SHEIKH SUDOOQ (Ibne Babawiya )
Full Name : Abu Jafar Mohammed ibne Ali ibne Moosa ibne Babawiya al Qummi al Khorasani ar Raazi popularly known as Sheikh Sudooq.
He was born at the end of 305 H & He died in 381 A.H. (990 A.D.)
Sheik Sudooq hailed from Qum. In his twilight years he moved to a village near. Tehran. His Kunyat is Abu Jafar and is remembered with the title of Sudooq that means a very truthful person. There are two very interesting reasons for the title which we shall discuss . There is no positive evidence as to his year of birth. According to some indications, scholars have guessed that Sheikh Sudooq was born at the end of 305 H or in some month of 306 H. We shall discuss about this too as we proceed. All the scholars and historians are unanimous about the Sheikh’s death which was in the year 383 H. This would mean that he lived to an age of 75 years.
Among the mentors of Sheikh Sudooq his father, Ali ibne Hussain Qummi, was the first. His other well known tutors were Ibrahim Burki and Mohammed ibne Hussain ibne Walid. The names of about 150 scholars have been listed by historians as the persons from whom he had the privilege of receiving instruction. There is also a formidable list of his disciples who benefited from his knowledge. His most outstanding disciple was Sheikh Mufeed. Sheikh Mufeed is accepted by many authorities as the Mujaddad of the 4th Century H. Another famous disciple was Najashi. Najashi’s father too was a disciple of Sheikh Qudoos. Ibne Zaheri, the most famous scholar of his time, too was the Sheikh’s student. But the most important heritage left behind by Sheikh Sudooq is the books written by him. The tomes of history record about 300 books authored by Sheikh Sudooq but 220 books are available in the libraries of the world.
Sheikh Sudooq’s most popular book is “Mun laa yahdar al faqeeh”. Another very well known book is “Madinat al Ilm”. But unfortunately the book is out of print and no copies are available. Another popular book of his is “Ilal al Sharaeh”.(Reasons/Why for a variety of rules/names etc available in urdu as well) This too is a very important book on Fiqh and Hadith. Sheikh Sudooq has dealt with the purpose of the mandatory practices like Wadu (ablution) and why is it prescribed; Why one should do Ruku (Genuflection ) during prayers; Why Tawaf (Circumambulation) around the Kaaba is mandatory during the Haj and why one should circumambulate 7 times; why pebbles should be thrown at the Shaitans; why the Seegha (The Pronouncement of Marriage ) is recited at the time of marriages; why the proposals for marriages have to be initiated by the boy’s family and not the girls? Thus he has dealt with all the questions that might arise in the matter of Shariah in the light of the sayings of the Infallibles (a.s). This book has already been translated into Urdu. Another very popular book written by Sheik Sadooq is “Kitab al aiteqaadiya”--- it is a treatise one the beliefs of the Shias. This is a small but comprehensive book. Every Momin must peruse this book at least once! The other smaller books authored by him are: “Sawab al Aamaal”, Iqaab al Aamaal”, “Sifaat al Shia”, “Muaani al Akhbaar”etc.
We shall have to deal at length with the life and works of Sheik Sudooq because he is the author of one of the 4 great books, “Mun laa Yahdar al Faqeeh”. The great scholars have eulogized this book profusely. After Yaqub Kulaini, Sheik Qudoos came to propagate the word of the Imams (a.s) after the Imam e Zamana (a.s) went into Occultation. A person who isn’t aware of the works of Sheik Sudooq, he is ignorant of the basics of the Shia Faith.
Sheik Sadooq hailed from the town of Qum. Qum has always been the center for the followers of the Aal e Mohammed (s.a). There is a tradition of the 6th Imam ( Imam Jafar e Sadiq a.s) who said that the people of Qum genuflex and prostrate in prayer! They are scholars and people with intelligence. This tradition manifests that during the time of the 6th Imam (a.s) Qum had established its reputation as a center for Islamic Learning. The people in this town always approached the Ulema seeking solutions for their religious queries.
Making a reference to the people of Qum, I must mention here that they during the reign of any Caliph or king, made access only to their Ulema for the solution of their problems and never approached the corporal authorities.The beliefs of the people were firm. They received instructions directly from the disciples of the Imam (a.s). A time came when concerted efforts were made to deter the followers of the Ahl al Bayt (a.s) from the Right Path. They created such situations that the people considered the status of the Maasoomeen (a.s) on par with Allah. But the beliefs of the people of Qum remained steadfast that they always looked to the Ulema for guidance. They didn’t manifest any Ghluv (excessive Exagerration) because they were aware of Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s saying:“Two persons will be destroyed ---the one who exaggerates my status and the other who belittles it!”
When the Ghalees (Fanatic Exagerraters) were convinced that the people of Qum wouldn’t listen to their Ghuluv ( excessive exaggeration), they started berating the Ulema of Qum. When the time of Ali ibne Babawiya Qummi came, the people used to look to him for guidance in all matters, spiritual or corporal, although it was in the Abbasid Realm and a governor was located there. Sheik Sudooq was later to be born to this great scholar and cleric.
Sheik Sadooq’s father too was a person of high erudition. Imam Hassan Askari (a.s) had written a letter to him in the following manner: After praising Allah, His Prophet (s.a) and the Imams (a.s), he addressed the Sheik as Mautamad (Secretary) and Cleric, Abal Hassan Ali ibne Hussain Babawiya Qummi. Then he prayed for the Sheik to be endowed with righteous progeny. Then he made a lengthy exhortation to the Sheik asking him to establish prayer, pay the Zakat and fulfill his obligations towards his kin (Sila ar Rehm). He also asked the Sheik to cultivate the habit of offering the Nightly Prayers ( Namaz e Shab). The Imam (a.s) said that he was making this exhortation because the Prophet (s.a), in his last moments, had said to Hazrat Ali (a.s), ‘ O Ali! Offer the Namaz e Shab! One who belittled the Namaz e Shab has no relationship with us!’ Then the Imam (a.s) writes to the Sheik that it was his bounden duty to guide the Shias to implicitly follow this exhortation. In the end the Imam (a.s) exhorted the Sheik to ardently await the arrival of the Last Imam (a.s) because the Prophet (s.a) had said that the best act for his Umma was to await the arrival of the Imam (a.s)! Then Imam Hassan Askari (a.s) concluded the letter with some details about the Last Imam (a.s)”
It must be noted that the Imam (a.s) chose to write a letter to the Sheikh’s father and made the same exhortation to him that the Prophet (s.a) made to Ameer al Momineen (a.s). (See photo here ) Such a person of piety was Sheik Sudooq’s father. (Sadooqs father Shrine in qom pic )
After the martyrdom of the Eleventh Imam (a.s), there was a subtle movement to divert the attention of the followers from the Imam in Occultation (a.s). Sheik Sudooq’s father was one of the persons who opposed this movement with great force. In the absence of the Imam (a.s) some impostors had raised their heads claiming that they were the deputies of the Imam (a.s). There were at least 7 or 8 such impostors about whom the Imam e Zamana (a.s) had written a letter to his nominated deputy condemning them and also warned his followers to keep away from them. Some of these impostors were the companions of the Eleventh Imam (a.s) and people held them in some respect because of this fact. They behaved the same way as some of the companions of the Prophet (s.a) who turned hypocrites when he was in the last throes of death and immediately thereafter. Abu Mohammed Shariati was one such impostor who first claimed that he was the deputy of the Imam in Occultation (a.s). Then he went to the extent of claiming that he was a prophet and that he had been anointed as such by Allah. Then he said that the 10th Imam (a.s) himself was Allah. Among the impostors too was Hussain ibne Mansoor Hallaf who used to recite the following words: An al Haq, An al Haq I am god I am god
On the basis of an edict by the clerics, the ruler of the time executed him. He was inflicted with a thousand flogs before he was executed. When he was held for execution, he tried to frighten the clerics by saying that god was in his blood and that he will avenge his blood. After his execution the body was burned and the ashes were consigned to the river Dajla. It so happened that there was a flood in the river that year. The water over flew the shores of the river. This strengthened the false belief of some of his followers. They believed that the river too didn’t accept the ashes of Ibne Mansoor Hallaf and it went into spate. Ibne Hallaf had thought that Qum was the important center for the Shias and he therefore entered there to carry on his mission. He found that the most important person in Qum at that time was Ali ibne Babawiya Qummi. He therefore wrote to him a letter saying that since he was a follower of the Faith of Mohammed (s.a) he should know that he (Ibne Mansoor Hallaf) was the Deputy of the Imam (a.s) and that his hands be strengthened. He wrote similar letters to other clerics as well. All these clerics rejected his contention in different ways. One of the clerics wrote to him that he had grown bald because of old age and said that he would accept him as the deputy of the Imam (a.s) if made his hair grow afresh. When Sheik Sadooq got such a letter from him, he shredded it into smithereens and told the persons gathered at that time that Ibne Mansoor Hallaf was an impostor. Sheik Sadooq’s father used to run a shop in Qum. One day when he reached near his shop he noticed a person sitting in front of the shop and many curious persons were surrounding him. Since he was the chief of the town those days, the persons moved away from that man and came near him. He asked one of the persons as to the identity of the man who sat in front of his shop. They informed him that it was Hussain ibne Mansoor Hallaf. Ibne Mansoor intruded saying why he wasn’t directly asked to reveal his identity instead of asking the other persons. Sheik Sadooq’s father said that he intended to give due respect to him by asking other persons to identify him. He however asked him now to identify himself. Ibne Mansoor said that he was the person whose letter was shredded by his interlocutor. Hearing this, the Sheik’s father got furious and asked his slave to throw the person out of the ramparts of the town..Ibne Mansoor never again entered the bounds of the city of Qum. This proves the respect that Sheik Qudoos’s father enjoyed in the city.
Sheik Sudooq’s father, the 4th Deputy of the Imam (a.s) and Mohammed ibne Yaqub Kulaini died in the year 329 H. In that year many other prominent clerics too died. Therefore it is called the Year of the Breaking of the Stars. It is mentioned in the books of history that one day the 4th Deputy of the Imam (a.s), Ali ibne Mohammed Samri, was setting with an assembly of persons in Baghdad when he said, “Yarham Allah-- May Allah be kind on Ali ibne Hussain Babawiya Qummi!” When he uttered these words, the assembled persons asked him the reason for saying what he said. They said that these words are used for deceased persons and Ali ibne Hussain Babawiya Qummi was alive. He replied that the person had just died. The assembly was surprised and they made a note of the date and time of the statement. When a caravan arrived at Baghdad , after many months, from Qum, they informed that their erudite cleric, Ali ibne Hussain Babawiya Qummi had expired on that day and at the time mentioned by Ali ibne Mhammed Samri sitting with his friends at Baghdad.
