Qazi Nurullah Shushtari (Shaheed-e-Thalis)
Qazi Nurullah Shushtari and Mysticism
Prof. Akbar Soboot
Translated by: Dr S.M. Yunus Jaferi
Qazi Nurullah Shushtari entitled Zia-ud-Din known as Amir Sayyid and Shaheed-i-Thalis was born in 956 A.H./1549 A.D. at Shushtar one of the cities of the present Khuzistan province in South of Iran. He was sayyid by lineage and belonged to the Mar'ashi family that claimed to be the direct descendant of lmam Ali bin Husain (A.S ). His father Sayyid Sharif-ud-din and grandfather Sayyid Zia- ud- Din Nurullah got his early education at home from his father and the other teachers at town.After completion of it in the year 979 A.H. , he went to Mashhad, the holy city in the Khurasan province. The land that had been plundered by Uzbeks before his arrival and also afterwards. They had turned the region almost in such a battlefield which passed through many events of onslaught , massacre , plunder , looting and destruction.
Qazi Nurullah lived in the city for fifteen years and completed his education there under the guidancc of the profoumd masters of their subjects like Abdul Waheed Shushtari and many others . In the field of knowlesge as he has pinted out had his lineage of teachers connected with Jalal-ud-Din Dawwani , the most renowed philosopher and great scholar of ninth century of Hijra era/16 th century of Christian era.
Qazi Nurullah came to India in the year 992 A.H./1584 A.D. and was introduced to Mughal emperor Jala-ud Din Akbar in the year 963 A. H./ 1556 A.D . by Hakim Abul Fath Gilani(d.997 A.H./1589 A.D.) and became one of the close associates of the emperor , who appointed him grand vizier and the chief justice of the empire . In judiciary department , he performed his duties so unbiasedly that even his sectarian opponents admitted of his equity , justice , fairness , honesty , nobility , modesty , piety , tolerance , wisdom , wittiness and his proficiency over various school of jurisprudence.He was also quite prudent to fight against the corrupt people at the court of the king .
Qazi Nurullah also proved to be an unprejudiced teacher and many Ulama who belonged to Sunnite and Shi'ite schools attended his lectures to acquire knowledge in the field of jurisprudence . He wrote abut a hundred books and a large number of treatises on various subjects . Some of them are:
Ahqaq-ul-Haq (Justification of the Truth ) : In this work he has defended the beliefs of Shi'ite faith .
Majalis-ul-Mo'mineen ( The Assembly of the faithfuls ) : Gives the description of the religious scholars and the other learned men .
Risala-i-Jalaliyyah: A treatise dedicated to Jalal - ud- Din Akbar , the Mughal emperor of Hindustan . It consists of knowledge .
Marginal notes on several books like Shamsiya written about logic .
Sharh-i-Tajrij is regarding scholastic theology .
Khulasa-tul Aqwal : Deals with the biographies .
Sharh-i-Chaghmini: is on astronmy .
Tahrir-i-Uqlidas : is on geometry .
Sharh-ul-Hidaya : is on philosophy.
Sharh-i-Waqaya and Hidaya : both these works are on Hanafi school of jurisprudence .
Sharh-i-Aqa' id-i-Nasafi : is on the theology of the Sunnite Muslims .
Sharh-i-Mukhtasar-i-A'zdi : id on the principles of the jurisprudece dealing with Sunnite Muslims .
Do Risala (two treatises) : one of them is a commentary on the verses of the Glorious Quran related to the unity of God (Tawheed ) . The other is also a commentary dealing with the verses of the Glorious Quran related to sanctification of the Holy Ahlul Bayat ( A. S.)
Risala Dar Bab-i-Wujud : a treatise on the existence .
Risala Dar Sharh-i-Rubayi - i Abu Sa'id Abul Khair : a treatise in which one of the quatrains or the Sufi poet Abu Sa;id Abul Khair has been elaborated .
A intricate review on the commentary written by Shaykh Faizi.
Risala Dar Bab-i-Qaza O' Qadar : treatise on free will and determinism.
Commentaries on Tahzib - ul Ahkam : are related to the traditons of the Prophet Muhammad ( S. A.W) and jurisprudence . These are the detailed explanations of judgements based on the traditions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S. A.W ) and the Islamic jurisprudence .
Tashrih-ul-Aflak : deals with astronomy .
Muqaddima-i-Masabih : is related to the traditions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) quoted by the Sunnite Muslims .
