A Brief Review of Sayyid Murtada’s Life and Personality[1]

The Birth, Epithet and Nicknames

Sayyid Murtada Abu al-Qasim Ali ibn Abu Ahmad al-Husayn ibn Musa ibn Muhammad ibn Musa ibn Ibrahim ibn Musa ibn Ja’far ibn Muhammad ibn Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Abi TalibPBUH, was born In Rajab, 355 AH / 965 AD, in Karkh neighborhood, Bagdad.[2] His epithet was Abu al-Qasim, and he had a number of other nicknames. He was titled as Thamanini, Dhu al-Thamanin and Abu al-Thamanin, because he wrote eighty books, owned eighty villages, and lived for eighty years and eighty months.[3] According to a number of reports, he owned a library with up to eighty thousand books.[4]

In 397 AH / 1006 AD by the decree of Baha’ al-Dawla, Sayyid Murtada was titled as Dhu al-Majdayn;[5] because either he was a descendent from a noble family or he was an outstanding religious scholar with a high social position.[6] Furthermore, he was also known as Sayyid, Sharif, Sayyid Murtada and Sharif Murtada.

His other nickname was ‘Alam al-Huda (Guidance Banner). In 420 AH, when Minister Abu Sa’id Muhammad bin ‘Abdul-Rahim became sick, he had a dream in which Imam AliPBUH told him “Ask ‘Alam al-Huda to recite you the Fatiha (the first chapter of the Qur’an), so you will cure.” He asked who was meant by ‘Alam al-Huda. And Imam answered that it referred to Ali bin al-Husayn al-Musawi. The minister wrote a letter to Sayyid Murtada in which he titled him ‘Alam al-Huda. Sayyid refused to be titled so. The minister answered that “I wrote nothing but what Amir al-Mu’minin had ordered.” When al-Qadir Billah heard this, he wrote a letter to Murtada and asked him to accept to be titled as his ancestor had ordered.[7]


Sharif Murtada is one of the great scholarly families among Hashimites (the descendants of the Prophet of Islam). They are both paternally and maternally descendents of Imam Husayn, and so they are called Sharif. His lineage originates from Imam KazimPBUH through five generations: Sayyid Murtada Abu al-Qasim Ali ibn Ali Ahmad al-Husayn ibn Musa ibn Muhammad ibn Musa ibn Ibrahim ibn Musa ibn Ja’far ibn Muhammad ibn Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Ali ibn Abi TalibPBUH.[8]

Furthermore, his mother, Fatimah, was the daughter of Hasan (Husayn) ibn Ahmad ibn al-Hasan al-Nasir al-Atroush, and her lineage reached to Imam SajjadPBUH through a number of generations. In the Introduction to his book, Al-Nasiriyyat (which is an explanation to One Hundred Issues, a book written by his grandfather), Sayyid Murtada has named and described his ancestors up to Imam AliPBUH. After emphasizing that he is the one who deserves to write such a book, he adds:  

“This is so because he is my maternal ancestor. My mother, Fatimah, is the daughter of Abu Muhammad Hasan ibn Ahmad Abu al-Husayn, the commander of the army of his father, Nasir Kabir Abu Muhammad Hasan ibn Ali ibn Hasan ibn Ali ibn ‘Umar ibn Ali, Sajjad Zain al-‘Abidin, ibn al-Husayn, the martyred grandson, ibn Amir al-Mu’mininPBUH.” Then he continues with describing and praising each of his ancestors.[9]    

There are some disagreements concerning whether Nasir Kabir (or Nasir Haqq or Atroush, the maternal grandfather of Sayyid Murtada (d. 304 AH / 917 AD) had been a believer in Zaidiyyah or Twelwer Shia. Among the evidences for his being a Twelwer Shia, one can refer to the fact that Sayyid Murtada has annotated on the book “One Hundred Issues”, which is one of the books written by Nasir Kabir, and he has titled it Al-Nasiriyyat. It seems so improbable for Sayyid Murtada, the outstanding Shia scholar, to have annotated on a Fiqh book by a Zaidi scholar, in the same way as other Zaidi jurisprudents. Furthermore, Najashi, one of the greatest Shia Scholars having dealt with Rijal (the science of validating resources), who was a classmate of Sayyid Murtada and Sayyid Radi, has considered Nasir Kabir as a Twelwer Shia.

Father: Sayyid Murtada’s Father, Abu Ahmad Husayn, was an outstanding, noble and respectful person. Therefore he has been titled as “Ajall” (esteemed), “Tahir” (pure), “Uhad” (outstanding) and Dhu al-Manaqib” (virtuous). Tha’alabi, has referred to him and Abu al-Hasan Muhammad ibn Umar ibn Yahya as the ones who were outstanding in Iraq.[10]

Also, Ibn Abi al-Hadid emphasizes that Abu Ahmad had a very high position in the governments of Bani Abbas and the Buyids, and he was entitled as Dhu al-Manaqib, and Baha’ al-Dawla called him al-Tahir al-Awhad.[11]

Abu Ahmad had a constant tendency toward fostering reconciliation among people and groups, so that in several occasions he intervened in the disputes between Sunnites and Shia of Baghdad and between Bani Hamdan and the Buyids.[12]

Probably, it was because of such social status of Abu Ahmad that ‘Adud al-Dawla Deilami, after seizing the power and bringing Baghdad under control, considered Abu Ahmad’s presence dangerous; therefore, he arrested him in 369 AH and exiled Him to Persia to be imprisoned. After the death of ‘Adud al-Dawla, his son Samsam al-Dawla came to throne in 372 AH / 982 AD and ruled until 376 AH / 986 AD. His brother, Sharaf al-Dawla came to Shiraz from Kerman and in 376 AH / 986 AD set Abu Ahmad and the other prisoners free and took them to Baghdad with himself.[13]

Abu Ahmad lost his eye sight towards the end of his life and passed away in 400 AH / 1009 AD at the age of 90. He was buried in his own house, and later his body was transmitted to Karbala.[14]      

Mother: Sayyid Murtada’s mother was Fatima, the daughter of Husayn (Hasan) ibn Ahmad known as al-Da'i al-Saghir (Naqib of the Talibiyyin), and she was a descendant of Nasir Kabir. She was a great, learned and virtuous lady, to whom Shaykh Mufid had dedicated his book Ahkam al-Nisa (The Fiqh Regulations Concerning Women). In the introduction of the book, he referred to her as “the noble and honorable lady whose life may Allah prolong”.[15] She passed away in Dhi al-Hajjah 385 AH / 995 AD.[16]

Brother: Sayyid Murtada had a brother who was as bright as himself and was learned in a considerable number of sciences. He was called Sayyid Radi and was a religious scholar, a capable poet and a unique writer and kept a number of important governmental positions, as well. His biography, personal features and theological views have been recorded in an individual volume in a series of books written about Shia theologians.

Children: According to some reports, Sayyid Murtada had two sons, called Abu Muhammad (nicknamed as Athar dhu al-Mahtadin[17]) and Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn al-Murtada. His generation continued via these two sons.[18] However, there are many reports which have mentioned only one son for him. In some of these reports, this son has been named Abu Ja’far Muhammad[19] and in some others Abu Abdullah al-Husayn (d. 443 AH / 1051 AD).[20] Abu al-Qasim had a son called Ahmad, after whose death the family of ‘Alam al-Huda discontinued.[21] In addition, according to ibn Rawandi, the author of Riyad al-‘Ulama (an annotation to Nahj al-Balaghah), Sayyid Murtada had a noble and virtuous daughter, who quoted her uncle concerning Nahj al-Balaghah, and Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahim (known as Ibn a l-Ikhwah) narrated her quoting.[22]

The Political and Social Conditions of Baghdad at the Time of Sayyid Murtada

Baghdad faced great political, economic and security crises in the 4th century AH. According to the reports by historians, famine, deaths as a result of famine, corruption and expensiveness had been accompanied by riots and political unrest. Furthermore, the city suffered from the attacks by the ones who claimed for the throne and the riots by the rebellions.[23] The first Shia government in Baghdad was established by Ahmad ibn Buya. When the government of Buyids settled down, it was thought that they will eradicate caliphate; however, this did not happen. Some scholars believe that, the Buyid Amir legalized the government of Buyids in the eyes of his people, most of whom were Sunnites, by avoiding from changing the caliphate; furthermore, he removed the pretext out of the hand of the most dangerous enemies of Buyids, i.e. Samanids, who followed the Sunnite doctrine and intended to extend their realm west wise.[24]    

The Buyid rulers possessed the main power in Baghdad; meanwhile they were content with the weak caliphate of the Abbasid. In the mean time at the occasions when the Buyids weakened as a result of disputes, the caliphs thought of overthrowing them.  

Sayyid Murtada was born in 355 AH and grew under such conditions. His birth coincided with the caliphate of Al-Moti’ Allah (caliphate 334-363) and the ruling of Mu'izz al-Dawla (Ahmad ibn Buya). Sayyid Murtada, besides the caliphate of Al-Muti’, who died in the childhood of Sayyid, witnessed three other caliphs including al-Ta’i’ li Amr-i ‘llah (caliphate 363-381 AH / 974-991 AD), Al-Qadir (caliphate 381-422 AH / 991-1 031 AD) and then his son Al-Qa'im bi-Amr Allah (422-467 AH / 1031- 1075 AD). He has mentioned them in his Diwan (book of poems). In his Diwan, Sayyid Murtada has referred to the Buyid rulers, including Baha’ al-Dawla and his children Sharaf al-Dawla, Sultan al-Dawla and Rukn al-Din Jalal al-Dawla. He has also referred to Abu Kalijar Marzban ibn Sultan ibn Baha’ al-Dawla.[25]

During this agitated period, Sayyid Murtada chose a moderate way toward the caliphs and rulers, and tried to take the chance and do his best in propagating, supporting and strengthening the Shia principles. At times, he praised the Abbasid caliphs and even their ancestors. In his poems, one comes up with some praises concerning Abbas, Mansur and Rashid, as well as al-Qadir bi-llah and Al-Qa’im bi-Amr Allah .[26] The purpose behind such praises was to keep the conduct of the caliphs lenient toward the Shia. There are even some reports concerning his being a pioneer in allegiance with some of the caliphs. Concerning the events in 422 AH / 1031 AD Ibn al-Jawzi writes that Sayyid Murtada was the first person to oath for allegiance with Al-Qa’im bi-Amr Allah , and he composed a piece of poem in his praise.[27]

Meanwhile, there are some serious criticisms by Sayyid Murtada concerning the caliphs, which reveals that he was reluctant in his praises. Sometimes even, he expresses his hatred toward them, so that he composes “I praised, while I know my praises will vanish in the severe storm, as if I set up a fire in the middle of a hot day. Whatever faces toward you will be ruined. What I have done for you is like virtuous deeds sent to evil doers”.[28]

His conduct toward the rulers of Buyids was also based on utilizing their power to serve the Shia and propagating the Shia views. His praises of them was because they provided his family with suitable opportunities and granted them important and honorable titles and status. He praises Baha’ al-Dawla for having granted him the epithet of Dhu al-Majdain. In most of the ceremonies and festivals, he admires the accomplishments of the Buyids and he even expresses his grief over the defeat of Buyids in an occasion.[29]  

All these were because Buyids, regardless of all the existing deficiencies in their government, paved the way for the prevalence of the Shiism in the world. During the period of the Buyids, Sayyid had the opportunity to write important books in the field of theology, Fiqh and interpretation. Through composing euphonious and attractive poems, he could even clarify the ideas and beliefs concerning some religious manifestations such as the Ghadir Celebration. 

