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|Full Name||Muhammad b. al-Hasan b. 'Ali b. al-Hasan|
|Well-Known As||Shaykh al-Ta'ifa, al-Shaykh al-Tusi|
|Well-Known Relatives||Al-Hasan b. Muhammad al-Tusi (son)|
|Residence||Khurasan, Baghdad, Najaf|
|Professors||al-Shaykh al-Mufid, al-Sharif al-Murtada, Ibn Hashir, Ibn Salt al-Ahwazi, al-Husayn b. 'Ubayd Allah b. al-Ghada'iri|
|Students||Abu l-Salah al-Halabi, Abu l-Fath al-Karajaki, Mansur b. al-Husayn al-Abi|
|Works||Tahdhib al-ahkam, Al-Istibsar fi ma ikhtalaf min al-akhbar, Ikhtiyar al-rijal, Al-Tibyan fi tafsir al-Qur'an, Al-Khilaf fi l-ahkam|
Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan b. ʿAli b. al-Ḥasan (Arabic: محمد بن الحسن بن علي بن الحسن) (b. 385/995 in Tus, d. 460/1067 in Najaf), better known as al-Shaykh al-Ṭūsī (Arabic: الشيخ الطوسي), was one of the greatest Shi'a jurists and compilers of hadith. He has written many works in the fields of theology and tafsir. For his great contributions and tremendous influence, he received the honorable title of al-Shaykh al-Ṭāʾifa (Arabic: الشيخ الطائفة) (the chief or head of the Shi'a).
Muhammad b. al-Hasan was born in Khorasan in Ramadan 385/995, four years after the demise of al-Shaykh al-Saduq and the same year of the demise of Harun b. Musa Talla'ukbari. His kunya was Abu Ja'far and since the kunya of both al-Shaykh al-Kulayni and al-Shaykh al-Saduq also was Abu Ja'far, he is sometimes called the third Abu Ja'far.
Al-Shaykh al-Tusi spent the first part of his life in Khorasan, and moved to Baghdad at the age of 23. In Baghdad, he studied under leading Shi'a scholars such as al-Shaykh al-Mufid, al-Sharif al-Murtada, and Ibn al-Ghada'iri. The Abbasid caliph of the time eventually appointed him to the principal chair of theology in Baghdad, where nearly three-hundred students would attend his classes.
Following the demise of al-Sharif al-Murtada, al-Shaykh al-Tusi took over the leadership of the Shi'a.
After his house and library were burnt down in the sectarian conflicts of 449/1057, and the decline of the Buyid dynasty, al-Shaykh al-Tusi moved to Najaf. There, he established a Shi'i scholarly circle which led to the formation of the Islamic Seminary of Najaf.
Al-Shaykh al-Tusi was the leader of of Shi'a faqihs. He attained the station of ijtihad in both fiqh and usul al-fiqh. From the Four Books, al-Shaykh al-Tusi is the author of both al-Istibsar and Tahdhib al-ahkam.
The ideas and works of al-Shaykh al-Tusi had overshadowed Shi'a scholarship and no one opposed his opinions until the time of Ibn Idris (d. 597/1201). His book, al-Nihaya, was the main source of teaching in Shi'a scholarly circles until al-Muhaqiq al-Hilli (d. 676/1277) wrote Shara'i' al-Islam.
Al-Shaykh al-Tusi wrote in nearly all fields of Islamic sciences. His works are a unique resource for later generations because many of the sources he used were destroyed when Shapur library was burned.
Al-Tusi studied with many teachers, but the following five figures are the ones he refers to most:
- Abu 'Abd Allah Ahmad b. 'Abd al-Wahid b. Ahmad al-Bazzaz, known as Ibn Hashir (d. 423/1032)
- Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Musa, known as Ibn Salt al-Ahwazi (d. 408/1017)
- Abu 'Abd Allah al-Husayn b. 'Ubayd Allah b. al-Ghada'iri (d. 411/1020)
- Abu l-al-Husayn 'Ali b. Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Abi Jayd al-Qummi (d. after 408/1017)
- Abu Abd Allah Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Nu'man, known as al-Shaykh al-Mufid (d. 413/1022)
It is reported that al-Tusi had over 300 Shi'i students, and many other Sunni ones. The following list includes some of his more well-known students:
- Adam b. Yunus b. Abi Muhajir al-Nasifi
- Abu Bakr Ahmad b. al-Husayn b. Ahmad al-Khuza'i al-Nayshaburi
- Abu l-Khayr Barakat b. Muhammad b. Barakat al-Asadi
- Al-Taqi b. Najm al-Din al-Halabi, known as Abu l-Salah
- Shams al-Islam al-Hasan b. al-Husayn b. Babawayh al-Qummi, known as Haska
- Abu Muhammad al-Hasan b. 'Abd al-'Aziz b. al-Hasan al-Jabhani
- Sa'd al-Din b. al-Barraj
- Abu al-Hasan Sulayman b. al-Hasan b. Salman al-Sahrashti
- Sa'id b. Rabi'at b. Abi Ghanim
- Abu 'Abd al-Rahman b. Ahmad al-Husayni al-Khuza'i
- 'Ali b. 'Abd al-Samad al-Tamimi al-Sabziwari
- Ghazi b. Ahmad b. Abi Mansur al-Samani
- Jamal al-Din Muhammad b. Abial-Qasim al-Tabari al-Amuli
- Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Shahriyyar al-Khazin al-Gharawi
- Muhammad b. al-Hasan b. 'Ali al-Fattal al-Neyshaburi, the author of Rawdat al-wa'zin
- Abu l-Fath Muhammad b. Ali al-Karajaki
- Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad b. Hibat Allah al-Tirablusi
- Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. Ali b. al-Hasan al-Halabi
- Mansur b. al-Husayn al-Abi
- Abu Ibrahim al-Nasir b. al-Rida b. Muhammad b. 'Abd Allah al-Alawi al-Husayni.
