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The Pupils of Shaykh Tusī

The first point that draws our attention pertains to the Iranian pupils of Shaykh Tusī. It should be noted that some of the pupils of Shaykh Mufīd and Sharīf Murtada were Iranians who were also later on pupils of Shaykh Tusī or his contemporary scholars. Among these contemporaries of the Shaykh is ‘Abd al-Jabbar Razī, to whom we shall refer later.

Another was Sallar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azīz Daylamī (d. 446/1056), who came from Tabaristan and was a close disciple of Sharīf Murtada and who at times taught in his teacher’s stead1. He was the teacher of many Arab and Iranian scholars and a contemporary of Abu al-Salah HalAbu—or his teacher, according to some scholars. It is said that when the people of Halab approached him for fatwa he would refer them to Abu al-Salah2. His grave is at Khusrow Shah near Tabrīz3, a point which is itself indicative of his visits to Iran.

Al-Hakīm gives biographical accounts of forty persons from among the pupils of Shaykh Tusī. Many of them had obvious Iranian names and nisbahs pertaining to their native towns. Among them one finds such names as Qummī, Nayshaburī, Jurjanī, Amulī, as well as Nasafī, Marwazī, Qazwīnī and Abī. His non-Iranian pupils were from Iraq and Syria.

Possibly some of them might have settled down in Iraq but were of Iranian origin, although it is possible that some of them came from families of Arab descent settled in Iran, such as the Hamdanīs of Ray and Qazwīn4, as well as the Khuza‘īs who had settled in Iran for centuries. Some of them have left works in Arabic and Persian. It has been said about ‘Abd al-Jabbar ibn ‘Ali Razī that he had writings on fiqh in Arabic and Persian5. It appears that their first generation wrote in Arabic but gradually they came to write books in Persian as well. Muhammad ibn Husayn Muhtasib, one of the teachers of Muntajab al-Dīn, was the author of the book Ramishafza-ye Al-e Muhammad, a ten-volume work in Persian6.

As to the Iranian pupils of Shaykh Tusī, among them were:

1. Adam ibn Yunus Nasafī.7 According to Ibn Hajar, Muntajab al-Dīn mentioned him in the book Rijal al-Shī‘ah al-Imamiyyah and considered him a pupil of Shaykh Tusī8.

2. Ahmad ibn Husayn ibn Ahmad Khuza‘ī Nayshaburī. He was the father of ‘Abd al-Rahman Mufīd, more of whom will be said later on. Ahmad was among the pupils of Sayyid Murtada, Sayyid Radī and Shaykh Tusī who settled down in Ray. He is the author of several works, such as an Amalī in four volumes, ‘Uyun al-Ahadīth, al-Rawdah in fiqh, as well as other works9 including al-Arba‘īn ‘an al-Arba‘īn fī fada’il Amīr al-Mu’minīn (‘a)10.

3. Ishaq ibn Muhammad ibn Hasan ibn Husayn ibn Babawayh Qummī and his brother.

4. Isma‘īl ibn Muhammad ibn Hasan ibn Husayn ibn Babawayh Qummī. According to Muntajab al-Dīn, these two were among narrators of the works of Shaykh Tusī and themselves authors of books in Arabic and Persian11.

5. Hasan ibn Husayn ibn Babawayh Qummī, known as Hasaka (resident of Ray). He was the grandfather of Muntajab al-Dīn, the author of al-Fihrist, and the Shaykh of many Shī‘ī scholars of Iran during the sixth/twelfth century. He had a school (madrasah) at Ray about which ‘Abd al-Jalil writes that ‘‘the school of Shams al-Islam Hasaka Babawayh, the Senior preceptor of this sect (pīr-e īn Ta’ifeh) is near the Sarai Ayalat and is a place for the holding of congregational prayers, recitations of Qur’an, and Qur’anic instruction of children and sessions of preaching and wa‘z.’’12 Among his pupils was Abu ‘Ali Tabrisī.13 Another pupil of his is his own son, ‘Ubayd Allah, father of Muntajab al-Dīn. ‘Ubayd Allah narrated the works of Tusī through his father. An ijazah by Shaykh Hasan ibn Husayn Duryastī (settled at Kashan) indicates that he had the ijazah to narrate the Shaykh’s MabsuT through ‘Ubayd Allah, from his father, from Shaykh Tusī, and the same chain of transmission is given for an Arab scholar named Shaykh Murshid al-Dīn Abu al-Husayn ‘Ali ibn Husayn Surawī14. Another pupil of Hasaka was Sayyid Rida ibn Da‘ī ‘Aqīqī Mashhadī15.

