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Hawza Subjects - Aqaid

Aqaid (Theology)

Aqaid (theology) is also called 'Ilm al-Kalam or Usul al-Din. The latter title is rarely used in Hawzas, perhaps to avoid confusing it with Usul al-Fiqh (which is at times called 'Ilm al-Usul). Shi'ah theology usually discusses issues around five principles: Tawhid (Divine Unity), Adalah (Divine Justice), Nubuwwah (Prophethood), Imamah (Imamate) and Ma'ad (Day of Judgement, also called al-Qiyamah or the Resurrection).

This subject is as important as jurisprudence for the hawza student. It is also a crucial subject for one who is interested in comparative religious studies for it goes beyond discussing the five principles in themselves and discusses issues related to them. For example: anthropomorphism (as related to Tawhid), Predestination and Freewill (as related to Adalah), Infallibility (as related to Nubuwwah and Imamah), and Intercession (as related to Qiyamah). Aqaid also discusses religion in general and topics such as the Need for Religion, Pluralism, etc.

Popular theological works studied at Hawzas include: Tajrid al-'Itiqad of Khwaja Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (and its commentary (sharh) by Allama al-Hilli called Kashf al-Murad fi Tajrid al-'Itiqad), al-Bab Hadi Ashar of Allama Hilli, Adle Ilahi of Shahid Mutahhari, and the 4 volume Ilahiyaat of Ayatullah Ja'far al-Subhani. An early English translation of the al-Bab Hadi Ashar (Hilli) exists and can usually be found at university libraries that have an Islamic collection.

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