Syedna al Mo’ayyed Ash-Shirazi (RA)

In history this great scholar and poet is well known by his title ‘Al-Moayyad’. His name in full being Abu Nasr Hibtullah bin Musa bin Dawood al-Shirazi (RA). It is said that he was a descendent of Salman al-Farsi (RA).

Syedna al-Mo’ayyad says:

“If I were a contemporary of Prophet Muhammad, I would not be any less than his Salman; and he would have said to me, ‘You are of my ahl al-bayt: declaring in unequivocal terms what he meant.”

These lines show that Syedna al-Mo’ayyad (RA) was a man of gerat honour and high ranks in the Fatemi Dawat.

Syedna al-Mu’ayyad belonged to an influential Daylami family. His fore fathers where devoted followers of Aeimmat Tahereen (AS). They commanded great respect among the people in Shiraz.

It is difficult to determine the exact date of his birth, but it is said that he was born somewhere about the year 390 A.H. in the city of Shiraz. He was educated by his father, who was well versed in the Fatemi Faith. In 429 A.H., when Syedna al-Muayyad was 39, he received quick promotions in his services as a Dai. He was first appointed as the chief dai in Shiraz and for the whole of Persia.

Syedna al Muayyad (RA) spent an eventful but a dangerous life in Persia, all kinds of rumors and hatred was spread against him. The courtiers did not spare any effort to dislodge him from the favors of the King and finally they succeeded. King Abu Kalijar wrote to him advising him to leave Shiraz for his own safety and go wherever he wished as he was not in a position to provide protection to al Mo’ayyad any more.

Syedna al Mo’ayyad (RA) left the country in disguise to travel to Egypt. He is said to have arrived there some time between 436 and 439 A.H. During his journey to Egypt he had met with many difficulties and dangers, but he faced them all with determination and faith. His only desire was to reach the seat of his Imam and have a glimpse of him. During this journey he had visited Najaf and Karbala too.

When Syedna al-Mu’ayyad (RA) had left Shiraz for Egypt, he was very hopeful that he would get the opportunity to see the Imam(AS), but at the same time he had also feared the intrigues of the ministers and the courtiers who did not permit any man of learning to see the Imam (AS)personally, unless he complied with their dictates and acknowledged their superiority. On reaching Egypt he experienced all that he had feared. He was lodged in a small house and his visits to the court were short and limited to prevent him from seeing the Imam (AS). Most of the Vaziers and their junior officers were jealous of Syedna al-Mu’ayyad for they all saw in him the real threat to their positions.

Disappointed, he wrote about his frustrations to Tastari, who was the most powerful in the state:

“I have not come to Egypt to seek wealth or gain any position. The promptings of my faith have brought me here. I have come to visit the Imam and not the vaziers and their officials. Unfortunately, these people stop me from having a look at my Imam and now I am returning disappointed.”

The sudden death of Tastari gave Syedna al Mo’ayyad (RA) another opportunity to renew his efforts to get some time to be in the sacred presence of the Imam and with the help of the Minister al-Fallahi he was able to pay respects to the Imam. Describing his experience on this visit, he writes:

“I was taken near the place wherefrom I saw the bright Light of the Imamat. My eyes were dazzled by the Light. I shed tears of joy and felt as if I was looking at the face of the Rasulallah (AS) and of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (AS). For he was the heir of their spiritual kingdom. I wanted to say something, but I was westruck….I tried to speak but my tongue refused to move. People asked me to say what I wished to say. I could say nothing. The Imam said, ‘Leave him. Let his fear and awe subside. Then, I took the holy hand of the Imam, placed it on my eyes and on my chest and then kissed it. I left the place with immense joy.”

This did not usher a period of peace for him (RA), for the vaziers and their men continued to create problems for him. He was ordered to go to Syria and Iraq. This was in 447 A.H. He succeeded in gathering a large army and marched towards Baghdad where he put an end to the Abbassid rule and recited the khutba in the name of Imam Mustansir-billah.

In 449A.H., Syedna al-Mu’ayyad (RA) had spread his control over Aleppo in Syria, but this success was not long-lived as trouble appeared in many places. In the same year he decided to return to Egypt. On his way, he received three letters ordering him to make his way back to Syria and Iraq, but he did not change his mind. When he arrived in Egypt he found to his surprise that the courtiers and officers not only did not appreciate his services for the Imam but that they also planned to prevent him from entering the capital city of Egypt, Cairo.

