|Doctrines of Shi‘i Islam: A Compendium of Imami Beliefs and Practices|
Translated into English and Edited by Reza Shah-Kazemi. London: I. B. Tauris in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2001, pp xix + 240.
ISBN (Hardback): 1 86064 780 4
An edited translation of Manshur–i ‘aqayid–i Imamiyya (literally A Charter of Imami Beliefs) by Ayatollah Ja‘far Sobhani, this book offers an overview of the principal tenets of Shi‘i Islam with particular reference to Twelver Shi‘ism. Useful both as an introductory text on Shi‘i thought and practice as well as a contemporary expression, from within, of this vibrant and dynamic branch of the Muslim community, Doctrines of Shi‘i Islam upholds the validity of Shi‘i perspectives by rational arguments based on the Qur’an and the Sunna of the Prophet. The work focuses its attention on the most essential elements of Imami belief and those aspects which have been particularly misunderstood or misrepresented. The explanations offered and clarifications of the foundations on which particular concepts and practices are based, will be of value to those seeking understanding between different communities of interpretation and schools of thought in Islam.
Although the author approaches the subject theologically, juridically and ethically, the book also includes philosophical, gnostic and metaphysical modes of inquiry. In his discussion of certain subjects – such as the nature of being, the problem of evil and the question of theodicy – Sobhani confronts the aesthetic and sceptical worldview with arguments that, to a certain extent, reveal the influence of traditional philosophy or hikmat in Iran: philosophy expressed through logic, guided by revelation and nourished by inward faith, spiritual certainty and, at its highest, by mystical illumination.
Despite its comprehensive scope, Doctrines of Shi‘i Islam is a concise work composed of 150 short ‘articles’, some consisting of no more than a paragraph and others a few pages in length, providing an overall sketch of the essential elements of Shi‘i Islam and a vantage point from within the tradition itself.
The book is divided into three chapters, the first dealing with the worldview of Islam, the second with general beliefs such as the Unity of God (tawhid), Prophecy (nubuwwa), the Imamate (Imama) and the Hereafter (ma’ad) while the third chapter addresses specific religious questions, practical rulings and contemporary issues. The first two chapters broadly mirror the paradigm of theological treatises in Shi‘i Islam established by Nasir al–Din al–Tusi (d. AH 656/1274 CE) in his celebrated work Tajrid al–i‘tiqad, beginning with what has been called ‘theology in the general sense’ (al–ilahiyyat bi ma‘na’l–‘amm) and then proceeding to ‘theology in the specific sense’ (al–ilahiyyat bi ma‘na’l–khass). The final part of the book discusses some of the more heavily debated religious issues, elucidating concrete details pertaining to the practicalities of religious life and legal rulings in the light of contemporary exigencies.
While beginning with the most universal of Islamic themes – relating to knowledge, being and the nature of man – he finishes with the most specific, tackling issues pertaining to practical religious life. The author also welcomes debate over differences and pleads for an end to internecine diatribes and anathematisation by one school or group against another, pleading for an ecumenical affirmation of what constitutes the essential principles of Islam.
Published as a joint project between The Institute of Ismaili Studies and the Imam Sadiq Institute in Qom, this book makes an important contribution to the field of Shi‘i Studies by providing a unique insight into the theological thinking, which is broadly representative of religious seminaries in Iran today.
Chapter One: The Worldview of Islam
Chapter Two: General Beliefs
Chapter Three: Faith, Disbelief and Other Issues
(Note on dates: Where two sets of publication dates are given for a title, the first refers to the Hijra (lunar–based) calendar, and the second to the Christian calendar; occasionally the solar–based (Shamsi) Hijra calendar, in use in Iran, is cited and is preceded by the abbreviation sh.)
Abd al–Jabbar al–Mutazili, Qadi. Sharh al–usul al–khamsa. Cairo, 1988.
Alusi, Mahmud. Ruh al–maani. Beirut, n.d.
