Shia Islam: Shīʿa contributions to Islamic civilization / 33 – b

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Shafqna: Shīʿa Islam: History and Doctrines / Ayatullāh Jaʿfar Subḥānī

Qur’anic exegesis
The Qur’an is simultaneously the primary source for Islamic beliefs and practices and the miracle of the Final Prophet. Muslim scholars from the very early days of Islam devoted themselves to understanding this scripture with a dedication that had no equal in previous religions.
ʿAlī and his descendents were the foremost exegetes of the Qur’an. They interpreted the the Qur’an according to the teachings of the Prophet and provided Muslims with a vast treasure of knowledge.
It is a wonder that some historians consider the Companions and Successors as exegetes while they are silent about the Imams of The Prophet’s Household. Worse still, some scholars such as Dr. Muḥammad Ḥusayn Dhahabī have placed Imam ʿAlī in the third rank of the interpreters while placing his student Ibn ʿAbbās in the first. In this regard, he has not mentioned other the Imams of The Prophet’s Family at all.
Gharīb al-Qurʾān
As soon as the Prophet passed away, Muslims began to interpret the Qur’an and discuss the meanings of its verses; each school of thought approached it in one way or another. Some focused on defining the words of the Qur’an, especially those common among Quraysh and less familiar to other tribes. This genre of writing was known as Gharīb al-Qurʾān. Ibn al-Azraq who is one of the chiefs of Khawārij asked b. ʿAbbās several questions about Gharīb al-Qurʾān. Ibn ʿAbbās answered all of the questions by reciting some Arabic poems. Al-Suyūṭī has collected these questions and answers in a book. (al-Itqān, 4/8855; Najāshī, no. 6)
Now we list some of the Shīʿa scholars who compiled works in the this field:
1. Gharīb al-Qurʾān by Abān b. Taghlib al-Kindī (d. 141 AH)
2. Gharīb al-Qurʾān by Muḥammad b. Ṣāḥib al-Kalbī, a companion of Imam al-Sādiq (Najāshī, in the same section as Abān, no. 6)
3. Gharīb al-Qurʾān by ʿAtiya b. Ḥārith al-Hamadānī al- Kūfī. Ibn ʿUqda says that he was well-known in his support for the Prophet’s Household. (Ibid)
4. Gharīb al-Qurʾān by ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Muḥammad al-Azdī al-Kūfī. He has compiled a book from contents the three above books.
5. Gharīb al-Qurʾān by Abū Jaʿfar Aḥmad b. Muḥammad al-Ṭabarī, the Shīʿa minister (wazīr), who died in (d. 313 AH)
In this manner, Shīʿa scholars endeavored to compile works on Gharīb al-Qurʾān in the following centuries. The last attempt was Gharīb al-Qurʾān by Sayyid Muḥammad Mahdī Khurasān, which was published in two parts. (al-Dharīʿa ilā Taṣanīf al-Shīʿa, 16/50, no. 208)
Majāz al-Qurʾān
In addition to writing works on gharīb al-qurʾān, Shīʿa scholars have also undertaken to explain the Qur’an’s figurative language (majāzāt). This includes all figurative forms such as metonymy, metaphor and synecdoche. Since the Arabic language abounds in these figures, the Qur’an, written in Arabic, has fully exploited such rhetorical figures as these for rhetorical purposes. A fuller elaboration of these forms can be found in the works of rhetoric (balāgha).
The works written by Shīʿa scholars on this issue are as follows:
1. Majāz al-Qurʾān by Yaḥyā b. Ziyād al-Kūfī, known as Farrāʾ (d. 207 AH), recently published in two volumes. (al-Dharīʿa, 19/351, no. 1567)
2. Majāz al-Qurʾān by Muḥammad b. Ja’far, popularly known as Abū al-Fatḥ al-Hamadanī. Najāshī says that he had a book entitled Dhikr al-Majāz min al-Qurʾān. (Najāshī, no. 1054)
3. Majāzāt al- Qurʾān by Sharīf al-Raḍī, popularly known as Talkhīṣ al-Bayān fī Majāzāt al-Qurʾān. This book is the most excellent work done on the figures of speech in Qur’an.

