The great scholar Muhaqqiq al-Hilli
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On 18th of the Islamic month of Rabi as-Sani in 602 AH, the great scholar Najmoddin Abu’l-Qasem Ja'far bin al-Hassan, famous as Muhaqqiq al-Hilli, was born in the city of city of Hilla in Iraq. His legal manual titled “Shara'i al-Islam”, is regarded as a masterpiece of theology and more than thirty commentaries have been written by scholars upon it.
When the great Iranian scholar and statesman Khwaja Naseeroddin Tousi visited Hilla as the representative of Hulagu Khan, he addressed Muhaqqiq Hilli as the representative of the city's scholarly elite. Among Muhaqqiq's most important students was his nephew, the celebrated Allamah Hilli.
Another important work of his is “Ma'arij al-Usoul” on jurisprudential methodology. In it, he stresses the centrality of the mujtahid during the time of the Occultation of the 12th Imam, in deriving a proper understanding of the Shari'ah from the holy Qur'an, Hadith and statements of the Twelve Infallible Successors of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). Before him, it was the authority of the Hadith and not of the Mujtahid that was obeyed. His other books include “an-Naafe’. He passed away in 676 AH at the age of 74.