The Scientific and Cultural Conditions of Baghdad at the Time of Sayyid

The period of the ruling of Buyids during the fourth and fifth centuries AH is one of the best periods in the history of the Shia. Through the empowerment of the Shia, the Shia regained their liberty to hold their scholarly classes on philosophy, theology, astronomy and other sciences. This period can probably be considered as the period of the development of the structure and relative culmination of many Islamic sciences. Through a brief study on the conditions of sciences, one can notice the flourishing of sciences in these centuries. At the beginning, the interpretation of the Qur’an was based on traditions and narrations; although some scholars, including Mujahid, had already practiced a rational approach in their interpretation,[30] which was called Dirayati (rational) interpretation. However in the fourth century, one can notice the formation of both interpretation approaches and development of numerous interpretation books with various approaches. In some books such as al-Amali and al-Shafi, Sayyid Murtada has employed the rational approach, and he has interpreted, similar to Mu’tazilah, some of the verses which do not seem to be in concordance with the common sense. Furthermore, some interpreters such as Abu Muslim al-Isfahani (d. 322 AH / 933 AD), Ali ibn ‘Isa al-Ramani (d. about 384 AH / 994 AD), Abu Bakr al-Naqqash Mu’tazili (died in Baghdad in 351 AH / 962 AD) lived in the same period.

The Sunnite tradition collections, including Sahih Muslem, Sahih Bukhari and Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal had been written before this period; however, the outstanding Shia tradition collections such as al-Kafi by Kulayni and Man La Yahzuruhu al-Faqih by Saduq were written in this period. According to the report by Zahr al-Islam, the tradition narrators held a higher status than that of the jurisprudents and grammarians.[31]

Furthermore before this period, along with the development of tradition collections, some other sciences had developed, including the science of abrogating and abrogated traditions, the science of adaptation and the science of Rijal, which deals with the validity of the narrations. However in this century, one can notice the appearance of some outstanding scholars in the field of the mentioned sciences, which tried to further develop them. Among the greatest tradition narrators in this century, one can refer to Abu al-Hasan al-Daraqutni and Hakim al-Nishaburi. They categorized the previously compiled tradition books and dealt with the contradictions in them and wrote new books based on their discussions.[32]

In this period, The Shia Fiqh flourished dynamically. One can refer to some outstanding jurists who appeared at the beginning of this century, including Hasan ibn Abi Aqil al-‘Ummani, and following him Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Junaid. The last two decades of the century as well, are the turning points in the history of the Shia Fiqh. At this time, there was a movement by the Shia theologians who set up a novel ground and balanced the dominance of the tradition-based approach among the Shia scholars. Shaykh Mufid and following him Sayyid Murtada, the two jurists who appeared in the school of the theologians, could develop a movement in the Shia Fiqh, which was in fact a continuation of the reformist movement by Ibn ‘Aqil al-‘Ummani; this movement influenced the fields of the Shia Fiqh for centuries. Although there are some minor differences between the Fiqhi instructions of these two, the general aspects of the Fiqhi approach taken by them were in agreement to a considerable degree.[33] 

Sayyid Murtada wrote some works in the field of comparative Fiqh taking a narration and discretion approach based on the works of outstanding scholars from the four Sunnites sects and some Shia Fiqhi works, as well. His two books, al-Nasiriyyat and al-Intisar, are among the best books which reveal his knowledge and discretion.[34]     

One can notice great developments in the field of theology. In the fourth century up to the end of the Buyids government, Iraq held the highest position in science, literature and philosophy.[35] In this period especially because of the settlement of the Buyid government, which was Shia and had philosophical and rational tendencies, argumentative discussions flourished and theology progressed. In this period, the following outstanding Sunnite characters in theology appeared: Abu Hashim al-Jubba'i (d. 321 AH / 933 AD), Abu al-Hasan Ash’ari (270-330 AH / 874–936 AD), Abu Bakr al-Baqilani (330-403 AH /930- 1013 AD), Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Furak (d. 406 AH / 1015 AD), Abu Ishaq al-Isfara'ini (d. 418 AH) and also Mu'tazili al-Qadi 'Abd al-Jabbar (d. 415 AH / 1024 AD), who is considered as the head of Mu’tazilah in the periods to come.

Furthermore contemporary to the Shia society of that day, one can notice the advent of such outstanding theologians as Shaykh Mufid (339-413 AH / 948-1022 AD), Sayyid Murtada (355-436 AH / 965-1044 AD) and Shaykh Tusi (385-460 AH / 995-1067 AD), who respectively undertook the presidency of the seminary school of Baghdad. Preceding this group, we can also notice the appearance of some Shia theologians and philosophers such as Abu Muhammad al-Hasan ibn Musa al-Nawbakhti (d. 310 AH / 923-24 AD) and Abu Sahl Ismail ibn Ali al-Nawbakhti (d. 311 AH / 923-24 AD), who played a considerable role in the formation of the rational school in Baghdad.

In the fourth century, many Arabic language and literary sciences such as philology were of great interest. Furthermore, many outstanding characters appeared in the field of literature, including Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ibn Duraid al-Azdi (223 – 321 AH / 838 - 933 AD), Abu Bakr ibn al-AnbarI (d. 328 AH /940 AD), Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani (284-362 AH / 897–967 AD), the author of Kitab al-Aghani (Book of Songs), Abu Ubaidullah Marzbani (d.384 AH / 994 AD), Ali ibn Muhammad Katib and ‘Ubaidullah ibn ‘Uthman ibn Yahya Daqaq. The last three characters were among Sayyid Murtada’s teachers in the field of narration. There were also great poets living in this century, like Abu al-Tayyib al-Mutanabbi (303-354 AH / 915–965 AD),and Abul ʿAla Al-Maʿarri  (363-449 AH / 973–1058).[36]

Besides considerable developments in religious sciences in this century, one can also notice other cultural developments, as well, which are among important features of this century. These developments included establishment of scientific institutes, Dar al-‘Ilms (universities) and libraries, with the latter being also locations for instructions or at least paying salaries to their residents. According to historical reports, Sharif Razi (d. 406 AH / 1015 AD), Sayyid Murtada’s brother and one of the famous poets and praisers of the Shia, transformed his house in Baghdad into a Dar al-‘Ilm, in which he hosted students and provided them with facilities.[37] In addition, Sayyid Murtada had changed his house into a Dar al-‘Ilm, as well. These Dar al-‘Ilms were different from libraries, which were called Khazant al-Hikmah; libraries were just a part of Dar al-‘Ilms.  

There was another point which was noticeable in this century and was very influential in the scientific-cultural conditions of Baghdad: after the occultation, narrators and jurists (faqihs) moved from different places to Baghdad. The first person among them was probably Uthman ibn Sa’id al-Asadi, the first deputy of the ImamPBHU. He immigrated to Baghdad after Imam Hasan ‘AskariPBUH passed away, and following him, the other particular deputies came to reside in Baghdad, as well. This changed Baghdad into a scientific and spiritual center for the Shia.

Among the immigrants to Baghdad, one comes across with characters like Ibn ‘Uqbah Shaybani and Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Zubair Qurashi, who moved there from Kufa. There were scholars among the immigrants from Basrah, Qum, Rey and even Samarqand. Among the first immigrants from Qum to Baghdad, we can refer to Muhammad ibn Ja’far ibn Butta,[38] Ali b. Husayn ibn Musa ibn Babawayh al-Qummi (d. 329 AH / 940-941 AD),[39] Abu Ja’far Kulayni (d. 329 AH / 941 AD)[40]. Undoubtedly, this situation was effective in deepening the roots of the Shia traditions in Baghdad. This trend continued in Baghdad during the coming decades through the presence of some scholars like Ibn Dawud al-Qummi (d. 368 AH / 978-79 AD)[41], Ibn Qulawayh al-Qummi (d. 368 AH / 978 AD), and Abu Jaʿfar Muḥammad ibn ʿAli ibn Al-Ḥusayn ibn Musa al-Qummi (305-381 AH / 917-991 AD)[42]

Therefore, Baghdad somehow enjoyed a central scientific position in the fourth century, and hosted various sects and different trends; although in the Seminary School of Baghdad, the dominance was with the theological and rational trends and approaches.

