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A Tribute to Sheikh Al-Tusi

By: Yasin T. Al-Jibouri
Shaikh al-Tusi, Abu Jafar Muhammed ibn al-Hassan (385 -460 A.H./995 -1068 A.D.), is one of the greatest literary figures in Islamic history, a scholar the scope of whose knowledge encompassed Islamic history, fiqh and hadith. He is called Tusi after his birthplace, the city of Tus, Khurasan, Iran. After Tusis demise, Tus expanded in area, gradually becoming a center of knowledge and culture especially after Imam Ali ibn Musa al-Ridha1 had resided in it. The Imams presence attracted scholars and seekers of knowledge from all the corner of the then Islamic world.
Sheikh al-Tusi was taught by the greatest scholars of his time who included Sheikh al-Mufid, Sayyid al-Sahreef al-Murtadha, brother of al-Shareef al-Radi, compiler of Nahjul-Balagha, who kept company with Sheikh al-Tusi for twenty-eight years, directing and helping the growth of his academic talents, so much so that Sheikh al-Tusi became a candidate for leading the nation after the demise of his mentor, and this is exactly what took place.
Students and seekers of knowledge went in hordes to the residence of Sheikh al-Tusi in order to learn from him, so his house in Baghdad embraced seekers of knowledge whose number was estimated to be no less than three hundred renown mujtahids from among the Shia faith in addition to countless Sunnis who attracted them with his own method and convincing style, presenting his evidence and treating everyone with the most lofty of Islamic ethical standards.
The former rector of al-Azhar, the revered Shaikh Abdul-Majeed Saleem, has been quoted as saying that he very much admired Shiite fiqh after someone had given him a copy of the book titled Al-Mabsoot by Sheikh al-Tusi as a gift. He liked the book so much that he made statements saying that he reviewed this book prior to issuing any fatwa, binding religious edict; so, whenever he found in this book what convinced him that it was the best viewpoint, he adopted it without any hesitation, an open-mindedness which has now become so rare
Al-Qaim bi Amrillah was the ruler of his time. Recognizing the distinction of Sheikh al-Tusi, he ordered a special chair to be designed and made for the scholar, a chair which came to be known as that of scholarship and tutorship, one of its kind at the time. Sheikh al-Tusi, therefore, used to sit on that chair and deliver his sermons and speeches. This went on till the year 447 A.H./1055 A.D. when the flames of sectarianism swept Baghdad brought by Turkish Saljukes who burnt the Sheikhs house, library and chair. The Sheikhs library was known as the Shah-pur Library which is described by the great historian Yaqut al-Hamawi as the greatest in the entire Islamic world.
The Turks schemed to get the two main branches of Islam, the Shii and the Sunni, to be at each others throats. This forced Sheikh al-Tusi to migrate to the city that houses the Shrine of the Commander of the Faithful Ali , namely al-Najaf al-Ashraf, Iraq, where he established a great university, turning this city into a capital for knowledge and a center for scholars, one which has ever since been attracting men of virtue and seekers of knowledge. Thousands of senior faqihs, jurists, speakers, virtuous exegetes and historians have graduated from it and will always continue to do so, Insha-Allah.
After his death, the grave of Sheikh al-Tusi turned into a lofty school for disseminating Islamic knowledge and a center for the scholarly hawza, theological seminary, and for its most prominent religious authorities.
The sectarian fire sparked by the Turks in Iraq in 447 A.H./1055 A.D. consumed most, if not all, the treasure of knowledge which Sheikh al-Tusi had spent years researching and compiling. Despite that, the following list has been compiled from various sources, and it introduces us to a drop in the bucket of what Sheikh al-Tusi had written:
1) Al-Abwab: a book about narrators of hadith.
١ ( ).
2) Ikhtiyar Marifat al-Rijal, a critique of the famous work Rijal al-Kashi.
٢ ( ).
3) Al-Istibsar: Two Volumes about rituals and a third in the rest of aspects of fiqh.
٣ ʡ .
4) Al-Al-Amali fil Hadith (also called Majalis): one of his most famous works.
٤ ˡ ( ).
5) Al-Tibyan fi Tafsir al-Quran: a book of exegesis.
٥ - .
6) Talkhis Al-Shafi: a summary of the book titled Al-Shafi by al-Shareef al-Murtadha, and it deals with the subject of imamate.
٦ ɡ ( ).
