A Short Bibilography of the Author
The compiler of the book - may God have Mercy upon him is the highly esteemed, noble Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Ali ibn al-Hussein ibn Musa ibn Babooyeh al-Qumi known as Sheikh Sadooq. He has such a high rank in knowledge, understanding, realization of the true meaning of traditions, jurisprudence, honesty in speech and extensive highly valuable writings that no one can write about and fully express these. All the knowledgeable people who have either written his biography or used his highly valuable books have tried to praise his works and declare his Divine Leadership and honesty. They have called him 'Sheikh' that is normally the title of native scholars trained in the traditional sciences such as clerical dignitaries, members of a religious order, or professors of spiritual institutions of higher learning that is a master of an order. He has also been called honest and a forerunner.
We can say that he has been one of the signs of God. He passed away at an age over seventy in the year 993 A.D. His publications that were more than 300 in number were like brilliant stars guiding those who sought to follow the Divine Path. Unfortunately, the tragic occurrences in history resulted in the loss of the majority of his works. We can clearly state that not even one tenth of his writings have remained today.
There is no need to present any evidence or reasoning to prove his high rank. However, we will briefly mention a few of the remarks of our noble religious scholars about his noble personality here for the readers to get a bit more familiar with him.
Sheikh al-Taefeh (may God have mercy upon him) has called him ''of a high position'' in his book Al-Fehrest. Then he wrote, ''He is the protector of the traditions, aware and informed about the personalities, and is an informed person and a critic on traditions. One has not seen anyone of similar capabilities among the scientists in Qum. He has about 300 publications.'' He also makes similar remarks about him in his Rijal1.
Najashi who was a great researcher on ''great men'' calls him ''Abu Ja’far from Qum''. He also calls him Sheikh, our jurisprudent, a shining character, and the honor of the Shiites in Khorasan2. He wrote, “He was young when he entered Baghdad in the year 968 A.D. The great men of the Shiites listened to him to learn traditions and gain Divine Knowledge. Khatib Baghdadi in his famous book Tarikh-i-Baghdad3 wrote: He4 entered Baghdad and quoted traditions on the authority of his father. He was one of the well-known and noble men of the Shiites, and Muhammad ibn Talha an-Naáli told me about him.
Ibn Edris has praised him in his Saraér and said, ''He was honest in speech, noble, informed about the traditions5, and a critic. He was very knowledgeable about the great men. He had memorized many traditions.” Allamih Hel'li has called him Sheikh, and has said that he is our jurisprudent, our honor, and the bright and real character of the Shiites.
He has been called the following titles by the noble religious Shiite scholars: Ibn Shahr Ashoob; Seyed ibn Tavoos; Fakhr al-Mohaghegin6; Shahid-i-Av’val7; Re'is al-Mohaditheen; Al-Sheikh al-Ajal; Imam-i-Asreh; Rukni Min Arkan ad-Din8; Sadooq al-Muslimeen; Ayatullah fil-Alemin; Al-Sheikh al-A'zam; Al-Sheikh al-Sadooq; Hujatul Islam; Al-Sheikh al-Seghat; Al-Mulood Bid-Da'vat; Al-Sheikh Al-Imam Al-Moghad'dam; Al-Fazil al-Moaz'zam; Umdatal Fuzala; Sheikh minal-Mashayekh; Rukne min Arkan ash-Shari’a; Ash-Sheikh al-Hifzah; Vajhet-Ta’efateh al-Mustahfazeh; Emad id-Din; Al-Sheikh al-Alam al-Amin, among many other titles.
