Month: November 2021

Sayyid Sistani: What Is Ijtihad?

Translated by Shayan The following is a partial translation of Sayyid Sīstānī’s lectures on al-Ijtihād wa al-Taqlīd wa al-Iḥtiyāṭ, as transcribed by Sayyid Muḥammad ʿAlī Rabbānī[1]. It is hoped that it will provide the reader with a primer to the concept of ijtihād as well as insight into Sayyid Sīstānī’s intellectual approach. Discussion One: The … Read more

Refutation of Sayyid Murtada’s Treatise on an Imam’s Ghusl al-Mayyit by Sayyid Abdullah Shubbar

This is a response to Sayyid Murtaḍa’s treatise on Who is Responsible for an Imam’s Ghusl al-Mayyit by Sayyid ‘Abdullah Shubbar (1188/1774 – 1242/1827) in his Maṣābīḥ al-Anwār, vol. 2, pg. 250. What we have transmitted from al-Ṣadūq in his al-‘Uyūn with his chain in a lengthy narration from al-Riḍā (a) who said: “No one washes … Read more

Sayyid Murtada’s Treatise on Who is Responsible for an Imam’s Ghusl al-Mayyit

What follows is the translation of a very short treatise written by Sayyid Murtaḍa (d. 436/1044) on who is responsible for an infallible Imam’s ghusl after their demise. This became a significant issue after the martyrdom of Imam al-Kāẓim (a), when the Wāqifīyya began casting doubt on the Imamate of Imam al-Riḍā (a) by saying … Read more

Conflicts Between Jurists and Ghulat in the time of Imam al-Sadiq (a)

By Muhammad Baqir Malekian Among the Shīʿa, two currents of thought are most prominent. One is the maʿārifī (gnostic) current, which is interested in issues of gnosis, not jurisprudence—as Muḥammad b. Sinān says: من أراد المعضلات فإليّ، و من أراد الحلال و الحرام فعليه بالشيخ، يعني صفوان بن يحيى Whosoever wants mu’ḍilāt [complicated narrations], come … Read more

A Period Of Regress & Imitation Or Clarification & Solidification?

Translation from Mohammad Baqir Malekian with my comments at the end. Books written about the history of Shīʿī Fiqh (which generally face various problems with respect to their structure, content and historical outlook) usually regard the 100-year period after Shaykh Ṭūsī until the time of Ibn Idrīs Ḥillī, as the period of regress of Shīʿī jurpiprudence … Read more

Understanding Repentance And Intercession In The Context Of Embodiment Of Deeds And Psychological Punishment

How can repentance (tawbah) and intercession (shafāʿah) be understood in the context of the theory of embodiment of deeds (tajassum al aʿmāl) and psychological punishment? 1 Introduction What does Hell look like? Why does God punish? These are questions that puzzle the mind of every person who has thought about hell and punishment. Amongst the different answers given, … Read more

The Moderate Shi’i Line vs. The Line of Ghuluw

By Dr. Hassan Ansari Contrary to their appearances, bāṭinī (esoteric) movements have generally been political projects; a kind of opposition and rebellion against the predominant political and theological movement. The premise of these movements is that the religious interpretation (tafsīr) of the predominant movements is only congruent with the ẓāhir (exterior) of the Sharīʿa and … Read more

The Shia, Rafida, and the Martyrdom of Lady Fatima in 2nd Century Hijri

From: Early Ibadi Theology: New Material on Rational Thought in Islam from the Pen of Al-Fazārī (2nd/8th Century) Al-Fazārī’s writings are a unique source of information about Ibadi teachings on ʿilm al-kalām and the early development of this branch of religious knowledge. It is for this reason that scholars of Islamic theology are particularly interested in early … Read more

Did the Early Shia Believe In Tahrif? Insights from a 2nd Century Hijri Work

By Dr. Hassan Ansari  In the important work Kitāb al-Rudūd by ʿAbdallāh b. Yazīd al-Fazārī—one of the prominent and influential Ibāḍī theologians of Kūfa in the mid-second century—there is a section devoted to the belief in addition and omission in the Qur’ān. In this book and his other works, the author repeatedly mentions the Shīʿa … Read more