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Radawi Sayyids

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Raḍawī Sayyids (Arabic: السادات الرضویة) refers to Sayyids (descendants) whose lineage traces back to Imam al-Rida (a). This branch of Sadat moved to Qom after Musa al-Mubarqa' migrated to the city. Some of them then moved from Qom to Mashhad and Hamadan. They occupied remarkable social positions in Mashhad, and from there they moved to other areas.

Radawi Sadat thrived the most in the Safavid period. The position of "Sadr", the most important governmental position in the Safavid government, was occupied by Radawi Sadat. They were also in charge of the religious supervision of Astan Quds Razavi (management of the Holy Shrine of Imam al-Rida (a)) and Astan 'Abd al-'Azim al-Hasani (a) (management of the Holy Shrine of 'Abd al-'Azim al-Hasani (a)).

The Ancestor of Radawi Sadat

Family tree of Ahl al-Bayt (a)
'Abd Allah
Lady Fatima
Imam Ali
Umm al-Banin
Imam al-Husayn
Imam al-Hasan
Lady Zaynab
Umm Kulthum
Abd Allah
Umm Kulthum
'Abd Allah
'Abd Allah
Imam al-Sajjad
'Ali al-Akbar
'Ali al-Asghar
Imam al-Baqir
Imam al-Sadiq
'Abd Allah
'Ubayd Allah
Imam al-Kazim
Umm Farwa
'Abd Allah
Imam al-Rida
Imam al-Jawad
Imam al-Hadi
Imam al-'Askari
Imam al-Mahdi

Since Imam al-Rida's (a) only child was Imam al-Jawad (a), and since Imam al-Jawad's (a) progeny continued through Imam al-Hadi (a) and Musa al-Mubarqa', Imam al-Jawad (a) can be considered as the first common ancestor of all Radawi Sadat.

Imam al-Hadi's (a) Progeny

A branch of Radawi Sadat traces back to Imam al-Hadi (a). Imam al-Hadi (a) had a son called Ja'far who had 18 sons. Ja'far's progeny continued through 15 of his sons, including:

  1. Abu l-Hasan 'Ali al-Ashqar, the head of Nuqaba' in Baghdad,
  2. Abu l-Hasan Yahya al-Sufi who moved from Hijaz to Baghdad,
  3. Abu l-Qasim Tahir whose progeny lived in Baghdad,
  4. Isma'il whose progeny lived in Baghdad, Wasit and Fars,
  5. Idris whose sons were more than his brothers; he lived in Medina,
  6. Abu l-Hasan Harun
  7. Abu l-Husayn Muhsin
  8. Musa
  9. Abu Ja'far Muhammad
  10. Abbas Nasabi who lived in Nishapur
  11. 'Ubayd Allah who lived in Baghdad
  12. Ibrahim
  13. Abu Muhammad Hasan
  14. Ahmad
  15. Ishaq

Some Radawi Sadat, who are the progeny of Sayyid Muhammad, the son of Imam al-Hadi (a), are buried near Samarra. Their number is much smaller than sons of Ja'far.

The Progeny of Musa al-Mubarqa'

Most Radawi Sadat in Iran are the progeny of Musa al-Mubarqa' in Qom. Musa al-Mubarqa'’s progeny continued through his four sons: Ahmad, Muhammad, 'Abd Allah, and 'Ubayd Allah. Most of the Radawi Sadat from Musa al-Mubarqa'’s progeny live in Qom, Hamadan, and Mashhad.


The history of Radawi Sadat in Qom goes back to Musa al-Mubarqa'’s migration to Qom. According to historical evidence, Musa b. Muhammad (or Musa al-Mubarqa') moved from Kufa to Qom in 256/870. Since he always had a veil (burqa') on his face, he came to be called al-Mubarqa' (that is, a person with veil on their face). After a while, his children and Radawi relatives moved to Qom, turning the city into a residence for Radawi Sadat.


Radawi Sadat moved from Qom to other areas in Iran, including Mashhad. The first Radawi Sayyid in Mashhad was Mir Shams al-Din Muhammad who moved from Qom to Mashhad in the period of Shahrukh Timuri (807/1404-5 to 850/1446-7). His pedigree goes back to Imam al-Rida (a) through 19 ancestors.

When Mir Shams al-Din moved from Qom to Mashhad, he was known as a well-reputed person, and it seems that he was appointed as the governor of Tabriz for a while. When he moved to Mashhad, he undertook the supervision of Astan Quds Razavi (the management of the shrine of Imam al-Rida (a)) that used to be supervised by Musawi Sadat (descendants of Imam al-Kazim (a)).

