Shawariq al-ilham (book)

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Shawariq al-Ilham
Bibliographical Information
Bibliographical Information
Author'Abd al-Razzaq Lahiji
Original titleشوارق الالهام فی شرح تجرید الاعتقاد
Series5 vols.
SubjectTheology and Philosophy
Published1426/2005-6, Qom
PublisherMu'assisa al-Imam al-Sadiq (a)

Shawāriq al-ʾilhām fī sharḥ tajrīd al-ʾiʿtiqād (Arabic: شَوارِق الاِلهام فی شَرح تَجرید الاِعتِقاد), written by 'Abd al-Razzaq Fayyad al-Lahiji, is an Arabic inter-textual commentary on Tajrid al-i'tiqad by Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (d. 672/1274). After Mir Sayyid Ahmad al-'Alawi's commentaries, this is the longest and most detailed commentary on Tajrid al-i'tiqad . This book has been left unfinished—it is just concerned with the first two chapters (maqsad) and part of chapter 3 of Tajrid al-i'tiqad . This commentary clearly elaborates and illustrates the words and phrases appearing in Tajrid al-i'tiqad.

Lahiji maintains that Tajrid al-i'tiqad is a distinguished and unique book in theology with respect to its organization of the problems, comprehensiveness, its important research concerning issues of theology and philosophy, its precise formulation of arguments without any unnecessary digressions. Lahiji takes many commentaries and expositions of Tajrid al-i'tiqad to be unsuccessful. Shawariq al-ilham was welcomed by scholars, many annotations and commentaries were written on it. One feature of the book is its frequent quotes from early books in Islamic philosophy and theology. These quotes constitute the bulk of the book. Given Lahiji's own approach, the philosophical tone of the book is stronger than its theological tone.


'Abd al-Razzaq al-Lahiji was a pupil of Mulla Sadra and his son in law. However, he had tendencies to Islamic peripatetic philosophy or Masha', and was critical of Mulla Sadra. He has authored books such as Shawariq al-ilham , which is a commentary on Nasir al-Din al-Tusi's Tajrid al-i'tiqad, commentaries on Nasir al-Din's Sharh al-isharat , commentaries on Ta'liqat by Khufri, Gowhar-i murad , and Sarmaya-yi iman . His son, Mirza Hasan, the author of Jamal al-salihin, was one of his pupils. He contributed very much to the philosophization of theology. He taught in Qom, where he died in 1072/(1661-2).


Lahiji starts his book with an introduction concerning the definition of theology, its subject matter, its purpose and its place among other disciplines. He then embarks on his exposition of the text (Tajrid al-i'tiqad ). He first cites Nasir al-Din al-Tusi's passage, and then explicates its terms. In most of the cases, his exposition involves an illustration of the words of the author and his purpose in each passage.

Shawariq is not just an exposition of al-Tusi's Tajrid al-i'tiqad ; rather it is an encyclopedia of theology in which many important views in different issues of theology have been addressed and investigated. Lahiji's method in the book is to cite different, considerable theories of the scholars of theology in his exposition of any passage, and then astutely criticize and evaluate them.

Lahiji's exposition of Tajrid al-i'tiqad may be regarded as a comprehensive encyclopedia of most theories of the scholars of theology and Islamic philosophy before Lahiji. He had impressive knowledge and mastery of the views of later scholars, commentators of Tajrid al-i'tiqad and commentators of Maqasid and Mawaqif. This is why his exposition of Tajrid al-i'tiqad is more helpful and scholarly than other commentaries on the book.


Research-based approach: unlike Gowhar-i murad and Sarmaya-yi iman which are written for educational purposes, Shawariq al-ilham is a text based on research, and is not congenial for educational purposes, such as teaching theology to novice learners.

The book being unfinished: Shawariq al-ilham covers only an exposition of the first chapter of Tajrid al-i'tiqad (on General Issues) and the second chapter (substances and their accidents). Part of the third chapter is covered (to the problem of self-talk or internal talk (al-kalam al-nafsi)). It does not cover the rest of the book.

It is not obvious whether the book is not finished by the author or it has been finished, but the rest of it has been lost. But since Shawariq al-ilham was the last work of Lahiji which was very well-known such that there have been many transcriptions of the book, it is very probable that he did not find the occasion to complete the book.

