Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Murtada bin Naqd ‘Ali bin Mir ‘Ali Rida bin Husayn…al-Musawi was born in Ardabil on 10th Rajab 1347 A.H.
His father is the great Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Taqi Mufti al-Shi‘a al- Ardabil. He passed away in 1361 A.H.
His father, may the grace of God be upon him, was a great authority in jurisprudence; he had a practical treatise under the title of Shajarat al-Taqwa as well as another practical treatise entitled Dhakharat al-‘Uqba.
He, may the grace of God be on him, was one of the students of al-Akhund al-Khurasani, Sayyid Kazim al-Yazdi, Sayyid Muhammad al-Isfahani al-Fashariki.
His grandfather was the great Ayatollah Sayyid Murtada al-Khalkhali al-Ardabili (may his soul rest in peace).
In respect of his study, he grew up in good circumstances, and he had an inclination toward knowledge seeking; he was distinguished by an extreme intelligence and great competence, and the sign of brilliance was noticeable on him.
He studied his preliminary studies as well as the high level of his studies under the great scholars in Ardabil. He studied al-Rasa’il with Ayatollah Shaykh Gulam Husayn al-Gharawi even as he also learned al-Makasib with his uncle Ayatollah Sayyid Musa Faqih Murtadawi.
He, may the grace of God be upon him, was a great authority in jurisprudence; he founded great Islamic seminary schools in Ardabil when he returned back from Najaf. A group of people of the country would gain an understanding of his lessons and activities.
Many students tended to learn and acquire skills at his blessed seminary school in his period, so they would come from different cities of al-Qafqaz, Badkubah, Shirawan, Salyan, Irawan, Nakhjawan, Lankaran and from other cities in Azarbayjan.
Azarbayjan had been seized by the Marxist government that destroyed the mosques, the places of worship and libraries, even as they assassinated some scholars and expelled some others.
The situation remained bad until the torment of God the Most High came. As a consequence it has totally been ripped apart and the communist regime has flown back from the political scene. Then, the children of the country began to return to religion and a kind of renaissance and reawakening began to appear.
As for his children, he has seven sons, among whom three were men of letters, namely Sayyid Muhammad Taqi, Sayyid Muhammad Zaki, Sayyid Abu al-Fadl.
His family is one of the recognized families on knowledge who settled in various and famous Islamic lands like Najaf, Ardabil, Khalkhal, Qazwin, Rasht and Tehran.
It is a family of great glory, and one of the forerunners in attaining perfections, seeking knowledge and in having good manner.
A great number of jurisprudents, authors, poets and rulers who have assumed religious and social offices have appeared from this family.His Conduct and Behavior
When his father passed away in 1361 A.H. in the city of Ardabil, he wore a turban at the hand of the spiritual authority Sayyid Yunus al-Ardabili (may his soul rest in peace), and he took the responsibility of leading people in prayer in his father’s mosque known as the mosque of the market.
In fact, he was well known in the country and his family as a person of piety, modesty and a person of God-wariness; he was famous among the scholars and the students with virtue and good manners.
He keeps silent except in scholarly issues or in remembering the Name of God, a very taciturn person who is occupied with thinking. He has a great patience, piety, and a direct truthful language and free in his opinions and conduct. In fact, he is of the people of God-wariness and simplicity.Emigration to Qum
He moved to the holy city of Qum where he attended the highest level of his study of fiqh (or the study of jurisprudence) under the great Ayatollah Sayyid al-Burojardi (May his soul rest in peace). He studied the Book of the Contract of Sale with the great Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad al-Hujjah (May his soul rest in peace), the principles of jurisprudence with the great Ayatollah Sayyid al-Khomeini (May his soul rest in peace) and the Book of taharah “ritual purity”, jurisprudence, with the great Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Muhaqqiq Damad. As well he attended the lessons of the interpretation of the Qur’an, astronomy and philosophy with ‘Allamah Sayyid al-Tabataba’i (May his soul rest in peace. At the same time he was busy teaching al-Ras?’il, al-Kifayah, al-Makasib and al-Manzomah that are studied in the high level of Seminary. During the summer vacation, he used to travel to his homeland and keep to the mosques of his grandparents occupied with congregational prayers, religious matters and social services.
