Al-Mahajjat al-bayda' (book)

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Al-Mahajjat al-bayda' (book)
AuthorMulla Muhsin Fayd Kashani
Original titleاَلْمَحَجَّةُ الْبَیْضاء فی تَهْذیبِ الْإحْیاء
Series8 vols.
PublisherJami'a Mudarrisin

Al-Maḥajjat al-bayḍāʾ fī tahdhīb al-iḥyāʾ (Arabic: اَلْمَحَجَّةُ الْبَیْضاء في تَهْذيبِ الْإحْياء) is a book in ethics in Arabic written by Mulla Muhsin Fayd Kashani (d. 1091/1680). It is a commentary and correction on Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali's Ihya' 'ulum al-din. The book is comprised of four parts of acts of worship, habits, that which destructs and that which rescues. Ali Akbar Ghaffari corrected the book. In the introduction to his correction, Ghaffari has introduced al-Ghazzali and mentioned some of the mistakes in Ihya' al-'ulum according to the views of Allama Amini.

The Author

Mulla Muhsin Fayd Kashani was a Shi'a theosophist, hadiths scholar, exegete of the Holy Qur'an and jurist in eleventh/seventeenth century. He studied under scholars including Muhammad Taqi al-Majlisi, al-Shaykh al-Baha'i, Mir Damad, Mir Findiriski and Mulla Sadra. He wrote many works, the most important ones of which were Tafsir al-Safi, al-Wafi and al-Mahajjat al-bayda' .

Date of Writing

In al-Dhari'a, Aqa Buzurg Tehrani mentioned the title of the book as al-Mahajjat al-bayda' fi ihya' al-Ihya' which Fayd Kashani finished its writing in 1046/1636.

Goal of Writing

In the preface of the book, the author has mentioned that he wrote the book as a commentary and correction on Muhammad al-Ghazzali's Ihya' 'ulum al-din. According to him, since upon writing the book, al-Ghazzali was following the common religion, he wrote many of the issues of the book, especially the part on the acts of worship based on the principles of Sunni school and regarding hadiths, relied on individuals who were famous for lying and attributing lies to God and the Prophet (s). Fayd Kashani also considered strange myths and odd stories narrated from Sufis in the book irrational.

Content and Structure

The book is comprised of four parts, each of which has ten chapters, or according to the author, "books". The structure does not have much difference compared to Ihya' al-'ulum. Only the chapter "manners of listening and ecstasy" is changed to "the ethics of Imams and manners of Shi'a". In the correction of the book, Ali Akbar Ghaffari has extensively reviewed the weaknesses of Ihya' al-ulum al-din and also has mentioned the advantages of al-Mahajja. He has also mentioned the biography of Fayd Kashani.


Features of the book according to the author are as follows:

  • Solving the complexities, disclosing what was hidden and explaining what was mentioned in brief.
  • Organizing scattered and disorderly discussions
  • Making concision in the explanation of issues mentioned discursively; and also precisely recording their titles.
  • Omitting repeated issues
  • Revising issues understanding which was difficult for ordinary people

Translation and Publication

Al-Mahajjat al-bayda' was published in 1428/2007-8 by Islamic Publication Institute affiliated with the Society of the Teachers of Qom Seminary in four volumes.

"Rah-i rowshan" is the title given to the Persian translation of the book translated by Abd al-Ali Sahebi, Seyyed Mohammad Sadeq Aref and Mohammad Reza Ata'i. It was published by the Islamic Research Foundation belongs to Astan Quds Razavi in Mashhad.