Muhammad Husayn Tabatabai

Life of Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Tabatabai

Muhammad Husayn Tabataba'i or Sayyid Mohammad Hossein Tabataba'i was born in 16 March 1903 and after having a great life and effecting on islamic philosophy and religion, and writing so many important books, died at the age 78 in November 1981. he was one of the most outstanding thinkers of philosophy and contemporary Shia Islam. He is famous for his book: Tafsir al-Mizan, a twenty-seven-volume work of Quranic exegesis, which he worked on most of his adult life. He is commonly known as Allameh Tabataba'i and the Allameh Tabataba'i University in Tehran is named after him.

Early Life of Allameh Tabatabai

He received his first education in his native Tabriz city, mastering the elements of Arabic and the religious sciences. and when he was at the age of twenty he set out for the great Shiite university of Najaf to continue more advanced studies.

List of His Teachers: 

  • Mirza 'Ali Qadhi in gnosis 
  • Mirza Muhammad Husain Na'ini in Figh and Jurisprudence 
  • Sayyid Abu'l-Qasim Khwansari in Mathematics
  •  Sayyid Husayn Badkuba'i in philosophy

In his later years he would often hold study sessions with Henry Corbin and Seyyed Hossein Nasr, in which not only the classical texts of divine wisdom and gnosis were discussed, but also a whole cycle of what Nasr calls comparative gnosis, in which in each session the sacred texts of one of the major religions, containing mystical and gnostic teachings, such as the Upanishads, Tao Te Ching, the Gospel of John, were discussed and compared with Sufism and Islamic gnostic doctrines in general.

Tabataba'i, was a philosopher, a prolific writer, and an inspiring teacher to his students who spent much of his life to Islamic studies. Many of his students were among the ideological founders of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Morteza Motahhari, Muhammad Beheshti, and Mohammad Mofatteh were on of those people who studied islamic philosophy and religion in his class. Others like Hossein Nasr and Hasanzadeh Amuli remained and continued their studies in the intellectual non-political sphere.

Published works

  • Shi'a Islam 
  • Dialogues with Professor Corbin 
  • Treatise on the Divine Acts 
  • Treatise on Prophecy
  • Treatise on Man after the World 
  • Treatise on Sophism
  • The Qur'an in Islam 
  • Ali and Metaphysics
  • Treatise on Islamic Government