6. Husayn ibn Muzaffar ibn ‘Ali Hamdanī Qazwīnī (resident of Qazwīn) (d. 498/1104). According to Muntajab al-Dīn, for thirty years he had studied all the works of Shaykh Tusī under him16. Rafi‘ī writes that he travelled to Iraq where he was a pupil of some of the scholars17. Among his pupils were Sayyid Talib ibn ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib Abharī Faqīh18, Sayyid ‘Abd Allah Ibn Ahmad Ja‘farī Qazwīnī (Shaykh al-Talibiyyah fī waqtih)19 and Sayyid Abu al-Barakat Muhammad ibn Isma‘īl Mashhadī20, and Amīrka ibn Abu al-Lajīm Qazwīnī ‘Ijlī21 (belonging to the Shī‘ī ‘Ijlī family residing at Qazwīn)22.

7. Sayyid Dhu al-Fiqar ibn Muhammad ibn Ma‘bad Hasanī Marwazī. He was a pupil of Shaykh Tusī23 and Sayyid Murtada. Muntajab al-Dīn writes, ‘‘I saw him when he was one hundred and fifteen years old.24’’ At some time he had travelled to Damascus where he was seen by Ibn ‘Asakir who mentions him as ‘‘one of the Rafidīs.25’’ He was among the teachers of Sayyid Fadl Allah Rawandī26 and Qutb al-Dīn Rawandī27.

8. ‘Abd al-Jabbar ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Ali Muqri’ Razī, known as Mufīd. Muntajab al-Dīn refers to him as the faqīh of the Shī‘ah of Ray (faqīh aShabina bi al-Ray) and says that he was a pupil of Sallar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azīz and Ibn Barraj. After being at Baghdad he returned to Ray where he engaged in training students and, according to ‘Abd al-Jalil, had four hundred pupils28. ‘Abd al-Jalil writes that ‘‘in the madrasah of Khwajah ‘Abd al-Jabbar Mufīd four hundred scholars of fiqh and kalam receive lessons of the Sharī‘ah.29’’ In that case he must have been one of the important links between the schools of Baghdad and Najaf and the Iranian Shī‘ī community. Muntajab al-Dīn writes that he had works on fiqh in Arabic and Persian30, but we do not know their titles. Abu ‘Ali Tabrisī, author of the Majma‘ al-Bayan, was his pupil as mentioned by himself31. Sayyid Tayyib ibn Hadī Shajarī32, belonging to the Shajarī Sayyids of Iran, was also his pupil.

9. ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Ahmad ibn Husayn Mufīd Nayshaburī Khuza‘ī. The Khuza‘ī family was one of the outstanding learned families of the day in Ray. Apart from the fact that the father of ‘Abd al-Rahman was a pupil of Sharīf Murtada and Shaykh Tusī, his uncle, Muhsin ibn Husayn Khuza‘ī, was author of several books33. Muntajab al-Dīn writes that he travelled east and west and heard traditions from Shī‘ī and Sunnī scholars (al-mu’alif wa al-mukhalif).

Among his works were an Amalī, ‘Uyun al-Akhbar, Safinat al-Najat, etc. He had studied under Shaykh Tusī, Sharīf Murtada, Sharīf Radī, Karajakī, Ibn Barraj, Sallar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azīz34, and Shaykh Abu al-Muzaffar Layth ibn Sa‘d Asadī, a resident of Zanjan35, and ‘Abd al-Baqī KhaTib BaSrī36 and benefited as well from the teaching of some pupils of Shaykh Tusī such as Abu Sa‘d Mansur Abī37.

He was a narrator of Abu al-Salah HalAbu’s work, al-Kafī, from its author38. ‘Abd al-Jalil writes about him, ‘‘The khwajah and faqīh, ‘Abd al-Rahman Nayshaburī, whose books, writings, pen and pronouncements are held in great esteem by Islamic sects.39’’ ‘Abd al-Rahman was an uncle of the father of Abu al-Futuh Razī, author of the famous exegesis, and he formed one of the original links of propagation of Shī‘ī learning of Iraq, especially that of Shaykh Tusī, among Iranian Shī‘ah40.

After studies he returned to Ray where he managed a mosque. Two of his pupils were Murtada and Mujtaba, sons of Da‘ī ibn Qasīm Hasanī, through whom Muntajab al-Dīn possessed the ijazah of narration from ‘Abd al-Rahman Mufīd Nayshaburī41. Muntajab al-Dīn also possessed an ijazah through the same Murtada to narrate the traditions and works narrated by Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali ibn Hibat Allah ibn ‘Uthman MawSilī42. In the tradition in which his name is mentioned, the date of narration of the hadīth through him is mentioned as 476/1083 and the place of narration as his mosque in Ray43. To him is attributed the TabSirat al-‘Awam, the old Persian work on here biography (firaq wa madhahib)44, an attribution which has rightly been questioned.

