2nd Sheikh of the Sheikhs

His Excellency Nour Ali Shah the First


Sheikh of Sheikhs, visitor of the last and the first cities and the explorer of the sea of knowledge and practice, His Excellency Nour Ali Shah the First. His honorable name: Mohammad Ali. After being initiated into dervish-hood and having obtained permission to guide, was endowed with the title Nour Ali Shah. Right from his youth he was in search of the straight and righteous path. His Excellency had a handsome face and spiritual excellence and in the levels of internal rank was unique during his age. He was originally from the town of Toon in Khorasan (presently Ferdows) but as his elevated great grandfather immigrated to Isfahan, he and his father were born in Isfahan. Since his great grandfather belonged to the religious authorities and category of the learned men, consequently in accordance with heritage in the beginning, he also engaged in the study of external sciences and was perfected in Arabic sciences and literature art, but in the external sciences did not obtain the benefits he was looking for, and accomplishing it, did not open an inner door to him. Therefore, stepped into the arena of search, after lots of pursuit, accompanying with his great father Faiz Ali Shah, reached the presence of His Excellency Masum Ali Shah. Both father and son were initiated into dervish-hood and under his kindness reached perfection and obtained permission to guide and lead. His Excellency, Faiz Ali Shah passed away in the year 1199 Hijri and His Excellency Nour Ali Shah after traversing ranks of perfection was appointed as vicegerent of His Excellency Masoum Ali Shah.

His Excellency Nour Ali Shah has great rights and massive indebtedness upon the mystics of Iran, wayfarers and dervishes of this area, because it was quite sometimes that, the ways and customs of tarighat and even the thought for searching the truth had faded away from Iran due to disorder, anxiety, and circumstances of Iran. Since the mid of the monarchy of Shah Sultan Hussein Safavi up to the end of the rulership of Karim Khan Zand, the affairs of the country was an agitated state, the negligence of the Kings and authorities of the government had left nothing for the people from the heavenly world to think and find the way to the truth and tarighah.

Such year of famine had occurred in Damascus

That the friends forgot love.

From this point of view the teachings of Gnosticism and dervishhood was completely wiped out from the memories, till near the end of Shah Sultan Hussein's time, the abasement of the intellect, his negligence and suggestion of the learned of the schools, persuaded that feeble minded king to oppose the principles of dervish hood and Gnosticism, till finally by the hands of Afghans, he obtained the retribution for his negligence, and received the results of extinguishing fireplace of his father and ancestors. After the Afghans gained dominance, besides their excessive oppression and tyranny, that they were nothing but a bunch of bandits and plunderers, did not give the people the opportunity to meditate on the affairs of the beyond to safeguard the soul except to procure a piece of bread. After the Afghans bandits, Nader possessed the ownership of the country, for he also was a swindler Turk and unjust fighter and thug and except war and bloodshed, triumph and victory on the adversary, had nothing else in his mind and with the purport of the idiom “the people are in the religion of their King” generally made the citizens of Iran to obey his ways.

After Nader Shah, an ignorant and foolish Lor, but just, fair seeking and equitable, by the name of Karim Khan Zand defeated Iran who by no means had any perception for science and knowledge and Gnosticism, totally was unaware of these realms. From this point of view, nearly for sixty years Iran was deprived from the fragrance of knowledge and Gnosticism and gentle faith and was barren and separated from the presence of devotees and wayfarers of the arena of faith, till from the kindness of God, the renewer of the order Seyed Masoum Ali Shah on the order of His Holiness Shah Alireza Deccani from Hyderabad, set out for Iran and guided and trained His Excellency Nour Ali Shah, endeavored and reached him with his own grace and blessings to the apex of perfection during the end of the monarchy of Karim Khan Zand. His Excellency Nour Ali Shah during travelling or at home, during the times of relaxation or danger was always attentive and careful of his noble and spiritual guide, till he attained eligibility of his succesorship and was endowed the title “Nour Ali Shah”. His Excellency Seyed Masoum Ali Shah at that time when leaving from Heart for Kabul and India, missioned Nour Ali Shah to go to Iran. He arrived in Isfahan and after stopping sometime with Mushtaq Ali Shah and accompanying with a group of disciples departed for Kerman. After the tragic event of the martyrdom of Mushtaq Ali Shah, went to Shiraz and received lots of persecution and vexing from Lutfali Khan Zand, thence journeyed to and lived close by the Holy Shrines in Atabat - Iraq.

Since His Excellency endeavored a lot, in manifestation of guidance and invitation to wayfarers, his fame and greatness spread out and found prestige in that country, the spiteful and the corrupt started to accuse him of claims of kingship and gathering disciples with the intention of preparation of power and glory in front of the Emirs and Kings and the religious clergies; and peaceful people defamed him for lack of preservation of religious laws, but despite of all such situations, every town and region he would pass, the people involuntarily surrounded him and followed him, and sometimes during walking, he chanted an ode and passed among the crowd of people the passage of the roads would be blocked by the crowded people.

