Al-Ghadīr fī l-kitāb wa l-sunna wa l-adab (1)

Al-Ghadīr fī l-kitāb wa l-sunna wa l-adab (1)

Al-Ghadīr fī l-kitāb wa l-sunna wa l-adab (Arabic: الغدير في الکتاب و السنة و الأدب, lit.: [Event of] Ghadir in the book and tradition and literature) is the title of a 11 volume book by 'Allama Amini that proves and defends the immediate and successorship of Imam 'Ali (a) to the Prophet of Islam (s).

The author regards the Hadith al-Ghadir as the most authentic and mutawatir (numerously reported) narration from the Holy Prophet (s). To prove this, he has compiled the chains of narration of this hadith from Sahaba (companions of the Prophet (s)) and Tabi'un (companions of the companions of the Prophet (s)) to the scholars of the 14th/20th century from Sunni books to show the mutawatir nature of the hadith. In addition to such numerous chains of narration, the author extensively reports poems from Sahaba, Tabi'un, and later generations to substantiate his case. Among these discussions, he firmly replies to some of the accusations made by some Sunni scholars against Shi'a, using principles that are accepted in Sunni faith.

Among the discussions of the book are discussions about the religious knowledge of the first three caliphs and some of its consequences.

For compiling the book, Amini traveled to different countries to use their libraries. He says I referred to more than one hundred thousand books, and read more than ten thousand of them completely. Writing al-Ghadir took more than forty years.

Author

Main article: 'Abd al-Husayn Amini

'Abd al-Husayn Amini was born in 1320/1902-3 in Tabriz, Iran. He had elementary education in his hometown, later he moved to Najaf and benefited from great scholars there. He received the certificate of ijtihad from great Maraja' like al-Sayyid Abu l-Hasan al-Isfahani (d. 1346/1927-1928) Mirza Muhammad Hussein Na'ini (d. 1355/1937-1938) and Shaykh 'Abd al-Karim Ha'iri Yazdi (d. 1355/1937) and other scholars, when he was a young student. In each of these certificates, his scholarly achievements and religious and social status are mentioned and praised.(1)

To find sources for his book, al-Ghadir, 'Allama Amini made a lot of journeys. In these travels, he would search for private or public libraries. He found, studied, and copied sources and citations from different books of these libraries. He would also meet with teachers and spread the message of Shi'a in scholarly circles; sometimes he had speeches or led the congregational prayer. Among the cities he traveled with such program were: Hyderabad, Aligarh, Lucknow, Kanpur, Jalali, Rampur, (in India) Fu'ah, Ma'rifa, Cairo, Aleppo, Nubl, Damascus and … (2)

Volumes

Al-Ghadir fi al-kitab wa al-sunna wa al-adab (lit.: [Event of] Ghadir in the Book [[[Qur'an]]] and tradition and literature) has been chosen as the title for the book to indicate that the denial of the Hadith al-Ghadir, entails the denial of the Qur'an, Prophet's (s) narrations and tradition, Arabic literature and poetic heritage, for the author has proven his case by providing different evidences from each of these sources.(3)

In al-Ghadir, around 150 books from among the most important sources of Muslims' literature and tradition –from various fields- that have shaped personalities and societies, are being used and their content has been discussed and scrutinized according to the principals that are accepted in Sunni tradition. Therefore, it can be safely claimed that the author of al-Ghadir has accomplished a kind of academic reconstruction and has critically evaluated the general Islamic literature, for the very 150 books that are discussed -from the Tarikh of al-Tabari to the Fajr al-Islam by Ahmad Amin- provide standards and criteria for hundreds of other books and hundreds of other issues.(4)

First Volume

In this volume, after presenting the text of Hadith al-Ghadir, the author mentions 110 individuals of Sahaba (companions of the Prophet (s)) who have narrated this hadith and cite the report from each of these individuals from Sunni traditional sources.(5)

After the Sahaba, he mentions 84 individuals of Tabi'un (the companions of the companions of the Prophet (s)) who reported this hadith. He also presents the opinions of Sunni rijal experts on these narrators.(6)

After Tabi'un, the name of 360 Sunni scholars -from the 2nd/8th to 14th/20th centuries- are listed that have narrated and documented this Hadith in their works.(7)

In the next chapter of the book, the authors who have dedicated a single specific book to Hadith al-Ghadir are listed.(8) In the following chapter, the arguments in which Hadith al-Ghadir was cited are reported.(9) The next topic of the first volume is the Qur'anic verses concerning the Event of Ghadir, then the Eid al-Ghadir and its position in the school of Ahl al-Bayt (a) is discussed, also the report in which 'Umar and Abu Bakr offer congratulations to Imam Ali (a) is presented. After this, the opinions and words of some of Sunni scholars regarding Hadith al-Ghadir and its chain of narration is reported and discussed.(10) Ending discussions of this volume are about the content and meaning of this hadith. In this regard, the author first reports some of the doubts given by some Sunni scholars concerning the meaning of hadith, and then he provides various textual and contextual indications to clarify the meaning of the hadith.(11)

