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Sayyid ʻAbd al-Ḥādī Shīrāzī

Place of birth: Samarra
Place of Demise: Najaf

Born & Upbringing

Ayatollah Sayyed Abd al-Hadi Shirazi, a Shiite scholar of Najaf, highly regarded for his learning and piety was born in Samarra, Iraq in 1926. His father, Mīrzā Esmāʿīl Shirazi, also a faqīh, was a cousin of the celebrated Mīrzā Ḥassan Shiraz the moǰadded, and had worked with him in establishing a new center of Shiite learning and guidance at Sāmarrā. Mīrzā Esmāʿīl died shortly after ʿAbd-al-Hādī’s birth, and the responsibility for his upbringing was assumed first by Mīrzā Ḥasan himself, and then by one of his sons, Mīrzā ʿAlī, who taught ʿAbd-al-Hādī the rudiments of fiqh and oṣūl.

Move to Najaf

In 1326/1908, ʿAbd-al-Hādī went to Najaf, where he stayed for four years, pursuing his studies under major scholars of the day such as Āḵund Mullā Muḥammad Kāẓem Ḵorāsānī and Sheikh-al-Sharīʿa Eṣfahānī.

His Teachers

Mirza Muhammad Taqi Shirazi

Muhammad Kazem Khorasani

Sheikh al-Shari’a Isfahani

Muhammad Baqir Estahbanati Shirazi

His Students

Mirza Mohsin Kochebaghi Tabrizi

Sayyed Ezuddin Zanjani

Ayatollah Nasrullah Shah-Abadi

Ayatollah Muhammad Taqi Jafari

Ayatollah Muslim Malekooti

Sheikh Muhammad-Reza Muzaffar

Ayatollah Muhammad-Yousef Gharavi

Ayatollah Hussain Wahid Khorasani

Ayatollah Mirza Javad Tabrizi

Mirza Ahmad Dashti

Sayyed Muhammad-Ali Movahhed Abtahi

Ayatollah Sayyed Taqi Tabatabaei Qomi

Move to Karbala to Joining the Scholars Who Waging Jihad against British Occupation of Iraq

In the early 1920s, he moved to Karbalā, where he joined the Shiite ʿolamāʾ waging jihad against the British occupation of Iraq, and collaborated in particular with Mīrzā Muḥammad Taqī Shirazi, another son of Mīrzā Ḥassan.

Return to Najaf

After the suppression of the jihad movement, he returned to Najaf, and devoted himself to the further study of fiqh, now under the exclusive guidance of Sheikh-al-Sharīʿa Eṣfahānī. When his teacher died in 1339/1921, he began teaching fiqh himself, and soon acquired widespread fame and popularity. Despite his reluctance to assume the burdens of marǰaʿīyat, his close associates ultimately persuaded him to agree to the publication of his handbook on fiqh, and thereby to announce his readiness to be followed as marjaʿ-e taqlīd. Many people came to follow him, primarily in Iraq, where his prominence became particularly apparent during the Shiite campaign against the regime of ʿAbd-al-Karīm Qāsem and the Iraqi Communist Party.

Went Blind

ʿAbd-al-Hādī Shirazi went blind in1369/1950, and soon after undertook a journey to Tehran for treatment. The treatment was unsuccessful, but his trip to Tehran, followed by visits to Qom and Mashhad, enabled him to broaden the scope of his following in Iran and to renew his acquaintance with Ayatollah Buroujerdi. When Ayatollah Borūjerdī died in March, 1961, ʿAbd-al-Hādī inherited from him the responsibility for overseeing the distribution of bread among the needy of Najaf, as well as—more importantly—a considerable portion of his following in Iran. It was even predicted that he would soon exert an influence akin to that of Borūjerdī.


Ayatollah Shirazi passed away, however, before such predictions could be fulfilled, on 10 Ṣafar 1382/13 July 1962, and was buried in the tomb complex of Mīrzā Ḥassan Shirazi at Najaf. He left behind three sons, all religious scholars, two of whom are resident in Najaf while the other lives in Tehran, as well as some verse and a number of treatises on fiqh in both Persian and Arabic.

About Alireza Mosaddeq

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