Tibb al-a'imma (book)

Without priority, Quality: b
Without category
Without references
From wikishia
Tibb al-a'imma (book)
AuthorIbn Bastam (Abd Allah and Husayn)
Original titleطب الأئمة
SubjectMedical teachings of the Twelve Imams

Ṭibb al-a'imma (Arabic: طب الأئمة, lit: Medicine of the Imams) is a book in Arabic on the alleged medical teachings of the Twelve Imams. This book was composed by Abd Allah and Husayn, the sons of Bastam, who were among the muhaddith of the fourth/tenth century.

In this work, two general instructions are given for treatment: medicinal herbs and praying.

Some scholars have doubted the authenticity of the hadiths of this book.


This work, which is sometimes called Kitab al-Tibb (The Book of Medicine), is a book in Arabic written allegedly by two brothers, Abd Allah and Husayn, the sons of Bastam b. Shapur al-Ziyyat al-Nishaburi, who were among the traditionists of the fourth/tenth century. However, the attribution of the book to these two figures has been doubted. [1]

The book is on medicine, the benefits and harmful effects of different kinds of food, and prescribing medicinal herbs and prayers for healing.[2]

Regarding the motivation for compiling the book, it is said that the authors travelled to one of the borders of the Muslim lands of that time and learned about the medical problems of Muslim troops there. This motivated them to compile a book on the medical teachings of Islam found in the hadiths of the Infallibles (a).

Contents and Structure

The book Tib al-A'imma suggests two ways for treating diseases:

  • (1) consuming medicinal herbs and foods available at that time and
  • (2) praying and reciting the verses of the Quran.[3]

Some of the topics discussed in this book are the following:

  • The reward given to patients in the hereafter in return for their suffering
  • The cure for the excess of phlegm
  • Prayers for various diseases and health problems, such as headache, stomachache, earache
  • The prayer attributed to Imam al-Rida (a) for healing of various diseases
  • Fever and how to treat it
  • Advising against consuming any medicine unless necessary
  • The cure for cold
  • Benefits of violet oil
  • Benefits of certain fruits[4]

The book contains 409 hadiths organized under 245 titles. The hadiths are mostly mentioned with their chain of transmitters, though the chains are not complete. [5]


Hassan Ansari maintains that this book was compiled by the Exaggerators and was either not known to the early Shiite traditionists or at least disregarded by them. The chains of transmitters mentioned for the hadiths are usually confusing and most likely fabricated. Ansari clarifies that this does not mean that all the hadiths in the book are forged, but that the existence of the names of famous Twelver Shiite traditionists in the chains of transmitters should not be taken as evidence for authenticity. According to Ansari, forgers of hadith would include names of famous hadith transmitters beside unknown names in their hadiths’ chains of transmitters so as to make it difficult to discern the fabrication. [6]


There is a manuscript of this work in the national library of Iran.[7] Moreover, the central library of Astan Quds Razavi and the library of Sayyid Hibat al-Din Shahristani also contain manuscripts of the work.[8]


  1. Aḥmadī, Tārīkh-i hadīth-i Shīʿa, p. 359.
  2. Aḥmadī, Tārīkh-i hadīth-i Shīʿa, p. 360; Ibnā Basṭām, Ṭib al-aʾimma, p. 23.
  3. Ibnā Basṭām, Ṭib al-aʾimma, p. 15.
  4. Ibnā Basṭām, Ṭib al-aʾimma, the contents.
  5. Aḥmadī, Tārīkh-i hadīth-i Shīʿa, p. 360.
  6. From the inheritance of Ghulāt: the book of Ṭib al-aʾimma attributed to the sons of Basṭām (Persian)
  7. Manuscript of the Book of Ṭib al-aʾimma, Library of National Documents of the Islamic Republic of Iran (Persian)
  8. Aḥmadī, Tārīkh-i hadīth-i Shīʿa, p. 359.