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Imamiyah (Shiite): An Introduction to Islamic Jurisprudential Sects

Famous Uṣūlī Jurists

–         Ibn Abī ‘Aqīl ‘ummāī, Ḥasan b. Ali (d. 340 A.H.),

–         Ibn Junayd Iskāfī (d. 381 A.H.),

–         Sheikh Mufīd, Muhammad b. Muhammad Na‘mān (d. 413 A.H.),

–         Sayyid Murtaḍā, Ali b. Ḥusein (d. 436 A.H.),

–         Sheikh Ṭūsī, Muhammad b. Ḥasan (d. 460 A.H.),

–         Ibn Idrīs Ḥillī, Muhammad b. Ahmad (d. 598 A.H.),

–         Muḥaqqiq Ḥillī, Ja‘far b. Ḥasan (d. 676 A.H.),

–         ‘Allāmah Ḥillī, Ḥasan b. Yūsuf (d. 726 A.H.),

–         Shahīd al-Awwal, Muhammad b. Makkī (murdered at 786 A.H.),

–         Muḥaqqiq Kurkī (Muḥaqqiq Thānī), Ali b. ‘‘Abd al-‘Ālī (d. 940 A.H.),

–         Shahīd al-Thānī, Zayn al-Dīn (murdered at 966 A.H.),

–         Muqaddas Ardibīlī, Ahmad b. Muhammad (d. 993 A.H.),

–         Sheikh Bahā’ī, Bahā’ al-Dīn Muhammad ‘Āmilī (d. 1031 A.H.),

–         Muḥaqqiq Sabizvārī, Mullā Muhammad Bāqir (d. 1090 A.H.),

–         Waḥīd Bihbahānī, Muhammad Bāqir b. Muhammad Akmal (d. 1205 A.H.),

–         Baḥr al-‘ulūm, Muhammad Mahdī b. Murtaḍā (d. 1212 A.H.),

–         Kāshif al-Ghiṭā’, Ja‘far b. Khiḍr (d. 1228 A.H.),

–         Mīrzā-yi Qumī, Abū al-Qāsim b. Ḥasan Gīlānī (d. 1231 A.H.),

–         Sayyid Ali Ṭabāṭabā’ī Ṣāḥib Riyāḍ (d. 1231 A.H.),

–         Mujāhid, Muhammad b. Ali (d. 1242 A.H.),

–         Narāqī, Mullā Ahmad b. Mahdī (d. 1244 A.H.),

–         Ṣāḥib Jawāhir, Muhammad Ḥasan b. Bāqir (d. 1266 A.H.),

–         Muḥaqqiq Anṣārī, Sheikh Murtaḍā (d. 1281 A.H.),

–         Mīrzā-yi Shīrāzī, Mīrzā Muhammad Ḥasan (who issued fatwa to prohibit tobacco) (d. 1312 A.H.),

–         Ākhūnd Khurāsānī, Mullā Muhammad Kāẓim (d. 1329 A.H.),

–         Sayyid Muhammad Kāẓim Yazdī (d. 1337 A.H.),

–         Mīrzā-yi Shīrāzī (Mīrzā-yi Duvvum), Muhammad Taqī (d. 1338 A.H.),

–         Muhammad Ḥusein Nā’īnī (d. 1355 A.H.),

–         ‘Abdu al-Karīm Ḥā’irī Yazdī (d. 1355 A.H.),

–         Muhammad Ḥusein Gharavī Isfahanī Kumpānī (d. 1361 A.H.),

–         Āqā Ḍiyā’ al-Dīn Iraqi (d. 1361 A.H.),

–         Sayyid Abū al-Ḥasan Isfahanī (d. 1365 A.H.),

–         Sayyid Ḥusein Brūjirdī (d. 1381 A.H.),

–         Sayyid Muḥsin Ḥakīm (d. 1390 A.H.),

–         Sayyid Muhammad Bāqir Ṣadr (d. 1400 A.H.),

–         Imam Sayyid Rūḥu Allah Khomeini (d. 1409 A.H.),

–         Sayyid Abū al-Qāsim Khu’ī (d. 1413 A.H.),


Jurisprudential Texts

–         Al-Mutamassik bi-abli Āl al-Rasūl: written by Ḥasan b. Ali b. Abī ‘Aqīl ‘ummānī (died about 329 A.H.). Apparently, this book was available until eight century, because ‘Allāmah Ḥillī narrates the writer’s ideas in Mukhtalaf al-Shi‘ah.

–         Tahdhīb al-Shi‘ah li-’akām al-Sharī‘ah: written by Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Junayd Abī Ali Iskāfī (d. 381 A.H.). Sheikh Ṭūsī in praise of this book says: “it is a great book including 20 chapters”. About highly esteemed place of the writer, Najjāshī says: “he was Imams’ companion, trustworthy, august, and wrote many compilations.”

