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The Great Ulama of Islam

By: Syed Ali Shahbaz

The prominent Imami scholar, Fakhr al-Muhaqqin Mohammad ibn Hassan al-Hilli
On 15th of the Islamic month of Jamadi as-Sani in 771 AH, the prominent Imami scholar, Fakhr al-Muhaqqin Mohammad ibn Hassan al-Hilli, passed away at the age of 89 years. He was the son of the celebrated Allamah Hilli, under whose guidance he grew up and reached the status of Ijtehad – independent reasoning based on Holy Qur'an and Prophet’s Hadith. He lived a life of piety. He wrote prolifically on a wide variety of topics including exegesis of the holy Qur'an, theology, jurisprudence, and philosophy. Among his books, mention can be made of “al-Kafia”, and “Tahsil an-Nejaat”. He passed away in the year 771 AH.

Grand Ayatollah Mirza Habibollah Rashti
On 14th of the Islamic month of Jamadi as-Sani in 1312 AH, Grand Ayatollah Mirza Habibollah Rashti, passed away. He was a renowned scholar of the famous Islamic seminary of holy Najaf in Iraq and studied under the famous Ayatollah Shaikh Morteza Ansari Dezfuli. Among his works, mention can be made of the book: “Badi al-Afkaar”.

The renowned hadith scholar, Hassan ibn Dawoud Hilli
On 11th of the Islamic month of Jamadi as-Sani in 647 AH, the renowned hadith scholar, Hassan ibn Dawoud Hilli, was born in Hilla in Iraq. He was a student of such great scholars as Seyyed Jamal od-Din Ahmad bin Musa Ibn Tawous, and Shaikh Najm od-Din Muhaqqiq Hilli (maternal uncle of the famous Allamah Hilli).
Ibn Dawoud Hilli is the author of a very famous book of “Rijal” or biographical evaluation of hadith narrators. He was the first person to arrange the names along with the names of fathers and grandfathers. He included in his book all the information available in other books of “Rijal”, although he committed mistakes in tracing one’s genealogical tables, but not in his objections to the mistakes of earlier authors. Ibn Dawoud Hilli has many other works to his credit relating to jurisprudence, both in prose and poetry.

Martyrdom of six members of the family of Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Mohsin al-Hakeem
May 10, in 1983 AD, the repressive B’ath minority regime of Saddam, detained 90 members of the family of Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Mohsin al-Hakeem, and martyred six of them. Two year later, 10 other family members of Grand Ayatollah Hakeem were martyred. Saddam's policy was to demoralize and terrorize Iraq's Shi'ite Arab majority, especially since the Late Grand Ayatollah's son, Seyyed Mohammad Baqer al-Hakeem had set up in exile in Tehran, the Supreme Assembly of the Islamic Revolution of Iraq.

Mullah Abdullah bin Shaikh Saleh as-Samahiji al-Bahrani
On 9th of the Islamic month of Jamadi as-Sani in 1135 AH, Mullah Abdullah bin Shaikh Saleh as-Samahiji al-Bahrani, passed away in Behbahan, southern Iran, at the age of 48 years. He was born in the village of Samahij on Muharraq Island, in Safavid-ruled Bahrain. Among his teachers was Sulaiman Abdullah al Mahuzi. After the 1717 Omani invasion of Bahrain, as-Samahiji migrated to Iran where he briefly served as Shaikh ol-Islam in the Safavid capital, Isfahan. He is the compiler of the two books of supplications attributed to the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS). He titled his works Sahifat al-Alawiyya and Sahifat as-Saniyyah.

The famous Hadith Scholar, Mohammad ibn Abdus-Samad al-Baghdadi
On 21st of the Islamic month of Jamadi as-Sani in 319 AH, the famous Hadith Scholar, Mohammad ibn Abdus-Samad al-Baghdadi, passed away. Like his ancestors he dedicated his efforts to collecting authentic narrations from the original sources, quoting Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS) and Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). He has also chronicled the event of the Treaty of Hudaibiyya including the Prophet's statement on this day regarding the wilayah of Imam Ali (AS), through Jaber ibn Abdullah al-Ansari.

The Islamic scholar, Ayatollah Mullah Habibollah Sharif Kashani
On 23rd of the Islamic month of Jamadi as-Sani in 1340 AH, the Islamic scholar, Ayatollah Mullah Habibollah Sharif Kashani, passed away at the age of 78 years. He reached the status of Ijtehad at the young age of 18 years. In addition to focusing on scientific and ethical issues, he was also active in political affairs. He has left behind a large number of compilations, including “Asraar al-Aarefin”.

Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Bahjat Foumani
On 27th of the Iranian month of Ordibehesht/ May 16 in 2009, the prominent Source of Emulation, Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Bahjat Foumani, passed away in Holy Qom at the age of 94 years. He was born in the city of Fouman, Gilan Province, in northern Iran, and completed his preliminary studies in his hometown. After learning Arabic, he left for the seminary of Holy Najaf in Iraq in 1929 for higher studies. He returned to Iran in 1945, and settled in Qom, lecturing on jurisprudence and theology, and grooming numerous students. His most important characteristic was his spotless piety that influenced every one. He was a highly knowledgeable Islamic scholar, and it is said he had been gifted by God with the vision for the unseen. He has left behind a large number of valuable compilations, including “Kitab-e Salaat” and “Jama'e al-Masa’el”.

The poet and eulogist of the Ahl al-Bayt, Ibn Hajjaj
On 27th of the Islamic month of Jamadi as-Sani in 391 AH, the poet and eulogist of the Ahl al-Bayt, Siraj Wahhaj Hussain bin Ahmad, popularly known as Ibn Hajjaj, passed away. As per his will he was laid to rest in Kazemain at the feet of the holy shrine of Imam Musa Kazem (AS), the Prophet's (SAWA) 7th Infallible Successor. The renowned poet and scholar, Seyyed Razi (Compiler of “Nahj al-Balagha”, a collection of Imam Ali's (AS) sermons, letters and aphorism) composed a moving elegy at his funeral. Among Ibn Hallaj's panegyrics is the famous eulogy on Imam Ali (AS) that begins with the verse “Ya Sahebat al-Qubbat al-Bayza fi’n-Najaf".

The Iranian Islamic scholar, Mirza Abu'l-Hassan Azarbaijani Meshkini
On 27th of the Islamic month of Jamadi as-Sani in 1358 AH, the Iranian Islamic scholar, Mirza Abu'l-Hassan Azarbaijani Meshkini, passed away in Baghdad. He attended the classes of prominent ulema and was an expert in theology, jurisprudence, and exegesis of the Holy Qur'an. Among his valuable compilations, mention could be made of “Hashiyeh bar Makaseb”, which is an annotation of Ayatollah Shaikh Morteza Ansari's famous work "al-Makaseb".

The Iranian theologian and literary figure, Mirza Mohammad ibn Sulayiman Tonekaboni
On 28th of the Islamic month of Jamadi as-Sani in 1302 AH, the Iranian theologian and literary figure, Mirza Mohammad ibn Sulayiman Tonekaboni, passed away. He has left behind numerous books, including “Qissas al-Ulema” on the biographies of prominent Islamic scholars. This book is in Persian and has been published several times in Iran. Among his other works, mention can be made of “al-Fawa'ed fi Usoul ad-Din” which is a collection of poems about the principles of religion.

The prominent Islamic scholar, Seyyed Hussain Khwansari
On 8th of the Islamic month of Rajab in 1191 AH, the prominent Islamic scholar, Seyyed Hussain Khwansari, passed away. He groomed numerous students; some of whom became the major ulema of their day, such as Allamah Mahdi Bahr al-Oloum. He has left behind numerous books.

Hojjat al-Islam Mullah Mohammad Ashrafi
213 lunar years ago, on this day in 1220 AH, the prominent Islamic scholar, Hojjat al-Islam Mullah Mohammad Ashrafi, was born in northern Iran. He left for Najaf Seminary for completion of his studies, and soon became an authority on hadith, exegesis of the holy Qur'an, and philosophy. He passed away in the year 1315 AH. He has left behind valuable compilations, including the book "Asrar ash-Shahada".

Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Saeedi
On June 9, 1970, Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Saeedi, attained martyrdom in the Shah's dungeons as a result of torture, at the age of 41 years. Given his sublime talent and high intelligence, he swiftly completed his scientific studies, under such prominent teachers as Grand Ayatollah Boroujerdi and the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (may his soul rest in peace). He was active in the uprising of Muslim people in the 15th of Khordad Uprising.
Ayatollah Saeedi believed that mosques are bastions for enlightening people, especially youths, and throughout his speeches, he exposed the colonial conspiracies and crimes committed by the Zionists in Palestine. Therefore, he was detained and ruthlessly tortured by the Shah's regime on several occasions, but these persecutions did not impact his indomitable resolve. He has left behind a large number of compilations, including the book "Ittehad al-Islam".

