Our heartfelt condolences to our living Imam, Imam al-Hujjah (AJ) and to all the Shia’s on the demise of our great Mujtahid, Faqeeh and ‘Aarif 

Marhum Ayatullah al-‘Udhma Shaykh Muhammad Taqi Behjat, A’lallahu Maqaamahu 

The passing away of such Godconscious ‘Ulama from this world is certainly NOT a small matter! Allah (SWT) says:

أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْاْ أَنَّا نَأْتِي الأَرْضَ نَنقُصُهَا مِنْ أَطْرَافِهَا           “Do they not see Us coming to the land and reducing its frontiers?” (13:41)


Ayatullah Naser Makarem Shirazi in his Tafseer states that:  [The term             الأَرْضَ   , which means ‘land’ in this verse, is in reference to the people of the land. What Allah (SWT) implies is: Don’t people realize the fact that societies, civilizations and rulership – all of them come to an end? And one of the ways, Allah (SWT) brings an end to all these is by the death of ‘Ulama (Scholars).] (Tafseer-e-Namoona)

 Explaining the meaning of this verse, Imam Ja’ffar as-Sadiq (as) said, NANQUSUHAA BI DHIHAABI ‘ULAMAA-IHAA, WA FUQAHAA-IHA WA KHIYAARIHAA

“(It means) We reduce (its frontiers) by taking away its Scholars; and its people who have deep understanding of religion; and its best of the people”. (Tafseer-e-Burhaan)

 When Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (as) was struck with the sword on his head and he (as) was on his deathbed, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar visited him and recited this same verse:  “Do they not see Us coming to the land and reducing its frontiers?” He then said, “O Ali! You were at the highest level of Knowledge. Today, the knowledge of Islam has reduced and the pillar of Imaan (faith) has fallen”. (Tafseer-e-Burhaan)

 The Holy Prophet (saww) has said, “Whenever Allah (SWT) takes away the soul of any scholar of this nation, there becomes a gap in Islam that cannot be filled in till the Day of Judgement”. (Kanzul-‘Ummaal) 

Therefore, the death of any great scholar is NOT a small matter! It is a very big loss!


There are many people today who consider themselves as Islamic Scholars. And indeed, many of us are so naïve that today:

  Ø       Whoever comes to us with power of oration

Ø       Or wears the garment of ‘Ulama

Ø       And gives references to Quran & Hadeeth in his/her talks

…. We begin to look upon him as an Islamic scholar and consider him or her as a religious guide. This naïve behaviour has caused a lot of distress to us and brought about lot of confusions in matters related to Islam & Spirituality particularly among the youths and many adults. 

Let us briefly look at some of the many attributes of worthy ‘Ulama in the light of Quranic verses and traditions.


 The first attribute is that they shall be fearful of Allah (SWT).

 إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاء

“Only those of Allah’s servants having knowledge fear Him”. (35:28) 

Ayatullah Naser Makarem states in his Tafseer: [The term          خَشْيَةِ, in this verse, which means ‘fear’ means ‘one is filled with awe and reverence of someone he knows. ‘Ulama who are Cognizant about Allah (SWT) – their hearts are filled with His awe and reverence; and as such, they are fearful of their duties and responsibilities towards Him.] (Tafseer-e-Namoona)

 And this only comes through knowledge and deep understanding of Quran and Hadeeth! It is mentioned in a Hadeeth: A’LAMAKUM BILLAHI AKHWAFAKUM LILLAHI “One who knows Allah most, fears Allah most”. (Majma’ al-Bayaan) This shows that however much a person is seen to have knowledge by others – as long as he does NOT fear Allah (SWT), his knowledge is questionable; and it will neither benefit him nor will it have any impact on the spirituality of others. 

The second attribute of worthy ‘Ulama is that they shall continue their research in Quran; they shall act in accordance to their Knowledge; they will spend their God-given Knowledge in guiding others in every possible way; and all these they will do for the pleasure of Allah (SWT). 