The other point to be noticed is the translation movement in the world of Islam and in its role in the theological discourse of Baghdad. This movement started in 215 AH / 830 AD through the establishment of Bayt al-Hikmah by Mamun. In this period, a number of translators, most of whom were non-Muslim translated the philosophical works of the ancient Greece and the Neo-Platonic school of Alexandria into Arabic from among the original Greek works or from their Syriac translations. Alongside with these works, a number of further texts were translated from Pahlavi into Arabic.[43]

Scientific Personality and Life


Sayyid Murtada and his brother Sayyid Radi learned literature under the instructions by Ibn Nabata.[44] Then, their mothers sent them to Shaykh Mufid to learn Fiqh. As it has been reported, Shaykh Mufid visited Her Majesty FatimahPBUH in a dream as she brought along Imam HasanPBUH and Imam HusaynPBUH and said: "Teach them Fiqh". Shaykh woke up surprised, and in the same morning, Fatimah, the mother of Sayyid Murtada and Sayyid Radi, accompanied by her maids, brought along her two sons to the Shaykh. The Shaykh saluted them respectfully and stood up before them; Fatimah articulated the same words which the Shaykh had heard in his dream. Shaykh Mufid wept and narrated his dream to her and was determined to train them.[45] 


Sayyid Murtada was taught by numerous teachers, who taught him fiqh, usul, literature, theology, …. In the following, there is a reference to some of his teachers:

  1. Abd al-Rahim ibn Nabatah al-Khatib (d. 374 AH / 984 AD). He was a professional in literature, figures of speech and oration. Murtada and his brother learned literature before him.[46]
  2. Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Numan, known as Mufid (336-413 AH / 948-1022 AD). Shaykh Mufid is one of the great Shia theologians and jurists and has written many books. His two students, Najashi and Tusi, in their Fihrist, have elaborated on his biography. Najashi explains that Shaykh Mufid's high merits in fiqh, theology and narration are so evident that no more description is needed to that end, and Tusi considers him as the head of Imamiyyah (Twelver Shia) at his own age and believes that Shaykh Mufid was superior to others in science and figures of speech.[47] Sayyid Murtada and his brother were taught theology, fiqh and usul by Mufid.
    1. Muhammad ibn 'Imran al-Katib, known as Marzbani (d. 384 AH / 994 AD). Marzbani was an educated figure in narrations and literature. He has written books concerning different skills. When 'Adud al-Dawla passed by his house, waited for him to come out so that he could salute him. According to Abu Ali Farsi, he was a virtuous person.[48] He taught poetry and literature to Sayyid Murtada, and Sayyid has referred to him in his book, al-Amali, for many times.
    2. Husayn ibn Ali ibn Yusuf, al-Wazir al-Maghribi (370–418 AH / 981–1027 AD). He was born in 370 AH / 981 AD in Egypt and after his father was murdered, he fled from there to Mecca, then to Syria and finally to Baghdad. He was a scribe and a knowledgeable man and composed euphonious poets. Husayn ibn Ali ibn Yusuf was assigned as a vizier in the government of Mushrif al-Dawla of the Buyids. Later on, he became the vizier of Ibn Marwan in the Diyarbakır Province of Turkey. Eventually he died in Mayyafariqin (Silvan) a city in the Diyarbakır, and following his will his body was sent to Najaf and was buried there.[49]
    3. Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn Habash al-Katib, Riyad al-‘Ulama has quoted some people as stating that Shaykh Saduq and Sayyid Murtada and Ibn ‘Abdun narrated from ibn Habash. Furthermore, Shaykh Tusi in his book, al-Fihrist, has mentioned that the book al-Hadaya is one of ibn Habash’s works.[50]
    4. Sahl ibn Ahmad al-Dibaji (286-380 AH / 899-990 AD). According to Khatib Baghdadi, Azhari and ‘Atiqi said that Sahl ibn Ahmad was born in 289 AH / 902 AD and died in 330 AH / 941 AD, and Shaykh Mufid carried out his funeral prayer.[51] Najashi, in his Rijal, has mentioned a book written by him titled as the Faith of Abu Talib.[52]
    5. Husayn ibn Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Babawayh al-Qummi, Shaykh Saduq’s brother. He is one of the great Shia scholars, and was born, similar to his brother, as a result of the Twelfth Imam’s prayer. Among his works one can refer to Al-Radd ‘Ala al-Waqifiyyah and al-Tawhid and Nafy al-Tashbih. Sayyid Murtada and Shaykh Tusi have narrated from him.[53]
    6. Abu Hasan Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Umran, Known as Ibn al-Jundi al-Baghdadi. Najashi writes that: Ibn al-Jundi was our teacher and connected us with outstanding contemporary scholars in the field of Hadith. Among his works, one can refer to: al-Anwa’, al-Ruwat wa al-Falaj, Kitab al-Khatt, Kitab fi al-Ghaybah, ‘Uqala’ al-Majanin, Al-Hawatif, Kitab al-‘Ain wa al-Waraq, Fada’il al-Jama’ah wa Ma Ruwiya Fiha.[54] 

The last four mentioned teachers taught hadith, fiqh, usul and … to Sayyid Murtada.



  1. Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ibn Ali al-Tusi Shaykh al-Ta’ifah (385-460 AH / 995-1067 AD ). Shaykh Tusi was the head of Imamiyyah at his own age. He immigrated to Baghdad in 408 AH and joined the Shaykh Mufid’s students. Next, he was instructed by Sayyid Murtada in the fields of fiqh, usul, theology, exegesis of the Qur’an and other sciences. He has written numerous books in various fields.
  2. Hamza ibn ‘Abd al-Aziz al-Daylami, nicknamed as Sallar (d. 448 AH). He is one of the first great Shia scholars in fiqh, usul, and theology. He was originally from Gilan, but was educated in Baghdad under the instructions by Shaykh Mufid and Sayyid Murtada. His scientific status was so noble that he succeeded Sayyid Murtada as the teacher of the classes.[55]
  3. Qadi `Abd al-`Aziz ibn Nihrir ibn ‘Abd al-Aziz ibn al-Barraj al-Tarabulsi (d. 481 AH / 1088 AD). Ibn Barraj was an outstanding jurist and had many compositions. For a while, he was a student of Sayyid Murtada, and then of Shaykh Tusi. Later, he succeeded Shaykh Tusi in Syria and started teaching there. He was also appointed as the judge of Tripoli.
  4. Nizam al-Din or (Abu Abdullah) Sulayman ibn al-Hasan (or al-Husayn) al-Sahrashti al-Daylami. He was among the Shia faqihs and scholars in the fifth century AH, whose date of birth and death has not been reported. There is a disagreement among the writers of Rijal Books concerning his name and nickname and the names of his father and grandfather. He was a student of Sayyid Murtada and also Shaykh Tusi, and has written a number of books, as well.[56]
  5. Abu al-Fath Muhammad ibn Ali al-Karajaki (d. 449 AH / 1057 AD). Karajaki was among the great Shia scholars in fiqh, theology and hadith. He travelled to different cities including Baghdad, Halab (Aleppo), Cairo, Tripoli, Mecca and Ramla, and then accompanied Shaykh Mufid and Sayyid Murtada and was taught by them. Among his most important books, one can refer to Kanz al-Fawa'id, which is a book concerning Imamiyyah.
  6. Abu Abdullah Ja’far ibn Muhammad al-Dawristi. Dawrist is a village in Ray (a city in Iran), where al-Dawristi was born. After immigration to Baghdad, he participated in Shaykh Mufid’s and Sayyid Murtada’s classes. Then, he returned to his hometown and trained a lot of students.
  7. Abu al-Faraj Ya’qub ibn Ibrahim al-Faqih al-Bayhaqi (alive in Dhi Qa’dah 403 AH). He was among the great Shia scholars in fiqh and literature. He was taught by Sayyid Murtada in the field of literary sciences and techniques. He was certified by Sayyid as being proficient in literature, grammar and other fields of Arabic language.[57]
  8. Abu al-Salah Taqi ibn Najm al-Halabi (374-447 AH / 984-1055 AD). He was born in Halab (Aleppo), and travelled to Iraq for three times and participated in Sayyid Murtada’s and Shaykh Tusi’s classes. He was appointed by them as the Shia sheikh and scholar in Syria. Abu al-Salah passed away in Ramla (in Palestine) after returning from Hajj in the month of Muharram in 447 AH / 1055 AD. 
  9. Abu al-Ma’ali Ahmad ibn Qudamah (d. 486 AH / 1093 AD). He was a student of Shaykh  Mufid, Sayyid Murtada and Sayyid Radi. He held the position to pronounce the judicial decree in the city of Anbar and became the supreme judge there. Yaqut al-Hamawi considers him among the famous scholars at his own age and also one of the great judges in the city of Anbar.
  10. Abu Ya’li Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ibn Hamza al-Ja’fari[58] (d. 463 AH / 1071 AD). He was among outstanding Shia scholars and one of the students of Shaykh  Mufid and Sayyid Murtada. He was a well-known character and wrote numerous books especially on theological issues.


  Scientific Status and Comprehensiveness

Sayyid Murtada is one of the great Shia scholars who enjoyed a unique scientific comprehensiveness. It is quite evident that he held a high and culminated status in science, literature, genealogy, theology, theosophy, morphology, fiqh, usul, interpretation, hadith, rijal, poetry, semantics, rhetorics and other sciences. He was a unique character at his own age and was an authority among all groups of scholars. Najashi, who was contemporary to him, accompanied him in Shaykh Mufid’s classes. He wrote about him that: he learned sciences, while no one else at his age could keep pace with him; he heard lots of hadiths from the teachers. He was a scholar, theologian, literary figure and poet, and held a high status in sciences concerning the matters of religion and the world; he wrote numerous books.[59]

Shaykh Tusi, the great Shia jurist and scholar who was a student of Sayyid Murtada, wrote about his teacher as: his virtues and worth is more than all other people contemporary to him; he is a theologian and faqih, and is an expert in all sciences.[60] Furthermore, ‘Allama Hilli described him as: he was unique in numerous sciences. All scholars acknowledge his virtues. He was ahead of others in sciences such as theology, fiqh, usul, literature, syntax, poetry, semantics, and morphology. He has a Diwan (book of poems) with more than twenty thousand verses. The Imamiyyah sect has used his books since his age until the present day, which is the year 693 AH / 1294 AD; he is the pillar of the Shia and is their teacher.[61] Even the Sunni scholars have praised his scientific status and have appreciated him. Khatib al-Baghdadi in Tarikh Baghdad, Tha’labi in Yatimat al-Dahr,[62] Ibn al-Jawzi in al-Muntazam, Ibn Athir[63] in al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, and Ibn Kathir have appreciated his scientific status.[64]

According to Ibn Athir, he was the propagator of the Imamiyyah school of thought in the fourth century, and according to some others he was its renewer.[65] He presented both new ideas and a novel method of research.

In the exegesis of the Qur'an concerning the verses which do not seem to concord with the common sense, he appealed to Dirayati (Rational rather than narration-based) interpretation.

