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The famous Iranian Sunni Muslim scholars

Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz

The famous Iranian Sunni Muslim scholars and exegete of the holy Qur'an, Al-Shahrestani
On 30th of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 548 AH, the famous Iranian Sunni Muslim scholar and exegete of the holy Qur'an, Mohammad Ibn Abdul-Karim Shahrestani, passed away at the age of 81 in his hometown Shahrestan in Khorasan, northeastern Iran. In the city of Nishapur he studied under different masters who were all disciples of the Ash`ari theologian al-Juwayni.
At the age of thirty, he went to Baghdad to pursue theological studies and taught for three years at the famous Nizamiyya Academy, before returning to Khorasan, where he worked as Deputy Chancellor for Sultan Sanjar, the Seljuq ruler. He wrote several important works, such as “al-Milal wa'n-Nihal” (The Book of Sects and Creeds), which presents the doctrinal points of view of religions and philosophies that existed up to his time.
This book is one of the earliest systematic studies of religion and is noted for its scientific approach. Another of his famous works is the exegesis "Mafatih al-Asraar wa-Masabih al-Abraar" (The Keys of the Mysteries and the Lamps of the Righteous), which introduces the Qur’an and gives a complete commentary on the first two Surahs.
In this book, pointing to the confused events of the days of the 3rd Caliph, Osman Ibn Affan, concerning the compilation of the Qur’an, Shahrestani says: We should study why (Imam) Ali Ibn Abi Taleb (AS) was not approached for compilation of the Qur'an? Was he not a greater authority than Zayd Ibn Thabit in transcribing the Qur'an (as well as its memorization and familiarity with its contents)? Did he not possess a better knowledge of Arabic and its grammar than Sa'eed Ibn Aas? Was not (Imam) Ali Ibn Abi Taleb (AS) considered closer to the Prophet of Allah (SAWA) than any of the sahabah? Why did they (Abu Bakr and Omar) reject the first ever copy of the Qur'an compiled by (Imam) Ali (AS) immediately after the passing away of the Prophet?

The acclaimed Iranian Shafe’i jurisprudent, Mohammad ibn Ibrahim ibn al-Mundhir Naishapuri
On 29th of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 318 AH, the acclaimed Iranian Shafe’i jurisprudent, Mohammad ibn Ibrahim ibn al-Mundhir Naishapuri, passed away in holy Mecca at the age of 77. Born in Naishapur in Khorasan, after mastering hadith and Qur’anic sciences, he travelled to Hejaz where he spent the rest of his life in Mecca, as Shaikh al-Haram.
He was well versed with the differing opinions amongst the scholars of hadith, and wrote several books, the largest of which was titled “al-Mabsout”, which has not survived. He abridged this voluminous work as “al-Awsat”, but only a few volumes of it have been found, and even fewer printed. He further abridged this book into a still smaller version titled “al-Ishraaf”, which is regarded as the best book of its kind, since he briefly mentions it all the different opinions regarding each topic and occasionally mentions the opinion he prefers.

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