Al-Shahid al-Thani: Zayn al-Din al-Jub'i al-Amili

Al-Shahid al-Thani: Zayn al-Din al-Jub'i al-Amili0%

Al-Shahid al-Thani: Zayn al-Din al-Jub'i al-Amili Author:
Translator: Hasan M. Najafi
Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum
Category: Ulama and Scholars

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Al-Shahid al-Thani: Zayn al-Din al-Jub'i al-Amili

Al-Shahid al-Thani: Zayn al-Din al-Jub'i al-Amili

Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum

This book is corrected and edited by Al-Hassanain (p) Institue for Islamic Heritage and Thought

Al-Shahid al-Thani: Zayn al-Din al-Jub'i al-Amili

This book about Shahid al-Thani is part of the series “Meeting the Pious”. This series introduces the biographies of the beacons of Islamic thought, those stars whose scientific horizons may inundate the leaders of other ideological dogmas and creeds, and other well-known thinkers.

Author(s): Ali Sadiqi

Translator(s): Hasan M. Najafi

Publisher(s): Ansariyan Publications - Qum


Publisher’s Foreword 4

Preamble 5

Translator’s Introduction 7

Chapter 1: The Beginning 8

The Sacred Wrath 8

His Household 9

His Birth 9

His Learning 10

Toward Mays Village 10

His Marriage 10

Toward Karak Noah 10

Returning Home 11

At Damascus 11

Returning Home 11

Damascus Again 11

In Land of Pyramids 11

Toward the Ancient House 13

Peace be on Ahmad in the Worlds 14

Returning to Homeland 14

Notes 15

Chapter 2: School for Generations 16

His Character 16

Following the Prophet’s Guide 16

Others’ Views about Him 16

Ibn al-Awdi 17

His Teachers 18

His Disciples 19

School for Generations 20

His Works 20

Musakkin al-Fu’ad `inda Faqd al-’Ahibbah wa al-’Awlad 24

Sharh al-Lum`ah 24

Munyat al-Murid 24

Excerpts from Munyat al-Murid 25

Notes 26

Chapter 3: On the Path to Glory 28

Secret of Success 28

First: Persevering Endeavour 28

Second: Discipline 28

Discipline in al-Shahid’s Character 29

His Supernatural Acts 29

A Vision 30

On the Mediterranean Shores 30

Another Extraordinary Act 30

Making Travel 31

Al-Shahid’s Travels 31

His Memoir 32

Touqat 33

Qastantine 34

With Abu Ayyub al-’Ansari 34

Meeting al-Kulayni 35

Cities of Iraq 35

In Ba’labakk 36

Notes 36

Chapter 4: Beams of Sunset 38

The Decline 38

The Bloody End 38

Notes 40

Bibliography 42

Publisher’s Foreword

My dearest readers, in which they were all asking for books and leaflets dealing with the biography of the ‘ulama’, who played a bright role in the world of thought and religious sciences, in all fields. In response, this Foundation has embarked on perusing the matter attentively and with utmost care, to meet the sincere desires of the readers longing for studying the Islamic culture and its characters.

While Ansariyan Publications is presenting the series of “Meeting the Pious”(Liqa’ ma’a al-’Abrar), it only hopes that it can attain the satisfaction and approval of our beloved readers, meeting their requests. And it is Allah Who helps us to succeed.

Ansariyan Publications


The cultural assault rests on two pillars: first, humiliating the pristine culture; and second, overstating in publicizing for the substitute Western culture. Through this cultural ravishment and vilification for the genuine culture, people may feel to be despised in comparison to others, heedless of their own culture and peerless containments of treasures, begging help from aliens, and offering their culture and civilization at an underrate.

The defunct Pahlavi dynasty adopted this wicked policy with the West, declaring it as the deity of civilization, modernism and art, beside even ethics and religion. Whereas it introduced the East as an example and source of savagery and backwardness, or at the best, be called the “Third World’ “the non-developed countries. These devilish policies have, to some extent, managed in achieving their goals, as a large number of people “particularly the youth “began to view the West as representing the free world that defends the human rights, democracy and freedom.

But, the sun cannot be kept behind clouds forever, as said by the known dictum, and realities began to emerge as clear as noonday, with the start of the era of Islamic resurgence “the era characterized with the contemporary generation’s return to its inborn nature and disposition, to the Holy Qur’an and real dogma and its elements.

