Al-Shahid Al-Awwal; Faqih Al-Sarbidaran

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Al-Shahid Al-Awwal; Faqih Al-Sarbidaran Author:
Translator: Hasan M. Najafi
Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum
Category: Ulama and Scholars

Al-Shahid Al-Awwal; Faqih Al-Sarbidaran

Author: Muhammad Husayn Al-Amani
Translator: Hasan M. Najafi
Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum

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Al-Shahid Al-Awwal; Faqih Al-Sarbidaran

Al-Shahid Al-Awwal; Faqih Al-Sarbidaran

Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum

Al-Shahid Al-Awwal Faqih Al-Sarbidaran

Author(s): Muhammad Husayn Al-Amani

Translator(s): Hasan Muhammad Al-Najafi

Publisher(s): Ansariyan Publications - Qum

A detailed story of the life of Muhammad Shams Al-Din, known as Al-Shahid Al-Awwal Faqih Al-Sarbidaran

During these difficult times of war and tragedies the truth is often very hard to be unearthed. Should we really look at the Western world as our golden goal? Is it the solution to resolve the problems plaguing the Islamic countries? Or is the answer found in our own history and with our own high respected personalities?

“Meeting the Pious” series is a practical attempt to return to our genuine identity, through introducing the biographies of the beacons of Islamic thought, those stars whose scientific horizons may inundate the leaders of other ideological dogmas and creeds, and other well-known thinkers.

One of the most sensitive facts that disturbs the West and robs its sleep, is the serious return of the Islamic nation (Ummah) to its real identity, to its leading figures to those who managed in paving the hard way of Islam through their concerted efforts and honest contribution.


This version is published on behalf of

The composing errors are not corrected.

Table of Contents

Publisher's Foreword 7

Preamble 8

Translator's Introduction 10

Chapter 1: Land of Knowledge and Labour 11

The Sunrise 11

His Lineage 12

City of Stars 13

His Growing Up 13

The Emigration 14

Town of Hillah during Al-Shahid's Lifetime 14

His Residing at Hillah 14

Return to Homeland 15

His World Traversion 15

Al-Shahid's Teachers 16

His Shi'ah Teachers 16

His Sunnah Teachers 17

His School-Certificates 18

Stars Granting Him Fame 19

Notes 20

Chapter 2: Founding the School 21

The People's Support 21

Educating the Disciples 21

His Works and Compilations 22

His Works on Kalam 22

His Works on Hadith 23

His Poetical Works 24

Al-Shahid and Usul Al-Fiqh 25

His Works on Fiqh 25

Al-Lum’ah Al-Dimashqiyyah, His Best Work 27

His Other Works 28

Notes 28

Chapter 3: Al-Shahid's Features 30

His Association with Allah 30

His Comprehensiveness 30

His Literary Adroitness 31

Under Allah's Protection 32

His Call for Unity 32

Others' Viewpoints 33

Notes 34

Chapter 4: Al-Shahid at Damascus 35

With Sultan Ali Ibn Mu'ayyad 35

Desirous Lover Ali Ibn Mu'ayyad 36

Al-Sarbidaran Dynasty 37

His Time Governments 38

Abbasid State Disintegration 38

The Sharakisah 38

Barquq's Stand Toward the 'Abbasids 39

Social Conditions during Barquq's Reign 39

Damascus 40

His Connection with Rulers 41

Yalush Movement 41

Notes 42

Chapter 5: The Bloody History 43

The Crime Incentives 43

The Sun Downfall 44

The Other Birth 46

His Children 46

Descendants One of Another 47

Note 48

Bibliography 49

Publisher's Foreword

Many requests, through phone calls and letters, have reached Ansariyan Publications from the dearest readers, in which they were all asking for books and leaflets dealing with the biography of the Ulama: who played a bright role in the world of thought and religious sciences, in all fields.

In response, this Foundation has embarked on perusing the matter attentively and with utmost care, to meet the sincere desires of the readers longing for studying the Islamic culture and its characters.

While Ansariyan Publications is presenting the series of Meeting the Pious (Liqama’a Al- Abrar), it only hopes that it can attain the satisfaction and approval of our beloved readers, and meeting their requests. And it is Allah Who helps us to succeed.

Ansariyan Foundation


The cultural assault rests on two pillars: first, humiliating the pristine culture; and second, overstating in publicizing for the substitute Western culture. Through this cultural ravishment and vilification for the genuine culture, people may feel to be despised in comparison to others, heedless of their own culture and peerless containments of treasures, begging help from aliens, and offering their culture and civilization at an underrate.

