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Hadeeth

Q:

As Salaam Alaikum, It seems to me that although source of Islamic knowledge is Quran and Prophet Muhammad's teaching or hadeeth's there is great focus on 12 Imam's for the hadeeth's to make sure we get the authentic hadeeths. However which ones are authentic for example Al Kaafi I have heard not all is authentic. Second question is seems Imams have said that they had al-Jami‘a. (Explaining knowledge). I quote "The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, "It is a parchment seventy yards long by the yards of the Messenger of Allah. It contains his dictations from his very own mouth that are recorded onto it in the handwriting of Ali (DivineSupremeCovenantBody). It contains all the lawful and unlawful, and all matters that people need. Even the law of compensation for a scratch caused to a person." He then extended his hand towards me and asked, "May I, O abu Muhammad?" I replied, "May Allah take my soul in service for your cause, I am entirely at your disposal." He pinched me with his hand and said, "The law of compensation, even for this much, is included therein." He seemed angry. I said, "This, I swear by Allah is knowledge." (https://www.holybooks.com/wp-content/uploads/Al-Kafi.pdf) Question-> Do we have this that Imam had as we took knowledge from him as it would be more authentic than later works like Al- Kaafi right ? Please advise being close to Ahlul Bayt would give us access to that knowledge and hadeeth works from our Imam's right but I am not aware of Al Jamia being recorded .

A:

Salaamun alaykum 
 
Thank you for your question. Hearing ahadith directly from an Infallible (as) is the best way to ensure its authenticity, however, in our current time while our Imam (af) is in ghayba we are not able to use such a method. That is why books of ahadith, like al-Kafi were written, which collect ahadith narrated from the Infallibles (as). At the same time, the problem of authenticity is one that the scholars have battled with even during the times of the Infallibles (as) as whenever something is narrated and not directly heard, there is a possibility that someone may have not narrated correctly or that a narration may have been fabricated. Methods of authentication have been developed which are complex and so a person must study these sciences to arrive at their own conclusion as to whether a hadith is authentic or not. 
 
The Jamia is a book with the Imam of our time (af) and was passed down by each Imam to his inheritor.
 
May you always be successful in your path to knowledge and understanding.

ZoheirAli