Ibrahim b. Ali al-Kaf'ami

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Ibrahim b. Ali al-Kaf'ami
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Personal Information
Full NameTaqī al-Dīn Ibrāhīm b. ʿAlī al-ʿĀmilī al-Kafʿamī
Religious AffiliationTwelver Shi'a
Place of BirthJabal 'Amil, Lebanon
ResidenceJabal 'Amil, Karbala
Burial PlaceJebchit village
Scholarly Information
Permission for Hadith
Transmission From
Shaykh 'Ali al-Kaf'ami
WorksMisbah of al-Kaf'ami, Al-Balad al-amin wa l-dar' al-hasin

Taqī al-Dīn Ibrāhīm b. ʿAlī al-ʿĀmilī al-Kafʿamī (Arabic:تَقی الدّین إبراهیم بن عَلی العامِلی الکَفعَمی) (b. 840/1436-7 - d. 905/1499-1500) was among Shi'a scholars of the 9th/15th century. He lived in Jabal 'Amil, Lebanon and his lineage reached Harith al-Hamdani. Due to his expertise in different sciences of his time, al-Kaf'ami had miscellaneous works, and biographers have spoken highly of him. Al-Misbah and al-Balad al-Amin are among his famous works in ziyara and supplication.

Birth and Lineage

Taqi al-Din, Ibrahim b. ALi al-'Amili al-Kaf'ami was born in Kfar 'Ayma village of Jabal 'Amil in 840/1436-7.[1] Aqa Buzurg Tihrani has mentioned the date of his birth in 828/1424-5.[2]

His lineage reached Harith Hamdani, the companion of Imam Ali (a). At the end of his Misbah, al-Kaf'ami have introduced himself a descendant of Harith. His birthplace, Kfar 'Ayma village is near Jebchit and today, only some ruins are left of this abandoned village.[3]

Al-Kaf'ami Family

There are famous people in al-Kaf'ami family. His first teacher was his father, Shaykh Ali al-Kaf'ami who gave him permission to narrate hadiths and is considered among his sources of hadiths. Shaykh Ali al-Kaf'ami was among the scholars and mystics of Jabal 'Amil who devoted his life and children to Islam and Shia. His children were:

  1. al-Shaykh Taqi al-Din Ibrahim al-Kaf'ami, author of al-Misbah, etc.
  2. al-Shaykh Shams al-Din Muhammad al-Jaba'i al-'Amili (d. 886/1481-2) who was also an Islamic scholar and the great grandfather of al-Shaykh al-Baha'i and thus both al-Shaykh al-Baha'i and al-Kaf'ami were descendants of Harith.
  3. al-Shaykh Jamal al-Din Ahmad was also a Shia author and wrote Zubdat al-bayan fi 'amal shahr Ramadan. Apparently, Shaykh Jamal al-Din passed away before Ibrahim al-Kaf'ami who has quoted from in his book.

Teachers and Students

Al-Kaf'ami had many teachers which have been listed in references of rijal and biography. Three of his most famous teachers were:

  1. Ali b. Hasan al-Kaf'ami, his father who gave him permission to narrate hadiths.
  2. Sayyid husayn b. Musa'id al-Husayni , author of Tuhfat al-abrar fi manaqib al-a'immat al-abrar.
  3. Sayyid Ali b. 'Abd al-Husayn al-Musawi al-Husayni, author of Raf' al-malamat 'an Ali (a) fi tark al-Imama.

In the books of rijal and biography, there is no mention of his students.


During 65 years of his life, al-Shaykh Ibrahim al-Kaf'ami wrote many scholarly books and treatises in different fields such as mysticism, spiritual journey, literature, poetry, history, supplication and ziyara. When mentioning the works of al-Kaf'ami in A'yan al-Shi'a, Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin has listed the names of 49 books,[4] the volume of some of which is more than 1000 pages.

  1. Junnat al-aman al-waqiya wa jannat al-iman al-baqiya or Misbah of al-Kaf'ami. The cause of naming this book as Misbah is that this book is written in the same style as al-Shaykh al-Tusi's Misbah al-mutahajjid, and thus is named as Misbah, but to be distinguished from al-Shaykh al-Tusi's Misbah, it has been named Misbah of al-Kaf'ami.
  2. Al-Junnat al-Waqiya is a summary of Misbah.
  3. Al-Balad al-amin wa l-dar' al-hasin which is among the biggest books of al-Kaf'ami and much more voluminous than Misbah, even though it is similar to it in content.
  4. Nihayat al-arab fi amthal al-'Arab in two thick volumes which, according to great scholars, is the best book in the field.

And many other books.

Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya

Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya with the handwriting of al-Kaf'ami is one of the oldest manuscripts of Sahifa which was taken out of Iran and lost many years ago; but was finally recognized in the Indian peninsula and was moved to Qom in Iran and was then published. In addition to the 54 supplications of Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya, this manuscript has four more supplications.[5]

Poems and Literary Speeches

Al-Kaf'ami was also knowledgeable in literature, poetry and speech-making. Talmasani, the Sunni scholar praised al-Kaf'ami for his Qur'anic speech.[6] One of al-Kaf'ami's famous literary works is a poem about the Day of Ghadir, names of that day, praising merits and values of Imam Ali (a) which is known as ode of Ra'iyya.[7].[8]

In the Views of Others

Mirza 'Abd Allah Afandi, author of Riyad al-'Ulama introduced al-Kaf'ami, the top of his time in Arabic literature.[9]

Al-Shaykh Hurr al-'Amili, author of Wasa'il al-Shi'a considered al-Kaf'ami, a trustworthy, knowledgeable, man of literature, a poet and righteous.[10]

In al-Ghadir, al-'Allama al-Amini mentioned him as Jami' 'ilm wa adab ["Perfect man in knowledge and literature"].[11]

Khayr al-Din Zirikili, a Sunni biographer mentioned al-Kaf'ami as "a man of literature among Imamiyya scholars".

His Demise

Al-Shaykh Ibrahim al-Kaf'ami lived in Karbala and had willed to be buried there, but toward the end of his life, he had a journey to his birth town and passed away at the age of 65 in Kafar 'Ima in 905/1499-1500.

Discovery of His Grave

Kafara 'Ima village was destroyed over time and nothing remained of the grave of al-Kaf'ami, but after years (after 11th/17th century), a farmer found a grave on the stone of which, it was written, "Hadha qabr al-Shaykh Ibrhim b. Ali al-Kaf'ami, Rahmatullah 'alayh" ["This is the grave of al-Shaykh Ibrhim b. Ali al-Kaf'ami, blessings from God be upon him"]. When people were informed of it, they repaired and reconstructed the place of his grave and today, Shia visit his grave.[12]


  1. Amīn, Aʿyān al-Shīʿa, vol. 2, p. 184.
  2. Āgā Buzurg al-Tihrānī, al-Dharīʿa ilā taṣānīf al-shīʿa, vol. 3, p. 3, 143.
  3. Amīn, Aʿyān al-Shīʿa, vol. 2, p. 185.
  4. Amīn, Aʿyān al-Shīʿa, vol. 2, p. 185-186.
  5. Ikna News Agency
  6. Tilmisānī, Nafḥ al-ṭayyib, vol. 7, p. 340.
  7. Amīn, Aʿyān al-Shīʿa, vol. 2, p. 186 and next pages.
  8. Kafʿamī, al-Maqām al-asnā, p. 10.
  9. Afandī Iṣfahānī, Riyāḍ al-ʿulamāʾ, vol. 1, p. 21.
  10. Ḥurr al-ʿĀmilī, ʾAmal al-āmil, vol. 1, p. 21.
  11. Amīnī, al-Ghadīr, vol. 11, p. 213.
  12. Amīn, Aʿyān al-Shīʿa, vol. 2, p. 184.


  • Amīn, al-Sayyid Muḥsin al-.Aʿyān al-Shīʿa. Beirut: Dār al-Taʿāruf, 1421 AH.
  • Amīnī, ʿAbd al-Ḥusayn. Al-Ghadīr fī al-kitāb wa al-sunna wa al-ʾadab. Beirut: Dār al-Kitāb al-ʿArabī, 1397 AH.
  • Āgā Buzurg al-Tihrānī, Muḥammad Muḥsin. Al-Dharīʿa ilā taṣānīf al-shīʿa. Beirut: Dār al-Aḍwāʾ, [n.d].
  • Afandī Iṣfahānī, ʿAbd Allāh. Riyāḍ al-ʿulamāʾ wa ḥiyāḍ al-fuḍalāʾ. Qom: Kitābkhāna-yi Ayatullāh Marʿashī Najafī, 1401 AH.
  • Ḥurr al-ʿĀmilī, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-. ʾAmal al-āmil. Baghdad: Maktabat al-Andalus, [n.d].
  • Kafʿamī, Ibrāhīm b. ʿAlī al-. Al-Maqām al-asnā fī tafsīr al-asmāʾ al-ḥusnā. Qom: Muʾassisa-yi Qāʾim-i Āl Muḥammad, 1371 Sh.
  • Noor Computer Research Center of Islamic Sciences. Comprehensive software of Ahl al-Bayt's jurisprudence.
  • Tilmisānī, Aḥmad al-Maqqarī al-. Nafḥ al-ṭayyib min ghuṣn al-undulus al-raṭīb. Beirut: Dār Ṣādir, [n.d].
  • Ziriklī, Khayr al-Dīn al-. Al-Aʿlām. Beirut: Dār al-ʿIlm li-l-Malāyyīn, 1389 AH.