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Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa al-Ash'ari

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Companion of Imam (a)
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)
Religious Affiliation Imamiyya
Lineage Ash'ariyyun
Wellknown Relatives Abu 'Ali Muhammad b. 'Isa (father)
Place(s) of Residence Qom
Death/Martyrdom Alive in 274/887-88
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. Isa al-Ashʿarī (Arabic: أبوجعفر أحمد بن 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 al-Barqi and returned him to Qom.

Life

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

Ahmad was one of the greatest Shi'a hadith transmitter. His name appears in more than 9,600 chains of transmission in the hadiths of the Four Books.

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:

And some of his prominent students who quoted hadith from Ahmad are the following:

Beliefs

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 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 among Ghulat.

Works

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 as follows:

  • Al-Tawhid
  • Fadl al-Nabi (s)
  • Al-Mu'a
  • Al-Nasikh wa l-mansukh
  • Al-Azilla
  • Al-Musukh
  • Fada'il al-'arab
  • A book on Hajj
  • Al-Tibb al-kabir
  • Al-Tibb al-saghir
  • Al-Makasib
  • Al-Malahim
  • Nawadir al-hikma fi l-tafsir

Demise

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.

References