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Tahzeeb
al-Ahkam


(by Sheikh
Toosi)

Author:


"Sheikh
Al-Tāyefah, Abu Ja'far, Muhammad, son of Hassan" known as Sheikh Toosi
(385-460 A.H.), one of the most distinguished Shiite Scholars

Note:


This
noble book is one of the most authentic collections of Traditions/Narratives in
Shiah school of thought. It has been regarded as the third book among the
four authentic reference books (known as Kutub-e 'Arba'eh) by Shiite
Ulema, and is unanimously acknowledged by all Shiite Grand Jurisprudents.

Subject:


The
book is a collection of Shiite Jurisprudential Traditions (Hadiths) and
Narratives (Riwāyāt) as well as religious injunctions & laws from
among those attributed to the Ahl-ul Bayt (a.s.), i.e. the Infallible
Household of the Holy Prophet (s.a.).


Sheikh
Toosi has compiled this book to explain and elaborate the book entitled
"Al-Moqne'ah" compiled by Sheikh Mofeed, his venerable teacher and
preceptor.


Special
Features:
"Tahzeeb
al-Ahkam" consists of all narratives on religious laws, injunctions, and
decrees. It serves the purpose of providing major references needed by
"Fuqaha" (Shiite Jurisprudents) and "Mujtahids" (Shiite Grand
Scholars). The book contains various subject matters including Jurisprudential,
rational, logical, fundamental, genealogical, evidential, and collative topics.
Furthermore, the credibility of narrators and authentication of the sources are
examined.



Motivation
of Writing the Book:


In the
introduction of the book, the author explains his motivation to undertake the
writing, as follows:
"A friend of mine, upholding of whose right (as a friend) is a moral obligation
on my part, once asked me to collect the Shiite Traditions (HADITHS), and
scrutinize their differences, inconsistencies and contradictions. My friend
further emphasized that there was not a single Hadith, some contents of which
had not been invalidated by another.


The
contradiction between Hadiths had occasioned sarcastic remarks by our
adversaries, who viewed it as the major shortcoming of Shiite belief and thereby
wanted it to be declared null and void.


Our
opponents denounce us: 'Your
learned men (Shiites Scholars) always criticized their opponents by saying that
the latter were divided among themselves in their belief about what constitutes
the basis of their devotion to God, and that the latter were involved in
differences in their religious injunctions; Shiite Scholars further opined that
such a belief would not be acceptable to God, the Omniscient. However, as
compared to differences among your opponents, you Shiites, harbor more
differences among yourselves. Therefore, while you concede that your opponents'
own differences are indicative of degradation of their beliefs, then what you
profess is not without discord as well, and, as such, your belief, too, denotes
corruption.'
To allay this
controversy I decided to accept my friend's request and proceeded to write this
book. I collected different Hadiths and narratives, and sought to bring about
some consistency among them by separating the correct and authentic Hadiths from
the undependable ones.


The
contents of my book are based on the monograph of my respected teacher, Sheikh
Mofeed. These are supported by my references to the Hadiths and the indication
of the conjunction of paradoxes among them. At first, I wanted to quote the
whole available narratives, either pros or cons, but later on I avoided this
time-consuming process and contented myself with quoting the pro Traditions
only."

Methodology
/ Contents:


1- Without delving into the
"principles of faith" (known as Osool), Sheikh Toosi just deals with the
religious injunctions and decrees (known as Foroo') and the
Islamic laws in this book.


2- In this book Sheikh
Toosi follows the same arrangement of chapters as in Sheikh Mofeed's book
Al-Moqne'ah. Thus, his chapters begin in the "Tahārat" (a
devotee's state of personal cleanliness) and end in the "Diyāt"
(Blood Money) [as it is common in the books on "Fiqh" (Islamic
Jurisprudence) even now].


3- The reasoning mentioned
in each chapter is based on: (1) the Holy Koran's verses,
including explicit and clear verses, or those verses whose meanings are revealed
by the context or reasoning; (2) the Traditions (Hadiths/Narratives) of a
conclusive kind with an uninterrupted sequence of narrators, or
Narratives so frequently quoted that is expressive of their
authenticity; (3) Consensus of Muslims and/or Shiite Ulema on an issue;
and (4) Famous Narratives/Traditions among Shiite Narrators and Scholars.


4- Sheikh Toosi's reference
to some contrary narrations by opponents is indicatively made to discard the
same on the grounds of their lacking in authoritativeness and/or not conforming
to the actual practice of Shiite grand Jurisprudents.

Date
of Compilation:


Sheikh Toosi began to
write this book from the year 410 A.H., when he was twenty-five years old. He
wrote about "Tahārat" and "Salāt" (Prayers) during the lifetime of his teacher,
Sheikh Mofeed, i.e. before 413 A.H., and the rest subsequently.


This book, "Tahzeeb
al-Ahkam", was written before Sheikh Toosi's other authentic book:
"Istibsār".

Sources
of the book:


Sheikh
Toosi's sources of reference were available in two of the famous libraries of
Baghdad during his stay there. These were: (1) library of his venerable
preceptor, Sayyid Murtazā; complete with 80,000 titles of books, and (2) the
larger library called as 'Shāpoor Library' established at Karkh/Baghdad for the
use of the Shiite Ulema. Between these two, he could find the very best and most
authentic books and Manuscripts, including the originals written by hand of the
authors themselves.


Sheikh
Toosi's book under review (Tahzeeb al-Ahkam) contains 13,590 Hadiths in 393
chapters.