Risala Dar Munazira-i-Gul O' Sunbul : a treatise on the dispute between the flower and the hyacinth .
Risala-i-Munsha'at : a treatise on writings and compositions.
Beside the above mentioned books and treatise he has also several other literary works .
Qazi Nurullah had excellent literary expertise and was profound in producing beautiful literary pieces in Arabic and Persian . His compositions in both languages are eloquent and full of fluency . He also composed verses in both the languages which number about three thousand .
Some of them are still preserved in various books and treatises .
Qazi Nurullah had five sons . All of them were men of learning . Among them Sayyid Ala-ul-Mulk produced many literary works . He was appointed the teacher of Prince Muhammad Shuja ( 1616 - 1660 A.D.) by Mughal emperor Shahjahan (1628 A.D.) . His other son Ala' - ud' Dowlah was a renowned calligrapher.
Martyrdom of Qazi Noorullah and his tomb:
After the death of Mughal emperor Akbar (1605 A.D. ) the bigoted group again rose to power at the imperial court . He was martyred in 1019 A.H./ 1610 A .D. for the reason that the he differed in his belief with the majority of the people and the bigoted group at the court of Jahangir (1605 - 1627 A.D.), the successor of Akbar .
His tomb , which is at Agra has been the centre of pilgrimage since the day of his martyrdom. Poets praised him in their literary compositions in his life time and even after his martydom . Besides that many of his works with the description of his life have been translated into Arabic , Persian and Urdu .
The writer of this article at present is engaged to write a detailed account of his life and works . A short summary of that is given below:
Qazi Nurullah Shushtari and Mysticism
To understand the realities about the metaphysics there are three main processes which are known to Muslims like the followers of other religions , they are:
a- The way of the philosophers based on the rational and theoretical arguments .
b- The way of the mystics based on contemplation and intuition.
c- the way of the traditionalists based on the religious statements and getting inspiration from them .
Some of the thinkers have tried to understand all the three means or at least two of them and have tried to bring them closer to each other or take an extract from any one and bring it parallel to the extract of the other or with all the three or at least with the two out of these three . The martyred Qazi Nurullah was among those sages who knew out of these three means as it has been witnessed in his literary works which are voluminous in number . He has given great merit to the pioneers of all these three means .
Though in most his renowned works the defending aspects of his theology is based on Shi' ism and Imamate, particularly defending the cause of the Imamate of Imam Imam Ali (A.S.) the leader of the faithful . But in most cases , whether they are his independent works or casually described in some of his known literary works, it is evident that he was fully aware abut the two ways of the philosophers and of the sages . He has paid proper regard to the exponents of both the groups .
Contrary to the Islamic jurists who have negated both the ways or at least one of then he has tried to adjust their
doctrines taking in view what he found in Shi ite doctrine .
Among his literary works in which he has independently explained these thoughts are the marginal notes on the theological work namely Sharh-i-Isharat by Khwaja Tusi , and Sharh-al-Hidaya (the detail of the instructions) by Maibudi . In regard of his relation with the followers of mystic doctrine we should know that :
Qazi Nurullah was born in such a family that his ancestors had firmly close relations with the master Sufi (shaykhs). Not only that but some of them had taken measure to travel on the mystic path to attain the spiritual goal .
Subsequently , while giving the descripton of his grandfather Zia-ud-Din Nurullah Mar' ashi Shushtari he writes that he preferred to be at threshold of the impoverishment rather to look at the riches of the heaven .
For him the blissfulness of the faith was far bertter than the kingship of the world . He was proud that though he was indigent but liked to live in seclusion . Among all the memorable events of his good fortune was enjoying the bountiful company of Ghaws-al-Muta'alliheen ( the helper of divinity scholars ) Sayyid Mohammd Noor Baksh (may his grave be sanctified ) , who inspired him for compunction and invocating God Almighty . In Shiraz, he had several discourses wigh Shams-ud-Din Mohammad Lahiji , the expounder of the book in mysticism Gulshan-i-Raz ( the Flower Garden of Mysteries ) .
At this stage the worldly human bodies become merely drachma while the souls are celestial . Subequently that being of celestial qualities does not pay any need to the low worldly motives and condemns the superficial rejected matters . He does not make his high character polluted with the worldly attachments and the rubbish sensual pleasures . What was the outlook of Qazi Nurullah regarding mysticism and the mystics can be traced in his works by taking into consideration the following points . :
1. The explantory notes that he wrote on the works of the mystics .
2. Glorifying the names of the mystics and defending their views .
3. preference of mystics path to the way of rationalists .
