In the Name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful
The author is a defender of the Imams of Guidance who carried on the Shari’a of the Master of Messengers (S), raised the salient features of the creed, explained the Sunnah and promoted righteousness. The said Imams (‘a) disseminated the Islamic teachings whenever they had the opportunity to do so, braving numerous trials and tribulations, persevering in every hostile environment.
Their foes envied them while those who despised and hated them harboured a great deal of grudge against them.
The intestines of some of them were cut open while the livers of others were chopped. Swords severed their joints, and they were hurled into dark dungeons. Despite all of this, the light of the truth did, indeed, dispel the darkness of misguidance. Truth always subdues falsehood. Generations have been obliterated and new ones have come as the scholars of the Infallible Household remain vigilant as guardians of the Shari’a.
They took upon themselves to study and clarify its obscurities and comprehend its pith. The knowledge of Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) has received a great deal of attention and awarded a great deal of concern; therefore, major Islamic cities have been filled with many a genius and a scholar. These set up the rules and established the branches. Their pens delved into each and every field and wrote about every branch of knowledge and scholarship.
I find myself at this juncture reluctant to discuss the branches of knowledge about which they wrote or the arts they categorized according to queries, or the precious treasures for whose safeguarding they dedicated themselves. The libraries of the Western world, at major cities, are filled with large numbers of such great works.
The halls of their institutes are crowded with thousands of books which their pillars have recorded, not to mention what is available at Islamic cities in the East of great books and magnificent literary works. Publishing houses and scientific institutes came to their universities and scientific institutes and took to serious work, verifying what is written and bringing out what is treasured.
They kept explaining and critiquing, clarifying, comparing, and examining. Critics' pens dived into the depths in order to take out the jewels and the treasures therein. Opportunity was seized by every publishing establishment that loves knowledge or seeks wealth, for people are bent on ambitiously seeking knowledge, desiring to quench their thirst of the fountain of various branches of knowledge.
[The Hawza at] al-Najaf al-Ashraf is a pioneer in researching, teaching and writing since it was founded by the sect's mentor, al-Tusi, in the fifth Hijri century (the 11th century A.D.). Its study circles are crowded with exemplary scholars who shone like stars in the depth of the darkness and with dazzling suns during the period that followed our Imams' time.
They never ceased their march, nor did they ever put down the pens that they unsheathed to remove the doubts, nor did they abandon the pulpit. Sacred mosques are full of glorious mentors and brilliant and inspiring intellectuals: thinkers whose fountainheads are pure. We, therefore, find al-Najaf upholding its role of leadership. It is the ultimate desire of those who seek and appreciate knowledge, the final stop of those who pursue honours.
Do you think that its teaching staff and their status at “al-Fitiyya” would ever abandon it while the rays of the Master of the Learned, the Imam of the pious, the Commander of the Faithful, overwhelm the Islamic world, and the torches of his wisdom and teachings live in and fill the hearts? These are only some of the precious boons of the Master of the Wise, peace be upon him.
In the deluge of the waves of these scholarly floods did our master, whose biography is here discussed, live and grow up. He felt distressed at finding the legacy of Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) obscured in many respects, and it hurt him to see pens unconcerned about researching their ways of life and extracting what is hidden of their feats and merits.
Is not the Islamic library satisfied with these thousands of books and literary works that deal with Fiqh and Usul while the “struggle” of the masters of the world remains obscured and shadowed by misinformation, misrepresentation and distortion wrought by bygone antagonistic pens during periods when Ahl al-Bayt, peace be upon them, were not given any respite at all, nor were they befriended?
Horrible wars were waged against them and lies and fabrications invented in order to distort the facts relevant to them. How could such pens be otherwise especially since the oppressive authority and those in charge, during their time, felt jealous of them and schemed against them? False charges and deception were the outcome as those who flattered the rulers spread far and wide.
Due to his extensive knowledge of these narrators and liars and his familiarity with the names of fabricated personalities, our master whose biography we are discussing regarded it as his obligation, one mandated on him by the Imams, peace be upon them, to dedicate his efforts and energy to research and study what these Imams had taught, the knowledge which is now with us, and to clarify the reasons behind the confusion about and the historical context of those events.
He did all of this by applying the principles of comparison and deduction in order to deduce complex injunctions.
