عنوان مقاله [English]
Objective: The most famous and most accessible work attributed to Nu‘mānī is his Kitāb al-Ghaibah, which was written by Nu‘mānī in the early period of Major Occultation and with the prolonged absence of the Hidden Imam (A.S.), and the advent of some doubts among the Shi’ites and was presented for solving this problem. Now, Kitāb al-Ghaibah is one of the important works whose manuscripts need to be compiled and indexed. Therefore, it should be queried: In what status is the number of the extant manuscripts of al-Ghaibah? Do the manuscripts of al-Ghaibah have important differences that can be separated and analyzed in a special way? What statistical information can be provided about the al-Ghaibah manuscripts?
Research Method/Approach: The present research has identified and examined different types of manuscripts of Kitāb al-Ghaibah using the descriptive-analytical method and by means of inductive strategy; and through genealogy of the manuscripts, and undertaken to analyze some of their data.
Findings and Conclusion: Upon examining the manuscripts, it became clear that the text of the manuscripts of this book are very different from one another and these differences are not merely minor typos; rather, they are different in terms of volume and number of hadiths and can be introduced into four structural groups and models. Furthermore, from among the 23 manuscripts of al-Ghaibah, twenty versions are in Iran and three versions are in Iraq; and except for one manuscript that is from the 6th century, all other manuscripts are from the 10th century onwards. Also, from among the twenty-two available manuscripts of al-Ghaibah in its different models, only 8 manuscripts are without omissions and defects. On the other hand, about half of the manuscripts are without the initial sanad of the manuscript; and the sanad of Abī al-Husayn Shujā’ī is also inauthentic and newly-written in all manuscripts having sanad.