In spite of the present optimistic illumination auguring well, the state of thought ravishment is still suffering “in many of the sensitive and important fields”from the Western abnormal effects.

The high certificates got in the West, for example, are still dazzling our sights, and the medicine that does not hold an attractive and illustrious Western mark has actually no effective influence. Yet, a lot of Western cultural phenomena are still penetrative or rather firmly rooted in our society’s behaviorism. Meanwhile, the West is still selecting for us the costumes we wear, and determining the kinds of medals to be granted to the winning athletes. Not only that, but also we expect it to distribute the literary prizes, for which all are longing eagerly.

In any case, is it correct to regard the West as our unique model and example? That West whose ill-favoured intention has been revealed through its void mottos and false claims in defending the democracy and human rights. What are the reasons behind such feelings of inferiority towards the fifteenth Hijrah Century executioners?

We still view the West as an ideal, despite its adopting the apartheid policy, and awarding its literary prizes to those who are devoid of decency and good manners, like Salman Rushdie, while withholding the Muslim genius students from participating in the Physics Olympiad.

The Islamic world is asked then to strive hard to establish an ‘slamic World Order’, and to sever all connections between it and the Western slogans and pretensions, like democracy, freedom and defending the human rights.

Can we have any hope, then, in the West while we are witnessing the catastrophic events occurring all over the Islamic countries, such as Bosnia Herzegovina, Algeria, and Palestine? Whoever is concerned with the Muslims’ affairs should realize that no outlet or solution (for the crises) is there, but only through resorting and returning to the warm wings of the Holy Qur’an and its expansive patronage.

“Meeting the Pious”series is then a practical attempt and an earnest endeavour to return to our genuine identity, through introducing the biographies of the beacons of Islamic thought, those stars whose scientific horizons may inundate the leaders of other ideological dogmas and creeds, and other well-known thinkers.

One of the most sensitive facts that disturbs the West and robs its sleep, is the serious return of the Islamic nation (ummah) to its real identity, to its leading figures “to those who managed in paving the hard way of Islam through their concerted efforts and honest contribution.

The staff of “Meeting the Pious”series has made a pledge to investigate the inherent characteristics and biographies of seventy gliterring stars of the high sphere of Islamic thought, and introduce them as lofty shining ensigns who struggled to rebuild the Islamic civilization anew.

Baqir al-’Ulum Research Foundation


Translator’s Introduction

It is really perplexing to see how identical were the two characters between whom a hundred and fifty years separate. Whoever investigates the biography of al-Shaykh Zayn al-Din al-’Amili, will verily realize its being complementary to the character of Muhammad ibn Makki, who was martyred in 786 H, and known later as al-Shahid al-’Awwal. No doubt then that al-Shaykh Zayn al-Din be called al-Shahid al-Thani, since both of them experienced identical circumstances, encountering similar conspiracies.

Each one of them was the superior intellectual character at their time, with his life being characterized with many travels among Islamic cities and metropolises. Their only objective was knowledge seeking, till each of them turned to be an encyclopedia in thought and knowledge, leaving behind a voluminous heritage indicating their genius and knowledgeability.

Both were born in Jabal ‘Amil, living the same period of time, facing the same bloody fate, being victims of the plots of politicians and covetous people having malicious nature and degraded morals.

They resembled each other to the extent that al-Shahid al-Thani has embarked on studying al-Lum’ah alDimashqiyyah on fiqh, which is authored by al-Shahid al‘Awwal. Then he expounded it under the title al-Rawdah al-bahiyyah fi sharh al-Lum’ah al-Dimashqiyyah, after which the original book and the exposition occupied the priority among the curricula of the theological schools despite the succession of numerous centuries.

Al-Shahid al-’Awwal was tried in Damascus, executed, then his body was crucified for several days, stonned and burnt, and transformed then to ashes dispersed by winds. Whereas al-Shahid al-Thani was taken guarded to Qastantine, whereat his fate was to be killed on the shores of the Mediterranean, and his body to be thrown into the sea, and be devoured by the whales.

The only reason behind liquidating them in this tragic way was their holding an opinion contradictory to that of the rulers, and enjoying the masses support, the fact exciting the then rulers’ fears.

At last, we have to refer to the fact that the sequence of murder and bloody liquidations is still going on to the present time, inflicting the offspring of the Two Martyrs (al-Shahidayn), as al-’Imam Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr met his end at the hand of Iraq despot (Saddam) in 1980. After him his sister Aminat al-Sadr, known with the name Bint al-Huda, was martyred, and before them al-Imam Musa al-Sadr disappeared in vague circumstances in 1978.

