Mulla Muhsin Fayd Kashani

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مقبره فیض.jpg
His tomb in Kashan
Personal Information
Full Name Muḥammad b. Murtaḍā b. Maḥmūd al-Kāshānī
Well-Known As Fayd Kashani
Well-Known Relatives Mulla Sadra
Birth Safar, 14, 1007 A.H. (September 16, 1598)
Residence Kashan
Death 1091 A.H. (1680-1681)
Burial Place Kashan
Scholarly Information
Professors Muhammad Taqi Majlisi, Al-Shaykh al-Baha'i, Mir Damad, Mir Findiriski, Mulla Sadra
Students 'Allama Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi, Sayyid Ni'mat Allah al-Jaza'iri, Qadi Sa'id al-Qummi, ...
Permission for Hadith
Transmission From
Muhammad b. Hasan b. Zayn al-Din al-'Amili
Works
Socio-Political Activities
Socio-Political
Activities
Leading Friday Prayer

Mullā Muḥammad b. Murtaḍā b. Maḥmūd al-Kāshānī (Arabic:الملا محمد بن مرتضى بن محمود الكاشاني), known as Mullā Muḥsin (Arabic: مُلّامُحسِن) and al-Fayḍ al-Kāshānī (Arabic: فیض کاشانی), was a Shiite philosopher, scholar of hadith, Quranic exegete, and an Akhbari scholar of fiqh in the 11th/17th century. He studied with prominent scholars such as Mulla Sadra, al-Shaykh al-Baha'i, Mir Findiriski, and Mir Damad.

Fayd wrote about various issues; his most significant work includes Tafsir al-safi, al-Wafi, Mafatih al-shara'i', al-Mahajjat al-bayda', and al-Kalimat al-maknuna, which respectively concern the Quranic exegesis, hadith, fiqh, ethics, and mysticism.

Al-Fayd adopted a moderate Akhbari approach in fiqh, and thus he had different views from his predecessors. One of his important views in fiqh is the permissibility of singing (ghina') under certain conditions, the variability of the maturity age relative to different laws of shari'a, and the individual obligation (al-wujub al-'ayni) of Friday Prayer.

One of his social and political activities was the holding of Friday Prayer in Kashan and Isfahan.

Lineage, Title, Birth, and Death

The Fayd family was a well-known Shiite family of scholars. His father was Radi al-Din Shah Murtada (950-1009 A.H./ 1543-1600) and his mother was Zahra Khatun (d. 1071 A.H./ 1660), the daughter of Diya' al-'Urafa al-Razi. Al-Fayd's grandfather, Taj al-Din Shah Mahmud, the son of Mulla 'Ali al-Kashani, is buried in Kashan.

Title

Al-Fayd's name was Muhammad, but he was known as Muhsin or Muhammad Muhsin. He married Mulla Sadra's daughter. Mulla Sadra gave him the title, al-Fayd, and gave his other son in law, 'Abd al-Razzaq al-Lahiji, the title, al-Fayyad.

Birth and Death

Al-Fayd was born in Safar 14, 1007 A.H. (September 16, 1598) in Kashan. And he died there in 1091 A.H. (1680-81). He was buried in the cemetery that he had endowed when he was alive. A conference was held in Kashan in the honor of al-Fayd al-Kashani in Aban 15-17, 1387 Sh. (November 5-7, 2008).

Wife and Children

His wife was Mulla Sadra's daughter. And their children are as follows:

  • Muhammad 'Alam al-Huda
  • Mu'in al-Din Ahmad
  • 'Aliya Banu (known as Umm al-Khayr)
  • Sakina (known as Umm al-Birr)
  • Sakina (known as Umm Salama)

Education

Al-Fayd started his educations in Kashan, and when he was 20 years old, he went to Isfahan to continue his studies. After then, he studied with Sayyid Majid al-Bahrani in Shiraz for two years. Once again he went to Isfahan and attended the lectures of al-Shaykh al-Baha'i. In his hajj travel, he received a permission for narrating hadiths from Shaykh Muhammad, al-Shahid al-Thani's grandson. And then he studied in Qom with Mulla Sadra, and accompanied him when he returned to Shiraz and stayed there for two years. Although Khwansari and others believe that al-Fayd studied with Mulla Sadra in his first travel to Shiraz, this is not compatible with what al-Fayd himself wrote. Finally, al-Fayd returned to Kashan where he started teaching and writing. Faydiyya School is said to be called so because al-Fayd resided there for a while.

