At the time  e time of Death of Ayatullah Mohsinul Hakim, a short information about this subject was given in Iran’s Journal  “ITTELA’AT’ about Deputies of Imam-e-Asr (A.S.) in the Period of Major Occultation (Gaibat-e-Kubra).  The Urdu Translation of original Persian was obtained from Maulana Syed Hasan Abbas Saheb ‘Fitrat’ and was printed in Gujrati Magazine ‘ALAMDAR’ Monthly of January, 1971

 According to Shia belief the Last Prophet Hazrat Mohammad Mustafa (S.A.) appointed and nominated, by order of Allah, Maula-e-Muttaqeen Ameerul Momineen Hazrat Ali bin Abi Talib (A.S.) as his Successor and Vicegerent. After the demise of the Holy Prophet, Hazrat Ali (A.S.) became Kalifatur Rasul (Vicegerent of the Prophet (S.A.) and the leadership of Islam was transferred to him by the Order of Allah...  

            After Him this leadership was transferred to his progeny and eleven Imams were thus  appointed for the guidance of Muslims one after the other. The Holy Prophet S.A. had, on several other occasions declared Hazrat Ali (A.S.) as his successor.  

            From the time of the Holy Prophet (S.A.) and throughout the time of the Twelve Imams the Tradition about the promised Mehdi was an accepted fact and the belief was commonly held that the Mehdi will be Qaim-e-Aal-e-Mohammad (A.S.), and that he will remain in Major Occultation, hidden from the sight of the people, till his re-appearance at a time when this world would be full of injustice and oppression so that he would fill the Earth with Justice and Peace.


               MINOR OCCULTATION AND MAJOR OCCULTATION                            (Ghaibat-e-Sughra aur Ghaibat-e-Kubra)_ 

The Twelfth Imam (A.S.) was born on the 15th Shab’an, 255

A.H. In this early years he remained concealed in an under-ground vault so that his enemies might not harm him. Even after the death of his holy father, Imam Hasan Askari (A.S.) he remained concealed from the eyes of the public for seventy years. This period is called Gibat-e-Sughra or Minor Occultation  During this  period, the Imam (A.S.) remained in communication with the faithfuls through four Safeers (or Deputies) who acted as medium between the faithfuls and the Imam (A.S.) Their names are:


  1. Oosman Bin Saeed.
  2. Mohammad Bin Oosman.
  3. Husain Bin Rowh and
  4. Abul Hasan Ali Bin Mohammed Semarri.  

 In the last days of Abul Hasan Ali Bin Mohammad Samarri , Hazrat  Imam Mehdi (A.S) told him not to appoint his successor, saying :

 “ Now the time for Major Occultation has arrived. Do not appoint your successor. Hereafter the work of imparting knowledge of Canon of Mohammad (S.A.) is to be entrusted to the erudites and jurists of the community.” This fourth worthy deputy dies in 327 A.H. and the worldly link and contact of common Shias with the Imam (A.S.) came to an end.

       From now onwards the responsibility of guiding people and imparting knowledge of Canon came on the shoulders of erudites, traditionists and Jurists. From then on, research work in religious sacraments and matters began. These Ulema began giving Fatwa (decrees) according to deductions based on traditions, judgements  and decrees of the fourteen Infallibles  including the Prophet St.  Thus a system of “Reference’’ began which is known as Taqleed. By Taqleed we mean to follow decrees and decisions of an Aa’lam who is a confirmed scholar of  Tradition and Islamic jurisprudence. Such an Aa’lam is termed as ‘Marja-e-Taqleed’, i.e. Centre of Reference.

       Just after the beginning of the Major Occultaion the great jurist Mohammad Bin Yaqoob Kulaini took charge of the seat of learning as the first Marja-e-Taqleed. He was the resident of Kulain, a town-ship near Tehran. The system of one Marja-e-Taqleed taking position on the death of the predecessor has since continued throughout all these centuries, Some of them are mentioned herender.

       In the fourth Century, Janab Abul Hasan Bin Moosa Ibne Babwaih, Qummi, was the next Marja-e-Taqleed for Shias.

   Shaikh Saduq (Abu Ja’afar Mohammad Ali Bin Babwaih),  who died in 381 A.H. and whose grave at Rai is still a revered place of visit for Shias was the contemporary of Ruknuddaula and remained for many years the Marja-e-Taqleed.

      Shaikh-e-Mufeed (Mohammed Bin Nauman) was the next Marja-e-Taqleed and religious leader of Shias of his time, He died in the year 413 A.H.  

