Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Ardabili
A commemorative stamp of Muqaddas Ardabili issued by Iran's Post Company in 1417/1996
|Full Name||Ahmad b. Muhammad Ardabili|
|Well-Known As||Muqaddas Ardabili, Muhaqqiq Ardabili|
|Studied in||Najaf, Shiraz|
|Burial Place||The Holy Shrine of Imam Ali (a)|
|Professors||Sayyid Ali Sa'igh, Jamal al-Din Mahmud etc.|
|Students||Mirza Muhammad Astarabadi, Sayyid Muhammad 'Amili etc.|
|Works||Zubdat al-bayan fi barahin ahkam al-Qur'an, Majma' al-fa'idat wa al-burhan fi sharh al-Adhhan etc.|
|He always wrote letters to the Safavid court and reminded Shahs to resolve problems of Shi'a|
Aḥmad b. Muḥammad al-Ardabīlī (Persian: احمد بن محمد اردبیلی) (b. ? -d. 993/1585), also known as al-Muqaddas al-Ardabīlī (Perisna: مقدس اردبیلی) and al-Muḥaqqiq al-Ardabīlī (Persian: محقق اردبیلی), was a Shi'a jurist of 10th /16th century. He was a contemporary of Baha' al-Din al-'Amili. He gained his fame from his ascesis and piety. Many scholars praised him.
He was an expert in intellectual and narrative sciences. He helped the Seminary of Najaf to be more thriving when he was its manager. One of his most important works is Zubdat al-bayan fi ayat al-ahkam. At the last stages of his life, he renounced teaching intellectual subjects and dedicated himself to teaching narrative subjects.
He was connected to Safavid court and seized this opportunity to spread Shi'a and resolve the problems of the Shi'a. Finally, he passed away in 993/1585 in Najaf and was buried in the Holy Shrine of Imam Ali (a).
Life and Education
Ahmad Ardabili was born in Ardabil in 10th/16th century. He moved to Najaf to continue his education. He was a contemporary of Baha' al-Din al-'Amili and Shah 'Abbas I. He learned intellectual sciences and fiqh (jurisprudence) under Sayyid Ali Sa'igh and other teachers in the seminary of Najaf. Afterward, he emigrated to Shiraz and studied intellectual sciences under Jamal al-Din Mahmud, the student of Jalal al-Din Dawani. At the last years of his life in Najaf, he renounced teaching intellectual subjects and taught narrative sciences to the end of his life. He helped the seminary of Najaf to be more thriving when he was its manager. He was titled as "Muhaqqiq" (researcher) due to his expertise in research and his profound knowledge. Ardabili was the first jurist after al-Shaykh al-Tusi period who expanded reliance on Khabar-i Wahid by paying attention to reliable hadiths form non-Imami narrators.
He was so pious and ascetic that he was known as "Muqaddas" (saint). Some acts of wonder have been reported from him. He was very humble toward his students. His students have narrated stories about his humbleness and help to the needy.
Connection with Safavid Court
He had connections with Safavid court and seized this opportunity to spread Shi'a and resolve the problems of the Shi'a. Although he refused to emigrate to Iran after Shah 'Abbas Safavi asked him to leave Najaf, he always wrote letters to the court and reminded them to resolve problems of Shi'as.
Words of Other Scholars about Him
Scholars and jurists have praised and admired him greatly. Scholars such as: Shaykh Hurr al-'Amili, 'Allama Majlisi, Shaykh 'Abbas Qumi and Sayyid Mustafa Tafrishi have praised him with various titles and expressions. Mulla Muhammad Hasan al-Najafi known as Sahib Jawahir, Mulla Ahmad Naraqi known as Sahib Mustand al-Shi'a and Yusuf b. Ahmad al-Bahrani known as Muhaddith Bahrani in his book "al-Hada'iq al-nadira" have referred to him and his greatness.
Some of his students are:
- Mirza Muhammad Astarabadi.
- Al-Sayyid Muhammad al-'Amili (d. 1009/1600); the author of Madarik al-ahkam and Nihayat al-maram.
- Al-Shaykh Hasan al-'Amili (d. 1011/1602); the son of Shahid Thani and the author of Ma'alim al-din.
- Mir Fayd Allah Tafrishi.
- Mulla 'Abd Allah Shushtari.
- 'Inayat Allah Kuhpayi'i.
- Zubdat al-bayan fi barahin ahkam al-Qur'an; which is about Ayat al-Ahkam.
- Majma' al-fa'idat wa al-burhan fi sharh al-Adhhan; one of the most famous encyclopedias in inferential jurisprudence. This book is considered as a commentary on Irshad al-adhhan written by 'Allama Hilli.
- Glosses on Sharh Tajrid Qushchi; He discussed the Imamate issues and disproved some demonstrations given by Fakhr al-Din al-Razi against Shi'a beliefs about Imamate.
- Istinas al-ma'nawiyya.
- Bahr al-manaqib.
- Glosses on Qawa'id al-ahkam written by 'Allama Hilli.
- Glosses on Tadhkira written by 'Allama Hilli.
- Glosses on Sharh Mukhtasar 'Adudi.
- A Persian treatise on Imamate.
- Risala fi kawn af'al Allah mu'alallat bi l-aghrad.
- The material for writing this article has been mainly taken from احمد بن محمد اردبیلی in Farsi wikishia.