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Al-Sayyid Hasan al-Sadr

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Sayyid Hasan Sadr (1272 – 1354 AH) was a scholar in fiqh, usul and hadith and was among Shi’a authorities known as Muhaddith Kazimayni. He received permission for transmitting hadiths from many religious scholars. His most famous work is Ta’sis al-Shi’a li ‘ulum al-Islam on the role of Shi’a in foundation of Islamic sciences.


Life and Education

Sayyid Hasan Sadr was born on Ramadan 29, 1272 AH in Kadhimiya. His father Sayyid Hadi Sadr was among the scholars of his time. Sayyid Hasan began studying religious sciences by the advice of his father and learned Arabic morphology, grammar, discourse, semantics and literary devices by the age of 15 and began participating in the classes of fiqh and usul since the age of 18.

Residing in Najaf

Sayyid Hasan Sadr emigrated to Najaf by the order of his father. He learned philosophy, kalam, fiqh, usul and other Islamic sciences in the seminary of Najaf in 17 years and reached the level of ijtihad in fiqh and usul.

Emigration to Samara

Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Hasan Shirazi emigrated to Samara in 1291 AH and many of his students emigrated there as well. Sayyid Hasan Sadr emigrated to Samara in 1297 AH and stayed there for 17 years. He taught there beside benefitting from the classes of Ayatollah Shirazi. His eloquent speech attracted everyone. Ayatullah Shirazi especially favored him as well. Two years after the demise of Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Hasan Shirazi (1314 AH), Sayyid Hasan Sadr returned to his hometown, Kadhimiya, together with his cousin, Sayyid Isma’il Sadr.

Scientific Life

Teachers and Some Students

Some teachers of Sayyid Hasan Sadr were:

Permission for Transmitting Hadiths

Sayyid Hasan Sadr was among hadith scholars and was therefore famous as Muhaddith Kazimayni. Those from whom he transmitted hadiths were two groups:

First group: those from whom he transmitted hadiths without having written permissions from including: Mirza Hasan Shirazi (d. 1312 AH), Mirza Habib Allah Rashti (d. 1313 AH), Muhammad Hasan b. Hashim Kazimi (d. 1308 AH), Muhammad Irawani (d. 1306 AH), Muhammad Hasan Al Yasin and Sayyid Hadi Sadr (d. 1316 AH).

Second group: those scholars who gave him written permissions for transmitting hadiths including: Shaykh Mulla Ali b. Khalil Razi (d. 1297 AH), Sayyid Mahdi Qazwini Hilli, Mirza Muhammad Hashim b. Zayn al-‘Abidin Isfahani (d. 1318 AH).

Sayyid Hasan Sadr was a great hadith scholar. He gave many scholars, written permissions for transmitting hadiths including:

Religious Authority

Mirza Muhammad Hasan Shirazi passed away in 1312 AH. Many of Shirazi’s followers asked Sayyid Hasan Sadr to publish his manual of practical laws. Sadr rejected their requests and referred them to Ayatollah Sayyid Isma’il Sadr. Sayyid Isma’il passed away in 1338 AH. Once again people referred to Sayyid Hasan Sadr and repeated their requests, he published his manual of practical laws titled as Ru’us al-masa’il al-muhimma and undertook this responsibility at the age of 66.

Scientific Works and Cultural Activities

Sayyid Hasan Sadr wrote 82 volumes of books, the most famous one of which is Ta’sis al-Shi’a. In this book, he tried to explain how Shi’a has been pioneer in different Islamic sciences comparing to other Islamic sects based on documents.

In Tarikh adab al-lughat al-‘Arabiyya published in four volumes, Jurji Zaydan, the famous historiographer (d. 1914 AH) wrote, “Shi’a was a small sect who had no significant works and now there is no Shi’a in the world.”

When Sayyid Hasan Sadr heard about this, promised to work together with Shaykh Aqa Buzurg Tehrani and Ayatullah Muhammad Husayn Kashif al-‘Ghita’ to introduce Shi’a. Sayyid Hasan Sadr researched about Shi’a scientific activities and their roles in foundation and perfection of Islamic sciences and compiled his famous work titled Ta’sis al-Shi’a li ‘ulum al-Islam which was published in 1370 AH in 445 pages.

By writing al-Dhari’a ila tasanif al-Shi’a in 29 volumes, Shaykh Aqa Buzurg Tehrani introduced Shi’a writings and works in different sciences.

Wahhabi cultural activities were increasing everyday. To remove this trouble, Sayyid Hasan Sadr wrote a book titled as Risalat al-sharifa fi radd ‘ala fatawa al-Wahhabiyyin.

He loved to buy and collect books so much. His love for that was so much he put aside some necessary expenses in his life in order to be able to buy even one book. He collected old books and manuscripts and if the author of a book was unknown, he searched so much to find its author. His library now holds more than 1000 volumes of precious books.

‘Allama Sharaf al-Din says, “I heard from Sayyid Hasan Sadr that he was (usually) awake to study all nights in his youth; and during the day, he did not take a nap before or after noon. I also witnessed that when he was old, he was busy in his library researching and writing, holding a pen in his right hand and a paper in his left hand. I even dare to say his honorable slept [only] one fourth of his life and was awake the rest of his life, contrary to ordinary people who are awake one fourth of their lives.”


Sayyid Hasan Sadr passed away on Thursday, Rabi’ al-Awwal 11, 1354 AH and was buried in one of the rooms of the courtyard of Kadhimiyya shrine beside his father’s grave. Following his demise, Sayyid Abu al-Hasan Isfahani announced public mourning for three days.