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Dhul Hijjah 24 Friday Hijrah 1441
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Title – The Message   Preface   Arabian Peninsula the Cradle of Islamic Culture   Arabia before Islam   Conditions of Roman and Iranian Empires   Ancestors of the Prophet   Birth of the Prophet   Childhood of the Prophet   Rejoining the Family   Period of Youth   From Shepherd to Merchant   From Marriage up to Prophethood   The First Manifestation of Reality   The First Revelation   Who were the First Persons to Embrace Islam?   Cessation of revelation   General Invitation   Judgement of Quraysh about the Holy Qur’an   The First Migration   Rusty Weapons   The Fiction of Gharaniq   Economic Blockade   Death of Abu Talib   Me’raj – The Heavenly Ascension   Journey to Ta’if   The Agreement of Aqabah   The Event of Migration   The Events of the First Year of Migration   Some Events of the First and Second years of Migration   The Events of the Second Year of Migration   Change of Qiblah   The Battle of Badr   Dangerous Designs of the Jews   The Events of the Third Year of Migration   The Events of the Third and Fourth years of Migration   The Jews Quit the Zone of Islam   The Events of the Fourth Year of Migration   The Events of the Fifth Year Of Migration   The Battle of Ahzab   The Last Stage of Mischief   The Events of the Fifth and Sixth years of Migration   The events of the Sixth Year of Migration   A Religious and Political Journey   The Events of the Seventh Year of Migration   Fort of Khayber the Centre of Danger   The Story of Fadak   The Lapsed ‘Umrah   The Events of the Eighth Year of Migration   The Battle of Zatus Salasil   The Conquest of Makkah   The Battle of Hunayn   The Battle of Ta’if   The Famous Panegyric of Ka’b Bin Zuhayr   The Events of the Ninth Year of Migration   The Battle of Tabuk   The Deputation of Thaqif goes to Madina   The Prophet Mourning for his Son   Eradication of Idol-Worship in Arabia   Representatives of Najran in Madina   The Events of the Tenth Year of Migration   The Farewell Hajj   Islam is completed by the Appointment of Successor   The Events of the Eleventh Year of Migration   A Will which was not written   The Last Hours of the Prophet  

 

The Author of al-Mizan

 

Al-Allamah al-Sayyid Muhammad Husayn al-Tabataba’I (1281 – 1360/1901-1980) is one of the greatest and the most original thinkers of the contemporary Muslim world. He was a prolific writer and an inspiring teacher, who devoted whole of his life to Islamic studies. His interests were varied and the scope of his learning was vast. His books number about forty-four, three of which are collections of his articles on various aspects of Islam and the Qur’an. His major contributions are in the fields of tafsir, philosophy and history of the Shi’ah faith.

In philosophy the most important of his works is Usul-e falsafah wa rawish-e-riyalism (The Principles of Philosophy and the method of realism), which has been published in five volumes with explanatory notes and commentary of Martyr Murtada Mutahhari. It deals with the Islamic outlook of the world, which is not only opposed to idealism that negates the reality of the corporeal world, but is also opposed to the materialistic conception of the world, which reduces all reality to ambiguous materialistic myths and fabrications. The point is established that while the Islamic world-outlook is realistic, both the idealistic and materialistic outlooks are unrealistic. His other major philosophical work is a voluminous commentary of al-Asfar al-‘arba’ah, the magnum opus of Mulla Sadra, the last of the great Muslim thinkers of the medieval age. Besides these, he wrote extensively on philosophical issues. His humanist approach is underlined by his three books on man – before the world, in this world and after this world. His philosophy is overloaded with sociological treatment of human problems. His two other works, Bidayat al-hikmah and Nihayat al-hikmah, are considered among works of a high order in Muslim philosophy.

He wrote several treatises on the doctrines and history of the Shi’ah. One of these books comprises his clarifications and expositions about Shi’ah faith in reply t the questions posed by the famous French orientalist Henry Corbin. Another of his books on this topic Shi’ah dar Islam was translated into English by Sayyid Husayn Nasr under the title The Shi’ite Islam. These books serve as a good means of removing popular misconceptions about the Shi’ah and can pave the way for a better inter-sectarian understanding among Muslim schools.

If a single work is to be named as his masterpiece, al-Mizan can be mentioned without hesitation, which is the outcome of the ‘Allamah’s lifelong labour in the sphere of Qur’anic studies. His method, style and approach are uniquely different from those of all other interpreters of the Qur’an. The present article is an introduction to this unique and brilliantly original tafsir. Though very sketchy, this article is selected for translation into English from among numerous articles written on his works and life, for it exclusively deals with the contents of al-Mizan. Recently a Persian translation of al-Mizan was published by the Intisharat-e Amir Kabir in twenty volumes corresponding with the twenty-volume set of the original Arabic text of the tafsir. Six volumes of al-Mizan have so far appeared in English, translated by Mawlana Sa’id Akhtar Ridwi, and it is hoped that the other volumes would be rendered into English by the same translator in the near future.

Among aspect of ‘Allamah Tabataba’I’s personality is his unprecedented success as a great teacher. Among his pupils we find a group of such luminaries and thinkers of eminence in their own right as Martyr Murtada Mutahhari, Martyr Beheshti, Hasan Hasanzadeh Amuli and Husayn Nasr.

The ‘Allamah was also a good poet. He composed the poetry mainly in Persian, but occasionally in Arabic also.

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