Shining Sun; In Memory of ‘Allamah Tabataba’i (A Translation of “Mihr-i Taban”)

Shining Sun; In Memory of ‘Allamah Tabataba’i (A Translation of “Mihr-i Taban”)0%

Shining Sun; In Memory of ‘Allamah Tabataba’i (A Translation of “Mihr-i Taban”) Author:
Translator: Tawus Raja
Publisher: ICAS Press
Category: Various Books
ISBN: 978-1-904063-40-7

Shining Sun; In Memory of ‘Allamah Tabataba’i (A Translation of “Mihr-i Taban”)

Author: Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Husayni Tehrani
Translator: Tawus Raja
Publisher: ICAS Press

ISBN: 978-1-904063-40-7
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Shining Sun; In Memory of ‘Allamah Tabataba’i (A Translation of “Mihr-i Taban”)
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Shining Sun; In Memory of ‘Allamah Tabataba’i (A Translation of “Mihr-i Taban”)

Shining Sun; In Memory of ‘Allamah Tabataba’i (A Translation of “Mihr-i Taban”)

Publisher: ICAS Press
ISBN: 978-1-904063-40-7

Shining Sun

In Memory of ‘Allamah Tabataba’i

A Translation of “Mihr-i Taban”

Author(s): Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Husayni Tehrani

Translator(s): Tawus Raja

Publisher(s): ICAS Press

The book consists of two main parts. The first part includes an introduction and a memorial focusing on 'Allamah's life, and the second part is a series of discussions that the author of the book, Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Husayni Tehrani had with the 'Allamah. The discussions are based on the Noble Qur'an. Even though both the author and 'Allamah Tabataba'i are among the top Shi'a figures of the twentieth century, the book is not based on Shi'a narrations in particular.

Miscellaneous information:

Shining Sun - In Memory of ‘Allamah Tabataba’i A Translation of “Mihr-i Taban” Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Husayni Tihrani Translated by: Tawus Raja British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. ISBN: 978-1-904063-40-7 (pbk) © ICAS PRESS, 2011 This edition first published in 2011 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of ICAS Press, or as expressly permitted by law, or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organisation. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the foregoing should be addressed to ICAS Press. ICAS Press 133 High Road, Willesden, London NW10 2SW


This version is published on behalf of

The composing errors are not corrected.

Table of Contents

Translator’s Introduction 11

About the Book 11

About the Author 12

Closing Remarks 13

Notes 14

Part One 15

1. Introduction 16

Notes 17

2. Memorial 18

My First Encounter with ‘Allamah Tabataba’i 18

A course on philosophy by ‘Allamah Tabataba’i 18

‘Allamah Tabataba’i’s style of teaching 19

‘Allamah’s Review of the philosophical and mystical letters of Sayyid Ahmad Karbala’i and Shaykh Muhammad Husayn Gharawi Isfahani 20

‘Allamah Tabataba’i’s eminence in knowledge and practice 21

‘Allamah Tabataba’i’s spiritual master: Ayatollah Qadi 22

‘Allamah’s reverence and passion for Ayatollah Qadi 23

‘Allamah’s mystical education under the tutelage of his master, Mr Qadi 23

The late Qadi’s style in spiritual training 24

The virtues of Ayatollah Qadi 26

The ancestors of the late Qadi and ‘Allamah Tabataba’i 27

‘Allamah Tabataba’i’s brother and their childhood 27

‘Allamah’s wife 29

‘Allamah Tabataba’i’s approach to philosophy 29

‘Allamah’s philosophical views 30

The need to learn philosophy 32

The verses of the Qur’an suggest the absolute unity of Allah 32

Imam ‘Ali’s sermons concerning God’s absolute unity 34

‘Allamah Tabataba’i’s discussion on God’s absolute unity 34

‘Allamah Tabataba’i’s annotations on Bihar al-Anwar by ‘Allamah Majlisi 36

The cessation of ‘Allamah Tabataba’i’s annotations on Bihar al-Anwar 37

Two of ‘Allamah Tabataba’i’s annotations on Bihar al-Anwar 37

‘Allamah Tabataba’i’s effort to unite the philosophies of the Orient and the Occident 39

The composition and methodology of the al-Mizan exegesis 40

The merits of al-Mizan over other exegeses 41

Al-Mizan in Islamic schools and academic societies around the world 42

Al-Mizan should be taught in the theological schools 43

‘Allamah Tabataba’i’s interviews with Henry Corbin, Chair of Shi’a Studies at Sorbonne 44

