Shaykh al-^á'ifa al-^úsí's works in tafsír, <adíth, kalám, and fiqh mark the culmination of many a generation's efforts in developing these sciences and their methodology. Besides al-Kulayní, al-@adúq, al-Mufíd, al-Murta_á and al-Ra_í, a host of scholars specializing in various branches of Islamic learning contributed to the flowering of intellectual activity in the Shí`í Islamic world, laying down the foundations of a school that could be distinguished from other schools of Muslim thought. The above-mentioned scholars developed Imámiyyah kalám, the Shí`í school of <adíth, and a unique approach to the Qur'án and tafsír, mainly based upon the teachings of the Imáms of the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet. In `ilm al-kalám the Imámiyya approach is basically rationalist but free from the extremist strains of the Mu`tazilí emphasis on reason and the anti-rationalist reaction of the Ash`arites. In this field, the works of al-Mufíd, al-Murta_á and al-^úsí deserve special attention, which has not been paid to them either by Muslim or Western scholars in the context of the evolution of `ilm al-kalám.
In <adíth, which was held to be the foremost and fundamental branch of Islamic learning, Shí`í Imámiyya compendiums were compiled with a more critical insight into the questions of authenticity. Shí`a mu<addithún employed meticulous methods to test and authenticate <adíth literature. They evolved tools of analysis and laid down criteria to assess the veracity of ruwát and, as a consequence of this concern, `ilm al-rijál was developed. This science required the study of ansáb (genealogy), biographies, and history, which produced among the Shí`a eminent historians, biographers, and genealogists.
Historiography was taken up by the Imámiyya scholars as a need of the time also, with a view to project the Shí`í interpretation of Islamic history for a better understanding of the tenets of the Imámi faith. Without any doubt, most of the controversies and differences of faith which arose in the Muslim world, emerged because of divergent views of history. Apart from the first maqtal of Karbalá' compiled by Abú Mikhnaf, Ibn al-Wá_i< al-Ya`qúbí, Ibn Miskawayh and al-Mas`údí wrote the earliest histories of Islam. Works in this field also contributed to the development of a critical approach to understanding of theological and philosophical issues in a historical perspective.
The study of the Qur'án and its interpretation in the light of the teachings of the Imáms of the Prophet's Family, found its full blossoming in al-^ibyán of al-Shaykh al-^úsí, who made use of various Islamic sciences and his expertise in Arabic language, literature, and grammar to write the first comprehensive Shí`í tafsír. This tradition was later extended to new horizons by Amín al-Dín al-^abarsí and Abú al-Futú< al-Rází.
We have not discussed pure philosophers, although it is generally acknowledged that most of the original philosophers in the Muslim world during the early phase of the development of Muslim thought were of Shí`í inclination, such as al-Farábí, Ibn Síná, and Ibn Miskawayh. In @úfism, also, we find names of eminent theoreticians like Shiháb al-Dín al-Suhrawardí (al-Maqtúl) and `Ayn al-Qu_át al-Hamadání. All these thinkers were products of a particular Shí`í intellectual tradition. It is important to note that this intellectual climate was not brought into existence by a few eminent scholars alone. In the books of the Shí`í rijál and bibliographies (faháris), the names of thousands of ruwát of <adíth, fuqahá', mutakallimún, mufassirún, and scholars of mathematics and natural sciences are recorded meticulously with dates and names.
The development of any school of jurisprudence depends on a particular set of principles of fiqh and a definite method of deducing subsidiary laws. Study of the Qur'án, tafsír, <adíth, `ilm al-kalám and `ilm al-rijál provided tools to develop such principles and methods. This is the reason that early Imámiyya scholars devoted the best of their intellectual energies to evolve Imámiyya fiqh and u#úl al-fiqh. In these areas of study we find the most outstanding of the names of Imámiyya scholars. No picture of Imámiyya scholarship is complete without a general account of the developments in various fields of theology and philosophy. Apart from the detailed study of the works of leading scholars in different fields, it is essential to have a comprehensive picture of the intellectual activity in the framework of the Imámiyya faith, and such a general picture needs to take into account even the contributions of, comparatively, not-very-original thinkers and scholars. This part of the present series of articles is aimed at giving an account of the Imámiyya scholars' works in the fifth/eleventh century. Some of the scholars discussed in this article are outstanding in their specialized areas of study, such as Abú al-`Abbás al-Najáshí, whose work on the rijál of the Shí`a still remains the most authentic work in the field.
