'Abd 'Ali b. Jumu'a al-Huwayzi

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’Abd 'Alī b. Jumu'a al-Ḥuwayzī (Arabic: عبدعلی بن جمعة الحویزی), known as al-'Arūsī al-Ḥuwayzī (Arabic: العروسی الحویزی), was a Shiite scholar of hadith and an exegete of the Quran. Sayyid Ni'mat Allah al-Jaza'iri and Shaykh Husayn Dihdashti were his students. His best-known work is Tafsir Nur al-Thaqalayn.

Life

There is no exact information about al-Huwayzi’s year of birth. According to his own report, he was born in Hoveyzeh in Khuzestan and was from the 'Arusi tribe. There is no historiographical information about the 'Arusi tribe, however. Al-Huwayzi lived in Shiraz.

He was a student of 'Ali Naqi Farahani Shirazi who held the position of judgeship in Fars for years, and received a permission to transmit hadiths from him. Sayyid Ni'mat Allah al-Jaza'iri and Shaykh Husayn Dihdashti were his students.

There is a disagreement about the date of al-Huwayzi’s death. According to most sources, he died in 1112/1700, but some others believe that it is a confusion with the date in which his student, Sayyid Ni'mat Allah al-Jaza'iri, died. It can only be said that al-Huwayzi was alive in 1073/1662, since he wrote an endorsement for his exegesis of the Quran in this year. Others said that he died in 1053/1643 which is a mistake.

A Shiite Muhaddith

According to some evidence, al-Huwayzi was a prominent muhaddith of his time. He believed that remarks mentioned in Shiite sources as “qil” (i.e. it is said) should be acted upon, because they were remarks by Imam al-Mahdi (a) imported into Shiite texts in order to protect the Shi'as.

Writings

The closest source to al-Huwayzi’s time is Amal al-amil by al-Hurr al-'Amili (d. 1104/1692) who was contemporary with al-Huwayzi. He considers 'Abd 'Ali b. Jumu'a as a faqih (jurisprudent) and mentions two of his works: Nur al-Thaqalayn fi tafsir al-Qur'an in 4 volumes, and Sharh lamiyya al-'ajam which is a commentary on poems composed by Husayn b. 'Ali al-Tughra'i (d. 515/1121). He goes on to praise al-Huwayzi’s exegesis of the Quran, saying that he wrote a manuscript of the book for himself. Al-Hurr al-'Amili referred to another work by al-Huwayzi, Sharh shawahid al-mughni. Some people take the book to be written by his contemporary scholar and namesake, 'Abd 'Ali b. Nasir al-Huwayzi, but others take al-Hurr al-'Amili’s remarks to be more reliable since he was contemporary with al-Huwayzi.

Tafsir Nur al-Thaqalayn

Nur al-Thaqalayn is a Hadith-Based Exegesis of the Quran in Arabic written by al-Huwayzi. It contains 13,422 hadiths. The work is called “Nur al-Thaqalayn” (light of the two weights), because it contains Quranic verses (the so-called “al-thiql al-akbar”, i.e. the greater weight) and hadiths (the so-called “al-thiql al-asghar”, i.e. the smaller weight), inspired by Hadith al-Thaqalayn which is accepted by all Muslims.