In spite of all the obstacles, he managed to reach Cairo, but he and his colleagues were not given the welcome they deserved. That did not matter much to him for he was only desirous of the Deedar of Imam Mustansir (AS)and so composed the following verse addressed to the Imam saying:

“uqsemu lav annaka tawwajtani
be taje kisra m’alek al-Mashreqi
wa niltani kulla umur al-wara
man qad mada wa man qad baqa
wa qulta alla naltaqi sa ‘atan
ahbabto ya Mawlayi an nal-taqi
le anna ib’aduka li sa’atan
shayyaba fudiyya ma’al-mafriqi”

“I swear by God, if you were to place on my head the crown of Kisra, the Eastern monarch; if you were to make me the master of the world by putting in my charge the affairs of all those that are dead and alive and lay a condition that I should not see you for a moment, 0 my Maula! I shall choose to glance at you rather than prefer the pomp and dignity of the world. For my being away from you will make my head turn grey in a moment.”

Imam Mustansir (RA) on seeing these verses replied with the following lines of the same scansion and rhyme:

“ya hujjatan mashhuratan fil wara
wa’tuda ‘ilmin a’jaza al-murtaqi
ma ghulleqat dunaka ab’wabuna
illa le amrin mu’limin muqleqi
khifna ala qalbika min sam’ihi
fa sadduna saddu abin mushfiqin
shi’atuna qad adamu rushdahum
fil gharb ya wa fi al-mashriqi
fan’shur lahum ma shi’ta min ‘ilmina
wa kun lahum kal walid al-mushfiqi
mi’thulka la yujado fi man madha
min sa’erin nase wala man baqi
in kunta fi da’watina akheran
f’qad taja’vazta mada as-subbaqi.”

“0 you Hujjat! who are renowned in the world;
0 you who have ascended to the peak of knowledge
to which none can climb,
The closing of our doors against you was prompted by
nothing, but an affair most heart breaking.
Our Shi’a have lost their guidance, in the West and in the East,
Spread for them, what you like of our knowledge and
be with them as an affectionate father.
The like of you has not been found among
those gone by and those that remain;
if you were the last in our dawa,
you have surpassed your predecessors.”

Syedna al-Mu’ayyad (RA) spent his last days in Egypt. For twenty years he discharged his duty as for the Fatemi Dawat. He lived in the Dar al Hikmah, of which he was made incharge. He had held majalis to impart knowledge and wisdom to those who wished to know about it.

It is during these times when Syedna Ali bin Mohammad (RA) had sent Syedna Lamak (AS) to the Hazrat of Imam Mustansir to seek permission for Hajj. Imam Mustansir with his far reaching vision asked Syedna al Moayyad to host the guest from Yemen. During his stay, Syedna Lamak began to engross himself to the knowledge that Syedna Moayyad had to impart. He watched every action and followed every step of his until the Divine Transfer of knowledge, that Imam Mustansir (AS) had willed, was complete. Syedna Ali (RA) meanwhile had passed away, and now a new mission, was to arrive in Yemen. The Barakaat of Fatemi Dawat were to be passed on to the Doat Mutlaqeen on the hands of Syedna Lamak (RA) in this way.

Meanwhile, one more important event occured to mark the turn point in Fatemi history. Moulaya Abdullah and Moulaya Nooruddin were sent by Imam Mustansir (AS) to the land of Hind by the way of Yemen, to establish strong terms of Dawat Fatemiyah. They had been nurtured in Cairo by Syedna al Moayyaed (RA) as well. Thus, Fatemi Barakaat also reached Khambat, in India, on the hands of Syedna al Moayyad (RA).

This was not merely an event or incident of history but the preparation for the day when Imam Tayyeb (AS) returns to Seclusion. The Barakaat of Syedna al Moayyed was transferred to Duat Mutlaqeen (RA) in such a unique way that no military might have stopped it. In this way, the heritage of Fatemi knowledge and culture passed on to its guardians.

Syedna al Moayyed (RA) passed away in the first days of Shawwal (10th) in 470 A.H. Imam al-Mustansir (AS) himself laed the funeral prayers. He was buried in the grounds of Dar al Ilm a seat of learning in Cairo, established by Imam Hakim be-Amrillah (AS), where he had resided, worked and leaved for the heavenly abode.

Aqa Moula Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin (TUS) has inhereted these barakaat, transfered through time on the hands of Great Men and finally to Al Muqaddas Syedna Taher Saifuddin (RA). The treasures preserved and unchanged till day, have changed the lives of Mumineen worldwide and guided them to a life of purity and barakaat. An affectionate father is seen in person, as was Syedna al Moayyad (RA) and the farman of Imam (AS) to him (RA) still holds true for the guidance Mumineen. The Scholistic discourses of Syedna al Moayyed and his councels still move the hearts of Mumineen who witness the bayan of Aqa Moula (TUS). May Allah Subhanahu Grant him a long, healthy and prosperous life.
by: Juzar Noorani