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Title: Al-Ṣaffâr al-Qummî (m. 290/902-3) et son Kitâb baṣâ'ir al-darajât
Author(s): AMIR-MOEZZI, Mohammad Ali
Journal: Journal Asiatique
Volume: 280    Issue: 3-4   Date: 1992   
Pages: 221-250
DOI: 10.2143/JA.280.3.2006136

Abstract :
Al-Ṣaffâr al-Qummî is the first important compiler of the twelver shi'ism dogmatic tradition. Nevertheless he remains unrecognized among the imâmite thinkers as well as the western scholars. The reason of the ambiguous attitude of the imâmite intelligentsia concerning him as well as concerning his principal work, the Kitâb baṣâ'ir al-darajât, attitude which hesitates between respect and distrust even ostracism, is to be looked for in the nature of the traditions which make up this book. Anthroposphic cosmogony, secret knowledges, miraculous powers are met with along magic initiation and all kind of occultist data. In fact, the book can be considered as the reflection of the oldest and the most faithful work of the original «non rational esoteric» tradition and this could explain the discomfort of the «rational theologico-juridic» tradition which came later than the work of the man who was considered as having been a disciple of the 11th imâm. Direct informations being too thin and lacunary, I have tried to learn more about the author and his work from the indirect data, that is, in this case, some «anomalies» found in the tet (the presence of the author's name in some isnâd-s, the absence of the 10th and 11th imâm's names as well as the names of the two first nâ'ib of the hidden imâm in the isnâd-s and especially the significant data concerning the number of the imâms and the occultation of the last of them). The translation of the complete table of contents of the book is presented at the end of this article.

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