10. ‘Ali ibn ‘Abd al-Samad Tamīmī Sabzawarī Nayshaburī. He was the ancestor of the famous family of scholars of the sixth/twelfth century, one of whom was the author of the book Dhakhīrat al-Akhirah, a work in Persian on supplications which has been edited and published by this author45. ‘Ali ibn ‘Abd al-Samad and his sons and grandsons are mentioned in many chains of authorities (isnad) which we shall mention later on.

11. Muhammad ibn ‘Ali Fattal Nayshaburī, author of the book Rawdat al-wa‘izīn and a Qur’anic commentary; the latter work is mentioned repeatedly by ‘Abd al-Jalil along with other outstanding Shī‘ī exegeses such as the Tibyan and the Majma‘ al-Bayan. Muntajab al-Dīn refers to him in two places, once in relation to his tafsīr46 and in another place where he mentions the Rawdat al-wa‘izīn47. Muhaddith Urmawī, on the basis of Ibn Shahr Ashub’s introduction to his Manaqib, where he mentions Fattal as one of his teachers, believes that these two entries relate to one person48. Aqa Buzurg Tehranī writes that he narrated from Shaykh Tusī49.

12. Muntaha ibn Abu Zayd Husaynī Jurjanī Kajjī. Muntajab al-Dīn mentions several individuals of this family50. ‘Abd al-Jalil writes that Sayyid al-Muntaha al-Jurjanī ‘‘was killed openly by the renegades’’ (‘malahidah,’ i.e. the Isma‘īlīs)51 and at another place he writes that the Isma‘īlīs killed him in public, as well as Abu Talib Kiya (at Qazwin) and Sayyid Kiya Jurjanī, whose corpse was disentombed and burnt by them because they were Shī‘īs52. He was among the teachers of Ibn Shahr Ashub and he mentions him with the name, Muntaha ibn Abu Zayd ibn Kiyabakī (Kiyasakī or Kaysakī) Husaynī Jurjanī53. Probably he might have met Shaykh Tusī for, as mentioned by Afandī, his father, Sayyid Abu Zayd ‘Abd Allah Husaynī Jurjanī, was a pupil of Sharīf Murtada and Sharīf Radī54.

13. ManSur ibn Husayn Abī, the minister of the Buwayhids. Muntajab al-Dīn mentions him among the pupils of Shaykh Tusī55. He is the author of the precious literary work Nathr al-durr, which has been published in seven volumes.

