Yusuf al-Bahrani

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Yusuf al-Bahrani
The Tomb of Yusuf al-Bahrani near one of the doors of the shrine of Imam al-Husayn (a)
The Tomb of Yusuf al-Bahrani near one of the doors of the shrine of Imam al-Husayn (a)
Personal Information
Well-Known AsMuhaddith Bahrani, Sahib Hada'iq
ResidenceShiraz, Karbala
Studied inBahrain, Qatif
DeathRabi' I 4, 1186/June 5, 1772
Burial PlaceHoly shrine of Imam al-Husayn (a)
Scholarly Information
ProfessorsShaykh Mahwazi , 'Abd Allah Biladi al-Bahrani

Al-Shaykh Yusūf al-Baḥrānī (Arabic: الشیخ یوسف البحراني), (b.1107/1695-6 - d. 1186/1772) was a faqih and muhaddith. He belongs to Akhbari school of thought and authored many works on shi'i thought and belief. His famous work is al-Hada'iq al-nadirah, hence is known as Sahib al-Hada'iq.

Life and Studies

Al-Bahrani spent his childhood under his grandfather's supervision, Shaykh Ibrahim, who was a pearl merchant; Yusuf was taught the Qur'an and handwriting by a tutor in the house.[1] Then, his father who happened to be an anti-akhbari, assumed responsibility for educating Yusuf until his death.[2]

His lifetime was full of accidents because of which he had to move from one city to another, nevertheless, he never abandoned scholarly efforts and never separated himself from education and research.

In his childhood, he was a witness to tribal clashes between al-Hulah and al-Awtab tribes. He immigrated to Ghatif in Saudi Arabia, after Bahrain was repeatedly invaded by the king of Oman. After the death of his father, he undertook the responsibility of the family. In Ghatif, he stayed for two years, studying under the famous anti-akhbari faqih, Shaykh Mahwazi (d. 1181/1767-8).

After reconciliation between the governments of Iran and Oman and emancipation of Bahrain, he returned to his hometown; there, he studied under some scholars; finally after his journey to hajj and staying in Ghatif, due to financial difficulties and domestic crisis in Bahrain he moved to Iran in 1140/1727-8.

In Iran, he stayed in Kerman for a short period and then moved to Shiraz; there, he was held in high esteem by Muhammad Taqi khan the governor of Shiraz and therefore al-Bahrani found good opportunity to easily engage in teaching and writing books; in Shiraz, he also participated in the lessons of Shaykh 'Abd Allah Biladi al-Bahrani (d. 1148/1735-6).

Due to the chaos in Shiraz and cholera outbreak, he moved to Fasa in 1157/1744-5 and was respected by the governor of the city; there, he continued his research activities while working in farming to make a living.

In 1165/1751-2, the governor of Fasa was assassinated, the city was plundered and al-Bahrani's books and properties were lost.[3] He inevitably moved to Istahbanat and finally immigrated to Karbala in 1186/1772. and there, he lived until his death.


His students in Shiraz are unknown, but some of his students in Karbala are as following:

Al-Bahrani also has authorized some people to narrate hadiths, such as:


The number of al-Bahrani's scholarly works, including books, treatises and questions-answers, reaches to fifty. These works mainly deal with hadith, theology and fiqh. According to his own report, some of his works were lost during the invasion and plunder of Fasa.[4]

The following are some of his works:

A Modorate Akhbari

Al-Bahrani was one of the most prominent scholars and defenders of Akhbari fiqhi school of thought and the last most important figure of this school. He had many debates with Wahid al-Bihbahani, his contemporary anti-akhbari scholar. These debates are said to have a great influence on changing his ideas and the decline of Akhbari school of thought and the growth of Usuli school.[5]

In al-Bahrani's view, some late Shi'a scholars were Usulis and they were using Ijtihad in their verdicts, while some other scholars adopted Akhbari school, nevertheless, none of these two groups vilified the other; moreover, we find some famous Usuli scholars who shared same common verdicts with Akhbaris, such as al-Shaykh al-Mufid and al-Shaykh al-Tusi; and on the other side, there were some hadith scholars like al-Shaykh al-Saduq who shared same ideas with Usuli scholars.

In Karbala, al-Bahrani had a friendly relationship with Wahid al-Bihbahani which shows his moderate personality. It is also possible that he distanced himself from Akhbarism and tried to weaken its dominance in Karbala. This possibility, takes confirmation from al-Bihbahani's remarks in praise of him, and the fact that he led funeral prayer over al-Bahrani's body, and above all despite the fall of population in the Karbala, many scholars were in attendance at his funeral ceremony.[6] Nevertheless, there is no explicit report from his students and contemporary scholars of his separation from Akhbari school.


He died in Karbala at the age 79 on Rabi' I 4, 1186/June 5, 1772. Based on his will, Wahid al-Bihbahani prayed over his corpse and was buried in the shrine of Imam al-Husayn (a).[7]


  1. Al-Bahrani, Lu'lu'at al-Bahrayn, p. 442.
  2. Al-Bahrani, Lu'lu'at al-Bahrayn, pp.100-101.
  3. Fasaii, Farsnamih-i nasiri, vol. 1, p. 590.
  4. Al-Bahrani, Lu'lu'at al-Bahrayn, pp. 445 & 448.
  5. Jannati, “Ghalabi-yi ijtihad bar akhbarigari”, pp.4-5 & 11-14.
  6. Nuri, Mustadrak al-wasa'il, vol. 3, p. 387.
  7. Dawani. Aqa Muhammad Baqir. p. 124


  • Al-Bahrani, Yusuf, Lu'lu'at al-Bahrayn, Qom, Muhammad Sadiq Bahr al-'Ulum.
  • 'Ali, Aqa Muhammad Baqir ibn Muhammad Akmal Isfahani ma'ruf bi Vahid Bihbahani, Tehran: 1362Sh.
  • Fasaii, Hasan ibn Hasan, Farsnamih-i nasiri, Tehran: 1367Sh.
  • Jannati, Muhammad Ibrahim, "Ghalabi-yi ijtihad bar akhbarigari", Keyhan Andisheh, No. 14, 1366Sh.
  • Nuri, Husayn ibn Muhammad Taqi, Mustadrak al-wasa'il, Tehran: 1321Sh.