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Book: Shining Sun: In Memory of ‘Allamah Tabataba’i

The book consists of two main parts. The first part includes an introduction and a memorial focusing on ‘Allamah’s life, and the second part is a series of discussions that the author of the book, Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Husayni Tehrani had with the ‘Allamah.

Shining Sun (a translation of Mihr-i Taban) is a tribute to the life and thought of the renowned Islamic scholar, Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Tabataba’i, written soon after his death by one of his students.

Shining Sun includes an overview of Tabataba’i’s life and transcriptions of discussions between Tabataba’i and his student. These discussions cover history, philosophy, mysticism, theology, and the Qur’an.

“Since its original publication in Persian in 1981, Shining Sun has lit the way for seekers of the guidance of ‘Allamah Tabataba’i in the spiritual quest. Now that Tawus Raja has done such a careful job with the translation, this tradition of wayfaring becomes available to English readers. Readers will be treated to a dimension of Tabataba’i’s personality which is, in a sense, the deepest dimension – that of ‘irfan.” – Hajj Muhammad Legenhausen, IKERI, Qum, Iran

“‘Allamah Tabataba’i is undoubtedly the major Shi‘a thinker of modern times, and his impact on Persian philosophy and theology is incomparable. It is wonderful to see the Persian tradition of respecting great intellectual personalities continuing in modern times.” – Oliver Leaman, University of Kentucky, United States

Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Tabataba’i (1902-1981), commonly referred to as the ‘most learned’ (‘Allamah), was a prominent Muslim scholar who breathed new life into the Shi‘a seminaries by establishing courses on the interpretation of the Qur’an and by introducing a novel method of Qur’anic interpretation. He was a master of Islamic philosophy and a model of spirituality.

Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Husayni Tihrani (1926-1995) was a close student and friend of Tabataba’i who enjoyed a long affiliation with him. Tihrani was an eloquent speaker and a prolific writer, who established and propagated the spiritual school of Tabataba’i and Tabataba’i’s chain of spiritual masters.

About the Author

Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Husayni Tihrani was born in Tehran in 1345 AH (1926) in a family of religious scholars. He received his early religious education under the instruction of his father at home, and at the same time he pursued modern education and graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from the German Technical School in Tehran. Despite his achievements in the modern sciences and the chance of continuing his education abroad, he chose the path of religious sciences, and thus he migrated to Qum for advanced studies in 1364 (1945).

He was among the first pupils of ‘Allamah Tabataba’i in Qum. Not only did he participate in ‘Allamah’s regular courses on philosophy and Qur’anic exegesis (tafsir) that were open to all, but he was also among ‘Allamah’s select circle of students who pursued theoretical and practical mysticism with their teacher and master (ustad). Sometimes the author would spend up to eight hours a day with the ‘Allamah at his house, just like a family member. During the seven years of his stay in Qum, the author also studied under Shaykh Murtada Ha’iri, Sayyid Muhammad Damad, Sayyid Rida Baha’ al-Dini, Sayyid Muhammad Hujjat, and Ayatollah Burujirdi.

After reaching the rank of ijtihad, the author departed for Najaf based on ‘Allamah’s advice in 1371(1951). He stayed another seven years in Najaf, where he studied with Shaykh Husayn Hilli, Sayyid Abual-Qasim Khu’i, Shaykh Aqa Buzurg Tihrani, and Sayyid Mahmud Shahrudi. Following ‘Allamah Tabataba’i’s instruction, the author sought spiritual guidance from Shaykh ‘Abbas Quchani, and also frequented Sayyid Jamal al-Din Gulpayigani. He also used to observe night vigils on Wednesday nights (nights of Thursday) in the Mosque of Sahlah.

Bibliographic Information

Title: Shining Sun: In Memory of ‘Allamah Tabataba’i

Author: Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Hussain Hussaini Tehrani

Translator: Tawus Raja

Publisher: ICAS Press

 Language: English

Length: 252 pages

ISBN:  978-1904063407

Pub. Date: Oct 14, 2016

shining sun: in memory of allamah tabatabai

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