The defunct Pahlavi dynasty adopted this wicked policy with the West, declaring it as the deity of civilization, modernism and art, beside even ethics and religion.Whereas it introduced the East as an example and source of savagery and backwardness, or at the best, be called the 'Third World' the non-developed countries.

These devilish policies have, to some extent, managed in achieving their goals, as a large number of people, particularly the youth, began to view the West as representing the free world that defends the human rights, democracy and freedom.

But the sun cannot be kept behind clouds forever, as said by the known dictum, and realities began to emerge as clear as noonday, with the start of the era of Islamic resurgence, the era characterized with the contemporary generation's return to its inborn nature and disposition, to the Holy Quran and real dogma and its elements.

In spite of the present optimistic illumination auguring well, the state of thought ravishment is still suffering in many of sensitive and important fields from the Western abnormal effects.

The high certificates got in the West, for example, are still dazzling our sights, and the medicine that does not hold an attractive and illustrious Western mark has actually no effective influence. Yet, many Western cultural phenomena are still penetrative or rather firmly rooted in our society's behaviorism.

Meanwhile, the West is still selecting for us the costumes we wear, and determining the kinds of medals to be granted to the winning athletes. Not only that, but also we expect it to distribute the literary prizes, for which all are longing eagerly.

In any case, is it correct to regard the West as our unique model and example? That West whose ill-favoured intention has been revealed through its void mottos and false claims, in defending the democracy and human rights? What are the reasons behind such feelings of inferiority towards the fifteenth Hijrah Century executioners?

We still view the West as an ideal, despite its adopting the apartheid policy, and awarding its literary prizes to those who are devoid of decency and good manners, like Salman Rushdie, while withholding the Muslim genius students participating in the physics Olympiad.

The Islamic world is asked then to strive hard to establish an 'Islamic World Order', and to sever all connections between it and the Western slogans and pretensions, like democracy, freedom and defending the human rights.

Can we have any hope, then, in the West while we are witnessing the catastrophic events occurring all over the Islamic countries, such as, Bosnia Herzegovina, Algeria, and Palestine? Whoever is concerned with the Muslims' affairs should realize that no outlet or solution (for the crises) is there, but only through resorting and returning to the warm wings of the Holy Quran and its expansive patronage.

“Meeting the Pious” series is then a practical attempt and an earnest endeavour to return to our genuine identity, through introducing the biographies of the beacons of Islamic thought, those stars whose scientific horizons may inundate the leaders of other ideological dogmas and creeds, and other well-known thinkers.

One of the most sensitive facts that disturbs the West and robs its sleep, is the serious return of the Islamic nation (Ummah) to its real identity, to its leading figures to those who managed in paving the hard way of Islam through their concerted efforts and honest contribution.

The staff of “Meeting the Pious” series has made a pledge to investigate the inherent characteristics and biographies of seventy glittering stars of the high sphere of Islamic thought, and introduce them as lofty shining ensigns who struggle to rebuild the Islamic civilization anew.

Translator's Introduction

Jabal Amil represents a bright mark throughout the history of Lebanon, and despite its limited geographical boundaries, it has occupied a vast area not only in Lebanon but also throughout the history of the whole Muslim East. The land of Jabal has produced tens of knowledge and literary prides, contributing in founding the Islamic civilization.

In view of its belonging to Shi'ism, solid relations have come into existence between Jabal Amil and other knowledge centres in numerous Islamic cities and cultures.

Hence the Amili thought never remained confined in one region or certain country, but set out toward broad horizons, covering an extensive area of the Islamic world, ranging from the small village of “Jizzin” through Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, ending at India.

Al-Shahid Al-Awwal is counted among those peerless personages throughout history, being a vanguard of a novel Fiqhi school. The most remarkable merit distinguishing his humane character is said to be his endeavour for uniting the ranks of Muslims, attempting to mend the fences between the Shi'ah and Sunnah, and to melt the frost amassed between the two sects.

On this path he has cut a great course, creating thus a considerable danger for the rulers, threatening the existence of the influential people among the opportunists and covetous. Therefore a filthy conspiracy was hatched against him, helped by circumstances to succeed in liquidating him in a terrible way, constituting a conviction document against his age.

Chapter 1: Land of Knowledge and Labour

The tops of Jabal Amil are still towering at the south of Lebanon, with its towns glittering through its thought, faith and resistance against the foreign occupation.

Jabal Amil is a glaring star in the Shia history, that whenever it is remembered, tens of sweet and bitter memoirs, constituting with their order exciting chapters of Islam's history at this region of the world, will be recalled to mind.

Jabal Amil has emerged as a foremost Shia existence, experiencing much torment and persecution, with witnessing massacres and atrocities throughout history and different ages and eras.