Second Volume

The second volume from al-Ghadir deals with the poems about Ghadir. At first, the author discusses the position of poem and composing it according to the Qur'an and tradition. Then he presents Ghdir poets in the first/seventh century. He mentions some poems by Amir al-Mu'minin (a), Hassan b. Thabit, Qays b. Sa'd b. 'Ubada, 'Amr b. al-'As, and Muhammad b. 'Abd Allah al-Himyari through authentic historical sources. These poems are indicative of the successorship of Imam 'Ali (a) to the Prophet (s).(12)

After these individuals, poets from the second/eighth century are listed who have composed poems on Ghadir: Kumait, al-Sayyid al-Himyari, and 'Abdi al-Kufi. After this, is the list of third/ninth century Ghadir poets: Abu Tamam al-Ta'i and Di'bil al-Khuza'i.(13)

Third Volume

This volume starts with the continuation of 3rd/9th century poets who composed poems about the Event of Ghadir. At the middle of this list, the author discusses and scrutinizes some of the orientalists' works regarding the history of Islam.(14) Then continues the list of 3rd/9th century poets by mentioning Ibn Rumi and Afwah al-Hamdani. Later he starts a discussion about Zayd al-Shahid (Zayd the martyr) and Shi'a opinion about him, responding to some of the critiques made by Sunni scholars.(15)

Then the author extensively deals with some of the accusations made by some Sunni scholars against Shi'a and refutes them. In this process, he discusses some topics like the virtues of the Ahl al-Bayt (a), the Qur'an and the accusation of tahrif and mut'a.(16)

The remaining part of this volume includes Ghadir poets from the 4th/10th century: Ibn Tabataba al-Isfahani, Ibn 'Alawiyya al-Isfahani, al-Mufajja', Abu l-Qasim al-Sanawbari, Qadi Tanukhi, Abu l-Qasim Zahi, and Abu Firas al-Hamdani.(17)

Fourth Volume

The fourth volume presents the remaining of Ghadir poets from the 4th/10th century and continues this list to the 5th/11th and 6th/12th centuries. Among these individuals are poets like: Abu l-Fath Kashajim, al-Sahib b. 'Ubbad, al-Sharif al-Radi, al-Sharif al-Murtada, Abu l-'Ala' al-Ma'arri, and al-Khatib al-Khwarazmi.(18)

Fifth Volume

This volume comprises the list of Ghadir poets in 6th/12th and 7th/13th centuries; it also exhibits some discussions about:

  • Hadith Radd al-Shams
  • 1000 rak'a prayer
  • Muhaddath in Islam
  1. The knowledge of the Unseen by Shi'a Imams (a)
  2. Burial of the dead bodies in and around holy Shrines
  3. Ziyarah
  4. Hadith Forgery

In all these topics, the author has used Sunni sources to respond and refute the accusations that some Sunni scholars have made against Shi'a.(19)

Sixth Volume

This volume lists Ghadir poets in the 8th/14th century, including: al-Shaybani al-Shafi'i, Shams al-Din al-Maliki, and 'Ala' al-Din al-Hilli. Another discussed topic in this volume is the knowledge of 'Umar b. al-Khattab and his mistakes in judgments, which has been reported extensively by Sunni scholars. Along this topic, 'Umar's prohibition of the two Mut'as (Mut'a of Hajj and Mut'a of women) is being discussed.(20)

Seventh Volume

The seventh volume starts with the list of Ghadir poets in the 9th/15th century. Then it discusses the exaggerations that exist in the historical reports about Abu Bakr's virtues, and then the discussion about his religious knowledge and some discussions about the issue of Fadak are followed.

The ending part of this volume is about the faith of Abu Talib, and to prove this, the author presents various facts and evidences like Abu Talib's poems, his sayings, and activities, and some narrations from the infallibles (a).(21)

Continue in the next article: ( Al-Ghadīr fī l-kitāb wa l-sunna wa l-adab (2) )

NOTES:

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1. Hakimi, Allama Amini, p.19

2. Hakimi, Allama Amini, p.26

3. Amini, Takmilat l-Ghadir, vol.1 p.48

4. Hakimi, Hamasa-yi ghadir, p.187

5. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.1 pp.41-144

6. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.1 pp.145-165

7. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.1 pp.167-311

8. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.1 pp.313-325

9. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.1 pp.327-423

10. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.1 pp.423-608

11. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.1 pp.609-707

12. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.2

13. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.2

14. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.3 pp.23-49

15. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.3 pp.105-114

16. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.3 pp.115-459

17. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.3 pp.463-566

18. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.4

19. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.5

20. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.6 pp. 278-338

21. Amini, al-Ghadir, vol.7 pp. 444-550