Sheik Sadooq’s father was married to the daughter of his paternal uncle, Mohammed ibne Hassan babawiya Qummi. For a very long time he remained issueless. It is said that when Hussain ibne Rooh was ordained the 3rd Deputy of the 12th Imam (a.s), Sheik Sudooq’s father was still residing in Qum and Hussain ibne Rooh was a resident of Baghdad that is hundreds of miles away from there. In those days traversing that distance was rather a difficult task. The Sheikh’s father once traveled to Baghdad. That was the time when the 2nd Deputy of the Imam (a.s) had expired and Hussain ibne Rooh had assumed charge of his responsibilities. .Ali ibne Babawiya Qummi met him and had a long discussion on many issues. Some scholars are of the view that after meeting the Deputy, he personally went to the presence of the Imam (a.s). But there isn’t any positive proof of this meeting. After this visit, Ali Ibne Babawiya returned back to Qum.
After returning to Qum he sent a letter to Hussain Ibne Rooh through a person, Ali ibne Jafar, requesting him to communicate his submission to the Imam (a.s) to offer prayer to Allah for endowing him with issues. Hussain ibne Rooh replied to him saying that he would present his case to the Imam (a.s) and would revert back with the reply in three days. There are different versions recorded by different scholars. But the sum total is that the Imam (a.s) had replied that Ali Ibne Babawiya will remain issueless from his the then spouse and that soon he would marry a Kaneez hailing from Deelam who would bear him children who will be a source of blessing to him. Deelam is a place in Iraq. The Imam (a.s) also said that this spouse would bear him 2 sons who will be erudite scholars and clerics and would be a great source of benefit to the people. He was also asked by the Imam (a.s) to name one of the son’s as Muhammed and the other as Hussain. In the end the Imam (a.s) communicated to him that he would pray to Allah that the two sons should bring him both spiritual and worldly benefit. The actual year of the birth of Sheik Sadooq isn’t recorded by any historian with authority. But they have made a circumstantial guess that since his father met Hussain Ibne Rooh in 305 H and communicated his request, Sheik Sadooq must have taken birth either in 305 H or 306 H. Sheik Sadooq always took pride in the fact that he was born with the special prayer of the 12trh Imam (a.s) and also that he was given a name by the Imam (a.s) himself. The given name of Sheik Sadooq was Mohammed and his younger brother was named Hussain. Sheik Sadooq had another brother who, although a very pious person, wasn’t an erudite scholar unlike his elder brothers.
In their early days of education, Mohammed and Hussain, were known for their memory and power of retention. Whatever they heard once, never escaped their memory. The people of Qum used to be surprised at this faculty of the little brothers. Their mentors used to be surprised at the prowess of these children. Sheik Sadooq was known to the people as Sadooq because of his implicit truthfulness. His truthfulness was complemented by his strong memory that he remembered every event verbatim and was able to recount it word for word! Thus he is rightly remembered with the title of Sadooq!!
The Sheik and his father together are remembered as Sadooqain---or the two truthful ones! If you find a mention in any book quoting Sadooq, it would mean that the reference is only to him. But if in another place the mention is of Sadooqain, the reference is both to the son and the father. There is one very interesting event about Sheik Sudooq that I must mention here.
Sheik Bahai, who is accepted as the Mujaddad of the10th Century H, writes that once people asked him whether Zakaria ibne Adam was greater or Sheik Sadooq? Zakaria ibne Adam was a companion of Imam Ali ibne Moosa (a.s). There is a tradition of Imam Ali ibne Moosa (a.s) about this pious person. They told him that their homes were in a far away place and it wasn’t easy for them to approach him with their queries. The Imam (a.s) replied that they need not travel the long distance and they could refer their queries to his companion, Zakariya ibne Adam, who was a dependable person both in the matters of the Faith and the world! Sheik Bahai further writes that after some days Sheik Sadooq came in his dream and complained that when a question was asked to compare him with Zakariya ibne Adam, why did he ignore him and praised Zakariya ibne Adam? The Sheik said in the dream that he didn’t know that they both were of the same status!
Sheik Sadooq came to Baghdad in the year 355 H. Leading scholars and clerics accepted him as their mentor although he was a very young person at the time. Sheik Mufeed too became his disciple It is accepted that the Infallibles (a.s) too provided support to his mission of propagation of the word of the Ahl al Bayt (a.s) His book,Akmaal al Deen wa Atmaam al Nema or Perfection of the Faith & Fulfillment of Blessings pdf. Part 2 pdf, is on the topic of the Ghaibat (Occultation) of the 12th Imam (a.s). In the preface to this book Sheik Sadooq writes about how he wrote the book. He writes that once he traveled from Qum to the holy city of Mashad to visit the mausoleum of the Imam (a.s). After paying obeisance at the mausoleum, he proceeded towards the town of Naisahapur. In Naishapur there were many followers of the Imam (a.s) and were very prosperous and wielded much power. When he reached Naishapur, people started coming to meet him. He felt that many residents of Naishapur were having doubt about the Ghaibat of the Imam (a.s). He felt that their faith was not firm. He resolved to stay back in Naishapur till he was able to correct the belief of the people there. He started imparting education to them on the Quran, the traditions of the Prophet (s.a) and the Ahl al Bayt (a.s). Slowly they came round to believing about the Ghaibat of the Last Imam (a.s). He then took leave of the people of Naishapur and returned to Qum. It was the period when Sheik Sadooq was a resident of Rai and had left Qum in his early youth. Rai is in the neighborhood of present day Tehran. Rai is also the place where the mausoleum of Shahzada Abdul Azeem is located. He had preferred to settle in Rai because it was the place of Mohammed ibne Yaqub Kulaini. While Sheik Sadooq was in Qum, the great scholar from Bukhara, Sheik Najmuddin Abu Saeed Mohammed ibne Hassan Qummi paid a visit there. Sheik Sadooq felt that he must meet Sheik Najmuddin. At the first meeting Sheik Sadooq developed brotherly liking for him. .They started meeting regularly and frequently.
Once, during a discussion, Sheik Najmuddin told him that in Bukhara lived a learned philosopher and logician and that he had once a detailed discussion with him. After the talk with him, two doubts entered Sheik Najmuddin’s mind about the Imam (a.s). The first doubt was how the Imam (a.s) would live to such a long age? The second doubt in his mind was why Allah had to send the Imam (a.s) into long Occultation? Why did He terminate his contact with the Ummat? Sheik Sadooq convinced him in the light of the sayings of the Infallibles (a.s). But Sheik Sadooq was himself worried that such doubts are entering even the minds of erudite scholars. In such circumstances there could be likelihood of people going astray in large numbers. One night, worrying about these circumstances he remembered and missed his wife and children. With these thoughts he slept and after a while he saw a dream that he was standing at Makkah Mukarrama. It was the period of the Haj and he was attired in the Ihram. He passed a cursory glance over his Ihram and he proceeded towards the kabaah. After completing the 7 circumambulations of the kabaah he put his hand on the Hajr al Aswad and recited the prayer prescribed for the act. In this prayer one converses with the Hajr al Aswad and one says, “ O Hajr al Aswad! I have fulfilled my wow and have delivered to you what I had resolved to deliver!” This prayer is very effective and thought provoking. He was reciting the prayer once again, putting his hand on the Hajr al Aswad, he noticed a personage standing near the wall of the kabaah. He felt that it certainly must be the Imam e Zamana (a.s)! He instantly left the place of the Hajr al Aswad and reached near the Imam (a.s) and fell near his feet. The Imam (a.s) could gauge from Sheik Sadooq’s face about his worry. The Imam (a.s) said, “O Mohammed ibne Ali! You are you worrying about this issue? See! You were born as an answer to our prayer to Allah! We have a right over you that you must discharge! You must write a book on the subject of our Ghaibat ( Occultation)! This will expel the doubts of the people in the matter.” Sheik Sadooq said, “O Imam (a.s)! All the books I have written do contain the traditions about your Ghaibat! Even then people continue to have their doubts!” The Imam (a.s) said, “You must write a book different from what you have been writing about the Imams (a.s). First you must write about the Prophets (a.s) and the periods of ghaibat that they had undergone. Then you must talk about our Ghaibat. You must also write about the longevity of persons that the history has recorded that they lived for hundreds of years. Thus you can expel the doubts in the minds of people about our long Ghaibat. May Allah help you in your effort !”
The Sheik says that he immediately awoke from his dream. Tears were running down his cheeks. He was happy that he had been highly blessed on that day. The first thing that he did in the morning that he picked up the pen and commenced writing the book on the subject and gave this work the title of Akmaal al Deen wa Atmaam al Nema or Perfection of the Faith & Fulfillment of Blessings pdf. Part 2 pdf Thus a great book on the Ghaibat of the Imama e Zamana (a.s) came into our hands. You may remember that there is a tradition about the Jazeera e Khizra (The Green Island) in our books of traditions. The white islands ( Jazeera e Abyad) are surrounding this island. There are three traditions about this island in our books that have reached us through the writings of the erudite scholar, Nemat Allah al Jazaeri. It is a long tradition that describes how some persons had reached the island. One tradition is about some Christians reaching the island. There is also a narrative about a follower of Shafaee who witnessed the kingdom of Imam (a.s) and also that he saw the Naibeen (Deputies) of the Imam (a.s). The narrator says that wherever he went in the Jazeera e Khizra, he found the names of the five erudite scholars--- the first name was that of Mohammed ibne Yaqub Kulaini, who wrote the Usool e Kaafi, the second name was that of Sheik Sadooq, the third was Sheik Mufeed, the fourth Sayed Murtada and the fifth name was that of Najm al Deen Qasim ibne Mutahir Hilli who is the author of Shara e al Islam. He says that wherever he went in the island he heard these five names. This is the Kingdom of the Imam (a.s) where his deputies are ruling.
One book written by Sheik Sadooq is Man la Yahdar al Faqeeh. This is the book only next to Usool e Kaafi and it contains 9,044 traditions. The very title of the book indicates its importance. It means the book is for persons who don’t have any access to any cleric or Mujtahid. The Sheikh has very deftly dealt with the day to day problems that ordinary persons face in their lives and the solutions in light of the traditions of the Prophet (s.a) and the Ahl al Bayt.(a.s). It deals with the same problems as are dealt in Tauzeeh al Masael. But the difference is that he has handled the subjects in the form of traditions of the Infallibles (a.s). For example: you read in the Tauzeeh that 4 things are mandatory for doing the ablution. The Sheik writes that as said by the Imam (a.s) five or six steps are prescribed by the Imam (a.s) for the ablution. All the traditions quoted by Sheik Sadooq in this book on the day to day problems and he hasn’t quoted any two traditions that contradict each other. For any problem he has quoted only one tradition. This was possible because of his exceptional memory. Some scholars are of the view that because of this prowess his book becomes more important than the Usool e Kaafi.
Mohammed Yaqub Kulaini did tremendous work collecting the traditions from umpteen sources. But Sheik Sadooq’s specialty is that he was fully aware of the lives of the narrators because of his exceptional memory. Not only Sheik Sadooq was a cleric and Mujtahid of very high category but he was an adept at Ilm e Kalam. Ilm e Kalam means the study of the Shia Faith to reply to the objections raised by its opponents--- the objections could be either for Tauheed, Risalat or Imamat. Therefore many a Munazera ( Debate) made by the Sheik are on record. Whenever he heard of any such remarks made by the opponents, he would personally travel, despite being a cleric of very high caliber, and actively debate with the other parties. There are umpteen persons who have adopted the Right Path because of the convincing arguments of Sheik Sadooq.
