Ali Naqi Naqvi

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For other people of the same name, see Ali Naqvi (disambiguation).
Sayyed Ali Naqi Naqvi
سید علی نقی نقوی
Naqqan sb.jpg
Religion Usuli Twelver Shi`a Islam
Other name(s)
Arabic/Persian: سيد علي نقي النقوي
Born 26 December 1905
India - Lucknow, British India
Died 18 May 1988
India - Lucknow, India
Senior posting
Based in India - Lucknow, India
Title Grand Ayatollah
Period in office
1905 - 1988
Religious career
Post Grand Ayatollah
Muslim scholar
Ali Naqi Naqvi
Title Ayatollah
Born 26 December 1905
Died 18 May 1988
Era Modern era
Region Indian Subcontinent
Jurisprudence Shia Islam
Main interest(s) Tafsir, Hadith, Islamic History, Fiqh, Islamic ethics

Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Naqi Naqvi (Arabic/Persian/Urdu: آية الله العظمی سيد على نقى نقوى) (born 26 December 1905 - 18 May 1988) (26 Rajab 1323 AH - 1 Shawal 1408 AH), also known as Naqqan (Urdu: نقن‎), was a mujtahid from Lucknow, India who graduated from Najaf, Iraq. He is famous for his writings in Urdu, including the most famous Shaheed-e-Insaniyat and Tareekh-e-Islam.

One of the most highly regarded scholars of Shia Islam at his time, he wrote more than 100 books and 1000 short books. His books were published by him in 12 languages in India. He is among the most learned Islamic scholars in Indian History.[1]

Initial education and ijtihad[edit]

His first journey to Iraq with his family was in 1327 Hijri. His 'Bismillah' at the age of seven in Rauza-e-Imam Ali in Najaf, Iraq. He received his initial religious training by Aaqae Syed Mohammad Ali Shah Abdul Azeemi. After his father, Syed Abul Hasan, received his ijtihad, the family moved back to Lucknow when Syed Ali Naqi Naqvi was age 9. He became a mujtahid at the age of 27. He was given ijazah by Ayatollah Naaini.

He taught Arabic and Persian at Lucknow University, Lucknow, India. Later he joined the Aligarh Muslim University in the Department of Shia Theology where he was its Chairman and was also the Dean of the Faculty of Theology on number of occasions . He taught both the undergraduate students as well as post-graduate students. He was respected by all at the University.

His second journey to Najaf was for his religious education in 1927, (1345 Hijri). He had already written and published four books before his journey to Iraq

  1. Rooh Aladab Sharah Alamiyatal Arab
  2. Albait Al Mamoor Fi Emaratal Qubur
  3. Faryaad e Musalmanane Aalam
  4. Altawae Haj Per Sharaee Nuqtae Nazar Se Bahas

His first book published in Arabic was in Najaf during his days as a student and was the first ever book to be written against Wahabis, it is called "Kashf annaqab ann aqaaed Abdul Wahab Najdi". His second book in Arabic was in defence of the act of "Matam, by the name of "Aqalatalaashir fi eqamatalshaaer".


He was opposed by sections of the Shia community for writings in the book “Shaheed-E-Insaniyat” which proclaimed the Presence of Water in the Tents of Hazrat Imam Hussain (as) during the Battle of Karbala in 61AH, and also throws doubt the Martyrdom of Hazrat Ali Asghar (as) by the Arrow of Hurmula.

Shaheed-E-Insaniyat was published by Idaar-e-Yaadgar-e-Husaini which had 300 members. Their purpose was to present a book on Karbala which could be acceptable to an international inter-sect readers group.

The book was written in 1942 (1361 AH) by a team formed by all the Ulemas of all religion to write on Imam-e-Husain and Karbala on the occasion of completion of 1300 years of Karbala. Contributions from many of these learned men were then compiled in a book form by Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Naqi Naqvi and initially 500 copies were printed for review by the members of the mentioned organization (who were asked to review the text and revert with their comments) so that the final version could be published with any amendments if required.

