Bisharat al-Mustafa li-shi'at al-Murtada (book)

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Bisharat al-Mustafa li Shi'at al-Murtada
Bibliographical Information
Bibliographical Information
AuthorAbu Ja'far Muhammad b. 'Ali b. Rustam al-Tabari
Original titleبشارة المصطفی لشیعة المرتضی
SubjectShi'a position and degree

Bishārat al-Muṣṭafā li Shīʿat al-Murtaḍā (Arabic: بِشارَةُ المُصطَفی لِشیعةِ المُرتَضی), written by Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. 'Ali b. Rustam al-Tabari, well-known as 'Imad al-Din al-Tabari, passes away in 553/1158-9, of 6th/12th century scholars, who has written this book about Imam 'Ali (a)'s rank and high degree, miracles and superhuman deeds of great pious men and imams' followers.[1]


In most references, such as al-Dhari'a, the name of this book is Bisharat al-Mustafa li Shi'at al-Murtada; however, Ibn Shahrashub mentions the name of the book al-Bisharat.[2] Some of Sunni muhaddiths call this book Bisharat al-Mustafa fi bay'at al-Murtada and Bisharat al-Mustafa bi Shi'at al-Murtada.[3]


Agha Buzurg Tihrani states about the subject of this book in al-Dhari'a that this book is of narrative kind about Shi'a's rank and high degree, miracles and superhuman deeds of great pious men, and the rewards and degree Shi'a own in view of God. It is primarily a great book consisting of 17 parts. Unfortunately, a significant amount of the book is destroyed and only 11 parts have remained.[4]


This is one of the reliable books for Shi'a scholars. It is one of the important sources used by al-'Allama al-Hilli, al-'Allama al-Majlisi, Muhaqqiq al-Bahrani, al-Shaykh al-Hurr al-'Amili, and others in writing jurisprudential, theological, hadith, and prayer books.

This book, owing to embracing new documents and naming a number of Iranian Shi'a scholars in 5th and 6th centuries, is significant and has always drawn attention to itself because of this.

'Imad al-Din Tabari had benefited from some muhaddiths in Ray, Amol, Neyshabur, Najaf, and Kufa, whose name and masters are mentioned in this book. This book is very significant in getting familiar with Kufa Shi'a in 5th and 6th centuries, specifically the masters of Kufa Zaydies ( like hadiths from Abu 'Abdullah al-'Alawi and Abu l-Barakat al-Zaydi and so on).

The Writing Style

This book is narrative and the author has gathered all the hadiths of the book along with their documents and has not omitted any document.

Al-Tabari has not entitled the parts of the book, yet he has assembled all the hadiths relating to Ahl al-Bayt (a), from Imam 'Ali (a) until Imam al-Mahdi (a).

The Content

There have been narrated significant hadiths from the Prophet (s) in proving the superiority and high rank of Shi'a in this book. Nice poems are applied in this book due to different occasions and about various subjects such as Imams' superiority and blaming their enemies.

Of its special matters is the first pilgrimage to Karbala by the first pilgrims, Jabir and 'Atiyya 'Awfi, which is reported elaborately and supported by documents.

Tabari has organized this book in 17 parts; however, what is available now is from the first of the book until the end of the 10th part.[5] Its parts have not specified subjects, and various subjects are discussed in each part.

The existing hadiths in four chapters of the book are provided by perfect documents and are narrated in musnad way; however, mursal hadiths are brought in the remaining chapters. It might have been done by people who wrote copies of the book.[6]

The Copies

The available manuscript copies do not constitute of more than four chapters. Because of this, it is implausible that the chapters be more than these in Muhaddith al-Nuri's opinion. But apparently, the chapters are more than four. Sayyid b. Tawus has narrated Khutba Sh'baniyya of the Prophet (s), a practice specified to Ramadan month, from this book, yet the mentioned khutbah is not available in the existing manuscript copies.[7]

Ibn Hajar in Lisan al-mizan, in the biography of Isma'il b. Abi l-Qasim b. Ahmad Abu Ishaq Amuli Daylami, has stated that Daylami has narrated hadiths from Bisharat al-Mustafa, but the mentioned hadith does not exist in these chapters.[8] Anyhow, the available copies are:

  • The manuscript copy in Malik library of Tehran
  • The printed copy in Najaf in 1369/1950, in 299 pages. This copy is revived by al-Shaykh al-Hasan Jawahiri's effort.[9]
  • The printed copy, in Qom, in 1422/2001, in 466 pages. This copy is published by Jawad Qayyumi Isfahani's effort, through the Society of Teachers of Hawzah 'Ilmiyya.

The Translation

This book is translated into Farsi by Sayyid Abu l-Fada'il Mujtahidi. The translator has transformed its title into Farsi as well: Nabawi blessing news to 'Alawi Shi'as. This translation consist of 431 pages, and the cultural institution of Mikyal has published it in 2000.


This book has been published numerous times in Iraq, Lebanon, and Iran.


  1. Tihrani, Al-Dhari'a, vol.3 p.117
  2. Shahr Ashub, Ma'alim, p.154
  3. 'Asqalani, Lisan al-mizan, vol.1 p.429; vol.2 p.265
  4. Tabari, Bisharat al-Mustafa, p.7
  5. Tihrani, Al-Dhari'a, vol.3 p.118
  6. Tabari, Bisharat al-Mustafa, p.12
  7. Mujtahidi, Bisharat-i nabawi, p.32
  8. Mujtahidi, Bisharat-i nabawi, p.32
  9. Tabari, Bisharat al-Mustafa, p.12


  • Al-Tihrani, Muhammad Muhsin. Al-Dhari'a ila tasanif al-shi'a. Beirut: Dar al-adwa' 1378
  • Ibn Shahrashub, Muhammad b. 'Ali, Ma'alim al-'ulam' .
  • 'Asqalani, Ibn Hajar. Lisan al-mizan. Beirut: Mu'assisa A'lami, 1390
  • Tabari Amuli, 'Imad al-Din. Bisharat al-Mustafa li Shi'at al-Murtada. Qom: Nahawandi, 1387
  • Mujtahidi, Sayyid Abu l-fadil. Bisharat-i nabawi bi shi'ayan 'alawi. Mikyal, 1379