Friday, July 11, 2008


On Wednesday night, the 9th of July, the holy city of Qum, rather the entire Shi‘a world, lost one of its powerful scholars, who practically lived a life of knowledge and action. Ayatullah ‘Ali Panah Ishtihardi (may Allah elevate his spirit) left this mortal world at the age of 87 after having developed himself spiritually and journeyed through the realms of perfection. He was well-known for his utter humility and excellent morals. Some years ago, I had the privilege of studying a section of Shahid al-Thani’s excellent commentary on the brilliant text of Islamic jurisprudence called al-Lum‘a al-Dimishqiyya with this great sage. Despite his old age, his encounter was like a youth who was extremely astute and full of vigor. Seminarians would gather around him due to his approachable demeanor. Ayatullah ‘Ali Panah Ishtihardi would lead Maghrib and ‘Isha prayer in the well-known Seminary in Qum called Faydhiyya. After having led Maghrib prayer, the Only Beloved invited this great lover to meet Him. He encountered a heart attack, and despite being taken to the Kamkar hospital, he never resisted in responding to the call of the Only Beloved. When one would look at this sage, he would conclude: despite his earthly presence, he was a sage of the realm beyond. We express our heartfelt condolences to our twelfth holy Imam (‘a) on the loss of this fundamental pillar.

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