School of Exegesis
Exegetes have followed different approaches in composing their interpretations of the Qur’an. Some, for example, have written books about decisive (muhkam) and ambiguous (mutashabih) verses; others have dealt with the abrogating (nasikh) and abrogated (mansookh) passages; there are those who focus on legal verses (ayāt al-aḥkām); books are written on the Stories of the Prophets (qiṣaṣ al-anbiyāʾ); others on oaths and proverbs in the Qur’an; others, due to their love for the Prophet’s Household, attempted to comment on verses pertaining to the The Prophet’s Family. Shīʿa scholars have contributed to all of the above-mentioned genres and enriched Islamic sciences with their writings. The reader can refer to the book al-Dharīʿa ilā Taṣānīf al-Shīʿa and look under the heading of Tafsīr in order to see the sheer number of Shīʿa commentaries.
Now we will briefly explain two different approaches to exegesis; the sequential approach and the thematic approach.
The reader should recall that the sequential approach is the most common method to interpret the Qur’an amongst both traditional and modern exegetes. In this approach, the exegete interprets the verses in order, one after another. Some exegetes have written complete commentaries in this format, while others have written partial or incomplete ones. In the first three centuries of Islam, this method of interpretation was largely based on aḥādīth; after mentioning the given verse they would narrate the ḥadīth pertaining to the interpretation of that verse. However, from the fourth century onwards, the sequential approach underwent a significant change and became more analytical. Then, in addition to narrating traditions, interpreters also discussed the appropriate recitation of the verse, the evidence for this, the meanings of its words and their analysis of its content. Possibly, the first scholar who revolutionized Shīʿa interpretation was the preeminent scholar of his time, Sharīf al-Raḍī (359-406 AH). He introduced this new approach by writing a book entitled Ḥaqāʾiq al-Ṭaʾwīl in twenty volumes. Other interpreters followed this approach after he passed away. His elder brother, Sharīf al-Murtaḍā, followed the same approach in his Amālī, popularly known as al-Durar wa al-Ghurar. Moreover, Shaykh al-Ṭūsī, the author of al-Tibyān fī Tafsīr al-Qurʾān, a comprehensive interpretation in ten substantial volumes, further developed and reinforced this approach.
Unfortunately, of the twenty volumes of al-Raḍī’s interpretation, only the fifth part is extant. Destructive sectarian conflicts probably led to the loss of these books. In the following centuries, Shīʿa scholars wrote many hundreds of commentaries on the Qur’an following this approach. Some of these have been published individually or are available as part of other books.
In the thematic approach, a scholar selects a verses from various parts of the Qur’an that are related to a single theme and, by considering the totality of the verses on this subject, attempts to discern God’s viewpoint on it. The Qur’an deals with various issues such as knowledge, stories, history, precepts, customs, sciences, ontology, cosmology, geology and so forth. But the verses pertaining to a particular issue are not grouped together in a single chapter; rather, due to certain reasons, they are scattered throughout various chapters.
A researcher gathers the relevant verses for a particular issue using a concordance and his own familiarity with the Qur’an. Then, he studies them as a whole so that he can discover the Qur’anic viewpoint on that matter. Let’s consider an example; the Qur’an has considered human actions in its various chapters. Perhaps a cursory glance would suggest that some verses support predestination while others support free-will. Sometimes a middle way is also suggested. Undoubtedly, the Qur’an has a single unified view concerning human actions and, if it has expressed the same idea in different ways, this is because it has been uttered in arguing with different people and is meant to refute vain ideas. Therefore in order to know the real Qur’anic viewpoint there is no other way but gathering all the verses pertaining to a single issue in one place. Shīʿa exegetes have been the main innovators of the thematic approach.
We should explain that some Sunnī scholars of jurisprudence have interpreted the verses pertaining to the Islamic laws according to the order of the chapters. Ayāt al-Aḥkām by Jaṣṣāṣ is the most important legal interpretation (Tafsīr) to follow this approach. The verses in Sūrat al-Baqara are mentioned, followed by the verses in the Sūrat Āl ʿImrān. On the other hand Shīʿa jurists have adopted the thematic approach; first, they have gathered, for example, the verses about ritual purity from different chapters and then they have interpreted them as a whole. They have also dealt thematically with various issues related to prayer. We can mention the following books in this regard:
1. Ayāt al-Aḥkām by Fāḍil Miqdād Sayūrī (d. 879 A.H)
2. Zubdat al-Bayān by Aḥmad b. Muḥammad Ardabīlī (also known as Muḥaqqiq Ardabīlī) (d. 993 AH)
3. Mafāhīm al-Qurʾān by Jaʿfar Subḥānī in ten volumes
4. Manshūr-i Jāvīd, also by Jaʿfar Subḥānī, in fourteen volumes.
In fact, it was Muḥammad Bāqir Majlisī, also known as ʿAllāma Majlisī, who innovated the thematic interpretation for the first time.