4. His belief that mysticsm has been inspired by Shi ' ism .
5. Quoting the verses and prose pieces of the mystics even in his scholastic works written in Arabic .
6. his belief regarding the unity of existence.
7. Composing verses paralled to the poems of the mystics .
Each of the topics mentioned above will be explained below
1. The explanatory notes that Qazi Nurullah has written on the works of the mystics , one of them is the explanntion of a quatrain of Abu Sa'id Abul Khair written under the title Huraiyyah ( the houris ) :
Houra be Nazara - e - negaram saf zad
Rezwan ze Ta' ajjob kaf - i- Khod bar kaf zad
Aan Khal - e - Siyah bar aan Rokhan Motref zad
Abdal ze bin Chang dar Mos' haf zad .
The Houris stood in a row to have a look at my favourite one .
The angel ( guarding the gate ) of paradise clapped his hands being amazed .
the black mole that lopped on one of the cheeks
Caused the righteous person to take shelter into the holy scripture.
Qazi Nurullah , while explaining this quatrain has praised him highly . He has called him by the titles of Sultan-ul-Arifin ( the Chief of the Mystics ) and Qudwat ul Muta'alliheen ( the Leader of the divine persons ).
Two explanations, one on the mathnavi of Moulavi Jalal-ud-Din Rumi and the other on Gulshan-i-Raaz of Shabistari have also been attributed to Qazi Nurullah. But the authenticity of them seems to be doubtful. Because, they have not been mentioned in the earlier sources related to his life .It seems that the explanation made by Nurullah Bukhari on Gulshan-i-Raaz and Sharh-i-Mohammad Nurullah Ahrari on Mathnavi-i-Jalal-ud- Din Rumi have been wrongly attributed to him.
Appreciation of mystics by Qazi Nurullah and defending their views :
This is worth mentioning here that Qazi Nurullah has allotted two chapters to the mystics in his celebrated work Majalis-ul-Mo'mineen ( the sixth section , called Majlis -i Shishum ) in which he has given their description and quoted their sayings . While highly appreciating them he has tried to corelate their sayings and their roots in Shi, ism . In the introduction of this section he writes :
" The sixth section deals with a number of those pure hearted sages who from the point of view of the wayfarers of the path of mysticism and the founders of the rules of the sacred Islamic laws have been the object of the formation of the universe , the cause of the creation of the mankind after the embellishment of the prophecy and holy leadership ( i-e ., the Imamat ) to show the right path.
By the generosity affluenting existence of this eminent class and the excellent saints may God increase their number among the common people they have ascended the zenith of the heaven , being blessed by their good fortune, from the lowest part of the earth highest to the degree of angelic world by rising high from the lowest apsis of the obsurity of humanity . With the radiation of the bright lamp and the reflection of the luminious rays of the well known saying '' God certainly guides towards His Light whom he wants ".There being arranged in the pearl string of the inhabitants of this High Counsel have joined the company of the dwellers of the transcendental world and have attained such a high position that they can realize the consequences of the events before their occurrence .
They also apprehended the ends of the things before their coming into being . The pillars of the religion and the state are firmly standing by the bencdictions of thir courage .The foundations of the country and the nation are arranged by their existence. They are pious participants in the manliness, they are seated on the highest seats of affliction .
They are thirsty at heart even after consuming the whole water of the ocean. They are the whirlers in the state of confusion. They are looser of the way on the path of safety. They are the seclusion seekers in the nook of reproach. They are the furious elephants garbed in rags. They are live hearted in its full sense. They have put on the cloak of the hermit of piety. They are intoxicated in the assembly of love. They are the kings without their crowns and the commanders without any army.
These (hermits) of royal disposition are on the thrones of their kingship with such a(high) regard as if they are the kings of several countries.
They are such kings garbed in shreds that at times.
The rulers of Iran, Tartar and Greece are under their safeguard. Tomorrow they would not look at paradise. Even today they are heedless towards the prosperities of this world.
Tomorrow they would not(even) look at paradise due to their self esteem. Do not look with disgrace at these bare footed(mendicants). To wisdom they are dearer then they eyes on face.
Adam lost paradise against two grains of wheat.
Certainly they would not purchase it by paying a single grain of barely.
He has given the description of Maulana Jalal-ud-Din Rumi in these words:
"The learned scholar of divine knowledge, assisted by the eternal bounty Maulana...