He made many trips to various towns in order to learn nobility and hear the traditions directly from the greatest scholars. He was born in Qum and raised there. He acquired knowledge from the great scholars there. Then, although there were many renowned religious scholars in Ray, he was invited by the people of Ray to go and reside there. Of course, there is no precise mention of the date of his emigration to Ray in the books on Rijal9 and Tarajim10. However, one can conclude from what is written in this book, and Al-Khisal and Al-Amali that his emigration was after the month of Rajab of the year 339 A.H. (950 A.D.), and before the month of Rajab of the year 347 A.H. (958 A.D.) This is because he has cited a tradition he heard from Hamzih ibn Ahmad ibn Ja’far ibn Muhammad ibn Zayd ibn Ali ibn al-Hussein ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib (MGB) in the Quran on the first date, and has cited another tradition from Abul-Hassan Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Ali ibn Asad Al-Asady known as Ibn Jaradih al-Bardaýee in Ray on the second date.
He lived in Ray from 347 A.H. (958 A.D.) until he requested permission from Rukn ud-Duwleh, the ruler of the Buya clan, to visit the holy shrine of Imam Reza (MGB) in Mashhad. Then he traveled to Mashhad in 352 A.H. (963 A.D.) and returned to Ray after visiting the holy shrine. Regarding this he wrote in this book: ''When I asked the successful ruler Rukn ud-Duwleh permission to visit the holy shrine of Imam Reza (MGB), he approved my request in the month of Rajab in the year 352 A.H. (963 A.D.) When I returned home, he called me in again and said, ''The place you want to visit is a blessed place of martyrdom. I have visited it myself. When I was there I asked God to fulfill the requests I had in my mind. God answered my prayers and fulfilled them. Therefore, when you get there, remember me, and do not forget to visit on my behalf and pray for me since prayers will be fulfilled by God when they are presented in that holy place.'' I promised him to do so, and I fulfilled my promise. Upon my return from the blessed town of Mashhad I went to see the ruler. He asked me if I had prayed for him, and visited the shrine on his behalf. I replied in the positive. He said, ''You did well since it has been proven to me that prayers will be accepted there.'' ''On this trip to Mashhad that year he entered Neishaboor. He recorded some traditions from the religious scholars there, among whom we can name Abu Ali Hussein ibn Ahmad Beihaqi who narrated several traditions for him in his own house, Abdul Vahed ibn Muhammad ibn Abdus Neishaboory, Abi Mansoor Ahmad ibn Ibrahim ibn Bakr Khori, Abu Saeed Muhammad ibn Fazl ibn Muhammad ibn Ishaq Mozak'kar Neishaboory known as Abi Saeed Mual'lem, Abut-Tayýeb Hussein ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad Razi and Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab al-Sejezy. Also Abu Nasr Ahmad ibn al-Hussein ibn Ahmad ibn Ubayd al-Zab'by al-Marvani al-Neishaboory cited some traditions for him in Neishaboor. Also a group of people cited traditions for him in the town of Marv al-Ruz among whom we can name the jurisprudent Abul Hussein Muhammad ibn Ali ibn al-Shah, and Abu Yusuf Rafih ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul Malik. In the same year he traveled to Baghdad and heard some traditions from the religious scholars there. He had also gone to Kufa, Fayd, Mavara un-Nahr, Balkh, Samarghand and Furghaneh, and had heard traditions from the religious scholars in these cities.
We are not precisely aware of the year in which he has born. None of the biographers have stated his birth date. However, we can draw some conclusions in this regard from his own book Kamal al-Din, and Sheikh Toosi's Ghaybat and Najashi's Fehrest that he was born after the demise of Muhammad ibn Uthman al-Umari - who was the second (of the four) representatives of the twelfth Imam (MGB) - that is in the year 305 A.H. (917 A.D.) at the beginning of the mission of Abil Qasim Hussein ibn Ruh who was the third representative of the twelfth Imam (MGB).