In his multivolume encyclopedia of tradtions, Biḥār al-Anwār, he quotes verses connected to a certain subject and then offers a brief interpretation. Afterwards, he proceeds to other subjects. If a researcher gathered the existing verses and their interpretation in Biḥār al-Anwār, he would add a collection of brief thematic interpretation to the books already written in the field of exegesis.
Ḥadīth Sciences
Accounts of the Prophet’s words and deeds, known as aḥādīth, serve as the second source of Islamic laws and Islamic knowledge. After collecting the verses of the Qur’an, one of the necessary tasks was to collect the sayings of the Prophet’s that were uttered in the course of his mission on different occasions. Occasionally, the Prophet himself would order his Companions to record his sayings. ʿAmr b. Shuʿayb narrates from his father who narrates from his grandfather: I asked the Prophet: ‘Am I to write everything I hear from you?’ The Prophet stated, ‘Do so.’ I said: ‘Even the words you say when you are angry?’ He told me: ‘Yes, in all states I speak nothing but the truth.’ (Musnad Aḥmad, 2/207)
God tells Muslims that if they take a loan from someone, they should write down the amount lest they should forget it. (Q2:282) When a worldly thing is deemed so important, it seems obvious that the sayings of the Final Prophet, which are the means of salvation and the guidance for the Islamic community, are more worthy of being recorded. (Baghdādī, Taqyīd al-ʿIlm, 700)
Since the Prophet does not speak out of his own desires but rather out of divine inspiration – your companion has neither gone astray, nor gone amiss. Nor does he speak out of [his own] desire: it is just a revelation that is revealed [to him] (Q53:2–4) – his speech and actions must be carefully recorded to prevent the Islamic community going astray when they confront new issues. In spite of the importance of writing traditions, unfortunately the first three caliphs prevented the writing and propagation of them; to the extent that the Second Caliph told the three great Companions of the Prophet, Abū Dharr, ʿAbd Allāh b. Masʿūd, and Abū al-Dardāʾ: ‘What is this talk that you spread about Muḥammad?’ (Kanz al-ʿUmmāl, 10/293, no. 29479)
Finally, the ban on writing aḥādīth became a practice that the Third Caliph also followed. After him, Muʿāwiya b. Abī Sufyān prohibited writing aḥādīth to the extent that writing aḥādīth became an evil act. It is deeply saddening to see that narrating and writing the Prophet’s words were forbidden, while Jewish and Christian storytellers who had apparently embraced Islam were given the green light to spread whatever they wished. (Ibid., 281) Consequently, the Jew Kaʿb al-Aḥbār and the Christian, Tamīm al-Dārī, who had freshly converted to Islam, began spreading Judeo-Christian fables which resulted in the mixture of truth and falsehood and made the separation of them difficult. ʿUmar b.ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz, a moderate man, when became the Caliph thought that ḥadīth should be written. So he wrote to Abū Bakr b. Ḥazm to write down the ḥadīth of the Messenger because when a knowledge becomes a secret, it will be lost. (Bukhārī, Ṣaḥīḥ, Vol. 1, p. 27)
In spite of the then Caliph’s emphasis on writing traditions, this scholar from Medina, failed to comply because the prohibition of writing ḥadīth was still in effect. Therefore no one dared to write ḥadīth save those who did it in secret until 143 AH when in the reign of the Abbasid Caliph, Manṣūr, a general movement of writing ḥadīth started. Actually, it was nearly after 150 years since the Messenger of Allāh had passed away that the narrators of ḥadīth engaged in writing ḥadīth, at a time when all of the Companions and followers had passed away.