The very famous debate that Sheik Sadooq had was in the court of Rukn al Dawla who was the ruler of the territory of Deelam in Iraq. Rukn al Dawla had heard a lot about Sheik Sadooq’s erudition. Therefore he wrote a letter to him and invited him to Deelam. The Sheik went to his court. He was received there with great care and respect and was seated near the ruler in the court.
Sheik Sadooq had very useful discussions with Ruk al Dawla. The king was so much impressed that he said that” if there is any truth in a faith, it is in this Faith!”. The first question that the king asked Sheik Sadooq was that the Shias talk ill of some people and pass remarks against them while all the Muslims feel that there is no need to criticize others. Sheik Sadooq replied, “O king! Do you know the way of Allah and His Sunnat that He doesn’t accept anything unless the opposite of it isn’t rejected! Unless one repudiates the false gods the true God (Allah) will not accept one’s belief in Him! Similarly one will not be firm in accepting the true Prophet unless he repudiates the false prophets like Maslima the Liar! Similarly when one professes faith in the True Imams (a.s) he has to reject those who have been claiming to be the imams of the Muslims! He will have to reject those who had usurped the position of the Imams (a.s). Rukn al Dawla immediately asked the Sheik his opinion about the persons who sat in the place of the Imams (a.s). The Sheik replied referring to the Surat al Bara’at and he asked the king to remember the incident when the Prophet (s.a) asked one person to take the Sura, also known as Surat al Tauba, to Makkah and propagate it with the people there. As the person commenced his journey to Makkah, Gabriel came and communicated the order from Allah that the verse in question couldn’t be communicated to the people of Makkah by anyone other than the Prophet (s.a) or a person who is from him (the Prophet)! When Allah doesn’t trust any person propagating a single Verse, how could such a person be entrusted with the propagation and dissemination of Faith and the entire Book of Allah?!! Rukn ad Dawla understood the argument but one of the courtiers stood up and said, “O Sheik! There is a tradition of the Prophet (s.a) saying that his Ummat will not congregate behind falsehood. He also said that if it had congregated behind one person, he certainly must be a righteous person.” The Sheik explained saying that the Prophet (s.a) didn’t categorize the entire Ummat in this tradition. The Ummat can mean as few as three individuals. In view of the Holy Quran even one person would form an Ummat
Sheik Sadooq further says that even a common intellect doesn’t accept this tradition quoted by the person. Then he asked Rukn ad Dawla, “ If we have two alternatives, either to accept the Prophet (s.a) as correct or the Ummat, which alternative would we accept? Rukn al Dawla replied that we would certainly consider the Prophet (s.a) correct. The Sheik said that people believe that the Prophet (s.a) didn’t nominate his successor. If we do accept this contention, and if, certainly nominating a successor is necessary, and even then he didn’t nominate one, then wouldn’t he be termed at fault? (Our belief is that the Prophet (s.a) did nominate his successor!). If nomination of a successor was necessary, and the Prophet (s.a) didn’t nominate and the Ummat took it upon itself to select one, then the Ummat is at fault! Should we contend that nomination of a successor was not at all necessary and the Ummat, in its fault, selected one!!
After this discussion and debate, the conditions for the followers of the Progeny of the Prophet (s.a) became more congenial. In the heart of Rukn ad Dawla the love for the True Faith awakened.
Sheik Sadooq spent his entire life propagating the word of the Ahl al Bayt and he breathed his last in 381 H. and he was interred near the mausoleum of Shah Abdul Azeem in Rai. His grave is visited by people even today. Fath Ali got a tomb and sarcophagus constructed on the grave of Sheik Sadooq. About two hundred years ago, in 1238 H, it rained very hard in that area and the graves were sundered open, The Sheik’s grave was in a cellar. When it rained very hard his grave too was badly damaged. The author of Rauzat al Janna, Aghai Ibrahim Nawasani, writes that when the water entered the grave with force, he visited the place. When he entered the cellar he noticed that the grave was totally open and he found that Sheik Sadooq was lying there as if he was peacefully asleep. After such a long time of his expiry the marks of dye on his nails were visible as if it was applied on the same day. Even the cloth in which the Sheik’s body was wrapped hadn’t deteriorated. A spider had made a web around the Sheiik’s body as if it was protecting it. Seeing this, Aghai Nawasani came away. When this news spread in the town, it also reached the ears of Fath Ali. He himself visited the site but didn’t enter the cellar finding a big crowd there. He got the Sheik wrapped in a fresh coffin, got the mausoleum constructed and sealed the cellar. This incident proves the greatness of Sheik Sadooq. Before his birth the Imam (a.s) prayed for him and after his death the spider knit a web around his body that reminds us what happened to the Prophet (s.a) in the cave at Thoor!
Shaikh Saduq (a.s) From: Uyun Akhbar Al-Ridha- Translated by Ali Peiravi
The author of this book (Sheikh Sadooq) - May God have Mercy upon him - is the highly esteemed, noble Abi Ja'far Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Al-Hussein ibn Musa ibn Babooyeh al-Qummi 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 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 in the year 381
A.H. (990 A.D.) when he was more than seventy years old. 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 up until
today. His Nobility as Expressed by Noble Religious Scholars
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, ware and informed about the personalities, and is an informed person and a critic on Akhbar (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 Rijal.
Najjashi who was a great
researcher on 'great men' calls him 'Abi Ja'far from Qum'. He
also calls him Sheikh, our jurisprudent, a shining character,
and the honor of the Shiites in Khorasan.
He wrote, "When in the year 355 A.H. (965 A.D.) he entered
Baghdad, he was young. The great men of the Shiites listened to
him to learn traditions and gain Divine Knowledge."
Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi in his famous book TARIKH BAGHDAD (the history of Baghdad) wrote, "He (Sheikh Sadooq) went to 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 book SARA'IR and said, "He was honest in speech, noble, informed about the traditions and a critic. He was very knowledgeable about the great men. He had memorized many traditions."
Allameh al-Hilli 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 Tawoos; Fakhr al-Mohaghegin; ash-Shahid al-Awwal (the first martyr); Re'is al-Mohaditheen; al-Sheikh al-Ajall; Imam Asreh; Rokn Min Arkan ad-Din (one of the pillars of religion); Sadooq al-Muslimeen; Ayatullah fil-Alemin; al-Sheikh al-A'zam; al-Sheikh al-Sadooq; Hujatul Islam; al-Sheikh ath-Thiqa; al-Molood Bid-Da'wat; al-Sheikh al-Imam al-Moghaddam; al-Fadhil al-Mo'adhdham; Omdatul Fudhala; Sheikh Minal-Mashayekh; Rokn min Arkan ash-Sharia; Sheikh al-Hafazah; Wajihat at-Ta'efah al-Mostahfazeh; Emaduddin; and 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, raised there and he acquired knowledge from the great scholars there. Then, although there were many renowned religious scholars in Ray, the people of Ray invited him to go and reside there. Of course, there is no precise mention of the date of his immigration to Ray in the books on Rijal and Tarajom.
However, one can conclude from what is written in this book, and in Al-Khisal and Amali, that his immigration was after the (Arabic) month of Rajab of the (lunar) year 339 A.H. (949 A.D.), and before the (Arabic) month of Rajab of the year 347 A.H. (957 A.D.) This is because he has cited a tradition he had heard from Hamza 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-Asadi known as Ibn Jaradeh al-Bardaýee in Ray on the second date.
He lived in Ray from 347 A.H. (957 A.D.) until he requested permission from Rokn ud-Dowleh - the ruler of the Buya clan - to visit the holy shrine of Imam Al-Reza (MGB) in Mashhad. He then traveled to Mashhad in 352 A.H. (962 A.D.) and returned to Ray after visiting the holy shrine. Regarding this he wrote in his book, "When I asked the successful ruler Rokn ud-Dowleh for permission to visit the holy shrine of Imam Al-Reza (MGB), he approved of my request in the (Arabic) month of Rajab in the year 352 A.H. (962 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 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 Bayhaqi - who narrated several traditions for him in his own house – Abdul Vahid ibn Muhammad ibn Ubdoos Neishaboori, Abi Mansoor Ahmad ibn Ibrahim ibn Bakr Khori, Abu Saeed Muhammad ibn Fadhl ibn Muhammad ibn Ishaq Mozakkar Neishaboori known as Abi Saeed al-Muallem, Abut-Tayyeb Hussein ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad Razi and Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab al-Sejezy. In addition, Abu Nasr Ahmad ibn Al-Hussein ibn Ahmad ibn Obayd al-Zabee al-Marwani al-Neishaboori cited some traditions for him in Neishaboor. In addition, a group of people cited traditions
for him in Marv Rood among whom we can name the jurisprudent Abul Hussein Muhammadibn Ali ibn al-Shah, and Abu Yusuf Rafeh 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, Mawara' un-Nahr, Balkh, Samarqand and Forghaneh and had heard traditions from the religious scholars in these cites.
The Birth of the Author - May God Have Mercy upon Him We are not precisely aware of the year in which he has born. None of the biographers has stated his birth date. However, we can draw some conclusions in this regard from his own book KAMAL AD-DIN, and Sheikh Toosi's GHAYBA 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 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-Aswad, 'After the demise of Muhammad ibn Uthman al-Umari - may God be pleased with him - Ali ibn Hussein ibn Musa ibn Babawayh asked me to ask Hussein ibn Ruh to ask our Master - the Imam of Time (the twelfth Imam al-Mahdi) (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) had 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-Ta'ifeh and Najjashi - may God have mercy upon them. What has been presented about his birth-date was the information available from him himself who best knows about his life history and some of the great religious scholars. 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-Asvaed (who narrated the details about his birth) saw how studiously I attended the classes of our Professor - Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn al-Valid (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 I am so eager to acquire knowledge since I was born due to the prayers of the Imam of Time (MGB).'
The Death of the Author and His Shrine
He died in 381 A.H. (990 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 al-Hassani - may God be pleased with him. His shrine is simple, but spiritual. Many people go visit his shrine and receive blessings.
A Demonstration of his Nobility
In the year 1238 A.H.
(1859 A.D.) Fath Ali - the king of Qajar - 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 ROWZA by Khansari, QISAS AL-ULAMA by
Tonikaboni, TANQIH AL-MAQAL by Mamaghani, MONTAKHAB UL-TAWARIKH
by Khorasani and TAVA'ED AR-RAZAVIEH by Qumi. This has been
recorded in ROWZA 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.
There once appeared a rupture in the shrine of the noble Sheikh - that is located near Ray - due to a flood. When they investigated to find the degree of damage done in order to reconstruct it, they reached a room 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 polish (khadhab) 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 Qajar heard about this around the year 1238 A.H. (1859 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 the king entering the tomb, as they thought this was not appropriate for his rule. Then a group of religious scholars and well-known people were sent into the tomb to check the issue. When the numerous people who had entered the tomb all testified to the truth of this issue, no doubt was left for the king.
