Shaykh al-Shari'a Isfahani
|Full Name||Fath Allah b. Muhammad Namazi Gharawi Shirazi Isfahani|
|Well-Known As||Shariʿat-madar • Shaykh al-Shariʿa|
|Burial Place||Najaf, inside the Holy Shrine of Imam 'Ali (a)|
|Professors||Habib Allah Rashti • Muhammad Husayn Faqih Kazimi • Mulla Haydar Ali Isfahani, ...|
|Students||Aqa Buzurg Tihrani • Sayyid Husayn Tabatavba'i Burujirdi, ...|
|Permission for Hadith|
|Sayyid Mahdi Qazwini • Shaykh Muhammad Taha Najaf • Sayyid Muhammad Baqir Khwansari • Mirza Muhammad Hashim Khwansari • Shaykh Muhammad Husayn Kazimi|
|Permission for Hadith|
|Aqa Buzurg Tihrani|
|Works||Anara al-halik fi qira'a mulk wa malik • Ibanah al-mukhtar fi irth al-zawja min thaman al-'iqar, ...|
|Leader of the revolution for independence in Iraq - issuance of fatwa of Jihad against colonialists|
Fatḥ Allāh b. Muḥammad Namāzī Gharawī Shīrāzī Iṣfahānī (Arabic:فَتح الله بن محمد نَمازی غَرَوی شیرازی اصفَهانی) (b. 1266/1850 – d. 1339/1920), the devoted Usuli faqih of the 13th/19th and 14th/20th centuries, known as Sharīʿat-madār or Shaykh al-Sharīʿa was the leader of the revolution for independence in Iraq and the Marja' for Shi'a after Mirza Muhammad Taqi Shirazi.
He was born on Rabi' I 12, 1266/January 26, 1850. His father Haj Mirza Muhammad Jawad was from Namazi Shirazi well-known family and lived in Isfahan. About his title as "Namazi", Amin has written that his forefather, Haj Muhammad Ali Namazi was known for piety and God-wariness and became famous as Namazi due to keeping up on praying obligatory and recommended prayers.
He passed away on the eve of Sunday, Rabi' II 8, 1339/December 20, 1920 in Najaf at the age of 73 (due to a sickness which debilitated him during the anti-British uprising of the people of Iraq). He was buried in one of the eastern rooms of the courtyard of Imam 'Ali's (a) shrine.
Children of Shaykh al-Shari'a are Shaykh Muhammad, Shaykh Hasan and Mirza Mahdi.
- Mulla Haydar Ali Isfahani
- Mulla 'Abd al-Jawad Khurasani Mudarris Kabir
- Mulla Ahmad Sabziwari
- Mulla Muhammad Sadiq Tunkabuni
- Haj Shaykh Muhammad Baqir b. Muhammad Taqi Isfahani Najafi
Shaykh Fath Allah then went to the seminary of Mashhad. According to Muhsin al-Amin, the presence of Shaykh al-Shari'a brought scientific richness to the seminary of Mashhad at that time and during scientific discussions, superiority of Shaykh over scholars of that seminary became obvious.
After Mashhad, in 1295/1878 or 1296/1879, Shaykh al-Shari'a went to Najaf and attended the classes of Mirza Habib Allah Rashti and Shaykh Muhammad Husayn Faqih Kazimi.
Shaykh al-Shari'a began his teaching in Isfahan by teaching Usul with the approach of Shaykh Murtada Ansari. It is quoted that his presence in Mashhad and Najaf resulted in a great crowd of the seekers of science in his classes. Among scholars, he became famous as "Shari'at-madar" and "Shaykh al-Shari'a". The following were among his students:
Several works have been mentioned as Shaykh al-Shari'a's works:
- Anara al-halik fi qira'a mulk wa malik
- Ibana al-mukhtar fi irth al-zawja min thaman al-'iqar (Muhsin al-Amin has reported that Akhund Khurasani had written some criticism on the margin of this book and Shaykh al-Shari'a answered them as Siyanat al-ibana.)
- Risala fi ahkam al-'asir al-'inabi
- Isalah al-sihha
- Hashiya fusul
- Qa'ida sudur dar hikma
- Qa'ida Darar
- Ifada al-qadir fi khill al-'asir
- Qa'ida tahara
Scientific Position and Authority
Authors of biographies including Muhsin al-Amin, Hirz al-Din and Mudarris Tabrizi praised his scientific authority and level of perfection in knowledge and called him as one of the top scholars of his time in rational and traditional sciences. He went to hajj in 1313/1896 and after his return, began issuing rulings and fulfillment of people's requests. While Sayyid Muhammad Kazim Yazdi and Mirza Muhammad Taqi Shirazi were alive, many people referred to Shaykh al-Shari'a and emulated him, but after the demise of the two mentioned scholars, Shaykh al-Shari'a became the sole grand authority of Shia.
Muhammad Ali Mudarris Tabrizi called him among top scholars and superior to most of his contemporary scholars.
Shaykh al-Shari'a received permission from some of his teachers such as the following:
- Sayyid Mahdi Qazwini
- Shaykh Muhammad Taha Najaf
- Sayyid Muhammad Baqir Khwansari (the author of Rawdat al-jannat)
- Mirza Muhammad Hashim Khwansari (brother of the author of Rawdat)
- Shaykh Muhammad Husayn Kazimi
His Political Struggles
The life of Shaykh al-Shari'a Isfahani was at the same time with different political and military events in which he was influential. He issued several rulings against Italian colonialists in their attack to Libya, the invasion of Russia to the north of Iran and killing liberalists in 1329/1911, invasion of the Allies to Ottoman state in 1332/1914 and the invasion of British forces to Iraq and taking Basra in 1338/ 1920 and in those rulings, he called Muslims to resistance against colonialists, throwing them out of Islamic lands and rejecting any political, military, economic and cultural domination of them.
His influential role beside Mirza Muhammad Taqi Shirazi in the independence movement of the people of Iraq in the history is so clear that after the demise of Mirza Shirazi and becoming the sole authority of Shia, in practice, Shaykh al-Shari'a became the leader of the revolution of people. Like his teacher, Shaykh al-Shari'a had both the roles of supervising the affairs as well as being the link between the chiefs of the nomads involved in the war.
According to 'Abd al-Hadi Ha'iri, the most comprehensive and ordered statement which gave a great awareness to the reader about the movement was the one issued by Shari'at Isfahani, in which he had discussed the most important goals of colonialists and their plans for making division and conflict among Muslims.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from فتح الله غروی اصفهانی in Farsi Wikishia.