Hilli, Muhaqqiq Al- (1205–1277)

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HILLI, MUHAQQIQ AL- (1205–1277)

Muhaqqiq al-Hilli Ja˓far b. al-Hasan was a Twelver Shi˓ite jurist based in Hilla, southern Iraq. Al-Muhaqqiq's Shara˒i˓ al-Islam (Paths of Islam) is probably the most popular work of Shi˓ite law among later commentators, and represents Muhaqqiq's most lasting influence on subsequent Shi˓ite tradition. It belongs to the type of work known as abridged (mukhtasar), in which an author presents his interpretation of the shari˓a in a highly abbreviated form. This style made the work an excellent basis for later discussions of the law, even though subsequent jurists did not always agree with his conclusions. His other mukhtasar, an even more abbreviated legal compendium entitled al-Nafi˓ (The useful), was also the subject of commentaries by later generations of scholars. He also wrote an influential work of the principles of jurisprudence (Ma˓arij al-ahkam), which one also finds regularly cited in later works. In particular, Ja˓far al-Muhaqqiq introduced the idea that the rules and regulation of the shari˓a were not all known with absolute certainty, for the texts are not always clear and the reports from the Prophet and the imams are not always reliable. Such doctrinal advances paved the way for the full elaboration of these concepts by his nephew and pupil, al-˓Allama al-Hilli (d. 1325). Other famous pupils include various members of the influential Ibn Tawus family.

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


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 Shiite Responses to the Sunni Legal System. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1998.

Robert Gleave

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Hilli, Muhaqqiq Al- (1205–1277)

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