Ahmad b. Muhammad b. 'Isa al-Ash'ari
|Ahmad b. Muhammad b. 'Isa al-Ash'ari|
|Full Name||Ahmad b. Muhammad b. 'Isa al-Ash'ari|
|Companion of||Imam al-Jawad (a) and Imam al-Hadi (a)|
|Wellknown Relatives||Abu 'Ali Muhammad b. 'Isa (father)|
|Place(s) of Residence||Qom|
|Professors||Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Abi Nasr al-Bazanti, Al-Husayn b. Sa'id al-Ahwazi, Al-Hasan b. Mahbub, ...|
|Students||Ali b. Ibrahim al-Qummi, Sa'd b. 'Abd Allah al-Ash'ari, Muhammad b. Yahya al-'Attar, ...|
|Works||Al-Nawadir, Al-Tawhid, Fadl al-nabi (s), ...|
Abū Jaʿfar Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. ʿIsa al-Ashʿarī (Arabic: أبوجعفر أحمد محمد بن عیسی الأشعري) was a great muhaddith of the 3rd/9th century and one of the disciples of Imam al-Jawad (a) and Imam al-Hadi (a). He was, according to al-Shaykh al-Tusi, "the Shaykh of the people of Qom, their noble, and their faqih.
Ahmad was very strict in matters of belief. He had no tolerance for the Ghulat. It is reported that he even banished Ahmad b. Abi 'Abd Allah al-Barqi, the famous Imami muhaddith, from Qom because the latter quoted hadith from unreliable people—though later he realized that he had made a mistake and apologized from al-Barqi and returned him to Qom.
We do not have much information about Ahmad's life. His father Muhammad b. 'Isa, described by al-Najashi as "the Shaykh of the people of Qom" and the "leading figure of the Ash'ari clan", met Imam al-Rida (a) and Imam al-Jawad (a), and the governor of Qom had a high regard for him.
According to al-Najashi, Ahmad met Imam al-Rida (a), but since he did not quote any hadith from the Imam (a), he must have been very young at that time.
Ahmad is regarded as one of the companions of Imam al-Jawad (a) and Imam al-Hadi (a), but because he lived in Qom, he was not able to meet the Imams (a) frequently. This is why he quoted few hadiths from them directly.
As a Hadith Transmitter
He is praised as a reliable and outstanding traditinist by the scholars of rijal. Al-Najashi says that Ahmad was "the Shaykh of the people of Qom and their noble and faqih … and he was the chief who would meet the governor there." Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani describes him as "the Shaykh of the Rafida in Qom."
Some of the prominent hadith scholars from whom Ahmad learned hadith are the following:
- Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Abi Nasr al-Bazanti
- Al-Husayn b. Sa'id al-Ahwazi
- Al-Hasan b. Mahbub
- Al-Hasan b. 'Ali b. Faddal al-Kufi
- Hasan b. Sa'id b. Hammad al-Ahwazi
- Safwan b. Yahya al-Bajali
- 'Uthman b. 'Isa al-Rawwasi
- Muhammad b. Abi 'Umayr al-Azdi
- Hasan b. 'Abbas b. Harish al-Razi
- Hasan b. 'Ali b. Ziyad al-Washsha'
- Sa'id b. Janah al-Azdi al-Baghdadi
- 'Ali b. Hadid b. Hakim al-Mada'ini
- 'Ali b. Hakam al-Nakha'i
- Muhammad b. Khalid b. 'Abd al-Rahman al-Barqi
- Muhammad b. Sinan al-Zahiri
And some of his prominent students who quoted hadith from Ahmad are the following:
Ahmad was very strict in matters of belief. He had little tolerance for the people whom he regarded as heretics, especially the Ghulat. It is reported that he had a negative idea of the great Imami hadith scholar and theologian Yunus b. 'Abd al-Rahman, but then he realized his mistake. Likewise, it is reported that he banished Ahmad b. Abi 'Abd Allah al-Barqi, the famous Imami hadith scholar, from Qom because the latter quoted hadith from unreliable hadith transmitters—though later he realized that he had made a mistake and apologized from al-Barqi and returned him to Qom, and when al-Barqi passed away, Ahmad participated in his funeral and walked barefoot behind his body as a sign of utmost respect.
Sahl b. Ziyad al-Adami and Muahammad b. 'Ali b. Ibrahim known as Abu Sumayna were two other figures banished from Qom by Ahmad, because he regarded them from the Ghulat.
The most important work of Ahmad is al-Nawadir, a great Imami hadith collection, which was edited by Dawud b. Kura al-Qummi.
Recently a book titled al-Nawadir, attributed to Ahmad b. Muhammad b. 'Isa, was published together with the book Fiqh al-Rida in Qom, but there is no evidence to support this attribution.
Some of Ahmad's other works are the following:
- Fadl al-Nabi (s)
- Al-Nasikh wa l-mansukh
- Fada'il al-'arab
- A book on Hajj
- Al-Tibb al-kabir
- Al-Tibb al-saghir
- Nawadir al-hikma fi l-tafsir
The exact date of Ahmad's demise is not known. We just know, based on Ibn Ghada'iri's report, that he was alive when al-Barqi passed away in 274/887-88 or 280/893-894.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from احمد بن محمد بن عیسی اشعری in Farsi Wikishia.