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Naqd al-rijal (book)

Naqd al-rijal
Author Mustafa b. Husayn al-Tafrishi
Original title نَقْدُ الرّجال
Language Arabic
Subject Rijal
Published 1418/1997
Publisher Aal al-Bayt Institute

Naqd al-rijāl (Arabic: نَقْدُ الرّجال) is a book by Mustafa b. Husayn al-Tafrishi in rijal. It is written in the eleventh/seventeenth century and has a critical approach toward different views and mentioned each of them briefly in an orderly and comprehensive manner. Some scholars praised the author because of his scientific accuracy and great knowledge. Muhammad Taqi al-Majlisi and al-Sayyid Ni'mat Allah al-Jaza'iri and some other Shi'a scholars wrote some criticisms on Naqd al-rijal.


The Author

Mustafa b. Husayn al-Tafrishi was among the students of Mulla 'Abd Allah al-Shushtari, the famous rijal scholar. He lived in the tenth/sixteenth and eleventh/seventeenth century and had permission for transmitting hadiths from Mulla Abd Allah Shushtari and al-Muhaqqiq al-Karaki. Scholars after al-Tafrishi praised him for his scientific accuracy and great knowledge. Al-Tafrishi mentioned Naqd al-rijal one of his works; however, there is no report about his other works.


Naqd al-rijal mentioned the names of 6604 of the transmitters of hadith based on alphabetical order. About each person, the book mentions the views of rijal scholars about him, including praising, criticizing or considering him useless.

In the ending of the book, six issues in rijal are mentioned which are,

  • Titles of Imams (a) used by scholars of rijal
  • The meaning of "'iddat-un min ashab-i-na" (some of our friends) in al-Kafi

Date of writing

Naqd al-rijal was written in 1015/1606.


In Naqd al-rijal, the author explicitly said that most of the merits of the book is because of studying under Mulla 'Abd Allah al-Shushtari. The book has a critical approach toward different views and has collected different opinions briefly in an orderly and comprehensive manner.

Al-Hurr al-'Amili and thus al-Afandi and al-Astarabadi said, "in this book, al-Tafrishi less discussed about the transmitters of hadith after al-Shaykh al-Tusi." But, Khwansari believed that comparing to other books in rijal, al-Tafrishi's book dealt more with recent transmitters of hadiths and it even seemed that contrary to other scholars of rijal, he intended to be comprehensive about mentioning more recent great scholars.

In the introduction of Naqd al-rijal, al-Tafrishi mentioned its sources; however, his sources are more than them, as he has mentioned many of them through the book. Some of the citations of al-Tafrishi from the books of previous scholars are the only source available for knowing those opinions. He tried to mention their opinions without any changes. Criticism of the references rijal scholars used for considering transmitters of hadiths authentic or weak, mentioning the sources of hadiths for every transmitter of hadith and his students, being careful about the differences between the versions and trying to record the names correctly are among other features of Naqd al-rijal.

Commentaries and Marginalia

Since its writing, Naqd al-rijal was vastly welcomed by scholars of hadith. Some scholars contemporary with al-Tafrishi wrote marginalia for it. Also later, others wrote marginalia, commentaries and complements for it which shows its usage in different eras. In al-Dhari'a seven marginalia are mentioned for Naqd al-rijal, including marginalia written by Muhammad Taqi al-Majlisi (1070/1659).