Ali Naqi Naqvi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sayyed Ali Naqi Naqvi
Naqqan sb.jpg
Other namesArabic/Persian:
Born26 December 1905
Died18 May 1988 (aged 83)
ReligionUsuli Twelver Shi`a Islam
Other namesArabic/Persian:
Senior posting
Based inLucknow, India
Period in office1905–1988
PostGrand Ayatollah
Ali Naqi Naqvi
Born26 December 1905
Died18 May 1988
EraModern era
RegionIndian Subcontinent
JurisprudenceShia Islam
Main interest(s)Tafsir, Hadith, Islamic History, Fiqh, Islamic ethics
Senior posting

Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Naqi Naqvi (born 26 December 1905 – 18 May 1988) (26 Rajab 1323 AH – 1 Shawal 1408 AH), also known as Naqqan Sahib, was a Twelver Shia Marja 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. He has also written Tarjuma wa Tafseer of Quran e majeed and dozens of books in Arabic.

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]

Ayatullah ‘Ali Naqi Naqvi is arguably the single most important religious figure of the twentieth century Indian Shi’ite Islam. Emerging out of a very well-known family of traditional scholars and the seminaries of India and Iraq, his religious and intellectual career lasted several decades during which he remained prolific and continuously preached from the pulpit.

During his life he wrote and spoke about a host of subjects: the reason-revelation divide, a defense of Islam from attacks on its core beliefs and practices, Qur'anic exegesis, theology, defense of Shi’ite theology and religious practices from sectarian polemics, Islamic history, Islamic political and social thought, explanation of the various rulings of Islamic law, and the theme of Karbala and the martyrdom of Husayn.

Conscious of his role as the most learned juridical authority (marja al-taqlid) to whom the community would turn in times of crisis, for ‘Ali Naqvi, in his life the greatest crisis facing the community was that of irreligiosty, of people losing confidence and conviction in the worth of religion for human civilization.

Initial education and timelines[edit]

Between the age of 3 and 4 in 1327 Hijri, his father Sayyid Abu al-Hasan (Mumtaz al-ulama) took him and his family to Iraq. His 'Bismillah' at the age of seven in Rauza-e-Imam Ali in Najaf, Iraq. In Iraq at the age of 7, Ali Naqvi’s formal education began with Arabic and Persian grammar and basic learning of the Qur’an.

In 1914, the family returned to India and he continued his religious education under the supervision of his father and later at the Sultan al-Madaris seminary. He also studied Arabic literature with Mufti Muhammad ‘Ali.

In 1923 he passed the exam for certification of religious scholar (alim) from Allahabad University and soon also gained certification from Nazamiyyah College and Sultan al-Madaris.

In 1925 he was awarded a degree in literature (Fazil-i adab).

In 1927, Ali Naqvi departed for the seminaries of Iraq. During his stay there, he studied Islamic jurisprudence and Islamic theology (Kalam). While studying in Iraq Ali Naqvi also wrote a few works in Arabic. 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".

After completing his seminary education and receiving certification (ijaza) for ijtihad, He became a mujtahid at the age of 27. He was given ijazah by Ayatollah Naaini.

In 1932 Ali Naqvi returned to India. Immediately upon his return he began preaching regularly on Fridays.

In 1933 he was appointed as professor in the Oriental College Department of Lucknow University, where he then taught Arabic and Persian for over two decades.

In 1959, Aligarh Muslim University invited Ali Naqvi to take up the position of Reader in the theology (diniyat) department—which as yet did not have teaching faculty. The department also created two parallel streams of Sunni and Shi’i theology and Ali Naqvi began to oversee the affairs of the Shi’i branch.

Between 1967 and 1969, ‘Ali Naqvi became the dean of Shi’i theology eventually retiring from the university in 1972.

Post-retirement, from 1972–1975 Ali Naqvi was given a research professorship through the University Grants Commission (UGC) and he decided to permanently stay in Aligarh.


He was opposed by some sections of the Shia community for writings in the book Shaheed-e-insaniyat which mentioned the presence of water in the tents of Imam Hussain during the Battle of Karbala in 61AH, and also threw doubt the martyrdom of Ali Asghar by the arrow of Hurmula.