This being the history of tragedies, initiated from Karbala’ of al-Husayn (A), since the moment of ‘Ashura’, and is still continuing its course toward the age of green peace.

Hasan M. Najafi

Chapter 1: The Beginning

The Sacred Wrath

Al-Shahid was verily a spirit full of sacred wrath a heart beating with faith (iman) and bravery a peremptory tongue like a trenchant sword, and a man knows nothing but the truth.

He persevered on rejecting oppression, deploring prodigality, and condemning extravagance and deviation. Thus his heart burst like an outbreaking volcano, ejecting its lava against the palaces of those unjust people given to luxury.

He found the straightforward path, being guided toward the right course, stepping forward with full confidence in Allah, relying upon his Lord, fearing neither the reproach of those who are entitled to reproach, nor the rulers’ repression.

One day the Messenger of Allah, on looking at him, recognized his magnanimous self and high spirit, saying: “No meadow could overshadow and no earth could carry over it a man more truthful in speech than Abu Dharr.”

True, it is Abu Dharr, the champion of the pricky hard way the way of bidding to good and forbidding evil. He recognized the truth, bidding people to follow it, and realized falsehood, forbidding from following it, being thus a source of fear for the oppressors, and a danger threatening the rulers. So, they did their utmost to dissuade him from his course, but failed, and all the abundant sums of money could never tempt him or weaken his resolute. All swords, lashes or other means of horror were humbled in front of his strong will.

Once upon a day a servant knocked at his house-door saying to him:

“O the Companion of the Messenger of Allah, here you are, this is the caliph’s present to you an amount of money that is sufficient to sustain on all your life.” Abu Dharr refused to accept the gift, but the servant insisted on him, begging him by saying:

“They promised to set me free O Abu Dharr, please accept it my emancipation is entailed from (your accepting) it.

Abu Dharr refused the rulers’ presents, and decisively exclaimed:

“If it entails your emancipation, it causes my slavery. Yea, o gullible lad, are you asking such a thing from Abu Dharr? Are you asking him to have confidence in or submit to the oppressors?

In this way everywhere was resounded with Abu Dharr’s voice calling for truth, demanding to establish justice on earth. Consequently, the orders were issued to arrest and exile him to Sham, separating him from his beloved people and his struggle comrades, depriving him from the tenement-houses of revelation, the scent of Pro phethood and warmth of Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them).

It was destined for Abu Dharr to tread, with his feet, the roads of Jabal Amil, that goodly region of the land of Lebanon, where lie simple hills, spacious valleys and limited-scope plains.

And thus was the fate of Jabal ‘Amil to initiate a new chapter in its deep-rooted history. There, people came to discover a firebrand from the spirit of Muhammad (God’s benediction be upon him and his pure Progeny), as from the heart of his great Companion, Islam’s concepts and message values began to effuse, and the rebellious words started to proceed into the heart of earth and history. Hence, sun of Islam began to rise from among the clouds, overwhelming that land with light, warmth and hope.

The palaces of the Umayyad ruler began to be shaken violently by the Ghifari earthquake, and strong feeling of trepidation and fright overwhelmed Mu’awiyah, who gave his orders to return the honourable companion to the centre of caliphate, with instructions to treat him very harshly.

So the Companion of Allah’s Messenger returned to alMadinah, to see nothing but frowned faces and executioners’ lashes. There, the expulsion cycle started anew, till his last exile be at Rabadhah “the severest region in the world in respect of climate and voidness of any traces of life.

In this place, Abu Dharr passes away, joining the caravan of freemen and the righteous, with his words in Jabal ‘Amil turning to be seeds and buds, growing, blossoming and setting their roots firm into the depths of earth, history and civilization. Thereafter, Jabal ‘Amil commenced to play its effective role on the scene of life, producing to the mankind “over long ages and eras “numerous reputed ‘ulama’, litterateurs and thinkers.

Among the ‘ulama’ produced by that generous land, we can refer to the renowned scholar Zayn al-Din al-Jub’ii al-’Amili, who was known later with the name of al-Shahid al-Thani1 .

His Household

Zayn al-Din ibn ‘Ali ibn Ahmad al-’Amili is verily counted among the great ‘ulama’ and fuqaha’, endowed with a versatile personality, being prominent in the fields of literature and medicine too.

