Mirza Muhammad Al-Istarabadi

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Mirza Muhammad Al-Istarabadi
Personal Information
Full NameMuhammad b. 'Ali b. Ibrahim al-Istarabadi
Religious AffiliationIslam
ResidenceNajaf, Mecca
Studied inNajaf , Mecca
DeathDhu l-Qa'da 13, 1028/ October 22, 1619
Scholarly Information
Professorsal-Muqaddas al-Ardabili, Ibrahim b. 'Ali b. 'Abd al-'Ali al-Maysi

Mīrzā Muḥammad b. 'Alī b. Ibrāhīm al-Istarabadi (Arabic: میرزا مُحَمَّد بن عَلیّ بن إِبراهیم الإِسترآبادی) (d. Dhu l-Qa'da 13, 1028/ October 22, 1619) was a Shiite scholar and an expert of rijal. He lived in Najaf at first, where he studied with al-Muqaddas al-Ardabili and Ibrahim b. 'Ali b. 'Abd al-'Ali al-Maysi. After the death of his teacher, al-Muqaddas al-Ardabili, in 993/1585, he left Najaf and migrated to Mecca where he lived until his death. Amin al-Istarabadi was one of his students who elaborated the Akhbari approach which was apparently formed under the influence of his Mirza Muhammad's teachings. One of Istarabadi's works is Manhaj al-maqal fi tahqiq ahwal al-rijal.

Period of Education

There is no information about the details of Istarabadi's life. It is only known that he lived in Najaf at first, where he attended the lectures of al-Muqaddas al-Ardabili and Ibrahim b. 'Ali b. 'Abd al-'Ali al-Maysi. After the death of al-Muqaddas al-Ardabili (993/1585), he left Najaf to Mecca where he lived until his death.

According to al-Afandi, he left Najaf because al-Muqaddas al-Ardabili did not introduce him as his successor. Thus, he thought that Najaf was not a good place for him and he moved to Mecca. He also studied with Abu Muhammad Muhsin b. Ghiyath al-Din Mansur. He was an expert of the science of rijal and wrote three books in this regard.

His Character

According to Muhibbi, he was known for his knowledge and scholarly character. al-Majlisi praised his knowledge and piety, and Amin al-Istarabadi, the leader of the Akhbaris, has emphasized on his scholarship of hadith and rijal.

Important Students

Amin al-Istarabadi studied fiqh, hadith, and rijal with Istarabadi in Mecca for 10 years. He received a Permission for the Transmission of Hadiths from him as well. It seems that Amin was influenced in his Akhbari approach by his teacher's teachings. Another student of Istarabadi was Shaykh Muhammad (a progeny of al-Shahid al-Thani), and 'Ali b. Hujjat Allah Shulistani transmitted hadiths from him.


  • Manhaj al-maqal fi tahqiq ahwal al-rijal is his great work on rijal, which was published in Tehran (1302/1884-5) together with the commentaries of al-Wahid al-Bihbahani. He finished writing this book in Najaf in 986/1578-9.
  • Talkhis al-aqwal is his middle work on rijal, which has not been published. Numerous manuscripts of this work are available in libraries of Tehran University, Astan Quds Razavi in Mashhad, Bankipur, London Museum, and the private library of Mr. Brown.
  • A small work on rijal which was apparently titled Tawdih al-maqal was written in Mecca in 1016/1607-8. According to Aqa Buzurg Tihrani, a manuscript of the book with the author's handwriting is available in Astan Quds and another manuscript is available in Tabriz.
  • Ayat al-ahkam, manuscripts of which are available in libraries of Astan Quds and the Madrasa-yi Ālī-yi Shahid Mutahhari.

Istarabadi also wrote commentaries on al-Shaykh al-Tusi's Tahdhib al-ahkam as well as other essays.