Agha Buzurg Tihrani

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Agha Buzurg Tihrani
Agha Buzurg Tehrani.jpg
Shaykh Agha Buzurg Tihrani
Personal Information
Full Name Muhammad Mohsin Munzawi Tirana
Well-Known As Agha Buzura Tihrani
Birth 1293/1876
Residence Tehran, Najaf, Kadhimayn, Samarra
Studied in Tehran, Najaf
Death 1389/1970
Burial Place Najaf
Scholarly Information
Professors Mirza Muhammad Taqi Shirazi, Shaykh al-Shari'a Isfahani, Muhammad Taha Najaf, Akhund Khurasani
Permission for Hadith
Transmission From
Mirza Husayn Nuri
Permission for Hadith
Transmission to
Sayyid Husayn Burujirdi
Works al-Dhari'a ila tasanif al-Shi'a, Tabaqat a'lam al-shi'a, Musaffa al-maghal fi musannifi 'ilm al-rijal, and other book
Building a library

Muḥammad Muḥsin b. ʿAlī al-Munzawī al-Ṭihrānī (Arabic:محمدمحسن بن‌ علي ‌المنزوي الطهراني) known as Āghā Buzurg al-Tihrānī (Arabic:آغا بزرك الطهراني), (b.1293/1876 - d.1389/1970) was a twelver Shi'a faqih and bibliographer and the author of al-Dhari'a ila tasanif al-Shi'a, an encyclopedia about Shi'a books, and Tabaqat a'lam al-shi'a, an encyclopedia about Shi'a scholars from 4/10 to 14/20 century.


al-Dhari'a ila tasanif al-Shi'a compiled by Agha Buzura Tihrani
The sons of Shaykh Agha Buzurg Tihrani

He was born in Rabi' I 11, 1293/April 6,1876 in Tehran.[1] His father and grandfather were of scholars of the city. His great grandfather Haj Muhsin was a businessman. With the help of Manuchihrkhan I'timad al-Dawla Gorji, he founded the first print shop of Iran.[2] Agha Buzurg married two times and had 5 sons and 4 daughters.[3]


Agha Buzurg started his primary education in Dangi school, continued it in Paminar school, and then in Fakhriyya school (Marvi school).[4] He learned Arabic literature from Shaykh Muhammad Husayn Khurasani and Shaykh Muhammad Baghir Mu'izz al-Dawla, learned logic from Mirza Muhammad Taqi, learned usul from Sayyid 'Abd al-Karim Mudarrisi, Sayyid Muhammad Taqi Gurgani, and Shaykh 'Ali Noor Ilka'i and learned some mathematics from Mirza Ibrahim Zanjani.[5] Also he studied history of literature and rijal.[6]

On Jumada II 10, 1315/November 6, 1897 he went to Najaf for further studies and from this date until 1329/1911 he educated under scholars like Mirza Husayn Nuri, Shaykh Muhammad Taha Najaf, Sayyid Murtada Kashmiri, Mirza Husayn Mirza Khalil, Mulla Muhammad Kazim Khurasani, Sayyid Ahmad Ha'iri Tihrani, Mirza Muhammad 'Ali Chahardahi, Sayyid Muhammad Kazim Yazdi, and Shaykh al-Shari'a Isfahani.[7]

He went to Samarra in 1329/1911 and attended the class of Mirza Muhammad Taqi Shirazi.[8] There he started the research for compilation of al-Dhari'a ila tasanif al-Shi'a.[9] In 1354/1935-6 he came back to Najaf and founded a print shop, named "Matba'at al-Sa'ada", for publication of al-Dhari'a, but the imperial government of Iraq prevented his work with various excuses. He printed the first three volumes of al-Dhari'a in "Matba'at al-Ghari" but beginning of the world war and cost of printing in Iraq made him send his son Ali Naqi to Iran for printing the remaining volumes of al-Dhari'a. Other volumes of the book was printed by the efforts of Ali Naqi Munzawi and Ahmad Munzawi in Iran.[10]

Agha Buzurg went to long travels in order to research and complete this encyclopedia. He visited most of public and private libraries of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and Hijaz and studied their books. He personally searched 62 libraries and studied the listings of many other libraries.[11]


After a long period of illness, he died in Dhu l-Hijja 13, 1389/Feburary 20, 1970 in Najaf and according to his will, buried in the library he devoted for usage of scholars.[12]

Permission for Hadith Transmission

Agha Buzurg has permission for hadith transmission from narrators of different Islamic sects:

Some of scholars who have permission for narration from Agha Buzurg are:


Agha Buzurg Tihrani has authored several works including al-Dhari'a ila tasanif al-Shi'a in 29 volumes, and Tabaqat a'lam al-shi'a.