He is the same distiller of wine in the selestial distillery.
He is the same phoenix of highest nest, dwlling at the empyrean.
Maulavi, the revealer of the secrets of perpetuity,who set free those captives who were entrapped by the strong bondage of lust.
By (six volumes) of his literary works, called Mathnavi one can get seven directions adorned with eternal embellishment.
His discourse in verse is at that degree that it is beyond the reach because it is high like the empyrean and firm like the Islamic law.
He has given the description of Shaykh Attar in this way:
The sourcc of the realities and secrets...
He is the same Attar the(druggist) who carries the medicine of mortality in his lathern bag.
His poems give health to the sorrowful lovers.
He wrote 114 poems equal to the number of chapters of the Glorious Quran.
His treatises are precious and his books are the master pieces (of mysticism). The insanity on his path realized that the wisdom lies in ecstacy.
The wisdom by his reasoning got inspiration in his poetry.
The martyred Qazi was one of the few Shi, its scholars who did not even attacked Mansur-bin-Hallaj. He had rather defended him and supported him admiringly. He has called him,"the roary ocean", the leader of the ones,intoxicated by the wine of enthusiasm,the revealer of secrets and disclosure of the mysteries. He was charged to be associated with the Imams of Shi'ite school, believing in Mahdi, a leader that would appear in the holy family of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.). He invited the people for his support and inciting the peaple to revolt against Abbasid caliphs. It was for this reason that he was declared the infidel and the unbeliever.
Qazi besides defending the mystics, while giving their description in Majalis-ul-Mo'mineen, has also defended them in Ahqaq-ul-Haq, a book on scholastic theology, which is a thesis to defend Shi' ite Muslims against their fanatic opponents. In this book he has shown his devotion to them.
Though Ibn-i-Rouzbihan chargcd Allama Hilli that he had condemned the scholars who have wirtten about mysticism, but Qazi Nurullah has rejected his charges and believes that Allama Hilli has not condemned the real mystics like Bayazid, and Junaid, who according to the belief of Qazi were Shi' ite Muslims. He has also produced separate works on mysticism, in which he has' dealt with the opinions and the beliefs of the mystics. Among many treatises that he has written one is on Sayyid Noor Bakhsh and the other on Mir Sayyid Ali Hamdani. In these treatises he has proved both of them belonged to Shi' ite sect.
Preference of the mystics path over the rationalists in acquiring divine knowledge.
In the beginning of the sixth discourse of Majalis-ul-Mo' mineen this subjcct has been discussed in full detail by Qazi Nurullah and clearly indicates what were his views in this matter :
Further detailed account related to the description of the modes of this noble class is acquiring the intuitive faith about the truth. The object which is to attain wisdom. There are either the means of contemplation and reasoning-as is the way of men of sight, called the sages and the thinkers-or the way of purification and perfection which is the peculiarity of the contented people called the saints.
Though in fact the members of both the groups are considered sages,but the second group is regarded superior to the other for the reason that this group by attaining the divine blessing has attained perfection and attained divine knowledge at the school of "Verily I gave him the knowledge that this with me".In the way of this group the thorns of doubts and the evils of suspicion are less and they will be closer to the heritage of the prophet, the chosen one among all the created beings.
It is said that Abu Sa'id Abul Khair, the ascertained spiritual guide happened to meet Shaykh Abu Ali Sina,the leader of the preceding philosophers, when the meeting was over one of them said ,"I see whatever knows".While the other said I know whatever he sees ".This divine philosopher said,"This has proved to me to be true by thousand of arguments, but I have no argument of their being true".
Shaikh Abu Ali says in his treatise Magamat-ul Arefin"."Any one who desires to realize the reality of those facts, should try, so that he may gradually apperehend the truth, but not like those who merely stock the words be of those persons who have attained objective reality but not of those who have merely gathered information regarding that".
Shaykh Shihab-al-Din , the martyred divine philosopher who revived the traditions of the ancient philosophers writes justly in Talvihat that in the state of ecstacy called concealment by the people of this class , he happened to see Arisotle in the state of ecstacy and to clarify some subtle points put a number of question before him about some obscure problems.After that he spoke about some of Muslim thinkers. He paid no heed to any one of them.Then I mentioned names of some men of intuition,like Junaid Baghdadi,Abu Yazid Bustami and Sahl bin Abdullah Shushtari-may their souls be blessed-He said that they were certanly the true philosophers.
