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Tuhaf al-'uqul (book)

Tuhaf al-'uqul
Author Ibn Shu'ba al-Harrani
Original title تُحَفُ العُقول في ما جاءَ مِنَ الحِکَمِ وَ المَواعِظَ مِن آلِ الرَّسول
Language Arabic
Series 1 vol.
Subject Hadith
Published 1394/1974, Beirut
Publisher Mu'assisa al-A'lami li l-Matbu'at
Pages 390
English translation
En. title 'Tuhaf Ul-Uqoul: The Masterpieces of the Mind'
En. publisher Yasin Publications

Tuḥaf al-ʿuqūl fī mā jāʾa min al-ḥikam wa l-mawāʿiẓ min ʾal al-rasūl (Arabic: تُحَفُ العُقول في ما جاءَ مِنَ الحِکَمِ وَ المَواعِظَ مِن آلِ الرَّسول) is a hadith book written by Ibn Shu'ba al-Harrani, the hadith scholar of 4th/10th century. The author aimed to collect hadiths transmitted from Ahl al-Bayt (a) and divine prophets concerning sermons, preaches, aphorisms, and wisdoms.

The author has devoted a separate chapter to the sayings of the Prophet (s) and those of Shi'a Imams (a). In the last chapters of the books, sermons of past prophets are cited.

In the book, longer hadiths are cited at first, and shorter hadiths are cited at the end of each section. For the sake of brevity, the author refrained from mentioning the chains of the transmitters of hadiths.


Purpose of Writing

Ibn Shu'ba al-Harrani explains that his purpose of writing the book was to provide access to the teachings of the Prophet (s) and Imams (a) on morality, spirituality, and wisdom, which had not received due attention by the past Shi'a scholars.[1]


The book includes hadiths concerning the usul al-din and furu' al-din, religious traditions and manners, preaches by the Imams (a) and their words of wisdom.

The book begins with the hadiths of the Prophet (s) and continues with those of Imams (a) in an orderly fashion. Some of the most important topics covered in this book are:

At the end of each section, Ibn Shu'ba mentions some short sayings attributed to the respective Infallible (a).

Also, at the end of the book, he has added the following sections:


Tuhaf al-'uqul, English translation by Yasin Publications

Tuhaf al-'uqul has been revered by Shi'a scholars[2] and frequently referred to in hadith and jurisprudence references.[3]

However, the problem of its hadiths lacking chains of transmitters has caused some criticisms. This is what Ibn Shu'ba himself has also addresses in his introduction to the book and mentions that he has "heard" the chains of the transmitters of most of the hadiths but avoided mentioning them for the purpose of concision and because the content of the hadiths he quotes are self-evident truths that need no verification.

While acknowledging the eminence and great God-wariness of al-Harrani, Ayatollah Khoei has considered his book as not reliable in jurisprudential discussion because of the aforementioned problem.[4]

It must be also mentioned that Tuhaf al-'uqul has been much respected by the Nusayrids many of whom know it by heart.[5]

Translation into English

The book has been translated into English and published under the title of Tuhaf Ul-Uqoul: The Masterpieces of the Mind.


  1. Ibn. Sha'ba. Tuhaf al-'uqul, p. 2-3.
  2. see: Shushtari, Majalis al-mu'minin, vol. 1, p 383.
  3. Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol. 1, p. 29; Al-Bahrani, al-Hada'iq al-nadira, vol. 25, p. 180; Nuri, Mustadrak al-wasa'il, vol. 1, p. 187.
  4. Tawhidi, Misbah al-fiqaha, vol.1, p 5 &9; Mu'allim, Usul 'Ilm al-Rijal, pp. 274-277.
  5. Ziya'i, Fihris masadir, vol. 1, p. 81.


  • The material for this article is mainly taken from تحف العقول in Farsi Wikishia.
  • Bahrani, Yusuf b. Ahmad al-. al-Hada'iq al-nadira fi ahkam al-tahira. Qom, 1406/1985 – 1410/1989.
  • Harrani, Ibn Shu'ba al-.Tuhaf al-'Uqul 'an al al-Rasul (s). Qom:'Ali Akbar Ghaffari Publication, 1404/1983.
  • Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir al- Bihar al-anwar.
  • Mu'allim, Muhammad 'Ali. Usul 'Ilm al-Rijal bayn al-nazariyyat wa al-tatbiq. Qom: Ayatollah Dawari's class scripts, 1416/1995.
  • Nuri, Husayn b. Muhammad Taqi. Mustadrak al-wasa'il (ending part). Qom: 1415/1994 – 1420/1999.
  • Shushtari, Nurullah b. sharif al-din. Majalis al-mu'minin. Tehran, 1396/1976.
  • Tawhidi, Muhammad 'Ali. Misbah al-fiqaha. Ayatollah Khoei's class scripts. Qom: 1419/1998.
  • Ziya'i, 'Ali Akbar. Fihris masadir al-firaq al-Islamiyya. Beirut: 1412/1992.

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