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَتْلُونَ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَنفَقُوا مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ سِرًّا وَعَلَانِيَةً يَرْجُونَ تِجَارَةً لَّن تَبُورَ

 “Indeed those who recite the Book of Allah, and maintain the prayer, and spend out of what We have provided them, secretly and openly, expecting a commerce that will never go bankrupt”. (35:29)


إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَتْلُونَ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ

“Indeed those who recite the Book of Allah”. 

Reciting here does not only mean simple recitation. It implies recitation with thorough understanding – and the process of which is continuous.

وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ

“And maintain the prayer”. 

Maintaining prayers is not only limited to performance of daily Salaat – it also denotes continuous link with Allah (SWT) through His worship and discharging their duties towards Him. In other words, practicing what one preaches. 

وَأَنفَقُوا مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ سِرًّا وَعَلَانِيَةً 

“And spend out of what We have provided them, secretly and openly”.


A true believer spends whatever Allah (SWT) has given him – in the cause of Allah (SWT). 

Ø       If one is blessed with wealth, he must spend it in the cause of Allah of Allah (SWT). 

[A person comes to the Holy Prophet (saww) and asks,  “Why do I dislike death? The Holy Prophet (saww) asks him, “Do you have any wealth?” The man says, “Yes!”. So the Holy Prophet (saww) says to him, “Send it ahead (to the Hereafter) before you go there”. The man says, “I cannot do that!” So the Holy Prophet (saww) said to him, “The heart of man is set on his wealth. If he sends it ahead, it means he loves to be reunited with it; and if he withholds it, it means he only loves to be with it here (in this world)”.] (Majma’ al-Bayaan) 

Ø       Similarly, if one is blessed with knowledge, then he must endeavour to impart it to others for the sake of guiding them to Allah (SWT).  

True and worthy ‘Ulama carry out extensive research in Islam, practice their findings and preach others. The method they apply is both:

سِرًّا وَعَلَانِيَةً       “Secretly and openly”. 

They correct the Mumineen secretly and guide them openly. And why do they do all these??  يَرْجُونَ تِجَارَةً لَّن تَبُورَ

“Expecting a commerce that will never go bankrupt”. 

They don’t do all these so that people marvel them and their knowledge OR so that they can benefit material gains out of it. They do all these because they trust in the rewards of the Hereafter and know that the rewards of the Hereafter never perish! What will be this transaction that will never perish? Allah (SWT) then says:

لِيُوَفِّيَهُمْ أُجُورَهُمْ وَيَزِيدَهُم مِّن فَضْلِهِ إِنَّهُ غَفُورٌ شَكُورٌ

“So that He may pay them their reward in full and enhance them out of His grace. Indeed He is all-forgiving, all-appreciative”. (35:30)

 How Allah (SWT) will enhance them out of His grace? When the Holy Prophet (saww) recited this verse, Ibn Mas’ood asked as to what it meant? The Holy Prophet (saww) said, HUWASH-SHAFAA’ATU LIMAN WAJABAT LAHUN-NAAR “This refers to the right of intercession, which the ‘Ulama shall be given, so that they can intercede for those who had done good to them in life BUT through their (other) deeds, qualified for the Hellfire”. ](Majma’ al-Bayaan) 


Since we are mourning the death of one of the greatest personalities of Islam, the Grand Mujtahid, Faqeeh and ‘Aarif of our time, Ayatullah Muhammad Taqi Behjat, following are some glimpses of his pure and noble life extracted from www.aimislam.com 

By his words and deeds, this great Scholar always directed himself to Allah (SWT) alone. A great Scholar has said about him, ‘It cannot be just said about him that he is a man of piety; Infact he is the true essence and a manifestation of Taqwa’. Ayatullah Behjat was of the opinion that to succeed in Jihad al-Akbar (great struggle), ethical purity (Akhlaaq) and knowledge (‘ilm) go hand in hand. He considered knowledge without ethical purity more damaging than anything else. 

