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Sayyid Sa'id Akhtar Rizvi

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سید اختر رضوی.jpg
Personal Information
Full Name Sayyid Sa'id Akhtar Rizvi
Birth 1927
Place of Birth India
Residence India • Tanzania
Death 2002
Burial Place Cemetery of Ithna 'Ashari Khoja Shi'a in Dar es Salaam
Scholarly Information
Works The Qur'an and Hadith in English
Mourning and heresy in Urdu
Need of religion in English
Ithna 'Ashari Khoja Shias in East Africa
Socio-Political Activities
Of the founders of Bilal Muslim Mission • founder of Ahl al-Bayt Assembly in Tanzania • founder of Bilal charity institute in India
Official Website http://allamahrizvi.com

Sayyid Saʿīd Akhtar Rizvī (Urdu: سید سعید اختر رضوی) (b. 1927- d. 2002) was a founder of the organization of Bilal Muslim Mission and a member of the Ahl al-Bayt (a) World Assembly. He played a significant role in organizing Ithna 'Ashari Khojas. He wrote and translated works in English, Arabic, and Urdu. He translated some volumes of Tafsir al-Mizan written by 'Allama Tabataba'i. He died in 2002 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and was buried in the Shiite cemetery of the city. Sayyid Akhtar was not himself a Khoja Shi'a, but he is considered as a member of these Ithna Ashari Khoja Shi'as because of his relations with them.


Sayyid Akhtar Rizvi, the son of Sayyid Abu l-Hasan, was born on Rajab 1, 1345/January 5, 1927 in 'Ashari village of the Siwan district in the Indian state of Bihar. He attended the Islamic seminary of Jam'iyyat 'Ulum Jawadiyya in Varanasi. He became the leader congregational prayer of the Shi'a in Hallaur, India. Rizvi also studied in Madrasat al-Wa'izin in Lucknow for a while. Over these years, he published several books and papers concerning Islamic issues in Indian periodicals. In 1960, Sayyid Akhtar Rizvi moved to Tanzania to propagate Shiism and resided in Lindi and learned Swahili. He played a crucial role in organising Ithna 'Ashari Khojas. In his autobiography, he explicitly talked about his wide-ranging relations with Ithna 'Ashari Khojas.

In 1962, Sayyid Akhtar presented to the African Federation a plan to found Bilal Muslim Mission aimed at introducing black people to Islam and Shiism. When he established Bilal Muslim Mission, he went to Europe and North America in 1980-1990 and invited some scholars to help Bilal Muslim Mission in Tanzania and Kenya.

Rizvi died in 2002 at the age of 76 in Dar es Salaam and was buried in the Shiite cemetery of the city. The African Federation opened a fund in his memory.

Sayyid Akhtar Rizvi was not himself an Ithna 'Ashari Khoja, but he is considered as a member of this association, because of his extensive relations with them.


  • Leading Bilal Muslim Mission;
  • Co-founding the Ahl al-Bayt (a) Islamic World Assembly in London in 1982 together with Sayyid Mahdi Hakim;
  • The general secretary of Ahl al-Bayt (a) Islamic World Assembly in London (1983-1985);
  • Foundation of Ahl al-Bayt (a) Assembly in Tanzania in 1993;
  • Foundation of Bilal Charity Institute in India in 1995;
  • Member of Ahl al-Bayt (a) World Assembly in Tehran.


In addition to social activities, Rizvi also wrote and translated books in English, Arabic, and Urdu; here are some of these works:

  • The Qur'an and Hadith in English;
  • The justice of God in English;
  • Need of religion in English;
  • Imamate: The vicegerency of the Holy Prophet (s) in English. This book was published nine times. Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania, Bilal Muslim Mission of Kenya and the Islamic Propagation Office of Qom have translated the book into Urdu, Swahili, Bosnian, Gujarati, and Indian. Imam al-Husayn (a) Foundation in Beirut translated the book into Arabic;
  • Shias and Shiism in English;
  • Ithna 'Ashari Khoja Shias in East Africa;
  • Understanding Karbala in Urdu;
  • Mourning and heresy in Urdu;
  • Mourning of Sayyid al-Shuhada (a): an Islamic Point of View in Urdu;
  • Commentaries on al-Dhari'a in Arabic;
  • Mas'alat al-bada' in Arabic;
  • Nazariyyat al-musta'jala fi tahrif al-Qur'an in Arabic, and other works.