Traditions of the Ahlulbait
Question :

I came across many authentic traditions of the Imams of the Ahlulbait (peace be upon them) about ghusl, purification and ablution. These traditions are highly descriptive and specific about the main issues in jurisprudence. Is it permissible for me to follow my understanding of these traditions, and follow the rulings of my marja in other issues?

Answer :

You should follow the scholar who has reached the level of ijtihad and fulfills all the other conditions of the marja in all issues.
The derivation of the edicts from the religious sources require a great amount of knowledge and experience gained from continuous studying and research over many years. The authenticity of the traditions is only one factor taken into consideration in this process. Only the scholars who have reached the level of ijtihad have the capability to undertake this.

Question : What are your views about the book al Irshad?
Answer : It is one of the important sources that researchers refer to them in order to learn about the biography of the Prophet and the Imams (peace be upon them all).
Question : Shaikh Saduq in "Al-Ilal" narrated the sermon of Shiqshiqiya via a chain of narrators ending with Ibn Abbas. There is Ikrima in that chain. Was he an enemy of the Ahlulbait (peace be upon them)?
Answer : The mentioned sermon is famous and was narrated by different chains of narrators, furthermore, the fact that if the one narrates an incident or a narration that does not support some of his beliefs and even goes against them, then this is an indication that the narration is true. It is known that some of the content of this sermon does not correspond to the beliefs of the enemies of the Ahlul-bait (peace be upon them); therefore, the authenticity of the sermon is beyond doubt.
Question : I am having a very hard time trying to figure out which hadith books are reliable; can you recommend any to me?
Answer : The books of narrations combine different kinds of hadiths. There are authenticated, acceptable and weak ones in each book. Differentiating between them is not possible except by the scholars who are well-versed in the criteria of determining the reliability of the narrators.
Question : I would like to know if the sentences “every day is Ashura and every day is Karbala” is a slogan or a narration from our Imams (peace be upon them)?
Answer : The said content is a slogan and not a narration by the Prophet or the Imams (peace be upon all of them).
Authenticy of reports
Question : In books of classical Shia scholars, some reports in praise of Ahlulbait (peace be upon them) came without chains of transmission. What is our obligation? Should we accept reports which have no chains of transmissions? Or we should reject them as non-established?
Answer : It is not permissible to reject them and consider them as false narrations as long as there is a possibility of them actually being truthful and originated from the Ahlulbait. At the same time, it is not correct to assert them as being truthful as long as we are uncertain of their truthfulness. They are narrations that might correspond to reality.
Question : Many shia brethren (on Islamic forums) have started to judge between narrations whether they are authentic or non authentic in shia books by naming them as Sahih, Hasan, Daef, Mursal. For e.g. if a narrator of a well known narrations is Majhul unknown, they use this as a proof to say that the narration is inauthentic. Can you please clarify if this is how our Esteemed Scholars and Jurists authenticate a narration?
Answer : No one has the right to consider a narration as non authentic or reject it without proper evidence. There are differences in the ways of authentication between experts in this field themselves. Non experts does not have the right to pass a judgment in this issue, otherwise the person who do so will be questioned before almighty Allah in the Day of Judgment.
If the narration was non authentic or does not have the conditions of being accepted, we don’t have the right to reject it or consider it as false. However, we should return the verdict in this issue to the Imams of the Ahlulbait since almighty Allah knows the truth. There are many narrations that emphasize this meaning. Imam Mohamed Albaqir said: “The most liked amongst my companions are those who know their religious Jurisprudence more and those who fear god more and the most that I dislike is the one that when they hear a narration that they were told that it is related to us or narrated from us but their hearts do not tolerate it so then they reject it. They do not know that the narration might have been from us so they become out of our religion”.
Al Kafi
Question : Do the Shia consider the book of Al-Kafi authentic in the same way that the Sunnis consider Sahih Muslim and Sahih Bukhari authentic?
Answer : Al-Kafi is a respected book in the views of Shia scholars, but we cannot guarantee that all the narrations mentioned in it are authenticated, as one should refer to the experts to determine the authenticity of each narration.
Question : Is the narrator, Mufaddal ibn Umar, companion of Imam Jaffer Sadiq (peace be upon him) reliable?
Answer : The scholars of the study of the narrataors (Ilm al-Rijal) have different opinions regarding Mufaddal bin Umar. His Eminence is inclined to believe that is reliable and his narrations are accepted.
Question : What is your opinion on Ibrahim ibn Hashim, the father of Ali ibn Ibrahim al-Qummi, as a narrator?
Answer : Both of the said persons are considered authentic.
Question : Is the Hadith-e-Kisa Authentic?
Answer : There were texts narrated that the Prophet gathered his household under the “Kissa”, blanket which indicate clearly that the incident took place. The narrations were different in the exact wording. At the ending of the book of Mefatihul Jinan , there is one version of this narration from some hadith books.