Basic Shia Ahadith Books

Summary:

All religions have been influenced by the social and political variations over the years, even we can observe such changes within our living memories! Industrial developments and prosperity bring in new forms of recreational activities and themes of enjoyment, which under commercial and political drivers persuade religious bodies to welcome them.  And they eventually embrace the ‘heretical practices’ as ‘acceptable norms’ within the context of religious guidelines and gradually religious domain expands towards immorality and forbidden acts.

Islamic values have also been subjected to social, commercial and political variations, as reflected within many Islamic sects, the first division in Muslims was at the time of the departure of the holy soul of the Prophet Muhammad-saww.  Since then the true spirit of Islam has been covered with the thick layers of Heresy, being touched upon almost every aspect of beliefs and practices prevailing within Muslims.  Hence today, it has become very difficult to find the truth, the basic books which served the purpose of looking into the causes of divisions and disputes are being modified and changed, for example, the references from many Sunni books cited during shia-suni debates, not long ago, are extinct as new editions have omitted those Ahadith which Sunnis Muslims found difficult to defend!  See a brief description at the end of the article[1].

When it comes to Shias, they too had many sub-divisions (e.g., Kaysanites, Waqifite, Ismāʿīlism….) starting from very early days, – we have dealt with the beliefs of these sects elsewhere.[2]

The rest of the article is devoted to acquiring basic knowledge about Islam, in a most simplified way – as many of our readers have asked us:

How to develop basic and sound understanding of Islam?

From where one may start and which are the basic (Shia) books one must read?

In this short article, we would try to introduce some original basic Shias Ahadith books compiled during the life-time of Masomeen-asws – the earlier sources of Ahadith Books – which we have found have enormously benefited those who would like to adapt and practise Islam in its purist form while repealing the heretical layers laid upon Islam over more than 1000 years since the Grand Occultation of the 12th Imam-asws.

Before we proceed, let’s look at a Hadith, when we make an effort, Allah-azwj Helps us from unexpected sources and Blesses us more than our expectations:

عِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَصْحَابِنَا عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ أَبِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ عَنْ عَلِيِّ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ الْقَاسَانِيِّ عَمَّنْ ذَكَرَهُ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ الْقَاسِمِ عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ع عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنْ جَدِّهِ ع قَالَ قَالَ أَمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ع كُنْ لِمَا لَا تَرْجُو أَرْجَى مِنْكَ لِمَا تَرْجُو فَإِنَّ مُوسَى بْنَ عِمْرَانَ ع خَرَجَ يَقْتَبِسُ لِأَهْلِهِ نَاراً فَكَلَّمَهُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ وَ رَجَعَ نَبِيّاً مُرْسَلًا وَ خَرَجَتْ مَلِكَةُ سَبَإٍ فَأَسْلَمَتْ مَعَ‏ سُلَيْمَانَ ع وَ خَرَجَتْ سَحَرَةُ فِرْعَوْنَ يَطْلُبُونَ الْعِزَّ لِفِرْعَوْنَ فَرَجَعُوا مُؤْمِنِينَ

A number of our people have narrated from Ahmad ibn Abu ‘ Abd Allah from Ali ibn Muhammad al-Qasaniy from the one whom he has mentioned from’ Abd Allah ibn al-Qasim ibn Muhammad from Abu Abd Allah-asws from his father, from his grandfather-asws who has said the following:

‘Abu Ja’far-asws has said that Amir-ul-Momineen-asws has said: ‘Your hope for help from an unexpected source should be greater than an expected source. Musa-as [3]went to find fire for his family, Allah-azwj Spoke to him-as and he-as came back as a Prophet. The Queen of Sheba’[4] made an effort and became a Muslim with Sulayman[5]. The magicians went out to defend Pharaoh’s majesty but they returned as believing people’.[6]

All we have to rely on the Mercy of Allah-azwj and to have trust in Allah-azwj that we will be guided even if there we find it difficult in the beginning but when one makes an effort, Allah-azwj always Eases Guidance for him!  As in another Hadith:

أَبُو عَبْدِ اللَّهِ الْأَشْعَرِيُّ عَنْ بَعْضِ أَصْحَابِنَا رَفَعَهُ عَنْ هِشَامِ بْنِ الْحَكَمِ قَالَ قَالَ لِي أَبُو الْحَسَنِ مُوسَى بْنُ جَعْفَرٍ ( عليه السلام ) يَا هِشَامُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَبَارَكَ وَ تَعَالَى بَشَّرَ أَهْلَ الْعَقْلِ وَ الْفَهْمِ فِي كِتَابِهِ فَقَالَ فَبَشِّرْ عِبادِ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَمِعُونَ الْقَوْلَ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ أَحْسَنَهُ أُولئِكَ الَّذِينَ هَداهُمُ اللَّهُ وَ أُولئِكَ هُمْ أُولُوا الْأَلْبابِ

O Abu Abdullah Al Ashary, from one of our companions, raising it, from Hisham Bin Al Hakam who said,

‘Abu Al-Hassan Musa Bin Ja’far-asws said to me: ‘O Hisham! Allah-azwj Blessed and High Gave glad tidings to the people of the intellect and the understanding in His-azwj Book, so He-azwj Said: therefore give good news to My servants [39:17]. Those who are listening intently to the Word and they are following the best of it, those are they whom Allah Guided, and those, they are the ones of understanding [39:18].