Qazi Nurullah believed that mysticsim has been inspired by Shi'ism
Qazi Nurullah believed that the early sufism like Bayazid , Ma'ruf Kaarkhi, Ibrahim Adham and Shaqiq Balkhi were either the disciples of the Shi 'ite Imams or benefitted themselves with their knowledge,their companions like Komail,Bahlul and Owais are the persons who followed the path shown by the holy Imams .In this way all the sufi orders(except Naqshbandiya order)end with the holy Imams.
He has also quoted in this regard Haider Amuli, the leader of the Godly persons and says :"The liberated Imamite sect is divided into two grups .One of them bears the outward knowledge of the chosen prophet and the Imams of Guidance, the roots of the origin of Islamic laws . The other group bears its inward knowledge, which is the path of the truth and servitude.Though Shi'and sufi are two different names but in real sense they are Single Truth.
Qazi Nurullah's support for the poems and prose pieces of the sufis.
Qazi Nurullah in his various works and even in his theological treatises,which are in Arabic,has generously used the poetical and prose pieces of the sufis to glorify their names.Subsequently in the book Ahqaq-ul-Haq he has quoted (as he says)the verses of Moulavi Ma'navi, Amir-i-Basri and Hafez of Shiraz, quotations of 'Ain ul Quzzat-i-Hamdani and of Sayid Haider Amuli the renowned expositor of the works of Ibn Arabi, whose description will be given later.He has called Hafez as one of the virtuous persons and has quoted the following verse of him :
Arbab-i-Hajetim wa zaban -i-Sowal nist
Dar Hazrat -i-Karim tamanna che hajet ast
Though I am a needful person , but do not dare to ask for help.
There is not the need in your generous presence to ask for a thing.He has also quoted verses of Hafez in the book Savarim-i-Mohreqa.
Zahid ar rah be rindi nabarad ma'zour ast.
Ishq Karist ke moqouf-i-hadayat bashad
If a pious man does not follow path of wayfaring , he is helpless.
Love is such an affair that needs some guidance.
Belief in the unity of Existence
Belief in the unity of existence in one of the most important criterions of different schools of the sufis .Qazi Nurullah in this regard has interpreted this sentence of Mohi-ud-Din Ibn Arabi,"Glory be to Him who manifests the things exactly the same as they are",in such manner that in differs with the interpretations given by his opponents , so that according to the belief of Islamic jurists this may not be unsuitable regarding the Unity of God . In spite of that in many instances he has laid much emphasis to quote the various sentences and verses in support of the Unity of God . Among them are the verses of a poem in which he has given the description of Ibn Arabi :
Oh!resplendent in manifestation and illumination what is there in the universe other than Thyself.
There is nothing in the universe other than Thee.
Thou art the Sun of forenoon and there is nothing other than Thee.
You are the light and the two worlds are its shadow.
You are the main cause of the appearance of the shadow.
The words of "Me "and "I" from my heart.
Obliterate other than Thou and be Thou throughout.
Who is other than Thou who is other than Thee.
The movementis from Thou and is towards Thee.In the beginning from Thou hath started the movement.At the end the return will be towards Thee.
Qazi Nurullah in the discourse related the Unity of Existence says about moderate way in Tawheed as:
This world is the tradition of the countenance of the Friend.While the whole universe is his shadow.Every thing which is visible in the world is like the reflection of the sun of that world . You manifest yourself through the beauty of dear ones.You are the main object of the heart and full desire of the soul.The eyes of all the people are mirrors and you showed the reflection of Your face in the mirrors of the eyes of all .
What has been written about the martyred Qazi indicates that he was not only fully aware of the beliefs of the sages had about the Unity of Existence , but in many cases he agreed with them.
Besides that he has also composed poems parallel to the compositions of the great mystics in which they have praised all the qualities attributed to God , the Almighty.
This also should be mentioned here that those who have given the description of the life of Qazi Nurullah , have also pointed out that he was much inclined towards mysticim,particularly Noor Bakhshiya order. This is also evident from his writings in which he has indicated that he had met some sufis , who followed Noor Bakhshiya order. He also has quoted their pronouncement in support of his views.
Much has been written that Qazi Nurullah was inclined towards mysticism , but inspite that he was not unware of the fact this path is full of dangers for the passers by of this path . He has condemned those who posed themselves to be sufis and has warned the innocent pious people not to be victim of their deceitful heart ravishing words.
