Imam Muhammad al-Baqir was one of the most erudite Muslims of his age, and played a significant role in the history of early Islam. At once a versatile leader and scholar in the eighth-century Muslim world, he was also an authority on the exegesis of the Qur'an, the traditions of the Prophet, and all matters relating to the rites, rituals and practice of Islam. Using hitherto largely ignored Shi'i sources, both published and unpublished, Arzina Lalani explores al-Baqir's pivotal contributions to Islamic thought in its early formative period, contributions that were powerfully to affect developments in Shi'a law, theology and religious practice. Dr. Lalani's work presents the first systematic account of the life, career and teachings of this brilliant eighth-century luminary.
Arzina Lalani is an expert in early Shi'I studies and is currently Visiting Research Fellow at The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London. She has previously taught Hadith Literature at Cambridge University. Dr. Lalani received her PhD from the University of Edinburgh.
Part 1 The idea of the Imamate before al-Baqir: early disputes about the leadership of the community; Al-Husayn and Karbala; the aftermath of Karbala; the Kaysaniyya. Part 2 Aspects of al-Baqir's life and career; al-Baqir's "Laqab" and succession; al-Baqir's rivals; al-Baqir and Zayd; al-Baqir and the Ghulat; the controversy over the time of al-Baqir's death. Part 3 Al-Baqir's views on the Imamate: the Qur'anic basis of the Imamate; the Hadith basis of the Imamate; the theology of the Imamate. Part 4 Al-Baqir's views on some key theological issues: "iman" (faith); "taqiyya"; "qada'wa qadar"; "tawhid". Part 5 Al-Baqir in traditionist circles: non-Shi'i circles; transmitters of al-Baqir; the Shi'i circle; Shi'i associates of al-Baqir. Part 6 Al-Baqir's contribution to Shi'i jurisprudence: some legal problems common to the various Shi'i groups; "mash 'ala al-khuffayn"; "nabidh"; "al-Jahr bi Bismillah"; the "adhan" or the call to the ritual prayer; "qunut"; "salat al-Janaza"; epilogue.