The roots of Tashayyu' (Shi'ism) in this region are traced back to very ancient times, exactly to the time of the arrival of the Companion Abu Dharr Al-Ghafari, during his ordeal as he was moving from an exile to the other. His impressive words have sown loyalty for Al-Imam Ali (a.s) inside the hearts, cultivating his love in the hearts, which very soonblossomed producing pure buds that became strong, striking their roots as deep as faith.

The mosque that was built by Abu Dharr is still surviving at a town called Mays Al-Jabal, with the name of that honourable Companion. Certainly the history of Jabal Amil has not started with the advent of Islam, but it goes back to time immemorial coinciding with the emergence of early Prophet-hoods in the human history.

Thus, Jabal Amil kept on being a homeland for Ulama, geniuses and great thinkers, including Al-Shaykh Abd Al­Husayn Al-Karaki, known with the title Al-Muhaqqiq Al-Thani; Al-Shaykh Lutf Allah Al-Maysi, whose mosque is still set up in Isfahan, being visited by thousands of lovers of the Islamic art every year. Beside Al-Shaykh Baha Al-Din Al-Amili known as Al-Shaykh Al-Baha'i, and his father Al-Shaykh Husayn Ibn Abd Ahamad Al Amili. Among all these Ulama two men have been the most eminent: Al-Shahid Al-Awwal and Al-Shahid Al-Thani.

The golden chain endlessly extends to include from the contemporary ones, Al-Sayyid Muhsin Al-Amin Al-Amili (may Allah be pleased with them).

The author of Wasail Al-Shi'ah, Al-Hurr Al-Amili has referred to this pride of Jabal Amil. He is reported to have said that seventy Mujtahids have participated in a funeral procession at one of Jabal Amil villages, during the lifetime of Al-Shahid Al-Awwal. And also that Shi'ah Ulama at Jabal Amil are numbering about one-fifth of Shi'ah Ulama all over the world, despite their lands being less than tenth the tenth of the Shi'ah land.1

Thus Jabal Amil, with its limited geographical area, has occupied an extensive position in the long Islamic and humane history.

In this book we shall commence our trip with one of Jabal Amil's gigantic dignitaries, thatis : Al-Shahid Al-Awwal.

The Sunrise

In the year 734 (Hijrah), Jabal Amil, that goodly land, whose soil was about to intermingle with the sacred soil of Palestine, was expecting an extraordinary event that could reach the level of good tidings. The sun has risen at the horizon of Jizzin, whose lights have prevailed the East and the West.

In a small house diffusing the love for Ahl Al-Bayt (a.s), from a goodly tree, its root set firm and its branches reaching into heaven, and to a faqih knowledgeable father, Al-Shaykh Mubamrnad Al-Makki known with the name Jamal Al-Din, a boy was born, filling the simple house with light and joy. His birth has constituted a new chapter in the course of knowledge at Jabal Amil, when history has recorded these lines:

Name: Muhammad.

Surname: Shams Al-Din, then Al-Shahid Al-Awwal.

Father: Al-Shaykh Muhammad Al-Makki, who was called Jamal Al-Din or Sharaf Al-Din.

Mother: An Alawi lady from Al Muyyah in Iraq.

Grandfather: Al-Shaykh Muhammad Shams Al-Din.

Date of Birth: 734 (H).

Place of Birth: The Town of Jizzin at Jabal Amil.

His Lineage

The humane character has its valuables, that generations inherit one from the other. When pure lineage comes together with chaste environment, genius comes into existence. This is exactly the case with Al-Shahid Al-Awwal, as in regard to lineage, his roots go back to four inveterate Arab tribes being: Ramadan, Al-Aws, Khazraj and Banu Al-Munalib.

Al-Shaykh Al-Makki Ibn Muhammad, the grandson of Al­Shahid Al-Awwal and one of the Twelfth Hijrah Century Ulama is reported to have written what indicating his belonging in origin to Hamadan Tribe,2 through their great grandmother. It is known for all that this tribe has taken standpoints supportive for Al-Imam Ali (a.s), never forgetting its noble and laudable positions toward the seditions and conspiracies the Islamic world suffered in those days.

We suffice by referring to the personality of Al-Harith Al-Hamadani, and the sublime status he occupied inside the heart of Ali the beating heart of Islam, and to contemplate at the Imam's words appreciating the honourable stand of the tribe throughout history, when he said: “Should I be a door-keeper at the Heavens, I would say to Hamadan: enter at peace.”