He created many mawqufat (endowments) for his progeny. These endowments still exist.

An independent book is written about this branch of Radawi Sadat under Sadat-i Radawi dar Mashhad az aghaz ta payan-i Qajariya (Radawi Sadat in Mashhad from the beginning through the Qajar period).

The Safavid Period

Since the Safavid kings believed in employing religious scholars or Sadat, they introduced Radawi Sadat as the government’s representatives in Mashhad. For a while they had a considerable, unique influence in Mashhad and even the whole Iran.

The most important governmental position occupied by Radawi Sadat in the Safavid period was the position of "Sadr". Mirza Abu Talib al-Radawi, the son of Muhammad Baqir Radawi, occupied the position for 21 years. Given the job description of a Sadr, the holder of this position had a remarkable power in the supervision of endowments and the like.

The length of Mirza Abu Talib’s occupation of the Sadr position is evidence of his firm place in the Safavid dynasty. He held the position until his death in 1099/1687-8.

In addition to this, Radawi Sadat were always trusted and consulted by the Safavid kings with respect to various affairs.

They also held the position of supervising Astan 'Abd al-'Azim al-Hasani (a) (management of the shrine of 'Abd al-'Azim al-Hasani (a).

Astan Quds Razavi and Radawi Sadat

The official structures of Astan Quds Razavi (the management of the shrine of Imam al-Rida (a)) was formed and developed in the Safavid period. When Shah 'Abbas took over the power, many properties were endowed to the shrine of Imam al-Rida (a). In this period, Radawi Sadat served as supervisors, head watches, as well as servants and footmen.


They have spread into some branches, and the name of each family is taken from its occupation.

  • Nāẓiriyān (Persian: ناظریان; literally: Supervisors): they were the progeny of Amir Muhammad Radawi. They have two branches:
  1. Tahvīldārān (Persian: تحویل‌داران; literally: Cashiers)
  2. Mudarrisān (Persian: مدرسان; literally: Instructors)
  • Sarkishīkān (Persian: سرکشیکان; literally: Head watches): they were from the progeny of Mir Shams al-Din. They also had two branches in the last two centuries:
  1. Khādim bāshiyān (Persian: خادم‌باشیان; literally: Servants)
  2. Ziyāratnāmi khān (Persian: زیارت‌نامه خوان; literally: Reciters of Ziyarat)


Radawi Sadat in Hamadan count as one of the oldest households of Radawi Sadat.

Kababiyan Sadat

Kababiyan Sadat are the progeny of Muhsin b. Muhammad b. 'Ali b. Muhammad b. Husayn b. Fadishah (or Padishah) b. Abu l-Qasim b. Amira b. Abu l-Fadl b. Bindar b. 'Isa b. Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Musa b. Abi 'Abd Allah Ahmad Naqib b. Muhammad al-A'raj b. Ahmad b. Musa al-Mubarqa' b. Imam Muhammad al-Taqi (a) b. 'Ali b. Musa al-Rida (a). They came to be known as Kababiyan because they resided in the Kababiyan district of Hamadan.

In the last two centuries, some branches of Radawi Sadat appeared in Hamadan: Imam Jum'a, Shari'atmadar, Sajidi, and Mubarqa'.

Hakimkhana Sadat

The head of Hakimkhana Sadat was Muhammad Jawad al-Radawi. Mujtahid and Qadi households were branches of these Sadat that appeared in the last two centuries.

Other Cities

Radawi Sadat moved to many other cities in Iran, as well as other countries. There are small branches of Radawi Sadat in Tehran, Shiraz, Kerman, Yazd, Kashan and Kashmir.

Sources of Information

The Persian book Shajara tayyiba dar ansab-i silsila Sadat 'Alawiyya Radawiyya written by Mirza Muhammad Baqir b. Isma'il al-Radawi is a source of information about the Radawi Sadat. It was edited by Sayyid Muhammad Taqi Mudarris Radawi and then revised by Mahdi Sayyidi, and published in Mashhad by Ahang Qalam publications in 2005.

The book was written in 1333-4/1914-5. Its original manuscript with the author’s handwriting is kept in the treasury of manuscripts in the central library of Astan Quds Razavi under the number 11811. In 1973, Sayyid Muhammad Taqi Mudarris Radawi, the author’s son, published the book with his comments.


  • The material for writing this article is mainly taken from سادات رضوی in Farsi WikiShia.