Name    : Mohammed son of Shah Murtada son of Shah Mahmood
                 Also known as Mulla Mohammed Mohsin Faiz Kashani
Born      : 1007 H at Kashan, Iran
Died       : 1091 H at Kashan, Iran
Hal jazaa al ehsaan al al ehsaan
In this verse from Surat al Rehman Allah propounded the principle of humanity that if someone does a good turn to some other person, there cannot be a return for that other than the beneficiary trying to be good to his benefactor! Certainly all the Martyrs, Ulema and the Mujtahids are the benefactors of the Momins and the entire Jaafari Community. They faced adverse hardships to guide the Momineen under extremely adverse conditions. They propagated the word of the Ale Mohammed (s.a) for the benefit of the posterity The Al e Mohammed (s.a) themselves gave guidance to their followers but they deputized the Ulema as a medium of conveying their word to the people.
Mulla Mohammed Faiz Kashani was born in a period when the oppression of the followers of the Al e Mohammed (s.a) was comparatively less. The period of excessive oppression continued till the 9th and early 10 Century H. Mulla Kashani’s period was at the time when one major country, Iran, was administered by the followers of the Ahl al bayt (a.s). Therefore the oppression and suppression of the Momineen abated for a short spell. In this respite our Ulema served the Faith to the best of their capabilities and did such a good turn to the cause of the followers that it is safe and, Alhamd u Lillah, progressing on the right lines. What service Mulla Kashani rendered to the community, we shall discuss later.
His given name was Mohammed but he was addressed with the nick-name of Mohsin. Because of his scholastic capabilities his mentor gave him the title of Faiz or beneficent.
Mulla Kashani was born in early Eleventh Century Hijra and died almost at the end of the same the age of 84 years. He belonged to a scholarly family. His father was an erudite scholar and his brothers too were scholars of repute. The next generation too produced men of letters in his family. Mulla Kashani took birth in Kashan and died in the same place. He has been interred in Kashan at a place called Qoh Karamat. To this day his grave is maintained in a good condition.
After Allama Hilli and Allama Majlisi no scholar has written as many books as Mulla Kashani. The bibliographies of literature contain a list of over 200 voluminous books penned by Mulla Kashani. His best works, in today’s parlance, are “Tafseer e Saafi” and “Kitab e Waafi”. We shall discuss about these books later on. Among the mentors of Mulla Kashani, Sayed Majid Bahraini and Mulla Sadr al Deen are prominently mentioned.But he had also obtained an Ijaza (Certificate of Merit) from Sheik Bahai as well.Among Mulla Kashani’s disciples the most prominent was Allama Mohammed Baqir Majlisi.
The early education of Mulla Faiz Kashani was in Kashan and Qum. Then the news spread that Sayed Majid Bahraini had migrated to Iran. He was a very eminent scholar from Bahrain and one of the greats of his time. He settled to reside in the city of Shiraz in Iran. With his coming Shiraz became an important center of Shia learning. Students from all over the country started moving towards Shiraz.
At that time Mulla Faiz was a youth. He also had a desire to pursue his studies under Sayed Majid Bahraini. But Mulla Faiz Kashani’s father was reluctant to send him to Shiraz. He told him that Qom itself was a big center of learning and that he could pursue his studies staying at home. Kashan and Qom are almost like twin cities. Thus an argument commenced between the father and the son. Mulla Faiz was insistent that he must study under Majid Bahraini. When the father and son couldn’t come to a conclusion, they did an augury (Istekhara) through the pages of the Holy Quran. The Verse that came in their view (the Verse 21 of Surat al Tauba) reads as follows was:
“…why should not then a company from every party of them go forth that they may acquire (proper) understanding in religion, and that they may warn their people when they return unto them, so that they may be cautious?”
---Al-Bara’at, Verse122
This Verse clearly exhorts persons to leave their homes and go forth to acquire the religious learning. When such a clear indication was available, there wasn’t any question of stopping Mulla Kashani from proceeding to Shiraz for his education. To satisfy himself, Mulla Kashani’s father did an augury, that the people in Kashan usually did, and it is said that this method was taught by Hazrat Amir al Momineen (a.s). This Istekhara is done from a book of poetry with compositions penned by Hazrat Ali (a.s) himself. When Mulla Kashani’s father opened the book, the verse that came in his view said, “One gets knowledge through travel! One learns manners meeting people and gets the company of the elderly (Majid) when one travels” In the Arabic lexicon majid means the elderly and the name of the erudite mentor in Shiraz too was Majid—Sayed Majid Bahraini! Now Mulla Kashani’s father agreed to send his son to Shiraz.
