DĀRĀBĪ, SAYYED JAʿFAR b. Abī Esḥāq Mūsawī Borūjerdī Kašfī (b. Eṣṭahbānāt in Fārs, 1189/1775, d. Borūjerd 1267/1851), religious scholar, nephew of the Aḵbārī Yūsuf b. Aḥmad Baḥrānī and father of Sayyed Yaḥyā Waḥīd Dārābī.
His position on the dispute between Aḵbarīs (see AḴBARĪYA) and Oṣūlīs is unclear. Like his contemporaries Mīrzā Moḥammad Aḵbārī (d. 1233/1818) and Asad-Allāh Borūjerdī (d. 1271/1854), Dārābī claimed intuitive knowledge (kašf) to be an alternative to the rational inquiry propounded by the Oṣūlī school of Twelver Shiʿism. On the other hand, his opposition to the continuation of Friday congregational prayer during the occultation of the twelfth imam, an opposition shared by many Aḵbārī Twelvers, was based on revelations received in a dream (Amanat, pp. 44-47; Ḥabībābādī, Makārem, p. 1856).
Dārābī was skilled in koranic exegesis and wrote as well on logic, grammar, Hadith, oṣūl al-dīn (fundamental principles of Islam), and theology. He composed both Ejābat al-możṭarayn and the abridgment Kefāyat al-aytām (completed 1259/1843) for Mīrzā Moḥammad-Taqī Ḥosām-al-Salṭana, governor of Borūjerd (al-Ḏarīʿa I, pp. 120-21, XVIII, pp. 88-89; Dānešpāžūh, V, pp. 1988-89, VI, p. 2121). At Mīrzā Moḥammad-Taqī’s behest, he composed Toḥfat al-molūk fī’l-sayr wa’l-solūk (1233/1817-18) in Persian and dedicated it to Fatḥ-ʿAlī Shah (1212-50/1797-1834); in this work he argued for the concurrent authority of the mojtahed (jurist) and the political ruler, defining the former as the spiritualdeputy of the Imam and the second as the temporal deputy (Amir Arjomand, pp. 225-28; al-Ḏarīʿa III, p. 471).
Dārābī performed the ḥajj in 1260/1844, the same year as Mīrzā ʿAlī-Moḥammad, the Bāb. Neither then nor after his son Sayyed Yaḥyā converted to Babism, a move that he is said to have discussed with his father, did Dārābī himself become a convert (Amanat, pp. 247-48; Balyuzi, pp. 70, 93-94; Browne, 1975, p. 8; idem, 1893, p. 347-48). He witnessed both his son’s subsequent involvement and death in the failed Babi uprising in Neyrīz and the execution of the Bāb in 1266/1850.
A. Amanat, Resurrection and Renewal. The Making of the Babi Movement in Iran, 1844-1850, Ithaca, N.Y., 1989.
S. Amir Arjomand, The Shadow of God and the Hidden Imam, Chicago, 1984, pp. 225-29, 232, 235-37.
Aʿyān al-Šīʿa XV, s.v., pp. 262-63.
H. M. Balyuzi, The Bab. The Herald of the Day of Days, Oxford, 1973.
E. G. Browne, ed. and tr., The Táríḵ-i-Jadíd, or New History of Mírzá ʿAlí Moḥammad, the Báb, Cambridge, 1893, pp. 111, 231 n. 2.
Idem, ed. and tr., A Traveller’s Narrative Written to Illustrate the Episode of the Bāb, Amsterdam, 1975, pp. 183, 254.
M.-T. Dānešpāžūh, ed., Fehrest-e ketāb-ḵāna-ye ehdāʾī-e Āqā-ye Sayyed Moḥammad Meškāt ba ketāb-ḵāna-ye dānešgāh-e Tehrān, Tehran, 6 vols., 1332-35 Š./1953-56.
al-Ḏarīʿa I, pp. 493, 498, 501; III, pp. 144, 471; IX/3, p. 911; XII, p. 232. Fasāʾī, II, pp. 178, 236.
M.-T. Lesān-al-Molk Sepehr, Nāseḵ al-tawārīḵ. Dawra-ye kāmel-e tārīḵ-e qājārīya, ed. J. Qāʾemmaqāmī, III, Tehran, 1337 Š./1958, p. 121.
M.-ʿA. Modarres Tabrīzī, Rayḥānat al-adab V, Tabrīz, 1327 Š./1948, pp. 60-62.
(ANDREW J. NEWMAN)
(Andrew J. Newman)
Originally Published: December 15, 1994
Last Updated: November 15, 2011
This article is available in print.
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