The prominent Islamic scholar, Seyyed Abu-Torab Khwansari
On 17th of the Islamic month of Rajab in 1271 AH, the prominent Islamic scholar, Seyyed Abu-Torab Khwansari, was born in the central Iranian city of Khwansar. He was an authority on theology, jurisprudence, philosophy, and exegesis of Holy Qur'an. He has left behind several compilations, which prove his profound knowledge. Among his works, mention could be made of “Qasd as-Sabeel”, and “Mesbah as-Salehin”. He passed away in 1346 AH at the age of 75 years.

The Gnostic Islamic scholar, Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Hassan Elahi Tabatabai
June 8, 1968 AD, the Gnostic Islamic scholar, Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Hassan Elahi Tabatabai, passed away at the age of 62 years. He was born in Tabriz, northwestern Iran, and left for holy Najaf in Iraq, at the age of 19 for higher Islamic studies. After attaining ijtihad he returned to his hometown, and started teaching. Among his works is “A Treatise on the Science of Music and Spiritual Relations with Sounds”.

Ayatollah Sheikh Mohammad Khalesi, popularly known as “Khalesizadeh
On 19th of the Islamic month of Rajab in 1383 AH, Ayatollah Sheikh Mohammad Khalesi, popularly known as “Khalesizadeh”, passed away in Baghdad. Parallel to his cultural and religious activities, he struggled against the infiltration of colonialists in Islamic lands and was one of the religious leaders who inspired the people of Iraq in the uprising of the 1920s, which the British brutally crushed, and imposed upon the Iraqi people an unwanted king from the Hijaz, Faisal, the son of the British agent, Sherif Hussein of Mecca. Khalesizadeh along with Ayatollah Sheikh Kashef al-Gheta was exiled to Iran, while the British martyred through poisoning, Ayatollah Mirza Mohammad Taqi Shirazi. Among the several books written by Ayatollah Khalesizadeh, mention can be made of “The Injustices of Britain in Mesopotamia” and “God in the Nature”.

Iran’s lady jurisprudent and exegete of the Holy Qur’an, Banu Nosrat Amin
On June 12, 1983, Iran’s lady jurisprudent and exegete of the Holy Qur’an, Banu Nosrat Amin, passed away in the central Iranian city of Isfahan at the age of 97 years. She was regarded as equivalent to a mujtahed, and groomed numerous lady students. She also wrote several books including a 15-volume exegesis of the Holy Qur’an.

The prominent Iranian Islamic scholar, Mullah Ali Nouri
On 22nd of the Islamic month of Rajab in 1246 AH, the prominent Iranian Islamic scholar, Mullah Ali Nouri, passed away. He was an expert in Islamic philosophy, and among his numerous compilations, mention can be made of “Havashiy-e Asfaar” on the famous Safavid-era philosopher’s famous work “al-Asfaar al-Arba”.

The prominent theologian and Islamic scholar, Ayatollah Seyyed Hussein Kouh-Kamarai
On 23rd of the Islamic month of Rajab in 1299 AH, the prominent theologian and Islamic scholar, Ayatollah Seyyed Hussein Kouh-Kamarai, passed away. He was a student in holy Najaf of Sheikh Morteza Ansari, and in turn groomed at least 800 Ulema. He has left behind numerous books on Islamic sciences.

Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Fazel Lankarani
On June 15, 2007, the Source of Emulation, Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Fazel Lankarani, passed away in his hometown Qom at the age of 76 years. He was a student of both Grand Ayatollah Boroujerdi and the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA). He was active in the 15th Khordad Uprising, for which he was detained and tortured on several occasions by the Shah. He fully supported the victory of Islamic Revolution and establishment of the Islamic Republic, and trained numerous students.

Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer Fesharaki
On 26th of the Islamic month of Rajab in 1314 AH, the prominent Iranian Islamic scholar, Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer Fesharaki, passed away. He spent a lifetime, compiling books on Islamic sciences. He compiled almost thirty books, including “Adaab ash-Sharif”.

Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Kazem Tabatabaei Yazdi
On 28th of the Islamic month of Rajab in 1337 AH, Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Kazem Tabatabaei Yazdi, passed away in holy Najaf, Iraq, where he was the head of the famous Islamic seminary. He established charities, mosques, and schools. Among the books he wrote mention could be made of “al-Orwat-al-Wosqa”.

