Al-Khilaf fi l-ahkam (book)

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Al-Khilaf fi l-ahkam
Bibliographical Information
Bibliographical Information
AuthorAl-Shaykh al-Tusi (d. 460/1066)
Original titleکتاب الخلاف
Series6 vols.

Al-Khilāf fī l-aḥkām (Arabic:الخِلافُ فی الأحکام) known as al-Khilāf (Arabic:الخِلاف) is a book in jurisprudence written by al-Shaykh al-Tusi (d. 460/1067). This book is among the most famous books of Shi'a in jurisprudence which discusses disputed issues and comparative jurisprudence. In this book, al-Shaykh al-Tusi mentions the opinions of different Islamic schools in jurisprudence and then criticizes them and mentions the correct opinion through reasoning.


Muhammad b. al-Hasan b. 'Ali b. al-Hasan (b. 385/995 – d. 460/1067) known as al-Shaykh al-Ta'ifa and al-Shaykh al-Tusi was the author of the two books of Tahdhib and al-Istibsar from the Four Books of Shia hadiths references. He is regarded among the greatest hadith and fiqh scholars of Shia. He had influential works in Kalam and the Qur'an exegesis. At the age of 23, he went to Iraq from Khurasan and benefited from great scholars there including al-Shaykh al-Mufid and al-Sayyid al-Murtada.


Different names have been mentioned for this book including al-Khilaf fi l-ahkam, Masa'il al-khilaf and Masa'il al-khilaf ma'a al-kull.

Goal of Writing

In the preface of the book, the author mentions that the request of some of his religious brothers to bring up disputed issues among different schools, mentioning the opinions of each and the justifications of Twelver Shia from scientific reasons and definite tradition of the Prophet (s) which opponents consider themselves obliged to act upon was the reason to compile the book.

Date of Compilation

There is no accurate information about the exact date of the book's compilation in sources; however, according to the introduction of al-Mabsut, this book was written after al-Nihaya, al-Jumal wa l-'uqud and before al-Mabsut. According to the report of al-Shaykh al-Tusi, this book was written after two other important books of al-Shaykh al-Tusi, i.e. Tahdhib al-ahkam and al-Istibsar (after 415/1024-5).


The book discusses different issues in six volumes, in the form of question as "Mas'ala" and its answer as "Daliluna" (lit. our reasoning). The issues discussed in the book are as following:

  • First volume: purity, menstruation, istihada (menstrual regular discharges), nifas (bleeding after childbirth), prayer, covering private parts, congregational prayer, passenger's prayer, Friday Prayer, prayer of fear, Prayer of Eid, prayer for solar eclipse, prayer for rain and rulings of the dead.
  • Second volume: zakat, Zakat for Eid al-Fitr, fasting, I'tikaf (retreat) and hajj.
  • Third volume: sales, Rahn (mortgage), Hajr (wardship), Sulh (amicable settlement), Hawala (transfer of debts), Diman (guaranty), partnership, agency, Iqrar (confession), 'Ariya (loan), usurpation, Shuf'a (preemption), Qarad (trading partnership), Musaqat (crop sharing), lease, farm letting, reviving barren lands, religious endowment, gift, found property.
  • Fourth volume: Obligations, wills, deposit, booty and sharing spoils, charities, marriage, Sidaq (mahr), Walima (feast), Khul' (divorce of a wife at her own request), divorce, withdrawal from divorce, Ila' (oath of abstinence from intercourse by husband), Zihar (incestuous comparison).
  • Fifth volume: Li'an, 'Idda (waiting period), Rida' (breast-feeding), Nafaqa (alimony), crimes, blood money, atonement for murder, rebellion, apostasy, prescribed punishments, robbery, robbers, drinks, killing apostates, Jihad, taken lands, Jizya (tributary tax).
  • Sixth volume: hunting and sacrificed animals, foods, faith, Nadhr, manners of judgment, witnesses, claims and evidences, manumission.


In al-Dhari'a, eight versions of the book are mentioned as below:

  1. Old complete version of Haj Mirza Baqir Qadi Tabataba'i in Tabriz in two volumes.
  2. The version kept in the library of Shaykh Hadi Kashif al-Ghita' in Najaf.
  3. The version kept in the library of Shaykh Muhammad Samawi.
  4. The version kept in the library of Shaykh Mashkur, vol. 1.
  5. The version kept in the library of Tustariyya, vol. 2, from religious endowments of Shaykh Mahdi Qumshi'i.
  6. The version kept in Sadr library, from the beginning of the chapter on purity to the end of the chapter on faith compiled in 668/1269-70 which is among the oldest versions.
  7. The version kept in the library of Shaykh Hadi Kashif al-Ghita' written by Shahriyar b. Allah Dad Farahani in 1082/1671-2.
  8. A Part of the book from the discussion on 'Adad to Hudud (prescribed punishments) kept in the Library of Astan Quds Radawi written by Sadr al-Din b. Jamal al-Din Muhammad which was gifted by Ibn Khatun.

Authentic Versions

Four versions are used in the publication of the book as following:


This book has been published in different volumes, including one version published by Mu'assisa Nashr Islami of Jami'a Mudarrisin in Qom under supervision of Haj Mujtaba Muhammadi 'Iraqi and a group of researchers comprised of Haj Shaykh Muhammad Mahdi Najaf, Haj Sayyid Jawad Shahristani and Haj Sayyid Ali Khurasani Kazimi.