'Ubayd Allah b. 'Ali al-Halabi

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Companion of Imam (a)
'Ubayd Allah b. 'Ali al-Halabi
Full Name 'Ubayd Allah b. 'Ali al-Halabi
Companion of Imam al-Sadiq (a)
Place(s) of Residence Kufa
Works Al-Jami' , al-Mas'il

ʿUbayd Allāh b. ʿAlī al-Ḥalabī (Arabic:عبيدالله بن علي الحلبي) was the Shia narrator and scholar of hadith and fiqh in second century AH and among the companions of Imam al-Sadiq (a). Most of his fame was due to writing the book al-Jami' or al-Kitab, that because of which Imam al-Sadiq (a) praised him.

His Lineage

His grandfather was Abu Shu'ba, one of the narrators of hadiths from Imam al-Hasan (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a). The family of al-Halabi was one of the Shia families in Kufa known for their trustworthiness and were called the family of Abi Shu'ba after the name of their father.

Al-Najashi reported of the bond of Wila' (friendship) between this family and the tribe of Bani Taym al-Lat b. Tha'laba and al-Shaykh al-Tusi considered them among freed slaves of Binu 'Ijl.

Origin of Title as Halabi

According to al-Najashi, the cause of 'Ubayd Allah b. Ali as Halabi was due to the trips of his father, brother and himself to Halab (Aleppo) for commerce.

Al-Jami'

Most of the fame 'Ubayd Allah Halabi gained was due to writing a book called al-Jami' or al-Kitab which is said to have been the first book on fiqh among Shia. But it seems that the first book concerning fiqh among shi'a is the book of 'Ali b. Abi Rafi', companion of Imam Ali (a). According to al-Najashi and al-Shaykh al-Tusi, al-Halabi presented his book to Imam al-Sadiq (a) and he (a) praised it. This book was among common references of Twelver Shia. Al-Shaykh al-Tusi has mentioned this book through several chains of narration and has mentioned that it is trusted by scholars of hadiths.

Al-Jami' and Isma'ilis

Al-Halabi's book was also famous among Isma'ilis. They say that two prominent preacher of Isma'ilis called Halwani and Sufyani who were active before establishing government of Fatimids in the north of Africa have reported the book of al-Halabi.

The Isma'ili preacher Abu 'Abd Allah Ja'far b. Ahmad b. Haytham reported this book through Aflah b. Harun 'Abani (preacher, Shaykh and faqih of Malusa tribe among Isma'ili tribes).

Qadi Nu'man benefitted from this book in his book, al-Idah, and quoted many topics from it.

Al-Masa'il

Ibn Shahr Ashub has mentioned a book called al-Masa'il written by al-Halabi, that seemingly he had not seen it and received information on it from the reports mentioned in Qadi Nu'man's al-Idah.

Similar to other books with the same title during the lives of Imams (a), in al-Masa'il, 'Ubayd Allah al-Halabi has first mentioned his questions from Imam (a) and then Imam's (a) answers to them. Al-Masa'il contains his questions from Imam al-Sadiq (a) and his answers to them.

Al-Shaykh al-Saduq has quoted some issues from this book in his Man la yahduruh al-faqih. Al-Msa'il was also available to Qadi Nu'man and he quoted from it in his al-Idah.

Narrators from 'Ubayd Allah Halabi

Hammad b. 'Uthman, Ibrahim b. 'Abd al-Hamid, Ali b. Ri'ab Kufi and Ahmad b. 'A'idh are among the most famous people who have narrated from 'Ubayd Allah b. Ali al-Halabi.

References