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Muntakhab al-anwar al-mudi'a (book)

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Muntakhab al-anwar al-mudi'a (book)
Author Sayyid Ali b. Abd al-Karim al-Nili
Original title مُنْتَخَبُ الأنْوارِ المُضیئَةِ
Language Arabic
Series 1 vol.
Subject Imam al-Mahdi (a), Signs of Reappearance of Imam al-Mahdi (a), Mahdawiyya
Publisher Imam al-Hadi Institute

Muntakhab al-anwār al-muḍi'a fī dhikr al-Qā'im al-Ḥujja (Arabic: مُنْتَخَبُ الأنْوارِ المُضیئَةِ فی ذِکْرِ القائِمِ الحُجّة, lit: Select Enlightening Lights: On the Mention of the Rising Proof) is a book compiled by Sayyid Ali b. Abd al-Karim al-Nili (d. 803/1400) on establishing the imamate of the Twelfth Imam (a) and his return and its conditions. The book is also known by the title al-Ghayba (The Occultation).


Sayyid Baha' al-Din Ali b. Abd al-Karim al-Nili al-Najafi is a scholar of the eighth/fourteenth century. The exact dates of his birth and demise are not known, but he studied under Fakhr al-Muhaqqiqin, who passed away in 771/1369, toward the end of the latter's life, and he was a teacher of Ahmad b. Fahd al-Hilli who passed away in 841/1437. Al-Nili had many students and composed a number of other works.

Title of the Book

The book is mentioned in manuscript catalogues by the titles Muntakhab al-anwar al-mudi'a (Select Enlightening Lights), Mukhtasar al-anwar al-mudi'a (A Summary of Enlightening Lights), and al-Ghayba (The Occultation).

The Summarized Book

This book is a summary or selection of another book titled al-Anwar (Lights). Two scholars are said to have compiled a book with such a title:

  • Al-Anwar, which is also mentioned by the title al-Anwar al-ilahiyya fi l-hikmat al-shar'iyya (Divine Lights on the Legal Wisdom) or al-Anwar al-mudi'a fi l-hikmat al-shar'iyya (Enlightening Lights on the Legal Wisdom), written by Sayyid Ali b. Abd al-Karim al-Nili al-Najafi. This work is a comprehensive book on theology, jurisprudence, legal theory, and esoteric meanings of the Quran.
  • Al-Anwar al-mudi'a (Enlightening Lights) on the occultation of the Twelfth Imam. According to Aqa Buzurg Tihrani, this book was written by Ali b. Abd al-Hamid b. Fakhkhar b. Ma'add al-Musawi.

Some scholars maintain that the main book whose summary is Muntakhab al-anwar al-mudi'a was by Sayyid Ali al-Nili al-Najafi himself and the summary was made by an unknown writer based on the contents of al-Nili's al-Anwar al-mudi'a fi l-hikmat al-shar'iyya. The problem with this view is that the mentioned book was not about Imam Mahdi (a), so how could its summary be concerning Occultation?


In this book, in addition to using tradition-based evidence, al-Nili puts foreard various rational arguments to respond to potential questions from non-Shiites or non-Muslims.

He also mentions the hadiths with their chains of transmission and sources.


This book has the following twelve chapters:

  1. Establishing rationally the existence, imamate, and infallibility of the Twelfth Imam (a)
  2. Establishing the Twelfth Imam's existence and imamate based on the Quran
  3. Establishing the Twelfth Imam's existence and imamate based on Shiite hadiths
  4. Establishing the Twelfth Imam's existence and imamate based on Sunni hadiths
  5. On the birth of the Twelfth Imam (a)
  6. The cause of his occultation
  7. His long life
  8. His deputies and those who narrated hadiths from him
  9. His letters
  10. Those who met him
  11. The signs of his return
  12. The condition of the world and society during his reign.

Summary of the Book

Sayyid Ali al-Nili al-Najafi has further summarized this book and published his summary with the title Surur ahl al-iman fi alamat zuhur Sahib al-Zaman (The Joy of the People of Faith: On the Sings of the Return of the Master of Time).