Mulla Kashani reached Shiraz and became a disciple of Sayed Majid Bahraini. Sayed Bahraini was a contemporary and a colleague of Sheik Bahai and Mir Baqir Damad. Sayed Majid Bahraini was a Faqih. He gave instruction to Mulla Kashani in Quran, Fiq and Hadit. Those days a very eminent philosopher, Mulla Sadra Shirazi was there in Shiraz. Allama Iqbal did his thesis for his doctorate on this scholar. Mulla Kashani received instruction in philosophy and logic from this worthy. Mulla Sadra was much impressed with the capability of this student. He therefore gave him the title of Faiz. He also gave his daughter in marriage to Mohammed Mohsin Faiz Kashani. After completing his studies with the two great scholars he returned back to Kashan to propagate knowledge about the Faith. Since he was more inclined towards philosophy and logic, the ordinary people were unable to understand his talks. Some persons became his antagonists.Some men of learning too said that there were some misleading aspects in his writings. It is a fact he had some inclination towards Sufism. But saying that he wasn’t a Shia and that in the garb of a Shia he aimed at harming the Faith is absolutely wrong.  
Many allegations were made against Mulla Kashani but he never took notice of them. He was a man of extreme piety. We may well gauge his piety from one incident. One day he was passing through the bazaar in Kashan when a knife fell down on the road from his pocket. He forgot about it. After one year he recalled that at that particular point on the road he had lost his knife. He called his servant and asked him to go to that point on the road and bring back the knife that had fallen from his pocket. The servant asked when the knife was lost. When he told him that the knife was lost a year ago, the servant was surprised how the master expected the knife to remain at that spot for such a long time. Mulla Kashani was a firm believer in the saying of the Infallible (a.s) that people should make it their habit that they didn’t touch anything found lying anywhere. Then no one will lose anything. Mulla Kashani was such a pious person that he thought that everyone is as good and gentle like him.
In due course of time after his return to Kashan, his fame spread in the area. Some persons who were unable to understand his intricate philosophy and logic did turn against him. But in general he became quite popular. He was certainly one of the highly respected persons in the city. There was an affluent businessman in Kashan, whose given name too was Mohammed,.who wanted somehow to establish relationship with Allama Mohammed Faiz Kashani. He sent a matchmaker to approach Allama Kashani to seek the hand of his young daughter in marriage. The matchmaker thought that he was taking the proposal of a very affluent person for the Allama’s daughter and the match would be fixed without any difficulty. He said that Mohammed was desirous of marrying his daughter. It didn’t take much time for the Allama giving his consent. The affluent trader started making lavish arrangements for his wedding. It took him quite some time making the arrangements. After waiting for quite sometime, Mulla Kashani sent word to Mohammed, the sweeper at the Mosque saying: “Why don’t you take away your bride. I have given consent about her marriage with you quite some time ago!”  The sweeper was first surprised and then thought it was a good opportunity to marry in such an eminent family. He gathered his friends and told them that he was marrying the next day. The trader, Mohammed, who had sent the proposal with the matchmaker, got wind of the event. He sent a message to Mulla Faiz saying that he had sent the proposal, which was accepted, but he was giving the daughter in marriage to another person of the same name as his. Allama Kashani said that he meets Mohammed, the sweeper, whenever he visited the mosque. He also said that he had given his word to the person and could not change the decision for the sake of wealth and position. Such was the great piety and character of Allama Kashani.
