Some Lessons from Jurisprudence (Fiqh)
Apparently these books were compiled of traditions on the varying subjects of jurisprudence that the compilors considered to be reliable, and to which they acted in accordance, together with the comments of the compilors.
The scholar Hilli, in the introduction to his book M'utabar wrote, "Bearing in mind that our jurisprudents (God be pleased with them) are many and their compilations numerous and to narrate the names of them all is not possible, I will content myself with those who are the most famous in merit, research and good selection, and with the books of those paragons whose ijtihad is mentioned in other undoubtable books as reliable.
"Those I will mention include, from the 'earlier' period (i.e. the period of access to the Imams), Hassan ibn Mahboub, Ahmad ibn Ali Nasr Bazanti, Husayn ibn Sa'id, Fadl ibn Shathan, Yunis ibn 'Abd ur-Rahman and, from the later period, Muhammad ibn Babawayh Qumi (Shaykh Saduq), and Muhammad ibn Y'aqub Kulayni and from the authors of verdicts (fatwas) Ali ibn Babawayh Qumi, ibn Jamid Iskafi, ibn Ali 'Agil, Shaykh Mufid, Syed Morteza.'Alam ul Huda and Shaykh Tusi . . . "
Notice that although the first group are quoted as having their own views and good selection and ijtihad, yet they are not mentioned as being masters of verdicts.
This was because their books, even though they were the summaries of their ijtihad, were in the form of collections of traditions and not in the form of verdicts.
Now we will look at the history of Shi'ite jurisprudents, as I have said, from the period of the Imam's occcultation .
Ali ibn Babawayh Qumi, died in 329 A.H. buried in
'Ayashi Samarqandi, lived at the same time as Ali ibn Babawayh or a little before. The author of a famous commentary of the Quran, though his speciality was commentary, he is still numbered amongst the jurisprudents. He wrote many books in different fields including jurisprudence. Ibn Nadim writes that the books of this man were largely available in Khorasan, but I have not yet seen his views related anywhere, and his books on jurisprudence no longer exist.
'Ayashi was originally a Sunni Muslim but later became a Shi'ite. He inherited vast wealth from his father, and this he spent on collecting and copying books and on teaching and training his students.
Ibn Jamid-Iskafi, one of the teachers of Shaykh Mufid. It seems he passed away in 381 A.H. and it is said that his books and writings numbered fifty. His views have ever been subject to consideration in jurisprudence and still are to this day.