Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. And it is the seat of the most popular Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani (pictured). In Al-Najaf, Sistani was devoted to ensuring power for a Shiʿi majority in his adopted country, which had been led by a Sunni minority for centuries. Who's who in Iraq: Ayatollah Sistani Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani is the prime marja, or spiritual reference, for Shia Muslims everywhere. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani’s prime influence comes from his status as Shi’ism’s leading marjah al-taqlid, the title (literally object of emulation) given to a cleric whom Iraq’s 15 million Shia Muslims regard as a guide in every aspect of their lives. Sistani increasingly found himself marginalized as his calls for calm went unheeded and efforts to restrain his followers became more and more difficult. A bold move by PMU groupings aligned with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is set to challenge the level of influence of pro-Iran militias in Iraq. Corrections? Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini became the supreme religious leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, following many years of resistance to Shah Pahlavi. May 30, 2020. Most of the people who have known His Eminence Sayyid al-Sistani and have spent time with him have noted that, since his youth, he was a quiet person who spent most of his time in meditation and reflection. Question & Answer. Elected Iran’s supreme leader in June 1989 by the Assembly of Experts, Ayatollah Khamenei serves as the head of state and commander-in-chief of Iran’s armed forces. Inquiries regarding fasting the holy month of Ramadan with the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), Questions about Preparing the Bodies of Those Deceased From CoronaVirus (COVID-19), Rulings Regarding the Efforts of Medical Professionals Caring for Coronavirus Patients (COVID 19), Questions from BBC about some inappropriate practices, and the responses to them, His Eminence Sayyid Sistani receives a visit from Iranian President Dr. Hassan Rouhani. Updates? August 1930 in Maschhad, Iran) ist der bedeutendste schiitische Geistliche im heutigen Irak. The reclusive cleric left Najaf for the first time in years for heart surgery He is one of only five living grand ayatollahs and the most senior Shia cleric in Iraq. From the Council on Foreign Relations, January 16, 2003. Who is the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani? The reclusive, Iranian-born wields great influence over Iraq’s future. Ali al-Sistani, Iranian-born Shi’i cleric and a leader of the Iraqi Shi’i community. The destruction of the Iraqi state by the 2003 US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq resulted in the rise of the Shiite clerics in Iraq, in particular, the most senior cleric in Iraq’s Najaf city Ayatollah Ali Sistani who has emerged as a key political power broker after the invasion. Sistani’s sermon was a riposte, designed to set Khamenei right. The Chief Ayatollah of Iraq is Ali al-Husayni al-Sistani. Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi resigned later that month, and the parliament passed an electoral reform in December. MOBILE VIEW A picture of Iraq's top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is seen at a shop in a market in the capital Baghdad, Iraq, Jan. 18, 2020. Al-Sistani est une personnalité politique influente en Irak depuis le renversement du gouvernement de Saddam Hussein. Meanwhile, Muqtadā al-Ṣadr, a young militant cleric, waged a fierce guerrilla battle against U.S. and Iraqi forces in Al-Najaf. The heart operation a success, Sistani returned triumphantly to Al-Najaf in late August and concluded the confrontation by dramatically reining in Ṣadr and brokering a peace agreement where others had failed. His father was Sayyid Muhammad Baqir, the son of Sayyid Ali al-Husayni al-Sistani (may God have mercy on them). He is the most important Shiite cleric in Iraq, where the population is about 60 percent Shiite. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Ali al-Sistani, in full ʿAlī al-Ḥusaynī al-Sīstānī, (born August 4, 1930, Mashhad, Iran), Iranian-born Shiʿi cleric and a leader of the Iraqi Shiʿi community. Sheikh Nasser al-Din Ansari Al-Qomi, an investigator and researcher in the History of Scholars and Professor of Higher Studies in the Qom Seminary, details his meeting with the great religious authority, Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Sistani, may Allah protect him. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani Council on Foreign Relations ^ | 12-5-03 | Sharon Otterman Posted on 12/06/2003 11:38:46 AM PST by FlyLow. Who is the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani? The destruction of the Iraqi state by the 2003 US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq resulted in the rise of the Shiite clerics in Iraq, in particular, the most senior cleric in Iraq’s Najaf city Ayatollah Ali Sistani who has emerged as a … Sistani’s support for free elections in Iraq—underscored by a 2004 fatwa (legal opinion) decreeing that Iraqis register to vote—carried great significance. Later on, he wrote a commentary on the Resaalah of Ayatullah Khu’i. General Guidelines from the Supreme Religious Authority for Lecturers and Preachers during Muharram 1438 A.H. What is the ruling on abortion for a pregnant woman who is infected with AIDS? Biography of Ayatollah Sayed Ali Sistani English. But with neighboring Iran moving to install its preferred candidate in the position, the secular political foundations of Iraq's fledgling democracy are at risk. His control of the Revolutionary Guard guarantees that the religious clerics have authority over the civil government. Al-Sistani is profiled in Anthony Shadid's February 1, 2004, Washington Post article "Call of