–         Al-Mabsū: written by Abī Ja‘far Muhammad b. Ḥasan b. Ali Ṭūsī, known as Sheikh al-Ṭā’ifah (385- 460 A.H.). This book, by definition, rejects the objections raised to Shi’a jurisprudence that: “because qiyās (deductive analogy), istisān (juristic preference), and other conjectures are not authentic in Shi’a jurisprudence, so it is not capable of obtaining  religious precepts for issues that are not clearly mentioned in main sources. It is a non-ijtihādī jurisprudence that only narrates traditions.” Sheikh Ṭūsī in this book proves that: firstly, the explicit wording of Shi’a about juristic judgments is more than Sunni’s. Secondly, it is possible to elicit the religious precepts for issues that are not clearly mentioned in main sources from which are mentioned, without resorting to the criterions that are not authenticated by any religious proof. Therefore, Sheikh mentions many new cases that are not presented in texts. This book is published in eight volumes.

–         Al-Muhadhab: written by Sa‘d al-Dīn Abī al-Qāsim ‘Abd al-‘Azīz b. Barrāj Ṭarāblusī (400-481 A.H.). He wrote this book after working as a judge for many years. So, the book contains matters that he has been involved with. This book is published in two volumes.

–         Ghunyah al-Nuzū‘ ilá ‘ilmay al-Uūl wa al-Furū‘:written by Sayyid Ḥamzah b. Ali b. Zuhrah Ḥalabī (511-585). The book discusses about three topics:

1-     Greatest science of God: it presents the important theological issues.

2-    Jurisprudential principles: which are the sources that religious precepts origin from.

3-    Assimilate cases: in this respect, it is a compilation of demonstrative jurisprudence, which contains all branches of jurisprudence.

This book recently is published containing a preface by Āyatu Allah Subḥānī.

–         Al-Sarā’ir al-āwī li-Tarīr al-Fatāwī: written by Abī Ja‘far Muhammad b. Manṣūr b. Ahmad b. Idrīs Ḥillī, (543-598 A.H.). The most important feature of this book is opening the gate of ijtīhād, which has been nearly closed from the time of Sheikh Ṭūsī until the days of author.

–         Al-Mu‘tabar: written by Muḥaqqiq Najm al-Dīn Ja‘far b. Ḥasan known as Muḥaqqiq Ḥillī (607-676 A.H.). The subjects presented in this book are deep thinking, focused, and well reasoned. However, the book does not contain all branches of jurisprudence, and presents them until the chapter on Hajj.

–         Tadhkirah al-Fuqahā’: written by Ḥasan b. Yusuf b. Muṭahhar Asadī Ḥillī, known as ‘Allāmah Ḥillī (648-726). The author has written some great compilations, but this book is the most important one from the viewpoint of reasoning and argument. Although, only until the end of chapter on nikā (marriage) is available nowadays; but, it is a great scientific wealth that is unique among those of the early period as well as later ones. It is compiled in concurrent jurisprudence method.

–         Masālik al-Afhām fī Shar Sharāyi‘ al-Islām: written by Zayn al-Dīn al-Jaba‘ī al-‘āmilī, known as Shahīd al-Thānī (911-966 A.H.). It is a commentary on Muḥaqqiq Ḥillī’s book Sharāyi‘ al-Islām. It is special for being brief and accurate. It shows the expanded knowledge of its author in different fields of Islamic sciences including Ḥadīth, narrators, astronomy, and mathematics. It is no exaggeration to say that a book like this, has not written yet. This book recently is published in 20 volumes.

–         Majm‘ al-Fā’idah wa al-Burhān: written by Ahmad b. Muhammad Ardibīlī, known as Muqaddas Ardibīlī (d. 993 A.H.). The main feature of this book is presenting new ideas, and casting doubts on isnāds (chain of transmitters of a tradition) of some traditions and some ijmā‘s (consensus). This book recently is published in 14 volumes. The author also has another book, Zubdah al-Bayān fī Tafsīr Āyāt al-Akām.

–         Kashf al-Lithām ‘an Qawā‘id al-Akām: written by Bahā’ al-Dīn Muhammad b. Ḥasan Isfahani, known as Fāḍil Hindī (1062-1137). The author of Jawāhir has given his seal of approval and trust to this book.

–         Mustanad al-Shī‘ah li Akām al-Sharī‘ah: written by Ahmad b. Muhammad Mahdī Narāqī (1185-1265). The privileges of this book are great precision, innovative method, setting forth incompatible opinions along with analysis and confirmation, and being concise. Some subjects presented in this book, like kiblah (direction of Mecca to which Muslims turn in prayer) and inheritance, show the author’s mastery of astronomy and mathematics. Muhammad Kāzim Yazdī Ṭabāṭabā’ī, the author of ‘urwah al-Wuthqá, has given his seal of approval to this book. He used to recommend his students for referring to it.

–         Jawāhir al-Kalām fī Shar Sharāyi‘ al-Islām: written by the great jurist, Sheikh Muhammad Ḥasan Najafī (1200-1266 A.H.). It is an absolute compilation of demonstrative jurisprudence, and full of rare assimilate cases and researches. It is one of the principal sources for recent jurists, so that none of them could be dispense with this source. This book recently is published in 43 volumes.

–         Muḥ al-Faqīh: written by Sheikh Riḥā Hamidānī (d. 1322 A.H.).

About Alireza Mosaddeq

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