Ayatullah Muhammad Taqi Khonsari   PDF book      Ulamaa index  



Born      : On :       1274 H   AD                         At : , Iran

Died       : On :         1951 AD                           At : Qum, Iran

Age         :101 years


Ayatullah Khonsari was from the lineage of the 7th Imam, Imam Musa Kadhim Β, and was the son of Allamah Syed  Asadullah.

Ayatullah Khonsari was introduced to the knowledge of Islam from a very young age; he had not even reached the age of 7  when he had already learnt Arabic Grammar, Introduction to

Islamic Knowledge, and a section of Usul and Fiqh.

In order to take the initial studies (that he had begun with his  father) to another level, Ayatullah Khonsari made his way to the Hawza in Najaf. He attended lessons in Fiqh and Usul,

taught by the great scholars Ayatullah Mullah Khorasani and Ayatullah Muhammad Kadhim Tabatabi Yazdi. He then

continued his learning in Usul under Ayatullah Naainee and Ayatullah Agha Dhaya Iraqi. Although he had reached the

station of Ijtihad, he never actually made a point to formalise this achievement, and it was only when Ayatullah Khonsari

returned to Iran that Ayatullah Iraqi sent him a formal letter of proof confirming that he had obtained the qualifications of


Ayatullah Iraqi used to many times comment on the status and worth of Ayatullah Khonsari.


His time in the war front during the First World War:

In the beginning of the First World War, the Ottoman empire was allied with Germany. In 1903, with the arrival of the

British in Iraq and their conquest of Basra and the neighbouring areas, it was a very sensitive time indeed. The

Ottoman Empire sought help from the Shia Ulema, and although the spread of despotism around Iraq was because of

the Ottoman Government, the Ulema could not just sit on the sidelines and observe the Holy City of Iraq being trampled

over. Thus, many of the Maraje issued a fatwa of Jihad, but because of their old age, they sent their children to the war

front as their representatives. Another group of Mujtahids themselves also chose the path of Jihad. It was during the

period of Muharram that this sensational fatwa was issued. Ayatullah Khonsari left his studies and with a vanguard of

scholars including Ayatullah Syed Mustafa Kashani (his study partner), made his way to the warfront in the neighbourhood

of Basra, via the River Euphrates in a ship. He shared a bunker in the frontline with Ayatullah Mustafa Kashani and

Agha Baktiyari Zaade. He was a soldier always full of life, even when the going used to get tough or the enemy was on

the offensive. What was more surprising was a time when the enemy had placed them under intense siege and were getting

closer and closer; whilst most of the soldiers were preparing for the worst, Ayatullah Khonsari was getting more and more

passionate and intense about his prayers, which he used to pray with a great amount of fervour.

Being taken a prisoner:

During the war, a part of Ayatullah Khonsari’s foot became wounded and he got taken prisoner. The occupiers gathered

the prisoners of war in the port of Basra, and from there they were gathered in ships and sent away into captivity to one of

their colonies, the island of Singapore. Ayatullah Khonsari  was one of 400 people taken captive. The journey to

Singapore took four months and the captives were then held in a prison in the middle of nowhere. During his time in prison,

despite the very tough and severe environment, he continued and strived to teach Logic and Wisdom and also managed to

teach himself English from an Indian Raja. When the head of the prison became aware that Ayatullah Khonsari was a

scholar and knew English, he requested him to translate a book meant to mislead the people; however, Ayatullah

Khonsari refused and maybe it was because of this refusal that the wardens wanted to kill him. Ayatullah himself mentions

that: ‘One day all the prisoners had gone out, and I was behind alone. The warden brought a wild animal into the

prison and let it loose at the foot of the door. He then hit the wild animal and thus the animal approached me with ferocity.

It came very close to me but ended up doing nothing. It then went back to the foot of the door and then returned back

towards me. It did this a number of times, but each time did nothing to me.’

Ayatullah Khonsari spent 4 years in prison and was only released because of the efforts of the Raja from India, who

tried for his release as soon as he himself was released from prison.

His salaat:

Ayatullah’s salaat used to be a wonderful event. Belief in Allah was so manifested in him that in salaam he used to cast

aside the veils and his soul used to be in the remembrance of Heaven. He himself said: ‘When I stand for salaat, it is as if I

am having a conversation with Allah and facing him.’ He also led salaat-e-jamaat at Faiziya Madressa, where the people

who usually had many doubts about the adalat (justice) of the Imams of salaat-e-jamaat did not just follow anyone.

However, they prayed behind him without any problems or objections.


Salaat for rain:

One of the most important events to show the status of Ayatollah was the event of the salaat for rain. In the city of

Qom in the Iranian year 1323 (approx. 1944 AD), the rains had not arrived and the food levels had reached critical levels.

The people saw the recital of ‘salaat-e-Istagasa’ (prayer for rain) as a solution to the drought. They approached the Ulema

to lead the prayer and although a couple of the Ulema declined the offer to recite the prayer, Ayatullah Khonsari was

unable to refuse the request of the people. The news spread around the city of Qom that Ayatullah Khonsari was due to

lead the prayer on the Friday. 20,000 people gathered together to recite the salaat at a location known as Khak-e-

Faraj. On that day the prayer for rain was not responded to. Ayatullah Khonsari, who had perceived the beneficence of

Allah many times before, knew very well that by begging from Allah, the dua would eventually be accepted. Therefore,

he made a decision to go and say the prayer again; they decided to go to the garden behind the graveyard of

‘Nawabpaa’. When sunset arrived on the Sunday, the sky turned red and cloudy and rain fell with such intensity that it

is said rain like that had not been seen until then. Someone narrates: ‘That day, as per normal, I went to the

Faiziya Madressa to say my salaat-e-jamaat behind Ayatullah Khonsari. At the moment, I cannot remember the reason why

there was a lecture in the Faiziya Madressa after the evening salaat, but Marhum Hajji Muhammad Taki Ishraqi was giving

a lecture when it began to rain…that evening it rained