Al-Maḥāsin (Arabic: المَحاسِن ) is a Shi'a hadith reference written by Abu Ja'far, Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Khalid al-Barqi (d. 274/887-888). He was a great Shi'a scholar and his book was later well-known as al-Mahasin al-Barqi (Arabic: المَحاسِن البَرقي).


Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Khālid b. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Barqī, (b. 200/815-16 - d. 274/887-88 or 280/893-94) was a renowned Twelver Shi'a hadith scholar (muhaddith) and historian of 3rd/9th century. Both Shi'a and Sunni scholars have relied on his hadiths. Other than al-Mahasin, his Rijal is an important book.


The book is among the best Shi'a hadith references which has great validity and some scholars have even considered it as important as the Four Books. It is also among the most important references of al-Kafi written by Thiqat al-Islam al-Kulayni and he has frequently quoted from al-Mahasin.[1]

Quotations from Great Scholars

Al-Mahasin was one of Al-Shaykh al-Saduq's sources in compiling Man la yahduruh al-faqih, he wrote: "I have extracted the hadiths in this book [Man la yahduruh] from reliable sources which are famous among Shi'a jurists and they refer to them such as al-Mahasin written by Ahmad b. Abi 'Abd Allah al-Barqi."[2]

In the chapter of Mustatrafat, about the end of al-Sara'ir, Ibn Idris al-Hilli has mentioned al-Mahasin as one of the reliable Shi'a books of hadiths.[3]

Qadi Nur Allah Shushtari considered this book the fifth reliable Shi'a reference and of similar importance as of the Four Books.[4]

In his Persian commentary on Man la yahduruh al-faqih , Muhammad Taqi al-Majlisi, the father of al-Allama al-Majlisi wrote, "We have al-Mahasin in hands and according to what great scholars have said about it, its author has been a great person, reliable and trustworthy and what is survived from the book is about one third of the original book."[5]


  1. Kitab al-ashkal wa l-qara'in (the Book of diagrams and evidences) including those hadiths in which digits 3 to 10 have been used, in addition to advice from the Prophet (s) and Ahl al-Bayt (a).
  2. Kitab thawab al-a'mal (the book of rewards of actions) including hadiths about rewards of different good actions.
  3. Kitab 'iqab al-a'mal (the book of punishments of actions) including hadiths about sins and punishments for misdeeds.
  4. Kitab al-safwat wa al-nur wa al-rahma (the book of elite, light and mercy) including hadiths about position of the Prophet (s) and Ahl al-Bayt (a) and their followers.
  5. Kitab masabih al-zulam (the book of the Lanterns of darkness) including issues on recognition and knowledge of the truth.
  6. Kitab al-'ilal (the book of causes) including discussions on religious rulings.
  7. Kitab al-safar (the book of traveling) including rulings and hadiths about journey.
  8. Kitab al-ma'akil (the book of what is eaten) including food and beverages.
  9. Kitab al-ma' (the book of waters) including the rulings about waters.
  10. Kitab al-manafi' (the book of interests) including rulings on consulting.
  11. Kitab al-marafiq (the book of amenities) including the rulings of the house, cleaning and transportation vehicles.



1. al-Barqi. Al-Mahasin. vol. 1, Introduction.

2. al-Shaykh al-Saduq.Man la yahduruh al-faqih. vol. 1, p. 4.

3. al-Hilli, Ibn idris. Mustatrafat al-Sara'ir. p. 641.

4. al-Barqi. al-Mahasin. vol. 1, p. 10.

5. Majlisi, Muhammad Taqi. Lawami' Sahibqarani. vol. 1, p. 193.



The material for this article is mainly taken from المحاسن in Farsi Wikishia.

Al-Barqi, Ahmad b. Muhammad, al-Mahasin, Tehran, Dar al-kutub al-Islamiyyah, 1370/1950-1951.

Al-Hilli, Ibn idris, Mustatrafat al-sara'ir, Qom, Jami'at al-Mudarrisin, 1411/1990-1991.

Al-Saduq, Muhammad b. 'Ali, Man la yahduruh al-faqih, Qom, Jami'at al-Mudarrisin.

Majlisi, Muhammad Taqi, Lawami' sahibqarani, Qom, Isma'iliyan.



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