Kitab Man la yahduruh al-faqih (book)

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Kitab Man la yahduruh al-faqih
Bibliographical Information
Bibliographical Information
AuthorAl-Shaykh al-Saduq
Original titleكِتاب مَن لا يَحضُرُه الفَقيه‎
Series4 vol.
SubjectJurisprudential Hadiths
PublisherMu'assisa al-Nashr al-Islami

Kitāb Man lā yaḥḍuruh al-faqīh (Arabic: كِتاب مَن لايَحضُرُه الفَقيه‎) is a hadith collection mainly about jurisprudence complied by the famous Shi'a hadith scholar al-Shaykh al-Saduq. This book is among the most reliable books and one of the Four Books of Shi'a hadith.


The full name of this book is Kitab man la yahduruh al-faqih (The word "Kitab" sometimes is not mentioned). Its name literally means The book for the one who does not have a jurist before him. Some translate the title as Every man his own lawyer.


In his introduction to the book, al-Shaykh al-Saduq says when he was at Ilaq (a region near Balkh), he met one of his friends and one day the friend mentioned a book compiled by Muhammad b. Zakariyya al-Razi entitled Kitab man la yahduruhu al-Tabib (The book for the one who does not have a doctor before him) which is comprehensive, albeit small. So he asked me to compile a book on jurisprudence and lawful and unlawful for him… which includes all I have written about jurisprudence… and to name the book Kitab man la yahduruh al-faqih so that he can refer to it as a reliable book and act according to it when needed.[1]

Most Important Hadith Books
(The Four Books)
Al-KafiMan la yahduruh al-faqihTahdhib al-ahkamAl-Istibsar
(The Authentic Six)
Sahih al-BukhariSahih MuslimSunan Abu DawudSunan Ibn MajaJami' al-TirmidhiAl-Sunan al-sughra

Therefore the book is mainly concerned with jurisprudence and contains hadiths which are about lawful and unlawful. Since he meant to compile this book as a reference book to help ordinary Shi'a Muslims in the practice of the legal requirements of Islam, al-Saduq had mentioned hadiths he considered them correct. He says in the introduction of the book:

I did not have the usual intention of compilers (of Hadith books) to put forward everything which they (could) narrate but my intention was to put forward those things by which I issue fatwa and which I am sure of their attribution to the Prophet (s) and Imams (a).

In fact the work represents a definitive synopsis of all the hadiths which al-Shaykh al-Saduq had collected and included in individual books on specific jurisprudential subjects.


The book encompasses most of the areas of jurisprudence. It is arranged in small sections and every several sections constitute one major topic in jurisprudence; for example:

  • Several sections about the rules of prayer
  • Several sections about the rules of fasting
  • Several sections about the rules of judgment
  • Several sections about the rules for marriage
  • Several sections about the rules of heritage

According to the author's classification, the book was arranged in four volumes and 666 sections. The number of hadiths al-Saduq has narrated in this book is around 6000.


This book is written in the conventional method of that time in which jurists only narrated the hadiths about the subjects in discussion (in later periods of jurisprudence, jurists write their own inferences from hadiths and other sources).

Since this book has been written for ordinary people, generally the "Isnads" of hadiths (that is, the chain of authorities by which the hadith had been received from the Prophet (s) or one of the Imams) is omitted. Al-Shaykh al-Saduq explains in the introduction of the book that "I omitted the Isnads, lest the book become voluminous." The scholars, however, could check the Isnads in other works of al-Saduq.


Al-Shaykh al-Saduq says that this work is driven by all hadiths and books he knew. He also gives an account of the works which he has consulted in compiling this book:

"all that mentioned in this book is derived from those well-known works that we should rely on them and refer to them."

Then he mentions the names of eleven early Shi'a hadith compiler whose work he has referred to; such as Hariz b. 'Abd Allah al-Sajistani, 'Ubayd Allah b. 'Ali al-Halabi, 'Ali b. Mahziyar, Husayn b. Sa'id al-Kufi, Ibn al-Walid al-Qummi, 'Ali b. Babawayh al-Qummi (his father).

This inclusion of the list of some of the works consulted is an evidence that the works of both al-Shaykh al-Saduq and his predecessor, al-Kulayni, who compiled al-Kafi, the first of the Four Books, represent the zenith of hadith works which had been compiled in a continuous process from the earliest times and at least from the time of Imam al-Sadiq (a).

In addition to these references which the author gives in his introduction he frequently refers to his own works during the course of the book. Thus at the end of his "Bab nawadir al-hajj" (Chapter of Exceptional hadiths about Hajj), he says: "I have published these hadiths with their Isnads with others in Kitab Jami' nawadir al-hajj ."


This book has been esteemed as one of the most reliable hadith collections among Shi'a scholars, hence its inclusion in the Four Books. As all hadith collections, however, there is no guarantee of the authenticity of each individual hadith and the reliability of each must be separately assessed.

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


As one of the major works of Shi'a hadith, 23 commentaries have been written on it so far. Many of these commentaries have been lost or are unpublished transcripts. Among the significant Shi'a scholars who have written commentaries on this book are al-Shahid al-Thani and al-'Allama al-Majlisi.


  1. Ṣadūq, Man lā yaḥḍuruh al-faqīh, vol. 1, p. 2-3.


  • Amīn, al-Sayyid Muḥsin al-. Aʿyān al-Shīʾa. Edited by Ḥasan Amīn. Beirut: Dār al-Taʿāruf li-l-Maṭbūʿāt, 1403 AH.
  • Baḥrānī, Yūsuf b. Aḥmad al-. Luʾluʾat al-baḥrayn. Najaf: Dār al-Nuʾmān, 1386 AH.
  • Muṭahharī, Murtaḍā. ''Majmuʿa āthar-i ustād shahīd Muṭahharī. Tehran: Intishārāt-i Ṣadrā, 1390 Sh.
  • Nazarī, Maḥmūd. Pazhūhishi darbār-yi kitāb an lā yaḥḍuruh al-faqīh. Masjid, No. 34, 1376 Sh.
  • Ṣadūq, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-. Al-Muqniʿ. Qom: Muʾassisa Imām al-Hādī (a), 1415 AH.
  • Ṣadūq, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-. Man lā yaḥḍuruh al-faqīh. Edited by ʿAlī Akbar Ghaffārī. Qom: Daftar-i Intishārāt-i Islāmī, 1413 AH.