Allama Azizullah Ottarodi (R.A.): the Great Research Scholar of Hadith and Islamic History laid to rest in the holy shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.)
The great renowned research scholar of Islamic history and hadith, Allama Azizullah Ottarodi was born on 5th Azar Mah 1307 Solar Hijrah/ 26 November 1928 in a village called Biglar near Quchan city in the Khurasan province, Iran. He was born in a family with deep religious background. He belongs to the famous Kurdish tribe of Hamzahkanlu living in the Guchan, Radkan and Chenaran region of Khurasan province since the Safavid rule in Iran in the sixteenth century.
Allama Azizullah Ottarodi’s soul departed to heaven on Friday, July 25, 2014 after his brief illness and hospitalization in Tehran. May the departed soul rest in peace, Ameen. As per his last wish he was buried on Sunday July 27, 2014 beside the grave of Allama Tabarsi, the great exegetist of the holy Quran buried in the holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS) in Mashhad.
Biglar village came into existence during the rule of Nadir Shah Afshar in the beginning of the eighteenth century and his forefathers resided in this village. This village is located in the beautiful surrounding on the slopes of the famous mountain known as Muhammad Baig in the Shah Jahan Arghiyan mountain ranges. One of the sources of the Atrak River is located near this village and it possesses a very pleasant climate.
He started learning elementary Islamic education in the masjid of the village and soon mastered reciting the Holy Quran and the poems from the Golestan and Bustan of Shaykh Saadi.
When his father came to know about his high talents he presented him some valuable books like the Persian translation of the Holy Quran, Meraj al-Saadah of Allama Naraqi, Shahnamah of Ferdowsi, Nasekh al-Tawarikh written by Sepher and a book containing the eulogies in praise of the Holy Ahlul Bayt (A.S.).
He successfully completes his elementary education under the guidance of learned teachers in the masjid of his village. When he was only fourteen year old he fully studied the book Jami al-Muqaddimat, the basic book in learning the Arabic literature. In 1946, when he was only eighteen years old, with the permission of his father he left his village to join the Madrasa Awaziyah, the Hawzah (theological Islamic seminary) in Quchan city. Very soon the leading jurisprudents of this Hawzah granted him the permission to join the rank of Ulama.
In the Holy City of Mashhad
After finishing the required courses in the Madrasa Awaziyah in Quchan, in 1948, he joined the historical Madrasa Balasar Mubarak located in the holy shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.). Here he attended the classes of the leading Fuqaha (jurisprudents) who lectured in the classes present in the holy shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.). He also participated in the classes of other leading Ulama of the Hawzah of the holy city of Mashhad. He regularly visited the grand library of the holy shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.), which is considered as the greatest and largest Islamic library in the world. He also attended educational and literary gatherings and meetings of the Ulama and university professors which was regularly held in the holy city of Mashhad. He mastered two books during his higher studies in the Hawzah of holy city of Mashhad like Sharh Nahjul Balaghah (the famous commentary on Nahjul Balagha) by Ibn Abul Hadeed and Bihar al-Anwar (the Great Encyclopedia of Shia Hadith in 110 volumes) compiled by Allamah Muhammad Baqir Majlisi. His deep study of these two books resulted in the compilation of many books by Allama Azizullah Ottarodi in the fields of Hadith and Nahjul Balaghah.
Reviving the Islamic Legacy
After completing his advanced studies in jurisprudence, hadith and Nahjul Balagha in the Hawzah of the holy city of Mashhad, he moved to Tehran, the capital city of Iran. In Tehran, he edited many classic Islamic works particularly the classical works in Hadith. In 1955, he compiled the Erratum of Furooh Kafi which was his first compilation. The Ulama in Tehran and the leading Marajah living in the holy cities of Mashhad and Qum encouraged Allama Azizullah Ottarodi to carry on his research endeavors.
In the Holy City of Najaf Ashraf
In 1963 he joined the world renowned Hawzah of the holy city of Najaf Ashraf in Iraq. He stayed in this holy city for a period of more than one year and participated in the classes of the leading Marajah in this holy city.
