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Shīʻī Theology: A Translation of Kashf al-Murad fī Sharḥ Tajrīd al-I‘tiqād

Shi‘i Theology is a translation of the seminal Arabic work Kashf al-Murad fi Sharh Tajrid al-I‘tiqad, a cornerstone of Twelver Shi‘i theology that has long served as a foundational textbook in seminaries.

It is the most distinguished commentary on Tajrid al-I‘tiqad by Nasir al-Din al-Tusi’s (d. 1274) whose life and contributions are detailed in the prefatory section.

The first part of the book examines the concept of Allah, presenting compelling arguments for His existence and the necessity of a Creator. This section delves into intricate discussions on divine essence, attributes, and actions, as well as philosophical matters such as existence and nonexistence, cause and effect, substances and accidents, the definition of good and evil, and the problem of theodicy.

The second part explores the divine-human relationship, starting with prophethood, the necessity of prophethood, infallibility, and the Prophet Muhammad. It then delves into imamate, discussing the necessity of imamate, the nature of the Imam, arguments supporting Imam ‘Ali’s succession to the Prophet, and a historical overview of events at the end of the Prophet’s life. The book concludes with sections on the afterlife – covering resurrection, intercession, repentance, and the topography of the Hereafter – alongside a section on the principles of enjoining good and forbidding evil.

This comprehensive examination of Shi‘i theology is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the core beliefs and principles of Shi‘ism in depth.

Hasan ibn Yusuf ibn Mutahhar al-Hilli (1250–1325), widely renowned as ‘Allamah al-Hilli (‘the sage of Hillah’), was a distinguished fourteenth-century Twelver Shi‘i jurist and theologian. Born in Hillah, Iraq, al-Hilli initially studied religious sciences under the tutelage of his father and uncle, later expanding his education to encompass philosophy, logic, and astronomy. By the age of 28, he had achieved the status of a mujtahid.

An incredibly prolific writer, al-Hilli authored over a hundred books on a diverse array of subjects, including jurisprudence, principles of jurisprudence, doctrine, and theology. Many of these works remain influential today. Owing to his immense knowledge, he became the first scholar to receive the prestigious title of “ayatollah.”

After relocating to Iran, al-Hilli debated scholars from the four Sunni schools of thought, ultimately emerging victorious. His triumph led Sultan Muhammad Khudabanda to embrace Shi‘ism, contributing to the spread of Shi‘ism throughout Iran. While al-Hilli was in Iran, he was said to have had a mobile school made of tents, so that he could continue teaching during his travels. He was laid to rest in the shrine of Imam ‘Ali in Najaf, Iraq.

Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (1201-1274) was a distinguished Shi‘i philosopher, scientist, and theologian, and a towering figure in the realm of Islamic thought. Having endured the turbulent period of the Mongol conquests, al-Tusi later ascended to prominence as an advisor to the Mongol rulers, inspiring several of them to embrace Islam.

As a polymath, al-Tusi made significant contributions to various fields, including mathematics, astronomy, and philosophy. He established the renowned Maragheh Observatory, which became a centre of scientific advancement during his time. An accomplished author, al-Tusi penned numerous books, further solidifying his reputation as one of the most influential thinkers in Islamic history.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Khawajah Nasir al-Din al-Tust: A Biography

