Aqa'id al-Imamiyya (book)

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Aqa'id al-Imamiyya (book)
کتاب عقائد الامامیه.jpg
AuthorMuhammad Rida al-Muzaffar
Original titleعقائد الامامیة
Series1 volume
SubjectShiite beliefs
PublisherAnsariyan and several publishers

ʿAqāʾid al-Imāmīyya (Arabic: عقائد الإمامیة) is an Arabic book concerning Shiite beliefs, written by Muhammad Rida al-Muzaffar (d. 1383/1964). The book originally consisted of his lectures in "Muntada al-Nashr College" in which Shiite beliefs are cashed out for the public in a non-complicated way. Aqa'id al-Imamiyya contains five chapters, each of which contains a number of sections. After the publication, the book became popular, an exposition was written for it, was translated, and was published many times by several publishers.

How the Book Was Written

The book originally consisted of al-Muzaffar's lectures in the religious college of Muntada al-Nashr in 1363/1943-4. In 1370/1950-1, the lectures were compiled and edited into a book. After revisions and some corrections, the book was published in 1380/1960-1 in Egypt with a preface by the author and an introduction by Hamid al-Hufni, a Sunni professor in Cairo University.

The Purpose of Writing

Al-Muzaffar wrote two prefaces for the first and the second prints of the book. In his 1370/1950-1 preface for the first print of the book, he says that his purpose from writing the book was to summarize Shiite beliefs for the public without any arguments or proofs. In his 1380/1960-1 preface to the second print of the book, he states the purpose of the book to be a reconciliation between Sunni and Shiite denominations and an accurate presentation of Islamic beliefs.


In his preface to the book, al-Muzaffar talks about ijtihad and taqlid, saying that it is rationally obligatory to investigate the truth of four principles of religious beliefs: monotheism, prophethood, Imamate, and resurrection. Thus, one cannot follow others in these beliefs. He emphasizes that, in their simplest forms, Islamic beliefs are based on fitra (innately acceptable propositions), and thus, no deep reflection on these doctrines is required, as God did not command such reflection. He distinguishes principles and ancillaries of religious beliefs, maintaining that rational reflection or investigation is required for principles of beliefs, while in ancillaries of the religion, the belief on the basis of the sayings of the Infallibles is sufficient.

Aqa'id al-Imamiyya consists of five chapters and forty four sections as follows:

  • Imamate: the infallibility of Imams (a), their attributes, their knowledge, obedience of Imams (a), love of Ahl al-Bayt (a), the belief in explicitly mentioned Imamate, the number of Imams, al-Mahdi (a), Raj'a, taqiyya (precautionary dissimulation)
  • Instructive doctrines: supplication, supplications in al-Sahifat al-Sajjadiyya, visiting the graves, the meaning of Shiism, brutality and injustice, refraining from cooperation with unjust people, obligations in the government of an unjust ruler, the protection of Islamic unity, observing the rights of Muslims


The book Bidayat al-ma'arif al-ilahiya on the commentary of Aqa'id al-Imamiyya

According to the author, sources of the book are Shiite books of hadiths and theology. The sources are as follows:

Exposition, Translation, and Publication

Aqa'id al-Imamiyya was published many times in different countries and cities. Sayyid Muhsin Kharrazi wrote an exposition for the book under Bidayat al-ma'arif al-ilahiyya fi sharh 'aqa'id al-Imamiyya. In his exposition, he elaborates Shiite issues of theology. The book has been translated into Persian by Misbah Harati under "Shiite beliefs" and by Zayn al-'Abidin Kazimi Khalkhali under "Shiite intellectual characteristics."