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. I have personally seen some of the people who were present there. Some of our religious professors who are of the noble scholars have also described this event.
And peace be upon him the day he is born, and the day he dies, and the day he is resurrected.'
His father was the respectful Sheikh Abu al-Hasan Ali bin al-Hussein bin Musa bin Babawayh: the master Sheikh of Qum in his time. He was also the most precedent, the master jurisprudent, and the most trustful of the ulema of his time.
As confirmation of this estimation, we provide the words of Sheikh As-Saduq himself in his book titled Kamal ud-Din wa Tamam un-Ni’ma:
Abu Ja'far Mohammed bin Ali al-Aswad related to us:
After the death of Mohammed bin Othman al-Omari, Ali bin al-Hussein bin Musa bin Babawayh (i.e. As-Saduq’s father) asked me to tell Abu al-Qasim Ar-Rawhi –i.e. bin Rawh- to ask our master Sahib uz-Zaman to pray to Allah for giving him a male baby.
Abu al-Qasim informed that he asked the Imam, who rejected. Three days later, Abu al-Qasim informed that the Imam (a) had prayed to Allah for Ali bin al-Hussein and he would be given a blessed male baby who would be the means by which Allah, Exalted is He, would benefit (many people). Moreover, many boys would come after that baby.
(Abu Ja’far Mohammed bin Ali al-Aswad said) After a period, Ali bin al-Hussein was given Mohammed (i.e. As-Saduq) followed by many other boys.
Sheikh At-Tusi said that some people narrated from Abu Ja’far Mohammed bin Ali bin al-Hussein bin Musa bin Babawayh and Abu Abdullah al-Hussein bin Ali bin Musa bin Babawayh (his brother) that Abu Ja’far Mohammed bin Ali al-Aswad related to us:
After the death of Mohammed bin Othman al-Omari, Ali bin al-Hussein bin Musa bin Babawayh (i.e. As-Saduq’s father) asked me to tell Abu al-Qasim Ar-Rawhi to ask our master Sahib uz-Zaman (a) to pray to Allah for giving him a male baby.
Abu al-Qasim informed that he asked the Imam, who rejected. Three days later, Abu al-Qasim informed that the Imam (a) had prayed to Allah for Ali bin al-Hussein and he would be given a blessed male baby who would be the means by which Allah, Exalted is He, would benefit (many people). Moreover, many boys would come after that baby.
(Abu Ja’far Mohammed bin Ali al-Aswad said) I asked him to pray to Allah to give me a male baby, but he did not answer. He said: This is impossible.
After a period, Ali bin al-Hussein was given Mohammed (i.e. As-Saduq) followed by many other boys. For me, I was not given anything.
Abu Ja’far bin Babawayh commented: As he noticed me attending the classes of our master Mohammed bin al-Hussein bin al-Waleed frequently while I was interested in recording and retaining the items of knowledge, Abu Ja’far Mohammed bin Ali al-Aswad used to say to me, ‘It is not strange for you to have such an insistent desire for learning since you came to this world by the supplication of the Imam (a).
Ar-Rawandi, in his al-Kharaa’ij, related the like of the previous narrative, yet brief. Besides, At-Tabirsi, in his book titled A’lam ul-Wara, Sayyid Hashim al-Bahrani, in his Tabssirat ul-Wali, and Sayyid Ali bin Abdul-Karim An-Najafi, in his Muntakhab ul-Anwar il-Mudhee’a, referred to the same narrative.
Imaduddin Mohammed bin Ali At-Tusi, in his Thaqib ul-Manaqib, referred to a part of that narrative.
In his reference to the biography of Ali bin al-Hussein bin Musa; As-Saduq’s father, An-Nejashi said that the man was in Iraq when he met Abu al-Qasim al-Hussein bin Rawh, Allah may have mercy be upon him, and asked him many questions. After that, As-Saduq’s father corresponded with Abu al-Qasim at the hands of Ali bin Ja’far bin al-Aswad and asked him to deliver a paper to Imam al-Mahdi, Allah may hasten his return, in which he asked for a male baby.
The answer was, ‘We have prayed to Allah for you and you will be given two virtuous male babies.’
From the previous we can conclude that Sheikh As-Saduq, Allah may have mercy be upon him, had come to this world out of the prayer of Imam al-Hujja (a) after the death of Mohammed bin Othman al-Omari; after the year 305 A.H., when his father Sheikh Ali bin al-Hussein traveled to Iraq and met Abu al-Qasim al-Hussein bin Rawh and asked him some questions… etc. Hence, Sheikh As-Saduq was born in about 306 A.H.
Sheikh As-Saduq used to take pride in such a birth and say, ‘I was born due to the prayer of Imam al-Mahdi (a).’
Sheikh As-Saduq grew up in the laps of virtue; his father used to feed him with the knowledge, shower him with the abundance of his knowledge and moralities, and circulate on him the lights of his purity, God-fearing, piety, and ascetics. All these contributed in the scholastic perfection and growth of Sheikh As-Saduq who lived under the wing of his father for more than twenty years during which he drank these knowledges and took from the great flow of his father’s information, moralities, and conducts. In addition, he grew up in the city of Qum which was swarming with the scholars and narrators, such as the master of the scholars of Qum Mohammed bin al-Hasan bin Ahmed bin al-Waleed and Hamza bin Mohammed bin Ahmed bin Ja’far bin Mohammed bin Zaid bin Ali as well as many others whose sessions and lectures were frequently attended by Sheikh As-Saduq.
After a short while, Sheikh As-Saduq became that great figure by whom people were benefiting. He also became such a distinctive sign of retaining and intelligence. He exceeded his companions in fields of virtue and knowledge and became such an unparalleled person.
Furthermore, the political circumstances of that period played a significant role in crystallizing the personality of Sheikh As-Saduq who lived in the reign of the Buyid in Iraq and Persia (321-447 A.H.), the Fatimids in Northern Africa (296-567 A.H.), and the Hamdanian State in Mousel –Northern Iraq- and Syria (333-394 A.H.)
It is well known that all these states were declaring their loyalty to the leadership of the Prophet’s household. In other words, they were Shia.
Not only was the intention of Sheikh As-Saduq to suffice with receiving knowledge from the master scholars of his town, but also it rose higher to encourage him to travel and emigrate far away from his hometown for seeking studies and knowledge. In the beginning, he traveled to the city of Ray to answer the summons of Rukn ad-Dawla al-Buwayhi (the Buyid), who died in 366 A.H. There, Sheikh As-Saduq met the scholars of that city, such like Sheikh Abu al-Hasan Mohammed bin Ahmed bin Ali bin Asad al-Asadi whose famous nickname is Abu Jurada al-Barda’i. That was in 347 A.H. He also met Ya’qoub bin Yousuf bin Ya’qoub, Ahmed bin Mohammed bin As-Saqr As-Sa’igh al-Adl (the decent), Abu Ali Ahmed bin al-Hasan al-Qattan and many others.
He then traveled to the city of Khurasan for the visitation of the Holy Shrine of Imam Ar-Ridha (a) in 352 A.H. After that, he returned to the city of Ray.
In 367 A.H., he made his second journey to the Holy Shrine of Imam Ar-Ridha (a). During his third journey which was made in 368 A.H., he passed by the cities of Istrabad and Jurjan where he attended the lectures of Sheikh Abu al-Hasan Mohammed bin al-Qasim Alistrabadi—the famous exegesist (of the Holy Quran) and orator. He also attended the classes of Sheikh Abu Mohammed al-Qasim bin Mohammed Alistrabadi, Sheikh Abu Mohammed Abdous bin Ali bin al-Abbas al-Jurjani, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Ali Alistrabadi.
In his journey back from the visitation of the Holy Shrine of Imam Ar-Ridha (a) Sheikh As-Saduq passed by the city of Nisapur and resided there for a period.
About this residence, he said:
“After I had satisfied my wishes for the visitation of Imam Ali bin Musa Ar-Ridha (a) I was back in Nisapur where I resided. I found that the majority of the Shia there, who were frequently referring to me, were perplexed by the Invisibility –Ghaybah- and doubted the matter of al-Qa’im (a). They therefore left the right course of the submission (to Allah) to join the path of personal opinions and analogy. Hence, I exerted all my efforts for guiding them to the right and taking them back to the path of correctitude by means of the relevant narratives of the Prophet and the Imams, peace be upon them.”
In Nisapur, Sheikh As-Saduq related the lessons of most of the scholars of that city, such like Sheikh Abu Ali al-Hussein bin Ahmed al-Bayhaqi, Sheikh Abdul-Wahid bin Mohammed bin Abdous An-Nisapuri, Sheikh Abu Mansour Ahmed bin Ibrahim bin Bakr al-Khuzi, Sheikh Abu Saeed Mohammed bin al-Fadhl bin Mohammed bin Ishaq al-Muthekkir An-Nisapuri, Sheikh Abu at-Tayyib al-Hussein bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Ar-Razi and many others.
As he passed by the cities of Marwalruth and Sarakhs, Sheikh As-Saduq attended the classes of Sheikh Mohammed bin Ali al-Marwalruthi, Sheikh Abu Yousuf bin Abdullah bin Abdul-Malik, and Sheikh Abu Nasr Mohammed bin Ahmed bin Tamim As-Sarakhsi.
In the years 352 and 355 A.H., Sheikh As-Saduq was in Baghdad where he learnt from Sheikh Abu al-Hasan Ali bin Thabit Ad-Dawalibi, Sheikh Abu Mohammed al-Hasan bin Mohammed bin Yahya al-Husseini al-Alawi; Ibn Tahir, and Sheikh Ibrahim bin Harun al-Hiti as well as many others.
In 354 A.H., Sheikh As-Saduq had the honor to pilgrimage to the Holy House of Allah. In his way, he passed by Kufa and learnt from the master scholars there, such like Sheikh Mohammed bin Bakran An-Naqqash, Sheikh Ahmed bin Ibrahim bin Harun al-Fami, Sheikh al-Hasan bin Mohammed bin Saeed al-Hashimi, Sheikh Abu al-Hasan Ali bin Easa al-Mujawir, Sheikh Abu Tharr Yahya bin Zaid bin al-Abbas bin al-Waleed al-Bezzaz, Sheikh Abu al-Qasim al-Hasan bin Mohammed As-Sakuni al-Kufi and many others.
He also traveled to many cities such as Hamadan, Ilaq, Balkh, Samarqand, Faraghana and others.
In such journeys, Sheikh as-Saduq attended the lessons of many scholars in the cities that he passed by.
Sheikh As-Saduq, Allah may promote his position, was one of the master scholars of Shiism, great intellectuals, and well-versed men of knowledge. He was such a grand mastermind, abundant knowledgeable, and well informed. In his time, he was one of the most distinguishable scholars to whom everyone referred in questions concerning the rulings of the Sharia and was the sign upon whom everyone acted in the religious problems.
