Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi
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Painting of al-'Allama al-Majlisi by one of his contemporary painters
|Well-Known As||Al-'Allama al-Majlisi, the Second Majlisi|
|Well-Known Relatives||Muhammad Taqi al-Majlisi (father), Mulla Salih Mazandarani|
|Burial Place||Grand Mosque of Isfahan|
|Professors||Muhammad Taqi al-Majlisi, Mulla Salih al-Mazandarani, Mulla Muhsin al-Fayd al-Kashani|
|Works||Bihar al-anwar, Mir'at al-'uqul, Haqq al-yaqin, 'Ayn al-hayat, Hayat al-qulub, ...|
|Religious reformation at his time; Working as shaykh al-islam in the time of Shah Sultan Sulayman and Shah Sultan Husayn|
Muḥammad Bāqir b. Muḥammad Taqī b. Maqsūd ʿAlī al-Majlisī (Arabic: محمد باقر بن محمد تقي بن مقصود علي المجلسي) (b. 1037/1628-9 d. 1110/1699) known as al-ʿAllāma al-Majlisī (Arabic: العلامة المجلسي) or the Second Majlisī (Arabic: المجلسي الثاني) was among the most famous Shi'a scholars in fiqh and hadith. He was among influential government officials in Safavid era and the author of the comprehensive hadith collection of Bihar al-anwar.
Birth and Lineage
He was born in Isfahan in 1037/1628. He was born in the rule of Safavids and the last year of the rule of Shah 'Abbas I. His father, Muhammad Taqi al-Majlisi was among the noblemen and famous Islamic authorities of his time and one of the students of Baha' al-Din al-'Amili, 'Abd Allah al-Shushtari, and Mirdamad. Muhammad Baqir's mother was a daughter of Sadr al-Din Muhammad al-'Ashuri al-Qummi who was in a family of knowledge and virtue.
It is quoted from Muhammad Baqir's father, "One night after the midnight prayer, I had a great feeling and just heard my kid's crying. I said to God, 'O God! By the rights of Muhammad (s) and his family (a) make this kid a preacher of Your religion and the rulings of the Master of Prophets (s) and bless him with limitless opportunities.'" It is also quoted from him that he ordered his wife not to milk Muhammad Baqir when she was not tahir.
It is said that Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi had three wives, 4 sons, and 5 daughters.
Family of al-'Allama al-Majlisi is among the most honorable Shi'a families in recent centuries. There have been about a hundred pious scholars in this family.
Muhammad Baqir's progenitor of his father was Abu Nu'aym al-Isfahani. He was among the hadith scholars and memorizers of the Qur'an. Muhammad Baqir's grandfather was Mulla Maqsud who is described as a pious poet and a knowledgeable scholar. His father's mother was the daughter of Kamal al-Din al-Hasan al-'Amili al-Natanzi al-Isfahani. Muhammad Baqir's brothers were Mirza 'Aziz Allah and Mulla 'Abd Allah who have been praised by Muhaddith Nuri. Amina Biygum was the most famous sister of al-Majlisi who was among the scholars of her time and the wife of Mulla Salih Mazandarani.
Reason for Naming
It is said that since his grandfather held great majlis (religious gathering) or since he used the pen-name "Majlisi", his family become famous as Majlisi. Another report is that they became famous as Majlisi was because Muahammad Taqi was living in the village Majlis of Isfahan.
His father began his education from early ages and Muhammad Baqir was interested in learning all religious sciences. He wrote;
- "I was interested in different religious sciences since when I was a youth and I loved them and due to God's mercy I could enter gardens of knowledge. Then I learned right and wrong judgments in that knowledge so that I earned various fruits and colorful flowers of that for myself. I drank from every spring and picked up from every bouquet."
Al-'Allama al-Majlisi has such a fame in different Islamic sciences that needs no explanations. He was among great scholars who had comprehensive knowledge. He was the top scholar of his time in different Islamic sciences such as exegesis of Qur'an, hadith studies, fiqh, usul, history, rijal, and diraya. A look at Bihar al-anwar best demonstrate this.
He was very sharp-witted about the hadiths which were difficult to understand. His explanations about hadiths and verses of the Qur'an are very nice and very little mistakes could be found in them. In addition to hadiths, al-'Allama al-Majlisi was very knowledgeable in fiqh even though most of the volumes of Bihal al-anwar dedicated to fiqh did not become rewritten and corrected.
In the Talk of the Noble
About him, it is said that he was the first person who taught hadith sciences in [[[Safavid]] era.
Muhammad 'Ali Ardabili praised him greatly.
The Sunni scholar 'Abd al-'Aziz Dihlawi, who wrote books against Shi'a, said, "If Shi'a is called Majlisi's religion, it would be fine; that was he who promoted this school and before that it was not influential."