يَا هِشَامُ إِنَّ لُقْمَانَ قَالَ لِابْنِهِ تَوَاضَعْ لِلْحَقِّ تَكُنْ أَعْقَلَ النَّاسِ وَ إِنَّ الْكَيِّسَ لَدَى الْحَقِّ يَسِيرٌ يَا بُنَيَّ إِنَّ الدُّنْيَا بَحْرٌ عَمِيقٌ قَدْ غَرِقَ فِيهَا عَالَمٌ كَثِيرٌ فَلْتَكُنْ سَفِينَتُكَ فِيهَا تَقْوَى اللَّهِ وَ حَشْوُهَا الْإِيمَانَ وَ شِرَاعُهَا التَّوَكُّلَ وَ قَيِّمُهَا الْعَقْلَ وَ دَلِيلُهَا الْعِلْمَ وَ سُكَّانُهَا الصَّبْرَ

O Hisham! Luqman-as said to his-as son: ‘Be humble to the Truth, you will come to be the most intellectual of the people, and that the attractiveness in front of the Truth is of little (value). O my-as son! The world is a deep ocean. A lot of learned people have drowned in it, therefore make your ship in it to be the fear of Allah-azwj, and the Eman to be its load, and the reliance (upon Allah-azwj) as its sails, and the intellect as its captain, and the knowledge as its indicator (navigator), and the patience as its passenger’.

يَا هِشَامُ كَانَ أَمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ( عليه السلام ) يَقُولُ مَا عُبِدَ اللَّهُ بِشَيْ‏ءٍ أَفْضَلَ مِنَ الْعَقْلِ وَ مَا تَمَّ عَقْلُ امْرِئٍ حَتَّى يَكُونَ فِيهِ خِصَالٌ شَتَّى الْكُفْرُ وَ الشَّرُّ مِنْهُ مَأْمُونَانِ وَ الرُّشْدُ وَ الْخَيْرُ مِنْهُ مَأْمُولَانِ وَ فَضْلُ مَالِهِ مَبْذُولٌ وَ فَضْلُ قَوْلِهِ مَكْفُوفٌ وَ نَصِيبُهُ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا الْقُوتُ

O Hisham! It was so that Amir Al-Momineen-asws was saying: ‘Allah-azwj has not been worshipped with anything superior than the intellect’. And the intellect of a person cannot be completed until there happen to be various characteristics in him – The (people would be) secured from (any form of) disbelief and the evil (being exercised) from him, and both the righteous guidance and the goodness be expected from him; he would give away from the excess of his wealth, and he would restrain from the excess of his words, and his share from the world would (just) be the subsistence (an extract)[7]

Therefore, making an effort to understand Islam through ‘aql’ (intellect) is expected from the devout servants of Allah-azwj.  However, simple beliefs and acts of worship were subjected to gradual changes, either deliberately or due to forgetfulness of the Hadith narrators/compilers.  Hence, all Imams-asws in their Divine Role, competed the religion from what was left-out and omitted the additions so that the doubts and uncertainties are removed, as per several Ahadith, for example:

Imams-asws keep on reviving the Islam (if something is added or taken out from Ahadith):

حدثنا محمد بن عيسى عن ابن سنان وعلى بن النعمان عن عبد الله مسكان عن ابى بصير عن ابى عبد الله عليه السلام انه قال ان الله لم يدع الارض الا وفيها عالم يعلم الزيادة والنقصان في الارض فإذا زاد المؤمنون شيئا ردهم وإذا نقصوا اكمله لهم فقال خذوه كاملا ولولا ذلك لالتبس على المؤمنين امرهم ولم يفرقوا بين الحق والباطل

It has been narrated to us by Muhammad Bin Isa, from Ibn Sinan and Ali Bin Al-No’man, from Abdullah Muskaan, from Abu Baseer, who has said:

‘Abu Abdullah-asws has said: ‘Allah-azwj does not Leave the earth except there is in it a knowledgeable one-asws who knows (where are) the excesses and deficiencies in the Earth. If the believers exceed in something, he-asws takes it away from them, and if they are deficient in something, he-asws completes it for them. He-asws takes them to completion, and were it not for that, the affairs of the believers would become confusing for them and they would not be able to distinguish between the truth and the falsehood’.[8]

There are nine Ahadith in Basaair Al-Darajaat, all emphasising the need of an Imam-asws and his role in reinstating the religion when people make additions and/or omissions to the religion, find these Ahadith in Appendix I.

When we take the Ahadith from those books which were compiled prior to the occurrence of Grand occultation, we find very little (if any) discrepancies, elements of doubts.  During that time, people as well as the Ahadith compilers had a direct contact with the Imams-asws so the Ahadith found in these earlier sources were sieved and corrected under the guidance of Imams-asws.  Therefore, those Ahadith with addition, omissions and false and doubtful elements were not included in those books.[9]  Hence one gets a clear understanding and can use these Ahadith books, as foundation and as a bench-mark, the Ahadith books compiled after the Grand Occultation of the 12th Imam-asws, then need to only taken once one has developed a strong background and when Ahadith from later sources are found to be in compliance with the ‘earlier sources of the Ahadith’.

In this short article, we briefly introduce the major ‘earlier sources of the Ahadith’, some comments on the more famous four books (Kutab-e-Arabah), which contain only one book (Al-Kafi) from the earlier sources of Ahadith books, are given in Appendix II.

Introduction:

It has been reported by many narrators (both Sunni and Shias) that Rasool Allah-saww left behind the Holy Book and the ‘Itirat’ (Ahl Al-bayt-asws) and nation (Ummah) were supposed to follow them, below we present Ahadith to define, each of the above terms:

وَ قَالَ ( صلى الله عليه وآله ) عَلِيٌّ سَيِّدُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَ قَالَ عَلِيٌّ عَمُودُ الدِّينِ وَ قَالَ هَذَا هُوَ الَّذِي يَضْرِبُ النَّاسَ بِالسَّيْفِ عَلَى الْحَقِّ بَعْدِي وَ قَالَ الْحَقُّ مَعَ عَلِيٍّ أَيْنَمَا مَالَ وَ قَالَ إِنِّي تَارِكٌ فِيكُمْ أَمْرَيْنِ إِنْ أَخَذْتُمْ بِهِمَا لَنْ تَضِلُّوا كِتَابَ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ وَ أَهْلَ بَيْتِي عِتْرَتِي

And Rasool Allah-saww said: ‘Ali-asws is the chief of the Momineen’, and said: ‘Ali-asws is the pillar of the Religion’, and said: ‘This is the one who would be striking the people with the sword upon the Truth after me-saww’, and said: ‘The Truth is with Ali-asws wherever he-asws so inclines’.

