Shaykh Mufid (338AH/950CE – 413AH/1022CE) was one of the earliest Shia Scholars who lived during the 4th and 5th centuries AH.
Muhammad bin al-Numan bin Abd al-Salam bin Jabir bin al-Numan, Shaykh Mufid, was a son of a teacher in the town of Ukbara near Baghdad on the 11th of Dhul Qaeda 338 AH (336 AH, according to Najashi). Hence, Muhammad was also initially called the son of a teacher (Arabic: Ibn ul-Muallim). Muhammad was given the title ‘Al-Mufid (meaning: the one who is beneficial for others) by his teacher al-Rumani, when Muhammad defeated him while debating.
Al-Mufid, according to his son-in-law, was a pious and spiritual person who mostly prayed, fasted, and undertook charity as his duty. His opponents remember him for his debating capabilities, intelligence, and memory. Two names can be found in traditions about his children; a son named Abu-al Qasim and a daughter who was married to Abu Ya’la al-Jafari. On the 3rd of Ramadan, 413 AH, Shaykh Mufid departed from the world, and Shaykh al-Murtaza led his funeral prayer, which, according to some sources, was attended by eighty thousand people. The resting place of Shaykh Mufid is in Kadhmiya in the Shrine of Imams Musa al-Kadhim and Muhammad al-Taqi, where his body was transferred two years after being first buried in his home.
Shaykh Mufid established a new approach to Shia Jurisprudence by mediating between the rational and traditional methods and debated with scholars of other sects in defense of Shia beliefs. he trained numerous scholars such as Shaykh al-Murtaza, Shaykh al-Tusi, Shaykh ar-Razi (compiler of Nahj al-Balagah)
- Head of Shias in various fields, such as Jurisprudence and Theology
- Abu Abdullah al-Husayn bin Ali al-Basri, famously known as ‘Al Jual' in Theology
- Abu Yasir, a student of Abu al-Jaysh Muzaffar bin Muhammad al-Khurasani al-Tahir in Theology
- Ali bin Isa Al-Rumani
- Ibn Qulawayh
- Shaykh Saduq
- Al-Irshad fi Marifat hujaj Allah Alal Ibad, (English: Kitab al-Irshad, Howard. IKA, Tahrike Tarsile Quran, 1982)
- Al-Muqnia, a book on fiqh that later became the basis for Shaykh Tusi’s commentary on Al Muqnia named ‘Tadhib al-ahkam.’
- Awa’il al-maqalat fil Madhahib wal Mukhtarat (Early articles on doctrines and anthologies)
- Al-Jamal wal nusra li Sayyid al-Itra fi harb Basra (Al-Jamal and the victory of Sayyid al-Itra in the war of Basra)
- Kitab al-mazar (Rituals of Shrines)
- Tashih al-Itiqadat (Correction of Itiqadat, a work of Shaykh Saduq)
- Ahkam al-Nisa (The rulings for Women)