The fourth and fifth/tenth and eleventh centuries are considered to form the golden age of Muslim intellectual and cultural developments. In Imámiyya thought, these two centuries, together with the sixth/twelfth century, constitute the era of the flowering of the Shí`í mind. We have selected only a few scholars as representatives of the general scholarly tradition among the Imámiyya, but many of those who are lefí also deserve the historian's attention. Paucity of literature about Imámiyya scholars is the main obstacle in the way of a comprehensive study of many a scholar. Almost all early works on the rijál of the Shí`a remain in Arabic and even the most important of them have not yet been translated into any other language. Despite their authenticity, these books, for instance al-Fihrist of Ibn al-Nadím and al-^úsí and the Rijál of al-Najáshí, give only very brief accounts of the scholars. If one wishes to form a comprehensive picture of various scholars' works in different fields, one has to refer to a large number of books in Arabic and Persian. Most of the works of the Imámiyya scholars, like those of other Muslim schools, were written in Arabic and were destroyed in the course of wars, invasions of the Muslim world, and intersectarian riots. The Imámiyya scholars were more unfortunate than others in this respect. Approximately ninety per cent of the works listed in early biographies have totally disappeared, and those that are extant are scattered all over the Muslim world in obscure libraries and corners. This is a factor that had been responsible for the paucity of material on Imámiyya scholarship.
For political reasons and extra-academic motives, orientalists have been mainly interested in the study of the majority sect of the Muslims. The Shí`í school has been systematically neglected and, at the same time, maligned by non-Shí`í scholars and the orientalists. It is still the main target of the hostile Wahhábí petro-Dollar propaganda machinery. In an unbiased and objective view of the issue of Islam, the differences between the Sunnís and the Shí`a, apart from the issue of the Imámate, concern subsidiary and secondary issues, mostly of historical and political nature. The points of difference between the two in matters of fiqh are no more pronounced than those among the officially accepted four schools of Sunní fiqh. A comparative study of the five schools of fiqh (the four Sunni and the Ja`farí) is essential for a better understanding of Islam. This study requires as a prerequisite a general survey of the work done by Imámiyya scholars in different areas of Islamic learning. The present study is a beginning in this direction - an attempt to fill up some obvious gaps. If one ignores polemical writings on controversial issues, one would find a spirit of co-operation and mutual appreciation among Sunní and Shí`í scholars of the early centuries in developing various Islamic sciences. Imámiyya thought is a part of general Islamic thought and needs to be studied in this perspective.
With this introduction I present brief accounts of a few selected Imámiyya scholars of the fifth/eleventh century. A similar survey of the scholars of the earlier centuries is also essential for a better and more comprehensive understanding of Islam.
1. The al-Gha_á'irís
Two of the earliest scholars of the fifth/eleventh century are the al-Gha_á'irís, father and son, \usayn b. `Ubayd Alláh al-Gha_á'irí (d. 411/1020) and A<mad b. al-\usayn. The former was a contemporary of al-Shaykh al-Mufíd and a teacher of al-Shaykh al-^úsí and al-Najáshí, while the latter was a class-fellow and intimate friend of al-^úsí and al-Najáshí).
Shaykh al-^á'ifa, in al-Rijál, mentions his name in the chapter dealing with those that did not directly narrate traditions from the Imáms. He writes:
Al-Najáshí, in his work on rijál, writes:
Áyatulláh al-Khú'í is of the view that it is impossible for a scholar of the stature of al-^úsí that he should refer to something in one of his works regarding his other work in which he actually did not make mention of the subject referred to. Therefore, he argues that most probably in al-Fihrist of al-Shaykh al-^úsí a list of the works of al-Gha_á'irí was given but was omitted in its copies that are extant today.
Abú `Abd Alláh received instruction under the greatest of `ulamá' of his time, a list of whom is given in Qámús al-Rijál. The most eminent among them were A<mad b. Mu<ammad b. al-\asan b. al-Walíd al-Qummí, Abú al-Qásim Ja`far b. Mu<ammad Qúlawayh, Hárún b. Músá al-Tall`ukbarí, al-Shaykh al-@adúq Ibn Bábawayh, Abú `Abd Alláh A<mad al-@aymarí, and Mu<ammad b. `Alí al-Ash`arí al-Qummí. Among his pupils we have already mentioned the names of al-Najáshí and al-^úsú. Besides them, we may add the name of his celebrated son A<mad b. al-\usayn al-Gha_á'irí.
