Ibn Hamza al-Tabari

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Personal Information
Full Name Al-Sharif al-Hasan b. Hamza b. 'Ali al-Tabari
Kunya Abu Muhammad
Well-Known As Ibn Hamza al-Tabari
Religious Affiliation Twelver Shi'a
Residence Tabaristan
Studied in Tabaristan, Qom, Rey, Iraq, Mecca
Death 358/969
Burial Place Amol
Scholarly Information
Professors Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Dinawari, Ahmad b. Idris al-Qummi, etc.
Students Ibn Shadhan al-Qummi, Ibn Nuh al-Sirafi, etc.
Works Al-Mabsut fi 'amal yawm wa layla, Tabashir al-shari'a, etc.

Al-Sharīf al-Ḥasan b. Ḥamza b. ʿAlī al-Ṭabarī (Arabic:الشَريف الحَسَن بن حَمزَه بن علي الطَبَري) (d. 358/969) is a Shi'a faqih and hadith transmitter of the 4th/10th century. He traveled to Qom, Rey, Mecca, and Kufa to learn Islamic Studies and benefited from great figures such as Ahmad b. Idris al-Qummi and Abu Ghanim Isma'il b. 'Abd al-Rahman al-Harithi. Al-Shaykh al-Saduq and Ja'far b. Ahmad b. al-Razi are among his pupils in hadith. Although no one has explicitly said that he is Thiqa (reliable), al-Shaykh al-Mufid and al-Shaykh al-Tusi have praised him for his asceticism, pity, and righteousness.

Lineage

He is among the 6th generation of Imam al-Sajjad's (a) descendants. His grandfather was Ali Mar'ash, and therefore his family was called al-Mar'ashi. They were among Shi'a who resided in Tabaristan. Fakhr al-Razi reported that Ibn Hamza also lived in Tabaristan and even his ancestors.

Ibn Hamza is very important because his name is mentioned in the narration chains of early Imami works. His name is mentioned as the narrator of the works of 95 muhaddiths described in Rijal by al-Najashi and six Muhaddiths described in al-Fihrist by al-Tusi.

Education and Masters

Tabaristan

Several signs indicate that he started his education in Tabaristan and learned hadith under his masters of hadith (Mashayikh) including Abu l-'Abbas Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Dinawary and Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. Umidvar al-Tabari.

Qom and Rey

Studying Ibn Hamza's masters in hadiths shows that he has passed a period of his education in Qom and Rey. He has learned hadith form Muhammad b. Ja'far al-Asadi al-Razi, Ahmad b. Idris al-Qummi and Muhammad b. Ja'far b. Butta al-Qummi. The exact time of his return from Qom and Rey is not known; however, in 312/924-25 he was in Tabaristan, as Ibn Nuh al-Sirafi reported that he has learned hadith in Amol during the reign of Ja'far b. Hasan Nasir.

Iraq

There is no information about his life from 312/924-25 to 328/939-40; nevertheless, it is guessed that after staying for a while in his hometown he has traveled to Iraq as in 328/939-40, he benefited from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Sa'id b. 'Uqda and also in the same year Harun b. Musa al-Talla'ukbari has learned hadiths from him.

Mecca

In a story narrated by al-Ghada'iri form Ibn Hamza, he has mentioned his education process in Tabaristan, Qom and Rey and completion of his education in Iraq. Nonetheless, in an unknown time, perhaps during his stay in Iraq, he has gone to Hajj and learned Hadiths from Abu Ghanim Isma'il b. 'Abd al-Rahman al-Harithi in Mecca.

Other Masters

Other than the aforementioned names, great figures such as Muhammad b. 'Abd Allah al-Himyari, Ali b. Ibrahim al-Qummi, Ali b. Hatam al-Qazwini and Muhammad b. Jarir b. Rustam al-Tabari are among his masters in hadith.

In a chain of narrators in al-Ikhtisas, he has narrated a hadith from al-Kulayni.

Demise

Without mentioning that whether he returned back to Tabaristan or not, al-Najashi reported that he passed away in 358/969. Ibn Isfandiyar said that his grave is in Amol; so he has returned from Baghdad to Tabaristan and passed away there.

During the reign of Ardishir, Baha' al-Din Mamtiri encouraged Ardishir to rebuild Ibn Hamza's tomb.

Pupils and Narrators

There is also no information about his life from 328/939-40 to 356/967. However, he has probably entered Qom and Rey on his way back from Baghdad to Tabaristan. Presumably, al-Shaykh al-Saduq and Ja'far b. Ahmad b. al-Razi have learned hadith from him during this journey.

In 356/967, Ibn Hamza went to Baghdad and the masters of hadiths in Baghdad learned hadiths from him. Ahmad b. Muhammad b. 'Ubayd Allah b. 'Ayyash al-Jawhari, Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Shadhan al-Qummi, Ahmad b. Ali b. Nuh al-Sirafi, al-Shaykh al-Mufid, Husayn b. 'Ubayd Allah al-Ghada'iri and Ibn 'Abdun are among the narrators who have narrated hadiths from him.

Reliability

Although no one has explicitly said that he is thiqa (reliable), al-Shaykh al-Mufid and al-Shaykh al-Tusi have praised him for his asceticism, piety and righteousness. Al-Najashi has mentioned him among the great figures of Shi'a. Moreover, Ibn Babawayh and Husayn b. 'Ubayd Allah al-Ghada'iri have used the phrase "God be pleased with him" (Radi Allah 'anh) after his name.

Expertise in Other Fields

Not only was he famous in hadith, he was also known as faqih. In some sources he is introduced as genealogist, litterateur, poet and even Mutakallim (theologian). The titles of his lost works confirm some of these reports.

Works

He authored numerous works, such as al-Mabsut fi 'amal yawm wa layla, al-Ashfiya fi ma'ani l-ghiyba and Tabashir al-Shari'a.

Moreover, Ibn Isfandiyar has quoted an ode (Qasida) of 37 verses form him and Ibn Shahr Ashub had quoted a Ruba'i form him.

References