Abu al-Qāsim ‘Alī ibn Husayn al-Sharīf al-Murtadhā (Arabic: أبو القاسم علي بن الحسين الشريف المرتضى ) (commonly known as: Sharīf Murtadhā, Sayyid Murtadhā, (Murtazā instead of Murtadhā in non-Arab languages)) (965 - 1044 AD ; 355 - 436 AH) also popular as Alam al Huda was one of the greatest scholars of his time and was one of the students of Shaykh al-Mufīd . He was the elder brother of Al-Sharif al-Radi (Seyyed Razi), the compiler of Nahjul Balagha. He was four years older than his brother. He lived during the era of Buyid Dynasty. It was the golden age of Arabic literature, and great poets like Al-Mutanabbi and Al-Ma`arri were among his contemporaries.
He was born in a prominent household.
The name of Sharif al-Murtadhā's mother was Fātimah. She was a pious and noble lady, who was held in high esteem by scholars and other notables. At her request, the great scholar Shaykh al-Mufīd compiled the book "Ahkām al-Nisā'", which contains the fiqhi rules for women. Her family had carved out an independent principality in Tabaristan, on the southern coasts of the Caspian Sea. She died in Baghdad, in the year 995, (385 AH).
Her genealogy reads: Fātimah daughter of Husayn, son of Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-Utrush, son of Ali, son of Hasan, son of Umar al-Ashraf, son of ‘Alī Zaynul ‘Ābidīn.
Sayyid Murtadhā acquired the epithet of: "‘Alam al-Hudā" ("The banner of guidance"), and died at the age of 81 years in 1044 (436 AH).
Work and Contribution
He was a multi-dimensional personality. All Shi'ite scholars acknowledge that Sayyid Murtadhā was the greatest scholar of his era, and groomed many outstanding ulama (scholars), including the famous Shaykh al-Tūsī, the founder of the celebrated theological Center of Najaf. He served as "Naqib al-Nuqabā'" after the death of his brother.
Sayyid Murtadhā was deeply interested in fiqh, unlike Sayyid Radhī, who was more inclined towards politics and literature,. He was considered a master of kalam, fiqh, usul al-fiqh, literature, grammar, poetry and other fields of knowledge. His divan or poetry collection has more than 20,000 verses.
Books authored by Sayyid Murtadhā include:
- al-Dhakhīrah fī Usūl al-Fiqh ( الذخيرة )
- al-Ghurar wa al-Durar  ( الغرر والدرر )
- al-Intisār ( الانتصار )
- al-Shāfī ( الشافي )
- al-Tanzīh al-Anbiyā ( تنزيه الأنبياء )
- Jamal-al Ilmi Wal Amal.
- Sayyid Murtadhā
- Sayyid Radhī
- Shaykh al-Mufīd
- Shaykh al-Tūsī
- Shaykh al-Sadūq
- Muhammad al-Kulaynī
- Allāmah Majlisī
- Shaykh al-Hur al-Āmilī
- Sayyid Razi: Life and Work By: Dr. Sayyid Muhammad Mahdi Ja'fari
- Sayyid Razi: Life and Work
- Spirit of Islam By Syed Ameer Ali