‘Allamah’s publications 46

‘Allamah Tabataba’i’s manners, ethics, and modesty 46

‘Allamah Tabataba’i’s approach to mysticism (Sufism) 48

‘Allamah’s conduct and his attainment of divine realities 49

‘Allamah Tabataba’i’s poetic talent 50

‘Allamah Tabataba’i’s epics and odes 50

‘Allamah Tabataba’i’s modesty toward the Infallibles 51

‘Allamah’s patience in difficulties 51

Our men of knowledge have always endured insufficient livelihoods 52

The reason for ‘Allamah Tabataba’i’s immigration to Qum from Tabriz 54

Ayatollah Burujirdi’s message to ‘Allamah and ‘Allamah’s reply 54

‘Allamah was a guard and refuge for the students 56

Intellect, conscience, and religion 56

The Qur’an and Hadith on the necessity to follow the intellect 57

The Qur’an and hadith on the necessity to follow the heart and conscience 58

Intellect, heart, and religion characterise the same reality 59

The necessity to follow the intellect, spirit and religion in the Qur’an, narrations and supplications 60

‘Allamah Tabataba’i was a master of intellect, heart, and religion 60

‘Two parties break my back: an impudent scholar and an ignorant worshiper’ 61

Imam ‘Ali’s sermon in describing ‘men whom no purchase or sale distracteth from the remembrance of Allah’ 62

The states of ‘Allamah Tabataba’i toward the end of his noble life 63

The passing, funeral and burial of ‘Allamah Tabataba’i 63

Notes 64

PART 2 76

Introduction to Part Two 76

Notes 76

3. Qur’anic Discourses 77

‘He frowned and turned away * Because the blind man came to him.’ 77

Verses of Chapter 74 (al-Muddaththir) about Walid ibn Mughirah 78

The second reason why ‘He frowned and turned away’ does not refer to the Messenger of Allah 78

Tiwal (‘lengthy’), mi’in (‘hundreds’), and mufassal (‘extended’) chapters 79

Mutashabih (analogous) and mathani (repeated) 80

Chapters with disjointed (muqatta’ah) letters 80

The Messenger of Allah was himself a miracle 82

The meaning of ahqaf 83

The verse, ‘And of the earth like them’ 83

‘And His Throne goes back on water’ 83

‘Then a wall will be set up between them...’ 84

In the Qur’an, ni’mah always refers to wilayah 85

Ni’mah and na’im mean wilayah 86

‘For the benefit of you and your livestock’ 87

The Qur’anic addresses starting with qul (say) 88

Ayat al-Kursi is just the first verse 90

‘Say: each behaves according to his formation’ 90

‘Truly man was created intolerant..... save those that pray’ 92

Intercession is for the believers with major sins 93

Prophet Abraham’s asking forgiveness for his uncle, Azar 93

Azar was Prophet Abraham’s uncle and not his father 95

The extermination of the tribe of Thamud and the people of Madyan 95

Notes 96

4. Philosophical Discourses 99

An intellectual discussion in refutation of the Trinity 99

The Qur’an’s rejection of the Trinity 99

The contradiction between unity and trinity 100

Real unity and plurality cannot apply to the same subject 102

The true sense of God’s unity of Essence 103

The philosophers’ gradation of being concerning God’s unity 103

Gradation of being and unity of the gnostics 106

Gradation contradicts the absoluteness of God’s existence 106

The personal unity of God’s existence 107

Aversion of the infidels’ hearts from God’s unity 108

‘Rivalry in worldly increase distracted you * Until you visited the graves’ 109

The problem with gradation of being 111

Gradation of being and tawhid of the gnostics 112

Real tawhid is only that of the gnostics 113

The reality of God’s unity 114

Adequate elucidation on the gradation and unity of being 115

God’s Essence transcends all names, identities, and determinations 115

What is meant by manifestation (tajalli)? 117

‘The soul is bodily in origination and spiritual in subsistence’ 118

Man’s creation originates from the earth 118

The stages of man’s transformations in transubstantial motion 119

Man’s arcs of ascent and descent toward perfection 120

Subsistence of permanent archetypes in God’s Essence upon annihilation 122

The meaning of ‘inniyyah’ in Hallaj’s poem 123

The verse, ‘Say: my Lord hath only prohibited indecencies, whether inward or outward’ 125

Every immaterial species is unique 126

Gabriel’s unity and his connection with the many beings of this world 127

Annihilation, immolation, nonexistence, and relinquishing one’s determination 128

