Mulla Ali Kani, Iranian Shia scholar and faqih. He was in charge of religious affairs of Iran, and had a great influence on people and even on Naser al-Din Shah and his court. Despite his great wealth, Mulla Ali led a very simple life. He authored several works in different branches of Islamic sciences, including Tawdih al-maqal and a commentary on Jawahir al-kalam.

Religious and Social Position

In 1262/1846, Mulla Ali returned to Iran and settled in Tehran. He was very knowledgeable in fiqh, usul al-fiqh, rijal, hadith and exegesis. Kani was one of the four great scholars of Iran in that time whom were mentioned by Sahib Jawahir in his letter to Muhammad Shah Qajar. Sahib Jawahir confirmed that those four scholars were erudite and Mujtahid.

Gradually, he gained fame and became an influential and powerful scholar whose commands and fatwas were obeyed by all people even the court of king, Nasir al-Din Shah. In 1282/1865, he became the rector of Marwi School. The majority of Iranians followed him in fiqh and most of Tehran’s scholars at that time were his student. He held his contemporary scholars in great esteem.


Mulla Ali Kani was very rich, but had a very simple and unadorned life and always cared about poor and oppressed people. He is described as lenient, generous, pious, and ascetic and about his power and influence it is said that without his approval, no important social issue could occur in Iran. The king of Iran, Nasir al-Din Shah, went to his house to visit him and held him in high esteem.