Qazi Nurullah Shustari

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Entrance to Dargah of Shaheed-e-Salis Qazi Nurullah Shustari at Dayalbagh, Agra

Qazi Noorullah Shustari (Urdu: قاضی نور اُللہ شوستری‎, Hindi: क़ाज़ी नूरुल्लाह शुस्तरी) also known as Shaheed-e-Salis (third martyr) was an eminent jurist (faqih) and scholar (alim) of his time, 1542 A.D.-1610/11. ([1]


Qazi Zia-ud-Din Nurullah Shustari known as Amir Sayyid and Shaheed-i-Thalis was born in 956 AH/ at Shushtar, one of the cities of the present Khuzestan province in South of Iran. He was sayyid by lineage and belonged to the Marashi family. Qazi Nurullah Shustari was the most important Shi'a scholar of the Mughal period in India and was the Qazi-ul-Quzaa(Chief Justice) of the Mughal era.[2]

His father was Sayyid Muhammad Sharif-ud-din and grandfather Sayyid Zia-ud-Din Nurullah.


He received his early education at home under the tutlage of his grandfather Sayyid Zia-ud-Din Nurullah and his father Sayyid Muhammad Sharif-ud-din and other local tutors. In the year 979 AH he went to Mashhad, the holy city in the Khurasan province.


On 1 Shawwal 992/6 October 1584, Nurullah Shustari moved from Mashhad to India,[3] and by another account in 1587.[4][4][5]

Role as Qazi Quzaz in Mughal Court[edit]

He was an emissary of Akbar in Kashmir and was instrumental in pacifying a revolt which was in offing and he obtained the first census of the areas of Mughal Empire during Akbar's reign. This earned him great respect and trust of the Mughal emperor. On his return he was appointed as Chief Qazi (Qazi Quzaz), position equivalent of Chief Justice, of the Mughal empire by Jalal-ud-Din Muhammad Akbar.

Jahangir's period and charges leading to his execution[edit]

Under Jahangir's reign he continued to hold the same high position as in Akbar's time. But his position was now threatened because of Jahangir's more orthodox nature. Other groups which had tried to malign his position during Akbar's reign had once again become powerful and influential. Moreover, he had made enemies from his involvement in settling of disputes in Kashmir and Agra. His book Ahqaq-ul-Haq (Justification of the Truth) was brought as an evidence against him. A fatwa was passed declaring him a heretic. Thus Jehangir was made to issue death orders for Qazi Nurullah Shustari. 'The Empire of the Great Mughals' mentions this incidence, "However, he had both the Sikh guru Arjan and the Shi'i Qadi Nurullah Shushtari executed, which demonstrates how different he was from Akbar. ..."[6]

Qazi Nurullah Shustari was executed for his Shi'ism by Jahangir.[7] He was flogged to death because of his writings, he was seventy years old at the time of his execution.[8][9] Qazi Nurullah Shustari was executed in Jumada II 1019/September 1610.[10]

Qazi Nurullah is known since that time as Shaheed-e-Salis (also Shahid al-Thalis)or the Third Martyr. Muhammad ibn Makki is considered Shaheed-e-Awwal (Shahid al-Awwal) or the First Martyr, and Zayn al-Din al-Juba'i al'Amili is as Shaheed-e-Sani (or Shahid al-Thani)or the Second Martyr.

Shaheed-e-Salis mausoleum[edit]

His tomb, which is at Agra,[11] has been the centre of pilgrimage since the day of his martyrdom. It is also a venue where every year people gather from all over the Indian sub-continent to commemorate the anniversary of his martyrdom.

Mazar Shahid Salis is under waqf deed of Haji Dawood Nori Nasir Bagh. The deed states that a member from the family of Maulana Nasirul Millat would be patron and mutawalli of the Mazar.[12]

Dargah Address[edit]

About 100 steps from Bhawan Talkies, Dayal Bagh, Agra. Nearest railway station is Raja ki Mandi(Agra).

Works and contribution[edit]

He wrote numerous books, which according to some count up to hundred and a large number of treatises on various subjects. Some of them are:

  • Ihqaq-ul-Haq (Justification of the Truth ) : In this work he has defended the beliefs of Shi'ite faith and answering Sunni objections about it.
  • Masa'ib-un-Nawasib (Troubles for the Nasibiites) : Refutation of "Nawaqiz-ul-Rawafiz" by a Sunnite scholar.
  • Sawarim-ul-Muhriqa (The Pouring Swords): Refutation of "Sawaiq-ul-Muhriqa" by the Sunnite scholar Ibn Hajar.
  • Majalis-ul-Mo'mineen ( The Assembly of the faithfuls ) : Gives the description of the religious scholars and the other learned men.
  • Risala-i-Jalaliyyah: A treatise dedicated to Jalal – ud- Din Akbar, the Mughal emperor of Hindustan . It consists of knowledge.

