Al-Sayyid Muhammad Sa'id al-Habbubi

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Al-Sayyid Muhammad Sa'id al-Habbubi
Personal Information
Religious AffiliationTwelver Shi'a
LineageImam al-Hasan (a)
Place of BirthNajaf
Studied inNajaf
Burial PlaceHoly Shrine of Imam 'Ali (a)
Scholarly Information
ProfessorsMulla Husayn Quli Hamadani, Mirza Habib Allah Rashti, Muhammad Husayn Kazimi etc.

Al-Sayyid Muḥammad Saʿīd al-Ḥabbūbī (Arabic: السَیِّد محمد سَعید الحَبّوبی) (b. 1266/1849-50 - d. 1333/1915), known as Habbubi the Great, was a twelver faqih, poet, and one of the leaders of Iraq's struggle against Britain. He was the first person who issued fatwa on legitimacy of establishment of new schools in Baghdad for teaching foreign languages.

Mulla Husayn Quli Hamadani, Mirza Habib Allah Rashti, and Sayyid Murtada Radawi Kishmiri were among his famous teachers. Sayyid Shahab al-Din Mar'ashi Najafi, Sayyid Muhsin Hakim were among his students. He also had a close relationship with Sayyid Jamal al-Din Asadabadi during the time he lived in Najaf.

His Birth and Lineage

Habbubi was born in 1266/1849-50 in Najaf. His father, Sayyid Mahmud, was a descendant of Imam al-Hasan (a). The Habbubi were originally from Hijaz and most of them were merchants.

His Education

He received basic education in Najaf. He also learned literature from Shaykh Ja'far Sharqi/Sharuqi and Shaykh 'Abbas A'sam, his uncle.

After trading in Hijaz for a while, he returned to Najaf. Through attending literary forums, in which great poets of Najaf such as Sayyid Musa Taliqani and Sayyid Ja'far Hilli attended, he demonstrated his literary talent.

His Teachers

Muhammad Sa'id Habbubi learned ethics and Irfan from Mulla Husayn Quli Hamadani and was profoundly influenced by him.

He learned fiqh and usul from Mirza Habib Allah Rashti, Muhammad Husayn Kazimi, Shaykh Muhammad Sharabiyani, and Rida Hamadani.

He acquired his fiqh knowledge mostly from Shaykh Muhammad Taha Najaf. He did not attend any classes after the demise of Shaykh Muhammad Taha Najaf in 1323/1905-6 and began to write and teach fiqh and usul.

He had gained permission from Muhammad Taha Najaf, Mulla Husayn Quli Hamadani, and Sayyid Murtada Radawi Kashmiri to narrate hadith and had given permission to Sayyid Shahab al-Din Mar'ashi Najafi to narrate hadith.

His Teaching and Students

His method of teaching was similar to Akhund Khurasani's and many scholars attended his classes.

Sayyid Muhsin Hakim, Sayyid Mahmud Hakim, Sayyid Hashim Hakim, 'Adnan Gharifi, Jawad Shabibi, and Salih Hariri were among his students in literature and other sciences.

Leadership of the Jihad

The statue of Al-Sayyid Muhammad Sa'id al-Habbubi at the main square of the city of Nasiriyya, Iraq.

After the occupation of Libya by Italy in 1329/1911, together with Akhund Khurasani and some other jurisprudents, he issued fatwa and invited Muslims to protect Islam and fight against enemies.

He also played a critical role in the Islamic uprising of Iraqi people against British occupiers in 1332/1913-4. In the big gathering of the people of Najaf in the Hindi Grand Mosque, he invited people to jihad and indicated that it was obligatory for Muslims to force the infidels leave their country.

In addition to issuing a fatwa, together with Sayyid Mustafa Kashani, about the obligation of preserving Iraq's integrity of the land, he was the first person who accepted leadership of the religious fighters and sent them to fight against enemies. He then, together with several Islamic scholars, went to Nasiriyya on Dhu l-Hijja 1332/1913-4 and in order to encourage nomads to jihad, stayed there until Muharram 1333/November-December 1914.

On Rabi' II 1333/1915, together with thousands of nomads who had joined him in Nasiriyya, he left Nasiriyya and went to Shu'ayba (a region located about 15 km southeastern of Basra). He did not accept financial aids of Osmani government and spent the profits made from the mortgage of his properties for jihad.

In the war that started between Iraqis and Osmani army on one side and British forces on the other side, many fighters were martyred and their army withdrew to Nasiriyya. For this reason, his statue has been put up in the main square of Nasiriyya.

His Characteristic

Habbubi was well-known for his piety, good disposition, benignity, humility, intelligence, and patience. He led congregation prayers in the courtyard of Imam Ali's (a) holy shrine. Muhammad Sa'id Habbubi was the first person who issued a fatwa that the establishment of new schools in Baghdad for teaching foreign languages was permissible. He had a close relationship with Sayyid Jamal al-Din Asadabadi while he lived in Najaf.

His Demise

In Nasiriyya, Sayyid Muhammad Habbubi got sick due to the pressure of failure in Shu'ayba and passed away in 1333/1915. He was buried in the courtyard of the Holy Shrine of Imam 'Ali (a) after funeral procession to Najaf.