Wednesday, February 22, 2017

SAYINGS OF THE CHIEF OF THE WOMEN OF THE WORLD-SAYYIDA FATIMA ZAHRA (S.A.)

Sayyida Fatima Zahra (s.a.) was the beloved daughter of the Chief of Prophets the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.), who said, “Fatima is a part of me”. A part has all the qualities and the characteristics of the whole whose part it is!
Her sayings are reproduced below:
If fasting cannot prevent a person’s tongue, ears, eyes and limbs from committing sins then what is the use of such fast?      
The best thing for a woman is that she does not look at a na’mahram male nor a na’mahram male looks at her.
A woman is closest to her Lord during the time when she is at her home (and busy with her house work and children).
The best of you is the one whose treatment (with people) is the most moderate (and affectionate), and the worthiest of them are those who behave graciously (and honorably) with their wives.                                                                              
Three things are dear to me from your world:
               Recitation of (the Glorious) Qur’an
               Looking at the face of (the Noble) Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.)
               Giving away in the way of God                
Indeed, after the event of Ghadir Khum, Almighty God has left neither a single excuse nor claim for anyone to deny the Vilayat (leadership) of Ali.
Indeed, fathers of this Ummah are Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.s.) and Ali (a.s.), and if the Ummah willfully obeys them, then its deficiencies will be cured and it will be saved from eternal punishment ……And when they are followed then eternal blessings will descend upon the Ummah.
The one who recites Surahs Hadid, Wa’qia and Rahman (of the Glorious Qur’an) is recognized in Heavens and the earth as a resident of Paradise.
Allah assigned Faith for you as a purification from polytheism, Prayers as being free from pride, Alms-Zakat as a refinement of the soul and increase of the sustenance, Fasting for placing sincerity.
Hajj as a cause of strength in the religion (of Islam), Justice as means of harmonization of hearts, Our obedience as a source of organization of (Islamic) community.
Our master ship as a protection from dispersion, Holy struggle as a glory of Islam, Patience as a means of absorbing rewards (from Allah).
Enjoining right and forbidding wrong as a means of improvement of common people, Doing goodness to the parents as a barrier for the Wrath (of Allah)
Strengthening blood kinship as a cause of increase in population and power, Blood money as prevention of blood sheds (a security of lives), Fulfillment of promise as an extension of forgiveness.
Hindering from defrauding in scales and measures as a means against deficiencies, Discouragement of drinking wine (alcoholic liquors) as a cause of purification from abominations.
Avoiding from accusation as a curtain before the curse of Allah, Abandoning theft for the protection of modesty of self, Prohibition of polytheism as sincerity in servitude to Him and Lordship of the world.


Sources: Mustadarak al-Wasael v.7 p.366, Bihar al-Anwar v.43 p.84, V.23 P.259, V.8 P.108 and also p.92, Dalael ul-Imamah p.259 Kanz al-Ummal V.1 P.582, 

