The Three Stages of the Ahlul-Bayt (a) jurisprudence Sect
An important point about the history of the Ahlul-Bayt (a) jurisprudential sect is that it is divided into different stages. Each stage will be described.
THE FIRST STAGE
This is the stage of the narration of traditions from the Imāms (a). This stage starts from the beginning of Islam and ends at the lesser occultation in the 260th year after the great migration.
Jurisprudence, in this stage, was narrating traditions. Companions would hear a tradition from one of the infallibles (a) and spread it to their communities without organizing them into different subjects.
This first text that was written, other than what the commander of the faithful (a) wrote, was written by Abī Rāfi‛, a companion of the prophet (s) and Imām ‛Alī (a). He wrote a book called Kitāb al-Sunun wa āyā)al-Ahkām wa al-Qad.
His son, ‛Alī bin Abī Rāfi‛, the commander of the faithful’s (a) scribe, wrote a book using the different sections of ū and prayer.)jurisprudence, for example wūd Jurisprudential texts increased during the imamate of Imām ādiq (a) due to the weakness of the Umayyad dynasty during its last)Bāqir and S days and power being shifted to the Abbasid dynasty.
Jurisprudential texts continued to grow, so much so that urr al-‛Āmulī there were 6600 texts. 400 of these texts)during the time of H became famous and were called the 400 principles. The four great books of the Shia written by the three great scholars were compiled from these books.
The city of Medina was the center of Islamic studies for ādiq (a) moved to Kufa and)the Ahlul-Bayt (a) during this period until Imām S the second center of Islamic studies was formed.
ssan bin ‛Alī al-Washā’ said: “I saw 900 scholars who)Al-Ha ammad (a) in this mosque)all said that they heard so and so from Ja‛far bin Muh (Masjid al-Kūfa).”
The Imām had great companions in Kūfa, such as Abān bin ammad bin Muslim who related)Taghlib who related 30,000 traditions and Muh 40,000.
When we say that jurisprudence in this stage was just compiling and spreading traditions rather than organizing them into different sections, we do not mean that this includes the big scholars of the time. Each ammad bin Muslim, Zarārah ibn)one of them was an ocean in themselves, like Muh ādiq (a) said: “Burīd bin Mu‛āwīyyah al-‛Ajalī, Abī)īr. Imām S)A‛yan and Abī Bas ammad bin Muslim and Zarārah will be)īr Layth al-Bakhtarī al-Murādī, Muh)Bas given the glad tidings of Heaven. They believe in Allah about the obligatory actions and forbidden ones. The line of prophethood would be cut if it were not for them.”
The Imām considered them mujtaheds who had the power of deriving verdicts from the Qurān and prophetic traditions. Sometimes he (a) would order them practice it, for example he (a) said: “It is on us to tell you the principles and it is on you to branch them out.” He (a) also told people to refer to some of his companions in religious rulings, like Yūnis bin ‛Abd mān. Someone asked the Imām: “It is not possible for me to come to you)al-Rah and ask everything that I need about religious sciences. Is Yūnis bin ‛Abd mān trustworthy; can I take whatever I need from him?”)al-Rah
The Imām answered: “Yes.”
He (a) also ordered some of his companions to give religious verdicts, such as Abān bin Taghlib. The Imām (a) told him: “Sit in Medina’s mosque and give religious verdicts to the people. Verily I love to see my Shia like you.”
THE SECOND STAGE
This stage started at the minor occultation, the 260th year after the great ūsī who was born in the)migration, and lasted until the age of Shaykh T 385th year after the great migration and died in the 460th year.
In this stage the Ahlul-Bayt (a) jurisprudential sect transformed from only relating traditions without organizing them into different sections into writing jurisprudential books without adding anything to the traditions or changing their terminology. This is clear in the book Sharāyaammad.)‛ which was written by ‛Alī bin Bābūway for his son Muh It is said that when someone needed a tradition they would find it in this book.
