Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Kulayni

8th and 9th-century Muslim scholar
ʾAbū Jaʿfar Muḥammad ibn Yaʿqūb ibn Iṣḥāq al Kulaynī ar Rāzī
Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Kulayni.png
TitleThiqah al-Islām ("The Trustworthy of Islam")
Born250 AH 22
/864 CE
Died329 AH
/941 CE
EraIslamic golden age
RegionIran & Iraq
Main interest(s)Ḥadīth
Notable work(s)Kitāb al-Kāfī
Muslim leader
Influenced by
  • Imām al-Mahdī, Mulla Yaʿqūb al-Kulayni
  • Shaykh Ṣadūq

Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad ibn Yaʿqūb ibn Iṣḥāq al Kulaynī ar Rāzī (Persian: محمد بن یعقوب بن اسحاق کلینی رازی Arabic: أَبُو جَعْفَر مُحَمَّد ٱبْن يَعْقُوب إِسْحَاق ٱلْكُلَيْنِيّ ٱلرَّازِيّ; c. 250 AH/864 CE – 329 AH/941 CE)[1] was a Persian[2] Shia hadith collector.[3]


Al-Kulayni was born in Kulayn, a village or small town situated near Rey, Iran.[4] His father was Ya'qub al-Kulayni, who is buried at Rey. He lived in the era of the Minor Occultation of Hujjat-Allah al-Mahdi, the last of the Twelve Imams who, according to Shia belief, is currently in occultation and will certainly appear before the Day of Judgment). He is claimed to have greatly benefited from al-Mahdi's divine knowledge by interacting with him through the Imam's Deputies.[5][6]

Kulayni received his early religious education in his native town and went to Rey for further education. According to Shia view he is among a special class of muhaddithin known as Rihalah-ye hadith (which means those who travelled in order to collect a hadith and met the persons considered to be the authority on hadith).[6]

He travelled to Baghdad for this reason and lived there for twenty years, engaged in teaching and pursuing academic work, until he died in 329 AH/941 CE. He is considered the foremost Shia compiler of hadith and was the author of Kitab al-Kafi.[7]

Work and contribution

Although Shaykh al-Kulaynī is most famous for al-Kāfī, this opus was not his only accomplishment. The following is a list of his known works:

  • Kitāb al Kāfī
  • Rasāʾil al ʾaʾimmah
  • Kitāb ar-rijāl
  • Kitāb ar radd ʿalā al qarāmitah
  • Kitāb mā qīla fī al ʾaʾimmah min ash-shiʿr
  • Kitāb taʿbīr al-ruʾyā

Sadly, of these only al-Kāfī has survived in its entirety.[8]

