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Muhammad Asif Muhsini

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محمد آصف محسنی قندهاری.jpg
Personal Information
Full Name Muhammad Asif Muhsini Qandahari
Religious Affiliation Twelver Shi'a
Birth 26 April, 1935
Place of Birth Kandahar, Afghanistan
Studied in Ghazni, Najaf
Death August 5, 2019
Burial Place Khatam al-Nabiyyin Seminary, Kabul
Scholarly Information
Professors Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim, Sayyid Abu l-Qasim Khoei, Shaykh Husayn al-Hilli, Sayyid 'Abd al-A'la Sabziwari
Works Buhuth fi 'ilm al-rijal
Socio-Political Activities
Socio-Political
Activities
Founder of Islamic Movement of Afghanistan • Cooperation with Mujahidun Government • head of the Council of Shiite Scholars in Afghanistan

Muḥammad Āṣif Muḥsinī Qandahārī (Persian: محمدآصف محسنی قندهاری, b. April 26, 1935 d. August 5, 2019) is a Shiite Marja' in Afghanistan. He is a Pashtun Shiite scholar, an advocate of proximity among Islamic denominations, the head of the Council of Shiite Scholars in Afghanistan, and the founder of the Islamic Seminary and the University of Khatam al-Nabiyyin in Kabul. He is also a member of the Higher Council of Ahl al-Bayt World Assembly, former leader of the Islamic Movement of Afghanistan, and the founder of Tamadon TV channel.

Muhammad Asif Muhsini was a student of Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim and Sayyid Abu l-Qasim al-Khoei in jurisprudence and the principles of jurisprudence. He wrote books concerning rijal, jurisprudence, and hadiths. Scholars refer to his book, Buhuth fi 'ilm al-rijal, as an enduring work about dirayat al-hadith.

Life

Muhammad Asif Muhsini is the son of Muhammad Mirza Muhsini. He was born on April 26, 1936 in Kandahar in Afghanistan[1] with the author. He learned the preliminaries in a maktab khana, and at the age of ten, he was taught by his father how to read and write[2].

At the age of fourteen (1947), he and his family went to Pakistan, where he learned Urdu in Quetta[3]. After their return from Pakistan, he worked in an electricity company and then in 1951, he started working in Kandahar's commerce chamber[4].

Shaykh Asif Muhsini married the daughter of his paternal aunt in 1961. They had three sons: 'Abd Allah, Hafiz, and Habib[5]. His first wife has passed away[6].

Muhsini dies in August 5, 2019 in Kabul [7] and was buried in Khatam al-Nibiyyin Seminary in Kabul[8]

Seminary Educations

Muhsini studied preliminaries of religious sciences in Kandahar for six months, and then he went to a village in Jaghori in the Ghazni province in Afghanistan, where he learned al-Hidaya, al-Suyuti, Hashiya Mulla 'Abd Allah, and parts of Ma'alim and al-Lum'a[9] for eight months[10].

Muhammad Asif Muhsini entered Najaf on July 3, 1953, where he finished the rest of his intermediary studies within about three years[11]. As he says, seminary holidays were not pleasant to him; thus, he seriously studied even on holidays[12].

He studied al-Mutawwal from Shaykh Muhammad Ali Mudarris Afghani, the first volume of Kifaya from Shaykh Mujtaba Lankarani, the second volume thereof from Sadra Badkuba'i, al-Rasa'il from Shaykh Kazim Yazdi, and al-Makasib from a number of scholars[13]. Shaykh Asif Muhsini was interested in philosophy as well, but since teaching philosophy was banned in Najaf, he personally studied philosophy and wrote commentaries on Bab hadi 'ashr[14]. He also studied other philosophical books such as al-Asfar al-arba'a and Hikmat al-ishraq, as well as theological works[15].

His frequent interlocutors with whom he discussed his lectures were Shaykh Qurban'ali Muhaqqiq Kabuli, Shaykh Isma'il Muhaqqiq, and Shaykh Musa 'Alami Bamiyani[16].

Shaykh Asif Muhsini attended the lectures of al-Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim, Sayyid Abu l-Qasim al-Khoei, Shaykh Husayn al-Hilli, and Sayyid 'Abd al-A'la Sabziwari in jurisprudence and principles of jurisprudence for nine years[17].