Amin, Muhsin. Ayan al–Shi;a. Beirut, 1982.
al–Amini, Abd al–Husayn. al–Ghadir. Beirut, sh. 1387/1967.
Amir–Moezzi, M. A. The Divine Guide in Early Shiism: The Sources of Esotericism in Islam, trans. D. Streight. Albany, N.Y., 1994.
al–Arbali, Ali b. Isa. Kashf al–ghima fi marifa al–aimma. Beirut, 1985.
al–Ashari, Abu ;l–Hasan Ali b. Ismail. al–Ibana an usul al–diyana. Damascus, 1981.
–– Maqalat al–Islamiyyin. Wiesbaden, 1980.
Ayoub, Mahmoud. Redemptive Suffering in Islam. The Hague, 1978.
Badr al–Ayn, Muhammad b. Ahmad. Umdat al–qari fi sharh sahih al–Bukhari. Beirut, n.d. al–Baghdadi, Khatib. Tarikh Baghdad. Beirut, n.d. al–Bukhari, Muhammad. Iahih. Cairo, 1378/1957–8.
Corbin, Henry. En Islam iranien. Paris, 1971–2. 4 vols.
Dabashi, Hamid. Mir Damad and the Founding of the School of Isfahan, in S. H. Nasr and O. Lawson, ed., History of Islamic Philosophy. London, 1996. vol. 1, pp. 597–634.
Daftary, Farhad. The Ismailis: Their History and Doctrines. Cambridge, 1990.
al–Darimi, Abd Allah. Sunan. Beirut, 1978.
al–Dhahabi, Muhammad. Mizan al–itidal. Beirut, 1963.
Dinawari, Abd Allah b. Muslim. al–Imama wal–siyasa. Cairo, n.d.
Diyar Bakri, Husayn b. Muhammad. Tarikh al–khamis fi ahwal anfus nafis. Beirut, n.d.
Fakhr al–Islam, Muhammad Iadiq. Anis al–alam fi nusra al–islam. Tehran, 1404/1983.
Halm, Heinz. The Fatimids and their Traditions of Learning. London, 1997.
–– Shiism, tr. J. Watson. Edinburgh, 1991.
al–Hilli, Allama Abu Mansur Hasan. Kashf al–murad fi sharh tajrid al–itiqad. Qom, 1413/1992. al–Hindi, Ala al–Din. Kanz al–ummal. Beirut, 1985.
Hurr al–Amili, Muhammad b. al–Hasan. Wasail al–Shia. Beirut, 1403/1982.
Hussain, Jassim. The Occultation of the Twelfth Imam. London, 1982.
Ibn Athir, Mubarak b. Muhammad. Jami al–usul. Beirut, 1980.
Ibn Faris, Ahmad b. Zakariya. Muqayis al–lugha. Cairo, n.d.
Ibn Hajar al–Asqalani. Fath al–bari. Beirut, 1402/1981.
Ibn Hanbal, Ahmad. Musnad. Cairo, n.d. –– al–Sunna. Beirut, 1405/1983.
Ibn Hijr, Ahmad. al–Iawaiq al–muhriqa. Cairo, 1965. Ibn Hisham, Abd al–Malik. al–Sira al–nabawiyya. Beirut, n.d.
Ibn Maja. Sunan. Beirut, 1975.
Ibn al–Nadim, Muhammad b. Ishaq. al–Fihrist. Cairo, n.d.
al–Isfahani, Abu Nuaym. Hilya al–awliya. Beirut, 1967.
al–Isfahani, Raghib. al–Mufridat fi gharib al–Quran. Cairo, 1324/1906.
Jafri, S.H.M. The Origins and Early Development of Shia Islam. London, 1979.
Khumayni, Ayatollah Ruhollah. Tahdhib al–usul. Qom 1405/1984.
