Ibn Nuh al-Sirafi

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Ibn Nuh al-Sirafi
Personal Information
Full NameAbu 'Abbas Ahmad b. Ali b. Muhammad b. Ahamad b. 'Abbas b. Nuh
TeknonymAbu l-'Abbas
Scholarly Information
ProfessorsAbu Ghalib al-ZurariIbn Qulawayh al-QummiIbn Dawud al-Qummi

Abū l-ʿAbbās Aḥmad b. ʿAlī b. Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. al-ʿAbbās b. Nuḥ, known as Ibn Nūḥ al-Sīrāfī (Arabic: ابن نوح السیرافی), was a Shi'a narrator (muhaddith), jurist (faqih) and scholar in rijal of 4th/10th and 5th/11th centuries.

Abu Ghalib al-Zurari, Ibn Qulawayh al-Qummi, Ibn Dawud al-Qummi are among his masters in narrating hadith. Al-Najashi was his most famous pupil. Al-Shaykh al-Tusi has narrated hadiths from Ibn Nuh through al-Husayn b. Ibrahim al-Qummi. None of his works have survived into these days.


Details from his life is unknown. Likewise, the reason he was called al-Sirafi (related to Siraf, a city in Fars province, Iran). However, it is reported that he lived in Basra.

Narration of Hadith

According to a chain of narrators mentioned in the book al-Ghayba written by al-Shaykh al-Tusi, Ibn Nuh had a trip to Egypt for hadith audition and learning.

Also, he narrated directly from narrators who lived in Baghdad such as: Abu Ghalib al-Zurari, Ibn Qulawayh al-Qummi, Ibn Dawud al-Qummi, who all passed away in 368/978-9.


Al-Najashi who probably met him in Basra, explicitly says that he was a reliable narrator and an insightful jurist. Al-Najashi also talks about solidity of his narration, and refers to him as "ustadhuna" (our teacher) and "shaykhuna" (our master).

In other places of his book, al-Najashi quotes Ibn Nuh's opinions and relies on them. His words shows that he had learned many things from Ibn Nuh.

Al-Shaykh al-Tusi reported that Ibn Nuh had special standpoints in some theological issues, although he explicitly says that he did not meet Ibn Nuh. Al-Shaykh al-Tusi adds that Ibn Nuh was a reliable narrator and calls him "wasi' al-riwaya" (who narrated a lot of hadiths).


Some of his masters –other than the above mentioned– are:


Other than al-Najashi, Husayn b. Ibrahim al-Qummi was his pupil, from whom al-Shaykh al-Tusi narrated Ibn Nuh's hadiths.


  • Akhbar al-wukala' al-arba'a or Akhbar al-abwab was his most famous work. Al-Shaykh al-Tusi quoted many hadiths from this book in al-Ghayba. It is one of the few sources which provide valuable information about the period of Minor Occultation, the Four Representatives of Imam al-Mahdi (a) and people who claimed to have special relation with Imam al-Mahdi (a).
  • Al-Ta'qib wa l-ta'fir
  • Al-Qadi bayn al-hadithayn al-mukhtalifayn
  • Al-Masabih; about the name of the narrators from each Imam (a).
  • A book which completed the book of Ibn 'Uqda about the companions of Imam al-Sadiq (a) which was, apparently, an extensive book and al-Najashi used it a lot in his works.
  • Apparently, Ibn Nuh had authored another book about the index of Shi'a books. Al-Najashi reported many works of his earlier Shi'a authors based on this book. Ibn Nuh could be counted as one of the most important rings in the chain of reporting the earlier books of Imamiyya.

In al-Fihrist, al-Shaykh al-Tusi mentioned that all of Ibn Nuh's works were in draft form and none of them has survived.


The date of his demise is unknown. However, apparently he was alive in 408/1017-8, the year that al-Shaykh al-Tusi entered Baghdad. The writing the book al-Fihrist by al-Tusi was not far away from his demise.