Mohammad-Taqi Bahjat Foumani

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Mohammad Taqi Bahjat Foumani
Ayatollah-Mohammad-Taghi-Bahjat-Foumani.jpg
Religion Islam
Other names Shaikh Behjat
Personal
Born 1915
Fouman, Iran
Died 17 May 2009
Qum, Iran
Senior posting
Based in Fouman, Qum, Iran
Title Grand Ayatollah
Period in office 1915 - 2009
Religious career
Post Grand Ayatollah
Website www.bahjat.ir

Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Bahjat Foumani was an Iranian Twelver Shi'a Marja born in late 1334 Hijra Calendar (1915 A.D.). He was a student of the famous mystic Ayatollah Ali Tabatabaei and Ayatollah Taleghani. He was also the student of Abulhasan Isfahani and Mirza Naini. Shaikh Bahjat was among one of the most revered Shia clerics, whose religious decrees were followed by many Shia Muslims. He taught in the Seminary of Qom, Iran. He being a cardiac patient died at the Vali-e-Asr Hospital in Qum on 17 May 2009 at the age of 94.[1][2][3]

Family[edit]

Shaikh Behjat Fumani was born into a religious and pious family in the year 1915. His father Muhammad Bahjat Karbal’i was a notable personality of Fuman and was well versed with Marthiyya reciting. About his father( Mohammad Behjat Karbala'i) family members relate an interesting event. When father of Shaikh Behjat was around the age of 16-17 year, he fell seriously ill and they thought he would not survive. When the relatives gathered around this young man, of the family members heard a voice saying “Do not worry, he will be fine because he is going to be the father of Muhammad Taqi”. After this event, the youth soon recovered from his illness, got married a few years later and had several sons. The last son grew up to be the great scholar and “arif” Ayatullah Behjat.

Agha Bahjat lost his mother at the age of 16 months and he had to taste the bitterness of being an orphan while still a suckling baby. When father of Taqi Bahjat was blessed with his first son, he called him "Mehdi" after his own father (grandfather of Sheikh Bahjat). Sooner, the family was blessed with a daughter then with a son whom they named "Muhammed Hussain". The fourth child was a son and named "Muhammed Taqi". But this son fell in a water pool and drowned. The father of the sheikh again named his fifth child (fourth son) with whom Allah blessed him with this same name, "Muhammed Taqi", which later became Grand Ayatollah Bahjat.[4]

Education and learning[edit]

Since his childhood, he showed signs of self-building and a great thirst of acquiring knowledge. Observance of self-purification from the life of young Taqi Bahjat was noticed and appreciated at time of primary education. He always insisted that one should work hard and avoid luxuries in order to achieve the demands of the soul. He termed this struggle for purification of life and satisfaction of learning thirst with its positive approach as “Jihad-e-Akbar”. His concept can be defined as “Ethics and its Practices” and relates to primary subject of Social Science. Shaikh Bahjat finished his primary education in a Maktab School of Fuman. Later, in Fuman he began his religious education until 1929. He shifted to Qom after completing studies in Arabic grammar and literature, equivalent to higher secondary level education. At the age of 14, he moved to city of Karbala and stayed there for a period of 4 years before his joining the reputed Seminary of Najaf, he attended the lectures of some great scholars such as Abu al-Qasim al-Khoei.[5] During his stay in the city of Karbala, he studied the largest portion of the books of Fiqh and Usool (Principles of Jurisprudence) taught to him by the great scholars in that holy city.

Taqi Bahjat continued his stay at present day Iraq until 1945. Over a span of 11 years he benefited from the following scholars famous in the Muslim World, since enrolling himself as student of Seminary of Najaf:[6]

  • Grand Ayatullah Abul Hasan Isfahani
  • Grand Ayatullah Mirza Naini
  • Grand Ayatullah Muhammad Hasan Gharawi (known as Kumpani)
  • Grand Ayatullah Mirza Muhammad Taqi Shirazi - Fiqh (for specialization in Islamic Jurisprudence)
  • Grand Ayatullah S. Hasan Badkubeyi (for conceptualization of philosophical approaches of Ibn Sina and Mulla Sadra
  • Grand Ayatullah Sayyid Abdul Ghaffar (for Spiritual & Mystical Education)
  • Grand Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Qadhi Tabatabai {as an student of Ph.D level teaching & learning for acquiring Doctorate level flag of honor on the subject of Akhlaq (Ethics) and Irfan (Intuition)}.

