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Masa'il al-'awis (book)

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Masa'il al-'awis
Author al-Shaykh al-Mufid
Original title مَسائل العَویص
Language Arabic
Series 1 vol.
Subject jurisprudence
Published 1413/1992

Masāʾil al-ʿawīṣ (Arabic: مَسائل العَویص) or Jawābāt al-masāʾil al-Nishābūrīyya (Arabic: جوابات المسائل النیشابوریة) is a book concerning Shiite jurisprudence in Arabic, written by al-Shaykh al-Mufid (d. 413/1022), one of the most prominent Shi'a scholars of jurisprudence and theology in the 4th/10th century. It contains some abstruse jurisprudential problems posed by Abu l-Hasan al-Nishaburi and answers by al-Shaykh al-Mufid. In addition to providing answers to jurisprudential problems, al-Shaykh al-Mufid also concerned himself with consensus or disagreements among Shiite and Sunni scholars.

The word, "al-'awis", literally means abstruse words. The book is also known as al-ʿAwīṣ or al-ʿAwīṣ fī l-aḥkām.


Main article: al-Shaykh al-Mufid

Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Nu'man (d. 413/1022) known as al-Shaykh al-Mufid was among Shia scholars of the end of the 4th/10th century and the beginning of the 5th/11th century. He was among revivers of Islamic sciences and preachers of Shia culture and jurisprudence.

Titles of the Book

The book is also known as follows:

  • Al-'Awis
  • Al-'Awis fi l-ahkam
  • Jawabat al-masa'il al-Nishaburiyya
  • Masa'il Abi l-Hasan al-Nisaburi


Al-'Awis is a collection of jurisprudential problems posed by Abu l-Hasan al-Nishaburi and answered by al-Shaykh al-Mufid. He was later asked by one of his fellows to rewrite those questions and answers in the form of a book. The problematic jurisprudential questions seem to be sent to al-Shaykh al-Mufid from Nishabur.

The book has 5 parts, 85 questions, and 94 answers. Some problems in the book are similar to puzzles. Sometimes the author proposes over 10 solutions for a problem.

Titles and Contents

The book is concerned with the following issues:

  • Problems of hudud, diyat (blood money), qisas (retaliation) and its manners
  • How to prove a lineage and cases of disagreement
  • Swearing and rare cases of divorce
  • Admitting other people's rights

Manuscripts and Publication

The book was published by Dar al-Mufid Publications in Beirut in 1414/1993.