|Author||Sulaym ibn Qays|
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According to the Shi'a, the book "has received endorsement from five Infallible Imams." The author researched and verified events before he penned them so that their authenticity is incontrovertible. The book was entrusted to only one person, Aban ibni abi Ayyash who was held to a solemn oath not to talk of the book during Sulaym’s lifetime and that after his death he would give the book only to trustworthy Shi'a.
There is no doubt about the authenticity of the book itself among some Shi'a scholars. The author is also regarded as a trustworthy narrator to some. The book has been mentioned both in the four main collections of Shi'a hadith. Ibn Al-Nadim, the famous 10th century (C.E.) book publisher, said that the book was among the well known books of the Shi'a. No'mani has mentioned the book and the author in his book, Al-Ghaibah. In fact, the book is so well known among the Shi'a that most books of hadith and rijal (commentary on the life and trustworthiness of the hadith narrators) have regarded both the book and its author with high esteem.
Currently, several variant manuscripts of this book exist, and it has been suggested that content was added to it and altered in it over time. Furthermore, the oldest known copy, on which the majority of modern manuscripts are based, was written in 1676 C.E. This is problematic as it may also suggest that the true appearance date for the current form of the book, if indeed it existed prior to the rise of the Safavid empire, was from around the 10th century C.E. as it was only at this point in time that mention of it became commonly attributed to imams and scholars.
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