All beings proceed to annihilation; there is nothing but Allah; ‘There is no he but Him’ 130

If the Permanent Archetypes are eradicated, a being cannot exist in God 131

‘Allamah’s own poems regarding annihilation in God 132

Annihilation and the burning of the butterfly and the mother in fire 133

The realms of blackness, imagination and whiteness prostrate for Allah, Exalted He is 134

Gnostic ideas of Muhyi al-Din, Ibn al-Farid, and Hafiz Shirazi 135

Subsistence of the noun upon annihilation 136

There must be a Zayd when we say, ‘Zayd became annihilated’ 138

‘And thou threwest not when thou threwest, but Allah threw’ 138

Al-Futuhat al-Makkiyyah and the subsistence of the Permanent Archetypes upon annihilation 139

Transformation of the quiddities, and ‘Whose is the kingdom today? It is Allah’s, the One, the Dominant’ 140

The verse, ‘And unto Him you are overturned’ 142

There is some subject in every type of annihilation, and that is the Permanent Archetype 145

Annihilation is one’s obliteration in God’s Being, removal of the determinations, and God’s observation of His own beauty 148

The true unity of God’s Essence is beyond all confinements 148

The ‘known provision’ of mukhlasin 150

The impermanence of physical and spiritual imposed movements 151

Notes 152

5. Mystical Discourses 157

‘Unless through revelation or from behind a veil or by sending an emissary’ 157

Revelation of the Qur’an to the Prophet 158

The different types and stages of revelation were due to the different states and circumstances 159

‘And he speaketh not out of desire * It is naught but a revelation that is revealed’ 160

Imam ‘Ali’s dream of Hadrat Khidr and his teaching of the Greatest Name 161

The late Qadi and tawhid 162

Monotheistic states of the late Qadi 162

God’s Unity of Actions 164

The Prophet’s station of subsistence after annihilation 165

The marvels (irhas) of the Imams 167

The Imams’ playing games in childhood 167

The rise of Imam Mahdi 168

Notes 168

6. Scientific Discourses 171

The creation of the angels and the Holy Spirit 172

The spirit and the angels 173

The first thing that Allah created 174

The impact of supplication and the role of the angels in its acceptance 176

Barzakh is for everyone 177

The realm of barzakh starts right after one’s death 178

Heaven and hell currently exist 179

The speaking of ruwaybidah and the emergence of Ya’juj and Ma’juj 179

The Messenger of Allah was also the prophet of the jinn 180

The science of abjad Letters and its branches 181

Tayy al-ard and the beginning of Chapter Ta-Ha 185

The late Qadi’s inquiry about Prophet Solomon’s flying in the air 186

The stages of tayy al-ard and its reality 188

‘The name should delight you’; ‘And truly of his followers was Abraham’ 189

Hurr al-’Amili: ‘The Prophet’s knowledge is inherited from the previous prophets’ 189

The universality of the resolute prophets (ulu al-’azm) 190

Prophet Moses was sent to Pharaoh, a non-Israelite 191

Attributing actions to the Supreme Truth; ‘So that Allah may know who supporteth Him and His messengers unseen’ 192

All actions are subject to God’s permission and decree 193

Allah attributes actions to people, but denies their independence 194

Notes 194

7. Historical Discourses 197

Abrogation in the Noble Qur’an and its possibility based on the religion and the intellect 197

Islam as the abrogator of the other religions 198

The scribes of revelation 199

The different recitations of the Qur’an are narrated from the Messenger of Allah 200

‘The King of the Day of Judgment’ is more inclusive and pertinent than ‘The Owner of the Day of Judgment’ 201

Compilation of the Qur’an by ‘Uthman, and the death of Ibn Mas’ud 202

The Qur’an of Imam ‘Ali 204

Why is the name of Imam ‘Ali not mentioned in the Qur’an 204

The Qur’an has not been distorted 205

The displacement of the Verse of Purification 208

The change of qiblah, and the Prophet’s qiblah in Mecca 209

Revelation of the Torah to Prophet Moses 209

Revelation of the Gospel to Prophet Jesus 210

The Apostles of Prophet Jesus, and monasticism 210

Prophet Joseph was a mukhlas 212

Platonism 212

Notes 213

8. Epilogue 215

‘Allamah’s endurance of allegations and difficulties in the way of Allah 215

‘Allamah’s brilliant ode on loving Allah 216

Notes 217

Notes on Prominent Figures Cited in the Book 219

Glossary of Key Transliterated Terms 230

Translator’s Introduction

In the efforts that you make,

Never settle for anything less than the essence .