Further has says that a perfect spiritual guide is rare and to find him out is quite difficult .A man can attain perfectin under the guidance of a perfect spiritual guide,because the worth of a precious gem can be evaluated by the person who is perfect in this craft.
If the spiritual guide is not aware of the ups and downs of the spiritual path ,it is obvious that his followers would be strayed.
On the other hand,Qazi Nurullah has not only rejected some of the boastful claims of a number of sufis , he has also not accepted some of the miraculous performance attributed by some of the extremist Shi'as their Imams under influence of vain glorious talks of some sufis.Inspite that he was a orthodox Shi'a that led to his martyrdom , he has refuted the mysteries attributed to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) and the Immaculate Imams(A.S.).
While giving reply to Amir Yusuf Ali,who had attributed the Khutba ul Bayan (the Ornate Sermon)to Imam Ali (A.S.)and believed that all the mysteries are revealed upon the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)and the Imams (A.S.)he wrote to him that he (Amir Yusuf Ali)believed that the Holy prophet (S.A.W.)and the Imams (A.S.)had knowledge of every mystery in all conditions. But Qazi Nurullah was of the opinion that this could not be made a general principle in every matter .They in certain conditions and circumstances could know the mysteries and on some other occasions they were not aware of them. As Sa'di of Shiraz says:
Begoft Ahval-i-Ma barq-i-Jahan ast
Dami pida O digar dam Nahan ast
Ghai bar taram ala Nashineem
Gahi ta posht-e paye Khod Nabineem
He said my condition is (like the )lightening
In one moment it is visible,while on the other it is concealed.
Sometime I sit on the upmost dome (of the heaven)
While the other time I do not see (even)my heals .
If a person compares an ornate speech with the Glorious Quran or attributes a rhetorical speech to the prophets and Imam , he should give its proof . Otherwise any tradition which is contrary to the word of the Glorious Quran is fake.As the contents of Khutbat-ul Bayan are not in accordance to the word of the Quran , therefore, it was false from the point of view of Qazi Nurullah.
This should also be known that many extremist Shi'as have attributed many miraculous things to Imam Ali (A.S.) and have even raised him to godship.
But , as the narrator of Khutbat-ul-Bayan is anonymous, therefore this can be said that it was attributed to him.This also seems feasible that some unknown person or a member of Mu'tazilite sect might have attributed to him so that the common Shi' te Muslims may accept it as true so that is can used as a means of condemning the Shi' ites .Further Qazi Noorulah 'in connection with Khutbat-ul-Bayan has quoted one of Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.AW.)in which he said that ''lf you hear a saving or tradition from any one , first think over it in the light of the Glorious Quran .lf it is accordance to that ,you should act upon it , otherwise reject it''.
As the contents of Khutbat ul Bayan is not of the standard of the sayings of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) and is contrary to the word of the Glorious Quran, therefore there can be taken two steps for that . Either it should be condemned or some interpretaion be given which can be in accordance with the word of the Glorious Quran .Whatever the commentator of the Glorious Quran ,the scholars of theology and the followers of the holy Ahlul Bait (A.S.) have explined such matters be followed by the other .
They should also believe that the unseen matters related to the religion had been revealed upon the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) and the inspiration given to his successors according to the exigency of the time and the did not say anything more than that . Sometimes the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) was waiting for the reply of God to solve the problem . lf he might be knowing the unseen matters before the time of the prophecy revealed upon him or at the early stage of his claiming to be prophethood ,certainly there was no need for him to wait for the revelation and getting the solution of the problem that he had.
Interaction in the Scientific Methodology and Works of Qazi Saiyid Nurullah Shushtari
Autor:Hojjat-al-Islam Mahmud Muhammadi Iraqi
The English translation of the remarks of Hojjat-al-Islam Mahmud Muhammadi Iraqi , the honourable President of the Organisation for Culture and Islamic Relations ,Islamic Republic of Iran in the inaugural session of the International Seminar on Qazi Nurullah Shushtari, conducted at St.John's College,Agra on Saturday , 18th January,2003.
"I am very happy to attend and address the inaugural session of the International Seminar on Qazi Nurullah Shushtari organised by the history department of the St.John's College,Agra in collaboration with the Noor Microfilm Center, New Delhi.I am very much impressed that this historical seminar is being attended by prominent scholars from India and Iran .
