Shara'i' al-Islam fi masa'il al-halal wa l-haram (book)

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Shara'i' al-Islam
AuthorAl-Muhaqqiq al-Hilli
Original titleشَرائِع الاسلام فی مَسائِل الحَلال و الحَرام
Series4 vols.
English translation
En. title'Shara'i' al-Islam Fi Masai'l al-Halal wal-Haram'
En. publisherAnsariyan Publications, Qom

Sharāʾiʿ al-Islām fī masāʾil al-ḥalāl wa l-ḥarām (Arabic: شَرائِع الاسلام فی مَسائِل الحَلال و الحَرام), known as Sharā'i', is a well-known work in Imamiyya jurisprudence, written by Abu l-Qasim Najm al-Din Ja'far b. al-Hasan al-Hudhali, known as al-Muhaqqiq al-Hilli or al-Muhaqiq al-Awwal (d. 676/1277). The book has always been the focus of attention and one of the textbooks of Islamic seminary schools in jurisprudence. There are many commentaries on this book.


Al-Muhaqqiq al-Hillī (d. 676/1277) was a great Shi'a jurist, usuli, and poet in the seventh/thirteenth century. He was one of the best-known jurists 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 is the author of al-Mukhtasar al-nafi', too.


Shara'i' is a comprehensive book of Islamic jurisprudence on all matters, including over 12,000 problems in all areas of jurisprudence. The book has been a center of discussions and a textbook in Shiite seminary schools for more than 750 years. This work is usually cited in subsequent works.[1]

Motivation for Writing

Al-Muhaqiq al-Hilli wrote this book in 670/1271-2 at the request of one of his pupils called Mahmud b. Muhammad or Muhammad b. Mahmud al-Zahidi al-Khayyat al-Halabi.[2]


The book has taken center stage in Shiite jurisprudence for centuries because of its particular features, such as its clear writing, its precision, its brevity, its style of presenting the problems and issues, and its concern for faithful quotations and formulations of different views. There are many commentaries and notes on Shara'i' al-Islam, which shows its extraordinary significance.[citation needed]

Some people say that if one reads this book completely, he will be rewarded a pilgrimage to Mecca by God.


Shara'i' has four main parts as follows:

  1. Worships (ʿibādāt), including ten books: ritual cleanness (ṭahāra), prayers (ṣalāt), zakat (an obligatory Islamic tax on certain goods and products), khums (the obligation of paying one fifth of one's annual benefits), ṣawm (fasting), iʿtikāf (the practice of temporary retreat in a mosque for few days), hajj (obligatory pilgrimage to Mecca), ʿumra (non-obligatory pilgrimage to Mecca), jihad, enjoining the good and forbidding the evil (al-amr bi l-maʿrūf wa l-nahy ʿan al-munkar).
  2. Contracts (ʿuqūd), including 18 books: transaction (tijara), mortgage (rahn), iflās (bankruptcy or inability to pay one's debts), ḥijr (being ward), guarantee (ḍimān)—including drafts (ḥawāla) and bails (kifāla), compromise (ṣulḥ), partnership (shirka), muḍāraba (a kind of partnership in which one party provides the fund or capital, and other contributes by his work), muzāraʿa (a kind of agricultural partnership in which one party provides lands for farming, and the other works as a farmer), musāqāt (a sort of contract in which one party takes care of the other party's trees and garden, especially by water supply, and then they share the products as agreed upon), deposit (wadīʿa), borrowing and loaning a property (ʿārīya), renting (ijāra), wikāla (agency), waqf (a sort of religious endowment of lands or any property), gift (hiba), sabq and rimāya (overtaking by a horse in a match and shooting in a match in order to prepare for wars), will and testament (waṣīyya), and marriage (nikāḥ).
  3. Unilateral obligations (īqāʿāt), including 10 books: divorce (ṭalāq), ẓihār (a sort of divorce in Arabia before Islam that is forbidden by the Quran), īlāʾ (a practice in Arabia that is forbidden in Islam: the husband swears that he will never have intercourse with his wife, without divorcing her, in order to hurt her), liʿān (mutual curse: in some conditions when the husband accuses his wife of adultery and there is no one to testify on this claim, the husband and the wife should curse each other, and then they will be separated forever and can never marry again), ʿitq (emancipation of slaves and bondwomen), tadbīr (the owner wills that his slave be emancipated after his death), mukātaba (a sort of contract between a slave and his owner to the effect that the slave might be emancipated by paying certain amount of money), istīlāʾ (if a bondwoman has a child from her owner, she will be emancipated after her owner's death), iqrār (to acknowledge something not to one's own benefit), juʿāla (a commitment to certain fee in exchange with a work), aymān (oaths), and nadhr (vow).
  4. Verdicts (aḥkām) including hunting (ṣayd) and dhabāḥa (slaughtering or exsanguination), foods and beverages (al-aṭʿima wa l-ashriba), usurpation or expropriation (ghaṣb), shufʿa (preemption, that is, the priority of a person to purchase the shares of his partner if he wants to sell them), restoration of wastelands (iḥyaʾ al-mawāt), luqaṭa (lost property), farāʾiḍ (verdicts concerning heritage), judgeship (qaḍāʾ), testimonies (shahādāt), ḥudūd and taʿzīrāt (certain punishments for violating some Islamic laws), qiṣāṣ (the killing of a murderer at the request of the victim's family), and dīyāt (blood-money).