Monday, February 13, 2017

MODERN LIFE AND THE BENEFITS OF ISLAM

All the Prophets sent by Allah (s.w.t.) preached Unity of Allah (s.w.t.) which is Islam. From the time of Prophet Adam to the modern times, the human nature remained the same and did not change over centuries. Cultures brought about the changes in the way man speaks, eats, his social activities etc. The basic passions and emotions remain the same; love and hate, happiness and fear, worship and supplication remained unchanged. Need for food remained the same but modes of growing agriculture changed. With the industrial revolution in Europe, automation entered the social environment of every society.
Allah (s.w.t.) sent divine books according to the needs and intellectual status of the people of that time. The Glorious Qur’an is the last Divine Message revealed on the heart of the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.). Islam is the last Message of Allah (s.w.t.) uniquely expressed in the last and final Message-the Glorious Qur’an.
The modern industrialized society has acquired the material comforts at the cost of peace of mind. Even in the industrialized societies with comfortable way of life, people do not have peace of mind and the incidence of suicides are on the rise, family life is devoid of serenity and contentment. It is felt to re-evaluate the benefits of religion-Islam. Man, wants to do those things which have benefits for him. Hence, it is imperative to think and ponder about the role religion can play in our lives to attain peace of mind and contentment, to achieve eventual perfection in both the worlds.
Islam preaches the creatures to have close relations with the Creator to achieve peace, tranquility and happiness. Surah al-Ra’d Ayah 28 says, “Remembrance of Allah certainly brings comfort to all the hearts.”  
With the firm belief in Unity of God and His Omnipotent Power, a true Muslim will have a positive outlook on life and exercise patience and gratitude to his Creator for the bounties Allah has provided.
A true Muslim having a clear concept of God acknowledges the perfection of All-Mighty God with His Divine Attributes; Most Powerful, Most High, Absolutely Perfect and the Unique Unity. The Glorious Qur’an calls the Muslims to think about themselves, the Universe and other Signs of Allah. Pondering about his own self, man realizes the start of his life, his development and the uncertainty of the time of death. The gigantic solar system with celestial bodies busy in their destined orbits makes a thinking mind wonder about the Divine Order! Man realizes the greatness of Allah and negates other short-lived entities and sincerely returns to Him.
To attain an accomplished life, one must balance his life between the hope and fear. Hope for a successful life in this world and pray for his salvation and the fear of his sins and ultimate punishment on the Day of Resurrection. Surah al-Zumar Ayah 53, “(Muhammad), tell my servants who have committed injustice to themselves, “Do not despair of the Mercy of Allah. Allah certainly forgives all sins. He is All-Forgiving and All-Merciful.” On the other hand, Allah warns the sinful people in numerous Ayahs e.g. Surah al-Qamar Ayah 47, “The sinful ones will face the blazing torment of Hell.”
In Shia Islam, the fifth root of Islam is the Day of Resurrection when the creatures will be brought back to life and must account for all the deeds he had committed and Allah will be the Judge and will dispense Justice by rewarding those with excessive good deeds and punish those who were sinful, specially believing partners with Allah and committed excesses on the helpless creatures. Allah will be just and equitable with His creatures but the final decision will be His.
Allah had sent Islam for the humanity at large, the people who accepted the basic requirement of confirming the Unity of Allah, the Prophet hood of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.s.) and the Message he preached-the Glorious Qur’an and the Day of Resurrection. They are considered a Muslim. To be a faithful, one must believe in the other two roots of Islam viz. the Imamate (of Imam Ali and his Infallible progeny) and the Justice of Allah.
As Islam is the last Message of Allah till the Day of Resurrection, it is a universal and everlasting message for humanity. It caters to the the physical, psychological and spiritual needs of humanity. To achieve salvation, the faithful should read the Glorious Qur’an, study the life of the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) and his Progeny (a.s.), ponder, inquire if confused form the experts, accept the Commands of Allah from his heart and practice Islam in letter and spirit.

Similarly, the “Branches of Islam” or “Furu-e-Deen” has countless benefits for the individuals and the community. Branches of Islam are: Salaat, Fasting, Hajj, Zakaat, Khums, Jihad, Amre bil Ma'ruf, Nahi anil Munkar, Tawallah, Tabarrah.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

THE BOUNTIES OF ALLAH (S.W.T.)

Allah (s.w.t.) directs His creatures in Surah al-Imran Ayah 31, “(Muhammad), tell them, “If you love Allah, follow me. Allah will love you and forgive your sins. Allah is All-Forgiving and All-Merciful” Consequently, man is saved from the trappings of Shaytan influence and “Nafse Ammara” - evil desires.
Allah (s.w.t.) addressed to His Prophet Musa (a.s.), “That man is a liar who professes to be Allah's friend but when night arrives, he sleeps whereas every one who claim to love someone, would like to talk to his beloved. O Musa! When night comes, our friends speak to us as if they are near us and looking at us. This status is achieved when our believers remembers our countless bounties and realizes our Greatness.”

The Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) asked his companions as to which is their first bounty of Allah?
The companions named different things like delicious foods, costly dresses, children and beautiful women.
The Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) looked toward the Commander of Faithful, Imam Ali (a.s.) and said, “O Ali! You tell me that out of the countless bounties from Allah (s.w.t.), which is the first bounty?”
The Commander of Faithful, Imam Ali (a.s.) replied, “O Prophet of Allah (s.w.t.)! You know better than me, and whatever I know is also taught by you, but to comply with your order I submit that:
Out of the countless bounties of Allah (s.w.t.), the first bounty is the creation of mankind from nothing.
The Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) said, “O Ali! You have said the truth, what is the other bounty?”
The Commander of Faithful Imam Ali (a.s.) replied, “The second bounty is that He did not make us like plants and stones, but awarded us with soul and spirit.”
The Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) replied, “O Ali! You have told the truth, what is the third bounty?”The Commander of Faithful, Imam Ali (a.s.) replied, “Allah (s.w.t.) has created us on the best body form”
The Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) said, “That is true, describe the fourth bounty.”
The Commander of Faithful, Imam Ali (a.s.) replied, “He (s.w.t.) exalted us by giving the patent and latent senses.”
The Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) said, “That is true, what is the fifth bounty?”
The Commander of Faithful Imam Ali (a.s.) said, “Allah (s.w.t.) graced us by awarding intellect.”
The Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) said, “That is true, what is the sixth bounty of Allah?”
The Commander of Faithful Imam Ali (a.s.) said, “He (s.w.t.) gave us the wealth of Islam and did not create us misguided and oblivious.”
The Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) said, “That is true, now describe the seventh bounty?”
The Commander of Faithful Imam Ali (a.s.) replied, “He (s.w.t.) promised an everlasting life of Hereafter.”
The Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) said, “That is true, what is the eighth bounty?”
The Commander of Faithful Imam Ali (a.s.) replied, “He (s.w.t.) created us free and not a slave.”
The Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) said, “ That is true, what is the ninth bounty?”
The Commander of Faithful Imam Ali (a.s.) replied, “He (s.w.t.) created the earth and skies for our benefit.”
The Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) said, “That is true, what is the tenth bounty?”
The Commander of Faithful Imam Ali (a.s.) said, “He (s.w.t.) made us men and gave an edge over women.”
The Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) said, “ O Ali! Count more bounties of Allah (s.w.t.).”
The Commander of Faithful Imam Ali (a.s.) replied, “O exalted first creation of Allah (s.w.t.), Allah's bounties are countless and my age is insufficient to count them.”
The Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) said, “O Ali! Greetings and congratulations. You are the “Heir of my Knowledge”, whoever follow you shall be rightly guided and whoever befriends with you shall attain salvation. Whoever opposes you cultivates enmity toward you, shall be deprived of the Mercy of Allah (s.w.t.) on the Day of Resurrection.” He (s.a.w.a.s.) further said, “ the best way to achieve nearness and love for the Creator is to remember Him as much as possible.”

Source: Extracted from “Ayn-ul-Hayat” by Mullah Muhammad Baqir Majlisi (r.a.)


