Ayatullah Fazel Sharbiaani & Muhammad Hassan Mamqani

The next set of stories are quoted by Ayatullah Shubeyri Zanjani in his book a Drop From The Sea regarding two scholars.

The first scholar is Fazel Sharbiaani (born around 1833 and died on November 25th, 1904). He became  a renowned scholar and possessed mastery over Hadith and its sources. He also left behind a 9-volume explanatory book on the works of Sheikh Murtadha Ansari. Some of his students include Syed Qadhi Tabatabaee, Syed Hasan Isfahani and others.

The second scholar is Sheikh Muhammad Hassan Mamaqani (born on May 5th, 1823 and died on March 25th, 1905 in Najaf). His daughter (Bibi Khanum – d.1950)  was a famous jurist and her son (and thus Mamaqani’s grandson) was the famous Ayatullah Muhammad Hadi Milani. Sheikh Mamaqani studied under scholars like Sheikh Murtadha Ansari. He has also left behind many works such as his explanatory notes on Sheikh Ansari’s work. In the late 1960s (around 1968) while work was being done around his grave and the grave of others, his grave was exposed and a bunch of people witnessed his body in a fresh state.


Fazel Sharbiaani

The methodologies of Haaji Kalbaasi and Ayatullah Syed Muhammad Baqir Hujjatul Islam were two methodologies completely against each other. The methodologies of Haaj Sheikh Hassan Mamaqani and Fazel Sharbiaani were also completely opposite of each other.  Aqa Haaj Sheikh Hasan, was an ascetic of his time and in terms of his asceticism he was known for being at the top for it. Even the price of his mattress on which he would sit on, was of a higher quality, and the material underneath the mattress was a lower quality. He would say that because people would see the top of the mattress, it shouldn’t be repulsive and thus should be 3-star. However, underneath it, the lower quality was sufficient and it wasn’t necessary to buy something more expensive than that. On the contrary, Fazel Sharbiaani was very aristocratic, but both of them were spiritual scholars.

(Spring 2010)

Between the companions of Haaj Sheikh Hassan Mamaqani and Fazel Sharbiaani, there was great contrariety. There was a man who would answer jurisprudential questions on behalf of the deceased Mamiqani. If anyone would ask him a question, he would question the individual about whose muqallid they are.  If one would say, I am the muqallid of Mamaqani, he would applause him and answer his question. However, if one would say, I am the muqallid of Fazel Sharbiaani, he would start to refute and insult him vehemently and bring his knowledge and actions into question.

That man (who would answer the questions) had promised his daughter that he will buy a chadar for her. During that same time, perhaps due to his own lack of piety, the deceased Mamaqani distanced himself from him. His monthly stipend, which he would take from Mamiqani, was stopped. He became out casted by Mamaqani and at the same time had not kept that kind of a stance in regards to Sharbiaani.

During that same time, someone informed him that Fazel Sharbiaani has requested your attendance. Sharbiaani said to him: How much monthly stipend did Aqa Mamaqani give to you? He replied: A certain amount. Sharbiaani said: I will undertake this responsibility. He asked again: I heard that you have promised your daughter that you will purchase her a chador. What is the cost of the chadar? He said: A certain amount. Sharbiani also accepted to pay for that. He gave both the money for the chadar, and also told him not to be worried about the monthly stipend, as he will compensate for it. However, he told him, this should not be the reason for you to change your style, instead you should continue on with your previous style (in regards to me).

(Spring 2010)


Sheikh Muhammad Hassan Mamiqani

It has been narrated: One time Sheikh Hasan Mamaqani went to the bathhouse. In the bathhouse, a barber started to shave the Sheikh’s hair. Because he was using the money of the Sahm-e-Imam, he could not give the barber a lot of money. At that very moment, another person entered and wanted the barber to shave his hair and he gave him extra money. The barber left the hair of Sheikh Hassan half-shaved and started shaving the hair of the other person. Sheikh Hassan realized that if he waits till the barber finishes shaving off the hair of the other person, his class time will pass by. With that very same half-shaved hair, he left the bathhouse and taught his class.

Later on Sheikh Abdullah and all the children of Mamaqani went to the bathhouse and told the barber: Don’t do such a thing again. Whatever money our father gives, if it is less, we will compensate the rest for you later.[1]

Repelling the Danger Off From The Hawzah of Najaf

In the time of Mamaqani, there was a man by the name of Sheikh Ibrahim. He was a reciter of the Qur’an at first, but then slowly brought himself under the appearance of Hawzah students. He gave an opinion in the Hawzah of Najaf that all legal funds should be collected and gathered at one place. He consistently tried hard and was able to place his opinion amongst the scholars. He gave another opinion that in order for this task to take fold, the lessons must be stopped so that the scholars can make a decision. Before the lesson of Sheikh Hassan Mamaqani, the deceased Haaj Mirza Hassan Khalili (a senior scholar of Najaf) was delivering his lesson. Haaj Mirza Hussain was on top of the pulpit giving his lesson that this man entered and asked him why he is giving his lesson. He asked him to stops his lesson. Haaj Mirza Hussain who was a very calm man, did not continue his lesson and stepped off the pulpit.

The news of Haaj Mirza Hussain suspending his lesson reached Sheikh Hassan Mamaqani. When that man came near Sheikh Hassan and gave his opinion, Sheikh Hassan slapped him on his face and said: Go, get lost! Because Sheikh Hassan behaved in this manner with him, no one else could say anything. Although the other senior and pious individuals objected against Sheikh Hassan slapping the man, and said that oppression has taken place. But, since Sheikh Hassan did the act no one could say a thing. Due to Sheikh Hassan Mamaqani being against the opinion of that man, his idea was not carried out and that man could no longer stay in Najaf either.

Later on, it was realized that that man was one of the open allies of Satan and was disguised as a student with the intention to penetrate into the Hawzah of Najaf and cause it harm. Therefore, it was this stand by Mamaqani, that repelled the danger away from the Hawzah of Najaf.

(2011 January/February – Safar 1432)

[1] Makhzan al-Ma’ani Fi Tarjamah al-Muhaqqiq al-Mamaqani – page 80-81

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