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Al-Jamia (meaning “the encyclopedia” or “the comprehensive”) is a sacred and secret Shia text, the words of which were dictated by Muhammad to Ali, who then wrote down these words. Alternate spellings for al-Jamia include al-Jami’a, al-Jámi'a, al-Jami'ah, al-Jamea, al-Jami‘, al-Jami, or al-Jama, while alternate names for the text include Kitab al-Imam Ali (i.e. the Book of Imam Ali) and al-Sahifa (i.e. the Page). Al-Jamia was taught by Muhammad to Ali, and the later Imams were accustomed to refer at times to al-Jamia, that Ali left in their keeping. Belief in the existence of this text with the Imams was firm.
Description of al-Jamia
Al-Jamia is a scroll made from rams skin which measures 70 cubits long (as measured by the arm of Muhammad) and the width of a sheepskin, the words of which Muhammad dictated to Ali, who then wrote them down in his own handwriting on the scroll.
The contents of al-Jamia include:
- In it is everything necessary for mankind until the end of time and all the sciences including even the blood-wit for wounding, and whether a full flogging or half a flogging is due and even the different compensation prices for a scratch, a whip and half a whip, were written.
- All the happenings of the world until the end of the world are included according to the science of Huruf (letters of the alphabet) and the 12 Imams know this science and rule with it.
Evidence of al-Jamia’s existence
The following are hadith evidences of the existence of al-Jamia:
- He Ja'far al-Sadiq ('a) used to say: "Our knowledge is of what will be (ghabir), of what is past (mazbur), of what is marked in hearts (nakt fi al-qulub) and of what is tapped into ears (naqr fi al-asma). We have the red case (jafr), the white case and the scroll of Fatima, peace be on her, and we have (the document called) al-jami'a in which is everything the people need." He was asked to explain these words and he said: … (The document called) al-jami'a is a scroll 70 yards long which the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, dictated from his own mouth and Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be on him, wrote in his own handwriting. By God, in it is everything which people need until the end of time, including even the blood-wit for wounding, and whether a (full) flogging or half a flogging (is due).
- It is narrated from him from Muhammad from Yunus from Aban from abu Shaybah who has said the following: “I heard (Imam) abu ‘Abdallah saying, ‘ibn Shabrama’s knowledge has been lost (after his death). The al-Jami’ah, which belongs to us is secure, it is a large book that was dictated by the holy prophet to Imam Ali , who wrote it with his own hands. There is nothing, which has been left out from al-Jami’ah. In it, is the knowledge of all lawful and unlawful matters. The people of analogy (fatawa issuers) sought knowledge through analogy and as a consequence they kept going away from the divine knowledge. The religion of Allah does not consist of that which could be learnt through analogy.”
- Imam al-Sadiq: The knowledge of ibn Shubruma comparing Al-Jamia, which is dictated by the Messenger of Allah and written down by Ali, is nought. Al-Jamia is a complete text by itself and it contains the knowledge of the lawful and the unlawful.
- Imam Ja'fer al-Sadiq is quoted as saying, "We have the saheefa; it is dictated by the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) and hand written by Ali; nothing permissible or prohibitive except that it is recorded in it, and nothing people need, nor any issue, except that it contains it, even the penalty for slightly scratching one's cheek."
- A number of our people has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from ‘Abdallah ibn al-Hajjal from Ahmad ibn ‘Umar al-Halabi from abu Basir who has said the following: "I went to abu ‘Abdallah and said … The narrators has said that the Imam then said, "O abu Muhammad, with us there is al-Jami‘a. What do they know what al-Jami‘ is?" I then asked, "May Allah take my soul in service for your cause, what is al-Jami‘a? The Imam said, it is a parchment seventy yards by the yards of the Messenger of Allah long that contains his dictations that is in graved in to with the right hand writing of Ali. It contains all the lawful and unlawful and all matters that people need, even the law of compensation for a scratch caused to a person. He then stretched his hand to me and asked, ‘May I, O abu Muhammad?’ I then replied, "May Allah take my soul in service for your cause, I am all at your disposal." He pinched me with his hand and said, "Even there is the law of compensation for this." He seemed angry. The narrator has said, "I then said, "This, I swear by Allah is knowledge." The Imams said, "It certainly is knowledge but not that one."
- Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from ibn Mahbub from ibn Ri’ab from abu ‘Ubaydah who has said that the people from our group asked abu ‘Abdallah about Jafr and the Imam said the following. "It is the skin of a bull which is full of knowledge." Then they asked the Imam (a.s.) about al-Jami‘a. The Imam replied, "It is a parchment that is seventy yards long with a width of hide like that of the leg of a huge camel. It contains all that people may need. There is no case for there is a rule in it. In it there is the law to settle the compensation for a scratch caused to a person."…
- A number of our people has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from Salih ibn Sa‘id from Ahmad ibn abu Bishr from Bakr ibn Karib al-Sayrafi who has said that he heard abu ‘Abdallah say the following. " With us there are such things that because of which we do not need people [but] instead people need us. With us there is a book that the Messenger of Allah had dictated and Ali had written it down. It is a book. In it there are all laws of lawful and unlawful matters. You come to us with an issue and we know when you follow the guidance and when you disregard it."
- Maxims of the Holy Prophet and the Imams (A.S.): Source: Al-Mawaaizh, Shaykh Saduq. imamreza.net. Retrieved on 16 January 2012.
- The Origins of the Knowledge of Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.): Al-Jamia: Source: Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.) in the Holy Qur'an and Hadith, by Ayatullah Muhammadi Rayshahri. imamreza.net. Retrieved on 16 January 2012.
- Ali the magnificent: Ali’s literary achievements[dead link]
- ziyaraat.net: Ali the Magnificent, by Yousuf N. Lalljee, pg.69. (PDF) . Retrieved on 16 January 2012.
- The virtues of Imam Ali (a.s.): eloquence and rhetoric: his literary achievements. imamalinet.net. Retrieved on 16 January 2012.
- Recognition of the Holy Imams (A.S.) in the Light of Traditions: Imam Ali Ibn Musa Al-Riza (a.s), by Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Reza Mudarrisi Yazdi. imamreza.net. Retrieved on 16 January 2012.
- Definition: al-Jami’a. Babylon.com. Retrieved on 16 January 2012.
- 'Aalim Network QR: al-Jami'a, al-Jafr, Mushaf of Fatima (A) and Zulfiqar, by Liyakat Takim. al-islam.org (1997-04-06). Retrieved on 16 January 2012.
- Other Collections, by Dr. Muhsin M R Alidina. al-huda.al-khoei.org. Retrieved on 16 January 2012.
- Imam Jafar ibn Muhammad as Sadiq ('a), by Sheikh al Mufid, Contributed by Ali Abbas. Victorynewsmagazine.com (2008-08-09). Retrieved on 16 January 2012.
- hubeali.com: asool-e-deen: chapter 19: Innovations, personal opinions and analogies. (PDF) . Retrieved on 16 January 2012.
- Kitab al-Kafi, Vol.1, H 169, 168, Ch.19, h 14
- The Origins of the Knowledge of Ahl al-Bayt: Al-Jamia: Source: Ahl al-Bayt in the Holy Qur'an and Hadith, by Ayatullah Muhammadi Rayshahri. imamreza.net. Retrieved on 16 January 2012.
- Basair al Darajat, by Muhammad bin Hassan al-Saffar, pg.143
- Kitab al-Kafi, H 635, Chapter 40: Statements about al-Jafr, al-Jami‘ and the Book of Fatima , h 1
- Kitab al-Kafi, H 639, Chapter 40: Statements about al-Jafr, al-Jami‘ and the Book of Fatima. h 5
- Kitab al-Kafi, H 640, Chapter 40: Statements about al-Jafr, al-Jami‘ and the Book of Fatima h 6