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Al-Khayran the Servant

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Companion of Imam (a)
Al-Khayran the Servant
Companion of Imam al-Rida (a), Imam al-Jawad (a) and Imam al-Hadi (a)
Epithet al-Asbati, al-Qaratisi
Well Known As al-Asbati and al-Qaratisi
Religious Affiliation Shi'a
Students Al-Hasan b. Ali b. al-Washsha, Al-Husayn b. Muhammad b. al-Ash'ari, Ali b. Mahziyar al-Ahwazi, Sahl b. Ziyad al-Adami
Activities Deputyship of Imam al-Jawad (a) and Imam al-Hadi (a)

Al-Khayrān the servant (Arabic:خيران الخادم) was a Shi'a transmitter of hadith in the second/eighth and the third/ninth centuries who was a servant of Imam al-Rida (a) and deputy of Imam al-Jawad (a) and Imam al-Hadi (a). Great scholars such as al-Shaykh al-Tusi have mentioned him as reliable. According to one of the correspondences of Imam al-Hadi (a) with al-Khayran the servant, contemporary scholars have considered his position higher than deputyship. People such as Ali b. Mahziyar al-Ahwazi and Abu Sa'id Sahl b. Ziyad al-Razi have transmitted hadiths from him.


There is no mention of his lineage and teknonym in references of rijal. His title has been mentioned as al-Asbati and al-Qaratisi. Seemingly, al-Qaratisi has been distorted form of al-Faratisi, since according to the report of al-Mas'udi, al-Khayran was servant of Faratis, mother of Wathiq Billah, the Abbasid caliph (ruling between 227/841-42 - 232/846-47) and thus he became famous as al-Faratisi.

Association with Imams (a)

Al-Khayran was the servant of Imam al-Rida (a) and a deputy of Imam al-Jawad (a) and Imam al-Hadi (a). There are reports about his association with Imam al-Hadi (a) and his divinations about some events and also al-Khayran's reverence and humbleness before Imam (a).

Also, there are narrations about Imam al-Rida's (a) clear mentioning of Imam al-Jawad's (a) imamate and also mentioning of Imam al-Hadi's (a) imamate transmitted by al-Khayrani who was thought to be al-Khayran's son.


Al-Tusi has mentioned him as reiable and Ibn Shahrashub has counted him among reliable companions of Imam al-Hadi (a). He had intimate relationships with Imams (a) and was trusted by them so that in one of his correspondences, Imam al-Hadi (a) has considered his opinion the same as al-Khayran's and obeying it the same as obeying himself.

In the Views of Contemporary Scholars

Contemporary scholars of rijal have considered the mentioned correspondence an evidence that he was more than a deputy and an indication of his reliability and high position before Imam (a).

Letter to Imam (a)

What is available about his jurisprudential hadiths he has transmitted is a correspondence with one of Imams (a) about the rulings of prayer wearing clothes sullied by alcoholic drinks or the meat of pig. Contemporary scholars of rijal and fiqh have considered it possible that this letter has been sent to Imam al-Sadiq (a) and since it is impossible that al-Khayran had been living at the time of Imam al-Sadiq (a), attributing this letter to him has been doubted.

Written Works

He wrote a book mentioned by Muhammad b. Isa al-Ubaydi, a companion of Imam al-Hadi (a) and Imam al-Askari (a).