Home / Muslim Scholars / Biographies / Mīrzā Ḥosayn Nūrī ((Moḥadith Nūrī)

Mīrzā Ḥosayn Nūrī ((Moḥadith Nūrī)

Mirza Hussain Nouri, Known as Mohaddis Nouri, was born on Shawwal 18, 1254 AH at the town of Noor in Mazandaran, Iran.

Name: Mirza hussain Nouri ibn Mohammed Taqi Nouri

Title: Mohaddis Nouri

Born: 18 Shawwal 1254 H at the town of Noor in Mazandaran, Iran

Died: 27 Jamadi al Thani 1320 H at Najaf-e Ashraf, Iraq

Born and Family

Mirza Hussain Nouri, Known as Mohaddis Nouri, was born on Shawwal 18, 1254 AH at the town of Noor in Mazandaran, Iran.

 Mohaddis Nouri was a leading cleric and Marja-e Taqleed of Mazandaran. His father, the grandfather of Mohaddis Nouri, Ali Mohammed Mazandarani was a functionary of the Iranian government of the time. He very much wanted to put his son in his place as his successor. But the son wasn’t interested in the position.

From his very childhood he was of an independent nature. He had no interest in power and pelf.

Mohaddis Nouri was the fifth of five brothers and the last of the Al-e Noor. Allama Nouri possessed a pure heart full of love and affection for others. He had two sisters who had played a very important part in the history of the time. One of them was the spouse of Fath Allah Nouri and the mother of Sheik Moosa Nouri. The other sister was the wife of Mulla Abbas Nouri who was an eminent scholar. She was the mother of Martyr Ayatollah Sheik Fadhl Allah Nouri. He remained steadfast under the hangman’s noose. People asked him to hoist the Union Jack on his roof for a few hours to earn reprieve from the capital punishment. Sheik Shaheed said loudly, “It is impossible! An honorable death is a thousand times better for a Muslim than taking refuge under the banner of a stranger!” Eighteen days prior to that day, the people of Yaloo, a hamlet of the city of Noor, had celebrated the Eid al-Fitr. And now, on 18 Shawwal 1254 H there is a new arrival in the Noor Family. This was like a gift on the occasion of the Eid for the people of the town! Everyone had a smile writ large on his face within such a short time of the Eid. The visitors ask them why everyone seemed so happy. They reply that certainly it was the occasion for them to be happy that the illustrious Nouri Family was blessed with another son. They said that at the house of their Marja-e Tqleed, Sheik Taqi Nouri, there was celebration in connection with the new arrival. They further said that his house is the people’s house and everyone had to celebrate the occasion with happiness! People were greeting one another and expressing hopes that the new-born will become as eminent and erudite as his father and elder siblings! But none knew the heights this new arrival to scale in his illustrious life. After one week of his birth the babe was given the name of Mohammed. The Nouri’s started calling him Mohammed Hussain. This was their tribute to the greatest Martyr Imam Hussain (A.S). It was their inspiration that the child would achieve greatness with the felicity of the name given to him!

Education

Nouri kept progressing with determination and perseverance. He went marching forward in search of a Khizr— a guide, a leader! He was still a lad of 14 or 15years when, with great enthusiasm, he attached himself as a disciple with Maula Mohammeed Ali Muhllati. He applied himself wholeheartedly to acquiring knowledge from his mentor. He had read the tradition of Imam Ali (a.s) in his childhood that procrastination, and waste of time, can only cause wistfulness.

In his search for learning, Muhaddis Nouri first traveled to Tehran to draw inspiration and instruction from his father-in-law, Sheik Abd al-Rahim Boroujerdi.

His Teachers

Sheikh Abd al-Hussain Tehrani

Sheikh Muhammad Ali Muhallati

Sheikh Abd al-Rahim Broujerdi

Sheikh Murtada Ansari

Sayyed Muhammad Hassan Shirazi

His Students

Sheikh Abbas Qomi

Aqa Bozorg Tehrani

Sheikh Ali Ibn Ibrahim Qomi

Mulavi Muhammad Taqi Qomi

Emigration Four Times to Iraq

But his thirst for learning didn’t let him remain for long at Tehran. In 1273 H he moved to Iraq with his father-in-law. After spending four years in the Hawza Ilmiyya Najaf he returned to Tehran. In 1278 H he again shifted to Iraq with his mentor, Ayatollah Sheik Abd al-Hussain Tehrani, popularly known as sheilk al-Iraqain. They spent some time together in Karbala and then moved to Kazimain. At this resting place of the two Imams—Imam Mousa al-Kazim (a.s) and Imam Mohammed al-Taqi (a.s)—he busied himself in pursuing his studies. In 1280 H he traveled to Medina to participate in a seminar which was attended by Muslims from all over the world.

After visiting the Prophet (s.a)’s Mausoleum in Medina, Muhaddis Nouri traveled to Iraq a third time and started his lessons under the tutelage of  Ayatollah Sheik Murtada Ansari. But it is a pity that he couldn’t draw the benefit of the tutelage of the Sheik for long that he demised very soon in 1281 H.

Muhaddis Nouri returned to Iran after three years in 1284 H with the aim of studying at close quarter the predicament of his countrymen at the hands of the tyrannical Qachar functionaries. His purpose was to carry a report on the subject with him on his return to Najaf, which was the focal point of the Shias those days.

