Al-Sayyid Ja'far Murtada al-'Amili

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Al-Sayyid Ja'far Murtada al-'Amili
Personal Information
Full NameAl-Sayyid Ja'far Murtada al-ʿAmili
Religious AffiliationTwelver Shi'a
BirthSafar 25, 1364/February 9, 1945
Place of Birth'Aita l-Jabal, Lebanon
ResidenceLebanon, Najaf, and Qom
Studied inSeminary of Najaf and seminary of Qom
DeathSafar 27, 1441/October 27, 2019, Beirut
Burial PlaceAita al-Jabal,
Scholarly Information
ProfessorsAyatollah Mir Muhammadi, Sayyid Musa Shubayri Zanjani, Fani, Murtada Ha'iri Yazdi and Mirza Hashem Amuli

Al-Sayyid Jaʿfar Murtaḍā al-ʿĀmilī (Arabic: السَیِّد جَعْفَر مُرْتَضی العامِلي), (b. 1364/1945 - d. 1441/2019) a religious scholar, an expert in the history of Islam and Shiism, a Shiite biographer, and a scholar of the Islamic seminary of Qom and Najaf. He wrote books about the life-history of Ahl al-Bayt (a), including al-Sahih min sirat al-Nabi al-A'zam and Ma'sat al-Zahra' (a).

Life and and Education

Al-Sayyid Ja'far Murtada al-'Amili was born on Safar 25, 1364/February 9, 1945) in the village 'Aita al-Jabal 110 km away from Beirut south of Lebanon. His paternal lineage goes back to al-Husayn Dhu l-Dam'a, the son of Zayd the son of Imam al-Sajjad (a).

He began his informal education with his father, who was a teacher. In 1382/1962, he migrated to Najaf in order to study religious disciplines. He resided in Ayatollah Burujirdi Seminary and Al-Jami'at al-Najaf al-Diniyya. In 1388/1968, he moved to Qom. In the seminary of Qom, he first studied the rest of his intermediate courses with Ayatollah Mir Muhammadi. He then attended the lectures of scholars such as Sayyid Musa Shubayri Zanjani, Fani, Murtada Ha'iri Yazdi and Mirza Hashem Amuli. In the meanwhile, he studied historical and theological issues of Shiism.

After 25 years of residence in Qom, he returned to Lebanon in 1414/1993 and remained in Lebanon for the rest of his life. He passed away at a hospital in Beirut on Safar 27, 1441/October 27, 2019 and was buried in his hometown, Aita al-Jabal.

Scholarly and Social Activities

Qom: Remarkable activities of Ja'far Murtada during his stay in Qom was his research about the history and beliefs of the Shi'a, the establishment of the "Seminary of Jabal 'Amilis" ("Muntada") and teaching master students at Tarbiat Modarres Univeristy. During his years of teaching, he was a research adviser of Lebanese students and facilitated their education in Qom. During twenty five years of stay in Qom, Murtada sponsored and educated Lebanese students, supported the ideological foundations of the Islamic Revolution, and wrote about the foundations of government by appealing to the practice of Ahl al-Bayt (a).

Lebanon: Late in 1993 he returned to his homeland, Lebanon and continued his research and teaching in southern Lebanon—which was occupied by Israeli regime at the time. In addition to his research in history and the foundation of a research center in Beirut, he held different assemblies for Shiite youths in Lebanon, thus training a generation of religious activists among Lebanese Shi'as. One of his main educational activities was the foundation of a Shiite seminary in Beirut in 1998. During years of his stay in Lebanon, he defended imamate and wilaya and constantly tried to reply to objections to Shiite principles.

Prophetic Biography and Book's Writing Style

Al-Sayyid Ja'far Murtada is a Shiite historian whose expertise is the early Islamic period. He has revived Islamic history within Shiite seminaries. His historical works is characterized as follows:

  • Ijtihadi approach to the study of history,
  • Drawing upon historical facts to defend Shiite theological principles and criticize Sunni theological foundations,
  • Wide-ranging searches,
  • Precise assessments,
  • Intelligently tracing historical events to their origins,
  • Explicit specifications of fabrications and distortions,
  • Disclosing people who have provided dishonest accounts of history,
  • Profound knowledge of historical sources,
  • Fluent writing and a peculiar organization of contents.
  • His work is not edited by content editors—all his work thus represents his own style of writing.


Al-Sayyid Murtada has written some books about the history of Islam and Shiite beliefs, including:

This book that is al-Sayyid Ja'far Murtada's most important work, is about history of Islam and the Prophet's (s) tradition. Regarding criticism of hadiths narrated the Prophet's tradition, this book is outstanding. The author has tried to purify the written works of the Prophet's (s) tradition from unauthentic hadiths, doing his utmost to author a history based on reliable hadiths after being critical of former hadith references. Taking a special and Shi'a look at the Prophet's (s) tradition and his history into consideration, Ja'far Murtada utilized numerous references of both Shi'a and Sunni (1683 books) to restore the narrated Prophet's (s) tradition. At first, this work was released gradually and one by one up to eleven volumes and currently it's been reached to thirty five volumes altogether. The early volumes were published first by Islamic Publications Office and republished repeatedly in upcoming years. Furthermore, this book had the chance to win Iran's book of the year awards.

This book has been authored about incidents of the late life of Lady Fatima (a). The writer attempted to quell the misgivings raised about Lady Fatima's (a) life and martyrdom. According to the Farsi translation of the book, titled as ranj-ha-ya Hadrat Zahra' (Lady Zahra's (a) pains), the book aimed primarily to relieve doubts of Al-Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Fadl Allah.