But he came to conclude that authorship should be restricted to explaining the biographies of these Imams and the details of the circumstances wherein they lived. Are we not being unfair to them, being able to write, having the knowledge, scholarship, and the tools of research at our disposal? Should we be too lazy to do so or feel reluctant to unveil the facts behind whatever dubiosity was cast on what actually befell them?
The Umayyads, the Zubayris, and the ‘Abbasides waged unrelenting wars against them in order to obscure their light and obliterate their legacy, utilizing those who followed and supported them. Is it not, then, obligatory on us to direct our energy to continue what they had started? In other words, should we not write books lauding them, so that we may thus support and assist their struggle, and so that we may show the glowing facts obscured by frivolous lies?
Did not our scholars delve enough into the questions of Fiqh, Usul, logic, and philosophy for many centuries, leaving nothing at all for anyone else to say or to discuss or to debate?! We have a moral obligation towards them. We should write about them and study their revivals and shed a light on their statements. We must refute the charges levelled against them and the skepticism.
He, may Allah have mercy on his soul, was of the view that an author should not exert his effort and exhaust himself in dealing with the branches of modern or ancient knowledge without allotting a portion of such effort or exertion to study their personalities and those of their offspring and followers who were hanged, jailed, or exiled to distant lands and who died while remaining firm in adhering to the lofty principles and to the true faith.
This is what he himself had written in the Introduction to his explanation of a poem by Shaikh Hasan son of Shaikh Kaďim Sabti, may Allah have mercy on his soul, known as “al-kalim al-tayyib.”
This is how he starts it: “It is, therefore, obligatory on us, having studied the basics of our beliefs, to look into their [Imams’] virtues, merits, and lifestyles, so that we may carry out our responsibility towards them on one hand, and so that we may emulate them and follow their recommendations on the other.”
He is ‘Abdul-Razzaq son of Muhammad son of ‘Abbas son of the scholar Hasan son of the scholar Qasim son of Hassun son of Sa’id son of Hasan son of Kamal ad-Din son of Husayn son of Sa’id son of Thabit son of Yahya son of Duways son of ‘Asim son of Hasan son of Muhammad son of ‘Ali son of Salim son of ‘Ali son of Sabra son of Musa son of ‘Ali son of Ja’far son of Imam Abul- Musa al-Kazim (‘a) son of Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (‘a).
His nickname, “al-Muqarram,” is the family name. The story behind this family name is that one of his grandfathers was sick in his feet on account of an ailment that exhausted him, causing him to be very thin, rendering him to house confinement. Before that incident, the family name used to be “al-Sa’idi,” after his grandfather Sa’id son of Thabit.
He, may Allah be merciful to him, was born in 1316 A.H. 1899 A.D. ‘Allama Shaikh ‘Ali Asghar Amadi learned from him as indicated in an article by ‘Imad Zadah, editing manager of (Iranian) Khud magazine which he wrote for the Tehran newspaper Nida-e-Haqq of the 29th of the month of Ramadhan, 1370 A.H/July 4, 1951 A.D.
His father, Sayyid Muhammad son of Sayyid ‘Abbas, used to quite often observe i’tikaf at Kufa's grand mosque, and he used to stay at Kufa quite often.
But his grandfather on the mother's side, Sayyid Husayn, the scholar, looked after him with affectionate care and raised him Islamically just as the offspring of the people of knowledge and distinction are raised. He studied Arabic, the fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) in its branches, and the ‘aqa'id (Islamic beliefs) and the queries relevant thereto. His grandfather's death in 1334 A.H/1916 A.D. agonized him a great deal, overburdening his general life and his efforts to make a living. He, therefore, had to withstand extreme hardships and face the cruelty of circumstances.
Yet all of that did not distract him from seeking knowledge and attending research sessions with his mentors. He used to quite often mention his father Sayyid Muhammad (who died in 1351 A.H/1932 A.D.) well. His mother, a descendant of the progeny of Imam ‘Ali (‘a), was very kind to him, and he was kind to her. She was a righteous woman who used to recite the Holy Qur’an; she died in 1370 A.H/1951 A.D.
His uncle, Sayyid Mahdi son of Sayyid ‘Abbas, used to travel frequently between various cities and visit his relatives, scattered throughout Nu’maniyya, Diwaniyya, Hindiyya and elsewhere. This uncle, may Allah have mercy on his soul, used to be a bitter opponent and a critic of the ‘Uthmanis (Ottomans), and he used to frequently criticize them for the harm and oppression they were inflicting on the public till they arrested him in Kuwait which he visited in 1334 A.H/1916 A.D. and hanged him.
