Turaf min al-anba' wa l-manaqib (book)

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Turaf min al-anba' wa l-manaqib (book)
Authoral-Sayyid b. Tawus
Original titleطُرَفٌ مِنَ الأنباء و المَناقب
Series1 vol.
SubjectReports and anecdotes about Ahl al-Bayt (a) and virtues of Imam Ali (a)

Ṭuraf min al-anbāʾ wa l-manāqib (Arabic: طُرَفٌ مِنَ الاَنْباء و المَناقب) is a book in Arabic written by al-Sayyid b. Tawus (d. 664/1266). It concerns reports and anecdotes about Ahl al-Bayt (a) and virtues of Imam Ali (a). In this book, which is indeed a supplement for al-Tara'if, al-Sayyid b. Tawus decides to remain anonymous, because of fears from his contemporary caliphs. In addition to an introduction and an epilogue, Turaf includes thirty three sections under "Turfa" (novelty or wonder). In this book, al-Sayyid has relied on Shiite sources and hadiths from Ahl al-Bayt (a).

There is no doubt over the attribution of the book to al-Sayyid b. Tawus, since he refers to this book in the rest of his works.


Ali b. Musa b. Ja'far b. Tawus famously known as al-Sayyid b. Tawus (b.589/1193 - d.664/1266), is a great Shi'a scholar and a descendant of Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba (a), and Imam al-Sajjad (a). He was born on Thursday, Muharram 15, 589/January 21,1193 in Hillah, Iraq.[1] Al-Sayyid b. Tawus started his education in Hillah, learning the first levels of science from his father and his grandfather, Warram b. Abi Firas. He authored around fifty books. He died on Monday, the Dhu l-Qa'da 5, 664/August 8, 1266, at the age of 75 in Hillah. As he has written in Falah al-sa'il he had prepared a grave in the Shrine of Imam Ali (a) in Najaf.[2] Yet there is a shrine in Hillah attributed to him.

Attribution of the Book

The book was definitely written by al-Sayyid b. Tawus, because in his own al-Ijazat and Kashf al-Mahajja, he has informed Shiite scholars and bibliographers of the identity of both works, leaving no doubts over the attribution of the book to him. Aqa Buzurg Tihrani also attributes the book to Ibn Tawus, which he wrote before the fall of Baghdad in the hands of Mongols.

Style of Writing and Contents

Although the book counts as a book of hadiths, it has a theological approach. The author cleverly and theologically points to the superiority of the Prophet (s) and the succession and immediate caliphate of Imam Ali (a).

The book includes an introduction, an epilogue, and thirty three sections under Turfa (novelty or wonder). Each Turfa is in fact a narration of the Prophet's (s) recommendations about, or advice to, Ali (a). Each Turfa contains only one hadith.

Full Title of the Book

Here is how Aqa Buzurg Tihrani cites the full title of the book: Turaf min al-anba' wa l-manaqib fi sharaf sayyid al-anbiya' wa l-ata'ib wa turaf min tasrihihi bi l-wasiyya wa l-khilafa li 'Ali b. Abi Talib.

Sources of the Book

In his al-Tara'if, al-Sayyid b. Tawus cites Sunni sources, but in Turaf, he only relies on Shiite sources and hadiths from Ahl al-Bayt (a). Turaf is indeed a supplement to al-Tara'if, as Sayyid himself says:

"I cite here what was missing from that book. The main source of this book is 'Isa al-Bijli's al-Wasiyya."

Ibn Tawus cites the majority of hadiths in this book from 'Isa b. al-Mustafad al-Bajali who transmitted hadiths from Imam al-Kazim (a) and was knowledgeable of the science of hadiths.


The editor of the book says in its preface: "What al-Sayyid b. Tawus has cited in this brief essay is a precious treasure of hadiths, many of which are cited by al-Majlisi in his Bihar al-anwar'."

Manuscripts and Publications

Kohlberg says that Aqa Buzurg mentions a manuscript in Mashhad back to 987/1579-80, which was published in Najaf in 1369/1949-50, and he himself consulted the one published in 1369/1950. The work was published as edited by al-Shaykh Qays al-'Attar in 1420/1999-2000 in Mashhad by Tasu'a Publications.


  1. Kammūna al-Husaynī, Mawārid al-itḥāf, vol. 1, p. 107-108.
  2. Ibn Ṭāwūs, Falāḥ al-sāʾil, p. 73-74.