Sayyid Abd al-Aziz Tabataba'i

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Sayyid Abd al-Aziz Tabataba'i
Personal Information
Full NameSayyid 'Abd al-'Aziz Tabatab'i Yazdi
Well-Known AsMuhaqqiq Tabataba'i and Aqa 'Aziz Kitabshinas
Well-Known RelativesSayyid Muhammad Kazim Tabataba'i Yazdi
BirthJumada II 21, 1348/ November 24, 1929
ResidenceNajaf, Qom
Studied inNajaf
DeathRamadan 7, 1416 / January 28, 1996
Burial PlaceHoly Shrine of Fatima al-Ma'suma (a), Qom
Scholarly Information
ProfessorsSayyid Abu l-Qasim al-KhoeiSayyid 'Abd al-Hadi ShiraziSayyid 'Abd al-A'la SabziwariAqa Buzurg Tihrani

Sayyid ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Ṭabāṭabāʾī Yazdī* (Persian: سید عبدالعزیز طباطبائی یزدی) (b. 1348/1929 -d.1416/1996) known as Muḥaqqiq Ṭabāṭabāʾī (محقق طباطبائي) and Āqā ʿAzīz Kitābshinās (Persian: آقا عزیز کتابشناس, Mr. Aziz, the bibliographer), was a codicologist, and a scholar of history, 'ilm al-rijal and biography. He is a grandson of Sayyid Muhammad Kazim Tabataba'i Yazdi, the author of al-'Urwa al-wuthqa, from both maternal and paternal sides. He was so skillful in his areas of specialization that was known by acdemic and scholarly communities as "Muhaqqiq" (a scholar who investigates the issues of the religion with precision, assertiveness, and thorough examination). Sayyid 'Abd al-'Aziz had some students. He identified many manuscripts in different libraries around the world.

Birth and Lineage

Abu Jawad, Sayyid 'Abd al-'Aziz b. Jawad b. Isma'il Tabataba'i Yazdi was born in Najaf on Jumada II 21, 1348/ November 24, 1929. He was the grandson of Sayyid Muhammad Kazim Tabataba'i Yazdi (d. 1337/1919), the author of al-'Urwa al-wuthqa.


After studying the preliminaries of Islamic sciences, Sayyid 'Abd al-'Aziz travelled to Iran with his father. When his father passed away, he went to Qom and studied with al-Sayyid Rida al-Sadr. One year later, he went back to Najaf, and studied with Sayyid Abu l-Qasim al-Khoei, Sayyid 'Abd al-Hadi Shirazi, Sayyid 'Abd al-A'la Sabziwari, Sayyid Hashim Husayni Tihrani, and Mirza Muhammad 'Ali Urdubadi. He received Permission for the Transmission of Hadiths from Ayatollah al-Khoei, Sayyid 'Abd al-Hadi Shirazi, and Aqa Buzurg Tihrani.


Muhaqqiq Tabataba'i died on Ramadan 7, 1416/January 28, 1996. He was buried in the chamber no.14 of the courtyard of the Holy Shrine of Fatima al-Ma'suma (a).

Interest in Bibliography and Reviving the Old Heritage

Since he was interested in bibliography and codicology and the revival of Shiite old heritage, Tabataba'i was influenced in Najaf by two prominent figures: Aqa Buzurg Tihrani and 'Allama Amini. When 'Allama Amini founded the Library of Imam Amir al-Mu'minin (a) in Najaf, Muhaqqiq Tabataba'i started to make a catalogue for the library. And in order to identify manuscripts and learn about bibliography and other related fields, he frequently consulted Aqa Buzurg Tihrani.

In February 1970 and 1971 , Tabataba'i was invited by University of Mashhad to go to Iran and attend the Conference of the Millenium of al-Shaykh al-Tusi. At the request of the Libeary of Astan Quds Razavi, he wrote manuscripts of fiqh and usul al-fiqh, and then returned to Najaf. In 1356 sh/1977-8, he was deported by the Iraqi regime; he returned to Iran and stayed in Qom. He was affiliated with centers such as Al al-Bayt (a) Inistitute, al-Ghadir Center, the Foundation of Islamic Researches of Astan Quds Razavi, the Center for the Great Islamic Encyclopedia (CGIE), the Foundation of Bi'that, and Jami'a Mudarrisin Publication. Many books were published by his cooperation or under his supervision. He also attended many academic and scholarly conferences inside and outside Iran. Ninety-four books were written by his supervision and his notes. He made a large catalogue of manuscripts available inside and outside Iran.

Moral Character

People familiar with Muhaqqiq Tabatab'i admired his purity and his love of Ahl al-Bayt (a) and his expertise in Shiite bibliography. He generously helped researchers and students.


Al-Ghadir fi l-turath al-Islami (Ghadir in the Islamic heritage)

Tabataba'i wrote a lot of works some of which were supplementary to those of his teachers, Aqa Buzurg and 'Allama Amini.

He also edited some old Shiite manuscripts and published them.

Tabataba'i made catalogues of manuscripts, such as:

  • The catalogue of the Library of Imam Amir al-Mu'minin (a) in Najaf.
  • The catalogue of the manuscripts of Astan Quds Razavi.
  • The catalogue of the manuscripts in libraries in Baghdad, Hijaz, Turky, Shiraz, and Tabriz.

Attending Conferences

Muhaqqiq Tabataba'i attended many conferences, such as the Conference of al-Shaykh al-Tusi in Mashhad in 1389/1969-70, a conference by the Institute of Muhammadi Trust in 1404/1983-4, the Conference of Imam Ali (a) in 1410/1989-90 in London, and the Conference of the Millenium of al-Sharif al-Radi in 1406/1985-6 in the Foundation of Nahj al-Balagha in Tehran, and the Conference of Book and Book Reading in the Islamic Civilization in Mashhad.