The 37th Qutb
Hazrat Reza Ali Shah
The true learned authority of faith, and mystic of divine knowledge, ornament of the Gnostics and eyesight of the faithful, Hazrat Hajj Sultan Hussein Tabandeh “Reza Ali Shah”, the son and successor of Hazrat Hajj Sheikh Mohammad Hasan Salih Ali Shah (may his esteemed grave be sanctified) and the great grand son of the late Sultan Ali Shah (may his grave be fragrant).
His Holiness, Mr. Reza Ali Shah was the 37th head and master (Qutb) of the Alavieh Razavieh Namatullahieh Sultanalishahi Order. His auspicious birth date was on the 28th Zilhijjah 1332 AHL corresponding to the 25th Aban 1293 AHS from the modest, generous and honorable daughter of the late Molla Mohammad Sadr-el-Olama.
After the breast feeding and his childhood days, he was engaged in learning to read and write under the late Molla Khodadad Khaibargi, next started learning the rudiments of Arabic in Baydukht under the late Mr. Mulla Mohammad Rahmani Nowdahi well known as Adib[i], and after, under the late Molla Mohammad Ismael Raees-ol-Olama, and Rhetoric under the late Mr. Molla Mohammad Sadr Al Olama, and then he studied the book Maalem[ii] and the book Sharayeh[iii] and Shar’he Lom’eh[iv] and Shahr Manzomeh[v] on theosophy and logic in the luminous presence of the great teacher His Holiness the late Mr. Salih Ali Shah (may his grave be sanctified).
In the year 1310 A.H.S. (1350 A.H.L) on the orders of his noble father he went to Isfahan to complete his education, and there studied Esharat va Ghavanin[vi] under the late Sheikh Mohammad Gonabadi and Asfar[vii] under the late Hajj Sheikh Mahmood Mofid, Sharhe Makaseb[viii] and Geometry and Astronomy under the late Ayatollah Hajj Rahim Arbab and Farayed al Usul[ix] under Mr. Hajj Sayed Morteza Khorasani known as the Jarchi and Kafayet-al-Usul[x] under the late Ayatollah Sayed Mohammad Najafabadi and was successful in obtaining authorization for narrating the traditions, and continued his studies in Isfahan and studied Sharhe Fusus[xi] and some other sciences under the late Sheikh Assadullah Izad Goshasb (Dervish Nasser Ali) and after five years in Isfahan returned to Teheran, and entered the “College of Intellectual and Transmitted Sciences” and from the late Mr. Assar, the late Mr. Meskat and the late Ashtiyani and other respected teachers also benefited scientifically.
He received his B.A. in the year 1318 A.H.S. and resided in Teheran for sometime and in the year 1321 A.H.S. returned back to Baydukht, and under the care and guidance of his gracious father began to exercise self discipline, purification of the soul and refinement of the spirit.
In the year 1316 A.H.S. (1356 A.H.L.) he got married to the honorable daughter of the late Dr. Ali Nour Al Hokama, and on the 7th Zihajjeh-tul Haram 1364 A.H.L. (22 Aban 1324 A.H.S.) the Almighty God favored him with a son by the name of Ali who was the third child among his children. His Holiness’s second son by the name of Mohammad was born on the 3rd Rabi-ol-thani 1374 corresponding to 9th of Azar 1333. His Holiness had only two sons.
In the year 1364 A.H.L. (1324 A.H.S.) set out for Iraq to visit the sacred Holy Shrines, and he was successful to meet acknowledged jurisprudents on Islam and religious teachers such as the late Ayatollah Mr.Syed Abolhassan Isfahani, Ayatollah Mr. Hajj Agha Hassan Ghomi, Mr. Hajj Sheikh Abdulkarim Zanjani, the late Mr. Syed Habatu-din Shahrestani and the late Hajj Sheikh Mohammad Hassan Al Kashef al Ghetah, and revered by them.
On his next journey in the year 1368A.H.L to Najaf Ashraf after examining by the late Ayatollah Al Kashef Al Kotah., he held discussions about some difficult points of jurisprudence and obtained a formal authorization for practicing jurisprudence (ijtihad).
After fully understanding and having benefited from the pilgrimage of the Holy Shrines, in the year 1364 A.H.L. he went towards Syria and in Damascus visited the esteemed Shrine of Hazrat Zainab (SA) and the sacred shrines of the rest of the Prophet’s family and after sightseeing the cities of Hamas and Halab, went to Beirut and from there to Egypt, in Cairo and Alexandria visited historical centers of science and after sight seeing went to Palestine and visited Masjid Aqsa and the Masjid Saghreh.