Study with Teaching[edit]

He used to teach and study at the same time, and this was his habit even after his return to Qum. Teaching of “Kharij al-Fiqh, Usool (Principles of Jurisprudence) and the high Sutooh” in Najaf al-Ashraf while attending classes from reverenced Shia Muslim Cleric, gave him a distinction amongst his contemporary students of the Seminary. Another noteworthy case is that he used to teach high level subjects at his house in order to avoid fame.[7]

Satanic Sorcery : Giving explanation of Verse 121 from Sura Anaam, he delivered that human being learn something they learn it from Satan and for Satan’s main job is to deceive human beings. Satan, for achieving his goal, first gives true information and then try to deviate someone through mixing in truth and falsehood. He added a historical reference and told that once Satan reached to Prophet Yahya ibn Zakariyya and said “I want to advise you on 5 points so that you will never get misguided”. He then named five points till he came to the last one. When he reached this point Prophet Yahya told Satan that go-away! I don’t want to hear your fifth point because temptation is your job and you do your job in the fifth line of advice.[8]

Learning with inter-relation experience[edit]

In the year 1945, he returned to Iran and settled in Qum. Here, besides other great figures, he enjoyed the company of Ayatullah Khomeini, Ayatullah Gulpaygani and continued his studies under the patronage of Ayatullah Burujerdi. He never wasted his time and remained busy in practicing ethical purity with knowledge, as such he always categorized the fact that knowledge without purification to be more dangerous than anything else. In future his statement was a tool to trace out the worth of saying and practice.[9]

Global Contemplation[edit]

Once pointing to global anti humanitarian practices, he referred the UNO stating that “UN which claims to be the protector of human rights, then why does not it support the weak governments of the world. Empowerment of such governments would enhance the progress of poor nations of the globe. Explaining his viewpoint,[10] he further added that one may observe that UN is not sincere to weak governments and domination of super powers is self obvious. If the fate of UN’s decision making was in hands of humanitarians (peace lover) then the World War-II would have not take place. He also warned the Muslims that the enemy of believers appeared to implement a plan of separating Muslims from scholars and scholars from their main source that is Quran. Referring the sincerity of followers of Torah and Bible who have lost importance of their books, he advised the Muslims that disbelievers would first take away our world after this success they would take away our religion.[11][12] In addition to his expertise and being a great “Arif (spiritual mystic)”, the late Ayatollah Behjat was a strong supporter of the political and social struggle against oppression and corruption in Iran. One of the first scholars that Ayatullah Khomeini visited was Ayatullah Behjat in Qum. Similarly, when Ayatullah Khamene’i assumed the position of Rahbar, he first came to Agha Behjat in Qum for spiritual instructions.[9][13]

Personality[edit]

His followers saw him as a living example of a great Muslim. His works and gatherings in Mosques and religious places as well as a few houses, have been regarded by people as ergonomically inspiring, and seem to leave the fragrance of a true Alim. He was famous for being modest, silent and living a simple life despite access to considerable Khums funds. In view of Quranic teaching, he used to repeat the following advice:

if we act according to what we are sure about and be cautious about what we don't know, God reveals the path.

Husayn El-Mekki, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is one of the only indigenous Shia Islamic Scholar in North America that has studied in the prestigious Islamic Seminary of Qum and is currently actively leading a congregation. One of his personal meeting with Ayatollah Bahjat is reproduced hereunder:[14]

Life style[edit]

Simple life, far from luxuries, full from sincere worships and thoughtful conversation is gist of his life style. His residence can be described as a small two-room cottage. One of the rooms has a curtain which he would draw at time of guests visit. On the other side of the curtain his family would carry on with their house hold chores. He never acceded to the offer from his relatives or well wishers for his shifting to more comfortable accommodation. Once Ayatullah Masudi pointed out to Agha Bahjat that his house was obsolete and change of accommodation is permissible per Islamic principles under such a situation, and then would not be it better to replace the accommodation with a more comfortable residence. But he did not agree with him.

His way of life and scarcity of space creating a simple environment has ever blessed with a spiritual atmosphere. A stress-less heart with spiritually aroma satisfaction was the special benefit for guests and students who visited him at his small cottage.[16]

After the demise of Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Araki in November 1994, Ayatollah Bahjat was one of seven recognized scholars who were acknowledged as Maraja Taqleed by the scholars of the Islamic seminary of Qum. He did not change his house after he had become a Marja. Visitors wishing for meeting with him had to face the inconvenience of small house with insufficient facilities to accommodate the large number of guests; therefore, the mentor used to sit during the feast or commemoration occasions at the Fatimiyya Mosque to receive people. Ayatollah Bahjat was also well known for his love and devotion to the Ahlul Bayt. Every morning it was his routine to begin his morning by visiting the shrine of Masooma qum and reciting Ziyarat Ashura.[17]

His piety[edit]

