ʿABD-AL-JALĪL QAZVĪNĪ RĀZĪ, NAṢĪR-AL-DĪN ABŪ RAŠĪD B. ABU’L-ḤOSAYN B. ABU’L-FAŻL, Emāmī Shiʿite scholar, preacher, and author, b. probably early in the 6th/12th century. He or his family originated from Qazvīn, but he lived most of his life in Ray. A few facts about his life can be gleaned from biographical sources and from his own Ketāb al-naqż. Among his teachers was his elder brother Awḥad-al-dīn Abū ʿAbdallāh Ḥosayn, whom he describes as the pīr and moftī of the Emāmīya in Ray and on whose authority he related Hadith. ʿAbd-al-Jalīl was active as a preacher (vāʿeẓ) and taught in at least one large madrasa of his own. It is evident that he was closely connected with Shiʿite and other communal leaders in Ray.

In 533/1138-39, ʿAbd-al-Jalīl wrote a book on the blamelessness (tanzīh) of ʿĀʾeša, the original copy of which was endorsed by the Hanafite chief qāżī ʿEmād-al-dīn Astarābādī and deposited in the library of the amir ʿAbbās of Ray. In 537/1142-43 he composed a book on the imamite of ʿAlī entitled al-Barāhīn fī emāmat amīr-al-moʾmenīn. He also wrote a book of edifying stories, Meftāḥ al-rāḥāt fī fonūn al-ḥekāyāt, a brief treatise (moḵtaṣar) in refutation of an epistle of the Nezārī Ismaʿilis sent to him from Qazvīn, and Ketāb al-soʾālāt wa’l-ǰawābāt (“Questions and answers,” no doubt on religious matters) in seven volumes. His only extant work is the Ketāb al-naqż, also known as Baʿż maṯāleb al-nawāṣeb fī naqż baʿż fażāʾeḥ al-rawāfeż (ed. Jalāl-al-dīn Ḥosaynī Ormavī maʿrūf be Moḥaddeṯ, Tehran, 1331 Š./1371/1952), refutation of a polemical attack on Emāmī Shiʿism by a former Shiʿite converted to Sunnism. The book, written in Persian at the request of the naqīb of Ray, Šaraf-al-dīn Moḥammad b. ʿAlī al-Mortażā, and completed between 559/1164 and 566/1171, is a most important source for the religious and social conditions in Persia in the Saljuq age. The date of ʿAbd-al-Jalīl’s death is unknown.

In his writings, ʿAbd-al-Jalīl advocated a conciliatory attitude among Shiʿites toward Sunnism, muting Shiʿite criticism of the Companions of the Prophet, including ʿĀʾeša and the first caliphs, and stressing Shiʿite and ʿAlid sympathies among Sunni ʿolamāʾ and ascetics. In particular, he favored friendly ties with the Hanafite school generally backed by Saljuq Turks, emphasizing doctrinal agreement of the Emāmīya with Muʿtazilite and Mātorīdī theology and pro-ʿAlid sentiments among the Turks, while polemically censuring Ashʿarism and Sunnite traditionalism. Within the Emāmīya, he expressly professed the views of the oṣūlīs, who supported a theology close to Muʿtazilism based on reason, and repudiated the aḵbārīs, who, like their traditionalist Sunnite counterparts, relied solely on tradition in all religious matters.


Montaǰab-al-dīn, Fehres, in Maǰlesī, Beḥār al-anwār, Tehran, 1376-92/1956-72, CV, p. 251.

Nūrallāh Šoštarī, Maǰāles al-moʾmenīn, Tehran, 1299/1882, pp. 208-11.

Ḵᵛānsārī, Rawżat al-Jannāt, ed. Asadallāh Esmāʿīlīān, Qom, 1390-92/1970-72, IV, pp. 189ff.

Moḥaddeṯ, Moqaddema-ye naqż, Tehran, 1333 Š./1374/1954, pp. 1-70.

Ḥosayn Karīmān, Ray-e bāstān, Tehran, 1345-49 Š./1966-70, II, pp. 537-39.

(W. Madelung)

Originally Published: December 15, 1982

Last Updated: July 14, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 2, p. 120

Cite this entry:

W. Madelung,“'Abd-Al-Jalil Razi,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/2, p. 120; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/abd-al-jalil-qazvini-razi-emami-shiite-scholar-12th-century (accessed on 15 January 2014).