Ahmad b. Muhammad Ardabili is popularly known as Muqaddas Ardabili was proverbial for his piety and austerity. He is also well known for his extensive research in Shia Fiqh. He lived in Najaf, during the Safavid rule in Iran.
It is said that Shah Abbas Safavi very much wanted him to come and live in Iran, but Ardabili would not relent. Because of the esteem in which he held Muqaddas Ardabili, Shah Abbas wrote him to give an order or a command which he would dutifully fulfill. Once it so happened that a fugitive Momin from Iran came to Muqaddas Ardabili in Najaf, requesting him to write to the Shah recommending a pardon or reprieve. Muqaddas wrote:
"The holder of temporary rule, Abbas, is advised that although this man was initially a transgressor, he now seems to be oppressed. If you pardon him, Allah may forgive some of your lapses. From the slave of Master of Wilayat (i.e. Imam Ali (A.S.)) Ahmad Ardabili".
In reply, Shah Abbas wrote:
"I bring to your esteemed notice that Abbas has rendered the service ordered by you feeling profoundly obliged. I hope you will not forget this devotee of yours in your good prayers. From a dog on the threshold of Ali (A.S.) Abbas".
Ardabili's refusal to migrate to Iran in spite of the Shah's persistent requests, proved a blessing to the Hawza of Najaf. It grew in strength, and became as lively as the Hawza of Isfehan. The same way, the continuous presence of Shaheed-e-Thani, his son Shaikh Hasan, the author of Ma'alim, and his nephew Seyyid Muhammad, the author of Madarik, lent considerable strength and vigor to the Hawza of Sham and Jabal Amel in Lebanon. In fact, the later two deprived themselves of visiting the shrine of Hadhrat Imam Redha (A.S) fearing that they might be persuaded to live in Iran.
Though we do not know the exact names of Ardabili's tutors, he certainly acquired his training from the students of Shaheed-e-Thani In return, he tutored the son of Shaheed and his nephew.
Ardabili's noteworthy contribution to Fiqh is his commentary on Irshad and his Ayatul Ahkam. His profound treatment of the subject is still valued by the Fuqaha. He died in 993 Hijra.