Muntaha l-amal (book)
|Muntaha l-amal fi tawarikh al-nabi wa l-al|
|Author||Shaykh Abbas al-Qummi|
|Original title||مُنْتَهَى ألآمال فی تَواريخِ ألنَّبی وَ ألْآل|
|Subject||Lives of the Fourteen Infallibles (a)|
Muntahā l-āmāl fī tawārīkh al-nabī wa l-āl (Arabic: مُنتَهی الآمال فی تَواریخ النَّبی وَ الآل) is a Farsi book about the life of the Fourteen Infallibles (a) by Shaykh 'Abbas Qummi, the Shiite scholar of the 14th/20th century. Drawing on many great sources, the author has provided a detailed, lengthy account of the lives of the Fourteen Infallibles, that is, the Prophet (s), Lady Fatima al-Zahra (a), and the Twelve Imams (a).
Muntahā l-āmāl is structured in 14 chapters, each involving some sections dealing with personal lives, virtues, events, children and family, narrators and companions of each Infallible. Muntahā l-āmāl is a well-known book among Shiites. It has been translated into Arabic by Sayyid Hashim Milani.
- Main article: 'Abbas al-Qummi
'Abbas b. Muhammad Rida b. Abu al-Qassim, a well-known contemporary Shiite clergy and scholar of hadiths, was born in Qom. He learned preliminary materials there. In 1316/1898, he moved to Najaf and attended the lectures of Mirza Husayn Nuri. In 1320/1902 after the death of his master, he returned to Qom. He then went from Qom to Mashhad and lived there for a while. He finally went back to Najaf and died there.
Muntaha l-amal is a biography of the Prophet (s), his daughter, Lady Fatima al-Zahra (a), and the Twelve Shiite Imams (a). Regarding each of these figures the book talks about their birth, title, kunya, some of their virtues and moral character, their miracles, the evidence for the imamate of each Imam, their aphorisms, their martyrdom, and their burial.
Motivation for Writing
In his preface to the book, the author says of his motivation that:
- Since according to many hadiths, it is evident that one of the greatest and the most precious worships is the revival of the hadiths by Imams who were close to the Lord of the Worlds [God] and the cry for the calamities of these oppressed figures … it occurred to me that I may author a book about the births and calamities of the Prophet (s) and his pure progeny and some of their virtues and moral characters so that believers can be awarded by reading and hearing about them and by crying over their great calamities. Thus I collected this book with brevity and called it Muntaha l-āmāl fī tawārīkh al-nabī wa l-āl. I organized it into 14 chapters, the number of [the Infallibles].
Muntaha l-amal consists of 14 chapters each dealing with the life of one of the 14 Infallibles (a). Each chapter contains sections dealing with their personal lives, a brief account of virtues, the events, children and family, narrators and companions. The life of the Prophet (s), Imam 'Ali (a) and in particular the murder of Imam al-Husayn (a) constitute a major part of the book.
The author often cites his sources, and in a recent publication of the book, edited by Baqiri Bidihindi, the sources have been specified exactly by mentioning their volume and page numbers in footnotes. The author tries to mention different accounts of one and the same event.
Here are some sources of the book:
as well as some books in general history such as Tarikh al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Ya'qubi, Muruj al-dhahab, books in local history and books of 'ilm al-rijal, such as Tarikh Qom, Tarikh Baghdad, Tarikh Damascus, and Rijal al-Najashi.
The author also adds his own comments on some points by saying "the author says…", which makes the book more valuable. Though the book is in Farsi, there are many Arabic sentences that are quoted in the text, such as hadiths by Infallibles (a), the prayers, and poems, which are mostly translated by the author into Farsi.
Shaykh Abbas Qummi has written a supplement to the book under Tatimma al-muntaha fi waqa'i' ayyam al-khulafa' (a supplement of Muntaha on the events of the periods of Caliphs). In the preface the author says that:"I started to write a treatise about Imam al-Hasan's (a) sons. However, after writing some parts of it, I figured out that it cannot be a treatise so I decided to publish it as a supplement of Muntaha l-a'mal."
- Fāṭimī, Sayyid Ḥasan. 1381 Sh. "Muntahā l-āmāl." Kitāb-i Māh wa Dīn 56, 57:10-11.
- Qummī, Shaykh ʿAbbās. Muntahā l-āmāl. Qom: Dalīl-i Mā, 1379 Sh.
- Fāṭimī, "Muntahā l-āmāl", p. 10.
- Qummī, Muntahā l-āmāl, vol. 1, p. 22.
- Qummī, Muntahā l-āmāl, vol. 1, p. 18.