Shawwal 13, birth anniversary of Shahid al Thani
Zayn al-Din al-Juba’i al’Amili(1506–1558) was the Second Martyr, and the author of the first Sharh of Shahid Awwal‘s Al-Lum’ah ad-Dimashqiya (The Damascene Glitter) titled as Ar-Rawda al-Bahiyah fi Sharh al-Lum’ah ad-Dimashqiya(الروضة البهيّة في شرح اللمعة الدمشقيّة ) (The Beautiful Garden in Interpreting the Damscene Glitter).
He was one of the greatest shi’a scholars. He studied under famous Sunni and Shi’a inJabal ‘Amel, Damascus,Cairo, Jerusalemamong many others. He was known and respected by sunnis in Baalabeck for this. He was authorized to teach Muslims in the Nouriyah Islamic school according to the five schools of thought.
He became a Mujtahid at age 33 after his visits to Iraq. Since Ijtihad was forbidden and Shi’ism had a history of persecution in the area, especially that shi’ism was still strong among the people as a result of the not-so-long gone Hamdanid dynasty, some people conspired against him due to petty reasons before being judged in front of the Sultan.
He was a widely travelled man, having visited Egypt, Syria, Hijaz, Tihamah, Baitul Muqaddas, Iraq and Constantinople (Istanbul). Always in pursuit of knowledge, he studied from nearly twelve Sunni Ulama of fiqh. Apart from the proficiency in fiqh, he was well versed in Usool, Philosophy, Irfan, Medicine and Astronomy.
He was a man of piety, known for his austere way of life. His students have recorded in his biography that Shaheed maintained his family by selling the woods cut by himself during the nights, and then sat to teach during the day. While in Ba’lbak, he conducted classes in Fiqh according to five schools, i.e. Ja’fari, Hanafi, Shafei, Maliki and Hambali. His Sharh al-Lum’ah is a part of curriculum in almost every Hawza even today. He studied fromMuhaqqiq Karaki before the later migrated to Iran.
In Rajab of 965 A.H. (1558), he was beheaded on his way to see the sultan and a shrine was built by some Turkmens on the site as they realised his stature. The person that beheaded him was killed by the Sultan orders.
Because family members of al-Shahid al-Thani were all among Shi’a scholars, their family was known as Silsilat al-Dhahab (the golden chain):
- Shaykh Nur al-Din ‘Ali, his father was a scholar of his time;
- Abu Mansur Jamal al-Din Hasan, known as “Sahib al-Ma’alim” (the author of al-Ma’alim), his son;
- Sayyid Muhammad ‘Ali al-‘Amili known as “Sahib al-Madarik” (the author of al-Madarik), his maternal grandson;
- Shaykh ‘Ali and Shaykh Zayn al-Din, the children of Abu Mansur Jamal al-Din Hasan and the grandchildren of al-Shahid al-Thani;
- Al-Sadr family including Al-Sayyid Hasan al-Sadr (author of Ta’sis al-Shi’a), Al-Sayyid Musa al-Sadr, Al-Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr and his martyred sister, Bint al-Huda al-Sadr were all descendants of al-Shahid al-Thani.
When al-Shahid al-Thani was nine, he had learned reciting the holy Quran before he started his education. ‘Ali ibn Ahmad al-‘Amili, his father, was the first one who taught him. Al-Shahid al-Thani learned Arabic literature, Al-Mukhtasar al-Nafi’ (by al-Muhaqqiq al-Hilli) and al-Lum’a al-Dimashqiyya (by al-Shahid al-Awwal) and other different books from his father.
After his father passed away in 925/1519, he moved to Mays, a village in Jabal Amel, and learned from ‘Ali b. ‘Abd al-‘Ali al-Maysi for eight years. He studied Shara’i’ al-Islam (by al-Muhaqqiq al-Hilli), Irshad al-Adhhan and Qawa’id al-Ahkam (both by al-‘Allama al-Hilli) on fiqh under al-Maysi.
Al-Shahid al-Thani had numerous travels in order to learn from a large number of scholars of the time.
After he went to Jabal Amil, he traveled to Karak Nuh to learn Arabic grammar and usul al-fiqh from al-Sayyid Ja’far al-Karaki. After three years, he moved to Damascus to studyphilosophy and medicine under Shaykh Muhammad b. Makki[Note 1]. He also studied Al-Shatibiyyah under Shaykh Ahmad al-Jabir. While he was in Damascus he learned Sahih Muslim and Sahih al-Bukhari under Shams al-Din b. Tulun.
In 949/1543 he traveled to Constantinople, where he gave a treatise (on ten knowledges) to Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Qadizada al-Rumi. After a meeting between them, al-Rumi proposed a teaching position in every school he wants. After doing istikhara, al-Shahid al-Thani chose Nuriyya School in Baalbek. Then al-Rumi appointed him as the responsible of Nuriyya School.
