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Al-Muhaqqiq al-Hilli

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Al-Muhaqqiq al-Hilli
Personal Information
Full Name Abu l-Qāsim Jaʿfar b. Ḥasan b. Yaḥyā b. Saʿīd al-Ḥillī
Well-Known As Al-Muhaqqiq al-Hilliو Al-Muhaqqiq al-Awwal
Well-Known Relatives Hasan b. Yahya his father
Birth 602/1205
Residence Hillah
Studied in Hillah
Death 676/1277-78
Burial Place Hillah
Scholarly Information
Professors His father, Ibn Nama, Sayyid Fakhkhar al-Musawi, Ibn Idris al-Hilli
Students al-'Allama al-Hilli, Ibn Dawud al-Hilli, Ibn Rabib al-'Adami, Al-Sayyid 'Abd al-Karim b. Ahmad b. Tawus, ...
Works Sharayi' al-islam, Al-Mukhtasar al-nafi' fi fiqh al-Imamiyya, Al-Nafi' fi mukhtasar al-sharayi', ...

Abu l-Qāsim Jaʿfar b. Ḥasan b. Yaḥyā b. Saʿīd al-Ḥillī (Arabic: ابوالقاسم جعفر بن حسن بن یحیی بن سعید الحلي), (b. 602/1205 - d. 676/1277-78) commonly regarded as al-Muhaqqiq al-Hilli or al-Muhaqqiq al-Awwal, was a great Shi'a faqih (jurist), usuli, and poet in the 7/13century. He was one of the best-known faqihs of his time, and he is meant by the word "Muhaqqiq" (investigator) whenever it is used without any indication in the works of faqihs.

Some great scholars, such as al-'Allama al-Hilli, Ibn Dawud al-Hilli, Sayyid 'Abd al-Karim b. Tawus, and Ibn Sa'id al-Hilli were among his students. He was exceptionally respected by Khwaja Nasir al-Din al-Tusi. He was the author of Sharayi' al-Islam and Al-Mukhtasar al-nafi' fi fiqh al-Imamiyya.

Birth and Education

Al-Muhaqiq al-Hilli was born in 602/1205 in Hillah, Iraq. He was gifted with great intelligence and talent. He started the study of conventional sciences of the time in his childhood. As it was his mother tongue, he studied Arabic literature very well, and acquired a good knowledge of astronomy, mathematics, logic, and theology. Then he learned fiqh and usul from his learned father Hassan b. Yahya, and from other famous scholars of Hillah, such as Ibn Nama and Sayyid Fakhkhar al-Musawi, who were the students of the great Shi'a jurist; Ibn Idris al-Hilli.




He was a fluent writer and had many profound books. The author of Rayhanat al-adab and the author of Riyad al-'ulama' have counted up to fourteen volumes of his books, some of them still among the course books of religious studies:

  1. Sharayi' al-Islam fi masa'il al-halal wa al-haram; regarding both text and context, it is one of the greatest fiqh books of Shi'a. It has been considered and highly acclaimed by great scholars, and many commentaries and annotations are written on it, the best example of which is Jawahir al-kalam in 43 volumes. Sharayi' al-Islam is translated into Persian, Russian, French, German, and Urdu, and is used in judicial faculties and institutes;
  2. Al-Mukhtasar al-nafi' fi fiqh al-Imamiyya; this is the abridged edition of Sharayi' al-Islam. Due to its briefness and inclusiveness, this book is in favor with scholarly and educational circles. Riyad al-masa'il by al-Sayyid 'Ali al-Tabataba'i is a commentary on this book.
  3. Al-Nafi' fi mukhtasar al-sharayi'
  4. Al-Mu'tabar fi sharh mukhtasar al-nafi'
  5. Al-Ma'arij fi usul al-fiqh
  6. Nahj al-wusul ila ma'rifat 'ilm al-usul
  7. Talkhis al-fihrist, which is an abridged edition of al-Fihrist, by al-Shaykh al-Tusi.
  8. Istihbab al-tayasur li-'Ahl al-Iraq
  9. Sharh nukat al-nihaya
  10. Al-Kuhna fi al-mantiq
  11. Mukhtasar al-marasim, which is an abridged edition of al-Marasim, by Sallar b. 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Daylami.
  12. Al-Masa'il al-Qariyya
  13. Al-Masa'il al-misriyya
  14. Al-Maslak fi usul al-din
  15. Nukat al-nihaya [4]