I sincerely thank the organizers of this seminar for conducting this auspicious event to pay due homage and respect to Qazi Nurullah Shushtari who devoted his life for the Inter-Faith Understanding and Tolerance .I am very much impressed to observe that the presidium , delegates and the participants of the seminar is composed of Hindus , Christians and Muslims.This seminar once again has revived the glorious memory of Akbar's Ibadat Khana at Fathpur where Qazi Nurullah Shushtari was an active participant.
We have gathered here at this auspicious , memorable and historical seminar to commemorate the life and works of a dynamic religious reformist scholar ,philosopher and jursit who had written 104 books and treatises on different branches of science and religion .
Praising and paying tributes to the sages,erudites and scholars is in fact paying respect to knowledge and honouring human dignity and brotherhood.
We know that the era of the Mughal rule is considered as the golden age in the Indian history and it was also the glorious manifestation of the Islamic Iranian culture and civilization in the world .
In this period the Islamic Iranian civilization radiated in the historical land of India and by interacting with the ancient Indian culture it was successful in acomplishing the most beautiful ,intricate and exquisite literary , philosophical , historical and artistic marvels.The historical and wonderful monuments like Qutb Minar,Jama Masjid and Red Fort in Delhi ,Agra Fort,Taj Mahal ,Sikandra and Fathpur Sikri in Agra,the exquisite and important literary works on poetry and literature,astronomy ,law and jurisprudence,the exegesis on the Holy Qur'an and rational philosophy and thousands of eminent scholars , physicians gnostics,poets ,writers , historians and jurists only comprise a portion of this glorious golden era.
During the Mughal period powerful dynasties like the Safavids in Iran ,Uzbeks in Central Asia and the Ottomons in Anatolia and Asia Minor were established in the final centuries of medieval Islamic period and these dynasties had interaction as well faced challenges from the West .This era can be considered as one of the important phases of the medieval history of these nations.
The prolong wars of the Safavids with Uzbeks and Ottomons,the start of gradual influx of Europeans in the India sub-continent from the reign of Jalaluddin Akbar, the sectarian conflicts between the Safavids and the Ottomons destroyed the good opportunities on both the sides which resulted in the flight and migration of the leading Ulama,poets and writers from Iran to India. The historical records and the biographies of the scholars including the Majalis-al-Mominin(the Assemblies of the Faithful)written by Qazi Nurullah Shushtari stated that thousands of Iranian scholars,physicians ,sages, mystics, astronomers, jurisprudents , artisans and craftsmen from Iran migrated to India and settled in various parts of the Indian sub-continent . The Iranian migrants who belonged to the elite groups from the Iranian society displayed their genius, merits, scholarship and abilities in the royal courts and the assemblies of the nobles in India and due to the efforts of the Iranian migrants , Islamic culture and civilization blossomed and developed in India with Iranian colours and characteristics .
During the reign of the first six Mughal rulers in India like Babur, Humayun, Akbar ,Jahangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb, the reign of Jalaluddin Akbar in respect to peace tranquility, tolerance and the literary activities and interaction between scholars and writers of different and sects is absolutely unique.
During that period many Muslim and non-Muslim countries were plaqued with religious bigotry and intolerance but during that same period India was transformed into a center of discussion and interaction between the followers of different faiths and sects and India also became an active place of publication of thousands of literary and scientific works.
EmperorAkbar ruled for half acentury and he inter-mixed and amalgamated political courage with serene human feelings. To bring about the proximity, understanding and closeness between the masses in his domain he conducted literary discourses attended by learned Brahmins, Sufis, Jain, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, Christian,Sunni and Shia scholars and these Inter-Faith Discourses were persided by emperor Akbar.
By this way he tried to obliterate the religious and sectarian differences in the Indian society.He wanted to bring the followers of all the religions and wanted to amalgamate all the universally accepted doctrines of different faiths and named the new ideology as ''Din-i-Ilahi''.
Akbar used to conduct these Inter -Faith debates in a place called Ibadat Khana constructed especially for this purpose in Fathpur Sikri near Agra. The Brahmins, Sunni and Shia Ulama, the Jesuit Christian missionaries Zoroastrian,Jain and Buddhist priests used to regurarly participate in these discussions. Emperor Akbar, for creating better mutual understanding ordered for the translation of the important religious and philosophical texts of Hinduism from Sanskrit to Persian .
In that situation, Qazi Saiyid Nurullah Shushtari, the renowend jurisprudent, jurist, theologian, poet and one of the distinguished Ulama during the Safavid period in Iran migrated to India in the year 1584 A.D, during the reign of Akbar. During his stay in India he established a seminary where many prominent Ulama from all the four Sunni school of law were educated and traind because he had an extensive and complete knowledge of these schools of law.