In fiqh, he is considered among the ones who took discretional approach.[66] He is the one who have written a book on comparative Fiqh. He employed his personal discretion concerning the field with which Mufid, 'Umanni and Ibn Junayd had already dealt, and based on his own special views he wrote books about the comparative Fiqh of discretion. As was mentioned before, his two books, al-Nasiryyat and al-Intisar are among his best books, which reveal his vast knowledge in discretion. In these two books, one can realize the extent of his attention to the schools of the Islamic fiqh and his high ability in making inferences about the judgments.[67] From among the principles of fiqh, he rejected some principles, such as analogy (except the conditioned ones), which is approved by the Sunnis, and tried to approach it critically. He considered "consensus" as an acceptable principle provided that there is Imam among the ones who reach that consensus.[68]

In theology and debate, he was the successors of his teacher, Shaykh Mufid. Outstanding scholars from various sects took part in his classes. As an introduction to his biography, Ibn Jawzi writes: "… he debated with scholars from all the sects"[69]. This implies the expansion of his knowledge. The other evidence to this end is his debate with the head of the Mu’tazilah, Qadi 'Abd al-Jabbar (d. 415 AH / 1025 AD), during which he intelligibly criticized the chapter of the book al-Mughni which deals with Imamiyyah.

His works, including the annotation to the ode by Humairi shows that he was experienced in morphology, as well.  Through a glance at his works, especially al-Ghurar wa al-Durar, one notices that his mastership in syntax and rhetorics and other literary sciences is undeniable. The author of Rawdat al-Jannat wrote that the descriptions by the common scholars about al-Ghurar wa al-Durar is unprecedented and there are no such descriptions concerning any other books written by our scholars.[70] 

As a whole, Sayyid Murtada’s familiarity with different sciences had resulted in his being known as a comprehensive and well-known character, so that the author of Rawdat al-Jannat writes: Sayyid Murtada’s knowledge about the Qur’an and the prophet’s conduct was more than others and he was familiar with the aspects of the interpretation of the verses of the Qur’an and also with the narrations. Since he did not approve the practice in accordance with any single narration, he tended toward making inferences based on the Qur’an, repeatedly narrated traditions and perfect scientific evidences; this necessitated awareness of traditions, perfect knowledge about the principles of the companions and experience in interpretation and extraction of the issues of the Qur’an.[71]

Sayyid Murtada had such a supreme status that whenever Khawaja Nasir Tusi mentioned his name during his teaching, he appreciated him by adding the phrase “peace be upon him” to his name; and then he faced the present judges and teachers and said how it would be possible not to salute to Sayyid Murtada.[72]

Scholars came to meet Sayyid Murtada and their meetings were the center for literary, fiqhi and theological discussions. While residing in Baghdad, Abu al-‘Ala Ma’arri participated in Sayyid’s meetings and they had literary discussions with each other.[73] Furthermore, Abu Ishaq al-Sabi and Uthman ibn Jinni always participated in his meetings.[74]

Sayyid Murtada’s writings were published in his own age and they were welcomed. The ones with the same views annotated and endorsed his writings,[75] and the ones who disagreed with his views criticized them.[76] Sometimes, the criticisms were even replied and rejected at Sayyid’s own age.[77] All these reveal Sayyid Murtada’s noble status[78] among the ones contemporary to him. The titles of his treatises also imply his scientific excellence and comprehensiveness, because he has personally answered, in his works, to the fiqhi, theological, interpretation and hadith questions asked by various people in different locations.

After he passed away, his method of writing books and treatises was noticed, as his method in writing al-Intisar (comparative fiqh) was applied by Shaykh Tusi in writing Masa’il al-Khilaf and by ‘Allama Hilli in writing Mukhtalif al-Ahkam.[79] 

The Works

Sayyid Murtada has numerous works, which have dealt with various subjects. He provided lots of innovations in his works. The best document for introducing his works is the certificate which he granted to his student, Abu al-Hasan Muhammad ibn Muhammad Basrawi, in 417 AH / 1026 AD. This certificate has been rendered in Riyad al-‘ulama.[80]

A list of all of his works has been presented in the following. Some of the works in the list have been annotated. Furthermore, his most important theological works and writings have been mentioned.

  1. The List of the Works
    1. Ibtal al-Qiyas, which is a part of al-Masa’il al-Mawsiliyyat al-Ula, which has been mentioned by the sheikh as Mas’alah fi al-Qiyas wa Ibtaluhu (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 1, p. 70).
    2. Ahkam-i Ahl al-‘Akhirah, or Mas’alah fi Ahkam al-‘Akhirah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 1, p. 295 and vol. 20, p. 382).
    3. Al-Amali, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 2, p. 312 and vol. 8, p. 140 and vol. 16, p. 42 and vol. 19, p. 365). This book has been mentioned in Basrawi’s certificate with the title of al-Ghurar wa al-Fawa’id, and its complete name is Ghurar al-Fawa’id wa Durar al-Qala’id.
    4. Al-Intisar or Infiradat al-Imamiyyah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 2, p. 360 and 400). Sayyid Murtada wrote this book for Vizier ‘Amid al-Din; in this book, he has presented some subsections through which, according to some, Shia have disagreed with the principle of consensus. Through presenting the views of the jurists of the other sects, he showed that the Shia viewpoints do not run against the principle of consensus.
    5. Al-Insaf. Sayyid ibn Tawus has mentioned this work in the 174th chapter of his book al-Yaqin. (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 2, p. 395).
    6. Inqaz ol-Bashar min al-Jabr wa al-Qadar, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 2, p. 401).
    7. Al-Risalat al-Bahirah fi al-‘Itrat al-Tahirah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 3, p. 15 and vol. 11, p. 126 and vol. 20 p. 337).
    8. Kitab al-Barq fi ‘Ilm al-Adab, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 3, p. 86). This book has been mentioned in Basrawi’s treaties by the title of al-Buruq.
    9. Tafsir al-Khutbat al-Shiqshiqiyyah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 4, p. 348 and vol. 13, p. 222).
    10. Tafsira al-Qasidat al-Mimiyyah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 4, p. 350).
    11. Tafzil al-Anbiya’ ‘ala al-Mala’ikah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 4, p. 359 and vol. 20, p. 385).
    12. Taqrib al-Usul fi ‘Ilm al-Kalam, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 4, p. 365).
    13. Takmilat al-Ghurar wa al-Durar, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 4. P. 415).
    14. Tanzih ol-Anbiya’ wa al-A’immah ‘Alayhim al-Salam, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 4, p. 456).
    15. Al-Thamanin, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5. P. 11).
    16. Jumal al-‘Ilm wa al-‘Amal, or Jumal al-‘Aqa’id, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 144).
    17. Jawab al-Su’al ‘an Vajh al-Tazwij Amir al-Mu’minin Ibnatohu min ‘Umar, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 183).
    18. Jawab-i Ba’z al-Mu’tazilah fi anna al-Imamah la Takun Illa bi al-Nass, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 179).
    19. Jawab Shobahat  Ba’z al-‘Ammah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 185).
    20. Jawab al-Masa'il, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 186).
    21. Jawab il-Mulahidah fi Qadam al-‘Alam, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 194).
    22. Jawabat al-Masa'il al-Badira’iyyat, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5 , p. 214 and vol. 20, p. 337).
    23. Jawabat al-Masa'il al-Tabaniyyat, including issues about which the Sultan had asked. (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 216 and vol. 20, p. 340).
    24. Jawabat al-Masa'il al-Tabaniyyat, in which the issues have been arranged in ten chapters. (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 217 and vol. 20, p. 342).
    25. Jawabat al-Masa’il al-Jorjaniyyah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, P. 217 and vol. 20, p. 342).
    26.  Jawabat al-Masa’il al-Halabiyyat al-Ula, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 219 and vol. 20, p. 345).
    27. Jawabat al-Masa’il al-Halabiyyat al-Thaniyah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 219).
    28. Jawabat al-Masa’il al-Halabiyyat al-Thalithah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 219).
    29. Jawabat al-Masa’il al-Raziyyah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 221 and vol. 20, p. 347).
    30. Jawabat al-Masa’il al-Rasiyyat al-Ula, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 221 and vol. 20, p. 82 and 348).
    31.  Jawabat al-Masa’il al-Rasiyyat al-Thaniyah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol.5, p. 222 and vol. 2, p. 82).
    32. Jawabat al-Masa’il al-Ramliyyat, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 222 and vol. 2, p. 83, and vol. 20, p. 350).
    33.  Jawabat al-Masa’il al-Salariyyah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 206 and 223 and vol. 20, p. 352).
    34. Jawabat al-Masa’il al-Saidawiyyah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 226 and vol. 20, p. 335).
    35. Jawabat al-Masa’il al-Tabariyyah, Shaykh Aqa Bozorg Tehrani wrote that: this work has been mentioned in Basrawai’s certificate with the mentioned title; however, it is the very same Al-Masa’il al-Nasiriyyat, based on Fiqhi Nasir written in Tabaristan. The work includes 207 issues. (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 226 and vol. 20, p. 355 and 370).
    36. Jawabat al-Masa’il al-Tarabulsiyya al-Ula, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 226 and vol. 2, p. 89 and vol. 20, p. 356).
    37. Jawabat al-Masa’il al-Tarabulsiyya al-Thaniah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 226 and vol. 2, p. 89).
    38. Jawabat al-Masa’il al-Tarabulsiyya al-Thalithah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 226 and vol. 2, p. 89).
    39. Jawabat al-Masa’il al-Tarabulsiyya al-Rabi’ah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 226 and vol. 2, p. 89).
    40. Jawabat al-Masa’il al-Tousiah, this work has been mentioned in Basrawi’s certificate including five issues titled as Al-Masa’il al-Barmakiyyah (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 227 and vol. 20, p. 356).
    41. Jawabat al-Masa’il al-Muhammadiyyah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 232 and vol. 20, p. 366).
    42. Jawabat al-Masa’il al-Misriyyat al-Ula, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 234).
    43.  Jawabat al-Masa’il al-Misriyyat al-Thaniah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 234).
    44. Jawabat al-Masa’il al-Mutalibiyyat, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 234 and vol. 20, p. 367).
    45. Jawabat al-Masa’il al-Mawsiliyyat al-Ula, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 235 and vol. 20, p. 369).
    46. Jawabat al-Masa’il al-Mawsiliyyat al-Thaniah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 235).
    47. Jawabat al-Masa’il al-Mawsiliyyat al-Thalithah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 235).
    48. Jawabat al-Masa’il al- Mayyafariqiyyat, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 238 and vol. 20, p. 370).
    49. Jawabat al-Masa’il al-Nasiriyyah, which includes 33 issues. The collection has been titled Nasiriyyat because it deals with the questions asked by Nasir Saqir’s son. (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 239 and vol. 20, p. 371).
    50. Hujjiyat al-Ijma’, which is a collection of Sayyid Murtada’s articles concerning the validity of consensus. (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 6, p. 269).
    51. Al-Hudud wa al-Haqa’iq, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 6, p. 269).
    52. Diwan ‘Alam al-Huda, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 9, p. 735 and 1027).
    53. Al-Zakhirah fi ‘Ilm al-Kalam, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 10, p. 11).
    54. al-Dhari’ah ila Usul al-Shari’ah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 10, p. 26).
    55. Al-Ra’iyyah, which includes a number of odes in the admiration of AliPBUH (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 10, p. 54 and vol. 17, p. 117).
    56. Rijal al-Sayyid ‘Alam al-Huda, which has been mentioned in Lisan al-Mizan translated by Jiblah min Muhammad. It has been described as “it has been mentioned by Al-Sharif in the Shia Rijal”. In this way Jiblah has quoted from his book, as he also writes “it has been mentioned by Al-Najashi from the Shia Rijal”. (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 10, p. 133).
    57. Al-Radd ‘ala Ibn Jonai fi Ta’rizih li Abyat al-Motanabbi. The sheikh has titled it as Tatabbo’ al-Abyat. (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 10, p. 176).
    58. Al-Radd ‘ala Ibn Jinni fi al-Hikayah wa al-Muhki. In al-Fihrist, The sheikh has titled it as al-Naqd ‘ala Ibn Jinni.
    59. Al-Radd ‘ala Ashab al-‘Adad. This work deals with the period of the month of Ramadan and determining its initiation through numbers or sighting of the moon. (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 10, p. 185 and vol. 11, p. 108 and 209, and vol. 24, p. 176).
    60. Al-Radd ‘ala Man Athbat Huduth al-Ajsam min al-Jawahir, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 10, p. 226).
    61. Al-Radd ‘ala Man Ta’allaq bi Qawlihi Ta’ala wa Laqad Karramna Bani Adam, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 10, p. 226).
    62. Al-Radd ‘ala al-Munajjimin, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 10, p. 229 and vol. 20, p. 382 and 387, 392).
    63. Al-Radd ‘ala Yahya ibn ‘Uday al-Nasrani fima Yatanahi wa la Yatanahi, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 10, p. 237).
    64. Al-Radd ‘ala Yahya ibn ‘Uday fi I’tirazihi ‘ala Dalil al-Muwahhidin fi Huduth al-Ajsam, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 10, p. 237).
    65. Al-Radd ‘ala Yahya ibn ‘Uday fi Mas’ala Samaha Tabi’at al-Muslimin, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 10, p. 237).[81]
    66. Al-Shafi  fi al-Imamah wa Ibtal Hujaj al-‘Ammah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 13, p. 8).
    67. Sharh al-Risalah, which has been mentioned in Ta’sis al-Shi’ah as one of Sayyid Murtada’s Fiqhi books. (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 13, p. 282).
    68. Sharh Qasidat al-Humairi al-Ba’iyyah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 14, p. 9 and vol. 3, p. 3). This work has also been mentioned in al-Dhari’ah, vol. 4, p. 350, titled as Tafsir al-Qasidat al-Mimiyyah al-Humairiyyah.
    69. Sharh Masa’il al-Khilaf. This book varies from Sayyid Murtada’s other book titled as Al-Khilaf fi al-Fiqh. (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 14, p. 64) in Basrawi’s certificate has mentioned a book with the title of Al-Masa’il al-Mustakhrajat, and explains that it is a book in the explanation of Masa’il al-Khilaf fi al-Fiqh.