Al-Gha_á'irí the junior, A<mad, attended the classes of his father with al-Najáshí and al-Shaykh ^úsí. `Ináyat Alláh Quhpá'í, in Majma` al-Rijál, mentions him as a teacher of al-Najáshí and al-^úsí. But he seems to have confused the father with the son. Similarly, many an author of books on Rijál have mistakenly attributed A<mad b. al-\usayn's work on Rijál to his father. Al-Shaykh al-^úsí, in al-Fihrist, refers to two books of A<mad b. al-\usayn, saying one is on u#úl and the other is on Rijál. Al-`Alláma Shaykh Áqá Buzurg al-^ihrání, in Mu#affá al-maqál fí mu#annifi al-rijál, is of the view that these two books might have been in addition to two of his known works on rijál, of which one is about authentic `ulamá' and the other is about inauthentic or weak narrators of <adíth. Sayyid A<mad b. ^áwús (d. 673/1273) has reproduced an entire book of al-Gha_á'rí, that is his book al-¬u`afá', in his own work, \all al-ishkál. This copy of the book reached Mullá `Abd Alláh al-Shushtarí (d. 1021/1612), who in his turn reproduced the book in his work on rijál, and this was the version of al-Gha_á'irí's Rijál that is available to us today. It seems strange that these two books were not mentioned by al-^úsí, but were available to Ibn ^áwús, and that two of his pupils, al-`Alláma al-\illí and Ibn Dáwúd also quoted from it. Áqá Buzurg al-^ihrání, in Mu#affá al-maqál fí mu#annifi al-rijál, says that Ibn ^áwús himself had not established its authenticity, but he merely described it as one attributed to Ibn al-Gha_á'irí, and his pupils accepted it on his authority. Al-`Alláma al-\illí and Ibn Dáwúd could also discover Ibn al-Gha_á'irí's book on mamdú<ún. There is no evidence that al-Najáshí had these books, but he referred to another work of Ibn al-Gha_á'irí, al-Ta'ríkh, in his account of A<mad b. Abí `Abd Alláh al-Barqí. It is just possible that by al-Ta'ríkh he meant the same two books. In al-Dharí`a, also, Áqá Buzurg has discussed the authenticity of Kitáb al-¬u`afá; and concluded that most probably this work was compiled by an anti-Shí`a author in order to malign rijál of the Imámiyya, and it was wrongly attributed to Ibn al-Gha_á'irí. However, two points are clear: the son al-Gha_á'irí is the author of the often quoted book on rijál, and secondly that the book about inauthentic Shí`í rijál is a spurious one, wrongly attributed to him.
2. Abú al-\asan al-`Umarí
Abú al-\asan al-`Umarí was a descendant of `Umar b. `Alí b. Abí ^álib. `Umar was the progeny of the marriage of Amír al-Mu'minín with Umm \abíb bint Rabí`a. Al-`Umarí is reported to have lived until 443/1051, and is acknowledged as an authority on genealogies of Arab tribes in general and the descendants of the Prophet and Abú ^alib in particular. His forefathers were among Shí`í scholars of eminence. He was a contemporary of al-Sharíf al-Murta_á and al-Sharíf al-Ra_í, whom he knew very well. His father Abú al-Ghaná'im was also an expert in the genealogy of the Arabs. Abú al-\asan al-`Umarí's teacher, besides his father, was Abú al-\asan Mu<ammad b. Abí Ja`far, known as al-Shaykh al-Sharaf (d. 435/1042), a descendant of \usayn al-Asghar, son of al-Imám Zayn al-`Ábidín `Alí b. al-\usayn, who was also a teacher of al-Murta_á and al-Ra_í.
A<mad b. `Alí Dawúdí al-\asaní, known as Ibn `Anbah, (d. 828/1424), author of `Umdat al->álib fí ansáb Ál Abí ^álib, which is considered to be the most authentic book on the genealogical tree of the descendants of the Prophet and Abú ^álib, has liberally borrowed material from al-`Umarí's works in the field. He acknowledges:
Sayyid `Alí Khán al- Shírází (d. 1120/1708), in al-Daraját al-rafí`a fí >abaqát al-Shí`a, acknowledges the greatness of al-`Umarí in the field of genealogy, and says that all later scholars and researchers in this field are indebted to him.
In Ma`álim al-`ulamá' and al-Fawá'id al-Ri_awiyya, al-`Umarí is said to have been known by the nickname 'Ibn al-@úfí'.
3. Sálár b. `Abd al-`Azíz
One of the most eminent scholars of the fifth/eleventh century is Abú Ya`lá \amza b. `Abd al-`Azíz al-Daylamí (d. 448/1056), known as Sálár, or Sallár, an eminent pupil of al-Shaykh al-Mufíd and al-Sayyid al-Murta_á, who himself educated and trained a number of great Shí`í scholars. He is sometimes confused with Abú Ya`lá al-Ja`farí, son-in-law of al-Shaykh al-Mufíd. Abú Ya`lá is a common kunya (patronymic) of all those persons whose name is \amza, such as \amza b. al-Qásim (grandson of `Abbás b. `Alí b. Abí ^álib), \amza b. Ya`lá al-Ash`arí al-Qummí (a companion of the eighth Imám of the Prophet's Family, al-Imám al-Ri_á), for \amza b. `Abd al-Mu>>alib, an uncle of the Prophet, was called by this kunya.
