Jami' ahadith al-Shi'a (book)

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Jami' ahadith al-Shi'a (book)
جامع احادیث الشیعه.jpg
AuthorAyatollah Burujirdi
Original titleجامِعُ أحادیثِ الشّیعَة
Series31 Vols.
SubjectShi'a Hadith

Jāmiʿ aḥādīth al-Shīʿa fī aḥkām al-sharīʿa (Arabic: جامع أحاديث الشيعة في أحکام الشريعة) is a collection of Shiite jurisprudential hadiths in Arabic. The book was compiled and written at the suggestion of Ayatollah Burujirdi (d. 1380/1961), a Shiite marja', by a number of his students, particularly Isma'il Mu'izzi Malayiri.

The writing of the book began in 1370/1950-1 for the purpose of supplementing Wasa'il al-Shi'a by adding hadiths missing therein, and then sources of hadiths concerning Shiite jurisprudence were added to it. Jami' ahadith al-Shi'a is characterized by its comprehensiveness, avoiding the fragmentation of hadiths, organization into sections, citation of jurisprudential verses of the Qur'an, and the discrimination of jurisprudential hadiths from hadiths concerning manners and practices.

The writing of the book began in 1370/1950-1, and its first volume was published after ten years. Jami' al-ahadith has been published in 26-volume and 31-volume collections. The latter version has been translated into Persian as Manabi'-i fiqh-i Shi'a (Sources of Shiite jurisprudence).


Jami' al-ahadith was written under the supervision of Ayatollah Burujirdi (d. 1380/1961), a Shiite marja', with the collaboration of twenty of his students. Preparation of the notes for the book was finished after seven years. The notes were revisited by Isma'il Mu'izzi Malayiri, Ali Panah Ishtahardi, and Muhammad Wa'iz Zada Khurasani. The organization of the book was done by Isma'il Mu'izzi Malayiri.

Ayatollah Burujirdi proposed the writing of the book in 1370/1950-1.


Jami' ahadith al-Shi'a contains hadiths from over one hundred sources of hadiths concerning the Shiite jurisprudence from the second/eighth to fourteenth/twentieth centuries. This is why its Persian translation was named "Sources of Shiite jurisprudence." The number of hadiths in the book amounts to 48,342.

Ayatollah Burujirdi referred to Jami' ahadith al-Shi'a as the fruit of his life. The book was referred to and cited by some Shiite marja's such as Imam Khomeini. Ayatollah Subhani, a Shiite marja', praised the organization, order, and comprehensiveness of Jami' ahadith al-Shi'a, believing that, with this book, a jurist does not need to consult any other Shiite collection of hadiths.

Motivation for Writing

The motivation for the writing of Jami' ahadith al-Shi'a was the supplementation and improvement of Wasa'il al-Shi'a, since the latter has flaws and problems that slowed down the process of ijtihad. One such problem was the fragmentation of hadiths, which led to the repetition of hadiths, expansion of the volume of the book, and the disconnection of different parts of a hadith. Moreover, the fragmentation led the author to cite only one chain of transmitters for each fragment, while it is helpful to cite different chains of transmitters. For example, in some cases, it implies that the hadith is mustafid.

According to Muhammad Wa'iz Zada, a collaborator in the book, the book was written as directed at hadiths within Wasa'il al-Shi'a. Thus, at first the book was named "Tahdhib al-wasa'il" (refinement of Wasa'il). However, the collaborators later decided to cover all Shiite jurisprudential hadiths in the Four Books, Mustadrak al-wasa'il, and other books of hadiths. Thus, Ayatollah Burujirdi called the book, "Jami' ahadith al-Shi'a" (literally: a comprehensive book of Shiite hadiths).

One year after the start of the project, Ayatollah Burujirdi decided to cite Sunni hadiths at the end of each section as well. He did so in order to show to Sunni scholars that ancillary rulings they derive from qiyas and istihsan can be derived from hadiths as well. Moreover, he believed that the Shiite jurisprudence is directed at the Sunni jurisprudence. Thus, awareness of Sunni jurisprudential hadiths and the fatwas of Sunni scholars helps one better understand Shiite jurisprudential hadiths.

This was done up to the end of the section of cleanliness (tahara), but then Ayatollah Burujirdi changed his mind. It is said to be because of his son, Muhammad Hasan, who told his father, "People would now say that Shiite scholars separated Ahl al-Bayt's (a) hadiths from other hadiths, but Ayatollah Burujirdi mixed them again."


The book has an introduction that begins with a survey of the development of the Shiite hadith. It also involves discussions of the reliability of the tradition of the Prophet (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (a), impermissibility of qiyas, and the obligation of intention in worships.

Ayatollah Burujirdi himself began the writing of the introduction, but after his demise, it was completed by his son, Sayyid Muhammad Hasan.

The book is organized in the order of jurisprudential sections from worships to qisas and diyat.