Al-Shahid al-Thani returned to Juba’ after he had visited Shrines of Imams in 953/1546 He settled there for the rest of his life and dedicated his time to teaching and writing.
- Nur al-Din ‘Ali b. Ahmad al-‘Amili al-Juba’i, his father (d. 925/1519)
- Al-Shaykh ‘Ali b. ‘Abd al-‘Ali al-Maysi (d. 938/1532)
- Shaykh Muhammad b. Makki (philosopher in Damascus)
- Al-Sayyid Hasan b. Ja’far al-Karaki (in Karak Nuh)
- Shams al-Din b. Tulun al-Dimashqi (in Damascus)
- Al-Shaykh Abu l-Hasan al-Bakri
- Al-Shaykh Abu l-Latif al-Maqdisi
- Mulla Hasan Jurjani
- Mulla Muhammad Astarabadi
- Mulla Muhammad ‘Ali jilani
- Shahab al-Din ibn al-Najjar al-Hanbali
- Zayn al-Din al-Hurri al-Maliki
- Al-Shaykh Nasir al-Din al-Talawi al-Kafhami
When al-Shahid al-Thani settled in Baalbek, a large number of scholars and intellectuals came to learn from him. Because of his vast knowledge about the Islamic sects, he conducted comprehensive classes in fiqh and beliefs according to the five schools of thought in Islam: Ja’fari, Hanafi, Hanbali,Shafi’i and Maliki. People also found the answer of their questions in religious matters.
- Nur al-Din ‘Ali b. al-Husayn al-Musavi al-‘Amili, his son-in-law
- Al-Sayyid ‘Ali al-Husayni al-Jazini al-‘Amili, known as Al-Sa’igh
- Husayn b. ‘Abd al-Samad al-Harithi, Shaykh Baha’i’s father
- Ali b. Zuhra al-Juba’i
- Al-Sayyid Nur al-Din al-Karaki al-‘Amili
- Baha’ al-Din Muhammad b. ‘Ali al-‘Awdi al-Jazini, known as Ibn al-‘Awdi
- Al-Shaykh Muhyi al-Din b. Ahmad al-Maysi
- Al-Sayyid ‘Izz al-Din Husayn b. Abu l-Hasan al-‘Amili
- Al-Shaykh Taj al-Din b. Hilal al-Jaza’iri
- Rawd al-jinan fi sharh Irshad al-Adhhan
- Masalik al-afham fi sharh shara’i’ al-Islam
- Al-Rawda al-Bahiyya fi sharh al-Lum’a al-Dimashqiya
- Al-Fawa’id al-‘amaliyya fi sharh al-nafliyya
- Al-Maqasid al-‘aliyya fi sharh al-alfiyya
- Manasik al-Hajj al-kabir and Manasik al-Hajj al-saghir
- Risala fi sharh al-bismila
- Haqa’iq al-iman
- Manzuma fi al-nahw and its commentary
- Tamhid al-qawa’id al-usuliyya li-tafri’ al-ahkam al-shar’iyya
- Ghunya al-qasidin fi istilahat al-muhaddithin
- A treatise on Supplications
- A treatise on Friday Prayers
- Al-Bidaya fi ‘ilm al-diraya and its commentary; al-Shahid al-Thani was the first Shi’ascholar who wrote in dirayat al-hadith.
- A book about hadiths, includes 1000 hadiths, which are chosen fromAl-Mashikha(written by Al-Hasan b. Mahbub)
- Munya al-murid fi adab al-mufid wa al-mustafid, about the traditions of teaching and learning.
- Musakking al-fu’ad ‘ind faqd al-ahibba wa al-awlad, he wrote the book after the loss of some of his children, for the consolation of himself and others.
- Kashf al-riyba ‘an ahkam al-ghiba
After al-Shahid al-Thani judged a dispute, he was summoned by Sultan. He asked to make a pilgrimage to Mecca before visiting Sultan. On the way back to Constantinople and before meeting the Sultan, he was beheaded by the sea without Sultan’s order. His body was left there and then thrown to the sea. He was martyred in 955/1548, but al-Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin mentioned his death in 965/1558.
Quotations on Him
Al-Shaykh al-Hurr al-‘Amili said on al-Shahid al-Thani: “His personality was famous for reliability, knowledge, virtuousness, worship, research, high status and other countless admirable characteristics.”
Mustafa b. al-Husayn Tafrishi, a Shi’a scholar in rijal said: “al-Shahid al-Thani was a glorious figure among Shi’a Muslims and reliable scholars; he was a knowledgeable figure whose writings lack mistakes.”
- Al-Hurr al-‘Amili, Amal al-‘Amil, v. 8 p. 87
- Mustafa b. Husayn al-Tafrashi, Naqd al-Rijal, v. 2 p. 292
- Not to be mistaken with al-Shahid al-Awwal
- The material for this article is mainly taken from شهید ثانی in Farsi WikiShia.