Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Zurari
|Full Name||Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Zurari|
|Well-Known As||Abu Ghalib|
|Well-Known Relatives||His son, Zurara b. A'yan|
|Works||Risala fi Al A'yan etc.|
Aḥmad b. Muḥammad (Arabic:احمد بن محمد) , known as Abū Ghālib al-Zurārī (Arabic: أبوغالب الزراري) (b. 258/872-3 - d. 368/978-9), Shi'a jurist, Hadith transmitter, theologian, and poet of the 4th/10th century, from whom scholars like al-Shaykh al-Mufid have narrated hadiths. He is the author of Risala fi Al A'yan (Treatise on the Family of A'yan) and the last famous scholar of the A'yan Family.
Life and Education
Abu Ghalib was a descendant of A'yan, the father of the outstanding Shi'a scholar, Zurara. The family of A'yan included several other prominent scholars as well. Since the time of Imam al-Hadi (a), the descendants of A'yan came to be called al-Zurari.
Abu Ghalib was born in Rabi' I, 285/898 in Kufa. He was 5 years old when his father passed away. Afterwards, he was raised by his grandfather Muhammad b. Sulayman. After his elementary education, he studied different disciplines under prominent scholars of his time. He finished hadith studies when he was eleven.
In 300/912-913, his grandfather passed away, and then Abu Ghalib got married at the age of twenty. It is reported that there appeared some problems between him and his wife. So he went to Baghdad and — through al-Husayn b. Ruh, the third special deputy of the Twelfth Imam (a) in his Minor Occultation — asked the Imam (a) for help. The Imam (a) sent him a message that their problem would be solved; and the promise of the Imam was soon fulfilled.
Treatise on the Family of A'yan
In Abu Ghalib's time, the Qaramita attacked Kufa and destroyed the neighborhood of the family of A'yan. In order to preserve the legacy of his family, Abu Ghalib decided to write his famous work, Risala fi Al A'yan (Treatise on the family of A'yan), in which he gave an account of the history and accomplishments of his family, especially in the field of hadith transmission. He dedicated the book to his grandson Muhammad, in order that the latter preserve the family's legacy and honor of hadith transmission for their future generations.
Attribution of the Title of Zurari to Abu Ghalib
Abu Ghalib was a descendant of Bukayr b. A'yan and that is why they were given the title Bukayri. However, from the time of Imam al-Hadi (a) they have become known as "Zurari". According to Abu Ghalib himself, this title has become popular from the time of his grandfather, Sulayman b. Hasan. Two points have been mentioned as reasons for this change: first, mother of Hasan b. Jahm b. Bukayr (forefather of Abu Ghalib) was the daughter of 'Ubayd b. Zurara. Second, Imam Hasan al-'Askari (a) called Sulayman b. Hasan as Zurari probably due to political considerations.
Teachers and Students
Abu Ghalib is regarded as a reliable hadith transmitter who quoted many hadiths. He mentions his teachers in his Risala. Some of his most important teachers are the following:
And some of his students are as follow:
- book of history, which he was not able to finish.
- book on Du'a' al-safar (Prayer of Traveling)
- book on Manasik al-hajj (Rituals of Hajj)
- Risala fi Al A'yan (Treatise on the Family of A'yan)
- The material for this article has been mainly taken from ابوغالب الزراری in Farsi WikiShia.