Muhammad Hirz al-Din

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Muhammad Hirz al-Din
Personal Information
Full NameShaykh Muhammad Hirz al-Din
Place of BirthNajaf
Burial PlaceAmara District
Scholarly Information
ProfessorsMirza Husayn Khalili Tihrani, Akhund Khurasani, Sayid Muhammad Kazim Yazdi etc.

Shaykh Muḥammad Ḥirz al-Dīn (b.1273/1856-7 - d.1365/1945-6) (Arabic: شَیخ مُحَمَّد حِرزالدین) was a Shi'i scholar of fiqh, usul al-fiqh, literature, and rijal in the 14th/20th century, the author of the book, Ma'arif al-rijal, and the best-known member of Hirz al-Din Family. He was a student of Mirza Husayn Khalili Tihrani, Muhammad Taha Najaf, Akhund Khurasani, and Sayyid Muhammad Kazim Tabataba'i Yazdi. One of his well-known students was Sayyid Shahab al-Din Mar'ashi Najafi. Shaykh Muhammad was a prolific author. About 70 works in different disciplines are attributed to him. His best-known book is said to be concerned with the Occultation of Imam al-Mahdi (a).


He was born in Najaf in 1273/1856-7. His father, 'Ali b. 'Abd Allah Hirz al-Din, was a student of Shaykh Musa Kashif al-Ghita', Shaykh 'Ali Kashif al-Ghita', and Sahib al-Jawahir. He was, in fact, a close companion of 'Ali Kashif al-Ghita'.

Muhammad’s father died when he was 4 years old. He was then under the custody of, and trained by, his brothers, 'Abd al-Husayn and Hasan. He started learning religious disciplines when he was a teenager, and finished the preliminaries very soon due to his intelligence, strong memory, and hard work.

His moral and scholarly characters and practices include his frankness, eloquence, good temper, humbleness, helping the poor and people in need, having a simple life, and piety. Muhammad Hirz al-Din died in 1365/1945-6 and was buried near his house in a mosque in which he was the imam of congregational prayers.


He learned fiqh, usul al-fiqh, kalam, and other disciplines from a number of teachers. He received hadith permissions as well as permissions of ijtihad from many scholars, including:

According to Mar'ashi Najafi, he also transmitted al-Sihah al-Sitta from the chain of transmission of Sayyid Shukri Alusi Baghdadi.

Shaykh Muhammad Hirz al-Din mastered many disciplines, including fiqh, usul al-fiqh, hadith, rijal and biographies, literature, history and traditions, the reading of Kufic calligraphy, medicine, hay'a (traditional astronomy), and occult sciences. He also composed poems.


Hirz al-Din had important lectures. He taught many students or gave hadith permissions to many people, including:


Shaykh Muhammad wrote many works in different disciplines. According to his grandson, Muhammad Hirz al-Din, he wrote over 70 works. Here are some:

  • The book of al-Masa'il, a complete course of demonstrative jurisprudence in three volumes.
  • Al-Tahara and its kinds, in two volumes.
  • The book of al-Salat wa l-Sawm wa l-Zakat wa l-khums
  • Ahkam al-Mawta
  • Miftah al-Naja
  • Miftah al-Najah wa Mukhtasar al-Miftah that is his brief Tawdih al-masa'il or manual of fatwas and was published in Najaf in 1343/1924-5.
  • Al-Qawa'id al-Fiqhiyya wa Qawa'id al-Ahkam
Works in Usul al-Fiqh
Theological works
  • Al-Ihtijaj
  • Al-Ihtijaj 'Ala Kitabiyyayn (or 'Ala al-Yahud wa l-Nasara)
  • Al-Islam wa l-Iman, al-Imama
  • Al-Ghayba in which he proved the life of Shiite twelfth Imam (a) and some scholars have written down epigrams on it. According to Ja'far Shaykh Baqir Al-i Mahbuba, it is among his most famous works.
Other works

Shaykh Hirz al-Din also had some books and treatises in traditional medicine, traditional astronomy, traditional mathematics and occult sciences including:

  • Al-tib wa asas al-Ilaj
  • Kitab al-fawa'id, about Greek medicine in Persian
  • 'Izah al-tahrir, in the geometry that is a commentary on Nasir al-Din al-Tusi's Euclid's Principles
  • Najat al-da'in wa wasila al-khati'in, in prayers and talismans
  • Mafatih al-fawa'id
  • Sharh al-da'ira al-Hindiyya
  • Al-Asrar al-Najafiyya

He Has numerous works in literature as well, including:

  • Al-Masadir al-sarfiyya
  • Qawa'id al-logha
  • Washy al-burud, that is his book of poems.
Rijal works

He has wrote some important works in Rijal and Tarajim, the science of biographies as well:

  • Al-fawa'id al-rijaliyya
  • Qawa'id al-rijal wa fawa'id al-maqal
  • Maraqid al-ma'arif that is a research on sadats, the offspring of the Prophet (s) and scholars' graves. At first this book was published in Najaf in 1391/1971-2 and then in Qom in 1412/1991-2.

Ma'arif al-rijal fi tarajim al-'ulama' wa l-udaba', known as Ma'arif al-rijal, is the best-known work of Shaykh Muhammad Hirz al-Din in rijal. The book is in Arabic and it includes the biographies of 556 scholars and men of literature from the second half of the 12th/18th century to the half of the 14th/20th century. It was published in Najaf in 1365/1945-6.

The Progeny

Muhammad Hirz al-Din’s children were 'Abd al-Karim and 'Ali. 'Abd al-Karim is known as a man of literature. Shaykh 'Ali is characterized as a knowledgeable and courteous religious scholar. He had a permission for hadith transmission from his father and passed away in 1372/1952-3 or 1373/1953-4.

Muhammad Husayn Hirz al-Din, 'Ali's son, was a religious scholar as well. He was born in 1333/1914-5. He studied with his father, as well as Sayyid Muhammad Baqir Ihsa'i, Sayyid Muhsin Hakim and Sayyid Abu l-Qasim Khu'i. He died in Najaf in 1419/1998. He wrote down the lectures of his teachers in fiqh and usul al-fiqh and edited and wrote commentaries on his grandfather's book, Ma'arif al-rijal.