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Sa'id Akhtar Rizvi


Sa'id Akhtar Rizvi

Sa'id Akhtar Rizvi
Born (1927-01-05)5 January 1927
Saran District, Bihar
Died 20 June 2002(2002-06-20) (aged 75)
Resting place Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Ethnicity Indian
Occupation Islamic scholar
Known for being the Chief Missionary of Bilal Muslim Mission
Religion Islam
Denomination Twelver Shia
Children Muhammad Rizvi

Part of a series on Shia Islam

The Fourteen Infallibles

Muhammad · Fatimah · and
The Twelve Imams:
Ali · Hasan · Husayn
al-Sajjad · al-Baqir · al-Sadiq
al-Kadhim · ar-Ridha · al-Taqi
al-Naqi · al-Askari · al-Mahdi


Judgement Day · Justice
Prophethood · Imamate

Other Beliefs

Succession to Muhammad
Imamate of the Family
Mourning of Muharram
The Occultation · Clergy
Usul · Ijtihad
Taqleed · 'Aql · Irfan


Prayer · Fasting · Pilgrimage
Charity · Taxes · Jihad
Command Justice · Forbid Evil
Love the family of Muhammad
Dissociate from their Enemies

Holy cities

Mecca · Medina
Najaf · Karbala · Mashhad
Jerusalem · Samarra · Kadhimayn · Qom ·


Usuli · Akhbari · Shaykhi
Nimatullahi · Safaviya
Qizilbash · Alevism · Alawism
Bektashi · Tabarie


Law · Marja' · Hawza
Ayatollah · Allamah
Hojatoleslam · Mujtahid
List of maraji · List of Ayatollahs

Hadith collections

Peak of Eloquence · The Psalms of Islam · Book of Fundamentals · The Book in Scholar's Lieu · Civilization of Laws · The Certainty · Book of Sulaym ibn Qays · Oceans of Light · Wasael ush-Shia · Reality of Certainty · Keys of Paradise

Sayyid Sa‘eed Akhtar Rizvi (Arabic: سيد سعيد اختر رضوي‎) (1927-2002) was an Indian born, Twelver Shī‘ah scholar, who actively promoted Islam in East Africa.

He spoke Urdu, English, Arabic, Persian, Swahili and knew Hindi and Gujarati. He was given authorisations (Arabic: Ijazah‎) by fourteen Grand Ayatullahs for riwayah, Qazawah, and Umur-e-Hasbiyah.


Sayyid Saeed Akhtar Rizvi was born in a place called Ushri, Islamic Shia Ithna‘asheri Jamaat (ISIJ) of Toronto, Jaffari Islamic Center.


In 1959 he came to Lindi, Tanzania, where he was appointed the local Islamic scholar (Arabic: 'alim‎). He there learned Swahili and improved his English in order to better perform his work as a scholar.[1]

In 1962, he proposed a plan of propagating the faith among the African people to Haji Ebrahim H. Sheriff in Arusha. An amended and improved plan was put into action in 1963.[1] This plan was circulated in the triennial Conference of the Africa Federation in Tanga in 1964, where it received the approval of Hussein Nasser Walji (approved in the general meeting of Dar es Salaam Jamaat.[1]

Marhum Mulla Asgharali M.M. Jaffer writes: Template:Cquote

Bilal Muslim Mission

In the end, the plan was adopted by the majority as a policy, marking the birth of the Bilal Muslim Mission.[1]

Marhum Mulla Asgharali M.M. Jaffer writes: Template:Cquote

Sayyid Saeed Akhtar Rizvi was transferred from Arusha in the north of Tanzania to the group in Dar es Salaam in mid-eastern Tanzania. This expansions of activities created the need of an autonomous body, so Saeed Akhtar Rizvi went to Mombasa in southern Kenya in 1976 in order to meet the office-bearers of the Supreme Council. They decided to create two organizations, so Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania was registered on 16 April 1968 and the Bilal Muslim Mission of Kenya in 1971 with Rizvi as one of the founding members, the Chief Missionary and the Tableegh Advisor of the Late Chairman of the Africa Federation, Late Mohamedali Meghjee and to Marhum Mulla Asghar M.M. Jaffer, Alhaj Mohamed Dhirani and Alhaj Habibbhai Mulji.[1]


His name became synonymous with the word Tabligh (Islamic mission) among the indigenous people of East Africa, and he introduced correspondence courses in Islamic studies in English and Swahili besides several other courses for Shia students through the Bilal Muslim Mission.[1]

He traveled widely, holding assemblies and lecturing to university students in Africa, Europe, Canada and USA, making sure that his speeches reached intellectuals, new converts and those wishing to know more about religion.[1]


His funeral was attended by a very large crowd in Dar es Salaam. Although normally coffins are taken by a special van to the graveyard, two scouts holding two large black flags led the cortege to the burial site. Traffic police stopped the busy Saturday morning traffic to make way for the cortege, who walked on foot covering the route of the funeral Cortege from the Imambara to the cemetery in more than half an hour. Officials and Scholars from several countries were present. The obligatory Islamic funeral prayer (Salat al-Mayyit) was held by Muhammad Rizvi, the son of the deceased.[1]

Representatives from Bilal Muslim Mission credited him with raising the number of African Shi'as in East Africa from none to 100,000.[1]



Sayyid Akhtar Rizvi authored over 140 books, some of them having been translated into 22 languages.[1] they include:

  • Imamate: The Vicegerency of the Prophet
  • Elements of Islamic Studies
  • Slavery From Islamic and Christian Perspectives
  • The Fast of 'Ashura
  • Imam Hasan: The Myth of his Divorces
  • The Illustrious Period of the Imamate of Imam Zayn al-'Abidin
  • The Scholarly Jihad of the Imams: 95 - 148 A.H
  • Martyrdom of Imam Husayn and the Muslim and Jewish Calendars
  • The Qur'an: Its Protection from Alteration
  • Pork
  • God: An Islamic Perspective
  • The Justice of God
  • The Life of Muhammad The Prophet

See also


External links

  • biography at
  • List of books by Sayyid Sa'eed Akhtar Rizvi at
  • YouTube

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