The prominent Islamic scholar, Sheikh Mohammad Hassan Najafi
On 1st of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 1266 AH, the prominent Islamic scholar, Sheikh Mohammad Hassan Najafi, popularly known as Saheb-e Jawaher, because of writing the famous jurisprudential work, “Jawaher al-Kalaam”, passed away. He was a student of Shaikh Ja'far Kashef ul-Gheta, and took thirty years to complete his monumental work which is still held in high esteem in Islamic seminaries.

Ayatollah Madani Kashani
On June 25, 1992, Ayatollah Madani Kashani of passed away at the age of 93 years. In addition to grooming numerous scholars, he also shouldered social responsibilities and assisted the needy. He has left behind a large number of compilations, including “Faraez al-Muqaleddin”, and “Kashf ul-Haqa’eq”.

Ayatollah Dr. Seyyed Mohammad Husseini Beheshti
On June 27, 1981, Chief Justice, Ayatollah Dr. Seyyed Mohammad Husseini Beheshti, along with 72 officials of the Islamic Revolution, including ministers and MPs, attained martyrdom in a terrorist bomb blast by the MKO hypocrites at the headquarters of the Islamic Republic Party in Tehran.
Ayatollah Dr. Beheshti was one of the prominent revolutionary figures and was considered a pillar of the sacred Islamic system in Iran, as a loyal ally of the Founder of Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khomeini (may his soul rest in peace). He played a major role in preparing the Constitution of the Islamic Republic, supporting the revolutionary forces, establishing the Islamic Judicial system, confronting, countering the ploys of anti-revolutionaries, and standing against the conspiracies hatched by the US. According to the late Imam, Ayatollah Beheshti was like a nation and his martyrdom revealed the true, ominous nature of the MKO terrorists.

The renowned Islamic scholar, Al-A'arj
On 10th of the Islamic month of Shabaan day in 754 AH, the renowned Islamic scholar, Seyyed Amid od-Din Abdul Muttalib Ibn Mohammad bin Ali Al-A'arj, passed away. He was the son of the nephew of the celebrated scholar Allamah Hilli, and wrote several books on various Islamic sciences, including "Sharh Tahzib al-Osoul" and “Kanz al-Fawa’ed”.

Mullah Ismail Mazandaraini Khajui
On 11th of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 1173 AH, Mullah Ismail Mazandaraini Khajui, one of Iran’s prominent ulema, passed away. He wrote 150 books and treatises, including “Fawa’ed ar-Rijaliyyah”.

Ayatollah Mohammad Saduqi
On July 1, 1982, the prominent Islamic scholar and Yazd city’s Friday Prayer Leader, Ayatollah Mohammad Saduqi, was martyred by the MKO terrorists during the Friday Prayer. A student of such prominent ulema as Ayatollah Khwansari and Grand Ayatollah Boroujerdi, he was a firm supporter of the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (May his soul rest in peace), and struggled against the Shah’s despotic regime.
Following the victory of the Islamic Revolution, he was elected to the Assembly of Experts, and played a valuable role in preparation of Islamic Republic of Iran’s Constitution. As a representative of Imam Khomeini, and the Friday Prayer leader of the city of Yazd, he dedicated his efforts to the development of the region.

The acclaimed Iranian Islamic scholar, theologian, and physician, Seyyed ol-Atibba Tabrizi
On 12th of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 1316 AH, the acclaimed Iranian Islamic scholar, theologian, and physician, Seyyed ol-Atibba Tabrizi, passed away. He was born in northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz, and learned sciences in his hometown by attending the classes of renowned ulema. He honed his skills in medicine as well and became a leading physician. He has left behind numerous books, including “Tarikh-e Tabriz” (History of Tabriz).

Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Hussain Fazlollah
On July 4, 2010 AD, the prominent Islamic scholar and Source of Emulation in Lebanon, Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Hussain Fazlollah, passed away at the age of 77 years. He was born in the holy Iraqi city of Najaf, in Iraq in a Lebanese religious family and studied under prominent ulema of his day, including Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Mohsin al-Hakeem, Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Abul-Qasem Khoi, and Ayatollah Sadra BaadKoubaee.
He spent six years writing articles and compiling books and played a major role in reclaiming the denied rights of Shi'ite Muslims in Lebanon. He was a firm supporter of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Resistance Movement of Lebanon against Israeli occupation. He was the target of several assassination attempts by the Americans. He has left behind valuable books, including a 25-volume Exegesis of Holy Qur'an.

