The Leading Shia Ulama of Fourth Century Hijrah
Ali b. Babawayh Qummi
He died in 329 AH., and was buried in Qum. His son, the famous Shaikh Sadooq is buried in the city of Ray. What must be noted is that while the son is famous as Muhaddith (Traditionist), the father is a renowned Faqih, and a man of Fatwa.
Sometimes, reference is made to both of them as Sadooqain meaning two Sadooqs.
Another great jurist, who was the contemporary of Ali b. Babawayh Qummi, or perhaps a bit senior, is Ayyashi Samarkandi. Though he is better known for his Tafseer, he was a man of diverse capabilities, having made an appreciable contribution to fiqh. Ibn al-Nadeem in his al-Fihrist says that Ayyashi's works on Fiqh were well known in Khurasan. Unfortunately, we have no access to any of his books on Fiqh. It seems they have all perished.
Ayyashi was originally a Sunni who later converted to become a Shia. He was a rich man, having inherited considerable wealth from his father. But he invested all his wealth in collecting books, copying important manuscripts and in establishing colleges for training his students.
Shaikh Jaffer b. Qawlawayh
Some chroniclers have included Shaikh Jaffer b. Qawlawayh among the Fuqaha, considering him to have lived during the times of Ali b. Babawayh Qummi and GhaybateSughra. They have also mentioned him as a student of the well known Sa'd b. Abdullah Ashari. But this is an error, since Ibn Qawlawayh was the teacher of Shaikh Mufeed, and his death occurred in either 367 or 368 AH. As such, he cannot be counted as a contemporary of Ali b. Babawayh, nor among the Ulama of GhaybateSughra. The fact is that it was his father Muhammad b. Qawlawayh who lived during Ghaybat-e-Sughra.
Ibn Abi Aqeel Ummani
This Umman is on the coast of Yemen, and therefore he was also known as Yemeni. He lived during Ghaybat-e-Kubra, (major occultation) but the date of his death is not known.
Bahrul Uloom mentions him as the teacher of Jafar b. Qawlawayh who in turn taught Shaikh Mufeed. This makes it abundantly clear that Jafar b. Qawlawayh was not a contemporary of Ali b. Babawayh as claimed by some. Ibn Abi Aqeel is still quoted in Fiqh by research scholars.
Ibn Junaid Askafi
He died in 381 AH, was also Shaikh Mufeed's tutor. He authored nearly fifty books, and his opinions as a Jurist are still considered and discussed by the Fuqaha. In fact, he and the above mentioned Ibn Abi Aqeel are often referred to as "Al Qadeemain", "the two old and senior ones".
His name was Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Noman. He was a theologian as well as a Faqih. Ibn alNadeem in his al-Fihrist calls him 'Ibn alMuallim', and eulogizes him as a great theologian (master of Ilmul Kalam). Born in 334 AH., he died in 413 AH. His famous work on Fiqh is known as 'Muqni'ah' which still exists. Shaikh Mufeed is one of the most brilliant scholars of Islam.
Abu Yala Ja'feri, the son-in-law of Shaikh Mufeed, says: "Mufeed slept very little during the nights, devoting most of his time to prayers, studies, teaching or reciting the Holy Quran " .
Shaikh Mufeed is a student of Ibn Abi Aqeel's student.
Seyyid Murtadha Alamul Huda
He born in 355 AH, died in 436 AH. Allama Hilli calls him "the great teacher of Imamiyya Shia". He was a man of versatility, with a keen taste and talent for literature, theology as well as Fiqh. His verdicts and opinions are taken into account even today. Among his famous works on Fiqh are 'Iintisar', and 'Jamalul Ilmi Wal Amal'. Seyyid Radhi, the compiler of Nahjul Balaghah was his brother, and they both studied from Shaikh Mufeed.