Hilli, ?Allama Al- (1250-1325)

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HILLI, ˓ALLAMA AL- (1250-1325)

˓Allama al-Hilli was a Twelver Shi˓ite jurist and theologian based in Hilla in southern Iraq. Hasan b. Yusuf al-Hilli is credited with establishing a set of Twelver theological and legal ideas that dominated subsequent Shi˓ite learning. Biographical sources list around five hundred works attributed to him, though some of these are undoubtedly chapters within works or short treatises. Those that have survived form an impressive oeuvre encompassing theology, jurisprudence, and biography (rijal). In his theological works and creed commentaries, he argued, primarily from logic and reason, for all the main Twelver doctrines. This extensive use of reason rather than traditional textual sources was to be the dominant mode of theological discourse in Twelver Shi˓ism from ˓Allama onward. His legal works were the subject of much commentary and in legal theory (usul al-fiqh), he showed extensive originality by incorporating the previously disparaged term ijtihad into Shi˓ite jurisprudence. His biographical work is a comprehensive dictionary of early Shi˓ite transmitters of the imam's doctrines. He soon outshone his teachers, who included such luminaries as Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (d.1274) and al-Muhaqqiq al-Hilli (d.1277). Hilli also had some relations with political powers, and is credited with the conversion of the Ilkhanid sultan Khudabanda of Iran to Twelver Shi˓ism.

See alsoHilli, Muhaqqiq al- ; Law ; Shi˓a: Imami (Twelver) .


Arjomand, Saïd Amir, ed. "˓Allama al-Hilli on the Imamate and Ijtihad." In Authority and Political Culture in Shi˓ism. Edited by S. A. Arjomand. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1988.

Calder, Norman. "Doubt and Prerogative: The Emergence of an Imami Shi˓i Theory of Ijtihad." Studia Islamica 70 (1989): 57–78.

Stewart, Devin. Islamic Legal Orthodoxy: The Twelver Shi˓ite Responses to the Sunni Legal System. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1998.

Robert Gleave

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Hilli, ?Allama Al- (1250-1325)

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