Shīʿa initiatives in writing aḥādīth
Although the supporters of the Caliphs were negligent in writing ḥadīth and only began to record them more than a century after the Prophet, the Shīʿa Imams, including ʿAlī, not only wrote ḥadīth themselves but also encouraged others to do so. The leading figure in undertaking this task was ʿAlī. who collected the ḥadīth of the messenger of Allāh in a book which came to be known as ‘Kitāb ʿAlī’ and was kept by his successors, who showed it to their Companions. (Wasāʾil al-Shīʿa, 3/250)
After ʿAlī (ʿAlī), other Companions of the Prophet who followed ʿAlī engaged in writing aḥādīth, including:
1. Abū Rāfiʿ, the Prophet’s companion and the writer of a book entitled al-Sunan wa al-Aḥkām wa al-Qaḍāyā. (Najāshī, no. 1. )
2. Salmān al-Fārsī (d. 34 AH)
He wrote a book about the Roman Primate (jathlīq), who was sent after the death of the Prophet to Medina by the Roman Emperor to make a report for him on the nature of Islam. (Tusi, Fihrist, 8)
3. Abū Dharr Al-Ghifārī (d. 32 AH)
He has a book entitled al-Khuṭba, in which he has recorded the events following the death of the Prophet. (Ibid., 54)
These Shīʿa were the Companions of the Prophet and at the same time followed the ʿAlī. Now we mention the writers of the aḥādīth following these Shīʿa. They belong to several generations.
The first generation
Asbagh b. Nabāta Mujāshīʿī
He is the narrator of the instructions that ʿAlī wrote to Malik al-ʿĀshtar, he is also the narrator of the Imam’s will to his son Muḥammad b. Ḥanafīya. (Najāshī, no. 4)
ʿUbayd Allāh b. Abī Rāfiʿ
He served as the scribe of ʿAlī. He has several works, including: (a) Qaḍāyā Amīr al-Muʾminīn containing ʿAlī’s judgments on various occasions, and (b) a book about the martyrs of the battles of Jamāl, Ṣiffīn and Nahrawān who fought for ʿAlī.
3. Rabīʿa b. Samīʿ
He is the author of a book about Zakāt levied upon beasts of burden. He narrates from ʿAlī. (Najāshī, no. 28)
4. Sulaym b. Qays al-Hilālī
His teknonym is Abū Sādiq. He is the author of a famous book entitled Kitāb al-Saqīfa. (Ibid., no. 2)
5. ʿAlī b. Abī Rāfiʿ
He is the son of Abū Rāfiʿ, who was a scribe to ʿAlī. He has a book about ritual ablution and prayers. His other book is about Islamic Jurisprudence. (Ibid., no. 1)
6. ʿUbayd Allāh b. Ḥurr al-Juʿfī
He is a famous champion and poet. He has a book in which he narrates from ʿAlī.
7. Zayd b. Wahb al-Jahnī
He is the collector of sermons delivered by ʿAlī during Friday Prayers and on Eid days.
The second class of narrators
1. The fourth leader of the Shīʿa, ʿAlī b. Ḥusayn, is the writer of the Ṣaḥīfa Sajjādiyya, a collection of deeply profound prayers and supplications. He has also written a treatise on rights including 51 chapters. Both works have been deemed important by scholars and extensive commentaries have been written on them. The author of Tuḥaf al-ʿUqūl has included the Imam’s treatise on rights in his book and Shaykh al-Ṣadūq has quoted it in his Faqīh and Khiṣāl.
2. Jābir b. Yazīd al-Juʿfī (d. 128 AH) has authored some books. (Najāshī, no. 330)
3. Ziyād b. Mundhir had true faith in the beginning but was mislead later. Some of his writings are included in the Tafsīr of ʿAlī b. Ibrāhīm al-Qummī.
4. Lūṭ b. Yaḥyā b. Saʿīd
He was among the notables of Kufa. He wrote many books that Shaykh al-Ṭūsī has listed in his Rijāl. (no. 279)
5. Jarūd b. Mundhir
He was a companions of the Imams al-Bāqir and al-Sādiq. He has authored a series of books. (Ṭūsī, Rijāl, no. 112)
The third class of narrators
This class consists of a group of the students of Imam al-Sajjād, Imam al-Bāqir and al-Sādiq. They are all literary men and narrators of ḥadīth.
