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Al-Kuna wa l-alqab (book)

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Al-Kuna wa l-alqab
Author Shaykh 'Abbas Qummi
Original title الکُنی و الألْقاب
Language Arabic
Series 3 volumes
Subject Rijal
Published 1397/1976
Publisher Tehran, Sadr Library

Al-Kunā wa l-alqāb (Arabic: الکُنی و الألْقاب) means the titles and epithets, which is an Arabic book written in three volumes by Shaykh 'Abbas Qummi. In this book, he introduces well-known Shiite and Sunni scholars as well as many famous poets, people of literature, and rulers. In the meantime, he mentions to literary, moral, and scholarly pints as well as poems and subtleties. The book has been translated into Persian and some researches have been done about it.

The Author

Main article: Shaykh 'Abbas Qummi

'Abbas b. Muhammad Rida al-Qummi (b. 1294/1877 - d. 1359/1940), known as Shaykh 'Abbas Qummi and al-Muhaddith al-Qummi, was a Shiite scholar in the 14th/20th century. He was a scholar of hadith, history, and an orator. His best-known books are Mafatih al-jinan, Safinat al-bihar, and Muntaha l-amal. Al-Muhaddith al-Qummi died in Najaf in 1359/1940, and was buried in the Holy Shrine of Imam 'Ali (a).

Style of Writing

In the introduction of the book, al-Muhaddith al-Qummi wrote that he identified many Shiite and Sunni scholars and poets, as well as people of literature and rulers who were known with their kunyas or titles, and provided the outlines of their lives. He says that he concentrated on important scholarly contributions, the spellings and pronunciations of people's names, and Persian poems. He also mentioned some people who were known with their own names.[1] In his preface to the published version of the book, Muhammad Hadi Amini wrote that Shaykh 'Abbas Qummi referred to 235 sources in writing the book.[2]

Date of Writing and Contents

Al-Kuna wa l-alqab was written in 1357/1938 in Baalbek in Lebanon just two years before al-Muhaddith al-Qummi's death.[3]

1538 people are mentioned in the book.

  • The first part: people whose kunyas begin with "ab" (أب, literally: the father of) (198 people).
  • The second part: people whose kunyas begin with "ibn" (إبن, literally: the son of) (530 people).
  • The third people: people who are known with attributions or titles (810 people).

Summary, Translation, and Publication

Shaykh 'Abbas Qummi himself summarized the book under Hadiyyat al-ahbab.[4]

The book has been translated into Persian under Mashahir-i danishmandan-i islam (well-known scholars of Islam) by Muhammad Jawad Najafi, Muhammad Baqir Kamara'i and Muhammad Sharif Razi (each translating one of the three volumes). It was published in 1350 SH/1971 in Tehran, Islamiyya Bookstore.

The published versions of the book are as follows:

  • Najaf, al-Haydariyya Printing House, 1376/1956 and 1389/1969.
  • Tehran, Sadr Library, 1397/1976.
  • Qom, Jami'a Mudarrisin, 1425/2004.[5]

Sayyid Muhammad Rida Husayni A'raji Ha'iri (d. 1379SH/2000), a scholar in Karbala, wrote a supplement to the book under Baqaya al-atyab fi tatimma al-kuna wa l-alqab (also known as Hada'iq al-shari'a fi tarajim 'ulama' al-shi'a). He concerned himself only with the biographies of Shiite scholars, without concentrating on kunyas and titles. A photographed version of the work is available in the The Islamic Heritage Revival Center.[6]


  1. Qummī, al-Kunā wa l-alqāb, vol. 1, p. 4.
  2. Qummī, al-Kunā wa l-alqāb, vol. 1, p. 26.
  3. Group of Authors, Muḥaddith-i rabbānī, vol. 1, p. 743.
  4. Group of Authors, Muḥaddith-i rabbānī, vol. 1, p. 742.
  5. Group of Authors, Muḥaddith-i rabbānī, vol. 1, p. 423.
  6. Group of Authors, Muḥaddith-i rabbānī, vol. 1, p. 423.


  • Group of Authors. Muḥaddith-i rabbānī. Qom: Nūr-i Maṭāf, 1389 Sh.
  • Qummī, Shaykh ʿAbbās al-. al-Kunā wa l-alqāb. Tehran: Maktaba-yi Ṣadr, 1397 AH.