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Abbasid History Podcast

Apr 4, 2021

To discuss with us the life, works and legacy of Shaykh al-Mufīd is Dr. Ahab Bdaiwi. Dr. Bdaiwi completed his PhD at Exeter on Islamic intellectual history and is currently the Cook-Crone Research Bye-Fellow in Ancient and Medieval History at the university of Cambridge.


00.00 Introduction

01.50 Shaykh al-Mufid was born in Baghdad around 948CE during the Shia Buyid dynasty's de facto control of the Abbasid caliphate and fifty years before the so-called 'Sunni Revival' with the reign of al-Qādir billāh in 991CE. Tell us about the socio-political and intellectual context of his life.

09.00 Shaykh al-Mufīd had a tumultuous life being exiled from Baghdad three times. He is also known as Ibn al-Muʿallim, son of the teacher, owing to his father's occupation. He dies in Ramadan 1022CE and is buried beside the sixth Shia imam Mūsā al-Kāẓim. What do we know about the life and career of Shaykh al-Mufīd?

15.16 Shaykh al-Mufīd has nearly 200 works attributed to him although only 10 survive. He was known to debate opponents and left a lasting legacy upon Islamic jurisprudence. What do we know about these works?

26.53 Shaykh al-Mufīd's land of birth continues to experience tumult between those who regard themselves as heirs to the conflicts of his time. He is commemorated annually on 9th September in Iran's official calendar. How do you evaluate Shaykh al-Mufīd's lasting legacy?

30.11 You are a co-editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Shiʿi Islam with Prof. Sajjad Rizvi. What are any other current projects listeners can anticipate?


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We are also sponsored by Turath Publishing. Buy in time for Ramadan a limited edition of Mufti Taqi Usmani's new translation of the Quran with explanatory notes in a deluxe thermo-leather bound hard cover. Listeners get a 15% discount on all purchases. Visit Turath Publishing at and use discount code POD15 at checkout. Terms and conditions apply. Contact Turath Publishing for details.