Sayyid Sayyid Murtada Sharif Askari also known as Allama Askari, was a Shiite scholar who tried to do scholarly research on the history of Islam accurately and fairly. The fruit of this method is seen in his compiled works which brought about an effect on the world of Islam. Khams wa mi’a sahabi mukhtaliq, Al-Tawassul bi-l-Nabi wa l-tabarruk bi-atharih, ‘Abd Allah b. Saba’ wa asatir ukhra, and Ma’alim al-madrasatayn are some of his important books.
Birth and Lineage
Sayyid Murtada Askari was born in Samarra on Monday, Jumada II 18, 1332/1293. His ancestors were among the jurisprudents and hadith scholars of their era. His paternal grandmother was Sayyid Isma’il Husayni, the son of Sayyid Muhammad Kuchaki Sawuji and his maternal grandmother was Mirza Muhammad Sharifi Askari Tihrani. His ancestors were invited from Sabziwar to Sawih and they inherited the title of Shaykh al-Islam. Many Sunni people converted to Shiite through his ancestors guidance in this city as Allama Askari said. All of the great ancestors of this extended family were known as “Shaykh al-Islam” other than Sayyid Murtada that was known as Askari because he was born in Samarra. His father died when he was a child, so his maternal grandmother trained him.
Allama Askari said, “when I was a child I become afflicted with a deadly disease, typhoid fever, and there was no hope to be cured and my condition got worse. My mother took me to Kadhimiya but I did not respond well to the treatment, so I saw majesty Izra’il while he was good looking and dressed in white, he entered the room with beautiful face, then the family of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) came in. They all sat and alleviated me then we had a talk. I saw suddenly my mother went to the roof turned to the dome of holy Shrine of Musa b. Ja’far (AS) and said, ‘oh! Musa b. Ja’far (AS) do you like I bury my son here then come back alone to my home town? No! you don’t like it.’ Hence Imam al-Kazim (AS) came into our room and said to the Prophet (PBUH) ‘please accept the request of the mother of this Sayyid then the Prophet (PBUH) turned to the Izra’il and said ‘Go! God has given a new life to this son through his mother’s tawassul and we will go too’. I was terribly angry with my mother and said to her I was about to go with the Majesty Infallibles but you did not let me go.”