And said: ‘I-saww leave behind among you all two matters. If you were to take to these two, you will never stray – the Book of Allah-azwj Mighty and Majestic and the People-asws of my-saww Ahl Al-Bayt (people of House), my-saww Itrat (successors). …(an extract).[10]

Let’s first look at the definition of some the basic words, in the following Hadith:

Who are Ahl Al-Bayt-asws?

عَنِ ابْنِ عِيسَى عَنِ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ عَلِيِّ بْنِ فَضَّالٍ عَنْ عَلِيِّ بْنِ أَبِي حَمْزَةَ عَنْ أَبِي بَصِيرٍ قَالَ قُلْتُ لِأَبِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ع مَنْ آلُ مُحَمَّدٍ قَالَ ذُرِّيَّتُهُ فَقُلْتُ مَنْ أَهْلُ بَيْتِهِ قَالَ الْأَئِمَّةُ الْأَوْصِيَاءُ فَقُلْتُ مَنْ عِتْرَتُهُ قَالَ أَصْحَابُ الْعَبَاءِ فَقُلْتُ مَنْ أُمَّتُهُ قَالَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا بِمَا جَاءَ بِهِ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ الْمُتَمَسِّكُونَ بِالثَّقَلَيْنِ الَّذِينَ أُمِرُوا بِالتَّمَسُّكِ بِهِمَا كِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَ عِتْرَتِهِ أَهْلِ بَيْتِهِ الَّذِينَ أَذْهَبَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمُ الرِّجْسَ وَ طَهَّرَهُمْ تَطْهِيراً وَ هُمَا الْخَلِيفَتَانِ عَلَى الْأُمَّةِ عَلَيْهِمُ السَّلَامُ

Ibn ‘Isa heard it from al-Hasan bin Ali bin Fazal, who from’ Ali ibn Abi Hamza, who from Abu Basir the following:

‘I asked from Abu Abd Allah-asws :  ‘Who are the ‘Alay Mohammed?’

Imam replied: ‘His-saww descendants’

I asked: ‘Who are the Ahl Al-Bayt-asws?

The Imam-asws replied: The Imams who are successors/trustees (of Prophet-saww).

I asked: Who are the ‘Itrat’?’

The Imam-asws replied: ‘The People of Cloak/Al-Aaba/Kisa.’

I asked: ‘Who are among the ‘Ummah?’

The Imam replied: ‘The believers who believed what has been Revealed from Allah-azwj, who adhere  to our-asws Amr (Wilayah) and uphold the book of Allah-azwj and submit to the family-asws of Prophet-saww and Itrat-asws, about whom the Verse was revealed: Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying (33:33)., and they both are the Caliph on Ummah (after Prophet-saww), peace be upon them-asws.[11]

Therefore, it is very important to submit to the traditions of Ahl Al-Bayt-asws and Itrat-asws.

The least of what by which the servant can be a Momin, or a Kafir (unbeliever), or a straying one

عَلِيُّ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنْ حَمَّادِ بْنِ عِيسَى عَنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ بْنِ عُمَرَ الْيَمَانِيِّ عَنِ ابْنِ أُذَيْنَةَ عَنْ أَبَانِ بْنِ عَيَّاشٍ عَنْ سُلَيْمِ بْنِ قَيْسٍ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ عَلِيّاً ( صلوات الله عليه )  يَقُولُ وَ أَتَاهُ رَجُلٌ فَقَالَ لَهُ مَا أَدْنَى مَا يَكُونُ بِهِ الْعَبْدُ مُؤْمِناً وَ أَدْنَى مَا يَكُونُ بِهِ الْعَبْدُ كَافِراً وَ أَدْنَى مَا يَكُونُ بِهِ الْعَبْدُ ضَالًّا

Ali Bin Ibrahim, from his father, from Hammad Bin Isa, from Ibrahim Bin Umar Al Yamani, from Ibn Azina, from Aban Bin Ayyash, from Suleym Bin Qays who said,

‘I heard Ali-asws saying and a man had come over to him-asws, and he said to him-asws: ‘What is the least of that with which the servant (of Allah-azwj) becomes a Momin (believer), or a Kafir (unbeliever), or a straying one?’

فَقَالَ لَهُ قَدْ سَأَلْتَ فَافْهَمِ الْجَوَابَ أَمَّا أَدْنَى مَا يَكُونُ بِهِ الْعَبْدُ مُؤْمِناً أَنْ يُعَرِّفَهُ اللَّهُ تَبَارَكَ وَ تَعَالَى نَفْسَهُ فَيُقِرَّ لَهُ بِالطَّاعَةِ وَ يُعَرِّفَهُ نَبِيَّهُ ( صلى الله عليه وآله ) فَيُقِرَّ لَهُ بِالطَّاعَةِ وَ يُعَرِّفَهُ إِمَامَهَ وَ حُجَّتَهُ فِي أَرْضِهِ وَ شَاهِدَهُ عَلَى خَلْقِهِ فَيُقِرَّ لَهُ بِالطَّاعَةِ

So he-asws said to him: ‘You have asked so now try to understand the answer. As for the least of that with which the servant (of Allah-azwj) can be a Momin is that he recognises Allah-azwj Blessed and High himself, so he acknowledges to Him-azwj with the obedience, and he recognises His-azwj Prophet-saww, so he acknowledges to him-saww with his-saww obedience, and he recognises His-azwj Imam-asws and His-azwj Proof in His-azwj earth, and His-azwj Witness over His-azwj creatures, so he acknowledges to him-asws with the obedience’.

قُلْتُ لَهُ يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَ إِنْ جَهِلَ جَمِيعَ الْأَشْيَاءِ إِلَّا مَا وَصَفْتَ قَالَ نَعَمْ إِذَا أُمِرَ أَطَاعَ وَ إِذَا نُهِيَ انْتَهَى

I said to him-asws, ‘O Amir Al-Momineen-asws! And even if he was ignorant of the entirety of the things except what you-asws have described?’ He-asws said: ‘Yes. Whenever he-asws orders, he obeys, and whenever he-asws forbids, he keeps away.