After his return from the Hawzah of the Najaf Ashraf in 1965, he visited Makkah Mukarramah and Madinah Munawwarah and met leading Ulama of these two holy cities. After this tour, he visited Syria, Lebanon, India and Pakistan to study the rare manuscripts available in the major libraries of these countries.
He studied under the leading Marajah and great Ulama of the Hawzah of Mashhad, Tehran, Qum and Najaf Ashraf. His masters granted him the permission to narrate Hadith whose names are as mentioned below:
1- Ayatullah al-Uzma Sayyid Muhsin Hakim
2- Ayatullah al-Uzma Sayyid Abul Qasim Khoee
3- Ayatullah al-Uzma Sayyid Muhammad Hadi Milani
4- The great research scholar Agha Buzurg Tehrani of Najaf
5- The great research scholar Allamah Shaykh Abdul Husain Ameeni
6- Shaykh Muhammad Ibrahim Madani Bukhari of Madinah Munawwarah
Works and Compilation
Allama Azizullah Ottarodi has written scholarly books on every field of Islamic sciences. His great contribution to the world of Islam and Islamic sciences is the compilation of the Musnad of hadith of Hadrat Fatima Zahra (A.S.) and Twelve Infallible Holy Imams (A.S.). Musnad mean quoting the traditions and sayings of the Noble Prophet (S.A.W.) by mentioning the chain of narrators. In the Musnad of hadith among the Shia Muslims, the narrators of hadith of the Noble Prophet (S.A.W.) are Masoomeen (A.S.) i-e. Hadrat Fatima Zahra (A.S.) and Twelve Infallible Holy Imams (A.S.).
Allama Azizullah Ottarodi is the first research scholar in the history of Islam who has compiled the Musnad of hadith of the Noble Prophet (S.A.W.) as narrated by the Masoomeen (A.S.) i-e. Hadrat Fatima Zahra (A.S.) and Twelve Infallible Holy Imams (A.S.). The Musnad of hadith of the Noble Prophet (S.A.W.) as compiled by Allama Azizullah Ottarodi are as below:
Musnad Hadrat Fatima Zahra (A.S.), One Volume
Musnad Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (A.S.), 27 Volumes
Musnad Imam Hasan Mujtaba (A.S.), One Volume
Musnad Imam Shaheed Aba Abdullah al-Husain (A.S.), Three Volumes
Musnad Imam Zainul Abedin (A.S.), Two Volumes
Musnad Imam Muhammad Baqir (A.S.), 6 Volumes
Musnad Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S.), 22 Volumes
Musnad Imam Musa Kazim (A.S.), Three Volumes
Musnad Imam Reza (A.S.), Two Volumes
Musnad Imam Muhammad Taqi al-Jawad (A.S.), One Volume
Musnad Imam Ali un-Naqi al-Hadi (A.S.), One Volume
Musnad Imam Hasan Askari (A.S.), One Volume
The compilation of the Musnad of hadith of the Noble Prophet (S.A.W.) as narrated by the Masoomeen (A.S.) i-e. Hadrat Fatima Zahra (A.S.) and Twelve Infallible Holy Imams (A.S.) by Allama Azizullah Ottarodi is considered as a unique achievement in the history of Islam.
Hard work, field research, visiting the famous libraries in the world and meeting prominent Ulama and scholars in various countries are prominent features of the scientific and research career of Allama Azizullah Ottarodi.
He also researched for forty years to compile the comprehensive and detailed history of Khorasan. In this regard he visited hundreds of major libraries in the world and collected data about the scientific, political, historical, geographical and artistic aspects of Khorasan from the major reference books and rare manuscripts. He has compiled the biographies of all the leading personalities of Khorasan in this great work. "The History of Khorasan" by Allama Azizullah Ottarodi is accomplished in fifty volumes and contains thirty thousand topics.
During his research he also gathered data about the scientific, political, historical, geographical and artistic aspects of Sistan region of Iran which is also being published with the title the "The Culture and History of Sistan" in four volumes.
