ABU’L-JĀRŪD ZĪĀD B. AL-MONḎER B. ZĪĀD AL-HAMDĀNĪ AL-ḴĀREFĪ, Kufan Shiʿite scholar and leader of the early Zaydite group named after him, the Jārūdīya. The nesba al-Ḵārefī refers him to Ḵāref, a clan of Hamdān which was represented in Kūfa and had supported the movement of Moḵtār. The reading of a further nesba, given as al-Ḥ-w-fī or Ḥ-r-qī, is uncertain. Only Ṭūsī states that he was a mawlā. Other nesbas variously attributed to him, al-ʿAbdī, al-Ṯakafī, al-Nahdī, al-Ḵorāsānī, are probably erroneous. The reliability of Ebn al-Nadīm’s statement that he was also known as Abu’l-Naǰm, is doubtful. He was blind from birth. From the death dates of his teachers and informants, among them Aṣbaḡ b. Nobāṭa, Abū Borda, and Ḥasan al-Baṣrī, it may be presumed that he was born around the year 80/699. Ṭūsī qualifies him as a tābeʿī, evidently since he related from Abu’l-Ṭofayl ʿĀmer b. Wāṯela, the last Companion of the Prophet to die (between 100/718 and 110/728). He was a prominent disciple of Imam Moḥammad al-Bāqer (d. ca. 117/735). That the latter gave him the nickname of Blind Sea Devil (sorḥūb), is probably a later Imamate invention.

In 122/740 Abu’l-Jārūd actively supported the revolt of Zayd b. ʿAlī. He is reported to have tried, together with Fożayl b. al-Zobayr, to gain the support of Abū Ḥanīfa for Zayd and is described as brandishing a torch and calling the battle cry in the right wing of Zayd’s army. It has been suggested that he may be identical with Zīād al-Nahdī whose body, according to the account of Ṭabarī (II, p. 1711), was crucified together with that of Zayd after the suppression of the revolt. This is definitely not the case, for Abu’l-Jārūd is known to have related after Zayd’s death from his son Yaḥyā, and some of the transmitters who related from him can not have been born before Zayd’s revolt. According to Boḵārī, Abu’l-Jārūd died after 150/767. Al-Ḏahabī lists him among those who died between 140/757 and 150/767 (Taʾrīḵ al-eslām, Cairo, 1367ff./1948ff., VI, p. 67). Although the associated for some time with al-Bāqer’s son Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq, he did not recognized them as Imams; and Jaʿfar, according to Imamate reports, eventually rebuked and cursed him together with other Zaydite leaders. He evidently played a leading part in the controversies with the Imamate supporters of Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq. Against the Imamate thesis that the true religious knowledge was handed down within a line of divinely chosen, hereditary Imams, he contended that this knowledge was shared by all descendants of Fāṭema, who received it by inspiration (elhām) after reaching majority and acquiring virtue. In this way he defended the Zaydite view that the imamate belonged to any Hasanid or Hosaynid rising against the illegitimate rulers.

Sunnite Hadith criticism generally judged Abu’l-Jārūd harshly as transmitter, describing him as an extreme rāfeżī who forged Hadith on the vices of the Companions and the virtues of the family of the Prophet. Imamate tradition also repudiated him “after he changed,” though his transmission was partially accepted as reliable. His Koran commentary (tafsīr), also known as the Tafsīr al-Bāqer since he related it mostly on the authority of Imam Moḥammad al-Bāqer, though occasionally also quoting Zayd b. ʿAlī, is partially preserved through quotations in the Tafsīr of the Imamite ʿAlī b. Ebrāhīm b. Hāšem al-Qomī. These quotations were apparently added to al-Qomī’s work by his disciple Abu’l-Fażl al-ʿAbbās b. Moḥammad, though al-Qomī himself had also occasionally related on the authority of Abu’l-Jārūd. Abu’l-Jārūd’s commentary reflects a strictly predestinarian theology consistent with the anti-Muʿtazilite views predominant among the Kufan Shiʿites in his time. It was also quoted by the Sunnite Koran commentator Ebn Šāhīn (d. 385/996; see F. Krenkow, “The Tarikh-Baghdad [vol. XXVII] of the Khatib . . . al-Baghdadi,” JRAS 1912, p. 51). Abu’l-Jārūd is also known to have collected an aṣl, a collection of legal traditions of Imam Moḥammad al-Bāqer. This work was not much quoted in the later Imamite aḵbār collections but furnished the bulk of the legal traditions of al-Bāqer in the Amālī of the Zaydite Aḥmad b. ʿĪsā b. Zayd (d. 247/861), to whom it was transmitted by Moḥammad b. Bakr al-Arḥabī from Abu’l-Jārūd.


Aʿyān al-šiʿa XXXII, pp. 338-46.

Boḵārī, al-Taʾrīḵ al-kabīr, Hyderabad, 1360-77/1941-58, II/1, p. 371.

Ḏahabī, Mīzān al-eʿtedāl, ed. ʿA. M. al-Beǰāwī, Cairo, 1382/1963, II, pp. 93-94.

al-Ḏarīʿa V, pp. 251, 303-09.

Ebn Ḥaǰar, Tahḏīb al-tahḏīb, Hyderabad, 1325-27/1907-09, III, pp. 386-87.

Fehrest, pp. 33, 178.

Kaššī, Eḵtīār maʿrefat al-reǰāl, ed. Ḥ. al-Mostawfī, Mašhad, 1348 Š./1970, pp. 5, 106, 113, 124-25, 151, 229-31.

Naǰāšī, Reǰāl, Tehran, n.d., pp. 128-29.

Nāšeʾ, Masāʾel al-emāma, ed. J. van Ess, Beirut, 1971, p. 43.

Saʿd b. ʿAbdallāh, al-Maqālāt wa’l-feraq, ed. M. J. Maškūr, Tehran, 1963, pp. 18, 71-72.

Ṭūsī, Fehrest, pp. 146-47.

Idem, Reǰāl, pp. 122, 197.

C. van Arendonk, Les Débuts de l’Imamat Zaidite au Yemen, tr. J. Ryckmans, Leiden, 1960, pp. 25, 31-32, 79-80, 307-08, 317.

W. Madelung, Der Imam al-Qāsim ibn Ibrāhīm, Berlin, 1965, pp. 44, 81.

Idem, “The Shiite and Khārijite Contribution to Pre-Ašʿarite Kalām,” in P. Morewedge, ed., Islamic Philosophical Theology, Albany, 1978, pp. 136-37.

(W. Madelung)

Originally Published: December 15, 1983

Last Updated: July 21, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 3, pp. 327-328

Cite this entry:

W. Madelung, “ABU’L-JĀRŪD HAMDĀNĪ,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/3, pp. 327-328; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/abul-jarud-ziad-b (accessed on 31 January 2014).