Agha Behjat was one of the most glowing examples of these awliya in contemporary times. He was a mystic and scholar who had always lived a simple life, without the remotest material attachments. He had understood the reality of this world and the worthlessness of its pleasures. Below are some of his excellent advises to Scholars and Students of Islam. 


Once a student who had only recently joined the Hawza asked Agha Behjat: "I have come to the Hawza to attain knowledge. What should I do so that I can become a proper scholar?" Ayatullah Behjat lowered his head and remained silent for a while, and then he said, "There is no difference between a Hawza student and anybody else. What is important is that he does not commit a sin”. 

Hujjatul Islam Lutfi says: "One day, after the morning prayers I approached

Ayatullah Behjat and requested him to give me some advice". He said, "kunu du'atan nasi ilallahi bighayri alsinatikum Call people to Allah (SWT) with something other than your speech." I understood that although as a scholar, my responsibility was to engage in Tabligh (propagating the faith), Agha wanted to draw my attention that the best Tabligh was not that which was delivered from pulpits, but that which was demonstrated by conduct.


"Your criterion in your acts must be Allah (swt)’s religion. Always ask yourself whether your words and deeds conform to the Shari’ah or not. You should make the niyyat that the knowledge ('ilm) that you possess and will gain in the future will always be translated into actions. In other words, there should be perfect harmony between what you know and what you do. The greatest misfortune is when scholars act without proper knowledge or possess knowledge but do not act upon it. So make a firm resolve that your knowledge and actions will be harmonious." Another student reports that Agha said to him about the same matter: "An ‘Aalim who does not act on his knowledge is like the candle that illuminates the path for others but itself burns away." 


"Riya is only relevant in acts of worship ('Ibadah). And any act of worship that has riya associated with it is a sin, and it makes the act null and void. However, riya itself can become a counter and cure for riya, by simply changing the focus of who one is trying to impress! If a man can approach a president to sort out his problem directly, would he waste time in trying to convince the president's servants? In the same manner, if a man has sense, he would raise his sights from the people, and attempt to impress and perfect his actions for God, who is the Creator of man - this attitude would itself become the cure for his riya." At another time, he said, "About riya, there is a Hadeeth that says, "Whoever tries to impress the people by his manner of prayers (Salaat), will be  resurrected in the form of a donkey." And this is quite true because what can be more donkey-like than a man trying to impress the slaves of God instead of directing his attention to God Himself?! Now, if someone calls us a donkey, we feel insulted, but why should we feel insulted, if night and day our acts resemble those of a donkey?" 


"This pleasure that you seek in worship has two prerequisites; one outside Salaat, and one within Salaat itself. What is necessary before Salaat and outside of it is that a person abstains totally from sin, and does not blacken his heart with the disgrace of disobedience, because sin will rob his heart of light. As for the second requirement, within the Salaat itself a man must create a barrier around himself so that no thought other than the remembrance of God can enter. He must not allow his thoughts to stray away from God even for an instant. [In this manner, you will achieve what you seek." At other instant, Agha Behjat said, "In order to achieve absolute control of one's thoughts in Salaat, and to acquire presence of heart, the groundwork must begin outside and prior to Salaat. One must control one's fives senses during the day and be careful about what he allows himself to observe, hear, eat etc. This will enable him to achieve presence of mind and heart in Salaat."


May Allah (SWT) elevate the status of Marhum Ayatullah Muhammad Taqi Behjat and place his noble soul among the most chosen of His servants, the Fourteen Ma’sumeen (as); and give us the Tawfeeque on following his guidance in the path of the Holy Prophet (saww) and his pure progeny (as) – ilaahi aamin. 


Mujahidali A Sheriff   Mujahidali.sheriff@googlemail.com   Portsmouth, UK