  • 1. Al-‘Amilī, al-Sayyid Muhsin, A‘yan al-Shī‘ah (Beirut: Dar al-Ta‘aruf, nd.), 11 vols., vol. 7, p. 171
  • 2. Ibid
  • 3. Al-Tehranī, Aqa Buzurg, Al-Dharī‘ah ila tasanīf al-Shī‘ah (Mu’assasah-ye Matbu‘atī-ye Isma‘īliyan, nd.), 25 vols., vol. 1, p. 74
  • 4. Such as Imam Abu al-Faraj Hamdanī, his son Shaykh Husayn Hamdanī, Imam Abu Sa‘īd Hamdanī, known as Nasir al-Dīn (see ‘Abd al-Jalil Qazwīnī Razī, Naqd (Tehran: Anjuman-e Athar-e Millī, 1358 H. Sh.) ed., Muhaddith Urmawī, p. 210) and Burhan al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Muhammad Hamdanī Qazwīnī (see Majlisī, Bihar al-Anwar (Beirut: Mu’assasat al-Wafa’, 1403) 110 vols., vol. 104, p. 128, the ijazah of the ‘Allamah to Banu Zuhrah).
  • 5. Muntajab al-Dīn ‘Ali ibn Babawayh Razī, al-Fihrist (Qum: Maktabah Ayatullah Mar‘ashī, 1366), ed. Muhaddith Urmawī and Samamī Ha’irī, p. 75, no. 220
  • 6. Ibid., p. 108, no. 394
  • 7. Ibid., p. 34, no. 6
  • 8. Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalanī, Lisan al-Mīzan (Beirut: Dar al-Ihya’ al-Turath al-‘Arabu, 1416) ed. Mar‘ashlī, vol. 1, p. 512
  • 9. Muntajab al-Dīn, op. cit., p. 32, no. 1
  • 10. Ibid., p. 30
  • 11. Ibid., p. 33, no. 4
  • 12. Abd al-Jalil Qazwīnī, op. cit., p. 34
  • 13. Karīman, Tabrisī wa Majma‘ al-Bayan (Tehran: Tehran University, 1360 H. Sh.), vol. 1, pp. 290-291
  • 14. Afandī, Mīrza ‘Abd Allah, Riyad al-‘ulama’ wa hiyad al-fudala’ (Qum: Maktabah Ayatullah Mar‘ashī, 1401), ed. Sayyid Ahmad Ashkewarī, vol. 1, p. 179
  • 15. Muntajab al-Dīn, op. cit., p. 64, no. 164
  • 16. Ibid., p. 47, no. 73
  • 17. Al-Rafi‘ī, al-Tadwīn fī Akhbar Qazwīn (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1408), ed. ‘Azīz Allah ‘Utarudī, vol. 2, p. 462
  • 18. Muntajab al-Dīn, op, cit., p. 73, no. 207
  • 19. Ibid., p. 80, no. 337
  • 20. Ibid., p. 106, no. 387
  • 21. Al-Rafi‘ī, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 316
  • 22. See Urmawī, the endnotes to Muntajab al-Dīn’s al-Fihrist, pp. 176-183
  • 23. Concerning Dhu al-Fiqar’s narration from Shaykh Tusī, see Rawandī, Qisas al-Anbiya’ (Mashhad: Bunyad-e Pazhuhishha-ye Islamī 1409), ed. Ghulam Rida ‘Irfaniyan, p. 142
  • 24. Muntajab al-Dīn, op. cit., p. 62, no. 157; see also p. 42, no. 54
  • 25. Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarīkh Dimashq (Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1415), vol. 17, p. 329. He writes that Dhu al-Fiqar considered himself to have been born in the year 455/1063 at Marw. Should this date be correct, he should not be considered a pupil of Sharīf Murtada (d. 436/1044) or even that of Shaykh Tusī (d. 460/1067).
  • 26. See Rawandī, Dīwan al-Sayyid al-Imam Diya’ al-Dīn Abu al-Rida al-Hasanī al-Rawandī (Tehran: Maktabat al-Majlis, 1334 H. Sh.), ed. Muhaddith Urmawī, the editor’s introduction, p. 25.
  • 27. Rawandī, Qisas al-Anbiya’, p. 73
  • 28. Abd al-Jalil Qazwīnī, op. cit., p. 210
  • 29. Ibid., p. 35
  • 30. Muntajab al-Dīn, op. cit., p. 75, no. 220
  • 31. Al-Tabrisī, Majma‘ al-Bayan (Sidon), vol. 3, p. 413
  • 32. Muntajab al-Dīn, op. cit., p. 73, no. 208
  • 33. Ibid., p. 101, no. 360
  • 34. Ibid., p. 75, no. 219
  • 35. Ibid., p. 99, no., 348
  • 36. Ibid., p. 76, no., 225
  • 37. Ibid., p. 105, no., 376
  • 38. Ibid., p. 44, no. 60
  • 39. ‘Abd al-Jalil Qazwīnī, op. cit., p. 144
  • 40. See for instance, Muntajab al-Dīn , op. cit., p. 106, nos. 385, 386
  • 41. Muntajab al-Dīn, op. cit., p. 106
  • 42. Ibid., p. 76, no. 224
  • 43. Abd al-Jalil Qazwīnī, op. cit., p. 495
  • 44. Tabsirat al-‘Awam (Tehran: AsaTīr 1364 H. Sh.), ed. ‘Abbas Iqbal, ‘‘Introduction.’’
  • 45. Dhakhīrat al-Akhirah (Qum: Intisharat-e AnSariyan, 1375 H. Sh.), ed. Rasul Ja‘fariyan.
  • 46. Muntajab al-Dīn, op. cit., no. 108, by the name Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Ali Fattal Nayshaburī.
  • 47. Ibid., p. 126, by the name Shaykh Shahīd Muhammad ibn Ahmad, al-Farisī. It is probable that there were two books with the title Rawdat al-Wa‘izīn, one by Fattal Nayshaburī and another by Muhammad Farisī
  • 48. Ibid., endnotes, pp. 436-437
  • 49. Al-Tehranī, al-Thiqat al-‘Uyun fī Sadis al-Qurun (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Arabiyyah, 1975), p.. 275
  • 50. Ibid., pp. 103-104
  • 51. Abd al-Jalil Qazwīnī, Naqd, p. 210
  • 52. Ibid., p. 131
  • 53. See Al-Manaqib, vol. 1, p. 12
  • 54. Afandī, op. cit., vol. 3, p. 229
  • 55. Muntajab al-Dīn , op. cit., p. 105, no. 376

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