The introduction of the book enumerates twenty three features of the book, including:

  • Avoiding the fragmentation of hadiths: Every hadith is cited with complete chains of transmitters and the full text in the most relevant section.
  • Collection of all hadiths concerning a particular jurisprudential issues in one section.
  • Integration of chains of transmitters of some hadiths: If a hadith has the same chain of transmitters as its preceding hadith, the common parts of the chain are not repeated and are specified with the phrase, "with the same chain of transmitters".
  • Citation of relevant Qur'anic verses at the beginning of each section with the Qur'anic order.
  • Separation of hadiths concerning traditions, manners, and supplications from jurisprudential hadiths. Thus, the former hadiths appear in a separate volume.
  • Hadiths cited from the Four Books are cited from their original sources and are compared to their manuscripts as well.
  • Comprehensiveness: It contains all sections of jurisprudence from cleanliness (tahara) to diyat.


Collaborators of Jami' ahadith al-Shi'a open each section of the book with the relevant jurisprudential verses. They then cite hadiths by appeal to which fatwas were issued prior to conflicting hadiths, and then they cite general and unqualified hadiths prior to specific and qualified hadiths. Moreover, each section contains chapters in which jurisprudential problems and their relevant hadiths are cited. The collection was written in accordance with Ayatollah Burujirdi's jurisprudential views, such as the authority of the Qur'an and the tradition of the Infallibles in the assessment of hadiths and knowledge of words appearing in hadiths.

Comparison with Other Collections of Hadiths

Important Shi'i hadith collections Author Death Number of hadiths descriptions
al-Mahasin Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Barqi 274/887-8 about 2604 Hadiths regarding different topics such as fiqh and ethics
al-Kafi Muhammad b. Ya'qub al-Kulayni 329/941 about 16000 Variety of hadiths regarding the principles of beliefs, ethics, conducts, and fiqh
Man la yahduruh al-faqih al-Shaykh al-Saduq 381/991-2 about 5500 Hadiths regarding fiqh
Tahdhib al-ahkam al-Shaykh al-Tusi 460/1067 about 13600 Hadiths regarding fiqh
Al-Istibsar al-Shaykh al-Tusi 460/1067 about 5500 Hadiths regarding fiqh
al-Wafi al-Fayd al-Kashani 1091/1680 about 50,000 Collection of hadiths in the Four Books with eliminating repeated hadiths and explaining some hadiths
Wasa'il al-shi'a al-Shaykh al-Hurr al-'Amili 1104/1693 35850 Hadiths regarding fiqh in the Four Books and over 70 other collections of hadiths
Bihar al-anwar al-'Allama al-Majlisi 1110/1699 about 85,000 Hadiths from most of the Infallibles (a) regarding various issues
Mustadrak al-wasa'il Mirza Husayn Nuri 1320/1902 23,514 Supplementation of hadiths regarding fiqh in Wasa'il al-shi'a
Safinat al-bihar Shaykh 'Abbas Qummi 1359/1941 10 volumes an alphabetically ordered index for Bihar al-anwar
Mustadrak safinat al-bihar Shaykh 'Ali Namazi 1405/1984-5 10 volumes Supplementation of Safinat al-bihar
Jami' ahadith al-Shi'a Ayatollah Burujirdi 1380/1961 48,342 Including all Shiite hadiths regarding fiqh
Mizan al-hikma Muhammad Muhammadi Reyshahri contemporary 23,030 564 non-jurisprudential (not regarding fiqh) topics
al-Hayat Muhammad Rida Hakimi contemporary 12 volumes 40 chapters regarding theoretical and practical issues

Publication and Translation

The print of the first volume of Jami' ahadith al-Shi'a, containing preliminary and cleanliness sections, began in 1380/1960-1 during the lifetime of Ayatollah Burujirdi, but it was published a few days after his death. In 1385/1965-6, the second volume of the book was published, which included some sections of the issues of prayer.

In 1396/1976, the full publication of the book began in Qom with the support of Ayatollah al-Khoei, and by 1415/1994-5, the whole book was published in twenty six volumes. Jami' al-ahadith was published in thirty one volumes as well. The latter publication began in 1992-3 and was finished in 2004-5. In this publication, nearly two thousand hadiths which did not appear in Wasa'il al-Shi'a and Mustadrak al-wasa'il were added to the book. Moreover, the meanings of some words and explications of certain hadiths were added.


Jami' ahadith al-Shi'a has been subject to a number of objections. For example, some people complain that it does not cover all jurisprudential verses of the Qur'an. Also, it has fragmented some of these verses.

Moreover, it is complained that the referent of "a number of Shi'as" in al-Kafi was not specified, chains of transmitters of Tahdhib al-ahkam and Man la yahduruh al-faqih are not determined, some of its signs and symbols cannot be understood, and in some cases original sources were not consulted.