As'ad b. Ahmad al-Tarabulusi

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Personal Information
Full Name Abu l-Fadl As'ad b. Ahmad al-Tarabulusi
Scholarly Information
Professors Ibn Barraj
Students As'ad b. 'Umar b. Mas'ud al-Jabali

Abu l-Faḍl Asʿad b. Aḥmad al-Ṭarābulusī (Arabic: اأبوالفضل‌ أسعد بن‌ أحمد الطرابلسي) was an Imami judge and scholar in 5th/11th and early 6th/12th centuries. Not much is known about when and where he was born. He was a student as well as a successor of Ibn Barraj, the well-known Shiite scholar of fiqh. After Ibn Barraj, he occupied the position of judgeship in Tripoli. He was well-known among the Imamiyya in different areas of Syria, including Tripoli, Palestine and Damascus, and after Ibn Barraj's death, he was their authority for fatwa. He went to Haifa for a while and founded a library with over 4000 books there. He wrote works in kalam (Islamic theology) and fiqh, displaying his expertise in these fields. There is a disagreement about when and where he died.

Birth and Demise

There is no information about the date and the place of his birth. According to al-Dhahabi, As'ad resided in Sidon for a while until it was conquered by Crusaders and he was killed there. According to Ibn Athir, Sidon was conquered by Crusaders in 504/1110. However, the Imami historian, Ibn Abi Tayy, speculated that As'ad was killed in 494/1100 when Crusaders conquered Haifa, since he was there for a while and had founded a library with over 4000 books. According to another account, he went to Damascus and died there.

Scholarly and Religious Character

He was a student and a successor of Ibn Barraj (d. 481/1088), the well-known Imami faqih. Thus it can be said in 481/1088, when Ibn Barraj died, he was at least a middle-aged person.

After Ibn Barraj, he was an Imami faqih, and according to al-Safadi, he was "Ra's al-Shi'a" (the Head of Shi'as) in Syria and taught Islamic disciplines there. After Ibn Barraj, he occupied the position of judgeship in Tripoli. Thus he occupied the position during the period of Jalal al-Mulk Abu l-Hasan b. 'Ammar (reign: 464-494/1071-1100).

It is reported that As'ad debated the faqihs of other Islamic sects in the presence of Ibn 'Ammar, and sometimes debated Ibn 'Ammar himself. The Imami historian, Ibn Abi Tayy, speculated that As'ad went to Haifa before 494/1100 and founded a library with over 4000 books there.

He was well-known among the Imamiyya in different areas of Syria, including Tripoli, Palestine, and Damascus, and was their authority for fatwa after Ibn Barraj's death. It seems that As'ad had a position in an academy founded by Jalal al-Mulk in Tripoli and probably taught there, and as it is said, he gave monthly grants to students on behalf of Jalal al-Mulk.

As'ad was a pious person. He slept a little at nights and usually stayed vigilant to worship God.

Students

As'ad b. 'Umar b. Mas'ud al-Jabali was one of his students.

Works

All As'ad's books were destroyed and are not available today.

He wrote some works regarding kalam and fiqh, displaying his expertise in these fields.

References