Al-Mahasin (book)

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Bibliographical Information
Bibliographical Information
AuthorAbu Ja'far, Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Khalid al-Barqi
Original titleالمحاسن
SubjectHadith Collection
PublisherI'tiqad-i Ma

Al-Maḥāsin (Arabic: المَحاسِن ) is a Shi'a hadith reference written by Abu Ja'far, Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Khalid al-Barqi (d. 274/887-8 or 280/893-4). He was a great Shi'a scholar and his book was later well-known as al-Mahasin al-Barqi (Arabic: المَحاسِن البَرقي). He compiled hadiths in different topics including fiqh and ethics.


Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Khalid al-Barqi, (b. ~200/815-6 - d. 274/887-8 or 280/893-4) was a renowned Twelver Shi'a hadith scholar (muhaddith) and historian of 3rd/9th century. Both Shi'a and Sunni scholars have relied on his hadiths. Other than al-Mahasin, his Rijal is an important book.


The book is among the best Shi'a hadith references which has great validity and some scholars have even considered it as important as the Four Books. It is also among the most important references of al-Kafi written by Thiqat al-Islam al-Kulayni and he has frequently quoted from al-Mahasin.[1]

Quotations from Great Scholars about the book


Al-Mahasin has originally been a large collection of about a hundred parts (books) referred to as "Kutub al-Mahasin" (al-Mahasin books) which has been a comprehensive collection of Shiite hadiths in various subjects including fiqh, the reasons behind the religious regulations, rituals, wisdom, tawhid, principles of religion and ancillaries of religion. Out of this large hadith collection, only a part containing 2604 hadiths is extant today in 11 books as follows:

  1. Kitab al-ashkal wa l-qara'in (the Book of diagrams and evidences) including those hadiths in which numbers three to ten have been used, in addition to advice from the Prophet (s) and Ahl al-Bayt (a).
  2. Kitab thawab al-a'mal (the book of rewards of actions) including hadiths about rewards of different good actions.
  3. Kitab 'iqab al-a'mal (the book of punishments of actions) including hadiths about sins and punishments for misdeeds.
  4. Kitab al-safwat wa l-nur wa l-rahma (the book of elite, light and mercy) including hadiths about position of the Prophet (s) and Ahl al-Bayt (a) and their followers.
  5. Kitab masabih al-zulam (the book of the Lanterns of darkness) including issues on recognition and knowledge of the truth.
  6. Kitab al-'ilal (the book of causes) including discussions on religious rulings.
  7. Kitab al-safar (the book of traveling) including rulings and hadiths about journey.
  8. Kitab al-ma'akil (the book of what is eaten) including food and beverages.
  9. Kitab al-ma' (the book of waters) including the rulings about waters.
  10. Kitab al-manafi' (the book of interests) including rulings on consulting.
  11. Kitab al-marafiq (the book of amenities) including the rulings of the house, cleaning and transportation vehicles.

Comparison with other Collections of Hadiths

Important Shi'i hadith collections Author Death Number of hadiths descriptions
al-Mahasin Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Barqi 274/887-8 about 2604 Hadiths regarding different topics such as fiqh and ethics
al-Kafi Muhammad b. Ya'qub al-Kulayni 329/941 about 16000 Variety of hadiths regarding the principles of beliefs, ethics, conducts, and fiqh
Man la yahduruh al-faqih al-Shaykh al-Saduq 381/991-2 about 5500 Hadiths regarding fiqh
Tahdhib al-ahkam al-Shaykh al-Tusi 460/1067 about 13600 Hadiths regarding fiqh
Al-Istibsar al-Shaykh al-Tusi 460/1067 about 5500 Hadiths regarding fiqh
al-Wafi al-Fayd al-Kashani 1091/1680 about 50,000 Collection of hadiths in the Four Books with eliminating repeated hadiths and explaining some hadiths
Wasa'il al-shi'a al-Shaykh al-Hurr al-'Amili 1104/1693 35850 Hadiths regarding fiqh in the Four Books and over 70 other collections of hadiths
Bihar al-anwar al-'Allama al-Majlisi 1110/1699 about 85,000 Hadiths from most of the Infallibles (a) regarding various issues
Mustadrak al-wasa'il Mirza Husayn Nuri 1320/1902 23,514 Supplementation of hadiths regarding fiqh in Wasa'il al-shi'a
Safinat al-bihar Shaykh 'Abbas Qummi 1359/1941 10 volumes an alphabetically ordered index for Bihar al-anwar
Mustadrak safinat al-bihar Shaykh 'Ali Namazi 1405/1984-5 10 volumes Supplementation of Safinat al-bihar
Jami' ahadith al-Shi'a Ayatollah Burujirdi 1380/1961 48,342 Including all Shiite hadiths regarding fiqh
Mizan al-hikma Muhammad Muhammadi Reyshahri 2022 23,030 564 non-jurisprudential (not regarding fiqh) topics
al-Hayat Muhammad Rida Hakimi 2021 12 volumes 40 chapters regarding theoretical and practical issues


  1. Barqī. al-Mahāsin, vol. 1, Introduction.
  2. Ṣadūq, Man lā yaḥḍuruh al-faqīh, vol. 1, p. 4.
  3. Ḥillī, Mustaṭrafāt al-Sarāʾir, p. 641.
  4. Barqī, al-Mahāsin, vol. 1, p. 10.
  5. Majlisī, Lawāmiʾ ṣāḥibqarānī, vol. 1, p. 193.


  • Barqī, Aḥmad b. Muḥammad al-. Al-Mahāsin. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1371 Sh.
  • Ḥillī, Ibn Idrīs al-. Mustaṭrafāt al-Sarāʾir. Qom: al-Nashr al-Islāmī, 1411 AH.
  • Ṣadūq, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-. Man lā yaḥḍuruh al-faqīh. Qom: al-Nashr al-Islāmī, [n.d].
  • Majlisī, Muḥammad Taqī al-. Lawāmiʾ ṣāḥibqarānī. Qom: Intishārāt-i Ismāʿīlīyān, [n.d].