Qazi Nurullah Shushtari was also an outstanding scholar in medicine, astronomy,mathematics, poetry, logic and philosophy. He was introduced to Jalaluddin Akbar by Hakim Abul Fath Gilani soon after his arrival in Agra. In 1586 A.D, he was appointed as the Chief Judge at the Lahore Court by emperor Akbar and in 1599A.D.,he was also delegated as the Chief Judge of the army by the orders of the emperor.
During his stay in India the jurists and scholars from all the schools of law availed from the deep and vast knowledge of Qazi .Reza Quli Khan Hidayat in his book Riyaz-al-Arifeen says"Qazi Nurullah is such a great personality that his friends as well as him enemies follow him in hadith , jurisprudence,fundamentals of jurisprundence,mathematics and medicine."
Qazi Nurullah Shushtari attained a very dignified and distinguished position among the scholars of different faiths.In the inter-faith discourses he was considered as a guiding luminary by all the scholars present and even his critics also applauded his reasoning and arguments.
Qazi Nurullah Shushtari as the Chief Judge of the Lahore Court attained great fame by his courageous and bold legal verdicts and decision . He did not tolerate any outside influence in deciding the legal cases which infuriated the groups whose vested interests were damaged by his courageous legal verdicts.
The famous book "Ahqaq-al-Haq"written by Qazi Nurullah Shushtari refutes the baseless charges in the book "Abtal-al-Batil"written by Fazl bin Rozbahan. This book of Qazi is considered as a masterpiece in scholastic theology.
In his philosophical discourses Qazi produced arguments and reasoning in expounding the intricacies of divine knowledge , free-will and determinism. The treatise entitled"Research clarifying the doubts regarding divine knowledge "is an important work of Qazi in the field of divine theology.He compiled the following treatises to expound the basic theological issues like:
The treatise on the creation of the world".
"Refuting the correctness of Pharoah's faith".
"Expounding the doctrine of free-will and determinism".
Qazi Nurullah Shushtari as a jurist and theologian of high ranking position took great pains to defend the realms of religion and became one of the famous religious reformers of his age.He was the only jurist who passed legal verdicts based on the four Sunni schools of law.
Qazi while refuting any arguments used very polite and humane language based on logic and proofs and his method resembles the modern method of historical proofs methodology.All his discoruses and works are completely free from sectarian bigotry and prejudice and are wholly based on logical proofs from the Holy Qur'an and the traditions of the Holy Prophet of Islam(S.A.W.).
His works are not only limited to scholastics theology but also covers various sciences like geology,logic,astronomy,historiography,poetry and literature.The below mentioned treatises were compiled by Qazi regarding the above mentioned branches of knowledge.
''Footnotes on the commentary of Isharat by Muhaqiq Toosi."
''Hundred chapters treatise on astrolabe''
"Commentary on Gulshan-i-Raaz by Mahmud Shabistari"
"Commentary on the Maqamat by Hariri"
"Commentary on the Maqamat by Badih-uz-Zaman"
If we study the poems composed by Qazi , we find that his poems are rooted with the principles of jurisprudence and divine gnosticism .Thus,his poetical style is different from the poetical style of his contemporaries like Abdur Rahim Khan-i-Khanan, Mullah Thattavi and Faizi.Through his poems he has endeavoured to defend the basic principles of religion and this approach of his is also obvious in his treatises on logic and astronomy.
By the end of the rule of Akbar , Qazi lost all his patrons and supporters in the royal court.Those groups whose vested interests were threatened by the legal verdicts of Qazi as the judge at Lahore and the judge of the army conspired to kill him and this group was responsible for his martyrdom during the reign of Jahangir in the year 1610 A.D.
I, conclude my remarks by quoting verses composed by Qazi whose pen name was Noori.
That moment is very auspicious if you drink the purified wine.
your lovers drink cup after cup.
If the Iblis (satan)drink a cup of this purified wine.
He will attain proximity near God like Gabriel.
Love of God is the plant whose fruits are thorns.
I am the thorn of that tree.
One who open the fasting with the divine fruit.
Be aware that he will be affilicted with calamities.
This night of solitude is very lengthy.
As if the start of the day of resurrection will be its dawn.
Like Farhad ,I had sacrificed Noori.
I am wandering with distress in the hill of my beloved.