Ma'ani al-akhbar, 'Uyun akhbar al-Rida, al-Khisal, 'Ilal al-shara'i', and Sifat al-Shi'a.
Some of his most famous students were al-Sharif al-Murtada, al-Shaykh al-Mufid, and al-Talla'ukbari.
Writing of al-Amalis
After prevalence of different skills in literary communities since 3rd/9th century, Islamic scholars started writing al-Amalis. "Amali" is a plural form of "Imla'" (dictation) so that when one of the famous scholars spoke in a gathering, his speech was written down and compiled by the students until it became a book and they called it al-Amali. Most important Shi'a books of al-Amali belong to the following scholars:
- Nasir Kabir Utrush
- Al-Shaykh al-Saduq
- Al-Shaykh al-Mufid
- Al-Sayyid al-Murtada
- Al-Shaykh al-Tusi
Al-Shaykh al-Saduq held 97 sessions, transcripts of which were compiled in 13 months and these sessions except few ones of them (22, 23, 24, and 26) were held every Tuesday and Friday. They began on Rajab 18, 367/March 1, 978 when al-Shaykh al-Saduq had traveled to Mashhad, Iran and finished on Sha'ban 18, 368/March 21, 979. There is only a short pause in compiling the book when he was on the way to Tus.
Session 29 was held on Muharram 8 (second Friday of Muharram)/August 16, 978 and thus, it begins with the story of the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a) and finished it in the sessions 30 and 31. Session 26 was held on the day of Eid al-Ghadir/July 27, 978 and thus discusses the merits of this day. This indicates an advantage of this book among other books of Amali that it paid attention to time and place in mentioning hadiths.
Additionally, he has mentioned the merits of the month of Rajab and the month of Ramadan and the rewards for fasting in these months. When he arrived in Nishapur, he narrated a hadith on the merits of Imam al-Rida (a).
This book contains a group of hadiths from the Prophet (s) and the Ahl al-Bayt (a) on different topics such as the conduct of the Prophet (s), the event of Isra' and ascent of the Prophet (s), supplications and advice, merits and virtues of the Ahl al-Bayt (a) which include historical, moral, and ideological issues.
In the introduction to his translation of al-Amali of al-Saduq, Late Ayatollah Muhamamd Baqir Kamara'i has discussed weak points of this work. According to his view, beside the reports of this book, there are seemingly weak and controversial issues such as:
- Reports on rewards of remote possibility, recommended actions and worships such as the merits of fasting in every day of the month of Sha'ban or Rajab which seem very remote and exaggerating.
- Reports on the description of resurrection, ascent, and punishments of dwellers of the hell which cannot be imagined by common people, such as the expression that "a disbeliever's tooth in resurrection is like a mountain".
- Reports about matching some verses of the Qur'an with some certain issues and mentioning certain occasion of revelation which do not match with the history of revealing verses, such as the verse, "By the star when it sets" (Qur'an 53:1) which he has matched it with a star which caused illness of the Holy Prophet (s) and sat down in the house of Imam Ali (a) to appoint him for caliphate; while, this sura was revealed in Mecca.
- Lithograph in 1300/1882/3.
- The copy edited by Sayyid Fadl Allah Tabataba'i Yazdi, 1334/1915-6, Qom.
- The copy edited by Sayyid Muhammad Mahdi Khirsan, Haydariyya publication, Najaf.
- Print of Ali Akbar Ghaffari
- Print by A'lami publication, Beirut, 1400/1979-80.
- Kitabchi publication, fifth print, 1376 sh/1997-8.
- Print in al-Amali series (by al-Saduq, al-Mufid, al-Tusi) by Muhammad Jawad Mahmudi, Bunyad Ma'arif Islami, Qom, 1420/1999-2000.
- Persian translation by Sayyid Ali b. Muhammad b. Asad Allah Husayni 'Aridi Imami Sipahani (11th/17th century)
- Commentary and Persian translation by Ali Rida Khurasani Yazdi (d. 1256/1840-1)
- Persian translation by Sayyid Sadiq b. Sayyid Husayn Tushkhanaki
- Persian translation by Muhammad Baqir Kamari'i, Islamiyya Library, Tehran, 1349 sh/1970-1 and 1350 sh/1971-2.
- Persian translation by Karim Faydi, Tahdhib, 1386 sh/2007-8, Qom.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from الامالی (شیخ صدوق in Farsi Wikishia.