Comment
by Aqa Bozorg Tehrani:


One of
the contemporary Ulema, Sheikh Aqa Bozorg Tehrani in his valuable work:
"Al-Dhari'ah ila Tasāneef al-Shi'a" comments:


"Tahzeeb al-Ahkam is
written by Sheikh al-Tāyefah, Abu Ja'far, Muhammad ibne Hassan ibne Ali Toosi.
The book is one of the four reference books, and one of the collections of
Traditions, which are held as authentic by Shiites of the Imamiyyah School of
Thought from the days of its completion up until now.


The
first part of the original manuscript in Sheikh Toosi's handwriting is preserved
to this day."

Bibliography:


At the
end of the book, the author presents a complete bibliography. He states in
the concluding part:

"Now
that by the Grace of the Almighty I have completed my writing of this book, I
wish to briefly mention the sources and documentations through which I have
gathered my collection. In this manner, any quotations or narrations in the book
enjoy a well-documented support, rather than their former undocumented
shape."
He then proceeds
to attest each narrator/reporter, or the books provided by them, from which he
extracted the Narratives and quoted them in a refined manner.
There are some
"explicatory monographs" (known as Sharh) on the abovementioned
"Bibliography" of Sheikh Toosi:


1)
"Sharh" written by Allama Sayyid Hāshim Tubli in his book entitled:
"Tanbeehul-Areeb wa Tazkiratul-Labeeb fi Eidhāh Rijal
al-Tahzeeb";


2)
"Sharh" by the Late Ayatollah Borujerdi, entitled "Tajreed Asānid
al-Tahzeeb";

3)
"Sharh" by Hujjatul-Islam Sayyid Hassan Mousawi Kharsān, entitled "Sharh
Mashikheh Tahzeeb al-Ahkam":


Explicatory
Books on "Tahzeeb al-Ahkam"

Many
general explicatory monographs (known as Sharh) on the book have also
been written, e.g.:


1)
"Sharh" by Sayyid
Muhammad, the author of "Madarik" (died in 1009 A.H.);

2)
"Sharh" by Qāzi Nurollah
Shahid (d. 1019.H.), entitled "Tahzeeb al-Akmam":


3)
"Sharh" by Mowla
Abdullah Shooshtary (d. 1021 A.H.)


4)
"Sharh" by Sheikh
Muhammad ibne Hasan ibne Shahid Thani (d.1030 A.H.)


5)
"Sharh" by Mowla
Muhammad Amin Astarabadi (d.1036 A.H.)


6)
"Sharh" by "Abdul-Latif
Jāme'i, a pupil of Sheikh Bahāee (d. 1050 A.H.)


7)
"Sharh" by Mowla
Muhammad Taqi Majlesi, Senior, (d.1070 A.H.)


8)
"Sharh" by Mowla
Muhammad Tāher ibne Muhammad Hussein Shirazi Qummi (d. 1098
A.H.)


9)
"Sharh" by Mohaqqiq
Shirwani, son-in-law of Allamah Majlesi (d.1099 A.H.); and


10) "Sharh" by Mowla
Muhammad Baqer Majlesi, Junior, (d. 1111 A.H.) entitled "Malāz
al-Akhyar".



Marginal
Notes/explanations (Hāshiyeh):


Various
"marginal notes and explanations" (known as Hāshiyeh) have been written
on the book "Tahzeeb al-Ahkam", as exemplified below:


1)
"Hashiyeh" by Qāzi
Nurollah Shooshtary;


2)
"Hashiyeh" by Waheed
Behbahāni;


3)
"Hashiyeh" by Agha
Jamāleddin Khānsāri;


4)
"Hashiyeh" by Sheikh
Hassan, the author of "Ma'ālim";


5)
"Hashiyeh" by Mirza
Abdullah Affandi, the author of "Riyadh";


6)
"Hashiyeh" by Allamah
Majlesi, Junior;


7)
"Hashiyeh" by Sayyid
Mirza Muhammad ibn Ali Astarabadi;


8)
"Hashiyeh" by Sheikh
Muhammad, the grandson of Shahid Thani;


9)
"Hashiyeh" by Sheikh
Muhammad Ali Balaghi; and


10)
"Hashiyeh" by Sayyid Najmuddin Jazāyeri.

"fehrist":


Different
"Fehrists" have been compiled by writers in the past as follows.
["Fehrist" is referred to a book, which explains and discusses on the
personality and authenticity of the Rijal (Narrators) and sources of
Hadiths/Narratives in another book]:


(1)
"Fehriste Tahzeeb al-Ahkam" by Muhammad Ja'far, one of the Ulema of the Eleventh
Century A.H.


(2)
"Fehriste Tahzeeb al-Ahkam" by Mowla Abdullah ibne Hajji Muhammad Bushrawi Tuni,
well known as "Fazel Tuni".

Translations
of the book:


"Tahzeeb al-Akkam" has
been translated into Persian by Muhammad Yusof ibne Muhammad Ibrahim
Gurkani.

Manuscripts
of the book:


(1) A
manuscript in the elegant handwriting of "Ashraf ibne Muhammad Qāsim Shirazi",
dated 1077 A.H., is preserved in the library of Hazrat Ayatollah Allamah
Muhammad Sādiq Sadr. The Ultimate part of this MS has been adorned by the
handwritings of Sheikh Bahaii's father and Shahid Thani. This MS has been
transcribed from Sheikh Toosi's original manuscript.


(2) A
beautiful, illuminated MS in the handwriting of Shokrollah ibne Muhammad
Husseini, dated 1078 A.H.
(3) A manuscript
written by "Qāsim Ali ibne Hussein-Ali Bararequi Sabzewari", dated 1074 A.H. It
is kept in the library of Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Baghdadi.





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