He also visited important churches, such as the Church of Ghiyamat and the Church of Mary and the Church of Jetseemani and the rest of the Churches and then left for Khalil Al Rahman and Bait Al Lamh and was successful in visiting the Holy Shrine of Hazrat Musa (AS) and from there he went to Syria and then to Iraq and by way of Basra returned to Iran.
After a brief stop, he went to Qom and visited the Holy Shrine of Hazrat Masoumeh (SA) and had meeting with Islamic jurists and came back to Teheran and returned to Gonabad and under the training and care of his esteemed father started mortification, spiritual struggle (endeavor) and purification of the soul and of the heart and refinement of the spirit.
In Sha’ban 1369 A.H.L. he succeeded in obtaining an authorization for leading the congregational ritual prayer and inspiring the verbal litanies and invocation on behalf of his noble father. On the 11th of Zel-qa’dah in the same year (1369 A.H.L.), he was honored with the spiritual title of ‘Reza Ali’ to guide and assist the seekers.
Then, in the same year 1369 A.H.L. (1329 A.H.S.) he acquired the honor to visit the holy city of Mecca, after having fulfilled the ceremonies of Hajj and visit to the illuminated garden of Nabavi and the holy graves of the Imams (AS) and the rest of the graves of esteemed religious guides, went towards Syria and Lebanon, from there he went to Egypt, then to Jordan and Palestine and after visiting Jerusalem and the rest of the sacred places and sightseeing in the famous cities of Lebanon such as Balbak and Trablos and other cities, he went to Oman and then towards Iraq and after having visited all the Holy Shrines and having held meetings with religious jurists came back to Iran.
In the year 1333 A.H.S. the late Salih Ali
Shah (may his grave be fragrant), was attached by a severe illness, he came
to Teheran and after careful examination by the physicians it was deemed
necessary to move him to Europe for treatment, and with the insistence of
friends and firm conviction of the physicians he set out for Europe. Mr.
Hajj Tabandeh too accompanied his noble father to
During this period according to the
invitation and persistence of Mr. Sheikh Mustafa the head of the Shazeliyeh
Spiritual Order who was resident in
Dr. Mohammad Hussain Hafezi too, who was a resident there, fully attended to nursing and took full care of His Holiness in the hospital.
In the year 1336 A.H.S. (1376 A.H.L.)
according to the invitation of the late Mr. Hajj Abolfazl Hazeghi cultural
representative of Iran, he journeyed to Afghanistan and in the few days of
his stay, visited the cities of Herat, Kabul , Kaznin and the holy tombs and
was successful in visiting the graves of esteemed religious guides and
mystics and went towards Pakistan and sight seeing in the cities of
Peshawar, and Lahore and Karachi and Kuyteh and returned back to Iran and
from Zahedan he went to Kerman
and visited the Holy Shrine of the
great luminous light, His Holiness Shah Nematullah Wali ( May his
grave be fragrant ) in Mahan and then he went to Yazd and Isfahan and Shiraz
and Kashan and Qom, returned back to Teheran and after a few days stop, he
returned back to Gonabad. In the year1338 A.H.S. he also went to the
northern and western cities of
In Zel-qa’dah 1379 A.H.L., he was appointed the successor and vicegerent of his gracious father with the spiritual title of Reza Ali Shah.
In the year 1380 A.H.L. (1340 A.H.S.) he
accompanied his gracious father for fulfillment of the lesser pilgrimage to
the holy cities of Mecca and Medina and was in Mecca during the blessed
birthday of the Commander of the Faithful (AS) and in Medina on the day of
Be’ saat (mission of the Prophet (S), and from there he accompanied his
esteemed father to Oman and Palestine and was successful in visiting
Jerusalem and other sacred places. Then he went towards
In the year 1382 A.H.L. corresponding to the beginning of 1342 A.H.S. according to the permission of his esteemed father he visited the holy city of Mecca for the greater Hajj and after visiting the Luminous Garden of Nabavi and the Imams (AS) and the Holy Shrine of Hazrat Zainab (AS) in Damascus and after having gone to Jordan and Beirut, in Moharram 1383 he returned back to Teheran. Frequently he used to also visit the Holy Shrine of Hazrat Reza (AS) and was honored to be in the services as a sentry in the Holy Shrine of Razavi (AS).
