kashf al-rība fī aḥkām al-ghība is an ethical and jurisprudential book in Arabic authored by Zayn al-Din b. ʾAli al-Jubaʾi al-Amili, known as al-Shahid al-Thani (the Second Martyr) (d. 966 AH/ 1559). The book concerns al-ghiba (backbiting)—its definition, kinds, and its laws in Islam, as well as hadiths and ethical issues in this regard. The work has always been a center of attentions in subsequent works—many great scholars of fiqh have appealed to it in their discussions, writing commentaries and notes on it, as well as translations and summaries. Al-Shahid al-Thani later wrote another book called Mustathniyat al-ghiba (exceptions of ghiba—cases where backbiting is legitimate) which is, according to Aqa Buzurg Tehrani in his Al-dhariʾa, to make up for some issues that were absent in Kashf al-riba.
==About the Author==
Zayn al-Din b. Nur al-Din ʾAli b. Ahmad al-Āmili al-Jubaʾi known as al-Shahid al-Thani was a progeny of Allama Ḥillī and a prominent Shiite scholar of fiqh in the 10th century AH. He has written many books and essays the best-known of which is Al-rawḍa al-bahiyya fī sharḥ al-lumʾa al-dimashqiyya—a book concerning Shiite jurisprudence. He was assassinated in 966 AH (1559) by some religious fundamentalists and was thus called the Second Martyr (al-Shahid al-Thani).
==The Motivation for Writing the Book==
Al-Shahid al-Thani writes about his motivation for writing the book as follows:
I observed many scholars who are careful with respect to their prayers and fasting and other worships, and who avoid illegitimate acts such as adultery, drinking wine and the like, while they spend their times in meetings where they backbite their religious brothers or other Muslims, without considering it as a sin and without fearing the punishment of the Dooms Day, and the reason why they do this, though they avoid other sins, is either that they overlook it as a sin followed by divine punishments or they challenge the significance of the verses and hadiths for the hurma (prohibition) of backbiting. Therefore, I saw it necessary to write a book in which I collect some verses and hadiths regarding ghiba (backbiting), and I have called it Kashf al-rība ʾan aḥkām al-ghiba. I added some issues about gossiping and jealousy to the book. It concludes with hadiths that encourage fraternity, friendship and kindness.
==The Structure and the Contents of the Book==
The book discusses the definition of al-ghiba (backbiting), kinds of backbiting and Islamic laws concerning them, hadiths and ethical issues regarding backbiting, and finally 12 hadiths encouraging the love and friendship between believers—the 10th hadith being a letter from Imam al-Sadiq (a) known as Al-risāla al-ahwāziyya.
The book employs the methodology of discursive jurisprudence; it appeals to several hadiths and draws the Islamic laws from them. However, the book does not cite the views of other scholars of fiqh.
===Chapters of the Book===
Definition of ghiba (backbiting) both literally and terminologically
The hurmat (prohibition) of backbiting in the Quran
There are notes on the book by Sayyid Muhammad b. Mahmud al-Husayni al-Lawāsāni al-Tehrani, known as al-ʾAsār, which were published with the original book in 1305 AH (1888). Aqa Buzurg al-Tehrani says in his Al-dhariʾa that it is a precious work.
Here are some of the translations of the book:
The book was translated by Sayyid Mirza ʾAli b. Muhammad al-Husayni al-Shahrastani (d. 1344 AH/ 1926) into Farsi. It was also translated into Farsi by Mirza Hasan b. ʾAbd al-Razaq al-Lahiji (d. 1121 AH/ 1709)—the latter has summarized some contents of the book and expanded on some other contents, and is called Taʾlīf al-maḥabba or Tazkiya al-ḥuḥba.
A translation of the book by Sayyid Ibrahim Mirbaqiri into Farsi under Backbiting, a major sin or a psychological disease, Ansariyan Publications.
A translation of the book into Farsi by Reza Rajabzada under Backbiting and its laws, published in Mashhad.
Al-dhariʾa points to another summary of the book in the Library of Shaykh Abu al-Majd Muhamamd Reza Isfahani.
In 1379 AH (1960) Murtaza Mazahiri Isfahani translated Kashf al-Riba into Farsi and published it under a summary and selection of Kashf al-riba.
==Publications of the Book==
In 1305 AH (1888) marginalized by ʾAsār's notes.
In 1319, the book was published together with the book, Muhāsaba al-nafs.
It was also published together with Sayyid b. Ṭāwūs's Muhāsaba al-nafs and Kafʾami's Muhāsaba al-nafs.
The book is written by the fabulous handwriting of Hasan b. ʾAbd al-Karim Harisi.