Shi'ite Books on 'Dirayatul Hadith'
The first person to begin in this field was Hakim Abu Abdullah Neishabouri who is known as Ibn-ul-Bai'a. We wrote a book titled Ma'rifat-u-Ulumil-Hadith. According to Kashfuz-Zunun, «the first person to initiate in this field was Hakim Abu Abdullah Neishabouri. He wrote Ma'rifat-u-'Ulum-il-Hadith which is in five volumes and contains fifty types of Traditions. He was followed by Ibn-us-Salah who has mentioned 65 types of Traditions.» The suthor of Kashfuz Zunun then writing about the Studies on Traditions (Ulum-ul-Hadith) mentions a book by Abi 'Amr Uthman bin Abdur Rahman known as Ibn-us-Salah Shahrzuri al-Hafiz Shafi'i Dimishqi who died in 643 A.H.
As-Suyuti has said in Tabrib-ur-Rawi, «Shaikh-ul-Islam has said that the first person to Terminology (that is the Terminology of the Traditions) was Qadi Abu Muhammad Ramhurmuzi but he did not go well into details. He was followed by Hakim Abu Abdullah Naishapuri in this field but he could not arrange it and give it a good form. These two were followed by Abu Na'im Isfahani. Shaikh-ul-Islam continued to say that then came Abu Amr Uthman bin As-Salah Shehrzuri who made refined it.»
As to Abu Na'im al-Fadl bin Dakkin, he was definitely a Shi'ite. As-Suyuti has himself said in Al-Awa'il that the first person to classify different types of the Traditions was Ibn-us-Salah in his well known Al-Mukhtasar. What he means is that Ibn-us-Salah was the first one to refine and arrange this branch of studies as has been mentioned in his quotation from Shaikh-ul-Islam, and not that he was the first person to begin. The pioneer in this field was Al-Hakim as been said by Shaikh-ul-Islam, and Al-Hakim was senior to Ibn-us-Salah by about 238 years. As-Sam'ani in Al-Ansab and adh-Dhahabi in Tadhkiratul Huffaz have testified that Al-Hakim was a Shi'ite. He died in 405 A.H.
Among the Shi'ite scholars who worked in this field was As-Sayyid Jamal-ud-Din Ahmad bin Musa bin Ja'far bin Tawas al-Husaini. His student Hasan bin Dawud al-Hilli has said about him in his Rijal that he did best in the fields of Rijal, Reporting of the Traditions and Exegesis (Tafsir) to which noting can be added. Jamal ud-Din Ahmad coined new terminology in the field of the Traditions and divided them according to the Shi'ite views into four types, which are:
i) As-Sahih (Correct and absolutely authentic);
ii) Al-Hasan (Good).
iii) Al-Mu'aththaq (The Reliable).
iv) Ad-Da'if (Weak).
In addition to these types, he further classified the Traditions not falling within the definition the definition of above-mentioned types as:
He died in 673 A.H.
Among other writers and authors in this field are the following:
1. Sayyid Ali bin Abdul Hamid al-Hasani.
He wrote Sharh-u-Dirayat-il-Hadith as it has already been
mentioned. He died during the eighth century.
2.Shahid-uth-Thani Shaikh Zain-ud-Din bin Ali al-
He was the first person who wrote in this field on the lines.He wrote a treatise titled Al-Bidayah Fi 'Ilm-id-Dirayah and added to it a comprehensive commentary which has since been published. He also wrote another treatise on this subject, titled Ghunyat-ul-Qasidin Fi Ma'rifat-i-Istilahat-ul-Muhad-dithin. He was martyred in 966 A.H.
3. Shaikh Husain bin Abdus Samad al-'Aamili al-Juba'i al-Harithi al-Hamadani.
He was a student of Ash-Shaikh-uth-Thani and the father of Ash-Shaikh Baha'i. He wrote a treatise on this subject and titled it as Wusul-ul-Akhyar Ila Usul-il-Akhbar. It is found in print. He died in 987 A.H.
4.Shaikh Hasan ibn Shahid-i-Thani.
In the preface to his book «Muntaqal Jaman Fil Ahadith-is-Sahih Wal Ihsan» he discussed the principle of Ilm-ul-Hadith. He died in 1031 A.H.
5.Shaikh Baha'-ud-Din 'Aamili.
He wrote a book named Al-Wajizah Fi 'Ilm-id-Dirayah but it is very brief. He died in 1031 A.H.
6.Shaikh Mulla Ali Kani Tehrani.
He dealt with Diraya in his book Tawdih-ul-Miqal. He died in 1063 A.H.
7. Sayyid Hasan Aal Sadr-ud-Din al-'Aamili al-Kazimi.
He wrote a very comprehensive commentary and explanation on Al-Wajizah of Ash-Shaikh Al-Baha'i. He was born in 1272 A.H. and died in 1354 A.H.
Hasan al-Amin,Shorter Shi'ite Encyclopaedia