Shi'ite Authors On Ethics and Morals
The first among the Shi'ite to write on this subject was Amir-ul-Mu'minin Imam Ali bin Abi Talib(A.S.). His letter to Malek al-Ashtar describes in detail what a ruler has to do and what rules of conduct he should follow. This is an unparalleled piece of writing. Every ruler who desire to know real political theory and loves justice should commit the contents of this letter to his memory and act in accordance with them. Then, his will to his Muhammad bin al-Hanafiyyah is another comprehensive piece of writing in this field. This has been mentioned by Najashi who got this data from Asbagh bin Nabatah. An-Najashi has also given the name of authorities.
Similarly his very lengthy will to his son Imam Hasan(A.S.) is of the same type. He wrote this will in the presence of the audience after he returned from Siffin. It is said about this will that, had there been any piece of wisdom that deserved to be written in gold, would be this will. It is included in Nahj-ul-Balaghah. In addition to these two pieces, there are the contents of Nahj-ul-Balaghah which have been collected by Sharif Ar-Radi and those of Ghurar-ul-Hikam Wa Durur-il-Kilam, compiled by Al-Aamidi, that bear on this subject.
There are sermons, speeches, wills and letters which are rich and sufficient (on morals etc.). This book shone like the shining of the sun and led the people to itself through its qualities, so much so that it is said to be the superior most piece as compared to the creations of human being except that of the Prophet.
Among other writings in this field is Risalat al-Huquq by Imam Zainul Abidin(A.S.), which has been mentioned alongwith its authorities in some of the Shi'ite books on Ethics and Morals which are found in print. Some of the contemporary scholars have abridged it and it has repeatedly been published in its abridged form.
All the Shi'ite books of the Tradition contain a special chapter on Ethics and Morals which is quite comprehensive.
From among our scholars, the first one to prepare a book on this subject was Isma'il bin Mahran bin Nasr Sukuni. An-Najashi has mentioned a book of his on this subject titled Sifat-ul-Mu'min-i-Wal-Fajir. He died towards the end of the second century. The other writers in this field are:
1. Al-Hasan bin Shu'bah al-Harrani is the writer of Tuhuf-ul'Uqul containing everything reported from the Ahl-Al-Bait bearing upon morals, manners etc. Such a book has never been compiled. He died during the third century.
2. Muhammad bin Mas'ud al-'Ayyashi isthe author of Huquq ul--Ikhwan, Mahasin-Akhlaq, 'Ishrat-un-Nisa' and Sani'ul Ma'ruf. He died during the third century.
3. Muhammad bin Umar al-Waqidi is a well-known historian.
Ibn-un-Nadim says that he was a Shi'ite. He wrote Kitab-ul-Adab. He died in 207 A.H.
4. Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Khalid al-Barqui wrote Adab un-Nafs, Aadab-ul-Mu'asharah, Makarim-ul-Akhlaq, Makarim-ul-A'mal, Madhamm-ul-Akhlaq, Madhamm-ul-A'mal, At-Tarahum Wat Ta'atuf and Az-Zuhf and Az-Zuhd Wal Mawa'iz. All these have been mentioned by Ash-Shaikh in his Al-Fahrist. An-Najashi has also mentioned them on the authority of Ibn Battah. Al-Barqui died in 274 A.H.
5. Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Tabataba al-Alawi al-Husaini.
According to Ma'ahid-ut-Tansis, he wrote a book on this subject, titled as Tahdhib-ut-Taba' which he referred to in his own book Nismat-us-Sehr Fiman Tashayya'a Wash Sha'ar.
He died in 322A.H.
6. Ali bin Muhammad Adawi Shamshati wrote a book titled An-Nazah Wal Ibtihaj.
7. Abdul Aziz bin Yahya al-Jaludi
According to Najashi, he wrote Kitab-uz-Zuhd, Kitab-ul-Mawa'iz and Kitab-ul-Adab which he reported from Imam Ali Bin Abi Talib (A.S.)
He died after 330 A.H.
8. Abu Muhammad al-Hasan bin Abdullah (or 'Ubaidullah) bin Sa'id Al-'Askari wrote Kitab-uz-Zawajir Wal Mawa'iz.
His death occurred in 382 or 383 or 387 A.H.
9. Ahmad bin Maskawaih wrote the following books in this field: (i) Adab-us-Saghir, (ii) Adab-ul-Kabir, (iii) Tahdhib ul-Akhlaq Wa Tathir-il-A'raq etc.
He died in 421 A.H.
10. Al-Hasan bin al-Fadl bin al-Hasan Tabrisi is the author of the well-known exegesis of the Holy Qur'an titled Majma'ul Bahrain. In the field of Ethics, he wrote Makarim-ul-Akhlaq which has been printed in Egypt many times.
At-Tabrisi died in the sixth century.
11. Muhammad bin al-Hasan al-Fattal al-Farsi Naishapuri wrote Rawdat-ul-Wa'izin. His death occurred in the sixth century.
12. Shaikh Warram bin Abi Faras al-Hilli is the author of Tanbih-ul-Khawatir Wa Nazhatun Nawazir which is commonly known as Majmu'at-u-Warram and has been published many times. He died in 605 A.H.
13. Sayyid Ali bin Musa bin Ja'far bin Tawus al-Hasani wrote Kashful Mahajjah Li Thamrat-il-Mahjah which deals with Ethics. He died in 664 A.H.
14. Khawaja Nasir-ud-Din Muhammad bin Muhammad bin al-Hasan Tusi wrote Akhlaq-un-Nasiriyyah. He died in 672 A.H.
15. Ahmad bin Fahd al-Hilli wrote 'Iddat-ud-Da'i most of which is about Ethics and Morals.
He died in 841 A.H.
16. Jalal-ud-Din Muhammad bin As'ad Dawwani wrote Al-Akhlaq ul-Jalaliyyah.
He died in 908 A.H.
17. Husain bin Ali al-Wa'iz al-Kashiff. He is the author of Akhlaq-e-Muhsini.
He died in 910 A.H.
18.Sayyid Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Hasan bin al-Qasim al-Husaini al-'Aamili al-'Iinathi wrote Kitab Adab-un-Nafs and Kitab-ul-Ithna 'Ashariyyah Fil Mawa' izil 'Adadiyyah. These books have been published.He died during the eleventh century.
19. Muhammad Baqir bin Muhammad Taqi Isfahani.
The seventeenth volume of his book Bihar-ul-Anwar deals exclusively with Ethics and Morals.
He died in 1110 A.H.
20.Shaikh Mahdi bin Abi Dhar Naraqi wrote Jami'us Sadat which deals with Ethics and Morals and since been published.
He died in 1209 A.H.
21. Shaikh Ahmad bin Mahdi bin Abi Dhar Naraqi.
He wrote Mi'raj-us-Sa'adah in Persian which is a commentary and an explanation to his father's book Jami'us Sadat.
He died around 1244 A.H.
22. Mulla Husain Quli Hamadani is a well known figure of our age in the field of Ethics and Morals. He used to teach this subject and many distinguished students got their lessons in it from him.
He died in 1311 A.H.
23. Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin- the author of the present work wrote three books on this subject. They are (i) At-Tiryaq Fi Tathir-ul-Af'al, (ii) Tahdhib-ul-Akhlaq and (iii) Jawami-ul Mawa'iz.
He died in 1371 A.H.
Hasan al-Amin,Shorter Shi'ite Encyclopaedia