Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Kulayni

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Abu Ja'far Muhammad bin Yaqoub ibn Ishaq al-Kulayni
TitleThiqah al-Islam ("The Trustworthy of Islam")
Born250 AH
Died329 AH
EraIslamic golden age
RegionIran & Iraq
DenominationShia Islam
Main interest(s)Hadith
Notable work(s)Kitab al-Kafi
Muslim leader

Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Ya'qub ibn Ishaq al-Kulayni al-Razi (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, in 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 i.e. those who travelled in order to collect ahadith 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[edit]

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:

  • Kitab al-Kafi (extant)
  • Rasāʾil al-aʿimmah
  • Kitāb al-rijāl
  • Kitāb al-radd ʿalā al-qarāmiṭah
  • Kitāb mā qīla fī al-aʾimmah min al-shiʿr
  • Kitāb taʿbīr al-ruʾyā

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Shaikh Mohammed bin Yaqoob bin Ishaq Kulaini & Al Kafi @
  2. ^ Frye, ed. by R.N. (1975). The Cambridge history of Iran (Repr. ed.). London: Cambridge U.P. p. 472. ISBN 978-0-521-20093-6.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  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[edit]