There was a lot of advers talk about his philosophical and logical writings. The commoners were unable to comprehend his thoughts and the learned started objecting. He therefore wrote another book explaining that his beliefs were the same as other Muslims had. About a hundred years ago an eminent Mujtahid, Mulla Ahmed Naraki, wrote with reference to his father, Mulla Mehdi Naraki who said, “While I was sleeping one night a venerable person came in my dream and said,‘My name is Mulla Mohammed Faiz Kashani. People have made many allegations against me. Sometimes they say that I am a Sufi and at others that I am against Islam and am propagating strange beliefs. All these allegations are wrong! I have written a book “Insaaf”. You must read the book, make the book reach the people and tell them that the allegations made against me are all baseless!’” At this point Mulla Ahmed’s father woke up from his dream. Mulla Mehdi had neither seen Mulla Kashani nor read any of his books. Next morning he went in search his book “Insaaf”. When he read the book, he realized that Mulla Kashani had replied to all the allegations made against him. It dawned on him that the dream was absolutely true. Among Mulla Kashani’s opponents was an eminent scholar, Mulla Mohammed Tahir who lived in Qum and used to be the Imam at the Jumaa Prayers there. At the fag end of his life Mulla Tahir realized that he was not right in making the allegations against Mulla Kashani. He felt that he had commited a sin carrying wrong notions against a man of high piety. He thought that he must seek pardons for his error of judgment. Kashan isn’t very far from Qum, but quite far. Mulla Mohammed Tahir walked all the way from Qum to Kashan and reached the threshold of Mulla Kashani’s home and uttered one sentence, “O Mohsin (Benefactor) a sinner is standing at your door-step!” Mohsin is the name of Mulla Kashani but these words also constitute the optional supplication made while doing Takbirat al Ahram while offering prayers. Hearing this Mulla Mohsin Kashani instantaneously came out of the house, shook hands and hugged him. Both stood shyly with bent heads. One is feeling that he carried a misapprehension for the other for such a long time and the other felt sorry that such an eminent person had come walking all the way from Qum as a penance for carrying a misapprehension against him. From this incident we can well imaginme the erudition of Mulla Kashani that the eminent Mujtahid walked all the way from Qum just to apologise to him for carrying a misapprehension against him. Mulla Kashani never wanted any name or fame. He always preferred to stay in the small town of Kashan away from the power and pelf of the royal courts, although he received many invitations to go there.
This incident is of the time when Mulla Faiz Kashani was old. At that time an earth-quake struck a city, Sherwan, in Iran. That was the year 1084 H when Mashad too experienced an earth-quake of high intensity. The mausoleum of Imam Reza (a.s) suffered much loss. Many other cities, including Sherwan were affected with earth quake. The ruler at that time was traveling through the Khorasan Province. He was halting either at Qum or in Kashan. Messages were relayed to him on continuous basis. He was much worried about the loss of lives and property in various cities. He was asking all the wise people to find a solution for the problem. He had chanced to meet Mulla Kashani. Generally the Mulla kept away from the court. But during this chance meeting the king asked him the way of controlling the earth-quakes. Mulla Kashani said, “There is a spate of earthquakes because of you!” Talking so boldly, in a forthright manner, before a monarch does require great courage. Sheik Bahai had plans to make Iran a state ruled strictly under the norms of the Shariah; but he had expired. However there was some effect of his efforts. Generally a ruler wouldn’t stomach any advers remarks from others. In his ire he might even excute the person. But because the words were uttered by an Alim, he kept quiet. However the king asked, “What wrong have I done?” Mulla kashani said, “You may not know, but it is proved through the traditions of the Infallibles (a.s) that frequent earth-quakes will come when bribery is practiced in the courts of law and the bribes taken by the judges have become the cause of the calamities that are striking the country!” The king asked, “How can I stop people taking bribes?” Any ordinary mortal would have suggested becoming strict and punishing the corrupt functionaries. But Mulla Kashani was a man of high religious learning. He said, “Appoint just Mujtahids, adept in the Fiqh, as judges. This action would dispel all your difficulties.” The king said that he was proceeding towards Mashad. He said that many Mujtahids were residing there whom he would consult about the problem. He reached Mashad and met a Senior Mujtahid. But that Mujtahid refused to act as a judge. Mulla Kashani told to the king later that if a Mujtahid refused to accept the assignment as a judge, the king can deal with him strictly. He said that it is binding on a Just Faqih to accept the position of a judge. The king accepted the suggestion but before he reached Mashad he had expired. The king’s son ascended to the throne. When Mulla Kashani was advicing his father, the new monarch too was present. From the time the son took the reins in his hands, there were no earthquakes. But Mulla Kashani had talked to the late king in such a vein that the new monarch remembered every word of it and was resolved to act on the advice. The name of this king was Shah Sulaiman. He therefore invited Allama Majlisi and gave the ministry of law in his control. Under the Allama the department became totally free of corruption and bribery. All the corrupt judged were dismissed forthwith. He also ordered banning of the use of liquors in the country. Within a few months entire Iran was governed under the rules of the Shariah. But the harbinger of this change in Iran was Mulla Kashani. If he hadn’t guided the king, and his father, Allama Majlisi might not have effected the reforms.