      On the death of Shaikh-e-Mufeed, Syed Murtaza (Ali Bin Husain Moosavi) “A’alamul Huda” was appointed to take his place. He was in the fifth generation of Hazrat Moosa Kazim (A.S.).

  After Syed Murtaza, Shaikh-e-Toosi (Abu Ja’afar Mohammad Bin

Bin Toosi) became the centre of Reference. He was disciple of Shaikh-e-Mufeed and Syed Murtaza. His grave is in Najaf-e Ashraf.

             After the death of Shaikh-e-Toosi his disciple Ibne Barraj took up the work of guiding the Shias. In the time of Shaikh-e-Toosi, he was appointed for the work of preaching the True Faith in Syria and Tripoli.

         After the death of Ibne Barraj the leadership of Shias became the responsibility of Shaikh Aboo Ali Toosi. He died in 496 A.H.

                                                                 PREACHING IN AFRICA  

            In the 6th Century Hijri, Allama Mohaqqiq-e-Halabi became the leader of the Shias. He was the first person to send different groups to Africa for preaching.

             After Allama Mohaqqiq-e Halabi Janab Emaduddin Tabrasi and after him Shaikh-e-Tabrasi became Marja-e-Taqleed. Their graves are in Mashhad (Iran). The Successor of Shaikh-e-Tabrasi was Janab Hasan Tabrasi.  

             Qutub Ravandi was one of the great Shia erudites. He was the first critic of ‘Nahjul Balagha’. After the death of Janab Hasan Tabrasi he became Marja-e-Taqleed. His grave is in the courtyard of the masoleum of Ma’sooma-e-Qum at Qum in Iran.  

            In the last years of the 6th Century Ibne Zehra and Ibne Idrees performed the function of Marja-e-Taqleed.

                                                      SEVENTH & EIGHTH CENTURIES  

            In the Seventh  and Eighth Centuries the following erudites were the Marja-e-Taqleed: 

  1. Janab Sazan Bin Jibraeel-e-Qummi.
  2. Janab Mohaqqiq-e-Halabi.
  3. Fakhr Bin Ma’ad
  4. Allama Halabi.
  5. Fakhrul Mohaqqeqeen Aboo Abdullah Bin Shaikh Jamaluddin

Halabi (Shaheed-e-Awwal).


                                 NINTH & TENTH CENTURIES 

  1. Allama Ali Bin Khazeen.
  2. Fazil-e-Miqdad.
  3. Ibn Fahod.
  4. Ibne Najmuddin
  5. Abdul A’ali
  6. Badruddin Ameli.
  7. Janab Mohaqqiq-e-Maypasi.
  8. Janab Mohaqqiq-e-Karki (The first contemporary of Shah Tehmasp).

 Were the centres of Taqleed in the Ninth and Tenth Centuries Hijri. When Shah Tehmasp accepted the true religion (Shia faith) he called Janab Mohaqqiq-e-Karki from Najaf to Tabrez...

            ISPAHAN PERIOD 

      The following leaders of Shia Faith became Marja-eTaqleed in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries Hijri,  Seven of these erudites died and are buried in Ispahan, which was in those days the centre of  religious studies and knowledge, so this period of two hundred years or so is known as Ispahan Period.  

  1. Shaheed-e-Sani Muqaddas-e-Ardbeli (Contemporay of Shah Abbas Aa’zam).
  2. Hasan Bin Shaheed-e-Sani Shaikh-e-Bahai.
  3. Allama Majlisi the First.
  4. Mulla Saleh Mazandrani.
  5. Mohaqqiq-e-Khoonsari.
  6. Aqa-I-Fazil-e-Hindi.
  7. Mulla Ismail Khawajwi (Contemporary of Nadir Shah).


In the Twelfth Century there were many great scholars and erudites who performed the work of guidance of the Shia people, such as:- 

  1. Aqa Mohammad Baqir Bahbani.
  2. Mohaqqiq-e-Niraqi.
  3. Aqa-e-Syed Bahrul-Uloom Shaikh Ja’far (Author of Kashiful Ghita).
  4. Mirza-e-Qummi (Contemporary of Fateh Ali Shah Qachar).
  5. Mulla Ahmad Naraini.
  6. Shaikh Mohammad Hasan Najafi Ispahani (Author of  ‘Jawahar’).
  7. Shaikh Ansari.