He was brought up in an inveterate family of noble social and theological status. His father was Nur al-Din ‘Ali, one of the honourable ‘ulama’, and so also were his both grandfathers Jamal al-Din and al-Taqi, beside his great grandfather al-Shaykh Salih. Hence his family was called Silsalat al-Dhahab (Golden Chain). Further his only son al-Shaykh Yasan was one of the most eminent Imamiyyah ‘ulama’, compiling the book al-Ma’alim2 on usul al-fiqh.

Also his grandson, from his daughter, al-Sayyid Muhammad ‘Ali al-’Amili, who was one among the most reputable Shi’ah researchers. He authored the book al-Madarik on fiqh.3

To him belong scientific personages of great influence and role in the thought and social fields, like al-’Imam Musa al-Sadr,4 the President of the Supreme Shi’i Council in Lebanon, and the martyr al-Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr5 with his sister the martyr Aminat al-Sadr, known as Bint al-Huda.

His Birth

On the thirteenth of Shawwal 911 H., at Jub’i, one of south Lebanon villages, a lightening planet has brightened from Nur al-Din ‘Ali’s house, overshadowing the world with a shining comely face, overwhelming his parents heart with warmth and hope. So they gave him the name Zayn al-Din, and after elapse of few days, the signs of smartness and genius, began to emerge as talents endowed on him. The boy grew up inside a chaste house, overfull of piety (taqwa), faith and modesty. He recited the whole holy Qur’an before reaching the age of nine.

His Learning

Al-Shahid has betaken himself at this prime age to study the arts of Arabic literature and jurisprudence (fiqh). His first teacher was his father, who was among the grand ‘ulama’ of Jabal ‘Amil during his time, teaching him the books al-Mukhta’ar al-nafi’i and al-Lum’ah alDimashqiyyah. For the latter one, al-Shahid has compiled his well-known exposition (sharh) under the title: al-Rawdhah al-bahiyyah, beside other various literary books.

Enough be for his father to boast of, is that he has educated al-Shahid in a way that put him on the course leading to geniusness and aptitude. He continued his study till the year 925 H. when his father deceased, while his age was less than 14 years.

But the dread of this shock and bitterness of orphanhood could never curb his activity, or frustrate his enthusiastic spirit from seeking knowledge, as it was the conduct of other genius unique men, whose talents were burnished by experiences of life.

Toward Mays Village

Thus Zayn al-Din, the novice pupil, has set off toward the village of Mays in Jabal ‘Amil, after being aware of the presence of a great scholar like al-Shaykh ‘Ali ibn Abd al-’Ali in it. Under that man he learnt Shara’i’i al-’slam of al-Muhaqqiq al-Hilli, Irshad al-’adhhan of al‘Allamah al-Hilli, and al-Qawa’id of al-Shahid al-’Awwal Muhammad ibn Makki, which all being among sublime fiqhi books.

Al-Shahid resided for eight years at Mays, till 933 H., prompted by the fact that his teacher was the husband of his aunt, who used to treat him compassionately, taking care of him throughout all that period.

His Marriage

Al-Shahid persevered on learning so hard and actively, acquiring knowledge, and quaffing from its serene fountains, till reaching the age of twenty-two. Thereat he thought that it was opportune time to complete the other half of his religion, and start a new life a life common with his dreamgirl. And no one could be better than the daughter of his compassionate aunt and of his honourable professor. Thus al-Shahid found his promised rest6 in that faithful girl, whose character was distinguished with all features of a goodly village, such as simplicity, content and serenity.

Toward Karak Noah

Within only a short time after Zayn al-Din’s marriage to his aunt’s duaghter, the idea of migration has striken the mind of his new family, so they packed off to another village, being Karak Noah.7 So, the knowledge-seeker, after acquiring much fiqh and other fields of knowledge, set off with his family.

In Karak Noah, he attended the lessons of literature, fiqh, philosophy, kalam and usul, under al-Sayyid Badr al-Din Yasan al-’A’raji, who taught him al-Qawai'd of Ibn Maytham al-Bahrani, on ilm al-kalam, beside al-Tahdhib and al-’Umdah al-jaliyyah on usul al-fiqh, with the book al-Kafiyah on ‘lm al-nahw (grammar).