The great research scholar Allamah Shaykh Abdul Husain Ameeni, the author of the famous book Al-Ghadeer in forty volumes requested Allama Azizullah Ottarodi to carry out deep research to edit the famous book Taj al-Urus. On his request, Allama Azizullah Ottarodi for a period of eight years studied nearly eight hundred books which were referred in the compilation of the book Taj al-Urus.
After his eight year long research endeavors he compiled four volumes on the lives of the personalities mentioned in Taj al-Urus entitled "Rijal Taj al-Urus". On the Hadith mentioned in that book were researched and compiled in four volumes entitled "Qareeb al-Hadith". Both these works in eight volumes were published in 1983 by the Dairat al-Maarif Osmania, Hyderabad, India and both these works were reprinted later in Tehran. He has also compiled a separate volume on the towns and cities mentioned in the book Taj al-Urus which is under print in Tehran.
He has also carried extensive research on the Shahnamah by Abul Qasim Ferdowsi, the greatest epic poetry book in the world.
He has also published his travelogues and has edited many rare manuscripts which he read in the major libraries of the world during his study tours.
Fifty years of incessant research endeavors by Allama Azizullah Ottarodi enabled him to author 49 titles of books in more than 150 volumes encompassing the fields of hadith, Islamic history, Nahjul Balagha and Arabic literature.
The works of Allama Azizullah Ottarodi includes 28 titles of books compiled, 9 titles of books researched and edited, 9 titles of books translated from Arabic in to Persian and three titles of books as indexical catalogues.
Some of the titles of the books compiled, edited, translated and indexed by Allama Azizullah Ottarodi are mentioned below:
1- Musnad Hadrat Fatima Zahra (A.S.), One Volume
2- Musnad Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (A.S.), 27 Volumes
3- Musnad Imam Hasan Mujtaba (A.S.), One Volume
4- Musnad Imam Shaheed Aba Abdullah al-Husain (A.S.), Three Volumes
5- Musnad Imam Zainul Abedin (A.S.), Two Volumes
6- Musnad Imam Muhammad Baqir (A.S.), 6 Volumes
7- Musnad Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S.), 22 Volumes
8- Musnad Imam Musa Kazim (A.S.), Three Volumes
9- Musnad Imam Reza (A.S.), Two Volumes
10- Musnad Imam Muhammad Taqi al-Jawad (A.S.), One Volume
11- Musnad Imam Ali un-Naqi al-Hadi (A.S.), One Volume
12- Musnad Imam Hasan Askari (A.S.), One Volume
13- The History of Khorasan, 50 Volumes
14- The Culture and History of Sistan, Four Volumes
15- Rijal Taj al-Urus, 4 Volumes
16- Qareeb al-Hadith, 4 Volumes
17- Research and Edition of Minhaj al-Bara'ah Rawandi, a commentary of Nahjul Balagha in two volumes
18- Research and Edition of Hadaiq al-Haqaiq Kaizari, a commentary of Nahjul Balagha in two volumes
19- Research and Edition of Eelam Nahjul Balagha in two volumes
20- Research and Edition of Ad-Tadween Rafei Qazwini in four volumes
21- Research and Edition of Kalimat Maknunah by Fayz Kashani
22- Research and Edition of Taqrirat Rasheed al-Din Hamadani
23- Research and Edition of commentary of Nahjul Balagha published in eighth century Hijrah
24- Research and printing of Nahjul Balagha by comparing all the available oldest manuscripts of Nahjul Balagha present in the libraries of the world
25- Life of Sayyid Razi, compiler of Nahjul Balagha
26- The Documents and Permissions related to Nahjul Balagha
27- Compilers of Sayings of Imam Ali (A.S.) before Sayyid Razi
28- Ulama of Khurasan and Nahjul Balagha
29- Answering the Suspicions regarding Nahjul Balagha
30- Musnad and Life of Hadrat Abdul Azeem Hasani
31- History of Astan Quds Razavi, in two volumes
32- The Narrators of the Sayings of Imam Reza (A.S.)
33- The Children and Brothers of Imam Musa al-Kazim (A.S.)
34- The Supplications and Ziyarat of Imam Reza (A.S.)