He belongs in origin to Khazraj Tribe, the fact that was stated by Al-Shaykh Salim, who was one of Al-Shahid's grandsons too, belonging to the same tribe through his paternal grandmother. Khazraj is so well-known that need not be introduced, as it represents a great section of the Anar (Helpers), whose chief being Sa'd Ibn Ubadah who adopted a stern position toward the issue of caliphate after the demise of the Prophet (p.b.u.h), till being murdered in vague circumstances.

On the paternal side, Al-Shahid belongs to Banu Abd Al-Muttalib, so he was called with the title Al-Sharif, which was usually given to anyone having kinship to Al-Hasan Al-Mujtaba (a.s). On the same basis, he was also called Al-Muttalibi and Al-Hashimi.

On the mother's side, he belongs to Sa'd Ibn Mu'adh, the Chieftain of the tribe of Aws, who was the most eminent one of the Prophet's faithful Companions, that devoted themselves to sublimate Allah's word on the earth. The holy Messenger (p.b.u.h) used to consult him concerning all the crucial and sensitive matters, finding but devotion, boldness and wisdom.

His words to the Messenger at the Battle of Badr are still resounding: “By Him Who has delegated you with the Truth, if you order us to cross the sea we shall all wade through it with you with no one being left behind.”

His position has led to enhance the fighting morale among the Islamic troops, increasing their momentum to proceed forward on the way of Jihad (struggle), and making upper the word of Islam.

He was born in the year 32 (H), and was martyred after being hit with an arrow at the Khandaq Battle. The Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h) used to venerate him to the extent that he (p.b.u.h) participated in his funeral procession barefooted, to show his deep sadness, grief and sorrow.

Thus it is proved that no one except Al-Shahid Al-Awwal, could enjoy such inveterate lineage and deep roots going back to the heart of history.

City of Stars

The beginning was in Jizzin, the small village belonging to Jabal Amil. The boy opened his eyes for the first time in this place of the world, breathing its healthy air, quenching himself from its sweet clearwaters, and growing up at an environment filled with knowledge, thought and faith.

If history being the memory of nations, Jizzin then is glowing with names of many personages, whose lights have illuminated thehorizons. Abd Allah Ibn Ayyub was an eminent poet who was contemporaneous with Al-lmam Al­ Rida, the Eighth Imam of Ahl Al-Bayt, being among his companions and supporters.

We should refer too to Al-Shaykh Asad Al-Din Al-Saigh Al-Jizzini, and Al-Shaykh Ahmad Ibn Tayy Al-Jizzini, the great grandfather of Al-Shahid Al-Awwal, beside other stars that shone at the sky of Islam, setting afterwards.

But for every commencement there is an end, and Jizzin, that was once a homeland for Muslims and Shi'ah of Ahl Al-Bayt, began to be inflicted with time calamities, when being occupied by the crusaders, who devastated its heritage, demolishing its mosques, leaving nothing for the Muslims except a few houses.

Then Al-Shahid Al-Awwal's house was changed into an ordinary street, with no trace indicating its existence, except a marble proving that it was one day there, whereas the mosque holding his name was transformed to a church.

His Growing Up

Muhammad has spent his childhood at Jizzin, in a house full of Iman (faith), and at a unique thought atmosphere, with his parents and congenial social circumstances, having great influence in the development of his character.

They have never neglectedhis own talents and his distinguished smartness, which helped exposing his genius abilities so early, in a way drawing the attention of all.

After completing sixteen years of his life, the young man felt as being quenched of knowledge, with needing more and more to acquire, so he began to think of far-reaching prospects, dreaming of travel.

The Emigration

“And the believers should not all go out to fight. Of every troop of them, a party only should go forth, that they (who are left behind) may gain sound knowledge in religion, and that they may warn their folk when they return to them, so that they may beware.” (9:122 )

Based on this, Al-Shahid Al-Awwal has betaken himself on a far trip away of his homeland in 750 (H), being the first one migrating from Jabal Amil toward Iraq for seeking knowledge, with Hillah being the first station throughout his life, that was replete with travels.

Town of Hillah during Al-Shahid's Lifetime

Hillah had been the foremost of Islamic towns and metropolises, being a significant centre for Islamic thought and a big base for the Shi'a school (madhhab), coming after Baghdad which occupied the first rank, since the era of Al­Shaykh Al-Mufid (d. 413 H.).

And after him come his disciples, the most renowned of whom being Al-Sayyid Al-Murtada Alam Al-Huda (d. 436 H.), and Shaykh Al-Ta'ifah Al-Tusi (d. 460 H.), who are actually considered the founders of that broad basis of thought and knowledge.

