Ayatullah al-Uzma Sayid Shahab al-Din Marashi Najafi (R.A.)
The founder of this great and unique library, the jurisprudent and source of imitation of the world’s sectarians, learned, narrator, literary man, researcher and historian, The Great Ayat Allah Sayid Shahab Al-Din Marashi Najafi (p. b. u. h.) was born on 21st Jul. 1897 in holy Najaf city in Iraq, in a very well known learned and religious family.
He learned the first steps of science by his father, Ayat Allah Sayid Shams Al-Din Mahmoud Hosseini Marashi Najafi (deceased on 1920) who was one of the greatest religious authorities of that era, and also by Sheik Mortaza Taleqani , Sheik Mohammad Hossein Isfahani, his grandmother Hajji Bibi Shams Sharafbeigom Tabatabaei. He learned science of Holy Koran reciting, tajwid and commentary by his father and Mirza Aboll Hassan Meshkini, Sheik Mohammad Hossein Shirazi, Sayid Hab Al-Din Shahrestani and Sayid Ebrahim Shafei Rafaei Baghdadi. Science of Genealogy by his father and Sayid Reza Mousavi Ghoraifi Saegh Bahrani and his brother Sayid Mahdi Ghoraifi, Science of Religious Jurisprudence and Principles by his father, Sheik Mortaza Taleqani, Sayid Mahammad Reza Rafsanjani, Sheik Gholam Ali Qomi, Mirza Abol Hassan Meshkini, Sayid Aqa Shoushtari, Nirza Mohammad Ali Kazemini, Sheik Abdol Hossain Rashti, Mirza Aqa Estahbanati, Sheik Mousa Kermanshahi, Sheik Nemat Allah Larijani and Sayid Ali Tabatabaei, Mathematics and Astronomy by Sheik Abdol Karim Boushehri, Sayid Abol Qasem Mousavi Khansari, Dr. Andalibzadeh, Mirza Mahmoud Ahari, Aqa Mohammad Mahallati, Sheik Abdol Hamid Dashti, Mirza Ahmad Monajem and Sayid Kazem Asaar, Medicine by his father and Mohammad Ali Khan Moaied Al Atteba, Science of Rejal, Derayeh and Hadis by his father and Sayid Abou Torab Khansari, Mirza Mohammad Tehrani, Sheik Abdollah Mamqani and Mirza Abolhoda Karbasi, Religious Jurisprudence and Logical Principles by Sheik Zia Al-Din Araqi the greatest teacher of principles in Holy Najaf, Sayid Ahmad Behbahani, Sheik Ahmad Kashef Algheta, Sheik Ali Asghar Khataei Tabrizi and Sheik Mohammad Reza Masjed Shahi. He spent three years in Samera and Kazemein to learn the complementary scince of Religious Jurisprudence, Hadis and Rejal by Sayid Hassan Sadr, and learned Principles by Sheik Mahdi Khalesi. Then after he returned again to Najaf and learned Science of Speech by his father, Sheik Mohammad Javad Bolaghi, Sheik Mohammad Esmaeil Mahallati and Sayid Hab Al-Din Shahrestani.
Ayat Allah Marashi is one of the computed learned men who had gotten his knowledge by several masters. He was the master of lots of sciences between his kinsmen. His masters and teachers were as the greatest masters of Howza in Holy Najaf where was the greatest center of religious sciences in the Islamic world. It wasn’t long before that he got the Ijtehad degree which is the highest degree in Islamic Howsaes.
A lot of his ancestors were religious-researcher learned men, professional physicians and or competent and prudent leaders. More than two century of Tabarestan (present Mazandaran & Golestan) government ship was in hand of his ancestors. Sayid Qavam Al-din Marashi notorious for Mir Bozorg is the first of Tabarestan Marashi kings dynasty, that his holy grave in Amol city in Iran is a shrine for the people of that region.
His genealogy meet Holy Imam Zein Al-Abedin Ali Ebn Al-Hossain (p. b. u. h.) flashing back 33 generations. Marashi sayid’s genealogy is the most reliable genealogy of sayids who were mostly living in Qom, Tehran, Rafsanjan, Damavand, Qazvin, Mazandaran, Khouzestan and Azerbaijan.
A few years after getting Ijtehad degree, Ayat Allah Marashi traveled to Iran on 1924 and after visiting holy Mashad city went to Tehran. In Tehran he was knowledged by great masters such as Sheik Abdol Nabi Noori, Sheik Hossain Najmabadi and Mirza Taher Tonekaboni.
At last on 1925 he traveled to Qom and be seated there as the request of the great Ayat Allah Haj Sheik Abdol Karim Haeri Yazdi, the founder of Qom Islamic Howza. From the begining he was elected as the 1st degree of the official Howza masters. It wasn’t long before that he became one of the great sources of imitation and millions of people were following him from diferent countries such as Iran, Iraq, Lobe Nan, Kuwait, Saudi Arab Ahsa and Qatif, Emirate, Bahrain, Pakistan, India, Turkey and some African countries such as Zanzibar.
Within 67 years of teaching in Qom Islamic Howza that some days there were more than 10 classes, Ayat Allah Marashi was powering this new established Islamic Howza more and more. The result of such a hard work is thousands of students that he taught and now they are well-known teachers and masters of Howza and university.
In counting some of this great man’s valuble services, we can mention to foundation of several schools, mosques, clinics and libraris in Qom, other cities and foreign countries, reviving and publishing of great Islamic scientists works and encouraging students to use them.
