Muhammad Baqir Aqa Najafi Isfahani
|Religious Affiliation||Twelver Shi'a|
|Well-Known Relatives||Shaykh Ja'far Kashif al-Ghita'|
|Place of Birth||Isfahan|
|Residence||Isfahan • Najaf|
|Studied in||Isfahan • Najaf|
|Professors||Hasan Kashif al-Ghita' • al-Shaykh Muhammad Hasan al-Najafi • al-Shaykh al-Ansari|
|Students||al-Sayyid Isma'il al-Sadr • al-Sayyid Muhammad Kazim al-Tabataba'i al-Yazdi • Shari'at Isfahani|
|Permission for Hadith|
|Hasan Kashif al-Ghita' • al-Shaykh Muhammad Hasan al-Najafi • al-Shaykh al-Ansari|
|Works||Lubb al-fiqh • Lubb al-usul|
|Leader of congregational prayer at Msjid Shah, Isfahan|
Muḥammad Bāqir Āqā Najafī Iṣfahānī (Persian: محمدباقر آقانجفی اصفهانی, b. 1234/1818-19, d. 1301/1883) was an Imami scholar of fiqh (jurisprudence) and usul al-fiqh (principles of jurisprudence) in the 13th/19th century. He studied in Isfahan and Najaf with Hasan Kashif al-Ghita', al-Shaykh Muhammad Hasan al-Najafi the author of Jawahir al-kalam, and al-Shaykh Murtada al-Ansari, and then he returned to Isfahan. He emphasized on al-amr bi-l-ma'ruf wa l-nahy 'an al-munkar (enjoining the good and forbidding the evil) and had a position of judgeship and fatwa. People referred to him to solve their problems. Thus, the local government of Isfahan lost its influence and power. He was very popular among people. Muhammad Taqi Najafi and Aqa Nur Allah Isfahani were his sons.
Lineage and Children
Muhammad Baqir's father was Muhammad Taqi b. Mirza 'Abd al-Rahim al-Iwanaki al-Tihrani al-Masjidshahi, known as Muhammad Taqi al-Razi who wrote an exposition for al-Shahid al-Thani's Ma'alim entitled Hidayat al-mustarshidin. Muhammad Taqi grew up in Iraq because his father, Mirza 'Abd al-Rahim, had immigrated to the country. However, after finishing his studies in Iraq, Muhammad Taqi returned to Iran and resided in Isfahan. He had lectures in Shah Mosque (Masjid Shah) in Isfahan. The supervision of this mosque was given to his children and thus they came to be known as "Masjidshahi". Aqa Najafi was a maternal grandson of Shaykh Ja'far Kashif al-Ghita'. Muhammad Baqir was 13 years old when his father died, and so he was raised by his mother.
Aqa Najafi married three times and had 6 sons and 3 daughters. All of his sons were religious scholars. His sons were Muhammad Taqi (who was the authority after his father), Aqa Nur Allah (a scholar who supported the Constitutional Movement in Iran), Muhammad Husayn, Jamal al-Din, Isma'il, and Muhammad 'Ali.
Muhammad Baqir began his studies in Isfahan by attending lectures by the scholars of the city. After his marriage, he moved to Iraq to continue his education. He studied fiqh1 with his maternal uncle, Shaykh Hasan Kashif al-Ghita', the author of Anwar al-fiqaha, and Shaykh Muhammad Hasan al-Najafi, the author of Jawahir al-kalam, and studied usul al-fiqh with al-Shaykh Murtada al-Ansari. He received permissions to transmit hadiths from these scholars. He was one of the first students of al-Shaykh al-Ansari. He initially studied his father's commentaries on Ma'alim al-usul. Aqa Najafi became a high-ranking scholar and returned to Isfahan.
After returning to Isfahan, Aqa Najafi started teaching in Masjid Shah, where his father used to teach. His students include scholars such as Mirza Muhammad Husayn Na'ini, al-Sayyid Isma'il al-Sadr, Sayyid Muhammad Kazim Tabataba'i Yazdi, Shari'at Isfahani, and his son, Muhammad Taqi (who became a well-known influential scholar during his father's life).
Muhammad Baqir's works include:
- Lubb al-fiqh; written at the age of 32. Only an incomplete volume of the book regarding tahara (cleanliness) to the section on wudu' is available in the Library of Hasan Sadr al-Din.
- Risala hujjiyyat al-zann al-tariqi; It was published together with his father's Hidayat al-mustarshidin.
- Lubb al-usul
After returning to Isfahan, Muhammad Baqir Isfahani became the leader of congregational prayers and held the teaching position at Masjid Shah in the city. After the death of well-known scholars of Isfahan, such as Sayyid Asad Allah, his religious and social influence increased such that he could execute Shari'a laws. Since he emphasized "enjoining the good and forbidding the evil" and had a position of judgeship and fatwa, he engaged in people's affairs and adjudicated their cases. People referred to him to solve their problems. Thus, the local government of Isfahan lost its influence and power. He was decisive in his treatment of unbelievers and apostates such that some Baha'is were killed at his order. Moreover, in one day he ordered the execution of 27 people: the order was carried out in the case of 12 people, and the rest escaped. His fatwas were influential with respect to legal problems. There was a good relationship between him and Zill al-Sultan.
Immigration to Najaf and Death
Aqa Najafi was very popular among people because he assisted them with their problems. When he decided in 1300/1882 to immigrate to Najaf in order to reside in al-'Atabat al-'Aliyat, people of Isfahan gathered around his house and did not allow him to leave the city. However, he left Isfahan overnight.
The material for this article is mainly taken from محمدباقر آقا نجفی اصفهانی in Farsi Wikishia.