Saturday, February 4, 2017

ELECTRICITY AND THE GLORIOUS QUR'AN

Electricity and thunder has been mentioned in the Glorious Qur'an in the following Surahs:
Surah al-Baqarah Ayah 19-20, “Or it is like that of a rainstorm with darkness, thunder, and lightning approaching. They cover their ears for fear of thunder and death and Allah contains (the evil of) the unbelievers. The lightning almost takes away their vision. When the lightning brightens their surroundings, they walk, and when it is dark, they stand still. Had Allah wanted, He could have taken away their hearing and their vision. Allah has power over all things.”
Surah al-Ra'd Ayah 12-13, “It is He Who flashes lightning to frighten you and to give you hope. It is He Who forms the heavy clouds. Both the thunder and the angels glorify Him and, out of fearing Him, always praise Him. He sends down thunderbolts to strike whomever He wants, while they are busy arguing about the existence of Allah. His punishment is stern.
Surah al-Nur Ayah 43, “Did you not see that Allah moves the clouds gently, brings them together, piles them up, and then you can see the rain coming from them? He sends down hailstones from the mountains in the sky. With them He strikes or protects from them whomever He wants. The lightning can almost take away sight.
Surah al-Rum Ayah 24, “Also within the evidence of His existence is His showing you lightning which gives fear and hope and His sending water down from the sky which revives the earth after its death. In this there is evidence (of the truth) for the people of understanding.”
The Ayah explains how the clouds are formed and rain drops fall on the earth.
Even after the advancement of scientific research, man is still unable to fathom this gigantic power of lightning which still kills many people every year. The huge sound of thunder scares many people.

Lightning produces nitrogen which is critical for life. Although, 78% of air consists of nitrogen but we do not make use of that nitrogen, we simply in-hale and ex-hale without using it. The nitrogen in air has three strong bonds between the electrons. It takes a great amount of energy to free the nitrogen. When lightning strikes, it knocks the electrons from the nitrogen atoms. The atoms are then free to combine with oxygen and hydrogen atoms in the air to form nitrates. Rain carries this new compound to the earth enriching the soil which are the building blocks of proteins.
Lightning produces heat of about 15,000 centigrade which in turn forms hydrogen peroxide or heavy water. The heavy water kills germs in the air and plants.
Some of the experts say that by virtue of the lightning the natural fertilizer on the earth amounts to thousands of tons.
The experts say that whenever there is less lightning and thunder, the incidence of increase of diseases and plant damages.
This might be the interpretation of the Ayah, “It is He Who flashes lightning to frighten you and to give you hope.”

Sources used: The Glorious Qur'an (Urdu translation) by Ayatollah Nasir Makarem Shirazi
The Glorious Qur'an (English translation) by Ayatollah Agha H.M.M.Pooya Yazdi


Thursday, February 2, 2017

SAYYIDA ZAYNAB BINTE ALI (S.A.)

