Seyyed Ahmad Musavi Hindi

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Seyyed Ahmad Musavi Hindi (تیئنیید احمد مسوی ہندی; born about 1790, dead in 1869) was a Twelver Shia Muslim scholar. He was the paternal grandfather of the Supreme leader of the Iranian Revolution, Ruhollah Khomeini.

In India[edit]

In the early 18th century his family had migrated from their original home in Nishapur in Iran to the Kingdom of Oudh of India in northern India whose rulers were Twelver Shia Muslims of Persian origin.[1][2] They settled in the town of Kintoor, Barabanki.[3][4][5] Zayn al-'Abidin al-Musavi who was progenitor of sayeds of Kintoor was great-great-grandfather of Seyyed Ahmad.[6]

He was born in Kintoor and was a contemporary and relative of the famous scholar Ayatollah Hamid Hussain Musavi Kintoori.[3][4][7] There are speculations that he was recruited by the British as a tool to help London maintain rule over British-occupied India. The British used the tactics of divide and conquer to create conflict between Indian Muslims and Indian Sikh and Hindus so that they could not unite to rise up against British rule of India.[8][9][10]

In Iraq[edit]

In about 1830 he left Lucknow for to the tomb of Ali in Najaf, Iraq for pilgrimage and to study at one of its famous seminaries; he never returned to India.[4][5][7] According to Moin this movement was to escape colonial rule of British Raj in India.[11]

In Iran[edit]

He visited Iran in 1834 and settled down in Khomeyn where in 1839 he purchased the large house and garden spanning 4,000-square-meter and costing very large sum of 100 tomans.[3] He later purchased more land in and around Khomeyn including an orchard and caravanserai, these properties remained in the family up to modern times.[5][7]

Till 1841 he had married three wives Shirin Khanum, Bibi Khanum and Sakineh (his friend Yusuf Khan Kamareh'i's sister), all from Khomeyn. He had only one child from his first two wives, but had three daughters and a son Mostafa (Father of Ruhollah Khomeini), who was born in 1856 from Sakineh.[3]


He died in 1869 and, as he had instructed in his will, the family took his body by mule to the holy city of Karbala for burial.[3]

The Hindi nisba (title)[edit]

Although he stayed back and settled in Iran, he continued to be known by nisba (title) Hindi (i.e. from Hind or India), even Ruhollah Khomeini used Hindi as pen name in some of his ghazals.[5] Also, Ruhollah's brother was known by name Nureddin Hindi.[4]


  1. ^ Sacred space and holy war: the politics, culture and history of Shi'ite Islam By Juan Ricardo Cole
  2. ^ Art and culture: endeavours in interpretation By Ahsan Jan Qaisar,Som Prakash Verma,Mohammad Habib
  3. ^ a b c d e From Khomein, A biography of the Ayatollah, June 14, 1999, The Iranian
  4. ^ a b c d Khomeini: life of the Ayatollah, Volume 1999 By Baqer Moin
  5. ^ a b c d Ruhollah Khomeini's brief biography by Hamid Algar
  6. ^ Islam, Politics, and Social Movements By Edmund Burke, III, Ervand Abrahamian
  7. ^ a b c The Columbia world dictionary of Islamism By Olivier Roy, Antoine Sfeir
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Moin 2000, p. 18