Kho?I, Abo ?L-Qasem (1898–1992)

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KHO˒I, ABO ˒L-QASEM (1898–1992)

Sayyed Abo ˒l-Qasem Musavi, Grand Ayatollah, was born in Khoi, Azerbaijan. He was one of the well-known Shi˓ite maraje˒ (sources of emulation). His book Ajvad al-Taqrirat (The best interpretations) is one of the more important texts in Shi˓ite seminaries. His other book, Al-Bayan (Explanation), is a comprehensive text on Qur˒an commentaries. He taught at the highest level of seminaries in Najaf, Iraq. He also instituted the Al-Khu˓i Foundation with many branches around the world, including London and New York.

Kho˒i was apparently the undisputed marja˓ of Iraq and gained ground among the Shi˓ite people of Iran, Lebanon, India, and other parts of the Muslim world. Kho˒i was a traditionalist of the old school and disagreed with the notion of clerical rule, or the Islamic state under the rule of the jurist (velayat-e faqih), as put forward by the Ayatollah Khomeini.

Kho˒i had good relations with the shah of Iran and received the Iranian queen shortly before the Islamic revolution of 1979. After the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, Kho˒i, having observed absolute silence during the Iraq-Iran war (1980–1988), published an anti-Saudi fatwa prohibiting the "recourse to the non-believers against Muslims "and inviting the latter "to resist to the enemies of God, who seek to attack Islam." This was reportedly issued under great pressure from Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.


Razi, Mohammad Sharif. "Ganjine ye Daneshmandan." In Encyclopedia of Shi˓ite Mullahs. Vols. 2 and 4. Tehran: Eslamieh, 1974.

Majid Mohammadi