Apart from these the greatest leader and Marja-e-Taqleed of this period was Syed Mohammad Hasan Shirazi alias Mirza-e-Buzurg. He preached the True Faith in other parts of the world, In the reign of Naseeruddin Shah Qachar,,, Mirza was grieved to note that the English were strengthening their hold in Iran. They had introduced the use of Tobacco in Iran and were earning a lot of the trade of Tobacco. To inflict a blow to the English he decreed the use of Tobacco as prohibited. On account of this declaration he achieved extraordinary popularity in the masses.  

After Mirza-e-Buzurg, the Author of ‘URWATUL WUTHQA’, Ayatullah Syed Kazim Yezdi became the Marja-e-Taqleed.   

                             JEHAD RELIGIOUS WAR 

         After Ayatullah Syed Kazim Yazdi, Ayatullah Mirza Mohammad Taqi Shirazi alias Mirza-e-Kuchak became the Aa’lam He decreed religious war against the British Government because they had occupied Iraq in the First World War. This decree brought the Independence of Iraq nearer.

             After Mirza-e-Kuchak the leadership of the Shias came in the hands of Ayatullah Syed Abul Hasan Ispahani. In this period the Government of Iraq became hostile to the Iranian erudites who were staying in Iraq. He migrated with a big group of people to Iran and settled in Qum. He came again to Najaf-e- Ashraf after the conditions had improved.  

The period of his successor late Ayatullah Al –Haj Husain Qummi was not a long one. He died within a short time of becoming Marja-e-Taqleed…

             After him Ayatullah Aqa Syed Husain Burujardi became the 54th  Marja-e-Taqleed  and remained so till 1380 A.H. In this time some missionary cetres were established and mosques were constructed in European Countries.

           Ayatullah Mohsinul Hakim has been the center of Taqleed in our times but unfortunately he too passed away on 26th Rabiul Awwal,  90 A.H. (2nd June, 1970) leaving the entire Shia world engulfed in deep grief.  His greatness in erudition was unequalled and he was so famous as a fearless supporter of the religious cause that it is hard to find anybody to replace him.

             A complete list of the Marja-e-Taqleed since the Major Occultation adopted from the book “Hayat-e-Kakim” by Moulana Murtaza Husein Fazil, Lahore, 1969, is shown in the appendix.



1.      Siqatul Islam Abu Jafar Mohammad Bin Yaqub Bin Ishaq Raazi Kulaini author of the book ‘Kafi’ died 329 A.H. (BAGHDAD).

2.  Shaikh Sudduq Mohammad Bin Ali Bin Babwaih Qummi,

Author of the books “Maula Yahzuruhul Faqih ”, etc., died 381 A.H. (Rai).

        3 . Shaikh Mufid Abu Abullah Mohammad Bin Mohammad Bin Noman,     author of the       book ‘Al-Maqnaa’ etc., died 318 A.H. (Kazemain).

  4. Alam-ul-Huda, Abul Qasim Ali Bin Husain Bin Musa. Al-Musavi author of the books Ash-Shafi, etc., died 426 A.H. (Kazemain).

5    Abul Fath, Mohammad Bin Ali Bin Usman Karajoki author of the book       ‘ Kanzul  Fawaid ’ died 449 A.H.

6.      Shaikh-ut-taifa, founder of the religious academy of Najaf, Abu Jafar          Mohammad Bin Hasan Bin Ali Toosi , authour of the books Al-Istilesar, Tahzibul Ahkam, etc., died 460 A.H (Najaf).

7.      Ash Shaikhul Ajal Shaikh Mohammad Bin Shaikh ut Taifa, died 494 A.H.

8.      Shaikh Abu Jafar Mohammad Bin Abil Qasim Ali Bin Mohammad Aamili , Tabari, author of the book Basharat-ul-Mustafa, died 540 A.H.

9.      Ash Shaikh-ul-Fafih, Abu Ali Al-Fazl Bin Hasan, Tibrasi author of the book Majma-ul-Bayan Fi-Tafsirul-Quran, etc., died 548 A.H. (Meshhed).

10.  Abul Makaim Hamza Bin Ali known as Ibne Zahra Halabi, author of the book Al-Ghania, died 585 A.H. (Halle Aleppo).

11.  Ibne Shahr Ashrile, Shaikh  Rashi-ud-Din, Abu Jafar Mohammad Bin Ali, author of the book, Al Manaqile, etc, died  588 A.H. (Halle-Aleppo).

