Al-Hasan b. Sulayman al-Hilli

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Al-Hasan b. Sulayman al-Hilli
Personal Information
TeknonymAbu Muhammad
Epithet'Izz al-Din
Religious AffiliationTwelver Shi'a
Place of BirthHillah
ResidenceHillah, Qom
Deathafter 802/1399-1400
Scholarly Information
Professorsal-Shahid al-Awwal

Ḥasan b. Sulaymān al-Ḥillī (Arabic:حسن بن سليمان الحلي), (probably died after 802/1399-1400) was a Shiite scholar of the 8th/14th century and a student of al-Shahid al-Awwal. He is a transmitter of al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya. His best-known book is Mukhtasar basa'ir al-darajat containing hadiths about the virtues of Ahl al-Bayt (a).


His kunya was Abu Muhammad and his title was 'Izz al-Din. Al-Hurr al-'Amili did not mention "Muhammad" in his genealogy and attributed him, indeed, to his great grandfather. Some people mentioned him as "al-'Amili" (attributed to Jabal Amel) instead of "al-Hilli", but al-Hurr al-'Amili did not mention him among the scholars of Jabal Amel and mentioned him in the second part of his book, Amal al-amil, concerning scholars not from Jabal Amel.

There is no exact information about Hsaan b. Sulayman's years of birth and death, and events of his life. He was probably born before 742/1341-2 and died after 802/1399-1400. Agha Buzurg Tihrani believes that he was born in Hillah, but given the view according to which he was from Jabal Amel and given that he lived in Qom, it is also probable that he was born in one of these two cities.


Al-Hilli was an important student of Shams al-Din Muhammad b. Makki known as al-Shahid al-Awwal. He and 5 other people received a permission to transmit hadiths from al-Shahid al-Awwal in Sha'ban, 757/July-August 1356. During the short life of al-Shahid al-Awwal, he attended his lectures along with well-known scholars of fiqh (jurisprudence), such as al-Fadil al-Miqdad. He also attended the lectures of Muhammad b. Ibrahim Matarabadi, Sayyid Baha' al-Din al-Nili, and Radi al-Din 'Ali. Al-'Allama al-Majlisi praised al-Hilli as a great scholar and jurisprudent and considered all of his work as trustworthy.

Al-Hilli also transmitted al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya. According to a chain of transmission of this book, al-Shaykh al-Baha'i's grandfather, Shams al-Din Muhammad al-Jaba'i (d. 886/1481-2) transmitted the book from Shaykh 'Ali b. Muhammad b. 'Ali from Sayyid Taj al-Din 'Abd al-Hamid b. Jamal al-Din Ahmad b. 'Ali al-Hashimi from Hasan b. Sulayman al-Hilli. On al-Khwansari's account, al-Hilli gave the permission to transmit hadiths in the book, al-Khisal, by al-Shaykh al-Saduq in Muharram, 802/September 1399 to his student, 'Izz al-Din Husayn b. Muhammad b. Hasan al-Hamuyani/al-Juyani. The manuscript of the book with the permission of al-Hilli on it is available today. The only students of al-Hilli mentioned in biographical books are al-Hamuyani and Taj al-Din 'Abd al-Hamid b. Jamal al-Din Ahmad b. 'Ali al-Hashimi al-Zayni.


Mukhtasar basa'ir al-darajat

Some of al-Hilli's works are available to us, the most important of which is Mukhtasar basa'ir al-darajat. In old Shiite sources of hadiths, there are two books under Basa'ir al-darajat: one of them is written by Muhammad b. Hasan b. Farrukh al-Saffar al-Qummi (d. 290/902-3), and the other is written by Sa'd b. 'Abd Allah al-Ash'ari (d. 300/912-3 or 301/913-4 ). The original copy of the latter is not available, but it was the base of al-Hilli's work. Mushtaq al-Muzaffar appealed to al-Afandi al-Isfahani's speculations to show that Sa'd's Basa'ir was a shortened version of al-Saffar's Basa'ir, but some people have rejected the view and showed that the two books are independent. The source of the disagreement is what al-Hilli said at the beginning of his other book, Ithbat al-raj'a. What is certain is that al-Hilli's Mukhtasar basa'ir al-darajat is a selection of Sa'd b. 'Abd Allah al-Ash'ari's Basa'ir al-darajat.

Al-Hilli's selections contain hadiths about the virtues of Ahl al-Bayt (a). In addition to selections from Sa'd's hadiths, al-Hilli added some hadiths from other sources with different chains of transmissions to his book, and in order to preclude any conflations with Sa'd's hadiths, he mentioned his sources. Al-Hilli's Risala al-raj'a and al-Radd 'ala ahl al-bid'a are also mentioned which are the same as Mukhtasar al-basa'ir.


Another work by al-Hilli is al-Muhtadar which aims to show that a person who is about to die ("muhtadar") sees Prophet Muhammad (s) and the Imams (a) with his eyes. In this book, he rejected the views of al-Shaykh al-Mufid who tried to interpret away hadiths concerning this issue. In this work, he discussed various issues such as the virtues of Ahl al-Bayt (a), their Shi'as, and reproached their opponents. The book is also mentioned as al-Muhtadar wa ma yarah fi hal al-ihtidar as well as Manaqib al-a'imma. This essay as well as al-Raj'a and Mukhtasar al-basa'ir were sources of Bihar al-anwar by al-'Allama al-Majlisi. Al-Muhtadar was edited by Muhammad 'Ali Gharawi Urdubadi and published in Najaf in 1330 sh/1951-2.

Other Work

Al-Hilli wrote a short essay concerning the superiority of the Imams (a) over the prophets and angels, challenging the views of al-Shaykh al-Mufid in his Awa'il al-maqalat who believed otherwise. Another work by him is Risala fi ahadith al-dharr which was published in Qom in 1421/2000-1 together with Mukhtasar al-basa'ir.


The material for this article has been mainly taken from حسن بن سلیمان حلی in Farsi WikiShia.