In Search of Knowledge

Fleeing the Mongol Invasion

Khawajah Nasir al-Din and the Isma‘ilis

Nasir al-Din’s Cooperation with the Mongols

The Role of Khawiajah Nasir in Preserving and Propagating the Shi‘a Creed

Sunset

The Different Domains of Knowledge

Works

Khawajah Nasir al-Din and his Multi-Dimensional Thought

The Contribution of Khawajah to Theology

The Contribution of Khawajah to Philosophy

The Contribution of Khawajah to Mysticism

Allamah al-Hilli

Allamah al-Hilli from the Perspective of Muslim Scholars

Allamah al-Hilli in the Court of Oljeitiu

The words of Allamah Hilli

Part 1. On Proving the Existence of the Creator, His Attributes and His Effects

Chapter One: on the Existence of Allah the Exalted

Chapter Two: On the Attributes of Allah the Exalted

  1. Exalted Allah as Powerful
  2. Allah the Exalted as Knowing
  3. Allah the Exalted as Living
  4. Allah the Exalted as Willing
  5. Allah the Exalted as the Hearing and the Seeing
  6. Allah the Exalted as Speaking
  7. Allah the Exalted as as the Eternal
  8. Allah the Exalted as the One
  9. Allah the Exalted as Allah the Exalted as being different from other essences
  10. Allah the Exalted as not compound (in his Essence)
  11. Allah the Exalted has no Opposite
  12. Allah the Exalted is not Spatial
  13. Allah the Exalted does not Exist in Others
  14. Allah the Exalted is not United with Other
  15. Allah the Exalted has no Direction
  16. Allah the Exalted is not the Locus of the Created Beings
  17. Allah the Exalted as All-Sufficient
  18. Allah the Exalted feels neither Pain nor Pleasure
  19. Objectively Negating the Meanings, States, and Attributes additional to His Essence
  20. Allah the Exalted cannot be Seen
  21. On Other Attributes

Chapter Three: On His Deeds

  1. That Good and Bad are Intellectual
  2. That Exalted Allah does nothing Bad nor neglects the Obligatory
  3. That Exalted Allah has the Power to do a Bad Deed
  4. That He has a Purpose for His Deed
  5. That Exalted Allah desires Obedience and hates Disobedience
  6. We are Doers
  7. On the Generated Deed
  8. On Predetermination (qada) and Destiny (qatlar)
  9. On Guidance and Error
  10. That Exalted Allah does not Chastise Children
  11. On the Necessity of Obligation, its Nature, Rationale, epts and some of its Precepts
  12. On Grace and its Nature and Precepts
  13. On Pain and why it is Good
  14. On Recompenses
  15. On the Time of Death
  16. On Provisions
  17. On Prices
  18. On the More Beneficial

Part II: Prophethood

  1. On the Excellence of Prophecy
  2. On the Necessity of Prophethood
  3. On the Necessity of Infallibility
  4. The Way to Know the Truthfulness of the Prophet
  5. On Miraculous Deeds (karamat)
  6. Prophethood is Necessary in All Times
  7. On the Prophethood of Our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and his household

Part III: Imamate

  1. The Appointment of the Imam is Incumbent upon Allah the Exalted
  2. That the Imam should be Infallible
  3. That the Imam should be Superior to Others
  4. That the Imam must be Designated
  5. That the Immediate Imam after the Prophet is ‘Ali, peace be upon them
  6. Arguments proving that the Imamate of other than ‘Ali is False
  7. That ‘Ali, peace be upon him, is the Best of the Companions
  8. On the Imamate of others of the Twelve Imams
  9. On the state of the Opponents

Part IV: On Resurrection, Promises, Warnings, and other Related Issues

  1. On the Possibility of Creating another World
  2. That the World can be Annihilated
  3. On Annihilation and the Way it Happens
  4. On the Necessity of Corporeal Resurrection
  5. On Reward and Punishment
  6. On the Attributes of Reward and Punishment
  7. On Foiling and Atonement
  8. That the Chastisement of the Perpetrators of Great Sins is Impermanent
  9. On the Possibility of Forgiveness
  10. On Intercession
  11. On the Necessity of Repentance
  12. On the Kinds of Repentance
  13. On Other Issues related to Repentance
  14. On the Pain of the Grave, the Scales, and the Path
  15. On the Names and their Effects
  16. On Commanding to the Good and Forbidding the Evil

Bibliographic Information

Title:Shīʻī Theology: A Translation of Kashf al-Murad fī Sharḥ Tajrīd al-I‘tiqād

Author (s): ‘Allamah al-Hilli

Translated, Introduced, and Annotate by: Fadil Asadi Amjad & Mahdi Dasht Bozorgi

Publisher: ICAS PRESS

Length: 240 Pages

ISBN:978-1-907905-56-8

Pub. Date:  2023

Click Here to Buy the Book.

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