In1286 H he returned a fourth time to Iraq after paying homage at the Mausoleum of Imam Reza (a.s) in Mashhad. The very same year his teacher, Sheik al-Arifain, demised which saddened Muhaddis Nouri.

Travel to Mecca

Ayatollah Nouri was so much saddened with the demise of his mentor that he planned to travel to Mecca to overcome his grief.

He performed the Hajj and traveled to Najaf. He had a thought of circumambulating the mausoleum of Amir al-Momineen (a.s) as the pigeons fly around the Holy Ka’ba. Now he had decided to settle down permanently in Najaf. At this point he became a disciple of Mirza Shirazi Buzurg that proved a turning point in his career.

The intellectual and spiritual journey of Muhaddis Nouri was continuing. He traveled for the Hajj a third time in 1297 H and made a visit to Iran.  He performed the Hajj another time and returned to Iraq to spend the rest of his life in Samarra, Najaf and Karbala.

His Work

Despite his intensive traveling and active association with the champion of the “Anti Tobacco Movement”, Mohaddis Nouri has left behind sizeable literary works. His book “Mustadrak al Wasail” would have required uninterrupted effort by any other person to accomplish. But he did it despite his other activities. Aqa Buzurg Tehrani is on record saying that if any one studied the effects left behind by Muhaddis Noori keeping in mind his other multifarious activities, he would realize that certainty Rooh al-Quds had provided support to his efforts! Here he quotes a very interesting incident from Muhaddis Nouri’s book “Najm al Saqib” that reads, “I was afflicted by an ailment at the age of 10 years and all the inmates of my house had surrounded the sick-bed. They were all crying that I might not live to see the sunrise in the morning! My condition was such that none could say if I was in delirium or fully awake. I sought the intercession of the Imams (a.s). I felt that I had greeted and shook hands with the Prophet (s.a) and the Imams (a.s). I conversed with Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s). He offered a prayer for me. Then I greeted the Imam al-Zamana (a.s).  I cried and said that I wouldn’t survive from the ailment and that my wish would remain unfulfilled. The Imam (a.s) said, ‘Don’t worry! You won’t die of this ailment! Allah will give you recovery and you will have a long life thereafter!’ The Imam (a.s) then gave me a goblet out of which I drank the content a little. . Instantaneously the ailment had left my body. Everyone around me was surprised. Time kept passing by but I didn’t mention about the circumstances of my recovery from the ailment to anyone.”

Another landmark work of Muhaddis Nouri is his book “Mustadrak al Wasail Mustanbat al Masail”. In this book he has collected 123,000 traditions of the Infallibles (a.s) and two-thirds of the traditions are on Ahkaam (Tenets). The rest of the book covers knowledge and methods of the study of Hadith. This section is famous as “Khatima Mustadrak”. This very valuable book was written by Muhaddis Noori on the lines of Sheik Hurr Amili’s “Wasail al Shia” and he had also placed the traditions in appropriate chapters that Hurr Amili hadn’t done or had missed including certain traditions in his work.

The great critic of books, Aqa Buzurg Tehrani writes that one day he was present at the class of the author of “Kifaya”, Akhund Khorasani, when the topic of the discussion was that before research it isn’t right to put knowledge into practice. At this point Akhund said that a Faqih cannot function without studying “Mustadrak al Wasail”. The later day Faqihs and Mujtahids followed this practice.  Ayatollah Sheik al-Shariat Isfahani, who was a high ranking Marja of his time, had said that everyone followed Noori’s Mustadrak. Mirza Mohhamed Taqi Shirazi and other Faqihs thought it binding on them to refer to Mustadrak.

Ayatollah Nouri wasn’t one of those persons who remain engrossed in their books totally unaware of what happens in their environment. He, to the contrary, interacted with the people around him. He kept himself abreast of the happenings in his neighborhood. He was very far sighted and could visualize the future happenings. This was a reflection of his mentor, Ayatullah Mirza Buzurg Shirazi.  He was literally the right hand for the great Marja.

Allama Noori was not the one to rest on his oars writing some books. He was also a leader and guide for his followers. For a long time he was a close associate of Mirza-e Shirazi. Even after his demise, Muhaddis Nouri kept his movement alive.

In those days the people of Isfahan had formed a company, Shirkat-e Islamia, in the leadership of Ayatollah Hajj Nour Allah Isfahani Najafi, to protect the Muslims from the exploitation by the foreign business houses. When Ayatollah Nouri heard of this step to make the people economically independent, he not only appreciated their efforts but through pamphlets exhorted the people in other areas to emulate the people of Isfahan and give a helping hand to them

Muhaddis Noori’s other activities never came in the way of his prayers and supplications. Muhaddis Qummi and Aqa Buzurg Tehrani have written that Allama Nouri never missed his Morning Prayer. He used to leave his bed many hours before the sunrise. He used to offer his supplications to Allah all alone in the darkness of the night!

Muhaddis Nouri was a true follower of Imam Hussain (a.s). On return from his last journey he fell ill in Karbala. He kept the condition of his health hidden from the other travelers not to inconvenience them. By the time he reached his residence in Najaf the ailment had aggravated very much.

Demise

On the night of Wednesday, 27 Jamadi al-Thani 1320 H the great soul left the mortal remains to be interred, according to his will, on the right side of the entrance to the Mausoleum of Hazrat Amir al-Momineen (a.s). He lived for 66 years and served the cause of the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s).

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