ĀMEDĪ, ABU’L-FATḤ NĀṢEḤ-AL-DĪN ʿABD-AL-WĀḤED B. MOḤAMMAD (B. MAḤFŪẒ) B. ʿABD-AL-WĀḤED TAMĪMĪ, 6th/12th century traditionist and author of a well-known collection sayings attributed to ʿAlī. Virtually nothing is known about his life, and there are conflicting reports as to the century in which he flourished. The introduction to his Jawāher al-kalām fi’l-ḥekam wa’l-aḥkām men kalām (or qeṣṣ a ) Sayyed al-Anām, a collection of prophetic sayings, states that he composed the work in 510/1116 in Āmed, relying partly on traditions he had heard from his father, Qāżī Moḥammad, and from Aḥmad Ḡazzālī (d. 520/1126; see Kašf al-ẓonūn [Istanbul] I, p. 616); so those authorities who consider him a contemporary of Šarīf Rażī, Šarīf Mortażā, and Abū Jaʿfar Ṭūsī are definitely mistaken. Others claim that he died in 510/1116 or around 550/1155. The latter date seems most likely in view of reports that he was a teacher of Moḥammad b. ʿAlī b. Šahrāšūb (d. 588/1192). Jawāher al-kalām is not known to be extant; an abridgment is preserved in manuscript in Alexandria (Brockelmann, GAL I, p. 517). Āmedī is best remembered for Ḡorar al-ḥekam wa dorar al-kalem (or al-kelam), a collection of ʿAlī’s apophthegms which is an extension of an earlier collection ascribed to Jāḥeẓ (cf. Pellat, “Inventaire,” Arabica 3, 1956, p. 152). Āmedī likens it to a handful of water drawn from an ocean. Its chapters are alphabetically arranged, but not the items within each chapter: Thus the chapter devoted to sayings which begin with alef opens with those which begin with the definite article al, followed successively by sayings beginning with an imperative singular form, an imperative plural form, the words eḥḏarū, eyyāka, alā, etc. The sayings (usually in rhymed prose) are not preceded by esnāds; on occasion the place or time in which they were uttered is indicated. While a few items are unmistakably Shiʿite (and reappear in various Shiʿite texts), most are of a hortatory, non-sectarian nature, thus placing the work in the genre of pietistic adab literature. It formed the basis for larger compilations of sayings attributed to ʿAlī, such as the ʿOyūn al-ḥekam wa’l-mawāʿeẓ, written (probably between 597/1201 and 614/1217) by a Sunni, ʿAlī b. Moḥammad b. Šāker Layṯī Wāseṭī. The Safavid Shah Solṭān Ḥosayn (1105-1135/1694-1722) seems to have been particularly fond of the Ḡorar: By his order, a Persian commentary was written by Jamāl-al-dīn b. Ḥosayn Ḵᵛānsārī (d. 1125/1713); it was also during his reign that ʿAbd-al-Karīm b. Moḥammad Yaḥyā Qazvīnī rearranged the Ḡorar into ninety-nine chapters with a Persian commentary entitled Aṣdāf al-dorar. The Ḡorar is popular among the Emāmīya and also used by the Dāwūdī Ismaʿilis.


Ebn Šahrāšūb, Maʿālem al-ʿolamāʾ, Naǰaf, 1380/1960-61, p. 81, no. 549.

Maǰlesī, Beḥār al-anwār, Tabrīz, 1303-05/1885-88, I, pp. 13-14; XVII, p. 126.

Maǰdūʿ, Fehrest, Tehran, 1344 Š./1965-66, pp. 59-62.

Ḵᵛānsārī, Rawżat al-ǰannāt, Tehran, 1306/1888-89, p. 464 ( = V, pp. 170-73 in the Qom 1392/1972 ed.).

Esmāʿīl Bāšā Baḡdādī, Hadīyat al-ʿārefīn I, Istanbul, 1951, p. 635.

M. ʿA. Modarresī Tabrīzī, Rayḥānat al-adab I, Tehran, 1324 Š./1945, p. 29.

ʿAbbās Qomī, al-Konā wa’l-alqāb II, Naǰaf, 1376/1956-57, pp. 5-6.

Idem, Fawāʾed al-reżawīya, Tehran, 1327 Š./1948, pp. 259-60.

Al-Ḏarīʿa XV, p. 379, no. 2378, p. 386, no. 2393; XVI, p. 38, no. 164.

Ḥ. Ṣadr, Taʾsīs al-šīʿa le-ʿolūm al-eslām, Kāżemayn, 1951, p. 420.

Aʿyān al-šīʿa XXXIX, p. 191, no. 8805.

Kaḥḥāla, VI, p. 213.

A. Monzavī, Fehrest-e ketāb-ḵāna-ye ehdāʾī-e Āqā-ye Sayyed Moḥammad Meškāt be Dānešgāh-e Ṭehrān II, Tehran, 1332 Š./1953, pp. 139-40, 160-61. Brockelmann, GAL I, p. 512; S. I, p. 75.

W. Ivanow, A Guide to Ismaili Literature, London, 1933, p. 83.

The Ḡorar was printed in Bombay in 1280/1863-64, in Ṣayda in 1349/1930-31, and in Naǰaf (ed. A. Š. Amīn, n.d.).

Ḵᵛānsārī’s commentary is available in a Tehran, 1380/1960-61 edition, the introduction to which (by J. Moḥaddeṯ Ormavī) cites most of the available biographical material on Āmedī.

An abridged version of the Ḡorar is included in C. van Waenen, Sententiae Ali ebn Abi Talebi, Arabice et Latine, Oxford, 1806, pp. 46-127.

(E. Kohlberg)

Originally Published: December 15, 1989

Last Updated: August 2, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 9, pp. 929-930

Cite this entry:

E. Kohlberg, “ĀMEDĪ,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/9, pp. 929-930, available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/amedi-abul-fath-naseh-al-din-abd-al-wahed-b (accessed on 30 December 2012).