Kohlberg, Etan. Belief and Law in Imami Shiism. Aldershot, 1991.
al–Kufi, Hafiz Muhammad b. Sulayman. Manaqib al–Imam amir al–muminin. Qom, 1412/1991.
al–Kulayni, Abu Jafar Muhammad. al–Usul min al–kafi. Beirut, 1401/1981.
Lalani, Arzina. Early Shii Thought: The Teachings of Imam Muhammad al–Baqir. London, 2000. LeBon, Gustav. Tamaddun–i islami wa gharb, Persian trans. of Islamic Civilization and the West. Tehran, 1376/1956.
Madelung, Wilferd. The Succession to Muhammad: A Study of the Early Caliphate. Cambridge, 1997.
al–Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir. Bihar al–anwar. Beirut, 1403/1983.
al–Maqrizi, Ahmad b. Ali. Imta al–asma. Cairo, 1981.
–– al–Mawaiz wal–itibar bi dhikr al–khitat wal–athar. Bulaq, 1270/1853.
Misri, Ahmad Amin. Fajr al–Islam. Beirut, 1969.
Murtada, Sayyid. Tanzih al–anbiya. Tabriz, 1290/1873.
al–Muzaffar, M. R. The Faith of Shia Islam. London, 1983.
al–Najashi, Ahmad. Rijal al–Najashi. Beirut, 1409/1988.
al–Nasafi, Abd Allah. Tafsir al–Nasafi. Beirut, 1998.
Nasir Khusraw. Knowledge and Liberation, a new edition and English translation of Gushayish wa Rahayish, by F. M. Hunzai. London, 1998.
Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. Religion in Safavid Persia, Iranian Studies, 7 (1974), pp. 271–286. ––Spiritual Movements, Philosophy and Theology in the Safavid Period, in The Cambridge History of Iran, vol. 6, The Timurid and Safavid Periods, ed. P. Jackson and L. Lockhart. Cambridge, 1986, pp. 656–697.
––The School of Ispahan in M.M. Sharif, ed., A History of Muslim Philosophy. Wiesbaden, 1966. vol. 2, pp. 904–932.
––The Metaphysics of Iadr al–Din Shirazi and Islamic Philosophy in Qajar Iran, in C.E. Bosworth and C. Hillenbrand, ed., Qajar Iran. Edinburgh, 1983, pp. 177–198.
Nasr, S.H., H. Dabashi and S.V.R. Nasr. Shiism: Doctrines, Thought and Spirituality Albany, N.Y., 1988.
–– Expectations of the Millennium: Shiism in History. Albany, N.Y., 1989.
al–Nawbakhti, al–Hasan b. Musa. Firaq al–Shia. Beirut, 1405/1984.
al–Naysaburi, Muhammad b.Abd Allah al–Hakim. al–Mustadrak. Beirut, n.d. al–Nisai, Ahmad b. Shuayb. Khasais al–imam Ali. Qom, 1983.
al–Qanduzi, Sulayman b. Ibrahim. Yanabi al–muwadda. Tehran, 1416/1995.
al–Qasimi, Muhammad Jamal al–Din. Mahasin al–tawil. Beirut, 1979.
al–Qastallani, Ahmad b. Muhammad. al–Mawahib al–laduniyya. Beirut, 1991.
al–Qummi, Abbas. Safinat al–bihar. Qom, 1416/1995.
al–Qushaji, Ala al–Din. Sharh tajrid al–itiqad. Tabriz, 1307/1889.
al–Qushayri, Muslim b. al–Hajjaj. Iahih. Cairo, n.d. al–Razi, Fakhr al–Din. Isma al–anbiya. Jeddah, 1407/1986.
–– al–Tafsir al–kabir. Beirut, n.d.
Rida, Rashid. Tafsir al–manar. Cairo, 1954.
–– al–Wahy al–Muhammadi. Beirut, 1406/1985.
Sachedina, Abdulaziz. Islamic Messianism: The Idea of the Mahdi in Twelver Shiism. New York, 1981.
