Al-Muhaqqiq al-Hilli

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Al-Muhaqqiq al-Hilli
Personal Information
Full NameJa'far b. Hasan b. Yahya b. Sa'id al-Hilli
TeknonymAbu l-Qasim
EpithetNajm al-Din
Well-Known AsAl-Muhaqqiq al-Hilliو Al-Muhaqqiq al-Awwal
Religious AffiliationShi'a
Well-Known RelativesHasan b. Yahya (father) • Al-Allama al-HilliAli b. Yusuf al-Hilli (nephew)
BirthRabi' II 18, 602/December 2, 1205)
Place of BirthHillah
Studied inHillah
DeathRabi' I 13, 676/August 14, 1277
Burial PlaceHillah
Scholarly Information
ProfessorsHis father • Ibn NamaSayyid Fakhkhar al-MusawiIbn Idris al-Hilli

Abu l-Qāsim Jaʿfar b. Ḥasan b. Yaḥyā b. Saʿīd al-Ḥillī (Arabic: ابوالقاسم جعفر بن حسن بن یحیی بن سعید الحلي), (b. 602/1205 - d. 676/1277) commonly regarded as al-Muhaqqiq al-Hillī or al-Muhaqqiq al-Awwal, was a great Shi'a faqih (jurist), usuli, and poet in the 7/13 century. He was one of the best-known faqihs of his time, and he is meant by the word "Muhaqqiq" (researcher) whenever it is used without any indication in the works of faqihs.

Some great scholars, such as al-Allama al-Hilli, Ibn Dawud al-Hilli, Sayyid 'Abd al-Karim b. Tawus, and Ibn Sa'id al-Hilli were among his students. He was exceptionally respected by Khwaja Nasir al-Din al-Tusi. He was the author of Sharayi' al-Islam and al-Mukhtasar al-nafi' fi fiqh al-Imamiyya.

Life and Education

Al-Muhaqiq al-Hilli was born in 602/1205 in Hillah, Iraq. He was gifted with great intelligence and talent. He started the study of conventional sciences of the time in his childhood. As it was his mother tongue, he studied Arabic literature very well, and acquired a good knowledge of astronomy, mathematics, logic, and theology. Then he learned fiqh and usul from his learned father Hasan b. Yahya, and from other famous scholars of Hillah, such as Ibn Nama and Sayyid Fakhkhar al-Musawi, who were the students of the great Shi'a jurist; Ibn Idris al-Hilli. He passed away in the morning of Rabi' I 13, 676/August 14, 1277 at the age of 74 and was buried in Hillah.[1]




Shara'i' al-Islam fi masa'il al-halal wa l-haram written by al-Muhaqqiq al-Hilli

He was a fluent writer and had many profound books. He authored fourteen books in different fields. Some of his works are still among the course books of religious studies.

The book Shara'i' al-Islam fi masa'il al-halal wa l-haram; regarding both text and context, it is one of the greatest jurisprudential books of Shi'a. It has been considered and highly acclaimed by great scholars. Many commentaries and annotations are written on it, the best example is Jawahir al-kalam in forty-three volumes. Sharayi' al-Islam is translated into Persian, Russian, French, German, and Urdu and is used in judicial faculties and institutes.

Poetry and Literature

Al-Muhaqiq al-Hilli was also a poet. Ethics, mysticism, and wisdom were the main contents of his poetry, and they were written in forms of correspondence and capping verses, addressing his father or friends.[5]

From Others' Point of View

Al-'Allama al-Hilli has noted about him in an authorization (Ijaza) he gave to Zuhra Dynasty: "He was the greatest jurist of his time."[6]

Al-Muhaddith al-Nuri has praised him as follows:

"(He was) the discoverer of facts of Shari'a (Divine Law), with such delicate points known by no one before. He was the chief of scholars, the jurist of philosophers, the luminous sun of the learned, and the full moon of mystics. His name and knowledge recounts the story of Khazra' Island, and is the heir to the knowledge of the infallible Imams (a) and legitimate leaders of all creatures. He raised the flag of investigation over creatures. May God send an apparent and concealed beam of His blessings on his tomb and grant him a proper place and elevated position in Paradise."