35- The Sayings and Works of Imam Reza (A.S.)
36- Maxims of Imam Reza (A.S.)
37- The Life of Sayyida Nafisa
39- The Index of Tafsir Gazur
40- Jurisprudents and Traditionists of Jamaran, Kulain and Darasht
41- Annotated Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts in Madinah Munawwarah
42- Maqtal al-Husain (A.S.) by Abdur Razzaq Muqarram (translated from Arabic into Persian)
43- Life of Imam Sajjad (A.S.) by Abdur Razzaq Muqarram (translated from Arabic into Persian)
44- Life of Zayd Shaheed by Abdur Razzaq Muqarram (translated from Arabic into Persian)
45- Mawaiz by Shaykh Saduq (translated from Arabic into Persian)
46- Eelam al-Wara by Allama Tabarsi (translated from Arabic into Persian)
47- Meshkat al-Anwaar by Allama Tabarsi (translated from Arabic into Persian)
48- Hadith Kisa in Sunni Sources by Allama Askari (translated from Arabic into Persian)
49- Al-Gharaat (translated from Arabic into Persian)
50- Excursion in the Libraries of India
During last fifty years he traveled to Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Egypt, Turkey, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, France, England, Belgium and Germany and visited all the famous libraries of these countries and studied thousands of manuscripts available in these libraries. During his study tours he also visited the cultural centers, universities, Islamic seminaries and historical monuments of these countries and met with the leading Islamic scholars, university professors and researchers. He also delivered lectures in many leading universities, libraries and research centers of these countries.
Khorasan Cultural Center
Allama Azizullah Ottarodi with the help of Ulama and research scholars in Iran has established a research center in Tehran named "Khorasan Cultural Center" with the aim to publish all the works accomplished by him. Allama Azizullah Ottarodi have endowed this center for the research pursuits and this center have been successful in publishing most of the works of this great research scholar of hadith, Islamic history and Arabic literature.
Khorasan Cultural Center
Adjacent to Jafarabad Avenue
H. No. 324
Felicitation Ceremony to Honor the 50 Years of Research Endeavors
The leading research institutions and Islamic organizations in Islamic Republic of Iran have conducted a grand felicitation ceremony on Thursday, 30th November 2006 in the Shaykh Saduq auditorium of the holy shrine of Hadrat Abdul Azim Hasani in Ray city adjoined to the capital city Tehran to honor the 50 years of research endeavors and services of Allama Azizullah Ottarodi in the cause of reviving the great scientific heritage of Islam.
The organizing committee for conducting this grand felicitation ceremony in honor of Allama Azizullah Ottarodi comprised of the leading research institutions and Islamic organizations in Islamic Republic of Iran which are as follows:
1- Institute for Human Sciences Research and Development, Tehran, Iran.
2- International Center for Dialogue between Civilizations and Cultures, Tehran, Iran
3- The Holy Shrine of Hadrat Abdul Azim Hasani in Ray city
4- The Endowment and Charitable Organization of Islamic Republic of Iran
5- The Organization of the Schools and Islamic Seminaries Abroad
6- The Specialized Libraries affiliated to the office of Ayatullah al-Uzma Sistani in Qum, Iran
7- The Assembly for the Proximity between the Islamic Sects, Tehran, Iran
8- The World Ahlul Bayt (A.S.) Assembly, Tehran, Iran
9- Darul Hadith Cultural Institute, Ray City, Iran
10- Imam Reza (A.S.) Institute for Islamic Sciences, Qum, Iran
The organizing committee has also published Felicitation Book honoring the great services of Allama Azizullah Ottarodi in two volumes which includes 25 articles about the life and works Allama Azizullah Ottarodi, 8 interviews with the leading Ulama of Iran about the personality Allama Azizullah Ottarodi and 13 memoirs concerning this great research scholar of Islam. The annotated bibliography of the works of Allama Azizullah Ottarodi has also been published in one volume by the Institute for Human Sciences Research and Development, Tehran, Iran.
Dr. Hyder Reza Zabeth, PhD
Islamic Research Foundation
Astan Quds Razavi
Holy City of Mashhad