In 1374 A.H. he traveled to Najaf to complete his higher studies of jurisprudence where he has attended the lessons of the main authorities in jurisprudence. Among them are: Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim (May his soul rest in peace), Sayyid Mahmud al-Shahrodi (May his soul rest in peace) and Sayyid Abu al-Qasim al-Khu’i (May his soul rest in peace). Finally he kept to the lessons of Ayatollah Shaykh Husayn al-Hilli in the issues of jurisprudence and the principles of jurisprudence for a long time; these lessons were more beneficial for him. He spent more than ten years with him until he wrote his reports in respect of the principles of jurisprudence.
When he came back from the pilgrimage in 1388 A.H. he left the lessons of Shaykh al-Hilli and devoted himself to the teaching of jurisprudence and the principles of jurisprudence.
Return to Ardabil
In 1389 A.H. a group of people came from the city of Ardabil and met the authority Sayyid al- Hakim (May his soul rest in peace) and requested from him to send Sayyid Mufti al-Shi‘ah to the city of Ardabil as his representative for religious missions.
Despite that Sayyid al-Hakim had a strong desire that he should stay in Najaf he finally convinced of the necessity of his presence in Ardabil to respond to the needs of those who found in him necessary qualifications for work. He therefore traveled from Najaf to Ardabil. When the people of the city informed of his arrival, they and the scholars hurried to welcome him.
In addition, his arrival was coincided with an important event: the government of the time had destroyed the great mosque in the middle of the main street in secret and at night for their disagreement with the religious scholars.
Days passed and in 1380 A.H. Ayatollah Sayyid al-Burujardi (May his soul rest in peace) passed away. As a consequence, the people of Azarbayjan referred to Ayatollah Sayyid al-Hakim through his representative Sayyid Mufti al-Shi‘ah.
However, after he stayed a year and half in Ardabil, he returned back again to Najaf to continue his preoccupations and activities which were interrupted.
His Scholarly Rank
He has obtained licenses of independent judgment in legal questions from the great scholars and main authorities of his era.
His Social Services
He has endeavored a lot to help poor people and has participated in building various schools and buildings for charitable purposes as well as mosques.
His Noble Characters
He is gentle and virtuous; he speaks well of the life-story of former scholars. He is very patient, a man of piety, God-fearing; he has a direct truthful toque; he is free in his opinions and conduct.
He keeps a group of reports in jurisprudence and principles of jurisprudence which he set down in Qum and Najaf.In the Seminary of Qum
1- Kitab al-Bay‘: The lessons of his teacher Sayyid Muhammad al-Hujjah (may God have mercy on him).
2- Kitab al-Salat: The lessons of his teacher Sayyid aqa Husayn al-Burojardi (may God have mercy on him).
3- Kitab al-Taharah: The lessons of his teacher Sayyid Muhammad Muhaqqiq Damad (may God have mercy on him).
4- A series of reports in principles of jurisprudence by his teacher Sayyid al-Khumeiny (may God have mercy on him).
5- The theories of his teacher ‘Allamah al-Tabataba’i in respect of philosophical matters.In the Seminary of Najaf
6- The reports to the lessons of his teacher َ the great Ayatollah Sayyid Mahmmad al-Shahrudi in regard to the issue of “the prayer of the traveler” and “the congregational prayer”.
7- A complete report of principles of jurisprudence by his teacher Sayyid al-Khu’i.
8- A complete report of issues on principles of jurisprudence, issues of sale, khiyarat [or right of option in contract] and higher lessons of al-‘Urwat al-Wuthqa, especially the issue of Taharah (legal purity) by his teacher great Ayatollah Shaykh Husayn al- Hilli.
9- A treatise in regard to the jurisprudential principle: There is no harm is Islam.
10- An explanation of Kifayat al-Usul.
11- A treatise in regard to the issue “the branches of collective knowledge”.
12- A treatise in regard to the matter of “the principal of approval” and “baby suckling”.
13- Al-Fiqh al-Mabsot.
In addition, Sayyid Mufti al-Shi‘ah has written book on ethic, psychology, and a commentary on al-Asfar and on some other branches of knowledge.
15- He has written complete treatise of Islamic rulings entitled Tawdih al-Masa’il wa al-Masa’il al-Mustahdathah, and another under the name (Minhaj al-Salihin). The latter is in two volumes: acts of devotional worship and transactions. As well he has written commentaries on al-‘Urwat al-Wuthqa and Manasik al-Hajj.