The ancestor of al-Muqarram's family is Sayyid Qasim who had moved from al-Hasaka, where he had some real estate properties, to al-Najaf al-Ashraf in order to be near the master of the awsiya. Another reason was the fact that some of his family members were already residing at al-Najaf as he recorded in some of his papers.
His departure took place in the second Hijri century (8th century A.D.). Since he settled in the family's present house, he became very much involved in seeking knowledge till he became one of Najaf's most renowned personalities and dignitaries.
His house became the place where distinguished scholars met. He used to quite often hold commemorative ceremonies for Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) and majalis in their honour. He was a recognized genealogist, an imam of jama’a, and an author. Among his wrotings was a commentary on Al-Ansab by Abul-Hasan al-Fatuni al-’Amili who died in 1138 A.H/1726 A.D.
This commentary goes beyond tracing the names of fathers and grandfathers or stating one's family tree. Another commentary he wrote was for ‘Umdat al-Talib of Ibn ‘Anbah al-Dawudi al-Husayni who died in 828 A.H/1425 A.D. Our biographee, may Allah have mercy on him, did not discuss issues relevant to late genealogies, feeling too embarrassed to deal with their affairs.
But he was quite familiar with and fully knowledgeable of biographers and narrators of Ahadith and those who branched out of the “origins;” therefore, it was not hard for him to appreciate the significance of a particular hadith or narration once he knew the false name of its narrator, that is to say, the one who fabricated it, or his characteristics whereby he was supposedly known.
We must not forget the fact that his grandfather on his mother's side, Sayyid Husayn, who died in the late part of 1334 A.H/1916 A.D., was also an imam of jama’a and one of those whose profession was teaching. His uncle, Sayyid Ahmad son of Sayyid Husayn, who also died in 1334 A.H/1916 A.D., was a man of scholarship and distinction, and he fathered four sons among whom Sayyid Ibrahim son of Sayyid Ahmad, who died in 1358 A.H/1939 A.D., came to be distinguished for his scholarship and virtues.
He was a far-sighted man, one whose fiqh was quite broad. Many of those who acquired a lofty degree of scholarship were among his students, and he studied for a lengthy period of time at the school of Imam Shaikh Muhammad Husayn Al Shaikh ‘Ali Kashif al-Ghiťa’, may Allah have mercy on him.
1. His grandfather, the pious and God-fearing scholar, Sayyid Husayn, who died in 1334 A.H/1916 A.D. and who took care of raising and educating him.
2. The scholar/authority Shaikh Muhammad Riďa Al Shaikh Hadi Al Kashif al-Ghiťa’ who died in 1366 A.H/1947 A.D. and who taught him Usul.
3. The scholar/authority and faqih Shaikh Husayn al-Hilli al-Najafi, may Allah expand his shade, who taught him sutuh in their respective fiqh and Usul.
4. The forgiven supreme religious authority Sayyid Muhsin Al-Hakim who died in 1390 A.H/1970 A.D. and who taught him kharij al-fiqh
5. The mujtahid authority Shaikh Agha Diya’ al-Iraqi who died in 1361 A.H/1942 A.D. and who taught him kharij al-Usul.
6. The religious leader and the authority on fatawa Sayyid Abul-Hasan al-Isfahani al-Najafi who died in 1365 A.H/1946 A.D. and who taught him kharij al-fiqh and recorded his [progress] reports.
7. The authority in fatawa Mirza Muhammad Husayn al-Naeeni al-Najafi, who died in 1355 A.H/1936 A.D. and who taught him kharij al-fiqh and Usul and recorded his [progress] reports.
8. Ayatullah and the greatest mentor and today's authority Abul-Qasim al-Khoei al-Najafi, may Allah expand his shade, who taught him fiqh and Usul.
9. As regarding the great mujtahid Shaikh Muhammad Jawad al-Balaghi, who died in 1352 A.H/1933 A.D., he used to hold the biographee in high esteem, quite often recognizing his status. Due to the similarity between both men's method of work and defense of the Shari’a of the Chosen One (S), the bonds between them were quite strong.
