Kitāb al-Ghayba

The Book of Occultation

By: Abū ʿAbd Allah Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm al-Nuʿmānī

Translator: Abdullah al-Shahin

Kitāb al-Ghayba, written by al-Shaykh Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm al-Nuʿmānī is a vital work regarding the occultation of the 12th Imam (a). This is for a variety of reasons, the first of which is considering the early authorship of this work— which seems to have been penned very shortly after the end of the minor occultation. Additionally, al-Nuʿmānī had the privilege of acquiring Ḥadīth from the great scholar al-Shaykh al-Kulaynī. The work itself consists of approximately 478 narrations which are spread across twenty-six chapters. The narrations themselves span a variety of topics, from discussions on the Imamate, the hardships and trials of the Shīʿa, signs of the Imam’s reappearance, and matters that speak of the nature of the governance of the Imam post-occultation. The traditions are chaptered in an excellent manner, making it easy for the reader to navigate— yet unlike other works written in this genre, the author rarely comments on the traditions within and allow them to speak for themselves.