Mulla Ali Ibn Isa Irbili
His full name is Abulhassan Ali, son of Isā, son of Abulfath Irbeli, an Islamic scholar of 7th century Hegira.
He was born in an erudite family. His father was the governor of the city of Irbel in northern Iraq.
His descendants were also intellectual people, thinkers, accomplished figures, literary men, and poets. Some of his descendants are indicated below:
Tājuddin Muhammad, famous for his collection of poems
His grandson, Isā son of Tājuddin Muhammad, who has been a literary figure like his father and grandfather
Another grandson, Sharafuddin Ahmad son of Muhammad, who has been an accomplished literary man. He has received an authorization from his grandfather to narrate his book entitled Kashf-ul-Ghummah. The text of this authorization is now available at the end of one of his manuscripts.
His Intellectual Status:
With regard to his intellectual standing, it will be sufficient to point out the valuable heritage he left behind for posterity, i.e. his book entitled Kashf-ul-Ghummah. The book evidences his mastery on the branches of Islamic science such as Hadith (Traditions), Seerah (the way of life of the holy prophet of Islam and his infallible descendants A.S.), the history of Islam, and Kalām (ideological basics of Islamic theology).
Many Shiite scholars have expressed nothing but praise for him. Even a prejudiced Sunnite scholar like Fazl ibne Rūzbehān, who has written a book on refutation of Allāmah Hillī, did not hesitate to eulogize Ali ibne Isā’s intellectuality in his saying: “Imāmiyyah (Shiites) unanimously agree that Ali Ibne Isā Irbeli is one of their greatest Ulamā (Islamic scholars) whose compilations and works will never be considered obsolete or outdated. He is trustworthy and reliable in his narrations.”
Also Sheikh Jamāluddin Ahmad ibne Tāwūs has composed a few couplets on Irbeli’s famous book, Kashf-ul-Ghummah:
“Let the writer of this book be complimented by saying: By Allah! How elegantly you have described the subject matter, as it deserves! No doubt, by writing this book you have made amply clear the excellent qualities of the Household of Allah’s Messenger, and pointed out the issues that unnerve the enemies of the holy Prophet of Islam (S.A.)!”
Sayyid ibne Tāwūs, the author of Iqbāl-ul-A’māl
Ali ibne Fakhkhār
Ibne Sā’ee Baghdadi
Abu Abdullah Ganji Shāfe’ī
Sheikh Rashiduddin Muhammad ibne Qāsim, the author of Al-Mustaghīthīn Billāh
Ali ibne Isā trained many students whose names are recorded in the charters he gave them to be able to narrate Hadith. His major pupils are listed as follows:
Sheikh Raziuddin, brother of Allāmah Hillī
Sheikh Tājuddin Muhammad, his son.
The erudite and deeply committed thinker, Ali ibne Isā Irbeli, has written books on many subjects, as exemplified below:
1) Kashf-ul-Ghummah Fi Ma’rifatil-A’immah (A.S.): a rare book of its kind; it discusses the religious principles with reference to Ismat [the infallibility of prophets and Imams], Wilāyat [guardianship of the holy prophet of Islam and rightful Imams after him], as well as proving the beliefs of Shiite school of thought (as the rightful sect), together with the relevant literary and historical discussions. The author completed this book in the year 687 Hegira. Owing to its value and importance, the successive Islamic scholars have translated this book under different titles so that Persian-speaker Muslims could familiarize themselves with the merits and lives of their religious leaders.
2) Al-Maqāmāt (spiritual stages)
3) A collection of his poems, many extracts of which appear in his other books, including Kashf-ul-Ghummah in particular
- And numerous other monographs (Risālah) on different topics.
Eventually, after a lifetime intellectual exertion for upholding the banner of Shiism, Ali ibne Isā Irbeli left this transient world in 693 Hegira to have a pleasing return to Allah, the Almighty. His pure body was buried within his house in Baghdad. His shrine became a place of pilgrimage for devotees and lovers of the Ahl-ul-Bayt (A.S.). His sacred tomb was kept intact for many centuries; however, in the 14th century Hegira it was unfortunately destroyed due to constructional changes in Baghdad city.