The Great Arif (Gnostic) from Deccan who kept fasting for forty years in Holy City of Mashhad
Syed Shahsawar Ali Shah Mansoori (Ibn ar-Reza) was the great grandson of Syed Burhanuddin Shah Khaleelullah, the only son of Syed Shah Nuruddin Nimatullah Wali buried in Mahan near Kerman in Iran. Syed Shah Khaleelullah, the great scholar of Iran after the heavenly departure of his father, Syed Shah Nimatullah Wali on the invitation of Ahmad Shah Wali Bahmani, the famous and powerful ruler of the Bahmani Kingdom in Deccan (South India) migrated from Mahan, Kerman and came to Bidar, the capital of Bahmani Kingdom.
In Bidar, Syed Shah Khaleelullah was given a royal welcome by the Bahmani King and he was greatly respected by the King and the people of Deccan. He died and buried in Bidar and his beautiful grand mausoleum on a hill top outside the Bidar fort is respected and visited by the people of Deccan. Syed Shah Khaleelullah in Deccan became famous as Butshikan(Breaker of Idols) because it is reported in the chronicles of the history of Deccan that Syed Shah Khaleelullah when used to see the idols in the temples in the Deccan region, the idols were miraculously broken and shattered into pieces.
Syed Shahsawar Ali Shah Mansoori, the great grandson of Syed Shah Khaleelullah was the 18th descendant of Syed Shah Nimatullah Wali. Syed Shahsawar Ali Shah Mansoori in 1303 A.H. when he was only twenty years old on the orders of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) which he got in a vision left Bidar (Deccan) for the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.) in Mashhad, Iran. Syed Shahsawar Ali Shah Mansoori told that he saw in a vision the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) ordering him “Shahsawar! Go for the Ziarat of Eighth Imam in Mashhad”. The next day he left his relatives in Bidar and went walking to Mashhad.
On his arrival in Mashhad he started fasting which he continued for a period of forty years. He prayed regularly daily for long hours for a period of more than fifty years in the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.) while keeping fast continuously for a period of forty years and only did not fast only on Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha and Ashura days. By his incessant worship for a period of more than fifty years in the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.) he obtained great spiritual favors and position. He always had the honor to perform the job of a sweeper in the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.). Whenever he used to enter the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.) he used to convey Salaam (Salutation) to Imam Reza alaihis salam and he listened the reply of Salaam from Imam Reza (A.S.). He used to cure lunatic persons by reciting Dua(supplication).
Nasir al-Din Shah Qajar, the famous monarch of Iran from the Qajar dynasty when visited the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.) honored Syed Shahsawar Ali Shah Mansoori with the title Mansoor al-Tawliyat and thus his family became famous as Mansoori.
When Syed Shahsawar Ali Shah Mansoori, entitled himself with the title of Abd al-Reza “the Slave of Imam Reza”, Imam Reza (A.S.) in a vision ordered him to change his title to Ibn ar-Reza “Son of Imam Reza” and Imam Reza (A.S.) ordered him in the vision “You are my son and call yourself Ibn ar-Reza” “Son of Imam Reza”. From then onwards he started writing Ibn ar-Reza after his name.
He is the author of the book titled “Miraj al-Mumineen Tuhfah tul Ruhaniyun”. This book was calligraphed by Abdul Ali, the famous calligrapher of Astan Quds Razavi during that period.
One month before his heavenly departure he gathered his children and family members and told them that last night he has seen Imam Musa al-Kazim (A.S.) in dream in iron chains.[Imam Musa al-Kazim (A.S.) during his imprisonment in the Baghdad prison for a period of fourteen years by Harun al-Rashid, the Abbasid Caliph was kept in iron chain. Harun al-Rashid also martyred Imam Musa al-Kazim by poisoning in the jail in Baghdad.] Syed Shahsawar Ali Shah Mansoori told that Imam Musa al-Kazim (A.S.) in that dream had ordered him to wear iron chain like him and told him that he will die soon after 25th Rajab [the day of martyrdom of Imam Musa al-Kazim(A.S.)].
Syed Shahsawar Ali Shah Mansoori ordered an ironsmith in Mashhad to make an iron chain which he put it around his body. His family members took his photograph wearing iron chain which is enclosed with the article. He called Iftikhar al-Zakirin, the famous orator of Mashhad to his residence and asked him to recite the events of martyrdom of Imam Musa al-Kazim(A.S.). He also constructed a grave in his house and made a will to his children that he should be buried in that grave. He died on 7th Shaban 1353 A.H. and his grave is situated in his house which is situated in the Mansoori alley in Khosravi street in Mashhad.