Shaheed-e-insaniyat was internally published by Idaar-e-Yaadgar-e-Husaini which had 300 members. Their purpose was to review, compile, edit and finally 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 version when it was prematurely released to the public, this then became the root for the controversy that got the biggest space with the common masses (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 Naqqvi was founder of Imamia Mission, Lucknow. Through this organization, several books were published. The following is only a partial list of works by Ayatollah Ali Naqi Naqvi:

  1. Alami Mushkilat ka hal in Shu‘a-i ‘Amal (Jul 2009): 30–39
  2. Amar senani (Pdf Hindi)
  3. Aseeriye ahl e haram (Pdf Urdu)
  4. Ashk-i matam Lucknow: Sarfaraz Quaumi Press, 1957.
  5. Asiri-yi ahl-i haram Lucknow: Sarfaraz Quaumi Press, 1940.
  6. Aurat awr Islam in Shu‘a‘-i ‘Amal (May 2009): 6–13
  7. Azaey Hussain azadari (Pdf Urdu)
  8. Aza-yi Husayn ki ahamiyat Lucknow: Sarfaraz Quaumi Press,1959.
  9. Aza-yi Husayn par tarikhi tabsarah. Lucknow: Sarfaraz Quaumi Press, np.
  10. Baitullah aur Ali ibne Abi Talib (Pdf Urdu)
  11. Bani umayyah ki adavat-i-Islam ki mukhtasir tarikh Lucknow: Imamiyah Mission, 1994.
  12. Booey-gul (Pdf Urdu)
  13. Frooe-deen (Pdf Hindi)
  14. Ghufranmab Maulana Syed Dildar Ali Sahab (Pdf Urdu)
  15. Hamaray rusum va quyud Lucknow: Sarfaraz Qaumi Press, 1939. 313
  16. Hamari rasmein aur bandishein (Pdf Hindi)
  17. Haqeeqat-e-sabr (Pdf Urdu)
  18. Hayat-i qaumi Lucknow: Imamia Mission, 1941
  19. Hazrat ‘Ali ki shakhsiyat: ‘Ilm aur a‘taqad ki manzil par Lucknow: Sarfaraz Qaumi Press, 1969.
  20. Husayn aur Islam Lucknow: Manshurah Imamiyah Mission, 1931. (Pdf Hindi)
  21. Husayn Husayn aik tarruf Lucknow: Sarfaraz Quaumi Press, 1964.
  22. Husayn ka atam balaydan Lucknow: Sarfaraz Quqmi Press, 1936.
  23. Husayn ka paygham ‘alam-i insaniyat kay nam Lucknow: Sarfaraz Quqmi Press, 1959 (Pdf Urdu)
  24. Husayn ki yad ka azad Hindustan say mutalbah Lucknow: Sarfaraz Qaumi Press, 1950
  25. Husayni iqdam ka pahla qadam Lucknow: Sarfaraz Qaumi Press, 1953.
  26. Ibadat aur tariqi ibadat, 2nd ed. Lucknow: Nizami Press, np.
  27. Ilahiyaat ke 100 masael wa naghma-e-tauheed (Pdf Urdu)
  28. Imam Hussain ka shaheed hona aur Islami samvidhan ki raksha (Pdf Hindi)
  29. Insaniyat ka mujassema (Pdf Hindi)
  30. Iqalat al-athir fiiqamat al-sha'a'ir al-Husayniyah Najaf: Matba‘ah Haydariyyah, 1929.
  31. Isbat-i pardah Lahore: Imamia Mission, 1961.
  32. Islam aur Tijarat
  33. Islam deen-e-amal hai (Pdf Hindi)
  34. Islam ka paygham pas-uftadah aqwam kay nam Lucknow: Imamiah Mission, 1936.
  35. Islam ka tarz e zindagi
  36. Islam ki hakimana zindagi (Pdf Urdu)
  37. Islam ki hakimanah zindagi Lucknow: Imamiyah Mission, 1935.
  38. Islami culture kia hay? Lahore: Imamiyah Mission, 1960.
  39. Islami tahzeeb (Pdf Hindi)
  40. Jadid tuhfatul avam Lahore: Iftikhar Book Depot, np.
  41. Janab-e-zainab ki-shakhsiyat (Pdf Hindi / Pdf Urdu)