Shaykh Muntajab al-Dín al-Rází (d. 600/1203), in his al-Fihrist, mentions one of his works, al-Marásim al-`Alawiyya fí l-a<kám al-Nabawiyya. Ibn Shahr Áshúb (d. 588/1192) refers to his other works, viz. al-Muqni` fi l-madhhab, al-Taqríb fí u#úl al-fiqh, al-Radd `alá Abí al-\usayn al-Ba#rí's al-Sháfí, and Kitáb al-tadhkira fí haqíqat al-jawhar wa al-`ara_. Mír Mu#>afá al-Tafrashí (d. 1021/1612), regarding the book in refutation of Abú al-\usayn al-Ba#rí's al-Sháfí, writes in the footnotes of Naqd al-Rijál:
Shaykh Fakhr al-Dín al-^uray<í (d. 1058/1648), in his famous dictionary Majma` al-ba<rayn, writes that Sálár was from Mázandarán and attended lectures of al-Murta_á. He quotes Ibn al-Jinní saying that he met Sálár and learned some lessons from him. `Alí Dawání refutes both these assertions, saying that Daylam was situated near the present Qazwín and Gílán, and has no relation with Mázandarán. He argues that al-^uray<í, being an Arab, was not familiar with the geographical position of Daylam. Al-^uray<í changed the places of Abú al-Fat< `Uthmán b. al-Jinní and Sálár, describing the former as pupil and the latter as teacher, while Sálár was a pupil of Ibn al-Jinní (d. 392/1002). Ibn al-Jinní was also a teacher of al-Sayyid al-Murta_á and al-Ra_í, and he died 56 years before the death of Sálár.
Al-`Alláma Ba<r al-`Ulúm, in al-Rijál, quotes `Izz al-Dín \asan b. Abí ^álib b. Rabíb al-Dín Abú Mu<ammad al-Yúsufí writing in Kashf al-rumúz, that Sálár was a leader of the Shí`a, and mentions that \asan b. \usayn b. Bábawayh, Mufíd al-Níshábúrí al-Rází, and Shaykh `Abd al-Jabbár al-Muqrí al-Rází, all of whom were eminent Imámiyya scholars, were among Sálár's well-known pupils. `Alláma Ba<r al-`Ulúm adds that al-Sayyid al-Murta_á, in the beginning of Ajwibat al-masá'il al-Salláriyya, writes that very critical questions, which reveal Sálár's insight and expertise in fiqh, were answered by him at the instance of his teacher, al-Shaykh al-Mufíd. This compliment paid by al-Murta_á to Sálár serves as a testimonial of his scholarship.
Sálár, a contemporary of al-^úsí and a pupil of al-Mufíd and al-Murta_á, lefí behind him scores of pupils that were eminent scholars of their times and included both Shí`í and Sunní experts in fiqh, kalám, <adíth, na<w (Arabic grammar), and literature. Outstanding among them are: Abú al-@alá< al-\alabí, Abú Fat< al-Karájikí, Shams al-Islám \asaká and his son `Ubayd Alláh b. al-\asan (father and grandfather of Shaykh Muntajab al-Dín), Mufíd al-Níshábúrí, Mufíd al-Rází, and Abú al-Makárim Fákhir al-Na<wí.
Shaykh `Abbás al-Qummí, with reference to Raw_at, writes that Sálár was the first faqíh to issue a decree that congregation prayer on Friday was prohibited due to the Occultation of the Twelfth Imám. He also writes on the authority of the same book that Sálár died in 448/1056 or 463/1070, and was laid to rest in Khusrow Sháh, one of the villages in the province of Tabríz. `Alí Dawání is hesitant to accept the place of Sálár's burial in Khusrow Sháh, for this report is based on Tadhkirat al-`ulamá' by Mullá \ashrí. He argues that the same author claims that the grave of Qu>b al-Dín al-Ráwandí is at Khusrow Sháh, while it is situated in the courtyard of the shrine of the Ma`#úma of Qum. `Alí Dawání accepts the date of his death as given by al-@afadí, that is 448/1056. He further says that Sálár lived till his end at Baghdad, and, therefore, there was no reason to bury him in the suburbs of Tabríz.
4. Abú al-@alá< Al-\alabí
\alab has been a centre of Shí`a learning and activities since the early days of Islam. It is said that one of the wives of al-Imám al-\usayn, while being taken to Dimashq along with other prisoners of Ahl al-Bayt after the tragedy of Karbalá', miscarried a child, Ma<assan b. al-\usayn, at this place, who was buried there. Yáqút al-\amawí (d. 626/1229), in Mu`jam al-buldán, wrote that Qal`a-ye \alab was the Palace of Ibráhím (Maqám Ibráhím), where the severed head of Ya<yá b. Zakariyyá was put in a trunk. He also says that according to a tradition someone saw in a dream that the grave of Imám `Alí was also beside Báb al-Jinán. He says further that inside Báb al-`Iráq is situated the Mosque of Ghawth (Masjid Ghawth), and there on a stone is an inscription attributed to Amír al-Mu'minín `Alí. Yáqút also refers to the grave of Ma<assan b. al-\usayn at Kúh-e Jawshan in the eastern part of the town. He adds that the fuqahá' of \alab issue fatáwá according to Shí`í fiqh.
