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Istiqsa' al-I'tibar (book)

Istiqsa' al-I'tibar
Author Muhammad b. al-Hasan b. Zayn al-Din al-Amili
Original title اِسْتِقْصاءُ الْاعْتبار فی شَرْحِ الْاسْتِبْصار
Language Arabic
Series 7 volume
Subject Jurisprudence
Published 1419/1998
Publisher Al al-Bayt Institute

Istiqṣā' al-i'tibār fī sharḥ al-istibṣār (Arabic: اِسْتِقْصاءُ الْاعْتبار في شَرْحِ الْاسْتِبْصار) is a book written in Arabic as an exposition of al-Istibsar by Muhammad b. al-Hasan b. Zayn al-Din al-Amili (d. 1030/1621). Although the exposition is not complete, encompassing only the sections of tahara (cleanliness) through prayer, it is written in a methodical and meticulous way. In the introduction to the book, the author discusses twelve points about rijal.


The Author

Muhammad b. al-Hasan b. Zayn al-Din al-'Amili was a Shiite scholar in tenth/sixteenth and eleventh/seventeenth centuries. He was the son of Hasan b. Zayn al-Din al-Amili the Author of Ma'alim al-din and a grandson of al-Shahid al-Thani. His most important writings are Istiqsa' al-i'tibar and his explosion of al-Sahifat al-Sajjadiyya. He died in Mecca in 1030/1621.

The Structure of the Book

The book does not encompass all sections of the Islamic jurisprudence. It consists of seven volumes, which include the whole sections of tahara (cleanliness) and prayer. The author wrote a long introduction to the book, in which he discusses twelve problems of rijal, such as definitions of khabar (narration), hadith, mutawatir hadith, evidence for acceptance and rejection of hadiths, how to act upon al-khabar al-wahid, and so on.

History of Writing

In his al-Dhari'a, Aqa Buzurg Tihrani says that the first volume of the book was written on Jumada I 17, 1025 (June 2, 1616), and the last volume on Jumada II 21, 1028 (June 5, 1619).


According to editors and scholars of the book, it has the following features:

  • Citation of hadiths in al-Istibsar, as well as al-Shaykh al-Tusi's comments on those hadiths, and resolution of prima facie conflicts among hadiths.
  • Accounts of chains of transmitters of hadiths, and conclusions about their reliability or unreliability and their acceptance or rejection in terms of rijal.
  • Explications of the texts of hadiths, different possible interpretations thereof, evaluation and critique of views, and conclusive adjudications of those views.
  • Delineation of the vocabulary of hadiths.
  • Order, organization, depth, and cogency of contents.
  • Lack of repetitiveness and unnecessary contents, as well as citation of research by other scholars and jurists.
  • Widespread discussions of rijal.
  • In his al-Dhari'a, Aqa Buzurg Tihrani characterizes Istiqsa' al-i'tibar as central to derivations of Shari'a rulings by Shiite jurists. Moreover, he describes the book as methodical and useful.


The author's method of writing is as follows: he first cites the relevant hadith, and then discusses its chain of transmitters in detail. He evaluates the reliability of all transmitters of the hadith, discussing positions and remarks by scholars of rijal. He then explicates the content of the hadith and its implications.

Manuscripts and Publications

In the preface to the book written by its editors, four reliable manuscripts of the book are mentioned: the ones in the Library of Faydiyya Seminary, the Library of Astan Quds Radawi, the Library of the University of Tehran, and the Library of Majlis. Istiqsa' al-i'tibar was published by Al al-Bayt Institute in 1419/1998 in seven volumes.