Hasan 'Ali Nukhudaki

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Shaykh hasan ali nukhudaki.jpg
Personal Information
Full Name Hasan 'Ali Miqdadi Isfahani
Well-Known As Nukhudaki
Birth 1279/1863
Residence Isfahan, Mashhad
Studied in Isfahan, Mashhad, Najaf
Death 1361/1942
Burial Place Mashhad
Scholarly Information
Professors Jahangir Khan Qashqa'i, Mirza Habib Allah Rashti, Sayyid Muhammad Fisharaki Isfahani, Sayyid Muhammad Kazim Tabataba'i Yazdi and ...
Students 'Abd al-Nabi Khurasani, Dhabih Allah Amir Shahidi, al-Sayyid Shahab al-Din al-Mar'ashi al-Najafi, Ghulam Rida 'Irfanian Yazdi and ...
Works Nishan az bi Nishanha

Ḥasan ʿAlī Nukhudakī Iṣfahānī (Persian: حسنعلی نخودکی اصفهانی) (b.1279/1863 –d. 1361/1942), was a Shi'a scholar and mystic. His father was famous for his acts of wonder and his du'as being answered by God. Hasan 'Ali, as well, practiced self-discipline, ascesis and purification of soul and in which benefitted a lot from great personalities such as Sayyid Ja'far Qazwini and Sayyid Murtada Kashmiri.

Hasan 'Ali also studied different sciences such as philosophy, fiqh, usul, tafsir and mathematics and attended classes of great scholars such as Jahangir khan Qashqa'i, Akhund Mulla Muhammad Kashi, and Sayyid Muhammad Kazim Yazdi.

Nukhudaki knew some occult sciences. He used to spend some of his time to answer wayfarers of spiritual journey, giving certain du'as for different problems of the people who came to him from near and far cities.

His Birth

Hasan 'Ali Miqdadi was born in Isfahan in 15th Dhu l-Qa'da 1279/4th May 1863. His title as Nukhudaki in his old age was because of his living in Nukhudak, a village near Mashhad.

His Lineage

Hasan 'Ali's father, 'Ali Akbar was an ordinary shopkeeper in Isfahan who was known for his piety. He was a follower of Muhammad Sadiq Takht Puladi, a leader of Chashti Order and was famous for his acts of wonder and his du'as being answered by God.

His Mystical Education

Hasan 'Ali's father took Hasan 'Ali to his own teacher to teach him akhlaq and 'Irfan and asked him to take care of Hasan 'Ali's education. From the age of 7 to 11 years old, Hasan 'Ali practiced self-discipline under supervision of Muhammad Sadiq Takht Puladi.

In 1290/1873, Muhammad Sadiq Takht Puladi passed away and Hasan 'Ali continued his self-discipline practice for three more years, so that he kept vigil at nights and was fasting the days. Later, he went to Shahreza and benefitted from teachings of Sayyid Ja'far Husayni Qazwini who was apparently an attracted (Majdhub) wayfarer.

Learning Islamic Sciences

In addition to self-purification, Hasan 'Ali began studying Islamic sciences. He studied Arabic literature, logics, philosophy, fiqh, usul and mathematics under famous teachers of Isfahan seminary such as Jahangir Khan Qashqa'i and Akhund Mulla Muhammad Kashi and studied tafsir (exegesis of the Qur'an) under Sayyid Sina son of Sayyid Ja'far Kashfi.

He went to Mashhad in 1303/1886 and stayed there for one year and practice ascesis in one of the rooms of the upper floor of 'Atiq courtyard in the holy shrine of Imam al-Rida (a). Afterwards, he returned to Isfahan. He went to Najaf in 1304/1887 and stayed there until 1311/1894 and completed his studies in Kharij fiqh and usul under teachers of Najaf seminary such as Mirza Habib Allah Rashti, Sayyid Muhammad Fisharaki Isfahani, Sayyid Muhammad Kazim Tabataba'i Yazdi, Muhammad Hasan Mamaqani and Mulla Isma'il Qarahbaghi.

There he visited the great scholar and mystic Sayyid Murtada Kashmiri and associated with him for a while and benefitted from him in self-purification.

His Travels

Since 1311/1894 until 1314/1897, Hasan 'Ali stayed in Mashhad and practiced ascesis and benefitted from classes of teachers such as Muhammad Ali Khurasani (known as Haji Fadil), Sayyid Ali Ha'iri Yazdi, Haj Aqa Husayn Qummi and 'Abd al-Rahman Mudarris. Later, he travelled to Shiraz and began learning medicine and studying Avicenna's Qanun under Mirza Ja'far Tabib.