وَ أَدْنَى مَا يَكُونُ بِهِ الْعَبْدُ كَافِراً مَنْ زَعَمَ أَنَّ شَيْئاً نَهَى اللَّهُ عَنْهُ أَنَّ اللَّهَ أَمَرَ بِهِ وَ نَصَبَهُ دِيناً يَتَوَلَّى عَلَيْهِ وَ يَزْعُمُ أَنَّهُ يَعْبُدُ الَّذِي أَمَرَهُ بِهِ وَ إِنَّمَا يَعْبُدُ الشَّيْطَانَ

And the least of that with which the servant (of Allah-azwj) can be a Kafir (unbeliever) is the one who alleges that the things Allah-azwj has Forbidden from is what Allah-azwj has Commanded with, and establishes it as a religion, and pretends that he is worshipping the One-azwj Who has Commanded with it, and rather he is worshipping the Satan-la.

وَ أَدْنَى مَا يَكُونُ بِهِ الْعَبْدُ ضَالًّا أَنْ لَا يَعْرِفَ حُجَّةَ اللَّهِ تَبَارَكَ وَ تَعَالَى وَ شَاهِدَهُ عَلَى عِبَادِهِ الَّذِي أَمَرَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ بِطَاعَتِهِ وَ فَرَضَ وَلَايَتَهُ

And the least of that with which the servant (of Allah-azwj) happen to be straying one is that he does not recognise the Proof-asws of Allah-azwj Blessed and High and His-azwj Witness upon His-azwj servants whom Allah-azwj Mighty and Majestic has Commanded with his-asws obedience and Imposed his-asws Wilayah’.

قُلْتُ يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ صِفْهُمْ لِي فَقَالَ الَّذِينَ قَرَنَهُمُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ بِنَفْسِهِ وَ نَبِيِّهِ فَقَالَ يا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَ أَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَ أُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ

I said, ‘O Amir Al Momineen-asws! Describe them-asws to me’. So he-asws said: ‘Those-asws whom Allah-azwj Mighty and Majestic has Paired with Himself-azwj and His-azwj Prophet-saww, so He-azwj Said [4:59] O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Rasool and those in authority from among you’.

قُلْتُ يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ جَعَلَنِيَ اللَّهُ فِدَاكَ أَوْضِحْ لِي فَقَالَ الَّذِينَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ( صلى الله عليه وآله ) فِي آخِرِ خُطْبَتِهِ يَوْمَ قَبَضَهُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ إِلَيْهِ إِنِّي قَدْ تَرَكْتُ فِيكُمْ أَمْرَيْنِ لَنْ تَضِلُّوا بَعْدِي مَا إِنْ تَمَسَّكْتُمْ بِهِمَا كِتَابَ اللَّهِ وَ عِتْرَتِي أَهْلَ بَيْتِي فَإِنَّ اللَّطِيفَ الْخَبِيرَ قَدْ عَهِدَ إِلَيَّ أَنَّهُمَا لَنْ يَفْتَرِقَا حَتَّى يَرِدَا عَلَيَّ الْحَوْضَ كَهَاتَيْنِ وَ جَمَعَ بَيْنَ مُسَبِّحَتَيْهِ وَ لَا أَقُولُ كَهَاتَيْنِ وَ جَمَعَ بَيْنَ الْمُسَبِّحَةِ وَ الْوُسْطَى فَتَسْبِقَ إِحْدَاهُمَا الْأُخْرَى فَتَمَسَّكُوا بِهِمَا لَا تَزِلُّوا وَ لَا تَضِلُّوا وَ لَا تَقَدَّمُوهُمْ فَتَضِلُّوا .

I said, ‘O Amir Al Momineen-asws! May Allah-azwj Make me to be sacrificed for you-asws! Clarify it to me’. So he-asws said: ‘Those-asws for whom Rasool-Allah-saww spoke of at the end of his-saww sermon on the day Allah-azwj Mighty and Majestic Caused him-saww to pass away: ‘I-saww am leaving behind two matters among you all. You will never stray after me-saww for as long as you attach yourselves with these two – the Book of Allah-azwj and my-saww offspring, the People-asws of my-saww Household, for the Knower of the subtleties and the All-Aware has Informed me-saww and has Covenanted to me-saww that these two will never separate until they both come to me-saww at the Fountain, like these two’ – and he-saww gathered between his-sawwTasbeeh fingers’ (the forefinger and the thumb), ‘And I-saww am not saying like this’ – and he-saww gathered between the thumb and the middle finger, ‘So that one of the two would precede the other. Therefore, attach yourselves with these two and you will neither be deceived nor stray, and do not precede them-asws, for you will go astray’.[12]

The Earlier Sources of Ahadith Books:

 ‘The Book of Sulaym Bin Qays Al-Hilali’ (First Shia Ahadith Book): (98 Ahadith)

Time Frame: A companion of the 1st Imams-asws and lived up to the time of the 5th Imam-asws.

Background: Sulaym ibn Qays Kufi Amari Hilali-ra is ‘Tabai’[13] and has seen the lifetime of five Masoom Imams-asws, including Imam Ali-asws, Imam Hassan-asws, Imam Hussain-asws, Imam Zainul Abadeen-asws and Imam Mohammed Baqir-asws.  Sulaym has written those accounts in his priceless book, which he has either observed by his own eyes or has directly heard from those who have directly heard from the Divine tongues of the Prophet Muhammad-saww or Amir-ul-Momineen Ali-asws ibn Abi Talib-asws.  The date of birth of Sulaym ibn Qays can be estimated from the history somewhere during the early years after migration of the Holy Prophet-saww to Medina and his demise is believed to have taken place somewhere between 70 to 90 Hijri[14].  Most of the Shia scholars have agreed that his book is the first Shia Ahadith book compiled even before the famous Shia book, consisting of the sermons and Ahadith narrated by Imam Zain-ul-Abadeen-asws ‘Sahifa-e-Kamila’.

