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Riyad al-'ulama' wa hiyad al-fudala' (book)

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Riyad al-'ulama' wa hiyad al-fudala'
Author 'Abd Allah Afandi
Original title ریاضُ العُلَماء و حیاضُ الفُضَلاء
Language Arabic
Series 10 volumes
Subject Biography of Shi'a and Sunni scholars
Publisher Mu'assisa al-Tarikh al-'Arabi

Riyāḍ al-ʿulamāʾ wa ḥiyāḍ al-fuḍalāʾ (Arabic: ریاضُ العُلَماء و حیاضُ الفُضَلاء) is a book that was written by Mirza 'Abd Allah Afandi (b.1066/1656 – d.1130/1718) and is about biography of Shi'a and Sunni scholars. Afandi authored this book in an alphabetical way consisting of ten volumes; five volumes were dedicated to biography of Shi'a scholars, and the other half had to do with Sunni scholars.

Riyad al-'ulama is the most notable work of Afandi. It is compared to Jawahir al-kalam (written by Muhammad Hasan Najafi) in terms of technicality, and it represents the validity and significance of the book. Afandi was going to author a book on the biography of Shi'i scholars since occultation of Imam al-Mahdi (a) to his era, but sometimes he dealt with other subjects. This book remained forever in a draft form.

Author

'Abd Allah b. 'Isa Biyg Jiyrani known as Mirza 'Abd Allah Afandi, was expert in rational and traditional sciences, and was also a professional bibliographer and biographer of religious scholars. He was born in Isfahan in 1066/1656, when Safavid dynasty was governing the country, but he was originally from Tabriz and was born in a prosperous family.

It is said that he spent half of his life making travels and visited a lot of Islamic territories such as Hijaz, Iraq, Ottoman Empire, Caucasus, Turkestan, Afghanistan and India.[1] He passed away in 1130/1718, before Iran was attacked by Mahmud Afghan.[2] His death place is not known yet.[3]

Riyad al-'ulama is the most notable work of Afandi. It is compared to Jawahir al-kalam fi sharh sharayi' al-islam (written by Muhammad Hasan Najafi) which is considerable in Imami jurisprudence- in terms of technicality,[4] and it represents the validity and significance of the book. Afandi began to write the book at the age of forty.[5] This book remained forever in a draft form, and perhaps that is why there are some neglects in phrases and themes.

Sources

The sources of Riad al-'ulama' are the most noteworthy works of Shi'a and Sunni including history, "tarajim" (biographies and autobiographies) and literature. Moreover, his findings from his contemporary men has raised the significance of this work.[6] He has quoted exactly the same phrases and has been loyal to the sources,[7] yet he has mentioned the refined instances after correcting and juxtaposing the references.[8]

Structure

Riad al-'ulama' was written in ten volumes and was sorted alphabetically. It was divided into two parts; the first five volumes were devoted to Shi'a scholars, and the second five volumes to Sunni scholars. Two parts of Shi'a volumes and three parts of Sunni volumes were destroyed, but Sayyid Ahmad Husayni, the editor of the book, reconstructed the Shi'a parts according to Mirza 'Abd Allah Afandi's commentary on Amal al-'amil, that was written by al-Shaykh al-Hurr al-'Amili (b. 1030/1621 – d.1104/1693, a prominent muhaddith and Twelver Shi'a scholar).[9]

Features

He dealt with the social affairs of his age, and even sometimes touched on the subjects such as khiraj, Friday Prayer, use of tobacco, and disagreement between Shi'a and Sunni, and expressed his point of view independently.[10] As were widespread in his era, He was severely opposed to the Sufism, sages and philosophers and believed that Sufi convictions and doctrines ought to be regarded as sins.[11] He was going to author a book on the biography of Shi'a scholars since occultation of Imam al-Mahdi (a) to his era, but he sometimes dealt with other subjects.

Notes

  1. Afandi, Riyad al-'ulam' , vol.3 p.230
  2. Al-Jazayiri, al-Ijazat al-kabira, p.147; Khwansari, Rawdat al-jannat, vol.4 p.256-257
  3. Mar'ashi Najafi, Zahr al-riyad, p.22
  4. Nuri, al-Fayd al-qudsi, p.86
  5. Afandi, Riyad al-'ulam' , vol.3 p.233
  6. Sa'idi Khurasani, Tarikh wa safarnama-yi hazin, Diwan
  7. see: Afandi, Riyad al-'ulam' , vol.1 p.163, vol.2 p.20
  8. see: Afandi, Riyad al-'ulam' , vol.1 p.18,23,30,82, vol.2 p.440
  9. Zikawati, Riyad al-'ulam' , p.38
  10. Zikawati, Riyad al-'ulam' , p.43
  11. Afandi, Riyad al-'ulam' , vol.2 p.258

References

  • Nuri, Husayn. Al-Fayd al-qudsi.
  • Afandi, 'Abd Allah b. Isa. Riyad al-'ulam' wa hiad al-fudala' . Qom: Mu'assisat al-Tarikh al-'Arabi.
  • Jazayiri, 'Abd Allah al-. Al-Ijazat al-kabira. Qom: 1409 AH.
  • Khwansari, Muhammad. Rawdat al-jannat. Qom: 1391 AH.
  • Mar'ashi Najafi, Shihab al-Din. Zahr al-riyad. Preface of Riyad al-'Ulama'
  • Sa'idi Khurasani, Muhammad Baqir. Tarikh wa safarnama-yi hazin, Diwan. Tehran: 1350
  • Zikawati, 'Ali Rida. Kitab Riyad al-'ulam' . Nashr Danish mag. 1363 Sh, no.24