The forgiven biographee participated with the authority al-Balaghi in publishing Al-Rihla al-Madrasiyya and in co-writing Al-Huda li Din al-Mustafa. Al-Balaghi's personality filled his soul with admiration and respect with regard to many situations wherein loyalty to Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) openly manifested itself.
You can notice this from reviewing what he recorded by way of comment on al-Balaghi's poem in the appendix to this book and on many other books which he had bought from him, such as the biographee's editing of a copy of Al-Rihla al-Madrasiyya and his procurement of Ahmad's Musnad, which he indexed and marked with a statement indicative of his admiration for al-Balaghi's personality.
As regarding the forgiven authority in fatawa Shaikh Muhammad Husayn al-Isfahani al-Najafi, who died in 1361 A.H/1942 A.D., the biographee cherished his company and learned from him lessons in philosophy and ‘ilm al-kalam. In response to Sayyid al-Muqarram's desire, the forgiven Shaikh al-Isfahani wrote his monumental poem in honour of the Infallible Ones (‘a), titled Al-Anwar al-Qudsiyya.
Despite the fact that the poet was a professor of philosophy who had filled this poem with rational philosophical terms, it came easy in its structure, pure in themes and meanings, sweet to the ear in its musical tone.
We know that philosophy, due its complex terminology, taxes any poem, leaving it anything but poetry, yet the forgiven al-Muqarram used to quite often recite some of it during many majalis which he used to hold in memory of the Infallible Ones (‘a). This book, Maqtal al-Husayn, does not overlook this poem, and in the chapter containing eulogies, you will find some of it in praise of Imam al-Husayn, peace be upon him.
The authority Shaikh ‘Abdul-Rasul son of Shaikh Sharif al-Jawahiri, who died in 1389 A.H/1969 A.D., may Allah fill his grave with noor, was a role model of piety and integrity and on the highest plains of purity of the soul and righteousness.
The biographee kept him company, and the Shaikh was one of those who were known for their ijtihad and lofty scholarly status. Our master al-Muqarram maintained a close tie with him especially when major questions and intricate researches were discussed. I once asked my virtuous friend professor al-Hajj Yahya al-Jawahiri, who used to attend their meetings, about the nature of the researches discussed by the Shaikh [al-Jawahiri] and the Sayyid [al-Muqarram].
He answered me by saying that the forgiven al-Muqarram used to introduce arguments known as ishtibahat (confusing issues) to the great Shaikh relevant to the latter's book Al-Jawahir, and that the faqih Shaikh ‘Abdul-Rasul used to endorse them and attract his attention to his observations with regard to some of the questions discussed in Al-Jawahir.
I do not find this topic permitting me to discuss the Sayyid's scholarly status because he is my father, but if the reader wishes to discern such a status, he will be able to do so from examining the list of books he had written. In his manuscripts, as well as in published works, there is a wealth for the researcher and a hamlet for the seeker, let alone the scholarly “licenses” awarded to him by the greatest of scholars and which are preserved besides his manuscripts. But the Sayyid never bragged about them, and I am not sure what their effect on his psyche was.
As regarding the Introductions which he wrote for many published books, in addition to the researches and commentaries embedded in Al-Dirasat by Sayyid ‘Ali al-Shahroodi, may Allah have mercy on him, which are edicts issued by our master al-Khoei, in addition to another of his books titled Al-Muhadarat fi al-Fiqh al-Ja’fari (lectures in the jurisprudence of Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq[‘a]), all these indicate the intellectual caliber and the brilliance the biographee used to enjoy, add to that his diligence as he turned the pages of numerous references.
I am inclined to think that he assisted many contemporary researchers in Najaf who wrote famous books, and he may have provided them with entire chapters for their books. He did all of that as a service to knowledge and to those who seek it. Let me provide you here with what Shaikh Muhammad Hadi al-Amini, son of the forgiven authority al-Amini, has said,
The authority, Sayyid al-Muqarram, was a flowing ocean not only of fiqh and its basics, but you also find him delving into hadith, literature, philosophy, education and divine wisdom. He was the ultimate end of the seeker and the refuge of the one in need. His education was broad, his knowledge abundant, and he was frank in everything he said and did...
One single book of his suffices to provide you with a clear idea about his living education wherein his genius is manifested. Despite all his wealth of knowledge and exhaustion of research, he never let pride take control of him, nor did he permit conceit to entertain his mind. For this reason, you always find him most humble, providing you with what he has as though he is taking from you.1.
