Muhammad 'Ali Araki

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Muhammad 'Ali Araki
Personal Information
Full NameMuhammad 'Ali Araki
BirthJumada II 24, 1312/December 23, 1894
ResidenceArak, Qom
Studied inArak,Qom
DeathJumada II 25, 1415 (November 29, 1994)
Burial PlaceHoly shrine of Lady Ma'suma (a), Qom
Scholarly Information
ProfessorsShaykh 'Abd al-Karim Ha'iri,Sayyid Muhammad Taqi Khwansari, ...

Muḥammad ʿAlī Arākī (Persian: محمد علی اراکی) (b. 1894 - d. 1994) was an Iranian Marja'. He played an important role in establishment of Seminary of Qom and was the Imam of Congregational Prayer in the Masjid Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari (a) in Qom for over thirty years.

Although he was a Mujtahid for more than forty years, he renounced being a Marja' due to his humility and refer people to other Mujtahids.

He was one of the last Marja's who had studied under Shaykh 'Abd al-Karim Ha'iri. After his demise, students of Ayatollah Khoei, Ayatollah Gulpaygani and Imam Khomeini became held the position of being Marja'.

Birth and Lineage

Muhammad 'Ali Araki was born in Jumada II 24, 1312/December 23, 1894 in Arak, Iran.

His father -Hujjat al-Islam Hajj Ahmad Aqa Farahani, known as Mirza Aqa and Hajj Mirza Aqa- was from Muslih Abad, a village in Farahan and a student of Mulla Muhammad Ibrahim Anjadani. His mother, Alawiyya Agha Beygum, was the daughter of Sayyid 'Aqil, a descendant of Imam al-Sajjad (a).

Ayatullah Shaykh 'Abd al-Karim Ha'iri, the founder of seminary of Qom, was his brother in law (husband of his wife's sister) and Sayyid Muhammad Taqi Khwansari was his son in law.

Education and Teachers

Ayatollah Araki learned how to read and write when he was eleven or twelve under Aqa 'Imad, his brother in law (his sister's husband). Then he completed primarily studies under Hujat al-Islam Aqa Shaykh Ja'far and Aqa Shaykh 'Abbas Idris Abadi.

He studied Sharh Manzuma, written by Mulla Hadi Sabzawari, under Ayatollah Shaykh Muhammad Baqir Araki Sultan Abadi, known as Sulatn al-'Ulama' Araki (d. 1382/1962-3). He also studied under Hajj Aqa Nur al-Din Araki (d. 1340/1921-2).

When he was twenty, he participated in the lessons of Ayatollah Shaykh 'Abd al-Karim Ha'iri and studied under him for eight years. He was one of the earliest students of Ayatollah Ha'iri and accompanied him to the end of his life.

Ayatollah Araki, also, studied some chapters from jurisprudence such as: taharat and nikah (marriage) under Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Taqi Khwansari (d. 1371/1952).

Scholarly Status and Students

After the demise of Sayyid Muhammad Taqi Khwansari, and at the request of many of his students, Ayatollah Araki started teaching some chapters of advances level of jurisprudence, including: nikah, makasib muharrma, bay', khiyarat, taharat, ijara and hajj, and advanced level of Usul al-fiqh in Faydiyya School.

Some of his famous students are:

Political and Social Activities

One of his politico-religious activities was his cooperation in foundation of Hawza 'Ilmiyya in Qom.

Also, because he believed that the Friday prayer is obligatory, he preformed it for about thirty years (from 1377/1957-8 to 1399/1978-9) after the demise of Ayatollah Khwansari, in Imam al-Hasan al-Askari Mosque in Qom.

For thirty five years, He was the Imam of Congregational Prayer, held in various places such as: the Holy shrine of Lady Ma'suma (a), tomb chamber of Shah 'Abbas (currently: Imam Khomeini masque) and Faydiyya school.

He and Ayatollah Khwansari went to Ayatollah Burujirdi after he came to Qom and discussed the uprising and opposition against the irreligious acts of Muhammad Rida Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran at that time.

When the article of taking oath to the Qur'an was omitted from the bill of Regional and Provincial Councils, which was proposed by Shah, he issued a statement in Rajab 1382/ December 1962, in which he called for explicit repeal of the bill due to its incompatibility with the Islamic laws and people's dissatisfaction and anxiety about reduction of religious symbols in the society.

One of his important actions was approving Imam Khomeini's representatives in cities. When he was asked about his opinion about the appointed Imam al-Jum'as and scholars by Imam Khomeini in various cities for "hisbiyya affairs and collection of Shar'i funds (including khums, zakat and …)" he replied that he approves and endorses all of whom Imam Khomeini had trusted and appointed as his representative.

Scholarly Works

His works are divided into two main categories:

  • Books: Tawdih al-masa'il (practical Islamic laws), glosses on Durar al-fawa'id written by Shaykh 'Abd al-Karim Ha'iri, glosses on al-'Urwat al-wuthqa, Kitab al-nikah wa al-talaq, Kitab al-salat, and a foreword on the book Al-Qur'an wa al-'aql written by his teacher, Nur al-Din Araki.


Ayatollah Bahjat is performing funeral prayer on the body of Ayatollah Araki, 1415/1994, the Holy Shrine of lady Masuma (a), Qom

Although he was a great Mujtahid and had written his glosses on al-'Urwat al-wuthqa (writing a gloss on al-'Urwat al-wuthqa was a sign of reaching the state of Ijtihad) more than forty years ago, he renounced to become a Marja' due to his humility.

However, after the demise of Imam Khomeini, scholars in various cities and especially the Society of Teachers of Seminary of Qom referred followers of Imam Khomeini to Ayatollah Golpaygani and Ayatollah Araki.

After the demise of Ayatollah Khoei and Ayatollah Golpaygani, he was the only Marja'.

He was one of the last Marja's who had studied under Shaykh 'Abd al-Karim Ha'iri and after his demise, students of Ayatollah Khoei, Ayatollah Gulpaygani and Imam Khomeini became Marja'. After his demise multiple Marja's took the position of Marja'iyya.


Ayatollah Araki had three sons named: Ibrahim, Abu l-Hasan and 'Ali. His son, Abu l-Hasan Muslihi, was one of the Mujtahids in Islamic Seminary of Qom.

Two of his daughters married Sayyid Muhhammad Taqi Khwansari (after the first one passed away, he married the other).


He was hospitalized in Jumada I 18, 1415/October 23, 1994 for vascular diseases and finally passed away in Jumada II 25, 1415/November 29, 1994.

A public funeral was held in Qom and Ayatollah Bahjat performed Funeral Prayer on his body, then he was buried in the holy shrine of lady Fatima al-Ma'suma (a) next to the tombs of Shaykh 'Abd al-Karim Ha'iri and Sayyid Muhammad Taqi Khwansari.