The author’s advice to those involved in the translation of his works


About the Book

Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Husayni Tihrani wrote this book, Mihr-i Taban, right after ‘Allamah Tabataba’i’s death in 1981. Ayatollah Husayni Tihrani - who also earned the honorific title of ‘allamah (most learned) - was among the closest and most brilliant students of ‘Allamah Tabataba’i in Qum. Not only did ‘Allamah Tabataba’i teach him philosophy, but he was also his first spiritual guide, who initiated Husayni Tihrani into spiritual wayfaring and gnosis. One can indeed feel the mystical light and the spiritual composure that are conveyed through the lines of this book. The close relationship and the long terms of acquaintance that the author had with ‘Allamah enabled him to write this unique work on ‘Allamah’s life and thought.

The book consists of two main parts. The first part includes an introduction and a memorial focusing on ‘Allamah’s life, and the second part is a series of discourses that the author had with ‘Allamah in person, written after having been tape-recorded. This latter part has been divided into several chapters based on the subject of the discourses (Chapter 3 onwards). They are presented in the form of questions and answers, and the topics of discussion are independent of one another. The discussions are heavily based on the Noble Qur’an, and that shows the extent of knowledge and familiarity of both the ‘Allamah and the author with the Holy Book. In other words, even though both scholars are among the top Shi’a figures of the twentieth century, the book is not based on Shi’a narrations in particular.

Readers not familiar with Islamic philosophy might find parts of Chapter 4 (Philosophical Discourses) slightly technical, but supplementary notes have been provided to clarify and summarise the discussions. There is only one section under Chapter 7 (Scientific Discourses) on the science of abjad letters that specifically requires knowledge of the Arabic alphabet. The original text of the Qur’anic verses, narrations, and poems mentioned in the book have been provided in the indices for those interested. These indices are followed by informative notes on the prominent figures mentioned in the book. Diacritics were dropped from the transliterations throughout the text, except for the part on the abjad letters and a few other places where diacritics were absolutely necessary. However, a glossary of key transliterated terms with diacritics has been provided at the end to clarify any ambiguities.

The translations of the Qur’anic verses, narrations, and poems are by the translator, though he has particularly benefited from Arberry’s and Pickthall’s translations of the Qur’an. The quotes from the Qur’an have been referenced within the text. The first Qur’anic number is the chapter number (surah) and the second one is the verse number (ayah). The names of the poets have also been mentioned at the end of the translated poems. Other citations have been referenced in the endnotes, and have been mostly researched by the translator. Like many other Muslim scholars, the author used long annotations and honorific titles and phrases of praise. To make the work more coherent, some of these titles and a few parts of the book that were deemed to be less relevant to the main content were dropped or abridged in the translation. Among these parts was a small chapter on ethical discourses.

All website references listed in the footnotes were correct at the time of publication.

About the Author

Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Husayni Tihrani was born in Tehran in 1345 AH (1926) in a family of religious scholars. He received his early religious education under the instruction of his father at home, and at the same time he pursued modern education and graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from the German Technical School in Tehran. Despite his achievements in the modern sciences and the chance of continuing his education abroad, he chose the path of religious sciences, and thus he migrated to Qum for advanced studies in 1364 (1945).

He was among the first pupils of ‘Allamah Tabataba’i in Qum. Not only did he participate in ‘Allamah’s regular courses on philosophy and Qur’anic exegesis (tafsir) that were open to all, but he was also among ‘Allamah’s select circle of students who pursued theoretical and practical mysticism with their teacher and master (ustad). Sometimes the author would spend up to eight hours a day with the ‘Allamah at his house, just like a family member. During the seven years of his stay in Qum, the author also studied under Shaykh Murtada Ha’iri, Sayyid Muhammad Damad, Sayyid Rida Baha’ al-Dini, Sayyid Muhammad Hujjat, and Ayatollah Burujirdi.

After reaching the rank of ijtihad, the author departed for Najaf based on ‘Allamah’s advice in 1371 (1951). He stayed another seven years in Najaf, where he studied with Shaykh Husayn Hilli, Sayyid Abu al-Qasim Khu’i, Shaykh Aqa Buzurg Tihrani, and Sayyid Mahmud Shahrudi. Following ‘Allamah Tabataba’i’s instruction, the author sought spiritual guidance from Shaykh ‘Abbas Quchani, and also frequented Sayyid Jamal al-Din Gulpayigani. He also used to observe night vigils on Wednesday nights (nights of Thursday) in the Mosque of Sahlah.

