Ayatullah Seyyid Abulqasim Musawi Al-Khoei (RA)

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Ayatullah Seyyid Abulqasim Musawi Al-Khoei (RA) was born in Azerbaijan, Iran 15 Rajab 1317 H. / 1899 A. D. and passed away in Najaf Al-Ashraf, Iraq on 8 Safar 1412 A.H.(August 8, 1992)

Educated in the established traditional way of Shia Theology by well known jurists, he joined the world-renown theological institution in the holy city of Najaf Al-Ashraf in 1912, the year he migrated from Iran.

At an early age, he attained the degree of ijtihad i.e. the process of arriving at judgements on points of religious law using reason and the principles of jurisprudence. This achievement normally warrants the title of 'Ayatullah'.


Teaching, Juristic, and Writing Merits

He taught in Najaf for over 70 years. For 50 years, he specialized in supervising post-graduate studies, most advanced among which is 'Bahth-al-Kharij' - Graduation Classes - equivalent to a Doctoral thesis. Successful candidates are qualified to practice 'Ijtihad'

He is considered as the architect of a distinct school of thought in the priciples of jurisprudence and Islamic law, and one of the leading exponents of 'kalam'-scholastic theology- and 'rijal'- study of the biographies of transmitters of ahadith, the Prophetic traditions, 'fiqh'- jurisprudence- and 'tafseer'- exegesis of The Holy Qur'an. His interests included astronomy, maths, and philosophy.

He was a prolific writer in the aforesaid disciplines. He wrote 37 books and treatises, most of which have been published. His works include:

His post-graduate institute normally accommodated some 150 students, at any given time. Among the students who attended classes and were personally supervised by Imam Al-Khoei included
Ayatullah Al-Shaheed As-Sayyid Mohammad Baqir As-Sadr, Iraq, As-Sayyid Mahdi Al-Hakim Mohammad Mahdi Shamsuddin ( Lebanon), Imam Mousa As-Sadr ( Lebanon),As-Sayyid Mohammad Husain Fadhlallah ( Lebanon ), Ayatullah Seyyid Mohammad Al-Rohani ( Iran), Ayatullah Al-Ardabili, former Chief Justice of Iran , As-Sayyid Mohammad Ali Makki (Syria), As-Sayyid Mohammad Ali Bahrul 'Uloom (UK), Poet Mustafa Jamaluddin ( Syria ) .

After the death of As-Sayyid Mohsin Al- Hakim in 1972, Imam Al-Khoei succeeded him as The Grand Ayatullah ( Al-Marja'a Al-a'alam) as he was the most knowledgeable of the 3 living Grand Ayatullahs. He had the greatest following among the Shias worldwide.


Achievements in the Welfare Sphere

He was fervently dedicated to establishing welfare, social, cultural, and educational institutions for Muslims worldwide. The following are some of the institutions he established:

He was also the patron of about 1,000 grant-maintained students of theology from Iraq and other countries like Lebanon, Syria, Gulf States, India, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, South East Asia. He provided financial support for maintaining the schools including boarding expenses, teachers' salaries and lodging costs.

Other Institutions

Imam Al-Khoei was a man of peace dialogue and understanding. He advocated non-violence and promoted tolerance,the values which mirror the human and universal principles of Islam.

In the aftermath of the violent crushing of the popular uprising in Iraq after the Gulf War by Saddam's troops, he was arrested with all members of his family, and many ulama, taken to Baghdad, and under duress was made to appear with Saddam on TV. Under mounting pressure, Saddam returned him, without his family, to Najaf, where he was placed under house arrest on the 20th of March, l99l.

Mass genocide, destruction, arrests, and displacement of civilians in Najaf, as well as in other cities and towns in the South of Iraq and North perpetrated by the brutal Iraqi regime, left many cities virtually deserted and normal life came to a halt. All classes in Najaf came to a standstill, especially after the grave restrictions and constraints on the freedom of the Spiritual Leader. After his death a year later, Saddam's regime closed down the institute and deported, arrested and harrassed over 1000 students who had been registered with the institute.