The courses of lessons they were holding used to be attended by reputed Ulama; and three hundred Shi’a Mujtahidun were attending the class of Al­Shaykh Al-Tusi, beside countless number of Ulama and intellectuals from among Ahl Al-Sunnah.3

But the unstable political situation at that time, beside Baghdad's being subjected to the savage onslaught of the Mongols, have caused all that thought edifice to perish completely, as Hullako troops have occupied Baghdad, ruining all of its schools and scientific centres, officially bringing the Abbasid rule to its end.

The location of the Town of Hillah, so adjacent to Baghdad, may have caused the thought resurgence to shift to it, when some of the Ulama realized its being a safe shelter against the intrusions of the Mongols. Therefore, they have made their way toward it, departing Baghdad after the decline of the Islamic civilization sun in that great metropolis.

At Hillah, learning circles have started to be formed, and after a short time, the town has turned to be a big scholastic centre, having a world-wide fame.

All this is owing to the sincere services rendered by Al­Muhaqqiq Al-Hilli (d. 676 H.), the author of the famous book Sharai Al-Islam,4 and Al-Allamah Al-Hilli (d. 726 H.), the genius of his time, and the eminent philosopher, Mutakallim and Faqih, never forgetting his honourable son Fakhr Al­ Muhaqqiqin (d. 771 H.)

His Residing at Hillah

Al-Shahid has spent five years at Hillah, learning under many of its scholarly teachers. At that time Hillah constituted a centre for high-ranking Ulama, who devoted themselves to be at the service of religion and knowledge, such as: Al-Sayyid Jamal Al-Din Al-Musawi, Al-SayyidAmid Al-Din, Al-Husayni with his brother Al-Sayyid Diya Al-Din, beside Ibn Muayyah Al-Husayni and Najm Al-Din Ja'far Ibn Nama, beside other great Fuqaha.

Throughout all that period, Al-Shahid made of Hillah a start­point for all his trips and travels, toward Baghdad, Karbala, and Najaf beside other Iraqi cities.

When Fakhr Al-Muhaqqiqin came to be aware of the genius and sharp wit of his young disciple (Al-Shahid), he could not conceal his admiration toward him, starting to bring him nearer and nearer, showering on him his private care and patronage, availing himself of several opportunities and occasions to denote his (Al-Shahid's) status, sublimity and high position.

On the 20th of Sha'ban 751 H., a license of narration was granted by Fakhr Al-Muhaqqiqin to his genius disciple, stressing in it on his acumen.

With his handwriting, he has inscribed on the back cover of the book Al-Qawaid, the following statement: “Our master, Al-Imam Al-Allamah, the best of world Ulama: the doyen of the children of Adam, Mawlana the sun of truth and religion, Muhammad Ibn Makki Ibn Muhammad Ibn Hamid, may Allah perpetuate his life, has recited for us his problems from this book, and I gave him authority to narrate and report all the books of my father (may Allah sanctify his soul), beside all the works of our earlier companions (may Allah be pleased with them and my father), according to the methods mentioned therein.”5

When knowing that this certificate was granted to him before his reaching the age of seventeen years, we shall realize the large-scale and noteworthy genius attained by this youth.

Fakhr Al-Muhaqqiqin was never satisfied with such reality, adding to it further explicitness by saying: “The benefit I have gained from my disciple Muhammad Ibn Makki was much more than the benefit he got from me.”6

Return to Homeland

After spending five years far away from his homeland, homesickness and yearning to the birth-land, have pushed him to take the decision of returning home. So he set out toward Jizzin, his nice village longing for seeing it, reciting the holy verse:

''...and that they may warn their folk when they return to them, so that they may beware.” (9:122 ).

Thus Al-Shahid returned to his homeland, with a firm determination inside the heart of his heart, to establish a big theological school. When returning to Jizzin he was in his prime youth, as his age was only 21 years, whereas his scholastic character has achieved a gigantic progress rendering him an unparalleled man of his time.

His World Traversion

Al-Shahid has made numerous long journeys to different regions of the Islamic world, in which his only concern was man and people's aspirations, without thinking of any trade or material gains, or his welfare or any entertainment. Rather the only objective he tried to attain, was meeting the Shi'ah and Sunni Ulama to benefit from their experiences, as knowledge was his only aspired anxiety, wherever he resided or was his only aspired anxiety, wherever he resided or travelled.

Although he was one of the eminent Imamiyyah fuqaha he also had intimate connection with the Ulama of Ahl Al­Sunnah, attending their classes, with reading their books. His thorough acquaintance of their notions and schools of thought reached anextent, that they themselves used to refer to him seeking solutions for the questions they couldn't solve.

