Authenticity of Traditions Concerning the Twelve Imams in al-Kāfī

Document Type : Original Article



There are 20 hadiths narrated by Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Kulayni
(329 AH/ 941 CE) which indicate to the arrival of twelve Imams as
the successors of the Holy Prophet, recorded in a chapter of al-Kāfī
entitled as “What Have Been Narrated about Twelve Imams and
Their Names”. The authenticity of these traditions, however, has
been questioned by some contemporary writers. This study, first,
examine the authenticity of authorship of the whole chapter, by
comparing these 20 hadiths with the parallel narration in Kitab al-Ghayba by al-Nuʿmānī and then, tries to demonstrate that despite
the alleged weakness of some narrators in the chain of these hadiths,
most of these hadiths have been recorded before the beginning of
Occultation period. As a result, even if the weakness of transmitters
is accepted, the content of these narrations cannot be easily rejected
or be taken as falsified or forged.