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Question 290: Asslamo alakaum. Is Kafi an authentic book? I get confused, im still trying to learn about Islam, then there comes a shia who says that “this book is not very authentic but it’s powerful though”!? I seriously want to know whether books that I touch are going to guide me to the right path, I already read 1 volume of this book.

Answer 290: The Shia school is very rich in terms of reliable hadith collections thanks to the ahadith of the Holy Prophet (s) and his pure progeny. The infallible Imams, peace be upon them, are the closest people to the Holy Prophet (s) in terms of position and time. They are inerrant and infallible and there are profuse narrations quoted from them in Shia’s hadith books.
Some of Shia’s major hadith collections that are considered to be reliable are the following:

  1. Al-Kafi authored by Theqatul Islam, Muhammad bin Ya’qub Kulayni (329 A.H.),
  2. Al-Tahzib authored by Shaykh Tusi, may Allah bless him (460 A.H.)
  3. Al-Istibsar authored by Shaykh Tusi, may Allah bless him (460 A.H.)
  4. Man La Yahzuruhu al-Faqih authored by Shaykh Saduq (r.a.) (381 A.H.)
  5. Wasail al-Shi’ah authored Shaykh Hurr Amili, may Allah bless him (1104 A.H.)
  6. Behar al-Anwar authored by Allamah Muhammad Baqir Majlisi (r.a) (1110 A.H.)
  7. Jami’ al-Ahadith al-Shi’ah authored by Ayatollah Ismail Mu’ezzi Malayeri (1429 A.H.)
  8. Jami al-Ahadith Software (Noor) prepared by Islamic Computer Sciences (Noor) which comprises most of Shi’ah hadith books.

Although these books are very valuable and there are a great many authentic traditions in them, but we do not consider all of the hadiths in these books as authentic. That is why, the Shia scholars examines the authenticity of each and every hadith and act on only those traditions that are verified as correct. For this reason, we believe that the only authentic and truly reliable book is the Holy Quran. Unfortunately, the Sunnis consider their books (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim etc.) as authentic whereas their books are replete with fabricated traditions and stories.

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Al-Kutub al-Arba’ah, The Four Books: Kafi, Man la yahduruhu, Tahdhib and Istibsar, answer 064.

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