Ikhtiyar ma'rifat al-rijal

Ikhtiyār maʿrifat al-rijāl (Arabic: اختیار معرفة الرجال), also known as the Rijāl al-Kashshī (Arabic: رجال الکَشّي), is a Twelver Shi'ite work of biographical evaluation (ʿilm al-rijāl) originally written by Muhammad ibn Umar al-Kashshi (c. 854–941/951) and abridged by Shaykh Tusi (995–1067 CE).

Ikhtiyār maʿrifat al-rijāl
AuthorMuhammad ibn Umar al-Kashshi (c. 854–941/951)[1][2][3]
Subjectearly Shi'ite hadith transmitters
Genrebiographical evaluation (ʿilm al-rijāl)
One of the four main Shi'ite rijāl works.

Al-Kashshi's original work is now lost.[4] The reason given by Tusi to abridge al-Kashshi's work is that it contained many errors.[5][verification needed] The abridged work as extant today contains 1115 hadiths and refers to 515 companions of the Shi'ite Imams.[6][verification needed]

It is one of the four books of Shi'ite biographical evaluation which are regarded as authoritative in Twelver Shi'ism.[7][8][9][10]


The work was abridged by Shaykh Tusi in 1064 as Ikhtiyār maʿrifat al-rijāl,[11] which means "The Selection of the Knowledge of the Men". The "Men" (Arabic: rijāl) in the title refers to early transmitters of hadith and other historical figures who knew the Shi'ite Imams. It is also sometimes called Rijāl al-Kashshī ("al-Kashshi's Men"), to point to al-Kashshi's original authorship. Ibn Shahr Ashub referred to it as Maʿrifat al-nāqilīn ʿan al-aʾimma al-ṣādiqīn (Arabic: معرفة الناقلین عن الأئمة الصادقین‌), meaning "The Knowledge of Those Who Transmitted from the Sincere Imams".[12]


The work deals with the biographical evaluation (ʿilm al-rijāl) of a wide variety of early Muslim figures. Though most of these figures are early Shi'ite hadith transmitters, it also covers other contemporaries of the Shi'ite Imams, as well as a number of people who were not considered to be particularly reliable or praiseworthy.[13] The biographies are organized according to the central Muslim figures to whom the subjects of the biographies were companions, thus starting with the companions of the prophet Muhammad and ending with the companions of Hasan al-Askari (the 11th Imam according to Twelver Shia tradition) and some of the scholars from the time of the Minor Occultation.[14]

Historical valueEdit

The Ikhtiyār maʿrifat al-rijāl is one of the most authoritative and important works of rijāl literature in the history of Islam.[citation needed] Apart from those early 8th- and 9th-century figures who were later claimed by the Twelver Shi'ite tradition as one of their own, it also contains information on figures belonging to now exctinct Shi'ite sects (commonly called ghulāt) such as the Waqifites, the Fathites, and the Batriyya, as well as on early figures belonging to the Zaidiyyah and to the Murji'ah.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ طوسی, محمد بن حسن. اختیار معرفه الرجال، مقدمه (in Persian). دانشکده الهیات و معارف اسلامی مشهد. p. 13.
  2. ^ حسینی دشتی, سید مصطفی (2000). معارف و معاریف: دایرة المعارف جامع اسلامی (in Persian). Vol. 8. تهران: مؤسسه فرهنگی آرایه. p. 516.
  3. ^ به نقل از تنقیح المقال و الاعلام (in Persian).
  4. ^ al-Amīn al-ʿĀmilī, Muḥsin (1983–1993). "Abū ʿAmr Muḥammad ibn ʿUmar ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz al-Kashshī". In al-Amīn, Ḥasan (ed.). Aʿyān al-shīʿa. Vol. 10. Beirut: Dār al-Taʿāruf. pp. 27–28.
  5. ^ Adibi Mehr, 1384 solar, p. 132.
  6. ^ Ma'aref, Majid, 1376 solar, pp. 43–44.
  7. ^ "معرفی کتاب "رجال کشی" - تبیان" (in Persian). Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  8. ^ "اختيار معرفه الرجال المعروف به رجال الكشي - کتابخانه دیجیتال قائمیه" (in Persian). Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  9. ^ "کتاب إختیارُ مَعرفَه الرّجال" (in Persian). Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  10. ^ "کتاب اختیار معرفه الرجال المعروف به رجال الکشی [چ1] - کتاب گیسوم" (in Persian). Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  11. ^ احمدی, مهدی (2010). تاریخ حدیث شیعه در سده‌های چهارم تا هفتم هجری (in Persian). قم: دارالحدیث. p. 400.
  12. ^ ابن شهر آشوب, محمد بن علی. مَعالمُ العُلَماء فی فهرست کُتُب الشیعَة و أسماء المُصنّفین‌ قَدیما و حَدیثا. p. 137.
  13. ^ شوشتری‎, محمدتقی. قاموس الرجال. Vol. 1. p. 16.
  14. ^ اختیار معرفه الرجال. ص ۱، ش۱. p. 1.

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