Tatayur al-Kutub

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Shi'a Beliefs
Tawhid (Monotheism)Tawhid of EssenceTawhid in AttributesTawhid in ActionsTawhid in Worship
Other BeliefsTawassulShafa'aTabarruk
Divine Justice
Bada'Amr Bayn al-Amrayn
Infallibility'Ilm al-ghaybMu'jizaIntegrity of the Holy Qur'an
InfallibilityWilaya'Ilm al-ghaybOccultation of Imam al-Mahdi (a) (Minor Occultation,Major Occultation) • Reappearance of Imam al-Mahdi (a)Raj'a
End TimeHereafterBarzakhEmbodiment of ActionsBodily ResurrectionAl-SiratTatayur al-KutubMizanHashr
Other Outstanding Beliefs
Ahl al-Bayt (a)The Fourteen InfalliblesTaqiyyaMarja'iyyaTawalliTabarri

Taṭāyur al-kutub (Arabic: تطایر الکتب) is a stage of the resurrection in which one observes the book, or record, of his or her actions. This is an Islamic belief, emphasized by hadiths.

Following some hadiths, exegetes of the Qur'an take the term to be derived from the Qur'an 17:13 and 14, and some Muslim jurists take it obligatory to believe in Tatayur al-kutub.


The word "tatayur" literally means to fly, to disseminate, and to dispense.

Although the word "tatayur" does not appear in the Qur'an, following some hadiths from the Prophet (s) and Imams (a), Qur'anic exegetes take the term to be derived from the Qur'an: "every man's 'tayir' (bird or fate) we have fastened on his own neck",[1] followed by "read your book (or records)".[2]


Qur'anic exegetes suggested two interpretations of the word "ta'ir" in the above Qur'anic verse:

  • First: the word "ta'ir" (Arabic: طائر) has its root in the word "tayr" (Arabic: طیر) which means bird. Arabs used to fly a bird in order to know whether what they sought to do was good or bad. Later the good and bad actions themselves came to be called "ta'ir".
  • Second: according to Abu 'Ubayda, by "ta'ir" Arabs meant fortune. In the verse immediately after the above verse, we read that the same "ta'ir" displays the book of people's actions to them on the Day of Judgment. According to some hadiths, this stage of the resurrection is called "tatayur al-kutub" or "tatayur al-suhuf". According to a hadith narrated from the Prophet (s) by Aisha, there are three stages of the resurrection in which one does not know or remember anyone: mizan (the measurement of one's good and bad actions), tatayur al-kutub or tatayur al-suhuf, and sirat (the bridge that everyone should pass in the resurrection).

According to a hadith from Imam al-Baqir (a), "ta'ir" refers to the good and the evil that always accompany one until the Day of Judgment when the book of one's actions is given to him or her.

Therefore, divine agents (angels) record one's actions—good and bad—in this world, and they open the record—the book—to the person after the resurrection, at the stage of tatayur al-kutub.

Theologians and jurists take it obligatory for a Muslim to believe in 'tatayur al-kutub' as a stage of the resurrection, because it was mentioned in the Qur'an. Thus jurists maintain that it is one of the doctrines that should be mentioned to a dead person at the time of talqin.


  1. Qur'an 17:13 ألزمناه طائره في عنقه
  2. Qur'an 17:14 اقرأ كتابك


  • The material for writing this article has been mainly taken from تطایر کتب in Farsi WikiShia.