Contributed by Mustafa Mawjee,
Ayatullah Shaykh Muhammad Taqi Bahlool (R.A.)
Learning Qur’an and doing Tabligh from the age of 8 yrs & Getting Practical Help from Ma’sumeen a.s.
Shaykh Muhammad Taqi Bahlool was an unusually gifted scholar and a famous orator of the present era. He was born in 1908 in Khurasan and left this world at a ripe age of nearly 100 years. Ulema and Islamic Scholars throughout the world, led by Ayatullah Khamenai, paid a glowing tribute to his brilliant life and work.
His father was a mujtahid, and he ensured that his son received the best education and the correct training from his early age. Thus, Shaykh Bahlool memorised the Qur’an at the tender age of 8 years, and even at this young age, one would see him giving lectures from the pulpit.
Shaykh Muhammad Taqi Bahlool was a talented and gifted elderly scholar who lived in Qum. Although he had studied fiqh and usul to the level of ijtihad, he preferred to give public lectures to the masses. His lectures were popular because of his very eloquent, yet down-to-earth style of oratory. In addition to memorizing the complete Qur’an by heart, he had also memorised thousands of verses of the poetry of Hafez. He had also composed poetry himself.
After completing his studies, Shaykh Bahlool returned to Iran where he became a powerful voice against anti-Islamic policies of the government of the day. The government was alarmed and worried at his popularity. During the Gawharshad riots in the 50s, he was targeted by the government of the time. Although he tried to avoid them by moving to Afghanistan, he was captured and imprisoned. He spent 13 long years of his youthful life in prison.
Anecdote – 1
How Janabe Fatemah (A.S.) guarantees his release from the prison: An incident took place when he was in prison. Shaykh Bahlool narrates in his own worlds: “One night, during my 13 year term in prison (at the hands of the former Shah), I saw my mother in a dream. She told me, “My dear son! I have met Lady Fatimah Zahra (A.S.) and she has guaranteed me that you will be released soon.”
When I woke up, I began to recite poetry in praise of Lady Fatima (A.S.) and I also composed several verses about her. I saw this dream on Thursday, and on Saturday, miraculously after 13 years, I was released as per the promise of Janabe Fatema a.s..”
How Imam (A.S.) helps him in time of need: Shaykh Bahlool narrates: “Once I had gone to Mashad and was the guest of a Sayyid friend of mine. As it happened, his wife just had twins. One rainy night, when my friend was away for some work, I noticed that his wife was unwell. I said to her, “You go to rest and I will look after the children.”
Being tired, she went to sleep. In the middle of the night both the children began to cry. I noticed that they had soiled themselves. I went out to the courtyard to bring out the old diapers from the clothesline, but the rain had made them completely wet. I came back inside the house, tore my abaa (cloak) into 4 pieces and used these to clean up and change the babies. I carried them around, resting them on my shoulders, until they were settled.
When the adhan for Fajr came, I went towards the Haram of Imam Ridha (A.S.) to pray and pay my respect to my Imam (A.S.). However, on the way to Haram, I was horrified to see 4 dogs, which appeared in front of me, blocking my path, as if they were ready to attack me.
I was shocked and was wondering as what to do next, when I saw a Sayyid suddenly appeared from nowhere. He rescued me and drove off the dogs. Then, before I could say anything, he turned towards me and said, “Shaykh, should we not help, assist and drive away dogs from that person who has spent the entire night tending to and looking after our children?” When I looked again, he had disappeared.