Many scholars, such as Afandi, al-Hurr al-'Amili, al-Muhaddith al-Nuri, al-Shaykh 'Abbas al-Qummi, 'Allama Amini and others have admired him with words such as philosopher, sage, theologian, muhaddith (scholar of hadith), faqih, poet, man of literature, scholar, and knowledgeable.

Requests of Safavid Kings

Although Shah Safi —the Safavid king— asked him to his palace, al-Fayd refused the invitation. After that, Shah Abbas II asked al-Fayd to hold Friday Prayer in the capital city of Iran then (Isfahan). Al-Fayd personally preferred to keep his privacy, but after consultations with his friends and companions, he accepted the request.

Teachers

Some sources have also mentioned Mulla Khalil al-Qazwini, Muhammad Tahir al-Qummi, Mulla Salih al-Mazandarani and his father as his teachers.

Students

Works

'Allama Fayd al-Kashani's collection of works published by Noor Computer Research Center of Islamic Sciences

Al-Fayd was a prolific author. In his catalogue, he mentioned 100 works of his own. Sayyid Ni'mat Allah al-Jaza'iri said that Fayd wrote about 200 books and essays. Other sources report up to 140 works by Fayd. Here are some of his work:

  • Tafsir al-safi (Quranic exegesis)
  • Tafsir al-asfa (Quranic exegesis)
  • Al-Wafi (a collection of hadiths)
  • Al-Shafi
  • Al-Nawadir
  • 'Ilm al-yaqin
  • Mu'tasam al-Shi'a fi ahkam al-shari'a
  • Al-Mahajjat al-bayda' fi tahdhib al-ihya'
  • Mafatih al-shara'i'
  • Usul al-ma'arif
  • Al-Haqa'iq
  • Qurrat al-'uyun
  • Al-Kalimat al-maknuna
  • Al-Kalimat al-makhzuna
  • Al-La'i
  • Jala' al-'uyun
  • Tashrih al-'alam
  • Bisharat al-Shi'a
  • Al-Arba'in fi manaqib Amir al-M'minin
  • Al-Usul al-asliyya
  • Tashil al-sabil
  • Naqd al-usul al-fiqhiyya
  • Al-Nukhba
  • Al-Shahab al-thaqib
  • Usul al-'aqa'id
  • Minhaj al-nijat
  • Khulasat al-adhkar
  • Diwan (his Persian poems)
  • Risala sharh al-Sadr
  • ...

Noor Computer Research Center of Islamic Sciences in Qom has published an electronic version of Fayd's works as 'Allama Fayd al-Kashani's collection of works.

Particular Views

Khwansari as well as Shaykh Yusuf al-Bahrani considered Mulla Muhsin as an Akhbari scholar. Al-Fayd's writings reinforce the claim. However, on many issues he had independent views; here are some of his particular views:

  • Permissibility of ghina' and playing music: Al-Fayd appeals to some hadiths to show that ghina' is only prohibited when it is accompanied by some prohibited actions, such as gambling, relations between men and women, listening men the singing of women, and containing wrong words. Otherwise, it is not prohibited in itself.
  • A religiously najis thing does not make other things najis.
  • Little water does not become najis if it meets something najis.
  • The unbelievers will not stay in the Hell forever.
  • People of ijtihad will not redeem even if they are the greatest scholars.
  • The age of maturity is various with respect to different laws of shari'a.
  • The shar'i sunset occurs when the sun is absent from the eyes if there are no barriers.
  • It is not required in mash that the head or feet be dry.
  • Every ghusl (ritual bath) is sufficient for wudu.

Further Reading

Fayd pazhuhi; majmu'i maqalati dar barrasi-yi ara' wa ahwal-i Fayd Kashani (Fayd Kashani; a collection of papers on the life of Fayd Kashani).

References