Shias' characteristics

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"Shias' characteristics" (Sefat al- Shia) is one of the great wroks of the outstanding scholar sheikh Saduq.

It is composed in Arabic in a simple and eloquent way to understand.

Sheikh Saduq never applies in his works difficult philosophical and mystic terms, he employs the simple method the prophet and Shia Imams in order to be comprehended by everyone.


The author

Abu Jafar Muhammad Babwayh Qomi, known as “Ibn Babwayh” and “Sheikh Saduq” and “Ibn Babwayh”, a celebrated Shia jurisconsult and great traditionist in the 10th century. He was born in 900.
After primary education, he studied jurisprudence and Hadith in the presence of great jurisconsults and traditionists of Qom such as: his father (Ali Ibn Babwayh Qomi), Muhammad Ibn Hossein Ibn Walid, Ahmad Ibn Ali Qomi, Hossein Ibn Idris Qomi and other great scholars.
Sheikh Saduq lived in the reign of the Shia dynasty “Buyids” which ruled the great part of the Islamic world, therefore Sheikh Saduq travelled a lot to visit Shia scholars in different places.
In 936, learnt Hadith from “Abul Hasan Muhammad Asadi” in Rey – Iran. In 941, he learnt Prophetic Hadiths from the great scholars of Neishabour: “Aqbu Ali Hossein Beyhaqi” and “Abdul Rahman Abdus”. Also in Marv from: “Abul Hasan Muhammad Faqih” and “Abu Yusuf Rafe”.
And in other cities: Kufa, Mecca, Baghdad, Balkh and Sarakhs learnt more Hadiths.

In 948, by request of the Buyid caliph “Rukn al-Dowleh Deylami”, Sheikh Saduq was resident in Rey and became the religious leader of Shias.

He studied under 252 masters, the following are the most famous ones:

1-    Ali Ibn Babwayh Qomi (his father)
2-    Muhammad Ibn Hasan Walid Qomi
3-    Ahmad Ibn Ali Qomi
4-    Ali Ibn Muhammad Qazvini
5-    Jafar Ibn Muhammad Shazan
6-    Jafar Ibn Muhammad Quluyeh
7-    Ali Ibn Ahmad Mehryar
8-    Abul Hasan Khiyuti
9-    Abu Jafar Muhammad Ibn Aswad

10- Muhammad Ibn Yaqub Kuleyni
11- Ahmad Ibn Ziad Hamedani
12- Ali Quruqi
13- Muhammad Leithi
14- Ibrahim Taleqani
15- Muhammad Jurjani
16- Hossein Maktabi


1-    Sheikh Mufid
2-    Muhammad Ibn Muhammad
3-    Hossein Ibn Abdullah
4-    Harun Talakbari
5-    Hossein Ibn Ali Ibn Babwayh (his brother)
6-    Hasan Ibn Hossein (his nephew)
7-    Hasan Qomi
8-    Ali Najashi
9-    Seyyed Murteza Alam al-Huda
10- Abul Barakat Jowzi
11- Muhammad Hamrani
12- Abul Qasem Khazaz

1-    Attributes of Shias
2-    Monotheism
3-    Ma’ani al-Akhbar
4-    The city of science (Madinat al-Ilm)
5-    Moqanna’ (On jurisprudence)
6-    Acquaintance
7-    The reasons for religious laws
8-    Proving the guardianship of Imam Ali (the 1st Imam of Shias)
9-    Perfecting the religion (Islam) and completing blessing
10-Oyun al-Akhbar
Habits (Khesal) ,etc.

Great scholars such as: Sheikh Tusi, Ibn Idris Helli, Ibn Shahr Ashub, Allameh Helli, Najashi, Fakhr al-Muhaqeqin and Allameh Bahr al-Ulum all have praised Sheikh Saduq.

He died in 991. His tomb is a place of pilgrimage in Rey – Iran.


The book structure


The book includes 71 traditions (Hadith) on Shiites characteristics.

The following is one of the traditions from the 6th Shia Imam (Imam Muhammad Sadeq).

“Our followers (Shiites) never deny the four events: the Prophet's ascension to Heaven, being asked in the grave, creation of Hell and paradise and intercession (performed on day of judgement by prophets and Imams).


Shias' characteristics


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