His Eminence Hajj Shaykh Muhammad Hasan
Salih Ali Shah
His Gracious Holiness, the pillar (qutb) of the Gnostics and the trusted Master, Mr. Hajj Shaykh Muhammad Hasan Salih ‘Ali Shah (may his grave be sanctified), the vicegerent (khalifa) and son of His Holiness Nour ‘Ali Shah the Second, son of His Holiness Sultan ‘Ali Shah the Martyr (may their graves be fragrant), was born on the 8th Dhu’l-hijjah 1308 A.H.L. corresponding to the 24th Tir 1270 A. H. S. (1891A.D.).
At an early age he began to learn reading and writing. After studying the Holy Qur’an and the Persian texts, he began to study Arabic. He learned the ancient customary sciences under the direction of his honorable grandfather, his eminent father as well as the appropriate masters in Bayducht (a village near Gunabad situated in the northeast of Iran).
In 1327 A.H.L., after the martyrdom of his honorable grandfather, he proceeded to Tehran and by the order of his father traveled to Isfahan for the completion of his education.
In 1328 A.H.L. (1910 A.D.), he returned to Tehran and went to the presence of his honorable father, who was in Tehran at that time, and became authorized by his father to hold the position of leader of the “congregational ritual prayer.” On the 11th Rabi’ath-thani 1329 A.H.L., he was honored with the spiritual title of “Salih ‘Ali Shah” to direct and guide the seekers (taliban) of the Truth. In Ramadan 1330 A.H.L. (1912 AD.), his honorable father, appointed him to be the successor and vicegerent (khalifa). In the same year, by the order of his honorable father, he traveled to Mecca for pilgrimage. He returned to Gunabad in 1331 A. H. L.
His Gracious Holiness, like his honorable father, was continuously troubled by the opponents who incited people and tormented him.
After the martyrdom of his noble father in the 15th Rabi’al-awwal 1337 A. H. L. ( 1918 A.D.) he succeeded him and sat on the throne of guidance by his order and last will and testament. He began by guiding the seekers and travelers (salikan) and assisting people and looking after their affairs as well as performing other charitable deeds. He made a few journeys both inside and outside Iran including several pilgrimages to the “Holy Shrines” (at Baghdad, Karbala, and Najaf) and the sacred places in Syria and Jordan. In Rajab 1373 A. H. L. or 1332 A. H. S. (1954 A.D.), owing to a serious illness, he traveled to Tehran and by the strict orders of physicians and at the insistence of his friends and God’s approval proceeded to Switzerland for a surgical operation. After staying there in one of the hospitals for two months and a half, he returned directly to Tehran and stayed there for some time in order to gain a complete recovery. In the winter of the same year, he returned to Gunabad and thereafter made three trips for visiting the “Holly Shrines” and Mecca the blessed and Medina the radiant in 1375, 1380, and 1385 A. H. L.
In Gunabad, he would spend his time mostly in guidance of the seekers (taliban), training of the “travelers upon the Path” (salikin), aiding the needy, and performing charitable deeds such as repairing the mosques, digging subterranean canals and reservoirs. He also occupied himself with repairing the building of the sacred tomb of his honorable grandfather and constructing buildings such as hospitals and clinics for public welfare. At the same time he was busy in farming and cultivating by which means he earned his livelihood. His works for public welfare can still be found in all the villages of Gunabad where there is no place in which the traces of his charitable deeds are not seen.
In the afternoons, he would often spend his time in teaching Bayan Assa’ada (a commentary of the Holy Qur’an).
In the summer of 1345 A. H. S., he became ill several times and for some time was confined to bed; although upon the slightest sign of recovery, he would leave his bed to alleviate the anxieties of fuqara.
In the early month of Rabi’ath-thani 1386 A. H. L. (1966 A.D.), he was taken ill again but after two or three days he had apparently recovered from his illness. On Wednesday the 8th Rabi’ath-thani 1386 A. H. L. (1966 A.D.) a sudden change appeared in the condition of his health and physicians from Gunabad gave him medical treatment. In the middle of the same night, at the time of the call (adhan) to morning ritual prayer, his condition again changed and his holy spirit flew to the “Holy World” (Thursday, the 9th Rabi’ath-thani 1386 corresponding to the 6th Murdad 1345 A. H. S. and (1966 A.D.) Thus his children were left fatherless, his relatives without guardian, and the community of fuqara, shi’ites, and Muslims became mournful.
His holy body received such a glorified escorting, the like of which was quite unprecedented. He was buried next to his honorable grandfather, and so a world of gnosis (irfan) and knowledge disappeared under the dark earth (may his sacred grave be sanctified).
His Holiness had married in 1329 A. H. L. the daughter of his uncle, Mulla Muhammad Sadr al-Ulama, and left eight children including one girl. The eldest is his Eminence Hajj Sultan Husayn Tabandah, Rida ‘Ali Shah, who by his father’s decree became his vicegerent (khalifa) and successor.