Al-Mahajjah fi ma nazala fi al-Qaim al-Hujjah

Author: Sayyeh Hashim Husayni al-Bahrani
Reviewed by: Muhammad-Reza Fakhr-Rohani

Sayyid Hāshim al-Ḥusaynī al-Baḥrānī, al-Maḥajjah fī mā nazala fī al-Qāʼim al-Ḥujjah, Persian trans. Sīmā-yi ḥazrat-i Mahdī dar Qurʼān, trans. Sayyid Mahdī Ḥāʼirī Qazwīnī (Tehran: Āfāq, 1363 Sh/ 1984; 3rd imp., 1376 Sh/ 1997). 474 pp.

It has been a concern of great Shii scholars to find out and explicate Quranic indications and implications that pertain to the 12th Infallible Imam al-Mahdī (b. 255 AH/ 868 – ). Granted that the Holy Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muḥammad over two centuries before the birth of Imam al-Mahdī, it does contain many verses that refer to him. This is understood based on sound and reliable hadiths related from the Infallibles.

The author in question is Sayyid Hāshim al-Ḥusaynī al-Baḥrānī (d. ca. 1108 AH/ 1696).  He was a prolific author and developed around thirty books and many other treatises. Among his works, al-Burhān fī tafsīr al-Qurʼān is a voluminous reliable hadith-based exegesis of the Holy Quran. He also many other works in the realm of Shii hadith studies, life histories of the Infallibles, fiqh, and rijāl (hadith authorities) studies.

The book under review is just a collection of 120 Quranic verses that are arranged sequentially beginning from the second sura of the Holy Quran. It surveys the Holy Quran in its entirety. There are 120 verses selected out for their implicit relevance to Imam al-Mahdī. Every Quranic verse quoted is followed by its exegesis based on authoritative sources. To make the book user-friendly, the passages appear in two languages: Arabic passages are followed by Persian translations plus some more explanations for the Persian-reading readership.

The Persian translation has got a supplement, too. It is a collection of fourteen Quranic verses that the translator regarded as pertaining to the subject matter of the book. The book has got a final table of contents, together with a bibliography of thirty-six sources consulted.