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Sa'd b. 'Abd Allah al-Ash'ari al-Qummi

Abū l-Qāsim Saʿd b. ʿAbd Allāh al-Ashʿarī al-Qummī (Arabic: ابوالقاسم سعد بن عبدالله الاشعري القمي) was a Shi'a muhaddith in the 3rd/9th century. He lived in Baghdad for a while, but his permanent residence was probably in Qom. Sa'd al-Ash'ari lived in the period of the imamate of Imam Hasan al-'Askari (a) and the Minor Occultation of Imam al-Mahdi (a).

Sa'd b. 'Abd Allah al-Ash'ari al-Qummi
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Personal Information
Teknonym Abu l-Qasim
Religious Affiliation Twelver Shi'a
Lineage Al-Ash'ari Family
Residence Qom, Baghdad
Scholarly Information
Professors Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Khalid al-Barqi, 'Ali b. Mahziyar al-Ahwazi, ...
Students Ibn Babawayh, Al-Kulayni, ...
Works Al-Rahma, Basa'ir al-darajat, ...



Sa'd was from the Ash'ari family. The great ancestor of this family was Malik b. 'Amir. Many prominent Shi'a fuqaha (or jurisprudents) were from this family.


Sa'd b. 'Abd Allah had many teachers, including:

  • Abu 'Ali Hasan b. 'Arafa al-'Abdi al-Baghdadi: a scholar of Arabic literature, hadiths, and the author of some works in hadiths and other fields, including the book, al-Juz' . He died in 257/870 in Samarra.
  • Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. 'Abd al-Malik al-Daqiqi al-Wasiti (d. 266/879): he lived in Baghdad.
  • Abu Muqatil al-Sayl al-Daylami (the head of Rey): he transmitted hadiths from Imam al-Hadi (a) and was the author of the book, al-Ihtijaj fi l-imama containing hadiths and debates about kalam.
  • Abu Muqatil al-Darir: he was a prominent poet of his time. He composed the well-known qasida of Rey about Hasan b. Zayd who led an uprising in Tabaristan and took over the government.


Some of his students are as follow:

Transmission of Hadiths

There are 1142 hadiths transmitted by Sa'd in the Four Books of Shi'as (i.e. al-Tahdhib, al-Istibsar, al-Kafi, and Man la yahduruh al-faqih). Moreover, other hadiths by him are available in Bihar al-anwar, Wasa'il al-Shi'a, Kamal al-din, and so on.[3] The muhaddiths from whom Sa'd al-Ash'ari transmitted hadiths are over 34 people.[4]


Sa'd b. 'Abd Allah wrote over 36 books concerning various issues (fiqh, kalam, exegesis of the Quran, rijal, and so on). A few of these works are available among collections of hadiths, including a book of his called Basa'ir al-darajat. It seems that in writing this work, he followed the lead of his contemporary scholar, Muhammad b. Hasan al-Saffar al-Qummi's book, Basa'ir al-darajat. The book is concerned with the virtues of the Imams (a). The book is not available today; what is available is a summary of it made by al-Shaykh Hasan b. Sulayman al-Hilli, a student of al-Shahid al-Awwal.[5]

The only book of his which was published independently is al-Maqalat wa l-firaq. A manuscript of this book was recently found and was published with some addenda and commentaries. The book is concerned with various Shi'a denominations from the period of the Prophet Muhammad (s) until the author's time and criticisms of their views and arguments.[6]

some of his works are as follow:

  • Al-Rahma
  • Basa'ir al-darajat
  • Al-Diya'
  • Firaq al-shi'a (al-Maqalat wa l-firaq)
  • Kitab al-radd 'ala l-ghulat
  • Nasikh al-Qur'an wa mansukhuh wa muhkamuh wa mutashabihuh
  • Fadl al-du'a' wa l-dhikr
  • Manaqib
  • Ruwat al-hadith
  • Fadl al-Qom wa l-Kufa
  • Al-Imama
  • Fadl al-nabi
  • Manaqib al-shi'a [7]

Scholarly Debates

In order to propagate the Shi'a culture and criticize non-Shi'a schools of thoughts, Sa'd held debates. He points to such meetings when he writes:

I had a great passion for collecting books concerning detailed issues. I was interested because I sought to learn useful knowledge and talk about complicated issues in scholarly meetings with my opponents. I completely believed in the Imamiyya. I was never concerned with my own convenience, health, and security and was mostly concerned with criticizing their views about wilaya and khilafa. I talked about the brutalities of their leaders.[8]

Moreover, Sa'd's books concerning Shi'a denominations, heads of Shi'as, imamate, and the like are evidence for his passion for having scholarly debates and arguments.

