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Ahmad Ibn Fahd al-Hilli

Abu l-ʿAbbās Jamāl al-Dīn Aḥmad b. Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad b. al-Fahd al-Ḥillī al-Asadī was a Shi’ite scholar, faqih and muhaddith (hadith scholar).

He was renowned mostly for his works on ethics, supplications and spirituality. His most famous work in this field is ‘Uddat al-da’i wa najah al-sa’i which deals with supplications and related issues.

Born

His birth place is not exactly known, but it is obvious that he lived for years in Hilla, Iraq and taught there in Zaynabiyya School. He also lived in Karbala.

Debate with the Sunni Scholars

In the year 840/1436, Ispand Mirza, the ruler of Baghdad, invited him to discuss with Sunni scholars. In the debate, Ibn al-Fahd and other Shi’a scholars discussed with the Sunnis and were able to convince the ruler of the rightfulness of Shi’a school. Thus, Ispand Mirza converted to Shi’ism and declared Shi’a Islam as the official religion of his state and made coins with the names of the Twelve Imams (a).

His Teachers

He learned fiqh and hadith under students of Fakhr al-Muhaqqiqin and al-Shahid al-Awwal.

Among his teachers are the following:

  • ‘Ali b. Khazin al-Haʾiri
  • ‘Ali b. Yusuf b. ‘Abd al-Jalil al-Nili
  • Ibn Muttawaj al-Bahrani
  • Miqdad b. ‘Abd Allah al-Soyuri
  • Jamal al-Din b. Aʿraj al-‘Amidi
  • ‘Ali b. ‘Abd al-Hamid al-Nassaba.

Aqa Buzurg Tehrani has mentioned him also among the students of Shahid al-Awwal. Moreover, it is known that around 824/1421, he visited Jabal ‘Amil and in Jezzine, received “ijaza” (permission of Ijtihad) from ʿAli b. Muhammad b. al-Makki, son of al-Shahid al-Awwal.

His Students

The following are among Ibn al-Fahd’s notable students:

  • ‘Ali b. Hilal al-Jazayiri
  • Ibn Rashid al-Qatifi
  • ‘Abd al-Sami’ b. Fayyad al-Asadi
  • Ibn ‘Ashara al-Karaki
  • Muflih b. al-Hasan al-Saymari
  • Muhammad b. Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Hulani
  • Sayyid Muhammad b. Falah al-Musha’sha’i.

Spirituality

Since Ibn Fahd was famous for his piety and spirituality and had written some works in ethics and mysticism, Qadi Nur Allah Shushtari introduces him as a Sufi.  Ayatollah Jawadi Amoli also holds that he had a very high spiritual level.

 

Works

  1. ‘Uddat al-da’i wa najah al-sa’i
  2. Al-Muhadhab al-bari’ fi sharh al-mukhtasar al-nafi’ , his famous book in fiqh
  3. Al-Fusul fi da’awat a’qab al-fara’d
  4. Al-Muqtasar min sharh al-mukhtasar
  5. Al-Tahsin fi sifat al-‘arifin

He has several other works that have remained unpublished. A book titled Istikhraj al-hawadith is attributed to him. This book contained divinations taken from Imam ‘Ali’s (a) statements.

Qaḍi Nur Allah Shoshtari has claimed that Ibn Fahd had a book on occult sciences, but at the time of his death, he gave it to someone to throw it in Euphrates. According to this report, Sayyid Muhammad b. Falah al-Musha’sha’, who once was Ibn Fahd’s student, was able to gain this book with some tricks and by using it could conquer Khuzistan.

Demise

He passed away at the age of 84 and was buried in Karbala.

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