After only seven months, the knowledge-seeker was bereaved with the decease of his teacher, whereat he recalled the passing away of his father a long time ago, yearning strongly for Jub’, his birthplace.

Returning Home

In Jumada al-Thaniyah 934, Zayn al-Din departed Karak Noah, betaking himself toward Jub’, in which he stayed till the year 937, which he spent in reading, preaching and meeting people’s needs. Hence he attained high position among people, deserving much applause and appreciation.

At Damascus

Al-Shahid migrated to Damascus, the capital of Sham in 937 H. when he was twenty-six years old, prompted by the keen desire to seek knowledge. So he resided there for one year, attending the lectures of the philosopher Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn Makki, learning under him the books authored by his teacher: Sharh al-Mujaz and Ghayat al-Qa’Id fi mairifat al-fa’Id. Besides, he learned the book Fu’Iul al-Farghani on ‘ilm al-hay’ah, and Hikmat al-’Ishraq of al-Suhrawardi on philosophy. Also he learned under al-Shaykh Ahmad ibn Jabir, the book al ShaÏibiyyah on ‘lm al-qira’ah (science of reading), studying the readings of Nafi’, Ibn Kathir, Ibn ‘Amr and ‘A’Iim.

Returning Home

Homesickness has pushed al-Shahid to return home, Jub’i, staying at his village till the year 941. Throughout all that period, he was engaged in reading, verification, teaching and preaching people.

Damascus Again

Again, at the outset of 942, al-Shahid returned to Damascus to resume his learning there. During that period, he established contacts with many personalities from different Islamic schools of thought, to be acquainted with other thought trends.

So he met, on this course, the Damascene scholar al-Shaykh Shams al-Din ibn Ãawlawn, reading for him parts of Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, after which Ibn Ãawlawn has licensed him to narrate both of them. At that time, his disciple Ibn al-’Awdi came out to light, accompanying him for a long time.

In Land of Pyramids

On the fifteenth of Rabi’i al-’Awwal 942 H., al-Shahid al-Thani departed Damascus8 toward Egypt, in order to enrich his religious knowledge, and living in new thought spheres.

Since Egypt, at that time, was a huge thought centre, al-Shahid endeavoured, on his arrival there, to make contact with the leaders of other schools of thought.

He started to closely study their trends of thought, for having full knowledge of their rational point of view, and comprehending their scientific signification.

Al-Shahid proved his effective attendance at various circles of learning held everywhere, in mosques and schools, learning under a large number of professors of fiqh, exegesis (tafsir) and hadith (tradition). Among them he refers to:

“Al-Shaykh Shahab al-Din Ahmad al-Ramli al-Shafi’i, studying under him Minhaj al-Nawawi on fiqh, and Mukhtaar al-’u’Iul with reading the commentaries (hawashi) on it: al-Sa’diyyah and al-Sharifiyyah. I also heard under him many books on Arabic and rational arts, and other fields, like: Sharh al-Talkhi’I for the book al-Mukhtaar fi al-maAni wa al-bayan of al-Mulla Sa’id al-Din; al Shaykh Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni’s Sharh on u’sul al-fiqh; and Ibn Hisham’s Taw’ih on nahw (grammar), beside other books whose mention is out of scope here, and he granted me a general license in reporting what is permitted to be narrated in 943 H.

“Among them also is al-Mulla Husayn al-Jurjani, under whom I learned al-Mulla ‘Ali al-Qawashachi, with Mulla Jalal al-Din al-Dawwani’s Aashiyah, Sharh ashkal alta’sis on geometry by Qa’Ii Zadah al-Ruhi and Sharh alJaghmini on hay’ah by him.

“Among them too is al-Mulla Muhammad al‘Astrabadi, under whom we learned a portion from the book al-MuÏawwal, with al-Sayyid Sharif’s Aashiyah and Sharh al-Kafiyah. Beside al-Mulla Muhammad ‘Ali al-Jilani, under whom we heard some parts of ma’ani (rhetoric) and manÏiq (logic).

“Among them further is al-Shaykh Shahab al-Din ibn al-Najjar al-Yanbali, under whom I learned all of the books Sharh al-Shafiyah and Sharh al-Khazrajiyyah on prosody and rhyming of al-Shaykh Zakariyya al-’Ansari, reciting numerous books on arts and hadith, among which are al-Sahihan, and he licensed me to report whatever I heard and recited, beside all that was permitted for him to narrate in the said year.

