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Kashf al-murad (book)

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Kashf al-murad (book)
Author Al-'Allama al-Hilli
Original title كشف المراد في شرح تجريد الاعتقاد
Language Arabic
Series 1 vol.
Subject Theology, Philosophy
Published 1407/1986
Publisher Al-Nashr al-Islami Institute

Kashf al-murād fī sharḥ tajrīd al-i‘tiqād (Arabic: كشف المراد في شرح تجريد الاعتقاد) is a Shiite theological work written by al-'Allama al-Hilli in Arabic. It is recognized as the first and the best commentary on Tajrid al-i‘tiqad by Khwaja Nasir al-Din al-Tusi. Kashf al-murad begins with philosophical issues, such as existence and quiddity, and then covers a whole range of the principles of Imami beliefs from monotheism to resurrection.

This is a seminary textbook, and many commentaries have been written on it.

The Author

Main article: Al-'Allama al-Hilli

Hasan b. Yusuf b. Mutahhar al-Hilli (b. 648/1250 - d. 726/1325), known as al-'Allama al-Hilli, was a jurist and theologian in the eighth/fourteen century. He wrote many books in different disciplines, including jurisprudence, principles of jurisprudence, religious beliefs, philosophy, and logic, such as Manahij al-yaqin fi usul al-din, Kashf al-murad, Nahj al-haqq wa kashf al-sidq, al-Bab al-hadi 'ashar, Khulasat al-aqwal, and al-Jawhar al-nadid. He is known as the first scholar who was titled “Ayatollah” (literally: the sign of God) because of his vast knowledge. His debates and works led to Sultan Muhammad Khudabanda’s conversion to Shiism and the propagation of Shiism in Iran.

Motivation for Writing

In his preface to Kashf al-murad, al-'Allama al-Hilli says that his motivation for writing the book was to elaborate and elucidate the unclear parts of Khwaja Nasir al-Din al-Tusi’s Tajrid al-i'tiqad. For in his view the latter book is very brief, although it covers a whole range of theological problems, which has made it difficult to understand.

Significance of the Book

Kashf al-murad is an important Islamic seminary textbook. The book is said to be superior to other commentaries on Tajrid al-i'tiqad for two reasons: this is the first commentary, and its author was a student of Tajrid al-i'tiqad’s author.

According to Hasan Hasanzada Amuli, the critical editor of the book, Tajrid al-i'tiqad is the origin of theological books and Kashf al-murad is the first and the best commentary on it. He also quotes al-Fadil al-Qushchi as saying that, without Kashf al-murad, Tajrid al-i'tiqad could not be properly understood. Moreover, Aqa Buzurg Tihrani, the author of al-Dhari'a, quotes Shams al-Din al-Isfahani, a commentator on Tajrid al-i'tiqad, as saying that without Kashf al-murad, no one could explain the meanings of Tajrid al-i‘tiqad.

The Book’s Content and Structure

Kashf al-murad discusses purely philosophical issues, such as existence and nonexistence, as well as a whole range of theological issues from monotheism to resurrection. The book consists of six parts, each of which is called “Maqsad” (destination). Some of these sections consist of a number of chapters, in which a variety of issues are discussed:

  • General issues, including three chapters: existence and nonexistence, quiddity and its addenda, causes and effects.
  • Substances and accidents, including five chapters: substances, physical objects, other features of physical objects, immaterial substances, accidents.
  • Imamate, including nine problems, such as the necessity of appointing an Imam, the necessity of the Imam's infallibility, the necessity of the Imam's superiority over others, the necessity of there being an explicit text about the Imam, Ali b. Abi Talibs immediate Imamate after the Prophet's demise, Imam Ali's superiority to other companions, and the Imamate of the other twelve Imams (a).

Expositions, Commentaries, and Translations

According to the book, Kitabshinasi Tajrid al-i‘tiqad (The bibliography of Tajrid al-i‘tiqad), many expositions and commentaries have been written for Kashf al-murad, including the following:

  • Hashiya Sayyid Abu l-Qasim b. Husayn Radawi Qumi Ha'iri Lahuri Naqawi (d. 1324 AH/1903)
  • Hashiya Mirza Abd al-Razzaq b. Ali Rida Muhaddith Hamadani (d. 1381 AH/1961)
  • Al-Ta'liqat ala Kashf al-murad written by Hasan Hasanzada Amuli
  • Tawdih al-murad fi sharh Kashf al-murad, by Sayyid Hashim Husayni Tihrani (d. 1412 AH/1991)
  • Hashiya Sayyid Muhammad Hashim b. Jalal al-Din Rawdati
  • Ta'liqa 'ala sharh al-Tajrid al-Allama by Hafiz Bashir Najafi (b. 1361 AH/1942)
  • Ta'liqa 'ala Kashf al-murad fi sharh al-Tajrid, by Ibrahim b. Sajid b. Baqir Musawi Abhari Zanjani (b. 1344 AH/1925
  • Tarjuma wa sharh Kashf al-murad in Persian, written by Abu l-Hasan Sha'rani (b. 1393 AH/1973)
  • Sharh Kashf al-murad by Ali Muhammadi (b. 1377 AH/1957) in Persian.

Publication and Manuscripts

There are manuscripts of Kashf al-murad written during al-'Allama al-Hilli’s lifetime or shortly after his death, including a manuscript written in 713/1313 during his lifetime. Moreover, there is a manuscript written in 745/1344, which was proofread by the scribe in the presence of Fakhr al-Muhaqqiqin, al-‘Allama al-Hilli’s son. The latter manuscript is kept in the Library of Astan Quds Razavi.

Kashf al-murad has been published in Iran, Lebanon, and India, including a publication by Jami'a Mudarrisin Hawzah 'Ilmiyya Qom in 1407/1986 which was critically edited and commentated by Hasan Hasanzada Amuli in 646 pages.