  1. Shaik Bin Idrees Mohammad Bin Ahmad Hilli, author of the book As-Saraer, died 598 A.H.
  2. Shaikhul Ajal, Abul Fazal Shazan Bin Jibrail Qumi settled at Madina Munawwera, died 618 A.H.
  3. Najieb-ud-Din, Abu Ibrahim Mohammad Bin Jafar Bin Abil Baqr Hibat-ul-lah Bin Nemahile, died 645 A.H. (Najaf)
  4. Shaikhul Faqih, Najmuddin Jafar Bin Mohammad Bin Jafar known as Bin Nemahili, author of the book Mushir-ul-Ahzan.
  5. As Syedul Ajal, Razi-ud-Din Bin Taoos Abul Qasim Ali Bin Musa Bin Jafar Hasani, Huseini, died 664 A.H.
  6. Shaikhul Islam, Khwaja Nasiruddin Mohammad Bin Mohammad Bin Hasan, known as Muhaqqiq Tusi, author of the books ‘Tajridul Kalami’ etc, died 676 A.H. (Kazemain).
  7. Shaikhul Fuquha, Jafar Bin Hasan Bin Yahya Bin Saeed, know as Muhaqqiq Hilli, author of the book Sharae-ul-Islam, died 676 A.H. (Hilla).
  8. Ayatullah, Shaikh Jamal-ud-Din, Abu Mansur Hasan Bin Yusuf Bin Mutahhar, author of the book Al-Qaqaed, died 726 A.H. (Najaf).
  9. Nasiruddin Kashani Baghdadi. Hilli, Ali Bin Mohammad, died 755 A.H. (Najaf).
  10. Fakhral Muhaqqiqin, Abu Talile Mohammad Bin Hasan Bin Yusuf Bin Mutahhar Hilli, author of the books Sharh-ul-Qawaed etc., died 771 A.H.
  11. Syed-ul-Jalil, Tajuddin Abu Abdillah Mohammad Bin Qasim Bin Husain, died 776 A.H. (Najaf).
  12. Shaheed-e-Awwal Abu Abdillah Mohammad Bin Jamal-ud-Din A’amili, author of the book Al-Laaia, and Az-zikra, etc., burnt alive 776 A.H.
  13. Shaik-e-Faqih, Abul Hasan Zain-ud-Din Ali Bin Khazin Haeri, died 820 A.H.
  14. Shaikh-e-Ajal, Fazil-e-Miqdad, Abu Abdillah, Al-Miqdad Bin Abdullah Bin Mohammad Bin Husein, author of the book Kanzul Irfan, died 826 A.H. (Baghdad),
  15. Jamalus Salikin, Abul Ayash Ahmad Bin Mohammed Bin Fahd Hilli Asadi, author of the book Idda-tud-Da’ai died 841, A.H. (Karbala).
  16. Shaikh Shams-ud-Din Mohammad Bin Makki,  A’amili  Shami, author of the book Mojaz-un Nafisi, etc., died 860 A.H.
  17. Siqatul Islam Nuruddin Ali Bin Abdil A’ali A’amili, known as Muhaqqiq-e-Karbi, authour of the book Shaeh-ul-Qawaed, died 936  A.H.
  18. Shaheed Sani, Shaikh-e-Jalil, Zain-ud-Din Bin Nuruddin Ali Bin Ahmad, author of the books Sharh Lama’a Damishqia, etc., died 936 A.H.
  19. A’alime-Rabbani Maulana Ahmad Bin Mohammad Ardbeli, author of the books ‘Ayatul Ahkam, etc., died 993 A.H. (buried, Najaf).
  20. A’alim-e-Jaleel, Mohammad (Ali Bin Mohammad Balaghi, author of the books Shaeh-e-Usul-il Kafi, etc., died 1000 A.H. (Karbala).
  21. Shaikh-e-Jaleel, Jamal –ud-Din, Abu Mansur Hasan Bin Shaheed Sani, author of the books Ma’alimuddin-ul-Usool, died 1011 A.H. (Labanon).
  22. Shaikhul Islam, Shaikh Bahai, Mohammad Bin Husain Bin Abdus Samad Jabari, A’amili Harisi, author of the books Al-Mukhillat etc., died 1041 A.H. (Mashhed, Iran).
  23. Zahid Wara, Mohammad Taqi Bin Maqsud Ali, known as Majlisi Awwal, author of the book Shaeh Man la fahzaruhul Faqih, died 1070 A.H.
  24. Maulana Mohammad Swaleh Mazandrani, author of the book Sharh-ul-Kafi, died 1080 A.H.
  25. Murabbiul Fuqaha wal Muhaddison Husain Bin Jamaluddin Mohammad Bin Husain Khwansari, author of the books Sharh-e-Darus, etc., died 1098 A.H. (Isfahan gallows)
  26. Shaikhul Islam wal Muslimin Mohammad Baqir Bin Mohammad Taqi, known as Majlisi Sani, author of the books Bihar-ul-Anwar, etc., died 1111 A.H. (Isfahan).
  27. Fazile Hindi, Shaikh Jaleel, Wahid-e-Asr, Mohammad Bin Hasan Bin Mohammad Isfahan author of the books ‘Kashful Lisan’, etc, died 1137 A.H. (Isfhan).
  28. Allama-tul-Auhad, Shaikh Ahmad-el-Jazaeri, Najafi, author of the book Oalaid-ud-Durr, died 1150 A.H. (Nafaf).
  29. A’alim-e-Jaleel, Mahaqqiq Aqa Jamaluddin Bin Maul-el-Husain Bin Jamuluddin Khoonsari, died 1155 A.H. (Khoonsar)…
  30. Hakim Mutaalleh, Ismail Bin Mohammad Husain Bin Mohammad Raza Mazandrani Khwajwi, author of the book Shaheedua-is-Sabah, died 1173 A.H. (Isfahan).
  31. Muhaqqiq-e-Wahid, Bahbani, Mohammad Baqir, author of the book Sharh-