In short, for nearly five years he lived in Iraq and guided and instructed many worshippers, and many jurists and scholars also gave their hands in devotion to him secretly and some also because of their natural jealousy, by the way of refusal renounced him and became his enemy, moreover openly jibed, blasphemed and accused His Excellency and had a declaration signed by some group of uninformed and ignorant people. Since a group of people expressed their disagreement of His Excellency to stay in Karbala, on the sound advice and judgment of Mr. Bahrol Ulum and Agha Mirza Ali Saheb Riyaz he set out from Solimaniyeh towards Mousel with the intention of pilgrimage to Mecca and in that region resided. His Excellency was poisoned twice during his stay at the Holy Shrines, since fate was not destined, the poison did not affect. Finally in Mousel in the year 1212 (Hijri), passed away in accordance with the digital meaning[1] of the alphabets of the word QARIB and in the vicinity of the Shrine of Hazrat Yunas (AS) was buried.

Numerous useful writings and many treaties has been left from his writings in his memorial, such as the treaties of Jammeol Asrar in the style of Golistan of Saadi, another: treaties on the principles and branches of religious laws titled: Rowzatol Shohada, and an exegesis on the blessed Surah Baqareh in poetic style, another: Khotbatul Bayan, another: Kobraye Manteq in poetic style, another treaties in poetic style on the conditions of Sayedol Shohada (AS), another two poetic collection of works, one, under the pen name Nour Ali and the other suffice it to Nour only and another Mathnavi of Jannatol Vesal.

Since the martyrdom of His Excellency Masoum Ali Shah and the death of His Holiness Reza Ali Shah and the martyrdom of His Excellency Nour Ali Shah were close to each other and the gap among them was less than three years, therefore the contemporaries of His Excellency were the same contemporaries of His Excellency Nour Ali Shah and His Holiness Reza Ali Shah. From this aspect only the names of authorized persons of His Excellency Nour Ali Shah are sufficed to be mentioned:

1)                  Akhond Molla Abdulsamad Hamedani

2)                  His Excellency Ronaq Ali Shah

3)                  His Excellency Reza Ali Shah Heravi

4)                  His Excellency Mazhar Ali Shah Tooni

5)                  His Excellency Nazar Ali Shah Naienee

6)                  His Excellency Ain Ali Shah Heravi

7)                  His Excellency Mozafar Ali Shah Kermani

8)                  His Excellency Sedq Ali Shah Kermani


A glimpse at the generosity of His Excellency:

At that time when His Excellency was resident in Kerbala. The malicious spiteful and hostile enemy made out an extensive list consisting of criticism and blasphemy and profanity against His Excellency and had it signed by the well known jurists and had taken the aforementioned extensive list to Najaf to be signed by Mr. Seyed Mahdi Tabatabaie Bahrol Ulum. The aforementioned Seyed said, if I am considered as a follower, then what signature and attestation you need from me, and if I am considered as a religious jurisprudent, till this extensive letter is not personally known to me, I cannot pass a decree. I am in Najaf and you all in Kerbala and I do not know the person concerned and have no acquaintance about his condition at this time, I am enroute for pilgrimage to Kerbala and concerning this matter shall make close investigations. This remark of Mr. Seyed made them silent and kept them waiting. During Mr. Seyed’s visit to Kerbala through Molla Abdulsamad Hamedani who was accepted by both sides and had channels to both sides said: I want to see this person Nour Ali Shah, whom collectively is accused and planned to be killed and want to acquaint myself of his religious tenets, it would be good if you invite him one night to your house, so that I can secretly come and meet him in the night. Molla Abdulsamad explained this subject to His Excellency Nour Ali Shah. He said: Don’t want to refuse him and assigned a night to meet him. On the night of the mentioned date, Mr. Seyed Bahrol Ulum at the time of entrance to the house of Molla Abdulsamad as a precaution secretly says to the owner of the house, to arrange sitting positions in such a way that he be not close to this person, and the Nargeela water smoking pipe and food dishes also to be kept separated from each other. Anyhow, after greetings, Seyed Bahrol Ulum says: Mr. Dervish, what is this commotion and turmoil you have raised among the Muslims? His Excellency Nour Ali Shah says: My name is not Mr. Dervish, it is Nour Ali Shah. Seyed says: well, from where has Kingship reached you? Said: For reason of dominion and authority on my soul and on all other souls. Seyed says: From where is it known that you have sovereignty over all souls? The owner of the house says: all of a sudden, seizure of possession was manifested and the natural disposition of the Seyed was changed and a strange amazing disposition was acquired, that speech was incapable to describe it. That time Seyed Bahrol Ulum said to me: wait a while outside the room, I have confidential conversation. I went out of the house and sat down till I was summoned back. When for the second time I brought the Nargeela water smoking pipe, Seyed Bahrol Ulum with his own hands offered the Nargeela to His Excellency Nour Ali Shah, so that His Excellency smoked first, afterwards, both ate food in one plate. That night passed away, and Mr. Bahrol Ulum, another night requested for a meeting with His Excellency Nour Ali Shah. He said: We have no more work with him, if he has work, let him come. Then henceforth, some nights, during the time when the streets were empty of people, Mr. Bahrol Ulum and myself with a cloak pulled over our heads would visit His Excellency.

And also in the book of Bustan al Siyaheh it has been written that His Excellency has forecasted the rulership of Qajar will be perished and a just government will rise that the fughara of that time would live in ease and relief.

[1] In Farsi/Arabic tradition, the people used to assign a digital value to alphabetic characters to transform the date of death to the meaning of words for better remembrance. This is called as ARTICLE OF DATE.



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