Researchers' methods depend on clarity, elucidation, argumentation, and glaring evidence. If we study the author's books, how will his writing style appear to us?
Most likely, if you examine his books in their various topics, and the comments that he had written for others, or the Introductions he wrote for great scholars, you will no doubt find the mark of clarity and the stamp of glow as basic ingredients of their structure. We do not forget that the research whereby his books are characterized is indicative of a study, an examination and an in-depth comparison.
This requires him to read the texts in their various connotations together with what critics and narrators have commented about them as well as a review of the personalities of their authors. Having done all of this, the text may either stand on solid grounds, or it may collapse. It is upon such a premise that his book Tanzih al-Mukhtar al-Thaqafi, and also his great book Sayyida Sukayna, in addition to his manuscript Naqd al-Tarikh fi Masa'il Sitt, are based.
The writing style of his time depended on the use of rhymed prose, decorative diction, and the charging of the structure with whatever symbols, signs, and other things that over-burden the statement, all of which are avoided by modern Arabic style. Yet his style is free of all of these things.
He, rather, relied upon deduction and good comprehension; therefore, his books are based on the originality of thought, the detail in narrating the facts, and on portraying the thoughts. You find him leading you to accept the serious issue that he raises. This book, Maqtal al-Husayn, is full of such issues. Sayyid Husayn never stops researching, studying, analyzing, and comparing. Then he says, “We, thereupon, conclude from a fiqh standpoint that..., etc.”
The intensity of his love for Ahl al-Bayt, peace be upon them, stimulates him, when he reads a book, to pick from it the tales and traditions which point out to something relevant to them or to their opponents, then he incorporates such bits and pieces into a dissertation which we can describe as “incomplete” and which researchers describe as “research's raw material.” Often, he presents such collected material to one who finds it to be of interest to his own research.
He once came to know that the orator and poet, the forgiven Shaikh Hasan Sabti, had composed a lengthy poem about the Infallible Ones (‘a) which he called Al-Kalim al-Tayyib or Anfa’ al-Zad li Yawm al-Ma’ad, so he explained it saying, on the onset, “This is the first of my writings after which I wrote about Zayd the martyr.”
At its conclusion, he said, “I wished to summarize it but was unable to do so because of my very busy schedule.” He dedicated himself to explaining and commenting on it, clarifying any part which needed to be expounded, but he, may Allah have mercy on him, did not consider it as one of his books because the explanation was not based on his own basic effort; so, he was not concerned about it.
His first published book was Zayd al-Shahid (“Zayd the Martyr”) to which he appended his dissertation titled Tanzih al-Mukhtar al-Thaqafi. Zayd al-Shahid is a book that details the biography of Imam al-Sajjad, peace be upon him.
He did not indicate in the Introduction his reasons for writing it, and I think his genuine love for the revolution of Imam Husayn (‘a) motivated him to write it and to discuss how the oppressive government of the Umayyads came to an end, and also due to the abundant similarity between its stand and that of the revolution of the Father of Martyrs (‘a).
The book is full of many issues that hired pens have fabricated in order to support the government of the Umayyads. We are not concerned about this issue as much as we are about pointing out the following: The book was published in the 1930s, and at the time, it was regarded a shame that a scholar should busy himself with issues unrelated to fiqh and Usul.
His action would be regarded as self-demeaning, undermining his status and prestige. But the biographee broke the iron locks that prohibited a learned scholar from researching and actively seeking to publish and comment or critique a book written by our prominent scholars of the past generations. For this reason, those at the scholarly Hawza felt uneasy upon seeing one of their most notable scholars seeking to research issues that had no relevance to fiqh or to Usul.
Amazement intensified at the hawza to see a book by Shaikh ‘Abdul-Husayn al-Amini titled Shuhada’ al-Fadila (“Martyrs of Virtue”), so the investigative researcher, Agha Buzurg, came to publish his great encyclopedia titled Al-Thari’a, the first volume of which was printed by Najaf's presses. They were preceded in doing so by the forgiven trusted authority Shaikh ‘Abbas al-Qummi who published his precious book Al-Kuna wal Alqab.