Ibn Nadeem has included in his book when commenting about the scholars and Ahadith contributors that Sulaym ibn Qays Hilali was among the devout companions of Amir-ul-Momineen-asws.  He escaped persecution of Hajjaj ibn Yousef and took refuge with Abaan ibn abi Ayash.  Hajjaj wanted to arrest and kill Sulaym Ibn Qays, so Abaan offered him shelter in recognition of him being a companion of Amir-ul-Momineen-asws.  When Sulaym ibn Qays was inspired about his death, he told Abaan, O the son of my brother, I am about to leave this world, as Prophet-saww has informed me so.  After having said that Sulaym entrusted to Abaan his book. It’s a famous book of Sulaym, which does not give reference to any other book but directly narrates from Amir-ul-Momineen-asws and his-asws pious companions.

The book of Sulaym Ibn Qais Hilali was presented to Imam Zain ul Abadeen-asws and Imam Jafar-e-Sadiq-asws, both Imams authenticated the Ahadith written in the book.[15]

Please find the book at the following link:

http://www.hubeali.com/kitab-e-sulaym/

Al-Mahaasin by Ahmad bin Muhammad Bin khalid Al-Barqy (2609 Ahadith)

Time Frame: A companion of the 9th and 10th Imams-asws.

Background: Al-Barqi was born around 200/815-16 in Kufa. His father was a disciple of the 7th, 8th and 9th Imams-asws and a scholarly man.

He was called Al-Barqi because his ancestor, Ahmad, settled in the Barqrud area of Qom. Among Al-Barqi’s family members were several learned men of Ahadith narrators.

Please find the book at the following link:

http://www.hubeali.com/online-books/online-english-books/al-mahaasin/

Tafseer of Abu Hamza Al-Sumali (386 Ahadith)[16]

Time Frame: A companion of the 4th Imam-asws.

Background: Abu Hamza was around throughout the Imamate of Ali-asws Bin Al-Husayn-asws which began by the martyrdom of his-asws father-asws the Imam Al-Husayn-asws in the year 61 AH, when Abu Hamza narrated the story of his first meeting and introduction with the Imam Zayn Al-Abideen-asws during his-asws proceeding to Al-Iraq for the visitation of (the grave) his-asws father-asws the Imam Al-Husayn-asws, and the Prayer in Masjid Al-Kufa. And that was shortly after the incident of Karbala, from which it becomes apparent that Abu Hamza was an adult at the time.

Abu Hamza was also around during the Imamate of Al-Sadiq-asws which lasted until the year 148 AH in which the news of the passing away of Al-Sadiq-asws was received. It is necessary that his age to exceed fifteen years at least, upon the total of the Imamates of each of the Imams-asws – Zayn Al-Abideen-asws which had lasted 34 years, and Al-Baqir-asws and it is 17 years, and Al-Sadiq-asws and it is 36 years – i.e., that his age would have exceeded one hundred years, and there is the measurement of certainty in that’.  Please find the book at the following link:

http://www.hubeali.com/online-books/online-english-books/tafseer-abu-hamza-sumali/

Kitab Al-Zohad by Al-Husayn Bin Saeed Bin Hammad Bin Saeed Al-Kufy Al-Ahwzy (284 Ahadith)

Time Frame: A companion of the 8th, 9th and 10th Imams-asws.

Background: Al-Husayn Bin Saeed Bin Hammad Bin Saeed Al-Kufy Al-Ahwzy died in Qum and is buried therein. May Allah-azwj the Exalted have Mercy on him.  Please find the book at the following link:

https://www.hubeali.com/kitabalzohad/

Kitab Al-Momin by Al-Husayn Bin Saeed Bin Hammad Bin Saeed Al-Kufy Al-Ahwzy (201 Ahadith)

Time Frame: A companion of the 8th, 9th and 10th Imams-asws.

Background: Al-Husayn Bin Saeed Bin Hammad Bin Saeed Al-Kufy Al-Ahwzy died in Qum and is buried therein. May Allah-azwj the Exalted have Mercy on him.  Please find the book at the following link:

https://hubeali.com/books/English-Books/KitabAlMomin.pdf

Basaair Al-Darajaat Fi Fazail Alay Muhammad-asws by Abu Ja’far Muhammad Bin Al-Hassan Bin Al-Farookh Al-Saffaar (1892 Ahadith)

Time Frame: A companion of the 11th Imam-asws.

Background: This is the great version from the book Basaair Al-Darajaat (An Insight Into The Virtues of Alay Muhammad-asws) regarding the virtues of the Progeny-asws of Muhammad-saww by the trustworthy narrator and nobleman Sheykh, and the signature of the narrators, Abu Ja’far Muhammad Bin Al-Hassan Bin Al-Farookh Al-Saffar, who knew Abu Muhammad Al-Hassan Bin Ali Al-Askari-asws, and wrote this down from the questions posed to him-asws. He died in the year 290 AH.

Please find the book at the following link:

https://www.hubeali.com/online-books/online-english-books/basaair-al-darajaat/

Tafseer of Imam Hassan Askari-asws (Commentary of Quran) (379 sections)

Time Frame:  Companions of the 11th Imam-asws.

Background: Abu Ayyub and Abu Al-Hassan were brought to the 11th Imam-asws by their fathers and they remained there for seven years to learn and write down the tafseer of the holy Quran.  So they wrote the tafseer of the holy Quran, they used to write during every day, a measurement of what they would learn from the 11th Imam-asws.  Today, unfortunately, a small portion of it has reached us, mainly comprising of the First and part of Second Chapter of the Holy Quran.  For more details, please find the book at the following link:

Tafseer Imam Hassan Askari (asws) 2nd Edition

AL-Kafi (Volumes 1-8) by Muhammad Bin Yaqoub Al-Kulayni (15257 Ahadith)

Time Frame: Lived during the time of Minor Occultation of the 12th Imam-asws and died in 329 when the Grand Occultation started.