  42. Jehad-e-mukhtar (Pdf Hindi)
  43. Karbal ke dukhit-Hussain (Pdf Hindi)
  44. Karbala ka tarikhi vaqi‘ah mukhtasar hay ya tulani? Lucknow: Sarfaraz Qaumi Press, 1960.
  45. Karbala ki yadgar payas Lucknow: Sarfaraz Qaumi Press, 1959.
  46. Khilafat-i Yazid kay muta‘alliq azad ara’in Lucknow: Imamiyah Mission, 1953. (Pdf Urdu)
  47. Khuda ki ma‘rafat Lucknow: Imamiyah Mission, 1938.
  48. Khutbaat-e-Karbala (Pdf Hindi / [ Pdf Urdu)
  49. Khutbat-i Sayyidul ‘ulama’ muta‘lliq karnama-yi Husayn Lucknow: Idarah-yi Payam-i Islam, np.
  50. La tufsidu fi alard. 3rd ed. Lucknow: Imamiyah Mission, 1998.
  51. Ma‘rakah-yi Karbala Lucknow: Sarfaraz Qaumi Press, 1935.
  52. Majmu‘ah-yi taqarir. 5 vols. Lahore: Imamiyah Kutubkhana, np.
  53. Maqalat-i Sayyidul ‘ulama’ Lucknow: Imamiyah Mission, 1996.
  54. Maqam-e-Shabbiri (Pdf Hindi)
  55. Maqsad-i Husayn Lucknow: Sarfaraz Qaumi Press, 1956.
  56. Mas’alah-yi hayat an-nabi aur vaqi‘ah-yi vafat-i rusul Lucknow: Imamiyah Mission, 1973.
  57. Masa’il va dala’il Lucknow: Sarfaraz Qaumi Press, 1944.
  58. Masalae-Hayat un-Nabi (sawa) aur waqae wafate-Rasool (sawa) (Pdf Urdu)
  59. Mawlud-e-Ka‘bah Lucknow: Sarfaraz Qaumi Press, np. (Pdf Hindi)
  60. Mazhab aur ‘aql Lucknow: Sarfaraz Quqmi Press, 1941. 314
  61. Mazhab shi‘ah aik nazar main Lucknow: Imamiyah Mission, 1970. (Pdf Urdu)
  62. Mazhab-e-shia aur tableegh (Pdf Urdu)
  63. Mazhab-o-aqil (Pdf Hindi)
  64. Mazlum-i Karbala Lucknow: Imamiyah Mission 1941.
  65. Meraj-e-insaniyat – Hussain (Pdf Hindi)
  66. Meyar-e-falah wa najat (Pdf Urdu)
  67. Mi‘raj-i insaniyat: sirat-i rasul aur al-i rasul ki roshni main Lucknow: Imamiyah Mission, 1969
  68. Mohabbate Ahle-bayt aur itaat (Pdf Urdu)
  69. Mujahidah-yi Karbala Lucknow: Imamiyah Mission, 1933.
  70. Muqaddamah-yi tafsir-i Qur’an Lucknow: Idarah ‘Ilmiyah and Nizami Press, 1940.
  71. Muqaddema Nahjul-balagha (Pdf Urdu)
  72. Musalmanon ki haqeeqi aksariyat (Pdf Urdu)
  73. Muslim personal law – Na qabil-i tabdil Lucknow: Imamia Mission, 1996.
  74. Mut‘ah aur Islam Lucknow: Sarfaraz Qawmi Press, 1933.
  75. Nafs-e-Mutmainnah (Pdf Hindi)
  76. Nigarshat-e-Sayyidul ‘ulama’. Lahore: Imamiah Mission, 1997.
  77. Nizam e tamaddun aurIislam (Pdf Urdu)
  78. Nizam-i zindagi, 4 vols. Lucknow: Al-Va‘iz Safdar Press, 1940. (Pdf Urdu)
  79. Qatil al-‘abrah Lucknow: Sarfaraz Quqmi Press, 1960.
  80. Qatilan-e-Husayn ka madhhab Lucknow: Sarfaraz Quqmi Press, 1932. (Pdf Urdu[permanent dead link])
  81. Qur’an aur nizam-i hukumat Lucknow: Sarfaraz Quqmi Press, 1972.
  82. Qur’an kay bayan al-aqvami irshadat Lucknow: Sarfaraz Quqmi Press, 1976. (Pdf Urdu)
  83. Qur’an-i majid kay andaz-i guftagu main ma‘yar-i tahzib va ravadari Lucknow: Sarfaraz Quqmi Press, 1976. (Pdf Urdu)
  84. Quran aur ittehad (Pdf Urdu)
  85. Radd-i Wahhabiyya Lucknow: Imamiyah Mission, np. (Pdf English / Pdf Hindi / Pdf Urdu)
  86. Rahbar-i kamil: Savanih-i ‘Ali Lucknow: Sarfaraz Quqmi Press, 1961.