-e-Mafatih and Hashia Mudarak, died 1208 A.H. (Karbala).

  1. Ayatullah Al-Allama Syed Mahdi, known as Bahrul-Ulum, died 1212 A.H. (Najaf).
  2. Shaikh-e-Akbar, Shaikh Jafar Bin Shaikh Khizr Junaji Najafi, died 1228 A.H. (Najaf).
  3. Faqih-e-Jalil, Abul Qasim Bin Mohammad Hasin Jilani Qummi, known as Mirza-e-Qummi, author of the book Al-Qawanin and Jame-ush-Shatat, died 1231 A.H. (Qum)..
  4. Maulana Ahmad Bin Maulana Mahdi Az-Zaqi, author of the book Meraj-us-Sa’adat, died 1244 A.H.
  5. Fafih-e-Kabir, Shaikh Mohammad Hasan Najafi, author of the book Jawahir-ul-Kalam, died 1266 A.H. (Najaf).
  6. Ar-Raisul Azim, Murtaza Bin Mohammad Amin, known as Shaikhul Ansari, author of the book Ar-Rasaelowal Makasib, died 1281 A.H. (Najaf).
  7. Al-Allamatul Kabir, Syed Mohammad Mahdi Qazurni, author of many books, died 1300 A.H. (Najaf).
  8. Maulana Mohammad Bin Mohammad Baqir Airwani,   died 1306 A.H. (Najaf).
  9. Ayatullah-el-Majaddid, Mirza Mohammad Hasan /Shirazi, died 1312 A.H. (Najaf).
  10. Shaikh-e-Jalil, Faqih wara, Shaikh Mohammad Hasan Bin Al-Moula Abedullah-e-Maniqani, died 1313 A.H. (buried, Najaf).
  11. Ayatullah /Shaikh Mirza Khalil Tehrani, died 1366 A.H. (Najaf).
  12. Ustazul Ulama, Shaikh Mohammad Kazim, known as Akhund Khurasani, author of the book Kifayatul Usul, died 1329, A.H. (Najaf).
  13. Fafih-e-Ahle Bait, Syed Mohammad Kazim Yazdi, author of the book Urwat-ul-Wusqa, died 1337 A.H. (Najaf).
  14. The leader of the Iraqi Movement against the British Mirza Mohammad Taqi Shirazi, died 1338 AH. (Karbala).
  15. Al-Allamul Faqih Shaikh Fath-ullah, known as Shaikh-ush Shariat Isfahani, died 1339 A.H. (Najaf).
  16. Ayatullah-el-Mutabahhr Shaikh Abdullah Bin Shaikh Mohammad Hasan Momgani, author of the book Tangih-ul-Maqal, etc., died 1351 A.H. (Najaf).
  17. Ash-Shaikh-ul Allam, Mirza Husein Naseeni, died 1355 A.H. (Najaf).
  18. Mujtahid Akbar, Syed Abul Hasan Isfahani, author of the book Wasila-tun-Nijat, died 1365, A.H. (Najaf).

61.  Mujaddid-e-Ilm-e-Usul, Shaikh Ziauddin Iraqi, author of the book Kitabul Maqalat, etc.,died 28, Zil-Qada, 1366 A.H.

  1. Mujtahid-e-Aa’zam, Syed Husain Burojardi, died 1380 A.H. (Qum, Iran).
  2. Ayatullah-el-Kubra, Syed Mohsin-el-Hakim, died 1390 A.H. (Najaf)…