Jalál al-Dín al-Balkhí al-Rúmí (d. 672/1273), in his Mathnawi, ironically refers to the mourning ceremonies at \alab commemorating the martyrdom of al-Imám al-\usayn, which is indicative of the devotion of the residents of \alab for AhI al-Bayt. Sayf al-Dawla al-\amdání and the rulers of his family, who professed Shí`í faith, chose \alab as their capital and later the Fátimids ruled the city and its adjoining areas. All these factors contributed to the development of \alab as a centre of Shí`í scholarship. \alab came into prominence in the world of Shí`í learning because of the family of Abú al-Makárim b. Zuhra, but the first Shí`í scholar of \alab to win fame in the Muslim world was Abú al-@alá< Taqí al-Dín b. Najm al-Dín al-\alabí.
Taqí al-Dín b. Najm al-Dín al-\alabí (d. 449/1057) was among the most prominent pupils of al-Sayyid al-Murta_á and al-Shaykh al-^úsí, and was deputed at \alab as representative of his teacher. Al-Shaykh al-^úsí, in his al-Rijál, in the chapter dealing the 'ulamá' that did not narrate directly from the Imáms, mentions Abú al-@alá<'s name, saying that he is a reliable scholar and has to his credit many books. Al-^úsí also certified that he had been a pupil of both himself and al-Sayyid al-Murta_á. This testimony by a teacher of the repute of al-^úsí for one of his pupils is a rare thing, for al-^úsí never mentioned any of his pupils among the eminent `ulama' of the post-Occultation period. This honour, if not unprecedented, is rarely won by a scholar in the annals of Shí`í scholarship.
Ibn Shahr Áshúb, in Ma`álim al-`ulamá', mentions the following works of Abú al-@alá<: Kitáb al-bidáya in fiqh, and a commentary on al-Dhakhíra by al-Sayyid al-Murta_á. Al-`Alláma al-\ilIí (in Khulá#at al-aqwál ), Ibn Dáwúd, and al-Shaykh al-\urr al-`Ámilí (in Amal al-`ámil) paid tribute to his scholarship. The latter mentions his name as Taqí al-Dín, which seems to be his full name, and probably al-^úsí, naming him Taqí, used only the first part of his full name. Al-Shaykh al-\urr al-`Ámilí refers to another work of Abú al-@alá<, Taqríb al-ma`árif.
It is worth mentioning that though many scholars of \alab are known as al-\alabí, whenever al-\alabí alone as a title is referred to in the terminology of fuqahá' it is meant to refer to Abú al-@alá< only; and whenever al-\alabiyyán is used, it refers to Abú al-@alá< and Sayyid Abú al-Makárim b. Zuhra. The Sháfi`í scholar, Núr al-Dín al-\alabí (d. 1044/1634), the author of Insán al-`uyún fí sírat al-Amín wa-l-Ma'mún, popularly known as al-Síra al-\alabiyya, is also remembered as al-\alabí. However, the first person who won universal acclaim as al-\alabí and who placed \alab on the map of Islamic learning was Abú al-@alá<.
5. Abú al-Fat< al-Karájikí
Another pupil of al-Sayyid al-Murta_á and al-Shaykh al-^úsí, who also received instruction under al-Shaykh al-Mufíd was Abú al-Fat< Mu<ammad b. `Alí b. `Uthmán al-Karájikí (d. 449/1057). Ibn Shahr Áshúb, in Ma`álim al-`ulamá' gives a list of fourteen books written by him, and al-Shaykh al-\urr al-`Ámilí mentions eight of his works. Al-Karájikí is distinguished as a faqíh, mu<addith, and mutakallim. `Alláma Núrí in Mustadrak, gave a detailed account of his works. A selected list of his works is given below:
Shaykh `Abd Alláh al-Yáfi`í, (d. 768/1366) in Mir'át al-jinán, giving the account of the year 449/1057, writes that Abú al-Fat< al-Karkhí al-Khímí, a leading Shí`í scholar, author of many books, a grammarian, a lexicographer, an astrologer, a physician, a mutakallim, and one of the outstanding pupils of al-Sharíf al-Murta_á, died this year. Ibn \ajar al-`Asqalání (d. 852/1448) has also paid him tribute in Lisán al-Mízán, and says that Abú @alá< died on the second day of Rabí` al-Ákhir, 449/1057. Ibn `Imád al-\anbalí, in Shadharát al-dhahab, mentions the same date of death.
From the list of his books and the accounts of historians it is evident that al-Karájikí was a prolific writer and a scholar of varied interests, who excelled in fiqh, <adíth, kalám, grammar, literature, astronomy, and mathematics. He travelled widely but lived most of his life in Egypt at Nazíl al-Ramla. He trained and educated many outstanding scholars, particularly in Islamic sciences. Al-Karájikí is probably the first Shí`í scholar of Islamic sciences who while being an authority in fiqh combined his theological scholarship with his expert knowledge of physical sciences and mathematics.