On the 8th of Rabi-o-thani 1386 A.H.L. (1345 A.H.S.), His Holiness Salih Ali Shah customarily and as usual was attending to various affairs, unexpectedly was attacked by the illness he was suffering with from the past, the physicians started medical treatment, but with upmost sorrow and grievousness in the morning of the 9th during the call for dawn prayers, his pure spirit joined the beloved (may his esteemed grave be sanctified) and the world of Gnosis and the community of Shiites became mournful and His Holiness Reza Ali Shah for 40 days, morning and evening was in the sacred tomb and the village of Bayducht and the villages of Gonabad was engaged in mourning.
After the death of the late Mr. Salih Ali Shah (may his grave be fragrant) according to the commands and will, the seat of guidance and enlightenment and the leadership of the Glorious Alavieh Razavieh Nematullayieh Sultanalishahi Order found elegance and adornment with Mr. Reza Ali Shah’s holy presence, and he was engaged in the affairs of the fugara and enlightment of the seekers and initiating the desirous. In the meantime attending to agricultural affairs and completing and expanding the courtyard of the Holy Shrine of the late Mr. Sultan Ali Shah (may his grave be fragrant) and was engaged in the development of the area, excavation and trimming of the water canal and built a full guest house with his own expenses for the accommodation of the pilgrims in the courtyard of the Holy Shrine and assigned an amount of his own to meet expenses.
After the death of His Holiness
Salih Ali Shah (may his grave be fragrant) since then he went for the lesser
pilgrimage once and made four journeys for performing the greater pilgrimage
to the holy city of
In Bayducht, His Holiness in the evenings usually used to go to the courtyard of the holy shrine and interpret the luminous book Bayan Sadeh, written and compiled by the late Mr. Sultan Ali Shah (may his grave be fragrant) with a comprehensive explanation that even the fully learned and even the ignorant individuals benefit from it, at the same time according to the occasion, he used to counsel and instruct religious and moral advises and mention necessary duties. On Friday nights after performing the obligatory duties, he used to narrate the Treatise on Salihiyeh.
The important events during His Eminence’s time:
The Islamic Revolution and the downfall of the 50 years of the Pahlavi government and the exit of the Shah on the 26th of Dey 1357 A.H.S. and the referendum and the implementation of the Islamic Republic. It is hoped that this revolution has brought about the welfare and comfort of the people and the execution of the firm and reliable Islamic laws and the appointment of the first President on the 5th of Bahman 1358 A.H.S.
Next, the aggressive attack of the Batist Regime of Iraq in the month of Mehr 1358 to the southern and western provinces of Iran that all the classes and tribes of society who were capable of defending themselves by self sacrifice and heroism and of course with victory and the grace of God, the enemy of Islam will be destroyed because Islam is great and there is nothing greater than it.[xii]
His Holiness Reza Ali Shah, from the learned, jurisprudents and scholars of his time was a known authority, and besides his spiritual, pure and holy status and excellence in the virtues of humanity and accomplishments in controlling carnal desires and having mastered distinguished virtues, he was unequaled and distinguished.
He had abundant love and affection for reading books and their collection, compilation and composition, he wrote many practical books on various subjects, religion, moral and historical in Farsi and Arabic, some of them were reprinted many times and repeatedly his articles on science and religion were printed in magazines in Farsi and Arabic.
Books written by His Holiness:
1) The manifestation of
truth on the mysteries of the tragedy of
2) Treatise on Magnetic sleep (printed 2 times)
3) A biography on Khwajih Abdullah Ansari (printed 2 times)
4) A translation on the supplication of Abu Hamzah Thumali (printed 3 times)
5) The philosophy of Plotinus (printed 2 times)
6) The genius of knowledge and gnosis (printed 3 times)
7) The Philosophy of Averroes and translation of the book (unpublished)
8) Progression and Transubstantial Motion (unpublished)
9) The History and Geography of Gunabad (printed 2 times)
10) Notes from the visit to Arabic countries
11) Memories of a
12) A visit to
13) From Gonabad to
14) Treatise on the removable of doubts (printed 3 times)
15) A guide to happiness (printed)
16) A Muslim commentary on the Universal declaration of Human rights (printed 2 times in Farsi and English)[xiii]
The Sheikhs of His Holiness:
1) The honorable Mr. Hajj Agha Mohammad Rastin (Dervish Ronaq Ali)
2) The honorable Mr. Hajj Sheikh Abdullah Sufi Amleshi (Dervish Iszat Ali)
3) The honorable Mr. Hajj Sayed Mohammad Shariat (Dervish Hemmat Ali)
4) The honorable Mr. Hajj Sayed Hebatullah Jazbi Isfahani (Sabet Ali)
5) The honorable Mr. Hajj Agha Mohammad Javad Amuzegar Kermani (Zaffar Ali)
6) The honorable Mr. Hajj Mohammad Ali Tabatabaie, known as Fani (Faiz Ali)[xiv]
Those who had written authorization from His Holiness:
1) Renewal of permission to lead the congregational prayer to the honorable Mr. Hajj Ali Mohammad Sultanpour.