His scientific possition and vast information in diferent sciences and arts is understandable through his created works which lots of them are in Arabic language. As a sample we can mention to Molhaqqat Al-Ahqaq about speech, ideas and virtues of holy Imams (p. b. u. t.) where he mention more than five thousands of Sonny sources; Within 40 years he completed and wrote such an important book and up to now, 36 volume of it has been published by the chairman of the library. Also a border writing on Orvat Al-Vosqa in two volume, Menhaj Al-Momenin about religious jurisprudence in two volume, Taqrirat Qesas in three volume which has been collected by one of his students, Tabaqat Al-Nesabin that is one of unique books in its title, border writing on Kefayat Al-Osoul in two volume, border writing on Rasael in one volume, Al-Mashahed Val-Mazarat in one big volume, Ayan Al-Marashin in one big volume, AL-Moavval Fi Amre Al-Motavval in one volume, Olama Al-Sadat in one volume, Masareh Al-Afkar or border writing on Sheik Mortaza Ansari works in one volume, Favaed Al-Rejalieh in one volume, Kashf Al-Artiab about genealogy in one volume, Al-Mojdeya Fi Hayate Saheb Al-Majd in one volume, Raf Al-Ghashiyah An Vajh Al-Hashiah about logic in one volume, Al-Rad Ala Modaei Al-Tahrif and also Taliqah Bar Omdat Al-Taleb about genealogy. Also he wrote a very useful book by the name of Moshajarat Ale Rasoul Akram (p. b. u. h.) about pedigree of Iran and other countries Sayids in many volumes that unfortunatly is incomplete. Safar Nameh Isfahan, Shiraz, Samerra and Azerbaijan are some other of his handwritten.
The number of his articles and works that some of them has been published are about 150 books including those books that are unfinished.
He is one the leaders in religions unity. Ayat Allah Marashi succeed in obtaining the permission of reciting more than 450 Hadis, by letter exchanging that he established between the great learned men in Islamic denominations in different countries. A copy of a part of these permissions as well as a biography of the permission owners has been published in Arabic in two big volumes by the try of the chairman of the library. By the way, a book by the name of Al-Ejazat Al-Kabirat including the name of those who gave permission to him as well as the way of their asking has been published by the library. Also he himself has givev the permission of thousands of Hadis reciting to the teachers and students and other possessors since 1921 upto the last day of his holy life. The chairman of the library has collected a lot of them. Some body has named Ayat Allah Marashi Najafi as Sheikh Al-Ejaze (master of permission) of his age.
Within his life, he had several important meetings with scientists and God men, Islamic and or other religions. University masters and scientists visited him continuously. Some of them are as follow: Tagor the famous Indian poet and philosopher, Allamah (the master) Rashid Reza from Egypt the author of Tafsir Al-Menar, Sheik Tantavi Johari from Egypt the author of Tafsir Al-Javaher, Anestace Keremly priest and great author from Baghdad and professor Henry Corbin from France.
One of the great cultural services of Ayat Allah Marashi Najafi is the foundation of a grand library that has been specially honored and famous around the world. Doing such a big work, he established one of the greatest cultural revolutions of Iran and Islam history. Therefore, he has been named as The Great Cultur-Guard of Islamic Heritage by the scientific, cultural and research societies of the world.
After about one century of hard trying on developing Islamic culture and re-establishing of sectarian believes, and valuable scientific and social services, he passed away on Wed. 29 Aug. 1990 due to heart attack. Islamic government of Iran announced three days as public sorrow. Also in Lobe Nan and Pakistan were announced three days as public sorrow. His holy body’s funeral procession was done escorting millions of Iranians, governors, politicians, militaries, sources of imitation, masters and teachers of Islamic Howzas as well as political representatives of Islamic countries. So many years before his passing away, the master of the shrine of Holy Masoumah (p. b. u. her) has reserved a place for his inhumation inside the shrine. But, according to his last willing “Bury me at the entrance of the library under the steps of those coming to library for studying and research”, inhumed in the entrance of the great library which he himself founded it.
The Ministry of Post and Telecommunication published a very nice stamp as a memorial of this unique characteristic that shows his face as well as a photo of the library’s building. About his biography, some books can be used such as Shahab Shariat, Bar Setighe Noor, Qabasat Fi Hayat Sayidena Al-Ostaz and also his theological and moral last willing.
By establishing such a great library and collecting such an Islamic reserves for the usage of the researchers, the founder was seeking some goals titled below:
1- Establishing a great international Islamic cultural center that shows the development periods of the Islamic scientists among the 12 century
2- Developing the mind of researching in the society, which was essentially needed more than any other past periods
3- Informing other researches about the written sources that have been collected in a great center, as well as their acquaintance about the Islamic heritage which has been written in several sciences but they have not listed in the current sources, by authoring and publishing their lists
4- Collecting Islamic unique and valuable handwritten books in a great center to prevent the sacking of this national wealth that were being continuously exited of the Islamic countries by the international smugglers
5- Giving priority to collecting the old handwritten books or the original books by their authors handwriting which are mostly honored, and focusing them in a center for the usage of the researchers
6- Preparing and collecting photos and microfilms and archiving the honored Islamic handwritten books that have been sending out of Iran and or Islamic countries before, and are in the other nations libraries as well as focusing them for the usage of the researchers
7- Presenting this great human treasure to the next coming generations to be known about the wealthy civilization of their ancestors and be able to write the history of science using it, which is the only key to find it
8- Keeping and protecting of the Islamic written reserves that have arrived us within the layers of history (such as fire accidents, carelessness to the written heritage by the unworthy and unti-science governers, raising and aggravating of religious disagreements among the ages, inundation and earth quick) besides renovation, fixing and making microfilms of them to prevent the more erosion of this mankind’s heritage.