History Draws Iraqi Cleric to the Political Fore." Though born in Iran, he has lived and taught in Najaf, Iraq, the intellectual capital of global Shiism, since the age of 21. AIM Editor May 30, 2017 Questions & Answers 8,846 Views. Currently there are a number of Ayatollahs. Shortly after Khoei’s death in 1992, Sistani achieved the status of marjaʿ al-taqlīd (Arabic: “model of emulation”), the highest level of excellence in Twelver Shiʿism (the main body of Shiʿi Muslims). Among the most significant situations were those that came in 2014 with the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL; also called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria [ISIS]). Who is the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani? Unlike the polarizing Sadr, Sistani is widely regarded in Iraq as a reconciler. Militiamen loyal to Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr battle US forces for control of the area. THE Americans are becoming exasperated by Iraq's most powerful ayatollah. After Ayatollah al-Khoei's demise on Safar 8, 1413/August 8, 1992, Ayatollah al-Sistani took over the … Answer: It is better not to, and its preferable to choose another animal as a pet, as a dog is ritually impure (Najis) according to Islamic law, and thus it would cause one to live with considerable difficulty.It's also been mentioned that prayers in a place with a dog around is abominable (Makrooh). Hassan Rouhani’s trip to Iraq was discussed from various angles by observers, but few noticed that he did not carry any greetings from Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to the highest religious leader of Shiites, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani … His asceticism is apparent from his food, clothing, and residence. Who is the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani? Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, born 4 August 1930, the most important Shiite cleric in Iraq, where the population is about 60 percent Shiite. MOBILE VIEW Sunni volunteers, who have joined the Abbas Combat Division, shout slogans after a field training in Kerbala, Iraq, Dec. 20, 2017. In June Sistani called on Iraqis to join the fight against the militant group and pushed for the replacement of Prime Minister Nūrī al-Mālikī and his government. In reply to a question about fasting in the Month of Ramadan in the shadow of the Coronavirus outbreak, the Grand Ayatollah Sistani emphasized that fasting as an individual duty is Wajib, and whoever has the conditions it is obligatory to fast regardless of it being Wajib for others or not. Mr Sistani champions the separation of mosque and state. Clerics should advise, he says, not rule. Although born in Iran, he is no fan of Khamenei and other hardliners in Tehran, preferring the likes of President Hassan Rouhani . Mr Sistani champions the separation of mosque and state. He succeeded Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Abu Al Qassim Al Khoei as the most powerful figure in Najaf's Hawza, as the senior Shiite clerical leadership is known, in 1992. In August 2004 Sistani traveled to Britain to undergo medical treatment and surgery for a worsening heart condition. Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani "was born in Mashhad, a city in northwest Iran that is home to the country's most sacred Shiite shrine.". Although he served as the spiritual leader of Iraq’s Shiʿi community, Sistani also commanded the respect of Sunni Arabs and Kurds. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. This means the reclusive, Iranian-born 73-year-old wields a tremendous degree of influence over the nation's future. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Who is the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani? A broader contest of influence between Sistani and Ṣadr continued, however, and some of Sistani’s followers began to shift toward Ṣadr’s more militant approach. He is described as the spiritual leader of Iraqi Shia Muslims and one of the most senior clerics in Shia Islam. Who is the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani? Ayatollah al-Sistani was the leader of the mosque until the last Friday of Dhu l-Hijja, 1414/June, 1994 when the mosque was shut down by the Iraqi government (in the period of Saddam). Ayatollah Sistani Since the American invasion, he has had more influence over Iraqi politics than any other figure in Iraq. His Eminence Sayyid Sistani receives a visit from Iranian President Dr. Hassan Rouhani; General Guidelines from the Supreme Religious Authority for Lecturers and Preachers during Muharram 1438 A.H. In some cases his credibility outweighed that of not only U.S. and United Nations diplomatic envoys but even the interim government of Prime Minister Ayād ʿAllāwī: his strong and moderating influence among the Iraqi populace as a whole earned him the respect of U.S. diplomats and Iraqi leaders, who deferred to many of his wishes. Can one perform Eid prayers, (Eid al-Fitr or Eid... Is it permissible to socialize or accept invitations... Can one recite a divorce, whilst the two witnesses... Is it permissible for a Muslim single man to consummate... A Code of Practice For Muslims in the West. Ali Husseini al-Sistani (en arabe : السيد علي الحسيني السيستاني, en persan : سید علی حسینی سیستانی) est un ayatollah iranien né le 4 août 1930 à Mashhad, en Iran. In spite of these challenges, however, it was clear that Sistani remained one of Iraq’s most powerful figures, and U.S. and Iraqi officials continued to seek his input on important matters. Qom’s only advantage is its political sway, which it acquired just forty years ago when Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini overthrew the monarchy and appointed himself as the all-powerful leader of the first Shiite clergy-run state in history. By Track Persia. He is very humble and has lived an extremely simple life. Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani Early Life. Here’s a look at the life of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq’s most influential Shiite cleric.. In November 2019, after the Iraqi government responded with violence to widespread demonstrations over corruption and poor services, Sistani called for the resignation of the government, electoral reform, and early elections. The Supreme Leader of Iran is currently Ayatollah Ali Khamanei. Ayatollah Sistani is one of the top living scholars of Shia Islam. He held a traditional ‘quietist’ philosophy rather than the ideology of clerical leadership in policy making as promulgated by Ruhollah Khomeini. The only man who can save Iraq is Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. They say he has a calm, content, and patient personality. Did you know that Sayyid Sistani used to listen to Imam Khomeini speeches in secret during Saddam’s time? Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Biography of Ayatollah Sayed Ali Sistani English. He is the most important Shiite cleric in Iraq, where the population is about 60 percent Shiite. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, born 4 August 1930, the most important Shiite cleric in Iraq, where the population is about 60 percent Shiite. Grand Ayatollah Sistani: Role and likely successors Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani has been the most influen-tial leader in Iraq since the toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Clerics should advise, he … May 30, 2020. Shiite factions close to Sistani move to separate from Iran-backed militias. His Eminence Sayyid al-Sistani was born on the ninth of Rabi al-Awwal in 1349 AH in the Holy City of Mashhad in Iran. In his early 20s he left Iran to continue his studies in Iraq, becoming a disciple of Grand Ayatollah Abu al-Qasim al-Khoei in Al-Najaf. In his late eighties, Mr Al Sistani is the main religious authority, or marjaa -- reference -- among Iraq’s majority Shiites, having moved to Najaf from Iran in the 1950s. Ayatollah Sistani then began to perform the prayers at the niche of Ayatollah Khou’i, and started studying in his school. Omissions? Unlike Khamenei, Ayatollah Ali Sistani believes in the separation of religion from state and his position has been a key element that fostered a relative peace among various Iraqi groups some of which are loyal to the Islamic Republic and follow Khamenei's ideological lead. He is the most important Shiite cleric in Iraq, a nation that is about 60 percent Shiite. Certain things are Makrooh for a person observing fast, some of them are mentioned below: Using eye-drops and applying Surma if its taste or smell reaches the throat. MOBILE VIEW. Sayyid Ali Husayni al-Sistani (born 4 August 1930), also known as Ayatollah Sistani or al-Sistani, is one of the most powerful and influential Iranian Twelver Shia marja in Iraq and the head of many of the hawzahs (seminaries) in Najaf. For a man who rarely left his own house, or said a single word to the mass media, this is quite phenomenal! He does not like self-promotion and forbids his representatives from spending a penny on advertising his religious autho… Top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani backs early elections and calls on the Iraqi government to take action against the outlawed militias and mafia active in the country. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Sistani is a deeply religious man who is also a survivor. As Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani ages, a struggle to succeed him has begun, putting the spiritual leadership of one of the world's foremost faiths in play. The differences of these two religious centers are not new. Living in Najaf, a holy city and burial place haunted by Shiite passion for martyrdom, he has emerged as a leader through quiet rationalism. Born to a prominent religious family, Sistani studied the Qurʾān from a young age. Known for his intelligence and charisma, Sistani rose quickly through the clerical ranks, and, unlike Ruhollah Khomeini, a fellow cleric in Al-Najaf who would come to rule Iran (1979–89), Sistani eschewed militancy for a “quietist” philosophy. The 2010s saw a number of crises that returned Sistani to the position of a political arbiter. The most important Shiite cleric in Iraq, a nation that is 60 percent Shiite. He is the most influential person in Iraq, and he also has a large following around the … What is the ruling on abortion for a pregnant woman who is infected with AIDS? Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani is the prime marja, or spiritual reference, for Shia Muslims everywhere. Thousands quickly joined the armed forces, and Mālikī resigned in August. Großajatollah Ali as-Sistani (persisch سیدعلی حسینی سیستانی, DMG Seyyed-ʿAlī Ḥosainī Sīstānī; arabisch علي الحسيني السيستاني, DMG ʿAlī al-Ḥusainī as-Sīsitānī; * ungefähr 4. By Track Persia. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ali-al-Sistani, Council on Foreign Relations - Biography of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Official Site of Al-Sayyid Ali Al-Husseini Al-Sistani. Rather than continue to endure being ignored, Sistani announced his withdrawal from the political scene. Ayatollah Sistani: What is Makrooh whilst fasting? to Sistani’s tolerance and respect for the freedom of thought and debate, Najaf, as a religious center, is wit-nessing the most tolerant era in its entire history. Sistani played a key role in the political proceedings that followed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, and, although he preferred to give the impression that he did not mix religion and politics, he proved to be an important participant in the planning for Iraq’s first democratic government. The reclusive, Iranian-born wields great influence over Iraq’s future. 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