Frequent citation of sources: in order to write Shawariq al-ilham , Lahiji has cited various sources. There are some lengthy quotes in the book, which comprise a major part of it.

Philosophical views of Ibn Sina, Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, al-Suhrawardi, and Mulla Sadra and theological views of al-Taftazani, Mir Sayyid Sharif al-Jurjani, al-Allama al-Hilli, al-Qushji, Shams al-Din al-Khufri, Jalal al-Din al-Dawani and many others have been cited in Shawariq al-ilham.

The philosophical tone: Lahiji overlooks many early works of theology, such as those of al-Shaykh al-Mufid, al-Sharif al-Murtada, and al-Shaykh al-Tusi in his own work. On the contrary, he was much focused on philosophical works, citing such views in his Shawariq al-ilham. Thus Shawariq al-ilham has a strong philosophical tone. It is more a philosophical book than a book in theology. This is the reason why it has sometimes been classified as a philosophical work.

Citation of Sunni works in theology: Lahiji was familiar with Sunni work in theology. He frequently cites Mu'tazili scholars of theology such as al-Nazzam, al-Baqillani and al-Jahiz. And he argues against Ash'ari scholars of theology, such as al-Juwayni, al-Ghazali, al-Amudi and in particular, Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, Mir Sayyid Sharif al-Jurjani and al-Taftazani. In the structure and content of his Shawariq al-ilham and Gowhar-i murad , Lahiji largely draws upon Sharh al-maqaqif , Sharh al-maqasid and al-Mabahith al-mashriqiyya.

Commentaries and Annotations

Since Shawariq al-ilham has been a very important book, many commentaries and annotations have been written on it. Here are the most significant such works:

  • Aqa Ali Mudarris al-Tihrani. He has made 398 commentaries on Shawariq al-ilham . Since the content of these commentaries are not reflected in other works by Mudarris al-Tihrani on General Issues, they are considered to be very important. He has also made objections to what other commentators of Shawariq al-ilham have said, in particular to the views of Mulla Isma'il. These commentaries have been published in a collection of Aqa Ali Mudarris's work.
  • 'Ali Akbar b. 'Ali Bismil al-Shirazi (d. 1263/1846-7).
  • Mirza 'Abd al-Rahman al-Shirazi al-Mudarris
  • Mulla 'Ali b. Jamshid al-Nuri al-Isfahani (d. 1245/1829-30).
  • Muhammad Rida Tabrizi
  • Muhammad Husayn al-Kirmani al-Isfahani
  • Muhammad 'Ali al-Najafi al-Hizarjaribi al-Isfahani
  • Haji Mulla Rida Hamadani
  • Muhammad Taqi b. Asad Allah al-Husayni
  • Muhammad Muhammadi Gilani has written a supplement for Shawariq al-ilham on the occasion of Lahiji Congress. Since Lahiji wrote his exposition of Tajrid al-i'tiqad through part of the third chapter, this book seeks to complete the book. This is independent of Shawariq al-Ilham .


1. The Library of Gowhar Shad, Mashhad, no. 1854, transcription by Lahiji's pupil, Muhammad Sharif b. Mahmud al-Lahiji, 1063/1652-3 in Qom.

2. Central Library of Tehran University, no. 1697, transcription by Muhammad Mu'min b. Amin al-Tabrizi, 1094/1682-3.

3. National Library of Fars-Shiraz, no. 745/ General 2/ 272: khu), transcription by Muhammad Sadiq b. Haji Mirza Muhammad, 1095/1683-4.

4. The library of Hujjatiyya School, Qom, no. 360, transcription in 11th/17th century.

5. Malek Library in Tehran, no. 1863, transcription in 1187/1773-4.

6. The Library of the Theology Department of Tehran University, no. 5716, transcription in 1191/1777-8.

7. The Library of Masjid A'zam, Qom, no. 2 mj 3307, transcription in 1225/1810-11.

8. The library of Astan-i Quds-i Radawi, Mashhad, no. 1388-6944, transcription in 1233/1817-8, and many other manuscripts of the book.


Shawariq al-ilham has been published in 5 volumes, edited by Akbar Asad 'Ali Zadi, under the supervision, and with the introduction, of Ayatollah Jafar Subhani in Imam al-Sadiq (a) Institute in Qom in 1426/2005-6).

See also