Ayatullah Seyyid Abulqasim Musawi Al-Khoei (RA) was born in Azerbaijan, Iran 15 Rajab 1317 H. / 1899 A. D. and passed away in Najaf Al-Ashraf, Iraq on 8 Safar 1412 A.H.(August 8, 1992)

Educated in the established traditional way of Shia Theology by well known jurists, he joined the world-renown theological institution in the holy city of Najaf Al-Ashraf in 1912, the year he migrated from Iran.

At an early age, he attained the degree of ijtihad i.e. the process of arriving at judgements on points of religious law using reason and the principles of jurisprudence. This achievement normally warrants the title of 'Ayatullah'.


Teaching, Juristic, and Writing Merits

He taught in Najaf for over 70 years. For 50 years, he specialized in supervising post-graduate studies, most advanced among which is 'Bahth-al-Kharij' - Graduation Classes - equivalent to a Doctoral thesis. Successful candidates are qualified to practice 'Ijtihad'

He is considered as the architect of a distinct school of thought in the priciples of jurisprudence and Islamic law, and one of the leading exponents of 'kalam'-scholastic theology- and 'rijal'- study of the biographies of transmitters of ahadith, the Prophetic traditions, 'fiqh'- jurisprudence- and 'tafseer'- exegesis of The Holy Qur'an. His interests included astronomy, maths, and philosophy.

He was a prolific writer in the aforesaid disciplines. He wrote 37 books and treatises, most of which have been published. His works include:

His post-graduate institute normally accommodated some 150 students, at any given time. Among the students who attended classes and were personally supervised by Imam Al-Khoei included
Ayatullah Al-Shaheed As-Sayyid Mohammad Baqir As-Sadr, Iraq, As-Sayyid Mahdi Al-Hakim Mohammad Mahdi Shamsuddin ( Lebanon), Imam Mousa As-Sadr ( Lebanon),As-Sayyid Mohammad Husain Fadhlallah ( Lebanon ), Ayatullah Seyyid Mohammad Al-Rohani ( Iran), Ayatullah Al-Ardabili, former Chief Justice of Iran , As-Sayyid Mohammad Ali Makki (Syria), As-Sayyid Mohammad Ali Bahrul 'Uloom (UK), Poet Mustafa Jamaluddin ( Syria ) .

After the death of As-Sayyid Mohsin Al- Hakim in 1972, Imam Al-Khoei succeeded him as The Grand Ayatullah ( Al-Marja'a Al-a'alam) as he was the most knowledgeable of the 3 living Grand Ayatullahs. He had the greatest following among the Shias worldwide.


Achievements in the Welfare Sphere

He was fervently dedicated to establishing welfare, social, cultural, and educational institutions for Muslims worldwide. The following are some of the institutions he established:

He was also the patron of about 1,000 grant-maintained students of theology from Iraq and other countries like Lebanon, Syria, Gulf States, India, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, South East Asia. He provided financial support for maintaining the schools including boarding expenses, teachers' salaries and lodging costs.

Other Institutions

Imam Al-Khoei was a man of peace dialogue and understanding. He advocated non-violence and promoted tolerance,the values which mirror the human and universal principles of Islam.

In the aftermath of the violent crushing of the popular uprising in Iraq after the Gulf War by Saddam's troops, he was arrested with all members of his family, and many ulama, taken to Baghdad, and under duress was made to appear with Saddam on TV. Under mounting pressure, Saddam returned him, without his family, to Najaf, where he was placed under house arrest on the 20th of March, l99l.

Mass genocide, destruction, arrests, and displacement of civilians in Najaf, as well as in other cities and towns in the South of Iraq and North perpetrated by the brutal Iraqi regime, left many cities virtually deserted and normal life came to a halt. All classes in Najaf came to a standstill, especially after the grave restrictions and constraints on the freedom of the Spiritual Leader. After his death a year later, Saddam's regime closed down the institute and deported, arrested and harrassed over 1000 students who had been registered with the institute.