Shaykh Tusi : the life and works of a Shiite leader
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Shaykh Tusi (Abu Ja'far Muhammad), lived in the period which was marked by great activity and important changes in the whole of the Islamic world, between A.H.385/A.D.995 and 460/1067, barely longer than two-thirds of a century. He was born in Tus, and lived there until he was 23 years of age, then he emigrated to Baghdad (408/1017). Certainly, when TusI arrived in Baghdad he knew the elements and the basis of literature and theology (kalaro), as he was able to be an advanced student of al-Mufid. At that time, the Buwayhids were in power, Shl'Ite scholars and libraries were crowded, assemblies for discussions and debates were packed. The leadership of the Ja'farites was with al-Mufld. For 28 years (1017-1044), he had busied himself in Baghdad, studying, teaching and writing; and after the death of al-Kurtada (436/1044) he took over the presidency of Shi'Ites in Baghdad for the next 12 years. At the time, his scholarly fame gave him such a stature that the caliph granted him the seat of kalam. During the leadership of TusI, the Buwayhids power fell into decline and Tusi faced an unpleasant situation. Finally, the position of the ShI'ites went from bad to worse, as all of his books and papers were put to the torch and Tusi, consequently, left Baghdad and went to Najaf (448/1056). He, therefore, settled in Najaf and made that city the fixed centre for Shi'Ite instruction. He lived in Najaf for 12 years, until his death (460/1067).