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Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Khalid al-Barqi

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Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Khalid al-Barqi
Personal Information
Full Name Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Khalid b. 'Abd al-Rahman al-Barqi
Birth c. 200/815-16
Residence Kufa
Death 274/887-88 or 280/893-894
Burial Place Unknown
Scholarly Information
Students 'Ali b. Ibrahim al-QummiAhmad b. Idris'Abd Allah b. Ja'far al-Himyari, ...
Works Al-Mahasin , Rijal al-Barqi, Al-Tarajim wa al-ta'atuf ,...

Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Khālid b. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Barqī (Arabic: أحمد بن محمد بن خالد بن عبدالرحمن البرقي, b. 200/815-16 - d. 274/887-88 or 280/893-94) was a renowned Twelver Shi'a hadith scholar (muhaddith) and historian of 3rd/9th century. Both Shi'a and Sunni scholars have relied on his hadiths. His most important work is al-Mahasin.


Al-Barqi was born around 200/815-16 in Kufa.His father was a disciple of Imam al-Kazim (a), Imam al-Rida (a), and Imam al-Jawad (a) and a scholarly man.

He was called al-Barqi because his ancestor, Ahmad, settled in the Barqrud area of Qom. Among al-Barqi's family members were several traditionists and scholars of jurisprudence and hadith.

Al-Barqi Family
'Abd al-Rahman
Ahmad (author of
Muhammad b. Abi l-Qasim
(Son in law)
'Abd Allah
(author of Rijal al-Barqi)
(al-Saduq's teacher)

Scholars of rijal regard al-Barqi as one of the disciples of Imam al-Jawad (a) and Imam al-Hadi (a), but there is no mention of these two Imams (a) in al-Barqi's narrations. It is just mentioned in a hadith that in a travel to Samarra, a courier came from "the Man" and according to evidences, "the man" was Imam al-hadi (a).

Al-Najashi states that al-Barqi passed away in 274/887-88 but 'Ali b. Muhammad Majilawayh, his grandson and his student says that he passed away in 280/893-894. In his funeral Ahmad b. Muhammad b.'Isa al-Ash'ari who banished him from Qom, participated barefoot as a sign of regret for what he has done.

Position in Narrating Hadith


All the major shi'a scholars like al-Najashi, al-Shaykh al-Tusi and al-'Allama al-Hilli have praised al-Barqi and considered him as a reliable narrator. Al-Barqi also has a special position among the Sunnis.

Narrating from Unreliable Narrators and Being Banished from Qom

The fact that al-Barqi used to narrate from unreliable narrators and take mursal hadiths as reliable hadiths caused that Ahmad b. Muhammad b. 'Isa al-Ash'ari, the head of hadith scholars of Qom, banish al-Barqi from Qom but after a while al-Ash'ari returned al-Barqi to Qom and apologized him. Al-Ash'ri participated in al-Barqi's funeral bareheaded (without 'imama (turban) ) and barefoot to show his sorrow and compensate his previous action.

A Response to the Criticism of Narrating from Unreliable Narrators

Al-Wahid al-Bihbahani writes: al-Barqi is certainly reliable and what the critics say is not proved and even if he trusted in unreliable narrators, we can just say that his approach in narrating hadith is not right. [1]

Ibn al-Ghada'iri also says: The criticism of Qummi hadith scholars were about those who al-Barqi narrated from, not al-Barqi himself.[2]


Al-Barqi has narrated approximately from 200 persons and mentioned about 100 books in the field. Ayatollah al-Khoei has discussed about them several times in his book.


He has several students, the most important of which are 'Abd Allah b. ja'far al-Himyari, the author of the well-known book, Qurb al-isnad; 'Ali b. Ibrahim al-Qummi, a companion of Imam al-Hadi (a), hadith scholar, faqih, and the author of Tafsir al-Qummi; and Sa'd b. 'Abd Allah al-Ash'ari al-Qummi, the author of Basa'ir al-darajat


  • Al-Mahasin which is his most important work
  • Kitab al-buldan
  • Ikhtilaf al-hadith
  • Al-Ansab
  • Akhbar al-umam
  • Al-Tarajim wa l-ta'atuf
  • Adab al-nafs
  • Adab al-mu'ashira
  • Kitab al-makasib
  • Kitab al-rifahiyya
  • Kitab al-rijal


  1. al-Fawa'id al-rijaliya:43
  2. Al-Rijal:39