Crisis and Consolidation in the Formative Period of Shiʻite Islam: Abū Jaʻfar ibn Qiba al-Rāzī and His Contribution to Imāmite Shīʻite Thought
The years 260–329/874–941, known among the Shî’ites as the period of Minor Occultation, comprised undoubtedly the most difficult and critical period in the history of Imâmite Shî'ism. The death of the eleventh Imam, with no apparent successor, resulted in internal conflicts, many desertions and conversions, and the emergence of numerous splinter groups and subsects within the Imâmite community. Contemporary Imâmite theologians had the difficult task of defending the doctrine against attack while trying to offer new interpretations of fundamental principles to accommodate contemporary developments. Abu Jafar b. Qiba al-Razi, one of the most prominent and active Imâmite theologians, had a major role in all of these reconstructions and developments. The present work attempts to shed light on some aspects of the Imâmite doctrine during the Minor Occultation and on the contributions of Abu Jafar b. Qiba to the formation of the developed Imâmite doctrine. The second part of this volume contains the texts of three short works of this scholar, together with their English translation.