The Publishers' Club critiqued Sayyid al-Radi's book Haqa’iq al-Ta’wil, the valuable Introduction for which was written by the authority scholar and poet, Shaikh ‘Abdul-Husayn al-Hilli... Thus did the men of distinction and prestige become accustomed to this type of writing and study.
Other works, or say studies, followed, and it was then decided that the dust accumulated by forgetfulness and negligence should no longer cover the author's books especially since the presses, the publishers, and the readers welcome such books with a great deal of pleasure. It was then that public and private libraries came to acquire it, and those who benefit from scholars' researches abounded.
A poet has said:
This poet is simply referring to the Karbala’ tragedy, for it certainly is the greatest of all tragedies, the most momentous of all catastrophes that befell the Progeny of the Chosen One (S). The series of disasters that accompanied the march undertaken by force by the members of the House of Revelation from Medina to Iraq, then to Syria, could cause anyone's heart to swell and bleed.
The glorious Imams (‘a) used to always urge their followers not to forget it and to do everything they could to keep it alive in their memory saying, “Keep our cause alive! May Allah have mercy on whoever keeps our cause alive!”
Therefore it was accompanied by chapters where the narration played an important role, stamping it with a very sober and emotionally exciting stamp, one that excites what the souls hide and the minds conceal. The hearts of the Shi’as are sorely distressed and are filled with profoundly sad thoughts filled with frightening images. The hearts are filled with outrage at everyone who committed that heinous crime.
Prominent historians wrote down what they heard and recorded what came to their knowledge. As a result, many things found their ways (to print) which good taste rejects and which do not agree with what the Imams themselves, peace be upon them, had narrated, nor do they agree with the truth This comes from our own party.
We (Shi’as) have added a great deal to the Karbala’ events and to the events that followed. As regarding the enemies of Ahl al-Bayt (‘a), these took to falsifying and distorting the facts! Thus has the calamity passed; centuries passed by while it is still standing and will continue to be so till the Day of Judgment. Yet we have to remove the curtain from what was hidden and veiled.
We have to narrate authentic events and undermine everything that does not agree with the foundation upon which the uprising of the Master of Martyrs (‘a) was based in his bloody struggle to depose those who killed the Sunnah while keeping the bid’a alive.
Does not amazement stir you to accept the narration of Hameed Ibn Muslim who appears as a soft-hearted man on the battlefield while he was one of those who accompanied the severed head of Abu ‘Abdullah, peace be upon him, as it was being displayed in Kufa and Syria and, at the same time, set aside Karbala's events and not learn them from the ones to whom they took place and upon whom its calamities were piled up?
And who is “Abul-Faraj” anyway?! He is a supporter of the Umayyads and one of their kinsfolk who depends in his narration on those who follow al-Zubayr or on Umayyads who all are the enemies of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be upon them! In his famous Tarikh, al-Tabari quotes most of his narration from al-Suddi and Mujahid and others while learned people know exactly who al-Suddi is. Yet he is quoted narrating the events at Karbala'! It is for all of these reasons that the forgiven biographee stood to write his book, Maqtal al-Husayn.
This book refers to and exposes a large number of quotations that do not stand on any foundation. Through comparison and examination, he nullifies the narrations transmitted by many narrators for many, many years.
This book contains in its footnotes researches relevant to the fiqh, language, and literature in addition to numerous researches of many expressions related to narrations that contradict even those who narrated them. The reader will find in it an overflow of references upon which the biographee relies to verify and research the Karbala’ epic.
The Karbala' epic contains numerous names of men, women, and children in which there is a great deal of confusion with regard to both the names and the ones to whom they were attached.
The author removed such confusion. Do you know that those who refer to Umm Kulthum are actually talking about Zainab, the wise lady?! And can you imagine that “Umm al-Baneen” was not living during the time of the tragedy and that the poetry recited by the thakirs has no share of the truth?! Read, for example, this one:
So we narrate the event and thus side with Marwan, the wazigh,2 unwittingly presenting him as a soft-hearted man with tearful eyes! And what do you know about the one who slaughtered al-Husayn (‘a), namely Shimr, about his lineage and nature, and about governor ‘Ubaydullah (Ibn Ziyad)? The Sayyid derives legislative injunctions from the conduct of Imam Abu ‘Abdullah (‘a) and from his statements in his sermons.
You find all of this in Maqtal al-Husayn, and you find many other causes which I myself am reluctant to present to you, but your soul pushes you, O reader, to be familiar with them, and to sift the contents of this book just as we proudly introduced its precious topics to you.
