Author: Shaykh Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Yaqub al-Kulayni | Commentary and Translation By: Islamic Texts Institute under the direction of Shaykh Rizwan Arastu
Written in the 10th century, Al-Kafi is the most comprehensive collection of traditions from the formative period of Shi‘i scholarship. It is the fruit of Shaykh al-Kulayni’s lifelong labor to collect, vet, sort and compile traditions from Prophet Muhammad and his family. Its 35 books and more than 15,000 traditions cover the full gamut of Islamic knowledge, and it has been a primary source for the Shi‘ah ever since the beginning of the Major Occultation.
ITI’s work offers not only a precise translation of the text of al-Kafi, but a detailed commentary that aims to uncover each tradition’s meaning and implications and to place it in the broader context of Islamic teachings. The goal is to make the traditions accessible to non-specialists and to help them find guidance through the traditions.
In Book I: Intellect and Foolishness Shaykh al-Kulayni collects 36 traditions about the intellect which define and describe this most basic faculty that God has created within humans to know truth and to guide them from within.
Whether you are a Muslim looking to deepen your understanding of your faith or an academic interested in studying the world’s fastest growing religion, al-Kafi is a must-read.
Shaykh Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Ya’qub al-Kulayni (d.940 or 941 CE) was among the foremost Muslim scholars of his age. He has been praised by his contemporaries as “the most reliable of our scholars of traditions,” “an expert on traditions,” and “of the highest status, a scholar of traditions.” Another has claimed there is “a consensus on his reliability and trustworthiness.” Through his compilation of al-Kafi, al-Kulayni has had a profound influence on Islamic scholarship, making him one of the most significant and celebrated scholars of all time.