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Al Kaafi Series Introduction

Al Kaafi Series Introduction

Many of the popular present day Shia beliefs are based on the narrations of Al Kaafi, even though most of these narrations do not hold water when scrutinized based on their chains of narrators and when compared with the Quran. Therefore we set out on a project to compile small booklets analyzing the narrations of each such chapter separately. (PDF files can be downloaded from “PDF Download Files” Section)

A big problem in the Shia seminaries is that all the training they get in the sciences of narrations (Ilm al Hadith) goes into the narrations pertaining to the issues of Jurisprudence (Fiqh) and not into the narrations about Beliefs (Aqaid). This is so, because the course in the seminary aims at producing “Jurisprudents” (Fuqaha) and not Theologians or experts in Quran, which should actually be the basic qualification for a scholar.

Another problem in the Shia seminary education system is that there is no formal course that even teaches the Quran from cover to cover, therefore most Shia scholars come out of the seminary not knowing how to compare narrations with the Quran. Concerns have been raised about this issue by some grand scholars like Ayatullah Syed Ali Khamenei, Ayatullah Syed Kamal al Haidary etc.

(Those who can understand Arabic can refer to these videos where Ayatullah Syed Kamal al Haydari raises these issues
1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUYBUjkq9Mw
2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-xgLZXRgsg
3) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lFkHgB9GWQ )

When a scholar like Ayatullah Bahboodi did analyze all the narrations of Al Kaafi (about 75% of which came out to be weak), he was vehemently criticized for doing so, and his book (Sahih al Kaafi) was banned in Iran. This is quite understandable, since all the weak and fabricated narrations on which many of the present day Shia beliefs stand were exposed.

In this book we analyze the narrations which claim that the deeds of all people are regularly presented before the Prophet (saww) and Imams (as).

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11 responses »

  1. I really hope to read more about the teaching structures in the hawzahs. and could you maybe give me some examples what sayyed khamenei criticized on the learning methods??
    thanks!

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    • Yes we have his testimony recorded by Agha Jafar al Baaqiri in his book entitled “Thawaabit wa mutaghayyiraat al Hawzah al Ilmiyyah – Qiraa’atun fil fikr al islaahi li Ayaatillah As Sayyid Ali al Khamenei wa thullatun min kibaaril ulamaa”, pg 110 (Published by Daar as Safwah).

      He goes on record as saying that it is unfortunate that a person can reach Ijtihaad without ever referring to the Quran “because our lessons (syllabus) are not based on the Quran.”

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    • As for the video links I have provided. In one videos Ayatullah Syed Kamal al Haydari says that we have people from hawza who are “Faqih” and are considered specialists in Islamic Sciences but they read the verses of Quran wrongly, they dont even know the correct words of the verse because this is the culture in the hawza. Knowing the Quran and its tafseer is not a condition for ijtihad. Then he mentions Syed Khomeini’s testimony from a book in which he says that a person may study all the sciences like usul al fiqh, sarf, nahw etc and become a mujtahid but has not even read the whole Quran once. Syed Haydari mentions that his teacher Ayatullah Hasanzadeh Amoli had memorized Alfiya ibn Malik (arabic grammer book) and other such books, but not the Quran, is there a comparison between the book of Allah and these books? This is because the culture in the hawza is not Quranic.

      In the other video he mentions that there are thousands of lectures on fiqh and usul in hawza but not one series on tafseer, and the culture in the hawza is such that an expert in tafseer is not considered a “muhaqqiq” (researcher).

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      • wow very interesting. and did kemal al hayderi mean both hawzahs Ghom and najaf? ist this the reason as well, why most scholars are focused on fiqh and not on aqidah? i was wondering why we can find so many fiqh topics of the great scholars but very rarely aqidah lectures which i find more important as this explains actually our religion. i really hope you can tell us more about the structure of the hawzahs inshl.

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      • Yes, Syed Kamal al Haydari meant both hawzas, Qom and Najaf.
        The hawza focuses on subjects like mantiq (logic) [which they only use against others, and dont use on their own bogus arguments], usul al fiqh (principles of jurisprudence), fiqh, falsafa (philosophy), ofcourse Arabic, and in Qom they teach farsi first.

        There are no specialized debates on beliefs and course on Tafseer of Quran. Ofcourse there are private tuitions which if people want they can take.

        From what I have seen, people from the hawza, specially Qom have poor Quranic recitation, and many have not read the Quran cover to cover.

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  2. another question which i have is, what do u know about Ayatullah Bahboodi research on ahadith and why they have banned his book from publishing? was it even rejected by sayyed ali khamenei or other popular scholars like makaram shirazi?

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    • Ayatullah Bahboodi was a grand scholar of hadith, as has been mentioned by Syed Kamal Haydari many times in his lectures. His book has been banned of-course because it exposes that most weak and fabricated narrations which are narrated from the mimbar day and night have no value, and most beliefs are based ok these weak narrations.
      I do not specifically know who rejected it, there is very little information about this book, many people dont know about it. Even Syed Kamal al Haydari doesnt have the original copy of the book, he uses a photo copy of the book.

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  3. Thank you for the quick reply
    I found this one here:
    http://www.theshiapedia.com/index.php?title=Ma%27rifat_Al-Hadith
    it mention Sahih al Kafi as well.
    Cant wait to read one day something about ziyarat ashurah.
    with blessings
    Abdoljalil

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  4. sorry for the late answer! thank you very much for these informations!

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