1. Zayd al-Shahid (biography)
2. Al-Mukhtar Ibn ‘Ubayd al-Thaqafi (critique and study)
3. Sayyida Sukayna (research)
4. Maqtal al-Husayn (‘a) (history book and research)
5. Al-Siddiqa Fatima (‘a) (biography)
6. Imam Zayn al-’Abidin (‘a) (biography)
7. Imam al-Riďa (‘a) (biography)
8. Imam al-Jawad (‘a) (biography)
9. Qamar Bani Hashim: al-’Abbas (‘a) (biography)
10. ‘Ali al-Akbar (‘a) (biography)
11. Al-Shahid Muslim Ibn ‘Aqil (biography)
12. Sirr al-Iman fil Shahada al-Thalitha (events and study)
13. Yawm al-Arba’in ‘indal-Husayn (dissertation) (altruism and expressions of compliance)
14. Al-Muhadarat fil Fiqh al-Ja’fari (commentary and research of a book by Sayyid ‘Ali al-Shahrudi)
15. Dala'il al-Imama (by Ibn Jarir al-Tabari al-Imami)
16. Al-Amali (by Shaikh al-Mufid Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Ibn al-Nu’man al-’Ukbari)
17. Al-Khasa’is (by al-Sayyid al-Radi)
18. Al-Malahim (by Sayyid Ahmad Ibn Tawus)
19. Farhat al-Ghari (by Sayyid ‘Abdul-Karim Ibn Tawus)
20. Ithbat al-Wasiyya (by al-Mas’udi)
21. Al-Kashkul (by Sayyid Hayder Ibn ‘Ali al-’Ubaydi al-Husayni al-’Amili)
22. Bisharat al-Mustafa (by ‘Imad ad-Din al-Tabari al-’Amili) (commentaries and remarks)
23. Al-Jamal (by Shaikh al-Mufid) (commentaries)
1. Al-Munqith al-Akbar - a research
2. Al-Hasan Ibn ‘Ali (‘a) - a research
3. ‘Ashura fil Islam - a critique and a history book
4. Al-A’yad fil Islam - a history book
5. Thikra al-Ma’soomeen (some of its volumes are in print) - a history book
6. Zainab al-Aqila (peace be upon her) - a biography
7. Maytham al-Tammar (dissertation) - a biography
8. Abu Tharr al-Ghifari (dissertation) - a biography
9. ‘Ammar Ibn Yasir (dissertation) - a biography
10. Naql al-Amwat fil Fiqh al-Islami - a research
11. Naqd al-Tarikh fi Masa’il Sitt - a research and an analysis
12. Halq al-Lihya - a critique
13. Dirasat fil Fiqh wal Tarikh - a research and an analysis of traditions
14. Raba'ib al-Rasul - a history book and a research (detailing the Prophet’s step-daughters, i.e. Khadija’s daughters by her previous marriages)
15. Al-Kuna wal Alqab - biographies
16. Hashiya ‘alal Kifaya by Shaikh Muhammad Kaďim al-Khurasani -Usul
17. Hashiya ‘alal Makasib by Shaikh Murtaďa al-Ansari - fiqh
18. Nawadir al-Athar - sundry causes
19. Yawm al-Ghadir or Hijjat al-Wada’ - a history book
There is no treasure greater than one's life, nor even death in loving Ahl al-Bayt (‘a), nor is there anything more precious, when all material possessions are lost, than acquiring their love and the security of their intercession and, ultimately, the reward in the life hereafter of being a resident in their neighborhood, nor more than nearness to them. People may all grow up loving them and being loyal to them, but the degree of such an attribute varies among them.
One may be contented with attending their majalis, whereas someone else insists on nothing less than holding such majalis for them. Another person may accept to be present at their shrines or to travel to visit such shrines, whereas another is active in urging people to do so, and he may even spend of his own wealth on facilitating the pilgrims to visit their mausoleums, peace be upon them.
Our master, the biographee, was adorned by all of these activities combined. He grew up and was raised to find himself in a house where many occasions were held in honour of Ahl al-Bayt (‘a). So did he observe his grandfather, Sayyid Husayn, doing: meeting with people to discuss or produce a great deal of their literary production. He found his grandfather, may Allah have mercy on him, full of loyalty to them, so he added his zeal to that of his own.
