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Muhammad Mahdi Naraqi

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This article is about Muhammad Mahdi Naraqi. For for Mulla Ahmad Naraqi, see Mulla Ahmad Naraqi.
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ملا مهدی نراقی.jpg
Personal Information
Full Name Muhammad Mahdi b. Abi Dhar fadil Naraqi
Well-Known As Muhaqqiq Naraqi
Well-Known Relatives Mulla Ahmad Naraqi
Birth 1128/1716, Naraq
Residence Kashan
Studied in Kashan, Isfahan, Najaf, Karbala
Death 1209/1795, Kashan
Burial Place Near Holy shrine of Imam Ali (a), Najaf
Scholarly Information
Professors Wahid Bihbahani, Yusuf al-Bahrani, Mulla Isma'il Khwaju'i, Muhammad b. Muhammad Zaman Kashani, ...
Students Sayyid Muhammad Baqir Shafti, Haj Muhammad Kalbasi, Mulla Ahmad Naraqi, ...
Works Jami' al-sa'adat, Tuhfat al-radawiyya, Anis al-tujjar, Al-Tajrid fi 'usul al-fiqh, Anis al-muwahhidin, Muhriq al-qulub, ...

Muḥammad Mahdī b. Abī Dhar Fāḍil Narāqī (Arabic: محمد مهدی بن ابی ذر فاضل نراقی) known as Muḥaqqiq Narāqī (Persian: محقق نراقی) (b. 1128/1716 - d. 1209/1795) was among Shia scholars of 12th/18th and 13th/19th centuries. To study religious sciences, Muhaqqiq Naraqi went to religious citites of Iraq two times and attended the class of Wahid Bihbahani, Yusuf al-Bahrani. Jami' al-sa'adat is the most famous work of Mulla Mahdi Naraqi in Islamic ethics. Mulla Ahmad and Mulla Mahdi are his children.

Birth and Demise

Mulla Mahdi Naraqi was born in Naraq near Kashan in 1128/1716 in a religious family and passed away on Saturday, Sha'ban 18, 1209/1795 at the age of 81 and was buried near Imam Ali's (a) holy shrine in Najaf.

Education

Up to being a teenager, he studied in the seminary of Kashan and attended the class of Mulla Ja'far Bigdili. He passed Muqaddamat (the preliminary stage), Saṭḥ (the intermediate stage) and part of Kharij lessons (the higher stage) of Fiqh and Usul al-Fiqh in Kashan.

Immigration to Isfahan

To complete scientific and specialized levels of Islamic sciences, Mulla Mahdi Naraqi went to the seminary of Isfahan and benefited from the scholars in fiqh and philosophy in that city. His teachers in Isfahan included Mulla Isma'il Khwaju'i (d. 1173/1759-1760), Muhammad b. Muhammad Zaman Kashani (d. late 12 century AH), Muhammad Baqir Isfahani, Shaykh Muhammad Mahdi Harandi and Aqa Mirza Isfahani (d. 1191/1777-1778), among whom Mulla Isma'il Khwaju'i had a great position and from whom, Mulla Mahdi Naraqi benefitted in fiqh, Usul al-fiqh, Kalam (theology), philosophy, mathematics, geometry and astronomy for 30 years.

Also in rijal and hadith, he benefitted from Muhammad b. Muhammad Zaman Kashani who was among the great references for permission in the chain of transmitters of narrations.

In addition to studying, he taught, wrote and guided people in Isfahan as well and even by learning Hebrew and Latin language from Jewish scholars, he began debating with the leaders of Jews and translated discussions regarding the mission of the Prophet of Islam (s) from their religious books.

Return to Kashan

After 30 years, he returned to Kashan. That time, Kashan was empty of religious scholars and through his presence, the seminary of Kashan flourished.

Immigration to Religious Cities of Iraq

After a while, he left Kashan for Najaf and Karbala and attended in the classes of Muhammad Baqir Bihbahani (d. 1205/1791), Shaykh Yusuf al-Bahrani (d. 1186/1772) and Shaykh Muhammad Mahdi Fatuni (d. 1183/1769-1770).

After years of education and research in Najaf and Karbala, he returned to his hometown and began teaching in the seminary of Kashan and educating students. Great scholars such as Muhammad Baqir Shafti (d. 1260/1844), Haj Muhammad Kalbasi (d. 1262/1846) and his son Mulla Ahmad Naraqi (d. 1245/1829) were among his students.