When he died it was the period of the despotic rule of Reza Khan Pahlavi, the King of Iran who imposed martial law in Iran. Reza Khan Pahlavi had issued strict orders that nobody should be buried in his house. A day before his death he called his son Syed Shah Abbas Mansoori, who was Alim (religious scholar) and told him to recite a Dua (Supplication) which he dictated to him and said when he will die he should meet the Governor of Khorasan province and recite this Dua and take the written permission from the governor. When he died on 7th Shaban 1353 A.H., his son Syed Shah Abbas Mansoori went to meet Mahmood Jam, the Governor of Khorasan province and recited that Dua which was dictated by his late father and the Governor in spite the government ban order issued the written permission allowing dead body of Syed Shahsawar Ali Shah to be buried in his house.
Syed Shahsawar Ali Shah versified his genealogical tree in a poem of 114 verses tracing his genealogy to his great grand father Imam Muhammad Baqir (A.S.). This genealogical tree in a poem of 114 verses was republished in Hyderabad Deccan in 1974 by his son Syed Shah Abbas Mansoori, who was the Imam Juma and Imam Jamaat of Darbar Husaini Iranian Hyderabad Deccan. He also composed poems in praise of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) and the Holy Imams (A.S.) which was published with the title “Kulliyat Qasaid Mansoori”
When his son Agha Syed Shah Abbas Mansoori was young he requested his father to give him an advice so that he would follow it all his life. Syed Shahsawaar Ali Shah Mansoori replied: Perform midnight prayers ‘Namaz-e-Tahajjud’. But again Agha Syed Shah Abbas Mansoori asked his father the same question but three times he replied him: Pray ‘Namaz-e-Tahajjud’ and from that age when Agha Syed Shah Abbas Mansoori was 25 years old he started performing ‘Namaz-e-Tahajjud’ and continued it until his death.
Syed Shahsawaar Ali Shah Mansoori used to send his eldest daughter Shah Bibi to Maktab (Islamic School) for Islamic learning but Imam Reza alaihis salam in a vision ordered him to teach his daughter himself in the home. Syed Shahsawaar Ali Shah Mansoori trained his daughter in Islamic Studies perfectly in such a way that whenever Agha Syed Shah Abbas Mansoori, who himself was a learned Alim from Hawzah Ilmiyyah of Mashhad and Najaf Ashraf, used to face any problem regarding Islamic rules, laws and history, he used to confer with his elder sister who was educated by his father in Islamic Studies.
After the heavenly departure of Syed Shahsawaar Ali Shah Mansoori, Agha Syed Shah Abbas Mansoori used to take care of his elder sister Shah Bibi. Shah Bibi taught Islam, the stories of the Prophets and Holy Imams to all the children and grand children of Agha Syed Shah Abbas Mansoori. Shah Bibi used to gather the children to recite Nawha and Marsiya for the Shuhada of Karbala and Shah Bibi used to recite Majlis of Imam Husain alaihis salam, and the Alams ‘flags’ of the Shuhada of Karbala were erected in the house of Agha Syed Shah Abbas Mansoori in Hyderabad Deccan. Shah Bibi passed away on Friday, 11th Zee al-Qadah 1393 A.H. when she was eighty years old and buried in the historical Dairah Mir Mumin cemetery in Hyderabad.
Agha Syed Shah Abbas Mansoori opposed the anti-Islamic acts of Reza Khan Pahlavi, the despot King of Iran and for this reason Agha Syed Shah Abbas Mansoori along with all his family members were deported from Mashhad to British India in 1935 after the massacre of the people of Mashhad by Reza Shah in Masjid Gawharshad in the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.). On 13th July, 1935 people of Mashhad gathered in Masjid Gawharshad in the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.) to protest against the ban on women wearing Islamic Hijab. The army of Reza Shah entered Masjid Gawharshad and massacred the innocent people in the Masjid and the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.).After deportation from Mashhad, Agha Syed Shah Abbas Mansoori went to Hyderabad Deccan and became the Imam Juma and Imam Jamaat of Darbar Husaini Iranian in Hyderabad Deccan.
The younger son of Syed Shahsawaar Ali Shah Mansoori by name Syed Ali Reza went to Najaf Ashraf from Hyderabad Deccan and after the deportation of Reza Shah from Iran during the Second World War, he came to Tehran and became the Imam Jamaat of Masjid Hujjat in Sar Asiyab Dulab locality in Tehran and became famous as Ayatullah Syed Ali Reza Quddusi. He died in Tehran in 2007 at an age of 102 years.
Another younger son of Syed Shahsawaar Ali Shah Mansoori by name Syed Husain Mansoori who migrated to Hyderabad Deccan was a very pious person who died during a religious ceremony on the night of 21 Ramazan (Shab-e-Qadr) 1375 A.H.in Hyderabad Deccan.