Religious Activities

Muhammad Asif Muhsini played different religious roles in Afghanistan, for examples as the head of the Council of Shiite Scholars in Afghanistan, his attempt to announce Shiism as an official denomination in Afghanistan, the foundation of the education and cultural institute of Khatam al-Nabiyyin in Kabul, the launch of Tamadon TV channel, and his attempt for the proximity of Islamic denominations.

  • Council of Shiite Scholars in Afghanistan: Muhsini held the first great assembly of Shiite scholars in Afghanistan in Kabul in 2003, and after three days of negotiations, the foundation of the Council of Shiite Scholars in Afghanistan was approved[18]. The Council of Shiite Scholars in Afghanistan has representatives in sixty five places in Afghanistan with over two thousand members[19]. Muhammad Asif Muhsini is the head of the council[20].
  • Shiism as an official denomination in Afghanistan: in the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, which was approved on January 4, 2004, Shiism was recognized an official denomination for the first time in the history of Afghanistan[21].
  • Khatam al-Nabiyyin Institute: the Institute for Higher Educations and the Seminary of Khatam al-Nabiyyin, with an area of forty thousand square meters, is a center built under the supervision of Muhsini, and was opened in 2008. The complex includes a Islamic seminary, a university, a library, and a Jami' mosque[22].
A view of Khatam al-Nabiyyin Seminary in Kabul established by Muhammad Asif Muhsini
  • Tamadon TV Channel: Tamadon TV channel was founded by Muhsini in 2008, and its contents are mostly news, reports, and religious programs[23]. Unlike other TV channels in Afghanistan, this channel refuses to broadcast any kind of music[24].
  • Shia Personal Status Law in Afghanistan: Muhammad Asif Muhsini, the head of the Council of Shiite Scholars in Afghanistan, submitted a bill under the law of Shia Personal Status in Afghanistan, to Hamid Karzai's government. Based on Article 131 of the Afghan Constitution[25], the bill was first approved by the Afghan government. However, after oppositions by some people in Afghanistan [26]as well as human rights institutes[27], it was revised.
  • Proximity among Islamic denominations: Muhsini is a well-known figure in Afghanistan who tries to establish proximity among Islamic denominations. Parts of his effects for the proximity include the establishment of the Council of Islamic Brotherhood in Afghanistan, publication of a book under Proximity among denominations, from theory to practice[28], as well as the foundation of Khatam al-Nabiyyin High in which Sunni and Shiite students can study together.

Political Life

After the communist coup d'état on April 27, 1978 when People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan took over the power, Asif Muhsini left Afghanistan[29]. He first went to Arabia[30] to perform the rituals of hajj. He then went to Syria and taught religious sciences in Damascus[31].

Islamic Movement of Afghanistan

In April 1979, he went to Qom, where he and a number of Qom-based Afghan clergies founded the Party of Islamic Movement of Afghanistan [32] on April 8, 1979[33]. The party consisted of smaller groups and engaged in military combats with the communist government of Afghanistan at the time[34]. It created over hundred military bases in nineteen provinces of Afghanistan and organized tens of thousands of armed forces against Soviet forces.

Shaykh Asif Muhsini was the leader of the party until 2005. When he resigned from the leadership of Islamic Movement of Afghanistan, he put an end to his political activities.

Cooperation with Mujahidun Government

After the fall of the communist government of Dr. Najibullah on April 28, 1992, Muhammad Asif Muhsini was the secretary and spokesman of the leadership council of the Islamic government of Afghanistan in the first term of the Mujahidun government in Kabul. However, after the outbreak of wars among different groups of Mujahidun, he left Kabul and went to Islamabad in Pakistan[35].

Works and Research

Along with his political as well as religious and cultural activities, Muhammad Asif Muhsini wrote many books and essays, more than sixty of which have been published [36]. Thus, he received an "academician medal", the highest scholarly medal in Afghanistan[37].

His works were written in Persian and Arabic and encompass a wide variety of subjects, including hadiths, jurisprudence, rijal, beliefs, and politics. Here are some of his works:

Buhuth fi 'ilm al-rijal: it contains principles of rijal, and according to Mahdi Mehrizi, it is an enduring book about dirayat al-hadith[38].

Mashra'a bihar al-anwar: according to the author, it is a commentary on Bihar al-anwar, in which he tries to separate out reliable hadiths from unreliable ones in Bihar al-anwar in accordance to his own principles of rijal as elaborated in his Buhuth fi 'ilm al-rijal. He discusses different issues in reliable hadiths[39].

