GOLESTĀNA, ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Mirzā MOḤAMMAD, b. Šāh Abu Torāb Moḥammad-ʿAli (d. 1110/1698-99), prominent religious scholar of the Safavid period, a scion of the Golestāna family of Ḥosayni sayyeds in Isfahan. Proficient in both the rational and the transmitted sciences, he was particularly renowned for his mastery of Hadith and for a pious and single-minded erudition that is said to have dissuaded him from accepting the post of ṣadr (head of the state-affiliated religious hierarchy) on the two occasions it was offered to him. His principal works were two commentaries on the Nahj al-balāḡa. The first, brief but complete and entitled Bahjat al-ḥadāʾeq, is often found printed in the margins of copies of the Nahj al-balāḡa published in Persia. The other, infinitely more detailed although it stops short a little beyond the ḵoṭbat al-šaqšaqiya, to which it devotes the entirety of the second of its three volumes, bears the correspondingly prolix title of Ḥadāʾeq al-ḥaqāʾeq fi šarḥ kalemāt Kalām-Allāh al-nāṭeq. Golestāna also wrote Rawżat al-šohadāʾ on the travails of the Ahl al-Bayt; Rawżat al-ʿorafāʾ wa dawḥat al-ʿolamāʾ fi šarḥ al-Asmāʾ al-ḥosnā on the meaning of the divine names; Manhaj al-yaqin, a commentary on a treatise by Imam Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq known as the Resāla-ye ahwāziya; and Tartib mašyaḵa man lā yaḥżoroho’l-faqih, an examination of the chains of transmission cited by Ebn Bābawayh in his celebrated collection of Hadith. Foremost among those to whom he transmitted Hadith was Ḥājj Moḥammad-Zamān Kāšāni Eṣfahāni. Golestāna was closely acquainted with Abu Ṭāleb Gilāni, father of the well-known poet and historian ʿAli Ḥazin, who recalls having met him in Isfahan in his childhood, and related to the celebrated Moḥammad-Bāqer Majlesi by marriage (he was either the brother or the maternal uncle of Majlesi’s wife). Bibliography: Shaikh ʿAbbās Qomi, Fawāʾed al-rażawiya, Tehran, 1327 Š./1948, II, p. 382. al-Ḏariʿa, fasc. 6, pp. 284-85; fasc. 11, pp. 295, 299-300; fasc. 13, p. 89. Modarres, Rayḥānat al-adab IV, pp. 163-65.

(Hamid Algar)

Originally Published: December 15, 2001

Last Updated: February 14, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. XI, Fasc. 1, pp. 90-91