Background: Al-Kulayni was born in Kulayn, a village or small town situated near Rey, in Iran.  It is believed that Al-Kulayni was born during last years or after the martyrdom of the 11th Imam-asws (Imam Hassan Al-Askari-asws) and lived during the minor Occultation of the 12th Imam-ajfj and met with some hadith transmitters who directly had heard hadiths from the 10th and 11th Imam as well as with those who were writing and receiving the letters from the 12th Imam-asws. Al-Kulayni is highly respected for his accurate transmitting of the hadiths. For more details, please find the book at the following link, see Vol. 1-8:

Al Kafi الكافي – Volume 1

Tafseer-e-Qummi , Tafseer-e-Ayyashi and Tafseer-e-Furat:

Time Frame: ʿAlī b. Tafseer-e-Qummi was written by Ibrāhīm al-Qummī (died 307 AH), lived during the time of the 10th and 11th Imams-asws.

Tafseer Ayyashi was written by Muhammad Ibn Masoud Ayyashi also known as al-`Ayyashi (died in 320 AH). Ayyashi lived during the time of the Minor Occultation of the 12th Imam-ajfj and died prior to the occurrence of the Grand Occultation.

Tafseer Furat Kufi was written by Furat Ibn Furat Ibn Ibrahim al-Kufi (3rd and 4th AH) It is estimated that he was one of Shi’a scholars of the second half of the third and the beginning of the fourth centuries.

Based on the Ahadith from these commentaries as well as other earlier Shia Ahadith and Tafseer sources, we have compiled a detailed tafseer, please find the book at the following link:

https://www.hubeali.com/tafseerhubeali/

Suggestions for Reading Ahadith Books:

In summary, the following suggestions are made in which sequence, based on experience the Ahadith books from earlier sources are to be read, including a brief introduction of the main content of the Ahadith books:

  1. The Book of Sulaym Bin Qays Al Hilali

As per Ahadith, this book has the significance of the likes of ‘alphabets’ to a language – it covers in detail what happened when Rasool Allah-saww left the world and the reasons and causes of divisions between Sunnis and Shias. The compiler was a companion of Amir-ul-Momineen-asws (first Imam-asws) who narrated from devout companions of Amir-ul-Momineen-asws and later he confirmed those Ahadith directly with Amir-ul-Momineen-asws, as well as the companions of Amir-ul-Momineen-asws.

And this book has been authenticated by the latter Imams-asws as well.

  1. BASAAIR AL-DARAJAAT

It provides a detailed account of the ‘Fazail’ Higher status and Divine Attributes of the Masomeen-asws, their-asws recognition as Al-Noor.  Hence one learns about the ‘Muarifat’ (recognition) of Masomeen-asws.

  1. Tafseer (Commentary of Quran) from Imam Al-Askari-asws

Its excellent read as it gives some explanation to the Verses of the Holy Quran and also has a focus on highlighting the ‘Fazail’ Higher status and Divine Attributes of Masomeen-asws.

  1. Al-Mahaasin

Its gives a concise account of all one needs for the beliefs as well as practices, so one gets a detailed insight into the religions from what is expected from a believer’s point of view.

  1. Al-Kafi

It is in more detail and has eight (8) volumes.  Al-Kafi covers more or less all aspects as covered by the earlier four books. It is a primary source of the Ahadeeth of fundamental pillars of Islam – Salat, Zakat, Soam, Hajj, Wilayah.

  1. Other Ahadith Books

One may start from other earlier Ahadith books, as mentioned in the article, starting with the Tafseer (interpretation of the Holy Quran). https://www.hubeali.com/tafseerhubeali/

  1. Ahadith from later Ahadith sources

For further reading, one may read the Ahadith from the later Ahadith sources, as per our experience, one does not come across new Ahadith, as found in the earlier sources, but very few ones – and there are many sources of later compilations of Ahadith, for our readers, we have started translating ‘Bihar-ul-Anwar’ which is the largest collection of Ahadith from both earlier as well as later sources.

Wassalam and prayers for all Momineen and Mominat who would like to strive for getting closer to Allah-azwj and remain at the service of Masomeen-asws.

Appendix I: The role of Imams-asws in re-establishing the religion after it is corrupted:

 (10) باب في الائمة انهم يعرفون الزيادة والنقصان في الارض من الحق والباطل

REGARDING THE IMAMS-asws, THEY-asws RECOGNISE THE EXCESSES AND THE DEFICIENCIES IN THE EARTH FROM THE TRUTH AND THE FALSEHOOD

(1) حدثنا محمد بن عيسى عن ابن سنان وعلى بن النعمان عن عبد الله مسكان عن ابى بصير عن ابى عبد الله عليه السلام انه قال ان الله لم يدع الارض الا وفيها عالم يعلم الزيادة والنقصان في الارض فإذا زاد المؤمنون شيئا ردهم وإذا نقصوا اكمله لهم فقال خذوه كاملا ولولا ذلك لالتبس على المؤمنين امرهم ولم يفرقوا بين الحق والباطل

1 – It has been narrated to us by Muhammad Bin Isa, from Ibn Sinan and Ali Bin Al-No’man, from Abdullah Muskaan, from Abu Baseer, who has said:

‘Abu Abdullah-asws has said: ‘Allah-azwj does not Leave the earth except there is in it a knowledgeable one-asws who knows (where are) the excesses and deficiencies in the Earth. If the believers exceed in something, he-asws takes it away from them, and if they are deficient in something, he-asws completes it for them. He-asws takes them to completion, and were it not for that, the affairs of the believers would become confusing for them and they would not be able to distinguish between the truth and the falsehood’.

(2) حدثنا محمد بن عيسى عن ابن ابى عمير عن منصور بن يونس عن اسحق بن عمار عن ابى عبد الله عليه السلام قال سمعته يقول ان الارض لا تخلو الا وفيها عالم كلما زاد المؤمنون شيئا ردهم وان نقصوا شيئا تممه لهم.

2 – It has been narrated to us by Muhammad Bin Isa, from Ibn Abu Umeyr, from Mansour Bin Yunus, from Is’haq Bin Amaar, who has said:

‘I heard Abu Abdullah-asws say: ‘The Earth is not left empty except in it is a knowledgeable one-asws, whenever the believers exceed in something, he-asws takes it away from them, and if they are deficient in something, he-asws completes it for them’.

