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Last Updated: 2011/12/03
Summary of question
What are the names of Shia's most important Hadith collections (sources)?
question
: Does the Shia religion have authoritative hadith collections as do the Sunnis? The Sunnis have six major hadith collections like Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, etc. If Shia has similar hadith collections, please name them.
Concise answer

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 2/5) prepared by Islamic Computer Sciences (Noor) which comprises most of Shi'ah hadith books.

It should be noted that although these books are very valuable and there are a great many authentic traditions in them, 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 regard, please see:

1. Distinguishing Authentic Ahadith from Fake Ones, question 1937 (site: 2185)

2. The Number of Authentic Traditions in Al-Kafi, question 1931 (site: 4306),

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