Abū Manṣūr Jamāl al-Dīn al-Ḥasan b. Yūsuf b. Muṭahhar al-Ḥillī (Arabic: أبو منصور جمال الدین الحسن بن یوسف بن مطهّر الحلّي) (b. 648/1251- 726/1326), known as al-'Allama al-Hilli (Arabic: العلامة الحلي), was a Shi'a scholar of the 8th/14th century. After being taught introductory subjects and Arabic grammar, he studied fiqh, usul al-fiqh, hadith and theology under his father and his uncle, al-Muhaqqiq al-Hilli. Later, he studied logic, philosophy and astronomy under other scholars, particularly Nasir al-Din al-Tusi. He reached the level of Ijtihad before attaining maturity and was chosen as marja' at the ripe young age of 28 after the demise of al-Muhaqqiq al-Hilli. He was the first person entitled Ayatollah.
He came to Iran following the invitation of Oljeitu, a king of the Ilkhanid dynasty. In one meeting, he debated with scholars of the four Sunni schools, including Khwaja Nizam al-Din 'Abd al-Malik al-Maragha'i, and strongly refuted all of their arguments. Following this debate, the king accepted Imam Ali (a) as the rightful successor after the Prophet (s), and became a Shi'a. He then changed his name from Oljaitu to Muhammad Khuda Banda (Muhammad, the Servant of God).
Al-'Allama al-Hilli has many works on fiqh, usul al-fiqh, theology, philosophy, logic, supplications and other fields of Islamic studies. His most important works are Mukhtalaf al-Shi'a and Tadhkirat al-fuqaha' in fiqh, Kashf al-murad, Minhaj al-karama, and Al-Bab al-hadi 'ashar in theology, Khulasat al-aqwal in rijal, and Al-Jawhar al-nadid in logic. Read more...