Place of birth: Qum – Iran
Ayatullah al-Uzma al-Haj ash-shaykh Fadil Lankarani was born in 1931 in the Holy city of Qum. His father, the late Ayatullah Fadil Lankarani was a great teacher and scholar in the Islamic Seminary of Qum. His dear mother, was a pure and noble woman of descent from the family of the Prophet of Islam, Peace be upon him and his family.
At the age of 13, after the completion of primary school, he began studying Islamic studies in the seminary of Qum, where due to his great ability and aptitude, he was able to finish the preliminary stages of Islamic studies within six years. At the age of 19, he started attending lessons in Fiqh (Jurisprudence) and Usul (Principles of Jurisprudence) at the Kharij level (the highest level of Islamic studies), which were being taught by Ayatullah al-Uzma al-Hajj as-Sayyid Muhammad Hussein Burujerdi, May Allah raise his status. Because of his young age and his ability to pick up information very quickly, his fellow students and his teachers quickly recognized him. One of his close friends and study partners, during his quest for knowledge, was none other than the beloved son of the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the late Shaheed Mustafa Khumayni,May he be showered in Allah’s peace.
Ayatullah Lankarani benefited from Ayatullah al-Uzma al-Hajj as- Sayyid Muhammad Hussein Burujerdi’s lectures in the subjects of Fiqh and Usul for almost 11 years. He also participated in the classes of thelate Ayatullah al-Uzma al-Hajj as-Sayyid Ruhullah al-Musawi al-Khumayni for 9 years. Under these two great teachers, he was able to benefit a great deal, and quickly excelled in his studies.
He also took part in the lectures on philosophy and Tafsir (Explanation) of the Holy Qur’an under the great scholar, ‘Allamah as-Sayyid Muhammad Hussayn al-Tabataba’I, May Allah raise his rank, in which he gained much knowledge and enlightenment. Because of her perseverance and endeavors, he was able to reach to the great stage of Ijithad at the early age of 25, something that his eminent teacher, the late Ayatullah al-Uzma al-Hajj as-Sayyid Muhammad Hussein Burujerdi gave to him in writing.
Ayatullah Fadil Lankarani Struggles against the Despotic Regime of the Shah
From the beginning of the political and social struggle and defiance of Ayatullah Khomeini against the oppression, corruption and tyrannical government of the Pahlavi dynasty in Iran, Ayatullah Fadil Lankarani was one of the helpers and supporters of Ayatullah Khomeini. Step by step in every movement that the defenders of Islam took, Ayatullah Lankarani was there and played an active role. One of his important moves was to be involved with the Jami’ah Mudarasin, a group that consists of the teachers in the Hawza ‘Ilmiyyah of Qum in which they were busy spreading the word of Islam and the Islamic Revolution among the masses. More than this, it was they who announced the Marja’iyat and Leadership of Ayatullah Khomeini… Many times during this difficult period, Ayatullah Fadil Lankarani was jailed, and finally, as if the Shahcould no longer take the ‘Ulama and their standing up for the truth, he was forced to exile him to an area known as Bandar Lange. After staying there for 4 months, we was moved to the city of Yazd, where he was forced to reside for a period of 18 months.
After the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, Ayatullah Fadil Lankarani continued to play an important role along side the leader, Ayatullah Khomeini, May his spirit be sanctified, and even today, under the leadership of Ayatullah Khameni’i, he is still fully supportive and
After the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Ayatullah Lankarani was appointed as a member of The Council of Experts, and for more than 10 years, served as the administrator of the Islamic Seminary of Qum.
For many years, he was busy teaching the intermediate level of studies in the Islamic Seminary of Qum to a great number of students. In addition to this, for the past 25 years, he has been teaching lessons of Kharij in the areas of Fiqh and Usul (Kharij is the highest level of Islamic studies after which, if completed in their entirety, elevate the person to a Mujtahid).
His lessons are so popular that in any one lesson, over 700 scholars and personalities of the Hawza ‘Ilmiyyah of Qum can be seen taking part! In addition to this, for the past few years, his lessons on Fiqh have been broadcast by Iranian Radio, thus, those living within the Islamic Republic, and even those in foreign countries have benefited from his vast amount of knowledge.
His Love for the Ahl al-Bait, Peace Be upon all of Them
From the earliest of times, himself and his family have been lovers and followers of the Ahl al-Bait, Peace be upon all of them, and as has been noted, weekly gatherings to commemorate the martyrdom of Abu ‘Abdillah al-Husayn, Peace be upon him, and his loyal family and followers, gatherings to commemorate the martyrdom of the Ma’sumin, Peace be upon all of them, and programs to celebrate the birth anniversaries of the Leaders of Islam, Peace be upon all of them, were held by his late father, and even today, continue to be held.