‘Allamah Tabataba’i was authorised by his master, the late Sayyid ‘Ali Qadi, to serve as a spiritual guide on his behalf, and it was in this light that the author totally submitted to ‘Allamah Tabataba’i’s instructions. However, the author was yet to meet another student of the late Qadi in Karbala’, Sayyid Hashim Haddad, who had completed all of the spiritual journeys and had reached Divine Unity and Guardianship (tawhid and wilayah), just like the late Qadi himself. The author had heard ‘Allamah Tabataba’i’s respect and admiration for Haddad when he was in Qum, and thus he already had a great yearning to meet Haddad when he was departing for Najaf.

Finally, the author came to meet Haddad in a pilgrimage to Karbala’ - an acquaintance that eventually made another Haddad out of the author. Thus, he continued his spiritual journey under the instruction of Sayyid Hashim Haddad. The author also came to know and meet Shaykh Muhammad Jawad Ansari - who was living in Hamadan - and took spiritual guidance from him based on the instruction of Sayyid Hashim Haddad. In 1377 (1958), despite his willingness to stay in Iraq, the author followed the advice of Haddad and Ansari, and returned to Iran to head the Qa’im Mosque in Tehran. During his stay in Tehran, he kept his connection with his master, and visited Karbala’ and Hamadan several times.

During his twenty-three years in Tehran, the author actively sought social and political reform in order to bring about an Islamic society. He has expounded on his activities and his relationship with Ayatollah Khomeini in his book, Wazifah-yi Fard-i Musalman dar Ihya-yi Hukumat-i Islam (Tehran, 1410/1989).

After the Islamic revolution, in 1400 (1980), the author moved to Mashhad by the order of his spiritual master - Sayyid Hashim Haddad - and dedicated himself to teaching and writing. He felt that with the people’s revolution and the establishment of the Islamic Republic, it was now the duty of the scholars to teach the people about real Islam, and purify the beliefs and practices of the public of that which is not genuine. That is why he freed himself of other affiliations for intense cultural and scholarly activities during his fifteen years of stay in Mashhad.

He was truly a prolific writer, covering a wide range and great depth of Islamic sciences, and truly deserving the title ‘allamah - as ‘allamah signifies one’s expertise in a variety of Islamic sciences, whereas Ayatollah signifies one’s expertise only in Islamic law (i.e. ijtihad). Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Husayni Tihrani passed away in Mashhad in 1416 AH (1995). His funeral prayer was performed by Ayatollah Bahjat, and he was buried in Inqilab Courtyard (sahn-i inqilab) on the foot side and behind Imam Rida’s tomb.1

Closing Remarks

At the end, the translator is most grateful to the Almighty Allah for enabling him to carry out this task. He is also grateful to the means by which Allah provided His grace - all the individuals who helped, supported, and contributed to this work, particularly the friends and colleagues in Mashhad and London. May Allah accept this effort, forgive the mistakes and shortcomings, and pardon the translator and his parents.

It is apt to close with one of ‘Allamah Tabataba’i’s poems that is not mentioned in the book. He narrated:

When I was studying in Najaf, there was a disruption in my connection with Iran, I lost my means of income, and we had a hard time meeting the necessities of life. Our problems were further complicated by the extremely hot temperature during half of the year. One day, I went to see my master, Ayatollah Qadi, and opened up my heart to him. When I returned from his presence, I was feeling so light and free, as if I had absolutely no sorrow. There, I composed his advice as follows:

Struck by sorrow, that came like a thief,

My heart was torn by sadness and grief.

My master’s advice is that which I sought,

For him I described my sorrow and my thought.

He held in his hand the mirror of truth;

He was wise as an old, and fresh like a youth.

He said, ‘O, my son, enjoy and be free;

The world is passing, so this is the key:

Never ascribe existence to yourself,

Your being is vain like that of an elf.

Why be depressed for that which you miss?

You’re not the owner, so soar up in bliss.

It belongs to Him; He can take or lend;

In all you shall see the hand of your Friend.

Laugh if you want, or cry and moan;

The Decree is the same, it’s written in stone.