In Ramadan of the same year, Hasan 'Ali went to Bushehr and from there, he went to Mecca. He went to Najaf and Isfahan some other times. Finally, he went to Mashhad in 1329/1911 and stayed there until the end of his life.

His Teaching

Most of his time, Nukhudaki spent his time in worship, ascesis, i'tikaf, visiting the graves of mystics such as Abu 'Ali Farmadi, Shaykh Muhamamd Karandihi (known as Pir Palanduz) and Shaykh Muhammad Mu'min.

Although being occupied with worship most of the time, he sometimes taught fiqh, usul, mathematics in books such as Sharh al-lum'a al-Dimashqiyya, Ma'alim al-din and Khulasat al-hisab.

His Knowledge of Occult Sciences

Nukhudaki was also knowledgeable about al-'ulum al-ghariba (occult sciences) and had some pupils in them. He used to spend some of his time to answer wayfarers of spiritual journey, giving certain du'as for different problems of the people who came to him from near and far cities.

His Inclination towards Sufism

Many acts of wonder have been reported from Nukhudaki. Some have introduced him as the Qutb or Shaykh of Chashti Order and introduced his spiritual title as Bandih 'Ali who did not invite anyone to this order. He loved Khaksar dervishes and went to Takyih Gunbad Sabz most eves of Friday which was the meeting place of Khaksar dervishes and associated with them.

His Demise

Nukhudaki passed away on Sha'ban 17, 1361/1942. Many people of Mashhad attended his funeral and he was buried in 'Atiq courtyard of the holy Shrine of Imam al-Rida (a).

His Pupils and Disciples

Some of Nukhudaki's pupils and disciples were,

  • his son, 'Ali Miqdadi Isfahani,
  • 'Abd al-Nabi Khurasani,
  • Dhabih Allah Amir Shahidi,
  • Muhammad Hasan Khurasani,
  • Mahmud Halabi,
  • Muhamamd Ahmadabadi (known as Tabib zadih),
  • Sayyid 'Ali Radawi
  • and Abu l-Hasan Hafeziyan.

Al-Sayyid Shahab al-Din al-Mar'ashi al-Najafi and Ghulam Rida 'Irfanian Yazdi were also his students in Hadith studies and were among those who received permission from him for narrating hadiths.

His Works

Nukudaki's works were compiled by his son in a book called Nishan az bi Nishanha in two volumes which includes a gloss on Shaykh Bahari Hamedani's Tadhkirat al-Muttaqin, some letters to some disciples, scripts of some of his meetings, treatises mostly on mystical and moral topics such as Tawhid, Wilaya, love of the Ahl al-Bayt (a), love, piety and ascesis, Muslims' mutual right towards each other, du'a and the conditions for accepting it and sincerety.

Nukhudaki corrected Irshad al-Bayan and Attar Neyshaburi's Asrarnamih and published them in 1355/1936 and 1356/1937 in Tehran. He also published Mulla Muhsin Fayd Kashani's Tarjima l-Salat together with some ideas of his own on prayer.

He also sometimes composed poems.

His Teachings

The major points of his spiritual instructions to his pupils were:

  • Great observation of religious rulings
  • Halal food
  • observing on time obligatory daily prayers
  • Striving in achievement of the presence of heart

He also greatly advised on keeping vigil, watchfulness of the actions and the soul during the day and self-accounting at nights.

According to some of Nukhudaki's letters to his pupils, he believed that there was no accomplished mystic and teacher who could help the wayfarers at his time. Moreover, he frequently mentioned that he was not perfect and he could not be a murshid (guide) and therefore, it was due to the need and no other choices that he gave some instructions, he received from a perfect man he had seen, to the seekers and those who insisted to receive them and he advised them to observe those instructions constantly until they visit a perfect mystic.

He also regarded tasawwuf as the way of reaching God and thus believed that it is not exclusive to Islam and it exists in all religions and in the instructions of all the prophets (a) and friends of God, but its perfect form has emerged in Islam.

Moreover, he regarded the appearance of tasawwuf as the rulings in Islam and considered connection with wilaya, i.e. believing in the wilaya of Imam Ali (a) and his successors (a) as the heart of Islam. Therefore in his opinion, Qutb was one whose chain of permission for instruction was linked with Ali (a) and his infallible progeny (a) so that he could guide others and one who is not connected with wilaya, even though his actions are in agreement with religion, but he has no connection with true Islam and tasawwuf.

References