6. Abú al-`Abbás al-Najáshi
A<mad b. `Alí b. A<mad b. `Abbás b. Mu<ammad b. `Abd Alláh b. Ibráhím b. Mu<ammad b. `Abd Alláh al-Asadí al-Najáshí (d. 450/1058) is considered the oldest and most authentic Shí`í scholar of `ilm al-Rijál, whose book Rijál al-Najáshí has been the most reliable source of information about Shí`í `ulamá'. His kunya is Abú al-`Abbás. He belonged to a family of eminent scholars. According to his own account he descended from `Adnán. He writes in his Rijál that his seventh ancestor, in upward order, `Abd Alláh al-Najáshí was the governor of Ahwáz and Fars during the reign of al-Man#úr, the `Abbásí caliph. He was among the companions of al-Imám Ja`far al-@ádiq, and compiled the Imám's answers to his queries under the title Risálat `Abd Alláh al-Najáshí'. Abú al-`Abbás's father `Alí b. A<mad lived in Baghdad and received education under al-Shaykh al-@adúq on his arrival there. He was acclaimed as a faqíh and mu<addith. `Alí's father Abú Ya`qúb A<mad b. al-`Abbás was also held in respect as a scholar among the people of Baghdad, from whom Hárún b. Músá Tall`ukbarí and his own son, father of Abú al-`Abbás, received instruction in religious sciences. Al-Shaykh al-^úsí in his Rijál, under those who do narrate directly from the Imáms, says that he was popularly known as Ibn al-^ayálísí; Tall`ukbarí received <adíth from him in 335/946 and was given permission to narrate them on his authority; his residence was in Baghdad at ¬arb al-Baqar; al-Najáshí's great grandfather, `Abbás b. Muhammad, was a companion and pupil of al-Imám al-Ri_á, and narrated <adíth on the Imám's authority. Al-^úsí mentioned his name in the list of the companions of al-Imám al-Ri_á, and says that he was from Kúfa. Al-Najáshí also, for being an Asadí who originally came from Kúfa, was called Ibn al-Kúfa in Baghdad. Another kunya of his was Abú al-\asan. He was born in 372/982 and died at Matirábád in Jumádá al-Awwal 450/1058.
Al-Najáshí frequently travelled to Najaf, to Kúfa - which was his birthplace - to Sámarrá' and probably to Ba#ra, where he attended classes of renowned scholars of his time. Besides these scholars, he received his education formally in Baghdad. At the age of 28 in 400/1009 he visited al-Najaf al-Ashraf, where he heard <adíth from al-\usayn b. Ja`far al-Makhzúmí, popularly known as Ibn al-Khumrí and was awarded an ijáza by him. During the same year, he got a similar ijáza from Mu<ammad b. Shádhán al-Qazwíní, who had come to visit Baghdad. During his several visits to Kúfa, he heard <adíth from Ja`far b. Bashír al-Bajalí, \asan b. A<mad b. Mu<ammad b. Haytham al-`Ijlí and Is<áq b. al-\asan al-Aqra`í. His teachers included such eminent scholars as al-Shaykh al-Mufíd, Ibn `Abdún (A<mad b. `Abd al-Wa<íd), A<mad b. Mu<ammad b. `Imrán, known as Ibn al-Jundí, A<mad b. Mu<ammad b. Músá b. Hárún b. @alt al-Ahwází, Abú al-`Abbás A<mad b. Nú< b. `Alí b. al-`Abbás b. Nú< al-Síráfí, \usayn b. `Ubayd Alláh al-Gha_á'irí, `Alí b. A<mad b. al-Jayyid al-Qummí, Mu<ammad b. Ja`far Mu'addab, Adíb al-Na<wí, Mu<ammad b. `Uthmán Mu`addal al-Na#íbí, Abú al-Faraj Mu<ammad b. `Alí b. Shádhán al-Qazwíní, A<mad b. al-\usayn al-Gha_á'irí, A<mad b. `Ubayd Alláh al-Jawharí, al-\asan b. A<mad b. Qásim al-Sharíf al-`Alawí, `Uthmán b. \átim al-Taghlibí, Mu<ammad b. `Abd Alláh Abú al-Fa_l al-Shaybání, Abú Mu<ammad al-Súrání, Abú al-\asan b. Mahlús al-`Alawí and his own father.
Al-Najáshí's main interest was `ilm al-rijál and its allied branches of knowledge. From childhood he took a keen interest in this subject. He not only attended lectures of eminent teachers, but also visited their houses. For instance, he himself narrates in his book on Rijál, under the account of al-Kulayní, that he used to attend the classes of Abú al-\usayn al-Kátib al-Kúfí at the Mosque of Lu'lu', known as Masjid Naf>awayh al-Na<wí. Similarly he recounts his visits to the house of \usayn and A<mad al-Gha_á'irí.
