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'Ubayd Allah b. 'Ali al-Halabi

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Companion of Imam (a)
'Ubayd Allah b. 'Ali al-Halabi
Full Name 'Ubayd Allah b. 'Ali al-Halabi
Companion of Imam al-Sadiq (a)
Place(s) of Residence Kufa
Works Al-Jami' , al-Mas'il

ʿUbayd Allāh b. ʿAlī al-Ḥalabī (Arabic:عبيدالله بن علي الحلبي) was the Shia narrator and scholar of hadith and fiqh in 2nd/8th century and among the companions of Imam al-Sadiq (a). Most of his fame was due to writing the book al-Jami' or al-Kitab, for which Imam al-Sadiq (a) praised him.

His Lineage

His grandfather was Abu Shu'ba, one of the narrators of hadiths from Imam al-Hasan (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a). The family of al-Halabi was one of the Shia families in Kufa known for their trustworthiness and were called the family of Abi Shu'ba after the name of their father.[1]

Al-Najashi[2] reported of the bond of Wila' (friendship) between this family and the tribe of Bani Taym al-Lat b. Tha'laba and al-Shaykh al-Tusi[3] considered them among freed slaves of Banu 'Ijl.

The Origin of Title, Halabi

According to al-Najashi,[4] the cause of 'Ubayd Allah b. Ali as Halabi was due to the trips of his father, brother and himself to Halab (Aleppo) for commerce.[5]

Works

Al-Jamiʿ

Most of the fame 'Ubayd Allah Halabi gained was due to writing a book called al-Jami' or al-Kitab which is said to have been the first book on jurisprudence among Shia.[6] But it seems that the first book concerning jurisprudence among shi'a is the book of 'Ali b. Abi Rafi', companion of Imam Ali (a). According to al-Najashi[7] and al-Shaykh al-Tusi,[8] al-Halabi presented his book to Imam al-Sadiq (a) and he (a) praised it. This book was among common references of Twelver Shia. Al-Shaykh al-Tusi[9] has mentioned this book through several chains of narration and has mentioned that it is trusted by scholars of hadiths.[10]

Al-Jami' and Isma'ilis: Al-Halabi's book was also famous among Isma'ilis. They say that two prominent preacher of Isma'ilis called Halwani and Sufyani who were active before establishing government of Fatimids in the north of Africa have reported the book of al-Halabi.[11]

The Isma'ili preacher, Abu 'Abd Allah Ja'far b. Ahmad b. Haytham, reported this book through Aflah b. Harun 'Abani (preacher, Shaykh and faqih of Malusa tribe among Isma'ili tribes).[12]

Al-Qadi al-Nu'man benefited from this book in his book, al-Idah, and quoted many topics from it.[13]

Al-Masa'il

Ibn Shahr Ashub[14] has mentioned a book called al-Masa'il written by al-Halabi, that seemingly he had not seen it and received information on it from the reports mentioned in Qadi Nu'man's al-Idah.

Similar to other books with the same title during the lives of Imams (a), in al-Masa'il, 'Ubayd Allah al-Halabi has first mentioned his questions from Imam (a) and then Imam's (a) answers to them.[15] Al-Masa'il contains his questions from Imam al-Sadiq (a) and his answers to them.

Al-Shaykh al-Saduq has quoted some issues from this book in his Man la yahduruh al-faqih.[16] Al-Msa'il was also available to Qadi Nu'man[17] and he quoted from it in his al-Idah.[18]

Narrators from 'Ubayd Allah Halabi

Hammad b. 'Uthman,[19] Ibrahim b. 'Abd al-Hamid,[20] Ali b. Ri'ab Kufi[21] and Ahmad b. 'A'idh[22] are among the most famous people who have narrated from 'Ubayd Allah b. Ali al-Halabi.