Sayyidah Zaynab (s.a.), the third child of the Pure and Infallible Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (a.s.) and the Lady of Paradise, Sayyidah Fatima Zahra (s.a.); the sister of the Leaders of Paradise, Imam Hasan (a.s.) and Imam Hussayn (a.s.).
Her title was Siddiqah-e-Sughra. Her kuniyat was Ummul Masa’ib. Like her brothers, her name was given by the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.). Zaynab means “The Adornment of Her Father”.
She was born on 5th Jamadi-al-Awwal, 5 A.H. in Madinah. The Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) was not in Madinah at that time. On his return, as usual, he went straight to Sayyidah Fatima Zahra’s house and he was given the news of her birth. While he was holding Sayyidah Zaynab (s.a.) in his lap, Archangel Jibra’eel descended and conveyed the name for the newborn and then he began to cry. On inquiry from the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.), he replied: “O Prophet of Allah! From early on in life, this girl will be entangled in trials and tribulations in this world. First she will cry over your separation from her; thereafter she will bemoan the loss of her mother, then her father, then her brother Hasan. After all this, she will be confronted with the trials at the land of Karbala as a result of which her hair will turn gray and her back will be bent.”
After the sad demise of her mother when she was only seven years old, she took care of her father’s household and also looked after her brothers and sister. From young age, she was generous to the poor and orphans.
In her character, she represented the best attributes of those who raised her. In sobriety and sincerity, she was likened to Ummul Momineen Khadija (s.a.), her grandmother; in chastity and modesty to her mother Sayyidah Fatima Zahra (s.a.), in eloquence to her father Imam Ali (a.s.). Her face reflected the awe of her father and her grandfather’s reverence.
After the sad demise of her grandfather, there came the period of distress and hardship. When her mother gave the sermon of Fadak, she was only four years old, but narrated the sermon so lucidly and expressly that the people from Bani Hashim remembered it by heart. She is called Zaynab, the narrator of traditions.
Marriage: She was married in a simple ceremony to her first cousin Hazrat Abdullah ibn Jaffer al-Tayyar. Hazrat Jaffer was martyred in the battle, and when Hazrat Abdullah, a young boy, was brought to the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.), he prayed for his sustenance. He was raised by the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) and after his death by Imam Ali (a.s.).He grew up into a handsome youth with pleasing manners and was known for his sincere hospitality and selfless generosity to the poor and needy. Imam Ali (a.s.) told Hazrat Abdullah not to prevent Sayyidah Zaynab (s.a.) from going on a journey with her brother Imam Hussayn (a.s.).
Although her husband was a man of means, yet she lived a modest life, not a life of luxury. The marriage did not diminish her strong attachment to her family. Together this young couple had five children, of whom four were sons; Ali, Aun, Muhammad, and Abbas, and one daughter Umme Kulsoom.
In Madinah, Sayyidah Zaynab (s.a.) held meetings of women in which she shared her knowledge and taught them the precepts of Islam as laid down in the Glorious Qur’an and practiced by the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.s.) and Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Her gatherings were well and regularly attended. She was able to impart the teachings with such clarity and eloquence that she was known as Fasi'ha (skillfully fluent) and Bali'gha (intensely eloquent).
In the year 37 A.H., when Imam Ali (a.s.) became the worldly Caliph, he moved the capital to Kufa, Sayyidah Zaynab (s.a.) and her husband also moved to Kufa.  Her reputation as an inspiring teacher had preceded her. In Kufa, women would throng to her daily sittings where they all were benefitted from her erudition, wisdom, and scholarship in the exegesis of the Glorious Qur’an. The depth and certainty of her knowledge earned her the name given to her by her nephew, the Infallible Imam Zain-al-Abedin (a.s.), of Alimah Ghayr-e- Mu’allemah, ‘one who has knowledge without being taught.’
Fateful Journey to Karbala: After Imam Ali (a.s.) was martyred by the most evil creature in the world, Imam Hasan (a.s.) succeeded his father. But the crafty Muawiya trapped him by his usual treacherous weapons of money and sword and eventually he managed to poison the “Prince of Paradise” by his wife, Ja'dah binte Ash'as. Sayyidah Zaynab (s.a.) witnessed the pieces of her brother’s liver as a result of the poison. In complete contravention of the covenants of peace treaty with Imam Hasan (a.s.), Muawiya appointed Yazid as his heir- apparent and expedited efforts to obtain allegiance from the influential leaders. When Muwiya died, Yazid ordered the governor of Madinah to either obtain Imam Hussayn (a.s.)’s allegiance or kill him! Imam Hussayn (a.s.) left for Makkah along with his sister Sayyidah Zaynab (s.a.) and other members of Bani Hashim and his companions. From Makkah the Imam (a.s.) proceeded to Karbala, where this band of the Saviors of Islam, were mercilessly butchered by the hypocrites, not leaving even the Imam (a.s.)’s infant, Ali al-Asghar, of 6 months. After the massacre, the so-called Muslims desecrated the women, looted and set on fire the camps. Sayyidah Zaynab (s.a.) took charge of the situation, saved Imam Sajjad (a.s.) from the flames of the burning tents, consoled and protected the women and children. This “Caravan of Truth” was paraded from Kufa to Damascus with the Daughters of the Prophet without head-cover; their hands were fastened with the ropes at their backs. The Bani Umayyiyad wanted to disgrace and damage the Ahlul Bayt morally. But the Iron Lady of Karbala delivered bold and daring speeches full of eloquence and uncovered the hypocritical faces of Yazid and his forefathers. Ultimately, when Yazid feared an uprising, he offered to release the Family of the Prophet of Islam!
Foundation of Majils-e-Aza: When Yazid offered the release and asked for anything he could do, Imam Sajjad (a.s.) asked Sayyidah Zaynab (s.a.) who said that they could not mourn the Martyrs of Karbala. Hence a house was placed at their disposal and Sayyida Zaynab organized the first Majlis-e-Aza for her brother Imam Hussayn (a.s.) and other martyrs of Karbala. She would describe in detail the events of Karbala and the Shahadat of every martyr. After every majlis, men would offer their condolences to Imam Sajjad (a.s.) and women would offer condolence to Sayyidah Zaynab (s.a.). These majalises made quite a stir in the cities, and sounds of crying and beating chests and heads affected the minds of the inhabitants and made them sadder and wiser to the events of
Karbala. It was the victory of truth that the tyrant was forced to provide a place where his oppression was allowed to be publicized to the people!
This tradition which lived in the minds and hearts of millions of Muslims, has kept the sacrifices of Imam Husayn (a.s.) alive, and brought dynamism to every movement for freedom in the world that aimed at eliminating injustice and oppression.
She was martyred by yet another hypocrite in the year 62 A.H. and was buried in Damascus, Syria.