Sheikh At-Tusi; the master scholar of the sect mentioned Sheikh As-Saduq with the following words:
Mohammed bin Ali bin al-Hussein bin Musa bin Babawayh al-Qummi is the lofty master. His surname is Abu Ja’far. He was so admirable, good narrator of hadith, skillful knowing of men, and bright criticizer of narrations. Besides, he was such distinct relater and encyclopedic that no one of the people of Qum could attain his rank. He had written about three hundred books.
An-Nejashi referred to Sheikh As-Saduq with the following wording:
Abu Ja’far al-Qummi who resided in Ray was our Sheikh and master jurisprudent. He was the representative of the sect (of Shiism) in Khurasan.
In his Me’aalim ul-Ulemaa, Ibn Shahrashoub said the following about Sheikh As-Saduq:
He was the best of the scholars of Qum. He wrote about three hundred books.
In As-Saraa’ir, Ibn Idris referred to Sheikh As-Saduq with the following wording:
He was trustworthy, highly reverent, well versed in narrations, good criticizer of the reports, well knowing of men, and well memorizer. He was the master of our Sheikh al-Mufid Mohammed bin Mohammed bin An-Nu’man.
Sheikh Hussein bin Abdus-Samad al-Harithi —father of Sheikh al-Bahaa’i— said about Sheikh As-Saduq:
He was highly reverent, high-ranking scholar among the upper class as well as the ordinary people, good narrator of hadith, well knowing of jurisprudence and men, good discerning of the mental and analytical sciences, and good criticizer of reports. He was also the master scholar, jurisprudent, and chief of the Saved Sect (Shia) in Khurasan and Iraq of the non-Arabs; (i.e. Persia).
In the fields of narration and abundance of knowledge, he was so distinct over all those who lived in his time.
The previous models have been few wordings of praise and extolment that were said about Sheikh As-Saduq. To know more about this respectful personality, it is recommendable to refer to the numerous reference books that recorded the biography of him some of which we have just excerpted.
Because of the many journeys that Sheikh As-Saduq made to various countries for the purpose of seeking studies, he could read, listen, deliver lectures, and gain the license of many scholars and masters of the countries that he passed by in the various fields of knowledge.
A good look in his numerous books, such as al-Amali, Men La Yahdhuruh ul-Faqih, At-Tawhid, Thawab ul-A’maal and many others, proves that he rested upon many of the Shiite and Sunni master scholars in the field of narrations. He also depended upon such scholars in the fields of hadith regarding a great variety of sciences and fields. The famous names of the master scholars upon whom Sheikh As-Saduq depended in relation of the reports are innumerable.
For avoiding lengthiness, we ask the dear reader to refer to the numerous books of biography so as to have an idea about the teachers of Sheikh As-Saduq.
The students and the narrators on the authority of Sheikh As-Saduq are also too many to be mentioned in this book. Reference books of biography referred to some famous names such as the lofty Sheikh Mohammed bin Mohammed bin An-Nu’man At-Tal’akbari whose nickname is Sheikh al-Mufid, the trustworthy Sheikh Ali bin Ahmed bin al-Abbas (father of Sheikh An-Nejashi), Sheikh Abu al-Hasan Mohammed bin Ahmed bin Ali bin Shathan al-Qummi, Sayyid al-Murtedha Alam ul-Huda, and many others that we could not mention their names in details. To have more information about such names, it is recommendable to refer to the many books that discussed this topic and from which we excerpted this brief biography.
Sheikh As-Saduq dealt with a great variety of arts and sciences. He wrote many books; more than three hundred ones. Unfortunately, most of these books were lost. We, hereby, refer to some of them:
3. Thawab ul-A’maal
5. Sifat ush-Shia
6. Iqab ul-A’maal
7. Ilal ush-Sharaayi
8. Uyounu Akhbar ir-Reza
9. Fadhaa’il ul-Ash’hur ith-Thalatha
10. Fadhaa’il ush-Shi’a
11. Kamal ud-Din wa Tamam un-Ni’ma
12. Mussadaqat ul-Ikhwan
13. Me’aani al-Akhbar
14. al-Muqannaa’ fi al-Fiqh
15. Men La Yahdhuruh al-Faqih
17. al-Hidayatu fi al-Fiqh
Furthermore, there are tens of books most of which were lost, as we have previously mentioned. To have more information about such books, it is recommendable to refer to the books that mentioned the biography of Sheikh As-Saduq.
Sheikh As-Saduq died in 381 A.H. He was more than seventy years old. He was buried in the city of Ray near the tomb of Abdul-Azheem al-Hasani, Allah be pleased with him.
Today, his tomb is one of the famous shrines whom are frequently visited by people who seek blessings there.
In nearly 1238 A. H., Sultan Fat’h Ali Shah the Qajar reconstructed that holy shrine after the spread of the news of the good charismata that had been seen there.
Al-Khawansari, in his Ar-Rawdhat, al-Mamuqani, in his Tanqeeh ul-Maqaal, and other scholars mentioned a number of charismata of Sheikh As-Saduq (after his death) occurred in his blessed shrine. In the year 1238 A.H., a fissure occurred to the shrine due to the heavy rain. When some people entered inside the shrine for chasing the source of that fissure, they could reach the gutter in which Sheikh As-Saduq was buried. They found that his dead body was laid out while the genitals were covered. It was very sound and handsome. On the nails of the body, they could notice the signs of dye, while on the limbs, there were old threads of the torn coffin.
As this event was rumored in the city of Tehran, Sultan Fat’h Ali… ordered to reform that fissure and reconstruct that shrine.
* For more information about the biography of Sheikh As-Saduq, refer to al-A’lam; Az-Zarkali, 6:274, A’yaan ush-Shi’a; Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin, 10:24, Amal ul-Aamil; al-Hurr al-Aamili, 2:283, al-Ansaab; As-Sam’aani, 4:544, Tarikhu Baghdad; al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi, 3:89, Tuhfat ul-Ahbaab; Sheikh Abbas al-Qummi, 468, Tanqeeh ul-Maqaal; al-Mamuqani, 3:154, Jami ur-Ruwaat; al-Ardabeeli, 2:154, al-Khulaassa; Allama al-Hilli, 147, Ad-Diraya; Sheikh Hussein Abdus-Samad, 70, Ar-Rijal; Ibn Dawoud al-Hilli, 179, Ar-Rijal; Sheikh At-Tousi, 495, Ar-Rijal; An-Nejashi, 389, Rawdhaat ul-Jannaat; al-Khawansari, 6:132, Riyadh ul-Ulemaa; Mirza Abdullah Afandi, 5:119, Rayhanat ul-Adab; al-Muderris At-Tabrizi, 3:434, Siyeru A’lam in-Nubelaa; Ath-Thehbi, 16:303, al-Fihrest; Ibn un-Nadeem, 227, al-Kuna wal-Alqaab; Sheikh Abbas al-Qummi, 560, Lu’lu’at ul-Bahrain; Yousuf al-Bahrani, 372, Me’aalim ul-Ulemaa; Ibn Shahrashoub, 111, Mu’jam ul-Mu’ellifeen; Omar Reza Kahhala, 11:3, Nawabigh ur-Ruwaat; Agha Buzurg At-Tahrani, 287, Hadiyyat ul-Aarifeen; Ismaeel Basha al-Baghdadi, 2:52, and Wassail ush-Shi’a; al-Hurr al-Aamili, 30:478.
 Refer to Ar-Rijal; An-Nejashi, 261 H.684
 After the Grand Invisibility (Ghaybah) of Imam al-Mahdi, God may hasten his return, four representatives were successively appointed as the means between the Imam and people. The second representative was Mohammed bin Othman al-Omari.
 Many are the titles of Imam al-Mahdi; God may hasten his return, such like sahib uz-Zaman —the owner of the time—, al-Qa’im —the executor—, al-Muntazhar —the awaited—, and al-Hujja —the claim of God—.
 Refer to Kamal ud-Din wa Tamam un-Ni’ma; 503 H.31.
 Refer to al-Ghaybah; 23 H.266.
 Refer to al-Kharaij wa al-Jara’ih; 3:1124 H.266.
 Refer to A’lam ul-Wara: 422.
 Refer to Tabssirat ul-Wali: H.56.
 Refer to Muntakhab ul-Anwar il-Mudhee’a: 113.
 Refer to Thaqib ul-Manaqib; 270.
 Abu Abdillah (As-Saduq’s brother) is al-Hussein bin Ali bin al-Hussein bin Musa bin Babawayh. He was also righteous master and retainer. He dies in 418 A.H. He compiled many books, such as At-Tawhid and Nafy ut-Tashbih.
 Refer to Ar-Rijal; an-Nejashi 2661 H.684.
 Refer to Ar-Rijal; an-Nejashi 2661 H.684.
 Istrabad is a famous town of Tabaristan.
 Jurjan is a famous city lying between Tabaristan and Khurasan.
 Refer to Kamal ud-Din; 2 (the introduction).
 Marwalruth and Sarakhs are two cities in Khurasan.
 Hamadan is a big city western Iran. Ilaq is a village in Bukhara. Balkh was a big city. Today, it is a small village in Afghanistan. Samarqand is a famous Uzbek city in east-central Uzbekistan. Faraghana is a city eastern Uzbekistan.
 Refer to al-Fihrest; 157, H.695.
 Refer to Ar-Rijal; An-Nejashi, 398, H.1049.
 Refer to Me’aalim ul-Ulemaa; 111 H.764.
 Refer to As-Saraa’ir; 2:529.
 Refer to Ad-Diraya; 70.
 Some scholars ascribe this book to the father of Sheikh As-Saduq
 This book is one of the four master reference books of Shia upon which the scholars depend totally and the jurisprudents extract the rulings.
Extract from the book Kamaaluddin wa Tamaamun Ni’ma
In the Name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful
A Brief Biography of the Author
The author is the venerable Shaykh Abu Ja’far Muhammad bin Ali bin alHasan bin Babawahy commonly known as Sadooq. He was among the Shia scholars of the 4th century Hijri. He was also the chief of the clan, a minaret of truth and religion, a leader of his time and in general such a personality that no praise is sufficient to do justice with his actual status. The whole Muslim community is unanimous about his leadership and lofty status. He was born through the prayers of the Imam of the time (a.t.f.s.) and a written certificate was also issued by the Holy Imams (a.s.) in his favor: “He is a very righteous and blessed jurisprudent.” After this holy testimony whatever may be said or written about him will definitely be less than what befits his position. His bounties have surrounded all and his writings and books have benefited the scholars as well as laymen. Each and every example of his knowledge and action testifies to his lofty stature and greatness. And one who undertakes a deep study of biographical books will conclude that Shaykh Sadooq, on the basis of his merits and intellectual excellence was the leader of all those who succeeded him. He is the standard bearer of jurisprudence, he is the leader of tradition scholars, the Imam of hadith narrators and a master of scholastic theology.
All the qualities of excellence in knowledge, perfection of intellect,
goodness of understanding, a remarkable memory and sharp perception had
gathered in his person. He traveled far from the place of his birth in order to
collect traditions from the narrators of traditions and he stayed with them to
obtain the narrated reports from them. Among the places he traveled to included
Astarabad, Gurgan, Nishapur, Marawalruz, Samarqand, Farghana, Balkh,
Hamadan, Baghdad, Faid, Mecca and Medina.
