Ayatollah Yahya Ansari Shirazi was a Shia mujtahid, and a prominent teacher of logics, philosophy, mysticism and ethics in the Islamic Seminary of Qom. He is well-known for his long career of teaching in Qom and for his moral and ascetic character. A 4-volume commentary on Mulla Hadi Sabziwari’s Shar al-Manzuma has been published as his lecture notes.
He was born in 1927 in Nudayjan of Darab, near Shiraz. His father was Muhammad Fakhr Ansari, the son of Shaykh Zakariyya Nasir al-Islam Ansari who was a Constitutional (Mashruta) warrior. His parentage goes back to Jabir b. ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari—the well-known companion of the Prophet (PBUH).
He began his initial education in his birthplace and in 1946, he went to Shiraz. After six years, he moved to Qom in 1952, and stayed there until his death. He was among Allama Tabatabai’s closest pupils attending his non-public lectures. Some of Tabatabai’s lectures were held in Ansari Shirazi’s house.
Ansari Shirazi’s pupils and friends have characterized him as having a moral and ascetic character.
Social and Political Activities
Ayatollah Ansari Shirazi campaigned against the Pahlavi Monarchy, and as a result, he was imprisoned by Shah’s regime. According to reports by Qom’s SAVAK (Pahlavi’s Organization of Intelligence and National Security), he had a public speech in Imam Hassan al-Askari (AS) Mosque, making statements that were followed by SAVAK’s warnings to him. He was on an exile in Kuhdasht in Luristan, and Na’in in Isfahan.
In the anniversary of the Invasion to the Faydiyya Seminary School in 10th March 1964, students of the seminary schools were supposed to make street protests and demonstrations, but because of the huge presence of the police and armies around the Holy Shrine of Fatima al-Ma’suma, Astana Square, and Faydiyya School, the demonstrations could not take place, and some leaders of the protests had been arrested before the time when the demonstrations were supposed to happen. Some clergies held the anniversary ceremony in Faydiyya School, and Ayatollah Ansari Shirazi made a speech in that ceremony.
Ansari Shirazi was one of the 12 people who approved Imam Khomeini’s religious authority (or marja’iyya) after the death of Ayatollah Burujirdi.
Yahya Ansari Shirazi died of a heart attack in Qom on 4th January 2015 after a long period of illness. His funeral was held on 5th January 2015 from Imam Hassan al-Askari (AS) Mosque to the Holy Shrine of Fatima al-Ma’suma (s), and was buried besides Allama Tabatabai’s tomb after Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi said prayers on his corpse.