Kitāb al-Ghayba

The Book of Occultation

By: Shaykh Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-Ṭūsī

Translator: Sayyid Athar Husain S. H. Rizvi

Kitāb al-Ghayba, authored by the renowned Islamic scholar al-Shaykh al-Ṭūsī, is an indispensable resource on the concept of occultation in Shīʿa Islam, with a specific focus on Imam al-Mahdi (a). This narrative text revolves around Mahdawiyya, offering an in-depth exploration of the 12th Imam's occultation. The work was written around thirteen years before al-Ṭūsī’s death, it incorporates powerful dialectical arguments and Ḥadīths vindicating the doctrine of the occultation of the son of al-Ḥasan al-ʿAskārī (as), in addition to responding to other proto-Shīʿī sects such as the Wāqifa and detailing the prophesied signs of his advent. The book is meticulously structured into eight chapters. The book refutes claims about Imam al-Mahdī’s death and advent times and sheds light on his characteristics, attributes, and conduct. Kitāb al-Ghayba's historical and theological importance is well-recognized due to its thorough examination of Imam al-Mahdi's occultation. al-Shaykh al-Ṭūsī’s access to first-hand accounts and his profound understanding of Ḥadīths significantly enhance the book's credibility. Its comprehensive treatment of Mahdism and occultation makes it a reference point for anyone seeking to write on these subjects. It also critically evaluates the claims of individuals asserting to be deputies of Imam al-Mahdi, enhancing its relevance in the discourse around the topic.

Chapter 1

1 Ḥadīth

Chapter 2

5 Aḥadīth
Discussion on occultation of Imam Mahdi(a.s)

Chapter 3

39 Aḥadīth
First Principle: Necessity of Imamate

Chapter 4

1 Ḥadīth
Second Principle: Infallibility of Imam

Chapter 5

1 Ḥadīth
Third Principle: Truth will never leave the Islamic Ummah

Chapter 6

11 Aḥadīth
Invalidity of Kaisaniyya creed

Chapter 7

1 Ḥadīth
Refutation of Nawusiyya belief

Chapter 8

1 Ḥadīth
Refutation of Waqifiya belief

Chapter 9

6 Aḥadīth
Traditional reports about the martyrdom of Imam Kadhim

Chapter 10

17 Aḥadīth
Clear declaration of Imam Kadhim about the Imamate of Imam Ridha

Chapter 11

41 Aḥadīth
Evidence of the Imamate of Imam Musa Kadhim (a.s) and refutation of Waqifiya

Chapter 12

5 Aḥadīth
Factors of appearance of Waqifi sect

Chapter 13

7 Aḥadīth
Traditional reports in condemnation of Waqifites

Chapter 14

9 Aḥadīth
Some miracles of Imam Ali Ibn Musa Ridha

Chapter 15

5 Aḥadīth
Objections of the opponents with regard to the birth of Imam Mahdi (a.s)

Chapter 16

7 Aḥadīth
Refutation of all sects, which believed in Imamate of someone other than Master of the Age (a.s)

Chapter 17

22 Aḥadīth
Philosophy and wisdom of Occultation

Chapter 18

3 Aḥadīth
What is the difference between a hidden Imam and an Imam who does not exist or one that exists in the heavens?

Chapter 19

6 Aḥadīth
Application of Divine Penalties during the Occultation of Imam Mahdi (a.s)

Chapter 20

6 Aḥadīth
Discerning truth during occultation of the Imam

Chapter 21

1 Ḥadīth
Statement of Sayyid Murtadha (r.a)

Chapter 22

19 Aḥadīth
Reason of occultation of the Imam from his followers

Chapter 23

21 Aḥadīth
Concealed Birth of the Imam of the Time (a.s) was not an extraordinary event

Chapter 24

29 Aḥadīth
Stories of people with long lifespans from Arabs and non-Arabs are famous and chronicled in books and history.

Chapter 25

12 Aḥadīth
Reports of Ahle Sunnat that Imams are twelve in number

Chapter 26

16 Aḥadīth
Shia traditional reports on the topic that Imams are twelve in number

Chapter 27

17 Aḥadīth
Traditions of the Holy Imams on the occultation of Imam Mahdi

Chapter 28

15 Aḥadīth
Traditional reports that confirm the uprising of Imam Mahdi

Chapter 29

6 Aḥadīth
Mahdi is from the progeny of Ali and Fatima (a.s)

Chapter 30

12 Aḥadīth
Mahdi is from the progeny of Imam Husain (a.s)

Chapter 31

4 Aḥadīth
Refutation of Kaisaniya belief and account of the demise of Muhammad bin Hanfiyyah

Chapter 32

5 Aḥadīth
Refutation of those who stopped at the Imamate of Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s) and said that he is the Promised Mahdi

Chapter 33

48 Aḥadīth
Imamate of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s)

Chapter 34

34 Aḥadīth
Evidence of the Birth of the Master of the Age

Chapter 35

19 Aḥadīth
Reports of those who saw the Imam of the Time (a.s)

Chapter 36

7 Aḥadīth
Miracles of the Master of the time during his Occultation

Chapter 37

31 Aḥadīth
Epistles issued from Imam Mahdi (a.s)

Chapter 38

11 Aḥadīth
Causes of delay in reappearance of the Master of the Affair

Chapter 39

13 Aḥadīth
Test of Shia during the period of occultation of the Imam

Chapter 40

3 Aḥadīth
Reports of the Emissaries of Imam (a.s) during the period of occultation

Chapter 41

28 Aḥadīth
Approved Emissaries

Chapter 42

7 Aḥadīth
Emissaries condemned by the Imam

Chapter 43

41 Aḥadīth
Special Emissaries of the Imam during the Occultation

Chapter 44

3 Aḥadīth
Questions of Muhammad bin Abdullah bin Ja’far Himyari

Chapter 45

17 Aḥadīth
Excellence of Husain bin Rauh continued

Chapter 46

8 Aḥadīth
Abul Hasan Ali bin Muhammad Saymoori

Chapter 47

29 Aḥadīth
False claimants of deputyship of Imam who are also clearly condemned by the Imams

Chapter 48

8 Aḥadīth
Appointees of the four special deputies of the Imam

Chapter 49

16 Aḥadīth
Long lifespan of the Imam (a.s)

Chapter 50

17 Aḥadīth
Time of reappearance of the Imam (a.s)

Chapter 51

60 Aḥadīth
Signs preceding the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.s)

Chapter 52

23 Aḥadīth
Some Qualities, practices and manners of the Master of the Age (a.s)