Ali Naqi Naqvi

Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Naqi Naqvi (Urdu: آية الله العظمی سيد على نقى نقوى) (born 26 December 1905 – 18 May 1988) (26 Rajab 1323 AH – 1Shawal 1408 AH), also known as Naqqan Sahib (Urdu: نقن‎), was a mujtahid from Lucknow, India who graduated from Najaf, Iraq. He is famous for his writings in Urdu, including the most famous Shaheed-e-Insaniyat and Tareekh-e-Islam.

One of the most highly regarded scholars of Shia Islam at his time, he wrote more than 100 books and 1000 short books. His books were published by him in 12 languages in India. He is among the most learned Islamic scholars in Indian History.[1]

Ayatullah ‘Ali Naqi Naqvi is arguably the single most important religious figure of the twentieth century Indian Shi’ite Islam. Emerging out of a very well-known family of traditional scholars and the seminaries of India and Iraq, his religious and intellectual career lasted several decades during which he remained prolific and continuously preached from the pulpit.

During his life he wrote and spoke about a host of subjects: the reason-revelation divide, a defense of Islam from attacks on its core beliefs and practices, Qur’anic exegesis, theology, defense of Shi’ite theology and religious practices from sectarian polemics, Islamic history, Islamic political and social thought, explanation of the various rulings of Islamic law, and the theme of Karbala and the martyrdom of Husayn.

Conscious of his role as the most learned juridical authority (marja al-taqlid) to whom the community would turn in times of crisis, for ‘Ali Naqvi, in his life the greatest crisis facing the community was that of irreligiosty, of people losing confidence and conviction in the worth of religion for human civilization.