The mystic theologian and devout Islamic scholar, Ayatollah Shaikh Hassan-Ali Isfahani
On 17th of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 1361 AH, the mystic theologian and devout Islamic scholar, Ayatollah Shaikh Hassan-Ali Isfahani, passed away at the age of 82 years. He was a product of the famous Islamic seminary of holy Najaf in Iraq.
After completing his studies he took up residence in holy Mashhad for the rest of his life. He was also an expert in mathematics, astronomy, and medicine. His fame is mainly due to his ethical virtues and spiritual powers, some of which have been cited in a book, compiled by his son.

Allamah Ibn Idris al-Hilli
On 18th of the Islamic month of Shawwal in 598 AH, the prominent theologian, Mohammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Idris al-Hilli, passed away at the age of 55. Born in the Iraqi city of Hilli, he was a child prodigy and became a prominent theologian at a fairly young age.
He believed that selecting the right path is the duty of every sane and grown up person, and anyone who does not make use of this blessing of the intellect has committed a self-destructive blunder. Among the valuable books written by this great Islamic scholar is "as-Sara’er".

Ayatollah Ali Qoddusi
On September 4, in 1981 AD, Iran's Prosecutor General, Ayatollah Ali Qoddusi, was martyred due to detonation of a bomb planted by MKO terrorists. He was a student of such luminaries as Grand Ayatollah Boroujerdi, Allamah Tabatabai the famous exegete of the holy Qur'an, and the Father of Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (may his soul rest in peace).
On attaining the status of Ijtehad, he actively participated in religious affairs including the foundation of the Haqqani Seminary. In 1962, he joined the Imam in the struggle against Shah's despotic regime, and was imprisoned due to his revolutionary activities. On the victory of the Islamic Revolution, he was appointed Prosecutor-General by Imam Khomeini.

The prominent Islamic scholar, Allamah Shaikh Mohammad Jawad Balaghi
On 22nd of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 1354 AH, the prominent Islamic scholar, Allamah Shaikh Mohammad Jawad Balaghi, passed away. He was a theologian, and a capable author. He attended the classes of the prominent lecturers of his era, such as Mirza Hassan Shirazi, and turned into one of the renowned Islamic teachers and authors. Among his valuable books, is “Balagh al-Mobin” on proof of God’s existence.

Grand Ayatolllah Mirza Mohammad Hassan Shirazi
On 24th of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 1312 AH, the Source of Emulation, Ayatolllah Mirza Mohammad Hassan Shirazi, passed away at the age of 82 in Samarra, Iraq. He was born in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz and after completion of preliminary studies, left for the Najaf Seminary in Iraq, where he studied under the celebrated Ayatollah Sheikh Morteza Ansari. The name of Mirza Shirazi brings to mind the famous fatwa or religious edict he issued for boycott of tobacco consumption which forced the Qajarid king, Nasser ed-Din Shah, to cancel the monopoly over tobacco production in Iran that he had granted the British Talbot Company; thereby saving the Iranian economy from colonial exploitation.

The prominent freedom fighter of the Constitutional era, Ayatollah Seyyed Abdullah Behbahani
On July 14, 1910 AD, the prominent freedom fighter of the Constitutional era, Ayatollah Seyyed Abdullah Behbahani, was martyred by terrorists. He was born in the holy city of Najaf in Iraq, where after learning Islamic sciences under his virtuous father, Seyyed Ismail Mojtahed Behbahani, he became a student of Ayatollah Mirza Hassan Shirazi. On coming to Iran, he became active in the Constitutional Movement in cooperation with Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Sadeq Tabatabai. He played a pivotal role in the victory of the Constitutional Revolution, making utmost efforts to this end, which led to his martyrdom.

The renowned Iranian theologian, astronomer, philosopher, and poet, Ayatollah Shushtari Jaza’eri
On July 15, 1994 AD, the renowned Iranian theologian, astronomer, philosopher, and poet, Ayatollah Shushtari Jaza’eri, passed away in southern Iranian city of Shushtar. He learned Qur'anic sciences, mathematics, and astronomy under his father, and later completed his studies under prominent ulema in the holy city of Qom, including the Reviver of the Qom Seminary, Grand Ayatollah Abdul-Karim Ha’eri Yazdi. He was a staunch opposition of the anti-Islamic Pahlavi regime, and spent a lifetime, grooming numerous students, in addition to writing books.

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