1. Bard al-Iskāf
One of the companions of Imam al-Bāqir and al-Sādiq. Najāshī says that he has written some books. (Najāshī, no. 289)
2. Thābit Dīnār
He is popularly known as Abū Ḥamza al-Thumālī, a reliable jurist who died in 150 AH. He wrote a book entitled al-Nawadir wa al-Zuhd and an exegesis of the Qur’an. (Ibid., no. 294)
3. Thābit b. Hurmuz
He is popularly known as Abū al-Muqaddam al-ʿAjali al-Kūfī. He quotes a book from Imam al-Sajjād. (Ibid., no. 269)
4. Bassām b. ʿAbd Allāh al-Ṣayrafī
He has a book and has narrated ḥadīth from Imam al-Bāqir and al-Sādiq. (Ibid., no. 286)
5. Muḥammad b. Qays Bajalī
He is the collector of the judgments of ʿAlī. (Fihrist, no. 131) Although this book is extinct, the Shīʿa scholars in the Four Books and other sources have quoted Imam ʿAlī’s judgments from this source. Recently, Bashīr Muḥammadi has collected these traditions and published the collection with a preface by Jaʿfar Subḥānī.
6. Hujr b. Zāʾida al-Haḍramī
He has authored a book and narrates ḥadīth from Imams al-Bāqir and al-Ṣādiq. (Najāshī, no. 382)
7. Zakariyā b. ʿAbd Allāh Fayyāḍ wrote a book. (Ibid., no. 452)
8. Ḥusayn b. Thawr b. Abī Fākhta has a book entitled Nawadir. (Ibid., no. 124)
9. ʿAbd al-Muʾmin b. Qāsim b. Qays (d. 147 AH); in his Rijāl, Ṭūsī counts him among the companions of the Imams al-Sajjād, al-Bāqir and al-Ṣādiq and says that he has a book. (Ibid. no. 653)
We content ourselves with this brief explanation and refer the interested reader to books of Rijāl to discover for themselves the extent to which Shīʿa have contributed to the science of ḥadīth.
The most comprehensive book written in this regard is the one written by Ayatollah Burūjurdī entitled Ṭabaqāt. He has categorized Shīʿa scholars and narrators who have books of aḥādīth into 34 generations and has offered a brief biography for each writer. We conclude our discussion here and leave tracing the narrators and writers of ḥadīth from the time of Imam al-Kāẓim to the Greater Occultation for another occasion.
Islamic Jurisprudence (fiqh)
Islamic Jurisprudence, which is distilled from the traditions of the Prophet and Infallible Imams, has existed from the first years of the Prophet’s mission. After the Prophet, it has been present among the Companions and the followers and has gradually reached perfection. Shīʿa scholars rely on the Qur’an and the authentic traditions of the Prophet and Infallible Imams in their jurisprudence. Furthermore, in some cases they make use of the judgments of reason (ʿaql), and they accept scholarly consensus (ijmāʿ) when there is a basis for the agreement, or a reason clear to those who came to an agreement in the past which we no longer have access to.
The Shīʿa believe that the ‘gate of ijtihād’ opened at the time of the Prophet’s mission and has never been closed to the Muslims since. They believe that God has obliged no individual to follow a particular jurist, rather people can refer to any qualified jurist they choose, provided that he is alive today.
Mentioning all the prominent Shīʿa jurists during the time of the Imams would require the writing of a separate book; however, we briefly mention some here.
The first generation consists of the jurists such as Muḥammad b. Muslim, Zurāra b. Aʿyan, Barīd b. Muʿāwiya, and Fuḍayl b. Yasār, who were trained by Imams al-Bāqir and al-Sādiq and reached the level of ijtihād (the ability to independently derive laws from their sources). They are some of the outstanding jurists amongst the companions of these two Imams.
The second generation is made up of, as it were, the graduates of the school that was founded by these two Imam. For example, we can name Jamīl b. Durrāj, ʿAbd Allāh b. Maskan, ʿAbd Allāh b. Bakīr, Ḥamād b. ʿUthmān, and Ḥamād b. ʿĪsā, and Abān b. ʿUthmān.
The third generation includes jurists like Yunus b. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān, Muḥammad b. Abī ʿUmayr, ʿAbd Allāh b. Mughīra, Ḥasan b. Maḥbūb, and Ḥasan b. ʿAlī b. Faḍḍāl who were trained by Mūsā al-Kāẓim and his son, Imam al-Riḍā.