Al-Najáshí's written work seems to be confined to a few books despite his vast knowledge. He has mentioned his following books in Rijál al-Najáshí:
Though there is no mention of al-Najáshí in al-Fihrist of al-Shaykh al-^úsí, which is a very conspicuous absence, al-Najáshí's Rijál is generally acclaimed by most of the authorities in this field as the best Shí`í work in this field to this day, even superior to al-^úsí's Rijál and al-Fihrist. Al-Shahíd al-Thání acknowledges that Rijál al-Najáshí is superior to all other works with regard to the author's meticulousness and labour in ascertaining the authenticity of early Shí`í rijál. Shaykh `Abd al-Nabí al-Jazá'irí, in al-\áwí, also prefers the book to that of al-^úsí, and adds that all latter scholars accept the authenticity of al-Najáshí's work. `Alláma Báqir al-Majlisí, in the Fihrist of Bi<ár al-anwár, places the book on a par with those of al-^úsí. Abú `Alí al-\á'irí, Wa<íd al-Bihbahání and `Alláma Ba<r al-`Ulúm consider al-Najáshí as one of the greatest authorities of all time on Rijál, and place his book at the highest place in respect of authenticity. Áyatulláh Burújirdí is of the view that the Shí`a have only two works on Rijál: those of al-^úsí and al-Najáshí. Mu<ammad Wá`i~ Zádeh writes that Áyatulláh Burújirdí held the view that Rijál al-Najáshí was more reliable than al-Fihrist of al-^úsí, for al-Najáshí corrected the lapses and inaccuracies found in the work of al-^úsí. `Alláma Ba<r al-`Ulúm, who considers al-Najáshí's book the best in Rijál, bases his assessment on the following six points:
We do not have any knowledge about the pupils of al-Najáshí except one, that is Abú al-@am#ám Dhú al-Fiqár b. Mu<ammad b. Ma`bad al-\asaní al-`Alawí al-Marúzí, through whom Ibn Dáwúd, an authority on rijál, is related to al-Najáshí. When Shaykh Muntajab al-Dín al-Rází saw Abú al-@am#ám, he was one hundred and fifteen years old.
7. Abú Ya`lá al-Ja`farí
Abú Ya`lá al-Ja`farí (d. 463/1071), a contemporary of al-^úsí and al-Najáshí, and an eminent pupil of al-Mufíd, was also al-Mufíd's son-in-law. Al-Najáshí gives the following account of him:
Abú Ya`lá's rise to his teacher's post in the presence of scores of eminent scholars among al-Mufíd's pupils is astonishing and is indicative of his high status as a scholar. It is most probable that Abú Ya`lá did not succeed his teacher soon after his death, for at that time Abú Ya`lá's age should have been about thirty and it was improbable that he could occupy al-Mufíd's place after a considerable gap of time.
According to Qámús al-rijál, it is written in `Umdat al->álib that Abú Ya`lá was a descendant of Ja`far al-^ayyár b. Abí ^álib, an elder brother of Amír al-Mu'minín `Alí. In later books of rijál, also Abú Ya`lá is mentioned as an eminent faqíh who trained a number of outstanding scholars.
8. Qá_í `Abd al-`Azíz b. al-Barráj
Qá_í `Abd al-`Azíz b. al-Barráj (d. 481/1088) was trained and educated by al-Sharíf al-Murta_á, who awarded him a monthly stipend of eight dinars. Ibn Shahr Áshúb, in Ma`álim al-`ulamá', writes about him:
`Alláma Ba<r al-`Ulúm mentions his name as `Abd al-`Azíz b. Ba<r according to an ijáza issued by al-`Alláma al-\illí to Ibn Zuhra. With reference to an ijáza issued by al-Shahíd al-Thaní, he says that Ibn al-Barráj was responsible for the affairs of justice at ^arábulus for twenty or thirty years. He further says that among his pupils were Shams al-Islám al-\asan b. al-\usayn b. Bábawayb (al-\asaká), al-Shaykh al-Faqíh al-\usayn b. `Abd al-`Azíz, al-Shaykh `Abd al-Ra<mán b. A<mad al-Khuzá`í, `Abd al-Jabbár b. `Abd Alláh al-Rází and `Ubayd Alláh b. al-\asan b. Bábawayh (father of Muntajab al-Dín al-Rází).
The author of Raw_at al-jannát writes, with reference to Riyá_ al-`ulamá', that Ibn al-Barráj was a pupil of al-Sayyid al-Murta_á from 429/1037 up to his death, and he spent the major part of his student life under al-Shaykh al-^úsí. He returned to ^arábulus in 438/1046, where he died on 9th Shaban 381/991 at the ripe age of eighty odd years. He was born and brought up in Egypt. The author of Raw_át al-jannát gave this account with reference to Nizám al-aqwál of Ni~ám al-Dín al-Qarashí, adding that Ibn al-Barráj narrated <adíth on the authority of al-Sayyid al-Murta_á, al-Shaykh al-^úsí, Abú al-Fat< al-Karájikí and Taqí al-Dín b. Najm Abú al-@alá< al-\alabí, and from him narrated Mu<ammad b. `Alí b. al-\asan al-\alabí.