“Also among them is al-Shaykh Abu al-Yasan al-Bakri, under whom I heard a number of books on fiqh and exegesis (tafsir), beside his sharh on al-Minhaj.

“Of them too is al-Shaykh Zayn al-Din al-Jarmi alMaliki, under whom I recited Alfiyyat Ibn Malik.

“Of them again is al-Shaykh al-Muhaqqiq Na’sir al-Din al-Malaqani al-Maliki, the time researcher and honourable man of that town, who was the best scholar in rational and Arabic sciences, under whom I read al-Bayawi fi altafsir, with other books.

“Of them is al-Shaykh Na’sir al-Din al-Hablawi al-Shafi’i, under whom I recited the Qur’an according to Ibn Amr’s reading (qira’ah), and a treatise on reading authored by him.

“Of them is al-Shaykh Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn Abi al-Nahhas, under whom I read al-ShaÏibiyyah fi al-qira’ah wa al-Qur’an al-Aziz li al-’A’immah al-Sabah. Then I started to recite for him the ten without completing them to the end.

Ibn al-Awdi9 commented on this by saying: “Most often al-Shahid was labelling this Shaykh with piety, uprightness and modesty. It was customary for the virtuous men of Egypt to frequenting to him for reading under him arts of the holy Qur’an due to his being distinguished in this field. He was so concerned with this profession, that people used to recite (the Qur’an) for him while he being busy in his occupation, never dropping the hammer from his hand, except when visited by one of the great dignitaries, whereat he would spread a rug for him, whereas he himself sat on a straw mat.”

Some of them are mentioned by al-Shahid when saying: Among them is the virtuous perfect Shaykh ‘Abd al Hamid al-Sanhuri, for whom I read a good sum of arts, after which he granted me a general license.

Ibn al-Awdi commented thus:

This Shaykh also deserved the appraisal of our Shaykh, may Allah sanctify his soul, al-Shahid al-Thani, who used to ascribe to him the two virtues of ‘ilm (knowledge) and generosity. He says that during the Month of Ramadhan, he used to invite all his friends to break their fasting at his house, so as that once upon a night they were absent during the time of ifÏar (breakfast at maghrib during RamaAn), but when coming after that, he treated them so kindly, saying:

“We all felt lonely and longed for you yesterday, even Latifah (his younger daughter).

He owned a maid servant, that whenever someone would come to invite him, he would tell her:

“Inform your master that so-and-so has invited the company to be his guests tonight.

Thereat she would reply:

“I never apprise him of this news at all.

Al-Shahid al-Thani goes on to introduce the Egyptian personalities he met, saying:

Among them is al-Shaykh Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn Abd al-Qadir al-Far’i al-Shafi’i, for whom I read many books on Indian arithmetic, and al-Yasaminah with its sharh (exposition) on algebra and comparison science, besides reciting Sharh al-Wasilah for which he granted me a general license.

In the same country, I recited under a large number of shaykhs, whose mention is out of scope, among them are: al-Shaykh ‘Umayrah, al-Shaykh Shahab al-Din ibn Abd al-Yaqq, al-Shaykh Shahab al-Din al-Balqini, and al-Shaykh Shams al-Din al-Diruti, beside others.10

This document explicitly indicates the extent of al Shahid’s activity, and his keenness to be acquainted with the different sciences prevalent at that time, besides endeavouring to comprehend the different schools of thought and methods of teaching. Though the period spent by al Shahid in the land of Egypt was so short “eighteen months “but he exploited it in an astounding way, as it was feasible for him to grasp numerous fields of knowledge, that others could not grasp, during that comparatively short time.

Toward the Ancient House

When the youth felt quenched of knowledge and science, his sublime spirit started to strongly yearning for Makkah, the descension place of revelation and cornerstone of the everlasting message. So he eagerly set out to make pilgrimage to the Ancient House, on the seventeenth of Shawwal 943 H., taking with him as companions two of his disciples.

The small caravan crossed the thorney deserts and sandy flat lands, to reach the land of Makkah the homeland of Ibrahim and Isma’iil and Hajar, to witness by his own eyes the first house placed for mankind. Also to sight al-Madinah, which witnessed the birth of the best of human beings Muhammad (peace and benediction be upon him and his pure Progeny), and that of the eternal champion of Islam ‘Ali (A). There at the youth began to recall to mind the vivid images of the jihad of the earlier Muslims Abu Talib, the Messenger’s uncle and guardian, Khadijah with her sacrifices, Yasir with his steadfastness, Sumayyah the first martyr throughout the Islamic history and Bilal etc.

