Sayyida Nusrat Amin: The First Shia Mujtahed Woman in Islam


Sayyida Nusrat Amin

The Tomb of Banu Amin in Takht-i Fulad cemetery, Isfahan

Personal Information

Full Name

Sayyida Nuṣrat Baygum Amīn

Well-Known As

Banu Amin


Khatunabadi Family







Burial Place

Takht-i Fulad Cemetery, Isfahan

Scholarly Information


Sayyid 'Ali Najafabadi, Abu l-Qasim Zafara'i, 'Ali Asghar Sharif


Banu Humayuni, 'Iffat al-Zaman Amin, Batul Ghazi

Permission for Hadith
Transmission From

Muhammad Rida Najafi Isfahani

Permission for
Ijtihad From

Muhammad Kazim Shirazi, 'Abd al-Karim Ha'iri Yazdi, Ibrahim Istahbanati

Permission for Hadith
Transmission to

Sayyid Shahab al-Din Mar'ashi Najafi, 'Abd al-Husayn Amini, Banu Humayuni and ...


Makhzan al-'irfan, al-Arba'in al-Hashimiyya, ...

Socio-Political Activities


Opposing the rule of banning Hijab at the time of Pahlawi Dynasty, establishment of Maktab-i Fatima Seminary, establishment of Amin High School


Sayyida Nuṣrat Baygum Amīn (Persian: سیده نصرت بیگم امین) (b. 1312/1895 - d. 1403/1983) known as Bānū Amīn was a Shi'a faqih(Jurist), mystic, and exegete. She published her numerous works under a pseudonym "Banuy-i Irani" (Iranian lady).

Bānū Amīn has studied under Sayyid 'Ali Najafabadi and received the permission for hadith transmission and Permission of Ijtihad [1] from Muhammad Rida Najafi Isfahani, Shaykh 'Abd al-Karim Ha'iri and others. One of her famous works is her exegesis on the Qur'an, titled Makhzan al-'irfan. She was also active in social and cultural affairs. She opposed the rule of kashf-e hijab [2] in the reign of Rida Shah Pahlawi, and established some schools.


Banu Amin was born on Dhu l-Hijja 25,1312/ June 19, 1895, late in Nasir al-Din Shah's reign, in Isfahan. Her father, Sayyid Muhammad Ali Husayni Isfahani, titled as Amin al-Tujjar, was a well-known, religious businessman in Isfahan. He was the grandson of 'Allama Sayyid Ma'sum Husayni Khatunabadi. Her mother –Zahra- was the daughter of Haj Sayyid Mahdi titled as Jinab, one of the members of Jinabi family in Isfahan.

When Sayyida Nusrat was thirteen, she got married to her cousin, Haj Mirza Aqa known as Mu'in al-Tujjar, who was a well-known, religious businessman in Isfahan. They had eight children seven of whom passed away in their childhood, due to unknown diseases and outbreaks of epidemic diseases those days.


Lady Amin began her education when she was 5 by going to Maktabkhane (elementary schools in the past.) At the age of 11, she started to learn Arabic. When she was 20, she started the Islamic studies and Arabic morphology and syntax seriously. Some mujtahids tutored her at her house. She studied preliminary studies under Abu l-Qasim Zifri'i and 'Ali Asghar Sharif. At the age of 32, she learned fiqh, usul al-fiqh and philosophy from Sayyid 'Ali Najafabadi, from whom she received most of her education.

Ijtihad and Its Certifications

In 1354/1935 at the age of 42 and after 23 year of continuous and preserving study in intellectual and traditional sciences, she received her first permission for Ijtihad and permission for hadith narration from Muhammad Kazim Shirazi and 'Abd al-Karim Ha'iri Yazdi. That was the first formal permission for Ijtihad and for hadith narration which was given to a woman.

At the same time, after numerous exams and questions, Ibrahim Husayni Shirazi Istahbanati gave her another permission for Ijtihad and for hadith transmission. In Rabi' I 1357 (May 1938) and after receiving initial certificates, Lady Amin received a certification for hadith narration from Muhammad Rida Najafi Isfahani.


