Ahmad ibn Muhammad Ardabili

Ahmad ibn Muhammad Ardabili (Persian: احمد بن محمد اردبیلی‎) was a Shia Grand Ayatollah of jurisprudence. After the death of Zayn al-Din al-Juba'i al'Amili, he became the Marja' of the Twelver Shia in Najaf, Iraq. He is known by the titles of Mohaghegh and Muoghaddas.[1][2]

Ahmad ibn Muhammad Ardabili
Bornc. 1500
Ardabil, Iran
Died1585 (aged 84–85)
Najaf, Iraq
Other namesMoghaddas Ardabili
Mohaghegh Ardabili
Academic background
Academic work
Notable worksZubdat al-Bayan fi Ayat al-Ahkam

Life and educationEdit

Ahmad was born in the Safavid era (16th century) in Ardabil, Azerbaijan in Iran.[3] He moved to Najaf and continued his education. He moved to Shiraz to study philosophy under Jamal al-Din Mahmud, a student of Jalaladdin Davani. Mohaghegh studied intellectual sciences and Fiqh in the seminary of Najaf. He gave up teaching intellectual subjects during the last years of his life and taught narrative sciences at Najaf. The seminary of Najaf thrived under his management.[4][5]


Ahmad ibn Muhammad Ardabili was called Mohaghegh (researcher) by other scholars because of his skills. He was also called Moghaddas (saint) by those close to him.[2][4][5][6]

Moghaddas Ardabili and Safavid dynastyEdit

The Safavid dynasty sent a message by Bahāʾ al-dīn al-ʿĀmilī and requested Ardabili to move to Iran from Najaf. Although, he refused Shah Abbas Safavi's request to move to Iran, he remained connected with the Safavid court. He resolved problems of Shiites by writing letters to the Safavid kings. He also played an important role in spreading Shia religion during the Safavid era.[3][7]

Scholarly worksEdit

Mohaghegh Ardabili wrote scholarly works on Fiqh, the intellectual sciences, Principles of Islamic jurisprudence, theology, and Ahl al-Bayt's life. He also wrote one of the major Shia Quran commentaries. He wrote several books in Persian as Proof of the Imamah, Proof of the Vejeb, Manasek of Hajj.[5][8] His works include

  • Zubdat al-Bayan fi Ayat al-Ahkam, a treatise about the juridical verses of the Quran.[1]
  • Majma al-Faedeh val-Borhan fi Sharh al-Adhhan, an encyclopedia of inferential jurisprudence.
  • Estynas al-manawiyyah
  • Bahr al-Manaqib.[4][9][8]


Ahmad ibn Muhammad Ardabili died in 1585 (993 AH) and was buried in Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf.[1]


In 1978, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili (UMA) was established in Ardabil and named in honour of Ahmad ibn Muhammad Ardabili.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Muḥammad ʻAlī Sabzvārī; Mohammad Hassan Faghfoory (2008). Tuḥfah Yi-ʻAbbāsī: The Golden Chain of Sufism in Shīʻite Islam. University Press of America. pp. 26–. ISBN 978-0-7618-3801-2.
  2. ^ a b Zamiri, Muhammad Reza (2008). The principal of Shiite encyclopedia. Bostan Ketab. p. 437.
  3. ^ a b Lauren Spencer (2004). Iran: A Primary Source Cultural Guide. The Rosen Publishing Group. pp. 31–. ISBN 978-0-8239-4000-4.
  4. ^ a b c Modares, Mirza Muhammad Ali (1990). Reyhanat al-adab. 5. Khayyam. pp. 367–369.
  5. ^ a b c "Moghaddas Ardabili, a scholar in the tenth century by Imam Ali was discussed".
  6. ^ Naser Ghobadzadeh; Naaosir Qubaadzaadah (1 December 2014). Religious Secularity: A Theological Challenge to the Islamic State. Oxford University Press. pp. 261–. ISBN 978-0-19-939117-2.
  7. ^ Qom, Abbas (1999). Razavi interest in the conditions of scientists doctrine Jaafari. Dar Althaglin. p. 25. ISBN 978-964-8151-42-8.
  8. ^ a b "Assessment of life and work of Mohaghegh Ardabili" (in Arabic).
  9. ^ Emeritus Professor of History Columbia University New York and Honorary Fellow Department of Islamic and Middle East Studies William R Roff; William R. Roff (8 May 2015). Islam and the Political Economy of Meaning (RLE Economy of Middle East): Comparative Studies of Muslim Discourse. Routledge. pp. 115–. ISBN 978-1-317-59370-6.

External linksEdit