Sheikh Sadooq quoted on the authority of Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Ali ibn al-Asvad, ''After the demise of Muhammad ibn Uthman al-Umari - may God be pleased with him - Ali ibn al-Hussein ibn Musa ibn Babooyeh11 asked me to ask Hussein ibn Ruh to ask our master the Imam of Time12 (MGB) to pray and ask God the Almighty to grant him a son. I did so, and he secretly reported that. He informed me after three days that the Imam (MGB) has prayed for Ali ibn al-Hussein, and that God the Almighty will soon bless him with a son, and will grant him more children thereafter.'' The above has also been cited by Sheikh al-Taéfeh and Najashi - may God have mercy upon them. What was presented about his birth date were the information available from the great religious scholars and he himself who best knows about his life history. Thus, we can conclude that he was born after the year 305 A.H. (917 A.D.) His birth was a blessing, and he was blessed since he was born due to the prayers of the Imam of Time (MGB). Everyone benefited from him, and his being blessed. That is why he was always very proud and said that he was born due to the prayers of the Imam of Time (MGB). He also said, “There were many occasions when Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Ali al-Asvad (who narrated the details about his birth) saw how studiously I attended the classes of our Professor Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn al-Walid (May God have mercy upon him); and how eager I was to learn and memorize scientific books. He would tell me there is no wonder why I was so eager to acquire knowledge, since I was born due to the prayers of the Imam of Time (MGB)13.
He died in 381 A.H. (991 A.D.) after living for seventy years. He was buried in Ray next to the Toghrol Garden, near the shrine of the blessed Abdul Azeem Hassan - may God be pleased with him. His shrine is simple, but spiritual. Many people make pilgrimage to his shrine and receive blessings.
In the year 1238 A.H. (1822 A.D.), Fath Ali - the King of Ghajar ordered the building of the shrine to be reconstructed. This resulted in a demonstration of nobility. The word spread around among the people, and it was finally approved of by the government officials and the king. The details of this event have been recorded by many authors - may God have mercy upon them. Among them we can mention Ruwzat by Khansari, Qisas al-Ulama by Tonikaboni, Tanqih al-Maqal by Mamaghani, Motakhab ul-Tavarikh by Khorasani and Favaéd ar-Razavieh By Qumi. This has been recorded in Ruwzat by Khansari as follows:
This event was a demonstration of the nobility of the Sheikh. It attracted the attention of many people, and was a source of guidance for many and a cause of happiness for many enlightened people. Once there appeared a rupture in the shrine of the noble Sheikh that is located near Ray due to a flood. When they investigated to find out the degree of damage done in order to reconstruct it, they reached a chamber in which he was buried. Once they entered that room they found his body naked, with his private parts covered, and in perfect shape. His face was absolutely peaceful, and they could still see the polish14 on his nails. The shroud with which his body was wrapped at the time he was buried had worn out, torn into shreds and fallen down on the dirt around his corpse. The news rapidly spread around in Tehran. When Fath Ali - the grandfather of Naser ad-Din - the king of Ghajar heard about this around the year 1238 A.H. (1822 A.D.), he went there in person to investigate. He consulted with the government officials whom he trusted as to whether or not he should enter the tomb in person. They did not recommend that the King enters the tomb, as they thought this was not appropriate for his rule. Then a group of religious scholars and well-known people were then sent into the tomb to check the issue. No doubt was left for the King after many people - who had entered the tomb - all testified to the truth of this issue. Once he was certain about the truth of this issue, he ordered the cavity to be closed off, and the building of the shrine to be reconstructed; and decorated in the best possible fashion using mirror work. And peace be upon him the day he is born, and the day he dies, and the day he is resurrected.
- 1. Great Men similar to Who’s Who.
- 2. One of the provinces of Iran located in the northeast.
- 3. The history of Baghdad.
- 4. Sheikh Sadooq.
- 5. Akhbar.
- 6. The pride of the researchers.
- 7. The first martyr.
- 8. One of the pillars of religion.
- 9. Great Men similar to Who’s Who.
- 10. Biographies.
- 11. The father of the compiler of this book.
- 12. The twelfth Imam (MGB).
- 13. The Riser or Al-Mahdi (MGB).
- 14. Khazab.