All three of these generations of jurists proved invaluable. After them, the field of ijtihād has been always open to Shīʿa scholars and this has continued until the present day. There were also Shīʿa Jurists before the time of Imam al-Bāqir and al-Sādiq. They were the students of ʿAlī and subsequent the Imams.
The best books covering the biographies of these early scholars are the Rijāl of Kashshī and the Rijāl of Najāshī.
In the third and fourth centuries a group of scholars endeavored to compile encyclopedias in Islamic jurisprudence which are referred to as the first jawāmiʿ (‘collections’). These scholars are:
1. Yunus b. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān
Ibn al-Nadīm says in al-Fihrist that he was a great scholar of his time and authored books such as (1) Jawāmiʿ al-Āthār, (2) al-Jāmiʿ al-Kabīr, and (3) Kitāb al-Sharāʾiʿ.
2. Safwān b. Yaḥyā Bajalī
He was a distinguished scholar of his time and wrote as many as thirty books.
3 and 4. Ḥasan and Ḥusayn, the sons of Saʿīd Ahwāzī. Each of them also wrote as many as thirty books.
5. Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Khālid al-Barqī (d. 274 AH)
He is the author of al-Maḥāsin, which has fortunately survived and been published.
6. Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. Yaḥyā Ashaʿrī Qummī (ca. 293 AH)
He is the author of Nawādir al-Ḥikmah.
7. Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Abī Naṣr Bazanṭī (d. 221 AH), the author of al-Jāmiʿ.
These figures belong to Shīʿa jurists of the Third Century.
Now we will introduce the prominent Shīʿa jurists who lived in the Fourth Century:
Due to the practice of ijtihād, many great Shīʿa jurists were trained, some of them are as follows:
1. Ḥasan b. ʿAlī b. Abī ʿAqīl, one of the leading scholars of the Shīʿa and the author of al-Mutamassik bi Ḥabl Āl Rasūl.
2. ʿAlī b. Ḥusayn b. Bābuwayh (d. 329 AH): He is the father of Ṣadūq and the author of al-Sharāʾiʿ.
3. Muḥammad b. Ḥasan b. Walīd Qummī: He enjoyed a very high status and was regarded as the leader of the Qummī school, to the extent that Shaykh al-Ṣadūq relied on his positions and accepted all of his comments on the authenticity of narrators.
4. Jaʿfar b. Muḥammad b. Qūluwayh, (d. 369 AH): He is the teacher of Shaykh al-Ṣadūq, and the author of Kāmil al-Ziyārāt. Najāshī says that he was a reliable scholar and a master in Islamic jurisprudence and traditions.
5. Muḥammad b. ʿAlī b. al-Ḥusayn (306-381 AH): Popularly known as Ṣadūq, and the author of numerous legal works such as al-Faqīh, al-Muqniʿ and al-Hidāya.
6. Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. Junayd (d. 385 AH): He is the author of numerous books, most importantly Tahdhīb al-Shīʿa li-Aḥkām al-Sharīʿa and al-Aḥmadi fī al-Fiqh al-Muḥammadī.
In the 5th century a group of eminent Shīʿa scholars emerged in the realm of Islamic jurisprudence. Their ideas would be held in esteem by subsequent jurists for a long time. Among them, we can mention the following figures:
1. al-Shaykh al-Mufīd (336-413 AH)
2. Sharīf al-Murtaḍā (355-436 AH)
3. Shaykh Abū al-Fatḥ Karajakī (d. 449 AH)
4. Shaykh al-Ṭūsī (385-460 AH).
5. Sallār Daylamī (d. 463 AH)
6. Ibn al-Barrāj (401-489 AH)
There are other scholars whose names, titles, and ideas have been detailed in biographical and historical works.
This provides a brief list of notable Shīʿa jurists up to the 5th century. Some of these scholars lived at a time when they suffered severe persecution under hostile regimes. The oppressors, under various pretexts, would sometimes burn the scholars’ libraries, and occasionally even kill them; Shaykh al-Ṭūsī wrote a book about jurisprudence entitled Al-Mabsūt, which is recently printed in 8 volumes. In Baghdad, the Shīʿa were frequently in conflict with followers of the Ḥanbalī school; in one such conflict, the Shaykh’s library was burned and he had to take refuge in Najaf. He had to leave the city where he had lived for half a century. In Najaf, he established a seminary which has been training brilliant jurists and spreading knowledge for nearly 10 centuries.

 

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