7) Tamhid al-Usul: an explanation of the book titled Jumal al-Ilm wal Amal by al-Murtadha.
٧ ( ).
8) Tahthib al-Ahkam: Ten Volumes and one of four books used as references for deriving rulings relevant to the Sharia, the Islamic legislative system.
٨ ʪ ʡ .
9) Al-Jumal wal Uqud: a book in rituals which he wrote after being requested by the judge of Tripoli of the time to do so.
٩ ʡ .
10) Al-Khilaf: a book in two volumes that deals with the ahkam, religious rulings, in which he debates those who dispute with his School of Thought.
٠١ . .
11) Riyadat al-Uqul: an explanation of his own book titled Muqaddima fi Ilm al-Usul (Introduction in the Science of Principles)
١١ ( ).
12) Al-Udda: deals with the principles of the creed and of those of fiqh.
٢١ .
13) Al-Ghaiba: deals with the occultation of Imam al-Mahdi (may Allah Almighty hasten his ease).
٣١ ( ﷲ ).
14) Al-Fihrist: a bibliography of major books and authors who wrote in the science of usul, principles of the Islamic faith.
٤١ ݪ .
15) Ma Yuallal wama la Yuallal (what can be explained and what cannot): a book in the science of logic.
٥١ .
16) Al-Mabsoot (refer to the text above): one of the most prestigious books of fiqh; it contains seventy chapters.
٦١ . .
17) Misbah al-Mutahajjid: a book of recommended acts of the Sunnah, one of the greatest books of supplications and acts of worship
٧١ - ɡ ʪ
18) Al-Mufsih: deals with the subject of Imamate, and it is one of the important sources in this topic.
٨١ ɡ .
19) Maqtal al-Imam al-Hussain Alaihis-Salam: a narrative of the epic of heroism of Imam al-Hussains martyrdom.
٩١ .
20) Al-Mustajad minal Irshad: deals with the five principles of the creed.
٠٢ .
21) Manasik al-Hajj: deals with pilgrimage-related rituals.
١٢ .
22) Al-Nihaya: a book about fiqh and issuing fatwas, edicts and contains 22 parts and 214 chapters
٢٢ .. ٢٢ ٤١٢ .
23) Hidayat al-Mustarshid wa Basirat al-Mutaabbid: a book of supplications and acts of adoration
٣٢ .
From this list of precious books, we have selected these few works for the reader only because they are available at libraries, providing you with their place of publication; unfortunately, the name of publisher or press house is omitted from existing editions:
Kitab al-Ghaiba, Al-Najaf al-Ashraf, Iraq.
Misbah al-Mutahajjid, Qum, Iran.
Al-Tibyan, Al-Najaf al-Ashraf, Iraq.
Al-Amali, Al-Najaf al-Ashraf, Iraq, 1384 A.H./1964 A.D. (Iran, 1313 A.H./1895 A.D.).
Al-Fihrist, Al-Najaf al-Ashraf, Iraq.
1. Imam Ali ibn Musa al-Al-Ridha is the eighth in the series of Infallible Imams. He was born in the holy city of Medina on the eleventh of Thul-Qada, 148 A.H./765 A.D. and was given the titled Al-Ridha" which means that Allah Almighty and His Holy Messenger are pleased with him. The Imam is also considered as the Greatest Learned and Erudite) of the Holy Ahlul Bayt.
Al-Mamun (ruled from 198 218 A.H./813 833 A.D.) (younger son of caliph Harun al-Rashid who ruled from 170 193 A.H./786 809 A.D.), the then Abbasid caliph, appointed him as his crown prince but later poisoned him in Sanabad, Tus, in the Iranian region of Khurasan on the last day of the month of Safar 203 A.H./August 818 A.D. where he was buried. After the burial of Imam al-Ridha a in this place, Sanabad was soon transformed into a metropolis. The holy shrine of Imam al-Ridha in the holy city of Mashhad is also one of the most extensively visited pilgrimage centers in the world: Annually, more than 25 million pilgrims and lovers of Holy Ahl al-Bayt from all parts of the world visit it.
Alhamdu-Lillah, I translated a book about this great Imam which the late Sheikh Muhammed-Jawad Fadlallah, the famous Lebanese scholar, had written, and you can review my translation Online by clicking on this Link: https://www.al-islam.org/imam-ar-ridha-a-historical-and-biographical-res...

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