His Eminence Hajj Sultan Husain
During his childhood, he began reading and writing; later on he learned the rudiments of Arabic and Persian literature. Then he studied the literary and “transmitted (naqli) sciences” with his honorable father, and other local teachers. In 1350 A. H. L., by the order of his father, he set out for Isfahan to complete his education. There for five years, he studied jurisprudence (fiqh) and its principles (usul), theosophy (hikmat), and the other Islamic intellectual (‘aqli) and transmitted (naqli) sciences and obtained the ijazah (written authorization) for narrating the Traditions (Ahadith). Meanwhile, he obtained comprehensive knowledge of other sciences such as ethics, logic, mathematics, astronomy, traditional medicine, history, and the occult sciences. Later on he returned to Tehran and entered the “College of intellectual and transmitted Sciences”, were he received his B. A. in 1358 A. H. L. He returned to Gunabad
In the same year and under the shadow of the training and protection of his gracious father, began to exercise self-discipline, spiritual struggle (mujahadah) with the lower soul (nafs), purification of the soul, and refinement of the spirit.
In Sha’ban 1369 (1950 A.D.), after completion of the seven spiritual journeys of the Path, he succeeded in obtaining an authorization for leading the “congregational ritual prayer” and inspiring (talqin) the lingual litanies (awrad) and invocations (adhkar). On the 11th of Dhul-qa’da in the same year, he was honored with the spiritual title of “Rida ‘Ali” to guide the seekers (taliban) and assist and direct the qualified novices. In Dhul-qa’da 1379 A. H. L. (1960 A.D.), he was appointed to be the successor and vicegerent (khalifa) of his gracious father with the spiritual title of “Rida ‘Ali Shah.”
His Holiness has made several journeys to Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Arabic countries and succeeded in pilgrimage to Jerusalem. In 1373 A. H. L. (1954 A.D.), he accompanied his father, who traveled to Europe for medical treatment, and visited some European countries. He also made several journeys to visit Ka’ba, the tomb of the Holy Prophet (may God cover him in glory and give him peace), as well as the tombs of the Imams (peace be upon them).
In all of his journeys, he was very interested in visiting the jurisprudents (‘Ulama) and religious authorities. On one of his journeys to Najaf, after holding lengthy discussions about some difficult points of jurisprudence, he obtained
a formal authorization for practicing jurisprudence (ijtihad).
Although he used to live in Tehran, his real residence was in Bayducht. There he was usually engaged in attending to the affairs of fuqara and in completing the construction of the building of the illuminated tombs of his honorable great grandfather and his gracious father.
In the afternoons, as his father did before him, he usually thought Bayan Assa’ada in a plain and comprehensive language and with necessary explanations of the Gnostic truths, spiritual instructions and advice.
In the mornings, he would spend a few hours for meeting fuqara, receiving visitors, and looking after his own
and others’ affairs.
He earned his livelihood by farming and raising domestic animals and strictly forbade others to beg, to be a burden to society, or to be idle. He was quite disgusted with those who were addicted to unlawful habits and did not admit them to his presence.
On II Rabi al-Awwal 1413, 18 Shahrivar 1371, September 9, 1992 his most holy graciousness passed from the corporeal world to be united with his Beloved. He was buried in Gunabad beside his esteemed father; may they rest in Peace. He has been succeeded by his son, Mawlana Hajj ‘Ali Tabandah, Mahbub ‘Ali Shah.
His Gracious Holiness has written many books, some of which have been reprinted several times. They are as follows:
1. A Theophany of the Truth: On the Mysteries of the Tragedy of the Karbala.
2. A Treatise on Hypnotism.
3. A Biography of Khwajih ‘Abdullah Ansari.
4. Niyaz-I Tajalli: A Translation of Abu Hamza Thumali’s Supplication.
5. The Philosophy of Plotinus.
6. The Genius of Knowledge and Gnosis in Fourteenth Century (A.H.L.): A Biography of the Late Hajj Mulla Sultan Muhammad Gunabadi, Sultan ‘Ali Shah.
7. Memories of a Pilgrimage to Mecca.
8. Treatise on the Removal of Doubts.
9. A Guide to Happiness.
10. A Religious Commentary on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (translated into English under the title of A Muslim Commentary on…).
11. From Gunabad to Geneva.
12. The History and Geography of Gunabad.
13. Notes from Visits to Arabic countries.
14. A visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
15. The Holy Qur’an and the Three Mysterious Gnostic Stories.
16. Ten Lectures.
17. A Short History of the Fourteen Innocents.
18. The Three Radiant Gems of the Most Blessed Sea of the Divine Word.
19. Progression and Transubstantial Motion (unpublished).
20. The Philosophy of Averroes (unpublished).