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Mullah Ahmad Naraqi

The country of Iran has been the cradle for raising many great personalities. Its history witnesses the many great scholars who have reached the highest intellectual and spiritual levels. One of these shinning stars of Iran's intellectual history is Molla Ahmad Narauqee, known as "Fauzel Narauqee"[1]. He was born on the 14th of Jamadi al-Thani, 1185 a.h.[2] during the reign of Kareem Khan Zand. He was born into a religious and scholarly family.
His father tutored him from the age of five until twenty[3]. He studied the levels of moqaddamaut[4], sat-h[5], and khauredg[6] with his father during these fifteen years. Molla Ahmad frequently refers to his father in his books by the phrase: "man elayhe fee jamee'el oloome estenaudee"[7] [and this was because of his father's great personality]. Molla Ahmad, possessing an extraordinary intellect, completed the hawza levels and thus started teaching Ma'aulem[8] and Motavval[9] at a relatively early age.
After receiving the title of ijtihaud[10] at the age of fifteen he traveled to Iraq with his father in order to continue the hawza studies in the main center of Shia hawza. In Iraq, his main teachers were Sayyed Mohammad Mahdee Bahr-ol-oloom[11], Sayyed Ali Tabautabau'ee[12], Sayyed Mahdee Shahrestaunee[13] and Sheikh Mohammad Ja'far Najafee[14]. He benefited a great deal from these celebrated scholars.
Molla Mahdee, his father, died in 1209 a.h. As the result, he had to return to Kashan to take up his father's duty in heading the hawza in that region.

The two Persia-Russia wars of 1222 a.h. and 1241 a.h. both occurred during his life span. These were the two wars in Iran's history which lead to the treaties of Golestaun and Torkamanchauy between the two sides.
One of the other events of his time was the assassination of Mohammad Khan Qajar in 1212 a.h. After the latter's death, Fat-h'alee Shah seized power. Fat-h'alee knew that due to the peoples' strong faith, he had to show respect to the scholars in order to get the attention of his subjects. For this cause, he asked permission from Sheikh Ja'far Najafee[15] for being crowned. Of course, as was obvious, this was just for the sake of ceremony and to please his subjects in order to strengthen his grasp of power. Fat-h'alee's next step in this process was to ask Molla Ahmad, who was Iran's greatest Shia intellectual of that time, to write a book explaining Islamic laws so that the government would act according to his verdicts. Molla Ahmad did so. He wrote Waseelatonnajauh in two volumes and presented it to Fat-h'alee.
Another very important historical event during Molla Ahmad's life that could be noted was the two Persia-Russia battles of 1219 a.h. and 1228 a.h. at which the Iranian soldiers were defeated and thus fled the battlefield. As the result of the defeats, the Russian army occupied parts of Iran, oppressing the people. Iran's ulama stood against this tyranny. Thus, a number of the greater scholars; namely, Sayyed Mohammad Mojauhed[16], Molla Ahmad, Sayyed Nasrollah Estar-aubaudee, Sayyed Mohammad Taqee Qazvinee[17]; went to the King and requested that they would drive the Russians out.
Moreover, they declared a state of jihad[18] and announced that whoever doesn't sign up for jihad has sinned and has obeyed Satan. The scholars' hard work paid off. A good army was gathered and the Iranian side was successful at first. However, for several reasons, one of which was lack of armament,Iran finally lost the war.
When Russia prevailed, it imposed the Torkamanchauy Treaty on Iran.
Even though, Iran did not win the war, but the soldiers' and the scholars good defense with the minimum number of people and armament turned out to be a great display of the their national and religious pride.

It has been recorded in the introduction to Me'raujossa'audah[19] that Molla Ahmad had two sons. One was Hauj Molla Mohammad, whom was more known as "Hojjat-ol-islam". He received the title of "Khautam-ol-mojtahedeen"[20] among the scholars. Moreover, Molla Mohammad was Mirza-ye-qomee's[21] son-in-law. Moll Ahmad's other son—as mentioned in that introduction—was Naseeroddeen. He was also a very knowledgeable scholar. Furthermore, he was an expert in literature also, and he wrote many books.
Of course according to The Renowned People of Kashan and Its Social History, Molla Ahmad had eight sons who were all esteemed scholars. There names were: Hauj Molla Ahmad, Mirza Mohammad Naseer, and Molla Mohammad Taqee, Mirza Ebrauheem, Hauj Molla Mohammad Javaud, Molla Haushem, Molla Mohammad Ali and Mirza Nasrollah. It has also been mentioned that the two more esteemed ones were Hauj Molla Mohammad and Hauj Molla Mohammad Javaud.
The two above mentioned narrations of the number of Molla Ahmad's children both disagree with the number that has been recorded in most other books on the biography of the Shia scholars. The most recorded version is that he had four sons: Molla Mohammad[22], more known as "Abdossauheb", Mohammad Naseer[23], Abootoraub[24] and Mohammad Javaud[25].
[1] Demise: 1245 a.h.;
[2] That is 1150 a.h. according to the solar calendar.
[3] That is 1190-1205 a.h.;
[4] The beginning level of hawza;
[5] The intermediate level of hawza;
[6] The advanced level of hawza at which the students study to become experts in the fields of Jurisprudence and Osool;
[7] The translation is: "The one whom is my reference in all fields of knowledge".
[8] One of the main hawza texts on the subject of Osool;
[9] A professional Arabic literature text;
[10] The title that certifies that the student has become an expert in the field of jurisprudence and can thereby understand the laws of Islam directly from the original texts;
[11] Demise: 1212 a.h.;
[12] The author of Ar-riyaz; demise: 1231 a.h.;
[13] Demise: 1216 a.h.;
[14] Demise: 1228 a.h.;
[15] Known as "Kaushef-ol-ghetau";
[16] Demise: 1242 a.h.;
[17] Demise: 1270 a.h.;
[18] That is the Islamic holy war;
[19] The print by Ameer-kabeer Publications;
[20] Meaning: the seal of all jurisprudents; such titles imply that the person is at a very high status.
[21] One of the greatest experts in the fields of Jurisprudence and Osool; he is the author of Qavauneen, one of the most influential books in the field of Osool.
[22] 1215-1297 a.h.;
[23] 1219-1273 a.h.;
[24] 1221-1262 a.h.;
[25] 1222-1278 a.h.;

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