Mohaqqeq Karaki, the First Peshwa of Iran
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On 12th of the Islamic month of Zil-Hijjah in 940 AH, the great religious scholar, Shaikh Ali ibn Abdul-Aal al-Ameli, known as Mohaqqeq Karaki, passed away. He was born in the Jabal Amel region of Lebanon, where after completing studies, he moved to the holy cities of Karbala and Najaf in Iraq for higher studies.
He was invited to Iran for his wisdom and erudite knowledge, and handed over political affairs of state by Shah Tahmasp Safavi. He became the first Peshwa (religious and political leader) of Iran as per the concept of Wilayat-e- Faqih (The authority of Faqih as the Vicegerent (Naeb) of the Twelfth Shia Imam) and gave authority to Shah of Iran to carry on state affairs as his representative, while he himself handled all jurisprudential and theological matters.
He established seminaries in the then Iranian capital, Qazvin, and other cities of Iran, earning the title of Mohaqqeq, which means authoritative researcher. He groomed many great scholars both in Iran and his homeland Lebanon, including the celebrated Zain ad-Din al-Ameli, who was persecuted and cruelly killed, thereby earning the title of Shaheed Thani (Second Martyr).
Mohaqqeq Karaki played a leading role in enlightening Iranians with the legacy of the Prophet's Ahl al-Bayt, and wrote several books that are taught to this day, including “Jame' al-Maqased”, and “Resala-e Edalat”