After performing the rites of ‘umrah and hajj, al Shahid betook himself toward al-Madinah al Munawwarah to the land that witnessed the great miracle “the miracle of Islam and birth of the new Ummah (nation).

Peace be on Ahmad in the Worlds

As the small caravan set out toward Yathrib, the youth started to imagine the memoir of the perilous travel, when the Prophet (S) decided to depart Makkah and migrate toward Yathrib, the event recording the Hijrah calendar that changed the face of the world, and rectified the human course all the world over.

There at the love fountains began to gush out, with the youth starting to chant:

Peace and salutation be upon the best of mankind, Whose grace exceeding limitation and confinement, That who ascended the seven skies with slippers, Whom Allah substituted with Barraq for his foal, Whom the Almighty Allah addressed with His love, Orally, that never occurred for a slave or freeman, My inability to citing your virtues is seemly,

Of which my tongue is fatigued through poetry or prose, What have people to say in praise of that those,

Lofty laudations are mentioned in the holy Book, I rushed toward him hastily as a powerless

Burdened with abundant sins on my back, But love wind instigated my vigour,

And soul of hope in my self-weakness with poverty, The generous Arabs’ habit toward their guest,

Is showering him with good, cheerness and affluence, They abundantly give their guest with no precedence, How then of the good you promised me in Egypt,11

My master, make me realize my hope of the visit, Through attaining my wish and intercession at resurrection.12

Returning to Homeland

After traversing some parts of the Islamic world, travelling between Damascus and Cairo, then Makkah and al-Madinah, in a journey taking two years, strong yearning controlled him, pushing him to return to Jub`, his small lamblike village. So he set out, betaking himself toward it, on the fourteenth of Safar 944 H.

His arrival to the village turned to be a feast for its inhabitants, as all without exception went out for his reception with extreme hospitality.

Ibn al-Awdi says:

“His coming to the town resembled a descending mercy, or downpouring rain. With his knowledge he revived souls deadened by ignorance (jahl), and around him men of knowledge and virtue crowded, thronging to him as if gates of knowledge that were closed began to open witnessing the blossoming of his mart that was stagnant. The darkness of illiteracy was illuminated by his bright lights, and the hearts of men of knowledge were rejoiced and enlightened. He exposed and propagated all the sciences he acquired through his tireless exertion, benefitting people to a matchless extent, arranging the knowledge-seekers like men, showing the right way for whoever sought it.”

Thus al-Shahid’s arrival to the small village led to the revival of a cultural movement, activating the thought arena, with his being object of attention of knowledge seekers who betook themselves to him from different cities and countries, and the ‘ulama’ gathered around him. So al-Shahid took upon his shoulders the responsibility entrusted to him in preaching and guiding people, besides conducting the religious affairs, building a new mosque, executing some public charitable programs.


1. Al-Shahid al-’Awwal is the scholar Muhammad ibn Makki al-`Amili, who was martyred in 786 H., after a fictitious unjust trial. (Translator).

2. The book is still occupying an outstanding position among the curricula in the theological schools, though it was compiled several centuries ago.

3. It is among the well-known fiqhi books among the Shi’ah.

4. He disappeared in 1978 in vague circumstances, and his fate is still unknown. (Translator)

5. He was murdered by the Tyrant of Iraq Saddam in 1980. (Translator)

6. In reference to the holy verse: “And of His signs is this: He created for you helpmeets from yourselves that ye might find rest in them ...”(30:21).

7. It is situated near to Ba`labakk. It is called with this name due to its nearness to the tomb of the Prophet Noah (A).

8. The expenses of his travel to Egypt were subscribed by al- Hajj Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn Hilal. It is worth mentioning that his benevolent man, about whom nothing is reported in history books, had allotted for al-Shahid a special stipend during his learning period in Damascus. Later on he was found slain with his wife and two sons, one of whom was still fosterling in the cradle, in 952 H., through dubious circumstances. (Translator)

9. He was one of al-Shahid’s disciples, enjoying his company for a long time during which he wrote a part of his biography.

10. Excerpts from Ibn al-’Awdi’s treatise on al-Shahid’s biography.

11. It is a reference to a vision he dreamt of in Egypt.

12. Rawdat al-jannat, Vol. III, p. 363.