Besides this, al-Muhaqiq al-Hilli strctures each section with first mentioning the obligations (wājib), and then supererogatory (mustaḥab) actions, then detestable ones (makrūh), and finally forbidden (ḥaram) ones.[3]


Aqa Buzurg Tihrani points to three manuscripts of the book in his al-Dhari'a:

  • The manuscript of the Library of Shaykh Muhammad Samawi, written by Shaykh Muhammad b. Ismāʾīl b. Husayn al-Hirqilī. The first volume was written in 670/1271-2, and the second was finished in 703/1303-4.
  • The manuscript of the Library of Majd al-Din al-Nasiri in Tehran written in 674/1275-6.
  • The manuscript of the Library of Al Taliqani in Najaf, written by Muhammad Kāẓim b. Muhammad Bāqir al-Yazdī in 1105/1693-4.[4]

Works about Sharāʾiʾ


Commentaries and Expositions

There are over 100 commentaries on al-Sharā'iʾ; here are the most important ones:


Here is a list of important scholars who have written glosses on Shara'i' al-Islam:


The book has been repeatedly printed in Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon, including the following:

  • In 1377 AH (1957-8), Khurshid Printing House, published by Makaba al-'Ilmiyya al-Islamiyya,
  • In 1389 AH (1969-70) in Najaf,
  • In 1408 AH (1987-8) in Ismāʾiliyyan Institute in Qom (edited by Abd al-Husayn Muhammad Ali Baqqal,
  • In 1409 AH (1988-9), in 4 volumes, Istiqlal Publications, Tehran.


  1. Āqā Buzurg Tihrānī, al-Dharīʿa, vol. 13. p. 47; Amīn, Aʿyān al-Shīʿa, vol. 4, p. 90; vol. 9, p. 160.
  2. ʿAbbāsī, Sharāʾiʿ al-Islām, vol. 9, p. 536.
  3. Muḥaqiq al-Ḥillī, Sharāʾiʿ al-Islām, vol. 1, p. 23-25.
  4. Āqā Buzurg Tihrānī, al-Dharīʿa, vol. 13, p. 48-49.
  5. Āqā Buzurg Tihrānī, al-Dharīʿa, vol. 14, p. 57.
  6. Āqā Buzurg Tihrānī, al-Dharīʿa, vol. 14, p. 58.
  7. Āqā Buzurg Tihrānī, al-Dharīʿa, vol. 48, p. 316-332.
  8. Āqā Buzurg Tihrānī, al-Dharīʿa, vol. 6, p. 106-109.

External Links

For downloading the English translation of Shara'i' al-Islam in PDF, check these links out: Vol.1, Vol.2 and Vol.3


  • ʿAbbāsī, Ḥasan. Sharāʾiʿ al-Islām, Dāʾirat al-maʿārif-i tashayyuʿ. Tehran: Muʾassisa-yi Intishārāt-i Ḥikmat, 1390 Sh.
  • Amīn, al-Sayyid Muḥsin al-. Aʿyān al-Shīʿa. Beirut: Dār al-Taʿāruf, n.d.
  • Āqā Buzurg Tihrānī, Muḥammad Muḥsin. Al-Dharīʿa ilā taṣānīf al-Shīʿa. Beirut: Dār al-Aḍwāʾ, 1403 AH.
  • Ḥillī, Jaʿfar b. al-Ḥasan al-. Sharāʾiʿ al-Islām fī masāʾil al-ḥalāl wa l-ḥarām. Qom: Amīr, 1409 AH.