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'Abd Allah b. ja'far al-Himyari

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Companion of Imam (a)
'Abd Allah b. ja'far al-Himyari
Full Name 'Abd Allah b. ja'far al-Himyari
Place(s) of Residence Qom, Kufa
Professors Harun b. Muslim, Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Khalid al-Barqi, ...
Students 'Ali b. al-Husayn b. Babawayh, Ibn al-Junayd al-Iskafi, Abu Ghalib al-Zurari, ...
Works Qurb al-isnad

ʿAbd Allāh b. Jaʿfar al-Ḥimyarī (Arabic:عَبدالله بن جَعفَر الحِمیَری), a Shi'a scholar and scholar of Hadith of the third/ninth and the forth/tenth centuries, the author of the well-known book, Qurb al-isnad. He was alive during the imamate of Imam al-Hadi (a) and Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari, and during the Minor Occultation.


The date of birth or demise of al-Himyari is not known, but he was certainly alive during the imamate of Imam al-Hadi (a) and Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari, and during the Minor Occultation.

Al-Himyari was a prominent figure in Qom, who traveled to Kufa in the late third/ninth century; And the hadith scholars of Kufa heard many hadiths from him.

Al-Himyari had four children: Muhammad (a well-known figure who authored several works), Ahmad, Ja'far, and Husayn, all of whom had correspondences with the Twelfth Imam (a).

As a Hadith Transmitter

Al-Himyari had an important role in the transmission of written hadith collection of the hadith scholars of Qom. His name appears in the chains of transmission of the hadiths quoted by Shi'a hadith scholars from Kufa and other areas.

Some of the people from whom al-Himyari quoted hadiths were the following:

And the following hadith scholars quoted hadiths from al-Himyari:


Al-Himyari wrote different works which mostly included topics interesting to Muhaddiths of that period. One of the topics about which Shi'a Muhaddiths of that period wrote several books was the answers of Imams (a) to the questions of their companions about different issues in jurisprudence and theology and many of such cases are mentioned in the Four Books.

Correspondences about Jurisprudence and Theology

Abd Allah b. Ja'far al-Himyari collected some correspondences about jurisprudence and theology between Imams (a) and their companions and wrote some works with this topic. According to these reports, it seems that a great part of this book included questions from Imam al-Askari (a) in jurisprudence, al-Himyari sent to Imam (a) through Muhammad b. 'Uthman 'Amri, the second special deputy of Imam (a) and received answers from him. Abd Allah b. Ja'far al-Himyari wrote some works about imamate too. He wrote an important book with the title of al-Dala'il which was available until the seventh/thirteenth century and Baha' al-Din al-Irbili and Ibn Tawus quoted some parts of it. Ibn Tawus had a copy of that book transcribed by Ahmad b. Husayn b. al-Ghada'iri.


One of al-Himyari's works about the occultation was al-Ghayba. He also wrote another work on this topic, al-Najashi too mentioned it as al-Ghayba wa al-hayra. Perhaps, it was the one Tusi referred to as "al-Futratu wa al-hayra" quoting from Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. Butta al-Qummi.

Ibn Abi Zaynab, Ibn Babawayh and al-Shaykh al-Tusi in al-Ghayba, transmitted many hadiths about the occultation from al-Himyari which were adopted from his works on this topic.

In his al-Tawhid, al-Shaykh al-Saduq transmitted some hadiths from his sources from al-Himyari which were possibly from al-'Azama wa al-tawhid or al-Tawhid wa al-bada' wa al-irada wa al-istita'a wa al-ma'rifa which was mentioned by al-Shaykh al-Tusi as al-Tawhid wa al-istita'a wa al-afa'il wa al-bada'.

Qurb al-Isnad

Main article: Qurb al-isnad (book)

The only book available from al-Himyari is Qurb al-isnad. Al-Najashi mentioned three books titled Qurb al-isnad ila al-Rida (a), Qurb al-isnad ila Abi Ja'far b. al-Rida (a) and Qurb al-isnad ila Sahib al-Amr (a), but al-Shaykh al-Tusi only mentioned Qurb al-isnad.

Qurb al-isnad refers to works in which a hadith scholar transmitted hadiths with the shortest chain of transmission from an Infallible One (a). In writing the mentioned book, al-Himyari benefited older texts as well. One of the most important ones of such works was al-Masa'il Ali b. Ja'far 'Uraydi, of which al-Himyari quoted a great part in his book.

Ibn Idris al-Hilli cited from al-Himyari's Qurb al-isnad, but attributed it to his son Muhammad out of mistake. Apparently, this mistake happened because the chain of transmission in the beginning of the book ended in al-Himyari's son. The important proof for correct attribution of Qurb al-isnad to 'Abd Allah b. Ja'far al-Himyari was that in his citation from this book, Ibn Idris al-Hilli quoted a hadith directly from Muhammad b. Husayn b. Abi al-Khattab (d. 262/876), the hadith order of which only matched the order of the hadith sources of 'Abd Allah b. Ja'far.