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Jamal al-Din Khwansari

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Jamal al-Din Khwansari
قبر آقا جمال خوانساری و آقا حسین خوانساری.jpg
Graves of Jamal al-Din al-Khwansari and his father, Aqa Husayn al-Khwansari in Takht-i Fulad cemetery
Personal Information
Lineage Khwansari family
Well-Known Relatives Aqa Husayn Khwansari (father)
Death 1125/ 1713-14
Burial Place Takht-i Fulad cemetery, Isfahan
Scholarly Information
Professors Aqa Husayn al-Khwansari, Muhammad Baqir al-Sabziwari
Students Aqa Muhammad Akmal al-Isfahani, Mulla Rafi' al-Mashhadi
Permission for Hadith
Transmission From
Muhammad Taqi al-Majlisi
Permission for Hadith
Transmission to
Ibn Maytham al-Bahrani
Works Kulthum nana
Socio-Political Activities
Communication and giving advice to Safavid kings

Jamāl al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Ḥusayn b. Jamāl al-Dīn Muḥammad al-Khwānsārī (Arabic: جمال الدّین محمد بن حسین بن جمال الدّین محمد الخوانساری), known as Āqā Jamāl al-Khwānsārī (Arabic: آقا جمال الخوانساری) (d. 1125/ 1713-14) was a Shiite scholar in the 12th/18th century and a student of Muhammad Taqi al-Majlisi. He wrote works in different disciplines, including fiqh and kalam, but he is known among laypeople by his folk book, Kulthum nana. Aqa Muhammad Akmal al-Isfahani, Ibn Maytham al-Bahrani, and Mulla Rafi' al-Mashhadi were his students.

Lineage and Name

Aqa Jamal was a son of Aqa Husayn al-Khwansari and a scholar from the Khwansari family whose lineage traces back to Imam al-Kazim (a). His birth date is not known, but since Afandi al-Isfahani mentioned that his father, Aqa Husayn al-Khwansari, stayed in Isfahan,[1] probably he was born in Isfahan. According to al-Nasrabadi[2] and al-Khwansari,[3] Aqa Husayn migrated to Isfahan before his maturity.

His name was Muhammad, but he was known as Aqa Jamal.


Aqa Jamal studied in Isfahan with his father, Aqa Husayn al-Khwansari, his uncle, Muhammad Baqir al-Sabziwari, the author of Dhakhirat al-ma'ad fi sharh al-irshad , and Muhammad Taqi al-Majlisi, and he later started teaching there.

Aqa Jamal was considered as a prominent scholar and teacher in Isfahan, which is why he was the head of the seminary of Isfahan.[4] Scholars such as Muhammad Akmal al-Isfahani and Mulla Rafi' al-Mashhadi were his students.

Permissions for the Narration of Hadiths

He is said to have had a permission to narrate hadiths from Muhammad Taqi al-Majlisi.[5] Al-Muhaqqiq al-Ardabili considered him as a prominent narrator of fiqh (the Islamic jurisprudence).[6] Shaykh Yusuf al-Bahrani, the author of al-Hada'iq al-nadira, mentioned him as one of his masters in the narration of hadiths.[7]


Aqa Jamal wrote some works, some of which were published and almost all of them are available. His most popular book is Kulthum nana or 'Aqa'id al-nisa' . This is a humoristic book that criticizes laypeople's approach to religiosity or piety and in particular women's ill-founded religious beliefs in the Safavid period. The book counts as the oldest written document concerning the moral codes, manners, and conducts of Iranian laywomen in that period. The book was written in order to combat superstitious beliefs. It has been translated into English, French, and Turkish.[8]

Socio-Political Activities

Aqa Jamal was highly respected by the Safavid kings. Concerning his relationships with the Safavid government, mention could be made of his attendance in Sultan Husayn Safawi's enthroning ceremony, his advising the king to select the appropriate person for the position of Shaykh al-Islam in Isfahan in 1115/1703 leading to the selection of Muhammad Salih al-Khatunabadi, his accompanying Sultan Husayn, together with Muhammad Baqir al-Khatunabadi, in his travel to Mashhad in 1119/1707, and receiving a robe from the king in 1120/1708.[9] He also worked as a judge for a while[10] and said prayers for the corpse of al-'Allama al-Majlisi.[11]

Because of his extensive knowledge and his power to express scholarly issues without any complexity, some Safavid kings asked him to translate or explain some Arabic books to them.[12] And they sometimes asked him some questions in fiqh and Islamic beliefs, and in reply to them he wrote some short essays. His essays on khums and visiting the graves are cases in point.


