The prominent Iranian scholar, Amin od-Din Abu Ali Fazl bin Hassan Tabarsi
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On 10th of the Islamic month of Zil-Hijjah in 548 AH, the prominent Iranian scholar, Amin od-Din Abu Ali Fazl bin Hassan Tabarsi, passed away in the city of Sabzevar, Khorasan, where he had settled in the last years of his life to complete his monumental exegesis of the holy Qur’an, titled "Majma' al-Bayan". His body was taken to the holy city of Mashhad for burial near the shrine of Imam Reza (AS), the 8th Infallible Successor of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
In the preface to this work, he gives the reasons for his writing it and for his choice of title. He also describes the methodology used in his exegesis on every ayah of the holy Qur’an. He divides his exegesis on every passage into five sections: introductory discourse, reading guide, language discourse, revelation and circumstances surrounding it, and meaning.
When a passage relates to a theological, jurisprudential or philosophical issue, he gives the views of all sides, whether Sunni or Shi’ite, and then his own judgement. The originality of his exegesis is that he gives the readers an opportunity to see the varying opinions on different issues mentioned in the Qur'an before discussing these views and declaring his own stand. “Majma’ al-Bayan” covers historical facts, as well as the opinions of philologists, traditionists, exegetes, and poets.
Tabarsi’s exegesis focuses on many theological issues, including the divinely-decreed Imamate of Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), the infallibility of the Imams, God's Justice, etc. He also discusses the issue of Imam Mahdi (AS), his advent in the end times, the purpose of his coming and his global rule. Tabarsi's son and grandson were also noted scholars and author of books.