Sadiq, K. and A.M. Naqvi. A Manual of Islamic Beliefs and Practices. London 1990, 1992. 2 vols.
al–Saffar, Muhammad b. Hasan. Basair al–darajat. Tehran, 1380/1960.
Savory, R.M. Iran under the Safavids. London, 1980.
Serjeant, Robert B. The Zaydis, in A. J. Arberry, ed., Religion in the Middle East. Cambridge, 1969. vol. 2, pp. 285–301.
al–Shahrastani, Abd al–Karim. Kitab al–Milal wal–nihal. Beirut, 1990.
al–Sharif al–Radi, Muhammad b. al–Husayn. Nahj al–balagha. Qom, 1395/1975.
al–Shawkani, Muhammad b. Ali. Fath al–qadir. Beirut, n.d.
Shaykh Mufid, Abu Abd Allah Muhammad. Tashih al–itiqad. Tabriz, 1371/1951.
–– Kitab al–Irshad: The Book of Guidance into the Lives of the Twelve Imams, trans. I.K.A. Howard. London, 1981.
–– Awail al–maqalat fil–madhahib wal–mukhtarat. Tabriz, 1371/1951.
Shaykh Iaduq (Ibn Babawayh), Abu Jafar al–Qummi. Ilal al–sharayi. Beirut, 1966.
–– Man la yahduruhul–faqih. Tehran, 1390/1970.
–– Kitab al–tawhid. Qom, 1398/1978.
–– Amali. Beirut, 1400/1979.
–– al–Khisal. Qom, 1403/1982.
–– Uyun akhbar al–Rida. Beirut, 1404/1983.
–– Kamal al–din. Qom, 1405/1983. al–Shirazi, Iadr al–Din. al–Asfar al–arba. Beirut, 1402/1981.
Sobhani, Jafar. Mafahim al–Quran. Qom, 1413/1992.
–– al–Ilahiyyat. Qom, 1417/1996.
–– Furugh–i vilayat. Tehran, sh. 1378/1999.
–– The Message–The Holy Prophet of Allah. Tehran, n.d.
Strothmann, Rudolf. al–Zaidiya in Encyclopedia of Islam (1st edition), vol. 4, pp. 1196–1198.
al–Suyuti, Jalal al–Din Tarikh al–khulafa. Cairo, 1384/1964.
–– al–Itqan fi ulum al–Quran. Cairo, 1387/1967.
–– al–Durr al–manthur. Beirut, 1973.
–– al–Khasais al–kubra. Hyderabad, 1319/1901.
Tabatabai, Allama Muhammad Husayn. al–Mizan. Beirut, 1393/1973.
–– Shiite Islam, trans. and ed. S.H. Nasr. Albany, N.Y., 1975.
al–Tabari, Abu Jafar Muhammad. Jami al–bayan. Beirut, 1980.
–– Tarikh al–rusul wal–muluk. Beirut, 1408/1986.
al–Tabarsi, Fadl b. al–Hasan. Majma al–bayan. Tehran, n.d.
al–Taftazani, Masud b. Umar. Sharh al–maqasid. Istanbul, 1305/1887.
Tihrani, Agha Bozorg. al–Dharia ila tasanif al–Shia. Beirut, n.d.
al–Tirmidhi, Muhammad b.Isa. Sunan. Beirut, n.d.
Tusi, Nasir al–Din. Contemplation and Action, a new edition and English translation of Sayr wa Suluk by S.J. Badakhchani. London, 1998.
–– Tajrid al–itiqad. Sidon, 1353/1934. al–Tusi, Shaykh Muhammad b. Hasan. al–Fihrist. Najaf, 1380/1960.
–– Kitab al–ghayba. Najaf, 1385/1965.
–– Idda al–usul. Qom, 1404/1983.
–– al–Khalaf. Qom, 1416/1995. al–Zarqani, Muhammad b. Abd al–Baqi. Sharh Zarqani. Cairo, n.d.
Content Date: February 2001