70.Al-Shahab fi al-Shaib wa al-Shabab, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 14, p. 248 and 264).

71.Al-Tayf wa al-Khiyal fi al-Adab, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 15, p. 196).

72.‘Aja’ib al-Aghlat, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 15, p. 218).

73.Risalah fi al-‘Ismah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 15, p. 237 and vol. 20, p. 390).

74.Al-‘Ahd, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 15, p. 362).

75.Risalah fi al-Ghaybat al-Hujjah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 16, p. 82).

76.Al-Fiqh al-Maliki, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 16, p. 299).

77.Fihrist Tasanif al-Murtada. The Shaykh wrote in al-Fihrist: “Sayyid Murtada’s well-known Fihrist included many categories and issues concerning countries”. The statement apparently implies that Sayyid Murtada wrote this Fihrist. It is also probable that the Fihrist refers to the same certificate of Basrawi. (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 16, p. 381).

78.Kashf Ayat al-Qur’an, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 18, p. 6).

79.Majalis al-Murtada, which is the very same Al-Ghurar wa al-Durar, which is also titled as Majalis al-Ta'wilat and Majalis Kashf al-'Ayat. (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 19, p.365).

80.Majmu'ah Rasa'il Kathirah, including Al-Masa'il al-Tabaniyat and al-Mawsiliyyat al-Thaniyyah and Thalithah and al-Mayyafariqiyyat and al-Radd 'ala Ashab al-'Adad. The work was written in 676 AH and is preserved in the Razawiyyah treasury. (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 119).

81.Masa'il Infiradat al-Imamiyyah, which is the very same work known as Al-Intisar. (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 336).

82.Masa'il al-Khilaf fi al-Usul, which has been mentioned by Najashi under the title of Al-Khilaf fi al-Usul al-Fiqh. (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 345 and vol. 7, p. 236).

83.Masa'il al-'Adad wa Ibtaluhu, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 357).

84.Masa'il al-Mofradat, fi Usul al-Fiqh, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 368).

85.Al-Masa'il al-Nasiriyyat, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 370).

86.Al-Masa'il al-Damishqiyyah, which has been titled in Basrawi's certificate as Al-Nasiriyyah; however, this work (Al-Masa'il al-Nasiriyyah) is different from Al-Masa'il al-Nasiriyyah fi al-Fiqh, which was published in Al-Jawami' al-Fiqhiyyah in 1374 AH.

87.Al-Masail al-Wasitiyyat, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 372).

88.Mas'alah fi 'Ahkam al-Nujum, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 382).

89.Mas'alah fi al-Iradah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 382).

90.Mas'alah Ukhra fi al-Iradah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, 383).

91.Mas'alah fi al-Istithna, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 383).

92.Mas'alah fi al-I'timad, Which is among the three issues of Al-Mawsiliyyat al-'Ula, as the sheikh has mentioned in Al-Fihrist. (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 383).

93.Mas'alah fi al-Ta'kid, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 384).

94.Mas'alah fi Taqdim al-Qabul bi Lafz al-Amr fi al-'Uqud, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 385).

95.Mas'lah fi Tawarud al-Adillah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 384).

96.Mas'alah fi al-Tawbah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 385).

97.Mas'alah fi Dalil al-Khitab, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 386).

98.Mas'alah fi Siqht al-Nikah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p.388).

99.Mas'alah fi Tariq al-Is'tidlal 'ala Furu' al-Imamiyyah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p.389).

100.Mas'alah fi al-Talaq, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 389).

101.Mas'alah fi 'Adam Hujjiyyah Khabar al-Wahid, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 389).

102.Mas'alah fi 'Adam al-Dalil Dalil al-'Adam wa Bayan Mawridih, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 390).

103.Mas'alah fi Kawnihi Ta'ala 'Alima, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 392).

104.Mas'alah fi al-Mut'ah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 392).

105.Mas'alah fi al-Mash 'ala al-Khaffain, (al-Dhari’ah, vol.  20, p. 393).

106.Mas'alah fi Ma'na al-Ba', In the Qur'anic Verse "Fa Msahu bi Ro’ousakom …” [Surah 5: 6: and lightly rub your heads…] (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 394).

107.Mas'alah fi Yatawalla Ghusl al_imam, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 395).

108.Mas'alah fi al-Man' min Tafdil al-Mala'ikah 'ala al-'Anbiya', (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 395 and vol. 4, p. 351).

109.Mas'alah fi Nafy al-Ru'yah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 397).

110.Mas'alah fi al-Wilayah min Qibal al-Sultan al-Ja'ir wa al-Zalim, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 389). The work has been titled in Basrawi's certificate as Jawaz al-Wilayah min Jahat al-Zalim, and elsewhere it has been titled as Mas'alah fi al-Wilayah min Qibal al-Zalimin.

111.Mudafat al-Ghurar wa al-Durar, which is a book including the interpretations of some Qur'anic verses chosen by Sayyid Murtada to be added to Al-Ghurar wa al-Durar. (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 21, p. 133).

112.Al-Ma'rifat al-Sarfah fi I'jaz al_Qur'an, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 21, p. 245). This work has been titled in Basrawi's certificate as Al-Mawzih 'an Jahat-i I'jaz al-Qur'an, and it has been mentioned there that the work is known as Al-Sarfah. Also, al-Dhari’ah has mentioned its scientific title as Al-Mawzih.

113.Al-Muqni' fi al-Ghaybah, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 22, p. 122).

114.Al-Mulakhkhas fi Usul al-Din, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 22, p. 210).

115.Munazirah Abi al-'Ala' al-Ma’arri, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 22, p. 286).

116.Munazirah al-Khasum wa Kayfiyyat al-Istidlal 'Alayhim, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 22, p. 291).

117.Munqid al-Bashar min Asrar al-Qada' wa al-Qadar, which is the very same book known as Inqad al-Bashar, titled so in that book by Sayyid himself (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 23, p. 150).

118.Al-Usul al-I'tiqadiyyah, published in Baghdad in 1954. The author, in this book, discusses God's attributes, Prophethood, Imamat, Resurrection, the truth of the promises, intersession, chastisement in the grave, annihilation of the world, the path, the paradise and the hell. The manuscript is one page and the printed copy is 4 pages.[82]

119.Ma'na Qawluhu Ta'ala Qul Ta'alu Atlu Ma Harrama Rabbukum 'Alaykum [The Qur’an: Surah 6: 151: Say: Come, I will recite unto you that which your Lord hath made a sacred duty for you].