Marginal notes on several books like Shamsiya written about logic.

  • Sharh-i-Tajrij is regarding scholastic theology.
  • Khulasa-tul Aqwal : Deals with the biographies.
  • Sharh-i-Chaghmini: is a book on astronmy.
  • Tahrir-i-Uqlidas : meaning-'Writings of Euclid' is a book on geometry.
  • Sharh-ul-Hidaya : is a book on philosophy.
  • Sharh-i-Waqaya and Hidaya : both these works are on Hanafi school of jurisprudence.
  • Sharh-i-Aqa' id-i-Nasafi : is on the theology of the Sunnite Muslims.
  • Sharh-i-Mukhtasar-i-A'zdi : is a book on the principles of the jurisprudence dealing with Sunnite Muslims.
  • Do Risala (two treatises) : one of them is a commentary on the verses of the Glorious Quran related to the unity of God (Tawheed). The other is also a commentary dealing with the verses of the Glorious Quran related to sanctification of the Holy Ahlul Bayat.
  • Risala Dar Bab-i-Wujud : a treatise on the existence.
  • Risala Dar Sharh-i-Rubayi – i Abu Sa'id Abul Khair : a treatise in which one of the quatrains or the Sufi poet Abu Sa'id Abul Khair has been elaborated.

An intricate review on the commentary written by Shaykh Faizi.

  • Risala Dar Bab-i-Qaza O' Qadar : treatise on free will and determinism.

Commentaries on Tahzib – ul Ahkam : are related to the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad and jurisprudence . These are the detailed explanations of judgements based on the traditions of Muhammad and the Islamic jurisprudence .

  • Tashrih-ul-Aflak : deals with astronomy .
  • Muqaddima-i-Masabih : is related to the traditions of Muhammad quoted by the Sunnite Muslims .
  • Risala Dar Munazira-i-Gul O' Sunbul : a treatise on the dispute between the flower and the hyacinth .
  • Risala-i-Munsha'at : a treatise on writings and compositions.

Beside the above mentioned books and treatise he has also several other literary works . Qazi Nurullah had excellent literary expertise and was profound in producing beautiful literary pieces in Arabic and Persian . His compositions in both languages are eloquent and full of fluency . He also composed verses in both the languages which number about three thousand .

Some of them are still preserved in various books and treatises.

Many of his works with the description of his life have been translated into Arabic, Persian and Urdu.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Shaheed-e-salis. (Open Library)
  2. ^ The World's Religions -Page 383- by Stewart R. Sutherland – Religion – 1988 -
  3. ^ A Socio-intellectual History of the Isnā Asharī Shīaīs in India – Page 346 by Saiyid Athar Abbas Rizvi, – 1986 –
  4. ^ a b The Shi'a of India-Page 140, By John Norman Hollister-1953
  5. ^ Majmaʻulafkār – Page 15 by Iqtidar Husain Siddiqi, K̲h̲udā Bak̲h̲sh Oriental Public Library- 1993
  6. ^ The Empire of the Great Mughals By Annemarie Schimmel, Corinne Attwood, Burzine K. Waghmar page 109
  7. ^ An introduction to Shi'i Islam: the history and doctrines of Twelver Shi'ism By Moojan Momen, #121.
  8. ^ Islamic education, diversity and national identity: Dīnī madāris in India ... – Page 107 by Jan-Peter Hartung, Helmut Reifeld – Islamic religious education – 2006 -
  9. ^ A Cultural History of India – Page 290 by Arthur Llewellyn Basham – History – 1975
  10. ^ Religion, State, and Society in Medieval India: Collected Works of S. Nurul Hasan- Page 76 by S. Nurul Hasan, Satish Chandra – History – 2005
  11. ^ Shaheed E Saalis - About - Google
  12. ^ "Shia ulema at odds over shrine control". Hindustan Times. April 9, 2006. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 

External links[edit]

  • [1] An Oriental Biographical Dictionary: Founded on material collected by Thomas William Beale New edition revised by Henry George Keene
  • [2] Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal
  • [3] Biography: Shaheed-e-Thalith Qazi Nurullah Shustari
  • [4] Biography:Qazi Nurullah Shustari -Jafariyanews