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  • 11/14/2007

Allameh sayyed Mohammad Hossein Tabatabaee

Allameh sayyed Mohammad Hossein Tabatabaee

Allameh sayyed Mohammad Hossein Tabatabaee was born in 1281 (solar year) in Tabriz Province. When he was a child, he lost his parents (his mother at 5 and his father at 9).

After those events, the executor of his father’s will accepted his training and by using his father’s noticeable inheritance sent him to school and then put a tutor to help him for completing his elementary studies which lasted for 6 years (1290-1269).

Allameh wrote about the books he had read in those years:

“ I remember that I studied Qoran, the book usually read most of all, then Sheikh Sa’di’s Golestan & Boostan, Nesab and Akhlaq-e Mossavar, Anvar-e Sohayli and the Mo’ajam history, Mansha’at-e Amirnezam and Ershad- ul- Hessab”.

In 1397A.H, after completing his elementary education, sayyed Mohammad Hossein began to study religious sciences and Arabic language, his different fields of study included the books such as:

Morphology: Amsaleh, Mir Morphology, Tasrif

Grammar: Avamel Samadieh, Jami description

Islamic Fiqh (Jurisprudence): Sharhe Lom’eh , Makaseb

Islamic Principles: Ma’alem-ul-Osool, Gavanin-ul-Osool

Logic: Cobra, Sharhe Shamsiyeh

Philosophy: Sharhe-ul-Esharat, Al- Tabnihat

Theology: Kashf-ul Morad

This period lasted 7 years and eventually the “Sat-h” courses finished in1304 (solar year).

Allameh sayyed Mohammad Hossein Tabatabaee

Najaf Seminary (Theological School)

In 1304, Allameh attended Najaf Theological School to complete his studies there. He participated Shiekh Mohammad Hossein Esfahani’s classes, which lasted almost 10 years, then the classes of Ayatollah Naini. Also for sometimes, at Ayatollah sayyed Ab-ul Hassan Esfahani’s and then Ayatollah Hojat-e Koohkamareii’s. Along with his studies in Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) and Islamic Principles, he continued his philosophical studies and attended the classes of the famous Philosopher “Sayyed Hossein Badkoobi”. During six years he read “the poetic works of Haj Molla Hadi Sabzevari”, “Asfar and Masha’er” written by Mollasadra Shirazi, “Shafaa” by Abu-Ali Cina, “Aflootin’s Asveloojiya” , “Ibn-e Tarkeh’s Tamhid” and “Ibn-e Maskooieh’s Akhlaq”.

Since the study of philosophy revealed Allameh’s great talent, his teacher demanded him to learn Mathematics in order to provide him better progress. Thus he attended Mr. Sayyed Ab-ul Qasim Khansari’s classes for two years.

Allameh’s Return to Motherland

To live and to put a great deal of time on studying brought him great poverty and he had to return to his motherland (Tabriz City) in 1314.

For ten years he earned his living by farming, which almost prevented him from teaching and scientific thoughts. He called these years “ the period of spiritual sufferings ”.

Allameh sayyed Mohammad Hossein Tabatabaee

The Death of Allameh Tabatabee

Allameh Tabatabee died on the 24th of Aban, 1360(solar year). Mr. Qolamreza Qodsi writes about his death:

“ In the last years of his life, Prof.’s behavior was very strange. He always seemed to contemplate, he was carefully looked after and was often at sleep. But whenever he raised from bed, performed his ritual ablutions and then sat toward Qiblah with his closed eyes.”

One of his relatives said:

“ I remember his last words. It was in the afternoon when I went to visit him. I said; would you like to have a walk? He accepted. While I was helping him, I asked about his health. He said:

“ The man who I was waiting for has come”.

At midnight I was informed that he was hospitalized due to critical condition,”

“ While he was leaving home, he said to his wife: “ I will never come back”.

“He was in hospital for almost one week; however, the last two days he was completely unconscious. And finally died at 9 A.M, on the Sunday morning, 18th Moharam-ul Haram, 1402 A.H (on 24th Aban, 1360 Solar year)”.

A Brief Survey of the Contents of al-Mizan:

For a thorough understanding of this valuable, great and encyclopaedic book about Islamic learning, it is necessary to have a bird's eye-view of the whole book in order to know the diversity of its issues. Each one of the twenty volumes of al-Mizan we intend to discuss separately.

Allameh sayyed Mohammad Hossein Tabatabaee


The late Allameh Sayyed Mohammad Hosein Tabatabaee spoke so slowly and fluently and also he always avoided sporadic speeches (according to Ayatollah Ebrahim Amini). He spoke directly to the point through using the short phrases.

When he started teaching, first he tried to clarify the topic and then he explained about it. He said that the reason of so many mistakes made by some of the scientists was that the issue under discussion was not so much clear for the and their comments about it were wrong. This was among Allameh’s attributes. Too; he always mentioned the name of the scientists and the great people so respectfully. If his students criticized for some problems, he treated them so kindly and he listened to their criticisms as well. I never saw that he scolded some one or despised any one. Even the issue was wrong, he listened to it carefully then he replied. In a case that he did not know any thing about it he was not afraid to say “ I do not know” or he continuously said:“ I should see”. During his religious sessions held on Thursdays and Fridays he said: “ Do not call me professor. We are a group gathered here who want to investigate about the truth of Islam and we want to cooperate with each other. I learn from these gentlemen a lot.”

Another point, which was very important to him, was the training and educating the students. He was especially interested in training the students in the fields of the Islamic sciences (Ma’aref) and the Quranic truth. When a problem was raised he mentioned his opinion and then he said: “ This is what we believe to be correct. You should think about it yourself and see to which extent it will be acceptable.”

Therefore; he let the students develop their extent of minds and thoughts. At the same time he was always trying to teach every student in terms of his power to comprehension and according to his talent. He avoided the raising of such issues, which lead to the disagreements. This was the case with those issues, which caused any deviance. He only talked about them with the outstanding colleagues. He always stressed the fact that religion and wisdom are in harmony. Wherever one’s thought can not understand some issues we should accept the religious truth and stop the rational reasoning.

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