120.Tafsir Qawluhu Ta'ala Laysa 'ala al-Ladhina 'Amanu wa 'Amilu al-Salihat Junah fi ma Ta'imu [The Qur’an: Surah 5: 93: There shall be no sin (imputed) unto those who believe and do good works for what they may have eaten].

121.Mas'alah fi al-Imamah.

122.Jawab al-Karajaki fi Fisad al-'Adad.

123.Kitab al-Misbah fi al-Fiqh. Sayyid Murtada has referred to this book at the end of Jumal al-'Ilm wa al-'Amal.

124.Tafsir Surat al-Hamd wa Mi'ah wa Khams wa 'Ishrin 'Ayah min Surat al-Baqarah.


In addition to the above mentioned books, there are other books believed to have been written by Sayyid Murtada:

125.Al-Fusul al-Mukhtarah. This book is a collection of Shaykh Mufid’s debates and a number of his useful quotes and points collected by Sayyid Murtada. Since most of the content of this book has been extracted from Al-‘Uyun wa al-Mahasin by Mufid, it has been titled as Al-Fusul wa al-Mukhtarah min al-‘Uyun wa al-Mahasin. Such phrases as “I mentioned to the sheikh; so the sheikh said; and the sheikh’s words; and the sheikh’s statement; and I heard our sheikh saying that; Al-Sharif Abu al-Qasim Ali ibn al-Husayn al-Musawi said that; I said to the sheikh; and …” clearly imply that Sayyid Murtada was merely the scribe, and all of the content of the book had been from Shaykh Mufid. Moreover, Najashi,[83] Shaykh Tousi[84], and Ibn Shahr Ashub[85] considered the book, Al-Fosoul min al-‘Uyun wa al-Mahasin, among the books written by Shaykh Mufid. In the translations from Sayyid Murtada, they have not referred to such a book for him. Furthermore, ‘Allamih Majlisi has considered Al-Fusul as the title known for Al-‘Uyun wa al-Majalis. Some scholars, such as Aqa Bozorg Tehrani, besides Al-Fusul al-Mukhtarih min al-‘Uyun wa al-Mahasin authored by Sayyid Murtada, have referred to another book by Shaykh Mufid, titled as Al-Fusul min al-‘Uyun wa al-Mahasin. Of course Aqa Bozorg Tehrani is not sure that the book is available now.[86]

126.Tanbih al-Ghafilin ‘an Fadl al-Talibin fi al-Ayat al-Nazilah fi Sha’n al-A’immat al-Tahirin. According to al-Dhari’ah, this book deals with some of the primary companions of the prophetPBUH, and was written by Sayyid Murtada. (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 4 p. 446).

127.Jawab-i ‘Ahl al-Hijaz fi Nafy Sahw al-Nabi Sall Allah ‘alayhi wa Alihi wa Sallam, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 175). Aqa Bozorg Tehrani has mentioned this book in al-Dhari’ah[87]and has written that the book was authored by Shaykh Mufid or Sayyid Murtada. ‘Allamih Helli, also, has reproduced this treatise completely and has stated the same idea about its authorship.[88] In his view, it is more probable for the treatise to have been written by Shaykh Mufid; however, Aqa Bozorg Tehrani tends to the possibility for the treatise to have been written neither by Sayyid Murtada nor by Mufid.

128.Al-Muhkam wa al-Mutashabih, (al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 154). Referring to this book, Aqa Bozorg Tehrani, explains that ‘Allamih Majlisi in Bahar al-Anwar and Muhaddith Hurr ‘Amili and Muhaddith Bahrani in Al-Lu’lu’at al-Bahrain have considered it as a work written by Sayyid Murtada. Muhaddith Bahrani clearly states that Sayyid Murtada narrated it from Numani’s interpretation.

However, in the ancient books, like Najashi’s Rijal and Sayyid’s Fihrist and Ma’alim al-‘Ulama, there is no reference to this book. Aqa Bozorg Tehrani believes that the narrators have considered it to have been narrated from Numani’s Tafsir (interpretation) because Sayyid, after the sermon, recommended the instruction of the Qur’an and learning sciences from the Ahal al-Bait; then as evidence, he referred to this narration from Imam SadiqPBUH by Numani in his interpretation. The narration starts in the following way, “Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Ja’far al-Numani stated in the book, Tafsir al-Qur’an, that ….” and he ended it with “we seek refuge to God from misguidance”; therefore, the narrators guess that all of the content of this treatise have been narrated from Numani’s interpretation.[89]

  1. Nahj al-Balaghah. Although there are lots of evidences that Nahj al-Balaghah was compiled by Sayyid Radi (this is evident even from the introduction to the book and also from Sayyid Radi’s other works), some scholars are in doubt to consider it as a work by Sayyid Radi. Probably, Ibn Khalkan Arbeli (d. 681 AH / 1282 AD) is the first to bring about such a doubt.[90] After him, a number of other scholars including Zahabi[91], Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalani[92] and Ibn ‘Imad Hanbali[93] strengthened this doubt. However, considering the evidences which implies for Nahj al-Balaghah to have been written by Sayyid Radi, the doubt is irrelevant.[94]

Social Status

  1. Sayyid Murtada’s Status in Baghdad

There were a number of items in Sayyid Murtada’s period which were considered as the criteria for nobility: 1. The family: some groups such as ‘Alawites, Abbasids, Buyids and Mahlabis were proud of their lineage, genealogy and blood. 2. The governmental position: the governmental managers, commanders and secretaries were proud of their positions in the government. 3. Religion, science and literature: the religious characters, such as the jurists and theologians, as well as the literary characters such as the poets and writers, were proud of their religious, scientific and literary knowledge.[95]

Therefore, there were three groups which formed the noble class of Baghdad. Sayyid Murtada enjoyed all the three features of nobility. As it was mentioned before, he was from Hashimi Sadats, which are the descendants of Imam KazimPBUH (paternally) and Imam SajjadPBUH (maternally). Furthermore, he had important governmental positions. Membership as a commissioner, the presidency of the justice bureau, and the presidency of pilgrims were his most important governmental positions, through which he enjoyed an outstanding position in Baghdad. Additionally, Sayyid Murtada was among the most important religious and scientific characters in his own age, and even in the Shia history; in the previous section, we referred to his scientific biography. Therefore, Sayyid Murtada enjoyed all the three criteria for nobility and he naturally had a brilliant status in Baghdad.

  1. Positions

As it was mentioned, Sayyid Murtada had important positions. He had the three positions of membership as the head of the commissioners[96], presidency of pilgrims and presidency of the justice bureau[97]. At the age of twenty, Sayyid Murtada as a substitute to his father undertook these positions for a while; and in 406 AH / 1015 AD, after his father passed away, he accepted these responsibilities originally as his own, rather than as a substitute. The decree which appointed him as the head of the commissioners was read in the caliph’s court at the presence of Fakhr al-Mulk vizier Abu Ghalib Muhammad ibn Khalaf, the nobles, judges and jurists in Baghdad.[98]

These three governmental positions clearly reveal Sayyid Murtada’s and his family’s important status in the caliph’s court and also in the current society of that period in Baghdad.

  1. Financial Richness

One of the criteria for nobility is the social status and financial richness. The author of Riyad al-‘Ulama narrates from some of the sheikhs that Sayyid Murtada possessed to eighty villages located between Baghdad and Karbala, and they were fully prosperous. They have been described in the following way: there was a large canal between Baghdad and Karbala, at the both side of which there were villages, and boats passed through it. At the fruit season, the passing boats were filled with the fruits having fallen on the ground and the people ate them without being banned.[99]

Sayyid Murtada paid subvention to his students. For instance, he paid twelve dinars to Shaykh Tusi and eight dinars to Qadi ibn Barraj.[100] Sayyid Murtada devoted part of his property as waqf for charity. For example, according to some reports, he devoted the income from one village for providing the paper for the jurists.[101]

It has also been reported that Sayyid Murtada, accompanied by his brother as deputies of their father for the presidency of the pilgrims, paid nine thousand dinars from their own property to the robbers so they let the pilgrims pass through safely.[102]

In addition to the three mentioned evidences, there are other evidences that imply Sayyid Murtada’s excellent social position. The titles granted to him by the rulers,[103] the caliphs’ request for his assistance,[104] his participation in political events such as the oath for allegiance with the caliph,[105] taking part in the ceremony of welcoming sultans,[106] Buyid ruler’s taking refuge to him,[107] and the government’s support to him against the rioters[108] are among the evidences which imply his noble social status.

Sayyid Murtada and His Obligation toward Shiism

 After the prophetpbuh passed away, Shia faced serious challenges. Except for the short period of Imam Ali’s caliphate, the rulers constantly limited the Shia activities and kept them from development and growth. In addition to poisonous propagations against them, they tried to falsify the exalted truths of the Shia school of thought; until the fourth century began. In this century, Iraq and Baghdad were still shadowed by the caliphate; however, the power of the caliphate had got weakened considerably. This was a noticeable opportunity for the Shia scholars to freely and unreservedly remove the false perceptions about the Shia and elucidate the principles of the Shia thoughts and beliefs and clarify the standpoint of the Shia toward the other religious sects and schools. Sayyid Murtada as well, as a great scholar who enjoyed outstanding social and political status, took this opportunity and tried to propagate Shia instructions. In the early fifth century, based on his deep understanding of the current conditions, and as a result of feeling responsibility for this important mission, he on the one hand, interacted with the caliphate system and the government, and on the other hand he interactively got engaged with the great Sunni scholars and propagated the Islamic and Shia instructions. His expanded knowledge and outstanding political and social status resulted in a public tendency toward him; so that lots of his writings and treatises are answers to questions asked by the people from different locations.  Even in his literary books, he has tried to propagate authentic Islamic thoughts and knowledge.

In addition to interaction with the scholars, Sayyid Murtada criticized their views in a scholarly manner. So, one can notice that he criticized the chapter concerning Imamat from the book written by the head of the Mu’tazila school, Qadi ‘Abd al-Jabbar; he also had debates with the materialists, such as Abu al-‘Ala Ma’arri.[109]

Passing Away

After a lifelong and sincere scholarly, cultural, political and social attempt, Sayyid Murtada passed away on Sunday, 25th of Rabi’ al-Awwal 436 AH / 1044 AD. Ahmad ibn Husayn Najashi, Sharif Abu Ya’la, Muhammad ibn Hasan Ja’fari and Sallar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, his famous students, performed the funeral ablution, and his son performed the funeral prayer and they buried him in his house in the Karkh neighborhood, and later his body was transmitted to Imam Husayn Shrine.[110]  


[1]  This work is based on the book, Sayyid Murtada, written by Alireza As’adi. Some minor revisions have been applied to the original content.