The Prophet Muhammad is quoted as saying: People are the family of Allah; the most favorite person with Allah is the one who is the most beneficial to the family of Allah and who makes them happy.[18] A Survey of the Eleven Sessions, under a Research Project Supported by the Fetzer Institute was held at the Tehran Universities to discuss and apprise the mystics of much more respected personalities famous for spiritual, piety and love towards the family of God. In the Eleventh session an exaltation of Ayatollah Taqi Bahjat took place on February 24, 2010, also in the Ministry of Interior Hall (Tehran). The event hosted more than 7,000 people from all over the country, including many high ranking theologians and clerics who talked about the Ayatollah Bahjat’s spiritual life and Deeds.[19]

He inherited a small piece of land and utilized for planting rice, this was a source for financing domestic expenses. From the income of that small farming a reasonable share was reserved for friends and neighbors. Once one of the shareholders left the Qum city without any information even his own family was unaware about his whereabouts. Ayatollah Bahjat continued his previous practice with modification that he sent his wife to the house of that missing person with rice and money for bearing household affairs. After return of that missing person to his family, he kept thinking about the secret that prompted the Sheikh to send his wife to his house. Sooner, he realized that this was one of the etiquette of the Islamic Sharia. According to Islamic ethics, if the husband is travelling, nobody should go to his house. If it is necessary to go to his house, a woman has to go.[20]

Legacy[edit]

He avoided revealing anything about himself, especially about his extraordinary spiritual powers that gifted to him by God. He started teaching Kharij al-Fiqh and the Usool since early 1960 and served approximately 50 years in teaching theological subjects at his house in order to avoid fame. Many men of virtue benefited from him and regarded their teacher a master of these subjects. He had a high poetic and literary taste, composing poems of praise and eulogy for Ahl al-Bayt, especially Imam Husayn, which he had originally written in Persian. He has left behind a large number of valuable compilations, including:[21][22]

  1. Kitab-e Salaat
  2. Jama'e al-Masa’el
  3. Zakhirah al-Ebaad Leyawm al-Maa`d
  4. Tuzih al-Masaa'il
  5. Manaasek-e Hajj

Shaykh Bahjat died on 17 May 2009 in Qum and is buried in the vicinity of the shrine of Lady Fatima Masooma.[23] Leaving behind a large number of followers, besides his own family (name of his one son is Ali).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Taqi Bahjat Foumani". Compiled: Syed Ali Shahbaz. Retrieved 28 Sep 2014. 
  2. ^ http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=95056&sectionid=351020101
  3. ^ http://www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=194806
  4. ^ http://www.islam laws.com/marja/AytTaqi%20Behjat.htm
  5. ^ "Ayatollah Behjat Crying in Prayer". Admin. May 6, 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-28. 
  6. ^ "Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Taqi Bahjat Foumani". Retrieved 28 Sep 2014. 
  7. ^ Biography of Ayatullah al uzma Muhammad Taqi Bahjat compiled by: Mohammad Yazdi
  8. ^ The Moral recommendations of Ayatollah Bahjat, written by Bagherzadeh.
  9. ^ a b "Ayatollah Behjat". rohama.org. 
  10. ^ "Political advice of Ayatullah Behjat". Sohel Ajani. 2013-07-10. Retrieved 2014-10-05. 
  11. ^ Dar Mahzare Ayatollah ul Uzma Bahjat by Muhammad Hussain Rokhshad, Publisher:Institute Sama Digital Publisher :Research Center of Computer Ghaemieh
  12. ^ "Political Advice of Ayatollah Bahjat". Islam Times-English. 2009-05-26. Retrieved 2014-10-06. 
  13. ^ Bargi az Daftar-e Aftaab Condensed from “Bargi az Daftar-e Aftaab”, A Leaf from the Book of Radiance. (About the Life of Ayatullah Behjat)
  14. ^ "Shaykh Husayn El-Mekki Abdullah-Aziz". 14 Publications. 
  15. ^ "In Memory of Ayatollah Behjat". Shaikh Husayn Elmekki Abdullah Aziz. 2009-05-25. Retrieved 2014-10-01. 
  16. ^ "Ulamaa of Recent Era (chapter-20, pages 155-156) Biography & Studies" (PDF). ziaraat.com. 
  17. ^ "Grand Ayatollah Behjat Passes Away". News by: Arsalan Rizvi. 2009-05-18. Retrieved 2014-10-01. 
  18. ^ Usul Al-Kafi, II, 164: 6
  19. ^ "Rasoul Rasouli Pour". khu.ac.ir. 
  20. ^ [Yearn For Allah]. "YEARN FOR ALLAH: Ayatullah Bahjat and his Spiritual Status through the Shari'ah". yearnforallah.blogspot.com. 
  21. ^ "Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Taqi Bahjat Foumani". Compiled by: Syed Ali Shahbaz. 
  22. ^ "Glimpses of the Life of Grand Ayatullah Bahjat". tebyan.net. 18 May 2015. 
  23. ^ "Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Behjat". Asma Zainab. 2013-11-20. Retrieved 2014-10-01. 

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