Salat al-Jama’at in Qum
After the passing away of Ayatullah al-Uzma al-Sayyid Shahab ad-Din Najafi al-Mar’ashi, he was inundated with requests from the students of the Hawza ‘Ilmiyyah of Qum, as well as from the people of Qum, not to mention from those in charge to oversee and run the daily programs of the Haram of Fatimah al-Ma’sumah, Peace be upon her, to lead the Salat al-Jama’at. He humbly accepted this responsibility, and every night, under the graceful eyes of the sister of Imam ‘Ali ibn Musa al-Rida who is buried in Qum, thousands of scholars, students, visitors to this holy city and residents of Qum offered their prayers behind this humble man.
The Station of Marja’iyat
After the death of Ayatullah al-Uzma al-Hajj as-Sayyid Ruhullah al-Musawi al-Khumayni, May Allah raise his rank, the believers turned to him for Taqlid. After the untimely demise of Ayatullah al-Uzma ash-Shaykh Araki, May Allah raise his rank, Ayatullah Fadil Lankarani was officially introduced, by the Hawza ‘Ilmiyyah of Qum in their statement, as the number one Marja Taqlid of the Muslim Ummah.
Along with the important task of teaching the future scholars of Islam, and raising up the guardians of the Religion, he also finds time to write and compile books, some of which include:
1. Tafsil al-Shari’ah (Arabic): A concise, explanatory work detailing the book Tahrir al-Wasilah, which was Ayatullah Khomeini’s compilation of Islamic rules and regulations written in Arabic. Up to now, 13 volumes of this work have been printed and are available, with another 5 volumes under print.
2. Hashiah al-‘Urwatul Wuthqa (Arabic): The detailed book of Fiqh written by Ayatullah Sayyid Kazim Yazdi, with the opinions of Ayatullah Fadil Lankarani.
3. Nihaya al-Taqrir (Arabic): The notes of the lessons of Ayatullah al-Uzma al-Hajj as-Sayyid Muhammad Hussein Burujerdi’s classes on Salat, printed in two volumes.
4. Hashiah Kitab at-Taharah Misbah al-Faqihi (Arabic): The notes on the “Book of Cleanliness” written by Muhaqqiq Hamdani.
5. A summary on the topic of “al-Ijtihad and at-Taqlid” from the book al-‘Urwatul Wuthqa in Arabic.
6. Kitab as-Sawm (Arabic): The Book of Fasting
7. Kitab al-Qada (Arabic): The Book of Passing Judgement
8. Al-Masail al-Mustahditah (Arabic): A compilation of the Islamic laws.
9. A discussion on the ruling of reading the Salat while wearing clothing that one has doubts about. (Arabic)
10. A discussion on the Hajj and ‘Umrah.(Arabic)
11. Al-Ahkam al-Wadihah (Arabic): Compilation of the Islamic rules.
12. Ahkam al-Hajj (Arabic): Notes on the book Tahrir al-Wasilah on the section of Hajj.
13. Al-Qawa’id al-Fiqhhiyah (Arabic): A text covering the various laws of Islamic Jurisprudence.
14. Taqrirat al-Usul (Arabic): His notes on the lessons of Ayatullah Khomeini, printed in 5 volumes.
15. Tibyan al-Usul (Arabic): His notes on the lessons of Usul that he has taught, printed in four volumes.
16. Taqrirat al-Usul (Arabic): His notes on the lessons of Usul that were taught by Araki Burujerdi.
17. Taqrirat Dars-e-Kharij Usul (Farsi): His Notes on the lessons of Usul that he has taught, printed in 8 volumes.
18. Tawdhi al-Masail (Farsi): Complete collection of Islamic laws.
19. Manasik Hajj (Farsi): Rules for the Hajj.
20. An Introduction to Tafsir in the Science of the Qur’an (Arabic)
21. Tafsir of Surah al-Fatiah (Arabic)
22. Possessing a country in the view point of Imam ‘Ali, Peace be upon him.
23. The Infallibility of the Prophets
24. A Collection of Indexes: An index to Bihar al-Anwar, al-Ghadir and al-Mizan.
25. Ahl al-Bait, Peace be upon them: The 14 lights in the Ayah of Tathir (33:33)
26. The Pure A’immah, Peace be upon all of them: The Guardians of the Revelation in the Holy Qur’an. (These two books (Ahl al-Bait, Peace be upon them: The 14 lights in the Ayah of Tathir (33:33) and this one)) were compiled and written along with Ayatullah Ashraqi.
27. Manasik Hajj (Arabic)
28. Questions and Answers regarding the Hajj (Arabic)
29. Questions and Answers regarding the Hajj (Farsi)
30. Jami’ al-Masa’il (Farsi): Two volumes of Questions and Answers dealing with various Islamic topics.
On June 16, 2007 (aged 76), Grand Ayatollah Fazel Lankarani, passed away in the holy city of Qom.