[2] There are disagreements concerning the birth and death of Sayyid. Refer to: Mirza ‘Abdullah Afandi Isfahani, Riyad al-‘Ulama, vol. 4, p. 14.

[3] Muhammad Baqir Khwansari, Rawzat al-Janat, vol. 4, p. 296 and Muhammad Ali Mudarris Tabrizi, Rayhanat al-Adab, vol. 4, p. 188.

[4] Ibn ‘Inabih, ‘Umdat al-Talib, p. 187 and Muhammad ibn Soleiman Tonikaboni, Qasas al-‘Ulama, p. 527.

[5] Ibn Jawzi, al-Muntazam, vol. 15, p. 54, the events of the year 397 AH.

[6] Muhammad Ali Mudarris Tabrizi, Rayhanat al-Adab, vol. 4, p. 188; and Baghdadi, Tarikh-i Baghdad, vol. 11, p. 402.

[7] Sayyid Ali Khan Shirazi, al-Darajat al-Rafi’ah, p. 459 – 460; Muhammad Baqir Musawi Khwansari, Rawzat al-Jannat, vol. 4, p. 295 – 296; and Muhammad Ali Mudarris Tabrizi, Rayhanat al-Adab, vol. 4, p. 178 – 188, quoting from Arba’in Shahid. In addition to the mentioned aspects in this text, Mirza Abdullah Afandi Isfahani has mentioned other aspects, refer to Riyaz al-‘Ulama, vol. 4, p. 18 – 19.


[8] Though there is a consensus on this lineage but a little difference is found in some versions.

[9] Sayyid Murtada, Masail al-Nasiriyyat, p. 62. Of course there are some alternative copies for some of the individuals mentioned in the lineage.

[10] Refer to:

[11] Ibn Abi al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah, vol. 1, p. 31.

[12] Refer to: Sayyid Ali Khan Shirazi, al-Darajat al-Rafi’ah, p. 458; The Great Islamic Encyclopedia, the entry for Al-i Hamdan, vol. 1, p. 69; Ibn Abi al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah, vol. 1, p. 31 – 32; and Muhammad Mahdi Ja’fari, Sayyid Razi, p. 23 – 24. 

[13] Ibn Abi al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah, vol. 1, p. 32; and Sayyid Ali Khan Shirazi, al-Darajat al-Rafi’ah, p. 458.

[14] Mahdi Ja’fari, Sayyid Razi, p. 24 – 25.

[15] Refer to: Silsila Mu’allifat al-Shaykh al-Mufid, vol. 9, Ahkam al-Nisa, p. 13 – 14; and Shaykh Aqa Bozorg Tehrani, al-Dhari’ah, vol. 1, p. 203.

[16] Ali Davani, Some Articles Concerning Nahj al-Balaghah and its Compiler, p. 26, quoting from Kakh Dilavir and The Encyclopedia of Shiism, vol. 8, p. 279.

[17] Mahtid means origin and root, refer to Al-Munjad: the entry for Hatad.

[18] Shaykh Ahraf al-‘Abid al-Nasabah, Tadhzib al-Ansab, p. 154.

[19] Ibni ‘Anbah, ‘Umdat al-Talib, p. 188.

[20] Ibn Athir, al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, vol. 9, p. 580, the events of the year 443 AH.

[21] Ibn ‘Inabih, ‘Umdat al-Talib, p. 188.

[22] Mirza Abdullah Afandi Isfahani, Riyad al-‘Ulama, vol. 5, p. 409. The author of Adab al-Murtada, based on Rawzat al-Jannat, has stated that Sayyid had three daughters, because his brother, Sayyid Razi, congratulated him in three odes for three daughter (Diwan Razi, vol. 1, p. 251 and 359 and 462); also he has expressed condolence for the death of two daughters (Diwan Razi, letter B). The two daughters, named Zaynab and Khadijah, which have been mentioned in Rawzat al-Jannat, and the third daughter is probably the one who was alive and narrated Nahj al-Balaghah from his uncle. (‘Abd al-Razzaq Muhy al-Din, Sayyid Murtada’s Literary Character, translated by Jawad Muhaddithi, p. 63). However, the mentioned ladies by Muhammad Baqir Musawi Khansari in Rawzat al-Jannat are Sayyid Murtada’s sisters, rather than his daughters.

[23] This situation, with ups and downs, continued almost all through the fourth century and after that. A glance through the historical books which narrate the conditions of this century reveals this fact properly; refer to e.g. Abu Ali Moskouyah, Tajarib al-Umam, vol 6 and 7; Ibn Jawzi, al-Muntazam, vol. 14; Ibn Athir, al-Kamil, vol. 8, Ibn Kathir, al-Bidayah wa al-Nahayah, vol. 11.

[24] Refer to: The Great Islamic Encyclopedia, vol. 2, the entry of Baghdad, p. 297 quoting from H. the Busse, “Iran under the Buyids” combridge History of Iran, Vol. Iv, ed. R.N. frye, Cambridge, ۱۹۷۵

[25] Refer to: Al-Mahami Rashid al-Saffar, Al-Zakhirah, translated by Al-Sharif al-Murtada, p. 45.

[26] Refer to: ‘Abd al-Razzaq Muhy al-Din, Sayyid Murtada’s Literay Character, translated by Jawad Muhaddithi, p. 19 – 20, quoting from Diwani Sayyid Murtada, the manuscript, vol. 1, p. 13, and vol. 4, p. 90.

[27] Refer to: [27] Ibn Jawzi, al-Muntazam, vol. 15, p. 217 – 218.

[28] Sayyid Murtada’s Literay Character, translated by Jawad Muhaddithi, p. 20, quoting from Diwani Sayyid Murtada, the manuscript, vol. 4, p. 51.

[29] Ibid, p. 21.

[30] Refer to: Ahmad Amin, Zahr al-Islam, vol. 2, p. 40.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Adam Metz, Islamic Civilization in the fourth Century, translated by Alireza Zakavati Qaragozlu, p. 222.

[33] The Great Islamic Encyclopedia, the entry for Baghdad, vol. 12, p. 321.

[34] ‘Abd al-Razzaq Muhy al-Din, Sayyid Murtada’s Literary Character, translated by Jawad Muhaddithi, p. 33.

[35] Ahmad Amin, Zahr al-Islam, vol. 1, p. 212.

[36] Ibid.

[37] Ibid, p. 206.

[38] Najashi, al-Rijal, p. 372 – 373.

[39] Ibid, p. 261 – 262.

[40] Ibid, p. 377 – 378.

[41] Ibid, p. 384 – 385.

[42] Ibid, p. 389 – 392. Najashi reminds that Sadouq travelled to Baghdad in 355 AH.

[43] Refer to: The Great Islamic Encyclopedia, the entry for Baghdad, vol. 12, p. 321.

[44] Muhammad Baqir Khwansari, Rawzat al-Janat, vol. 4, p. 295. 

[45] Muhammad Baqir Khwansari, Roawzat al-Janat, vol. 4, p. 295; Muhammad Ali Mudarris Tabrizi, Rayhanat al-Adab, vol. 4, p. 185; Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalani, Lisan al-Mizan, vol. 4, p. 223 – 224; Shaykh Yusuf Bahrani, Lu’lu’ al-Bahrain, p. 316, and Sayyid Ali Khan Shirazi, al-Darajat al-Rafi’ah, p. 459.

[46] Muhammad Baqir Khwansari, Rawzat al-Janat, vol. 4, p. 295. Some scholars believe that Sayyid Murtada’s teacher, Ibn Nabatah Sa’di, was a poet rather than an orator; since he was from Halab and Miafarqin and had not come to Baghdad. However, Ibn Nabatah Sa’di was contemporary to Sayyid Murtada and resided in Baghdad. Refer to: ‘Abd al-Razzaq Muhy al-Din, Sayyid Murtada’s Literary Character, translated by Jawad Muhaddithi, p. 89.          

[47] In order to get familiar with the personality and works of Shaykh Mufid refer to Silsilah Mo’allifat al-Shaykh al-Mufid, Hayat al-Shaykh al-Mufid, ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Tabatabaie, p. 149.

[48] Refer to: Ibn Jawzi, al-Muntazam, vol. 14 p. 372, the events of the year 384 AH.

[49] Refer to: Ibn Jawzi, al-Muntazam, vol. 15, p. 185, the events of the year 418 AH; Ibn Athir, Al-Kamil, vol. 9, p. 362, the events of the year 418 AH; Muhammad Taqi Shoushtari, Qamous al-Rijal, vol. 3, p. 496 – 498.

[50] Refer to: Mirza ‘Abdullah Afandi Isfahani, Riyad al-‘Ulama, vol. 3, p. 386 – 388.

[51] Refer to: Baghdadi, Tarikh-i Baghdad (The History of Baghdad), vol. 9. P. 121.

[52] Najashi, al-Rijal, p. 186; and also refer to: Muhammad Taqi Shoushtari, Qamous al-Rijal, vol. 5, p. 350 – 352.

[53] Refer to: Mirza ‘Abdullah Afandi Isfahani, Riyad al-‘Ulama, vol. 2, p. 148 – 150; and Najashi, al-Rijal, p. 68.

[54] Refer to:  Najashi, al-Rijal, p. 85; Muhammad Taqi Shoushtari, Qamous al-Rijal, vol. 3, p. 496 – 496; and Mirza ‘Abdullah Afandi Isfahani, Riyad al-‘Ulama, vol. 1, p. 63 – 64. 

[55] Mohsen Amin, A’yan al-Shi’ah, vol. 7, p. 170 – 171; and Muhammad ibn Soleiman Tonikaboni, Tadhkirat al-‘Ulama, p. 94.

[56] Mohsen Amin, A’yan al-Shi’ah, vol. 7, p. 296.

[57] Hasan Amin, Mustadrakat A’yan al-Shi’ah, vol. 4, p. 242.

