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Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Ali b. al-Hasan al-Qummi

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This article is about Muhammad b. Ahmad b. 'Ali b. al-Hasan al-Qummi, known as Ibn Shadhan, a Shi'a faqih and hadith narrator. For other people named so, see Ibn Shadhan (disambiguation).
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Personal Information
Full Name Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Ali b. al-Hasan al-Qummi
Well-Known As Ibn Shadhan
Well-Known Relatives Ibn Qulawayh al-Qummi
Birth ~ 335/946
Residence Qom
Studied in Baghdad
Death After 420/1029
Scholarly Information
Professors Ibn Qulawayh al-Qummi, Ahmad b. Hasan Neyshaburi, ...
Students Muhammad b. Ali al-Karajuki, Al-Najashi, Al-Shaykh al-Tusi
Works Mi'at manqabat and Bustan al-Kiram

Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. Alī b. al-Ḥasan al-Qummī (Arabic: مُحَمَّد بن اَحمَد بن عَلىّ بن الحَسَن القُمّى) (b. ~ 335/946 – d. 420/1029) known as Ibn Shādhān was a Shi'a faqih and hadith narrator of the fourth/tenth and fifth/eleventh centuries. To acquire Islamic knowledge, he went to Baghdad, Kufa, Ray and Mecca and enjoyed the benefit of meeting scholars such as Ibn Qulawayh, Ahmad b. al-Hasan Neyshaburi and Ibn Mamuyah Isfahani. Muhammad b. Ali al-Karajuki, al-Najashi and al-Shaykh al-Tusi were among his students. He was a leading scholar of hadiths. Shi'a scholars, mostly rijal scholars, considered him reliable. Mi'at manqaba and Bustan al-Kiram were his works.

Lineage

His father was among the greatest hadith narrators and a leader of the Twelver Shi'a of his time. His mother was the daughter of Ibn Qulawayh's sister. Through studying the references of Ibn Shadhan's father and his relationship with Ibn Qulawayh, since he and his father were called "Qummi", it can be inferred that this family were from Qom, Iran. Being attributed "al-Kufi" (from Kufa) was first seen in Hurr al-'Amili's Amal al-Amil and then in later references as al-Najashi has attributed this family to Kufa.

Date and Place of Birth

Ibn Shadhan's date and place of birth is historically unclear. The only available information is that he has heard hadith in Kufa in 374/984 and has had a class in Mecca in 412/1021.

Staying in Baghdad

By looking closely at Ibn Shadhan's teachers and sometimes studying his own words, it is possible to say that he spent his youth in Baghdad. His quoting from Sharif Hasan b. Hamzah Mar'ashi points to the fact that he was in Baghdad between 356/967 – 358/969 where he and Ibn Shadhan met each other. Therefore, Ibn Shadhan probably met Ibn Babawayh in 354/965 in Baghdad. Furthermore, it is safe to say that he began learning hadith studies and other Islamic sciences in Baghdad between 352/963 and 355/966. In his youth, Ibn Shadhan took advantage of some great teachers including his father and Ibn Qulawayh, his mother's uncle who were apparently in Baghdad. He sometimes went to suburbs of Baghdad, to places such as Muhammadiyyah and Rassafah in order to learn hadith from his teachers.

Travels

Kufa

He went to Kufa around 374/984. He stayed there to meet teachers and scholars from different religious centers such as Ibn Sakhtawayh and other scholars who had to commute back and forth to Kufa such as Saram Neyshaburi.

Ray

In his travel to Ray, he profited from teachers such as Abu l-Hasan Ahmad b. Hasan Razi and Ahmad b. Hasan Neyshaburi. Ibn Shadhan must have also passed through Qom on his travel to Ray.

Khorasan

He also traveled to Khorasan and was taught hadith by scholars such as Ibn Mamawayh Isfahani in Neyshabur.

Baghdad

After making many journeys, Ibn Shadhan returned to Baghdad and met Shaykh Tusi. There, he availed himself of the opportunity of meeting Shaykh Tusi between 408/1017 and 412/1021 when he set off to Mecca.