Ibn al-Barráj officiated as the representative of al-^úsí at ^arábulus, situated presently in north Lebanon. After his death, `Abd al-`Azíz b. al-Kámil al-^arábulusí - who was also a scholar of eminence in his own right - was appointed to the position of qá_í in his place.
 Shaykh aI-^á'ifa Abú Ja`far Mu<ammad ibn al-\asan al-^úsí, Rijál al-^úsí, (Najaf, 1380/1961), p.470.
 Ibid., pp.470-71 (note).
 Abú al-`Abbás al-Najáshí, Rijál al-Najáshí, (Qum, 1407/1986), p.69.
 Al-`Alláma al-\illí, Rijál al-`Alláma al-\illí, ed. aI-Sayyid Mu<ammad Sádiq Ba<r aI-`Ulúm, (Qum, 1402/1981), p. 50; Shaykh `Abbás al-Qummí, Hadiyyat al-a<báb, (Tehran, 1363 Sh.), p. 226; Shaykh `Abbás al-Qummí, al-Fawá'id al-Ri_awiyya (Qum), p.140.
 Al-Dhahabí, Mízán al-i`tidál (Cairo, 1382/1962), vol.1, 541.
 Ibn \ajar al-`Asqalání, Lisán al-Mízán (Hyderabad) vol.2, 288.
 `Alí Dawání, Mafákhir-e Islám, (Tehran, 1363 Sham.), vol.3, 229-39.
 Ibid, p.231.
 Ibid, p.233.
 Ibid, p.235; cf. Mu#affa l-maqál.
 Ibid, p.235.
 Ibid, p.237.
 Ibid, p.238; cf. Aqá Buzurg al-Tehrání, al-Dharí`a, vol.10, p.88.
 Al-Shaykh al-Mufíd, Kitáb al-Irshád, trans. I.K.A. Howard, (London,
 `Alí Dawání, op. cit., p.303; cf. al-Daraját al-rafí`a, p.484.
 Ibid., p.307.
 Ibid., p.305; cf. `Umdat al->álib, p.296.
 Ibid., p.316; cf. al-Daraját al-rafí`a, p.484.
 Ibn Shahr Áshúb aI-Mázandarání, Ma`álim al-`ulamá', (Najaf, 1380/1961), p.68; al-Fawá'id al-Ri_awiyya, op. cit., p.323.
 `Alí Dawání, op. cit., p.317.
 Ibid., p. 308; cf. Shaykh Muntajab al-Dín, al-Fihrist (included in Bi<ár al-anwár).
 Ibn Shahr Áshúb, op. cit., 135-6.
 `Alí Dawání, op. cit., p.309; cf. Naqd al-rijál, p.156.
 Ibid, p.309; cf. Khulá#at al-`Alláma, p.86.
 Ibid., p. 310.
 Ibid., pp.314-5.
 Ibid., p.310; cf. Rijál al-`Alláma Ba<r al-`Ulúm, vol.2, p.12 (note).
 Ibid., p.311; Rijál Ba<r al-`Ulúm, p. 18 (note).
 Ibid., p. 312.
 Shaykh `Abbás al-Qummí, al-Fawá'id al-Ri_awiyya, p.203.
 `Alí Dawání, op. cit., p.314.
 Ibid., p.314.
 Yáqút al-\amawí, Mu`jam al-buldán, (Beirut), vol.2. pp.282-4.
 `Alí Dawání, op. cit., p.457.
 Ibid., pp. 318-21.
 Rijál al-^úsí; op. cit., p. 457.
 Ibn Shahr Áshúb, op. cit., p.29.
 `Alí Dawání, op. cit., p.322.
 Ibid., pp.325-6.
 Ibid., pp.331-4.
 Ibid., p.336; cf. Mir'át al-jinán, vol.3, 70.
 Ibid., p.336; cf. Lisán al-mizán, vol.5, 300.
 Ibid., p.336; cf. Shadharát aI-dhahab, vol.3, 283.
 Al-Najáshí, op. cit., p.101.
 `Alí Dawání, op. cit., p.348.
 Ibid., p.349; cf. Rijál al-^úsí, p.446.
 Ibid., p.349.
 Ibid., p.350.
 Ibid., p.355; cf. al-Najáshí.
 Ibid., pp.364-5; cf. aI-Najáshí.
 Al-Najáshí, p.101.
 `Alí Dawání, p.357.
 Ibid., p. 351.
 Ibid., p. 351.
 Ibid., p.358.
 Ibid., p.358-9.
 Ibid., p.352-3.
 Ibid., p.365.
 Al-Najáshí, op. cit., p.404.
 `Alí Dawání, op. cit., p.388.
 Ibid, p.390.
 Ibn Shahr Áshúb, op. cit., p.80.
 `Alí Dawání, op. cit., p.397.
 Ibid., pp.397-8.
 Ibid., p.398.
 Ibid., p.399.
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