The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Kitab Sulaym b. Qays

I have run across a fascinating Shi'ite apologetic, ascribed to Sulaym bin Qays (d. ~ 80s / 700s). A pdf of the first part of the "Kitâb Sulaym" (or, "the Saqifa") can be had here; it goes on up to _PVIII.

Which first introduced this to me, was Modarressi's "Early Debates on the Integrity of the Qur'ān: A Brief Survey" (1993). Modarressi's article deals with "page 108" mainly: which is the Hadith 11 / Part 4 (Talha) in _PII, page 33. Modarressi takes the Saqifa for granted. I hear the same of Amir-Moezzi in that September 2011 CISS seminar (pdf summary).

In the Kitâb's current form, it predicts twelve a'immat (Imams). This means the Saqifa belongs to the Imamis; it is, today, generally disseminated by that sect. The Zaydi sect holds to five a'immat and the Ismailis, to seven. (There are various nuances on the roles of Zaydi shaykhs, Fatimid caliphs and such.) Since we can only usefully pin the Imami doctrine of twelve after oh, let's say, the eighth in the line: Sulaym himself cannot be responsible for the final text. Sorry, Professors.

Google is directing us to the following, on the question of Sulaym's authenticity: Kohlberg, "Imâmiyya", 532-3; Modaressi, Tradition and Survival, 1.82-6; and, upcoming, Robert Gleave, "Kitâb Sulaym b. Qays and Early Shi'ite Hermeneutics" (March 8: seminar).

UPDATE 9/25/2017: Imami Shi'ism is early. So, we can't rule out an early second century core.


posted by Zimri on 15:25 | link | 0 comments

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