Mecca

From Baghdad, he later traveled to Mecca and began teaching there in 412/1021. Since Shaykh Tusi and al-Najashi have not mentioned Ibn Shadhan's works in their books, very likely, it can be learned that he began writing his books after he traveled to Mecca though his previous writings have been less important to note. He never came back to Baghdad again. Thus, he had probably passed away in Mecca.

Ibn Shadhan's Teachers

He benefited from the presence of many scholars in famous academic centers of his time. A list of 65 of those scholars is now available. Among them Abu Ghalib al-Zurari, al-Talla'ukbari, Ibn 'Ayyash al-Jawhari, Abu l-Mufaddal al-Shaybani and Ibn Babawayh can be seen.

Students

The historical information recorded on the number of his students is little. Yet, only as many as six of them are certain to be:

Scientific Fields

Jurisprudence

Al-Karajaki often mentioned him as "Shaykh Faqih" and this title can be seen in the statements of some others who directly or indirectly transmitted hadiths from Ibn Shadhan.

Hadith Sciences

About hadith sciences, al-Karajaki mentioned that he was definitely superb and had a great knowledge in general and specific reports and by considering Mi'at manqiba, the mentioned view reveals to be not far from reality. In transmitting hadiths, Ibn Shadhan considered delicate points and wherever necessary, he mentioned the place and time of transmission of hadith and whether it was from a book or an oral transmission.

Ibn Shadhan's care about technical points of hadith and also the wide range of his sources including Shi'as and Sunnis would only be comparable to few Shi'a transmitters of hadith such as Ibn Babiwayh. Regarding both selection of hadith and efforts in collecting the hadiths of merits and the proofs through general ways, he was somehow inspired by teachers including Ibn 'Ayyash in Muqtadab al-athar and his other works and Abu al-Mufaddal al-Shaybani in "Ahadith Nusus", etc. About seventy percent of hadiths of Mi'at Manqiba is comprised of hadiths finding which is either difficult or impossible and the rest of thirty percent are famous hadiths which are rarely found in old books.

In the Views of Rijal Scholars

Al-Karajaki and al-Najashi asked God's mercy and satisfaction for him and al-Karajaki praised him. Al-Majlisi, based on the praises of al-Karajaki and al-Wahid al-Bihbahani, and Mamaqani based on asking for God's mercy upon him and calling him "faqih" by al-Karajaki concluded about his admiration and considered hadiths he transmitted "good". At any case, no criticism from Shi'a sources is received about Ibn Shadhan and quotation of hadiths he transmitted in Shi'a books from fifth/eleventh century until recent centuries is the main reason why Shi'a has trusted him. Among Sunni scholars, Khatib al-Khwarazmi frequently mentioned him as "Imam". Him and other scholars including Hafiz Ganji and al-Juwayni quoted hadiths he transmitted and accepted them by implication and this shows that moderate Sunni scholars' trusted him. Among extremist Sunni scholars, al-Dhahabi and following him, Ibn Hajar criticized his hadiths of merits with a harsh tone and mentioned him with offensive titles.

Works

  • Mi'at manqaba, which contains 100 hadiths on the virtues of Imams (a) . His belief in writing this book has been to collect these hadiths from common Sunni narrators. He wrote this book at the request of one of his students.
  • Radd al-shams ala Amir al-Mu'minin, which is attributed to him by Ibn Shahr Ashub.
  • Bustan al-kiram, which is attributed to him by Ibn Hamza Tusi for the first time in 6th century.
  • A book on the verification of a narration about Imam Ali's (a) breaking the idols at the conquest of Mecca by placing his feet on the prophet’s shoulders which is attributed to Ibn Shadhan only by Sayyid Husayn b. Ma'id (Musa'id) Ha'iri but Afandi Isfahani has doubted about this attribution.

Based on a common tradition of his time, though all his works have benefited many, he was also engaged in providing commentaries and reports on his predecessor's works. The two instances below are among his:

References