The following articles may also be referred:
Sayyida Zaynab (s.a.) binte Ali (a.s.), Bibi Zaynab (s.a.)’s Journey of Courage and Ziarat-e-Hazrat Zaynab (s.a.)

Sources used:
The Victory of Truth by Muna Haeri Bilgrami
A Probe into the History of Ashura


Monday, January 30, 2017

DHIKR AND AHLE DHIKR

The word “Dhikr” or “Zikr” has been used in the Glorious Qur'an 292 times. “Dhikr” literally means to have something present in mind to be conscious of an object as opposed to the sub-conscious or unconscious. In the Glorious Qur'an it is always mean to be conscious of Allah or mindful of Allah and Ahle Dhikr means who are always conscious of Allah. In short Dhikr means the Glorious Qur'an, Remembrance and the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.). In all Shi'ite and some of the Sunni books, Ahle Dhikr means Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.).
Surah al-Nahl Ayah 43 says, “If you do not know ask Ahle Dhikr (the people of remembrance).
Surah al-Anbiya Ayah 7 and Ayah 10 says, “The Messengers that We have sent before you were only men to whom We had given revelation. Ask the people of al-Dhikr (family of the Noble Messenger s.a.w.a.s.) if you do not know.” “Certainly, We have revealed to you a Book in which is your good remembrance; what! Do you not understand?” Ibn Mahyar has quoted the Infallible Imam Musa al-Kazim (a.s.) regarding the explanation of this Ayah that the word remembrance or Dhikr means the obedience to the Imams , who has after the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.), the Grace and Honor of both the worlds (this world and Hereafter)
In some of the narrations they said that Ahle Dhikr meant the People of Book but in many traditions it referred to the Infallible Imams (a.s.), because the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) had complete and perfect knowledge of the Glorious Qur'an and also Surah al-Talaq Ayah 10-11, “Allah has sent to you a messenger who is Dhikr.” Ali bin Ibrahim and Saffar had narrated through chain of narrators that Zurara asked the Infallible Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.), who said, “We are Ahle Dhikr”
According to Tafsir Noor-us-Thaqalayn volume 3 pages 55-56, the Infallible Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) said, “The Glorious Qur'an is Dhikr and the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) are “Ahle Dhikr” and all inquiries should be directed towards them.”
Similarly, according to “Ahqaq al Huq volume 3 page 482, the famous traditionalist Ibn Abbas said that Muhammad, Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husayn are Ahle Dhikr.” (The names of twelve narrators may be seen in Tafsir-e-Namoona volume 11-Urdu translation)
Ja'bir Ja'fi narrates in Tafsir-e-Tha'labi that when this Ayah of Surah al-Nahl was revealed, the Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali (a.s.) said, “We are Ahle Dhikr.”
The Ayah 43 of Surah al-Nahl relates to every aspect of material as well as spiritual aspects, hence a general rule was given to the Muslims that if they do not any thing about a particular topic then they should inquire from the expert in that field and also other people who are unaware about a subject should not interfere in that subject. The people who are truthful, selfless and just should be approached for any inquiry.
In the books of Sunni Muslims, like Tabari, Ibn Kathir, and Allusi had stressed that Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) were the Ahle Dhikr.