Poetry and Literature

Al-Muhaqiq al-Hilli was also a poet. Ethics, mysticism, and wisdom were the main contents of his poetry, and they were written in forms of correspondence and capping verses, addressing his father or friends.[5]

From Others' Point of View

Al-'Allama al-Hilli has noted about him in an Ijaza (authorization) he gave to Zuhra Dynasty: "He was the greatest fiqh scholar of his time."[6]

And such has praised him al-Muhaddith al-Nuri:

"(He was) the discoverer of facts of Shari'a (Divine Law), with such delicate points known by no one before. He was the chief of scholars, the jurist of philosophers, the luminous sun of the learned, and the full moon of mystics. His name and knowledge recounts the story of Khazra' Island, and is the heir to the knowledge of the infallible Imams (a) and legitimate leaders of all creatures. He raised the flag of investigation over creatures. May God send apparent and concealed beam of His blessings on his tomb, and grant him a proper place and elevated position in Paradise."

Moreover, the author of Ta'sis al-Shi'a has stated:

"The pen is impotent in counting his virtues. He is the author of Sharayi' al-Islam, which is as the Qur'an of fiqh [it is the most important book in the field]. He has some well-known books in usul al-fiqh as al-Nafi', al-Mu'tabar, and al-Ma'arij, and has some compilations in theology which are mentioned in the comprehensive books, and more than 400 learned mujtahids were graduated from his lessons, the resume of whom is recorded in rijal books, and such achievements are yet gained by no one else. He passed away in Hillah in Rabi' II, 696, and there is a shrine to his honorable grave, which is blessed by pilgrims."[7]

Al-Shaykh al-Hasan (the son of al-Shahid al-Thani), commonly regarded as "Sahib Ma'alim" (the author of Ma'alim al-usul), has noted about him:

"Al-'Allama al-Hilli would have better called al-Muhaqiq the greatest fiqh scholar of all times, for he was the foremost amongst the Shi'a faqihs, and no one resembles him."[8]

Ibn Dawud al-Hilli, a student of al-Muhaqqiq, writes about his teacher in his rijal book:

"In his time, al-Muhaqiq was incomparable, the most eloquent, and the most logical, and mindful."[9]

Describing him, Murtada Mutahhari says:

"There is no precedent for him in fiqh. His highness is meant by the word "Muhaqiq" (investigator) whenever it is used without any indication in the works of jurists. The great philosopher and mathematician, Khwaja Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, has visited him in Hillah, and attended his fiqh lessons. The books of al-Muhaqiq, especially Sharayi', are, and have been among the course books of religious students, and many scholars have written commentaries and annotations on them.[10]


Al-Muhaqiq al-Hilli passed away in 676/1277-78 at the age of 74, and was buried in Hillah.[11]


  1. Mutahhari, Ashnayi ba 'ulum isalmi, vol.3 p.81-82
  2. Amin, A'yan al-shi'a, Vol.4 p.91; Khuwansari, Rawdat al-jannat, vol.2 p.188
  3. Khwansari, Rawdat al-jannat, vol.2 p.183; Afandi, Riyad al-'ulama', vol.1 p.104
  4. Mudarris, Rayhana al-adab, vol.5 p.235
  5. Al-Amin, A'yan al-shi'a, vol.4 p.89
  6. Al-Amin, A'yan al-shi'a, vol.4 p.89
  7. Sadr, Ta'sis al-shi'a, p.305-306
  8. Al-Amin, A'yan al-shi'a, vol.4 p.89
  9. Dawani, Maktab-i Islam mag, 3rd year, no.1 p.64-65
  10. Mutahhari, Ashnayi ba 'ulum Isalmi, vol.3 p.81-82
  11. Mudarris, Rayhana al-adab, vol.5 p.236


  • The material for this article is mainly taken from محقق حلي in Farsi Wikishia.
  • Mudarris, Muhammad 'Ali. Rayhana al-adab, Qom, Khayyam, 1369;
  • Mutahhari, Murtada. Ashnayi ba 'ulum Isalmi, Qom, Sadra;
  • Al-Amin, Muhsin. A'yan al-shi'a, Beirut, 1403;
  • Khuwansari, Muhammad Baqir. Rawdat al-jannat, Qom, Isma'iliyan;
  • Afandi, 'Abd Allah. Riyad al-'ulama' wa hiyad al-fudala', Qom, Khayyam, 1401;
  • Sadr, Sayyid Hasan. Ta'sis al-shi'a, Tehran, A'lami, 1375;
  • Dawani, Maktab-i Islam mag.