in Shiite Classical Literature
n Shiite classical books the term “al-Kurd” is quite well established.
Safavid period, and certainly earlier, are something of a puzzle. This
statement may sound paradoxical. The early Shiite period is one of the
best-documented epochs in Islamic religious history, and it may seem
strange that there should be any uncertainty about such a prominent
issue related to it. Nevertheless, the fact remains that a fundamental
aspect of Kurdish community as reﬂected in the Shiite classical sources
is clouded by ambiguities.
The index of passages from the Shiite literature in which the Kurdish
community appears as a dilemma makes the article suitable for students
as well as for readers who wish to acquaint themselves with Shiite ﬁqh
and the “Kurds” and some of the many problems in that ﬁqh.
This work has grown slowly and originated in a card-index of passages
begun in the writer’s own student days. For my ﬁrst direct information
on this subject, three years ago, I am personally indebted to the Shiite
Traditionalist H. Khendeghabadi, of Tehran, whose kindness I cordially
appreciate, and whose suggestions I gratefully acknowledge. It is hoped,
in any case, that the article will in fact be an almost complete dictionary
of references to Kurds in Shiite classical literature.
Alphabetic List of Authors and Works
The allusions are arranged according to subject-matter, with Old
Arabic (fas.¯ıh.) and New Arabic intermixed. They are lettered consec-
utively according to the Roman alphabet, a–z. There follows in each
I want to thank my friend Dr. Loqman Turgut, of Kurdish Studies in the Uni-
ottingen, for reading the ﬁrst draft of this article and making some
grammatical suggestions to make it reader-friendly, all of which I have gratefully
MELA Notes 79 (2006)
case a reference to the place where the passage has been previously pub-
lished, and such notes as seem necessary to explain its bibliographical
citation. We are concerned here with the historical data to be gained
from the sources, rather than with the ideological exegesis of the texts
or Arabic linguistic questions of vocabulary, grammar or syntax:
1. A/Irbil¯ı, Al¯ı ibn ¯Is¯
a, d. 1292 or 3. Kashf al-Ghummah ﬁ Ma rifat al-
A immah. 2 vols. Tabr¯ız : Maktabat Ban¯ı H¯
ashim¯ı, 1381. Reprinted,
with unimportant omissions (vol. 1. pp. 43–44, vol. 2. p. 361).
. ill¯ı, Taq¯ı al-D¯ın ibn Najm al-D¯ın (Ab¯
5–1055. Taqr¯ıb al-Ma ¯
arif f¯ı al-Kal¯
am. Qom, 1404 (p. 144).
. urr al- Amil¯ı, Muh.ammad ibn al-H
a il al-
a il al-Shar¯ı ah. 29 vols. Qom : Al-al-Beit In-
stitute, 1409. The special pages which are of interest in connection
with Kurdish community are the following: ( vol. 7. p. 416, vol. 20.
p. 84, vol. 21. p. 190, vol. 24. p. 51, vol. 28. p. 382).
4. Ibn B¯
abawayh al-Qumm¯ı, Muh.ammad ibn Al¯ı, 918 or 19–991 or 2.
Ilal al-Shara i . Qom : Maktabat al-D¯
awar¯ı, 1400. (gives some very
interesting allusions to the Kurdish community, onward from the
ninth century of our era (p. 527 et seq.).
5. Ibn Ab¯ı Jumh¯
ur al-Ah.s¯a ¯ı, Muh.ammad ibn Al¯ı, d. ca. 1473. Aw¯al¯ı al-
aı al- Az¯ız¯ıyah f¯ı al-Ah
ad¯ıth al-D¯ın¯ıyah. Qom : Mat.ba at Sayyid
a , 1405. Cited under B¯
ah.. (vol. 3. p. 302).
6. Ibn al-Mut.ahhar al-H.ill¯ı, al-H.asan ibn Y¯usuf, 1250–1325. Tabs.irat
al-Muta allim¯ın f¯ı Ah
am al-D¯ın. Edited by Mehdi Salihi, Tehran,
often been quoted above (p. 95).
7. Ibn al-R¯
az¯ı, Muh.ammad (date unknown). al-Wis¯at.ah bayna al-
an. Edited by Al¯ı Akbar¯ı. Qom, 1409 (p. 135).
..il (C.E. sixteenth century). Ris¯
abundant bibliographical material (fol. 32r.–fol. 39v.).
..r, Sayf al-D¯ın (C.E. seventeenth century?). al-Maq¯
alah f¯ı al-
Firaq al-Sh¯ı ah. Baghdad, 1972. In the preface to al-Khiz
..r, there is
a passage relating to Kurdish community and their religion which is
perhaps worth recording amongst the allusions to this people found
in Arabic-Shiite literature (p. 44 seq).
10. al-Kul¯ı/ayn¯ı, Muh.ammad ibn Ya q¯b, d. 939. al-K¯af¯ı f¯ı Ilm al-D¯ın.
ar al-Kutub al-Isl¯
am¯ıyah, 1365 (vol. 5. p. 158 and
ar . 110 vols. Beirut : al-Wafa Institute, 1404 (vol. 27.
am al-D¯ın (date unknown). Tazkirat al-Mu min¯ın. Ara-
bic Manuscript, Tehran University, 36542. al-Qaz
..¯ı incidentally men-
tions ‘al-Kurd’ as responsible for the heretical views as to the origin
of the jinn ( fol. 38r.).
13. Shah¯ıd al-Awwal, Muh.ammad ibn Makk¯ı (al- Amil¯ı), 1333 or 4–
1380. : al-Lum ah al-Dimashq¯ıyah. Edited by Al¯ı H
. am¯ıd¯ı. Qom :
1411 (cited under B¯
ajir) (pp. 124–125).
14. Shah¯ıd al-Th¯
an¯ı, Zayn al-D¯ın ibn Al¯ı, 1506–1559. al-Rawd
. ah al-
. al-Lum ah al-Dimashq¯ıyah. Edited by Badr al-
as.il, Beyrouth : 1966 (cited under B¯ab al-mut¯ajir) (p. 226 et seq.).
. asan ibn Al¯ı ibn D¯
or 40. al-Jawharah f¯ı Naz.m al-Tabs.irah. Edited by H.usayn Darg¯ah¯ı.
Tehran, 1411, abridged verse account of Tabs.irat al-Muta allim¯ın f¯ı
usi, Mud.ammad ibn al-H.asan, 995–1067?. al-Istibs.¯ar ﬁ-m¯a Ikhta-
lafa min al-Akhb¯
ar . 4 vols. Tehran : D¯
ar al-Kutub al-Islam¯ıyah, 1390
(vol. 4. p. 81).
usuf Kar¯ım (C.E. seventeenth century), Ahmad, Sharh
Arabic Manuscript, Mar ash¯ı Library, 3318. (gives a series of state-