Teachers and Hadith References
According to Mirza Husayn Nuri's al-Fayd al-Qudsi fi tarjimat al-Allama al-Majlisi, Majlisi's teachers are many and Nuri mentions 18 of them:
- Muhammad Taqi al-Majlisi, his father (d. 1071/1660-1),
- Mulla Salih Mazandarani, the author of Sharh usul al-kafi (d. 1081/1670-1)
- Mulla Muhsin al-Fayd al-Kashani, the author of Tafsi al-safi, al-Mahajjat al-bayda and al-Wafi (d. 1081/1670-1)
- Sayyid 'Ali Khan Madani, the author of Riyad al-salikin, a commentary of al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya (d. 1118/1706-7)
- Mulla Khalil al-Qazwini, the author of Safi, a commentary of al-Kafi (d. 1081/1670-1)
- Al-Shaykh al-Hurr al-'Amili, the author of Wasa'il al-Shi'a (d. 1104/1692-3)
- Mulla Muhammad Tahir al-Qummi (d. 1198/1783-4)
- Mirza Raf' al-Din al-Na'ini (d. 1199/1784-5)
- Mulla Hasan 'Ali al-Shushtari (d. 1029/1619-20)
- Mirza Muhammad Qasim al-Quhpa'i
- Muhammad Sharif Ruydashti Isfahani (d. 1087/1676-7)
- Amir Sharaf al-Din al-Husayni al-Shulistani (d. 1060/1650)
- Al-Allama al-Shaykh 'Ali (d. 1103/1691-2)
Students and Narrators
Some reports have mentioned the number of his students exceeded 1000, each of whom became a famous scholar of his own field. Mirza Husayn Nuri mentioned 49 of them, some of whom are:
- Mirza 'Abd Allah Afandi al-Isfahani, the author of Riyad al-'ulama and al-Sahifa al-thalitha al-Sajjadiyya (d. 1137/1724-5)
- Al-Sayyid Ni'mat Allah al-Jaza'iri, the author of al-Anwar al-Nu'maniyya (d. 1112/1700-1)
- Al-Shaykh 'Abd Allah al-Bahrani, the author of Awalim al-'ulum (d. 1127/1715)
- Muhamamd b. 'Ali al-Ardabili, the author of Jami' al-ruwat (d. 1101/1689090)
- Mirza Muhammad al-Mashhadi, the author of the Qur'an commentary Kanz al-daqa'iq (d. 1125/1713)
- Mulla Muhamamd al-Rafi' al-Gilani
- Mir Muhammad Husayn al-Khatunbadi
- Sayyid Abu al-Qasim al-Khwansari
- Mulla Muhammad Sarab al-Tunkabuni
Scholarly, Political and Cultural Services
- Fighting with Sufis and their thoughts and beliefs
- Writing different books in different topics of fiqh, exegesis of Qur'an, theology, hadith studies, history, du'a and prayers, and writing the hadith encyclopedia of Bihar al-anwar and collecting hadiths and categorizing them.
- Writing and translating some religious texts in simple Persian for common people.
- Issuing fatwa and answering people's religious questions in the most simple ways.
- Religious reformations and fighting with centers of corruption, idol houses, and fighting alcohol drinking.
- Establishing Friday prayer, congregatioal prayer, religious gatherings, and speeches.
- Accepting the position of judgment and being Shaykh al-Islam at the time of Shah Sultan Sulayman and Shah Sultan Husayn and using his influence for establishing Shi'a beliefs.
- Reconciling people's arguments.
'Allamah Majlisi's works in different topics which exceed 70 topics in Persian and Arabic. Aqa Buzurg Tihrani counted Majlisi's works as 169 volumes.
- Bihar al-anwar in 110 volumes which is considered the great encyclopedia of Shi'a hadiths.
- Mir'at al-'uqul as a commentary on al-Shaykh al-Kulayni's al-Kafi in 26 volumes.
- Maladh al-akhyar fi fahm tahdhib al-akhbar as the commentary on al-Shaykh al-Tusi's al-Tahdhib in 16 volumes.
- Al-wajizat fi l-rijal
- Haqq al-yaqin on beliefs in Persian
- Zad al-ma'ad on practices and supplications of every month in Persian
- Sharh al-arba'in
- Tuhfat al-za'ir on pilgrims' prayers upon their visits
- 'Ayn al-hayat on advice and rulings from verses and hadiths from the Infallible (a) in Persian
- Mishkat al-anwar about the Qur'an and du'as, recitation and rewards for it
- Hayat al-qulub on the lives of prophets (a), the Prophet of Islam (s) and Imams (a).
- Jala' al-'uyun on history and the hardships of the Infallible (a).
- Hilyat al-muttaqin on the manners of socializing and recommended actions in individual and collective lives in Persian.
- Al-Fara'id al-tariqiyyah fi sharh al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya
- Rabi' al-asabi'
- Risalat diyat
- Risalat al-i'tiqad
- Risalat al-awzan
- Risalat al-shukuk
- Miqbast al-masabih
- Al-Masa'il al-hindiyya
- Sirat al-naja
Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi passed away in the eve of Ramadan 27, 1110/March 29, 1699 in Isfahan at the age of 70. He was buried beside the Grand Mosque of Isfahan beside the grave of his father according to his will.
- Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, Vol.102, P.11
- Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, Vol.1, P.2
- Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, Vol.107, P.104
- Tunikabuni, Qisas al-'ulama, P.205
- Al-Amin, A'yan al-Shi'a, Vol.9, P.183
- The material for this article is mainly taken from محمد باقر مجلسی in Farsi WikiShia.
- Amin, Sayyid Muhsin al-. A'yan al-Shi'a. Bierut, Dar al-Ta'aruf li-l-Matbu'at;
- Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir al-. Bihar al-anwar. Beirut, mu'assisa al-wafa', 1403 AH;
- Tunikabuni, Mirza Muhammad. Qisas al-'ulama;