Nādirih-yi Dowrān: A Festschrift in Memory of the late Ayatollah Sheikh Muḥammad Riḍā Jaʻfarī

Author: Sayyid Ḥusayn Ḥāʼirī
Reviewed by: Muhammad-Reza Fakhr-Rohani

Sayyid Ḥusayn Ḥāʼirī, ed., Nādirih-yi Dowrān: A Commemorative Volume in Memory of the late Ayatollah Sheikh Muḥammad Riḍā Jaʻfarī, Qom: Dalil-e Ma, 1389 Sh/ 2011.

Ayatollah Sheikh Muḥammad Riḍā Jaʻfarī

This is a festschrift in honor of the late Ayatollah Sheikh Muḥammad Riḍā Jaʻfarī (1350-1431 AH/ 1931-2009) and his scholarly contributions to Shii Islamic teachings. The biographee was indeed an outstanding Iranian mujtahid who was born to an Iranian clerical family in Najaf. Well-versed in Islamic branches of knowledge, he was one of the few mujtahids who received his ijtihad license from the late Grand Ayatollah Khuʼi. He spent several years as Ayatollah Khuʼi’s representative in Indonesia. Contrary to many Najaf-based scholars, he also learned English and read hundreds of world literary classics in English. His outstanding knowledge of English enabled him to translate several outstanding Islamic works into English.

Nādirih-yi Dowrān

The book under review contains five interviews with his friends and students. Next, there is a tree diagram of all the Arab dynasties from the beginning to the present. To preserve its authenticity, it is reprinted in a facsimile form, i.e., in the autograph of the late Ayatollah Jaʻfarī. In addition to this precious tree diagram that takes around sixty pages, there are some short discourses of his, e.g., the Cave verse of the Holy Quran, i.e., Sura al-Tawbah [9]: 40.

In addition to the above materials, there are seven essays written by his friends and disciples, all on Islamic-cum-Quranic topics. The final text is a reprint of the late Ayatollah Sayyid ʻAbd al-ʻAzīz Ṭabāṭabāʼī’s short biographical sketch of him.

The last pages of the volume present a gallery of the biographee’s photos and some of the letters he wrote or received.