(3) حدثنا محمد بن عبد الجبار عن عبد الله بن الحجال عن ثعلبة عن اسحق بن عمار قال قال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام ان الارض لا تخلو من ان يكون فيها من يعلم الزيادة و النقصان فإذا جاء المسلمون بزيادة طرحها وإذا جاؤا بالنقصان اكمله لهم ولولا ذلك لاختلط على المسلمين امرهم.

3 – It has been narrated to us by Muhammad Bin Abdul Jabbar, from Abdullah Bin Al-Hajaal, from Tha’albat, from Is’haq Bin Amaar who said:

‘Abu Abdullah-asws said: ‘The Earth is not empty of the one who knows where is the increase and the decrease. If the Muslims came with excess, he-asws subtracts it, and if they come with deficiency, he-asws completes if for them, and had it not been for that, the affairs of the Muslims would become confusing for them’.

(4) حدثنا محمد بن عبد الجبار عن البرقى عن فضاله عن شعيب عن ابى حمزة قال قال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام لن تبقى الارض الا وفيها رجل منا يعرف الحق فإذا زاد الناس فيه قال قد زادوا وإذا نقصوا منه قال قد نقصوا وإذا جاؤا به صدقهم ولو لم يكن كذلك لم يعرف الحق من الباطل.

4 – It has been narrated to us by Muhammad Bin Abdul Jabbar, from Al-barqy, from Fazaala, from Shuaib, from Abu Hamza who said:

‘Abu Abdullah-asws said: ‘The Earth does not remain except in it is a man-asws from us-asws who recognises the truth. If the people exceed in something, he-asws says: ‘They have exceeded’, and if they are deficient in it, he-asws says: ‘They are deficient’, and if they come by it, he-asws ratifies them, and had it not been like that, the truth would not be distinguishable from the falsehood’.

(5) حدثنا احمد بن محمد عن الحسين بن سعيد عن النضر بن سويد عن محمد بن عبد الرحمن عن شعيب الحداد عن ابى حمزة الثمالى عن ابى جعفر عليه السلام قال ان الارض لا تبقى الا وفيها منا من يعرف الحق فإذا زاد الناس قال قد زادوا وإذا نقصوا منه قال قد نقصوا ولولا ذلك كذلك لم يعرف الحق من الباطل.

5 – It has been narrated to us by Ahmad Bin Muhammad, from Al-Husayn bin Saeed, from Al-Nazar Bin Suweyd, from Muhammad Bin Abdul Rahmaan, from Shuayb Al-Hadaad, from Abu hamza Al-Thumaly, who has said:

Abu Ja’far-asws has said: ‘The Earth does not remain except in it is one-asws from us-asws who recognises the truth. If the people have exceeded, he-asws says: ‘They have exceeded’, and if they are deficient, he-asws says: ‘They are deficient’. Had it not been like that, similarly they would not have been able to distinguish the truth from the falsehood’.

(6) حدثنا ابراهيم بن هاشم عن يحيى بن ابى عمران عن اسحق بن عمار عن محمد بن مسلم عن ابى جعفر عليه السلام قال ان الله لم يدع الارض الا وفيها عالم يعلم الزيادة والنقصان من دين الله فإذا زاد المؤمنون شيئا ردهم وإذا نقصوا شيئا اكمله لهم ولولا ذلك لالتبست على المؤمنين امورهم.

6 – It has been narrated to us by Ibrahim Bin Haashim, from Yahya Bin Abu Umraan, from Is’haq Bin Amaar, from Muhammad Bin Muslim, who has said:

Abu Ja’far-asws has said: ‘Allah-azwj does not Leave the earth except in it is a knowledgeable one-asws who knows the excesses and the deficiencies from the Religion of Allah-azwj. If the believers have exceeded in something, he-asws removes it from them, and they are deficient in something, he-asws completes it for them, and had it not been for that, the affairs of the believers would become confusing for them’.

(7) حدثنا احمد بن محمد عن الحسين بن سعيد عن على بن اسباط عن سليمان مولى طربال عن اسحق بن عمار قال سمعت ابا عبد الله عليه السلام يقول ان الارض لن تخلو الا وفيها عالم كلما زاد المؤمنون شيئا ردهم إلى الحق وان نقصوا شيئا اتمه لهم.

7 – It has been narrated to us by Ahmad Bin Muhammad, from Al-Husayn Bin Saeed, from Ali Bin Asbaat, from Suleyman the slave of Tarbaal, from Is’haq Bin Amaar who said:

‘I heard Abu Abdullah-asws say: ‘The Earth is never empty except in it is a knowledgeable one-asws. Whenever the believers exceed in something, he-asws pushes them back to the truth, and if they are deficient in something, he-asws completes if for them’.

(8) حدثنا عبد الله بن جعفر عن محمد بن عيسى عن على بن اسماعيل الميثمى عن ثعلبة عن عبد الاعلى مولى ال سام عن ابى جعفر عليه السلام قال سمعته يقول ما ترك الله الارض بغير عالم ينقص ما زاد الناس ويزيد ما نقصوا ولولا ذلك لاختلط على الناس امورهم.

8 – It has been narrated to us by Abdullah Bin Ja’far, from Muhammad Bin Isa, from Ali Bin Ismail Al-Maysami, from Tha’albat, from Abdul A’la the slave of Aal-Saam, who has said:

Abu Ja’far-asws said, ‘I heard him-asws say: ‘Allah-azwj does not Leave the Earth without a knowledgeable one-asws, who decreases what the people have exceeded in, and increases what they are deficient it, and had it not been for that the affairs of the people would have become confusing for them’.

(9) حدثنا الحسن بن على بن النعمان عن ابيه عن شعيب عن ابى حمزة عن ابى جعفر عليه السلام انه قال لم تخل الارض الا وفيها منا رجل يعرف الحق فإذا زاد الناس فيه شيئا قال فقد زادوا وإذا نقصوا منه قال قد نقصوا.

