Sayyid Muhammad Hujjat Kuhkamara'i

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Sayyid Muhammad Hujjat Kuhkamara'i
Personal Information
Religious AffiliationShia Islam
Place of BirthKuhkamar, Azerbaijan Sharqi, Iran
DeathJumada I 3, 1272/January 19, 1953
Burial PlaceQom
Scholarly Information
Professorsal-Sayyid Muhammad Kazim al-Yazdi, Sayyid Abu l-Hasan Isfahani, Muhammad Husayn Na'ini, Diya' al-Din 'Iraqi

Sayyid Muḥammad Ḥujjat Kūhkamaraʾī (Persian: سید محمد حجت کوه کمره‌اي) (b. 1310/1893 - d. 1372/1953) was a Shi'a jurist, scholar of principles of jurisprudence, muhaddith, scholar of rijal, mujtahid, and marja'. He studied under famous scholars, such as Sayyid Abu l-Hasan Isfahani, 'Abd al-Karim Ha'iri, Mirza Muhammad Husayn Na'ini, Diya' al-Din 'Iraqi, and Sayyid Muhammad Kazim Tabataba'i Yazdi. After the demise of Ayatollah Ha'iri, he became one of the three prominent Shi'a Marja's and undertook the administration of Seminary of Qom. Hujjatiyya Islamic seminary in Qom has remained from the time of his marja'iyya.

Birth and Lineage

Sayyid Muhammad Hujjat Kuhkamara'i was born in 1310/1893 in Tabriz in a cleric family. His family were from Kuh Kamar a district of Ahar in East Azerbaijan, Iran. He is a descendant of 'Ali Asghar b. Imam al-Sajjad (a).


His father Sayyid 'Ali Kuhkamara'i Tabrizi (d. 1319/1901-2) was a scholar and faqih of his time and was a student of Mirza Habib Allah Rashti, Fadil Iravani and Fadil Sharabyani. He had received certification of narrating hadith from Fadil Sharabyani, Zayn al-'Abidin Mazandarani, Sayyid Muhammad Bahr al-'Ulum and Muhammad Hasan Mamaqani. He has written glosses on Fara'id al-ususl and al-Makasib both written by al-Shaykh al-Ansari.


Among his children Sayyid Muhsin and Sayyid Hasan Hujjat were religious scholars.


He studied Arabic grammar, mathematics, medicine and some other subjects in Tabriz. In addition, he passed most of primary usul and fiqh studies, such as Riyad al-masa'il written by Sayyid 'Ali Tabataba'i under his father in Tabriz and began to teach Sharh al-lum'a there.

In 1330/1911-2, for continuing his education, he moved to Najaf where he studied fiqh, usul, hadith and rijal under Shaykh al-Shari'a Isfahani, Sayyid Abu l-Hasan Isfahani, Sayyid Muhammad Firuzabadi, 'Abd al-Karim Ha'iri, Mirza Muhammad Husayn Na'ini, Diya' al-Din 'Iraqi, Sayyid Muhammad Kazim Tabataba'i, Sayyid Abu Turab Khwansari, 'Ali Quchani, and 'Ali Gunabadi. He also studied mathematics and hay'at (astronomy) under Haydar Quli Khan Sardar Kabuli in Najaf. During his studies in Najaf, he became badly sick and by his father's advice he returned to Tabriz. However, after a while he went back to Najaf and this time beside continuing his studies he started to teach as well.

He received certification of narrating hadith from some of his teachers, such as

He also received certification of ijtihad from some of great scholars, including: Mirza Na'ini, Shaykh al-Shari'a Isfahani, and Aqa Diya' al-Din 'Iraqi.

In 1349/1930-1 he moved to Qom. He was an expert in 'ilm al-hadith and was respected and trusted by Shaykh 'Abd al-Karim Ha'iri to the point that Ha'iri referred his muqallids in his precautionary fatwas to him. Also, Ha'iri appointed him as Imam al-Jama'a in the holy shrine of Fatima al-Ma'suma (a).


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Kuhkamara'i's class

Sayyid Muhammad Hujjat had a big teaching circle in Najaf, but he had to leave Najaf due to his illness. He resided in Qom since 1349/1930-1 and started teaching. His eloquence, verbal dexterity, skillful teaching, and awareness of all opinions and sources about the topic attracted many students to his scholarly circle. According to Murtada Ha'iri Yazdi, one of his prominent students and his son-in-law, his session of kharij fiqh was the most important Hawza session after that of Shaykh 'Abd al-Karim Ha'iri.

Great faqihs participated in his sessions. He had many students, including:



  • Lawami' al-anwar al-gharawiyya fi mursalt al-athar al-Nabawiyya: about mursal (hurried) hadiths form the Holy Prophet (s) and specifying the reliable ones of them.
  • Mustadrak al-Mustadrak fi istidrak ma fat 'an Sahib al-Mustadrak: in which he compiled hadiths that Muhaddith Nuri had missed in Mustadrak al-Wasa'il.
  • Jami' al-ahadith wa l-usul (or Majma' al-ahadith): which he could not complete.




