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‘Abdollāh Ibn Muḥammad Ḥassan Māmaqānī

‘Abdollāh b. Muḥammad Ḥasan Māmaqānī or Mamaqāni  (b. 1290/1873 – d. 1351/1933) is a Shi’a scholar in rijal of the 14th/20 century. He was one of the great scholars of Najaf and had many students, including Sayyid Shihab al-Din Mar’ashi Najafi. He has written some works, the most important of which is Tanqih al-maqal. Holding mourning sessions and founding a library in Najaf are some of his social activities.

Born and Family

‘Abd Allah Mamaqani was born in Rabi’ I 15, 1290/May 13, 1873 in Najaf. His father, Muhammad Hasan Mamaqani was a student of al-Shaykh Murtada al-Ansari and Sayyid Husayn Kohkamara’i. His grandfather Shaykh ‘Abd Allah b. Muhammad Baqir (d. 1247/1831-2) was also a faqih who had Permission for ijtihad and Permission for hadith transmission from the author of Riyad al-masa’il.

Ayatollah Shaykh Muhammad Hasan Mamaqani was one of the great scholars of his time and had Muqallids (followers) (especially after the demise of Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Hasan Shirazi in 1312/1894) from Turkey, Caucasus, and Iran – especially from Adharbayjan region and Tehran.

He had nine children, including 8 daughters and 1 son, and his son was Shaykh Muhyi al-Din Mamaqini (d. 1429/2008).

Education

His education started when he was 5 by learning how to read and write and also by learning the Qur’an. Then he studied under his father many preliminary topics of al-Hawza al-‘Ilmiyya , such as Arabic grammar, logic and mathematics. He finished the preliminary level of seminary, including Qawanin al-Usul, Riyad al-masa’il, Fara’id al-usul and al-Makasib, by studying under his father and other scholars and faqihs in Najaf.

At the age of 18, he started participating in advanced courses of fiqh and usul al-fiqh of his father, who was one of teachers of advanced courses (Bahth al-Kharij) in Najaf. Years later, he received his Permission of ijtihad from his father, who was very strict in giving the Permission of ijtihad.

His Teacher

  • Muhammad Hasan Mamaqani (his father)
  • Shaykh Hashim b. Zayn al-‘Abidin Tabrizi (d. 1323/1905-6),
  • Shaykh Ghulam Husayn Darbandi Turki (d. 1321/1903-4),
  • Shaykh Hasan Khurasani, known as Mirza (d. 1313/1995-6).

His Students

  • Shaykh Mirza Baqir Zanjani Najafi,
  • Sayyid Sa’id al-Hakim,
  • Shaykh ‘Abd al-Husayn al-Hilli (1299/1881-1375/1995),
  • Shaykh Muhammad Husayn Khiyabani Tabrizi (1299/1881-1392/1972),
  • Sayyid Shihab al-Din Mar’ashi Najafi (1315/1897-1411/1990),
  • Shaykh Muhammad Haqqani (1325/1907-1388/1968),
  • Al-Sayyid Ali Akbar al-Khoei, the father of al-Sayyid Abu l-Qasim al-Khoei.

Founding Library

In addition to teaching students, training religious Muballighs (preachers) and holding mourning sessions for strengthening, promoting and keeping the school of Ahl al-Bayt (a) alive, Ayatollah Mamaqani founded an important library, in which more than 400 unique manuscripts – each of which was an important research source – was kept.

This library was one of the richest libraries in Najaf and was located in al-‘Imara neighborhood. After the demise of Ayatollah Mamaqani, the library and the house next to it, which was waqf (endowment) and the books were kept in, were destroyed by Ba’th Regime under the pretext of urban development.

Ayatollah Mamaqani was very interested in books and reading. He liked to make books available to the public. Therefore, if he was informed that one owns an only copy of a book, he would ask the one to lend him the book, then he bore all expenses of copying the book, and made it available to the public.

His Works

He had written several books in different field of Islamic sciences including hadith, fiqh, usul al-fiqh, rijal. The most important one among them is Tanqih al-maqal, a comprehensive Arabic book on ‘Ilm al-rijal, in which he discussed about 16000 hadith transmitters.

  1. Tanqih al-maqal, a comprehensive Arabic book on ‘Ilm al-rijal, in which he discussed about 16000 hadith transmitters.
  2. Muntaha maqasid al-anam fi nukat Shara’i’ al-Islam: this book is written in 63 volumes.
  3. Nahayat al-maqal fi takmilat ghayat al-amal: this book is glosses on “al-Khiyarat” written by al-Shaykh Murtada al-Ansari.
  4. Manahij al-muttaqin fi fiqh A’imat al-haqq wa al-yaqin: this book contains a lot of jurisprudential issues and sub-issues.
  5. Miqbas al-hidaya fi ‘ilm al-diraya: which is about Dirayat al-hadith.
  6. Mir’at al-kamal li man ram dark masalih al-a’mal: this book is about traditions and Sunnas.
  7. Some of his treatises has also been published, including: Majma’ al-durar fi masa’il ithna ‘ashar, al-Masa’il al-arba’in al-‘Amiliyya, al-Masa’il al-Khu’iyya.
  8. Glosses on Jami’ ‘Abbasi, written by al-Shaykh al-Baha’i, Dhakhirat al-salihin, Muntakhab al-masa’il, Majma’ al-masa’il and Siyagh al-‘uqud, written by al-Fadil al-Rayhani.
  9. Matarih al-afham fi madani l-ahkam.
  10. Hidayat al-anam fi amwal al-Imam.
  11. Nata’ij al-tanqih.
  12. Tuhfat al-safwa fi ahkam al-habwa.
  13. Al-Qala’id al-thamina ‘ala l-rasa’il al-sitt al-sinniya
  14. Irshad al-mutibassirin
  15. Al-Durr al-mandud fi siyagh al-iqa’at wa l-‘uqud
  16. Urjuzat al-durr al-mandud
  17. Siraj al-Shi’a
  18. Tuhfat al-khayriyya fi ahkam al-hajj wa l-‘umra
  19. Manhaj al-rashad
  20. Mir’at al-rashad fi l-wasiyya ila l-ahibba wa l-awlad

Characteristics

  • Shaykh Aqa Buzurg Tihrani says praising him: “he has gathered knowledge and wisdom with piety and asceticism, as he has mixed status and position with humility and good manners.”
  • Shaykh ‘Abbas Qummi has describes him as an experienced scholar and a deep-thinking researcher.
  • His student, Muhammad Sa’id al-Hakim, says: “He was very knowledgeable, he was the forerunner of researchers, the Sultan of thinkers in religious studies, the great sign of God and he had valuable writings.”

Demise

Mamaqani passed away in Sunday, Shawwal 16, 1351/February 12, 1933, at the age of 61 and was buried in his father mausoleum located in al-‘Imara neighborhood in Najaf.

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