  • v
  • t
  • e
Muhammad (570–632 the Constitution of Medina, taught the Quran, and advised his companions
Abdullah ibn Masud (died 653) taughtAli (607–661) fourth caliph taughtAisha, Muhammad's wife and Abu Bakr's daughter taughtAbd Allah ibn Abbas (618–687) taughtZayd ibn Thabit (610–660) taughtUmar (579–644) second caliph taughtAbu Hurairah (603–681) taught
Alqama ibn Qays (died 681) taughtHusayn ibn Ali (626–680) taughtQasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr (657–725) taught and raised by AishaUrwah ibn Zubayr (died 713) taught by Aisha, he then taughtSaid ibn al-Musayyib (637–715) taughtAbdullah ibn Umar (614–693) taughtAbd Allah ibn al-Zubayr (624–692) taught by Aisha, he then taught
Ibrahim al-Nakha’i taughtAli ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin (659–712) taughtHisham ibn Urwah (667–772) taughtIbn Shihab al-Zuhri (died 741) taughtSalim ibn Abd-Allah ibn Umar taughtUmar ibn Abdul Aziz (682–720) raised and taught by Abdullah ibn Umar
Hammad bin ibi Sulman taughtMuhammad al-Baqir (676–733) taughtFarwah bint al-Qasim Jafar's mother
Abu Hanifa (699–767) wrote Al Fiqh Al Akbar and Kitab Al-Athar, jurisprudence followed by Sunni, Sunni Sufi, Barelvi, Deobandi, Zaidiyyah and originally by the Fatimid and taughtZayd ibn Ali (695–740)Ja'far bin Muhammad Al-Baqir (702–765) Muhammad and Ali's great great grand son, jurisprudence followed by Shia, he taughtMalik ibn Anas (711–795) wrote Muwatta, jurisprudence from early Medina period now mostly followed by Sunni in Africa and taughtAl-Waqidi (748–822) wrote history books like Kitab al-Tarikh wa al-Maghazi, student of Malik ibn AnasAbu Muhammad Abdullah ibn Abdul Hakam (died 829) wrote biographies and history books, student of Malik ibn Anas
Abu Yusuf (729–798) wrote Usul al-fiqhMuhammad al-Shaybani (749–805)Al-Shafi‘i (767–820) wrote Al-Risala, jurisprudence followed by Sunni and taughtIsmail ibn IbrahimAli ibn al-Madini (778–849) wrote The Book of Knowledge of the CompanionsIbn Hisham (died 833) wrote early history and As-Sirah an-Nabawiyyah, Muhammad's biography
Isma'il ibn Ja'far (719–775)Musa al-Kadhim (745–799)Ahmad ibn Hanbal (780–855) wrote Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal jurisprudence followed by Sunni and hadith booksMuhammad al-Bukhari (810–870) wrote Sahih al-Bukhari hadith booksMuslim ibn al-Hajjaj (815–875) wrote Sahih Muslim hadith booksDawud al-Zahiri (815–883/4) founded the Zahiri schoolMuhammad ibn Isa at-Tirmidhi (824–892) wrote Jami` at-Tirmidhi hadith booksAl-Baladhuri (died 892) wrote early history Futuh al-Buldan, Genealogies of the Nobles
Ibn Majah (824–887) wrote Sunan ibn Majah hadith bookAbu Dawood (817–889) wrote Sunan Abu Dawood Hadith Book
Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Kulayni (864- 941) wrote Kitab al-Kafi hadith book followed by Twelver ShiaMuhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (838–923) wrote History of the Prophets and Kings, Tafsir al-TabariAbu Hasan al-Ash'ari (874–936) wrote Maqālāt al-islāmīyīn, Kitāb al-luma, Kitāb al-ibāna 'an usūl al-diyāna
Ibn Babawayh (923–991) wrote Man La Yahduruhu al-Faqih jurisprudence followed by Twelver ShiaSharif Razi (930–977) wrote Nahj al-Balagha followed by Twelver ShiaNasir al-Din al-Tusi (1201–1274) wrote jurisprudence books followed by Ismaili and Twelver ShiaAl-Ghazali (1058–1111) wrote The Niche for Lights, The Incoherence of the Philosophers, The Alchemy of Happiness on SufismRumi (1207–1273) wrote Masnavi, Diwan-e Shams-e Tabrizi on Sufism
Key: Some of Muhammad's CompanionsKey: Taught in MedinaKey: Taught in IraqKey: Worked in SyriaKey: Travelled extensively collecting the sayings of Muhammad and compiled books of hadithKey: Worked in Persia

See also


  1. ^ Shaikh Mohammed bin Yaqoob bin Ishaq Kulaini & Al Kafi @
  2. ^ Frye, R.N., ed. (1975). The Cambridge history of Iran (Repr. ed.). London: Cambridge U.P. p. 472. ISBN 978-0-521-20093-6.
  3. ^ Sheikh Kulayni, the right keeper of Shia Ahadith Retrieved 17 Oct 2018
  4. ^ Ali Akbar al-Ghaffari's introduction to his eight-volume edition of al-Kulayni's Usul al-Kafi, Tehran, 3rd edition 1388-), I, 9–13.
  5. ^ Ali Akbar al-Ghaffari's introduction to his eight-volume edition of al-Kulayni's al-Kafi , Ibid. I, 13–14.
  6. ^ a b Syed Waheed Akhtar: Early Imammiyah Shiite Thinkers
  7. ^ Meri, Josef W. (2005). Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia. USA: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-96690-0.
  8. ^ Islamic Texts Institute. Al-Kafi Book I: Intellect and Foolishness. Taqwa Media. ISBN 9781939420008.

External links

  • Classical Islam: A Sourcebook of Religious Literature by Norman Calder, J A Mojaddedi, Andrew Rippin
  • The Formative Period of Twelver Shi'Ism: Hadith As Discourse Between Qum and Baghdad by Andrew J Newman
  • Great Shiite Works: Al-Kafi by Al-Kulayni by I. K. A. Howard in al Serat Journal.
  • 'Al-Kafi' by Al-Kulayni by Dr. I. K. A. Howard Al-Serat, Vol. 2 (1976), No. 1
  • The Trustworthy of Islam Kulayni No such page found – October 24, 2012
  • The Buyid Domination as the Historical Background for the Flourishing of Muslim Scholarship During the 4th/10th Century by Dr. M. Ismail Marcinkowski* October 24, 2012
  • Shaikh Mohammed bin Yaqoob bin Ishaq Kulaini. & Al Kafi
  • Islamic Texts Institute
  • "Al-Kafi Book I: Intellect and Foolishness"
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