His other works include 'Aqa'id baray-i hami [40](religious beliefs for everyone), Taqrib-i madhahib, az nazar ta 'amal [41](proximity among denominations, from theory to practice), Zan dar shari'at-i islami [42](woman in the Islamic sharia), Tawdih al-masa'il-i siyasi [43](essay of political fatwas), and Khasa'is khatam al-nabiyyin[44] (characteristics of the last prophet).

Notes

  1. Exclusive Interview of Risalat News Agency with Shaykh Muhammad Asif Muhsini
  2. Exclusive Interview of Risalat News Agency with Shaykh Muhammad Asif Muhsini
  3. Exclusive Interview of Risalat News Agency with Shaykh Muhammad Asif Muhsini
  4. Exclusive Interview of Risalat News Agency with Shaykh Muhammad Asif Muhsini
  5. Exclusive Interview of Risalat News Agency with Shaykh Muhammad Asif Muhsini
  6. Exclusive Interview of Risalat News Agency with Shaykh Muhammad Asif Muhsini
  7. FarsNews: Marja' Taqlif of Afghinistanian Shi'as passed away.
  8. [www.iribnews.ir/fa/news/2494322 IRIBNews]
  9. Exclusive Interview of Risalat News Agency with Shaykh Muhammad Asif Muhsini
  10. Aryana Encyclopedia, Mahdizadih Kabuli, under Muhammad Asif Kabuli.
  11. Exclusive Interview of Risalat News Agency with Shaykh Muhammad Asif Muhsini
  12. Exclusive Interview of Risalat News Agency with Shaykh Muhammad Asif Muhsini
  13. Exclusive Interview of Risalat News Agency with Shaykh Muhammad Asif Muhsini
  14. Exclusive Interview of Risalat News Agency with Shaykh Muhammad Asif Muhsini
  15. Exclusive Interview of Risalat News Agency with Shaykh Muhammad Asif Muhsini
  16. Exclusive Interview of Risalat News Agency with Shaykh Muhammad Asif Muhsini
  17. Aryana Encyclopedia, Mahdizadih Kabuli, under Muhammad Asif Kabuli.
  18. FarsNews
  19. FarsNews
  20. [hawzahnews.com/detail/News/430019 HawzahNews]
  21. Sadiqi Balkhabi, Muhammad Asif Muhsini
  22. Sadiqi Balkhabi, Muhammad Asif Muhsini
  23. TVs of Kabul
  24. [www.payam-aftab.com/fa/doc/news/2165 TVs of Afghanistan]
  25. English translation of Shia Personal Status Law in Afghanistan
  26. the Gaurdian: Afghanistan's turbulent ecleric
  27. Ayatollah Muhsini, the promotor of proximity between Shia and Sunni
  28. [mtif.org/p/book/58922 Muhaqqiq Tabatabayi Foundation]
  29. Ayatollah Muhsini, the promotor of proximity between Shia and Sunni
  30. Website of Payam-e Aftab
  31. Ayatollah Muhsini, the promotor of proximity between Shia and Sunni
  32. Encyclopedia of Arynana under Muhammad Asif Muhsini Ghandahari
  33. Website of harekatislami
  34. Aryana Encyclopedia, Mahdizadih Kabuli, under Muhammad Asif Kabuli.
  35. Aryana Encyclopedia, Mahdizadih Kabuli, under Muhammad Asif Kabuli.
  36. [wikinoor.ir/%D9%85%D8%AD%D8%B3%D9%86%DB%8C%D8%8C_%D9%85%D8%AD%D9%85%D8%AF%D8%A2%D8%B5%D9%81 Website of Wikinoor]
  37. Website of Shia News
  38. Mihrizi, Tarh Pajoohishi: Ilm al-Hadith, p. 76.
  39. Muhsini, Mashra'a Bihar al-Anwar, 1426 AH, vol. 1, p. 7.
  40. Muhsini, Aqa'id baray-i hama, 1373 Sh.
  41. Muhsini, Taqrib-i Madhahib:az nazar ta amal, 1387 Sh.
  42. Muhsini, Zan dar shari'at islami, 1391 Sh.
  43. Muhsini, Tawdih al-masa'il-i siyasi, 1391 Sh.
  44. Muhsini, Khasa'is khatam al-nabiyyin, 1396 Sh.

References