Soon Al-Shahid would give them answers, solving their questions in accordance with their Fiqhi rules. In the license he granted to Ibn Al-Khazin, he said: “Concerning the compilations and narrations of Ahl Al­Sunnah, I am reporting from nearly forty Shaykhs from among their Ulama in Makkah, Al-Madinah, Dar Al-Salam, Baghdad, Egypt, Damascus, Quds, Place (Maqam) of Ibrahim Al-Khalil, narrating Sahih Al-Bukhari through a chain of transmission of a large number of traditionists going back to Al-Bukhari, beside Sahih Muslim, Musnad Abi Dawud, Jami Al-Tirmidhi, Musnad Ahmad, Muwatta Malik, Musnad Al-Daraqutni, Musnad Ibn Majah, and Al-Mustadrak Ala Al-Sahihayn by Al-Hakim Ibn Abd Allah Al-Nishaburi.

This indicates the extent of the strong association between Al­Shahid and Ahl Al-Sunnah Ulama all over the Islamic world, and his interaction with them.

His concern was not confined to having knowledge of the Sunni Fiqhischool , but he excelled in it so extraordinarily, making its Ulama refer to him to seek solutions for some complex questions.

Al-Shahid's Teachers

Making a review for the teachers under whom Al-Shahid Al­Awwal learned, may help us explore one of the aspects of this unique character.

He was never satisfied with learning in a certain land or under a specific teacher, or in a certain school. But he has traversed many countries, meeting their outstanding personalities, learning under them miscellaneous sciences and thoughts.

His Shi'ah Teachers

1. Al-Shaykh Jamal Al-Din Al-Makki, his father and first teacher, under whom he learned the principles of Arabic and Fiqh. He was counted among his time Ulama and dignitaries,7 to whom Al-Shahid Al-Awwal has referred thus: “He was one of the intimate disciples of Al-Shaykh Najm Al-Din Tuqan.8

2. Al-Shaykh Asad Al-Din Al-Saigh Al-Jizzini, who was his father-in-law and father's uncle. He was an eminent scholar having full command over thirteen of mathematical sciences.9

3. Fakhr Al-Muhaqqiqin, Al-Shaykh Abu Talib Muhammad Ibn Al-Allamah Al-Hilli (d. 771 H). About him Al-Muhaqqiq Al­Qummi said: “He was of great worth, high status, noble position, abundant knowledge, the single of his age, and unique of his time, producing good compilations.

His sublimity, noble rank and abundant knowledge are too great to be referred to, andonly one evidence for this is his attaining the degree of Ijtibad while being only ten years old”. Fakhr Al-Muhaqqiqin was the first instructor for Al-Shahid after the latter's migration to Jizzin, having an effective role in building and shaping his scholastic character.

4. Taj Al-Din Al-Sayyid Muhammad Ibn Qasim, known with the name: Ibn Mu'ayyah (d. 776 H.). At that time he was counted among the most eminent Ulama of Hillah, being one of Al-Allamah Al-Hilli's disciples. Besides, he was an encyclopedic scholar, excelling in numerous sciences of knowledge at his time. In his regard, Al-Shahid Al-Awwal, in some of his school­certificates, has said: “He is the wonder of time in all virtues and sincere contributions.”10

5. Al-SayyidAmid Al-Din Abd Al-Muttalib Ibn Al-Sayyid Muhammad Al-Din (d. 754 H.). He was the nephew of Al­Allamah Al-Hilli, being among the greatest Fuqaha and Mutakallimun of Hillah. In his honour Al-Muhaqqiq Al-Hilli said: “He was a reverend reputed Sayyid of noble status, sublime position, high morality, pure descent,the of honourable dignitaries in Iraq.”

6. Al-Sayyid Diya Al-Din, brother of Al-Sayyid Amid Al­Din, who was also one of the great renowned Ulama at his era, He has learned Fiqh, philosophy and Kalam.

7. Qutb Al-Din Al-Razi Al-Buwayhi (d. 776 H.). He was one of the outstanding disciples of Al-Allamah Al-Hilli, and a celebrated philosopher. Al-Shahid Al-Awwal, applauding the rank of his teacher, said: “I met him by coincidence in Damascus on the last days of the month of Sha'ban 768 H., finding him an exhaustless ocean (of knowledge).” He was born in Varamin.11

8. Al-Sayyid Jalal Al-Din Abd Al-Hamid Ibn Fakhkhar Al­Mosawi.

9. Zayn Al-Din Abo Al-Hasan Ali Ibn Ahmad (d. 792 H.). In his regard Al-Shahid Al-Awwal said: “He was an investigating (muhaqqjq), Faqih and an acute expert.”12

