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The renowned Iranian Islamic historian and exegete of the holy Qur’an, Mohammad bin Jarir Tabari

Compiled by: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On 26th of the Islamic month of Shawwal in 310 AH, the renowned Iranian Islamic historian and exegete of the holy Qur’an, Mohammad bin Jarir Tabari, passed away in Baghdad at the age of 86. Born in Amol in Tabaristan (present day Mazandaran) near the Caspian Sea, he left his hometown for Rayy at the age of 12 to study. Here he remained for five years studying under Islam and history and was introduced to pre-Islamic history as well.
He then went to the Abbasid capital, Baghdad, for further study and in the late twenties took up travel, visiting Basra, Kufa and Waset to meet scholars, and later going to Syria, Palestine and Egypt. After staying for three years in Egypt he returned to Baghdad, performing the Hajj pilgrimage on the way. He never married and never took a government job or a judicial position. He retained close ties with his hometown, Amol, where he had estates, and the last time he visited it was in 290 AH at the age 66.
He was a follower of the Shafei School, but later in life came up with a jurisprudential school of his own called "Jariri" after him, which did not survive. Tabari’s monumental work is titled “Tarikh ar-Rusol wa’l-Mulouk” (History of Prophets and Kings). It is a universal history from the time of creation to around 302 AH, and is renowned for its detail and accuracy concerning Muslim history, as well as the history of pre-Islamic Iran, Rome, Greece, Egypt and other places.
His exegesis of the holy Qur’an is titled “Jame’ al-Bayan”. He also wrote a two-volume book titled “al-Wilayah” in which he has collected various sources of the historical event of Ghadeer-Khom, where on 18th Zilhijja, 10 AH, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) while returning from his farewell Hajj pilgrimage, was commanded by God Almighty to proclaim Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS) as vicegerent.

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