Other similar books are al-Maqna‛ and al-Hadāyah ammad bin ‛Alī bin Bābūway and)adūq, Muh)by Shaykh S al-Nahāyah ūsī.)by Shaykh T
We are not saying that there were not scholars that only spread traditions, but we are saying that they were organized into different subjects containing all of the subjects seen today. This is clearly seen in the books al-Kāfī by Shaykh Kulaynī and uruhu al-Faqīh)Man Lā Yad adūq)by Shaykh S.
This is what generally took place in this stage. This does not mean that there weren’t any scholars who added to the traditions by using intellectual deductions, for example what is related to al-‛Ummānī and al-Iskāfī.
If one wants to explain more he can say that this stage had three major schools:
1. The school of Qum and Ray: This school used traditions but did not use intellectual deductions. adūqs. This was a strong)Some of the scholars of this school are the two S school and was relied upon by many scholars.
2. The school of al-‛Ummānī and al-Iskāfī: This school preferred using intellectual deduction to assan)such an extent that they accepted syllogism and voting. Al-‛Ummānī is al-H bin ‛Alī bin Abī ‛Aqīl. It is said that he is the first person to apply his ijtihād to actions, while mentioning the different sections of jurisprudence and mentioning the reasons behind the verdicts. He wrote the famous book: abl Āl al-Rasūl)al-Mustamsik bi-h. Unfortunately this book mad bin al-Junayd who)amamd bin Ah)is not in existence today. Al-Iskāfī is Muh lived after Abī ‛Aqīl. He wrote jurisprudential books, for example Tahdhīb kām al-Sharī‛ah)al-Shī‛ah li-ah and madī fī al-Fiqh)al-Ah ammadī.)al-Muh These two books, also, do not exist today.
3. The school of Baghdād: This is also called the school of Shaykh Mufīd. This school tried to find a common ground between traditions and intellectual deductions. The reason behind this might be Shaykh Mufīd, who was a student of Ibn al-Junayd and Ja‛far ammad bin Qūlūway who was from Qum and a member of the Qum school of)bin Muh thought. Shaykh Mufīd wrote many books, for example al-Maqna‛ah which ūsī in his book)was explained by Shaykh T kām)Tahdhīb al-Ah.
THE THIRD STAGE
ūsī and is still)This stage started at the age of Shaykh T prevalent today. In this stage the jurisprudential books changed from imitating the traditions in form and language to writing with different terminology and mentioning different situations that did not occur at the time of revelation. All of this occurred with accepting intellectual deduction perfected by traditions and accepting intellectual principles. The book al-Mabsūt) ūsī helps us to come to the conclusion that we have about this)by Shaykh T stage.
Other steps that have been made in this stage:
1. The sections of jurisprudence have become more specialized.
2. More subjects have been made due to time.
3. Intellectual deductions have been made stronger and their proofs have become clearer.
4. The relationship between jurisprudential rulings and jurisprudential principles has become clearer.
5. Putting more effort into the chains of narration.
6. Canceling some of the ancient texts which do not have matters that today’s world need and writing books with today’s world’s needs.
 ussayn)ammad bin ‛Alī bin al-H)ammad bin Ya‛qūb al-Kulaynī – al-Kāfī, Muh)Muh ūsī –)assan al-T)ammad bin al-H)uruhu al-Faqīh, Muh)d)adūq – Man Lā yah)al-S ār.)al-Tahdhīb and al-Istabs
 Al-Najāshī, Rijāl al-Najāshī, under al-Washā’
 īr Layth al-Murādī)ūsī, Rijāl al-Kashī, under Abī Bas)Shaykh T
 urr al-‛Āmulī, Wasā’il al-Shī‛ah, the 6th chapter of the qualities of a)Al-H judge, tradition 51
 urr al-‛Āmulī, Wasā’il al-Shī‛ah, the 11th chapter of the qualities of a)Al-H judge, tradition 33
 Al-Najāshī, Rijāl al-Najāshī, under Abān
The Three Stages of the Ahlul-Bayt (a) jurisprudence Sect