10. Al-Sayyid Ala Al-Din Ibn Ali Ibn Zuhrah Al-Hilli (d. 775 H.).

11. Al-Sayyid Najm Al-Din Maiman Ibn Sinan Al-Madani, who was a disciple of Al-Allamah Al-Hilli.

12. Al-Shaykh Jamal Al-Din Ahmad Ibn Husayn Al-Kofi.

13. Al-Shaykh Raqi Al-Din Abu Al-Hasan Ali Ibn Ahmad, known with the title Al-Mazidi (d. 757 H.).

14. Al-Shaykh Jalal Al-Din Muhammad Ibn Mubammad Hashim Al-Kofi, who was a disciple of Al-Muhaqqiq Al-Hilli, the author of Al-Sharai.

Beside the above-mentioned Ulama, Al-Shahid has learned under some other teachers.13 But the crystallization of his scientific character is owing to Fakhr Al-Muhaqqiqin and the two brothers Amid Al-Din and Diya Al-Din, beside Ibn Mu'ayyah and Qutb Al-Din Al-Razi. To these Ulama belong the first roots of Al-Shahid's school of Fiqh and Kalam, with another comnon attributes among them, being their learning under Al-Allamah Al-Hilli the lessons of Fiqh and kalam, in which they were his most eminent disciples.

His Sunnah Teachers

Al-Shahid was alone in having firm and broad contact with the Sunnah Ulama of various creeds and schools of thought, as he met their celebrities, being acquainted with their thought trends and creedal opinions.

This fact was indicated through his statement when granting a license to Ibn Al-Khazin: “Concerning the compilations and narrations of Ahl Al-Sunnah, I am reporting from nearly forty Shaykhs from among their Ulama in Makkah, Al-Madinah, Dar Al-Salam Baghdad, Egypt, Damascus, Quds, Place (Maqam) of Ibrahim Al-Khalil, narrating Sahih Al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Musnad Abi Dawud, Jami Al-Tirmidhi, MusnadAhmad, Muwafta Malik, Musnad Al-Daraqutni, Musnad Ibn Majah, and Al-Mustadrak Ala Al-Sahihayn, by Al-Hakim Ibn Abd Allah Al-Nishaburi, beside other books.”

This document indicates clearly the great number of places in which Al-Shahid was learning, and how many Ulama under whom he was learning, beside the abundance of books he studied.

In the book Hayat Al-Imam Al-Shabid Al- Awwal, names of fourteen scholars among Al-Shahid's teachers, are cited, of whom we refer to only the following three:

1. Al-Shaykh Ibrahim Umar, who was called Burhan Al-Din Al-Jubari, from the Town of Hebron at Palestine. Under him Al­Shahid has learnt Al-Alfiyyab and Al-Shatubiyyah.

2. Al-Shaykh Sharaf Al-Din Muhammad Ibn Biktash Al­Tustari, who was a teacher at Al-Nizamiyyah School. Al-Shahid has licensed him to report from Al-Sahihayn: Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Al-Muslim.

3- Al-Shaykh Shams Al-Din Abo Abd Al-Rahman Muhammad, who was a professor at the Mustansiriyyah School, from whom Al-Shahid has reported Sahih Al-Bukhair.

It is inevitable here to refer to two points

1. The first one is the emphasis upon the greatness of the suffering and difficulties faced by the knowledge-seekers at the age of manuscripts, which were replete with misconstructionbeside their being so rare. Added lothis the problem of transportation and hardships of the long road, which were usually taking much time and effort.

2. The second point lies in that spread, reaching the degree of scatterness, that afflicted the theological centres, as they were not, as they are nowadays, concentrated inside the main cities such as Najaf, Qum and Mashhad. In such circumstances, every one of us should stand with reverence and wonder before Al-Shahid Al-Awwal, while traversing those long distances, moving here and there with the only aim being seeking the knowledge wherever he be.

His School-Certificates

The cultural centres and academical universities usually grant the students learning therein, certificates testifying their completing one of study stages, such as diploma, bachelor (Baccalaureus), Master (Magister) and Doctorate, beside other certificates. It is quite regrettable to see these certificates become an end inthemselves , without indicating, in any way, the knowledgeability of their holder.

Denotations may be falling down, so as these manifestations come to include the school-certificates granted by the theological schools to the scholars and seekers of Islamic sciences. Therefore it is necessary to point out that those school-certificates( Ijazat) are not granted at random, but there are several norms to be taken into consideration, the foremost of which is the academical standard.After that the ethical aspect, which is considered the general criterion and comprehensive yardstick for all knowledge fields.

The school-certificates are of two kinds

First: ljaziih in Ijtihad.

