Mir Damad

Mir Damad

Mir Mohammad Baqer Esterabadi, or Asterabadi, known also as Mir Damad, was one of the philosophers, scholars, jurists, and prominent leaders of Imamiyah during Abbas the Great (Safavid dynasty).

He was born in a scholar family in 969 AH, and on his mother's side, he was a descendant of Mohaghegh Karaki. Mohaghegh was invited to Iran by Shah Tahmasp to promote Shia. As his father was Mohaghegh Karaki’s son in law and he was so proud of this relationship, the title Damad (son in law in Persian) is used for Mir too and all know him with this title nowadays. Mir Damad studied in Qazvin which spent his scientific, political and religious glorious period in that moment. Thanks to his intelligence and great talent, it took him so little time to finish his studying and he achieved a high level of knowledge. Being eager to continue and to complete his studies, Mir Damad went to the school of theology in Mashhad. There, he benefited from the experienced masters and he was well known as a mujtahid and an expert in different sciences.

When he was transferred to Qazvin, and after to Isfahan, he was considered as one of the most prominent mujtahids of his era, to the extent that the masters and philosophers of the field considered him superior and they accepted his scientific and religious authority. By requests of his imitators, especially the accomplished scholar, Muhammad Reza Chalabi, his theological treatise with the title of Nejat-ol-Ebad was published and it was available to the imitators.

Regarding his knowledge and his strong way of thinking, he reached to the level that his opinions about the fatwā was reliable. He described himself in Mashregh-ol-Anvar: “he was 20/ but thanks to his knowledge, you consider him older”. In addition to influencing the transcendent theosophy and some late philosophers, his philosophical system as al-falsafa al-yamani (Philosophy of Yemen) is recognizable. Studying the historical process of Muslim’s philosophical thoughts, there were some scholars whose philosophical opinions have a logical structure; The philosophers like Al-Farabi, Avicenna, Averroes (Ibn Rushd), Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, Suhrawardi, Mir Damad, and Mulla Sadra. His philosophical systems have lots of similarities. It looks like Avicenna started a movement that Mir Damad continued and Mulla Sadra put an end to it. So, all three of them made a turning point in Muslim’s philosophy. “We all adore you when we started to speak/ we all pray for you when we open our eyes”, that is how Mulla Sadra, his distinctive student, described him.

Mir Damad departed this life in 1040 AH or 1042 after many years of researches, writings, teaching the students, and attending the political scene, on a journey with the Safavid king to visit Al-Atabat Al-Aliyat between Karbala and Najaf.

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