Asad Allah Shushtari

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Asad Allah Shushtari
Personal Information
Religious AffiliationTwelver Shi'a
Well-Known RelativesJa'far Kashif al-Ghita' (father-in-law)
Scholarly Information
ProfessorsMuhammad Baqir al-Bihbahanial-Shaykh Ja'far Kashif al-Ghita'

Asad Allāh Shūshtarī (Tustarī) (Persian: (اَسَدُاللّه شوشْتَری (تُسْتَری) (b.1185/1771-2- d.1234/1818-9), was an Imami jurist and the author of books such as Kashf al-qina' and Maqabis al-anwar. He was al-Shaykh Ja'far Kashif al-Ghita''s student and son in law. After his teacher's demise, he became a Shiite authority. He is also known as "Dizfuli", "Kazimi", and "Ansari".

Birth and Demise

Agha Buzurg Tihrani took the approximate year of Shushtari's birth to be 1211/1796-7 and Hirz al-Din took it to be 1185/1771-2. He had a short life. There are different accounts of the year of his death. According to some people, he died in 1220/1805-6, but since he was alive in 1227/1812-3 and was engaged in teaching in Kadhimiya, it seems that, as in some other accounts, the year of his death was 1234/1818-9. His grave in Amarah of Najaf is frequently visited.

Education and Teachers

He studied the preliminaries with his father and then resided in Karbala, but because of disagreements with his teacher, al-Wahid al-Bihbahani, he had to migrate to Kadhimiya and lived there until his death. After studying with al-Wahid al-Bihbahani, he attended the lectures of Shaykh Ja'far Kashif al-Ghita' and married his daughter.

He also attended the lectures of Sayyid Muhammad Mahdi Bahr al-'Ulum, Sayyid 'Ali Tabataba'i, the author of Riyad al-masa'il, Mirza Mahdi Shahristani, Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i, and Mirza Abu l-Qasim al-Qummi, the author of Qawanin al-usul.

A Shiite Authority and Scholarly Significance

Asad Allah Shushtari was a prominent Imami scholar in recent times whose works are frequently cited and known by Shiite scholars. After the death of Shaykh Ja'far Kashif al-Ghita', he became the Shiite authority and was consulted by many people.

At the end of the section concerning consensus of his book, Fara'id al-usul, al-Shaykh al-Ansari complimented Shushtari before citing his remarks in Kashf al-qina' and Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i characterized Shushtari's work by the Arabic proverb: "every prey is inside the zebra" (that is, with this book, you do not need any other books).


Shushtari's views have been accepted by many of his contemporary and subsequent scholars, including the "unreliability of a consensus which is transmitted by Khabar al-Wahid (single report)". Before him, all scholars took such a consensus to be subject to the general ruling of Khabar al-Wahid, but in his Kashf al-qina', he argued against this view. Many jurists followed him and rejected the reliability of such a consensus.


Shushtari had many students who became mujtahid, including Sayyid 'Abd Allah Shubbar, Musa and 'Ali, the sons of Shaykh Ja'far Kashif al-Ghita', and Isma'il, his own son.

Children and Progeny

Shushtari had 6 sons: Mahdi, Isma'il, Baqir, Taqi, Hasan, and Kazim. His progeny counts a prominent family in Kadhimiya and Najaf.


Published Work

  • Kashf al-qina' 'an wujuh hujjiyyat al-ijma' which is believed to be written in about 1216/1801-2 or 1222/1807-8. The book was lithographically printed once in 1311/1893 and once again in 1317/1899-1900 in Tehran.
  • Maqabis al-anwar wa nafa'is al-abrar fi ahkam al-nabiy al-mukhtar wa 'itratih al-athar which is his best-known work concerning Demonstrative Jurisprudence. It contains issues of tahara (cleanliness), makasib (transactions), 'uqud (contracts), and marriage. The preface involves the author's teachers, as well as his symbols and particular terminologies. It is also concerned with biographies of some Imami scholars of jurisprudence from al-Kulayni to the author's time. It was repeatedly published, including in 1322/1904-5 in Tabriz in two volumes.


  • Al-Lu'lu' al-masjur fi ma'na l-tahur written in 1216/1801-2 to reject the theory of Hanafiyya by appealing to remarks of Sunni and Shiite scholars of fiqh and philology. There are manuscripts of this essay in the Library of the Shahid Motahari University (formerly known as Sepahsalar School), one of which is written with naskh calligraphy and is apparently is with the handwriting of the author himself.
  • Manahij al-a'mal fi l-usul concerning the permissibility of acting upon conjectures. Amin introduced a manuscript of this essay in the Library of 'Abd al-Husayn Tihrani in Karbala.