2) Renewal of permission to lead the congregational prayer and permission to renew the covenant and instruction for verbal Zekr (remembrance of God) to the late Mr. Hajj Abol Kasem Nournejad
3) Renewal of permission to lead the congregational prayer and permission to renew the covenant and instruction for litanies to the late Hajj Sheikh Ali Akbar Aref Kashani.
4) Renewal of permission to lead the congregational prayer and the permission to renew the covenant and instruction for verbal Zekr and litanies to Mr. Hajj Mohammad Javad Amuzegar Kermani.
5) The permission to lead the Friday and Monday night congregational prayer to Mr. Hajj Sheikh Mohammad Motezare in Lahijan.
6) The permission to lead the congregational prayer to the late Mr. Sheikh Jaffer Fani in Mashad.
7) The permission to hold Assembly for supplication to the honorable Mr. Hajj Mohammad Rastin.
8) The permission to lead the congregational prayer to Mr. Hajj Sayed Ali Tabatabaie
9) The permission to lead the congregational prayer to the late Mr. Hajj Sheikh Fatullah Ansari Garashi
10) The permission to lead the congregational prayer to the late Mr. Hajj Mehdi Danaie Semnani
11) The permission to hold Assembly for supplication to the honorable Mr. Hajj Sheikh Abdullah Sufi Amleshi (Ezat Ali)
12) The permission to lead the congregational prayer to the late Mr. Mohammad Ali Mavaddat Shirazi
13) The permission to lead the congregation prayer to Mr. Abdulgafoor Abulhassanzadeh Qouchani
14) The permission to lead the congregational prayer to Mr. Engineer Akhavan Araki
15) The permission to lead the congregational prayer to Mr. Hajj Sayed Ali Zahed Zahedani
16) The permission to hold Assembly for supplication to Faghir Hajj Sayed Habatullah Jazbi.[xv]
Those who had verbal authorization from His Holiness:
1) The permission to lead the congregational prayer to Mr. Sheikh Ali Bahrani in Sheeshdeh Fasa.
2) The permission to lead the congregational prayer of the Fugara to Mr. Hajj Sheikh Ibrahim Kazemi.
3) The permission to establish congregational prayer to Mr. Kerbalaie Asaadullah Nourani in Baydukht.
4) The permission to lead the congregational prayer to Mr. Hajj Sheikh Habibullah Razi in Teheran.
5) The permission to lead the congregational prayer to the honorable Mr. Hajji Sheikh Azizullah Mohaghegh Najafi
6) The permission to lead
the congregational prayers to Mr. Abdulmajid Tadayyon in
7) The permission to lead the congregational prayer to Mr. Abbas Vojudi in Zanjan.
8) The permission to lead the congregational prayer of the Fugara to Mr. Hussain Ali Kashani in the absence of authorized Sheikhs.[xvi]
His Holiness, Reza Ali Shah unfortunately during the early dawn on the 18th Shahrivar 1371 corresponding to 11th of Rabi-ul-awal 1413 left this world to be united with his beloved. His apparent successor was his eldest son, His Holiness, Hajj Ali Tabandeh, Mahboob Ali Shah whose period of guidance was short for only 4 years and a few months and with up most regret on the 27th Dey 1375 corresponding to 6th Ramazan 1317 he was released from the bond of his physical body and his sacred spirit was united with his beloved. His apparent successor was his great and honorable uncle, His Holiness, Hajj Doctor Nour Ali Tabandeh, Majdhub Ali Shah, the present qutb and spiritual guide of the glorious Nematullahi Gonabadi Order and which is adorned by his presence.
[i] Adib a learned person.
[ii] Maalem a book by Hassan ibn Zainudin Amoli on jurisprudence in Arabic.
[iii] Sharayeh ul Islam a book written by Jaffer ibn Hassan al Mohaghegh Helli on jurisprudence in Arabic.
[iv] Sharhe Lom’eh A Shi’a text book of jurisprudence, a book one studies in a seminary, and on which one is tested in becoming a religious jurisprudent. The original name of the this book is Al Lomatul Dameshqiyeh fi figh’ul Imamiyeh written by Mohammad ibn Maki famous as martyr the first, in the Arabic language and about jurisprudence. A commentary has been written on this book by Zainudin famous as martyr the second.
[v] Sharhe Manzomeh By Mulla Sadra on theosophy.
[vi] Esharat va Ghavanin by Abi Ali Sina.
