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Muhammad Jawad al-Balaghi

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Personal Information
Full Name Muhammad Jawad b. al-Hasan b. Talib al-Balaghi
Religious Affiliation Shia
Birth 1282/1865
Place of Birth Najaf, Iraq
Studied in Najaf, Kadhimiya, Samarra
Death Sha'ban 22, 1352/December 10, 1933
Burial Place Holy Shrine of Imam 'Ali (a), Najaf
Scholarly Information
Professors Muhammad Kazim Khurasani, Muhammad Taqi al-Shirazi, Aqa Rida Hamadani
Students Sayyid Muhammad Hadi Milani
Works Al-Huda ila din al-Mustafa, Ala' al-rahman fi tafsir al-qur'an
Socio-Political Activities
Socio-Political
Activities
He joined independence-seeking campaigns of Iraqi people against the Britons

Muḥammad Jawād al-Balāghī al-Najafī (Arabic: محمد جواد البلاغي النجفي), was a Shiite scholar who wrote a number of works in defense of Islam and Shiism against Jews, Christians, Baha'is, and Wahhabis. He also wrote some works concerning the exegesis of the Qur'an and Islamic jurisprudence. Al-Balaghi was a student of Mirza Muhammad Taqi Shirazi and Akhund Khurasani.

In addition to his scholarly activities against Christian missionaries, he joined independence-seeking campaigns of Iraqi people against the Britons as well.

Biography

Muhammad Jawad b. al-Hasan b. Talib al-Balaghi was born in Najaf in 1282/1865. The al-Balaghi Family is one of the oldest Shiite family of scholars in Najaf. A prominent figure from this family was 'Abd Allah al-Mamaqani, the author of Tanqih al-maqal.

Al-Balaghi began his educations in Najaf. In 1306/1888, he went to Kadhimiya at the age of twenty four, and then returned to Najaf after six years. In 1326/1908, he migrated to Samarra, where he attended lectures of Mirza Muhammad Taqi Shirazi for ten years. He then went to Kadhimiya again, and after two years, he returned to Najaf.

Al-Balaghi married the daughter of Sayyid Musa al-Kazimi al-Jaza'iri. He died in Najaf on Monday night, Sha'ban 22, 1352/December 10, 1933, and was buried in the shrine of Amir al-Mu'minin.

Education and Activities

Muhammad Jawad al-Balaghi attended lectures of Islamic jurisprudence delivered by Rida Hamadani, the author of Misbah al-faqih, and Sayyid Muhammad al-Hindi, the author of Shawari' al-Islam fi sharh shara'i' al-Islam. He was also a student of Akhund Khurasani and Shaykh Muhammad Taha Najaf, the author of Itqan al-maqal fi ahwal al-rijal. After his migration to Samarra, he was in contact with Mirza Shirazi, attending Muhammad Taqi Shirazi's lectures on jurisprudence.

Al-Balaghi is deemed the founder of new theology in Najaf, because of his campaigns against missions and propagations of Christians as well as anti-religious movements. He knew Persian, Arabic, English, and Hebrew. Students of his theological school are said to include Sayyid Muhammad Hadi Milani and some other Shiite authorities in Najaf and Qom, such as Sayyid Abu l-Qasim al-Khu'i. During his stay in Samarra, al-Balaghi was among scholars who joined independence-seeking campaigns of Iraqi people against the Britons. The campaigns were launched after a fatwa issued by Mirza Muhammad Taqi Shirazi. Muhammad Jawad al-Balaghi is also known as "Mujahid."

Works and Writings

The book Musu'a al-Allama al-Balaghi

Al-Balaghi wrote many books concerning a variety of issues, particularly theology, apologetics of Islam and the Qur'an and rejection of Jewish, Christian, Baha'i, and Wahhabi beliefs. One of his best-known works is his exegesis of the Qur'an, Ala' al-rahman fi tafsir al-Qur'an.

A collection of his works, under "Mawsu'at al-'Allama al-Balaghi", is published within nine volumes by a group of scholars in the Center for the Revival of the Islamic Heritage. Reza Ostadi has listed sixty of his works, only twenty two of which have been published, including:

  • Ala' al-rahman fi tafsir al-Qur'an is characterized as one of the most precious Shiite Quranic exegeses, in the introduction of which al-Balaghi talks about the miracle of the Qur'an and the rejection of its distortion. Al-Balaghi wrote the book in the last years of his life. Thus, his exegesis encompasses up to the verse fifty seven of Qur'an 4.
  • Al-Tawhid wa l-tathlith (monotheism and the Trinity) is a 56-page essay in response to an essay by a Syrian Christian.
  • A'ajib al-akadhib: (surprising lies) it is written in order to establish the truth of Islam and respond to skepticism posed by Christian missionaries.
  • Anwar al-huda: (lights of guidance) a proof of the existence of God and a rejection of materialism. The book, al-Balagh al-mubin, has similar content.
  • Nasa'ih al-huda wa l-din ila man kan musliman wa sara babiyyan (advice of the guidance and the religion to one who was a Muslim and converted to Babism): in rejection of Baha'ism.
  • Diwan of poems, containing many poems and odes, including an ode in response to Ibn Sina's al-Qasidat al-'Ayniyya as well as an ode in response to a Sunni scholar who denied the existence of Imam al-Mahdi (a). He also composed poems in praise of Ahl al-Bayt (a), including an elegy he wrote for Imam al-Husayn (a), the opening line of which is as follows:
"I wish I was the target of those swords instead of you – O he whose face fell on the warn soil of the land of Karbala!"

References