It should be remembered that travel has many benefits. It is the best way of perfecting the intellect and developing knowledge. In addition to this it also includes spread of knowledge, propagation of religion and dispersal of facts. And if there had not been such great personalities in this community, who first acquired knowledge and then undertook to spread it among others, a great many
people would have remained ignorant and mired in misguidance and deviation from religion. And if the traveling personalities are intelligent and hardworking,
they would obtain from the scholars of other areas such points of knowledge and Kamaaluddin wa Tamaamun Ni’ma 7 recognition that they cannot gain from the scholars of their own areas. They
would also succeed in learning many things that they have not learnt from their teachers. In the same way the people of the places to which they travel would
also learn from him things that they could not learn from the local scholars. Many debates take place between the traveling scholar and intelligentsia of those places
resulting in clearing many misunderstandings and clarification of doubts. There are many other benefits that accrue from the journey of religious interaction.
Thus the Almighty Allah says: ﻲ ﱢ Çﻟﺪ ö ﻳﻦ
Why should not then a company from every party from among them go forth that they may apply themselves to obtain understanding in religion, and that they may warn their people when they come back to them that they may be cautious?-1
The venerable Shaykh Sadooq was an expert in this field who attained priority among all in such a way that no one could claim to have got even onetenth of what he achieved. Actually he used to take lightly the difficulties of his journeys and did not accord much importance to the discomfort he had to face. He traveled through arid deserts, battle ravaged areas, traversed deserts and crossed mountains. He passed through foreign lands and alien cities at a time when a traveler was susceptible to so many perils and the modes of travel were beyond description.
Let us go through some details of his travel in order to gain a clearer picture:
The author was born in the Iranian town of Qom. He attended classes of scholars and gained knowledge from the learned of Qom. Thereafter upon the insistence of the people of Rayy he shifted there for some time. Then he visited the holy mausoleum of Imam Reza (a.s.) and returned again to Rayy. On his return journey from Nishapur he was surrounded by the elders of Nishapur and the scholars stood before him in rows. They benefited from the light of his wisdom and gained from his expertise in religious sciences. In the same way, the author also profited by the knowledge of great scholars of Nishapur like Abu Ali Husain bin Ahmad Baihaqi. He also heard traditions from Abdul Wahid bin Muhammad bin Abdewas Nishapuri, Abu Mansur Ahmad bin Ibrahim Ibne Bakar al-Khauri, Abu Saeed Al-Muallim Muhammad bin Al-Fadl bin Muhammad bin Ishaq Nishapuri, Abu Tayyib Husain bin Ahmad bin Muhammad Razi, Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab Sajazi and Abu Nasr Ahmad bin Ishaq Husain bin Ahmad bin Ubaid.
1 Surah Taubah 9:122 Kamaaluddin wa Tamaamun Ni’ma 8
During his stay in Nishapur, people visited him in groups. In his interaction with these people, Shaykh Sadooq surmised that most of them harbored doubts about the Twelfth Imam (a.t.f.s.) and were confused in this regard. They did not acknowledge the evidences in this matter. So he focused all his efforts in bringing them to the right path and removing their misconceptions through his knowledge and scholarly expertise. He undertook this mission in such a dedicated way that very soon he earned the title of the greatest scholar of Khorasan. After that he headed for Marawalruz. At this place he heard traditions from a group of scholars, including Abul Husain Muhammad bin Ali bin Shah Faqih and Abu Yusuf Rafe bin Abdullah bin Abdul Malik. Later he turned his attention to Baghdad where he was accorded a warm welcome and the elders of the Imamiyah sect heard traditions from him. He in turn heard traditions from a group of scholars in Baghdad that included personalities like Hasan bin Yahya Alawi Husaini, well known as Ibne Abi Tahir, Ibrahim bin Harun Haisati, Ali bin Thabit Dawalaibi and Muhammad bin Umar al-Hafiz. Shaykh Sadooq visited Baghdad twice, once in 352 A.H. and again in 355 A.H.
On his return from the Holy House of Kaaba when he reached the city of Faid, Abu Ali Ahmad bin Abi Ja’far Baihaqi narrated traditions to him. After this, he entered Kufa and heard traditions from the Kufan scholars including Muhammad bin Bukran Naqqash, Ahmad bin Ibrahim bin Harun Qazi Fami in the Kufa mosque, Hasan bin Muhammad bin Saeed Hashmi Kufi Abul Hasan Ali bin Isa Mujawar in Kufa mosque, Abul Qasim Hasan bin Muhammad al-Sikri Mudakkar, Abu Zar Yahya bin Zaid bin al-Abbas Bazzaz and Abul Hasan Ali bin al-Husain bin Sufyan bin Yaqoob al-Hamadani in their residences. The next town on agenda was Hamadan where he heard traditions from Qasim bin Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Abdwiya as-Siraj, Fadl bin al-Abbas Kindi and Muhammad bin al-Fadl bin Zainuya Jallab Hamadani. Then he journeyed to Balkh and noted own traditional reports from local scholars of that area that included Husain bin Muhammad Ashai ar-Razi al-Adl, Husain bin Ahmad Astarabadi, Hasan bin Ali bin Muhammad bin Ali bin Umar Attar, Hakim Abu Hamid Ahmad bin alHusain bin Ali, Ubaidullah bin Ahmad al-Faqih, Tahir bin Muhammad bin Yunus bin Haiwa al-Faqih and Abul Hasan Muhammad bin Saeed Samarqandi al-Faqih. The next place of his visit was Ilaq. In Ilaq he was related traditions by Muhammad bin Amr bin Ali bin Abdullah Basri, Muhammad bin al-Hasan bin Ibrahim al-Kharqi al-Katib, Abu Muhammad Bakr bin Ali bin Muhammad bin alFadl Ash-Shashi al-Hakim and Abul Hasan Ali bin Abdullah Ibne Ahmad Aswari. During his stay there he was paid a visit by Sharifuddin Abu Abdullah, popularly known as Ibne Numa who requested him to compile a book of Islamic laws. Shaykh Sadooq accepted his advice and wrote his excellent book titled Man Laa Yahzarul Faqih. From Ilaq the Shaykh went to Samarqand and paid audience to traditions narrated by Abu Muhammad Abdus bin Ali bin al-Abbas al-Juzjani, and Abu Asad Abdus Samad bin Abdush Shaheed al-Ansari. During his visit to Farghana he heard narrations from Tameem bin Abdullah al-Qarashi Abu Ahmad Kamaaluddin wa Tamaamun Ni’ma 9
Muhammad bin Ja’far al-Bandaar ash-Shafei al-Farghani, Ismail bin Mansur bin Ahmad al-Qasar and Abu Ahmad Muhammad bin Abu Abdullah ash-Shafei.
All this was for the sake of remaining close to the Book of Allah and the Family of Revelation, for defending their sanctity, fulfillment of duties, defense of truth, dissemination of divine recognition and propagation of faith. Indeed in the history of Islam he has opened an illuminated and vast chapter for himself in which prominently shine his writings and books. The passage of time couldn’t destroy them because he was like a raging sea of information and the greatest scholar of the science of traditions whose writings illuminated all the corners of the world. In the matter of Islamic jurisprudence he was an authentic point of reference. Questions regarding various aspects of religion and religious laws were sent to him and he replied to them in the best way. Najjasi has mentioned something under the title of ‘Replies to problems’ in his book Rijal which would further illustrate this point. He says: Shaykh Sadooq had replied to questions received from Qazwin, Misr, Basra and Nishapur and they are compiled in different books. He also wrote a book in reply to the letter of Abu
Muhammad Farsi, a book in reply to a letter from Baghdad and yet another in reply to a question received in the month of Ramadan. He wrote a letter to the people of Rayy regarding the matter of Ghaibat (occultation).
In the same way he held discussions and debates in defense of the true religion that were written down for the posterity. The best of such debates is the one that was held in the court of King Ruknuddind Buwayhid Dailami. It was held at a time when the fame of Shaykh Sadooq had reached all the corners of the world. The ruler sent one of his representatives to invite the Shaykh. When he reached the court he was received by the King himself. The King had him seated next to himself and paid exceeding honor to him. Then he asked the Shaykh some very complex and difficult questions which he replied with absolute satisfactory replies, illuminating the veracity of the true religion. The King and other attendees accepted the arguments and the opponents had no choice but to accept the proofs.
Among the books listed by Najjashi are: Account of the debate in the court of Ruknuddaula, Account of another Debate, Account of Third Debate, Account of Fourth Debate and Account of Fifth Debate etc. The most important point of discussion in these gatherings was the veracity of the Imamiyah faith and the matter of Ghaibat (occultation).
These debates and discussion were especially arranged for the Shia people of Twelver (Ithna Ashari) Faith because they had, at that time separated from the Imam who should have been present among them all the time. The situation was such that even during the period of Minor Occultation (Ghaibat Sughra) only the four special deputies in their respective tenures had direct contact with the Holy Imams (a.s.). Also even the learned and scholars of the community spoke of him using titles and codes without openly disclosing his name and qualities etc. So the Kamaaluddin wa Tamaamun Ni’ma 10 majority of the people were very prone to all kinds of doubts and illusions.
Consequently the debates of scholars like Shaykh Sadooq went a long way in clarifying doubts of the Shia populace and further strengthened the foundation of Imamiyah faith on which would be built in the near future an edifice of jurisprudence that shall last till the Holy Imam (a.s.) himself reappears to openly take the reins of his community. The doubts prevalent in that age were further promoted by the proliferation of sub-sects like the Zaidiyyah (who were particularly strong), Kaisaniyah, Ismailia and Waqifiya who did not believe in any Imam after Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.). These sub-sects were becoming stronger by the day and some of them even aligned with each other putting the true Imamiyah beliefs into a grave danger and deviating a large number of Shia people from the faith of their forefathers.
The author sensed this looming peril and stepped forward to correct the situation and save the Shias from this deviation and annihilating circumstances. If it was not for the efforts and debates of scholars like Shaykh Sadooq, it was very likely that the majority of Shia people would have succumbed to their doubts and completely washed their hands from the belief of Imam Mahdi (a.s.). History and traditions bear witness how these warriors of the field of knowledge strived to save the people from perdition and the true Imamiyah faith from destruction. History bears witness that how they endeavored to remove doubts and clarified complex issues of religion, especially the matter of Ghaibat, so that the Shia community may not give up the authentic faith and stray to the path of deviation.
