Seyyed Ahmad Musavi Hindi

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Seyyed Ahmad Musavi Hindi (سید احمد مسوی ہندی; born circa 1790, died 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]

His family migrated towards the end of the 18th century from Nishapur in Iran to Oudh in northern India.[1][2][3] They settled in the town of Kintoor, Barabanki district.[4][5][6] Zayn al-'Abidin al-Musavi, who was progenitor of sayeds of Kintoor, was great-great-grandfather of Seyyed Ahmad.[7][not in citation given]

He was born in Kintoor.[4][5][8] He may have been recruited by the British to help them maintain rule over British-occupied India. The British used the tactics of divide and conquer to create conflict between Muslims, Sikhs, and Hindus so that they would not unite to rise up against British rule.[9][10][11]

In Iraq[edit]

In about 1830 he permanently left India, initially on a pilgrimage to the tomb of Ali in Najaf, Iraq.[5][6][8] According to Moin, this movement was to escape colonial rule.[12]

In Iran[edit]

He visited Iran in 1834 and bought a house in Khomeyn.[4] He later purchased more land in and around Khomeyn, including an orchard and caravanserai. These properties remained in the family up to modern times.[6][8]

By 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 five children, including a son named Mostafa (father of Ruhollah Khomeini), who was born in 1856 from Sakineh.[4]


He died in 1869 and was buried in Karbala.[4]

The Hindi nisba (title)[edit]

He continued to be known by the nisba (title) Hindi (i.e. from Hind or India), indicating his stay there. Even Ruhollah Khomeini used Hindi as a pen name in some of his ghazals.[6] Ruhollah Khomeini's brother was known by name Nureddin Hindi.[5]


  1. ^ Algar, Hamid (2010). "A short biography". In Koya, Abdar Rahman. Imam Khomeini: Life, Thought and Legacy. Islamic Book Trust. p. 19. ISBN 978-9675062254. 
  2. ^ Sacred space and holy war: the politics, culture and history of Shi'ite Islam By Juan Ricardo Cole
  3. ^ Art and culture: endeavours in interpretation By Ahsan Jan Qaisar,Som Prakash Verma,Mohammad Habib
  4. ^ a b c d e From Khomein, A biography of the Ayatollah, 14 June 1999, The Iranian
  5. ^ a b c d Khomeini: life of the Ayatollah, Volume 1999 By Baqer Moin
  6. ^ a b c d Ruhollah Khomeini's brief biography by Hamid Algar
  7. ^ Islam, Politics, and Social Movements By Edmund Burke, III, Ervand Abrahamian
  8. ^ a b c The Columbia world dictionary of Islamism By Olivier Roy, Antoine Sfeir
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Moin 2000, p. 18