Biography of Shaikh Sadouq
Publish Date: 5/6/2016 Code: 50692

Biography of Shaikh Sadouq

The 15th of the Iranian month of Ordibehesht is commemorated every year as Sheikh Saduq Day in the Islamic Republic of Iran in honour of the great Islamic theologian and jurisprudent who flourished over a thousand years ago, and whose books are still taught at seminaries in the Islamic World.


Named Mohammad, he was the son of the famous jurisprudent Ali bin Hussain bin Musa bin Babawayh. Born in the holy city of Qom in 306 AH during the minor occultation of the Lord of the Age, Imam Mahdi (God hasten his reappearance), he grew up into one of the most truthful scholars of the age, earning the title Saduq .

Sheikh Saduq  used to say: "I was born due to the prayer of Imam Mahdi (AS). He grew up in the laps of virtue; his father used to feed him with the knowledge, shower him with the abundance of his knowledge and moralities, and circulate on him the lights of his purity, God-fearing, piety, and ascetics. All these contributed in the scholastic perfection and growth of Sheikh Saduq  who lived under the wing of his father for more than twenty years during which he drank these sciences and took from the great flow of his father’s information, moralities, and conducts.

In addition, he grew up in the city of Qom which was swarming with the scholars and narrators of hadith, whose sessions and lectures he used to frequently attend. Soon Sheikh Saduq  became a great scholar because of his instinctive sign of retaining and intelligence. He exceeded his companions in fields of virtue and knowledge and became such an unparalleled person.

Furthermore, the political circumstances of that period played a significant role in crystallizing the personality of Sheikh Saduq  who lived in the reign of the Buwaihid dynasty of Iran-Iraq, the Fatemids of Egypt and Northern Africa, and the Hamdanids of Northern Iraq and Syria – all three of whom were followers of the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny).

Not only was the intention of Sheikh Saduq  to suffice with receiving knowledge from the master scholars of his town, but also it rose higher to encourage him to travel and emigrate far away from his hometown for seeking studies and knowledge. In the beginning, he traveled to the city of Rayy – today a southern suburb of modern Tehran – where met the scholars of that city. That was in 347 AH. He then traveled to Khorasan for the pilgrimage to the holy shrine of the Prophet's 8th Infallible Successor, Imam Reza (AS).

Years later in 367 AH, he made his second journey to Mashhad and the next year passed by the cities of Istrabad and Jurjan where he attended the lectures of Sheikh Abu al-Hasan Mohammad bin Qasim Istrabadi—the famous exegete of the Holy Qur'an). On his return journey he passed through the city of Naishapur and resided there for a period. Earlier, during the years 352 to 355 AH, Sheikh Saduq  was in Baghdad where he acquired knowledge from the leading scholars of Iraq.

In 354 A.H., Sheikh Saduq  had the honor of performing the Hajj pilgrimage to the Holy Kaba in Mecca. He also traveled to many cities of Central Asia such as Balkh, Samarqand, Faraghana and others. He was a prolific writer and wrote encyclopedic works. The famous bibliographer, an-Nejashi says he wrote around three hundred treatises and books.

Because of the many journeys that Sheikh Saduq  made to various lands for the purpose of seeking knowledge, he could read, listen, deliver lectures, and gain the license of many scholars and masters of the countries that he passed by in the various fields of knowledge.

A look at his numerous books, such as al-Amali, Man La Yahdhuruh ul-Faqih, At-Tawhid, and many others, proves that he cited from both the Shi'a and Sunni master scholars of authentic hadith. Sheikh Saduq  dealt with a great variety of arts and sciences.

Unfortunately, most of these books were lost. He died in 381 AH. He was more than seventy years old. He was buried in the city of Rayy. In 1238 AH, Fath Ali Shah the Qajar reconstructed that holy shrine after the spread of the news of the good charismata that had been seen there.