The venerable Shaykh penned books on almost all religious sciences and illuminated all the aspects of faith that were required by the Muslim Ummah. All his writings are marked with a distinctive style and arrangement. As mentioned by Shaykh Tusi, the number of his writings reach to 300. However most of them were destroyed by the ravages of time and circumstances and decayed in some corners of libraries. So what remains is only the sketch of the original and those that are lost have only left behind their names (titles). Some of his books survived for a few hundred years and then suddenly disappeared as if they were lifted up to the heavens. Only a part of his huge wealth, comprising of not more than 20 books, has survived to this day. Even these few books were littered with errors and differences in various versions etc. As a result of which they were neither accepted by the scholars nor reached the standards of scholarship. It was so because those who were involved in their reproduction were neither capable not committed to this job. Thus a situation appeared when despite the presence of these few books they were of hardly any scholarly value. Kamaaluddin wa Tamaamun Ni’ma 11 This problem was not only with the books of Shaykh Sadooq. It was the same for writings of other well known scholars. For example in the case of Ibne Quluwahy nothing remains from his writings except the book of Kamiluz Ziyaraat, although it is confirmed that he had written dozens of books. Shaykh Mufeed had written more than 200 books but only a few have survived to this day. The same is the case with the writings of Shaykh Tusi and Allamah Hilli. In his compiled book, Tarihi has mentioned that 500 treatises written by the hand of Allamah Hilli were found; which were in addition to the books that people had access to. Ninety percent of Allamah Hilli’s writings are lost as a result of centuries of conflict and bloodshed between Muslim sects in which the greatest loss was suffered through burning of libraries or throwing books into the sea/river. After that the remaining books were destroyed by the Tatars. Thus our written treasures were always prone to destruction at the hands of the opponents. In the present age also some people approached us from far away lands and took away portions of our written heritage in exchange of a paltry sum. Actually this matter is highlighted only to create an awareness how our laxity and indifference in this matter has wreaked havoc with our Islamic heritage, so that we do not repeat such mistakes.
Also most books that see the light of publication in this period are such that they are printed very badly without any regard for correcting textual errors and even lack proper sources from which it is taken so that it can be compared with them. Booksellers and publishers who are in this trade only for the sake of monetary gains have contributed largely in worsening the situation. When such books comes to a researcher he is absolutely defeated if he wants to understand or confirm a word, a phrase or some lines. In spite of all his efforts he would not be able to achieve his aim as the publisher has not provided any
clue from which version he has reproduced it.
Though we must admit that some books stand out prominently as they were fortunate to have been corrected, checked and edited by a great scholar. May the Almighty bestow a great reward to them for such a service to Islam. Only these are the books that can be relied upon.
Teachers and Students of the Author
Shaykh Sadooq (q.s.) has narrated traditions from a large number of important traditionists whose count reaches to 250. One can refer to the Foreword of Maani al-Akhbaar where all the names are listed.
In the same way around twenty learned scholars have narrated traditions from Shaykh Sadooq, and they are introduced in the Foreword of Man Laa Yahzrul Faqih. Kamaaluddin wa Tamaamun Ni’ma 12
Death and Place of Burial
(From the introduction of Maani al-Akhbaar) Shaykh Sadooq (q.s.) passed away in the year 381 A.H. He was aged seventy and odd years at that time. His magnificent tomb having a towering dome
is built near the mausoleum of Abdul Azeem Hasani in the Rayy province. Many people visit the place seeking blessings and paying respects. This mausoleum was first built by Fath Ali Shah Qachar in 1238 A.H. This was after the well known miracle that convinced the king, the queen and the courtiers. The details of this incident are mentioned in Raudhat of Khwansari, Qisasul Ulama of Tankabani, Tanqihul Maqaal of Mamaqani and Muntakhib at-Tawarikh of Khorasani.
Khwansari says: Among his miracles is one that was seen in the present age and which a large number of people with perception themselves witnessed and which people from far away places also saw is that the Shaykhs tomb which is situated in Rayy was damaged with heavy rains as a result of which there developed a crack. When renovation began and the gap was examined closely it was found that it led to an underground chamber in which the last remains of the Shaykh were placed. In this chamber, people saw an elegant dead body which was half covered but the private parts were not exposed. It was a huge body and the nails showed henna coloration and around the body lay twisted dusty threads of the shroud cloth. This news spread all over the city of Tehran and even reached Fath Ali Shah Qachar who was the great grandfather of Nasiruddin Shah. This happened around 1238 A.H. So the King, with perfectly good faith, decided to see for himself and he reached the tomb with an entourage of courtiers. Since the officers advised that King himself does not enter the burial chamber, he deputed some reliable persons to go down and report the facts to him. At last, the truth of the miracle was confirmed for him and he finally ordered that the crack be filled and the tomb be renovated in the most magnificent way. I myself have heard about this incident from an eyewitness and some of our senior scholars have mentioned this event in their books.
Mamqani has quoted this incident from the personification of justice and truth, Sayyid Ibrahim Lawasani Tehrani’s Tanqihul Maqaal.
Al-Shaykh al-Saduq is the title given to Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn 'Ali ibn Babawaih al-Qummi. He was the leading traditionist of his time (4th Century A.H.) and one of the most outstanding traditionists of Shi'ite Islam. He earned the title of al-Shaykh al-Saduq on account of his great learning and his reputation for truthfulness. It is a title which he also shares with his father.
His father, al-Shaykh 'Ali was a leading figure among the scholars of Qom. By the father's time the family were established as strong adherents of Shi'ite Islam. However, it is not known how early the family entered into Islam. Al-Shaykh al-Saduq is sometimes known as Ibn Babawaih. This is the family name and indicates the Persian origin of the family, as Babawaih is an Arabicized version of the Persian form Babuyah.
The date of al-Shaykh al-Saduq's birth is not known exactly. However, an interesting story surrounds the circumstances of it. When his father was in Iraq, it is said that he met Abul Qasim al-Husayn ibn Rawh, the third agent of the Hidden Imam. During their meeting he asked the latter several questions. Later he wrote to al-Husayn ibn Rawh asking him to take a letter to the Hidden Imam. In this letter he asked for a son. Al-Husayn sent back an answer telling him that they (the Hidden Imam and al-Husayn) had prayed to God to ask Him to grant the request and he would be rewarded with two sons. Another version of the story says three sons. The elder, or eldest, of these sons was al-Shaykh al-Saduq.
On the basis of this story, early Shi'ite scholars have placed his birth after the year 305 A.H. probably 306 A.H. For al-Husayn ibn Rawh was the agent of the Hidden Imam from 305 A.H. until his death in 326 A.H. Al-Shaykh al-Saduq was born and grew up in Qom. He was educated by his father and came into close contact with all the leading scholars of Shi'ite Islam in Qumm and studied under many of them.
Qom was one of centres of the study of Shi'ite traditions and it was this form of religious learning which held great influence over al-Shaykh al-Saduq. He travelled widely visiting many cities in search of traditions and as a result the number of scholars whom he learned traditions from was considerable. The number is put at 211.
The importance of traditions is emphasized by al-Shaykh al-Saduq and he quotes traditions against speculative theology. His works reflect this interest in traditions and nearly all of them take the form of compilations of traditions. However he did write a creed of Shi'ite Islam al-I'tiqadat. His pupil, the eminent theologian al-Shaykh al-Mufid, wrote a correction of this creed Tashih al-i'tiqad where he criticises him on several points.
The number of al-Shaykh al-Saduq's works is considerable. al-Shaykh Al-Tusi says that they numbered over 300 but list only 43 of them that he has immediately in his possession, while al-Najashi lists 193 of them. Curiously enough al-Najashi does not mention the important work Man la yahduruhu al-faqih. Many of the works of al-Shaykh al-Saduq have been lost but a considerable number survive and have been published. There are also other works not yet published but extant in manuscript form. As has been mentioned during his life al-Shaykh al-Saduq devoted most of his energy to the collection and compilation of traditions; he was also a great teacher of tradition. During the last years of his life al Shaykh' al-Saduq lived in Ray. He had been invited there by the Buyid Rukn al-Dawla. He seems to have been well-treated and honoured there by Rukn al-Dawla and took part in many discussions with him. However it is reported that his teaching was eventually restricted by the Buyid Wazir Ibn 'Abbad. The attack appears to have been aimed at traditions for several Sunni traditionists also suffered similar restrictions at the hands of Ibn 'Abbad.
Al-Shaykh al-Saduq died in Ray in 381 A.H. and he was buried there. He was probably more than 70 years of age. He left behind him many collections of traditions which are considered to be of great importance.
This work is included in the four major books of the traditions of Shi'ite Islam. Despite the fact that many of his other works are extremely important, this book is regarded as his most important work. However some authorities maintain that there were five major books of traditions and they include another of al-Shaykh al-Saduq's works, Madinat al-'ilm, in this number. Al-Tusi mentions that the latter work was bigger than Man la yahduruhu al-faqih. It appears that this book is no longer existent. It seems to have been concerned with usual al-din (the principles of religion) rather than the furu', which are the practical regulations for carrying out the shari'a (Islamic law).
As its title implies Man la yahduruhu al faqih was concerned with furu'. It has be neatly translated by E. G. Brown as "Every man his own lawyer". In his introduction to the book al-Shaykh al-Saduq explains the circumstances of its composition and the reason for its title. When he was at Ilaq near Balkh, he met Sharif al-Din Abu 'Abd Allah known as Ni'mah whose full name was Muhammad ibn Al-Husayn ibn Al-Husayn ibn Ishaq ibn Musa ibn Ja'far ibn Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Al-Husayn ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib. He was delighted with his discourses with him and his gentleness, kindness, dignity and interest in religion. He brought a book compiled by Muhammad ibn Zakaria al-Razi entitled Man la yahduruhu al-Tabib or "Every man his own doctor" to the attention of al-Shaikh al-Saduq. He, then, asked him to compile a book on Fiqh(jurisprudence), al-halal wa al-haram (the permitted and prohibited), al-shara-i' wa-'l-ahkam (revealed law and (ordinary) laws) which would draw on all the works which the Shaykh had composed on the subject. This book would be called Man la yahduruhu al-faqih and would function as a work of reference.
In fact the work represents a definitive synopsis of all the traditions which al-Shaikh al-Saduq had collected and included in individual books on specific legal subjects. In the lists of books of al-Shaikh al-Saduq, individual works are attributed to him on every subject of the furu'; examples are such works as Kitab al-nikah ("Book of Marriage") or Kitab al-hajj ("Book of the Pilgrimage"). That this was the intention of both the author and the learned member of Ahl al-bait is emphasised by the author when he says that Sharif al-Din had asked him for this work despite the fact that he had copied or heard from him the traditions of 145 books.
Another element in the work that stresses that it was conceived as a reference book to help ordinary Shi'ites in the practise of the legal requirements of Islam is the general absence of the Isnads or traditions. The isnads - or the chain of authorities by which the tradition had been received from the Prophet or one of the Imams - was, and is, an all-important feature of the science of traditions. Therefore this book was not meant to be a work for scholars, who would want to check the authorities. Scholars could check the isnads in the numerous individual studies compiled by al-Shaykh al-Saduq. This book was a summary of the study of legal traditions by one of the great scholars of traditions. Al-Shaikh al-Saduq says that he complied with the request for him to compile the book:
"... because I found it appropriate to do so. I compiled the book without isnads (asanid) so that the chains (of authority) should not be too many (-and make the book too long-) and so that the book's advantages might be abundant. I did not have the usual intention of compilers (of books of traditions) to put forward everything which they (could) narrate but my intention was to put forward those things by which I gave legal opinions and which I judged to be correct.