Agha Buzurg Tihrani had a comprehensive library which contained more than 5000 volumes of books in history, biography, public indexes, private indexes, encyclopedias, etc. During his life, students and researchers benefitted from this library. Agha Buzurg himself, even with being old, weak, and very busy helped and guided those who referred to the library. He established his library in 1354/1935-6. To keep his library from disorder and wastage, Agha Buzurg gave it as a religious endowment in 1375/1955-6. Later in 1380/1960-1, he revised the bill of endowment and mentioned that if the keeper could not manage to keep it, they should move the library and leave it to the library of Imam Amir al-Mu'minin (a).[14]


  1. Āghā Buzurg Tihrānī, Zindigīnāma-yi khudniwisht-i Āqā Buzurg, p. 41.
  2. Munzawī, al-Dharīʿa wa Āqā Buzurg-i Tihrānī, p. 116.
  3. Mūsawī Bujnurdī, Āqā Buzurg-i Tihrānī, p. 456.
  4. Āghā Buzurg Tihrānī, Zindigīnāma-yi khudniwisht-i Āqā Buzurg, p. 41-43.
  5. Āghā Buzurg Tihrānī, Zindigīnāma-yi khudniwisht-i Āqā Buzurg, p. 42-44. Munzawī, al-Dharīʿa wa Āqā Buzurg-i Tihrānī, p. 116-117.
  6. Munzawī, al-Dharīʿa wa Āqā Buzurg-i Tihrānī, p. 117.
  7. Ṣiḥḥatī Sardrūdī, ‘’Āqā Buzurg Tihrānī uqyānūs-i pajhūhish’’, 1376 Sh, p. 37-50.
  8. Āghā Buzurg Tihrānī, Zindigīnāma-yi khudniwisht-i Āqā Buzurg, p. 46.
  9. Āghā Buzurg Tihrānī, al-Dharīʿa, 1403 AH, vol. 10, p. 26.
  10. Āghā Buzurg Tihrānī, al-Dharīʿa, 1403 AH, vol. 10, p. 27; Munzawī, al-Dharīʿa wa Āqā Buzurg-i Tihrānī, p. 118.
  11. Mūsawī Bujnurdī, Āqā Buzurg-i Tihrānī, p. 455.
  12. Mūsawī Bujnurdī, Āqā Buzurg-i Tihrānī, p. 456.
  13. Mūsawī Bujnurdī, Āqā Buzurg-i Tihrānī, p. 456.
  14. Ḥakīmī, ‘’Hamāsa-yi Ghadīr’’, p. 315-316.


  • Āghā Buzurg Tihrānī, Muḥammad Muḥsin. Al-Dharīʿa ilā taṣānīf al-Shīʿa. Beirut: Dār al-Aḍwāʾ, 1403 AH.
  • Āghā Buzurg Tihrānī, Muḥammad Muḥsin. Zindigīnāma-yi khudniwisht-i Āqā Buzurg. Journal of Kitāb-i māh-i kulliyyāt. No. 69, 1382 Sh.
  • Ḥakīmī, Muḥammad Riḍā. Hamāsa-yi Ghadīr. Qom: Dalīl-i Mā, 1389 Sh.
  • Munzawī, ʿAlī Naqī. Al-Dharīʿa wa Āqā Buzurg-i Tihrānī. Journal of Kitāb-i māh-i kulliyyāt. No. 69, 1382 Sh.
  • Mūsawī Bujnurdī, Muḥammad Kāẓim. Āqā Buzurg-i Tihrānī; Daʾirat al-maʿārif-i buzurg-i Islāmī. Tehran: Marakaz-i Daʾirat al-maʿārif-i buzurg-i Islāmī, 1367 Sh.
  • Ṣiḥḥatī Sardrūdī, Muḥammd. Āqā Buzurg Tihrānī uqyānūs-i pajhūhish. Qom: Daftar-i Tablīqāt-i Islāmī, 1376 Sh.