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Hadith study, Kitab Sulaym bin Qays

A brief discussion regarding the authenticity of the Book of Sulaym bin Qays (Introduction)

  • admin
  • 2018-04-27

Introduction :

Sulaym bin Qays Helali Koofi is a well known figure in the Islamic world, thanks mainly to his book. It discusses important issues such as disputed subjects among Shiite and Sunni Muslims. Sulaym was born two years before hijra and arrived in Medina as a young man during Omars caliphate. In this period, Sulaym concentrated his efforts on documenting and recording Saqifa and Fadak and their marginal events. He was a companion of Imam Ali (as) and an eye witness of events. When the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (as)  was martyred and Umayya took over power, Sulaym was among Shiites who went into Umayyas black list

Most Shia scholars agree that the Book of Sulaym ibn Qays is the first Shia Ahadith book compiled even before Sahifa e Kamila

Sulaym entrusted this book to Abaan who presented it in front of Imam Zayn al Abideen (as) who said :

"Sulaym has spoken the truth, may Allah have mercy on him. These are our Hadith, we recognise all of them"

Source : Introductory pages of the Book of Sulaym ibn Qays

1. Umar ibn Abi Salama son of Umm Salama (ra) who died in the year 83 AH. He was a companion of the Messenger of Allah (saws) and he is one of those to whom the book of Sulaym was presented and also Abul Tufayl in the presence of Imam Sajjad (as) : He says about the book:

"There is no Hadith in it, unless that I have heard it from Ali (as) and from Salman and from Abi Dharr and from Miqdad"

[Beginning of the book of Sulaym, pg 560]

The Book of Sulaym is the first book that contains the limitation of the numbers of Imam (as) in twelve and that is why it is known to be exclusive to Shia Al Imamiyyah

2. Abul Hasan Ali ibn Hussain Masudi says in his book Tanbih Wal Ishraaf

"Of those who limit the number of Imams are the Twelvers, whose source of limiting the number of Imams is what Sulaym ibn Qays Al Hilali has mentioned in his book"

[Tanbih Wal Ishraaf, pg 198]

3. Muhammad ibn Ishaq, known as ibn Nadim, a person whom Sheikh Tusi and Al Najashi have trusted in their books of Rijal: He says in his Al Fehrist : 

"And the first book that appeared among Shia was the book of Sulaym ibn Qays Al Hilali, and that is the famous Book of Sulaym ibn Qays"

[Fehrist of ibn Nadim, pg 275]

Sheykh Abdul Naby Al Kazmy in Takmalat Al Rijaal said, I copied from the writing of Al Majlisi, who said, 

I say that I found an old copy of Kitab Sulaym by two reports between which were simple differences, and written at the end of one of them was, This completes Kitab Sulaym Bin Qays Al Hilali, until it said, A report from Al Sadiq (as) that He (as) said :

"The ones from our Shiites and those that loves Us, who does not have Kitab Sulaym Bin Qays Al Hilali, then there is nothing with him from our matters, nor does he know anything from our reasons, and it is the Alphabet (Abjad) of the Shiites, and a secret from the secrets of the Progeny of Mohammed (saws)"

Source :

Introductory pages of the Book of Sulaym ibn Qays

    • Mohammed Ali
    • January 15, 2021

    Nice Blog

    • Raza Rizvi
    • January 15, 2021

    Good Blog

    • Qasim Ali
    • January 15, 2021

    Mashallah, Informative blog.

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