[58] In ordr to get acquainted with his teachers and student refer to: Rasa’il al-Sharif al-Murtada, vol. 1, p. 27 – 29; ‘Abd al-Razzaq Muhy al-Din, Sayyid Murtada’s Literary Character, translated by Jawad Muhaddithi, p. 89 – 93; Muhammad Baqir Khwansari, Rawzat al-Janat, vol. 4, p. 299 – 300; and Muhammad Ali Mudarris Tabrizi, Rayhanat al-Adab, vol. 4, p. 185.

[59] Najashi, al-Rijal, p. 270.

[60] Shaykh Tusi, Rijal al-Tousi, p. 434.

[61] ‘Allama Hilli, Khulasat al-Aqwal fi Ma’rifat al-Rijal, p. 179.

[62] Tha’labi, Yatimat al-Dahr, vol. 5, p. 69 – 72.

[63] Ibn Kathir, al-Bidayah wa al-Nahayah, vol.

[64] In order to get acquainted with the views of the above mentioned scholars concerning Sayyid Murtada’s scientific status refer to: Ali Davani, Some Articles Concerning Nahj al-Balaghah and its Compiler, p. 30 – 34.

[65] Refer to: Muhammad Ali Mudarris Tabrizi, Rayhanat al-Adab, vol. 4, p. 184; and also refer to: Mirza ‘Abdullah Afandi Isfahani, Riyad al-‘Ulama, vol. 4, p. 20. ‘Allameh Amini considered him as the head of the Fiqh, establisher of Usul-i Fiqh, genius in poetry and hadith narration, proficient in debating, pioneer in the field of morphology and other fields of the Arabic language, an authority in interpretation of the Qur’an, and proficient in theology. (Al-Ghadir, vol. 4, p. 297). Lots of other scholars as well have acknowledged his comprehensiveness. (Refer to: Yaqut Hamavi, Moa’jam al-Odaba, vol. 13, p. 147; and Muhammad Baqir Musawi Khansari, Rawzat al-Jannat, vol. 4, p. 295).   

[66] The other two individuals are: Hasan ibn Ali ‘Aqil ‘Ummani and Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Junaid (Refer to: Muhammad Baqir Musawi Khansari, Rawzat al-Jannat, vol. 2, p. 259 and the biography of Hasan ibn Ali). 

[67] ‘Abd al-Razzaq Muhy al-Din, Sayyid Murtada’s Literary Character, translated by Jawad Muhaddithi, p. 33.

[68] Rasa’il al-Sharif al-Murtada, vol. 1, p. 210.

[69] Ibn Jawzi, al-Muntazam, vol. 15, p. 294.

[70] Muhammad Ali Mudarris Tabrizi, Rayhanat al-Adab, vol. 4, p. 303.

[71] Ibid, p. 300.

[72] Ibid, p. 303.

[73] As an example of the debates among them, it has been reported that Abu al-‘Ala argued for the eternity of the world while Sayyid argued for its contingency (refer to: Tabarsi, al-Ihtijaj, vol. 1, p. 502 – 506; and Mirza ‘Abdullah Afandi Isfahani, Riyad al-‘Ulama, vol. 4, p. 24 – 26).

[74] ‘Abd al-Razzaq Muhy al-Din, Sayyid Murtada’s Literary Character, translated by Jawad Muhaddithi, p. 94.

[75] For instance, Sharh Jomal al-‘Ilm wa al-‘Amal, written by Ibn Barraj Terablousi; Tatimmat al-Molakhkhas, written by Sallar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz; and Talkhis al-Shafi, Written by Shaykh Tusi. 

[76] For instance, Naqd al-Shafi, written by Abu al-Husayn Basri.

[77] Refer to: Mirza ‘Abdullah Afandi Isfahani, Riyad al-‘Ulama, vol. 2, p. 441; and Mohsen Amin, A’yan al-Shi’ah, vol. 9, p. 171 – 172.

[78] Refer to: ‘Abd al-Razzaq Muhy al-Din, Sayyid Murtada’s Literary Character, translated by Jawad Muhaddithi, p. 94 – 95; Sayyid Murtada, al-Dhari’ah ila Usul al-Shari’ah, Introduction, p. 4.

[79] Refer to: Muhammad Baqir Musawi Khansari, Rawzat al-Jannat, vol. 4, p. 300; ‘Abd al-Razzaq Muhy al-Din, Sayyid Murtada’s Literary Character, translated by Jawad Muhaddithi, p. 95 – 96; Sayyid Murtada, al-Dhari’ah ila Usul al-Shari’ah, p. 4.

[80] Mirza ‘Abdullah Afandi Isfahani, Riyad al-‘Ulama, vol. 4, p. 34 – 38.

[81] Sayyid Murtada in his book, Al-Mollakhkhas, has referred to his criticism on Yahya ibn ‘Uday Nasrani’s article titled as Al-Kalam fi Tabi’at al-Momkin (refer to: p. 129). This is probably the same book to which the translators of Sayyid’s biography, including Najashi, have referred.

[82] Hasan Amin, Mustadrakat A’yan al-Shi’ah, vol. 5, p. 295.

[83] Najashi, al-Rijal, p. 399.

[84] Shaykh Tusi, al-Fihrist, p. 239.

[85] Ibn Shahr Ashub, Mo’allim al-‘Ulama, p. 113.

[86] Refer to: Aqa Bozorg Tehrani, al-Dhari’ah, vol. 16, p. 244 -245;  Silsilah Mu’allifat al-Shaykh al-Mufid, Hayat al-Shaykh al-Mufid, ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Tabatabaie, p. 112 – 113.

[87] Aqa Bozorg Tehrani, al-Dhari’ah, vol. 5, p. 176 – 177.

[88] Muhammad Baqir Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 17, p. 122 – 129.

[89] Aqa Bozorg Tehrani, al-Dhari’ah, vol. 20, p. 154 -155.

[90] Ibn Khalakan, Wafiyyat al-A’yan, vol. 3, p. 313.

[91] Dhahabi, Mizan al-I’tidal, vol. 3, p. 122.

[92] Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalani, Lisan al-Mizan, vol. 4, p. 223.

[93] Ibn al-‘Imad al-Hanbali, Shadharat al-Dhahab, series 3 – 4, vol. 3, p. 257.

[94] Refer to the book Some Articles Concerning Nahj al-Balaghah and its Compiler, published by The Institute of Nahj al-Balagha.

[95] Ahmad Amin, Zahr al-Islam, vol. 1, p. 122 – 123.

[96] It is the custody of all the individuals whose lineage goes back to his majesty Abu Talib, Imam Ali’s father.

[97] The justice bureau dealt with the disputes and judged between the two parties of disputes.

[98] Ibn Jawzi, al-Muntazam, vol. 15, p. 111, the events of the year 406 AH.

[99] Mirza ‘Abdullah Afandi Isfahani, Riyad al-‘Ulama, vol. 4, p. 30; Muhammad Baqir Musawi Khansari, Rawzat al-Jannat, vol. 4, p. 305 – 306.

[100] Mirza ‘Abdullah Afandi Isfahani, Riyad al-‘Ulama, vol. 4, p. 30; Muhammad Baqir Musawi Khansari, Rawzat al-Jannat, vol. 4, p. 296; Shaykh Yusuf Bahrani, Lu’lu’ al-Bahrain, p. 317.

[101] Muhammad Baqir Musawi Khansari, Rawzat al-Jannat, vol. 4, p. 296.

[102] Ibn Jawzi, al-Muntazam, vol. 4, p. 15, the events of the year 389 AH; Muhammad Baqir Musawi Khansari, Rawzat al-Jannat, vol. 4, p. 296, quoting from Ithaf al-Wari bi Akhbar Umm al-Qura, written by Abulqasim al-Fahad al-Hashimi, the events of the year 389 AH; also refer to ; Shaykh Yusuf Bahrani, Lu’lu’ al-Bahrain, p. 317, quoting from, Ithaf al-Wari.

[103] For instance, granting the title of Dhu al-Majdain to him in 379 AH by Baha’ al-Dawla, refer to Ibn Jawzi, al-Muntazam, vol. 15, p. 54, the events of the year 397 AH.

[104] When the Abbasid caliphs got alarmed of the expansion of the Fatemide’s power, they appealed to the current outstanding characters and asked them to sign a letter which showed the wrongness of the Fatemide’s lineage; among the ‘Alavides who signed the letter, one can find Sayyid Murtada and Sayyid Razi. Refer to Ibn Jawzi, al-Muntazam, vol. 15, p. 82, the events of the year 402 AH; Ibn Athir, al-Kamil, vol. 9, p. 236, the events of the year 402 AH.

[105] When Qadir died and al-Qa’im bi Allah came to power in 422, Sayyid Murtada was the first one to oath for allegiance with him; he also composed a piece of poem in praise of him. Ibn Jawzi, al-Muntazam, vol. 15, p. 217, the events of the year 422 AH; Ibn Athir, al-Kamil, vol. 9, p. 417, the events of the year 422 AH. 

[106] Refer to: Ibn Jawzi, al-Muntazam, vol. 15, p. 217, the events of the year 422 AH;

[107] For instance, when the army rose against Jalal al-Dawla and forced him out of his court, he went to Karkh to Sayyid Murtada’s house and arrived from the Jamil Gate (refer to: Ibn Athir, al-Kamil, vol. 9, p. 431, the events of the year 424 AH, and p. 446, the events of the year 427 AH). 

[108] The rioters attacked Sayyid’s house for three times in the years 416, 422 and 426, the most important of which was the first time (Refer to: Ibn Jawzi, al-Muntazam, vol. 15, p.171).

[109] Refer to: Tabarsi, al-Ihtijaj, vol. 2, p. 502 – 506.

[110] Baghdadi, Tarikh-i Baghdad, vol. 11, p. 403; Ibn ‘Inabih, ‘Umdat al-Talib, p. 235; Sayyid Ali Khan Shirazi, al-Darajat al-Rafi’ah, p. 463; Muhammad Baqir Mousawi Khowansari, Rawzat al-Jannat, vol. 4, p. 297;  Muhammad Ali Mudarris Tabrizi, Rayhanat al-Adab, vol. 4, p. 189 – 190; ‘Abd al-Razzaq Muhy al-Din, Sayyid Murtada’s Literary Character, translated by Jawad Muhaddithi, p. 60 – 63. In the latter work, the evidences of the transmission of his body to Karbala have been presented.