Notes

  1. Najāshī, Rijāl al-Najāshī, p. 230, 231.
  2. Najāshī, Rijāl al-Najāshī, p. 230.
  3. Ṭūsī, Rijāl, p. 234.
  4. Najāshī, Rijāl al-Najāshī, p. 230.
  5. Barqī, Kitāb al-Rijāl, p. 23.
  6. Mudarrisī Ṭabaṭabaʾī, Turbat-i pākān, vol. 1, p. 380.
  7. Najāshī, Rijāl al-Najāshī, p. 231.
  8. Ṭūsī, Fihrist, p. 305.
  9. Ṭūsī, Fihrist, p. 305.
  10. Bihbūdī, Maʿrifat al-ḥadīth, p. 261-262.
  11. Ibn Haytham, al-Munāzirāt, p. 122; Qurashī, Tārīkh al-khulafā al-fāṭīmiyyīn bi al-Maghrib, p. 211.
  12. Ibn Haytham, al-Munāzirāt, p. 121-122.
  13. Qaḍī Nuʿmān. Īḍāḥ, p. 40, 46, 49; Mudarrisī Ṭabaṭabaʾī, Turbat-i pākān, vol. 1, p. 381.
  14. Ibn Shahrāshūb,Maʿālim al-ʿulamā, p. 179.
  15. Mudarrisī Ṭabaṭabaʾī, Turbat-i pākān, vol. 1, p. 347, 381.
  16. Ṣadūq, Man lā yaḥḍuruh al-faqīh, vol. 1, p. 83, 99; vol. 2, p. 40, 344; vol. 3, p. 40, 47.
  17. Qaḍī Nuʿmān. Īḍāḥ, p. 30, 36.
  18. Mudarrisī Ṭabaṭabaʾī, Turbat-i pākān, vol. 1, p. 381.
  19. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 5, p. 356; Ṣadūq, al-Khiṣāl, p. 294.
  20. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 2, p. 114.
  21. Ṣadūq, al-Khiṣāl, vol. 1, p. 129, 151.
  22. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 2, p. 639.

References

  • Barqī, Aḥmad b. Muḥammad. Kitāb al-Rijāl. 1383 Sh.
  • Bihbūdī, Muḥammad Bāqir. Maʿrifat al-ḥadīth wa tārīkh nashrih wa tadwīnih wa thiqāfatihi ʿinda al-shīʿa al-imāmiyya. Tehran: 1362 Sh.
  • Ibn Haytham, al-Ḥasan b. al-Ḥasan. Al-Munāzirāt. with English translation Wilfred Madelung and Paul Ernest Walker. London 2000.
  • Mudarrisī Ṭabaṭabaʾī. Turbat-i pākān; āthār wa banāhā-yi qadīm maḥdūda-yi kunūnī-yi dār al-muʾminīn Qom. Qom: 1355 Sh.
  • Najāshī, Aḥmad b. ʿAlī al-. Fihrist asmāʾ muṣannifī al-Shīʿa al-mushtahir bi rijāl al-Najāshī. Edited by Mūsā Shubayrī Zanjānī. Qom: 1407 AH.
  • Qaḍī Nuʿmān. Īḍāḥ. Edited by Muḥammad Kādim Raḥmatī. Beirut: 1428 AH.
  • Qurashī, Idrīs. Tārīkh al-khulafā al-fāṭīmiyyīn bi al-Maghrib. Edited by Muḥammad Yaʿlāwī. Beirut: 1985.
  • Ṣadūq, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-. Al-Khiṣāl. Edited by ʿAlī Akbar Ghaffārī. Qom: 1362 Sh.
  • Ṣadūq, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-. Man lā yaḥḍuruh al-faqīh. Edited by ʿAlī Akbar Ghaffārī. Qom: 1414 AH.
  • Ṭūsī, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥaasn al-. Al-Rijāl. Edited by Jawād Qayyūmī Iṣfahānī. Qom: 1415 AH.
  • Ṭūsī, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-. Fihrist kutub al-shīʿa wa uṣūlihim wa asmāʾ al-muṣannifīn wa aṣḥāb al-uṣūl. Edited by ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Ṭabāṭabāʾī. Qom: 1420 AH.