Nur al-afham fi 'ilm al-kalam (book)

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Nur al-afham fi 'ilm al-kalam (book)
کتاب نور الافهام.jpg
Authoral-Sayyid Hasan al-Husayni al-Lawasani
Original title
نورُ الأفهام فی عِلمِ الکَلام
PublisherMu'assisat al-Nashr al-Islami

Nūr al-afhām fī ʿilm al-kalām (Arabic: نور الأفهام في علم الکلام, literally: the light of understandings on the science of theology) is a theological argumentative book in Arabic written by al-Sayyid Hasan al-Husayni al-Lawasani, a Shiite scholar (d. 1400/1980). The book is, indeed, an exposition of the book, Manzuma-yi akhlaqi wa kalami (ethical and theological verse), written by al-Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Tabataba'i (d. 1331/1912-3), a descendant of Sayyid Ali al-Tabataba'i, the author of Riyad al-masa'il.

In Nur al-afham, the author explains al-Tabataba'i's words, demonstrating Shiite beliefs with proofs and arguments.


Al-Sayyid Hasan al-Husayni al-Lawasani was a Shiite mujtahid and theologian. He studied at seminary schools in Najaf, Mashhad, and Tehran, and arrived at the degree of ijtihad. His most important activity during his career was his twenty two years of stay in Southern Lebanon, where he supervised the Shi'as in Jabal Amel. He also preached and performed congregational prayers in Mahmudiyya Mosque in Tehran. He is buried in the Shrine of Imam al-Rida (a).

Title and Contents of the Book

In his book al-Dhari'a, Aqa Buzurg refers to the book as "Nur al-afham fi sharh misbah al-zulam" which was written by al-Lawasani in 1362/1943 when he was in Sidon.

The book has an introduction and five sections after the number of the five Shiite principles of belief (monotheism, prophethood, justice, Imamate, and resurrection), and each section has a number of chapters. In this book, al-Lawasani provides an explanation of two works: Misbah al-zulam fi usul al-din, and 'Ilm al-kalam, in which al-Tabataba'i provides arguments to demonstrate the truth of Shiite beliefs.

In this book, al-Lawasani holds that Mansur al-Hallaj was a disbeliever. He also believes that it is forbidden to curse the wives of the Prophet (s), including Aisha.

Al-Lawasani provides an exposition of ethical verses composed by al-Tabataba'i at the end of the book. The verses are addressed to his son.

Significance of the Book

After its publication, the book was well received by scholars who wrote endorsements for the book. Al-Shaykh Muhammad Taqi al-Qummi encouraged the author by sending a prize to him. Al-Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim and al-Sayyid Abu l-Qasim al-Khoei recommended the book as a textbook in seminary schools.


The book was first published in Tehran in 1373/1953-4 when the author lived in the city. It was later published again in 1425/2004-5 as edited by Sayyid Ibrahim Lawasani, the author's grandson, by Mu'assisat al-Nashr al-Islami (Islamic Publication Institute) in Qom.