Jamal al-Din Khwansari
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|Full Name||Jamal al-Din Muhammad b. Husayn b. Jamal al-Din al-Khwansari|
|Well-Known Relatives||Aqa Husayn Khwansari|
|Burial Place||Takht-i Fulad cemetery, Isfahan|
|Professors||Aqa Husayn Khwansari • Muhammad Baqir Sabziwari|
|Students||Aqa Muhammad Akmal al-Isfahani • Ibn Maytham al-Bahrani • Mulla Rafi' al-Mashhadi • Mir Kabir|
|Permission for Hadith|
|Muhammad Taqi al-Majlisi|
|Permission for Hadith|
|Ibn Maytham al-Bahrani|
|Communication and giving advice to Safavid kings|
Jamāl al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Ḥusayn b. Jamāl al-Dīn Muḥammad al-Khwānsārī (Arabic: جمال الدّین محمد بن حسین بن جمال الدّین محمد الخوانساری), known as Āqā Jamāl al-Khwānsārī (Arabic: آقا جمال الخوانساری) (d. 1125/ 1713-14) was a Shiite scholar in the 12th/18th century and a student of Muhammad Taqi al-Majlisi. He wrote works in different disciplines, including fiqh and kalam, but he is known among laypeople by his folk book, Kulthum nana. Aqa Muhammad Akmal al-Isfahani, Ibn Maytham al-Bahrani, and Mulla Rafi' al-Mashhadi were his students.
Lineage, Name and Death
Aqa Jamal was a son of Aqa Husayn al-Khwansari and a scholar from the Khwansari family whose lineage traces back to Imam al-Kazim (a). His birth date is not known, but since Afandi mentioned that his father stayed in Isfahan, probably he was born in Isfahan. According to Nasrabadi and Khwansari, Aqa Husayn migrated to Isfahan before his maturity. His name was Muhammad, but he was known as Aqa Jamal. 'Abd Allah Mamaqani took his year of death to be 1121/1709, but it does not seem right. He was buried in his father’s mausoleum—built by Shah Sulayman al-Safawi in Takht-i Fulad Cemetery of Isfahan.
Aqa Jamal studied in Isfahan with his father, Aqa Husayn Muhaqqiq al-Khwansari, his uncle Muhaqqiq al-Sabziwari, the author of Dhakhirat al-ma'ad fi sharh al-irshad , and Muhammad Taqi Majlisi, and he later started teaching there.
Aqa Jamal was considered as a prominent scholar and teacher in Isfahan, which is why he was the head of the seminary school of Isfahan. Scholars such as Muhammad Akmal al-Isfahani and Mulla Rafi' al-Mashhadi were his students.
Permissions for the Narration of Hadiths
He is said to have had a permission to narrate hadiths from Mulla Muhammad Taqi Majlisi. Al-Muhaqqiq al-Ardabili considered him as a prominent narrator of fiqh (the Islamic jurisprudence). Shaykh Yusuf al-Bahrani, the author of al-Hada'iq al-nadira , mentioned him as one of his masters in the narration of hadiths.
Aqa Jamal wrote some works, some of which were published and almost all of them are available in libraries (in Iran or outside Iran). His most popular book is Kulthum nana or 'Aqa'id al-nisa' . This is a humoristic book that criticizes laypeople’s approach to religiosity or piety and in particular women's ill-founded religious beliefs in the Safavid period. The book counts as the oldest written document concerning the moral codes, manners and conducts of Iranian laywomen in that period. The book was written in order to combat superstitious beliefs. It has been translated into English, French and Turkish.
Aqa Jamal was highly respected by the Safavid kings. Concerning his relationships with the Safavid government, mention could be made of his attendance in Sultan Husayn al-Safawi's enthroning ceremony, his advising the king to select the appropriate person for the position of Shaykh al-Islam in Isfahan in 1115/1703 leading to the selection of Mir Muhammad Salih Khatunabadi, his accompanying Sultan Husayn, together with Muhammad Baqir Khatunabadi, in his travel to Mashhad in 1119/1707, and receiving a robe from the king in 1120/1708. He also worked as a judge for a while and said prayers for the corpse of al-'Allama al-Majlisi.
Because of his extensive knowledge and his power to express scholarly issues without any complexity, some Safavid kings asked him to translate or explain some Arabic books to them. And they sometimes asked him some questions in fiqh and Islamic beliefs, and in reply to them he wrote some short essays. His essays on khums and visiting the graves are cases in point.
- The material for writing this article has been mainly taken from آقا جمال خوانساری in Farsi WikiShia.