Second: ljazah in narration.

The Ijtihad license is granted by the supreme religious authority (Marji) at the theological school (Al-Hawzah Al-Ilmiyyah), on recognizing by himself the talent of Ijtihiid owned by any of the knowledge-seekers, and his becoming competent for deducing the legal ruling from its four sources: the Book (Qur'an), (Prophetic) Sunnah, unanimity (Ijma) and intellect (Aql).

Whereas the license in narration is counted as a scholastic degree lower than Ijtihad, as it is mainly confined to reporting the traditions from the Prophet (p.b.u.h) and Infallible Imams (peace be upon them). This was a common matter among the Fuqaha and Ulama in the past, as an appreciation certificate they used to grant to their superior disciples who showed full command over certain fields of the Islamic (knowledge) sciences.

Stars Granting Him Fame

Al-Shahid Al-Awwal has got numerous licenses from many professors and scholarly dignitaries at his time, which were considered badges and certificates attesting his geniusness and excellence. Some of them are the following:

1. The license of Fakhr Al-Muhaqqiqin, the son of Al­ Allamah Al-Hilli, who was absolutely the greatest of his teachers. He was too the first to discover, so early, Al-Shahid's Ilmi (knowledge) ability and unique geniusness.

In the certificate he wrote for him on the book Al-Qawaid, he stated: “Our master, Al-Imam Al-Allamah, the best of world Ulama, the doyen of the children of Adam, Mawlana the sun of truth and religion: Muhammad Ibn Makki Ibn Mulammad Ibn Hamid, may Allah perpetuate his life, has recited for us his problems from this book, and I gave him authority to narrate and report all the books of my father (may Allah sanctify his soul), beside all the compilations of our earlier companions (may Allah be pleased with them and my father), according to the methods mentioned therein.”

Fakhr Al-Muhaqqiqin has granted him permission for the first time, in his house at Hillah in 751 H., when Al-Shahid was only 17 years old. Again, he gave him certificate on of Shawwal 756 H., and for the third time in the same year.

2. Ibn Mu'ayyah Taj Al-Din more than once granted him licenses, (Ijazat), one on the 15th of Shawwal 753 H., and the other one on the 15th of Shawwal 754 H. He has also permitted his two sons Abu Talib Muhammad and Abu Al-Qasim Ali in 776 H.

3. He got a license from Al-Shaykh Jalal Al-Din Abu Muhammad Al-Hasan Ibn Ahmad Al-Hilli, in Rabi Al-Awwal 752 H.

4. He got another one from the two brothers Al-SayyidAmid Al-Din and Al-Sayyid Diya Al-Din, in Ijtihad and narration, as reported by the author of Rawdat Al-Jannat.

5. Also he got two licenses from Al-Shaykh Qutb Al-Din Al­Razi, one in 768 H., and the other in 776 H.

The licenses he got were not only granted by the Shi'ah Ulama but also by the Ahl Al-Sunnah Ulama, the most renowned of whom we mention below:

1. Al-Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Yusuf Al-Shafi'i, who granted him license in narration in 758 H.

2. Al-Shaykh Jamal Al-Din Abu Ahmad Abd Al-amad Al-Hanbali, who was a teacher at Dar Al-Hadith School in Baghdad. He gave him a license in Dhu Al-Hijjah 754 H., while being at Mina.

3. Al-Shaykh Izz Al-Din Abd Al-Aziz, the chief judge of Egypt at that time. He granted Al-Shahid a license at Al­Madinah in 754 H.

Hence we came to realize the scope of awareness of Al­Shahid Al-Awwal, of the reference books on Hadith and Fiqh, beside the profundity of that mentality and its openness for various thought schools and creeds at that juncture in history.


1. Amal Al-Amil, vol. 1, p. 15.

2. Hayat Al-Imam Al-Shahid Al-Awwal, p. 27.

3. Muqaddimat Al-Lum'ah Al-Dimashqiyyah, p. 52.

4. The book is regarded the first complete collection on Shi'i jurisprndence (Fiqh), consisting of four chapters: Rituals (Ibadat), contracts, penalties and rulings. It has been translated into various languages, among which are the Persian, Russian and French.

5. Rawdat Al-Jannat, p. 590.

6. Op. Cit., p. 38.

7. Amal Al- Amil, vol. 1, p. 185.

8.Ibid , p. 103.

9. 9 Ayan Al-Shi'ah, vol. XI, P. 129.

10. Muqaddimat Al-Lum'ah, p. 91.

11. It is one of Tehran suburbs.(Translator).

12. Mafakhir Al- Islam, IV, p. 334.

13. Op. Cit.