Abu Rafeh was a companion of the Prophet (s.a). When all the believers migrated from Makka, he didn’t. After the Battle of Badr he too migrated to Madina and went to the presence of the Prophet (s.a). When Hazrat Ali (a.s) assumed the corporal caliphate he nominated Abu Rafeh as the keeper of the Bait al Maal. We would like to remind you of the incident when one of the daughters of Hazrat Amir al Momineen (a.s) wanted to borrow an expensive necklace from the Bait al Maal for wearing at a wedding, Abu Rafeh asked her to deposit money in the treasury equal to the value of the jewelry before taking it out. When Hazrat Ali (a.s) heard about this, he said that if his daughter had taken out the jewelry without depositing its cost, he would have ordered severing her hand for the act. Similarly if Abu Rafeh had sent out the necklace without taking the security deposit, his hand too would have been severed!
Abu Rafeh was the companion of both the Prophet (s.a) and Hazrat Amir al Momineen (a.s). Under instructions from Hazrat Ali (a.s) he compiled the first book of Hadit (Traditions). After the death of Abu Rafeh, his son too penned a book of Hadit. The Sayeds held both the father and the son in great respect. The grandson of Imam Hassan (a.s), Moosa is on record saying that once his father, Abd Allah, was faced a problem by someone. He sent Moosa home to fetch the book compiled by Abu Rafeh and resolved the question posed by the person reading the relevant Hadit from the book. Abu Rafeh is recognized by us as the First Tabqa (Stratum) of narrators of the traditions. Hazrat Ali (a.s) himself dictated the incidents to him to write down. The Second Tabqa was during the times of Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain (a.s). The Third Tabqa was during the period of Imam Zain al Abedin (a.s) when the Sahifa e Kamila was compiled. The Fourth Tabqa of the traditionalists was during the periods of the Fifth and Sixth Imams (a.s) who comnpiled as many as 400 books. During the Ghaibat e Sughra of the 12th Imam the difficulties of the followers became many- fold. Then it was decided to condense the contents of all the 400 books into one to facilitate easy access to the information.
Therefore three persons took upon themselves the task of condensing the 400 books into one. The first one was Mohammed Yaqub Kulaini who compiled the book “Usool e Kaafi” in Baghdad. Then at Qum, Sheik Sadooq wrote “Man la Yahdar al Faqih”. After these two great scholars passed away Sheik Toosi compiled 2 books. Thus the ‘Kutub e Arba’ --The Four Books, came about.
As the time passed research on the traditions continued. Khwaja Naseer ud Deen compiled his book after intensive research of 14 years. But the minister of that time consigned it to the waters of the River Dajla because of his bias against the Progeny of the Prophet (s.a). Those were the times when hands were bound and the tongues that praised the Ahl al Bayt (a.s) were severed. When the reins of administration came in the hands of the followers of the Progeny of the Prophet (s.a), the first thing they did on top priority was to compile the tomes on the Fiqh and to write the Commentaries on the Holy Quran. The first person to busy himself in this work was Mulla Kashani. He wrote “Al Waafi” and “Al Kaafi”. “Al Waafi” comprises of 14 volumes. Immediately after “Al Waafi” Sheik Hur al Amili wrote the book “Wasail ash Shia”. Then came Allama Majlisi who wrote the great book “Bahar al Anwaar”These three great scholars ---Mohammed Mohsin Faiz Kashani, Mohammed ibn e Hassan Hur al Amili and Mohammed Baqir Majlisi--- are called Mohammedoon Talata---The Three Mohammeds!
The need for completing these great works in the short time was that there were continuous skirmishes from the caliph of Turkey on Iran. Shah Abbas was tired of these uncalled for attacks and he made a pre-emptive attack on the Turkish territory. The Turkish Ambassador rushed to Najaf to appeal to the Mujtahids there whether the Fiqh of the Ahl al Bayt (a.s) permitted unprovoked pre-emptive attacks? They ruled that such attacks are not permissible and the approval of the Mujtahids based on valid reasons was mandatory! Sheik Bahai had already expired and there wasn’t any senior Mujtahid in Iran at that time. The Mujtahids from Najaf wrote to Shah Abbas to call back his forces forthwith. Shah Abbas accepted the edict and called back his men from the front. Thus the three great scholars realized that the respite was short and they had to accomplish their great scholastic task in the time at their disposal. Thus came about the monumental works of these doyens of Shia Scholarship!

 Source Urdu Lectures of Moulana Sadiq Hassan Book