Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Ya’qub ibn Ishaq al-Kulayni al-Razi (871-939).
Al-Kulayni was born in Kulayn, a village near Rey, in North of Iran. His father was Ya’qub al-Kulayni, who is buried at Rey.
Theqat-ul Islam Kulayni received his early religious education in his native town and went to Rey for further education. He is among a special class of muhaddithin those who traveled in order to collect ahadith and met the persons considered to be the authority on hadith and even met the people who met Imam Mahdi (A.S.) directly.
He traveled to Baghdad for this reason and lived there for twenty years, engaged in teaching and pursuing academic work, until he died in 939. He is considered the foremost Shia compiler of hadith and was the author of Kitab al-Kafi.
Most of the Muslim Scholars – Shia and Sunni – consider him as a trustworthy Muhaddith.
Although Shaykh al-Kulaynī is most famous for al-Kāfī, this opus was not his only accomplishment. The following is a list of his known works:
- Kitab al-Kafi
- Rasāʾil al-aʿimmah
- Kitāb al-rijāl
- Kitāb al-radd ʿalā al-qarāmiṭah
- Kitāb mā qīla fī al-aʾimmah min al-shiʿr
- Kitāb taʿbīr al-ruʾyā
Sadly, of these, only al-Kāfī has survived in its entirety.