[vii] Asfar (the transcendent wisdom of the four intellectual journeys) a philosophical work written by Sadr al-Din Muhammad al-Shirazi (known as Mulla Sadra). He structured the book according to the four journeys of the soul in the path of spiritual realization.
[viii] Sharhe Makaseb By Sheikh Morteza Ansari about reasoning jurisprudence.
[ix] Farayed al Usul By Sheikh Morteza Ansari on principles of jurisprudence.
[x] Kafayeh Usul By Akond Khorasani about jurisprudence in Arabic.
[xi] Sharhe Fusus ol Hekam by Ibn Arabi about theosophy and mysticism.
[xii] Important events in the recent years which happened during His Holiness’s time was:
1) The end of the war between
2) The passing away of the founder of the Islamic Republic and the appointment of Hazrat Ayatollah Khamenie as the leader of the Islamic revolution.
[xiii] In addition to this, a number of the mentioned books were reprinted, recent written works by His Holiness which are printed as follows:
2) The Glorious Quran and the three mysterious Gnostic stories (printed 3 times)
3) The three radiant Gems of the most blessed sea of the Divine word ( 2nd printing 1376)
4) A short history of the fourteen innocents (written during the times of His Holiness’s youth, but recently printed)
[xiv] The command and permission given to initiate, which was issued later from His Eminence as mentioned under.
1). The permission to initiate, to the honorable Mr. Abdulgafoor Abolhassanzadeh Qouchani (Dervish Nasser Ali).
2). The permission to initiate, to the honorable Mr. Hajj Sheikh Azizullah Mohaghegh Najafi ( Mozaffer Ali)
3). The permission to initiate, to the honorable Mr. Hajj Ali Tabandeh (Mahboob Ali)
4). The permission to initiate, to the honorable Mr. Yusuf Mardani (Dervish Sedgh Ali)
5). The permission to initiate, to the honorable Mr. Mohammad Ali Nasuti Shirazi (Hedayat Ali)
6). The permission to initiate, to the honorable Mr. Hajj Mir Motalleb Mirzadeh Garashi (Moshtagh Ali)
Meanwhile, the permission to initiate, to the late and honorable Mr. Hajj Abolkasem Nournejad with the title “ Dervish Saber Ali “ was issued by the son of His Holiness “Nour Ali Shah “ in the year 1387 A.H.L. ( 1346 A.H.S. ) but before it’s announcement, the aforementioned passed away.
[xv] Those, who on behalf of His Holiness, afterwards, were appointed and had written authorization in matters of establishing congregational prayers were as follows:
1). Mr. Qamber Ali Hemmati in
2). The honorable Mr. Hajj Ali Tabandeh
3). The honorable Mr. Hajj Sheikh Azizullah Mohakek Najafi
4). The honorable Mr. Yusuf Mardani in
5). Mr. Mohammad Azizzadeh in Boroujerd
6) Mr. Mohammad Ali Taheria in Semnan
7). Mr. Hajj Mohammad Ganji Neshabouri in Neshahbour
8). Mr. Sheikh Mohammad Abbas Ansari
9). Mr. Hajj Mohammad Ebrahimi in
10). Mr. Hajj Ghulam Reza Zeyaie in Tonekabon
11). Mr. Dr. Bahman Zand in
12). Mr. Ali Taheri in Qouchan
13). Mr. Hajj Sayed
Ahmad Shariat in
[xvi] The rest of the verbally authorized persons who were appointed on behalf on His Holiness in matters of congregational prayers are as follows:
1). Mr. Jahanbani in Garash
2). Mr. Barat Ali Rabeti in
3). Mr. Nouraie in Baydukht
4). Mr. Rafee Mohseni in
5). Mr. Seyad Fakrulldin Borghayei in
6). Mr. Farokhroz Kashani in Hydrabad
7). Mr. Mr. Hajj Mir Motalleb Mirzadeh Garashi in
8). Mr. Seyad Mohammad Reza Ghaie in
9). Mr. Hajj Ali Abde Yazdan in
10). Mr. Mohammad Ali Nasuti in
11). Mr. Hajj Nasser Gholi
12). Mr. Hajj Ebrahim Kaymand in
13). Mr. Ahmad Masoumi in
14). Mr. Sheikh Adolazim Bastani Parizi in Pariz
15). Mr. Hassan Taban in Aradan Garmsar
16). Mr. Hajj Esmail Behesti Fard in Shahroud
17). Mr. Mohammad Jafer Salehi in
18). Mr. Hajj Sayed Mostafa Safavi Rad in Teheran
19). Mr. Nasser