The religious and Islamic traditions, that is, the handling down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or example from one generation to another generation without written instruction, is considered as being the most important means to obtain and achieve the lifestyles, traditions, and ways of the twelve Shiite Innocent Imams (Peace be upon them).
The religious and Islamic traditions, generally speaking, have had the most important role in understanding and perceiving the Islamic orders and culture, as well as in forming, modeling, moulding, and shaping the different beliefs and creeds existing in the religion of Islam. Undoubtedly, what have remained for us from the rich and precious heritage of Shiite thoughts and ways of thinking in different religious, ideological and ethical realms and areas, are sufferings of those hard – working Shiite Scholars and committed traditionalists who, in their precious works, have tried to record these precious traditions and have transmitted these religious and Islamic traditions to the next generations.
A great majority of this heritage of Islamic traditions have been recorded and gathered in books which are traditionally called “Djavaame’-e Hadiths” or “The Comprehensive Books on Islamic Traditions”.
From the beginning of the third century (A.H.), Some trends about how to divide Islamic traditions and how to write comprehensive books on Islamic traditions came into being among Shiite scholars and traditionalists.
Following these trends, some books were written by different Shiite scholars. But at the time when the market of teaching and transmitting the Islamic traditions had been hot, no single authentic Islamic clergyman or religious authority was to be found or was available to answer all the Islamic questions and needs which abounded those days. Therefore, the scientific, cultural, and social needs of Islamic circles and associations led the Shiite scholars, from the beginning of the fourth century (A. H.), to teach more comprehensive books on the Islamic traditions. It should also be said that it was the endeavourments and efforts and sufferings of these Shiite scholars which led into the publication of books such as fourfold books on religious issues and, in ideological trend, some books with independent subjects came into being. It is also noteworthy that these published books were written according to the traditions of twelve Shiite Innocent Imams (Peace be upon them). It is also needful to mention that the book “The Sufficient Principles” – (Osoule-e kaafi) which was written by the Shiite Scholar late Koleini is considered as being the most comprehensive and authentic book ever written on Islamic and ideological Shiite traditions.
But, who was really the author of this great book?
What religious position does he occupy among other Shiite scholars and researchers?
What Special characteristics do this great book possess among other Islamic books, distinguishing it from those books written by Shiite scholars?
What is this great book talking about, and how many Islamic Shiite traditions are there in it? Are all the Islamic Shiite traditions mentioned in this great book correct and authentic?
We will answer these questions throughout this book. In the first place, the etymological meaning of the Phrase – the name of the book – “The Sufficient Principles” – (Osoul-e Kaafi) – will be discussed. Then, I will present the respected readers a brief introductory section about late Koleini – the author of the book “The sufficient Principles” – (Osoul-e Kaafi) – and on his great book. And Finally, I will try to answer the above – mentioned questions posed earlier.
It is hoped that this book will be considered a useful book and is used by those who are interested in Islamic – specially – Shiite culture.
Finally, I should express my profound gratitude towards my learned academic, professor Shirazi, from whom I learned a lot.
By: Dr. Saeed Ghazipour