Al-Shaykh al-Saduq also gives an account of some of the earlier works which he referred to. These works were the books of Hariz ibn 'Abd Allah al-Sijistani - he died during the life time of Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq; the book of 'Ubaid Allah ibn 'Ali al-Halabi - who was also a contemporary of Imam Ja'far; the books of Ali ibn Mahziyar - who took traditions from Imam 'Ali al-Rida, Imam Muhammad al-Jawad and Imam al-Hadi; the books of al-Husayn ibn Sa'id - who also heard traditions from those three Imams; the Nawadir of Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn 'Isa - who died in 297 A.H. and also heard traditions from those three Imams; the Kitab nawadir al-hikma of Muhammad ibn Yahya ibn 'Imran al-Ash'ari; Kitab al-rahma of Sa'd ibn 'Abd Allah - who died in 299 A.H. or 301 A.H.; the Jami' of Muhammad ibn al-Hasan - who was one of the teachers of the Shaykh and died in 343 A.H.; the Nawadir of Muhammad b. Abi 'Umayr - who died in 218 A.H.; the Kitab al-Mahasin of Ahmad ibn Abi 'Abd Allah al-Barqi (i.e. Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Khalid al-Barqi) who died in 274 A.H. or 280 A.H. (this book has been published in Teheran); and the Risala which his father had written to him. The Shaikh goes on to mention that he also consulted many other works whose names occur in the book-lists. This inclusion of the list of some of the works consulted is useful evidence that the works of both al-Shaykh al-Saduq and his predecessor, al-Kulayni, who compiled the first of the four major books of Shi'ite traditions, al-Kafi, represent the culmination of works of traditions which had been compiled in a continuous process from the earliest times and at least from the time of Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq.
In addition to these references which the author gives in his introduction he frequently refers to his own works during the course of the book. Thus at the end of his Bab nawadir al-hajj (Chapter of Exceptional Traditions of the Pilgrimage), he says: "I have published these nawadir with isnads with others in Kitab jami', nawadir al-hajj."
Another feature of the work is the method used by the author. He does not leave the traditions to speak for themselves but frequently draws rules from the traditions or explains their meaning. In a summary of the various traditions on the pilgrimage, he gives a long outline of all the rituals which should be performed by the faithful with very few traditions intervening in his outline.
The book covers most of the points concerned with the furu' (practices) of fiqh jurisprudence. It is not arranged in chapters (kutub) but in smaller sections (abwab), with the various categories such as fasting and pilgrimage following closely after each other. As indicated, its lack of isnads and al-Shaikh al-Saduq's own explanations make it an extremely useful compendium of law for ordinary Shi'ite Muslims of the period.
The book, naturally as one of the four major works of traditions, has had many commentaries written on it. Among the significant Shi'ite writers who have written such commentaries are al-Sayyid Ahmad b. Zain al-'Abidin al-'Alawi al-'Amili (died 1060 A.H.) and Muhammad Taqi al-Majlisi al-Awwal (died 1070 A H ). The book itself has been recently published in four volumes in Teheran.
1. Kamal al-din wa tamam al-ni'mah ( the perfection of the religion and the end of the blessings) which is about Imam Zaman including questions and answers about the Occultation to the non-believers.
2. Ma'ani al-Akhbar in which he has explained the shades of the complexities and the problems of interpretations of traditions and the Quranic verses.
3. Uyun Akhba al-Rida which has been dedicated to Sahib ibn-e Ebad the wise minister of Alle buyeh dynasty including some of Imam reza's( A.S) traditions.
4. al-Khisal which is about the moral instructions , points of scientific ,historical and legal origins whichhad been organized according to the numerical hierarchies.
5. Emali (Majalis)(sessions) : in this book his students had collected all of his speeches and lessons.
6. Ilal al-shara'i (the cause of the situations) which includes the reasons behind the Philosophy of the Islamic ordinances.
FATHER OF SHAIKH SUDOOQ ‘Ali ibn Babiwayh Qummi from Al-Islam.org
Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali ibn Husayn ibn Musa ibn Babiwayh Qummi (d. 329 AH) was a Shi‘ite jurist, a narrator of hadith, and a religious authority leading the people of Qum46. It is quoted from Abu ‘Ali, son of Shaykh Tusi, that:
His [ibn Babiwayh] status in jurisprudence and narrating hadiths was so high that Shi‘ite scholars referred to his opinion in the Sharayi‘e book (religious laws) when there was no associating hadith available or there were doubts in the text of hadith47.
Some scholars considered his opinion as authentic as the text of traditions themselves, and presupposed that he must have had a hadith which has been the source of his opinion.
There is no information about Ibn Babiwayh's life except but a few cases. Other than those cases, the information about his life is limited to Imam Hasan ‘Askari’s (A) letter to him, Ibn Babiwayh’s meeting with Husayn ibn Mansur Hallaj (d. 309 A.H), and his travels to Baghdad.
To find out about his social position, it would be enough to know that when he met Hallaj in Qum, Hallaj introduced himself as the agent and deputy of the promised Imam Mahdi (A) and claimed that he has special dignities and marvels. This angered Ibn Babiwayh and since he was not truthful by his claim, Ibn Babiwayh banished him from Qum48.
At least three of his journeys to Iraq have been reported. The first journey was apparently shortly after the death of Muhammad ibn ‘Uthman (304 or 305 A.H). As reported by Tal‘ukbari, his second journey was in 326 AH. In his last journey to Baghdad in 328 AH, he gave permission to Abu al-Hasan ‘Abbas Kluzani to narrate from all of his books49.
When the Abbasid dynasty sought to block the Twelfth Imam (A), Ibn Babiwayh held discussions on the wilayah of the infallible Ahl al-Bayt (A) and tried to promote Shi‘a education. Reliable authorities have narrated a treatise from him in which he debates Muhammad ibn Muqatil al-Razi in Rey over proving the Imamate of Imam Ali (A). ‘Ali ibn Babiwayh established the facts for him in this debates, and this discussion led Muhammad ibn Muqatil to convert to Shi‘i Islam50.
Ibn Babiwayh was a scholar who had many written works. Ibn Nadim has seen a manuscript of Shaykh Saduq (Ibn Babiwayh’s son) in which he had granted permission to someone to quote a hundred pieces of his father's books51.
Najashi mentioned his books like: Al-Wudhu’, Al-Salat, Al-Jana’iz, Nawadir Kitab al- Mantiq, Kitab al-Ikhwan, Kitab al-Nisa’ wa al-Wildan, Kitab al- Sharai‘ which he sent to his son, Kitab al-Tafsir, Kitab al-Nikah, Kitab Manasik al-Hajj, Kitab Qurb al-Asnad, Kitab al-Taslim, Kitab al-Tib, Kitab al-Mawarith and Kitab al-Mi‘raj.52
In the book Al-Fihrist, Shaykh Tusi wrote about ‘Ali ibn Babiwayh:
... He was a great and trustworthy jurist and compiled many books... Muhammad ibn ‘Ali (Shaykh Saduq) narrated all his books and his traditions to me, Shaykh Mufid, Husayn ibn ‘Ubaydullah al-Ghadha’iri from his father.53
‘Ali ibn Babiwayh was in the same position as Shaykh Kulayni, Safwani, Tal‘ukbari, and Muhammad ibn Quluwayh. He quoted from Shaykh Kulayni’s teachers such as Muhammad ibn Yahya al-‘Attar, ‘Ali ibn Ibrahim al-Qummi, Ahmad ibn Idris al- Ash‘ari, and from other individuals such as ‘Abdullah ibn Ja‘far al-Humayri, the author of Qurb al-Asnad and Sa‘d ibn ‘Abdullah al-Qumi et al.54
Before the age of occultation, ‘Ali ibn Babiwayh lived in the age of Imam Hasan ‘Askari (A) for a while and had a high position before the Imam (A). One of his received honours was a letter that Imam Hasan ‘Askari (A) wrote to him and honored him with some advice. The letter is as follows:
Bimillah. O’ The honorable and my trustworthy one! Oh jurist. Oh Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali ibn al- Husayn Qummi! May God bless you to do praiseworthy deeds in his sight and may God generate from you – out of His mercy - pious children.
I advise you to be wary for sake of God, pray, and give alms –since prayer is not accepted from those who do not give alms.
I also advise you to overlook the others' sins, control your anger, observe bonds of relationship, sympathize with your brothers and to fulfill their needs, either in difficulties or at ease, acquire knowledge, think deeply and understand religion and learn it, and be determined in your duties, take an oath to the Qur’an, be open-hearted, and enjoin the good and to prohibit the evil, because God, the Exalted states: “There is no good in much of their secret talks, except him who enjoins charity or what is right or reconciliation between people…” (4:114) and to avoid all the evil.
You should perform the midnight prayer, as the Holy Prophet (S) advised Imam ‘Ali (A), saying: "Oh ‘Ali! You should practice the midnight prayer! You should practice the midnight prayer! And you should practice the midnight prayer! Those who consider the midnight prayer trivial are not among us. So put my advice into practice and direct all my Shi‘ites to act accordingly.
You should have patience and expect the deliverance (faraj) [of the Imam (A)] because the Holy Prophet (S) said: “The most preferable deed of my Umma is the expectation of the deliverance.” My Shi‘ites will constantly be in sorrow and grief until my son who the Prophet (S) has promised about, returns, where he said: “He (A) will fill the earth with justice and equity, as it is full of injustice and cruelty.”
Then, Oh great [scholar]! Be patient and direct all of my Shi‘ites to have patience:
“The earth indeed belongs to Allah, and He gives its inheritance to whomever He wishes of His servants, and the outcome will be in favor of the Godwary” (7: 128).
May God’s hail, mercy, and blessings be upon you and upon all our Shi‘ites! God is sufficient for us. He is an excellent help, the best master, and the best helper…55
‘Ali ibn Babiwayh had a special position before Imam Mahdi (A). He got in contact with Husayn ibn Ruh Nawbakhti, the third deputy of Imam, in Iraq and wrote a letter to Imam Mahdi (A) asking him to pray to grant ibn Babiwayh children. The Imam (A) responded, saying: “I asked God and He shall give you two sons.” After a while, God granted ‘Ali ibn Babiwayh two sons who became great jurists. One of them was Shaykh Saduq. Thus, Shaykh Saduq felt proud of the grace of his birth and used to say: “I was born by blessings of Imam of the age (A).”56
The day when ‘Ali ibn Babiwayh passed away in Qum in 329 A.H, ‘Ali ibn Muhammad Saymuri, the forth deputy of Imam (A), was sitting with a group of people in a meeting in Iraq. Then he suddenly turned to them and informed them of the passing of ‘Ali ibn Babiwayh. They recorded the time of his passing and 17 or 18 days later, they received news from Qum that he had passed away right in the recorded time.57
Ibn Babiwayh originated a lineage of scholars whose members were well-known until the late six century, and the last scholar of this family, Muntakhab al-Din had the same nickname and name of Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali ibn Babiwayh. Bahrani has written biographies of the members of this family in Fihrist of the Buyid wa ‘Ulama al-Bahrain.58