A PHILOSOPHER OR A LOVER OF THE AHL AL-BAYT
Sayyid Muḥammad Ḥusayn Ṭabāṭabāʾī, also known as ʿAllāma Ṭabāṭabāʾī was one of the most influential Shī‘a scholars in the context of Iran in the 14th/20th century. He was an expert in philosophy, exegesis, theology, Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, and mysticism. ʿAllāma Ṭabāṭabāʾī is the author of Tafsir al-Mizan (a well-known Qur’anic exegesis), and the famous books of philosophy, Bidayat al-hikma, Nihayat al-hikma, and Usul-i falsafa wa rawish riʼalism. He introduced the Shī‘a school of thought to Europeans through his discussions with Henry Corbin, a French philosopher and an expert in
Shī‘a studies. ʿAllāma’s connection with the Ahl al-Bayt (P.B.U.T.) was one of complete love. Martyr Ayatullah Muṭahharī, one of his students, said about him, “I have seen many philosophers and mystics. My unique respect for ʿAllāma is not related to his being a philosopher. Rather, my reverence stems from the fact that he is an enamored lover of the Ahl al-Bayt (P.B.U.T.).” Ayatullah Misbāḥ Yazdī, another student of ʿAllāma, says about him, “Daily activities that occupied ʿAllāma day and night did not prevent him from seeking intercession and exhibiting propriety for the Ahl al-Bayt (P.B.U.T.). Rather he recognized that he was indebted to their intercession for his situation.” ʿAllāma had an intimate relationship with the Prophet (P.B.U.H. & H.H.) and the Imams (P.B.U.T.). He would mention their names with extreme decorum and reverence, participate in gatherings where their deaths were mourned, and weep profusely for the tragedies that the Ahl al-Bayt (P.B.U.T.) had faced.
During the summer, he used to visit the holy city of Mashhad. When visiting the shrine of Imam Riḍā (P.B.U.H.) at night, he would sit in the area adjacent to the side of the shrine (Ḍarīḥ) where Imam’s (P.B.U.H.) head is buried. In a state of humbleness and humility he would then recite the ziyara. When he kissed the Ḍarīḥ, his entire being reflected a profound etiquette toward Imam Riḍā (P.B.U.H.). If others would ask him to pray for them, he would reply, “Go and ask from the Imam (P.B.U.H.) himself. We have no especial position here, everything is available from him.”1
1- Taken from ‘Eternal Manifestations: 80 Stories from the life of Allama Tabatabai (ra)’ and ‘www.en.wikishia.net’.
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