From time to time there appeared in the horizon of Islamic world, certain outstanding personalities, whose names have shone in the pages of history like brilliant stars. People benefited from their light according to their merits and capabilities.
Among those few eminent personalities the name of Shaykh Tusi tops the list. In fact he has become immortal by sincerely sacrificing his whole life in search of knowledge and spreading Islamic teachings.
Shaykh Abu Ja'far, Muhammad bin Hasan was born at Tus, one of the cities of Khurasan (Iran), in the month of Ramadan 385 A.H. At the age of 23 he left for Baghdad (Iraq) and acquired knowledge from the eminent scholars like Shaykh Mufid and Sayyid Murtadha.
After completing his studies he started delivering lectures on Islamic Jurisprudence and its principles. A large number of great scholars used to attend his lectures and the number of his students reached up to 300.
After the demise of his teacher, Sayyid Murtadha, in 436 A.H., Shaykh Tusi became the central figure of the Shi'ah world. The Shi'ah as well as the Sunni scholars acknowledged his supremacy in Islamic studies.
When the first Saljuqi King Tugril Beg invaded Baghdad in 448 he destroyed the Shi'ah Public Library and burnt the books of Shaykh Tusi and plundered his house. On this critical and dangerous situation he left Baghdad and turned to Najaf al-Ashraf. There he laid the foundation stone of religious centre which is still a centre of Shi'ah religious studies.
It is evident that the high status of Shaykh Tusi does not need any explanation and no one can overestimate it. If someone wants to know his towering personality he should go through his books. He has written many books on different subjects. Out of the four famous and outstanding books of Shi'ah: Usulul Kafi, Man La Yahdhuruhul Faqih, at- Tahzib and al-Istibsar, the last two of them were compiled by Shaykh Tusi; on them the edifice of Shi'aism depends.
He passed away on 22nd Muharram 460 A.H. at the age of 75; and according to his will he was buried in his own house. Later on his house was turned into a masjid (mosque) and now it is one of the most famous masajid of Najaf al-Ashraf (Iraq) where Islamic scholars discuss and deliver lectures on Islamic knowledge.