9 – It has been narrated to us by Al-Hassan Bin Ali Bin Al-No’man, from his father, from Shuayb, from Abu Hamza, who has said:

Abu Ja’far-asws has said: ‘The Earth is never empty except that in it will be a man-asws from us-asws, who recognises the truth. If the people have exceeded in something, he-asws says: ‘They have exceeded’, and if they are deficient from it, he-asws says: ‘They are deficient’.

(Ref. Ahadith 1-9: BASAAIR AL-DARAJAAT FI FAZAIL ALAY MUHAMMAD-asws, Part Seven, Chapter 10)

Appendix II: The ‘Kutab-e-Arabah’ (the usual referred ‘four Shia’ books):

The formation of ‘Usooli’ sect, after the occurrence of the Grand Occultation (329 AH), the principles of religions were devised, e.g., Usool-e-Deen and Faroo-e-Deen which were gradually implemented, as doubts were cast on the Ahadith by dividing Ahadith into many categories (over 50 kinds from strong to unreliable!), the selection of ‘main’ four shia books come from that era when two books from Sheikh Al-Tusi[17] (Tahdhib al-Ahkam and al-Istibsar) were selected as main shia books – the other two were Al-Kafi from Yaqoob Kulani and Man la Yahdhuruhu’l Faqih of Shaikh Saduoq.  A number of books, which were compiled during the life times of Masomeen-asws were completely ignored.  The reason, was simple, to support the use of ‘Qias’ (analogy) and the man-made principles of Ijtihad and Taqleed.  The latter topic is covered in another article:

http://hubeali.com/books/English-Books/Ahadith-of-Infallibles-on-Taqleed-and-Ijtihad/Ahadith-of-Infallibles-on-Taqleed-and-Ijtihad.pdf

Appendix III: A list of Earlier Sources of Ahadith Books

The First Shia Book ‘The Book of Sulaym Bin Qays Al Hilali’

Al-Mahaasin by Ahmad bin Muhammad Bin khalid Al-Barqy

Tafseer of Abu Hamza Al-Sumali

Kitab Al-Zohad by Al-Husayn Bin Saeed Bin Hammad Bin Saeed Al-Kufy Al-Ahwzy

Kitab Al-Momin by Al-Husayn Bin Saeed Bin Hammad Bin Saeed Al-Kufy Al-Ahwzy

BASAAIR AL-DARAJAAT FI FAZAIL ALAY MUHAMMAD-asws by Abu Ja’far Muhammad Bin Al-Hassan Bin Al-Farookh Al-Saffaar

AL-Kafi (Volumes 1-8) by Muhammad Bin Yaqoub Al-Kulayni

Tafseer (Commentary of Quran) from Imam Al-Askari-asws

Tafseer-e-Qummi and Tafseer-e-Ayashi and Tafseer-e-Furat:

Appendix IV:  Changes in Sunni Earlier Sources of Ahadith books:

It has been discovered that the writers and book publishers of Ahlus Sunnah have been making changes to their earlier Ahadith books in the past in order to hide the true teachings of Rasool Allah-saww and the virtues of Ahl Al-Bayt-asws. If one compares the Sunnis earlier sources of Ahadith books printed 50 years ago to the ones being printed now, the differences are clearly visible as several omissions can be found.

For example:

Sahih Al Bukhari: Al Bukhari travelled collected over 600,000 (Six hundred thousand) Ahadith (traditions) deeming them trustworthy but later on their followers reduced them to 2,602 deeming others unauthentic (not by him but by his followers).

Sahih Muslim: originally over 300,000 (three hundred thousand) traditions were collected but later on we only find 2,200 narrations from which 1,400 have been deemed authentic and the rest are deemed fabricated. Different volumes are found in India/Pakistan of these books in which they further change the translations as per their ideologies.

History of Tabari: Initially narrated over 7 volumes but when we look at, for example, it’s the Urdu translation, several traditions have been removed and the translation is completely different from the original Arabic text.

Tafseer Ibn Abbas – Tanveer ul Miqbas: It’s been translated many times in English and Urdu. We see that in both translation, virtues of Ahl Al-Bayt-asws have either been hidden or removed from the translations.

Therefore, it is of paramount importance to look into earlier editions of the Ahadith books in order to get a clearer picture and develop sound understanding of the religion – of what was originally compiled in the earlier Arabic Ahadith books and to understand what has been left out in newer editions.

 

[1] Appendix IV

[2] See our articles on Bohras, Ismalis, and reply to Waqifi sect beliefs www.hubeali.com

[3] Prophet Moses

[4] Saba

[5] Prophet Solomon

[6] Al-Kafi, vol. 5, H. 8369, Ch. 8, h, 3           الكافي ج : 5 ص : 84

[7] Al Kafi V 1 – The Book Of Intellect and Ignorance CH 1 H 12

[8] Basaair-Al-Darajaat, Part Seven, H. 1

[9] In the later Ahadith sources after the Grand Occultation, the Ahadith compilers were less careful and it is clear that the emphasis on the number of Ahadith was of paramount importance than the content of the Ahadith – This one can see from how little was collected until 329 A.H. the time of Grand Occultation as compared with afterwards (when hundreds of thousands of additional Ahadith were added after the Grand Occultation – hence one finds many inconsistency and conflicts in the later Ahadith compilations)

[10] Al Kafi V 1 – The Book Of Divine Authority CH 65 H 3

[11] Rawzatal Waizeen  V 2,    P 268 , Bihar  V 25, P 216, Aamali Saduoq  P 240 , Mani Al Akhbar  P  94

[12] Al Kafi V 2 – The Book Of Belief and Disbelief CH 179 H 1

[13] Those who did not see the Holy Prophetsaww but had met with hissaww companions

[14] After the Immigration of the Holy Prophetsaww to Medina City.

[15] http://hubeali.com/books/English-Books/The-Book-Of-Sulaym-Bin-Qays-Al-Hilali/Kitab_Sulaym_PI.pdf

[16] Ahadith were compiled in the form of a book later

[17] Sheikh Al-Tusi was born in 385 AH