He has written glosses on Tanqih al-maqal, written by 'Abd Allah Mamaqani. According to Sayyid Shihab al-Din Mar'ashi Najafi, some of his writings were kept in his library in manuscript.


Some of his students have transcribed his sessions.

  • His sessions about bay' (buying and selling) was transcribed by his student, Yahya Fadil Hamadani, and was published in 1333/1914-5 in Qom.
  • Another transcript of the same sessions was prepared by Abu Talib Tajlil Tabrizi and was published in the same year in Tabriz and in 1368 sh/ 1989-90 in Qom.
  • Al-Mahajja fi taqrirat al-Hujja: is the title of the transcript of his usul sessions written by 'Ali Safi Golpaygani and was published in 1377 sh/1998-9 in Qom.

Cultural Activities

Kuhkamara'i was very interested in collecting and preserving the Shi'a heritage; hence from the time of his residence in Najaf, he collected valuable manuscripts in his personal library.

An index of 60 manuscripts, prepared by the effort of Sayyid Ja'far Husayni Ishkivari, was published in 1998; however, some sources reported that there were 125 pieces. Also he kept all works and transcripts of sessions of Sayyid Husayn Kuhkamara'i in his library. Currently, the collection of his library's manuscripts are preserved in the Library of Ayatullah Mar'ashi Najafi in Qom.

Al-Tibyan, the famous exegesis of the Qur'an written by al-Shaykh al-Tusi, was published for the first time by the effort of Mirza 'Ali Shirazi and the support of Sayyid Muhammad Hujjat Kuhkamara'i in two volumes between 1362/1943 and 1365/1945-6 in Tehran.

Social Activities

  • Administration of al-Hawza al-'Ilmiyya of Qom (Islamic seminary of Qom): After the demise of Ha'iri Yazdi, the founder of al-Hawzat al-'Ilmiyya of Qom, Sayyid Muhammad Taqi Khwansari, al-Sayyid Sadr al-Din al-Sadr, and he undertook the administration of al-Hawza al-'Ilmiyya of Qom. When these three faqihs, also known as al-Maraji' al-Thalath, took over this responsibility, the political situation of the country and restrictions on religious activities imposed by Rida Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran of that time, has created a difficult situation for Hawza. In this condition Kuhkamara'i endeavored to organize Hawza and paid serious attention to clergy's living conditions. Nonetheless, he took parts in some socio-political activities, such as fighting Kashf-i Hijab; but his general approach was prevention of active encounter with political issues and the government; thus, during his marja'iyya he refused to meet Shah and other government officials and did not accept them for meeting.

Following the demise of Sayyid Abu l-Hasan Isfahani in 1946 and Aqa Husayn Qummi in 1947, Kuhkamara'i, who had become a marja' after the demise of Ha'iri Yazdi, became a very well-known marja' and many people, especially those from Azerbaijan region, referred to him.

Madrasa 'Ilmiyya Hujjatiyya in Qom. It is said that the madrasa has been designed by Allama Tabataba'i who had studied mathematics and geometry in Najaf.
  • Constructing Hujjatiyya Seminary in Qom: He built an Islamic seminary in Qom, which was counted as one of the important and big schools at that time. The construction of the school started in 1324 sh/1945-6. In addition to student and teacher accommodation, the school contains a mosque and a library. The index of the manuscript books of the library of the school was published in 1354 sh/1975-6 by the effort of Rida Ustadi.
  • Collecting books and manuscripts: these books are kept in the personal library of his son, Sayyid Hasan Hujjat, and an index of them has been published.

Moral Characteristics

He was praised for his piety, forbearance, avoiding grandstanding and his excellent memory. Murtada Mutahhari says that he had strong will. He strongly avoided fame; thus during his Marja'iyya, he did not allow orators to mention his name in their sessions and on minbars (pulpits) nor he let the press publish his picture.


Ayatollah Hujjat's grave in Hujjatiyya School in Qom.

After a period of serious illness, Sayyid Muhammad Hujjat passed away on Monday, Jumada I 3, 1372/January 19, 1953 at the age of 62, in Qom. He was buried in a room next to the mosque of Hujjatiyya School.

It is said that few days before his demise he gave his ownership documents to Sayyid Ahmad Zanjani and gave the money and the properties that were left form Sahm Imam (share of Imam) to his son-in-law to spend them on the specific things. Then he broke his seal (to prevent misuse after his demise) and foretold about his demise. When his conditions deteriorated, his daughter gave him a small amount of the Turba of Imam al-Husayn (a), for healing. After that he ate it, he said, "My last provision from this world is turbat al-Husayn (a)."

Several sessions were held in his memory and many poems and elegies were composed about him.