As for those who strive in Us,
We surely guide them to Our paths (Quran)
As you know, the first Caliphs have prohibited writing the Hadith (sayings) of the prophet (S). The claim was that the aim of this ban is to avoid the Hadith from being mixed with the Quran.
Just ask yourself: Can the Hadith be mixed with the Quran?! Is not the Quran the miraculous words of Allah?! Are the great Sahaba (companions) unable even to distinguish between the Hadith and the Quran?!
Now on the other hand, the imams of Ahulbayt (a.s.) have emphasized to their followers writing the Hadith. So we ended up with having the 400 original manuscripts of the Hadith. They are called the 400-Usool. They are the manuscripts written by 400 of the companions of Ahlul-bayt (a.s.). The scholars who came after these 400 companions have organized the Hadith of the 400-Usool in Hadith collections that are more accessible and logically arranged. Gradually people have shifted from reading the 400 original manuscripts to these large-scale collections. Currently only the content of 16 of the original 400 manuscripts are still circulating among the Shiites.
It may be claimed the Al-Kaffi by Thiqatul-Islam Al-Kulaini is the most important Hadith collections among the Shiites. So this can be a good starting point for anyone who wants to explore the Hadith of Ahulbayt (a.s.). In addition, there is the 16- original manuscripts that I mentioned. Also there are the Hadith collections written by the great shia sholars who lived in the era that is close to the era of the imams. This includes the writings of Al-Adooq. I have read many of his books. They are very enjoyable and are maninly Hadith collections. Also the writings of al Mufeed, al-Tussi, and the two brothers Al-Sharif Al-Redhi and Al-Sharif Al-Murtadha. Just keep in mind that some of their writing are Fiqh books that deals mainly with the Ahkam (the Islamic law). Al-Sharif a-Redhi have written Nahjul-Balagha, which contains the famous sermons and sayings of Imam Ali (a.s.), which also makes a good starting point.
There is also the Duas (supplications of Ahlul-Bayt a.s.), where we have Al Sahifa al Sajjadiya which was written by imam Zainul-Abidden Ali Ibnul-Hussain (a.s.). Ahlul-bayt gave it special importance; it is called the Psalms of Aali Muhammad (S).
There are many great Duas including Dua Kumail for imam Ali (S) and Dua of the Day of Arafa by Imam Al Hussain (S).
There are also the Ziyarat (visitations) where ahlulbayt a.s. taught us how to visit their shrines and how to talk to them. They are very important, as Shiism in its core is that love-bond between the Shiites and there imams. There is one important Ziyara that is called Dua Nudba. There also Ziyara of Ashura. And a Ziyara for each and every imam (s).
As of the books that introduce Shia Islam, the scholars have written many. But as I have not read them, I will mention other similar books, which are the books of the debates and dialogues that contain the reasoning behind the Shiite beliefs. One of such books is Al-Murajaat, which was written by sayyed Sharaful-Deen and contains his correspondents with the Shaikh of Al-Azhar. There is also a book called ‘Peshawer nights’ which is very important.
The writings of the scholars who have converted to Shia Islam is of utmost importance. Especially the wittings of the Tunisian scholar Muhammad Al-Tijani Al-Samawi. It is said that more than ONE MILLION persons have converted to shia islam because of this single man. And if have to recommend a single starting point to introduce Shia Islam, I will choose his great book ‘then I was guided’. It is clear that this book has a special blessing, as has its author.
May Allah bestow his blessings upon Muhammad and his house-hold and May Allah guide us all to his pleasure.
Assalamu alakum everybody,i follow the sunna of the Prophet, and i love his family and companions, Alhamdulliah.
Want to learn what are the Shia most reliable sources after the Qur'an??????
May Allah expand our knowledge of his Deen.
Sent by Amin-RF