Moreover, Sayyid Hasan al-Sadr has stated:

"The pen is impotent in counting his virtues. He is the author of Sharayi' al-Islam, which is as the Qur'an of fiqh [it is the most important book in the field]. He has some well-known books in usul al-fiqh as al-Nafi', al-Mu'tabar, and al-Ma'arij, and has some compilations in theology which are mentioned in the comprehensive books. More than 400 learned mujtahids were graduated from his lessons, the resume of whom is recorded in rijal books, and such achievements are yet gained by no one else. He passed away in Hillah in Rabi' II, 696, and there is a shrine to his honorable grave, which is blessed by pilgrims."[7]

Al-Shaykh al-Hasan (the son of al-Shahid al-Thani), commonly regarded as "Sahib Ma'alim" (the author of Ma'alim al-usul), has noted about him:

"Al-'Allama al-Hilli would have better-called al-Muhaqiq the greatest fiqh scholar of all times, for he was the foremost amongst the Shi'a faqihs, and no one resembles him."[8]

Ibn Dawud al-Hilli, a student of al-Muhaqqiq, writes about his teacher in his rijal book:

"In his time, al-Muhaqiq was incomparable, the most eloquent, and the most logical, and mindful."[9]

Describing him, Morteza Motahhari says:

"There is no precedent for him in fiqh. His highness is meant by the word "Muhaqiq" (investigator) whenever it is used without any indication in the works of jurists. The great philosopher and mathematician, Khwaja Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, has visited him in Hillah and attended his fiqh lessons. The books of al-Muhaqiq, especially Sharayi', are and have been among the course books of religious students, and many scholars have written commentaries and annotations on them.[10]


  1. Mudarris, Rayḥānat al-adab, vol. 5, p. 236; Farṭūsī, Tārīkhcha-yi āstān-i muṭahhar-i Imām ʿAlī, p. 331.
  2. Motahhari, Āshnāyī ba ʿulūm-i islāmī, vol. 3, p. 81-82.
  3. Amīn, Aʿyān al-Shīʿa, vol. 4, p. 91; Khwānsārī, Rawḍāt al-jannāt, vol. 2, p. 188.
  4. Khwānsārī, Rawḍāt al-jannāt, vol. 2, p. 188; Āfandī, Riyāḍ al-ʿulamāʾ, vol. 1, p. 104.
  5. Amīn, Aʿyān al-Shīʿa, vol. 4, p. 89.
  6. Amīn, Aʿyān al-Shīʿa, vol. 4, p. 89.
  7. Ṣadr, Taʾsīs al-Shīʿa, p. 305-306.
  8. Amīn, Aʿyān al-Shīʿa, vol. 4, p. 89.
  9. Dawani, "Bā mafākhir-i Islām āshnā shawīm," p. 64-65.
  10. Motahhari, Āshnāyī ba ʿulūm-i islāmī, vol. 3, p. 81-82.


  • Āfandī, ʿAbd Allāh. Riyāḍ al-ʿulamāʾ wa ḥiyāḍ al-fuḍalāʾ. Qom: Maṭbaʿat al-Khayyām, 1401 AH.
  • Amīn, Sayyid Muḥsin al-. Aʿyān al-Shīʿa. Beirut: Dār al-Taʿāruf l-l-Maṭbūʿāt, 1406 AH.
  • Dawani, ʿAlī. "Bā mafākhir-i Islām āshnā shawīm." Maktab-i Islām 1 (1339 Sh).
  • Khwānsārī, Muḥammad Bāqir al-. Rawḍāt al-jannāt. Qom: Ismāʿīlīyān, [n.d].
  • Motahhari, Morteza. Āshnāyī ba ʿulūm-i islāmī. Fifth rdition. Qom: Daftar-i Intishārāt-i Islāmī, 1372 Sh.
  • Mudarris, Muḥammad ʿAlī. Rayḥānat al-adab. Qom: Khayyām, 1369 Sh.
  • Ṣadr, Sayyid Ḥasan al-. Taʾsīs al-Shīʿa. Tehran: Aʿlamī, 1375 Sh.