  87. Rahnumayan-i Islam Lucknow: Sarfaraz Quqmi Press, 1962. (Pdf Urdu)
  88. Rusul-i Khuda Lucknow: Sarfaraz Quqmi Press, 1961.
  89. Safar namah-yi Hajj Lucknow: Nizami Press, 1977. (Pdf Urdu)
  90. Sahifaey Sajjadiya ki azmat (Pdf Urdu)
  91. Sahifah al-‘amal Lucknow: np., 1939.
  92. Saman e aza (Pdf Urdu)
  93. Shab e shahadat (Pdf Hindi)
  94. Shadi khana abadi (Pdf Hindi)
  95. Shah ast Hussain deen panah ast Hussain (Pdf Hindi)
  96. ShahadateHussain aur uske karan (Pdf Hindi)
  97. Shaheed e Karbala ki yadgar ka azad hindostan se mutaleba (Pdf Urdu)
  98. Shahid-i insaniyat Lahore: Imamiyah Mission Pakistan Trust, 2006.
  99. Shia ittehas ki sankshipt roop rekha (Pdf Hindi)
  100. Shiyat ka tarruf (Pdf Urdu)
  101. Shuja‘at kay misali karnamay Lucknow: Sarfaraz Quqmi Press, 1954.
  102. Suluh Aur Jang (Pdf Urdu)
  103. Ta‘ziahdari ki mukhalfat ka asal raz Lucknow: Sarfaraz Quqmi Press, 1963.
  104. Tadhkirah-i huffaz-i shi‘a Lucknow: Sarfaraz Quqmi Press, 1935.
  105. Tadveen e hadees (Pdf Urdu)
  106. Tafsir fasl al-khatab. 8 vols Lahore: Misbah al-Qur'an Trust, 1986.
  107. Tahqeeq e Azan Assalat o khairum wa Aliyun Waliullah ki bahes (Pdf Urdu)
  108. Tahreef e Quran ki haqeeqat (Pdf Urdu)
  109. Tahrif-i Qur’an ki haqiqat Lucknow: Sarfaraz Quqmi Press, 1932.
  110. Taqiyah Lucknow: Sarfaraz Quqmi Press, 1952. (Pdf Hindi)
  111. Taqleed kya hai (Pdf Urdu)
  112. Tareekhe mazalime Najd ka eik khoonchakan waraq (Pdf Urdu)
  113. Tarikh-i Islam 4 vols. Lucknow: Sarfaraz Quqmi Press, 1961. 315
  114. Tarjuma wa Tafseer e Quran
  115. Tazkerae Huffaze Shia (Pdf Urdu)
  116. The compilation of Nahjul-balagha (Pdf Urdu / English
  117. Tijarat aur Islam Lucknow: Sarfaraz Quqmi Press, 1933. (Pdf Urdu)
  118. Usul aur arkan-i din Lucknow: Imamiyah Mission, 1973 (Pdf Hindi)
  119. Usul-i din aur Qur’an Lahore: Imamiyah Mission, 1964.
  120. Usvah-yi Husayni Lucknow: Imamiyah Mission, 1986.
  121. Va‘dah-yi jannat Lucknow: Sarfaraz Qawmi Press, 1979.
  122. Vujud-i hujjat Lucknow: Sarfaraz Qawmi Press, 1932. (Pdf Urdu)
  123. Waqaey Karbala se dars e ikhlaq (Pdf Urdu)
  124. Yad aur yadigar Lucknow: Sarfaraz Qawmi Press, 1968.
  125. Yazid aur jang-i Qustantaniyah Lucknow: Sarfaraz Quqmi Press, 1965.
  126. Zakir e Sham e Ghariban maulana Syed Kalb-e-Hussain Sahab Mujtahed (urf Kabban Sahab) (Pdf Urdu)
  127. Zikr-i Husayn Lucknow: Imamia Mission, np.
  128. Zindah savalat Aligarh University Press, 1971.
  129. Zindah-i javid ka matam Lucknow: Sarfaraz Qawmi Press, 1935.
  130. Zuljanah (Pdf Hindi)

Although only a small selection of the large number of published works by the prolific author, these works are representative of his thought.

Majalis in Pakistan[edit]

Ayatollah Ali Naqi Naqvi (Naqqan Sahib) visited 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 Sahib) 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 Sahib 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 January 2011.

External links[edit]