Significance in the Transmission of Hadiths

Scholars count Sa'd b. 'Abd Allah as a reliable muhaddith. Al-Shaykh al-Tusi characterized him as a significant and reliable muhaddith, and praised him in his book of rijal (biographies). [9]

Al-Najashi described him as a remarkable, reliable muhaddith.[10]

Many scholars of rijal, such as al-Kashshi, Ibn Shahrashub, al-'Allama al-Majlisi, and al-'Allama al-Hilli have praised Sa'd.[11]


There is a disagreement among historiographers over the year of Sa'd's death:

  • Al-Najashi believes that Sa'd died in 301/913.

It is not known where he was buried.[12]


  1. Kahhala, Mu'jam al-Mu'allifin,vol.3, p.245; vol.9, p.35;Khatib al-Baghdadi, Tarikh baghdad, vol.2,p.346.
  2. Agha Buzurg, Tabaqat a'lam al-Shi'a, vol.1, p.57,76,123,185; Khoei, Mu'jam rijal al-hadith, vol.18, p.50.
  3. Khoei,Mu'jam rijal al-hadith, vol.8, p.79.
  4. Agha Buzurg, Tabaqat a'lam al-Shi'a, vol.1, p.134; Khoei, Mu'jam rijal al-hadith, vol.2, p.261.
  5. "Sa'd b.'Abd Allah 'Ash'ari Qumi ayat-i dirayat", p.76,36. 1376Sh.
  6. 'Ash'ari Qummi, al-Maqalat wa al-firaq, p.?.
  7. Najashi, Rijal, vol.1, p.401.
  8. Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.52, p.78.
  9. Shayyikh Tusi, al-Fihrist, p.75.
  10. Najashi,Rijal, vol.1, p.401.
  11. Kashshi, Rijal Kashshi, p.528; Ibn Shahrashub, Ma'alim al-'ulam, p.54; Majlisi, al-Wajiza, p.85; 'Allama Hilli, Khulasa al-aqwal, p.78.
  12. "Sa'd b.'Abd Allah 'Ash'ari Qumi ayat-i dirayat", p.?. 1376Sh.


  • 'Ash'ari Qummi, Sa'd b.'Abd Allah. al-Maqalat wa al-firaq. Tehran: Markaz-i Intisharat-i 'Ilmi Wa Farhangi.
  • "Sa'd b.'Abd Allah 'Ash'ari Qumi ayat-i dirayat". Farhang-i kawsar. 1376Sh.
  • Agha Buzurg, Tihrani. Tabaqat a'lam al-Shi'a. Qom:Isma'iliyan.
  • 'Allama al-Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir al-. Bihar al-anwar li durar akhbar al-a'imma al-athar. Beirut: Dar 'Ihya' al-Turath al-'Arabi, 1403AH.
  • Ibn Shahrashub, Muhammad b. 'Ali. Ma'alim al-'ulam. Najaf: Maktaba al-Haydariyya, 1380AH.
  • Kahhala, 'Umar Rida. Mu'jam al-Mu'allifin. Beirut: Dar 'Ihya' al-Turath al-'Arabi.
  • Khatib al-Baghdadi, Ahmad b. 'Ali al-. Tarikh baghdad. Beirut:Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyya, 1417AH.
  • Khoei, Abu l-Qasim al-. Mu'jam rijal al-hadith wa tafsil tabaqat al-ruwat. Qom:Markaz Nashr al-Thaqafa al-Islamiyya Fi al-'Alam, 1372Sh.