'Abd Allah Mamaqani took his year of death to be 1121/1709.[13] He was buried in his father's mausoleum—built by Shah Sulayman Safawi in Takht-i Fulad Cemetery of Isfahan.Māmaqānī, Tanqīḥ al-maqāl, vol. 2, p. 57.</ref>


  1. Āfandī al-Iṣfahānī, Rīyāḍ al-ʿulamāʾ, vol. 2, p. 57.
  2. Naṣrābādī, Tadhkira, p. 221.
  3. Khwānsārī, Raḍāt al-jannāt, vol. 2, p. 350.
  4. Mahdawī, Tadhkirat al-qubūr, p. 238.
  5. Tunikābunī, Qiṣaṣ al-ʿulamāʾ, p. 265.
  6. Ardibīlī, Jāmiʿ al-ruwāt, vol. 1, p. 164.
  7. Baḥrānī, Luʾluʾat al-baḥrayn, p. 90.
  8. Khwānsārī, Kulthūm nana, p. 24.
  9. Jaʿfarīyān, Dawāzdah risāla-yi fiqhī, p. 680; Khātūnābādī, Waqāyiʿ al-sinīn wa l-aʿwām, p. 550.
  10. Tunikābunī, Qiṣaṣ al-ʿulamāʾ, p. 329.
  11. Rawḍātī, Duguftār, p. 61.
  12. Khwānsārī, Sharḥ ghurar al-ḥikam, p. 21.
  13. Māmaqānī, Tanqīḥ al-maqāl, vol. 1, p. 230.


  • Āfandī al-Iṣfahānī, Mīrzā ʿAbd Allāh al-. Rīyāḍ al-ʿulamāʾ. Qom: Kitābkhāna-yi Āyatollah Marʿashī, 1401 AH.
  • Ardibīlī, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-. Jāmiʿ al-ruwāt. Beirut: Dār al-Aḍwāʾ, 1403 AH.
  • Baḥrānī, Yūsuf b. Aḥmad al-.Luʾluʾat al-baḥrayn. Edited by Muḥammad Ṣādiq Baḥr al-ʿUlūm. Qom: Muʾassisat Āl al-Bayt, n.d.
  • Jaʿfarīyān, Rasūl. Dawāzdah risāla-yi fiqhī darbara-yi namāz jumʿa dar rūzigār-i Ṣafawī. Qom: Intishārāt-i Anṣārīyān, 1381 Sh.
  • Khātūnābādī, ʿAbd al-Ḥusayn. Waqāyiʿ al-sinīn wa l-aʿwām. Edited by Muḥammad Bāqir Bihbūdī, Tehran: Intishārāt-i Islāmīyya, 1352 Sh.
  • Khwānsārī, Āqā Jamāl al-. Kulthūm nana. Tehran: Intishārāt-i Murwārīd, n.d.
  • Khwānsārī, Āqā Jamāl al-. Raḍāt al-jannāt. Qom-Tehran: Maktaba Ismāʾīlīyān, n.d.
  • Khwānsārī, Āqā Jamāl al-. Sharḥ ghurar al-ḥikam wa durar al-Kalim. Edited by Jalāl al-Dīn Ḥusaynī Irmawī. Tehran: Intishārāt-i Dānishgāh-i Tihrān, 1366 Sh.
  • Mahdawī, Muṣliḥ al-Dīn. Tadhkirat al-qubūr. Isfahan: Intishārāt-i Thaqafī, 1349 Sh.
  • Māmaqānī, ʿAbd Allāh b. Muḥammad Ḥasan al-. Tanqīḥ al-maqāl. Najaf: al-Maṭbaʿa al-Murtaḍawīyya, 1349 AH.
  • Naṣrābādī, Muḥammad Ṭāhir. Tadhkira Nasrābādī. Edited by Aḥmad Mudaqiq Yazdī. Yazd: Dānishgah-i Yazd, 1379 Sh.
  • Rawḍātī, Muḥammad ʿAlī. Duguftār pīrāmūn-i gushihā-yi az aḥwāl wa āthār ʿulamāʾ buzurg Khwānsār. Qom: Kitābkhāna-yi Takhaṣṣuṣī Tārikh-i Islām wa Irān. 1378 Sh.
  • Tunikābunī, Mīrzā Muḥammad. Qiṣaṣ al-ʿulamāʾ. Tehran: Islāmīyya, n.d.