There were over 40 objections on this draft but the controversy that got the biggest space with the common masses was about the presence of water in Karbala.

These statements were then attributed to Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Naqi and these allegations hounded him for the rest of his life.


Ayatollah Ali Naqi Naqqan was founder of Imamia Mission, Lucknow. Through this organization, several books were published. Name of some of his famous books are as follow:

  1. Islam aur Tijarat
  2. Mazhab aur aqal
  3. Islam ka tarz e zindagi
  4. Mutah aur Islam
  5. Ismat e Pardah
  6. Tafseer e Fasal ul Khitab
  7. Miraj e Insaniat
  8. Shaheed e Insaniat
  9. Suluh Aur Jang
  10. Tarikh e Islam
  11. Tarjuma wa Tafseer e Quran
  12. Radd e Wahabiyat
  13. Qatilan e Hussain ka Mazhab
  14. Tahreef e Quran Ki Haqeeqat
  15. Muslim Personnel Law - Na'qabile Tabdeel

One of his major works is Preface written for Nahj al-Balagha and Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya written by Allama Mufti Jafer.

Majalis in Pakistan[edit]

Ayatollah Ali Naqi Naqvi Naqqan came to Pakistan for the first time in 1954 to address majalis in Lahore. After that, he came in 1979 after a gap of 25 years with the efforts of Syed Kalbe Sadiq of India. In 1979, he addressed all the majalis in Karachi.

From 1980 to 1984, he expanded his visit of Pakistan by also addressing majalis in various other cities of Pakistan i.e. Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Multan, Sialkot and Hyderabad.

During these years, Majalis which he addressed in Lahore (Imam Bargah Gulistan-e-Zahra (sa), 6-B Model Town, Jamia Muntazir, Jamia Masjid Krishan Nagar) were on following topics:

  1. Jihad
  2. Shariat Nahi Badalti (Divine Law cannot be changed)
  3. Khasoosiaat e Islam (Characteristics of Islam)
  4. Falsafa e Imtihaan (Philosophy of Examination and Test)
  5. Hayat e Shuhada (Life of Martyrs)

Other topics include:

  1. Sajda e Shuker
  2. Surah Jumah
  3. Halaakat o Shahaadat (Difference between killing and Martyrdom)
  4. Ayat e Tatheer
  5. Jihad, Sabar aur Ismat (Jihad, Patience and Innocence)
  6. Tawassul e Abul Aaimah

Majalis addressed on state television[edit]

Ayatollah Ali Naqi Naqvi also addressed majalis for Pakistan Television Corporation consecutively in 1983 and 1984 both on 8th of Muharram. It may be in place to mention here that both of the majalis were telecasted live by PTV across Pakistan. His topics were Miyaar e Wafa (Height of Loyalty) and Aman e Aalam (Peace for Universe) respectively.

Pertinent to mention here that first majlis in 1983 was organized with help of Raja Zafar-ul-Haq. However, second majlis in 1984 was organized with the help of information minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Syed Kazim Ali Shah of Gujranwala.

Pakistan Television telecasts his recorded majalis every year in first ten days of muharram.

After 1984[edit]

Ayatollah Ali Naqi Naqqan did not visited Pakistan after 1984 due to his old age and illness. He also suffered from paralyses (stroke) for somedays. He died at the age of 83 in Lucknow on Eid-ul-Fitr.


His son, Professor Syed Ali Mohammad Naqavi is currently the Dean of the Faculty of Theology at Aligarh Muslim University, a position previously held by Maulana Naqqan himself.[2]


  1. ^ Book "Syed ul Ulema - Hayaat Aur Karnaame"
  2. ^ Aligarh Muslim University. "Department of Shia Theology". Archived from the original on 5 January 2011. Retrieved 16 Jan 2011. 

External links[edit]