Ibrahim b. Ali al-Kaf'ami

Who is Kaf’ami? 

Taqi al-Din Ibrahim b. Ali al-Amili al-Kafʿami (b. 840/1436 - d. 905/1499) was between Shi'a scholars of the 9th/15th century. He lived in Jabal 'Amil, Lebanon and his lineage reached Harith al-Hamdani. Due to his expertise in many sciences of his age, al-Kaf'ami had miscellaneous and amazing works, and biographers have spoken a lot about him. Al-Misbah and al-Balad al-Amin are one of his best works and writings in ziyara and supplication. 

Birth and Lineage:  

Taqi al-Din, Ibrahim b. ALi al-'Amili al-Kaf'ami was born in Kfar 'Ayma city of Jabal 'Amil in 840/1436. Aqa Buzurg Tihrani has mentioned the date of his birth in 828/1425.
sHis lineage reached Harith Hamdani, one of the nearest companion of Imam Ali (as). At the end of his Misbah, al-Kaf'ami have introduced himself a descendant of Harith. His birthplace, Kfar 'Ayma city is near Jebchit and today, only some ruins are left of this abandoned village.  

Al-Kaf'ami Family :

There are some great famous scholars in al-Kaf'ami family. His first teacher was his father, Shaykh Ali al-Kaf'ami who gave him permission to narrat hadiths and is considered between his sources of hadiths. Shaykh Ali al-Kaf'ami was on of the scholars and mystics of Jabal 'Amil who sacrificed his life and children to Islam and Shia. His children were:
-al-Shaykh Taqi al-Din Ibrahim al-Kaf'ami, author of al-Misbah, etc.
-al-Shaykh Shams al-Din Muhammad al-Jaba'i al-'Amili (d. 886/1481) who was also an Islamic scholar and the great grandfather of al-Shaykh al-Baha'i and thus both al-Shaykh al-Baha'i and al-Kaf'ami were descendants of Harith.
-al-Shaykh Jamal al-Din Ahmad was also a Shia author and wrote Zubdat al-bayan fi 'amal shahr Ramadan. it appears that, Shaykh Jamal al-Din passed away before Ibrahim al-Kaf'ami who has quoted from in his book. 

Teachers and Students:  

Al-Kaf'ami had many teachers which have been listed in references of rijal and biography. Three of his most famous teachers were:
-Ali b. Hasan al-Kaf'ami, his father who gave him permission to narrate hadiths.
-Sayyid husayn b. Musa'id al-Husayni , author of Tuhfat al-abrar fi manaqib al-a'immat al-abrar.
-Sayyid Ali b. 'Abd al-Husayn al-Musawi al-Husayni, author of Raf' al-malamat 'an Ali (a) fi tark al-Imama.
In the books of rijal and biography, there is no mention of his students. 


in his 65 years of his life, al-Shaykh Ibrahim al-Kaf'ami wrote many scholarly books and treatises in different fields such as mysticism, spiritual journey, literature, poetry, history, supplication and ziyara. When mentioning the works of al-Kaf'ami in A'yan al-Shi'a, Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin has listed the names of 49 books, the volume of some of which is more than 1000 pages.
-Junnat al-aman al-waqiya wa jannat al-iman al-baqiya or Misbah of al-Kaf'ami. The cause of naming this book as Misbah is that this book is written in the same style as al-Shaykh al-Tusi's Misbah al-mutahajjid, and thus is named as Misbah, but to be distinguished from al-Shaykh al-Tusi's Misbah, it has been named Misbah of al-Kaf'ami.
-Al-Junnat al-Waqiya is a summary of Misbah.
-Al-Balad al-amin wa l-dar' al-hasin which is among the biggest books of al-Kaf'ami and much more voluminous than Misbah, even though it is similar to it in content.
-Nihayat al-arab fi amthal al-'Arab in two thick volumes which, according to great scholars, is the best book in the field.
Misbaḥ, al-musamma bi-Jannat al-aman al-waqiyah wa-jannat al-iman al-baqiyah.
-Majmu‘ al-ghara’ib wa-mawdu‘ al-ragha’ib
-Muhasabat al-nafs, wa-yalih kashf al-ribah ‘an ahkam al-ghaybah al-Shahid al-awwal
-Muhasabat al-nafs al-lawwamah wa-tanbih al-ruḥ al-nawwamah : Arabic written by al-Kaf'ami. The book concerns self-examination or self-interrogation (muhasabat al-nafs). The author tries to encourage readers to purify their souls by appealing to Qur'anic verses, hadiths, wisdoms, literary pieces, proverbs, and poems.
- Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya with the handwriting of al-Kaf'ami is one of the oldest manuscripts of Sahifa which was taken out of Iran and lost many years ago; but was finally recognized in the Indian peninsula and was moved to Qom in Iran and was then published. In addition to the 54 supplications of Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya, this manuscript has four more supplications.  

Poems and Literary Speeches : 

Al-Kaf'ami was also knowledgeable in literature, poetry and speech-making. Talmasani, the Sunni scholar praised al-Kaf'ami for his Qur'anic speech. One of al-Kaf'ami's famous literary works is a poem about the Day of Ghadir, names of that day, praising merits and values of Imam Ali (a) which is known as ode of Ra'iyya.  


Kaf'ami's Grave


His Demise: 

Al-Shaykh Ibrahim al-Kaf'ami lived in Karbala and had willed to be buried there, but toward the end of his life, he had a journey to his birth town and passed away at the age of 65 in Kafar 'Ima in 905/1499-1500.  

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