The Discourse on Imamate in Kitab al-Tafsir of Hasan b. Mahboub

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD of Quran and Hadith Science, University of Tehran, Farabi Campus

2 Associate Professor, University of Tehran, Farabi Campus



Historical discourse studies are amongst modern approaches to studying Shiite tafsir-oriented hadiths. This approach is concerned with studying the currents of thought prevalent in the time of formation of Shiite tafsir books and discovering their opponent voices, as mirrored in the hadiths of the same time period. Based on this approach, Kitab al-Tafsir of Hasan b. Mahboub (149-224 AH/ 766-838) has been analyzed in this work. He was a companion of the three Imams: Musa al-Kazim, Ali al-Rida, and Muhammad al-Jawad. He is, therefore, regarded as a noteworthy Shiite scholar of his time. Hadith-oriented research show that his book was regarded as a major Shiite source in the second half of the second/ eighth century and the first half of the third/ ninth century. Within this time-span, his tafsir-oriented criteria comprised the explicit nomination of Imam Ali, identification of the Infallible Imams, the merits of Imam Ali, diminish of the caliphs, the supremacy and Allah-granted knowledge of the Infallible Imams. As such, this book was developed in a direct doctrinal confrontation against the four Sunni rival schools.