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The Fiqhi Thought of Shaykh Tusi

In the fiqhi system of Shaykh Tusi, which established a bridge between the juridical methods of theologians and Partisans of Hadith, there occurred a fundamental change with regard to the notion of kahabr al-wahid. The Shaykh confirmed the authority of khabar al-wahid, without any requirement for external corroboration. He also set forth an elaborate scheme for the assessment of the validity of hadiths as well as other issues relating to ikhtilaf al-hadith (the divergence among hadiths). His book of al-Istibsar is a collection of usuli teachings on the various details of the subject. In Tahdhib al-ahkam he has gathered a collection of early Imami hadiths with practical fiqhi applications. In spite of his acceptance of khabar al-wahid which implied a wider use of traditional (naqli) methods in his system of jurisprudence, the “consensus of the Imami community” continued to play a significant role in Shaykh Tusi’s rulings. He, as the Shaykh al-Ta’ifah (the master of the sect), left a deep impress on the future Imami fiqhi schools, most of which were de facto advanced models of his system. In the hundred years following the Shaykh’s death, his views had gained such popularity that Sadid al-Din Hamasi considered the Imami faqihs of the 6th century AH as his mere imitators. None the less, it should be borne in mind that some of the same faqihs, such as Ibn Hamzah, set dissenting views and even formulated a number of secondary principles (furu`). The shattering of the atmosphere of stagnation gripping Imami fiqhi circles in the period prior to the second half of the 6th century was the result of the efforts of critical minds such as those of Ibn Idris and Sadid al-Din Hamasi. Ibn Idris’ al-Sara’ir is a distinct example of the tendency to shun imitation. It is also an indication of the fact that this critical movement had gravitated, in its course of development, toward the methods of theologians of the pre-Tusi era.

 source: Pakatchi , Ahmad "Islam Entry" The Great Islamic Encyclopedia. Ed. Kazem Musavi Bojnourdi.Tehran: The Center of Great Islamic Encyclopaedia , 1989-, V.8 ,pp.452- 453

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