- Ikhtiyar al-rijal: This book is an edition of Rijal al-Kashshi. The original work of al-Kashshi no longer exists, and what is today known as Rijal al-Kashshi is this edition of al-Shaykh al-Tusi.
- Al-Istibsar fi ma ikhtalafa min al-akhbar: This compilation of hadith is one of the Four Books and one of the main sources of Shi'a fiqh.
- Al-Mabsut fi fiqh al-imamiyya: This is one of the most important books in Shi'a fiqh and encompasses all divisions of fiqh.
- Usul al-aqa'id (Principles of Beliefs).
- Al-Amali (Dictations): Since al-Shaykh al-Tusi dictated this book in several sessions, it is also called Al-Majalis (Sessions).
- Al-Tibyan fi tafsir al-Qur'an : This book is the first commentary of the Qur'an which compiles all aspects of Ulum al-Qur'an.
- Talkhis al-shafi: This book is a summary of al-Sharif al-Radi's al-Shafi fi l-imamah which speaks about imamate.
- Tahdhib al-ahkam: This hadith compilation is one of the Four books.
- Al-Khilaf fi l-ahkam, or Masa'l al-khilaf: In this book, the laws and instructions of different Islamic denominations are discussed and evaluated.
- Misbah al-mutuhajjid: This is one of the most important and reliable Shi'a resources for rituals, practices and prayers.
- Al-'Uddat fi l-usul: The first part of this book is about usul al-din (the principles of faith), and the second is about usul al-fiqh (the principles of fiqh).
- Al-Nihaya fi mujarrad al-fiqh wa l-fatawa: This is one of his greatest works in Shi'a fiqh and includes his fatwas
- Kitab al-Ghayba: This is about the occultation of Imam al-Mahdi (a)
- Al-Fihrist: The authors of books and Usul and chain of references to those books are mentioned.
- Ma yu'allal wa ma la yu'allal (What can be Proved and What Cannot be Proved): This is about theology.
- Al-Abwab (Doors), or Rijal al-Shaykh al-Ta'ifa.
- Al-Jumal wa l-uqud: This is about 'ibadat (acts of worship), and was written at the request of Qadi 'Abd al-Aziz b. Nahrir b. 'Abd al-Aziz b. al-Barraj, the judge of Trablus (d.481/1088)
- Mukhtasar akhbar al-Mukhtar ibn abi 'Ubayd al-Thaqafi (Concise history of Mukhtar al-Thaqafi).
- Al-Farq bayn al-nabi wa l-imam (The Difference between Nabi and Imam).
- Al-Masa'il al-rajabiyya: This is about the exegesis of verses of the Qur'an.
Al-Shaykh al-Tusi lived for 12 years in Najaf and passed away in Muharram 460/1067. According to al-Shaykh's will, he was buried in his house, and the house was converted into a mosque. The al-Shaykh al-Tusi mosque, which is also called Jami' al-Shaykh al-Tusi, is one of the most famous mosques of Najaf. It has been reconstructed and repaired several times, and is used by the professors and scholars of the Islamic Seminary of Najaf as a place for holding lectures.
- Agha Buzurg, Tabaqat a'lam al-shi'a. p. 161-162
- Agha Buzurg, Tabaqat a'lam al-shi'a, p. 162
- Al-Tusi, al-Nihaya, p. 31
- Al-Shaykh al-Tusi. al-Nahaya. p36-39
- Al-Tusi, al-Nihaya, pp. 17-31
- 'Alawi. Rahnama-yi musawwar-i safar-i ziyyarati-yi Iraq, p.150.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from شیخ طوسی in Farsi Wikishia.
- Agha Buzurg Tihrani, Tabaqat a'lam al-shi'a, Qom, Isma'ilyan, n.d.
- Tusi, Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-. Al-Nihaya fi mujarrad al-fiqh wa l-fatawa, Beirut: Dar al-Andulus.
- 'Alawi, Sayyid Ahmad (compiler), Rahnama-iy mussawar-i safar-i ziyarati-yi Iraq. Qom: Ma'ruf, 1389Sh.