Children

Mulla Muhammad Mahdi had five sons:

  1. Mulla Ahmad known as Fadil Naraqi (d. 1245/1829)
  2. Haj Mirza Abu l-Qasim (d. 1256/1840-1)
  3. Haj Mulla Muhammad Mahdi known as Aqa Buzurg
  4. Mulla Abu l-Hasan
  5. Mulla Muhammad Baqir

Among them, Mulla Ahmad and Mulla Mahdi (Aqa Buzurg) are more famous than their other brothers.

Works

He had many works in different scientific disciplines, the most famous among them is Jami' al-sa'adat which concerns with Islamic ethics.

Most of his books are kept in the form of manuscripts in different libraries and marginal notes on some of them such as Anis al-tujjar have been written by some religious authorities including Sayyid Kazim Tabataba'i Yazdi, Sayyid Isma'il al-Sadr and Shaykh 'Abd al-Karim Ha'iri Yazdi.

Software Program of the Library of Fadilayn Naraqi

The software of the library of Fadilayn Naraqi

Following the suggestion of some distinguished scholars of Naraq which were welcomed and promoted by great scholars in the seminary of Qom on recognition and acknowledgement of the scientific position of the two distinguished scholars of Shia world, Mulla Mahdi Naraqi and Mulla Ahmad Naraqi and by the order of the Congress for commemoration of Fadilayn Naraqi, a software program was designed and produced by the Computer Research Center of Islamic Sciences.

Poems

Muhaqqiq Naraqi composed many poems and many of them have been lost and only a small portion of them which are mostly mystical, composed in the form of Mathnawi and Saqinama are left.

Moral Characteristics

He passed most of his life in poverty in the seminary of Kashan. It is reported that he sometimes could not afford buying candle or oil for the lamp and studied late at night using the light of the washroom of the school.

He was also sensitive about deviant thoughts and fought against Akhbarism and misguiding thoughts. Even to fight deviant thoughts in ethics, Mulla Mahdi wrote Jami' al-sa'adat to fight extremisms of Sufis and Zahiris.

He was not indifferent towards corrupt thoughts and actions of kings and deviant leaders and in his works regarded the implementation of justice as the grounds for promotion of moral and social virtues in the society.

He also emphasized on one of the most fundamental factors in correction of the society which is enjoining to the good and prohibiting from evil and believed that an institution needs to be in charge of it so that through correct understanding of the good and the evil takes action for promotion of the good and prohibition of the evil.

Wonders

Among the wonders reported for Mulla Mahdi, there is a story which is famous among scholars and students of Islamic studies in Najaf. It reports about Mulla Mahdi Naraqi's conversation with the soul of a dead person in Wadi al-Salam cemetery in Najaf and receiving food from paradise.

Also, Mudarris Tabrizi, author of Rayhanat al-adab, narrated a story, saying that, "my teacher, Sayyid Ahmad Khusrushahi narrated that, when the dead body of his father, Haj Sayyid Muhammad Khusrushahi was moved to Najaf to be buried, he [my teacher] went in the grave to place the body there; and surprisingly, saw the bodies of Mulla Mahdi Naraqi and Mulla Ahmad Naraqi were intact and not damaged at all."

In the Words of Others

Sayyid Muhammad Baqir Khwansari said that, "the excellent and comprehensively knowledgeable scholar, exemplar of knowledgeable ones by his intuitive understanding, our master, Mahdi b. Abi Dharr al-Kashani al-Naraqi was among principal scholars and distinguished and competent scholars of our contemporary time. He wrote works in most branches of knowledge and [moral] perfection and was clearly competent in fiqh, philosophy, usul, math and geometry."

Mudarris Tabrizi said, "Haj Mulla Mahdi or Muhammad Mahdi b. Abi Dharr was born in Naraq, lived in Kashan and was buried in Najaf. He was among powerful and competent Imamiyya scholars in fiqh. He was a scholar in fiqh, usul, philosophy, kalam, math, ethics, all rational and traditional sciences. In the words of some great figures, he is referred to as Khatam al-mujtahidin, Lisan al-fuqaha' wa al-mutakallimin and Tarjuman al-hukama' wa al-muta'allihin and as such."

In the introduction of Anis al-muwahhidin, Hasanzadi Amuli wrote, "undoubtedly, he was competent in all rational and traditional sciences and even in literature and mathematics. He was among the top Islamic scholars and rare ones in moral virtues and godly dispositions. His eminence had excellent works in different sciences."

Congress for His Commemoration

A three day congress for commemoration of Fadilayn Naraqi in Kashan, Qom and Naraq on May 22 to 24, 2002.

References