Some of her famous students are:

  • Zinat al-Sadat Humayuni
  • 'Iffat al-Zaman Amin
  • Batul Ghazi

Giving Certifications

Some of the famous scholars who received permission for Ijtihad and for hadith transmission from Banu Amin are:

  • Ayatollah Mar'ashi Najafi, a Marja' of 14th/20th century
  • Sayyid 'Abbas Husayni Kashani (the author of Mu'jam A'lam al-Shi'a )
  • 'Abd al-Husayn Amini (the author of Book al-Ghadir )
  • Sayyid Muhammad 'Ali Qadi Tabataba'i
  • Sayyid Muhammad 'Ali Rawdati
  • 'Abd Allah Sibiti
  • Shaykh Zuhayr al-Hassun
  • Zinat al-Sadat Humayuni
  • Sayyid Muslih al-Din Mahdawi


The following works have been published from Lady Amin:

  • Makhzan al-'irfan. (Exegesis of the holy Qur'an in 15 volumes)
  • Al-Araba'in al-Hashimiya fi sharh jumlat min al-ahadith al-warida fi l-'ulum al-diniyya. (This book was written in Arabic and translated to Persian by Zinat al-Sadat Humayuni)
  • Makhzan al-la'ali dar fazilat mula al-mawali Hadrat 'Ali b. Abi Talib (a). (About the virtues of Imam Ali (a))
  • Seyr wa suluk dar ravish-i awliya'-i tariq-i seyr-i su'ada'. (Mystical work about the journey toward God)
  • Ma'ad ya akharin seyr-i bashar. (About resurrection on the Day of Judgment and the last journey of humankind)
  • Ravish-i khushbakhti wa tawsiye bi khaharan-i imani. (The way of happiness and advice to [my] sisters in faith)
  • Akhlaq wa rah-i sa'adat. (About morality and the way of happiness. This book is a translation, commentary and adaptation of the book "Taharat al-a'raq" by Ibn Miskawayh)
  • Al-Nafahat al-rahmaniyya fi l-waridat al-qalbiyya. (This work has been written in Arabic and was translated into Persian by Mahdi Iftikhar under the title of "Nasimhay-i mihrabani" (Breezes of kindness) and published in 1429/2008)
  • Jami' al-shattat. (written in Arabic)

Scholarly Position

Many scholars and spiritual personalities admired her scholarly and spiritual position. Muhammad Taqi Ja'fari says: "According to the excellent spiritual achievements of this Iranian lady, we should account her among great scholars who did not only learn a science but also found a new life." He, also, said: "According to lady Amin's works –that was accessible to me- we can certainly introduce her as one of the great Shi'a scholars."

Sayyid Muhsin Amin quoted Ayatollah Mar'ashi Najafi that: "She was a unique person in her time, and a perfect example for women of that time." The martyr, Murtada Mutahhari says -reporting his meeting with lady Amin-: "I asked the Lady a question and when she started to answer, I realized that she had a high scholarly position."

Being aware of her scholarly and spiritual position, personalities like 'Allama Amini, Rahim Arbab, 'Allama Tabataba'i, Ayatollah Mar'ashi Najafi, Sayyid Hashim Haddad, Muhammad Taqi Ja'fari and Murtada Mutahhari met her and had discussions with her in various fields of Islamic studies.

Spiritual Position

Her book Nafahat al-rahmaniyyah clearly shows her high spiritual and mystical position. In this book, she has come across the mystical revelations that she had since she was 30. Religious personalities and, also, her students have talked about her mystical states and acts of wonder.

Social and Cultural Activities

In protest against the rule of banning Hijab at the time of Rida Shah Pahlavi, she did not participate in sessions held by the government, instead she openly showed her opposition by leaving Isfahan and staying for 14 months in Qom.

Moreover, by writing articles for newspapers and magazines, she showed an active presence in the field of social issues. She established an Islamic school called "Maktab-i Fatima" in 1344/1925 for women and "Amin" high school for girls before the Islamic Revolution in Iran.


Sayyida Nusrat Amin passed away on the eve of Ramadan 1, 1403/June 12, 1983 in Isfahan and was buried in "Takht-i Fulad Cemetery".


1. The state of being a mujtahid

2. The rule of enforcing a ban on hijab

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