The Will of Allah is that which occurs;

The wish of your heart is not what occurs.’2

‘And my accomplishment is only by Allah; in Him I trust and unto Him I turn.’ (11:88)

Tawus Raja


1. See Mu’assasah-yi Tarjumah va Nashr-i Dawrah-yi ‘Ulum va Ma’arif-i Islam, Ayat-i Nur (Mashhad: ‘Allamah Tabataba’i, 1427/2006) and ‘Notes on the Life and Career of ‘Allamah Tihrani’ (available at ); and lectures in Persian by the author’s son, Sayyid Muhammad Muhsin Husayni Tihrani (available at, ). For a more detailed study of the life and works of the author in English, see the translator’s introduction of Kernel of the Kernel (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003), which is another work by the author, translated into English by Mohammad H. Faghfoory.

2. ‘The Life of ‘Allamah Tabataba’i’, .

Part One

1. Introduction

I seek refuge in Allah, from the repelled Satan

In the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate

May Allah’s greatest mercies be upon our master Muhammad and his pure progeny; and may their enemies be far from Allah’s mercy forever. And there is no movement and no power save by Allah, the Supreme, the Magnificent.

The best and highest praises be to God, Who guides mankind by His Lordly manifestations from the darkness of ignorance to the heights of knowledge and unity (tawhid). And may the most ample mercies be upon the Seal of the Prophets, Muhammad, son of ‘Abdullah, and upon his successor, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, his eleven descendants, and especially upon the Imam of our Time, al-Hujjat ibn al-Hasan, may our spirits be sacrificed for him.

And may the choicest blessings be upon the pure souls of the upright scholars and thinkers of Islam, who train the pupils of the path of salvation, and direct them to the Threshold of Unity and the exalted stations of God-reliance (tawakkul), satisfaction (rida), entrustment (tafwid), and submission (taslim). And particularly upon our recently-deceased master, the missing figure of knowledge and ethics, the matchless teacher and ‘allamah [lit. ‘most learned’], Ayatollah Hajj Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Tabataba’i Tabrizi. O Allah, enter him into Thy highest mercies and blessings; amen, O Lord of all.

In following the practices of the rightful Imams, these scholars have strived to raise the flag of tawhid in zealous hearts. They have conveyed the message of faith and certitude to the far coastlines and profound depths of the wakeful souls.

‘Knowledge rushed them toward true insight, and they embraced the spirit of certitude. They found easy what was difficult for the extravagant souls, and became intimate with what frightened the ignorant. Their bodies were in this world while their spirits had clung to the Supreme Realm. Only those are Allah’s heirs on earth, who call to His religion. Oh, Oh! How I yearn to meet them!’1

These are the words of Imam ‘Ali describing the divine scholars, who are Allah’s proofs on the earth.

‘They preserve the Divine signs and Lordly proofs from becoming old, rejected or wiped out. They are very few in number, but very high in rank and merit. Allah protects His signs and proofs by them, until they entrust them to their equivalents and plant them in the hearts of their likes.’2

‘Allamah Tabataba’i exemplified Imam ‘Ali’s above description. He was a protector of the hawzah (seminary) and its students, and a promoter of knowledge, ethics, faith, and forbearance. With his departure, the world of knowledge was hit by sorrow and the society of scholars was deeply grieved. Truly ‘Allamah Tabataba’i’s ethics, insight, and knowledge illustrated those of the pure Imams. His face was a reminder of those noble lights, and his approach and practice resembled their saintly spirits.

I, this humble being, have made use of Ayatollah ‘Allamah Tabataba’i’s thoughts throughout my Qur’anic, scientific, mystical, and philosophical writings. Therefore his precious teachings are readily available. In what follows, I have presented some of what I know about him in a relatively extensive memorial, to honour his pure departed soul. It is titled Mihr-i Taban (Shining Sun).

May Allah assist the travellers of the path of sincerity and the vision of the Exalted Deity to advance toward their destination. May Allah keep up their efforts until they achieve their goal, by means of studying the description of great figures such as our outstanding master, ‘Allamah Tabataba’i. O Allah, resurrect him with Muhammad and his pure progeny, protect his descendants in his absence, and assist, strengthen, and support the followers of his school on the path of salvation. And O Allah, assist us and all of our brothers with benefits and blessings from his writings and his soul.

Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Husayni Tihrani

Mashhad, the sanctified city of Imam Rida (peace be upon him)

Friday, 26 Rabi’ al-Awwal, 1402 AH (21 January 1982)


1. Nahj al-Balaghah, Saying no. 147.

2. Ibid.