Sources used: The Glorious Qur'an (Urdu translation) by Ayatollah Nasir Makarem Shirazi
The Glorious Qur'an (English translation) by Ayatollah Agha H.M.M. Pooya Yazdi
Hayat-al-Qulub volume 3 by Allama Muhammad Baqir Majlisi (r.a.)
Enlightening Commentary into the Light of the Holy Qur'an


Sunday, January 29, 2017

GRAND AYATULLAH AQA-E-BUZURG TEHRANI (R.A.)

Muhammad Muhsin bin Ali Munzavi Tehrani was known as “Aqa Buzurg”. One of the reasons for
calling him “Aqa Buzurg” was that he was named after his grand father. He was born in 1876 A.D in
Tehran. He is credited with compiling an Encyclopedia about Shia books; known as “al-Dharia ila
Tasnif al-Shia” in 26 volumes. He also compiled a book about Shia scholars known as “Tabghat a'lam
al-Shia”
After completing the initial studies, he went to Najaf al-Ashraf and received education from great
scholars like Mirza Husayn Nuri, Shaikh Taha Najafi, Sayid Murtaza Kashmiri, Mirza Husayn Mirza
Khalil, Mulla Muhammad Kazim Khorasani, Sayid Ahmad Ha'iri Tehrani, Mirza Muhammad Ali
Chahardai, Sayid Muhammad Kazim Yazdi, and Shaikh al-Shariah Isphahani.
In that period, the Muslims were collecting information about books and authors and Shia's
contribution to the Islamic literature was being ignored. Jurji Zaydan, a Christian Arab scholar, in his
book “The History of Arabic Literature” had considered the impact of Shia scholars in Islamic Culture as very little. This was tough for Shia scholars so three of them decided to confront the challenge.
Explaining the effects of Shia scholars in Islamic sciences was given to Sayid Hasan al-Sadr and he
composed a book titled as “The Foundation of Islamic Sciences by the respectable Shias”. Shaikh
Kashif al-Ghita describing the errors in Zaydan's book wrote “al-Murajiatil Rayhaniyya” and Aqa
Buzurg compiled al-Dhari'a.
Aqa Buzurg founded a print shop in 1936 in Najaf named “Maktaba al-Sa'da” for publication of al-
Da'ria, but the imperial government of Iraq prevented his work by various excuses. Somehow he
printed the first volume of al-Dari'a but again its publication was delayed for six moths due to the
resistance of the Iraqi government.
Aqa Buzurg traveled long distances in order to research and complete this Encyclopedia. He visited the public and private libraries of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Hijaz.
Aqa Buzurg's influence was not restricted to the admiration of his long scholarly pursuits exchanged
numerous licenses of transmission of faiths from the narrators of different Muslim sects. He was widely regarded for his piety and asceticism. He regularly lead congregational prayer at several mosques in Najaf and once a week walk from Najaf to Kufa to visit the site of the martyrdom of the Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali (a.s.)
His other literary work includes Musaffa al-Maghal fi Musannifi ilm al-Rijal, a biography of Ayatullah Mirza Hasan Shirazi, Hidayatul al-Razi al al-moj, al-naqd al-nafif fi nafi al-tahrif al-al Koran al-Sharifa defense of the textual integrity of the Glorious Qur'an, and a brief biography of Shaikh Abu Ja'far Tusi.
After a long illness, he died on February 20, 1970 in Najaf, and according to his will, he was buried in the library he devouted for usage of scholars..

Sources: WIKIPEDIA, WIKISHIA, ENCYCLOPEDEA IRANICA