(Lecture 2 Part I) :
• Introducing the book
The only reason why this section was called Hadi ‘Ashar is the author had summarized Misbah al-Mutahajjid, which was compiled by Sheikh Abu Ja’far Tusi. This book is about worships and supplications. Allama Hilli organized it in 10 sections, and called that summarized version Minhaj al-Salah fi Mukhtasar al-Misbah. Since this book is about worships and supplications, it was in need of knowing God who is to be worshipped, so he added another chapter to the book and called it al-Baab al-Hadi ‘Ashar.
• To know Usul Din is wajib
Wujub literally means to ‘come down’, but technically means ‘what you necessarily have to do’. Wajib is one of the two types:
1. What is compulsory to all and would not be taken away from some if others do it.
2. What is not necessary for all people to do if some people take care of it.
Ma’rifah which means knowing Usul al-Din is from the first type. This is compulsory for all Mukallafin. Usul is a plural for asl, which means route and foundation, something on which you build something else. Din literally means ‘reward’ in a general sense, not always positive, something that you receive as the outcome of your action. It technically means ‘path’ or ‘religion’. This discipline is called Usul al-Din because all other religious sciences are based on it. Because all these sciences depend on truthfulness of the Prophet (as), and the truthfulness of the messenger depends on the existence of God.
This is the science in which unity of God, His attributes, and prophethood of the prophets are discussed.
(Lecture 2 Part II):
• Consensus on the Necessity of Achieving Ma’rifah
All the elites and scholars of Islamic nation agreed that it is compulsory for all Mukallafin to know God’s attributes, both affirmative and negational, to know those things that are possible and impossible to be issued by God, resurrection, prophethood, and Imamate based on arguments, not taqlid. And their consensus is hujjah. In Sunnism,
it is said that Prophet Muhammad (as) said:
«لاتجتمع امتی علی خطاء»
But this hadith, even if it is authentic (because there is no documentation for this hadith), cannot solve the problem, because what all the Ummah agrees upon are mainly badihiyyat or what is self-evident, like Salat is wajib. There are few things that the whole Ummah reaches consensus upon. That’s why some people said, “it means that consensus of the people of Madina or e.g. consensus of Ulamaa of certain denomination is important.” But this is not the hadith of the prophet (as).
Shia believe that consensus by itself cannot be hujjah. It is possible that all people might make a mistake. However, if through this consensus, we can discover the view of Ma’sum because Ma’sum is among those who have reached consensus, then that consensus is hujjah.
• Arguments for obligation of Ma’rifah
The arguments for obligation of Ma’rifah as a basis and support for the consensus are both intellectual and scripture-based one.
o Intellectual Argument
The intellectual argument has two reasons:
1. The first one is to protect ourselves against fear which is caused by disagreement among people.
2. The necessity of being thankful to the one who bestows bounties and blessings upon you, because rational people say the one who does not show gratitude deserves to be blamed.
Thankfulness cannot be completed unless with knowledge, because there should be a match between the gratitude and the condition of the one who is thanked.