He waited for the opportunity to hold majlis even for those who expressed their loyalty for Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) and who followed in their footsteps and were executed or died in exile after having persevered, and there are many such persons. His manuscript, Nawadir al-Athar, contains poems delivered by poets who attended their merry occasions.
Holding a majlis to bring their legacy to memory did not suffice him; active efforts to disseminate their views and to explain their ways of life and conduct did. He did so through the lectures that he delivered at meetings he held in the company of his brethren and friends during the month of Ramadan. Thus did I see the house full of them, and the research is repeated one night after another, one month of Ramadan after another, and so on...
As regarding his pen and how he utilized his time, his books listed above, which he left behind him, provide sufficient testimony. We plead to the most Exalted One to assist the efforts to circulate them among people. The greatest of his manuscripts is Al-Munqith al-Akbar (the greatest saviour), meaning Muhammad (S), and also Al-Imam al-Hasan (‘a). It has been more than thirty years since he wrote both of them. Another is Naqd al-Tarikh fil Masa’il al-Sitt, a book that he used to mention quite often.
The biographee neither composed good quality poetry, nor did he memorize nor critique poetry. Yet he, may Allah have mercy on him, appreciated it very much especially if it was in honour of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be upon them.
He used quite often to cite the poetry of those who lauded Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) and incorporate it in his works that discuss them, peace be upon them, in order to bring such poetry to life. As far as he is concerned, we are not aware of him composing poetry except very little such as a few lines, for example, in praise of Abul-Fadl al-’Abbas, peace be upon him, where he pleads to Allah through him to remove his ailment:
Among his poetry are lines that he composed in praise of the Prophet (S) and his pure Progeny (‘a) the composition of which he did finish; among them are the following:
The author, may Allah have mercy on him, suffered a great deal from harsh living conditions and the agonies of life. He took his stride in life with pride and dignity. He retained a sufficient measure of self-respect not to lower himself and do what was not becoming of him or what would jeopardize his studies or his performance as a teacher. I’tikaf preoccupied him a great deal, and he was satisfied from this life with attaining wisdom.
Ayatullah Abul-Hasan al-Isfahani, the leading theologian, may Allah have mercy on him, very much desired that he should visit him and be his representative at one of the major cities of Iraq so that he would be able to earn means of a comfortable life, but such an offer did not rest well with him!
Such a role did not appeal to him, and he deep down felt satisfied with what Allah, the most Exalted One, had allotted for him, accepting whatever means of livelihood at his disposal. His main concern was to acquire more and more knowledge and satisfy himself with its treasures of minute legacies. Having worked very hard and with persistence, he acquired a respectable status among people of distinction.
He, may Allah have mercy on him, used to talk about such wishes desired for him by religious authorities, and he used to justify his having rejected their offers by saying that once the means of ease and luxury were available, one would not be able to control his worldly desires, and he might find himself involved in other things.
Such justifications and other matters that he did not express were behind his refusal, and he preferred to remain silent rather than discuss them.
As regarding his physique, he was thin and straight. During his last days, when various types of ailments assaulted him from all directions, he used to struggle to stand straight with his head upright. It very much pleased him to hold majlis on various occasions for the pure Imams (‘a) and for their faithful followers.
His belief in them and in their special status with Allah often prompted him to seek their intercession to remove his affliction. Why would he not do so? Did not Imam Abul-Hasan ‘Ali al-Hadi (‘a) order Abu Hashim al-Ja’fari to ask someone to pray for him at the gravesite of the Master of Martyrs?
He, may Allah have mercy on him, maintained quiet nerves, yet he would become agitated upon seeing something which he did not like or hear. He was emotional and tearful whenever he heard the tragedy that befell the progeny of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and them, so he would seek intercession with Allah, the most Exalted One, through their status with Him to remove his hardship and repel the harm from him.
He had a firm conviction that Allah, the most Exalted One, did not extend his life-span except through them, for even one of the ailments that befell him was sufficient to put an end to him. Thus did he remain till death overtook him on Muharram 17, 1391/March 15, 1971; so, may Allah grant him His ridwan and generous rewards. One of the most interesting eulogies written about him is a poem composed by Shaikh Ahmad al-Wa’ili in which he recorded his year of death as follows:
(1391 A.H/1971 A.D.)