Self-acquisition of knowledge for Imams, a prominent premise to prove the validity of hadiths from Imams

Document Type : Original Article



It was not common to ask for evidence from companions and their affiliates to re-narrate a hadith. However, due to differences found among the quotes ascribed to prophet, the trend changed in the second century. Asking for the evidence of a Hadith became a source of validating it. This approach was then begging to take roots among Hadith Scholars. However, Infallible Imams did not depend on Hadith teachers to re-narrate a Hadith. Infallible Imams attempted to narrate Hadiths through their ancestors. In cases that infallible Imams did not provide evidence for a Hadith, the hadith was extracted from books and accounts that reached Imams through their parents. This method of re-narrating a Hadith was not familiar for the scholars of Hadith science at the time. As such, Infallible Imams were called “sohofi” which can be roughly translated as a person who self-acquires knowledge through books and resources without a teacher. The current study explores this term and seeks to point out that this state, contrary to the view expressed by those coining it, strengthens the stance of Ahl- ul-Beit in re-narrating hadiths and increases the validity of their method, making it a unique method.